Author Archives: Sharon Sarmiento

Qi Marketing Seminar Series Starts

Lots of launches these days!
My buddy Ellen Britt got tired of all the hackneyed, heavy-handed marketing seminars out there and so forumlated a free seminar series featuring some great marketing experts (and not the usual old tired roster!).
The series has started and you can get in on the action over at

Master TypePad. Conquer Google.

(from the ezine)
You know I’m a push-over.
We were doing the preview call for
Easy Bake Weblogs yesterday and I
announced that folks can grab the
course for 50% off in the next few
days. Many of them chimed in and
asked if they could get the
Keywords Essentials course for half
off, too. A brief pause… and I
gave in. Here’s the deal:
Get Easy Bake Weblogs *and* Keywords
Essentials for 50% off – basically
a 2-for-1 deal – if you register
*before* midnight Friday (Oct 11).
: : : : Master TypePad, Conquer Google.
: : : : Get Half Off Before Friday Night.
Buy *both* Easy Bake Weblogs and
Keywords Essentials for half off at
Full course details:
– Easy Bake Weblogs starts
Oct 24, 31, Nov 7, 14 @ 3pm EST
syllabus at
– Keywords Essenitals starts
October 18, Nov 1, 8, 15 @ 9pm EST
syllabus at
That’s it for now – SO much else to
tell you about next week. Lots cookin’!

Federal Trade Commissions Stops Qchex Online Bill Pay: Lets Others Raid Your Checking Account


The company had been allowing customers to create and send checks without verifying their permission to access the affected accounts, according to a complaint filed today by the Federal Trade Commission. The commission asked the U.S. District Court of Southern California to issue a permanent restraining order to halt the company’s practices, which the agency says violate federal law.

Matt Taibbi Does a Thomas Friedman Takedown

How the world being ‘flat’ (a clumsy metaphor anyway) really happens:

According to The New York Times, what we need to do to compete with China economically is adopt commensurate “homegrown business practices” that will enhance our performance. What do they have in mind? Eliminating the freedom of speech? Outlawing free trade associations? Legalizing child labor? Eliminating all environmental regulations and letting workers roll around in hazardous chemicals for fifteen hours a day for ten cents an hour? Ending all forms of corporate transparency?

Adobe Contribute Now Works with WordPress

(via Weblogs Tools Collection)

Adobe Contribute and WordPress Adobe contribute now works with WordPress and other blogging tools to allow users to post and publish content from within Adobe, Macromedia and Microsoft applications directly to blogs as well as other publishing applications and CMSs. Lots of tricks and features built in, including workflow and authoring permissions (not sure how it is implemented). I like their selling point that it will help users get started with blogging by integerating blogs into existing and familiar publishing environments.

New Soft Drink Launches: ‘Cocaine’

I love this kinda stuff.

Las Vegas-based Redux Beverages recently rolled out their marketing campaign for the new energy drink Cocaine. It compares in calories to Red Bull (only 70 vs. Red Bull’s 80) but weighs in with 350 percent more caffeine (280 mg, about the same as four espresso shots). The drink also boasts an instant rush with no crash.  How’s it taste? The drink is only available in select Los Angeles and New York locations, as well as a few events, such as New York Fashion Week (supposedly, it’ll be on soon). However, the kids at Best Week Ever got their hands on some, and they say the stuff burns – a sensation we try to avoid.

Google Launches Ping Service

From the G-Men:

Today we’re launching the Google Blog Search Pinging Service, which is a way for individual bloggers and blog platform providers to inform us of content changes. Blogging providers who syndicate RSS/Atom/XML and want to be included in our Blog Search index can now ping us directly. We’ll continue to monitor other pinging services and will contribute change notifications to the community. Read more at our FAQ.

HOWTO: Use iCalendar Events for Easy Teleseminar Scheduling in MS Outlook

I always screw up timezones. Usually the night before a call I wake up in the middle of a panic attack and rush to the computer to triple check the timezones for the next day’s call.
With the launch of Blogwild!, I experimented with letting people put a reminder to buy my book on their Outlook and iCal calendars.
The standardized data format for events is the iCalendar format which can be imported by most calendar programs (including MS Outlook and Mac OS’s iCal). Previous calendaring programs have been based on the older vCalendar standard.
Open Outlook.
Click on Calendar.
File > New > Appointment.
The Appointment window opens allowing you to create the new event.
Use a sensible subject for the appointment. If this is a teleseminar, I usually include the dial-info in the location line. If it is onside, put the address in the location line.
If this is a reminder to do something, make the appointment have the same start and end time so it is 0 minutes.
If this is an actual session, input the proper start and end times. Note that the times will be converted to the timezone of your Outlook calendar (and then converted properly when imported into a user’s calendar).
For my ‘buy the book’ reminder, I used an event that was at Noon EST since I figure most folks would be at work. I used a reminder that was at 3 hours (9 AM EST) so people would see the reminder during their morning email read.
Include relevant URLs and Links in the details. For my reminder, I included a direct link to buying my book on as well as the details for the ‘buy the book today!’ offer.
If the event recurs, be sure to add that as well by using the Recurrence options.
Save the Appointment.
It is now in your Outlook Calendar (or iCal). Let’s convert it to iCalendar (.ics) format.
File > Save as… and a dialog opens. Select that you want to save this as iCalendar format. Change the filename so it makes sense: The_Title_of_the_Event.ics and click Save. (Be sure you save it somewhere you’ll remember like your Desktop)
Upload the .ics file either through FTP or through your blog or content management system.
Add a link to the .ics file to the relevant pages and posts.
Test it: Delete the event on your Outlook or iCal calendar and then click on the link on the uploaded .ics file.
Your browser should prompt you to download the file and/or open it into Outlook or iCal. (Some browsers don’t know what to do with them and users may see the plain text of the .ics file)
Be sure that the event makes it correctly into the calendar.
Double-test it: Have a friend in a different timezone test it as well to ensure that the timezone conversion is correct as well as any recurrence.