Office Pranks are usually our fun around the LinkWorth office. Whether it’s sounding our large air horn to startle people when they least expect it, filling up cubicles with whatever we can find, or one of our favorites…scaring Jeffrey Marek, aka “Operation Scarek”.
We’ve tried about every place we can find to hide and scare Marek, until today, when I realized we haven’t tried a certain spot. After talking to Matt, he chose to execute Operation Scarek and I decided to record it. Here’s a little peek into the LinkWorth fun at the office…
Drinks, new friends, dinners, tattoos, meetings, old friends, poker tournaments, fake mustaches, and a few more drinks. That about sums up this year’s Pubcon show in Las Vegas.
I’ll be the first to admit that as soon as we rolled into the exhibit hall to set up our booth, I was underwhelmed. By my count, there were only 19 exhibitor displays in total. I was thinking to myself, “Wow…this one could be hard to justify.” It’s expensive business flying 6 people out to Vegas, after all, especially when you consider the way we tend to do things around here. But leave it to the salty-dogs of Pubcon to come through once again. Brett, my apologies for doubting you. Sure there might have been fewer exhibitors, but that sure didn’t seem to slow things down for us. All in all, I’ll have to say it was a great success yet again.
Wednesday was fantastic. We connected with friends and associates from the past and a bunch of new ones, too. I enjoyed chatting with everyone that came by the booth and for those of you that came to our happy hour at The Wynn…thanks for showing up! I hope you had as much fun as we did. I heard I had an especially good time. (Just kidding…I remember everything. Seriously.)
Things seemed to slow down at the show on Thursday, but that’s usually the case on day 2. Thursday night, however, we (err….most of us…I couldn’t make it) hooked up with the legendary DK to sponsor the bar tab at his annual Texas Holdem Poker Tournament, which I heard was a lot fun. Always great seeing you, bud. Congrats to the winner, whoever that was. I also heard we had some rather large “branding opportunities” as a result of our sponsorship…
Friday was epic. The big networking event was at a pretty cool pub in the Monte Carlo and, as usual, it lived up to its’ billing. It seemed like everyone from the show was there…all in one room…and conversation (and beer) flowed easily. It was there that we decided to crank things up a notch and put on our fake mustaches. There are certain folks in the industry that frown on some of the services we provide so we thought it best to be “incognito.” Or even more accurately, we just enjoy being silly and that we were. My hat is off to the girls on our team who played along. You wore them well Christine, Robin, Jerri & Amanda! We definitely got our share of strange looks, didn’t we???
But wait…we’re not done yet. Friday sort of flowed right into Friday night where we found ourselves enjoying an incredible dinner at N9NE at the Palms. It was awesome, but not as awesome as our two newest inductees to the InkWorth Hall of Fame. Yes, that’s right, there are now at least 6 people walking the earth with our logo forever stamped on them. And these two are women! Jerri and Amanda, we love your spirit and those tats look fantastic. I think we should start getting bulk discounts at Hart & Huntington! All of our pictures can be seen here on Flickr.
Don’t ask me what happened after that because I couldn’t tell you. All I know is that we made our flight on Saturday morning and all arrived home safely.
While our upgrade took a couple hours longer than expected last night, things turned out great! The load times are so much faster than before. If you are participating in our LinkWords program, you’ll notice our ads are loading faster than the pages now!
Our awesome hosting company told me late afternoon that we had already served 7.2 million requests in less than a day!!! Pretty amazing. I think we were missing a lot of requests with our older equipment.
We still have additional upgrades coming that will improve things further, but we will announce each as they arrive.
After our successful upgrade, we (Matt and I) felt we needed to release some of this built up pressure of the upgrade anticipation. Just so happens, we have about 25 of these huge executive chair boxes that have been sitting around the office. We thought that we would make an office out of a cube with the boxes, so we hit “Bob the Builder” (Robin) since she made a comment about the boxes earlier.
I think she enjoyed it! (click images to see larger view)
I’m really, really, really fired up for SXSW in a couple weeks. In fact, our entire company is because the vast majority of us will be there for at least part of it. Last year was our virgin SXSW experience and we pretty much knew the instant we got there that this would become a staple of our annual trade-show tour.
Because it’s Austin, because it’s SXSW, and because there is such a unique vibe to this event, you can’t help but want to do something extra cool for this show. And while last year we did things pretty modestly; I think this year we’re poised to make a bigger splash. For example, we’re not just getting a garden variety hotel room; we’ve rented a block of rooms with an adjoining party suite. We’re not just going to caravan down there or jump on a Southwest flight; we’re loading up the entire staff in a friggin’ tour bus and taking a road trip! And we’re not just handing out the same old shwag at the booth; we’re feeling more SXSW-y and have come up with some cool stuff in order to embrace what this event is really all about.
I won’t reveal everything we have in store, but I’m so happy with the way one of our gimmicks has turned out that I wanted to share it with the whole LinkWorth community. Check these out…
Get it? SXSW? Music? Guitars? Guitar picks???
LinkWorth is ready to rock SXSW. Come see us and pick up a few picks and other surprises…you might even find yourself with some new ink and cold hard cash in your pocket!
Now that the holidays are behind us and things are back on track, it only makes sense to sum up 2008 and look forward to 2009. The economy was one of the biggest headlines, along with the history making presidential election, but what did all of this mean to LinkWorth?
Numbers of 2008:
New accounts were up over 90%, marking our biggest year on record. Even after our largest increase of 554% in 2007
Our partner inventory is up over 110%
Published ads are up almost 400%
After a dismal year for most companies, our sales were up 17% and marked our 4th consecutive yearly sales increase
The year marked 5 different record monthly sales
Money paid out to partners was up nearly 25% equaling many millions dollars paid to our partners in 4 years
The only number that was down is how many advertisers we lost, which is down from 10% in ’07 to 7% in ’08
Over 2 million people laid off in 2008, with over 100k in the tech industry. LinkWorth layoffs, zero
In a year of economic turmoil, LinkWorth has come through with flying colors. There is no doubt we were worried as much as the next business as we watched company after company laying off people, but we have been very lucky to not be affected.
What to expect in 2009:
We are forecasting another record year in sales, which means even higher payouts
At least 2 new product offerings, with the possibility of 4
The addition of more staff to help support customers and manage accounts for advertisers
Video tutorials and more online help to assist in common tasks
Cutting down on steps with common tasks
Listen to our customers on what they feel we can do to improve
LinkWorth tour including the usual stops, SES, SMX, PubCon and SXSW, with new stops being added including Ad-Tech, DMA, trip to Europe and a few local shows
Many think the economy will continue to fall, but when we are down to idiots asking for a porn bailout, that tells me the worst is over. LinkWorth will continue to improve and find new ways for advertisers to market and partners to earn even more money, so we’re positive this will be another exciting year. Thank you to everyone that has helped us continue to grow the past 4 years and we look forward to the years to come.
As things wind down this year, I just wanted to take a minute to wish everyone in our little community a wonderful holiday and happy new year! The LinkWorth crew had a night out recently to celebrate the season and as you can see here, we had a great time! I want to thank all of our kick-ass employees for making 2008 our best year ever.
2009 is already shaping up to be even better. With new staff, a shiny new product (shh…details to come), exciting new strategic alignments, and our busiest conference-tour ever; we’re fired up for things to come. Our partners, advertisers, employees…EVERYONE…should benefit from what’s in store. So stayed-tuned, party-safe, and have a safe holiday!
Human beings are social creatures, and maintaining personal relationships are a very important part of our lives which often require a lot of work. Thankfully for my generation, the internet has blessed us with convenient tools that allow us to remain in close touch with a large number of our friends relatively easy. We are entering the age of the Social Network! Sites like Facebook and MySpace allow users to keep in contact with a larger number of people than would be possible in the everyday offline (AKA real) world; social networks complement our natural ability to maintain personal relationships by eliminating the barriers of distance and time.
Take for example my personal Social Network of choice, Facebook. I currently have around 800 friends on Facebook, 90% of whom are friends and acquaintances of mine that I have met over the years at high school and College, people who now live far away from me in different parts across the country. Without the internet, it would be physically impossible for me to keep in touch with each of them even if I tried, but thanks to Facebook I am able to indirectly keep up with their lives and if I needed to contact them, they are just a message away. Facebook is not just useful for distant connections, but it also is a great tool for my closest friends and I to communicate with.
Facebook refers to the collection of user friend connections as the “Social Graph”. The company’s success can be largely attributed to its ability to leverage the Social Graph for the benefit of its users by allowing them to easily connect to one another and share information. In fact, if someone were to ask me, “What is Facebook?” My reply would be that, “Facebook is a tool that helps connect users with their friends, allowing them to share information very easily between one another.” It’s important to remember that Facebook does not replace other more traditional means of sharing information and communicating; it’s purpose is to enhance and expand the sharing of information by making it simpler to communicate and connect with others.
LinkWorth is also about connections; our products and services facilitate the connections between Advertisers and Partners for the purpose of Search Engine Marketing. Our company exists, in part, to simplify the process of connecting websites interested in text link advertising with websites looking to monetize their site by selling ads on it. In fact our three pointed logo (as legend has it) is symbolic of the three way connection between LinkWorth, our partners and advertisers. We believe that our strength lies in our ability to build and maintain relationships with our users and potential users. These relations help keep the LinkWorth team aware of our customers online marketing needs, so that we can always find ways to better satisfy those needs.
We are always searching for ways to better communicate with and serve our users. With that in mind I’d like to introduce our newest social experiment, LinkWorth on Facebook. If you are familiar with Facebook Pages, I encourage you to become a fan of our page and make use of all its social features (Wall, Discussion Board, etc). If you are not familiar with Facebook, it’s easy to sign up and learn the ropes. Think of our page as an online hangout for everything LinkWorth related; whether you want to learn more about SEO for your website or you just have a little fun getting to know the LinkWorth Team… Be sure to check out LinkWorth on Facebook!
Some of you old-schoolers might remember the story from a couple years ago when yours truly got stamped with our logo along with a client of ours. Well, fast forward two years and voila! De ja vu!
This time, it was our own Jeffrey Marek that stepped up to the tattoo-plate. Ron planted the seed before we left and by Thursday night it was ON. SearchBash was at Rain at the Palms on Thursday night and by the end of it we were all SearchSmashed to put it mildly! (Insert a special shout-out to Dan Leon with Idea Launch. Thanks for the hook, dude!) Carey Hart has a great tattoo little shop there so we went down with a couple friends for some drunken tattooing. (Shannon & Sven…we had a blast hangin’ out with y’all!)
I don’t remember much, but apparently I was taking a bunch of pictures. Here are a couple shots of Jeff mid-ink and post-ink…
Great times. Oh, and Jeff….that most certainly is a permanent link…er…ink!
TWEET TWEET!!! No, that’s not a bird you hear, those tweets are from the new LinkWorth’s Twitter Profile.While most have probably heard a lot of buzz about the up and coming micro-blogging service Twitter, there are many who still may be in the dark so let us briefly explain what Twitter is.According to Wikipedia, “Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users’ updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.”Basically Twitter is a whole social network devoted short little messages, I like to think of it as the evolution of the Instant Messenger “away message” from online days of yore (back when AIM was king).
So why has LinkWorth joined Twitter?In the long term Twitter could very well become a useful way of communicating with our users, but right now the whole reason for the LinkWorth Twitter Profile is to provide real time updates on our trip to the 2008 PubCon Search Marketing Conference in Las Vegas Nevada, November 11th – 14th.We’ll be “tweeting” all the latest search news from PubCon, as well as documenting our teams shenanigans out on the town!What happens to us in Vegas, probably will stay in Vegas… but everything that doesn’twill end up on the LinkWorth Twitter Profile.Be sure to check it out November 11th – 14th.
For starters, it was local. Anytime you don’t have to justify huge travel & lodging expenses you’re ahead of the game. On top of that, the show itself was relatively inexpensive. We gave away the usual shwag…bought a few lunches for our team…but that’s about the extent of the financial damage.
More importantly, though, we will get a few accounts out of it. The attendance wasn’t great, but the folks we did talk to were quality. I think our biggest opportunity will come from the other exhibitors…but we’ll see.
But MOST importantly, this was a phenomenal opportunity for our new guys to apply what they’ve been learning for the past few months. There is no substitution for face-to-face interaction with clients (or prospective clients) and I was very proud of the way everyone handled themselves. I’m a lot less involved with the training of our new employees these days so I was happy to see that they’re coming along nicely. Talking about our services over and over again really seemed to build some confidence in them.
Way to go, dudes & dudettes! Who’s ready for San Jose, NYC, & Las Vegas???