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June 30, 2008

Plurk Is Slowly Winning Me Over - How About You?

By Li Evans

At the end of the week last week, I asked the question to my Plurk audience, "Do you consider yourself a plurk convert? If you do, I'd love to hear why?" which then led to "What would you like to see plurk add to make it better??"  I am finding Plurk, more and more attractive to hold conversations and communicate despite the way I feel about the interface.

Harpooned Twitter Fail WhaleTwitter, has issues.  Major issues.  The more that it is broken, features are disabled and doesn't update or respond to its audience, the more it's driving people to Plurk, not Friendfeed, but Plurk. (Sorry A-Listers, ya missed the boat on this one!)

Plurk's A-Team is learning from Twitter's very public mis-steps and issues.  The team at Plurk is fast to respond, and fast to implement new ideas (that are feasible) suggested by its users.  It keeps its audience up to date with what's going on.  Granted, the user base is not that of Twitter, and growing pains are likely going to ensue once the exodus from those tired of seeing that dumb whale (or now the bird & dragonfly), hits Plurk.

Plurk is not Twitter, not by any stretch of the imagination.  Twitter is a broadcasting mechanism and an easy way to disseminate a message to a captive audience that wants to hear what you have to say.  You can hold conversations between yourself and someone else, but when you compare it to Plurk, you can see the big difference.

Continue reading "Plurk Is Slowly Winning Me Over - How About You?" »

Fun Photo Fridays: Feeding the Yahoo Search Monkey as SES Toronto

By Li Evans

Well I missed one week, and I'm late a few days on the Fun Friday Photo.  I certainly hope you can forgive me!  Life has been extremely busy at "home", and unfortunately one or two things have been missed the last two weeks.  Things though, are settling back to normal and I'm hoping by the beginning of next week, my months of hospital visits will be finished (more on that next week!).

So, this week's photo is straight from the Expo Hall Floor at SES Toronto.  I have to say, Yahoo! Canada had the COOLEST booth I've seen in a while.  The folks on Andy Reniersis' team were really clever when they put this together to promote Yahoo's Search Monkey Product.  The booth was totally about monkeys, down to even being able to play against the "Search Monkey" in a game of Mario Cart.  There was this really neat display that was two monkeys with bananas made out of balloons, and even real bananas as a treat.  I even got to interview Andy (video coming tomorrow!) about the Search Monkey product, and then, I got this photo.

Fun Photo Fridays: Feeding the Yahoo Search Monkey as SES Toronto

If you like this photo of Andy Renieris & the Yahoo Search Monkey at SES Toronto, feel free to comment and favorite it on Flickr, Sphinn or Fetch this photo as that's how we'll be judging the photos at the end of the year! Check out the rest of the fun at SES Toronto Conference, there's over 90 photos to view, I even got to feed the Search Monkey, too.

June 26, 2008

Are SEO Ethics Different than Social Media Ethics?

By Li Evans

Ethics I've been chewing on some thoughts lately.  These thoughts circle around social media and search marketing professionals claiming to be experts in this vast huge universe that involves social news, forums, micro-blogging, blogs and many, many more channels of engagement.  I was dismayed at some things that were presented on the Social Media Success panel in Toronto at SES.

Along with that, I was just flabbergasted at a submission on Sphinn about gaming Twitter for "do follow" links.  It wasn't so much the fact that someone wrote this post.  Nickycakes is a great programmer and does come up with some time saving ideas, so naturally if he sees opportunities from his frame of mind (being a reformed black hat and all) he's going to write about it. 

However, what really made my jaw drop was who all Sphunn this article to put it to the front page.  People who I have greatly respected and thought they were pretty honest when it came to doing things in social media.  But here they were promoting something that pretty clearly is something that would "spam" a social media channel.

I asked David Harry why he sphunn it, and he said that "social media spammers that proudly OUT their Twitter spamming tactics won't be around long if we PUBLICIZE the exploit."  David makes an excellent point there, perhaps a few are of like mind with him.  But I still couldn't get over who sphunn this up after it "went hot" and was well publicized. 

It all just has my mind churning, and I still do not get why people need to game social media. 

Take the tactic of "Vanity Baiting" for example.  This tactic, used by SEO's, made me stop and question everything that was said to me in the past by SEO's who now seem to be "overly gracious" with their comments.  Have I been "baited" for months with this vanity baiting tactic?  How can I trust anyone who uses this tactic, that they are being truthful with their compliments going forward? Was any of that real, or was that to get me to stumble, read, sphinn, and link to them?  If it was, it worked in the past because I have done all of that, now though I will have to think twice, because the trust that was there, is now gone.

What about gaming Twitter for backlinks?  Seems harmless?  Think again.  If you get found out as a spammer on Twitter (and now Plurk), the community bands together and not only reports your to the respective services, but the community shuns you.  Sure you may have your other spammer friends to follow you, but will anyone else?  Likely not, then what good is gaming Twitter?

What about multiple accounts on social media news and bookmarking services?  Think it's all about the "avatar"?  Think again.  It's about the human, and again, if you are found out to be building fake accounts - i.e. claiming to be a 43 year old mom of 3 who loves cooking, scrapbooking and knitting, when you are really a 30 something man, who's spamming the scrapbooking folks with your fake profile/avatar, all hell's going to break loose when those people you befriended through the bot you created, figure out your spamming them.  But hey! What's a few profiles to burn down, right?  Trouble is all that time spent "faking it" could have been spent being real and making real connections that gain you much more than links.

Want to know what's the saddest thing about all of this is to me?  None of these tactics are ever discussed in the social media channels where social media practitioners are active.  In fact, most of them are horrified that people not only do this, but strategize for their clients to do this.  They think of people who suggest such things, and tell people and clients to do these things are Spammers and Manipulators. 

The_plague These tactics are pretty much only discussed and promoted in the search marketing sphere of online marketing.  That folks, really saddens me. 

I don't believe a lot of SEO's want to manipulate Social Media or be likened to a spammer.  Unfortunately with tactics and blog posts like I demonstrated above, that are not only being presented, but promoted within the Search Industry, the people outside of the Search Industry are lumping us all together.  Think of that, the next time you meet someone at a social media event and say "I'm a search marketer" and they seem to not really want to associate with you, or look at you like you have the plague.

Hattips to Jennifer Laycock, Elizabeth Able, Mack Collier and David Harry for helping me out with this.

June 25, 2008

Why I Love Blogging - From the Blog Potomac Audience

By Li Evans

Almost two weeks ago, I got the opportunity to go to Blog Potomac with Beau (Shannon) Hall, where we had a great time, but also got to shoot a lot of video interviews.  I've posted those interviews here on Search Marketing Gurus, but here's a a quick and easy to access run down of those interviews.

Love What you haven't seen yet, is the interviews of the audience at Blog Potomac.  We asked each person "So what's your name?  What's Your Blog?  and... Why Do You Love Blogging?".  The answers and response we got was amazing and it was a lot of fun to do.  I felt like I now expanded my realm of blogs to read immensely, while also wanting to make sure the SMG audience knew about all these folks where we so passionate about blogs and the topic of their blogs! 

All total there's over 25 "Why I Love Blogging" interviews, below is a list of the interviewees with a link to their individual video and to each of their blogs, so take the time and check out some of these great pieces of communication!  The range of blog topics is great from Public Relations, Environment and even Concierge Advice, you need to take a look at these blogs.

And just to highlight and give you a taste of the videos, here's Shireen Mitchell's take on why she loves blogging, she blogs about a subject near and dear to my heart, Women in Technology.

Beau and I are also putting together a few montages of these explanations of why people love blogging, stay tune to SMG for those!

June 24, 2008

Online Marketing Tips Video: Promoting Your Blog

By Li Evans

Right off the heels of Blog Potomac and SES Toronto where a lot of questions were about blogs and how to promote them, we have our Tuesday's Tips in Online Marketing.  In this edition I'm discussing some really easy, high level tips that anyone can use to help promote their blog.  From Feedburner to good old fashion word of mouth marketing, there are some simple tips you can implement to help promote your blog.


Full transcript after the jump....

Continue reading "Online Marketing Tips Video: Promoting Your Blog" »

June 23, 2008

Blog Potomac - Interview With Lionel Menchaca, Cheif Blogger and Social Media Advocate at Dell

By Li Evans

I'd been told about Lionel Menchaca of Dell by numerous people in the Social Media space.  Someone even said he was the "Rockstar" in this space.   I started looking into and reading more about Lionel and his journey with Dell as they stepped deeper and deeper into Social Media. 

At WOMMA's WOMM-U I had the opportunity to listen to Bob Pearson speak about Dell's efforts, and I had to opportunity to speak with Liana Frey about an employee's feelings about Dell's social media efforts.  Dell's taking this seriously, Dell really believes in utilizing social media to reach is customers both tech savvy and first time computer buyers.  To Dell, social media is about holding a conversation and engaging their customers, to Dell Social Media is not about links.

When I saw that Lionel Menchaca was the keynote speaker at Blog Potomac, I was really excited to actually meet him and hopefully get to talk to him at length about what Dell's doing and where they are going.  I have to say, Lionel is one of the nicest people I've ever met.  Not only that, he's passionate about social media and what Dell's doing with it. 

Thank you Lionel, for taking the time to speak with me and the SMG audience!

Full transcript after the jump....

Continue reading "Blog Potomac - Interview With Lionel Menchaca, Cheif Blogger and Social Media Advocate at Dell" »

June 22, 2008

Blog Potomac - Interview With Rohit Bhargarva, Author of Personality Not Included

By Li Evans

The night before Blog Potomac was held, there was a speaker's dinner and Rohit Bhargava was the featured speaker.  We all got a copy of his book "Personality Not Included" and he did a really cool exercise with the group that attended the dinner.

The next day, Rohit was at Blog Potomac and he obliged me with a interview.  Such a nice guy, who even endured me asking him to pronounce his last name a few times, so I could make sure I wouldn't mess it up.  Thanks for being so kind Rohit, and I still love that cover of your book.  It's next on my reading list, too!

Full video interview transcript after the jump....

Continue reading "Blog Potomac - Interview With Rohit Bhargarva, Author of Personality Not Included" »

June 21, 2008

Blog Potomac - Interview with Kami Watson-Huyse of the Communication Overtones Blog

By Li Evans

At Blog Potomac last week, I got the opportunity to do a live interview with Kami Watson-Huyse, principal of My PR Pro and owner of the Communication Overtones blog.  Readers of Search Marketing Gurus will be familiar with Kami since we did a interview with her back in October.

Kami took time out from her speaking duties at Blog Potomac to speak to us about social media's affects on public relations.

Full video interview transcript after the jump....

Continue reading "Blog Potomac - Interview with Kami Watson-Huyse of the Communication Overtones Blog" »

June 19, 2008

Blog Potomac - Interview with Geoff Livingston, Author of Now is Gone

By Li Evans

Search Marketing Gurus was video interviewing the speakers at Blog Potomac to bring you a taste of what happened at the event on June 13th, 2008 in Falls Church, VA.  In this interview, we interview Geoff Livingston of Livingston Communications, co-chair and founder of the event as well as author of the book Now is Gone.  Geoff blogs at The Buzz Bin.

Full video interview transcript after the jump...

Continue reading "Blog Potomac - Interview with Geoff Livingston, Author of Now is Gone" »

Blog Potomac - Interview with Debbie Weil, Author of the Corporate Blogging Book

By Li Evans

This last Friday I attended Blog Potomac.  It was a great social media event put on by Geoff Livingston and Debbie Weil for people in the Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia areas who wanted to get a taste of social media marketing and blogging in particularly.

I've been a fan of Debbie for quite a while, so when she agreed to do an interview with me on video, you can only imagine this fan's delight.  You can also check out Debbie's sites:  Blog Write for CEO's, The Corporate Blogging Book and DebbieWeil.com

Full interview transcript after the jump....

Continue reading "Blog Potomac - Interview with Debbie Weil, Author of the Corporate Blogging Book" »

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