How Has Blogging Changed Your Life?

March 30, 2011 marks the 4 year Anniversary of my blogging life with the creation of deansguide as the vehicle for publishing my messages and wrestling control away from the mass media stranglehold on information. Blogging has changed my life in many ways from providing a forum to prove my expertise to acting as common ground for my relationship with my girlfriend. It has opened up a world of knowledge and research, helped me network and connect with people throughout the world, and been the foundation for launching my writing and public speaking career. Yet with all of these wonderful developments there is still room for the fun, unusual, and bizarre occurrence .

Highlights and Lowlights on deansguide

  • Ed Okun:deansguide was the leading blog on 1031 Tax Group con artist Ed Okun and recognized as a repository and meeting place for victims of Okun to tell their story
  • US Attorney: deansguide was recognized by the US Attorney’s office in Richmond, VA as one of a handful of blogs allowed to publish information about the Ed Okun Ponzi scheme that bilked over $160 million from investors nationwide
  • Helping Victims:Elizabeth Callanan and 350 Okun “Train Wreck Victims” speak out on deansguide
  • Forbes: Mike Maello associate editor for Forbes.com contacted and consulted with me on the Okun story
  • Informant: I was contacted by “Mr. Miami” who was close to Okun’s wife and fed me breaking news information throughout Okun’s trial
  • Mob Ties: I received numerous phone threats by associates of Okun or his representatives to “stay quiet” about the investigation
  • Hell’s Angels: my first blog article was about the 50th Anniversary of the Oakland Hell’s Angels and the party planned for the occasion. I was contacted by a former Angel who approved of my writing and one man who claimed to be a member of the “81” who promised to make things “hard” if I didn’t watch what I published
  • 330,635 Views: the number of page views deansguide has garnered
  • 1,062: top traffic day on deansguide. Not huge but satisfying considering the blog’s many reiterations
  • Reuters, Nielsen, Fox Business, Computer Shopper, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune and other media sites have republished deansguide articles
  • 700 & 2,000: deansguide has published 698 posts and I have written over 2,000 blog articles since I began blogging

Conclusion

I have met Kings, Queens and paupers through my writing. I have been threatened, harassed, and bullied. I have been lauded as a savior and scoffed at as a quack. My subject matter has included the Hell’s Angels, Real Estate, Social Media tips, wine, Mob figures, networking, Silicon Valley, business self help, and hundreds of other subjects. Throughout my writing experience one thing comes to mind- advice from one of my dearest friends “Chili Eye” Charles Henderson: “just let the bullets fly, write like you stole it. Write with a run and gun style.” Without Charlie’s encouragement I would have never started this blog- thank you my friend rest in peace brother!

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The Growth of Social Media By Erik Qualman: Bring This To The Boardroom I Dare You!

“The Growth of Social Media” by Erik Qualman is the latest in his über compelling series of videos on the growth and proliferation of social media throughout the world. Qualman delivers again, with an eery Fatboy Slim track accompanying, an almost mystical quality that brings viewers to one conclusion: Everything we know is changing at light speed. Enjoy!

Facebook Fan Widgets & Blogs: Ignored Viral Marketing Opportunities

Viral marketing strategies on social networks are often overlooked. One such instance is the opportunity to become a fan of a prominent well read Facebook page for a company or prominent blogger. The key is to find out if the company or blogger has a Facebook fan widget box on their blog. Here is an example of this opportunity.

Become a Fan of a Prominent Facebook Page:

Many blogs with massive traffic (Mashable), have Facebook fan page widgets.  These Facebook widgets, sitting in a prime area of the blog,  display pictures of each new registered fan (or logo) as well as the link to that fan’s own blog or website.

New blog readers, who come to these blogs, can simply roll their cursor over a picture, within the Facebook widget, to find the name and link back to that person or company’s blog. This becomes a pathway to  content providing instant viral marketing possibilities.

Mashable.com: Viral Marketing Dreams Are Made

See the shot below of the Mashable Facebook widget:

Mashable Viral Join Communities

With over 60,000 Facebook fans and  an Alexa ranking of 483, Mashable.com is one of the most well read sites in the world according to the statistical sampling done by Alexa. Likewise, Dan Schawbel is one of the most prominent social media writers in the blogosphere today.

The Results

A SusanOur CEO Inner Architect’s Susan Hanshaw was displayed in the Facebook fan page widget on the Mashable page for Dan Schwabel’s article. This placement helped bring an additional 40 readers to our blog the day the article was posted.

We also found on the Mashable widget friend and associate Pat Kitano principle of Domus Consulting Group and former workshop attendee Ellen Richman.

Twitter Strategy: Eliminate Protected Tweets or Revise

Twitter etiquette and Twitter strategies do not always mix, go hand in hand, or remain inline with your purpose for utilizing Twitter. The best example of this dilemma is the locked Twitter account. The  message “This person has protected their tweets” is essentially a walled garden allowing only the people approved to follow a Twitter’s tweet stream and keeping everyone else out.

Protected Tweets

Protected Tweets: How Does That Make You Feel?

I have a number of people who follow me on Twitter who have locked their tweets. When I see this my initial reaction is to:

  • Ask if they will approve me as one of the “special few” in the club
  • DM them asking them personally to include me in “their” club
  • Block them so that they can not follow me to access my information–maybe it’s a content stealing competitor?
  • Ask my network if they request follow status from one of these locked accounts
  • Hammer them for their pretentious attitude
  • Remain very curious as to what I might be missing

Have You Been Approved?

I run the following Twitter accounts deansguide, innerarchitect, napavalleynews. I have people who follow us on all of these accounts who are protecting their tweets. With close to 5,000 microblog posts and tons of informative content, I have never been invited into the inner circle of a “protected account.” That is just wrong!

Protected Accounts Eliminate or Revise Format

The solution is simple. Only allow people with protected accounts to follow those who they approve. Do not allow them to share in my content with their walled garden account only to freeze me out. This is a simple sharing of information and sharing is the piece that makes Twitter so fantastic. Keep the walled gardens but eliminate their access to people they will never allow in to their domain

Okun Sentenced to 100 Years: Guilty on 23 Counts of Fraud

The final chapter is over for the prosecution portion of the Ed Okun 1031 Tax Group rip off. The victims continue to watch their restitution go down the drain but in a show of force Ed Okun, the architect of a $126 million ponzi scheme, was sentenced to 100 years in prison today. Okun’s lawyers were seeking a sentence of 10-15 years. Thankfully Okun’s attorneys had no power in making that sentence a reality.

The Richmond Dispatch Times article.

The article that started it all 1031 Advance Private Exchange Company Missing In Action In Silicon Valley.

Top deansguide Ed Okun articles from the archives:

https://deansguide.wordpress.com/2007/06/20/one-of-the-350-victims-of-ed-okuns-bankrupt-1031-exchange-empire-speaks-outthe-most-compelling-case-yet-for-action-to-be-taken/

https://deansguide.wordpress.com/2009/03/19/okun-juror-speaks-out-okun-guilty-could-face-400-years-deansguide-odyssey-ends/

https://deansguide.wordpress.com/2009/06/23/usa-vs-ed-okun-amended-preliminary-restitution-report/

https://deansguide.wordpress.com/2009/02/14/ed-okun-victim-cautions-landamerica-victims-challenges-government-admonishes-1031-exchange-industry/

https://deansguide.wordpress.com/2008/04/18/mystery-caller-claims-okun-broke-without-representation-gordon-gecko-a-cautionary-tale/

https://deansguide.wordpress.com/2007/06/29/ed-okun-promises-to-make-good-is-this-a-checks-in-the-mail-statement/

Thanks to Leanne Follis for her timely tip to the Okun verdict. Here is Leanne’s comment:

Dean,
Have you seen this?
http://www2.timesdispatch.com/rtd/news/local/article/OKUNGAT04_20090804-142201/283992/

Ed Okun.. sentenced to 100 years!!! Finally, some justice. Now we wait to see Lara Coleman and the
others to rec. their new sentences, what they pled to.

Check it out!!!

from: a former employee

USA vs. Ed Okun: Amended Preliminary Restitution Report

bank vault

The 1031 Taxgroup Ed Okun ponzi scheme rip off continues to baffle and frustrate those victims who have endured the worst experience of their financial lives. The continuing saga of restitution took a new turn with a newly amended government preliminary restitution report. If you are a victim of Ed Okun’s 1031 Tax Group fraud, this is a document you should read and familiarize.

Gearld McHale’s Trustee Tax Group Notice

The following is a link to a pdf file for the government’s amended preliminary report as to restitution made available on www.trustee1031taxgroup.com. Please read this document, released on June 9, 2009:

Click on Government’s Amended Preliminary Report as to Restitution follow this link to bottom link click on (orange) “linked hereto is the Order of the criminal court dated June 9,2009” for the report. Best of luck and our thoughts are with you all.