Tag Archive: blog

  1. “Medium” is Large On Content

    "Medium" is Large On Content

    Two of the internet’s top ten websites have been created by American serial entrepreneur, Evan Williams: Blogger and Twitter. In 2012, he and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone unveiled medium.com, the word-centric website for clever content over 140 characters.

    Medium’s goal is to provide a platform for writers, meaningful content to “readers” and the ability to source more meaningful metrics behind content engagement. The site is used by a wide audience, from professional journalists to amateur cooks.

    The Difference:
    Traditional news editors have always relied on intuition for what drives readership, while Medium relies on reader insights.

    Medium is essentially the Pandora of the written word. Utilizing an intelligent algorithm, Medium suggests stories based on interest, engagement and time spent reading, rather than focusing merely on page views. To further the reader’s relationship with Medium “stories”, the site provides a “Reading List”, a “Top 100” and allows users to bookmark content.

    “Time spent is not actually a value in itself, but in a world where people have infinite choices, it’s a pretty good measure if people are getting value,” explains founder Evan Williams.

    Medium: 
    1) Lets you focus on your words:
    The space is dedicated to reading and writing.

    2) Is collaborative:
    People create better things together than on their own. Medium allows you to write with other people.  There is even a get help before you hit the “Publish” button.

    3) Helps you find your audience:
    You can contribute once or often without making the commitment of a blog.

    After two years, Medium is still trying to find its way and gain a larger audience. Will bloggers abandon their blogs in favor of Medium? Will Twitter users opt for longer content and abandon the “Follower mentality”? Will Medium become a dominant force in news content? Only time will tell.

    In the end, Medium is a fantastic experience for the both the reader and writer. Give it a try and let us know what you think.

  2. Michael Dell’s New Red Laptop

    Dell got a fairly bad rap a while back its treatment of famous blogger Jeff Jarvis. Dubbed “dell hell,” it has become a case study in how bloggers can have a true impact in commerce.
    Fast forward almost three years and Dell has really turned the tables in many respects. An item in the Wall Street Journal tells a pretty cool story of Michael Dell getting the blogosphere to work for him in an effort to launch a new product. I think this is a very good example of social media coming full circle within a corporation.

  3. Google: Getting to the Top

    Almost every day I entertain the question of how one can snatch a number one listing on Google for a particular keyword or keyphrase. As anyone who has worked with search engines know, this is not at all a simple answer. There are too many variables to consider in terms of industry, stature in the marketplace, target market, and longevity. My typical tact is to try not to give a definitive answer (because, often, one does not exist) but to help clients think about how Google functions and how it might work for them. Similar to the ‘training versus educating’ line of demarcation, the first step toward Google success is learning how to think about it.
    In my conversations with clients, I try and help them think through several concepts related to how Google functions with a Web site and how it assigns rankings. Many of the mechanics of Google are trade secrets (think the Coca-Cola recipe) and unknown by anyone outside of a select few employees. There are several widely accepted principles, though, that guide search engine marketers in how to cozy up to high Google rankings.
    For the sake of simplicity, let’s think of these accepted principles in two categories:
    1. On-site factors: Google takes a look at the content and structure of your Web site to determine how relevant it is to a particular keyword or keyphrase
    2. Off-site factors: Google looks at the greater Internet (factors external to your Web site) and how it relates to your site
    Once you understand this delineation, you’re on the way to understanding higher rankings. Let’s take a look at some of the invididual principles within each of these categories.
    On-site factors
    1. Google cares about your content, how original and genuine it is, how often it is updated, and how many times a particular keyword/keyphrase is used.
    2. Google looks for specific, descriptive tags (called META tags and TITLE tags) and the keywords therein.
    3. The presence of a site map (similar to an outline) within your Web site denotes structure, organization, and a specific hierarchy to Google.
    4. Google evaluates your site to determine how structurally sound (i.e. strong coding) your site is as a measure of its relevance.
    5. Google can’t often interpret images and FLASH content, so the site must contain a balance between readable text and graphics.
    Off-site factors
    1. Google counts the number of sites that link to yours.
    2. Google determines how relevant/important those linking sites are; a link from a heavily-visited site is more valuable than a link from a site with little traffic.
    3. Google looks to see how long your domain has been existence and in its database; as a rule of thumb, domains with longer lives are seen as more legitimate.
    4. Google evaluates the text within incoming links as a way to characterize what words are associated with your site.
    5. Google looks to other closely-related sites like a corporate blog or other affiliated site as a way to determine how relevant your site is.
    This list isn’t meant to represent a be-all / end-all. Anyone who tells you that they have such a list is likely exaggerating (or violating a Google patent protection). It hopefully is, though, a start toward helping you to strategically think about Google and how to find your way to the top!

  4. Big/Small Company Blogging

    The St. Pete Times has a pretty interesting (and accurate) article about the different ways that small and large companies are approaching corporate blogging. Small companies seem to be embracing the medium faster than larger companies who seem to be taking more of a wait-and-see approach. It seems natural, though, in that larger companies have Sarbanes-Oxley issues, more bureaucracy to contend with, and–frankly–more to lose. The article describes attitudes in the business community which are consistent with what I see lately within small (more aggressive) and large (more hesitant) companies. Thanks to Josh, who is quoted in the article, for the tip.

  5. Crash of the Online Economy?

    This month’s Wired Magazine has a pretty interesting article about click fraud and the potential for it to ‘swallow the Internet.’ As most of you know, ‘click fraud’ refers to the practice of falsely clicking on pay-per-click ads in an effort to cost a company money or remove its ads on the basis of artificial or contrived non-performance. Here’s an example of how it works:
    Let’s say I go into business selling neck ties on the Internet. I set up a Web site to facilitate the ecommerce and then place some pay-per-click ads with Google to attract visitors. If I happen to notice a competitor’s ad showing up in the list with mine, I could simply click on their ads multiple times to drain their onilne ad budget with Google. Ethical? No. But it is happening all too often with Google ad buyers and sellers alike.
    The article lays out a number of derivative schemes being employed by scammers and vaguely describes some of the counter-measures being employed by Google and Yahoo. In the end, I feel that this will be a perpetual cat-and-mouse game between both sides. The article seems to suggest that a lack of improved enforcement could threaten the lifeblood of the Internet economy and cause a crash. Below is a diagram that appeared in the article that does a good job of describing how it works.

  6. RSS – Thinking out Loud

    Many of you who read this blog are probably sick and tired of me talking about the ins and outs of RSS all the time. It really fascinates me, though…both because of the high potential and relatively low adoption rate. One thought I had this morning in the car: RSS is important with blogs moreso than online newspapers and magazines. With the latter there is an expectation of up-to-the-minute content freshness. As such, I know that I can go to an online newspaper at any time and see updated content. Not so with your typical blogs. Many of them go for days (or weeks) without any changes. My RSS-enabled reader keeps me from going to each URL all of the time. I’m afraid that if I subscribed to an online newspaper via RSS, I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the flurry of content.