Archive for the ‘SEO’ Tag

Noise vs. Content

The internet and today’s technologies are a fascinating study, especially for one not bred on cyberspace.  I’ve spent the past six months almost continuously online, attempting to get a grip on commerce represented there, studying social networks and forums and internet marketing techniques.  One thing that strikes me in this investigation is how carefully you have to preserve your identity and purpose amidst all the noise.  It’s very easy for the internet to become the dictator.   You originally approached it as a tool for your business and if you don’t keep it in that place, it can quickly become a mere distraction and little real help.

Content is King, you read everywhere.  But there’s little to no instruction about creating great Content; the directives all pertain to SEO, marketing techniques and strategies, or the latest widgets.  A large percent of the material online makes fabulous use of these systems without first ensuring valuable Content.  In this way, the internet is far more sophisticated than its users and often produces the cyber equivalent of kids playing with guns.

The two social media sites, Squidoo and Twitter, exemplify this distinction.   At Squidoo, you share specific information designed to edify your readers.  At Twitter, you fatuously inform the world that you’re on the way to the airport, eating a hot dog, or coping with the sniffles.  Never having been much of a gossip, small talk, or chatter type, I have a horror of people ‘following me’ and have no interest in sharing the twists and turns of my everyday with anyone except my lover.  My point is that Twitter caters to the glitz and sensationalism with hardly a nod to Content; while Squidoo’s Content is an amazing tribute to the learning and creativity of 21st century human beings. 

It takes a while to understand the differences between the popular sites, and it takes inner strength to avoid being sucked in by sites that seem promising but actually offer only shallow solutions for you.  Depending on your purposes, Twitter may be just the thing you need (to keep track of a team’s progress, for instance).  By keeping your focus firmly on your real-world demands, you can separate the noise of internet hype from authentic and useful Content.

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Being Remarkable

I attended a webcast the other day with marketing guru Seth Godin (Meatball Sundae) and other experts.  The message there, as well as in so much that I read these days, is that all the tricks of SEO are fast becoming obsolete.  Though some have managed to manipulate the internet to their purposes through technicalities, and achieved high rankings, those days are coming to an end.  Search engines aim to satisfy search results as directly as possible; sites that only peripherally pertain to keywords entered can no longer gain the upper hand.  As ever, Content is King.

The term Godin used quite a bit was “remarkable.”  If you want to succeed, you must be remarkable.  Your website, blogs, articles and other methods you use to attract attention will be of little use unless the content of your offerings is “remarkable,” unless you can manage to stand out from the crowd through your expertise.

Plus ca change …. It has ever been thus, hasn’t it?  The web, after all, does little to make us rich quick.  The onus we bear is as it ever was … we must identify and maximize our true strengths to be successful.  Rather than relieving us of the responsibility to work hard and achieve, the web actually reinforces this basic ethic.

How can we do this?  How can we be “remarkable?”  It’s a lot to ask of any individual. 

So we come round again to creativity.  In practicing creativity, we do not seek to be remarkable – rather the opposite – but the great gift of creativity is that through faithful practice, it reveals the ways in which we are remarkable.  It’s the instrument we’re given for moving beyond mere survival, beyond the mundane, beyond unquestioning servitude to the greatness we each are born to realize.