Find: Space Needle Hand Towel

I had the Space Needle on my mind last night after perusing the souvenir edition of the Seattle Times from April 1962. I dropped in on eBay to see what sort of Seattle memorabilia might be available.  Turns out ephemera from the worldly fairs actually has a category on eBay. Who knew!

Cool Stuff on eBay

Check it out- a 50 year old towel.

But not just any towel- it’s a souvenir from the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle! Very cool graphic featuring the space needle and the monorail.

This year happens to be the 50th anniversary of the “Century 21 Exposition.” Check out this classic space-age towel here…

Seattle World’s Fair Hand Towel

Have you spotted cool stuff on eBay?
Let us know about it!

Timeline for Facebook Pages

The dreaded timeline has made its way on to most everyone’s profile. By March 30th it will also be applied to Facebook pages.

Here are a few things to consider before you publish your page in the timeline format:

Cover Image
Many social media mavens have complained about the timeline for businesses. The main gripe involves what some developers call “fan gates,” or customized content based on the visitor’s fan status. The new timeline will show the same banner image to a person who likes your page as someone who does not. But there are still ways to offer customized apps- just not through the landing page.

The dimensions for the new Cover Image are 851 x 315 pixels. Of course your image doesn’t have to be that size- but something proportional to that will be best. And if you upload something larger you will have the option to scoot it around a bit. Continue reading Timeline for Facebook Pages

Loyalty Cards: 1966

Swipe loyalty card now.

We were going through a box of some old family stuff the other night. I found photos from the Eighties and ephemera dating back to the Fifties.

One of the most “oh wow” moments was unearthing an S&H Green Stamps book. It immediately brought back memories of Mom filling books and the weird stamp dispenser machine in the grocery store that resembled a telephone dial.

I love the artwork. The whole family is so happy that Mom is saving stamps to buy an overpriced blender!

The inside pages were pulp and always featured line drawings. As a child I was convinced they were coloring books!

Optimal Search Engine Optimization

How Your Images Can Attract a Crowd

Getting more people to visit your website or blog is a universal goal for most anyone. I mean, anyone that has a website or blog. Once you scrape the surface of that topic you will immediately run into the phrase Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.

SEO is simply making your pages and content as friendly as possible to search engines like Bling and Google. The ins and outs of SEO are complicated. There are tons of books written on the subject and I have no intention of delving into the complexities of all that. But one little snippet I recently discovered is worth sharing.

Webmaster Tools by GoogleIf you’re working on increasing traffic to your site you’re probably familiar with Google’s Webmaster Tools. If you aren’t you probably should be. Google’s toolbox allows you to see how the search engine is indexing your site (or not) and report on how your site fares in particular search results. The main page (right) display the performance of your site based on how many searches your site showed up on. The values are given as Impressions (showed up on the search results) and Clicks (someone actually clicked to visit your site).

A couple of weeks ago I happened to notice that little button on the left of the graph that says Filters.

Filters allow you to zero in on certain types of searches- mobile, image, web, etc. I was amazed to learn that the majority of search traffic being reported was from image searches. When I filtered the graph to display web searches the numbers plummeted. I was reduced from thousands of search hits to a handful.

Obviously your mileage will vary. If your site has more images you will probably see more search traffic from images searches. This can also increase by optimizing your images. Many bloggers overlook this simple but effective step- here’s how to do it…

  • Name Your Image
    Don’t use the lame file name your camera coughs up. Nobody will be excited by DSC00913.jpg (well, not many people anyway). But if you named it las-vegas-casino.jpg it will have much more relevance.Try to use simple words and avoid using slashes, dots or spaces.
  • Keep It Relevant
    Speaking of relevance- make sure the image name matches the content where it appears. Consider our above example: If your blog is about a cool casino you discovered in Las Vegas, you’re done.However, let’s say you’re writing about data backup and using a casino image to illustrate gambling with your precious data (okay, you pick the examples next time). In this case a better file name would be best-bet-backup.jpg or backup-gambler.jpg.
  • The ALT & Title Tags
    The HTML lingo that runs the web has a couple of image-specific tags to help with this endeavor. Most people will be familiar with these tags as “hover text.” If you hold your cursor over my screenshot above you should see “Webmaster Tools by Google” pop up.  That happens because I defined the ALT tag for the image and the TITLE tag for the hyperlink.The instructions for adding these vary wildly depending on your blogging platform or content management system. WordPress makes it very easy, but Blogger makes you dip into the HTML view.

Any or all of these suggestions will make your images more friendly to the robots that constantly troll the Web on behalf of search engines. Once they find and index them you should see an increase in visits to your site from image searches. Then all we have to do is entice those visitors to stay for a while.

But that’s a story for another day.





I’m Mad Too, Vince

I was going through some old photos last week.

This was a bit of magic marker art using a Datsun 510 as the canvas. Some may know the canvas as the “Buck Car.” That’s mostly because it was spray painted on the hood in letters three feet tall.

About a million years ago I used to draw this character on various fixtures around Tulsa. One included a caption I borrowed from local bumper stickers of the time, “I’m mad too, Vince.”

From then on everyone called the cartoon by the name Vince.

The real Vince was a guy who ran for street commissioner about a zillion times. I ran into him once at Jerry’s Restaurant (formerly on 15th and Main) and we chatted over apple turnovers. When I asked him about the slogan he laughed. He had borrowed it from a politician in the Houston area who had popularized the slogan “I’m mad too, Eddie.”

And now you know.