Friday, April 3, 2009

AMA urges action on bipartisan letters to the Consumer Product Safety Commission

AMA urges action on bipartisan letters to the Consumer Product Safety Commission Congressional Letters Being Circulated to End Youth OHV Ban.

Contact your Senators and Representative to have them sign-on!

In the battle to maintain access to youth motorcycles and ATVs, both the US Senate and House of Representatives are circulating letters to the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) asking that these vehicles be excluded from Section 101 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA). The Act effectively banned the sale of youth off-highway vehicles (OHVs) earlier this year due to the presence of lead in certain functional parts. The American Motorcyclist Association is encouraging all AMA members, motorized recreation enthusiasts and rights activists to contact their Senators and Representative and ask them to sign-on to the letters.

The bipartisan letters, led by Senators Stabenow (D-MI), Tester (D-MI) and Brownback (R-KS) in the Senate and Representatives Rehberg (R-MT) and Herseth Sandlin (D-SD) in the House, are signals from Congress that they support the continued availability of youth OHVs and recognize the importance of these vehicles to family recreation and motorsports. The letters also seek to bring together all concerned elected officials, respective of their chamber, under one united bipartisan demonstration of support.

Under the law, which is administered by the CPSC, manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers are barred from making, importing, distributing or selling any product intended for children 12 and under that contains more than 600 parts per million of lead in any accessible part. Members of Congress agree that the lead content in OHVs represents no tangible threat to young riders and that the vehicles do not belong on the ban list.

The fastest way to reach your Members of Congress is to call them. You can find contact information for all of your elected officials by entering your zip code on, clicking on "Rights," then "Issues and Legislation." Additionally, a prewritten email is available for you to send to your Members of Congress immediately.

It is imperative that the youth OHV market be restored immediately for the health of family recreation, the survival of the sport and the prosperity of an industry already suffering in a downturned economy. Please contact your Senators and Representative right away and ask them to sign-on to the youth OHV exclusion request letters today.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Alleydude Website Design

The Alleydude approach to graphic design is simplicity. Sites with flash and a lot of JavaScript script tend not only perform poorly in the search engines, but also put off the visitors due to slow load times and clunky interface. Graphic design should not only look good, but should allow your visitors to get the information they are looking for with minimal wait time and as few clicks as necessary. The sites that I have designed in the past have performed well in the search engines and look appealing to the eye.

Graphic design is not just an artistic process, but is a marketing process that must not only present the company in an appealing and inviting way, but must also bring the customers to the site in the first place. Flash animations and fancy java scripts do not do this, and in fact work against you. Search engines like text and simple, tight code, which is what I specialize in. My graphic designs and web designs will bring customers to your door and get them to the information or products they are looking for. Whether it's a completely new site, or a basic face lift for your website, I know what you need and have the means to make it happen at a reasonable price.

...and just a side note: The graphics you see on this page and not flash or Java, they are animated .gif files that are alt-able and title-able, making them search engine friendly, and if done correctly require minimal load time.

I am located in Kingsley, Michigan, near Traverse City, MI. If you are looking for someone to do your Graphic Design work in Kingsley, Mi, or you need some web design in Traverse City, Michigan, I would love to take on your project. Thank you for stopping by, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Kingsley Michigan Web Design. Small town business ethics, small town prices. If you are looking for Michigan Web Design, contact the Alleydude.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Affordable SEO

How much do you have in your budget to spend on SEO? $10,000? $100,000? Though these figures seem high, the truth is that you could easily spend this with other SEO companies. Many will try to sell you on Pay-Per-Click (PPC), and other will try to trick you into spending big bucks with them just to get you to rank on some silly, unrelated keywords that do you no good what-so-ever. It's these people you need to avoid like the plague. They are not out to help you, just take your money.

Looking for affordable seo? The SEO Brigade is all about affordable search engine optimization. The fact of the matter is that you can NOT afford not to have your site professionally optimized for Natural Search. So how much is SEO worth to you? If you have it in your budget to advertise, then you have money better spent on organic SEO. (See What Is SEO.) Consider Affordable SEO. A newspaper ad can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars, and only offer a one time exposure. TV ads cost even more and are only good for as long as the ad campaign lasts. Magazine ads are only good for as long as the reader is looking at your ad. SEO lasts years, maybe for as long as you own your website. Affordable SEO by the SEO Brigade is the best bang for the buck that your money can buy when it comes to marketing your product or service. People search Google more than they do the Yellow pages these days. How can anyone overlook the potential of the Internet? You can not overlook affordable SEO.

The SOE Brigade offers Affordable SEO. Contact me and find out how affordable professional organic search engine optimization can be.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

What is SEO?

Seo, or search engine optimization, is the process of taking a website and tightening up the code, adding strategic keywords and other tricks to help a website rank on the search engines. It is far more than just keyword jamming, and too much can hurt. A good SEO will utilize keywords in such a way as to not alter the content or visual appeal of the site, and yet be able to get the most out of the site without sacrificing functionality, visual appeal, or load time.

Pay-Per-Click is NOT search engine optimization! If an SEO tries to sell you Pay-Per-Click (PPC) then they are only after your money and NOT looking out for your best interests. Yes, there are some cases where PPC is beneficial, but I will not discuss them here. The SEO Brigade offers only Natural SEO, also called Organic SEO. Natural SEO is the process of taking the website and optimizing it so that Google and other search engines picks them up and finds them more relevant than the competing web sites listed on the search engines.

Organic SEO takes time. Unlike Pay-Per-Click, keyword ranking doesn't happen overnight. In fact, keyword ranking might take several months. But unlike PPC, the effects are long lasting. Good natural SEO work can last years, unlike PPC which once turned off, you fall from the rankings.

Whether you consider the SEO Brigade to do your Natural Search Engine Optimization or another respectable company, you NEED to seriously consider Natural SEO or Organic SEO.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The History of Hot Wheels Online Price Guides
In 1997, Ken McClellan was searching the Internet for information on the values of some of his Hot Wheels. Finding nothing on the Internet, he searched print price guides, finding the only one available to be several years out of date. The Tomarts Hot Wheels Price Guide was considered the benchmark for price guides, but being out of date, and not available online, Ken McClellan began compiling value information into a database by searching
completed online auctions such as eBay.

As the database grew, McClellan made his first attempt at putting his information online, and on April 22, 1997, Treasure Hunt Alley was born. Treasure Hunt Alley was hosted on a free site, and was made up of many HTML tables. Traffic and interest grew, and as the bandwidth grew,Geocities soon became unsuitable for Treasure Hunt Alley. Ken McClellan began searching out Hosting, and through a contest held on Treasure Hunt Alley, was born in late 1998.

Traffic on the new website began to multiply rapidly. A company was hired to transfer all of the price guide data into a searchable database, which by now contained over 4000 entries. In addition to listing every Hot Wheels car ever produced, every variation was included, including color, wheels, and errors. Alleyguide grew and was soon receiving over two million page views per month.
See archived pages from Alleyguide on began accepting paid advertising to counter the rising server costs that resulted from the increased traffic. Online auction houses fought for real-estate on the index page, and diecast dealers from throughout the country wanted banners on the site. Several sent product samples for product reviews. The site had become self sufficient, and more.

In mid 1999, Mobilia, Inc. of Middlebury, VT, publisher of Mobilia Magazine and owners of contacted Ken McClellan about a unopened box of 1972 Hot Wheels that they wanted appraised. In addition to the appraisal they also wanted to discuss the purchase of Mobilia flew McClellan out to Vermont to talk business. Though a deal was not struck at that meeting, a retainer check was handed over to McClellan on the promise that a purchase deal would be agreed upon.

A phone call later that week to McClellan's home included an offer he couldn't refuse. A purchase price was agreed upon, and the deal included a monthly salary for McClellan to maintain Alleyguide for three years. Alleyguide was now owned by Mobilia.

Alleyguide continued to thrive for one and a half years, but Mobilia had other plans. They sold their magazine, and made the decision to go completely online retail, selling diecast and memorabilia. In doing so, the shut down the price guide, as well as the domain Six months after getting investments of over nine million dollars, Mobilia ran out of money, and Mobilia, as well as Alleyguide, was gone.

Ken McClellan wasn't finished. He had seen the end approaching, and was ready with a new website. Once Mobilia had breached his contract with him, McClellan launched his latest online price guide Diecast Illustrated, officially launched February 1, 2001, enjoyed much of the success that Alleyguide did. Diecast Illustrated even attracted the advertising of major diecast manufacturers.

The road wasn't as pleasant this time around for McClellan. After a falling out with a major sponsor, McClellan decided to call it quits. In March of 2002, Diecast Illustrated was no more. Though there have many imitators of Alleyguide and Diecast Illustrated, none have lived up to what the originals were.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What Happened to Auto World?

Auto World started as not a store but a mail order company operated out of Oscar's friend Bob "Smitty" Smiths basement. Because of their aggressiveness and knowledge (and need to make some money) they became important to real enthusiasts and manufacturers. Oscar's wife and he did the first catalogs on the kitchen table and ironing board. Their first two of four kids got to like licking the glue on the stamps! Eventually they all got to work at Auto World during school years. In 1962, Oscar met with Bob MacLeod (magazine assembler) and Larry Shaw (auto editor) and together started we Car Model Magazine (OLR Publishing, Oscar-Larry-Robert).

Though Auto World closed it's doors in 1991, many still hold fond memories of Auto World, and today it is the benchmark by which other mail order hobby stores are measured.

Oscar today is now operating as well as his KidRacer project to get kids involved in racing at an early age and teach them the fundamentals of racing, sportsmanship, and teamwork.

Kid Racers In Action