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It's Budget Monday with a Gmail Surprise  

:: Monday, February 13, 2006 ::

Why pay full price when you can find a bargain? If you need to buy up some domains, Dotster.com is offering a one hour special on Tuesday, February 14th between 4pm and 5pm EST (New York Time). For that time only, domains are on sale for $1 US funds. There's a limit of one per order, but more than one order is allowed.

The new print publication announced earlier in this blog, Search Marketing Standard is offering a limited time 15% off discount on advertising.

Publisher, Boris Mordkovich, writes:
"During this week only, we will offer an extra 15% off our standard advertising rates listed on our media kit (PDF). The promotion is only valid until Friday and available exclusively to our readers."

He goes on to say that the reach is "15,000+ quality prospects through the first and only publication dedicated to covering search marketing industry". When I asked the Cre8asiteforums Community, Would you subscribe or read a print SEO pub?, the overall response was positive. Subscriptions are free in the USA only, due to mailing costs, unfortunately.

Gmail Tweaks

Google has made two surprise changes to their Gmail service. The first is the new box in the left column that offers "Quick Contacts". A simple click on someone's name opens up a new email form.

The second one is going to be annoying. It's connected to their new Chat system. Now, when I get incoming email and mouseover the Sender Name, a little box pops up asking if I want to chat with them. I'll have to find a way to turn that off because I get copies of posts to Cre8asiteforums plus all the admin related emails from "Admin". It's not like I want to be chatting with myself several hundred times a day.

Speaking of Crazy

It's taking me while to "come down" from my recent trip to Las Vegas and much of it has to do with the Blue Man Group. It's true what they say. It's hard to describe their show, and yet when it was over, I wanted to get tickets for the next night to see it again.

The Blue Man Group are those three quirky, lovable bald blue paint headed guys you might have seen on the Grammy Awards show or in IBM TV commericals. They never say a word, and yet they speak volumes through their music, comedy and art.

My husband and I went to see them at the Venetian in Las Vegas, where the Blue Man Group has their own theater. Everything is black and you eventually learn why that is. When you go to use the bathroom, you'll listen to the "Bathroom song" playing over the speakers. You can stop at the bar and bring your drink into the theater. Before the show starts, the ushers start rolling out strips of white paper and in no time, the entire audience is dressed up with paper headbands and couples are wrapped together like mummies. There's no reason offered, but we soon learned the audience is part of the act and letting them play before the show starts is just a warm up.

Looking above to the ceiling of the theater, we knew these tube things were going to drop on us (they did, but not on us. Rather, over us and then they were made to spin.) The audience towards the front had to wear protective ponchos, because they would get wet with something sooner or later. Or, walked over by a Blue Man or two. (The Blue Men come out into the audience many times.)

Their music is tribal. They make their own instruments, or play existing instruments the "wrong" way. They paint, spit marshmellows, eat twinkies and make Cap n'Crunch cereal do things you never thought it could. If you love drums and percussion, you have to get to their show.

I loved it. They perform the entire time and there's always a message and humor. The Blue Men have a band that rocks. And yet no matter what I say about them, it will never be enough. These guys have to be experienced. In fact, as soon as the show ended, my husband and I walked directly to their store in the theater and bought their show DVD and music video. Their music is on the computer network and can be accessed by any computer in our house. Getting this done was more important than eating.

Elvis Is Everywhere

While out there, fifteen of us attended my sister-in-law's wedding. This is why we went to Las Vegas. They were married in the same chapel that Britney Spears supposedly married in. We watched as Elvis married them, a hula dancer danced on the stage behind him, and Elvis sang love songs to the newly married couple. We laughed and danced and kept remarking at how "Weird this is."

I'm not a gambler but it was fascinating to see the zombie-like stares of folks, many of them retirees, plopped in front of machines and just waiting for a miracle. Las Vegas is not a smoke-free environment, and in some places, breathing was a luxury. We spent most of our time outside in the 70 degree weather. One afternoon we spent with dolphins and lions, away from the crowds, at the Mirage Hotel and Casino (their Buffet is amazing.) Eric and I spent more time at the Mirage than the Imperial Palace, where all of us were staying. Rumor has it Harrah's bought the Imperial, but nobody seemed to know what would become of it.

Las Vegas over the Super Bowl weekend was unlike any place I've ever been. I was told it was different because of the football fans. The energy actually pulled me down. But on Thursday, before the huge injection of macho men landed in town, I caught a glimpse of what they tell me Las Vegas can be - one gigantic adult amusement part filled with happy people.

:: posted by Kim Krause Berg on 2/13/2006 01:07:00 PM

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