General – SMOblog A safari into the jungles of Social Media Optimization and Marketing Thu, 07 Mar 2013 22:59:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mentos, Diet Coke + The Age of Conversation Sat, 29 Mar 2008 22:23:07 +0000 AOC BannerThe Age of Conversation re-launches today on with the Age of Conversation Bum Rush. If you haven’t bought or borrowed a copy yet and are wondering what all the tweets, twits and talk is about, let me fill in the blanks:

The Age of Conversation is an anthology of the bite-size nuggets of new media insights from 100+ marketing bloggers. If you’ve already got a copy, you can find me in chapter #11.

All the profits go to Variety, The Children’s Charity. If you buy a copy, you won’t make my wallet any heavier but you’ll help some kids that really need it. Chris Wilson is spearheading the bum rush, and they’ve gotten it up as high as #53 at Amazon’s business section. It looks like it has slid a bit to #57. If you own a copy already, I’m sure adding your review over there would help people that are pondering whether to buy it or not.

It’s been interesting to read some of the comments over at the thread on Digg. As marketing dynamics transform from a world one-to-many messages to many-to-many, how is spam going to be socially defined?

Can you make spam easier to swallow?


The social definition of spam is important for any marketer to follow. Some things are clear cut – Nigerian scams, male “improvement” and penny-stock recommendations. Others lead to fuzzier, more subjective interpretations. In the case of The Age of Conversation, poettheunclothed, a Digg commenter notes on the Digg post for the bum rush that “If I can’t read it free online then it is spam”. That is a really good point and something I’ll bet a lot of Digg users agree with in principle.

No doubt there are some that have a slightly different threshold and acknowledging that all the profits in this case go to a charity, are able to resist the bury button.
I do wonder though, if there was, say, an article about a Pink Floyd reunion tour whether we’d see the same kind of treatment in regards to spam and such – even though they’d be inadvertently helping to engorge music industry fat cats along the way. I suspect not, but will have to poke around and look for some examples when I have a bit more time. If any of you have any to share, please leave them in the comments.

Of course, one the most compelling aspect of Digg is how cold-hearted and snide some of the users are. A healthy portion of the comment threads feel like watching a train starting to careen off the tracks. In many ways Digg isn’t a social news site as much as an entertainment site — I think it is a vital part of their brand

Mentos + Diet Coke = The best spam ever

The brains of millions have had the brand Mentos indelibly etched upon them through the massive success of Mentos/Diet Coke mashups such as this one that has been viewed 5 ½ million times on YouTube:


I remember how many emails I’d get from friends, associates and clients that said I just “had to see it”. I didn’t ask for the emails – I hadn’t opted-in. Yet here I was watching video after video of people making veritable symphonies out of Mentos and Diet Coke.

I didn’t have to pay anything… or did I?

Marketers trade in attention — in this case not only did 5 ½ million people pay their attention willingly; a critical mass of them invested their efforts in “spamming” everyone on their contact list.

I’d love to hear some comments about how to “spam-proof” your marketing. This is something I’m going to take up in more depth in a future article and I would love to hear your insights.

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Post comments like a madman with CommentKahuna Mon, 03 Dec 2007 15:00:16 +0000 CommentKahuna is Windows software that can be freely downloaded for the price of an email address from PortalFeeder. It is designed to search for blog posts that rank in Google for a particular phrase and makes it easier to comment on them. Once you’ve typed in your keyword phrase it will locate up to 50 blog posts on the topic you’ve searched for that are ranking in Google. It also shows the Google PageRank for each post and has options that can be tweaked to filter by PageRank if that kind of thing floats your boat.

Here is a search for “britney spears”:

Search screen for CommentKahuna

(Note that Graywolf comes up for “britney spears” in this example. Interestingly, the highest PageRank site returned was a PR5.)

Once you’ve got your list you can scan the URLs and check off which ones you might want to comment on. Then a little window pops up with the blog post in it so that you can read it, and if you’d like to comment there is an autofill button that plops your name, email address and URL into the right places. Nice and efficient. Once you’ve commented you click a button to move onto the next post that you flagged. If you’ve decided not to comment on any of them there is a skip button as well.

Here is the commenting interface:
Comment screen for CommentKahuna

Once you are done with the whole thing it makes a record of the blogs you posted at so that you can check back in on them.

Am I a manual comment spammer?

No, but if I was this is the perfect tool for the job as long as I wasn’t paid by the hour. Actually, I think this is a pretty great tool for social media marketers that looking to find conversations that Google finds noteworthy enough to rank. Since these blog posts theoretically rank well in Google they are likely to become centers of conversation around that particular search phrase.

I’m a firm believer in adding as much value to the conversation as I can muster whenever I post or comment. It may be a touch naive, but I believe in the long run Internet Marketing techniques that contributing quality content to a particular niche will outperform the quantity approach of making 5 second throwaway comments and then moving on to the next blog.

A great tool for conversation addicts

Aside from the added efficiency, CommentKahuna unearths some pretty interesting conversations that I’d missed on topics I’ve researched. I’ve plugged in about a dozen searches and have been fairly impressed — I hadn’t found many of these doing a search in Technorati or Google Blog Search.

Strangely, while I did poke around in Google’s regular index to try to spot the blog posts that CommentKahuna identified manually the results didn’t really seem to mesh up and it missed some blogs that I definitely know were WordPress blogs, which was the poll I had restricted my searches on. I’ll have to investigate this more because obviously if the results don’t mesh up to the actual results in Google’s regular index than it might lessen the utility of the whole thing. I’d love to know how the result set is generated.

How PortalFeeder could improve this

PortalFeeder has taken plucked this program out of their suite of exclusive desktop tools they provide for their members and is offering it for free to help create some buzz for the launch of PortalFeeder 2.0, the new and improved PortalFeeder membership program.

I suspect most of their users have traditionally used this to raise their backlink count in Google. If this software also took into account the number of followable outbound links each post had in it and roughed out how much PageRank might be passed be the individual blogs it would probably be a killer app for SEOs.

I get the sense from PortalFeeder’s video presentation that this is now really being positioned as generally the type of social media marketing tool that I’d like to use. Given that, there are several things that I wish PortalFeeder would include in a future upgrade:

  • One click buttons for submitting the pages that you comment on to social media sites. It isn’t enough to just put your comments out there — you want to promote the blog posts that you have commented on in order to increase traffic to them. Some of the traffic will trickle down to you, making your comment more impactful.
  • Provide a spell checker for the comments box. As it uses Internet Explorer as a foundation my Firefox spell checking add-ons are nowhere to be found.
  • Enable it to also factor in and display show inbound link information from Yahoo and Technorati.
  • Show the titles in the list interface as well as the URLs.

Oh, and this would really rock as a Firefox add-on. I’m trying to live a monastic, browser-centric life as much as possible and the less software installs the better.

You can download CommentKahuna here. By the way, this isn’t any kind of affiliate link — not because I have anything against them, but more because in this case I’m too lazy to try to locate one.

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Linklings: Trust, Disclosure and Pain Sun, 02 Dec 2007 13:05:55 +0000 DISCLOSURE BREEDS TRUST. John Chow’s post on blog credibility highlights the need for transparency in blogging and points out the often overlooked importance of the About page. As we all begin to use more and more social networks, a centralized “About Me” page is going to be more important. Identity is the foundation of trust — the more people know about you, anxiety is removed from the trust relationship. One of the things that has helped to instill trust in Chow by his readers in spite of his “slightly evil” money-making approaches is the radical openness he shares with readers about his dreams, monthly profits and even what he has for dinner.

CASH ENHANCES SOCIAL STAKE: Jack Humphrey outlined a couple social sites with revenue sharing amongst the membership. Eventually, this will probably be the norm as the promise of money is alluring and eventually market forces and increasing awareness about the value of content are going to force websites to reward active participants and content creators in some fashion in order to stay competitive. This is all made possible by the increased efficiency of monetization techniques, spearheaded by Google AdSense. I think a great parallel can be made to the impact of 401k programs and online brokerages on the investment community in the U.S. Once it became easy for the everyday Jack or Jill to invest in stock, the stock market truly went mainstream. I suspect in a few years a big chunk of everyday Internet users will become defacto Internet Marketers.

PLEASE TAKE THE PAIN OUT OF THE SOCIAL WEB: Let’s face it. Social Media isn’t as fun as it could be. Sometimes it feels like work. Let’s say I really like something — a swirl of the mouse and tap, tap, tap I’ve Dugg it. Swirl, tap, tap, it’s Sphunn. Another tap stumbled. Should I bookmark it in delicious too? Maybe Twitter it out? There are a lot of great communities out there, but participating in them as actively as I’d like makes me feel like a hamster in a wheel. But, good news! Web 3.0 is going to solve everything. Intelligent agents, microformats, and increases in the ability for software to analyse what the heck it is we are saying are all going to contribute to the solution. I’ve blogged about this before, but in a nutshell Web 1.0 gave us the power to broadcast. Web 2.0 to communicate and invoke the “wisdom of the crowds”. Web 3.0 is going to be about making the whole mess moremanageable and truly ingrain it in our lives. The difference is going to be immense — like going from DOS to Windows or the Apple II to a Mac. See Valeria Maltoni’s take on the emergence of Web 3.0 and the upcoming era of artificial intelligence agents.

GIVE YOUR CUSTOMERS YOUR SOAPBOX: The Social Media Optimization blog analyzed a Clickz piece about Bath & Body that I think is a really great case study. Bath & Body experimented with adding a user review system to one of their new product launches and found that the campaign surrounding the launch outperformed their other campaigns by increasing sales 10-12%. Of course, if the new flip-flop they rolled out was low quality junkwear, those numbers may have been a bit different. Low quality, thy days are numbered… These days, quality pays.

LINKS ARE VOTES OF TRUST: Over the course of showing how to persuade a blogger to link to you, Liz Strauss noted that links are votes of trust. This all reminds me of my problem with Google’s “war on paidlinkism”. Nofollow connotes a lack of trust — it is a second class link that states to a search engine and to onlookers savvy enough to see them that I don’t think the link is worth following. In order to illustrate the need to stamp out links from paid posts, Matt Cutts identified some really shady examples. I think he misses the whole point. You can have shady posts are free as well. There are Pay-Per-Post bloggers such as Andy Beard that gladly stake their reputation behind their reviews. I don’t really have a problem with Google using paid posts/paid links as a potential signal of lack of quality. But there are many factors that they should consider before they slander a website in their toolbar or dampen it in their rankings. Their goal should be to identify trustworthy sites, not to punish honest bloggers.

Linklings are short takes on the past week in Social Media Marketing.

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Radiohead makes millions with free digital content Tue, 06 Nov 2007 23:23:48 +0000 While the AP headline may be “Most Fans Paid $0 for Radiohead Album”, half the real story is buried in the piece and the other half isn’t really there at all.

In October, Radiohead offered up their latest release “In Rainbows” as a digital download on their website with a “fill in the blank” price to be determined by the customer. Customers could pay whatever – including $0 – that they felt the music was worth to them.

Now the data is in and 38% of the people worldwide, when faced with a legitimate option to pay nothing actually paid an average of $6 for the music. The average for U.S. purchases was $8.

That is an astounding affirmation of the “pay what you like” or “donationware” model.

The first piece of Radiohead’s Web empire

Let’s look at what Radiohead got out of their viral marketing efforts so far:

  • Their website currently has 102,420 inbound links as reported by Yahoo. Pretty nice for a domain that was purchased under 6 months ago.
  • Google is currently reporting a toolbar PageRank of 6, for whatever that is still worth.
  • Technorati lists that the site has been blogged about over 8,000 times.
  • 1.2 million people visited the website to download their “album”.
  • If we assume that a million of those followed through the download process, it means that Radiohead has made about $2,280,000 in sales thusfar – with almost no real overhead except for bandwidth.
  • Perhaps a million people listening to their music – this is a great foundation for their next release as long as the music is quality (I like it anyway!).

This is a great foundation on the Web for them to build on with future releases.

That $2,280,000 is almost pure profit. No packaging, no advertising, no hands in Radiohead’s collective pockets.

Not bad considering that usually only cents on the dollar of a CDs purchase price typically ever make it to the musicians themselves.

The big question is with the ability for artists to produce, distribute and virally promote their music themselves how long do the record companies have left?

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Are you a webpreneur? Join me at Bizquarium Fri, 12 Oct 2007 09:13:07 +0000 A quick programming note — as my project backlog is beginning to even out I’m going to be returning to a posting schedule of 3 to 5 times a week here on SMOblog. I’ll be doing about the same over at Bizquarium

What is Bizquarium you ask?

I think it’s going to be a fun project. The ultimate goal is to create a website that helps bloggers, niche marketers, and other webpreneurs make the most out of their website using WordPress and other online applications. There are many topics that I am passionate about such as user interface development, SEO, email marketing and website optimization that I would like to cover and I’d like to keep SMOblog more focused.

If you have an interest in tricking out your blog or making more money online, pay me a visit over there and sign up for the Bizquarium RSS feed.

Please don’t be scared away by the newbie look of it all when you get there — I’m starting with the default WordPress theme on purpose. The Bizquarium website is going to be built up on the blog step by step — starting from scratch. Of course, along the way I’ll be mixing it up by covering a broad mix of topics related to the overall goal.

I’m interested in any feedback or suggestions that any of you may have in regards to Bizquarium. Feel free to comment on this post or on one of the ones over there.

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Need an RSS feed for DealDotCom’s daily deal? Mon, 24 Sep 2007 07:45:37 +0000 DealDotCom -- RSS feeds for the daily dealI’ve been experimenting with developing an RSS feed for DealDotCom for another project and I think I have it mostly licked. I’ve been testing it in the sidebar here at SMOblog, and it seems to be working fine.

What is Deal Dot Com?

If you haven’t heard, it is essentially a clone of for Internet marketing products.

What is Well, essentially is a social shopping site where they sell one product a day at a deep discount and people discuss the product and share their thoughts. Not only is this invaluable way for businesses to move mass quantities of a product, it serves as a sort of impromptu focus group for that product as well. But I digress…

So, DealDotCom is essentially the same thing for Internet marketing products. These products are typically digital downloads such as e-books and software making this a perfect fit. The deals so far have been great.

As an added perk, they have an extremely good affiliate program – I haven’t really explored the full details about it but you can find more about it here. My understanding is that you get some kind of commissions for the life of the customer which is really rare in affiliate programs. Oh, but I digress again…

They’ve only launched a few days ago and have had some pretty interesting things on sale so far. If you want to aggressively market your website, I don’t think you can find an easier way to be exposed to such a wide variety of products at such low deals. I’ve been wanting to put it on my iGoogle home page.

If you haven’t signed up, checking it out it is completely free to signup. Is you do so via this link, I’ll get rewarded a bit if you ever end up buying something. If you want to check them out but don’t want to give me any credit 🙁 — you can do that too with this link.

Doesn’t DealDotCom have an RSS feed?

Actually, they do — but it uses really cryptic titles and includes a bunch of other stuff as it is sourced from their blog. I’ve got no idea what they are selling and for what price from the headline itself. That doesn’t work for me as I kept having to click through to see what the deal is. This feed I’ve set up has the daily deal and the price — much better for my busy lifestyle. If you are interested in subscribing to it to see the daily deals, you can do so here or with this address:

Please note, this feed uses my affiliate link in it. This won’t affect anything in the least, other than if you haven’t already signed up, I’ll get some rewards as I mentioned above. I’m working on a version of it where you can use your own affiliate ID once you have signed up to generate the link for use on your own blogs. If you are interested in beta testing this for me, please drop me a note on my contact form and give me your referral code and I’ll try to get a beta version for you to work with.

UPDATE 10/12: DealDotCom has published an official RSS feed for their daily deal here.

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Google has me comfortably numb Sun, 23 Sep 2007 07:30:37 +0000 I really enjoyed a comment by mlankton on my earlier post “Living in the Google Biosphere: The dreaded paid link”. In it, mlankton said:

I’m with Google on this one. They made the better search engine. They made the yardstick for sites to measure themselves with. They have an interest in serps and pagerank meaning something, and paid links undermine that.

That is awfully hard to disagree with. I think that Google has made such incredible strides at making the Internet more useful, more enjoyable and more profitable for so many.

However, there is a natural byproduct to all of these wonderful things. Google has progressively gained leverage over website owners and we’ve reached the point where they are able to influence our behavior with implicit threats.

I guess we can always rank in Windows Live..

It is of course, their game and they can set the rules.

When one player in a common marketplace becomes so powerful that they leave people with few practical options but to play the game their way it might not always be bad, but I think it is always something we should watch closely.

Of course, I’m still willing to play Google’s game myself as so many website owners are — but the fact that they can exert so much pressure on the marketplace at large to help maintain their supremacy in search and prevent dilution of their aging algorithms is a little scary. I’ve been developing for the Internet since the early 90’s and remember a time when links were just links.

In some aspects, I think by turning links into a commodity, Google has destroyed the Internet in order to save it.

Comfortably Numbed by Google AdSense

But would I trade all the great benefits of life with the big G to go back to the Internet of the pre-Google days?

Not now. Not yet…

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Customize your RSS feed for BlogRush Thu, 20 Sep 2007 02:35:28 +0000 Custom RSS for BlogRush
So far I like BlogRush a lot and think it has great potential. One of the problems I see with it that can be improved upon then is that you cannot select what posts you would like to promote via BlogRush with your syndication credits.

Why syndicate what you had for breakfast across the network?

Your blog may be an intimate place where you share many things with your readers that may not be appropriate for the network-at-large. Unfortunately, BlogRush offers no way to declare which posts you want to share across the network and which you don’t.

I’ve worked up a better way of doing this for SMO Blog and I think other bloggers that use WordPress might be interested in doing the same. It’s in everybody’s interest to keep posts to BlogRush at a high level of quality so that people don’t begin to tune it out.

Add a Custom RSS Feed for BlogRush

The solution I’ve found is to add a Custom Field like this to each blog post that I want to promote.

Add the key “BlogRushTitle” and then in the value area put whatever you would like to title the post in BlogRush. The reason why I’ve defined the key that way is that BlogRush can only show about 40 characters or so in the widget. After that it gets truncated. Since I don’t really want to constrain my post titles just for BlogRush this provides a great method of providing a shorter title for BlogRush.

When you are done it should look like this:

The next time you write a post, “BlogRushTitle” will be on the dropdown of keys in the custom field area – you will only need to select it and type the title you want to use for a given blog post.

Create a custom RSS feed in WordPress.

WordPress provides a number of RSS templates in the root directory of the install to handle various feed types. I’ve created a new RSS template that uses the RSS 2.0 standard to tailor a feed specifically for BlogRush. I’ve got it set so that it only includes posts that have the custom field for “BlogRushTitle” associated with it and have a title filled in.

You can download this file here:

Please note – this has been tested in WordPress 2.12. I think it will likely work in 2.20 but I won’t be testing it until later tonight. Also, if you are using .htaccess to perform URL rewriting, you may need to make some adjustments there as the file will be called directly.

To use it you’ll want to drop it into your WordPress root directory. The path to your BlogRush specific RSS feed will then look like this:

Validating the feed

I recommend that you validate the feed to make sure it is working correctly after you have everything setup but before you post it to BlogRush. Try using this RSS validator and make sure you scroll down to the bottom and review the source code of the feed to see that your posts are showing up, etc.

Telling BlogRush about your new feed

Unfortunately, BlogRush lets you edit everything about your blog except for the feed address. This is a little crazy as many blogs change their feeds over time (changing to Feedburner, etc). Hopefully they fix this. Until then, the best you can do is add a second blog and specify your new BlogRush feed as the feed to use. I believe that this will mean that at least one-half of your syndication credits are using your new, optimized feed.

Not a member of BlogRush yet?

If you haven’t signed up yet, you can put this in place first, sign up for BlogRush and then use your optimized feed right from the start.

Once you have everything in place and your feed is working properly, you can get started with the signup process.

Any problems with it?

Please let me know in the comments if you have any problems or suggestions on how it could be improved.

UPDATE: John Chow has a post up about how to add the ability to customize BlogRush headlines as well. His approach is to make a static file in RSS format that you update periodically. That will work too, but I think the approach I took is a little easier to maintain over time as everything is controlled from within WordPress once you have it up and running

Also, Softsled makes a great observation in the comments. You can go back and add older posts to the feed as well. So, you could use it as a sort of “best of” and include things from well before BlogRush was even born.

BONUS TIP: Subscribe to your feed on whatever home page service you use (iGoogle, PageFlakes, etc) so that you can keep an eye on what you have cycling through BlogRush and not forget about it.

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BlogRush promotes your blog while you sleep Sun, 16 Sep 2007 04:18:26 +0000 One of the best ways to promote your blog is to increase your exposure within your niche of the blogosphere. BlogRush has just arrived on the scene and promises to do exactly that with the added bonus that about the only thing you need to really do to get started is to signup for free, embed the widget in your sidebar, and pretty much forget about it.

BlogRush is a “co-op” for bloggers. Here is how it works…

BlogRush is a crafty little widget. Essentially, it has two parts:

The headlines area displays 5 headlines from the RSS feeds of other bloggers that blog within your niche and are a part of BlogRush. Each hit to a page of your blog rolls the dice and shows another set of headlines.

The most interesting part of this is that instead of distributing a fully random mix from participating bloggers, the system keeps track of how many times the widget on a particular blog has been viewed and assigns the blog “syndication credits” that are used automatically to syndicate stories on other participating blogs. In a nutshell, the more your blog puts into the system the more benefit it gets out.

And here is the twist of lemon that is going to give BlogRush some real zing…

For anything to achieve rapid adoption on the Internet there needs to be some aspect that screams to be viral. For this, take a look at the second part of the widget.

Each time someone clicks the bottom of the widget to add BlogRush to their blog, your blog gets credit for it. Furthermore, you continue to get some credit for each of the bloggers that that blogger brings into the service, and those that are brought by those bloggers, and so on – all the way down to ten tiers and you have what would look like a giant family tree with you as the Blogfather. All of these credits translate into “syndication credits” that are used to gain exponentially wider distribution for your blog.

Why BlogRush is going to be a big hit

There are a few reasons:

First, it’s going to provide an excellent source of free traffic for bloggers.

Second, the traffic should be targeted as BlogRush claims to have content analysis in place to help match the posts that are displayed with the blog hosting the widget.

Third, there is a tangible benefit to a blog’s readers as it highlights other related blog posts that they are likely to be interested in but may not have seen yet.

Fourth, the potential for exponential traffic growth through the syndication network should lead to rapid adoption.

Still it could be better (or at least have a change of clothes)

One thing I was surprised to find was that it only has the skin that you see featured in my sidebar. This is a shame, as aesthetics will probably prevent some bloggers from including it. Ideally, they’ll provide a way to skin it with different colors and looks from a wizard in the control panel and provide advanced users with the ability to fine tune it with CSS.

Where did this crazy thing come from?

BlogRush is the first component of John Reese’s to launch. With, John Reese hopes to provide the “ultimate community for entrepreneurs” involved in online marketing. If all of his ideas are as well thought out as this one, it’s going to be great.

Big benefits to joining early

As with many things on the Internet, there is a lot of potential benefit to early adopters. With BlogRush, take that and cube it. I’ve little doubt that this widget is going to be a big hit with bloggers and will eventually be as much of a mainstay as MyBlogLog and BlogCatalog have become.

Given the viral nature of the way the referral system works, there is a substantial advantage to getting started early and adding it to your blogs before the blogsphere has become saturated with it.

I strongly recommend giving BlogRush a try.

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The 24 Hour Challenge: Internet Marketing Without Sleep Tue, 17 Jul 2007 20:01:32 +0000 I’m going to string myself out on coffee and spend the next 24 hours straight promoting The Age of Conversation online. Not only do all profits from the book go to a worthy cause, the book itself is a virtual smorgasbord of inspiration and ideas from 100+ marketing professionals across the world.

I’ll be liveblogging my adventures here, so stay tuned for updates while I drive to the neighborhood café, roll up my sleeves at get to work…

Many of my fellow authors have been busting their tails getting the word out – I can’t wait to join them.

Before I go, I’ll leave you with this thought:

What can you do in 24 hours to promote your website, your business or your cause?


UPDATE 7/17 @ 7pm: Darn you Murphy! I never made it to the café as one of my clients had a bit of an emergency that took me hostage this afternoon. Given my jangled nerves and the state of my coffeelogged stomach, I’ve decided that I’m going to start my 24 hour challenge fresh tomorrow morning. Probably for the best as I’ll be able to spend this evening getting a few of my proverbial ducks to line up.

I’ve cleared my schedule for 7/18 and am keeping my fingers crossed that the red phone doesn’t ring on me tommorrow.

UPDATE 7/18 @ 11:30am: Update coming soon — I am just about to wrap up the first step in the challenge…

UPDATE 7/18 @ 3:30pm: I’ve just recently published a Squidoo lens for The Age of Conversation. Squidoo, Seth Godin’s nautical brainchild, is a great way to pull together resources about a particular topic or idea in a concise fashion. At the moment, I’m working to add the list of authors and links to the lens.

UPDATE 7/18 @ 5:15pm: An alphabetized list of authors is now up on the Squidoo lens. I’ll be tweaking this up over time. Right now only a small portion of the Flickr photos from the Age of Conversation Flickr group are streaming into it, but more should drop in eventually.

UPDATE 7/18 @ 5:45pm: Lori Magno emailed to say that The Age of Conversation is up to #5 on this week’s bestseller list at That’s great!

UPDATE 7/18 @ 7:00pm: Just added a fixed page devoted to The Age of Conversation on this blog. I’ll be adding and expanding that section over time.

Maintaining and expanding a section on your blog devoted to a topic or a cause can provide a lot of long term benefit as it gives search engines something juicy to grab hold of and becomes a natural magnet for both your own internal links and that of other bloggers that may link to it as a resource. In this case, as the mission is to sell the book I’m working up a spot graphic to use as a call to action.

In most blogging software, such as WordPress this is easy to do. If your blog software doesn’t allow this, there are free alternatives out there such as Google Page Creator where you can have pretty much full control over a single, static page.

UPDATE 7/18 @ 7:15pm: Just added a WTF at Technorati — if you have a Technorati account, you might consider voting for it or adding one of your own.

While we are talking Technorati, why not add The Age of Conversation to your Technorati favorites? You can so so here:

UPDATE 7/18 @ 7:30pm: Add to your Technorati favorites. I just did.

UPDATE 7/18 @ 7:45pm: I just stumbled on StumbleUpon. If you don’t have the StumbleUpon toolbar, now is a great time to get it. You’re in for a lot of fun. StumbleUpon is essentially a bookmark swapping community. All you need to do to recommend a webpage is to hit the “thumbs up” button on the downloadable toolbar. You can sign up and download the toolbar here.

UPDATE 7/18 @ 7:55pm: I’m a little surprised that only have 31 people have dugg the book release so far. I mean we have over 100 contributing authors 🙂 I dugg it yesterday — check it out and see if you think it is diggworthy. If you aren’t sure of of the whole Digg thing works, there is a great introduction to Digg by Neil Patel.

UPDATE 7/18 @ 8:15pm: Just wrapped up my new call-to-action graphic for The Age of Conversation page. You’ll notice that the sidebars throughout this site link to that page for maximum exposure here. Eventually, I’ll refine that page I’ve got setup to promote The Age of Conversation here, giving it an optimized layout all of its own.

UPDATE 7/18 @ 8:55pm: OK — I need to get out of this cafe before they kick me out. Time to get back to the home office. BTW, if you are every looking for a place to stop off on Highway 101 about 45 minutes north of San Francisco, Cotati makes a nice little stop. It still keeps a lot of its 60’s counter-culture charm and you can get free wi-fi and some good food at the Redwood Cafe.

UPDATE 7/19 @ 12:45am: Well, my little boy hasn’t cooperated as well with my master plan this evening. He is (almost) asleep and I’m getting ready to roll out something else I’ve been working on for The Age of Conversation… Just a little bit more…

UPDATE 7/19 @ 12:50am: Oh, I forgot to mention — Drew McLellan has a great roundup of media mentions.

UPDATE 7/19 @ 1:30am: All mentions of additional donations, including the Squidoo lens, now point at this Typepad tip jar that Drew setup. If you can donate something extra to Variety, they can really put it to good use. Also, more photos from the launch are now up on the Squidoo lens.

UPDATE 7/19 @ 1:40am: Just added the site to me bookmarks. 28 other people have done the same so far.

UPDATE 7/19 @ 2:30am: Just submitted the launch announcement to the marketing category at PlugIM. If you have an account there, consider voting for it. If not, consider making an account — it’s a great marketing community and I have a Google Toolbar button for download on this site that can make submitting stories a little easier for Google Toolbar users.

UPDATE 7/19 @ 2:40am: I’ve also submitted the story to Sphinn, another great marketing community that covers social media. This is another place your votes would count greatly 🙂 Sphinn is the new kid on the block from Danny Sullivan’s posse at Search Engine Land.

UPDATE 7/19 @ 3:50am: I’ve launched one of the things I was working on earlier — and I think its going to prove pretty useful for me. It’s a Google Custom Search Engine that searches the blogs of all the contributors. This should be a great way to introduce people to our collective writings to encourage them to buy the book. Take it for a test drive and let me know what you think.

UPDATE 7/19 @ 4:45am: I’ve just spent the past 55 minutes emailing some people that I thought might be interested in learning about the book. Been at things roughly 20 hours so far, aside from breakfast and a few toddler temper tantrums. Alas, I think I misjudged just how blurry the screen would look after such a long day 🙂 It looks like I may have to take a little catnap as I’ve got a pretty full schedule starting later on this morning that I think I’ll need my eyes for.

But the promotion continues! I’m going to be chipping away at it over the course of this week when I have a few moments here and there. But…… for…… now…… zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……………………

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