Yesterday in Exploring Social Media: The Power of the Link Needs Content, I introduced the most powerful social media tool in the world, the link, and explained that unless you have make the link direct people to valuable and useful content, you are shooting blanks. The link makes a lot of noise with nothing to show for it.
The impact of linking to yourself is magnified in value. When you email or publish a link to something you wrote, recommending it, you are telling the world:
I know that which I write about.
I am an expert in the subject.
I have the experience to back up what I’m writing.
This is the best I can do.
Do your links qualify?
When you contact a blogger or anyone to encourage them to link to you, do you keep these things in mind? Are you offering your best work? Does your blog or social media tool show the world you are an expert in this?
If you have the proof behind your link, then maybe your failure is in the presentation of that link, especially when directed towards bloggers, the most capable of spreading the word far and wide about you and your blog. read more
First, a link is a door people open to your world, be it a world within your blog, social media tools and services, or a recommendation to visit another world, one you hope your fans will enjoy so much, they will return to your world with joy, eager for more and telling the world about what you have to offer.
Second, if you link without anything worth linking to, without anything positive to offer people, without anything worth recommending, without anything worth returning to, you have lost the power in social influence within the modern online world.
If you link to yourself, then these two characteristics are magnified. You are offering people a gateway into your world, one they expect is worth linking to, deserving of attention, exciting, and worth telling others about.
The link is the most powerful social media tool of all. read more
One way of starting a conversation on your blog is what I call the “Wander, Wonder, Ask” method.
A blogger wanders around looking for news and finds something of interest, often newsworthy. She wonders about it and realizes that her wondering has some validity. It’s worth talking about. So she posts it on her blog as “news” and “information” and shares her wondering points, then asks, basically, “What do you think?”
“Wander, Wonder, Ask” posts are ubiquitous. There are plenty even here on the Blog Herald. We all do it. I’ve done it. Sometimes it works, more often it doesn’t.
When it works, it’s a great way to get readers to wonder and answer back. It works even better when they are out wandering and your blog post pops into their heads. They wander, wonder, and start to ask themselves the key questions that may lead to a solution, and possibly back to your blog. read more
A blog post linking to one of my blog posts has been scraped dozens of times. Recently, it was scraped by eight different sites in the same day. The eight trackbacked sites turned out to have a single owner/webmaster using their auto-blogging scraper across multiple splog sites. I’ve let the blogger know – after the second time it happened – and now that it’s happened multiple times, it’s time to change strategies.
It’s now time to work together.
Have you received multiple trackbacks over time from an blog post with a link to yours and the investigation finds that it isn’t the original site but a scraper? What do you do? read more
I’m a fan of Groklaw, but like any long-running soap opera, I tune out for weeks – okay, months – at a time and then check back in. I love the copyright news and litigation insider bits, but sometimes, unlike an ongoing soap opera, I don’t know what is being talked about. I can’t catch up.
Lately, there have been a lot of coverage dealing with SCO, IBM, and Novell. Two of the three I know, but the fourth I don’t recognize. Even if I knew all three of the acronyms, I don’t know enough of the story to follow the current blog posts.
In the legal world of who did what to whom and why, I’m trying to catch up. Why?
That’s what I keep asking myself.
A blog is a chronological vehicle of expression as well as communication. The most recent post may be the latest in a long back story that can go back for days, weeks, months, even years. However, I just landed here. I need to get caught up fast!
Which begs the question:
Is it my responsibility, as the reader, to keep up with the story, or should the blogger play a role in helping bring me up to speed?read more
I blog across many different blogs and participate in a wide variety of social media services and microblogs. Twitter and similar “follow” and “friend” networks are interesting as they help you get to know people beyond direct interaction. You get to watch how they behave and learn more about who they are as a person and a blogger through their interactions with others.
Recently, I had the unfortunate experience of watching someone go “off” on Twitter over a non-event. They lost their temper, said vicious things, even to the point of bigotry and prejudice. Very racial slurs. I was stunned to see such language on a public forum. I watched those directly involved handle his out-of-control and inappropriate rant professionally and skillfully, which earned my respect, and I made a point of noting the name and blog of this person, adding it to my list of those I do not wish to be involved with. Trouble like him nobody needs. read more
Pressure make diamonds, but does blogging under pressure make for a better blog and blog posts?
Joss Whedon, Creator and Executive Producer of the television series, Firefly, summed up the show in the season’s DVD extras in a way that reminded me of how many bloggers work under pressure to publish:
A lot of the pressure of being a show that might be canceled at any moment really helps you. It doesn’t help your digestion, it doesn’t help your marriage, but what it does help is your storytelling. Because you go back and say what is the most important thing I need to feel. What is the most primal story. What is the thing that is going to show how great this crew is, how funny they are, how brave, how disjointed – whatever it is you need. What do I need to get to the primal story?
A television and film under pressure of a time crunch and the threat of cancellation still has time to go back and “get it right” – clean out the clutter and time wasting words to really get to the point. Does a blogger have that kind of time?
There are a variety of pressures a blogger can be under. Time, timing, and word counts are the three key pressure factors I see most often at work. read more
Blogs began their life as online journals. Then weblogs became the word, which eventually was shortened to blogs. Do you still call them online journals? Weblogs? Or are you “with it” and call them blogs?
Every once in a while I run across an article by a new blogger or an article not updated from five years ago that refers to blogs as weblogs. I saw one reference that called them weBlogs – not referencing a company but in a sentence about blogs in general.
When I see someone calling blogs “weblogs” I think that they aren’t up with the times, don’t you? When I see people using old terminology or wrong terms, I try not to judge them, but it’s really hard, since their words are all I have to evaluate. The wrong name for something can put me totally off. It tells me that they don’t know what they are talking about, and they certainly aren’t going to give me new and valid information. Do you feel that way?
The language, especially the language of the web, is evolving quickly. I remember when we laughed at Yahoo being a silly name for anything, let alone an Internet directory, then giggling over Google. Not much giggling now. These words are part of our every day lingo and we google for information without a second thought at what we are saying. read more
It’s not a matter of if a blogger will blog bad things about you but when.
It’s going to happen. It may have already happened. It’s happened to me plenty of times. So what do you do when someone makes fun of you, pokes at you, says hurtful or harmful things about you or your blog on their blog? read more
The writer is… an athlete required to break the four-minute mile every morning.
— Irving Stone
Replace writer with blogger and you have a good description of what the job of blogging is.
I’ve been collecting quotes since I was very young. One of my favorite books is the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, which just celebrated it’s Diamond Jubilee. I don’t know when the old rusty red edition found its way into my hands as a child, but I was totally taken with the never-ending collection of wise and whimsical things people said for every occasion. I wanted to talk like they did, combining words in such a way to make a powerful punch when provoked.
Maybe that was my first introduction and training into press release, editorial, and technical writing? read more