Publishing content covers a wide area, from blogging to mobile, to content management and more. You'll find advanced sources of information on all of that in here.

The Observer Folksonomic Zeitgeist

Thread Title: What is the Folksonomic Zeitgeist? Thread Url: Thread Description:

Fresh after extolling the virtues of the BBC for their internal work with blogs, forums and wiki's i have the opportunity to point out the Observer Blog Folksonomic Zeitgeist - It's like an implementation of Technorati Tags on the (almost) brand spanking new Observer Blog

It's a very, very useful feature on what's turning out to be a very interesting and useful public Blog.

Well done those chaps!

Search, Spelling and the Long Tail

Thread Title: Wasted time on research: Splleing ins’t imopratnt! Thread Url: Thread Description:

A post at passing notes, threadlinked above, brings up the somewhat famous, and apparently, quite mythical Cambridge University study that showed, that provided the first and last letters of a word were correct, people can read it just fine.

Try this:

“I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg! The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid. Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer inwaht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt.”

This lead me to thinking about misspellings in general, how it affects Long Tail of Search marketing and where it might be best put to use.

I've seen all manner of techniques, none of which i've ever tried, to target misspellings by Search marketers over the last few years. They include:

Meta keywords with misspelled words in Titles and alt attributes on images Pages dedicated to "common misspellings" Hidden text on pages

There are probably a ton more, please point out any that i've missed.

User Generated Content

One of, if not the, best way to leverage the long tail of misspelled search terms is user generated content. Blogs and Forums all lend themselves nicely to this. The very nature of the fast paced mediums and their looser style provide ample opportunity for both the author (i speel things wrong all the time and am usually to rushed to correct anything not immediately obvious) and the reply posts to make all kinds of natural errors.

Yahoo Directory RSS Feeds

Thread Title: Thread Url: Thread Description:

Peter Scott points out that Yahoo! have started adding directory RSS feeds - only a handful to start, but that's a pretty neat feature i think. Now if we could get the ODP to do likewise that'd be an interesting way to stay abreast of new additions to categories you monitor. (bearing in mind that they may well show up there before a search engine query will reveal them).

Thanks Steven

Culling Feeds - OR - Killing a few Friends

Im aware that this is a strange analogy, I really do think of RSS feeds as friends in many ways though:

Some friends are influential Some friends are connectors Some are habbits Some friends are enemies and some friends, need to GO

My RSS subscriptions, unlike my real real life friends, have grown to unmanagable proportions though, and it's time to cut a few out of the loop.

How do you cut out the crud from RSS?

Actually, though when i started out on this mercenary expedition the situation looked dire, it was rather easy. I used the following attributes to create a death list for my RSS buddies:

Bad titles Always behind the news Good posts too few and far between

On that basis, sites who favor titles like "Oh, look at this!" are out. Sites that constantly play catch up, are out, and one hit wonders, are out.

It was the bad titles that took the greatest damage - When you read a lot of RSS titles each day, not having to guess what you may find if you click the link is a big plus - in my book, an essential. I simply dont have the time to click on a "mystery meat" title heh..

I've gone from 400+ to around 300(ish)

I'd like to be around the 200 mark again, but the above criteria has so many caveats that some crud remains in the list - if anyone can think of a better way, i'd love to hear it...

Bloglines wins Wired Award - Google, MSN and Y! take Note

Thread Title: Rave Reviews Thread Url: Thread Description:

Last week we reported on Google UI engineer Chris Wetherell slapping the Google blog for being boring and stuffy.

Here's how you do it guys.. - ASK's Lanzone posts about Bloglines winning the Wired rave review awards - which is pretty cool. Here's a few points Google, MSN and to a lesser degree Yahoo would do well to take note of:

It's interesting - Seems simple huh? hey look! It links to other blogs! It's all about the tone...

Come on guys, get with the program - and Congrats to ASK on the Bloglines win...

Directories that don't get it...

Thread Title: How Not to Run a Directory: Link to Me or I Delete Your Listing Thread Url: Thread Description:

Aaron Wall has a fun entry detailing his email exchange with some muppet webmaster who is prepared to delete every entry in a directory unless all the sites link back to them.

er... HELLO! Every man and his dog has a damn directory, what the hell makes you so damn precious? The stupidity of some people amazes me, and the proliferation of Directories over the last 6mts or so is dragging down the quality of those few that do get it....

Here's part of the excange: management has changed. I am the webmaster now. This is one of the projects i have undertaken recently . I am restructuring hedir design and policy. I have noticed that you have got 10 sites listed in my directory . I do not find any history of your helping the directory either with link or any other way . Could you please enlighten me regarding this ? Coz i believe in the concept of mutual help in the webmaster community .

Astonishing, i wonder whether there is any future at all for the vast majority of directories out there. Humans dont use them, search engines must be sick of them, and the decent ones are very, very few and far between...

Scottie Claiborne on Informercials and Web Copy

Thread Title: What You Can Learn About SEO Copywriting From Infomercials Thread Url: Thread Description:

This piece by Scottie Claiborne, her of the highrankings modship, comes via chris and, once you get past the intro, is pretty cool.

There's nothing so much that you havn't heard before, but maybe you're like me and need to hear some things again from time to time to really let them sink in - it's just my kind of article: Short, to the point and chocked full of chocalately goodness :)

She argues that sales copy for websites, SEO'd websites that is, can learn a thing or two from the infomercial people that pervade the american daytime TV networks. I was a bit shocked when she mentioned keyword stuffing though...

If you listen to an infomercial, you will notice that they never refer to the product as "it".

"The Chocolate Dream will brighten your life, the Chocolate Dream is easy to clean, with the Chocloate Dream,you'll never have to worry about what to have to for dessert again."

Many writers today will tell you if your copy isn't natural or in a conversational style that it's poorly written. However, infomercial copywriters know that repetition is the key to branding and product recall, so they repeat the name as often as possible.

If you are writing a conversational-style piece, or informational copy, it may not make sense to repeat the product name throughout. However, if you are writing copy to sell or increase relevance with the search engines, think infomercial.

You can definitely go overboard with repetition, but keep relevance, branding, and recall in mind when writing sales copy and be sure to use the relevant phrase throughout.

heh, only kidding Scottie - nice read...

The 10 Minute RSS Primer - Getting up to Speed with Bloglines

Okay, so i've become increasingly aware that many of the Threadwatch boys and girls, and Search marketing crowd in general don't know much about RSS - This short primer is intended to get you up to speed in 10 minutes or less. I will be adding to this by posting some more quick primers with links to further reading over the coming weeks. Follow the title link for the full post.

Google doesn't get Blogging? So says Google Engineer...

Thread Title: Corporate blogs, written well. Thread Url: Thread Description:

Chris Wetherell, a Google UI engineer is talking about corporate blogs. In particular, about Search Engine corporate blogs.

He says he enjoys the Yahoo Blog and Jeeves' but:

The Google Blog hasn't caught up yet. It's a surprising mis-representation - the culture we work in is fast, decisive, and colloquial but the blog voice is stiff. It's your not-so-cool uncle unbuttoning his shirt, listening to The Postal Service (but only the single of Such Great Heights) and proclaiming that Yeah, I totally dig your stuff you kids, this hip-hop speaks to me too. Um. Dogg. *flashes hang ten sign*.

He doesn't mention MSN's blog at all, and frankly, I don't blame him.

I'd have to agree that out of the four major SE blogs Yahoo! and Jeeves are the best, and also that Googles effort *is* stiff. MSN's effort is equally stuffy, and in my opinion, both of the larger companies need to loosen up a little. Having said that though, Yahoo's blog is really only good in comparison to the others, it too, is a little formal for my liking.

Maybe the Jeeves blog gets it due to Mark Fletcher of newly aquired Bloglines influence, and perhaps the other SE's should follow suit and lean on employee's that understand the medium to kick thier blogging efforts into something that would vaguely approximate interesting...

Yahoo could rely a little more on Jeremy Zawodny, Google could re-hire Mark Jen, he may have been a prize idiot but he's at least interesting... I've no idea what MSN could do to improve their blog. Give up would be favorite...

Does France dislike Search Engines?

Thread Title: Google's Book programme isn't great for Europe Thread Url: Thread Description:

Reuters are reporting that :

France's national library has raised a "war cry" over plans by Google to put books from some of the world's great libraries on the Internet and wants to ensure the project does not lead a domination of American ideas

they actually throw up some good arguements. I don't agree with all of them but they are quite persuasive anyway.

Jean-Noel Jeanneney, who heads France's national library and is a noted historian, says Google's choice of works is likely to favor Anglo-Saxon ideas and the English language.

That's almost definately true, based on who G have currently partnered with and who is most likely to partner with them in the future.

Jean-Noel goes onto say:

"I favor a multi-polar view of the world in the 21st century," he said. "I don't want the French Revolution retold just by books chosen by the United States. The picture presented may not be less good or less bad, but it will not be ours."

Again that is admirable but isn't the onus on a European organisation, a search engine, an academic institute or an individual to balance the viewpoint by launching such a beast. An alternative, which I prefer is to open discussions with those that can help and do something about it.

Jean-Noel, this is a message to you, speak to the guys at the plex and offer them your works to be scanned and incorporated into the Google programme!

I feel pretty sure they'll say yes , and you get your amazing amounts of content digitised at no cost to you! - and the winner is.... New York Times!

Thread Title: New York Times to buy for $410 mln Thread Url: Thread Description:

A week or so ago we reported that was to be put up for auction and that the major search players and NYT were to bid.

the New York Times won, at a cost of $410M

The New York Times Co. on Thursday said it will buy online information portal for $410 million from publisher Primedia Inc. as it looks for new ways to build advertising revenue online.

There will no doubt be much talk and analysis of the buy as the NYT have been struggling with their online business model for some time, as i come across good stuff, i'll post it.

...and i didn't have to look too far. IMO the content commentary doesn't get much better than that found at Paid Content, here's what Rafat had to say:

Make no mistake, it is about search/CPC ad revenues in the short term, first and foremost. Then, of course, the benefits of added traffic over long term. It will be very interesting to see how they execute on the integration of and The phrase "adding an alternate model of content creation and aggregation" is a peculiar way to put it, but it denotes blogs and the whole blog media world, so to speak. In short, this is NYT's blog strategy, on the editorial side. Whether they want to characterize it as such, that I doubt...

There is much more, and it's goooood!

Wordpress 1.5 Out Now

Thread Title: the inside scoop Thread Url: Thread Description:

WordPress 1.5 is finally out, you can find a neat interview with the devs here.

NoFollow support is built in, but im not certain whether it's enabled by default. Thanks to DianeV and Brad Hill for the links...

[there goes my last reasonable excuse for not having put up Robyn's blog yet...]

Blog Tools Market Share According to Google

Thread Title: Weblog Tools Market - Update February 2005 Thread Url: Thread Description:

Interesting analysis of the market share of the popular blogging tools by Elise Bauer. She used Google to come up with the rough approximations and does aknowlege some caveats - it's probably a pretty good picture though, and some of you will find this most useful im sure.

Last August in An Overview of the Weblog Tools Market the concept of a Weblog Tools Use Index was introduced - the degree to which Google spidered pages associated with certain weblog tools, with the proposal that this number could be used as a proxy for the extent to which the tools are being used, and therefore give some indication of "share" of use. To reduce the confusion that that terminology caused, in this article the sum of the number of websites linking to a weblog tool URL and the number of websites containing the URL will simply be the factor used to determine comparative percentages, or "Google Share".

thanks mary

Audio: Dave Sifry of Technorati at Web 2.0

Thread Title: Dave Sifry Thread Url: Thread Description:

Great talk from Technorati CEO Dave Sifry at Web 2.0.

Riveting stuff on Technorati, the blogosphere and the power of distributed media: Stream Mp3 here

Last man Standing - More Yahoo / SixApart Talk

Thread Title: Should Yahoo Buy Six Apart? Thread Url: Thread Description:

Back in January we discussed Yahoo buying Six Apart, makers of MovableType, hosted blogging service TypePad and recent owners of LiveJournal.

Yahoo have recently launched blogging services on Yahoo! Japan and there has been some speculation on Yahoo providing blog search but as yet, there is no blogging service on the main Y! site.

So, Google have Blogger, ASK recently aquired Bloglines, MSN have Spaces and Yahoo have what?

Susan Kuchinskas at InternetNews raises the question yet again of Should Yahoo buy Six Apart?

There are a few reasons why Yahoo might want to add blog authoring to its own portfolio.

First, blogging tools might soon be seen as de rigueur for any serious player. Second, blogs can push traffic to the main search service. They also provide a cheap and nearly infinite source of fresh content. Finally, Six Apart's community of 6.5 million hosted blogs could help Yahoo's Overture advertising service extend its reach.

Forgetting websites...

Just this evening i got a link request from some spammy directory i wouldn't link to if you payed me (which was not offered heh..). The funny thing was it was for a site that i had thought i'd a) taken down and b) let the domain expire

It was/is a phpBB forum on a health topic i know a little bit about and was started purely for me to find some more out about this particular topic - anyway, $$$'s became a bigger priority, and seeding a forum takes way too much work so i kinda forgot about it.

When i went to see it a moment ago, it's hardly thriving, but, there is some signs of life, a few spammy posts and a few really, really good ones - and it's way pre sandbox.

I may very well have to resurrect the domain on the same topic but different format just as pre-sandboxed domains are a pain to find..

Ever forgotten sites like that? It's a first for me....

The Role of Trust and Conversation in Copy

Thread Title: Markets Are Conversations Thread Url: Thread Description:

DG has a nice post on the general topic of building trust into prospective buyers by taking your cue from the cluetrain and treating markets as conversations.

The premise is simple. The deciding factor for the consumer about to make a purchase is trust. Not price. Not features, not even the venerated benefits. Trust. Trust that the product will perform as advertised, trust that the product will be delivered as promised, trust that the merchant has faith in the product and most importantly, trust that the transaction is mutually beneficial. Price only becomes a factor when we realize the cost of broken trust is greater than we choose to afford. That cost is dependent on the indiviudal consumer. The greater the purchase price, the more trust is required.

which leads on to:

Far too often, website copy isn’t conversation, it is a sales pitch. Which is fine if the product doesn’t require a large amount of trust. But it is only through conversation or experience that people begin to trust. You might think that web copy is decidely one-sided conversation. But, good copy will have you conversing with the author, and with yourself. If the writer anticipates your questions and answers them, you’ll find yourself quietly agreeing. Nodding your head, sometimes, even talking to your monitor. That’s a conversation. If the writer is doing a great job, you’ll be agreeing. The first time you say to yourself, “oh bullshit", the writer has lost your trust, and the sale.

Very nice. I'll add that i like my conversations short and to the point as with DG's post - i just dont have the patience for long winded copy...

Mobile Adult Content to top $1bn this Year

Thread Title: Adult Industry to Net US$1bn From Mobile Phone Users in 2005 Thread Url: Thread Description:

Juniper Research are predicting that mobile adult content will top the $1bn mark this year - most of the wan.. er.. customers will come from Europe and Asia while the US lags behind as in most things mobile.

Report author, Dr. Windsor Holden, said, "At the present time, the size of the U.S. market is extremely limited because customers are used to downloading content through the portal of their network operator, and the network operators are reluctant to offer adult content for fear of a regulatory or consumer backlash. But in the medium term, customers will become increasingly adept at browsing wireless internet sites operated by aggregators or other independent providers, with the result that overall revenues will show a significant increase."

I have to say, the whole adult thing on a mobile just baffles me. Why anyone would want to view porn on a mobile is quite beyond me...

Designing Sites for Teens

Thread Title: What Websites Do to Turn On Teens Thread Url:,1284,66514,00.html Thread Description:

I've never built a site with Teens in mind but knowing that some of you have this might be of interest: Wired are talking about what visual and interactive elements sites should pay attention to in order to capture a younger audience. Content aside, some of the things the story has to say are pretty interesting:

Nielsen explained that the best interactive elements include message boards, polls, quizzes, the ability to ask questions of experts, and tools that let teens construct their own web pages.

Another element teens find attractive is the use of photographs and images that relieve text of the burden of communicating ideas, but that don't weigh down a page. And while adults don't like cluttered web pages or too much writing either, he added, they are significantly more tolerant of a heavier text-to-images ratio.

Teens are also much less willing than adults to stick around websites with useful content but poor presentation, Nielsen said.

The report they're talking about (which i couldn't locate?) is the one that sparked all the pants wetting excitement about teens not being as savvy as adults on the web - well forgive me if i pay that only passing mention, it's boring as hell and patently obvious to boot.

If you have built sites for the teen market, do tell us about your experiences...

What Linking is all About

Thread Title: What Links Are All About Thread Url: Thread Description:

DG has some good comments on a post i made here - That was just a passing comment but what DG has to say is interesting stuff, which i fully agree with:

Search engines first reduced the dependency on links for web navigation, then in a cruel twist, made links little more than capital. Since then I’ve seen the value of links become inflated, and now I think we’re headed back to a web economy in which links are becoming worthless. At least the variety of links that are prevalent are nearly worthless. We don’t trust in the value of the currency any longer.

We’re inundated with links to sites about diet pills, calling cards and poker. Instead of banner blindness, we’re becoming link blind. The search engines don’t trust the links either, now that they’ve had a hand in inflating their importance they’re forced to come up with solutions to devalue the importance they’ve placed on them. So we end up with odd solutions to problems like comment spam.

So, linking for the user eh? That may be a novel concept for some heh... but IMO it's not bad advice at all.

Linking for Users - Really?

Sure, why not? Here's a few questions to get this wagon rollin' as it's an interesting subject near and dear to all of our hearts:

Should you link only for users? Have Search engines effectively ruined the internet with their reliance on links?

For me, as always, it's "horses for courses" - on a site like this then sure, link for users and link for users only - it's the only strategy that makes sense. On other types of sites though, im linking for SE's only, the users will be seemlessly passed on to wherever i need them to be...

Good stuff from Dean and nice to get a chance to introduce his new blog :-)