Online Advertising Blues

Or how to lose half a day in front of a computer.

I am the owner of a small business, Flying M Air, LLC. I do just about everything for the company except maintain the aircraft: schedule flights, preflight the aircraft, fly, take payment from passengers, manage the drug testing program, work with the FAA, meet with clients, negotiate contracts, arrange for special events, hire contract workers, record transactions, handle invoicing and receivables, pay bills, create print marketing materials like business cards and rack cards, etc. I also handle the online presence for the company, including the company website, Facebook, and Twitter.

(You might wonder how I have the skills to do all this stuff. The truth is, I have a BBA in Accounting and lots of business training from college. I also wrote books about computers for 20+ years, including several about building websites and using Twitter. Sadly I never studied helicopter repair.)

Today, I lost half a day to marketing and related online chores that were mind-bogglingly time consuming.

You see, I scheduled an event with a local resort, Cave B Estate Winery & Resort in Quincy, WA. Cave B is one of the destinations I take people on winery tours, although I admit I don’t go there very often. For the same price, folks can go to Tsillan Cellars in Chelan, which they seem to prefer. Cave B has a better restaurant and a more interesting atmosphere in a beautiful place. Tsillan Cellars is also in a beautiful place, but it’s a bit touristy for my taste. I actually don’t care which one I fly to since I can’t drink wine at either one. I just like to fly people to wineries.

But the new manager at Cave B Resort is very eager to get the helicopter onsite as an interesting activity for guests. So we set up a 6-hour event there for Saturday, July 2. I’d land in the field as I usually do and offer 15-minute helicopter tours of the area for $75/person. While that might seem kind of steep, it’s pretty much in line with my usual rates. Besides, the folks who stay at Cave B aren’t exactly cheapskates. (I just looked into booking a room for my upcoming birthday and decided that it was a bit too rich for my blood, at least this year. I think I’ll settle for a spa day.)

Setting up this event required me to complete a bunch of tasks on my computer:

  • Tour Flyer
    I threw together this flyer based on a template in Microsoft Word.

    Create a flyer in PDF format that could be used at the resort to let guests know that tours were available that day. I cheated: I used one of the Templates that came with Word 2011 (which I’m still using on my Mac). I already had pictures; I just had to put in the text and make it fit. It took about 30 minutes to complete and I had to make one change after sending it to Cave B’s manager. They’ll print it out on a color printer and, hopefully, put one in each room on Friday.

  • Use Square‘s item feature to set up an item for the tours so I could easily charge passengers for the flights and sell them online. I’ve been experimenting with online sales lately as a tool to get impulse buyers to buy in advance in certain predetermined time slots. So setting up the item also required me to set up the time slots and then create an inventory feature to prevent me from overselling a time slot. This took another 30 minutes or so. This had to be done before I finished the flyer so I could include the URL in the flyer.
  • Use to create a custom short URL for Flying M Air’s online store. No one could remember the regular URL; maybe they can remember This took about 5 minutes. Of course, this also had to be done before the flyer was done so the URL could be included.
  • Tour Announcement
    Here’s the top part of the web page I created to announce the special event.

    Create a “blog post” on Flying M Air’s website (which was built with the WordPress CMS) to announce the event, provide details, and include the link for buying tickets. Once the post was published, I had to go back and add a featured image so it would appear in the slideshow of items at the top of the Home page. I also had to add an expiration date so that it would stop appearing as a “special” on the site after July 2 at 5 PM. Doing all this took at least another 30 minutes. My WordPress site is designed to automatically post a link to new items on Twitter for both Flying M Air and my own personal account, so at least I didn’t have to fiddle with Twitter.

  • Create a new event on Facebook for the Cave B Tours. That meant using pretty much the same photo, description, and link I’d put in the flyer in a Facebook form. Because Facebook requires a “Category” for each event and they’re not very creative with the category names, there’s now a “Festival” at Cave B that day. (Sheesh.) This took at least another 20 minutes.
  • Share the event with my friends on Facebook. Why not, right? Five minutes.
  • Post details on Cave B’s Facebook page for the event. I got lazy and put in a screen shot of the flyer. 5 minutes.
  • When I realized that I could probably sell the flight to and from Cave B that I’d have to deadhead for the event, I created a “Be Spontaneous” special offer on Flying M Air’s website, offering up the roundtrip flight for half price: $272.50. That’s less than my cost and a real smoking deal for anyone who wants two great helicopter flights and six hours at Cave B. (I’m thinking lunch, tasting, and a hike.) This took about 30 minutes.
  • I also had to set up an item in Square for this offer so I could make it easy to charge for or sell it online. No special URL was required, but I did have to put the link to the item in Flying M Air’s online store in the special offer post. Twenty minutes.
  • While I was fiddling with my website, I checked the Special Offers category and discovered a whole bunch of expired offers. So I recategorized them as Expired Offers. Then I spent some time adding a subscription form to the Special Offers page and made sure that page appeared in the slider at the top of the Home page. Anyone who subscribes automatically gets new posts by email; this is a great way to learn about special offers as they become available. I know I spent at least an hour on this.

Of course, while I was working on this, I was also taking calls from a potential client (in the U.K., of all places), texting back and forth with photographers that could help me close a deal with her, and writing reminders for the other things I needed to do at my desk: order wall mount display cabinets from Ikea, choose a garage door opener option (after researching the three options), and send out invitations for a outing on my boat the next day. So I wasn’t 100% focused on the tasks at hand.

I was only mildly surprised when I looked up after that last task and saw that it was after 1 PM.

The whole morning was shot. (No wonder I was hungry.)

But this is typical when I sit in front of my computer — and is why I spend a lot less time in front of my computer these days. Business tasks need to be done and I’m the one that has to do them. It’s a fact of life and I’m not complaining. Just trying to point out that marketing a business isn’t as easy as putting up a website and waiting for the phone to ring — especially with so much social media to deal with.

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Join the club.

Lately, I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed. It isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last. But it is bothersome — an uncomfortable feeling that makes me question everything about my life.

I’ve made some serious personal decisions recently that are likely to rock my world over the coming months. This is a stressful situation that’s not made any easier by the lack of support by friends and family members. I’m going it alone — as I so often do — and it’s weighing heavily on my mind.

But the feeling of being overwhelmed is primarily due to my workload. As a freelancer, I work when there’s work to do. When there isn’t work to do, I’m usually waiting for or looking for more work. Sometimes I need to make work. Other times, work appears unexpectedly — even when I don’t want it or have time for it. But I have to do it all — to turn down work is to possibly miss out on future work.

Such is the life of a freelancer.

Right now, I’m working on four content creation (writing, video, etc.) projects:

  • Book CoverFinishing up a special iBooks 2 interactive edition of my iBooks Author book. This requires me to record and edit dozens of screencast videos and completely re-layout the book in iBooks Author. The good news: I might be able to finish up today. That is, if Alex the Bird can keep quiet and the landscapers don’t spend much time blowing leaves outside my window. And the neighbor’s dog doesn’t bark nonstop for an hour. Again.
  • Lynda LogoPrepare scripts for a revision of my Twitter Essential Training course on We’ll be recording this course soon and I want to be fully prepared before I fly out to Lynda to record. And my new producer, wants to see the scripts, too.
  • An aerial photography book. I began writing this last year and have put it aside repeatedly because I need artwork and photos that I can’t produce on my own. I suspect it’ll have to wait until this summer to finish up.
  • A book of helicopter pilot stories. I’m collecting these stories from other pilots and plan to compile them in a book for release later this spring. As I get more and more bogged down with other things, however, the self-imposed deadline keeps slipping. I suspect this will be finished up when I get to Washington, too.

Of course, with Mac OS X Mountain Lion announced, I know what I’ll be doing first when I get to Washington: Revising my Mac OS X Lion book for the new version of the OS. Oh, yeah — and then there’s the videos and Websites I’ve been asked to create for a handful of winemakers up there.

It’s not just writing work and the occasional helicopter flight that’s stacked up before me. It’s all the paperwork that goes with it.

I have two separate businesses, each with their own bank accounts and accounting records. I don’t have an accountant — hell, I am an accountant; my BBA is in accounting. To hire an accountant would be silly, since I could do that work myself and save a bunch of money. So I do. Or I try to. Often, it just stacks up, waiting for me to get to. I haven’t balanced a bank account in several months. And I’m only partially switched from Quicken (since it no longer works in the current version of Mac OS) to iBank (which I really don’t like). It’ll take days to sort out the accounting mess I face when I get around to it.

And then comes tax time. What a freaking nightmare that is.

And then my annual migration back to Washington. That’s a logistics issue. Find someone to fly up to Washington with me to help cover the flight costs. Do the flight. Catch a commercial flight back to Arizona. Pack the RV, get the truck ready. (Did I mention that I might have to buy a new truck this year, too? And take delivery before the end of April?) Make the 1200-mile drive to the Wenatchee area. Retrieve the helicopter from wherever I left it in Washington. Get my contracts set up for summer work.

Of course, that’s if there is summer work. My clients never want to sign up until after the last frost. There’s a chance I might get to Washington with the helicopter and a frost will wipe out the cherry crop. No need for my services then. Ready to fly but no clients. How do you think this possibility affects my stress levels?

On the flip side, there might be too much work for me to take on by myself. Then I have to scramble and find people who are willing to put their life on hold for 3-6 weeks and wait around for the rain in Washington. I’ve already started collecting possible candidate phone numbers. None of them are happy that they’ll have to wait until May to know whether there might be work for them.

Before I leave Arizona, however, I do have to pack up everything I own that’s in our Phoenix condo in case it’s rented or sold while I’m gone. That’s a whole office full of stuff, as well as clothes and other personal effects. Hell, I haven’t had enough time to unpack the boxes that brought some of this stuff here.

And I did mention that I have to travel to for a week to record a course, right?

And there is the possibility of a very big client needing to fly with me in late March or early April, before I go to Washington. Unfortunately, they can’t pin down a date. Once they do, if I’m not available, I’ll lose that job — and it’s not the kind of job I want to lose.

Along the way, I need to start seriously considering where I’m going to live and what I’m going to do when my work in Washington is done this year. I’ve been wanting to relocate for years. I’m sick of Wickenburg’s small-mindedness and the bullshit politics and greed that have ruined the town. Phoenix is no gem, either — except on February days like yesterday when the temperature hovers in the high 70s and there’s not a cloud in the sky. The personal decisions I’ve made recently give me a good opportunity to make the change. Unfortunately, I don’t know where I want to live. I’m leaning toward Oregon — perhaps in the Portland area — but who knows?

So with all this on my plate and on my mind is it any wonder that I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed?

But this is typical in my life — and in the life of most hardworking freelancers and business owners. Things don’t get done by themselves. And if things aren’t done, I start feeling it in the bank account. I don’t know about you, but I like to pay my bills on time and eat.

Guess I’d better get back to work.

How NOT to Provide Instructions to Your Web Developer

Hint: Embedding images in a Microsoft Word file is never a good idea.

WheelsYears ago, I received a flyer in the mailn about a replacement for my helicopter’s stock ground handling wheels. For those of you who don’t know, you move a helicopter around on the ground by attaching wheels that lift the skids off the ground so you can push it. The stock wheels on my helicopter — then an R22 — were too small for me to clear the runners for my hangar door. These larger wheels — called “Big Wheels” — would give me the extra clearance I needed to get over the lip.

Trouble is, I didn’t want to spend $450 on a set of wheels, sight unseen.

So I offered the manufacturer a free Web site in exchange for the wheels. Being a guy who wasn’t particularly Internet savvy, he said yes. And thus began our relationship.

In the ten or so years since then, Walt has given me numerous items of ground handling equipment to test out. Some of it I really liked — like the Big Wheels that he gave me for my R22 and, later, for my R44. Others, not so much — the original tow bar design, for example, wasn’t quite beefy enough to tow my R44 from my hangar to my departure area some distance away at the airport. But it was all great quality stuff that I was pleased to have the opportunity to use and show off. In exchange, Walt got a respectable-looking website, first coded in HTML and then upgraded as a WordPress-based CMS. Lots of pictures — some of which I’d taken with my helicopter as model; the one above is an example. (Yes, my first helicopter had white skids).

The only thing that kind of bugged me over the years was the way Walt requested updates to the site. He’d sometimes send random photos with notes. Sometimes I’d make a requested change and then he’d respond with another change to the same page. I’d get bursts of email messages from him with new content. It got to the point that I’d usually wait a week or two after hearing from him to make sure there wasn’t anything else on the way. That led to me forgetting to take care of things for him and him politely reminding me and me finally getting it done.

Please understand that I don’t mind updating his site periodically. It’s not as if he does it every month — or even every year. It really isn’t (or should’t be) much work. And I use the wheels regularly. I don’t feel as if I’ve done enough work to cover the cost of them yet. After all, it isn’t as if I created some super spectacular custom solution for him. It’s not as if I spent weeks of my life developing and maintaining his site. And he really is a nice man who makes a great product.

About a month or so ago, I got an email message from Walt’s wife. (I didn’t even know he was married.) She wanted to know the best way to request changes. I told her to put them all into one email message.

The email messages started arriving a while later. Note that I used the plural form of the word message. I was busy with other things — a book, travel, etc. — and I didn’t take a look at them right away. She emailed me to confirm that I’d received them. I said I had and would get to it as soon as I could. She waited another week and then sent another email with a note saying that she’d put all the changes in one document, as I’d requested.

Attached was a Word document.

And then I looked at the other email messages. They all included Word documents, too.

I don’t recall asking for a Word document and I know damn well I never told her to embed the images in a Word document. There are few things as painful to me (or likely to anyone else) than removing more than 50 images from a Word document file.

EditsBut what’s worse is that she created it with Word tables and used notes inside the table cells to indicate which images to keep and which ones to remove.

Yes, that’s right — she also sent me images I already had. Images that were on the website.

And did I mention that the images were all different sizes and resolutions and proportions? They look the same here because she resized and cropped them in Word. But they’re all over the map when it comes to size and some of them are as tiny as 2-1/2 inches wide at 72 dpi. This is supposed to replace images that were at least 6 inches wide at 72 dpi. Do you know what they look like when I try to scale them up?

But it’s the inconsistent use of little down-pointing arrows and the positions of the images that I’m struggling with. Is she pointing to a replacement or the one I’m supposed to delete?

Understand that she didn’t reproduce the page the way it appears on the website. She didn’t label them the way they are on the website. From what she’s sent, it’s not even clear whether she’s introducing new products, removing old products, or just playing a really mean joke on me.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Walt and I love his Big Wheels. (Seriously: if you have to pull an R22 or R44 or R66 around, these are the wheels you need.) He’s a nice person and his wife seems very nice, too. It’s extremely difficult, however, to get the job done with what they sent. And not to scream in frustration.

I know they’re doing the best they can. But I also know that this could easily be a post in Clients from Hell.

So now I’m waiting for her to get back to me with more information and possibly some newer, larger photos so I can finish up, take a deep breath, and go have a martini.

Do you understand now why I don’t do websites for other people anymore?

Who Is Your Website Designed For?

Your visitors or your advertisers?

If I wake up before 6 AM and don’t have a morning appointment, my routine includes lounging in bed until 6 with my iPad, catching up on the social networks (Twitter and Facebook), Words with Friends games in progress, and perhaps email or RSS feeds. It’s a nice, leisurely way to start the day.

This morning, while browsing through Facebook statuses, I found a link that interested me. It was in the typical “Top Ten” (or in this case, Top 11) format and, from its description, it promised to be an interesting look back at a specific company’s products. I clicked the link and this is what happened:

  1. The page loaded with an ad overlaid on it. The ad was almost full-screen and there was no way to close it. I had to wait it out — about 10-15 seconds, during which time I didn’t tap anything for fear of being transported to another site.
  2. An ad-filled page appeared with a tiny introductory paragraph near the top and the first list item beneath it.

That was it. To see the other 10 items on the list, I’d have to view 10 more ad-filled pages.

Oh, and did I mention that some of those ads had blinking and flashing components designed to draw your attention away from any content you might have come to see? The kind of ads that make you want to shove your fist through your computer display?

Clearly, the site was designed to benefit its advertisers more than its readers. Since the site builders/owners obviously didn’t give a crap about visitors, I closed the browser window in frustration and went on with my life, making a mental note to avoid that site in the future.

Am I the only one who does this?

Am I the only one who cares more about my time than wading through ads and other clutter to find the content I came to a site for? The only one who gives up when she knows the browsing experience will be so full of frustration that it’s best to avoid it altogether? The only one who gets pissed off when its so damn obvious that the site owner cares more about maximizing ad space — and revenue, I assume — than building a solid base of regular visitors?

Does anyone actually click those freaking ads?

I admit it: I hate website ads so much that I installed ad blocker software on my laptops and desktop computer. I don’t usually see ads at all — which doesn’t really matter because I never click them. It’s only when I use my iPad to visit sites that I’m bombarded with this crap. Honestly: I don’t know how anyone can stand it.

And yes, I do realize that many sites exist solely to make a profit. And yes, I do realize that advertising is the usual way to monetize a site. But no, I can’t imagine trashing up a site so badly with ads that it drives potential visitors away.

Isn’t there a better solution? One that provides links to products and services that might actually be of interest to visitors? One that’s accessible and visible without flashing colors and animated graphics?

Who are these sites designed for, anyway?

A New Look

This site was long overdue for a facelift.

Last night, on impulse, I switched this site’s theme from a highly modified version of iNove to WordPress’s brand-new Twenty Eleven. Unless I’ve had an impulse to change it again since writing this, you’re probably looking at it right now.

The site was long overdue for the change. A while back, in an effort to show off more of my photos, I’d added a plugin to pull thumbnail images from my photo gallery and arrange them as clickable links in the header. I realized belatedly that this seriously slowed down the loading of the site. Some people even commented about it. Something had to be done.

There are several reasons it took so long to make the change:

  • I couldn’t find a theme I liked. Really. I have a terrible time imagining how I could modify a theme to meet my own needs.
  • Most themes I liked either looked too “bloggy” or too “magaziney.” I couldn’t find one in between that I could imagine changing.
  • I couldn’t find a theme that had built-in support for mobile devices.
  • I didn’t have the time to sit down and do the work necessary to make major modifications to a theme.
  • I actually liked the way my site looked with its current setup.

But after upgrading the site to WordPress 3.2, I noticed a brand new theme: Twenty Eleven. Like its predecessor, Twenty Ten, it had clean lines and a lot of built-in features. It also had the benefit of being created by the makers of WordPress, so I knew it would be compatible and show off WordPress features. Working with it would give me a good opportunity to dive into theme customization again. Even though I didn’t have time to play with it right away, there would be plenty of opportunities to tweak it over the coming weeks and months.

And if there’s something I really enjoy doing, it’s tweaking a WordPress theme to suit my needs.

So yesterday, I made the switch. And this morning, I dumped a few of my own images into the random header folder to personalize it enough for prime time.

I’ll be modifying it as time goes on. Would love to know what you think and am open to suggestions for changes. Use the comments link — well, “Reply” link right now; it’s on my list to change — to share your thoughts.

Just Say NO to Flash

Are you as frustrated as I am about Web sites relying on Flash?

I need to share a little rant here.

Flash LogoUntil recently, I never realized how many Web sites are built around Flash. I’m not talking about sites that include Flash animations here and there. I’m talking about sites completely contained in a Flash animation.

Like this monstrosity:

Stingray Sushi is a restaurant. Its site includes a menu, which can only be viewed in that Flash animation.

Now I don’t know about you, but sometimes I look for a restaurant when I’m on the go. I’ll whip out my iPhone or iPad, open the Maps app, and search for restaurant. Or I’ll use the Safari browser to Google a specific restaurant. Either way, my goal is to see the Home page for the restaurant so I can learn more about it and the food it serves before I drive/walk over. To do that, I need to be able to see the Home page or, at least, a menu.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), I’ll never be able to see the Home page for Stingray Sushi on my iPhone or iPad.

Now you might want to blame Apple for this. After all, it’s Apple that decided that it won’t support Flash.

But I blame the Web developer. Apple mobile devices, including the iPhone and iPad, have been available for nearly four years. Apple is currently the fourth largest seller of mobile phones, with millions of iPhones out in the wild. Apple is also the top seller of tablet computers, with millions of iPads out in the wild. Developers who continue to base entire sites on Flash are basically thumbing their noses at iPhone/iPad users, telling them that they simply aren’t important enough to view the oh-so-valuable Flash content on their Web sites.

I have two words for these developers, and they’re not “thank you.”

So when I reach a site I can’t view on my device — whatever that device is — do you think I’ll visit that business?

Do you think that I’m interested in rewarding a business for the frustration their Flash-based site has generated by actually buying something there?

There are alternatives to Flash. Many alternatives. HTML 5 is one of them. But apparently, Web developers would rather lean on a crutch like Flash than move forward with new, more compatible technology.

Why does this continue to be an issue?

Just say no to Flash.

Helicopter Videos (and other Content) by Subscription

Making it easier to get the content you want.

One of the problems with this blog — at least as far as blogging experts are concerned — is that it covers too many topics. Blogging “experts” agree that to have a “successful” blog, it should concentrate on just one topic. That will attract people interested in that topic and keep them coming back for more, since it’s just what they want. A while back, I tried this by spinning off all the book support blog posts to a separate blog — Maria’s Guides — and leaving the rest behind here. I changed the name of this blog to An Eclectic Mind to help communicate the fact that there’s a lot of topics covered here. I refuse to spin off each major topic to its own blog — at least right now — because there’s so much overlap in the topics and because I simply can’t be bothered managing more than the 5 or so blogs I’m already dealing with. So this blog covers all kinds of things, from flying to photography to life in a tiny desert town to travel to politics to…well, you get the idea.

Finding Content with Categories and Tags

I’ve made content easier to find by embracing WordPress’s category and tag features. Categories are broad topics, tags are narrower ones. For example, you’ll find Flying as a category, but you’ll find helicopters, airplanes, airports, aviation, helicopter video, etc. as tags. The idea is that if you’re interested in flying but don’t give a hoot about helicopters, you can click the airplanes tag and zip right in to content that discusses airplanes. (Don’t expect much; I’m a helicopter pilot.) You can find all categories listed in the sidebar’s category list and all categories assigned to a post in the post’s footer. You can find the most popular 75 tags in the sidebar’s tag cloud and all tags assigned to a post in the post’s footer. All posts have at least one category; all recent posts have at least one tag.

(You can also use the Search box in the header to find content on the site, but even I don’t have very good luck with that. Too many results. This blog has nearly 2,000 posts and unless you’re looking for a topic with a very unusual word — for example, “cauliflower” — you’ll likely come up with more results than you’ll want to wade through.)

Which brings me to the real topic of this post — getting the content you want delivered right to you.

Using RSS to Subscribe to Categories or Tags

A friend of mine who is always sharing aviation photos and videos by e-mail recently discovered my “nosecam” helicopter videos. I create these by fixing a POV.1 video camera to the nose of my helicopter when I go flying. The resulting video can be tediously boring or extremely interesting or somewhere in between. I take the best videos, process them a bit, and put them on Viddler, a video sharing site. (And no, I really can’t explain why I don’t use YouTube. I should probably rethink this a bit if I want the videos to be seen by more people.) Once online, I usually create a blog post with the video embedded. Those are categorized Flying and tagged helicopter video.

Now WordPress has the incredible ability to generate an RSS feed based on any category or tag. The formula for creating the feed URL is very simple:

  • For a category on this site, where category-name is the abbreviated name of the category. You can get the exact category name by looking in the address bar after clicking the category’s link in the sidebar. So the RSS feed for the Flying category would be:
  • For a tag on this site, where tag-name is the abbreviated name of the tag. You can get the exact tag name by looking in the address bar after clicking the tag’s link in the sidebar. So the RSS feed for the helicopter video category would be:

Of course, knowing in RSS feed URL is one thing, but using it is another. You’ll want to put this URL in your feed reader. If you don’t have one — or don’t even have a clue what I’m talking about — check out Google Reader. It’s a pretty popular feed reader that starts you off with a complete explanation, with video, about RSS feeds and how it works. Perhaps some of the more knowledgeable folks reading this post will share their favorite readers; I’m not big on feed readers and do all my feed reading from within Apple Mail.

Getting Helicopter Videos by E-Mail

Now back to my aviation video friend.

After looking at a bunch of my videos on Viddler, he e-mailed me and asked me to include him on my mailing list to be notified when new helicopter videos come out. Well, I don’t have a mailing list. I’m not one of those people who sees something cool on the Internet and e-mails it to half the people in my address book. In general, I don’t like to receive e-mails like that, so I certainly don’t like to send them.

But I realized that there were probably a few people who were interested in the videos, had no patience for RSS, and couldn’t be bothered manually checking this site periodically. So I whipped up a Feedburner subscription feed specifically for the helicopter video tag. Folks who want notification of the latest helicopter videos published on this site delivered directly to their e-mail in boxes can subscribe using one of the following methods:

Either way, you’ll be sending your e-mail address to Feedburner. Feedburner will send you a confirmation e-mail to assure that you really want to subscribe and this isn’t an attempt by someone else to add you to the list. You will get that e-mail message almost immediately. You MUST follow the instructions in the confirmation e-mail message to complete the subscription process. If you don’t, the subscription will not start. If you can’t find that e-mail message in your in-box, check your spam filter.

Once the subscription is activated, you’ll get an e-mail message only when there’s a new helicopter video on the site. That could be once a month or it could be three times in a week. I tend to release them in batches.

I use the Feedburner service because it’s good. It does not generate any spam. Your e-mail address is not shared with others. I know this because I also subscribe to several of my own feeds, just to make sure spam isn’t going out with the feed content. It’s also really easy to unsubscribe from; just click the link in the bottom of the e-mail message you get.

Getting All Content by E-Mail

You may have noticed an E-Mail Feed link at the top of the sidebar on this site. That’s for all site content. If you subscribe to site content using that link, you’ll get everything, including the helicopter videos. If you’re only interested in the helicopter videos, unsubscribe from that feed and subscribe to this one instead.

I hope this long story (as usual) gives you the information you need to subscribe to the content that interests you most here.