Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. He has also recently published his first science fiction book, Battl...eframe. Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. Due to demands on his time, Michael may be contacted by clicking here for limited consulting assignments. More

Saturday Musings - Lifestyle Change...

Is it time for a lifestyle change?

I’ve never been a believer in going on diets to lose weight…..in fact, I think there a load of rubbish. You only have to ask the simple question, “What happens when you go off the diet?” to realise the yoyo mentality of on/off what we put in our mouths is pretty stupid. What I am a BIG believer of is “Lifestyle Change”.

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A positive lifestyle change is making a decision to permanently alter the way you behave for the betterment of who you are. For instance, a number of years ago my wife and I decided to cut a lot of meat out of our diets and had plant-based meals for about eighty-percent of the time. A few things happened….

The first thing we discovered is some absolutely yummy vegetarian dishes…..and also some shocking ones! Vege-dudes, please don’t try and mimic meat…..you fail! Just be happy with eating really good plant meals and leave the carnivores to themselves. Just of the record, I still like the taste of meat, so I haven’t become a veggie fanatic.

If you’re going to do a lifestyle change in the area of food, then you have to like what you’re eating or you’re going to become miserable and the change won't stick. We tried a heap of different recipes and found a bunch that were awesome. We eat these and forget the terrible ones.

The second thing that happened was my regular blood tests (at fifty I started getting these) caused my doctor to ask me what I’m doing differently. All the various indicators were incredibly positive and I was feeling great!

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Part 2 – Traffic Test – Focusing on Performance

What determines good performance?

This is the second in the series on running a traffic test. The first may be viewed by clicking on the link below:

Part 1 – Traffic Test – Baseline Data

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One of the challenges of running a traffic test is to determine which metrics should be used for comparison purposes. I’ve had so many people tell me that all that matters is revenue…..I beg to disagree.

Although revenue is a very important metric it is not the only metric that should be paid attention to. For example, let’s imagine the baseline data for an education related domain is from May and the traffic test started mid-June.

Many education advertisers wind down during June and therefore the pay-out rates per click will typically be less for this type of traffic. In addition, depending upon the type of education domain the traffic is likely to be less as well.

What we need to do is to interpret what the data is telling us and not just look at it and say, “The revenue is down, I’m pulling the test.”

One of the challenges in running a traffic test is using views as a comparison metric. Because every provider counts views differently then using this metric can end up becoming quite subjective....that being said, sometimes it's all that is provided in the baseline data so it's better than nothing.

Many years ago, I was sitting in a meeting with a person that controlled a very large domain portfolio. They were running a traffic test with us and we were taking them through our typical analysis and discussing what was happening at the individual domain level. This surprised the prospective client as they said they’d never done that before.

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Saturday Musings – When Life Gets Too Much

Choosing what's important...

Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed by the number of things on your todo list or find yourself fighting battles on numerous fronts at once only to discover someone’s planted a knife in your back? If that’s you then keep on reading…..

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Thankfully I didn’t have to pluck a metaphorical knife from my back but my todo list was ever expanding. I’m no stranger to working hard so naturally I convinced myself that working longer and more intensely was the solution…..boy was I wrong.

The interesting thing about my situation was that I was juggling way too many business opportunities, all the while ParkLogic was having one record month after another. So, I found myself working fifteen-hour days with a maximum of six hours sleep before hitting my desk once again. You can do this in the short-term but it wasn’t long before it started becoming the longer-term….which is never a good thing.

What did I do about the situation? I went away. Yep, I took off for a couple of nights into a beautiful spot in the country to do some heavy thinking. To be fair, my wife said, “You’re miserable, go and get your head right!”

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Wolftalker
16 June 2019
mgilmour
And it was and is a work in progress....
17 June 2019
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Saturday Musings - The Most Destructive Force in the Universe

The destructive power of gossip.

In this blog I would like to share with you about a force more impactful than a trade war and more destructive than an atomic bomb. Each of these incredibly powerful events are nothing compared to the power that can be unleashed by gossip. Yes, you read that correctly, gossip.

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With the power of an ill-spoken word a friendship can be destroyed, a marriage torn asunder and children estranged. I’ve seen it and I imagine you've seen or even experienced it. In particular, the power unleashed by gossip can undermine an organisation and ruin the synergies of teamwork in a flash.

Gossip is when something is shared in a negative manner and the listener has no ability to influence the situation. It seems pretty innocuous, but it doesn’t take long for the negativity to develop a life of its own.

I can guarantee that the person being shared about will eventually hear about what is being said about them. Could you imagine being them? None of the people they thought were friends and colleagues had their back and stopped the spreading of the vicious hurtful rumour. They end up feeling hurt, disenfranchised and no longer part of the team.

Gossip is so insidious that often starts small and grows and grows! For instance, did you hear that John had a fight with his wife, took off down the pub to drown his sorrows and ended up being found by the police sleeping on a park bench the next morning.

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Saturday Musings - Winter is Coming...

Winter is Coming....

Winter has come to Melbourne, Australia and not just Game of Thrones, Westeros. Outside my study window, blustery winds pelt pebble sized hail down to create a white sheet of rubbly ice on the grass. Inadvertently I pull the zip of my sweater up a little higher as if that alone will ward off the cold.

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This scenario is replayed out around the world but not just in the weather but in business. You’ve been working hard on your business for years and for some reason along comes an event that completely blindsides you. It could be a supplier changes the rules, a major customer moves elsewhere or even a piece of equipment breaks down. Whatever the event you find yourself thrust into winter.

It’s during times like this that businesses either remake themselves or they fold. During winter, it’s often less about profit (or loss) and more about the resilience of the balance sheet to make it through this time. For small businesses, it’s all about protecting the cash.

Winter is a time of assessing what is really important for your business and what is merely an interesting opportunity. Every expense item should come under scrutiny and it’s less about the size of the item and more about the process of asking the nasty question, “Do we really need this?”

I remember when the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) hit in 2008, marketers had their budgets cut and the bottom started falling out of the pay-per-click market. The double whammy for us was the Australian dollar rapidly appreciated against the $US and climbed to just over $1.10. It was a time of winter and one that very few predicted.

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