Using Photos to Optimize Search Engines

I think Clint had mentioned this to me a few months ago, but I saw it in action recently. This is very curious, yet useful if you have a blog or website you update with pictures. I first noticed it when I was checking some of the stats for the blog and noticed a key search word that brought more hits to my blog than Michael Andrew.

Go to your google search bar and type the word “Digiorno” in. Yes…as in pizza. If you click on “images” you will see that there is a picture of a pizza, one of my first blog entries ever was about Pizza, and when I saved the picture I saved it as “Digiorno”.

Most search engine optimizations seem to work on META Tags, directories and linked pages. Using pictures to optimize your site can give you an edge. All you have to do is save the pictures using words relevant to your page. Sweet!


Last day of the year. Wow…hard to believe. 2007 was a great year for me. It has been one of my biggest in terms of personal growth. My photography business exploded (not literally) and I quit my PhD, something I had invested 5 years of my life into. I have learned to accept certain things about life and especially about people. I have learned that its always best to believe there is much to learn, and how important it is to share with others.

I thought I would do something a little crazy, and share a chapter from my Clutter and Efficiency book- Please excuse the formatting, but this should be easier to read. Also, this is still a rough draft so, there might be errors. I thought this would be good because so many of us are going to be setting new goals and resolutions. Its food for thought, Id like to include the next chapter ‘Compromise’ tomorrow.Last day of the year. Wow…hard to believe. 2007 was a great year for me. It has been one of my biggest in terms of personal growth. My photography business exploded (not literally) and I quit my PhD, something I had invested 5 years of my life into. I have learned to accept certain things about life and especially about people. I have learned that its always best to believe there is much to learn, and how important it is to share with others.

I thought I would do something a little crazy, and share a chapter from my Clutter and Efficiency book- Please excuse the formatting, but this should be easier to read. Also, this is still a rough draft so, there might be errors. I thought this would be good because so many of us are going to be setting new goals and resolutions. Its food for thought, Id like to include the next chapter ‘Compromise’ tomorrow.

Untitled Document


From Webster’s Dictionary:

Tolerance- (3). The allowable deviation from a standard.

What does this definition have to do with Clutter and Efficiency?

Each of us has a standard of what is acceptable and what is not to just about everything we encounter in life. The range of what is acceptable is also known as tolerance. Anything that is unacceptable crosses the line of tolerance and becomes “intolerable” as I discovered one day as a four year old. I was watching my mother make pancakes and I asked her something I had heard on television: “What in the h— do you think you are doing?”

A person holding a degree of authority will say or think “I will not tolerate this” when their standards of expectations have not been met. It is then essential that action is taken to ensure standards of quality.

As my mother shoved a bar of soap into my mouth, I wondered what the relationship was between whatever it was I had said and this horrible taste now dripping down the back of my throat. I realized that what I had said was wrong and I should be careful not to repeat it. The incorrect behavior was corrected. Discipline there for is required to maintain standards.

Where there is a lack of discipline, standards cannot be maintained.

A child, not knowing any better may leave his or her belongings all over the house simply because they do not know any other way. Being neat and tidy doesn’t make any sense to them.

To those without standards, all things are tolerable.
To the child without discipline, all things are acceptable.

If for example, there are no consequences to a crime, the criminal will perceive that his behavior is tolerable by society.

What is tolerable for one person may not be tolerable to another.

When individuals with wide tolerances interact with individuals of narrow tolerance, conflict is inevitable.

Conflict arises between differences of tolerance.

If an individual with a wide tolerance cannot prevent themselves from infringement upon others, others with higher levels of tolerance will attempt to either enforce the perceived correct behavior or remove themselves from interaction.

There are complete sciences devoted to the idea of tolerance in manufacturing processes. Installing definitive tolerance management systems save companies billions of dollars each year by decreasing unwanted variability and reducing the chance of creating defective goods. In the same way, personal tolerance systems can also reduce unwanted stress and conflict.

While it may be judged by some that narrow tolerance levels are extreme, others may view them as: determination, discipline, drive or ambition. In any case, the result is the same, predictable results based on predictable discipline. Individuals who are consistently successful follow a degree of personal discipline to achieve their goals. It is safe to assume, that if non-successful individuals were able to live by equal standards of discipline, they too would experience a similar degree of success. Therefore successful individuals are generally self-made.

Machined parts have ranges of acceptability that cannot be seen with the naked eye. The box of bolts you purchase at the hardware store may appear to be identical, when in fact they are not. If we were to examine them closely enough, we would find every bolt is completely different in length, weight, and thickness- we would just need some very sensitive equipment to measure these differences. The same is true with people and personalities.

However, because all the bolts in that box are “similar enough”, they are usually accepted as identical. The same is true of people. We classify groups of individuals with similar characteristics in the same way, using labels, like American, Russian, Mexican, etc. This grouping of individuals falsely implies that the group is not only similar in one way, but similar in many or all. This is not true. Every individual everywhere is unique. Labeling allows us to assume a group is completely equal based on one standard of measurement, in this case; race. Therefore, we must recognize that measures of tolerance rely completely upon which standard is being measured, and to what degree of deviation that standard is acceptable.

Potato chip manufacturers rigorously measure the amount of salt in their product, as they know salt is related to taste. As long as that saline concentration falls within a certain range, the chips are deemed acceptable and are sent off to the stores. They are less concerned with the shape or weight of each chip.

The stricter the requirements of tolerance in number of standards measured, as well as the smaller the acceptable standard of deviation, the higher the quality a product is believed to have. Superior, high grade and excellent are all adjectives used to describe things of high quality and the same is true for individuals who are able to maintain high levels of personal standards.

If there is no standard of tolerance, there can be no predictable level of quality.

Let’s talk about you. Somehow, someway, your tolerance levels have been engrained in your brain. The use of swear words may or may not be acceptable. Smoking may or may not be acceptable. Certain ideologies, like laziness or greed may or may not be acceptable. You have a range of ideas which are considered acceptable and others which are not. Many of these tolerance levels were established on a conscious basis, others were not.

Nearly all of conscious tolerance is learned either through up bringing or choice. Because this is true, it means you can change the quality and value of you by adjusting and managing your tolerance levels. While this may seem obvious, it is different than just setting goals and following them, we all know traditional New Years Resolution goal setting is short lived.

What I suggest is establishing a FLEXIBLE, ADAPTABLE, system that can be adjusted day to day. Such a system allows you to meet your personal standards of tolerance, without having to follow a rigid set of rules. I know that may seem contradictory, but its quite effective if you know the rules of the system.

Example: You are setting yourself up for failure if you say “I want to wake up every morning at 530am and go to the gym” when in fact, what you really want is to “get into shape”. Did you know:

  1. You can wake up every morning at 530am, go to the gym and NOT get in shape?
  2. You can get into shape without waking up at 530 every morning?

When setting goals, your levels of tolerance must be aimed upon what you really want, not a list with words on it. Inflexible goal setting is doomed for failure because once we fail to meet a single standard of the wrong measurement ie “waking up at 530am” we are more likely to forget and abandon the real goal, which is “to get into shape”. If we were talking about potato chips, it would be like saying this bag of chips needs to be thrown out because one of the chips is shaped funny. We have to know what we really want, what will get us there, and how to stay flexible.

The hardest part of this FLEXIBLE system, is knowing the difference between adaptation and “Compromise” which is the next chapter.

Screen Capture 101

While most of us know and use the right click “save image as” function of our computer mouse, there is a second way to take pictures of ANYTHING on your computer screen. This is especially useful when taking pictures of flash based sites, or web sites that wont allow you to “save image as”.

If you are using a PC the command button is to use the “Print Screen Button” and then go to the file where you want to place the image and select FILE and then PASTE. Kinda weird you have to do all these extra steps, and it only remembers one screen shot at a time, but it works.

If you are using a Mac, you will press Command + SHIFT + 3 (entire screen) or 4 (you select) and it will take an image to your desktop.

Very handy tool.

I am curious…does anyone know how to record video off your computer screen? Say for a training video?


This is probably old news to at least half of you, but I have just started using Firefox as an internet browser and I must say I love it. I have probably a dozen websites that I use or need to check at least once a day and it cuts down on having to retype your username and password each time. It also has a built in spell checker, which as many of you can tell I really need.

Some of you are more experienced with Firefox than I. What hang ups if any are there? Is there anything else it does better than Safari or Explorer? Clint? Pete?

One Bad Apple

For the record- I will no longer endorse or recommend Mac computers. I am sure they are wonderful for everyone else in the world, but I have invested about 5K into my Mac book Pro and Software. I could have purchased 2 PC’s with the same software. Mine had a massive failure again on Christmas Eve and overall has been nothing but problems.

I dont believe in negativity, but I do believe in sharing experiences that can help others. This is what Mavens do. I also believe that when a company fails to take care of their customers, the customers need to share what happened with others. If everyone in the world did this, one of two things would happen: The company would learn the error of their ways and get better or they would go out of business. Often, when a business is big enough, they know they can afford “collateral damages” because only 1 in 10 people will actually do something when they have a bad experience.

Sunday afternoon, I finished an amazing Photoshoot with the Norris family, over 1000 images were taken. I came home that night, went through most of them and went to bed with plans to finish in the morning, before I headed up in the evening to spend Christmas Eve with them. After I woke up, I turned my Mac on, and low and behold….it completely failed to boot- AGAIN- this was after a complete wipe and re-install of the hard drive, after the RAM and Battery Memory, Cache System wipes, etc. Keep in mind this was the day my clients were expecting their photographs….luckily, right before I shut off the computer last night, I decided to burn a back up disk “just in case”. I was able to finish the edit on my desktop PC, which mind you has NEVER crashed in 4 years. I would estimate anywhere between 80-90 crashes on my Mac, a crash meaning anything that required me to restart the computer. I was averaging 3-5 crashes a day even after the re-install.

Ive spent dozens of hours with Adobe and other companies trouble shooting what was happening because their software didnt seem to be working correctly and it turns out…it was my Mac all along.

The Canon 40D video done on my Mac has been delayed at least 2 weeks now, all of my website update software is on my Mac, all my customized settings and fonts (which cannot be recovered) are lost. I have thousands of photos on there. I cannot count how many times I would be working on something and right in the middle of it, the program would crash and I would lose everything I was working on. I had to resort to saving everything every 5 minutes, and it would still happen. So….in terms of computer stress…this is about as big as it gets.

Apple has established a system of channeling upset customers through a run around. Ive determined there are at least 3, possibly 4 different levels of customer service representatives, each with different levels of authority, and you must go through one to get to the next. It also appears this system is designed to discourage upset customers to get what they really need, I had to ask each time to speak with someone who had “more authority” and was then placed on hold for 15-30 minutes each time.

The second level rep I spoke with, also referred to as a technician, told me it would be 7-10 days, when I told him that was unacceptable, he sent me to a third level rep, someone referred to as a “product specialist”, who has more authority. He said the repair could be made in 3-5 days and also set an appointment to take it up to Birmingham to have a “genius” look at it and possibly repair it. So I drive up to Bham, and this guy says they need to send it in. To their credit they helped me salvage the files to my external hard drive (the second time in 2 weeks I had to do this). It only took another hour of my time- who cares that it was Christmas Eve.

One thing I have found especially hypocritical is their ubiquitous use of the phrase “third party”- when there is a problem, it is the cause. When Apple cannot fix it, it is the solution. Example:

when I first called and needed to restore my files:

“If you cannot recover your files, you should look into some third party software, which could help.”

When it crashed the second time:

“Did you have any third party hardware in the system?” – “Nope”
“What type of RAM were you using?”- “The RAM it came with”

The issues I have with Apple now:

1. They have cost me considerable frustration and financial loss (by delaying the release of my web updates and products). Despite expressing this to them several times, the only thing they have offered to do is repair the product and return it when it is finished. They have done nothing to “make things right” which I absolutely think they should- part of the reason I am writing this now. The very least they could have done was upgraded the operating system to Leopard, which would have cost them nothing. I know that honest mistakes happen, but if it actually hurts your customer you should do something to make up for it. Apple will only do this if a certain amount of noise is made, as in the case of the iphone checks issued with the price drops.

2. In the hypothetical situation my “repaired” laptop crashes a third time, I was told they would “look into more options”, ie possibly replacement. In my mind, it is completely past this point. If these options are available, why not now? Are they just waiting for me to lose my cool? It almost seems these customer service representatives are simply measuring how upset I am getting.

So if I were to sum up my experience with Apple, I am extremely disappointed with them. I hear all these amazing things about their products and customer service, and my first hand experience with them has been to the contrary. If my Mac didnt have any problems and never crashed, it would have been an amazing experience. If Apple had tried in the smallest of ways to offer some kind of restitution, also, everything would be fine and dandy. They havent. They dont seem to get that if a person invests a few grand into a computer and runs his or her business from it, when it fails, it causes a tremendous amount of stress. My Mac didnt do what it was supposed to. Period. Apple’s response has only been: “You need to wait while we try to fix it.” Not acceptable. This is how I make my living, how would you like it if someone told you that you were fired for a week because their lap top crashed?

Apple is a great company when things are going well…but if there are problems, they arent going to go out of their way to help you. YOU will be the one that will have to make it right for you. YOU will be the one that will have to drive to Birmingham, try to recover your files, YOU will spend two days restoring the files you could recover, and uh…it may have to happen 3 times before they replace the computer.

Stick with a PC……What good is an amazing computer if it crashes 3-5 times a day? What good is that computer if the company that makes it really only cares about one thing….Apple.

I will probably continue to use my Mac Book as I am obviously stuck with it- I really hope it proves me wrong, I wanted to believe that it was everything people say it is- but it hasnt been.

I truly regret purchasing my Mac Book Pro.