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Uploaded and Blogged Down




It’s difficult being an internet moron. I should know. I am always amazed when all our resident Geniuses – Benn, Lani, Matt, Brandie, Joe,  Missy, Jack, Ken, Erion…just to name a few…speak freely in another language that involves pings, tracking, SEO’s and a list of other words that baffle me. I am a fossil – a writer who was told I could write if I blog. Heck, I can barely type, so diving into Word Press and Flickr was about as easy for me as getting a sex change. Before my maiden voyage, I thought “blog” was a state of physical distress caused by too much salt on my margaritas.  So here I am, in a world gone mad with technology and new phrases, with no translator.

There must be other morons like me out there. Hello? Are you there? Buck up and admit you are as dense as I am!  On behalf of all of us internet-challenged relics, I am herein providing a vocabulary of words as we know them, so that maybe those Geniuses will understand that they must communicate to some of us through our own portal (whatever that is.) Here it is folks – straight off the Rosetta stone – Vocabulary of the Internet Clueless:

 Website – Vision after 45 (Or after a Colt 45)

Tags – Fleshy outcroppings that should be lopped off

SEO – Serious Estrogen Overload (Not limited to Pamela Anderson…or Clay Aiken)

Upload – A high colonic

Download – The aftermath of too many burritos

Portal – Location of a Download

Home Page – ET phoning home

Search Engine – A drill performed by those idiots who lost that fire truck in Iowa

Twitter – PeeWee Herman on Red Bull

Flash Drive – Britney on Hollywood Blvd.

Tweet – “Sweet” – as pronounced in West Hollywood (and by Clay Aiken)

Active Rain – A serious incontinence problem

Gravatar – A super serious situation with the asphalt

Hack – The act of coughing up something the size of a gerbil.

Avitar – A VERY small aviator

IDX – The ritual of going into the Witness Protection Program – popular in Jersey

Sees-mic -Keith Richards having a flash back

Widget –A widow giving a wedgie

Ping – One of the Ling twins from Beijing – Sister to Dinguh (Think about it…)

Backtracks – Nickname for the guy who tried to cross Pacific Coast Highway and was flattened into the gravatar

Jpeg – Peg Steinberg from the Bronx

Pixels – Those little people that make Keebler cookies

Link – That guy on Mod Squad

Retweet! – John Wayne on Helium commanding his troops to turn back

Optimization – Getting through the light at Hollywood and Vine in only four tries.

Post – Paris Hilton

LinkedIn – O.J. on work detail at Lovelock Correctional Center

Meta – The chick Tevye fiddled on the roof when Golde was busy making matzo balls

Social Media – Journalists at a Mary Kay party

URL – Urinary Random Leakage – A condition caused by too many Coronas

UTube – A treatment for URL 

So, all you Geniuses out there, I hope this mini-dictionary has helped you understand what we internet nubies hear when you use those words. Makes you Actively Rain in your boxers, doesn’t it? Perhaps we can have a summit and figure out how to communicate. This is for YOUR benefit as well as ours. You may want to think twice the next time you tell someone you signed up for an RSS Feed – in my town that refers to the movement to Rescue Starving Starlets…so we’ll just toss you a ham sandwich.

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  1. Joe Loomer

    August 7, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Good God in Heaven – My “Portal” had a serious “Download” when I read your definition of “Twitter.”

    I’d hate to see what you’d define “Meta Tag” as…. perhaps what Tevye bragged about later?

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  2. Benn Rosales

    August 7, 2009 at 10:47 am

    haha oh man, now you’re speaking my language! I’m sending this to the family and a few choice net clients!

  3. Lani Rosales

    August 7, 2009 at 10:48 am


  4. Ian Greenleigh

    August 7, 2009 at 11:07 am

    I would add an alternate entry for Flash Drive:

    A drive-by showing of tuchus

    This, of course, was the genesis of the DriveBuy brand you all know and love.

  5. Ken Brand

    August 7, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Here’s a tech support code word acronym. When asked an obvious question and a seeming malfuntion with software and hardware the techie responds, ” Ummm, I think we have “PICNIC” problem.


    I love your stuff. Cheers.

  6. Gwen Banta

    August 7, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Joe, thank you so much for that helping me understand Internet Vocabulary. I’ll be sure not to hook up with Tevye if he can’t keep his face portal shut. I knew I should have pushed him off the roof when I had a chance!

  7. Gwen Banta

    August 7, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    It must be a burden to be a genius, Benn. What is so simple to you is a conundrum for me. My clients never complain that they don’t understand my moronic vocabulary. Of course, half of them are usually stoned…

  8. Gwen Banta

    August 7, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    I have a spare UTube for you, Lani. It comes in handy on long trips. (I think it was invented by Fergie of Black Eyed Peas after her unfortunate URL on stage… but don’t quote me on that 🙂

  9. Gwen Banta

    August 7, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Thank you, Ian – all contributions are welcome. Maybe you can help translate for us tech-challenged dim-twits (a Twitter moron 🙂

  10. Gwen Banta

    August 7, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Thanks, Ken – I’ll remember that. I’m a problem in my OWN chair, but I am sure my computer is involved in a conspiracy to take me down. Sometimes I can hear it laughing at me and whispering behind my back. I think it’s in cahoots with my Blackberry. Even my car computer is in on it. There’s a revolt going on. I have evidence that my keyboard is part of the Resistance. It’s a vicious plot. If I do not show up to blog next week, please alert someone. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go take my medication…

  11. Jim Rake

    August 8, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Thanks Gwen,

    I just love a good sense of humor! Hmmm, wonder what you’d get if you mixed a Twitter with a widget?

  12. Missy Caulk

    August 8, 2009 at 9:01 am

    Ha, this cracked me up….a new language…like buying a house for the first time.

    hey, I’m learning too.

  13. Erion Shehaj

    August 8, 2009 at 10:55 am

    😀 Thanks for the great laugh. I bet you Active Rain never saw this coming when they picked that name. Forwarding link as we speak.

  14. Paula Henry

    August 8, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Too funny – only because I relate. A little over two years ago, I didn’t know about uploading and linking and now, there’s more technology to learn. By the time I learn it, there will be something new. At some point, I will hang it up and go on vacation.

  15. Gwen Banta

    August 8, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Hi Jim – I think the a Twitter and Widget combo would be defined as: A widow on Red Bull giving Peewee Herman a wedgie…definitely not a good visual…

  16. Gwen Banta

    August 8, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Good point, Missy. Maybe I should provide the Rosetta Stone for Buyers’ interpretation of Real Estate vocabulary words. For instance – Commission: An elusive treasure believed to be hidden in the ancient kingdom of Boom, and rumored to be controlled by a vicious tribe of insane appraisers who have joined forces with a reactionary group called “Red-Faced Lenders”.

  17. Gwen Banta

    August 8, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    I wonder if Wikipedia thought carefully about their name, Erion. That sounds like a serious male bladder problem to me.

  18. Gwen Banta

    August 8, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Don’t worry, Paula. A lot of us will already be on your vacation island, waiting for you with a tall MaiTai and a bottle of sunscreen. At the stroke of midnight we will toss all blackberries, netbooks and computers into the ocean. After a ritualistic dance around the fire, we will then collectively bemoan the fact that we cannot access GPS to find our way to the nearest pizza joint, but nonetheless, we will sleep like babies.

  19. Debra Sinick

    August 9, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Love this! Will be passing it on. Thanks for making me laugh out loud!

  20. Gwen Banta

    August 13, 2009 at 3:27 am

    Thank you, Debra. In my next blog I will be addressing the Social Networking pressures that are driving me MAD. I bet you’ll be able to relate. Until then – have a good week – g

  21. Debra Sinick

    August 13, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Looking forward to it!

  22. Madison real estate

    August 17, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Ahhhhhhhhh, SEO! So *that* explains the outrageous behavior of Post and Flash Drive! Thank you for enlightening (and entertaining!) me.

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Business Marketing

No-reply emails don’t help customers, they’ve run their course

(MARKETING) No-reply emails may serve a company well, but the customers can become frustrated with the loss of a quick and easy way to get help.



no-reply mail boxes

Let me tell you a modern-day horror story.

You finally decide to purchase the item that’s been sitting in your cart all week, but when you receive your confirmation email you realize there’s a mistake on the order. Maybe you ordered the wrong size item, maybe your old address is listed as the shipping location, or maybe you just have buyer’s remorse. Either way, you’ve got to contact customer service.

Your next mission is to find contact information or a support line where you can get the issue resolved. You scroll to the bottom of the email and look around for a place to contact the company, but all you find is some copyright junk and an unsubscribe option. Tempting, but it won’t solve your problem. Your last hope is to reply to the confirmation email, so you hit that trusty reply arrow and…nothing. It’s a no-reply email. Cue the high-pitched screams.

Customers should not have to sort through your website and emails with a microscope to find contact information or a customer service line. With high customer expectations and fierce ecommerce competition, business owners can’t afford to use no-reply emails anymore.

Intended or not, no-reply emails send your customer the message that you really don’t want to hear from them. In an age when you can DM major airlines on Twitter and expect a response, this is just not going to fly anymore.

Fixing this issue doesn’t need to be a huge burden on your company. A simple solution is to create a persona for your email marketing or customer service emails, it could be member of your team or even a company mascot. Rather than using you can use and make that email a place where your email list can respond to questions and communicate concerns. Remember, the whole point of email marketing is to create a conversation with your customers.

Another great strategy for avoiding a million customer service emails where you don’t want them? Include customer service contact info in your emails. Place a thoughtful message near the bottom of your template letting people know where they can go if they’re having an issue with the product or service. This simple change will save you, your customers, and your team so much time in the long-run.

Your goal as a business owner is to build a trusting relationship between you and your customers, so leave the no reply emails behind. They’re annoying and they might even get you marked as spam.

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Business Marketing

Influencer marketing isn’t new, it’s actually centuries old

(MARKETING) You may roll your eyes at sexy strangers hawking snake oil on social media, but influencer marketing is nothing new…



Influencer marketing people taking video on a smart phone to record dances.

Influencer marketing is now one of those buzzword phrases that you can’t go a few days without hearing. In fact, it’s become such a popular term that it was officially added to the English Dictionary in 2019.

While this is a recent change, the concept of an influencer is nothing new. For years, people have looked to friends and family (as well as high-profile people like celebrities) to be influenced (intentionally or unintentionally) about what to buy, what to do, and where to go.

Social Media Today notes that influencers date back centuries.

One of the first “influencer” collaborations dates back to 1760, when a potter by the name Wedgwood made a tea set for the Queen of England,” writes Brooks. “Since the monarchy were the influencers of their time, his forward-thinking decision to market his brand as Royal-approved afforded it the luxury status the brand still enjoys today”

Now, influencers are known as people blowing up your Instagram feed with recommendations of what to wear and stomach flattening teas to buy. Influencers are basically anyone who has the ability to cultivate a following and, from there, give advice on how followers should spend their money.

After the 1760 tea set influencer, influencers were found in the forms of fashion icons (like Coco Chanel in the 1920s, and Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s), celebrity endorsements (for example, all of the money Nike made in the ‘80s after signing Michael Jordan to be their spokesperson – I wonder if Hanes is raking in the same bucks as Nike…), TV stars endorsing products (like Jennifer Aniston when she was at the height of “The Rachel” cut and became the face of L’Oreal Elvive; now she’s the face of Aveeno).

Then in the mid-2000s, blogs became a space where “everyday” people could use their voice with influence. This trend has continued and has shifted into social media, usually with a blog counterpart.

Now, blogging and influencing is an industry in and of itself with influencer marketing being a key form of comms. According to the HypeAuditor report, the influencer industry will be worth $22 billion by 2025. Where can I sign up?

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Business Marketing

The use of offline marketing can still be advantageous in a digital world

(BUSINESS) Offline marketing is usually skipped over nowadays for the sparkly, shining ‘digital’ marketing strategies, but don’t forget the roots.



offline marketing billboard

Everywhere you look, people want to talk about digital marketing. In fact, if you don’t have a digital marketing strategy in today’s business world, you’re not going to last long. But just because digital marketing is popular, don’t assume that offline marketing no longer yields value.

When used together, these strategies can produce significant returns.

“Some people will argue that traditional marketing is dead, but there are several benefits to including offline advertising in your overall marketing campaign,” sales expert Larry Myler admits. “Combining both offline and online campaigns can help boost your brand’s visibility, and help it stand out amongst competitors who may be busy flooding the digital space.”

How do you use offline marketing in a manner that’s both cost-effective and high in exposure? While your business will dictate how you should proceed, here are a few offline marketing methods that still return considerable value in today’s marketplace.

1. Yard signs

When most people think about yard signs, their minds immediately go to political signs that you see posted everywhere during campaign season. However, yard signs have a lot more utility and value beyond campaigning. They’re actually an extremely cost-effective form of offline advertising.

The great thing about yard signs is that you can print your own custom designs for just dollars and, when properly stored, they last for years. They’re also free to place, assuming you have access to property where it’s legal to advertise. This makes them a practical addition to a low-budget marketing campaign.

2. Billboards

The fact that you notice billboards when driving down an interstate or highway is a testament to the reality that other people are also being exposed to these valuable advertisements. If you’ve never considered implementing billboards into your marketing strategy, now’s a good time to think about it.

With billboard advertising, you have to be really careful with design, structure, and execution. “Considering we’re on the move when we read billboards, we don’t have a lot of time to take them in. Six seconds has been touted as the industry average for reading a billboard,” copywriter Paul Suggett explains. “So, around six words is all you should use to get the message across.”

3. Promotional giveaways

It’s the tangible nature of physical marketing that makes it so valuable. Yard signs and billboards are great, but make sure you’re also taking advantage of promotional giveaways as a way of getting something into the hands of your customers.

Promotional giveaways, no matter how simple, generally produce a healthy return on investment. They increase brand awareness and recall, while giving customers positive associations with your brand. (Who doesn’t love getting something for free?)

4. Local event sponsorships

One aspect of offline marketing businesses frequently forget about is local event sponsorships. These sponsorships are usually cost-effective and tend to offer great returns in terms of audience engagement.

Local event sponsorships can usually be found simply by checking the calendar of events in your city. Any time there’s a public event, farmer’s market, parade, sporting event, concert, or fundraiser, there’s an opportunity for you to get your name out there. Look for events where you feel like your target audience is most likely to attend.

Offline marketing is anything but dead.

If your goal is to stand out in a crowded marketplace where all your competitors are investing heavily in social media, SEO, PPC advertising, and blogging, then it’s certainly worth supplementing your existing digital strategy with traditional offline marketing methods that reach your audience at multiple touchpoints.

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