Join the Tsu Revolution

The FB that pays you.

Were You Hit by Penguin 3.0?

When algorithms affect real world businesses and lives...

My Sunday Search

October 19, 2014 Co-Founder Sebastian Sobczak

Interview with Fox Business

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Reddit Enters Crowdfunding Game

Reddit today announced a new offspring of its social networking site, a brainchild of sorts, The premise?

"an entirely new project that we hope will enhance your experience on reddit, create stronger subreddit communities, allow redditors to collaborate and support each other, and empower redditors to make a difference."
In what may be a major upset to services such as or gofundme, reddit is turning the monetization model upside down by building the community first then figuring out how it can monetize the platform. At the ungodly time I'm writing this, several campaigns have been posted and most are memorabilia related such as reddit stickers, t-shirts and pins.

The site is still in Open Beta so we can expect a few quirks and weirdness around it as people play around. But knowing reddit and its capacity to come up with notable feel-good gimmicks such as Secret Santas, Random Acts of Kindness or Random Acts of Pizza, this force has a lot of creative juice in its favor and may lead to amazing things.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 Founder Sebastian Sobczak Gets Interviewed on

It ain't real, until it's real. 

But then, in your search trying to find out whether it's true, you may discover that you could be the last one to know - and miss out. By the way, did I mention that it was free to join?

 "What if there was a Facebook that paid you? Now, Facebook may not be generous, but there's a site that is..." - Fox Business Host Co-Founder Sebastian Sobczak gets interviewed on Fox Business

Skepticism is good.

After all the other failed (and embarrassing) social networking experiments, it's just a matter of time, when one will come along and chip a small piece out of FB's dominance and "disrupt" the status quo. That's what start-ups are supposed to do. That's what may bring.

There's a mad frenzy among the social media superstars out there to vie for the most number of followers, so much so that notable people are:
  1. Advertising on Google with the keyword "tsu"
  2. Advertising on Facebook
  3. Repeatedly spamming twitter
  4. And just being total asshats in the mad scramble for things that are not yet even there

Tsu's launch was meticulously and strategically planned.

Like Facebook's launch, Tsu's entry is like watching the Phantom of the Opera the second time around with different actors, a different venue and a different taste. Their thrust comes at the heels of the launch of alternative social networking sites like A few days after that and notable social media figures have publicly announced their intent to join. Foremost among them is none other than the most famous problogger himself, Darren Rowse.

Certain social media demi-gods are also launching their own campaigns

Subtlety is their craft and they do so with relative ease and expertise. But for all intents and purposes, there are many campaigns silently being launched side by side with Tsu's initial announcement. If you look at this rough timeline, you'd notice the pattern.

The other big social media hot shots must have been taken by surprise or are taking a cautious stance since not too much is known about right now. I'm talking about Mashable and all the others who seem to be the first to jump at the chance to write about anything social media. 

Even reddit has been pretty quiet and doing a search about Tsu nets you results pertaining to Tennessee State University. 

Caution is good - but considering that it's free to join - what have you got to lose but time? 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Social Media that Pays You: The Tsu Project

Facebook's market capitalization is now worth $209.75 billion dollars. Yes, that's $209,750,000,000 dollars. (Source: Google Finance)

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of FB, has a net worth of $33.6 billion US dollars.

That's enough to fund real life projects, provide support to Ebola stricken nations (Zuck donated $25 million), start livelihood programs for the indigent, feed the poor and fund projects that could truly make a difference in this world.

Now, the question is, what have you gotten out of using Facebook or Twitter?

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Penguin 3.0 Aftermath: Were You Hit?

Hysteria. That's what happens every time Google makes an announcement regarding its algorithmic changes. True enough, for many online marketing fortunes built on the back of the search engine - this is often a prelude to bad news. After all those dollars spent on optimization tools, SEO, writers and even sponsorship, years of effort could and may have gone down the drain. Or worse, it could mean lost revenue for the coming months.

But for ordinary users who just want to happily look for something to buy on the Internet, well, life goes on.

Google Culture and Dependence
I've had an interesting conversation with Luana, a friend I met on +MyBlogU, about the existence of a Google-centric culture that we're having when it comes to online marketing. The first instinctive idea that popped in my head was, "There's a Google centric culture?"

That's when it hit me. It's true.

Think about it in a broader way, and not just in Internet marketing. Are you using something from Google right now? Gmail? Google Plus? Search? Blogspot? Google Play on Your Android Phone?

I've always seen the tech giant as a lovable fur ball with some intent to watch over the things we're doing including the things that we search for online.

I even ignored Edward Snowden's statements against Google.

As a fan and maybe a blind follower of the web titan, I've only seen the good things that it does and gives us; and I only read about the good things that I hear. Breaking free from that, could feel a little like, shall we say, sinning?

The Real World Effects of a Google Penalty

  • Lost clients
  • Lost audience
  • Lost readers
For some, it's more about the stigma and the negative impression that could scar a blog or a website for a long time. Advertisers could shun you and go to a different blog or website. Your site's name could be the subject of a blog post title with negative connotations - it's just bad PR in a world where everybody is striving to look good.

The effects of these could reverberate across the online marketing circles and brand you for a long time.

So I asked a few friends on MyBlogU to weigh in on the whole dilemma. I asked them how it impacted their websites and blogs. Maybe, just maybe, we could glean a deeper insight into how we should go about in the future.

My Indian client has actually seen a rise in search engine rankings starting on Oct. 7. Impressions went up by 44% and clicks by 64%. My Italian client (no blog nor fresh content) also saw a rise in impressions by 12% and there have been 32% more clicks in SERPs. Most of improvement is for search queries containing brand names, but some other content went up to the first page, too. All in all, Penguin 3.0 has been good to my clients

The situation with my websites is different, but willfully so. Search impressions went down to 12 from an average of 37 a day for and there has been a loss in clicks of 14%. I was expecting it, since I sold a few dofollow links on the homepage over the past few months and I have been playing with the robots.txt file, excluding Googlebot at a certain point. I removed the links about a week before the update and then reinstated the robots.txt file a few days ago. Search clicks average 10-12 per day now. Also, I noticed there is no manual webspam action under Webmaster Tools, so the penalty was only algorithmic.

The situation is stable for other websites that were penalized for "unnatural outbound links". For some, the click average per day went up a little, for some others even by 50%, even though there has been no considerable improvement in rankings (which is the norm for penalized sites with a small community, I suppose).

What am I going to do now? In short, nothing. I don't hate Google for this, because I know their business model. I do my best to avoid penalties for my clients, but then Google can do whatever to my websites, since traffic from Google only makes up for the 2% of my total traffic and I rely more on community building than on SEO. Also, there's no way I would give up on advertising, even when the methods for it don't really make Google smile. But that's for another story.

Luana Spinetti | Freelance Designer

Few of friendly bloggers affilate sites have been effected for few keywoords and their SEO visibility have dropped certainly and there is a net loss of 3%-4% in SEO keyword visibility.It seems that most of the affialiate sites have not receovered yet.This is case of only few blogs which are in my site but there a couple of sites on internet which have recovered well and there couple of good sites which have good Gain arte upto 8-9 % in SEO visibility.

Conclusion of Penguin

Most of the spammy websites are hit with recent updates and some with black hat are doing fine.

My personal take

There are many issues surrounding Google's decisions and updates and most of them have been unpopular to many Internet marketers and bloggers. But, as Luana says, these are business decisions and it's rather unfortunate that this can sometimes spillover to real lives and businesses.

As a disclosure, I have been hit by Penguin 3.0 myself. Well, on another blog that is.

But water under the bridge, life is very good and I still love blogging and writing. No SEO technique or penalty can take that away from anyone.

So your website got tanked: it's not the end of the world
The thing with ranking on any search engine is that it's essentially a matter of weighing subjective "opinions" in the form of links/websites/blogs hierarchically arranged and trying to make them an objective reality.

These are all perceptions and don't get me wrong, an interesting undertaking by itself.

But think about it. Go ahead and search for "the best car insurance in New York"

Ok, fine, let me google that for you.

It says, Geico, progressive, and a long domain name I couldn't care less about.

First of all, I don't have a car. So, I don't really need car insurance. Second, I don't live in New York. Third, if ever I will win a car and get some car insurance, it will most likely be shoved down my throat by some goons over the [redacted] in the Philippines.

The thing is, what's "best" is subjective. We all have our own opinions. Even if you have the "rightiest" opinion of them all, or even if you have the "bestest" review out there, with the most optimized seo killer whatchamacallit engine out there, someone, somewhere out there, will beg to differ.

My belief as a blogger, is simple...

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Devotions: Genesis, Healing and Ten Commandments

We were not able to go to Church today so what I did was to gather and ask my kids to read the Bible, and we read about Genesis Chapter 12. That part about Abraham, leaving his homeland and dropping by Egypt. (Christian Bible: Genesis 12)

And then we watched Dr. Albert's video - Part 2 of a series of 4. It's about healing and as usual, Pastor A never fails to emphasize the finer points of healing in the lives of Christians. I've also learned and validated that our emotions and spiritual being is closely intertwined with our physical bodies. There's a recent scientific article supporting this claim - I lost the link but it supports the greater inclusion of psychiatrists and psychologists in healthcare facilities. Google it.

I can attest to this because of a fairly recent semi-traumatic event which happened to me - just a few weeks after that - I got sick for one whole week. It's one of the rare moments when I was stuck in bed, everything tasted bad, slept the whole day and just lay there as I watched my wife struggle to help me like I was a baby. I was totally helpless, and I can say that yes my wife really is a blessing to me, in the past, the present and the future. So thanks, Weng.

Now this video by Pastor A, could be best understood if you are bilingual like me. He speaks Filipino and English. It's really funny if you can speak Filipino as well as English.

I'll leave out the message lest I do something to it, but on a side comment: "Jesus spat on somebody? Hwat?!"


My notes about the ten commandments parchment above:

I took it from a article: The best preserved Ten Commandments parchment goes on display in New York dated 2011. Picture credits entirely to them.

Now, it interested me (despite the debates at the bottom of that article about it being "the foundation for most American Civil and Criminal law") because I've always been drawn to it. It must be because my mom hung a version of it near our dining table.

It's also crucial to study this because it's one of the most delineating factors between Protestantism and Catholicism.

Note: There are many rocking changes in Catholicism now that's worth watching and observing. I will link to the reddit post that will link to the article. (Click here) Warning, reddit can confuse you.

According to the Daily Mail article the ten commandments are as follows:

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
  4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother
  6. Thou shalt not kill
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery
  8. Thou shalt not steal
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness
  10. Thou shalt not covet

I boldfaced the second commandment and you'd understand why if you're a Christian in the Philippines.

So that's it. 

Note for the day: Science and Spirituality are NOT mutually exclusive. There should be no dichotomy.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Finding the Best in People: Meet Kim

The Quest for Awesome Sauce
It's a straight-forward question, "how do you make a superstar?" That will be the theme for the whole week as we look for experts who can point us to the right people, connections or social media tools to achieve our goals.
Brainstorming for a solution
So for my next #mbustorm challenge, we'll be exerting our best efforts to achieve this. As a music industry outsider this is beyond me, I'm not a music talent promoter so we'll look around for the veterans and the pros. Our course of action is this:
  • Brainstorm through and interview them.
    • How do we go about in YouTube promotion?
    • How do we make a video viral?
  • Follow through their advice - that's doable
  • Execute and promote
  • See the results

  • Get a publicist involved
  • Is it good to go for "wider audience" or better to narrow it down and focus (I would say focus)
  • Crowd-funding sites
  • Sing for charity
  • Tell his story
  • Get a journalist interested
  • Interview on blog
  • Come up with a Twitter marketing campaign

Action Plan
1. Register a domain for unofficial Kim R. Fan Page - Done!