Greg Hoffman



Cyber Monday Sales Spike

I can attest to the accuracy and impact of Cyber Monday at Thompson Cigar and LinenSource.

The newly named Cyber Monday lives up to its history with sales spikes
Who heard of Cyber Monday before yesterday? Not many people as the term was coined by the National Retail Federation/ this year to describe the phenomenon of online shopping that occurs on the Monday after Thanksgiving. But a Google search on the term shows 1.01 million instances of its appearing on the web. And it’s already being considered for inclusion in Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia written by users.

Just as “Black Friday” shopping in stores is much bigger than an average shopping day, so too is Cyber Monday shopping in online stores, a phenomenon that retailers have noted since the beginning of online shopping but that no one had named until this year. Visits to online retail sites on Monday increased 50% compared to a month ago and 20% compared to the previous Monday, Akamai Technologies Inc. reports.

Read the rest of the story at

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Eli is coming: Simple way to block Internet baddies

I tested one of the original Eli machines. I can't wait until they are released mainstream. Great article Rob Smith. Susan Lutz is president and founder of the Etsec, but Rob is Eli's dad.

Here's the story by Rob Laymon:

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. -- In a short time, the Internet has turned into the Wild West. Careful as you may be, your property and daily commerce are threatened by thieves, cheats, frauds, bandits, bushwhackers, hijackers, highwaymen and desperados of unknown affiliation. How hard must it be just to keep an Internet connection?

Enter Susan Lutz, wearing a star and six guns.

Lutz is founder and CEO of Eli (, a Burlington County company devoted to keeping all the electronic villains, at home and at work, out of your computer.

Read the rest of the story at the Philadelphia Business Journal.




What is your homepage?

I started using a homepage tool called ProtoPage about a month ago when I no longer had access to a company intranet. It's extremely simple and it allows me to avoid surfing through bookmarks to find the sites I visit often for work and home.

I don't want my blog or Road Runner or CNN to be my homepage. I want a tool like Protopage to launch from. It gives me search boxes for Google and Yahoo and sticky notes to post reminder notices. I highly recommend registering with the site and creating your own homepage.

The graphics and background templates are horribly lame, but it's free so don't argue.



Protecting the Brands

There's a new sheriff in town. I have discovered the world of keyword hijacking and brand theft by way of search engines, most notably because of the ease of blog indexing.

During my first week at Thompson Group, I was doing some basic research on our trademark names and came away with a chest-thumping roar. A Google Blog Search on Thompson Cigar showed a Spam blog blatantly stealing our trademark. It's obvious that the purpose of this blog is to steal keywords so visitors click on the Google Ads, thus helping the owner profit from the theft. I'm not linking to it because I don't want to give the owner the satisfaction. I also found one using LinenSource. I'm working on an attack plan.

The next violater was sent a warning shot across his blog. This cigar dealer used our trademark name in a blog linked to his home page to attract our search seekers to check out his brands. We'll see how long it takes for those names to disappear on his spam blog.

This is a task I'm going to take seriously. Spam blogs and unscrupulous vendors BEWARE. I'm taking no prisoners to protect our brands.

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