Posted by randfish

When I started in the SEO field (circa 2003), the job responsibilities weren’t easy, but the list was relatively small. Over the next 5 years, those responsibilities increased, but it was primarily in tactical and knowledge sorts of ways. A 2003 vs. 2008 rundown might look something like:

SEO Responsibilities 2003-2008

(Notes on image above: There’s some over-simplification in this list, and some items cross the artificial 2003 barrier a bit)

The last 2.5 years, however, have made for some fairly substantive changes. We’re facing large-scale, industry-shifting trends that have upset the classic model for search engine optimization, including:

  • Google’s Vince update and others like it where search engines are biasing toward brands over smaller, lesser-known sites.
  • Panda and the focus on user behavior, trust and authority of sites based on their look/feel/content style/etc. has changed what it means to do SEO, just as the Florida update did at the end of 2003.
  • The shift in web user behavior toward social media – more than 20% of our time spent online is spent on social.
  • Fragmentation of the social media market: LinkedIn just passed MySpace to become the #2 social network in the US, and Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit, StumbleUpon (and soon, Google+, IMO) all have 10million+ active users. FourSquare also just passed that mark.
  • The powerful increase in content creation as a marketing tool for businesses. 57% of companies in Hubspot’s recent survey run an active blog!
  • An overwhelming increase in mobile and, thus, local search/web usage leads to portals like Google Maps, Bing Maps, Yelp, Citysearch, UrbanSpoon, FourSquare, etc. offering massive potential value to local businesses and service providers.
  • The recession in 2008 caused a massive change in how businesses think about employment – human resources are nearly the last thing companies will add to their costs, and while that’s generating amazing profits, it’s having a rough impact on employment. As a part of this trend, SEOs have been asked to shoulder many new and heavy burdens.

Thus, we’re faced with a picture where the responsibilities of SEOs looks more like this:

SEO Responsibilities in 2011

(Note: Some of these are due to changes in SEO itself, and others due to the additional expectations placed on those performing SEO)

If you’re in the SEO field, this shift is both a positive and a negative. If you can keep up with the workload, manage all the metrics, reporting, data and platforms AND perform effectively in all of these spheres, you’re likely able to charge outsized fees (or earn a much higher salary). If you remain tactical and niche, you’re either going to be undervalued or you’ll need to find ways to make that specialization and the ROI you can earn visible to your clients/managers.

The job of an "SEO" is so much more than what we think of and talk about as the basics of classic "Search Engine Optimization" that it almost feels as though we deserve a new title… and probably a raise :-)

Do you like this post? Yes No

Will Think For Cold, Hard Cash

13 Jul 2011 In: SEO / SEM

by Miriam Ellis

I just finished reading, for the second time, a remarkable book by New Yorker writer, Ian Frazier entitled On The Rez. This book was published awhile back, and has nothing whatever to do with SEO or SEM. It’s an unsentimental and insightful account of the author’s time spent on the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota. The tale is memorable for many reasons, but one of Frazier’s remarks that had little to do with the main storyline stood out to me as so catchy, I wanted to share them with all of you SEOs and SEMs who have come to Search Engine Guide today looking for an interesting read.

In the opening chapters of On The Rez Frazier is giving his theory of what has made colonial and modern America different from its European progenitors. He hypothesizes that the whole concept of ‘the land of the free’ would never have evolved without the American forefathers’ contact with those ultimate possessors of the idea of freedom – the Native American Peoples.

Many scholars have concluded that American revolutionaries based their confederacy on the powerful model of the longstanding Iroquois Confederacy and that Indigenous influence on early colonial society was profound. Essentially, if after years living in ye olde Europe, you met with an entire continent of happy people who had never kissed a king’s hand, never drudged in servitude and who viewed every man as autonomous, free and equal, your mind would be blown.

Frazier goes on to make what I consider to be both a humorous and near-to-the-truth assessment of freedom and commerce in the United States today:

Americans today no longer work mostly in manufacturing or agriculture but in the newly risen service economy. That means most of us make our living by being nice.

The first time I read that quote, I laughed and then I went back and re-read it, reflecting on how such a statement applies in the world of Search Marketing.

Just one or two workforce generations ago, there were so many more rules to follow for earning bread. Business etiquette, kissing the hand of the boss, wearing polyester suits and ties, bowing to seniority, working under the assurance of long-term employment and a retirement package – so many of these things seems to be receding further and further into the background. There was an element of being nice in all of these things, but the code, rigidity and outward trappings of it all used to be a lot clearer than I think they have become.

Search is an entrepreneur’s game, and while corporatization has definitely occurred at one end of the spectrum, most of the search marketers I know are either their own bosses or work for friendly little firms of a few people. Niceness, as far as I can see, is playing a noteworthy part in our niche of the service economy. I can think of 3 major areas in which niceness ends up clothing, feeding and housing us:

First and foremost, we are nice to our clients. If we want to earn and keep their business, we are attentive, polite, respectful and friendly.

Secondly, we are nice to our peers. We refer business to colleagues, link to their work and attend conferences where everyone is nice to everyone else.

Finally, there’s the whole Social Media thing – an ultimate virtual realm built on niceness in which everyone is beaming pleasantry toward everyone else in their circle.

From these 3 activities come most SEMs’ reputations, work and money. We fit Ian Frazier’s description of the state of our current service economy, with one little added detail thrown in…

Niceness + Brains

The entrepreneurial marketers I know who are earning a good living have managed to couple their good people skills with their native or acquired technical smarts and skills. I can see their smiling avatars in my mind right now.

These are people I jump at the chance of chatting with because I really like them, or people to whom I would gladly refer my own clients for specialized services. There are exception of course – some people have made a success of their business by being the opposite of nice; by being the muckrakers, the attention grabbers, the controversial loudmouths of the industry. It’s nice to be free to present yourself authentically, but for the most part, I’ve witnessed the combo of friendliness + skills earning people long-term goodwill and financial solvency.

Another volume on my bookshelf, In The Shadow Of The Cypress by Thomas Steinbeck, makes mention of a slogan-emblazoned t-shirt the protagonist sees a colleague wearing at a California University; a t-shirt reading Will Think For Cold, Hard Cash.

I pretty much think that sums up what you and I do for a living. People pay us to think (think about their websites, their marketing, their audience and their goals) and they will stick with us if we know how to be friendly. I confess, I’m pretty happy that I live in a time when knowledge is still so highly prized, and while I don’t think it’s all that great of thing that so much of my country has given up manufacturing goods for delivering services, I feel very fortunate to be able to make my way in the world with a dose of friendly goodwill and a functioning brain.

What about you? Have you ever thought about the nuances of the way in which you earn money thanks to the Internet? I’d love to hear your take on this.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.


Will Think For Cold, Hard Cash

13 Jul 2011 In: SEO / SEM

by Miriam Ellis

I just finished reading, for the second time, a remarkable book by New Yorker writer, Ian Frazier entitled On The Rez. This book was published awhile back, and has nothing whatever to do with SEO or SEM. It’s an unsentimental and insightful account of the author’s time spent on the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota. The tale is memorable for many reasons, but one of Frazier’s remarks that had little to do with the main storyline stood out to me as so catchy, I wanted to share them with all of you SEOs and SEMs who have come to Search Engine Guide today looking for an interesting read.

In the opening chapters of On The Rez Frazier is giving his theory of what has made colonial and modern America different from its European progenitors. He hypothesizes that the whole concept of ‘the land of the free’ would never have evolved without the American forefathers’ contact with those ultimate possessors of the idea of freedom – the Native American Peoples.

Many scholars have concluded that American revolutionaries based their confederacy on the powerful model of the longstanding Iroquois Confederacy and that Indigenous influence on early colonial society was profound. Essentially, if after years living in ye olde Europe, you met with an entire continent of happy people who had never kissed a king’s hand, never drudged in servitude and who viewed every man as autonomous, free and equal, your mind would be blown.

Frazier goes on to make what I consider to be both a humorous and near-to-the-truth assessment of freedom and commerce in the United States today:

Americans today no longer work mostly in manufacturing or agriculture but in the newly risen service economy. That means most of us make our living by being nice.

The first time I read that quote, I laughed and then I went back and re-read it, reflecting on how such a statement applies in the world of Search Marketing.

Just one or two workforce generations ago, there were so many more rules to follow for earning bread. Business etiquette, kissing the hand of the boss, wearing polyester suits and ties, bowing to seniority, working under the assurance of long-term employment and a retirement package – so many of these things seems to be receding further and further into the background. There was an element of being nice in all of these things, but the code, rigidity and outward trappings of it all used to be a lot clearer than I think they have become.

Search is an entrepreneur’s game, and while corporatization has definitely occurred at one end of the spectrum, most of the search marketers I know are either their own bosses or work for friendly little firms of a few people. Niceness, as far as I can see, is playing a noteworthy part in our niche of the service economy. I can think of 3 major areas in which niceness ends up clothing, feeding and housing us:

First and foremost, we are nice to our clients. If we want to earn and keep their business, we are attentive, polite, respectful and friendly.

Secondly, we are nice to our peers. We refer business to colleagues, link to their work and attend conferences where everyone is nice to everyone else.

Finally, there’s the whole Social Media thing – an ultimate virtual realm built on niceness in which everyone is beaming pleasantry toward everyone else in their circle.

From these 3 activities come most SEMs’ reputations, work and money. We fit Ian Frazier’s description of the state of our current service economy, with one little added detail thrown in…

Niceness + Brains

The entrepreneurial marketers I know who are earning a good living have managed to couple their good people skills with their native or acquired technical smarts and skills. I can see their smiling avatars in my mind right now.

These are people I jump at the chance of chatting with because I really like them, or people to whom I would gladly refer my own clients for specialized services. There are exception of course – some people have made a success of their business by being the opposite of nice; by being the muckrakers, the attention grabbers, the controversial loudmouths of the industry. It’s nice to be free to present yourself authentically, but for the most part, I’ve witnessed the combo of friendliness + skills earning people long-term goodwill and financial solvency.

Another volume on my bookshelf, In The Shadow Of The Cypress by Thomas Steinbeck, makes mention of a slogan-emblazoned t-shirt the protagonist sees a colleague wearing at a California University; a t-shirt reading Will Think For Cold, Hard Cash.

I pretty much think that sums up what you and I do for a living. People pay us to think (think about their websites, their marketing, their audience and their goals) and they will stick with us if we know how to be friendly. I confess, I’m pretty happy that I live in a time when knowledge is still so highly prized, and while I don’t think it’s all that great of thing that so much of my country has given up manufacturing goods for delivering services, I feel very fortunate to be able to make my way in the world with a dose of friendly goodwill and a functioning brain.

What about you? Have you ever thought about the nuances of the way in which you earn money thanks to the Internet? I’d love to hear your take on this.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.


Am I the only one who gets a warm, fuzzy feeling from a well-crafted, super-targeted landing page? Right, I didn’t think so :)

Landing pages tend to suck more often than they inspire.

Local landing pages are even worse in many cases; with hapless advertisers throwing Google AdWords coupons away by simply sending you to their home page for every single ad :(

Why Local PPC Matters

I firmly believe that local PPC (and SEO) is still an untapped resource for those looking to make client work a part of their business portfolio.

It’s quite hard enough for a local business owner, specifically one who has little experience in web marketing, to be expected to get a 75$ AdWords coupon and magically turn that into a quality PPC campaign that lasts.

Google tried that mass approach to marketing and failed. The result of that failure has brought about things like:

Google recognizes the market for helping small businesses reach customers on the web as do Groupon, Restaurant.Com, and all their clones.

Local PPC, especially when used in conjunction with local SEO, can really make significant differences at the local business level and many of those businesses need help to do it.

Landing Page Quality Matters

I really dislike hitting a generic landing page after I make a really specific query. It’s kind of like going to Disney and asking where Space Mountain is, only to be told that “we have lots of attractions sir, here is a map of the entire resort”.

Generally speaking, I believe most people like being led around by the nose. People typically want things yesterday so it’s your job to give them exactly what they are looking for; after all, is that the point of search?

I think anyone who’s worked with PPC campaigns can attest to the fact that targeted landing pages are quite high on the importance totem pole. Tailoring your landing pages to your target market matters a lot.

Solid Local PPC Landing Pages

Designing a good landing page for local queries is not hard at all. There are many different layouts you can use and you should test as many as is practicable, relative to your traffic levels, to understand which ones will work for you.

One area where local PPC is ripe for local business owners is insurance. I’m going to share a good example of a local lander below but if you are doing local PPC, before you get to the landing page design, utilize Google’s address links like this advertiser did (green arrow mine)

The above can help you stand out from the crowd where you are one the few local advertisers and it helps create that local experience right from the start.

So I came across a couple of examples of good ways to tie in local content with your landing page design.

Here’s one from the insurance industry targeting terms around “wisconsin car insurance” followed by some tips on why I feel it’s a good example (green arrows are mine):


Why is this a good example?

  • Use of the local modifier in key spots (doesn’t appear stuffed)
  • The Wisconsin Badger college football team’s main color is red (not sure if that factored in but it helps to tie stuff like that in)
  • Icon of the state in the main header
  • Good use of badges to display authority in the insurance niche
  • Lack of other navigation options, focused on the offer and the benefits of using their service
  • I might have bolded “we only do business in Wisconsin” though

In the above example you see a problem with many insurance agents locally though, quite a few do not have the ability to offer live quotes so they have to use a contact form. In a web of instant gratification this is something that can be an issue.

Any good example is in another area where local customization works well, travel!:

This was for a search around the keyword “boston hotels”. The imagery is great here. A couple things I would have done would have been to eliminate the left navigation and make the main content area more bullet-point oriented rather than a set of paragraphs.

Overall, they have a set up here where they can do the same approach across a bunch of different locations.

Not So Solid Local PPC Landing Pages

While searching for the above examples I also found some that were examples of being really untargeted approaches to local keywords. Here’s an example of a brand just throwing out a really basic lander:

Absolutely no local customization at all. Good landing page basics though (clear CTA, clear benefits). Perhaps bigger brands don’t need to, or fail to see the value in, making landing pages local-specific on local queries.

Liberty has no excuse not to either. They have local offices in every state, they could easily make their pages more local but they, for whatever reason, choose not to.

In keeping with the same theme, I found this landing page for “boston hotels” to be underwhelming at best:

It’s a list of information in an otherwise coldly designed table. Perhaps this works well enough, just give people the info I suppose.

As a user, especially if I’m traveling, I’d like to see pictures, brief info about the area, why choose here over the hundreds of other providers, etc.

Quality Landing Page Foundations

Typically, I would recommend starting out with a base layout and designing the page according to your market and then layering on local criteria. If you look at examples of good landing pages the layouts themselves don’t change all that much.

Some local elements you can include are:

  • Local imagery
  • Locations and hours
  • Integrated map with directions
  • Proximity to local landmarks (good for things like hotels, bed and breakfasts, etc)
  • Local phone number and contact information
  • Membership in any local group (rotary club logo, Better Business Bureau, chamber of commerce logo, logos of local charities or events you are involved with, etc)

As discussed before, design should also speak to your audience (more tech savvy or less tech savvy, age, gender, market, and so on).

Consider these 2 examples of landing pages for online invoicing. This is a market where design should be fresh, modern, “web X.X” if you will (like market leader Freshbooks).

Here’s a win for good landing page design:

I really like the free sign up bar at the bottom. Your call to action is always available if you have to scroll or not. Good use of headlines, solid list of benefits, and super-easy sign up.

Compare that to something like Quickbooks which requires quite a bit of info to get started:

Then you have another example of, usually, what not to do. Too many navigation options here, run on paragraphs, lack of bullet points, outdated design for this market in my opinion:

So the layouts don’t change drastically and I’d recommend coming up with a layout first, a base design, and base copy. Then you can easily turn any landing page into a targeted, local page pretty quickly with small design and copy tweaks.

Landing Page Resources

A few places I have bookmarked for landing page references are:

A couple of tools to help you with cranking out solid landing pages would be:

  • Unbounce (hosted)
  • Premise (WordPress plugin from Copyblogger which comes with a ton of custom graphics and built in copywriting advice + tips)

It’s not that difficult to create awesome, locally targeted landing pages. It’s a really simple process:

  • Check out the resources linked to above and make a swipe file of nicely designed landing pages (design and layout)
  • Incorporate the base layout and copy layout (headings, graphics, CTA’s, etc) into a wireframe
  • Minimize distractions (focus on getting the clicker to complete the desired task)
  • Get the UI and graphics in order
  • Think about all the ways you can sprinkle in a local feel to the page, like we talked about above (colors, locations, hours, local connections, imagery, and so on)
  • Add in the local components to your base page

What are some of your best practices when putting together landing pages for local PPC campaigns or landing page tips in general?

Categories: 

Need real advice on your article marketing efforts? The fact is that most people only do half the job when writing articles. Content requires several steps to be a perfect work and an effective website marketing tool. Discover those steps in this article. Articles and content on your blog is the most effective internet marketing strategy for promoting your website. …
Continue Reading: Article Marketing A Real Piece Of Advice For Getting Traffic

It seems the the Book of Mormon is one of the first Broadway musicals to receive the popular pirate treatment. As of yesterday, there was a bootleg version of the show floating around the sharing sites complete with instructions on how to improve your watching experience.

A bootlegger shot the show in March, 2011 on a video camera, thereby assigning it the BROADWAYCAM moniker – a CAM being a video shot surreptitiously by a pirates. Ironically, one could say that the rise of bootlegging came with the recording and distribution of live shows by audio-savvy bootleggers, leading to the regency of the Grateful Dead and other jam bands. Thus far, however, Broadway shows have been immune to this kind of wholesale theft although I suspect the next show to get this treatment will be that Spiderman musical.

To be fair, Book of Mormon is a perfect storm of pirate-able performance. The provenance, the hype, and the creators all make this a must-see in the geek set and the fact that tickets are sold out and that the only performance in New York will encourage folks to download it. While I doubt Cats or Mama Mia! will ever get a bootleg, I’m surprised the Monty Python musical didn’t show up as a shaky cam on the Interwebs a few years back.



Continue Reading: Is Nothing Sacred? First Broadway Cam Surfaces

Posted by dohertyjf

Google announced the +1 button in March much to the enthusiasm and confusion of webmasters and SEOs the world over. "What’s the point?", people asked. "Why should I +1 a site? Should I implement it on my site?"

It seems the answer now is clear, with the launch of the Google+ "social experiment" last week that has kept me from getting work done as Google continues innovating and brilliantly drawing me back to Plus everytime that little notification indicator turns red.

I’m not here to talk about that though, because we’ve put together a bit of data for you today about +1 integration and social sharing statistics. This post originally was conceived by Tom Critchlow and I before Google+ was launched, so it has gone through some iterations.

We wanted to get outside of our typical SEO circles though and see how the general public is adopting the button. To keep things interesting, I also gathered some well-trafficked SEO sites and their social numbers. What I have done is gathered the Technorati Top 100 sites and their RSS feeds. Then I pulled their 20 most recent blog posts (both before and after Plus was announced) and grabbed their +1, Twitter, and Facebook share data thanks to an awesome script by Tom Anthony.

The data got interesting pretty quick. Here are our findings.

Technorati Top 100 Stats

Since we were interested to find the rate of +1 adoption by the Technorati Top 100, we pulled the numbers before Google+ was launched and after. I removed the Gawker sites since their RSS feed is all-encompassing and skewed the numbers terribly. Here are the numbers for the other 95 Technorati sites:

Technorati Top 100 +1 Stats

The numbers changed thus: Pre Google+, only 22 had implemented the +1 button. After the launch of Google+, that number increased to 25. 22 of the sites had +1s, but 8 of those sites did not have the +1 button implemented! These were predominately technology sites, which is no surprise, but also two LA Times blogs (The Opinionator and L.A. NOW) as well as entertainment site TMZ. Takeaway: If you own or have a client who owns a technology, opinion, or entertainment site, you should implement the +1 button.

Average +1s per article, Pre and Post Plus Launch

Average +1s Per Article

As you can see, the average number of +1s per article for the Top 100 almost doubled. The number of +1s per SEO article also increased by about 30%. It is not surprising that SEO sites have more +1s than the Technorati Top 100 on average, but the increase is especially interesting given the next two charts.

Average Facebook Shares per Article and Ratio of Plus to FB Shares

Here are the average shares from the Technorati sites as well as SEO sites:

We must note that the Facebook share numbers went down for the Technorati sites, but increased for the SEO sites. One possible explanation for the SEO sites is that SEOs were sharing Google+ news on Facebook, but this is simply a hunch and not proven. Here is the most interesting statistic I found, the ratio of +1s to Facebook shares on the Technorati sites:

The number was cut almost in half. Perhaps we could guess preliminarily that the launch of Google+ has adversely affected the amount of information shared on Facebook? With the rise of the number of +1s and the decrease in Facebook shares, as shown by the last graph, I think this could be a safe assumption, at least with this limited data set. This graph might also support this hypothesis:

This graph shows that before Google+ was launched, there were 2 Facebook shares for every tweet given to articles on the Technorati Top 100. Post Google+ the ratio is almost even, with tweets being more prevalent than Facebook shares!

What do we do with this data now?

There are certainly some takeaways from the data presented. There are certain niches where it makes sense for us as SEOs to encourage our clients to implement certain sharing features. On other sites, especially in dodgier or more regulated industries, social share buttons do not make as much sense. One of the most interesting bits of information that came out of the data was the number of sites that have +1s, but do not have the button implemented on their site.

  • 10 Technorati sites without the button have +1s; and
  • all of the SEO sites I looked at have +1s, even though only 2/3 have implemented the button.

Based off these discoveries, I’d recommend that if you have an SEO site, it should have a +1 button. Even if +1s do not count for rankings at this point, they are displayed in the SERPs and therefore probably help with click-through rates. If +1s are used for rankings in the future, which I am not convinced of but still remains a possibility, then you will be one step ahead of the curve. Also, if you or a client has a site in one of these niches, you should probably have a +1 button on your site:

  • Technology
  • Opinion (Political or other)
  • Celebrity gossip

This discovery is also interesting because it means that people +1d these from the SERPs, which is something we all wondered how we would do, and more importantly if people would do it. It appears that people do. I think this discovery reinforces that we as webmasters/SEOs (we are often both, after all) need to find ways to track social engagement around our sites. If we see engagement, we need to encourage it. Google has recently helped us accomplish this goal by adding +1 tracking to Analytics.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Oh, and you can Follow @dohertyjf if you want.

Happy Optimizing!

Do you like this post? Yes No

Those media experts among us may be familiar with “Help A Reporter Out”, or HARO, which brings reporters and bloggers to quotable sources, and helps small businesses promote their brands. It’s an interesting, if not completely proven, model. Now, what if you apply that model to startups, and the startup hiring process? This was Tolu Babalola’s thinking when he created College2Startup, a resource for startups looking to find quality collegiate or postgraduate talent.

Startups are always looking for talent, and it’s not unusual to see established companies acqu-hire a startup just to get access its talent. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg is making a company out of it. But, that being said, it’s no easy feat to find talent that is the right fit for your startup, especially with all the white noise coming out of sites like CareerBuilder, Monster, and Craigslist.

In creating College2Startup, Babalola did some quick surveys of those currently employed at startups and found that nearly two-thirds of them were hired based on referrals by friends, former colleagues, etc. It would stand to reason, then, that it can be pretty difficult for undergraduates and recent graduates to find openings at startups if they don’t happen to know someone who’s already inside.

Thus, College2Startup allows prospective employees to subscribe to a daily newsletter (that Babalola curates) to receive job opportunities. College2Startup’s daily newsletter is opt-in and meant to target only those that have job-specific talent. When a prospective employee receives the newsletter, he or she can scroll through the list of job openings to find the opportunity that best suits them, and click to apply right from the newsletter. And, once a user has signed up, they can filter results from jobs listings as well.

Of course, the model may not sound particularly mind-blowing, as sites like Mediabistro (and many others) offer the ability to get tailored email alerts for the types of jobs you’re looking for, and you can apply straight from those emails. So, while opt-in and apply-straight-from-an-email are cool features, the founder says that what distinguishes College2Startup is in how it treats the application process. The questions that companies ask prospective employees on the big job sites tend to be generic, and they don’t do a great job of finding out what the applicant’s specific skills are.

Babalola said that he wants to get the interview process rolling right from the first application, which is why candidates are asked questions about their specific skill sets. Once the user has clicked the “apply to” link in the email, for example, they are taken to an application page in which Babalola has arranged a series of questions he knows startups will be eager to see the answers to, before calling the applicant in for the interview. If the job is for a backend developer at Groupon, for instance, candidates will be asked questions like, “What languages do you code in?”, or asked to talk about (and provide links to) sites they’ve built in the past, links to their GitHub profile, or even provide a video introduction.

Babalola said that he thinks sending the answers to these questions directly to startups can help streamline the process and get the ball rolling faster, so that startups have a relevant sneak-peek at prospectives before interviewing. It also helps limit the often labyrinthine application process inherent to larger sites.

But the big goal with College2Startups, the founder reiterated, is to target a younger crowd that is desperate to work at a startup but may not yet have connections or people to refer them. While this may sound silly or even alien to talent in Silicon Valley, outside of the Bay Area, things aren’t quite so easy. “When I graduated”, Babalola said, “I looked for startup jobs everywhere and really struggled to find for 6 months before a friend referred me to a friend who knew someone. The same is true in my local Baltimore startup meetups. There is a lot of promising talent that doesn’t know where to find startup jobs”.

While I’m all in favor of resources targeting startups specifically and young talent that might go undiscovered otherwise, a potential drawback to College2Startups is that it charges $100 to startups that want to post a job on the site. InternMatch, which we wrote about back in April, charges a similar fee, while Internship.com is free and Urban interns charges $40. Yes, College2Startup is targeting real jobs, and not internships, but startups aren’t always flush with cash — every penny counts.

Another somewhat comparable and cool service to check out is RescueTime Introductions, which is like a CarFax for job candidates, and also targets startups and the tech industry. (In fact, College2Startups may be more similar in conception to Jobby, which the RescueTime guys sold to Jobster in 2006.)

College2Startups is obviously still in the very early stages, though it has racked up over 3,200 subscribers in lead up to the first newsletter, which went out last week. Check it out, and let us know what you think.



Continue Reading: College2Startup Wants To Connect Startups To The Best Young Talent (And Vice Versa)

Gillmor Gang 7.09.11 (TCTV)

10 Jul 2011 In: Technology

The Gillmor Gang — Michael Arrington, Dan Farber, Robert Scoble, and Steve Gillmor — enjoyed @scobleizer’s FaceTime tour of Florida’s abandoned Kennedy Space Center in the aftermath of the last shuttle launch. The countdown clock sat frozen amid a sea of media trailers and the huge Twitter Live Assembly building. No, wait; that was where FriendFeed stood until Google + was launched last week.

Google + should buy Twitter, suggested @arrington from his retirement center in the Pacific NorthWest. Having immediately shut down its live stream to Google the day after Plus went public, it seems unlikely Jack and Dick (and Ev and Alice for that matter) are any closer to selling. As the ghost of Walter Cronkite peered down from the “permanent” CBS News bunker, CBSNewsOnline editor in chief @dbfarber schooled @arrington on the news of the day. We all got a little older. And that’s the way it was.



Continue Reading: Gillmor Gang 7.09.11 (TCTV)

Editor’s note: Guest writer Rocky Agrawal  blogs at reDesign and Tweets @rakeshlobster.

I finally blocked Robert Scoble in Google+. I have absolutely nothing against Scoble. I quite admire him, actually. He’s a great asset to the startup scene and he works damn hard. I’ve met him a few times and I’m sure we’ll meet again. But he was just getting to be way too much.

My Google+ feed was dominated by him. I tried to take a half-step and just remove Scoble from my circles. But then he became Google’s perpetual #1 suggestion for a new friend.

I’ve seen the Scoble effect elsewhere. When Scoble joined Quora a while back, his entry caused a sudden shift in Quora behavior. His legions of followers followed him onto Quora and upvoted his answers to the detriment of others. (Often, it seemed, without even reading the answer.) Quora regulars retaliated by downvoting his answers, even when they were good answers.

This is an ongoing problem with new social networks. Silicon Valley celebrities dominate the conversation. A close friend is on the Google+ top 100 list; I can’t comment on one of his posts without keeping my notification indicator lit for days at a time as his large following continually responds to the post.

While this may create a great experience for popular people in Silicon Valley and even for readers in Silicon Valley, it’s not the way to build a mass-market social network.

Although I like a lot of the content I currently see on Google+, it has limited appeal. It also has a dangerous priming effect as new entrants either look at the conversations and mimic them or decide that this isn’t their scene. It’s like peeking into a party and realizing that the people who are inside are nothing like you.

I’ve seen this happen time and time again with hyped properties like digg, delicious, FriendFeed, Wave, buzz and now Google+.

I wasn’t on Facebook in its very, very early days. But I would be willing to bet the conversation was not primarily about tech companies and the lives of tech executives. It was more likely about hot people on campus, Cambridge bars and restaurants, terrible professors, crappy weather, the success of the crew team and who hooked up with whom.

One of my early experiences with what drives social behavior online was when I was working at AOL. A portion of our team had gone to Dublin to meet with our dev team. One night we were out and my boss chugged a Guinness. I took a video of that and posted it to the failed AOL UnCut video site. I IMed the link to a friend. Within an hour, pretty much every one on our team around the world had seen it.

That type of content is a shit-ton more interesting to most people (me included) than discussions on whether Google+ should resurface a post every time someone comments or whether clicking a +1 button on a Web site has an effect on Google+.

Paradoxically, the extent to which the constraints of Twitter stifle conversation helped its growth. Because real conversation is hard using Twitter (vs. just tweeting out your own story) there isn’t the expectation that people will engage with you in it. Because tweets disappear as the firehose continues to gush, it’s easier to ignore them. I know—I’ve done it.

This appeals to a lot of the people that have popularized Twitter: A-list celebrities, media outlets, politicians and megabrands. Their primary purpose on Twitter is to relate their version of events. It isn’t about conversing with their audience. CNN doesn’t really want to talk to you. They want to talk at you. This isn’t entirely about lack of desire, it’s also a matter of time. Ashton Kutcher can’t possibly respond to every @aplusk from his 7 million+ followers.

You only need to look at recent changes in Quora to see this dynamic in action. Three key elements of Quora were the ability to comment on answers, to ask questions directly of people and to message them through Quora. I’ve built a number of great friendships through Quora’s behind-the-scenes interactions.

But Quora recently gave users the power to block all of these features. This is essential to attracting celebrities to the platform. Larry Summers and JJ Abrams blocked these features. Former D.C. schools chancellor and education reform activist Michelle Rhee recently joined Quora. I would love to engage with her on education reform (a topic I’m passionate about), but she blocked these features as well.  Kutcher is one Quora celebrity who has left his account open to user interaction. (I’m not a celebrity, so feel free to ask me a question.)

The current Google+ interface would be less appealing to celebrities, because the interface is designed to invite conversation and engagement.

For Web celebrities, this kind of conversation and engagement is great. Joshua Schachter recently tweeted that he got “30 responses on twitter w/ 14000 followers, 42 on plus w/ 1500 followers.” That doesn’t surprise me at all—it’s a natural result of Google’s user interface decisions. Google+ continually resurfaces threads that get comments; Tweets keep sinking as time goes on.

How Google responds to the Scoble challenge will be interesting. Robert, I’m sorry I had to block you. But when you get back from Florida, I’d love to buy you a drink.



Continue Reading: Solving The Scoble Problem In Social Networks

About this blog

Top and latest news for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Internet Marketing and Technology.


Sponsors

Articles


How Much is the iPad