Monthly Archives: August 2009

How I’m Learning SEO in 2 weeks

Ahh, back to blogging.  This summer I’ve had the good fortune to witness a lot of progress on Moonshoot, and to help other startups in the Bay Area, as a mentor at the Founder Institute.  It’s been a lot of fun.

One project I’ve been helping out with is nearing launch, and because this team is planning very little spend on marketing, it occurred to us that SEO was probably something to focus on a bit.  I drew the straw to help out with that. 

So, what do I know about SEO?  Zero, zip, nada.  I’ve heard it a bunch of times, and I think I watch seemingly intelligent folks nod their heads knowingly when they hear these letters.  The consistent style of nodding that I see generally conveys to me that they have no idea what SEO means either.  Or if they have read an article or two about it, then they have no idea what how to really do it. 

I figured I had learning to do, a good thing as SEO seemed like such a hot area.  Good to get new skills, sharpen the saw.  So off I went to the my trusty browser and search engine of choice.

As I’ve begun digging in on SEO, I’ve gotten myself up the learning curve I think pretty quickly.  The stuff seems pretty logical, not really so hard.  Certainly not worth what I read SEO consultants are charging people for it.  . 

Although there are a lot of how-to’s, 10-steps to better SEO, 15 minutes to foo and bar, blah blah blah, I didn’t see many first person accounts of going through the process of learning how to do this, trying things out and reporting on results. 

In an effort to fill that gap, I’m putting together a series of blog postings aiming at doing just that.  This series of SEO is meant to be an update, real-time, on what I’m doing to optimize search engine results for this project. 

For anyone who follows or finds this who knows more about this SEO thing than me, feel free to contact me or add comments.  If you find this useful or not useless, kindly let me know.  Thanks! 

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WSJ on airline Wifi prices

Interesting article in the WSJ today on wifi pricing, usage and trends for airlines that have wifi enabled. What I find interesting is going to be watching how this market develops.  I’ve only used wifi on a plane once, on a long overseas flight–it was terrific, even at $14.95. These days, I”d probably not pay more than $10 for a cross-country flight though, and this would definitely require a power adapter in the seat.

Points  in the article that grabbed my eye:

  • Virgin America is getting 12-15% conversion, on a high proportion of cross-country flights and its hubs of tech-centric places like SF, Seattle, and NY.
  • Airlines need about 8-10% paid usage (presumably at their mini-bar like prices) for 5 year profitability.
  • Users appear quite elastic, as one exec is quoted as saying ‘even when we charge $1, and we did try $1, we see a drop off in people willing to pay.’  (This surprises me, as I’d expect you’d have a lot of business users who can expense this signing up.)

I think it will be interesting to watch how pricing — subscriptions, ad-based, per per minute, etc.–evolves in this market. Also, will it be free?  My guess is that over time this just gets bundled into the ticket prices, but we’ll see.

Very cool scenario, of course, but it will be fascinating to see where this market ends up.

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