Category Archives: updates

Cancooooon 2011 re-cap

Just did a quick Cancun destination wedding trip….lotsa fun, lotsa friends, great wedding…good times!

I was already pretty beached-out from the San Juan trip I took a few days before, but still had a blast!

Lots of relaxing by the pool/beach and massive hot tub:

Attempting to take underwater photos:

Getting 120 people to cut the line at the Coco Bongo:

The Coco Bongo club… was a giant tourist destination, and probably the most stunning visual effects system I’ve ever seen:

One of the wedding event areas…..PERFECT warm breeze the entire trip:

The groom riding a (clearly Indian) horse:

Very picturesque wedding overlooking the beach:

Wedding gazebo:

Me sitting on the dance floor.  I don’t know why:

This Q4 2011 travel schedule is starting to get hectic….in one day I’m packing up again and heading to Manhattan to film some videos with Adam of MyBodyTutor for an upcoming product thingy on AppSumo called SumoDietKourse.  Then immediately after that I’m flying off to Hawaii for two weeks (aaawwwww….poor Neville)!!!

The SumoDietKourse we’re doing will combine what Adam already does with the AppSumo crowd.  So the goal is to get fat nerds to lose some weight (and become more productive like I discovered in the six pack experiment).

Puerto Rico Workation

One of the benefits of working primarily from home/laptop is you can work ANYWHERE.

And right now I’m in Puerto Rico….directly on the beach….in an awesome rented condo….with the waves crashing below and a perfect breeze cross-circulating the condo.  AWESOME.

Here are some pictures to make you jealous:

Living room view:

Seriously…..THIS is working?  Yes please!

Checkout Homer eating the Apple logo!  ARRRRRMMMGH!

So if I’m a bit slow to answer emails for the next week or so, it’s probably because I’m running in slow-motion-BayWatch-style on the San Juan beaches :-)

Blogger to WordPress Alexa Effect

I figured transitioning from Blogger to WordPress on March 1st would have a significant effect on my traffic and Alexa rank, but it actually went pretty well!

A ton of old posts are still mis-directed to wrong URL’s which just go to my 404 error page, however it seemed traffic quickly recovered in a few days:

I really hate the Google Analytics versions of my NevBlog stats because I have many pages and files that ARE NOT setup with the tracking code….also visitors to my XML feed don’t get counted, and those are a pretty significant chunk of traffic.

The actual server stats look more like this:

ahhh….that’s more like it!

Here were some basic stats right before the switch:

Stats on 3-1-2010:
NevBlog Alexa: 173,357
Yahoo Pages Indexed: 761
Bing Pages Indexed: 3,170
Google Pages Indexed: 670

Stats on 5-11-2010 (today):
NevBlog Alexa: 148,440
Yahoo Pages Indexed: 1,204
Bing Pages Indexed: 511
Google Pages Indexed: 890

So it seems I actually went up in Alexa ranking (although that’s probably due to writing more often) and it’s EASIER for search engines to find me with WordPress.  I think what really helped with Google (my main source of traffic) was a great WordPress plugin called Google Sitemap Generator which let Google automatically know where all my pages were.  Anyone with a WordPress blog needs that plugin.

Well, I’m off!
-Neville (The guy with a bunch of readers everyday)

Two Things

Two things happened recently. I lost a $0.92 notebook from Wal-Mart and I partially shattered the screen on my iPhone which I paid hundreds of dollars for.

Oddly enough, when I broke the iPhone I didn’t really care one bit. Not at all. I predicted I’d break this phone within 6 months (and that was in July 2008) so it lasted a lot longer than other electronics I regularly carry.

However when I got off the plane, got home and realized I had left my notebook in the seatback pocket….I knew the notebook was gone, but realized I had lost something 100 times more valuable to me than an easily replaceable iPhone.

I have a bunch of these little notebooks (you know, kind of like the “cow” print notebooks third graders use):

…I use them to take notes when I read. Since I read so much, I tend to forget important things, so I write them down and re-read them time to time as a refresher. If I get a random business idea, I write it out. If I have a problem which needs solving, I pull out the notebook and graph out the problem, possible outcomes and plausible solutions. I also write down good quotes or random thoughts. Anything that comes to mind often goes in here.

I filled this particular notebook about halfway full during my recent month in California, so it’s a shame to see those nearly 100 pages of notes, to-do lists and random things gone.

The iPhone can be replaced at anytime.

A word on the iPhone:
I don’t have a case or any sort of protective covering on this iPhone. I’ve dropped it, sat on it, thrown it around, dumped it in backpacks/gym bags and got it wet a surprisingly large number of times and it hardly has a scratch or defect on it yet. The screen is still flawless. I keep it in my pocket along with keys, change or whatever gets dumped in there. That’s one surprisingly tough phone.

The cool thing is it still works just fine! When the phone is on, I can hardly tell the cracks are there….so using even this “broken” phone is still exactly the same as when it was new.

Initially when it broke there were some small shards of glass that would rub off on my hand and cut me. When my phone starts to draw blood every time I use it….THAT was a bit of a problem. However I just turned it upside down and rubbed out all the shards with a tissue and it hasn’t been a problem since.

On the bright side, this gives me an excuse to buy the new iPhone when it comes out :-)

Barry Salzberg and Some House Of Rave Updates

A couple of short updates:

I went to see Barry Salzberg, CEO of the giant accounting firm Deloitte & Touche speak on the University of Texas campus. He spoke to a surprisingly packed house about the company etc. etc….mainly typical CEO talk.

The Q&A session was far more interesting and we got to hear a little more about him. It was pretty impressive because he came from a working class family with none of his parents being college educated, his dad died at a young age and he managed to his college degree, MBA and even law degree. As most of the CEO’s I’ve seen speak, he steadily started rising through the company by simply doing the best job he could at every step of the way, all the way to the top.

It was funny, because I was in the back of the room for the speech, so this way my view:

…however when I got closer I quickly realized who he looked like!



I’ve been working on changing up HouseOfRave a little to start going for version 3.0. One of the things I did was change up the right navigation pane with more illustrated banners:

I’m not exactly sure if I like it or not the new way. The old version shows off the products a little better, however the new version might make people curious to see what each banner holds when clicked.

I’ve also replaced some of the YouTube embedded videos on the site with my own HouseOfRave branded video player. YouTube shows related videos at the end of each clip which distracts users and takes them away from my site. It also puts its own brand on the video player which looks slightly unprofessional. You can see an example of the new video player at the glowing hair gel product page.

I’ve also added a Disco Balls section to the site and some more miscellaneous products. A bunch of much needed functionality updates, templates and features are on the way, but a more versed programmer is handling those.


H O U S E O F R A V E – U P D A T E :
Over the last 2 years HouseOfRave has gone from making a few hundred bucks a month in profit to $6,000+/month. However the supplier has been experiencing pains along the way with the increased order volume.

The same problems keep happening over and over and the same excuses are being given over and over. Despite all my best attempts, I can’t get them to fully cooperate with my steps for expansion, so after 6+ years of doing business, it’s time to say goodbye to them as my sole supplier.

HouseOfRave is currently in a state of two different suppliers as I switch sources, and by the end of February I will be completely switched to a new one who is oriented more towards customer satisfaction, fresh products and prompt delivery.

N E V B L O G – U P D A T E :
I believe comments will for the most part be gone from future posts. Comments are entertaining, but for the most part relatively useless. Occasionally I get some good ones, but the majority are a waste of time. I get GREAT emails, but comments are not well thought out and are generally self-promotion for someone else with a blog or some lame remark about blah blah blah…..

L E X U S – U P D A T E :
Lovin’ it!

E D U C A T I O N – U P D A T E :
After not being in school for a while the psychology course I’m trying to finish online before I go to China is uugghhh…..

I’ve been sticking to my schedule, but it’s not fun having read about, take notes on and then answer questions about bunk theories made by Sigmund Freud. Hopefully this course gets more interesting.

T W O – M O S T – I M P O R T A N T – T H I N G S :
The two things I’m most focused on for the next few days will be finishing the psych class and switching HouseOfRave over to the new supplier.

I might even have to ::shudder:: stay in on a Friday night and study.

M O O D – U P D A T E :