« November 2006 | Main | January 2007 »

Update on the WorkHappy One Month Challenge

December 29, 2006

Short version:
In spite of assurances from Microsoft (before I posted) that this deal wouldn't expire before Jan 15, the deal for $200 is now expired (even though this page doesn't say so yet). However, this deal is still working as of today (12/29) and gets you $100 in clicks so you can still get some love.

Long version:

I make my living with Microsoft technology and I've defended them for years. (Bashing them is so cliche.) However -- the last 2-3 years have stripped away any ability I have to defend them. My (and other's) experience trying to take advantage of this deal typifies why they frustrate so many people.

  • The offer is only available to Windows users. Huh? It's a completely web-based product! Absurd.
  • It's only available in the U.S. - I forgive this, sorta. There are probably legal and monetary machinations behind the scenes that make this hard. Whatever.
  • My signup experience was a complete fiasco.Told here, in 5 steps of frustration:
  1. During signup they ask for a secret question. I chose my Father's middle name. Which happens to be 4 characters long. The page returned an error telling me that my answer had to be at least 5 characters long. Uh...
    So I changed my question to a different one and after entering the answer, they had forgotten the password I typed earlier, and it returned an error telling me to enter a password. Twice of course. What a great start.
  2. When I got to the billing page, I was greeted with these lengthy terms and conditions to read and approve.

    I can honestly say I read very word.
  3. I entered the $200 promo code, copied and pasted right off the live page I linked to earlier and got this informative response.
  4. Thinking perhaps it was just a hiccup, I tried again and got this response.
  5. Finally I gave up - thinking it must be that I'm using FireFox, so I switched to IE, loaded up the promo page, copied the code, clicked the link - and up came this page.
    Cute (if only it were 1 or 3 on that list).

So I gave up and called them and after 5 min on hold they returned and told me that code could only be redeemed a limited number of times, and that the limit had been met. Which is exactly what I was afraid would happen if I linked to it, and it's why I asked them about it ahead of time. And of course they assured me it would stay available (no mention of the limited quantity).

So I did a little adCenter searching on Google and found the $100 promo I linked to above. I was able to successfully use that code, so best of luck to you (you might want to hurry).

That said: the challenge is still on! If you aren't able to take advantage of the adCenter code, don't worry, you're still in the game -- this is about finally getting that whatzit business idea launched before 1/15. I'll be checking back mid-month to hear your launch stories.

Permalink | Comments (7)


December 20, 2006 in 4 out of 5 stars, A website, Free, Screencasting

What is it?

Tubetorial: A site featuring polished, well-done video/screencast tutorials.


Who makes it?

Brian Clark and Chris Pearson

Why is it the killerest?

Free videos with excellent instruction focused mostly on online ventures including online marketing, Adsense, blogging and various other money-making stuffs. They even have some beginner HTML tutorial bits.

Check out killer stuff like:

They also offer a handy RSS feed so you can keep up to date on the latest additions. Plus they're looking for suggestions and additional videocasting talent.

What could be improved?

Browsing the content felt a little clunky.

How much does it cost?

Free like fruitcake from Aunt Betty (only much tastier)


Reviewed by Carson McComas

Permalink | Comments (5)

The WorkHappy One Month Challenge

December 12, 2006

Here's the deal: Microsoft adCenter is MSN's answer to AdWords and works essentially the same way. It's Microsoft's pay per click offering. You bid on keywords, adCenter charges you when people click your ad.

Microsoft_adcenter It's new, and Microsoft is trying to promote it. So much in fact, that they're giving away $200 in free advertising.

So here's the challenge:

If you're anything like me, you've got plans for world domination brewing. But no one ever conquered the world by brewing. So the challenge is to get off your backside and get your latest venture launched before January 15th (that's when the free advertising offer ends). Maybe not completely, maybe not perfect, but out there. And you've got $200 of Microsoft's money to build your initial audience.

Here's how we'll do it:

Greenlight Decide now what you're going to launch. Hopefully it's that venture you promised yourself in January that you would finish this year. At the very least, get a promo page up (a sneak peek?) and start collecting email addresses of people to be notified when you launch the full dealio. If you need some accountability, post your name and commitment in the comments here and we'll follow up with you on the 15th. On January 15th I'll make another post where you'll be invited to share your story with everyone else.

Aside from the free traffic, this will serve as a nice all-expense paid hands-on education lab on pay-per-click advertising. Don't pass this up.

For those of you already launched - congratulations! You make us look bad. Make sure you goose your traffic with the free ad money and come back on the 15th to share your experience as well.

Every great journey starts with a first step - make this yours. Go! 

A few "just so we're all clear" notes:

- You have to spend $5 to get the $200. That's the signup fee paid to adCenter.

- If you continue to use adCenter after you burn through your $200 - it will cost you real live money.

- If you don't take advantage of the offer before Jan 15th 2007, it'll be gone. You've got one month.

- You have to use up your $200 in the first 90 days or the balance is gone. So for you wimps, you can sign up by the 15th to get the deal, and then procrastinate using the money for 89 days and try to blow it all in one glorious last day of opportunity (note: this won't work).

- Some reports indicate that adCenter will bring you less traffic that AdWords, but the price is right for a trial. It will vary wildly, I'm sure, depending on your niche.

- This will work for any sort of business, not just a web application. Anything you'll promote through a website is a great candidate.

- This is, unfortunately, only available in the U.S.

- I've emailed Microsoft about this and it's (a) legit (b) open for us to use and (c) not going to go anywhere (until it expires). That said: here's the promo in case it does: "Sign up today and get up to $200 of free ad clicks. Just use promo code DM-2-1106 before 1/15/07."

Permalink | Comments (17)