Brother Can You Spare a Few Electrons?

Category: Reference

I love my job. Every day, I get to help people use computers and the Internet, answering their questions and pointing them to resources that will save them time or money. I especially love it when readers become friends and people tell me that they're using what they've learned here to help others. It's very satisfying, but there is one favor I'd like to ask of you, on this last day of 2013...

A Quick Favor...

I quit my day job as a computer programmer at IBM back in 1997, and I've never regretted that decision. Not getting a paycheck can be scary, but the Internet has been good to me. It's always been my "business model" to provide free, high-quality content and attract sponsors with products and services that are relevant and useful to my readers. Somehow the bills get paid, and it works out to be a win-win-win situation.

If you are a long-time reader, perhaps you've noticed some underlying themes in my advice. If there's a free solution, I'll always mention that first. If there's a way to save money, avoid problems, or protect your privacy, I'll bring it to your attention. Awareness is key -- that's why I often write about backups, internet security, and free online services.

Tell a Friend!

The AskBob website and newsletter started in 2005, and for several years it grew quickly, as people found it by searching for help on Google. But in April 2011, a seismic event occurred in online publishing. Google changed the way they rank pages and present search results, and the result was that 80% of my incoming traffic disappeared overnight.

Since then it has sometimes been a struggle, but I've made some changes and looked for other ways to adapt to the new normal. But without a steady stream of visitors from Google and other search engines, word of mouth has proven to be the best way to reach new people.

About Those Electrons...

So that brings me to YOU, and my favor... I would so appreciate your help to continue the AskBob newsletter and website. If you like what you read here, and find it helpful, would you please tell a few friends about it?

Here's what I suggest: Email a couple of friends, tell them why you like and encourage them to sign up for the newsletter. If you have a favorite AskBob article, send them the link. There's a newsletter signup form at the end of each article. It'll only cost you a minute and a few electrons. :-)

Thanks, and I hope you have a wonderful, healthy 2014! As always, your comments are welcome below.

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This article was posted by on 31 Dec 2013

For Fun: Buy Bob a Snickers.

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Geekly Update - 02 January 2014

Most recent comments on "Brother Can You Spare a Few Electrons?"

(See all 63 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

01 Jan 2014

I talk about your newsletter ALL the time but I have never told them how to find your newsletter. I will now. Thank you for all the help you have given me. Have a Happy New Year. And I will spread the word.

Posted by:

Ed Tulloch
01 Jan 2014

A blast from the past: I believe you and Patrick Crispen were in cahoots back in the 90s. One or both of you was/were doing graduate work at Univ. of Alabama perhaps? Your material essentially provided the content for an online course (Educational uses of the Internet) through Cal State Northridge that I was taking with a colleague while teaching in Malaysia. The instructor for the course was actually operating from a cabin on Flathead Lake in Montana, if I recall correctly, but was having a hard time coming up with helpful material. You guys provided exactly what all of us in the course (scattered across East Asia and in the U.S. needed. We shared you with all and sundry. Don't recall the instructor providing anything more. Really appreciated it. And I've been subscribed to the Tourbus and Ask Bob Rankin ever since. You've been a huge resource for people I deal with--I've probably forwarded your "Help! I think I'm a Spammer" article to over a dozen people having issues. And then there are the reviews...rational, non-hype reviews. Really appreciate the work you put into this project/life/vocation/calling.

Posted by:

01 Jan 2014

I'll do what I can. Bob has brought up a very serious matter. The topic of information technology and how it is used is poorly understood.

Recommended to my fellow Bob Rankin fans is to use the "Buy Bob a Snickers" link now and then. I prefer treating him to a tennis lesson as I wish to keep him lean and friendly. The link is right above the comments section.

Happy New Year Bob!

Posted by:

01 Jan 2014

As some of your posts have been of great help to me in the past and present, will do with pleasure. Now is there any way to get those two hot looking Ladies to whisper in my ear also. lol

Posted by:

William Bisset
01 Jan 2014

I often pass some of your links to friends. I passed one on earlier tonight but is there a way that your subscribers can complain to Google to give you a fair go?

Posted by:

Tony Leppard
01 Jan 2014

If you lack a Geeky friend then you can count on Bob Rankin when he steps to the plate. Thanks Bob.

Posted by:

01 Jan 2014

Bob...I've been a reader since 2011 & have started a reference library of your articles. Since retiring I assist many of my friends & church individuals with their computer problems. Thru your articles I've gained a considerable knowledge. I also have downloaded many of the free programs you have recommended & have shared them with those I assist. When articles have useful data that I feel is beneficial to any computer user I forward them & some of these individuals have subscribed to your webpage. I thank you for your endeavors & wish you the best in 2014

Posted by:

Deborah Bailey
01 Jan 2014

Wow!So sorry to hear. I have been a subscriber since I can't even remember, so of course I will help you out. You have been so great, I have learned so much from your articles, I am happy to be able to do something in return. I will even post it on Face Book. Thank you so much for so many years of great stuff, and don't give up!!!

Posted by:

Gloria Huffman
01 Jan 2014

Bob, you are front and center on my webpage under "OTHER THINGS I LIKE" > "Computer tech guru."

Ironically, the only other link I've put up there is for Perry Marshall, Google Adwords expert, who warned us some time ago that Google had created a seismic shift in the universe. He had some things to say on what to do about it. He also had to reinvent himself.

I'm sorry this has impacted your life so greatly and so suddenly. It's an example of Big Pockets crashing the party for the little people who've sweated to make the desert bloom like a rose.


For those of you who want to give money directly to Bob, do it here (the link is on many articles, e.g., "For Fun, Buy Bob a Snickers"):

Buy Bob a Snickers [or several other pricier items]

Have a Happy and PROSPEROUS New Year, everyone!

Posted by:

01 Jan 2014

Absolutely! Darn right I will, Bob, and with pleasure.
May your insight shine forth to the masses with clarity for many more years to come.
Keep up the good work.

Posted by:

Bob K
01 Jan 2014

Can you start a facebook page? Let us all know when you do & we'll fill it with these posts..

Posted by:

Bob at kelly
01 Jan 2014

Done! The least we can do for all you do for us!

Posted by:

02 Jan 2014

I suggest using

Posted by:

02 Jan 2014 you get any credit or remuneration for the ads that appear in 'Ask Bob Rankin'? If so, there's a couple of things I'll "go for" since that would help you out. (I'll check into the "yellow snack bar" further up this page later--getting too sleepy to trust myself with financial transactions at this moment.

Posted by:

02 Jan 2014

Hi Bob. Your articles are the greatest and I always look forward to your next one!! Thank you so much for providing us with so much interesting and informational material. Keep up the good work in 2014.

Posted by:

02 Jan 2014

I've lost count of the number of folks I've recommended your site to already. Of course, I'll continue to do so. A happy and prosperous 2014 to you.

Posted by:

02 Jan 2014

Could I make a suggestion? Could you get someone to write you up and get an entery in Wikipedia? I know it's not the same as getting a high google ranking but it is another way of spreading the news of your excellent services...

Posted by:

Lorenzo Weaver
02 Jan 2014

To All my friends,

This is the best news letter I have ever used. It has saved me money and time and it is FREE. Please help me keep this valuable resource alive. Check him out, I learn something new and useful every day. Try it, you will like it.

Posted by:

03 Jan 2014

Its a pleasure to recommend your letters. I have spammed my mates with a personal, glowing recommendation. One of the few e-mails I look forward to, along with the dry and sometimes off-the-wall humour which accompanies it. Ken

Posted by:

09 Jan 2014

Fear not! I've been recommending your site to those in need (or those who will soon be in need...) for many years. Hang in there.

There's more reader feedback... See all 63 comments for this article.

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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Brother Can You Spare a Few Electrons? (Posted: 31 Dec 2013)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved