Apr 1, 2017

Funny Retirement Home Names Part 2

By | 2017-03-29T20:33:08+00:00 April 1st, 2017|Entertainment|Comments Off on Funny Retirement Home Names Part 2

One of the most popular posts here on this site is actually a funny little post I wrote after reading a funny retirement home names and thinking that there are probably a dozen or so I can come up with as a poet and player of words. This silly little post wound up being visited tens of thousands of times and all the article did was summarize and present a bunch of funny made up retirement home names and this got me thinking why not work on a sequel post with some new and fresh funny retirement home names and then invite others to share the names of retirement homes that they can come up with.

The key is to be a bit clever without being cruel, mean or so awkward it isn’t plausible for a facility or recreational center to have that name in the title. So you wouldn’t put something that would offend someone as a potential title for the home, but something that can capture time period, era, age, with some sort of dignity and grace and pair it with something that sounds enticing. Some of the names poke a little too close to being offensive I admit, playing to tropes or stereotypes a bit.

Here is my 2nd list of Funny Retirement Home Names

  1. Furlough Estates
  2. Senescent Villa
  3. Greystone Hearth
  4. Ancient Establishment
  5. Venerable Villa
  6. Rusty Abode
  7. Rustic Heights
  8. El diablo oxidado
  9. La villa de los ancianos
  10. Near Zombie Village
  11. Sunset Lillies Retirement Community
  12. Last Living Lifestyle
  13. Sunset Maple Village
  14. Antiquated Hearth
  15. Overaged Headquarters
  16. Not Ready to Rest Home
  17. Gray Domestic Dwelling
  18. Supremely Senior Villa
  19. Auld Nursing Home
  20. Shelter of the Time Worn
  21. Lazy not Crazy Retirement Community
  22. Old Gold Apartments
  23. Retire and Admire Headquarters
  24. White Squire Center
  25. Gray Lobe Estates
  26. Last Sunset Heights
  27. Villa of the Worn
  28. Veteran Sanctuary
  29. Wilted Rose Hospice
  30. Never Darkened Dwelling
  31. Silver Angels Retirement Community
  32. Visiting Sunsets Villa
  33. Sheltered Gold Heights

Here was the original post of funny retirement home names.

 

Mar 29, 2017

Amazon to Crack Down on List Sale Price Scams

By | 2017-03-29T15:37:33+00:00 March 29th, 2017|Information|Comments Off on Amazon to Crack Down on List Sale Price Scams

I am no stranger to Amazon as not only I am an affiliate but I buy dozens of products from Amazon per month and I can tell you one of the most false and misleading things about the Amazon marketplace is the way 3rd party brands give the appearance that things are on sale or you are getting a huge discount on items from them when in fact they are offering the product for the same price as everyone else, they are just fixing the “list” price so that it would appear they are giving a huge discount or sale.

A prime example would be if you did a search for the Play Station VR Starter Bundle (or launch bundle) and you can see one product lists it as “Save $1,380” because it is only $619.99 but had a list of $1,999.99 and the other is simply $608 without listing any sale or discount.

Articles like the one from the LA Times recently are shedding light how consumers are being duped by the allure of “discount” or sale, when in fact they are paying normal retail premiums.  Now Amazon from what I know doesn’t specifically set the List Price for products, this is something the individual store can set and Amazon will compare the list price with other list prices for the same product and remove the list price if it finds the list price isn’t a fair match or appears to be defaulted.  But when a store is clever like changing the “Launch Bundle” to “Starter Bundle” which is not the proper and official term for the PSVR Launch Bundle they likely didn’t find another “list price” because no other store sells it by that name, so therefore the list price gets set and shown indicating a discount that really does not exist.

This is more stores that game Amazon’s system than a direct Amazon fault in my opinion, but Amazon should have been more aware of it and kill it as soon as possible.  It should have AI or algorithms that can spot keyword changes and such when a product is in fact the same thing by scanning more details in the product information to appropriate a listing match.  But this is far more rampant than you would believe, just do a search for any product term like “Bluetooth” for example.

Are we really to believe that so many stores are having sales and discounts on products greater than 35% off all the time?  No this is simply setting a list price high and then putting the actual price so that the buyer perceives that they are getting a discount and saving a lot of money on a product that would normally retail for 35% or more than the current price they are seeing.  It is misleading, it is like putting a $10 item in a store that you know you are selling for $10, then putting a big sign on it listing it for $99.99 and crossing off the $99.99 and then putting $10.00 in red to catch someone’s eye.  You never were going to list it for $99.99 and if a store front did this and was caught there likely would be penalties for doing such a thing.

List prices for Amazon products however are on their way out and will be phased out of existence very soon, between the consumer lawsuits, investigations and marketing strategy shift of Amazon I look forward to where list price is non-existent and you can simply shop on product alone and compare the different sellers + shipping costs for a final total cost of purchase.  Here are some other sources for more information related to the Amazon List price.

 

 

Mar 21, 2017

Haiku: Bestial

By | 2017-03-21T20:56:45+00:00 March 21st, 2017|Poetry|Comments Off on Haiku: Bestial

Ever known someone who has gotten into an angry scuffle or argument where they seem to border on being something primal in a fit of rage or aggression? This haiku bestial encapsulates someone almost crossing that line.

Bestial

With wild feral eyes

A mighty growl of anger

His actions bestial

 

-Haiku by Justin Germino

Dec 16, 2016

What Posts and Videos Will Get Popular is Still a Mystery

By | 2016-12-16T06:29:09+00:00 December 16th, 2016|Uncategorized|10 Comments

I know enough about SEO from working with blogs the last 8 years to know how to SEO optimize articles with keywords, header text, appropriate internal and external linking, catchy titles, using similar words and search queries in the article…etc to where one would think I have a better capture on what articles would garner more traffic than others and sometimes I can see something super popular become a trend and my site show examples of that.  One example was when Mitra covered the alternate ending in Undertale and this post traffic exploded when Undertale popularity was skyrocketing.  But there are a few topics and products that I just couldn’t expect to have so much of a trend.

One example is the Veryfit 2 smartband which I got to review from Gearbest, this article consistently has been generating 8000-10000 pageviews on this one article for the past several months, and I have over 4,000 published articles on dragonblogger.com

The second closest article is the review of the Dragon Touch X10 Tablet which Iggy did many months ago and used to have more, but it is a distant 2nd compared to the first article.  Of course the 3rd was the recent PlayStation 4 Pro Giveaway which is expected, large giveaway articles always get a lot of traffic.

The odd thing is the Veryfit 2 is a very inexpensive fitband and a product/brand name that is so relatively unknown that I would never have expected it to become such a largely searched for item.

On my YouTube Channel, a $20 gaming headset called the Kotion Each G2000 has over 123,000 video views and the most views out of any video on my channel which has over 2100 published videos.  Again this is a relatively low budget headset from a brand I wouldn’t think was well known and I can’t replicate the success of these videos and posts for other products to get similar traffic numbers.

It is so very hit and miss which products will become “hits” where many people get that product and search for issues or problems or information about that product and because it was a lesser known or cheap item, the bigger sites likely wouldn’t cover that product so I get a top spot for searches about that product. I have yet to replicate this level of success with some of the bigger brand products we review, though we get into the tens of thousands of video reviews on some popular items like video cards, PC cases and other accessories.

So being a tech blogger for 8 years, you would think I would be able to magically optimize every product review or unboxing to be popular, yet it is still a mystery what videos and written reviews will be a hit or miss and I still get completely surprised when some odd product that I didn’t even consider would be popular becomes one of the most popular posts.

How many of my fellow bloggers out there have similar examples where something unexpected became viral or popular and you were left scratching you head how and what you could do to attempt to reproduce that success?

Oct 30, 2016

Poem: Weeping Priest

By | 2016-10-30T09:54:14+00:00 October 30th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Poem: Weeping Priest

Weeping Priest

Behold all I preach is love
yet hate fills hearts
where lips should kiss
sneers spread fear
and my piety tested
as I lie weeping
in a broken bed

Behold all I preach is compassion
yet poor are mistreated
where youth should thrive
children are enslaved for game
and my piety tested
as I lie weeping
with silent idols

Behold all I preach is truth
yet lies infect the masses
where nobility should reign
genocidal wars of hate claim
and so I lie weeping
with a silent god

Sep 29, 2016

Reflecting on 8 Years of Dragon Blogger

By | 2016-09-29T16:33:00+00:00 September 29th, 2016|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Dragonblogger.com was a labor of love I started back in August 2008 and officially made public in September 2008 where I did everything from covering technology ,entertainment, gaming and gadget related news which eventually led to product reviews and so much more.  Like so many bloggers I have had my ups and downs with inspiration, creativity and gone through lows of writers block, becoming just bored and lacking interest or even writing for periods of time losing inspiration and even desire to churn out yet another blog post.    I have seen so many of my blogging peers drop out of running blogs completely, so many sites have gone offline.  I had a click of bloggers I would network with, learn from and only a few continue to thrive and grow the work they started while others went on to bigger and better things, a few others refined and started new niches or sold their properties and moved onto something different entirely.

Technology blogs continue to be one of the hardest hit, as the blog platform itself continues to wane as social media becomes the more definitive way to spread information and connect with an audience.  No longer do the majority of audiences want to read a 3000-8000 word blog post, they want a video or live feed telling them in real time or in a quick video summary what would have taken them 15 minutes to read.  One of the bigger sites HiTech Legion is one such technology blog that actually started the same year as Dragonblogger.com.  I had followed them and they were a peer site, and now they have announced they are shutting down completely as they were unable to successfully transition to social media and gain a foothold there like their blog did back in the day.  This makes me thankful that I diversified Dragon Blogger into Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and most importantly YouTube early on.  Back in 2012 I started ramping up video production and content and we produce more content in the past 2 years than in the 6 previous years to that.  The Dragon Blogger YouTube Channel now gets 3x as many video views per month than the DragonBlogger.com blog gets in pageviews per month.  I get more adsense revenue from the YouTube videos than I do from the website, but I have no plans on shutting down the blog at this time.  Even with it’s hosting fees there is something written product reviews give you that you can’t do with a video and this builds the time to show effective benchmarks, comparisons allow people to consume that content at the pace they want to read it, rather than the pace of the video.

Blogging is tough, and the hosting fees of running a WordPress blog with all the SEO optimization, Dynamic peformance and things you have to do to make sure you rank are becoming tougher and tougher.  Sites can’t just have content, they have to load quickly, render right on phone browsers, desktop browsers and tablets and they must have minimal interruptions to the reader.  I don’t use popup advertisements or popunder advertisements because I can’t stand the inconvenience, with adblocker plugins my site revenue is 33% of what it was in 2012 and just slightly covers my web hosting fees and other expenses like giveaways, promotion, marketing…etc.

The other thing is sponsored opportunities are diminishing for all the smaller blogs compared to 2009 – 2014 as well, with less sponsored opps dropping on the doorstep despite the site getting more recognized.  Part of this is sponsors are going directly to sites without intermediaries and the other part is that blogs themselves are losing traction as influences, with influencers now being looked at at Social Media properties and surprisingly an Amazon Top Reviewer in the top 100 ranks can gain many products to review for free, and when it costs nothing but time to build a profile of Amazon reviews without the overhead of hosting fees.

I continue to consider to build more niche microsites, I think affiliate sales with Amazon, CJ, ShareASale are still going to be the best long term options for monetizing without having to inject scripted auto-ads on websites, but it takes time and energy to build out sites, optimize them and put that together.  In the meantime, I considered possibly using a WordPress.com blog with custom domain name, and working around needing plugins and avoiding the hosting fees, as well as other options like Tumblr and such.  Blogging isn’t what it once was, and actually in retrospect 8 years later I wish I hadn’t chosen the name dragonblogger as I have had a hard time with some partnerships with brands that specifically didn’t like the “blogger” in the site name or domain name, something with tech or something else but blogger.  I still think though that this is just personal choice, and dragonblogger name and brand for me is strong after 8 years.  I think it is all about site traffic and growth, after all reaching 2 million plus views on our YouTube channel and being able to sometimes affiliate sell over $10,000 worth of Amazon product per month from my affiliate tags is not nothing, it just takes time and a good team.  I am fortunate to have some people who help write and create content for dragonblogger and do it because they love to do it, and they do such a good job.  This site is a labor of love as I have said and is for the enthusiasts who really enjoy sharing their opinion of a product, game, service or software and learning how something works, what works, what didn’t live up to expectations and is still fun and exciting to do.

8 years later and the one thing I wish is I had more time and more energy, inspiration to churn out 4-5 high quality articles per day on dragonblogger.com instead of 1-2.  We have leaned very heavily toward doing mostly product review posts and I would like to go back to including more editorials and future thinking posts, posts that generate engagement, ask questions, offer help or how to solve an issue and more.  These of course take the most time to write, but I still enjoy writing, creating videos, reviewing products and sharing my opinions with the world and I can’t see myself stopping anytime soon.

Aug 14, 2016

First Amazon EU Affiliate Check Came – 2 Years in the Making

By | 2016-08-13T15:29:29+00:00 August 14th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on First Amazon EU Affiliate Check Came – 2 Years in the Making

I have been a global Amazon affiliate for about two years which means I own affiliate accounts in global Amazon stores not just Amazon.com but Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca…etc basically all of them that I could register for and though it takes a lot of time to setup and you benefit from using services that take advantage of Global Amazon stores you can gain extra income from your Amazon affiliate if you globalize your product links instead of only relying on the U.S. Amazon.com affiliate linking.

So after 2 years my Amazon.eu payment came from Amazon.co.uk and it was for $50.40 pounds.  Now though I say it took 2 years, actually most of the earnings were gained since using the Prourls.com tool since January 2016 and I had more earnings in the six months using that tool than the 18 months using manual link building methods or even EasyAzon plugin for WordPress.

The reason why is most of my views and clicks are coming from my YouTube videos now, not from my blog and with the EasyAzon plugin you are limited to only globalizing WordPress hosted products and links.  So I needed a service to create globalized affiliate links in YouTube, Social Media and more.

Two services I used, GeniusLink and Prourls and both have their pros and cons, but Prourls is the one I use most often because it has the least cost involved. GeniusLink is expensive and at $10 per month it really can drain your earnings before you have a chance to collect them in my opinion so is a better option if your site is already making over $80-$100+ in Affiliate earnings because you don’t want 10%+ of your earnings going to having to pay for GeniusLink.

ProURLS focuses on the Amazon stores and has search for product functionality built into the engine but it lacks iTunes affiliate integration which GeniusLink can also do if you affiliate iTunes apps, music and games as well.    With ProURLs I was able to show with absolute proof how my non-US Amazon affiliate earnings dramatically increased clicks and purchases, and I have income growing in quite a few of my global Amazon affiliate stores.  I won’t say it is a lot of income, we are talking about $10-$20 per month average but this is still money that would just not exist and it can only keep growing.  There is an inconvenient fact that when collecting payments from global Amazon affiliate stores you have to get a paper check in the mail, there is no direct deposit or PayPal option and I often forget to check my global affiliate stores to see how they are earning.

But hey, it’s a start and it is another way to make passive income when running a technology blog online.  I still recommend EasyAzon if you do most of your linking in your blog as it automates the process but Prourls is fairly simple and recommended as well.

Jul 27, 2016

Pokemon Go and the Future of AR Gaming

By | 2016-07-27T20:08:07+00:00 July 27th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Pokemon Go and the Future of AR Gaming

So I was heavily into Pokemon GO like so many when came out a few weeks ago but this kind of tapered off a little as the distraction was taking time away from doing blogging and product reviews after hours.  Though I did enjoy clocking the 40KM of walking in 6 days which is way above my normal run/jogging distances for such a short time frame.  I have seen all of the media frenzy around Nintendo stock skyrocketing and then plummeting as people realize that Nintendo doesn’t make the game (never did, don’t even have a logo on it) and only a small share of the profits go to Nintendo from microtransactions.  The frenzy however behind the game has fueled everything from conspiracies (government agencies using it to track and catch people) to agencies or companies wanting to turn Pokemon GO players into Sheeple.

In truth, Augmented Reality games are on the verge of breaking out along with Virtual Reality games, this one just happened to hit on the niche of that explosion of interest.  It is likely to be that AR is going to come out and be a big hit with casual players like the Nintendo Wii was and then after a few years the market may become so saturated with AR games that the buzz and hype just die down.  One thing I did appreciate about Pokemon GO and see potential for is that there is a real desire for casual gamers (especially on mobile devices) to congregate and connect in person.  People are social creatures and sometimes just socializing online on chats isn’t enough to really bring that closeness.  This is why I personally have always loved couch co-op play where a split screen side by side with 4 people where you can be in the moment instead of just hearing someone.  Being able to share a drink, pizza and just game together in person harks back to my days playing Dungeons and Dragons and the connection of friends playing together in person is lacking in the online MMO space in my opinion still.  This is one reason why I don’t like consoles reducing the number of co-op gaming forcing online only copies, and I miss the days where all PC games had local co-op or LAN Play modes where you only needed to connect the PC’s on your local network to get friends over for a LAN Party.  Warcraft 3 was the last such game where I had engaged in local LAN parties and there were some great times.

So Virtual Reality gaming with headsets like the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and such will create more immersive virtual worlds where people are still at home gaming and only connecting in the virtual/digital space.  However, AR is where I believe the interaction with real people and the real world begin to blur and getting people together to meet up and play an activity in person yet augmented in some way can be amazing.  Imagine if Pokemon GO were played on something like Google Glasses where you see them in front of you at all times while you are chatting with friends and you can all point and go chasing them together in a park, simply tossing your arm or pretending to or actually throwing a softball to catch them.  The one thing I don’t like is having to hold the phone up in front of my eyes to augment the reality around me, once we have the display moved into thin glasses that are comfortable and virtually indistinguisable from regular glasses we will usher an era into new interactive environments.  Of course the catch is the era of distraction, ensuring that people’s tendency to multi-task and get distracted pull them away from properly driving, or even walking across roads in many cases.  Can we learn to have limits, or have technology that is aware enough to put a pause when an unsafe situation is encountered?

I would love to hear your thoughts, feel free to visit our Facebook Page and share your thoughts on AR and where you think it will be headed, good, bad or just stupid?

Pokebracelet

Jun 30, 2016

The Killer SEO Checklist [INFOGRAPHIC]

By | 2016-07-01T09:34:20+00:00 June 30th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Killer SEO Checklist [INFOGRAPHIC]

SEO can be a brutally complicated thing to understand if you are just getting involved in working with online properties or CMS systems.  For WordPress bloggers many who just start out have no thought put into how to optimize their content to maximize the chances their content will be found on Google Search and other Search Engines.  This little (understatement) SEO Checklist does a great job showing 75+ steps involved in helping optimize your content for SEO.

For the uninitiated

  • SEO = Search Engine Optimization
  • SERP = Search Engine Results Page

Killer SEO Checklist [Infographic] by the team at Capsicum Mediaworks, LLP

Killer SEO Checklist

You can read full article here.

May 27, 2016

T-Shirts and Art on Mountain of Strength

By | 2016-05-27T13:47:17+00:00 May 27th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on T-Shirts and Art on Mountain of Strength

One thing I love doing is showcasing artwork and this is especially true of Fantasy/Sci-Fi art that I run across in doing my normal product reviews.  So recently  I was contacted by an artist named Aaron Hover who provides artwork services as well as sells some of his artwork over at MountainofStrength.net and I asked him to send me some examples of his work and I would be happy to share it with my friends and fans.

Well, Aaron provided me with a few T-Shirts, one for my oldest son and one for myself.  Which I will showcase below, but more than just selling some artwork on his store which includes T-Shirts, Posters, Pillows, Mugs, phone cases…etc.

mountainofstrength (1) mountainofstrength (2)
mountainofstrength (4)

So my son received the Let’s Get Kraken T-shirt Blue, and I received the Little Dragon 2 T-Shirt Red.  I have to tell you that not only is the artwork fun and creative, the T-Shirt material is incredibly soft and comfortable so whichever T-Shirt supplier he is using behind the scenes make comfortable T-Shirts.

dragonkrakenshirts

I bought my son some Jinx T-Shirts for World of Warcraft and he says these shirts from Mountain of Strength are more comfortable and prefers them.

But it isn’t just Aaron’s store I wanted to showcase, you can actually hire Aaron to do artwork, graphics design or illustrations for any project you have and this can be for things like Book Cover illustrations, Game Design, Board Game or Trading Card artwork and more.  I have wished I had artistic talent and you really should check out some of his portfolio work if you want to see the types of images, design and artwork he comes up with.

 

Honestly, I was impressed with all the illustrations by Aaron Hover and I encourage you to take a look at his stuff over at Mountain of Strength.

You can also Follow Mountain of Strength on Facebook and Twitter.