Tag Archive: Website

LINK BAIT - Tsavo Media

Image by Frank Gruber via Flickr

A couple articles from ProBlogger.com I’ve come across talked about the issue of “Linkbait” …what is that?  I didn’t know when I first heard it—but I guessed, and I did so correctly.

  1. Introduction to Linkbaiting
  2. 20 Linkbaiting Techniques.

These two articles give (1) a basic definition and explanation of the concept/practice, and (2) a list of examples of how to do it (right or wrong) with some of the risks involved.

Linkbait. I think it’s a silly name—a name for really good stuff.

Okay, someone will correct me and say that it can also be really bad stuff…so it’s really “linkable stuff.”
But, it’s really good in the sense that it’s stuff that’s worth having on the internet if someone wants to link to it …it’s worth enough of someone’s time for them to discuss it.  It’s obviously something that someone wants to talk about—but wouldn’t you want to always make blog posts / articles / web-content that people want to talk about?

Linkbait is what you should try to do anyways.

So, what is linkbait?  Well, apparently these two above articles qualify—so the articles about linkbait, were linkbait.

Flavors.Me diagramA solution for small businesses and the personal brandflavors.me? This personal gateway is a single hub for your social media accounts—Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and more, all displayed in a single page, labelled and branded the way you want it.

As more and more businesses are opening up to the idea of using the Internet, its usually social media—the new path of least resistance—that becomes the first place they’ll start.  Often times companies will be more likely to have Facebook pages or Myspace accounts before they’ll have an actual “official” webpage: one thing that builds on this is the fact that the companies out there that are starting often will begin with something like a Facebook page, simply because this is easier than hiring an XHTML, CSS, JavaScript and Design expert to put together a full-on site.

What this means is that information on Facebook and social media sites is often more likely to be accurate and up to date, than “official news” displayed in (print and even) web. Flavors.me comes forward as a place to aggregate that all into a single customizable front-page, and aggregate all that disparate social sharing (like videos, photos, text updates and more) and then put them together, basically as a (or rather the new breed of) official web-page.

So take a look.  There is a rather inspiring gallery of Flavors on their website that include a number of personal/professional and even a few business entries.  One that caught my eye, was a small restaurant from Toronto that was sharing their menu online as well as updates to their ongoing business life and creative cook-ups.  The restaurant was located in my hometown, and as such, their social media was quite effective—my wife and I have decided to try to visit them next time we’re up that way.

Yesterday’s post featured a claim that Google-use had been overtaken by Facebooking time.  In other words, the users who search on Google are spending less time doing that than the users of Facebook are spending on that favorite social-media service.

Think about what Facebook hosts already, things primarily that used to be available only elsewhere on the internet:

  • Instant Messaging: With Facebook-chat, one can always catch up with friends online
  • E-mail: Facebook Messages allow one to communicate with one another just like you would with (old-fashioned?) e-mail.  User-to-user long-form messaging is what that’s all about.
  • Content: Growing numbers of Facebook pages/groups are starting to be the go-to options for businesses, even before they have their own professional webpages. Having so many users and contacts all right there to plug in to whatever cause, venture or endeavor you’re doing is just too tempting—especially when compared with the work necessary to get a regular website the type of traffic a Facebook page can potentially get with just a few clicks.
  • Advertising:  Sure, you can buy banner ads on the rest of the regular-old internet, but that old dinosaur (I say tongue-in-cheekly, but with an alarming edge of seriousness) is going the way of the…internet.  Why?  What gives Facebook ads a competitive edge?  Immediately available demographic data for pinpoint accuracy and market targetting.
  • Digg-style Media Sharing:  Yup, you can have…really any kind of media shared on Facebook, from video, to pictures, to text and more.
  • Games, games, games:  I’m surprised that this one didn’t blow the rest of them out of the water—or rather, I wouldn’t be surprised if this one wasn’t the number one reason that Facebook is the one-stop shop for everyone and the number one place for spending time.  Facebook games, which always bring in that social attachment, are highly addictive. FarmTown/FarmVille anyone?

I don’t think that there’s a whole lot more that needs to be said here.  I suppose the only thing that Facebook doesn’t have going for it is a good way to search the internet…oops, they have a Google built-in option for that.  I wonder if time spent using the Google plug-in to search the web (while still in the content-frame/shell of Facebook) counts as time for Google?  Probably not.

Basically, you can do anything on Facebook that you can do on the rest of the internet, but with Facebook’s dynamic social-linking engine, you can do it with your friends.

So why would you go anywhere else?

As promised in my last blog entry, here’s another set of thoughts about blogging. First of all, I noticed that I’ve been reading my stats wrong, and that there’s a build-on effect happening, rather than just a day-to-day single-post popularity contests. Here’s what I mean about all this blogging stuff:

(1) Traffic Stacks: There is a beautiful exponential effect in your blog post traffic.  I had actually been reading my day-to-day traffic updates as if I was only looking at the popularity of each post I had been putting out each day.  However, one of my biggest spikes was on a day when I didn’t post anything!  Eventually I realized the obvious—my blog post traffic is taking off because more and more, there are a greater and greater number of posts/articles on my site to be read!

(2) Not all traffic is human:  Though I can’t speak to whether there is a WordPress anti-spam filter within their own system that filters these out—I do know that there

Scraper site snippet for one of my blog posts

Here is a scapper-site snippet

are various “spiders” (automate programs that surf the web for various reasons) that do visit sites… At least, I’m assuming that these are spiders…but apparently some of my content got scooped up by a “scraper site” which really seemed to be an aggregator of various blog content, my article being one of them.  It was at this point that I let out a small cheer (first scraping!) and then took a screenshot.

(3) Some topics are hot all the time.  You are probably guessing that Google is a pretty hot thing to be searching for—so, here’s my tip for your blog success—find some niche topic to blog on, and you’ll get some interesting ongoing traffic, provided your niche is one with definite popularity—it can be a wide niche to start, and then you may want to narrow in.  I could be wrong.  What do you think?

Write back in the comments field to let me know more about what your opinion is.

Spoked flywheel

Image via Wikipedia

Well, so far, and I’ve only been at this about a month and (30+ articles or so), I’ve had a quick glimpse on what it takes to make your blog take off.  Here’s an initial round of thoughts on the subject!  (I figured you all needed something better today after that last post.)

1. Keep contributing away… I picked up a booklet at the local grocery megamart today.  Meijer, apparently put out a little pamphelet called “College Survival Guide” or some such thing…I thought it was an ingenious form of marketing, and one that gives credence to the new internet marketing model of “contributing.” Rather than just having ads, this was actually a helpful little boost of information that would do good to the reader/consumer, and also incentive sales…

2. …and see your results take off. Fly away with the flywheel— a term used in business, no less relevant here.  First of all, my blog seems to be following that addage, as I’ve tried to push through my commitment to getting one post out a day, every day, using a buffer, as much as I can.  (By buffer, I’m referring to a period-based block of content, that includes multiple posts ready-written, that are already in-line to go live, before you submit the first one to see the light of day.)  In other words, keep pressing through.  The “flywheel,” as it where, is a device that saves energy, or rather, requires a great deal of exertion up front, but gathers momentum, until it becomes very easy to keep it going, as it has gained an inertial forward-motion of its own.

2.  You have to hit the right time of day. Yes, I mentioned that in the last one or two posts…but I thought I’d mention it again, with a little bit of further explanation.  (I noticed that the blog…it dipped off on the 8th as I posted late in the day—so my “airplane takeoff trajectory” feel on my dashboard stats did a sudden nosedive.)

3. Give people what they want, when they want it. A spike in traffic occurred when I put out my first post about the KindleKindle was hot when it was “trending“—but maybe has lost some of its initial glamor and is now kind of soft in the “looked-at-ness” online.  Point being…it may have been on everyone’s mind, but my second post  about Kindle may have either lacked the same immediacy and/or relevance, or the topic just happened to stop being on everyone’s mind.

See us again for a little look on how a Google post got scraped up!

lowercase "g"

Image via Wikipedia

Google.  Ever wondered if there was another way to get there or to modify your experience when you’re using it?  At a recent birthday party, I ran into a young man who shared with me, out of the blue, two seemingly “useless” but interesting applications of web-front/redirect pages.  Here are two of them—plus another one I had in my idea-hopper which also dealt with “how Google looks when you use it.”

Here’s a list of the three.

1. Gewgle.com. This is perhaps the most useless of the three—but did you know you can get to Google.com by typing in Gewgle.com?  That’s web redirection for you.

2. Blackle.com.  What’s that all about?  Well, apparently you can visit this site (or others like it, such as Darkle, which is part of the larger Shikle.com website which offers Google to you in a variety of colors) you get to enter a sombre haunted-house feeling version of the search engine you’re likely to use most often—all I mean by that is that it’s black, instead of eye-searing (though friendly) white.  As of this post, the Blackle.com site claimed that it had saved “2,051,678.337” watt-hours of screen-energy.  I suppose that’s one advantage.

I suppose that there are some accessibility advantages with Blackle.com and Shikle.com, as different color schemes can work for various seeing-impairments and vision eccentricities.  A friend with vision-impairment, actually legally blind, set his laptop to a green on black color scheme for optimal reading capacity, and high contrast.  (He may have also been into the Matrix, but don’t tell him I said that.)

3.  So, getting away from colors a little bit: Goosh.org.  I found about this from a computer repair technician who happened to be doing a temp-job with me—he was using a repair tech site called “tech-nibble.com” which I should probably note later.  Anyways, it’s a sort of funny (sort of sad) portal for Google that allows you to avoid the shame of having to appear to appeal to the commonest-search form for information questing: asking “Dr. Google” but rather appear to be doing some unknown high-tech, back-end computing query… It makes it appear that you are working directly in the “command line” while you area actually searching Google.  In other words, until you actually click through on a site, a client quickly glancing at your screen will think you’re up to some technical wizardry that they couldn’t do yourself.  Not that I’m into deceiving clients—but there may be some other possibilities out there for using this “Google shell.”

So, those are some fun thoughts on how to search — and search engine “shells” you can use.

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