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Beanstalk's Internet Marketing Blog

At Beanstalk Search Engine Optimization we know that knowledge is power. That's the reason we started this Internet marketing blog back in 2005. We know that the better informed our visitors are, the better the decisions they will make for their websites and their online businesses. We hope you enjoy your stay and find the news, tips and ideas contained within this blog useful.


December 13, 2013

#RestoreTheBlock: How Twitter Nearly Enabled Abusers

A few big things happened on Twitter last night. Scandal aired its midseason finale, shocking and delighting its diehard fans as they tweeted along; Beyonce released a brand new album on iTunes with virtually no warning or hype, bringing an early Christmas surprise to her listeners. But for about five or six hours in the evening of December 12th, users everywhere were up in arms over a change to Twitter’s blocking policy, which had been quietly announced that afternoon. People didn’t really take notice of the change until an article on Forbes.com outlined the new rules; but as word spread, it became clear that Twitter had made a very, very big mistake.

restoretheblockTwitter has always struggled with the privacy and online safety of its users. If you blocked an account, that person would no longer be able to follow you or see your tweets or profile photo, and any @replies they made would not show up in your mentions tab. A blocked person could log out of their account and still view your public profile and tweets, but taking away the ability to interact went a long way towards preventing harassment and abuse.

Under the new rules, blocking someone on Twitter effectively just muted them. They could still follow your account, reply to you, and retweet your posts to their followers; you just wouldn’t see any of it. A company spokesman told Forbes that the change was meant to placate the angry responses from blocked users; “We saw antagonistic behavior where people would see they were blocked and be mad,” said Jim Prosser. The paper-thin excuse, literally chalked up to people’s feelings getting hurt, was supplanted by a more cynical theory that Twitter was trying to prevent users from blocking promoted advertisements now that the company had gone public.

Anyone who knows how stalking works online can see the problem with this immediately; it put the blinders on the victims, instead of punishing the perpetrators. Millions of people use the block function to prevent death and rape threats, online harassment, and other abuse; now someone could still maliciously threaten them, and they just wouldn’t see it. Furthermore, the inability to force an unfollow meant that if a spambot followed you, you were stuck with them forever; you wouldn’t see them, but they’d still be able to see your tweets and use them to hawk whatever they sell. From an SEO standpoint, it was disastrous; we’ve spent months or years telling clients that the numbers of followers do not matter, but rather the quality of who you interact with on Twitter; with the new blocking rules, there was nothing to stop #Teamfollowback members from keeping an account in their virus-like circle of self-indulgence, even if you couldn’t see it.

What really horrified me, though, was remembering that I wrote about Twitter way back in August—and how they announced that they were going to begin work on a ‘Report Abuse’ function in the wake of the death and rape threats to the British woman who did nothing but get Jane Austen’s face on the £10 note. Four months later, we got a step in the entirely opposite direction—being invisible to your target is a stalker’s dream. The solution was not to “just make your account private”; part of Twitter’s appeal is its use as a networking and communications tool, and telling victims of abuse to make their accounts private is putting the onus on them instead of on the perpetrators. Twitter users all over the globe felt the same way as I did; political analyst Zerlina Maxwell, herself a victim of vicious abuse on Twitter, quickly created a change.org petition calling for the reinstatement of the block button, which got over 2,000 signatures. The #RestoreTheBlock hashtag erupted into a rallying cry, even as it suspiciously disappeared from the Top 10 trends list.

Luckily, Twitter reversed their decision, and reinstated the original block features shortly before 8pm. It’s refreshing to see a company acknowledge that they’ve made a mistake and move to correct it; it’s one of the reasons why Twitter has maintained a better policy record than Facebook when it comes to changes in user experience. I’m glad that none of us had to see the long-term ramifications of the mute-block function; it spelled disaster not only for those facing harassment, but also for companies wishing to establish an authoritative, trustworthy profile on one of the most popular social media sites on Earth. Twitter has promised to continue refining the safety features of their service, and I hope that this lesson is a reminder of what they actually need to do to make their website a safer, more effective communication tool.

SEO news blog post by @ 5:01 pm

Categories:Twitter

 

 

December 3, 2013

Electric Love: Apple Acquires Topsy

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Apple has purchased Topsy, the leading Twitter search engine and analytics tool, for a rumored $200 million or more. While Apple has not released a definitive statement on what they plan to do with the service, the social web has been abuzz with what this partnership could mean for Apple’s iOS operating system and for Twitter users worldwide.

 

It is, in fact, impossible to have too much fun with Photoshop.

It is, in fact, impossible to have too much fun with Photoshop.

The San Francisco-based company launched in 2007, and is widely acknowledged as one of the best Twitter search engines in existence, thanks in large part to its incredible index; the service can access every single tweet in existence from 2006 to the present—approximately 540 billion tweets in total—making it an immensely helpful for social analytics. Throw a few keywords into the analytics search engine—“star wars” versus “star trek”, for example—and you can see how many tweets per day mention each key phrase, and who comes out on top (for this week it’s Star Wars, surprisingly). Users can also explore their entire Twitter backlog, examining which of their tweets has had the most influence on the social sphere as a whole and who they influence the most.

From roughly 2008 to 2010, Topsy was one of several “real-time” social search sites fighting for prominence; it competed with other companies like Collecta, Crowdeye, Tweetmeme, and Scoopler, to name just a few. However, the major search engines began including real-time results in their own algorithms, killing off most of these tools—except for Topsy, which remained strong as one of the few companies with full access to Twitter’s entire back index of tweets. The company won the race for good when the same search engines either shut down their social search functions or lost access to Twitter’s veritable “fire hose” of tweet data; Topsy retained what Google couldn’t keep. So it’s not surprising that Topsy was a hot acquisition property, but its purchase by Apple is an interesting twist.

There are tons of ways in which Apple could use Topsy’s services, but unlike the company’s other recent acquisitions it’s not immediately clear how it will be applied. Some analysts predict that Topsy’s information may be used to help improve app recommendations in Siri, the App store, and iTunes; if you think about it, Twitter is a far better way to discover connections between properties. Apple’s Genius tool can use a mathematical algorithm to recommend Bob’s Burgers if you’re a fan of Archer, but Twitter trends may show that people who talk about Archer are overwhelmingly more likely to also mention Breaking Bad—the crucial human element of choice and preference that may have slipped past Apple’s algorithm. Apple is also highly likely to use Topsy’s data to improve its digital voice assistant, Siri; they integrated Twitter information into Siri with the iOS 7 update, and Topsy would greatly improve the results.

While the details of what Apple plans to do with Topsy aren’t yet clear, it’s an intriguing turn of events; no one really expected that data to end up in the hands of the consumer electronics giant, and considering Apple’s recent competition with and separation from Google services it’s clear that the developers are seeking alternative methods to accurately search the web in all its forms. Whatever the outcome, it seems that little Topsy has, at last, found electric love.

SEO news blog post by @ 1:16 pm

Categories:Technology,Twitter

 

 

October 23, 2013

Fascinating Finds from the Web Graveyard

We SEOs work with the World Wide Web and the Internet every single day, and probably spend a great deal of our off time on it as well. One of the brilliant things about today’s technology is that we’ve become used to its rapid evolution and continuing changes, even when it means our jobs get a little more challenging. When I joined Beanstalk twenty months ago, we were at the very end of an era —Google’s Panda had literally just been released, causing SEOs all over the world to rework their strategies. This year’s Hummingbird has required another alteration to the way we work with our clients and the web in general.In the perpetual race to out-puppet the puppetmaster that is Google, we have come to assume that many things are concrete: the importance of certain social media properties, a set of specific tools to be used to gauge your success, and a general sense of what Google deems important in the rankings race. But the wonderful thing about the Internet is that it is anything but concrete; in the three or so decades of modern browsers, the Internet has grown exponentially and for every successful website or product there are handfuls of other tools that didn’t work. It’s fascinating to go back through history and imagine what could have been if these sites had won the race to the top. In the spirit of Halloween, I took a stroll through the graveyards of a few choice sites and tools to dig up some of the oddest web products now laid to eternal, irrelevant rest.

Google Lively

 Courtesy of http://news.cnet.com/i/bto/20081119/google_lively_screen2_560x392.JPGGoogle didn’t become the most successful web company on the planet by playing it safe; it’s widely known that its employees can spend 20% of their time on developing crazy projects. If you have a news alert for ‘Google patents’ you’ll inevitably find that the company is always filing the weirdest claims on technology that isn’t even possible yet — or, weirder still, releasing news related to a brand new piece of tech which was patented years before being realistically viable. But you don’t get to the summit of Mount Everest without encountering a few frozen corpses (they serve as landmarks), and you don’t become Google without some flopped experiments.

One of the most fascinating of Google’s discontinued products is Google Lively. It was an online 3D social arena which looked a great deal like Second Life, except that it was integrated with the Internet and accessible from one’s browser. You could explore a three-dimensional realm and chat with up to 19 other people in the same room. You could also hang Youtube videos on the “walls”, embed your personal Lively area to your blog, and read your email. Second Life users disliked the non-customizable realm and the lack of virtual commerce, and Google quietly shuttered Lively after only six months of life.

Jaiku

Right now we all rely on Twitter — for news, for gossip, and for collectively sharing how awesome the last season of Breaking Bad was. But before our beloved little blue bird there was Jaiku, a Finnish-based micro-blogging service that took its name from a play on the Japanese haiku. Released in 2006, Jaiku was compatible with Nokia phones and allowed users to post short messages, similar to how Twitter works right now. The company was acquired by Google to open-source the product; in 2009, Jaiku re-launched on Google’s App Engine. But the little bluebird had taken over the world by then, and Jaiku became defunct in 2012.

SEO news blog post by @ 1:37 pm


 

 

October 9, 2013

Twitter TV and Nielsen

A Good Baby Step Towards Accurate TV Ratings

It probably won’t come as a surprise to many that I’m a nerd. It’s tough to work in SEO and not be a little geeky; I highly doubt that you’ll find the typical football jock seriously considering the factors which go into your average Google search. My boss (fearless leader Dave) interviewed me in an office that was literally plastered with Star Trek posters and Jedi figurines. We celebrate May the 4th as a serious office holiday.

So what I’m trying to say is that I’ve been a fan of many quirky, nerdy, off-beat television shows over the years, and I’ve had my heart broken many a time by the callous treatment that such shows receive from their parent networks. Firefly, Futurama, Pushing Daisies,From http://cdn.tv-cafe.com/2013/02/imagen-de-cancelado.jpg Arrested Development — all of these shows had absolutely brilliant potential, were often critical darlings, and were sometimes the best thing on TV, but all of them met their end far too soon. But what some people may not know is that watching a beloved show on network TV doesn’t actually count towards the ratings unless they are a part of the Nielsen Family audience measurement system, which has been the dominant market analysis company since before the invention of television itself.

Nielsen ratings are currently acquired through two avenues: viewer diaries kept by a target audience (always in the US), and small devices called Set Meters that are attached to a family’s television to gather viewing habits every night. If you don’t have a Set Meter in your home, then you’re not contributing to the ratings data. This truth can be a frustrating experience for fans of cult TV shows; despite a vocal following, the numbers often don’t correlate to the love. The Nielsen system has been criticized as both statistically flawed and hopelessly out of date; not only do the sample sizes fail to reflect the actual TV-watching population accurately, but the Nielsen system has overwhelmingly failed to account for the increasing number of Internet viewers, many of whom have ditched traditional televisions entirely. So it’s refreshing to hear the news that Nielsen and Twitter have teamed up with Social Guide to launch Twitter TV, a ratings service that measures which US television shows have the largest audience on the social network.

The chart aims to track an overall audience for each show based on the total number of tweets mentioning the program, and how many unique accounts are producing them. It’s a potential ratings gold mine for advertisers, and the initial rankings have revealed what nerds across the nation have always suspected: there is a huge gap—practically no overlap, according to Variety—between the highest rated shows and the most-tweeted shows. On Twitter TV’s charts, the most tweeted-about show for the week of September 23 was “Breaking Bad”; the top ranked show as measured by Nielsen was NBC’s “NFL Football: New England at Atlanta.”

While it seems that change is on the horizon, unfortunately Twitter TV isn’t quite the cult-show savior we’ve all been waiting for. The suits have all been clear that Twitter TV ratings do not translate into audience share; that’s still largely being decided by the Nielsen families. The main goal is actually related to commercial and advertising potential, as Twitter gears up for its IPO and anticipates working with major networks to coordinate advertisements seen on highly tweeted shows. But it’s a good baby step towards a more democratic view of TV, along with the proliferation of web-only series on Netflix and Hulu. As a recent convert to the CW show Supernatural (don’t judge me, the actors are pretty but the writing is solid too), I am gripped with anxiety as the ninth season premiers tonight, worrying that it will be the last, and that this new beloved show will fall under the same ruthless axe as previous favorites simply because the “standard Nielsen family” isn’t as interested as millions of online fans. We’re on the brink of television revolution, where the Internet has a serious stake in what is watched and what is produced; Twitter TV is a good first step in letting the bigwig producers know what we really want.

SEO news blog post by @ 2:25 pm


 

 

September 24, 2013

Erasing Your Embarrassments

The online social world has permanently altered the future. Young people are coming of age in an era where they can easily take and post photos online, share them with friends and family, and garner an audience of strangers. Teenagers — notoriously short in foresight, susceptible to “groupthink” and peer pressure, anxious to fit in and define themselves as individuals, exploring new aspects of adulthood — now have access to an infinite audience on the web. The combination often makes for toxic results, and sadly having a sloppy drunken photo on your Facebook page is often the best case scenario. There are already some infamous cases in which teenagers were persuaded or coerced into taking nude photos of themselves, only to find that their audience held them at ransom for years afterward, ruining their lives and threatening their futures. We all know that employers are going to check an interviewee’s social media to see what sort of person they are in their off time; can you imagine trying to apply for a job when you know that your boss could find your most humiliating secret at any time?

From http://www.connectsocialmedia.com.auThe abuse and exploitation of minors in social media circles is an area where the law has yet to catch up to reality. Due to the anonymous nature of the internet, it can be tough to track down a bully — or prove beyond reasonable doubt that the virtual abuse caused real-life harm. But a lot of the time a teen can be his or her own worst enemy. Take a look at any ‘Facebook Fails’ website and you’ll see hundreds of examples of poor judgment — of kids engaged in dumb, illegal, embarrassing, or self-incriminating behavior. They tweet before thinking and comment; all of which will come back to bite them when they find themselves on a major job search.

In this vein, it’s refreshing to read that California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law which requires websites to remove content when requested to do so by a minor. The bill allows minors to essentially push an “erase button” for digital content; while sites may not be required to completely eliminate the requested data, they have to remove it from the view of the public.

It’s important to note that this law doesn’t apply to content posted by a third party; it sadly can’t remove compromising photos posted by friends, enemies, or blackmailers. The bill doesn’t apply to sites which anonymize the content and/or their users, making it difficult to identify the minor individually. However, it does apply to social media sites, and even sites registered outside of California have to comply if a Californian teen requests the removal of content.

It’s tempting to scoff at this measure and chuckle at the hubris of adolescence. Many people argue that these digital records, however embarrassing or incriminating, are nonetheless important — and public — records of major prejudices, risk-taking behaviors, and other indicators of reliability and respect. But today’s teens are guinea pigs in an experiment which has no precedent; there has never been anything like Facebook before. Their mistakes aren’t unique to their generation; they are, however, far more widely recorded for public consumption. I think it’s a great step towards incorporating the social web into our lives and accepting that it is going to be a permanent part of how we interact with one another for the foreseeable future. If the California law gives teens a chance to clean up their act when those frontal lobe brain cells finally sprout, then they should have the same opportunity as their predecessors to put their best foot forward into young adulthood and beyond.

SEO news blog post by @ 4:40 pm


 

 

September 17, 2013

Twitter’s Musical Magic

This weekend I attended a local music festival called Rifflandia. This epic four-day event featured over 170 artists, performing at fourteen venues all around the city—everyone from mainstage bigwigs like Courtney Love to beloved local acts that draw a small but dedicated crowd. On Thursday night, while watching the next band set up and do sound checks, I went to update Twitter on my phone and my new friend smirked. “You use Twitter?” he asked. “Why? I’ve never understood the appeal.”

©Rifflandia, 2013

©Rifflandia, 2013

It’s unfortunate for him, because events like Rifflandia are the exact place where Twitter shows its true strength. It takes those big moments—like a Courtney Love concert or a surprise encore performance of Bear Mountain—and makes everyone a part of the collective experience. We uploaded photos and video, made plans to meet with friends old and new, and got up-to-date information on which venues were at capacity. Through the network of thousands using the hashtag #Riff2013, we shared our collective experiences and were able to be many places at once.

One particularly poignant usage of social media to connect with fans was on display at the performance of the Montreal band Stars, who are a personal favourite of mine. In the hours leading up to their main stage set, they spread the word that the audience should film the band and themselves during the concert singing along to the song “Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It”, and upload the video to their SwitchCam streaming video feed. The files will be used to create a crowd-sourced music video for the song, to be aired on CBC. Even though it was pouring rain, hundreds of us held up our smartphones and became videographers for a few minutes. It was an absolutely wonderful way to connect with fans, and we felt like part of the band’s family; our perspectives as music lovers were becoming a vital part of their newest album.

It’s not just the concert experience that’s enhanced by Twitter; it’s also been an invaluable tool for me as a radio host and aspiring journalist. I can attest to the fact that a personal outreach to someone on Twitter can make all the difference when it comes to getting an ‘in’ with that person elsewhere; I’ve made dozens of musician friends and connections on Twitter, and parlayed it into bringing a local musician into the radio station with me for a live show and cohosting event. It all happened because I saw them at a show, followed them, and sent a message praising their talent and asking if I could obtain their songs to play on my show. After some back-and-forth, a legitimate working relationship has emerged.

It was tough to explain all of this in just a short sentence to my friend, or anyone else who smirks at my heavy use of Twitter, but I wouldn’t trade it with anything. Becoming an SEO has only increased my knowledge of just how powerful the social network can be; it’s the best networking method for introverted oddballs like me, as well as people from all industries and demographic groups. I’m not surprised that Twitter has announced a new partnership with the advertisers of big television and live events, because live-tweeting the experience is half of the fun and it’s the perfect way to catch your audience in a direct, relateable manner.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:56 am


 

 

August 6, 2013

Twitter’s New Anti-Abuse Policies and the Dark Side of Social Media

I won’t lie when I say that one of the best parts of my job is managing social media accounts; it can be legitimately fun, but it’s also a very important illustration of how the Internet affects customer/business interactions. My experience mostly comes from being a voracious and active social media user in my private life; I enjoy a following of 400+ people on Twitter, and I have seen what the network is capable of: live-blogging the Vancouver Olympic opening ceremonies, catching cheating politicians in the act, and spreading the word of everything from hot TV shows to full-blown revolutions. While some might resist it, social media is vital for modern reputation management and customer service; the web has democratized marketing in a very drastic way, making it nearly impossible for a company to cover up substantial issues with their products or service. When you do a great job, you might get the occasional positive mention; when you mess up, your customers will definitely air their grievances. And as a social media user myself, I can vouch for the fact that the public has come to respect businesses that address these issues honestly when they’re contacted about them.

Unfortunately, this democratization has lead to some inevitable abuses of the system. In some cases it’s a rival company posting fake reviews in an attempt to discredit the competition; in others, a company (or person) may be the subject of a vicious complaint that goes viral online. Part of online reputation management is being able to mitigate these issues, whether by reporting abuse to site moderators or addressing complaints head-on.

I say all of this because some business owners on desktop and Android platforms may see a new feature on Twitter in the coming weeks: an in-tweet ‘Report Abuse’ button. Currently, users who wish to flag threats must visit the online help center and go through several extra steps to report abuse; the new button will make the process far quicker, and (hopefully) hasten the removal of hate speech. Twitter’s announcement wasn’t just a routine update; it was spurred largely by a British woman named Caroline Criado-Perez, and the flood of horrific rape, violence, and bomb threats she received over the weekend. These weren’t mere trolls; the abuse got so serious that at least one man was arrested on Sunday as a result. What did Criado-Perez do to warrant hundreds of 140-character threats of violence? She campaigned—successfully—for the British government to put author Jane Austen’s face on the new £10 banknote. The threats were also sent to a female Member of Parliament who tweeted her support for the campaign.

If it seems absurd, that’s because it is; this wasn’t a case of radical politics or controversial opinion, but a fairly tame move to represent more British women on currency. The horrifying result was a stark reminder of the abusive power of social media, especially against women and other marginalized groups in society. But even if you’re not an active participant in social issues online, it’s intimidating to realize just how quickly the anonymous web can turn against you. While some have applauded Twitter for finally taking a decisive action to make their website safer for all users, the decision has also drawn criticism from people who have seen how ‘Report Abuse’ functions on other websites have actually been used against legitimate accounts as a form of abuse in and of itself; a group of trolls flagging an account they disagree with can result in that account being suspended by the website, even when the owner hasn’t actually violated any rules.

Of course, the gender politics and personal vendettas of social media are quite a bit more intense than what we do as SEOs to help clients. In terms of reputation management online, the Report Abuse button will likely be a helpful way to ensure that a company doesn’t suffer from malicious treatment. However, it also may be far too easy to report a dissatisfied (and vocal) customer out of sheer frustration. Online reputation is a fickle beast; a few damning reviews can take down an entire small business, and the damage can be very difficult to control—it’s easy to feel helpless when it seems like nothing you do can push down a few dissatisfied customers in favor of the happy ones. Business owners on Twitter should still make it a priority to engage with unhappy customers on a personal level, rather than just report an account because of a particularly bad review—even if it makes the problem temporarily disappear, the Internet is not kind to those types of tactics.

The Criado-Perez debacle over the weekend has shown Twitter’s dark side, particularly when it comes to misogyny and online gender violence. The effect of the new reporting feature remains to be seen in that regard. While smaller businesses on social media may not engage in that debate, it’s a prudent reminder that the web’s anonymity can cause a lot of malicious action in the name of free speech. Reputation management isn’t going to get easier as a result of Twitter’s changes; it will still require a human touch and an honest connection, because that’s what garners respect in the social media sphere. But hopefully this small corner of the web will be a little safer for everyone who uses it, giving people more courage to speak their minds without fear of retaliatory attempts to forcibly silence them.

SEO news blog post by @ 3:14 pm


 

 

January 15, 2013

Journalist Freedoms: How to trample on a mouse and turn it into an elephant?

A mouse

What do you do when your paid columnist wants to write about a product that is the demise of your revenue stream, and give the product an editor’s choice award?

Well that’s exactly what happened over at CNet when the Dish Network’s ‘Hopper’ DVR w/Sling was picked for a ‘Best of Show – Editor’s Choice Award’ by CNet staff.

Apparently the fact that this DVR eliminates commercials entirely, and then lets you watch the recordings from almost any internet connected device, is a big concern for the large media companies.

At one point the new DVR had CBS saying they wouldn’t have anything to do with Dish network if they proceeded with taking this device to market.

It’s enough of a threat that CBS, along with many other ‘major media companies’, have taken legal action against Dish and it’s ‘Hopper DVR’. In fact, this legal action was prior to the addition of the Sling services which threaten to further trample on their corporate profits.

Given this legal action, and the potential risk to bottom line revenue that the DVR implies, CBS directly ordered CNet to remove the Hopper from the running and re-vote on the remaining devices.

This directive allegedly came right from the CEO of CBS, Leslie Moonves, and was given to Mark Larkin, the GM of CBS Interactive News.

Mr.Larkin fought the decision while he could, getting into conference calls with CNet and CBS heads to try and avoid censoring the product.

Ultimately he was forced, against his wishes, to deliver the decree to CNet editorial staff; A task that, according to The Verge, brought him to tears:

“Sources say that Larkin was distraught while delivering the news — at one point in tears — as he told the team that he had fought CBS executives who had made the decision.”

Not only that, but CNET was barred from issuing their own statement about the removal of the DVR from the awards, and had to use a prepared statement from CBS regarding the legal issues surrounding the Hopper DVR!

Here is that official statement:

The Dish Hopper with Sling was removed from consideration due to active litigation involving our parent company CBS Corp. We will no longer be reviewing products manufactured by companies with which we are in litigation with respect to such product.

Immediately, Greg Sandoval, a regular CNET columnist, offered his resignation and went public on his Twitter feed about the incident.

Greg Sandoval's Twitter Post

Lindsey Turrentine, one of the ‘heads’ in the conference call with Mark Larkin, and the Editor-in-Chief of CNET News, took a moment to apologize for the situation, and for not resigning immediately when she had the chance.

Lindsey defended her decision, stating that she didn’t want to abandon her team and she felt she could affect change easier from her current position than if she were to resign.

Her full post is over here (at least for now): http://news.cnet.com/8301-30677_3-57563877-244/the-2013-best-of-ces-awards-cnets-story/

So essentially they could have let the whole thing slip by, and tried to avoid adding fuel to the fire.

Instead CBS has lit a bonfire that can be seen across the world, and now everyone’s hearing about the Dish Hopper DVR.

In journalism circles we call this the Streisand_effect.

 

Gonzo Journalism

What if you paid a writer, who specializes in gaming topics, to go cover a Panasonic Toughpad press event and he decided to get drunk and channel Hunter S. Thompson?

Well that’s exactly what Grant from ‘LOOK, ROBOT’ did for his coverage of the Toughpad:

“[January 14, 2013]Panasonic are launching a new tablet computer for the business market. I am not a tech journalist. I have never done this before. I don’t know what’s going on.”

You can read the whole thing here, it’s a lot of fun, and if you’ve ever been to one of these events you should be able to relate to most of his observations in one way or another.

All press is good press?

Well the folks over at Speed-Sew™ certainly seem to think they can get away with anything in promoting their products:

I also keep pulling out the same old tube of Speed-Sew™, pop the cap off, wonder if it’s still good, and then sniff it!

It doesn’t smell good, and it’s not like it gives you a ‘buzz’, it’s as illogical as smelling your shoes when you already know they are going to smell awful.

By doing something in their YouTube video that I can relate to, by making the video down to earth, and funny, I am now motivated to laugh and share.

I want to say this is brilliant social media/video advertising, but sadly it’s a bad example because it has yet to go viral (some adverts never do).

Let’s give it a nudge shall we?

SEO news blog post by @ 1:05 pm


 

 

December 6, 2012

#DROIDRAGE Back-Fires and Creates #WINDOWSRAGE

#WINDOWSRAGE

Microsoft is spending an increasing amount of resources on pointing out the faults of it’s competition, reviving the #DROIDRAGE hash-tag at a moment in time when most Android users have very little to rage about.

For me it’s like watching some high-school bully try and make light of his own faults by pointing out the problems with one of the best students in school; Ultimately running out of complaints and resorting to childish tactics in an attempt to keep themselves from looking bad.

In this case the best student is pretty popular, and the insults have backfired on the bully, leaving the bully (Microsoft in this example) feeling like they are standing in public with their pants around their ankles.

The net today is bubbling with annoyed Windows users sharing their frustrations.

For me, a non-mobile PC user, I have general beefs like:

DirectX 11.x will be for Windows8 only?!

Microsoft Security Essentials is getting merged into Windows Defender?!

But if you take a swim through the #windowsrage hash-tag on Twitter you will see a lot of Windows Mobile, XBox, and other flavors of rage against Microsoft’s products.

Meanwhile, Google’s Saving the World..

While I’ve yet to see Google chase after Microsoft’s reputation, it might just be due to them having no time for it, what with all the awesome things Google’s been doing around our planet.

Google Drones seek out poachers

Like a $5 million dollar grant from Google to the WWF that’s getting spent on unmanned aerial ‘drones’. While the WWF doesn’t want to call them ‘drones’ because of military references to the term, that’s pretty much what they are.

Unlike the military’s drones however, these unmanned aerial watchdogs won’t be rigged for anything more than surveillance of the vast areas of land that the WWF protects.

In fact from what I can tell these will just be ‘commercial’ versions of the drones you see hobbyists and flight enthusiasts playing around with.

The $5 million is actually a small part of the $23 million total funding that Google is providing, this year alone, to non-profit organizations with challenges surrounding technology and innovation as part of Google’s Impact Awards Program.

I doubt that’s much of a ‘slag’ on the competition, but apparently Google has bigger goals than mocking/slandering competing companies?

SEO news blog post by @ 12:44 pm


 

 

December 5, 2012

How Short Content Can Help you Rank

A common misconception is that you need to provide at least 500 words of onsite content to have your page rank with Google. Your rankings are dependent on many factors and signals and is not necessarily determined by the number of words on a page; no matter how well written they are.

copywriting

It all comes down to creating unique content that is not only interesting, but engages your viewers and drives ongoing conversations in the form of replies or comments. In a recent Google Webmaster Help thread John Muller of Google, clarified this exact point.

"Rest assured, Googlebot doesn’t just count words on a page or in an article, even short articles can be very useful & compelling to users. For example, we also crawl and index tweets, which are at most 140 characters long. That said, if you have users who love your site and engage with it regularly, allowing them to share comments on your articles is also a great way to bring additional information onto the page. Sometimes a short article can trigger a longer discussion — and sometimes users are looking for discussions like that in search. That said, one recommendation that I’d like to add is to make sure that your content is really unique (not just rewritten, autogenerated, etc) and of high-quality."

Google crawls everything from full articles to 140 character tweets. Google recognizes that even short comments or articles can be triggers for engaging conversations. There is no magic number; there are no “tricks” to SEO. Creating unique and valuable content and you visitors and ranking will follow.

SEO news blog post by @ 10:56 am


 

 

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