Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Will the real iPhone please stand up

Rumour has it that an iPhone will be released at Macworld Expo San Francisco in January 2007.

Other rumours about the pending release include 3 megapixel camera, 2.2 inch screen, and iTunes integration.

American Technology Research Analyst Shaw Wu says the phone has already gone from concept to prototype.

"Clearly, we would like to share more detail as we have conducted extensive work on the product pipeline, but for now, here is what we will convey," Wu wrote. "The design will be an iPod nano-like candy bar form factor and come in three colors (we are not certain of the exact colors but we suspect black, white and platinum, similar to Apple's current color scheme of iPods and Macs)."

I'm guessing that they've been holding off until now to get flash memory in the iPhone.
A hard drive would just be too bulky.

Take your pick from the following images that have been floating around.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Is SMO the new frontier of SEO?

As word of Lonelygirl15 leaked out, it dawned on me that Social Media optimization is the new black. Not that I'm talking about black hat SEO, but I guess that all depends on just how far you take it.

Dubbed an "experiment in storytelling", Lonelygirl15 is like a 4 month case study.
Although the creators claim it was never their intention was to mislead, the confessional video blogs that appeared on Myspace and YouTube have angered fans, thinking it was an elaborate promotion for an upcoming movie or TV show.

There's a great read on the debunking of Lonelygirl15 at Slumdance. There is also a piece about Bree at Businessweek.

The entire effort is admirable, and leaves me wondering what Madison Avenue and the big ad agencies are talking about these days. Not only did it create legions of lonelygirl15 fans, but it probably inspired SMO to a new level. Long live beta 7.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Industry accreditation

But I didn't say what industry.
That's for you to decide.

Grab your accreditation.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Social Media Optimization - and a few new rules

Interests developing around Social Media Optimization (SMO) indicate new thinking on SEO.

The concept is simple, and Rhoit Bhargava said it best;
"...implement changes to optimize a site so that it is more easily linked to, more highly visible in social media searches on custom search engines (such as Technorati), and more frequently included in relevant posts on blogs, podcasts and vlogs."

But let's start with with a summary of the current mindset and rules of Social Media Optimization;

1. Increase your linkability : Think blogs, content, aggregation & linkbait.

2. Make tagging and bookmarking easy : Include calls to action for users to tag, bookmark and Digg your stuff. I’d suggest the Sociable Plugin if you have a Wordpress powered blog.

3. Reward inbound links : List blogs which link back to you via permalinks, trackbacks or recently linking blogs (like the Yahoo & Google blogs do).

4. Help your content travel : Content diversification can lead to mobility of your content beyond the browser.

5. Encourage the mashup : Let others use your content or tools to produce something a bit different or outside of the box with your stuff, even RSS.

6. Be a User Resource, even if it doesn’t help you : Add value and outbound links, even if it doesn’t help in the short term, it will in the long.

7. Reward helpful and valuable users : Give your contributors and readers the recognition they deserve.

8. Participate : Get in there and get involved in the discussions going on among the blogs and sites of others, and do it organically. Earn your rep on Digg.com, don’t try and force it.

9. Know how to target your audience : Understand your appeal and those people you wish to attract.

10. Create content : A little bit of rules 1 & 4 here, but the underlying message is know the form of content working for you.

11. Be real : Transparency pays off and no one likes a fake.

12. Don’t forget your roots, be humble : Sometimes it can be easy to get carried away being a BlogStar or industry talking head. Remember those who helped you along the way, and that respect will help all involved.

13. Don’t be afraid to try new things, stay fresh : Social Media is changing and morphing by the minute, keep up on new tools, products and challenges in your social sphere.

14. Develop a SMO strategy - define your objectives and set goals. Be fully aware of what your desired outcome is as a result of performing these tactics. Reputation, sales, influence, credibility, charity, traffic/page views, etc.

15. Choose your SMO tactics wisely. Be cognizant of what actions will influence the desired outcome with the most impact.

16. Make SMO part of your process and best practices. As with good SEO, SMO tactics should become part of your organization’s best practices. Find ways to incorporate SMO tactics at the “template” level of document creation and as part of information distribution. Minor things like encouraging social bookmarks and rewarding incoming links as a standard practice across the organization can go a long way.

My contribution? Here's 4 more rules for Social Media Optimization...

- Write for a niche. Shotgun creative is less effective.
- Do your homework. Quality content is rewarded with links and traffic.
- Challenge and engage the reader.
- Network your ideas

Monday, September 04, 2006

Super Bloggers

Michael Arrington's TechCrunch, a blog about new technologies and companies, pulls in $60,000 in ad revenue every month.

Nick Denton launched the gossip site Gawker back in 2002, along with the gadget blog Gizmodo. Gawker Media now runs 13 sites and is expected to bring in #4 million worth of ad revenue this year.

The wave of blog success stories is on the rise. Popsugar, Fark, Huffington Post, MetaFilter, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

So what do these blog success stories have in common?
For one, they're catering to a niche market. Frequency is also a big part of it.
And undoubtedly, getting the scoop plays a part in it as well.

Ode to Tom

When I first started exploring social networks, one of the things that troubled me was this fellow named Tom. At first I wondered who he was and how he assumed our friendship. It's not like we ever met or exchanged words.

Later I learned Tom was a default friend. Sad indeed. Yet Tom, with his menacing grin, seemed perfectly content. As it turns out, Tom is a rock. A connector. An innovator. Even a pioneer.

I had the rare opportunity to speak to Tom about what he's been up to.
This is how it went.

Me: Hey Tom, thanks for taking the time to speak with me.

Tom from MySpace: Ya, I got the restraining order. Uh, have we met?

Me: You did? Great. So tell me, what have you been up to? With the Myspace success and all.

Tom from MySpace: Mostly just working on MySpace.

Me: That's it?

Tom from MySpace: Ya. Keeps me busy.

Me: ...

Tom from MySpace: I did buy a new car recently.

Me: Ya? What'd ya get?

Tom from MySpace: It's a Scion. Ever seen one? It's wicked!

Me: ...

Tom from MySpace: And I've got this girlfriend now.

Me: Really? Where'd ya meet her?

Tom from MySpace: Where you think?

Me: Good talking to you.

And that was about it.
Shorlty after, I deleted him and took refuge in the Anti-Tom coalition.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Lessons of the linking landscape

There’s a saying among SEOs that all links are not created equal.
But it really depends on which search engine is looking at it.

Google has a lead on search market share and relevance is a factor. Some claim it's a little finicky and efforts are best steered at Yahoo/MSN. A matter of personal tastes really, but the Google rewards your efforts with more traffic than probably the other big 2 could offer - combined.

Besides the neighborhood, relevance, on-page acquaintances you share, and actual on-page location, there is also the consideration of whether the link is perceived (by G) as a "text link" or more of a link contained within the body copy, creating the appearance of being part of the copy versus paid placement. There is also the question of how many links are on the page as well. Each one sapping a little more link juice. So if you're on a page with only about 10 outbound links, it stands to reason this carries more weight than a page with 50+ outbound links.

So how does one drive traffic to a site? It starts with the "enviable" task of link building.

There are all kinds of link types. According to stuntdubl, there are 12 link types. But there is also a need to know some of the various link building tactics. Aaron Wall and Andy Hagans compiled one of the best posts this year with 101 Ways to Build Link Popularity in 2006.

You can forget the reciprocal link route. Rarely is it worth the time. You'd be far better off focussing on developing some quality content. Or link bait!