Affiliate West Summit Contest from Shoemoney

Dear Staff of Shoemoney (SOSs), Shoemoney, and fellow Affiliate Americans –

Honestly you probably will not  and probably should not  choose me for the Shoemoney Affiliate Summit West Contest.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a pretty good guy, fun to hang out with, and fairly well informed.   Heck, I might even have a few tricks of the trade you haven’t heard about, although I’ve always been impressed with Shoemoney’s well informed, no-nonsense, experimental approaches to internet marketing, particularly his very clever experiments with Facebook advertising a few years back that were very cleverly written up in a powerpoint for, I think, an Affiliate Summit conference.

I also appreciate how Shoemoney and other world class search marketing fellows like Aaron WallDave Naylor, and Todd Malicoat will share a lot of valuable insight and information both at conferences and online, even to those who don’t buy their stuff.    These are smart and clever guys and prospective internet marketing folks should listen to what they have to say, though they should also be aware that “hype” is very much a part of that business and very few people are able to make a good online living regardless of their approaches.   Most of the folks who do have been around a long, long time and benefit from old websites with high authority and the free Google traffic this provides to them.   Before you spend much money on advice you should read the free stuff, especially the single best source for search optimization and search penalties – Matt Cutts blog.   Matt is a great guy and is Google’s spam cop.   You  cross his search optimizing advice at your own peril.  Believe me, I know this from a lot of experience with many sites  over many years.

So even though I’m well aware of Shoe’s great personal success I’m generally skeptical that his good advice will transfers well to the degree others need to make enough money online to drop the day job.    You’ll be hard pressed to convince me otherwise which is probably the main reason I should NOT win this contest – however it shakes out I’ll blog the results honestly.

Another reason is that I’m already scheduled to fly to Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show – CES 2012 – on the 9th.   I’ll be reporting that conference for my tech blog ” Technology Report ” as I have been for several years.  Of course since I’ve never been to an Affiliate Summit I would change my flight to a bit earlier to hang with the Shoemoney Man.   I have a lot of questions for him about my modestly successful internet projects and some upcoming ones and how affilations (vs Google Adsense) might help improve our bottom line.

Another reason I’m a bad choice is that I’m already doing pretty well with my online ventures.  Nothing amazing yet, but we do OK with a US History website, US Travel site, and a really neat new Retirement planning project I’m finishing up right now.    As much as I’d like more advice from Shoe and his clever staff, it might be better used on somebody who is just starting out.

Oh, there is ONE reason you SHOULD choose me for the contest.  If I win I will consider Shoemoney’s expert advice enough reward for me and I will donate *all* the proceeds to my favorite charity “Room to Read“.  They build libraries and schools in poor countries and are simply an awesome way for those of us lucky enough to live here to give back a little and help make the world a better and safer place.

This donation will include any blackjack winnings.   All I’d ask from Shoe and the great Shoemoney gang would be to help me promote Room to Read however he sees fit.

So, there you have it!    Good luck to everybody with the Affiliate Summit Shoemoney contest and, win or lose, I hope to see you in Vegas baby!

Joe Duck / Joe Hunkins

CES 2011 Party List … Begins!




CES Party List for Technology Report’s
***   CES 2011 Coverage ***

IMPORTANT:   Almost all the parties at CES are “Invitation Only” and the procedure varies from party to party.    Bloggers and Press folks can often score invitations by contacting the party sponsors, but don’t just show up and expect to get in.

Some of the best parties are announced at the last minute or somewhat secretly to those attending press conferences or other sponsor events.    Those probably won’t make it to any of the party lists.

CES Parties on Tuesday Jan 4th

5 – 8pm CES Unveiled at the Venetian Ballroom

7 – 10 pm Start-Up Debut at the House of Blues Foundation Room, Mandalay Bay Casino.   For Registered Media

CES Parties on Wednesday January 5

7 – 10pm Pepcom Digital Experience! Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas

7:30pm  Audi at the Palms  Ghost Bar

7:30  – 11 p.m GigaByte Room Marco Polo 707, Venetian Hotel

CES Parties on Thursday January 6

6 – 8pm   NPD Reception – Bellagio (Client Invitation Only)

6 – 10pm  Showstoppers – Wynn, Lafitte Ballroom (Invite only)

7 – 9pm   Wired Party

7 – 10pm:   Mashable Awards – New York, New York Hotel and Cirque du Soleil Zumanity
(Open to all, tickets $32 and up)

Friday January 7, 2011

4 – 7pm   Official 2011 CES Tweet Up.  Las Vegas Hilton  Space Quest Lounge

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM:  FashionWare Show/KAPi Awards – Fashion Show Mall (Invite Only)

5:30 – 8:30 pm It Won’t Stay in Vegas Blogger Party – Atomic Museum, 755 E. Flamingo.

6:30  – 9:30 pm NetShelter CES Mixer – LAVO Nightclub at The Palazzo.
Register here

CES Parties on Saturday, January 8

5 p.m – midnight Xtremesystems Party – Pole Position Raceway, 4175 S. Arville Road.

Sources for this list include Party Sponsor Contacts + Karen Thomas PR Party List.   BE SURE to confirm your invitations as many parties won’t allow people to “drop in” without an invitation.  Yep, that includes you!

Hardbat Classic Las Vegas – Please Bring it Back Budweiser!

Hardbat Classic Las Vegas – Eric Owens and Wally Green

Originally uploaded by JoeDuck

As a table tennis enthusiast I’m hoping Bud Light brings back the Big Money Hard Bat Classic Hard Bat Table Tennis Tournament they had last year across the country, with a great finale tournament in Las Vegas and then shown on ESPN.

As a marketing guy I’m sensitive to the fact this may not have had the return on investment Bud had hoped for – probably because the early promotion was too spotty. Bud may not even have realized that offering 100,000 in first prize money *alone* would bring a huge number of excellent players into the mix even as they did realize that the severe handicapping and restricted paddles would pretty much guarantee that the winner would NOT be a great player, just a “good” one. [with apologies to Jack Baker, a tennis guy with a very good game who won the tournament because he was spotted up to 17 points in matches against better players].

I think the handicapping is a great idea, though I’d recommend Bud have *two* tournaments next time – one with handicaps and one with regular paddles and rules. “Real” Table Tennis is an amazing sport, and I think part of the reason the Hardbat Classic seemed to fail to attract as much attention as it should have was that the event worked hard to perpetuate the notion that it’s a “goofy” sport. I’m not too sensitive about this (and surprisingly even many of the greats in Table Tennis are very modest about their remarkable ability) , but the two-track approach would work better where you showcased “basement style” hardbat along with the blazing spin and speed of quality sponge rubber play. The $120,000 in prize money was chump change to Bud even as it was *by far* the largest prize in US Table Tennis history and one of the largest purses in the world for this low-money sport.

Summary for Bud Light’s Marketing Benefit:

* Hold another Hardbat Classic

* Begin promotions *now* via bars and Bud regional distributors, making sure their participation matched the size and scope of the venue. Last year I think many regionals opted out due to expense, so the Vegas event was “bigger” than the collective national events. Keep Vegas the same (it was great), but make sure the national scope is much bigger than last year, even if that takes more time to promote. If necessary cut costs by halving the Las Vegas convention venue and limiting the number of “free trips” – or perhaps initiate a modest “buy in” for participants. It’s cheap to get to Las Vegas and often cheap to stay there, so the impact of this does not require a large number of free trips for players. More prize money would probably have a higher ROI than free trips. Venue could have been half that size – I never saw all the tables in action and games could have been started and run much earlier.

* Change the online marketing to be a viral, social media rather than the centralized, very weak website with limited information as before.

* Enlist the help of the many Table Tennis clubs throughout the USA, perhaps with modest stipends to help promote / run the bar tournaments. Few players in California and Oregon (areas I know pretty well) knew about this tournament, and very few bars seemed very enthusiastic about an event that – if properly promoted – would bring them some business.

* HAVE TWO tournament tracks – Hardbat Classic’s “Ping Pong” and an open division with regular paddles and players from all over the world. Bud’s big in China now, so use this as a way to promote the brand there. Even a modest first prize of 25,000 in the elite division will bring players from all over the world and provide much better chance to bring in a lot more spectator / players who are going to be interested in seeing world class play.

CES 2010 in Las Vegas

I’m off to Las Vegas for CES 2010 so most of the posts will be over at  Technology Report.    The press events begin Tuesday so I’ll have Monday to play some Table Tennis at the excellent Las Vegas Table Tennis Club.    I understand they actually have two clubs there but I’ve only played at the one on Industrial about a mile from the Trump Tower.    Monday is a local tournament night so it’ll be a lot of good play for sure.

CES kicks into gear on Tuesday with the big press event “CES Unveiled”.     I think there’s a tendency now to release news early and avoid the tsunami of stories and press that come out from the show starting about Tuesday and lasting through the following week.    The big attention from mainstream media will come on Thursday – Saturday as the full conference kicks into gear, and I’m guessing this will create even more buzz than usual as everybody is looking to see how the tech sector weathered the economic storms and how it plans to move ahead.

I’m especially looking forward to our backstage Cirque du Soleil Tech tour at the KA theeater at the MGM grand on Wednesday, and then watching the show from the Tech box on Thursday with some other bloggers.     Cirque was fantastic getting this tour set up where we’ll see the inner workings of the show from several technology angles.

So join me at CES 2010 over at Technology Report!

Trevor R vs Elie Z in All Star Final at Hardbat Classic

The All Star final of the Bud Light Hardbat Classic determined who among 8 high level invited players would compete against winners in the Rated Players, Basement Players, and Bar Player divisions.   This was probably one of the most exciting matches of the whole tournament because the playing level was high, Elie’s 6 point handicap against Trevor matched them up just right, and the crowd was really excited.   This match will be featured along with the tournament on ESPN in September:

Anna Kournikova Fight at Hardbat Classic Las Vegas. Venetian Lavo Nightclub

Anna Kournikova looks on as Killerspin’s Biba Golic hits with the Harbat Classic’s celebrity host Judah Friedlander.    Judah’s a good player, Biba is a brilliant player, Anna’s pretty but …. not so much Table Tennis I think – Anna K refused to even hit the ball!

Biba Golic Anna KournikovaSo, the greastest prize in US Table Tennis history of $100,000  is awarded to bar player Jack Baker of Mobile Alabama and the only big Hardbat news is the fight at Lavo Nightclub between a drunk woman and Anna Kournikova.  Kournikova was a featured celebrity at the tournament though she does not appear to be much of a Table Tennis player.  I never even saw her hit a ball.

Here Anna Kournikova is pictured watching while Biba Golic (a spectacular player, originally from Serbia) plays with Judah Friedlander.

Adding to the misfortune is that my wife and were right near the action at the Venetian when we chose not to go to the Lavo party after we’d had a lot to eat at the  (very excellent) Palazzo Sportsbook party by Budweiser.   Both were held on the second day of the tournament.

We might even have been able to say “hey, were were there during Anna Kournikova’s lowlife highball ping pong fracas.

Celebrity watcher Perez Hilton reports below on the fight at the Hardbat Classic in Las Vegas between Anna Kournikova and another woman at the Lavo Nightclub afterparty.

Could the offender have been angry because Anna Anna didn’t play any Table Tennis during the tournament?   Not even with her beauty and style rival the charming Biba Golic, a top Table Tennis player who unfortunately did not compete in the All Star division of the tournament, but who will be featured in the ESPN coverage coming in September.

Perez Hilton:

Former tennis pro Anna Kournikova ended up with cuts on her neck after getting into a Sin City shoving match on Saturday night.

At the HardBat Classic party inside Lavo Nightclub, another woman at the club threw a drink on her and all hell broke loose!

According to an onlooker, the Enrique Iglesias‘ girlfriend/possible wife and her assistant were sitting at a VIP table when the other woman bumped them. They shoved each other but were separated.

Then, the mystery woman returned later for more trouble!

“The woman came back over and threw a drink on Anna and her assistant,” said the source. “The woman was definitely drunk.”

Anna wanted to have the women kicked out, but it escalated quickly to where the pair were pushing and shoving each other!


The woman grabbed Kournikova by the neck and pushed her into a wall right before security broke them apart!!!

Anna did not need treatment but was extremely shaken up.

Violence is never the answer!

Bud Light Hardbat Classic at The Venetian in Las Vegas

The Hardbat Classic Table Tennis Ping Pong rumors are not only true, they are truly Table Tennis and it’s going to be Vegas, baby!

I’ll be competing in the Bud Light Hardbat Classic which starts this Friday at the spectacular Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.   Top prize is … wait for it …  $100,000.00   That’s  enough money to pay the interest on our blossoming national debt for … well…. a couple of seconds.   But never mind that….

I’ll try to keep up with some real time reporting via Twitter or here at the blog, though this may depend on data access at the venue and my own good or bad luck in the tournament.

There will be about a thousand players of all skill levels competing – many after winning their regional bar tournaments held around the USA over the past several months.   Even though I won our local tournament it wasn’t a qualifier for the big one, so I’m making my own way there after they opened it up to everybody.

There are also brackets for a special group of “stars” chosen by the Hardbat Tournament, another for walk in players, and one for “pros” who have a rating or have played in USTTA tournaments over the years.     Although I haven’t played in tournaments recently I was actually the USTTA National Table Tennis Champ in the “1300” rating category  in 1992   (ratings in Table Tennis are kind of like handicapping in golf).

The Bud Tournament is “over handicapped” , meaning that the very best players will have to spot a lot of points to lower ranked players – as many as 17 out of 21.    My take on this tournament  is that it will tend to favor  unrated players who are very experienced with the “pips out” type of rubber required at the Hardbat Classic.

Hardbat Classic Official Website

The Venetian Hotel

Follow the Tournament on Twitter

Follow the Killerspin Team on Twitter

Blogs are talking about the HardBat Classic in Las Vegas at the Venetian:

Spin Mantra

Tournament Guide Magazine

Leased Ferrari

License Magazine

Web Hosting Talk

Table Tennis Top

Las Vegas 1

Digital Hollywood at CES

I thought I’d repost part of this note from the Digital Hollywood folks at CES 2009.   They run several of the sessions that deal with the convergence of the online world with TV, Film, and more.

For me one of the most powerful technology themes is the fact that TV remains the big kahuna of advertising even as awareness grows that online advertising is far more effective – at least in its common pay per click form.    It remains to be seen if video clip advertising, such as what Google is experimenting with at YouTube, will ever take off as a major revenue source for publishers.    It certainly has been underwhelming so far, I think in part simply because it is performing as poorly as almost  *all forms of offline advertising*.    The difference is that online metrics allow us to monitor performance in ways we have not been able to do before, and perhaps more importantly the online metrics help disconnect the analyst from the marketeer.

In travel it is very commonplace for the same group running the ads to do the analysis of their effectiveness.   This is a preposterous state of affairs, yet it persists.    There are now some sneaky variations on the theme which include specialized “travel marketing” agencies that appear to have methods that inflate effectiveness.    Why?    This prevents them from biting the hands that feed their research.

—————— DIGITAL HOLLYWOOD CES 2009 —————————

The agendaand call for speakers – for the CES conferences- January 7-10, 2009 in Las Vegas – Reinventing Advertising, Mobile Entertainment, Game Power & Digital Hollywood at CES, Las Vegas Convention Center, see
is now posted.

Speakers are being booked now. Your submissions are welcome.

We are proud to be organizing the most significant conferences at the most significant and largest trade show in America. CES has over 140,000 attendees, over 4500 press, over 1000 financial analysts and over 2700 exhibitors.

We are organizing four tracks at CES:
Digital Hollywood Events at CES
Session Keys:
– Reinventing Advertising
Mobile Entertainment
Game Power
Digital Hollywood