Facebook Closed The Doors on Page Usernames

July 20th, 2009

So the landgrab came and went, you got your facebook username – didn’t you?

Most did, others didn’t.

I got mine - which is just my name. For some disgusting reason that I’ll never understand, others didn’t choose their names. Instead they grabbed buzzwords, keywords, trademarks and even other peoples names.

One instance of the stupidity that some people went to was for one user to set their username to “default.aspx”.

Yeah, yeah, I get the joke. Ha ha. Its the default page of a .NET web application. Of course only programmers and technology folks are going to get this – so if you hang around with anyone outside of this industry they are going to look at you funny.

It has been said that some people have grabbed the valuable keywords in order to sell the account later – but most people have actually built up a personal account already and then done set their username. What this means is that whomever purchases the account will then have 210 random friends, a tonne of useless and unrelated notes and updates along with numerous pictures of the previous owner on nights out on the tiles.

Effectively you have a mess. Which devalues the keywords dramatically and hence makes buying the account a non-starter.

For those that are not going to sell their accounts – they just thought it would be cool to set their username to something random like “musicnews” when they seem to exhibit no musical interest at all. On top of that, their privacy settings are set to only show the account to friends.

This makes me frown a lot.

The only reason to set your username to musicnews should be for SEO reasons. The keywords are valuable if your contents are musically inclined.

I’m sure, down the line, a lot of people will abandon their accounts and create new ones with their actual name as their username, so that they’d get:


The fad will fade, they’ll realise that their username is stupid and jump ship. Since Facebook doesn’t allow you to change your username after you set it, they are effectively forcing these people into creating another account. Maybe this makes their stats look good, but it costs them money to store the extra data – so they are getting bitten for no gain.

This in turn leaves valuable usernames dormant. They could have been put to better use on user pages – which are usually places that would actually warrant the keyword attention.

Take MusicReviewZone.com‘s Facebook page, here, as an example:


I wanted to make this pages username :


… as the keyword value passed through to the domain would re-enforce that my site provides music news. Hence – great SEO. Instead, someone called Roberta Ferguson from Cleveland, with her locked down account has the username. Brilliant value.

When the username landgrab became available in April, pages with less than 1000 fans were excluded. Facebook stated at the time that these pages would be able to set their usernames after June 28th. That date has come and gone yet Facebook is still exluding them from setting their usernames.

So what gives?

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Categories: My Sites, SEO

How To Scare Away Opportunities

January 28th, 2009
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I’ve had a few opportunites drop by my email box in regards to MusicReviewZone.com. Some fall into the category of providing content for backlinks to being sent music CDs for review, or advertising related.

Each time someone from another company has approached me I’ve tried to weigh up the offer and decide how best to proceed based on my site’s progression and growth, not just to grab the offer because – well … hell – it’s an offer!

I find it incredibly important to put due dilligence into offers. Are they right for my site? Will it help the site grow? What does the company making the offer want to achieve? Any ramifications?

I recently had an offer from a leading UK tabloid newspaper. They wanted to send me their breaking news stories so that I could publish them on my site. They wanted full disclosure of the articles origin through backlinks. So – for every article of theirs that I posted on my site, I would say "written by <link to newspapers website here>".

It was clear that they wanted to broaden their readership in other countries as well as improve their SEO by deeplinking.

I thought the idea would be great for my site as well as theirs. I only had a couple of questions:

  1. If, for any reason, the arrangement is terminated – can you give any assurances that your company will not seek to have all previously published articles removed from my site?
  2. Is this a short-term or long term offer?

The reasoning behind these questions should be pretty clear. I didn’t want to post all of their articles and build my site only to have it decimated when they demanded that I remove all of their content. That would make my site look pretty bad, right?

The reason for the second question was to guage whether or not I would be upping my daily post count on a short or long term basis. Ideally I wanted a long term offer. A short term offer would only help my site – short term – and after the offer expired, I’d be dropping back down to the 3 posts that I have published each day.

When I asked these questions – I was attempting to solidify the offer with proper details. I have yet to hear back from the company. That was over a week ago.

In a vain attempt to rescue the deal, I emailed my contact again a few days ago – but still – nothing.

I am now not sure what their mindset is – you know – why they have seemingly bailed. When I mentioned assurances about the previously published posts – did they freak and think "LEGAL"? When I asked them if it was a long-term offer did they think I was second guessing them?

So – I am left wondering if my protectionism scared them away. In protecting my own assets have I come across as being more business and less blogger?

What do you think?

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Categories: Experience, MusicReviewZone.com, My Sites

Currently Working On…

August 28th, 2008
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A new template for MusicReviewZone.com.

I feel that the current template is to …. Bloggy. For the site to gain a reputation for being news worthy I need it to look a little less amateur and a lot more “professional news service”.

At least – that is what I am aiming for.

So the layout is going to be completely different. Over the weeks I also want to add a lot of functionality to the site. I really wish BuddyPress was available in something resembling production quality as this would enable a lot of extra functionality very fast – but alas – it isn’t.

I am not sure if I’ll release the new template until I am ready to rock with a Google Adwords campaign and have some paid content writers on board.

If you would like to be paid to write album reviews or to provide your own slant on the current (latest/breaking) news stories then give me a shout using the “Contact Us” link above or clicking here.

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Categories: Google, MusicReviewZone.com, My Sites

Roundup: Top 5 Music Review Zone News from June

July 8th, 2008

Here are the top 5 news stories to be featured on Music Review Zone this in June.

  1. The Verve End Glastonbury On A High
  2. Amy Winehouse Hits Out At Glastonbury
  3. Do you believe in Ghosts? Chris Martin Does!
  4. Radiohead Hugs iTunes
  5. Courtney Love: Someone Has Stolen Kurt Cobain’s Ashes

Now, you maybe wandering where the top 5 news articles for May post is? No? Well – the reason I didn’t post one was because May was a very slow month on the site front.

I got married and a lot of planning was needed – so my time was heavily diverted away from my sites.

This set back any marketing of the site as well – so June was a claw back month.

I have been taking part in an Entrecard drive to get all members actively joining Digg. That sounds strange – I know but I currently have over 200 friends on Digg under my musicreviewzone account. Friend me if you are a Digg user.

The benefits of having so many friends on Digg can be quite obvious – but at the moment these benefits are not paying off. Entrecarders joined up – but don’t really bother digging anything. People will not Digg your stories unless you Digg theirs – which makes the whole thing a waste of time.

The amount of ‘shouts’ that people make are ridiculous and most want you to Digg boring stories. Which is why I am contemplating un-friending some people.


Categories: MusicReviewZone.com, My Sites

Top 5 MusicReviewZone.com Articles From April

May 12th, 2008
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Well, another month down and the continuation of Musc Review Zone continues.

The Music site has moved up to a PageRank of 3 in as many months. A fantastic rise considering that it is only into its fifth month. This is all due to marketing the site in all the right places – Technorati, Entrecard, Other Blogs, forums, digg, reddit etc.

Without further ado … Here are the top 5 articles from my Music News and Album Reviews website :

  1. Pete Doherty Is Homeless
  2. Guns N’ Roses: Chinese Democracy is ready
  3. Simon Cowell: American Idol is Boring
  4. Velvet Revolver Kick Weiland
  5. John Lennon Widow Feels Sorry For Heather Mills

As always, you should drop by and contribute. Comments help to create a community. At this stage I am looking for guest posters – so if you have a keen interest in Music (any and all tastes) – let me know via this form. Or this form.

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Categories: MusicReviewZone.com, My Sites

Top 5 MusicReviewZone.com Articles From March

April 8th, 2008

Every month from now on I am going to post the best articles from MusicReviewZone.com so that all the technology folks out there can take some time out from their relentless prototype, test, prototype lives and let some music into their brains.

The site is now 3 months old and got its first subscriber today! Yeh!

So here we have it – the Top 5 articles from MusicReviewZone.com for March :

  1. Gene Simmons Tells It Like It Is
  2. Winehouse’s Dad Plays Guilt Game
  3. Uh-Oh! Pete Doherty Is To Make An Anti-Drug Documentary…
  4. Hells Angels Couldn’t Kill Mick Jagger…
  5. Richie Sambora Arrested

Now this may seem like shameless plugging of an asset I own – and well – it is, but if I can’t support my own sites – then who else will?

MusicReviewZone.com is starting to have some Sitematch ads from Google being served – which is a good indication that the music market is a good one to get into. With the ongoing revolution in the industry at the moment, there will be an increasing need to advertise new albums, singles and downloadable material by bands needing to get a foothold and fan base away from the cosy arms of the record companies.

Most current music magazines and newpaper websites report the news. Straight – with no angles or personality. A more opinioned piece is what Music Review Zone offers.

Have you dropped by? What do you think?

Categories: MusicReviewZone.com, My Sites

MusicReviewZone.com – Something Fresh and New

March 17th, 2008
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MusicReviewZone.comI silently launched MusicReviewZone.com in January 2008 and have been nuturing it for the past few months. While working on the design of the site and a plugin for featured content, I pushed the site live with the default WordPress theme in order for the search engines to pick it up.

Not long past before people started dropping in. I was surprised. The traffic has been steadily increasing month on month and I have really started to begin marketing it. When I say marketing – I don’t mean with money. More so with time. Although the more time it takes to do this the more I appreciate the statement “Time is money”. Spending time on sites like technorati, digg, reddit, entrecard and stumbleupon to build a profile is quite exhausting and I am beginning to understand why people take shortcuts and cheat the system a little. Thats a whole other story.

I completed the template and plugin at the start of February and have many ideas to take the site forward. Creating news articles and album reviews is really the easy part of the site. It is also the most time consuming.

So the crossroads is met. Do I just continue creating content and wait for the community to grow or do I scale back some of the content creation to focus on the monetisation aspects of the site for when the traffic comes.

Ultimately I want to do the latter but I cannot afford for the sites content to suffer – which leaves me with only one option. Outsource the content creation. This is something I am not fond of. I don’t like the idea of having to pay someone for something that is so simple and even then – will they create content that is passionate and targeted?

If I had my way I’d give up my full time job to concentrate on this but payments for a roof over my head, my car and the urges I have to eat tend to prevent going from well paid to nothing.

What to do? What to do?

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Categories: MusicReviewZone.com, My Sites

"Thought leadership is how winners are differentiated in business."