Thursday, May 26, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Fantastic Journalism, 2010

100 superb works of journalism from 2010. Compiled by Conor Friedersdorf, associate editor at The Atlantic, and founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction. Follow him on Twitter: @conor64

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

SEO keywords after Google Instant

This report at Covario, SEO is not dead yet seems to indicate that keywords are still important. Only, now, they have to be more sophisticated.

Two recent developments made keyword optimization more difficult.

First, Google changed their search algorithm to depend less on keywords and more on a site's incoming links and content.

Second, two new search tools, Google Instant and Google Wonder Wheel give people the option of choosing detailed results for their searches.

Recent studies show that this is exactly what people are doing. Instead of searching for Movies, someone might search for: Movies, horror, werewolf, in London.

If your website is about werewolf movies, a keyword like "movies" or "Werewolf" is not enough. Now you need specific keywords like "American Werewolf in London."

For best SEO the keywords should also appear in the content of the website.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Social media through the centuries

Social media today...
There Are Some People Who Don't Wait. An establishment journalist tells how young writers are breaking in to major publications by writing for social media, blogs, and "free" ezines.

And "Social media" through the centuries...
How Writers Build The Brand, by Tony Perrottet. How writers have used their current 'social media' to promote themselves since the time of Herodotus.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Social media policy wiki

Altimiter Group has a social media policy wiki with examples from many companies.

Useful Facebook resources

From the Mari Smith keynote during the MediaBistro boot camp:

21 Creative ways to increase your Facebook fan base.

Top 75 apps for enhancing your Facebook page.

Strutta for running contests online.

Wildfire tools for social media.

Hyperarts for really cool Facebook page design. (They did the Enchantment page.)

What you need to know about Facebook Promotions

Cool Facebook page for Enchantment

The Facebook page for Guy Kayasaki's book, Enchantment.

Note: clicking "Like" reveals two free ebooks.

The page was designed by the folks at Hyperarts.com

Getting traffic for your blog

A few things I learned while taking Media Bistro's Social Media Boot Camp.

1. Write good content
The first step to getting readers for your blog is to write entertaining, interesting and useful content, and to publish it on a regular schedule. You might commit to 3x per week for a year, like Chris Guillabeau did. Before going live with his blog, Guillabeau wrote 3 months posts in advance and kept them in reserve, so he would never miss a publishing day.

This blog post gives tips on how to write quality content fast:

2. Find influencers in your field
Finding the people who wield influence in your field is one of the hardest and most important parts of a 'social media marketing' program. Here are some tips:
- Sign up for eCairn. Use eCairn to find the people in the "magic middle," people who have influence but are not yet 'stars' in the field. (It is possible to start conversations with people in the magic middle, but stars are very difficult to contact.) The eCairn software is unique in this field. It will identify hundreds of influencers, and show you which ones are in the "magic middle." eCairn can also produce a map showing how influencers connect. See the eCairn website for more information.
- Read twitter lists for your field, and see who keeps showing up on them.
- Do a Google search for top blogs, forums, listservs and authorities in your field. Subscribe and read them for a while and see who is respected and influential.
- Read the top magazines in your field, see who writes articles.
- Search for annual conventions, seminars and workshops in your field, see who is on the speakers lists.
- Use Google Wonder Wheel to find the keywords for your field, and then do searches on the keywords. (If you can't get Wonder Wheel to work, turn off Google Instant search in Google Preferences. If WW still doesn't work, turn off your browser's extensions and run the browser in 'safe' mode.)
- Search Facebook, and look for people in your field who have a both fans and influence.

This blog post The Poor Man's Guide To Finding Influencers gives more tips.

3. Start conversations with influencers
The next step is to start conversations with the bloggers and influencers who share your passions. The basic strategy on starting conversations is to listen first. The best conversationalists are the best listeners.

A few notes on starting conversations. When you begin to respond, respond thoughtfully. Seek to add value to the conversation and try to be helpful. It also helps to learn a few basic rules about the etiquette of blogging before you start responding.

Here are a few ways to start conversations with people who share your passions and interests:
- "Like" them on facebook and leave thoughtful comments on their FB posts.
- Sign up for their blog's RSS feeds and leave thoughtful comments on their blog posts.
- Follow them on twitter, occasionally retweet and occasionally respond thoughtfully to their tweets.
- Eventually offer to write guest posts on their blogs.

Murray Newlands is one of the best writers on this subject. Here's a collection of his Best Posts.

Hope this helps. I am struggling with this myself smile

Friday, May 13, 2011

How Writers Build the Brand

.... “For artists, the great problem to solve is how to get oneself noticed,” Balzac observed in “Lost Illusions,” his classic novel about literary life in early 19th-century Paris.

"As another master, Stendhal, remarked in his autobiography “Memoirs of an Egotist,” “Great success is not possible without a certain degree of shamelessness, and even of out-and-out charlatanism.”

Those words should be on the Authors Guild coat of arms..."

From How Writers Build the Brand, by Tony Perrottet in the New York Times.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Kindle formatting guide

Amazon Kindle formatting guide. If you decide to do your own conversion, this guide will show you how to create and test a Kindle eBook.

5 free formatting guides for your eBook

GalleyCat article with links to free formatting guides for your ebook. Covers the major eBook formats including Kindle.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Scott Galloway speaks on digital competence, how Facebook may become the Internet, and how old people (some of us anyway) do not "get" social media.

Three Cups of Tea -- selected links

A collection of links to articles and blog posts about the Three Cups of Tea scandal.

The list is in chronological order, with newest links on top. At the bottom of the list is a link to Jon Krakauer's 72 page article that started everything, Three Cups of Deceit: How Greg Mortenson, Humanitarian Hero, Lost His Way.

17. Three Cups of BS Foreign Policy magazine (Newest link)
16. It's not about the Tea Stanford Social Innovation Review
15. More and More Mortenson (and less and less New York Times) Alternet
14. Now Outside Questions Mortenson's Record India Times
13. The High Priestess of Posterity 87 year old Elizabeth Hawley records all Nepalese climbs.
12. Can't Get There From Here Outside Blog
11. That's Right, Blame the Co-Author eReads
10. Stones Into Dollars: Why Mortenson's Math Does Not Add Up iTrevino
9. Another Three Cups of Tea Story: With A Different Ending bNet
8. Jon Krakauer's Hunt For Truth The Daily Beast
7. Three Cups of Humble Pie Marianne Elliott
6. Collecting Three Cups of Tea Posts Good Intentions are Not Enough (collection of 150+ posts)
5. Three Cups of Tea: Doing Good is Hard Work Forbes
4. Three Cups of Platitudes FT.com
3. Greg Mortenson's Dizzying Fall From Grace The Guardian
2. Greg Mortenson Speaks Outside Blog
1. Three Cups of Deceit: How Greg Mortenson, Humanitarian Hero Lost His Way by Jon Krakauer.