29 Jun, 2008  |  Written by  |  under Astronomy

This is a picture I took 6/28/2008, of Jupiter.

Jupiter, with NexStar 130 and QuickCam

This is a stack of 10 frames, produced and stacked in k3ccdtools, with our Celestron NexStar 130 SLT and a Logitech QuickCam with a bare CCD inserted as the eyepiece.  Skies were messy, and my focus wasn’t quite right.  Collimation is probably also off.

26 Jun, 2008  |  Written by  |  under Astronomy

Just a quick pic from a webcam session with our telescope from a while back.  I’m getting back into the planetary and lunar imaging these days.

Picture of the moon from 2007-10-23

23 Jun, 2008  |  Written by  |  under AdWords

One of the things I love about AdWords is that it tends to give me information I need to make good choices.  I just looked at an ad campaign a client originally set up a year ago, and it’s done pretty badly for them over time.  They seem to have good keywords, and the landing page was chosen reasonably well, but they’re still not getting many conversions.

The culprit?  Bad ad text. Continue Reading ->

17 Jun, 2008  |  Written by  |  under AdWords

Today, we’re going to talk about AdWords keywords, and how to set them up so you get more value than the vanilla Google setup would give you.  From Part 1, let me reiterate that you need each Ad Group to focus on one phrase, and that phrase needs to have its own custom ads and a specific page on your site.

So, once you’ve got the above, what can you do with keywords?  Google lets you target phrases 4 ways: Continue Reading ->

16 Jun, 2008  |  Written by  |  under AdWords

Very often these days, I see AdWords campaigns that have either been set up by clients or set up by web folks who weren’t quite sure what they were doing.  So here are some ideas for things to do with AdWords so you can minimize cost, maximize clicks, and try to get more conversions. Continue Reading ->

14 Jun, 2008  |  Written by  |  under Music

A few years ago, my friend Michael Kaulkin mentioned seeing a guy in Golden Gate Park playing a “Hang Drum”. This is a metal drum with tuned surfaces on the top, and makes a really neat sound. Here’s a sample:

I think Michael was interested in the drum because he thought it was from Hungary, and he’s obsessed with all things Hungary. I was interested in it because I’m in a percussion group at church, and thought this thing would be an amazing addition. (The drum is actually from Switzerland, which like all European countries, Michael thinks of as “formerly part of Hungary”.)

Sadly, the things are impossible to get from the originators, and incredibly expensive, so I was at a loss.

Luckily, the Internet intervened, and in a moment of serendipity provided me with a random YouTube link to this:

So now I’m obsessed with buying a propane tank, drilling and cutting tongues into it, and tuning it up to make my very own “Hank Drum”.  Great for the Orff group at church, and great for taking camping!

13 Jun, 2008  |  Written by  |  under Astronomy

Looks like tonight might be a nice night to get the telescope out. I do need to collimate it first, and grab an updated sky map. Here’s a sky condition thingie for a nearby observatory:

Pesky moon. Not dark enough to see much other than it tonight.

13 Jun, 2008  |  Written by  |  under Improv Everywhere

We’ve got a new-ish incarnation of the “Improv Everywhere” group here in the Kansas City area. I’ve done two “missions” with the group so far, and it’s thoroughly fun stuff.

The first one, I ran video of “moebius”, a 5-minute loop of action performed for unsuspecting viewers in a Starbucks inside a Barnes & Noble. I’m fascinated with the idea that in traditional theater, the audience engages in a “willing suspension of disbelief”, but in Improv Everywhere missions, their disbelief is unwillingly forced upon them by a surprising scene they gradually realize is theater.

13 Jun, 2008  |  Written by  |  under Uncategorized

Hey there.  I’m not really sure what this blog will end up covering.  Probably a smattering of things I’m interested in, including Search Engine Optimization, running a small business, music, raising kids, World of Warcraft, and maybe some crazy synergy of all of the above.

But I’ll start with a brief intro, so folks know who I am.  I’m Glenn Crocker, a web developer in Overland Park, Kansas.  I’ve got a great wife, 2 great kids, and a bunch of great clients.  I do web technology integration work, which usually means I make weird databases talk to other weird databases, with a web interface in the middle.

But these days, I’m doing more and more “search engine optimization”, trying to get clients’ web sites to rank higher on Google for their target phrases.  It’s fun, and appeals to the puzzle-solving part of my brain.

Hopefully, this blog will include the occasional interesting tid-bit for folks involved with any of the above!

-glenn