iTunes could not connect to nikeplus.com. An unknown error has occurred (-23).


I’ve been using the Nike+ program to get my ass in shape ever since about Christmas time. If you haven’t heard of Nike+ check it out: http://nikeplus.nike.com/nikeplus/

Anyways, everything had been working fine until recently. Now when I’m in iTunes and I click on “Visit nikeplus.com” I get the following error:

iTunes could not connect to nikeplus.com. An unknown error has occurred (-23).
Make sure your network connection is active and try again.

The weird thing is that this error only comes on the first time that I press the button and my computer still connects to nikeplus.com with no problems (other than the error message popping up for no reason). Any time after that, it works fine.

Pay Per Post (PPP) Direct – Get Paid to Do What You Do


A couple weeks ago, I signed up and started using PayPerPost which is basically a system where advertisers can go in and request that bloggers write a short post about their product, service, etc. for a price. So far, I’ve written 5 posts for $55 – not bad for a few minutes and a couple hundred words.

Now, PayPerPost has launched PPP Direct which allows you to sell blog posts on your site – and unlike their competitors who can take from 30-50%, PayPerPost only charges a 10% fee (+5% PayPal fee). The new PPP Direct system has a transaction negotiation and auditing system so that the advertisers and bloggers can figure out the exact details of what is required in the post prior to starting.

Rather than trying to sell blog ads on your site individually, let PayPerPost handle the transactions and don’t worry about any of the security issues that may come with money changing hands over the internet. PayPerPost really makes it simple to monetize your blog with PPP Direct. You simply signup, specify how much you’d like to be paid for your direct blogging opportunities and you put a widget on your blog that looks like this:

PPP Direct Badge

So now, my question to you is – What are you waiting for? Start now with PPP Direct!

Frequent Flyers – Use Google to Search Multiple Sites for Flights


Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of traveling… well, maybe not a lot, but more than usual. When I’m looking for a flight, I typically check the big sites that you see all of the advertisements for – expedia.com, travelocity.com, etc – but when I don’t find the rate that I’m looking for, I always resort to kayak.com because they provide the best search interface that allows you to narrow down available flights by all sorts of criteria.

Interestingly enough, I just found out that Google now offers a similar service. Just go to google.com and type in your departure airport code and your destination airport code. For instance, if I wanted to lookup a flight from Los Angeles to Chicago (O’Hare) I’d simply type in:

LAX ORD

Google will then return results from 6 of the “big guns”: CheapTickets, Expedia, Hotwire, Orbitz, Priceline and Travelocity. Then all you have to do is punch in your travel dates and click on the site that you want to shop for tickets at. I’ll admit, this one definitely isn’t too helpful. Compared to kayak.com, I’d have to give this one a 2 – sorry Google. And the only reason its getting a 2 is because Google is my homepage, so it makes it kinda convenient for me.

Customer Relationship Software


In todays business world, on-demand ability to retrieve customer information is vital and that’s why it is necessary for companies to have a robust crm system in place. A CRM system should make companies more productive immediately, CRM software should not require days, weeks or even months for employees to learn how to use it; implementation of a good CRM system should be quick and painless and should immediately allow companies to see the benefits of its use. When choosing and implementing a new customer relationship software system, two things to look for are always quick implementation and a small learning curve – you don’t want your company (sales staff) sitting dead in the water while a new CRM system is being installed and learned.

Technorati Favorites Exchange – Scratch My Back and I’ll Scratch Yours


After recently converting my comments to “dofollow”, I was doing more reading on how to increase traffic and readership on my blog when I came across the Technorati Favorites Exchange, originally started by Dosh Dosh.

There are basically only 2 steps that you need to follow in order to get started:

  1. First, add my blog as a Technorati favorite (if you haven’t already 😉 )
    1. If you don’t have a Technorati account, signup here.
  2. After you’ve added my blog to your Technorati Favorites, comment on this post with your Technorati username so I can add you to my Technorati Favorites.

Optionally, you can take it a step further and create a similar post on your blog and add a link to this post (Technorati Favorites Exchange – Scratch My Back and I’ll Scratch Yours) Once you’ve added a link to this post on your blog, drop another comment and let me know where I can find the link that points back to my blog, and I’ll gladly return the favor with a link back to your site.


My Technorati Favorites

Pay Per Post – A Great Resource for Bloggers Looking to Generate an Income

Last week, I came across a site called Pay Per Post that gives bloggers the opportunity to blog about sites, products, stores, etc. that are looking to gain some inbound traffic thorough viral marketing. I quickly signed up and have already written 3 reviews for $30.00 – definitely not a bad way to supplement the income from your blog (if you have one). Writing reviews for Pay Per Post is easy, all you have to do is meet a minimum word count, and post a single link to the site you’re reviewing (sometimes a picture or video) and once your post is live, it is reviewed. Easy enough, right? I think so… check them out and start blogging for bucks!

Blog Traffic Spike – Halo 3 Beta Pitched My Tent

One of the most anticipated video games of all time will be released on September 25, 2007, but more importantly, a beta of the game was released on May 16, 2007 – possibly the first video game beta program ever offered to the masses. The game I’m talking about? Of course, the third installment of the Halo 3 series. I’ve been posting articles about Halo 3 occassionally because I love the game and can’t get enough of it,

but I didn’t expect that to help me bring in more than 5 times the amount of my typical traffic on its release date. Check out the graph below to see the traffic spike that I had leading up to the release of the Halo 3 Beta:

Halo 3 Beta Release - Web Blog Traffic Spike

Apparently, a good percentage of my readers are Halo buffs, because on the day following the release – the day that I like to call “the least productive day in the world”, my web traffic was near 2 month low – don’t mind the last little dot on the graph, the day is only 25% over, so that little guy will be climbing… as long as you bastards keep reading!!! Surprisingly, a large majority of my traffic came from search engines on the 16th, so it wasn’t even any of my newer Halo 3 articles that the draw was coming from – 92% of my traffic was from organic searches, while only 5.5% was from referring sites.

And even though somebody generously submitted one of my new Halo 3 articles to Digg.com, it never truly got “dugg” (only 4 total diggs) so Digg.com only contributed a measly 0.65% of my traffic on May 16th.

Now I’m wondering if there are other topics that could generate this much traffic – whether it be periodically, or consistently. Obviously, I’d prefer it to be consistent because this large amount of traffic also led me to my highest income day to date – which I will detail in another post soon to come. Until then, I’ll be looking for topics that spark a fire and bring traffic to new all-time highs.

Review of the Halo 3 Beta

The gameplay on this game is just plain sick! I don’t know how, but they always find a way to make the best even better. I’m continually impressed by the creativity at Bungie and now I can’t wait to see the final version of the game.

Some of my newly added favorites include:

  • The ability to operate turrets and “dismount” them
  • The new Mongoose ATV – great vehicle addition
  • The “Laser” – great weapon addition
  • The audio and sound effects in the game are unparalleled – by far the best yet from a video game

I’ll be playing the game more, so there will be more to come…

Home Loans and Mortgages – Are Rates on the Rise?

When I bought my first house 3 years ago, rates were historically low, and not knowing much about mortgages, I decided to go with an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) which was at 3.75% at the time. After 3 years it adjusted and forced me to rethink my loan strategy. I ended up with a Remortgage at a much higher, but still decent rate of 6.275% which isn’t bad by any means, but definitely isn’t as low as I could have got if I would have gone with a fixed rate mortgage in the first place. I’ve learned my lesson now – If you’re buying a place that you think you’ll be in for the long haul, definitely go with a fixed, but if you’re just looking to do something temporary, go ahead and lock in a low rate 3-5 year ARM. Either way, there are typically plenty of secured loans programs that will be right for you.

Halo 3 Beta Fix for Crackdown Users

Just read this in the forums and I thought I’d try it out – it definitely worked, but just like everyone else who has done it, I’m way too excited to get a look at Halo 3, so I haven’t check out any of my other game saves.  Here’s what you do:

  1. Go to your system blade in the Xbox main menu
  2. Select Memory
  3. Highlight Hard Drive and press Y
  4. When the Hard Drive display screen is showing, press: X, X, Left Bumper, Right Bumper, X X
  5. The System will prompt you, “Do you want to perform maintenance?”
  6. Select Yes.
  7. Load Crackdown – you will have lost updates so it will prompt you to apply new updates.
  8. Apply the newly available Crackdown updates
  9. Go to the Halo 3 Beta download screen and download it.

Again, I’m not sure what the “Perform Maintenance” does, so use it at your own risk.

See you on the Battlefield!