This is an open post looking for help – I’ll lay out the specifications of the problem I’m facing, and hopefully the SEO friendliness of this site will bring over some help
I own a Dell Inspiron 13 laptop (Inspiron 1320 laptop, 4GB RAM, Core 2 Duo 2.4 Ghz, ATI Radeon HD 4330 graphics card, VGA + HDMI output). The computer came with Windows Vista and ATI Catalyst Control Center installed, but I upgraded to Windows 7 and formatted the computer.
I recently also got a Dell ST2310 monitor (birthday present from my friends, Happy Birthday to me!). Now, here’s my setup. The VGA port of my laptop outputs to my old monitor, and the HDMI port outputs to the new Dell monitor.
The problem is that the HDMI doesn’t output to the monitor properly. There’s a frustrating 1 inch black border around all sides.
After a little research, I found out that this is a common overscan and underscan problem with Windows 7 and Ati graphics cards as referenced here. The solution to the problem is apparently found in the settings of the Catalyst Control Center as listed out here.
Okay, simple enough … so I’m trying to download the latest version of the Ati Catalyst Package, so I can have access to this awesome setting that lets me use my $300 purchase. To prepare I have many versions of the Ati Package ready to go including:
And a slightly older version of the Ati Installer found within my Dell Backup drivers. The setup.exe file for that version reads as File version 3.0.723.0
So, here’s where the real problem is … when I try to install the Ati Catalyst Package (I started with the newest 10-1_vista32_win7_32_dd_ccc_wdm_enu.exe) … it doesn’t show me Catalyst Control Center as an installation option.
I’ve been trying to fix this for 24 hours now … have tried installing, uninstalling all the different versions of CCC (as demoed here). I could find on the Internet. Have booted into Safe Mode and used Driver Sweeper to wipe out all the ATI drivers. Have tried uninstalling everything, manually deleting the folders and registry entries. All I’ve done is managed to throw up more errors that talk about MOM.Implementation and CCC.Implementation when I boot Windows.
So, my question is … how do I get Catalyst Control Center to show up as an installation option when I run10-1_vista32_win7_32_dd_ccc_wdm_enu.exe ?
Next, I met KC Chan – an energetic young info-marketer who’s published three books. He also conducts courses on using Jhoomla to make quick websites. But the best thing about him is that he dislikes hype as much as I do. See KC’s blog here.
Overall, it’s more useful and my impressions are positive – Although there are things that make me uncomfortable – keep reading to find out what.
In this post, I’ll outline the changes that have happened in the Interface and a pretty honest review of the system. Over the next 21 days, I’ll be posting 21 articles on working with the New Interface – a brand new series on – How AdWords Interface 3.0 differs from the old edition, and how to use it with the new Google Analytics & Website Optimizer .
And here’s also a nice official video outlining the some of the changes – it’s glossy, like most Google marketing these days:
On to the Main Event – The Review of the AdWords Interface 3.0
Now, keep in mind that these are my early comments. I’ve taken a basic view of the interface, played around for a little bit – but my thoughts are not yet comprehensive. I’ll be test driving it very comprehensively over the next 21 days, remember to subscribe to RSS, Email or Twitter as I tear the new interface apart and lay out its pros and cons.
So, in no particular order, here’re my early thoughts on the AdWords Interace 3.0 (these are the things that I’m ambivalent about)
It’s very Ajaxy. Much like Gmail was in its early days.
But unlike the early Gmail, this interface makes me a little bit uncomfortable.
Maybe it’s because the background white has changed to gray/blue. And the nav has changed to a less subtle green. I’m sure they tested it, but I don’t like
It’s very very similar to the AdWords Editor 6.0 I’m using on Windows right now. In terms of look AND functionality.
On the video, they’ve been touting speed a lot. For me, the loading was slower than my regular AdWords. Hopefully, that’s a launch bug – Hope Ajax makes it faster.
The number of things you can do with the interface HAS GROWN TREMENDOUSLY. From advanced reporting, filters, graphs, in-line editing and more – there is much more you can do.
The base functional utility has NOT changed significantly. You can still find a way to do everything you used to do. But pretty much everything has been moved around. Old AdWords Consultants users WILL require some re-training.
Top 7 Things I Like About The AdWords Interface 3.0
Easier Account Navigation: Instead of the old way (click on the campaign, wait for 5 seconds, click on the ad group, wait for 5 seconds) … the new way contains all the information in one page. If they fix the speed issue, this will save at least half in hour in my day’s work.
In Line Editing: Now, if you want to make changes to keywords, ads, bids or placements – you can do it right there! Thanks to the magic of AJAX, no more 3 extra pages loading for a simple change.
Campaign Level Views: In the old days, if you just wanted to analyze your top performing keywords and ads – you’d have to run a report, go back and navigate the campaigns & ad groups. Now, you can just do everything at an Account or campaign level – Thank god it’s arrived!
Filtering Kicks Ass: If you want to just look at all the keywords that have a CPC of more than $1 or Conversion Rate of less than 2%, you can set up an immediate filter and see your data change. Quick disclaimer – This is NOT like the Google Analytics Filters, it’s almost exactly like Google AnalyticsAdvancedSegmentsFeature – just changing the view of the data.
Automatic vs Managed Placements: In the older interface, when you switched to the Placements tab inside an ad group, all the placements would show up in the same place. Now, there are different results for managed placements (sites you chose to show on) and automatic placements (sites google chose because of your keywords).
New Ad Creation Interface: It’s considerably cleaner looking than the older interface. Down here, they’ve used the shading of green vs gray vs white very well.
Although, I’m a little thrown off by the speed of the beta interface, the features they’ve introduced are pretty revolutionary in terms of ad management.
Among the 7 things I mentioned on top, some of them were already available through the desktop AdWords editor (easier account navigation, in line editing).
But some of the features are so kick-ass they haven’t appeared anywhere before. While Google Analytics Consultant have had the fancy reports and Advanced Segmentation (called filtering in AdWords). These things are pretty revolutionary when it comes to AdWords.
If you’re doing Google AdWords Management for your own project, the amount of insight you can get now has grown tremendously – and you’ll be spending much less time on it.
If you’re doing Google AdWords Consulting for a client or company, the quality of reporting you can provide now has beautified quite a bit. Your boss/client will now be much more pleased with the money they’re spending.
Final Comments – How to work with the new AdWords Interface
Over then next three months, this interface will be slowly rolled out to all customers around the world (I think July is when everyone should have it). Until then, if you’re invited, you can choose to stay on the Previous interface.
But this new interface will be a very powerful tool for those who use it. In fact, I’m pretty sure that your accounts will be better optimized that your competitors if you’re using this new Interface 3.0. I’m going to be diving in and learning the interface – I suggest you do the same.
And a shameless plug here. On April 17th, 25th and 26th 2009 – I’ll be conducting an SEO training. In that, we’ll spend almost a whole day going over the new Interface, and making sure you’re prepared for all the changes. Of course, we’ll focus on much more – tickets start from just S$195, and head over to www.MoreWebBusiness.com to learn more about the Social Media Training.
Seriously, go to that site. Watch the videos from the last run. You’ll be glad you came, learnt all this new stuff and actually implemented it in the space of just three days. Again, that’s www.MoreWebBusiness.com (if you like typical website) or www.HappyMarketer.com (if you like sales letters).
Other than that – please leave your comments below. Have you got access to the new interface? Do you use Google AdWords in Singapore regularly? What did YOU think of these changes?
Okay, time to congratulate me – I just got another certification from Google! (Okay, if you’re not my biggest fan – the first one was the AdWords Qualification back in 2005)
I’m now a Qualified Analytics Individual, which basically means I’ve gone through a pretty rigorous training to set up, understand and analyze Google Analytics for clients. I’m also talking with Google to become Google Analytics Certified Partners, but that’s a story for another day.
I’d wanted to take this test ever since Vinny from Google told me it’s available two weeks ago. Then, my desire for the qualification went through the roof when I attended the Google Analytics Master Class last week. Went through the preparation seminars, shivered in my boots for a little while and then finally gave the test! It was nice to get that certificate (image below).
Now, I’m going to find out if there’s a logo that’s associated with this too
I didn’t really want to admit it, but the process of preparing for the test was quite enlightening. This test was a little bit tougher than the AdWords test, some questions were tricky. And it’s prepared me to take our next Google Analytics Corporate Training to the next level.
Although, I’ll do my best to simplify the complexities of Analytics for the participants in the room, I might just take a little time to introduce them to the some advanced features like Custom Reports, Advance Segmentation, Ecommerce tracking & Filters.
So, that’s the first piece of news. The second piece of news is that the shiny new site for the Boot Camp is up – www.MoreWebBusiness.com!
While the original site was good for info marketers who’re used to seeing long sales pages … the new site is much shorter and piffier. Plus, it looks gorgeous!
So, if you haven’t yet signed up for it – go get your entry to our next SEO Training in Singapore – the next one starts April 17th. Ticket prices have been slashed to the ground – they start from just S$195 (the cheapest ticket was $995 for the last Boot Camp).
Here’s a long-delayed update on the Google Marketing Boot Camp we wrapped up 10 days ago. It was an intense 2 day event (25th & 26th Feb 09) where we had 8 very smart marketers sitting down and working on their biggest online marketing challenges.
We had every kind of business in there – from affiliate marketers, to online product owners, to larger companies who do B2B lead generation to government organizations to advise other companies.
And while I’m not at liberty to give out too many details about what they do – some of the participants did give us some great feedback. We’ll put up those videos pretty soon on the information page for the workshop (www.HappyMarketer.com)
We covered a lot of topics:
Google AdWords Setup & Optimization
Google Analytics: Setup & Reporting
Google Website Optimizer – Testing & Improving your site
Writing Ads that get great CTR
Search Engine Optimization
Copywriting & Headline Testing
Wireframes & Landing Page Design
White Papers, Guides & Generation Leads
Drip Irrigation via Email follow-up
… and much much more!
There was also a fantastic session from Chandrashekar from Google, he gave us some fantastic stats from the recession trends and strategies for fighting the recession by increasing the conversion rate on Google Traffic.
So, here’s a quick thanks to all the participants for taking in two intense days of my babbling. Thanks to Chandra, the Google guy for coming down and electrifying the crowd. And thanks to David for managing the operations and keeping the cogs turning.
The next Google Boot Camp is going to be in April. That one will be structured slightly differently – It will come in two editions – Silver and Gold. The Silver Boot Camp is going to be just one intense day (Friday 24th April), where we’ll rapidly run through all the strategies you need to know about getting and converting traffic from Google.
The gold edition of the Boot Camp will be three days long. You’ll come on Friday and get the same introduction as the rest of the gang. But on saturday and sunday (25th, 26th April), we’ll blast off into a different orbit and spend two days actually working together to implement stuff on your website. We’ll take your existing copy and rewrite it. Take your existing ad campaigns and optimize them. And take all the brain power in that room, and focus it into bringing results for you.
If you have any questions about the workshop, want to know the pricing, or want to register – email me at Rachit@RachitDayal.com
On January 3rd 2009 – it was the fifth anniversary of when I got introduced into online marketing. On January 14th – it was the third anniversary of my business in Singapore – Rachit Dayal Communications.
Theese dates mean a lot to me – and to reflect and thank the people who’ve made it possible – I thought it’s time to write a little note.
A Thank-You Note to all the Fantastic Clients
Now, to be completely honest, I wasn’t very good at it in the beginning. There were so many times in the early projects that I can’t believe my clients actually tolerated me. I wasn’t very communicative, my skill hadn’t grown to today’s level and I wasn’t focussed on providing an ROI for the person who hired me.
But for some strange reason, the clients did keep working with me. Sometimes they tolerated me, most of the time they actually taught me lessons. And they had to do none of this – it was very kind of them to trust a fresh kid with their websites and online strategy.
It’s their trust and experience that allowed me to actually become competent at what I do.Because because of the trust of my amazing clients … I’ve grown into my dream job as a Marketing Consultant. So, in no particular order, here are the fantastic clients, companies and people who’ve trusted me for marketing advice:
Many clients, prospects and friends have wondered how I got into this unique career – being an independent consultant while the rest of my collegaues give large companies a shot – focus on online marketing, while everyone else gravitated towards safer career choices. And so for their benefit, here’s a little “Cliff’s Note” on my journey in Online Marketing.
How my marketing journey began …
The date was 3rd January 2004.
I’d just landed in Philadelphia, USA, dumped my suitcase at in the hotel room and hurriedly rushed out back to check out my new office. You see, I’d just been hired to work as an intern in a technology startup in the USA – and I’d flown out from Singapore to join in. And I was really excited because I couldn’t believe my luck in getting hired by such fantastic people and have such a great opportunity.
Interesting sidenote - because we were broke students, we stayed at a christian motel instead of a real hotel. And they had archaic rules. For example, girls weren’t allowed to wear pants – only skirts and sarongs (in the freezing sub zero temperatures). So, all my fellow travellers would disguise sarongs on top of their pants and they’d be an interesting “stripping session” just outside the hotel.
Anyway, the job was better than my dreams – my new boss spent the first day taking me out for lunch and out shopping. Can you believe it – I spent my first day on the job, with the Chief Operating Officer (my boss) shopping for office electronics and chatting with me about my dreams and goals (instead of typical intern jobs like getting coffee and doing actual work!).
And over the next few months, I got lucky, extraordinary promotion – From being hired to doing testing on our software, I became the front man for our online advertising and marketing (earning the tongue-in-cheek title of Cheap Marketing Officer)
That was how I got introduced to online marketing. I’d been making websites from the mid 90s in school, but I never understood how the web could affect business until I was trusted with the responsibility to make it happen.
And from day 1, it felt right – like it was something I was meant to do my whole life.That was how my story began – for the next two years, I did odd jobs in marketing as I wrapped up my degree at the National University of Singapore.
Welcome to the big league – Setting a business & serving clients full time
And on January 14th 2006, the official business registration of Rachit Dayal Communications. A little over two years after I started marketing online, I was set up with a business and ready to serve clients.
The next three years have been a vivid dream – so full of learning, growth and excitement that I have trouble remembering anything before it. I’ve grown as a marketer, an advisor and a person. In the rest of this post, I’d like to acknowledge the people who’ve made it possible and the share some lessons for others who may travel down this path in the future.
Skills wise – I started from AdWords. Grew into web design. Expanded into Google Analytics & Website Optimizer testing. And now, I’m finally moving full steam into consulting and training.
Work wise – I moved out my bedroom into an office. And out of the office into working from client sites.
It might be sounding repetitive by now, but it’s been an extraordinary journey. And despite the learning curves, it’s been exactly what I imagined at the beginning of the journey. And even though 2009 looks like a tough year to get more profitable, but I’m focused on innovating and finding new ways to help my clients do exactly that.
Before I sign off, I just wanted to say “thank you” to everyone who’s reading this. I hope you’re doing well in your journey, and you come out of this recession with blazing guns. Keep well
The signs have become crystal clear in the past 8 months … social networking is becoming the most popular activity on the web. Which means social networking pages get more views than content or search pages.
About 15 months ago, it became clear that facebook would be the largest social network in time … at that time, it’s rate of growth was mammoth compared with incumbents like MySpace, Orkut and Friendster. Moreover, its growth has been very well balanced across the globe.
It was at that time, when millions of facebook apps suddenly started popping up. As an online marketing consultant, that was also my busiest period in advising companies on how to use Facebook apps for growth. That wave has slowed down a little bit today.
Basically all the signs lead to Facebook advertising – it seems like it will be the hottest place after Google AdWords to advertise next.
I’ve been dabbling a little bit, and will take the plunge for a new project that caters to that demographic. But if anyone else has had interesting experiences with Facebook advertising … I’d love to hear about it.
Just drop me an email at Rachit@RachitDayal.com if you’ve started advertising on Facebook (or are interested in doing so).
Last month, I got interviewed by India Se magazine on a feature on Young Entrepreneurs. It’s not terribly enlightening on the marketing side of things, but it was a fun interview.
The interviewer was a chirpy 18 year old who was exactly the kind of person I wanted to share this stuff with. The target audience in my mind for the interview was young people – sharing my first few years of the entrepreneurial journey is always a whole lot of fun.
follow. What is your take on this? RD: I think that no matter where you are, there is always someone better, more recognised and more successful than you and someone to emulate. I am nowhere near where I want to be; but that said, if I am one of the pit stops on their way to greatness, that’s great. IS: What is, in your opinion, your greatest achievement to date? RD: I think I am more of a processoriented person, meaning that I give the process as much importance as the goals that I set, and meet. But my greatest achievements… well, obviously my first paycheque was a great achievement. I am also very proud of the fact that I started a self-funded and immediately profitgenerating business when I was 21, and have been supporting myself since then. IS: It can’t be easy, following this path that so few your age have taken. What is your driving force? What motivates you to go on? RD: My motivation is to be different. I think that the most important things in life are having fun, giving back and creating value – and I also think that the most successful people are a little different from everyone else. Take Steve Jobs for example – being a design student he brought in not only a great system but also something which looks good. I think the more you aspire to be different and think out of the box, the more you grow as a person. Do what you love and love what you do! is He came to Singapore’s NUS as a computer science undergraduate. By the time he was 21, Rachit Dayal was running his own profit-generating company. LAVANYA MACHIRAJU meets the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed ‘website guy’. I s it easier to increase traffic to your website or to bend spoons? For Rachit Dayal, both are possible – and equally fun. A quick skim through his site, RachitDayal.com, reveals a hard-working yet easygoing entrepreneur who promises to turn your website around. It’s not surprising to hear something like this from seasoned marketing gurus, but coming from someone who is just 24, it warrants a second look. India Se: It all started when you came to the National University of Singapore for your undergraduate degree in computer science, didn’t it? Rachit Dayal: Yes, after a year in NUS I was selected for the Overseas Scholars’ 88 INDIASE AUGUST 2008 programme and went to the University of Pennsylvania for a year. While I was at UPenn, I joined a start-up company where I appointed myself as the chief marketing officer since I realised that they had nobody to do the marketing. I figured then, that I had a knack for this. When the year was up I had the choice of either staying with the company or coming back and completing my degree. I chose to come back and finish my education – but in addition to my degree in computer science I decided to pursue a minor in entrepreneurship as well, so that I could start my own company right after I graduated. IS: You are often cited as a role model for teenagers and younger children to
If you’ve a frantic WordPress user, then you’ll remember that WordPress 2.5 was released not too long ago (March 29th). That’s actually a fairly short upgrade cycle … but there are some welcome features …
Wiki-like Draft Saving – The ability to save all the drafts of every post you make. That way, if you don’t like the direction of your writing, you can compare older versions and use them instead. Very welcome features
Post from wherever on the web – For example, you can post from a Youtube page and WP will automatically embed the video code. From a Flickr page, it will pull out the image URL. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of this feature … I prefer fewer, but higher quality posts.
Theme Previews – Instead of just posting a theme live, you can now preview it with all your existing content. There were a bunch of plugins that already did this, but it’s a really useful feature
Word Count – Pretty good for mathematical posters and magazine style sites. Take a huge article from your magazine and break it up into multiple posts of equal length easily now.
Image Captions – I never really missed captions so far … but now that they’re here, I don’t think I can live without them!
Bulk Management of Plugins – I’m really excited about this one. What I’m hoping for is the ability to upgrade, enable, disable and delete multiple plugins at once.
Several other minor features I haven’t tested out yet …
But here’s a word of warning – Dont’ upgrade yet. WordPress releases are notorious for needing security fixes and minor upgrades within days of major upgrades.
So, WordPress 2.6 went live on July 15th. Give it a good two weeks. In that time, there will be a WordPress 2.6.1 if required. And most of the plugins you use will be tested to see if they can work with this version. Then it’s a good time to upgrade.
In the meantime, as I’d advise all my clients … just focus on more useful content creation. The technology is secondary. Oh, and watch the video below for an introduction of WordPress 2.6
And if you’re really really keen to test this out, go ahead and set up a testing WordPress account. Test your theme and plugins to make sure everything works. And then check again!
Last friday, one of my personal hero passed away. He wasn’t a marketer, an entrepreneur or a motivator. Still, Time magazine did put him in the list of “100 Most Powerful People In The World” in 2008.
This man was Tim Russert.
In Singapore, not many people may know him. He was the host of “Meet The Press”, one of the world’s most popular political show. He was one of the most powerful journalists in the world. He helmed his program, “Meet The Press” for 17 years now. He was hard but fair. Enthusiastic but professional. Effective but not flashy.
(I know that living in India & Singapore, it’s unusual for me to follow an American commentator. But I love politics, and that man brought out the best in politics).
There are many reasons why I loved staying up on Sunday night (here in Singapore), to watch “Meet The Press” at midnight. But one reason stood clear …
I wanted to watch a Giant at work.
You see, Tim Russert was a giant in his industry. He worked in the industry of politics. And he was the best at what he did – He was respected, even feared as an interviewer at time. Yet, he was rational, caring and fair.
I won’t say too much more … this week’s “Meet The Press” was a one hour tribute to him, highlighting his best interviews … and for anyone who has the desire to be the best in their field … I highly recommend setting aside the time to watch the video at the bottom of this link.
But before I leave, I just want to highlight 7 things I learnt from Tim Russell … If you’re reading this, then you should take these lessons too …
You don’t have to be flashy to succeed He was a “regular joe”, one of the few people on TV whose hair was still ruffled. He spoke in “common speak”. I always thought that the local tailer made his suits. And if you saw him, like I did, year after year … you’d know that his journalistic skills had everything to do with being humble.
You will get better and better with time I know that a lot of us, young people are overcome with desire today to succeed fast. We want to be the richest, most successful, most well known. But as I looked at Tim (He was 58, he looked 42), I realized that experience had made him who he was. And all of us will get so much better with experience.
You can be the center of your world
Tim Russell did one show. Once a week. For one hour. Yet, every word he said was so important, so industry changing that the entire news media would feed off his newsbites. Some day, I hope I’m that effective & influential in my industry, and that’s a real inspiration.
You don’t have to focus on the hype
Most other news media would focus on the news of the moment. Hillary Clinton’s bosnia fire. Barack Obama’s Reverand Wright. And they would try to corner the politicians. Not Tim, he would always be fair and allow the candidates to give their opinions. It so was unusual how he could create news by NOT trying to create hype-filled news
You DO need to prepare for your job
Tim Russell would spend all week preparing for his one hour show. He would prepare every question. Reherse every word. Play both sides of the table. Do all this before he went Live. And that’s one lesson for me – I do need to work hard if I’m creating something worthwhile.
An affable, friendly nature can change other people’s world
I was stunned by how many people seemed to know this guy. Not just know him from TV, but actual talk to him and be friends with him. And there were so many stories of his good nature spreading into other people’s lives. I’ll always remember to be friendly and fun with the people around me.
Your every word can be so important that everyone hangs on to it
Like Steve Jobs, Tim Russert had a gift. He made every word so purposeful that everyone else hung on to it. That’s something that inspires me. The hope that I can be so respected and be an expert in the Internet Marketing industry, that my words actually make a difference.
I’ll remember these lessons from Tim Russert. But more importantly, I’ll miss his warmth when I turn on the TV on sunday night … Goodbye Mr Russert, you will be missed.
Below, you’ll find a link to a tribute on Tim Russell – It’s pretty long (54 mins), watch it if you can.