Posts Tagged ‘digital’

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Clutter on the Web and my Desk – Siteless Web Presence

My desk is a mess.

Once, in first grade, my teacher – can’t remember the nun’s name – put my entire desk in a box and sent me along with the box to the principal’s office. Then he called my parents in so we could talk about how messy my desk was.

Obviously, the teacher’s plan to shame me into cleaning my desk did not pay off because as I look around right now – I still sit amongst chaos.

Magazines and books that I want to read but haven’t gotten to. But I don’t want to shelve them because then I might forgot them. A calendar and dead lava lamp, tons of papers (not stacked but haphazardly thrown around), my “You’ve been bad jar” for myself and co-workers (it’s usually full of treats but is empty right now – I guess a lot of people have been bad), Chex mix, CDs, pens, pictures of the family, a box of client marketing collateral…any normal person would probably start cleaning it right away but not me.

My mother-in-law says her boss is the same way – that she’s never met anyone cluttered. She doesn’t know how he gets anything done.

I defended him by saying, “That’s how I work. I’ll clean it up and then it’ll be a mess again in a few hours so why bother. I know where mostly everything is. It just looks awful to you.”

In some ways, the web is just like this. There’s not much organization. You have to search for what you want and hope that Google or the other search engines find what you want. If not, you start the search over adding different terms to your search.

It can be frustrating when you can’t find what you are looking for but it can also be exciting when you find something that you never knew was there. And when you find it, you often share it with someone. Because what’s the use of finding something cool if no one knows you’ve found it.

This is another reason for why you should have a siteless web presence. The web isn’t organized. Heirarchies have been replaced. If all you have is one website, you are one against millions and millions of other sites.

You need to be in a lot of places all at once so when someone is doing a search, they may come across you. Maybe it’s not your main site but it can always redirect there.

And, when they do come across you, you have to be interesting enough that they might want to share you with a friend. Because it’s easy to share with friends on the web (del.icio.us, stumble upon, digg – there are lots of social bookmarking sites.)

In fact, you should put this on your site. It’s from Add this! It’s easy and free and can’t hurt unless your website is painful to use and ugly – then you might get some unexpected traffic from people making fun of you and your company.

Funny story about that. I was once sitting in a meeting when a client brought up the fact that their website actually cost them business. The prospect had pointed out that if they were such a wonderful technology software company then why did their website look like a grade school student had put it together. Ouch.

If you have problems like this, then come see us at Mediasauce.com. We’ll help you out.

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Siteless Web Presence Part Two or why not be in all places at once?

So how do you get a siteless web presence?

Your website is one place on the web. One place that Google can direct traffic. When a person does a search for your site then you’ll hopefully pop up. If you have the right kind of URL, Title Tags, Meta Tags, and enough relevant content about you on the home page.

Now I’m not saying you need to talk about yourself a lot – just the right keywords. And I’m never into talking about myself too much – you should be talking to your customers, telling your story, and explaining your unique benefits.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll post a blog on what kind of tags you should be using and how they work on a website. Anybody interested in that?

Anyway, back to siteless web presence, after your Google search on your website, other sites pop up. Are they your competitors or just useless information that Google pulls out of the web universe?

You should dominate that page, right? You don’t want a competitor sitting right below you or above you if they know what they are doing with search and you don’t.

You can with a siteless web presence. If you take your content and put it out on other websites that are consistently searched by Google then soon you will begin to dominate Google searches. Now this doesn’t work for all searches but when it comes to a search for you, you should be there.

Here’s what I’ve done for my company, MediaSauce. Now this isn’t guaranteed. It’s a work in progress all the time because Google is constantly updating its algorithm and indexing more and more sites.

Search for MediaSauce through Google.

We come up right away. Then there are links to some blogs where people mentioned us and then there’s a software company that sells a product named MediaSauce (they used to dominate our page but I’m trying to work them down off the front page) then there are our blogs and our Flickr account.

Now how is it that just a few mentions in an outside blog can drive a link in the middle of my search page. Well, it’s all about Google believing that the content is relevant to MediaSauce. Which it is. And I’m going to give the blogger, Jenny Lu, some Google love by pinging her back with this blog.

But our siteless presence that I can control deals more with putting our content on outside sites, putting the right information in about our company and tagging it appropriately so Google can see it and index it.

Now as far as I know there isn’t a set of steps you can do that will automatically work. It’s more trial and error and if anyone knows a set of steps, please fill me in. But what I’ve found that works is making sure you are constantly updating your external sites as much as you update your own website. By adding more and more relevant content.

Here’s what ad agency, Modernista, did. They took it to an extreme but I think it’s very powerful. Having a site like this is not for everyone and I am in no way saying you shouldn’t have a website.

I’m saying you need to also have a siteless web presence which means letting people take your stuff and put it wherever they feel like it on the web.

Take for example, you sell something in retail – maybe shoes. You have your little store in Broadripple and you are just getting into online selling. Some of your customers that are farther away are starting to buy online and you are promoting it as best you can.

What I would do to give myself a siteless web presence…I would take photos of all the shoes and put them up on Flickr or Photobucket or Smugmug with links back to my website for purchase.

I would take videos of models (my employees with good feet) walking around in my beautiful shoes. I would put them on many video sites using heyspread.com or just doing the standard youtube.com.

I would make a widget using Slide pulling from Flickr and then put that on my blog about shoes (you need a blog, just get over it and do it where I talk about shoes).

I would also allow people to take the slide widget off my website if they want so they can put it on their facebook or myspace profile or wherever they want.

I would get a cool technology company to build me a retail selling widget based on my store so if someone wanted to take my retail store and put it on their site, they could. I would take this widget and put it on my profile pages.

Then I would visit other people’s shoe blogs and talk (positively – no need to flame anyone here) about their shoes and leave behind my link or small slide widget on their forum or blog. I wouldn’t promote my own shoes but I would join the conversations and let people follow the links if they wanted.

Then I would be very careful to watch my conversions in my online presence. Is stuff working or is it not? I would watch my analytics to see if people were using the widgets or visiting the site. Then adjust.

And I would search myself on Google and make sure I was easy to find and I dominated my page…I would work on getting into other searches like basic shoe searches for the brand names I carry, etc… but that’s a blog for another time.

I feel like this blog isn’t finished. There’s so much more I would do but these are some of the basics. Siteless web presence is getting your name out on other sites instead of just trying to get them to come to you. Go where the people are.

What do you think?

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Hey Forrester Research, we’re a connection agency!

Forrester Research just published an article about how agencies need to change and that they are in a “world of hurt” because they can’t adapt to the changing advertising world.

The Adweek article states, “In a new report, the research firm paints a grim view of the current state of advertising, which it believes is in “a world of hurt” because consumers are tuning out the messages the industry is predicated on producing. Instead, it believes shops need to be organized around communities, not disciplines. What it is calling ‘the connected agency’ would not only know certain communities but also be active members of these groups. Pushing messages would give way to encouraging voluntary engagement, and ongoing conversations would replace time-based campaigns.”

It’s like they stopped in and talked to us about what we currently do.

Then they say that “Since marketers will continue to focus on results from their marketing, particularly as digital media makes it easier to track, advertising agencies would get geekier, Forrester believes.”

If you are looking for an agency that already plays this way (and plays it well), then you need to come in and talk to us.

Or click here and read the whole article.

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