The Price of Nice Nails

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The typical cost of a manicure in the city helps explain the abysmal pay. A survey of more than 105 Manhattan salons by The Times found an average price of about $10.50. The countrywide average is almost double that, according to a 2014 survey by Nails Magazine, an industry publication.

With fees so low, someone must inevitably pay the price.

Ever wonder why getting you nails done in NYC is cheaper then just about everywhere else?  Doesn’t it seem incredible that one of the most expensive cities in the US could have a service that is cheaper then almost anywhere else?  This is a great expose in the NYT about how workers are exploited.
I particularly liked this map showing the number of Starbucks vs. nail shops:
Salons3 artboard 300

Source: The Price of Nice Nails


Refining google AdWords

I’ve been monitoring the results of trying a Google AdWord campaign ($25 for a month). This is the third day since I started to “brand” myself (it’s more painful then it sounds). Here are the searches that resulted in a click through:

  • “andaconda sports”
  • “python” but it was a search limited to
  • “snake game”
  • “where can i sell my snake”

Google associates Python, a programming language in my world, with “snakes”.
I went back to Google AdWords to refine my keywords and discovered a few more details. For example, you can add a “-” to mean “not this word” and you can surround a word in quotes to avoid the broad match (e.g. “snake” matches “python”). Here’s the set of words I’m using now:

  • PyQt
  • django
  • pyqt
  • python qt
  • qt
  • qt designer
  • “python”
  • -snake

So far I’ve spent $1.63 for six click thru’s that are totally worthless. That’s not such a big deal at this point though it does warn me about two things:

  1. If you don’t have an easy way to monitor what search words are being used you shouldn’t be using AdWords.
  2. A lot of people just click on the first thing that shows up. I have no idea why someone looking for “snake game” would click on a link “Pete Ware — Developer”!

Google adwords and “my brand”

I woke up early this morning and decided using Google AdWords was a brilliant idea and not at all creepy. So I followed the advice in item 5 and took out an ad via Google AdWords.
I chose pretty strange search words (python, qt, PyQt) so it’d be cheap. I also limited the searches to New York (fewer adds served). Finally, I had a $25 credit so it’s essentially a free experiment.
So searching Google for “PyQt” in New York results in this display:
google pyqt
The text is lame but it’s easy to change.
Google AdWords now shows I’ve had 850 impressions (Impr) and one click through (Clicks). What, I actually had a click through!
google adwords
I better go check that click through out:
wordpress stats
(that’s from WordPress and the StatPress plugin). The person was searching for “andaconda sports” and the results look like:
andaconda sports
The first time I looked, my page showed up first.
So the person immediately clicked on the very first link! That bozo cost me $0.43 while looking for a sporting goods store! I’m a software developer! WTF?
So how did my page show up? Google must have figured “Andaconda” was really “Anaconda” (which is a snake) and further decided that Anaconda and Python are related. So the bozo must be interested in me because I mentioned Python. So that blows half my advertising budget for today!


7 Secrets to Getting Your Next Job Using Social Media

This article has some interesting ideas about looking for a job in our brave new world. I’m not wild about the idea of establishing a “brand” (go figure since I’m doing this on but it’s certainly conventional wisdom that you find a job by knowing people.
I need to ponder idea (5) — taking out a Google AdWord is either brilliant or really creepy. From 7 Secrets to Getting Your Next Job Using Social Media:

5. Advertise your brand using AdWords and Facebook Social Ads
Google AdWords is Google’s advertising platform, which offers CPC (cost-per-click) and CPI (cost-per-impression) pricing for advertisements on Google and partner sites. Some of their partner sites are newspapers, radio and TV.