Archive for December, 2007


Back in Google Search Results

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For over a month, my blog was not being indexed by Google. I recently upgraded to a dedicated server, and apparently something wasn’t toggled correctly, and some websites found my blog to be a 403, permission issues. Although I was being indexed by Yahoo, MSN, ASK and others, google was no longer displaying my blog in any search results.

I’ve never spent money on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) nor do I go to any great efforts other than blogging best practices, to make sure I score well. I’ve been using Google as the main way to find my own blog posts, as it’s the fastest way, the native blog search returns way to many values, and not necessarily sorted by relevance. I wasn’t the only one, as a few readers emailed me and told me they couldn’t find my blog, apparently they use search to find me, rather than bookmark or subscribe.

Thanks to the various folks that have tried to offer some advice, although I ultimately found the solution by logging into Google’s webmaster and doing a site verify (have you done that?). I then contacted my host, and a few days later, it’s now easily found in the search results. Here’s what my web host said:

“Ah!, i found that you have any ip starting from 66.249 blocked, im not sure why this is here, probably to block google when you site was hosted on shared. I dont have any notes on your account that we did this for any issues on your private server, so i`ll go ahead and remove it.”

It’s now fixed. While many social media purists look down on SEO, one only realizes how important something is once it’s gone.

Update: I suggested to Dreamhost that this was an opportunity loss for me and it would be appreciated if they credited me a reasonable amount, they did, thanks, that was the right thing to do.

People on the Move in the Social Media Industry: Dec 30th, 2007

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onthemove

I’m starting this series of posts tagged On The Move (click to see archives) to recognize and congratulate folks who get promoted, move, or accept new exciting positions. We should congratulate the following folks:

  • Sheila Scarborough is joining Connie Reece and Mike Chapman at Reece and Company as a social media writer and consultant. Her other passions includes writing about travel and NHRA drag racing.(Twitter handle)
  • Steven Mandzik formerly of American Intelligence Community is now moving to a different group, one that will allow him to be a community leader, in an entrepreneurial shop at the CIA. He left a comment in my previous post.
  • Jeff Glasson joined PerkettPR .
  • Dan Schawbel is EMC’s first Social Media Specialist
  • Tris Hussey, a friend of mine joined B5 as a Training Manager, and is blogging on Maple Leaf 2.0, news here.
  • Mitchell Ashley is now blogging for Network World and will be starting another podcast (for Network World this time.) as well as maintaining his company Converging Networks LLC.
  • Will Pate, formerly of Flock is now at ConceptShare
  • Scott Parent at MediaTrust was appointed VP of MediaTrust’s Search and Social Media Optimization Division

  • How to Connect with others:

    Submit an annoucement
    If you know folks that are moving up in the social media industry, leave a comment below, or if you’re feeling shy (it’s cool to self-nominate) send me an email.

    Seeking Social Media Professionals?
    If you’re seeking to connect with community advocates and community managers there are few resources

  • Also see my Web Strategy Jobs powered by Job o Matic
  • Also see my community manager group in Facebook
  • Check out Jake McKee’s community portal for jobs
  • See Chris Heuer’s Social Media Jobs
  • SimplyHired aggregates job listings, as does Indeed
  • Hiring? Leave a comment
    If you’re seeking candidates in the social media industry, many of them are within arms reach, feel free to leave a link to a job description (but not the whole job description, or I’ll delete it.

    Video: Connie Benson on how Community Managers win over detractors (2:30)

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    Connie Benson
    is a community advocate, and is the community manager at ACDsee photo management software that I’ve used when I was a UI designer. Aside from that, she helps me co-moderate the Community Manager group in Facebook, and has been a big contributor in my research, defining the four tenets of community managers, and is becoming a great friend.

    I asked Connie what to do when detractors criticize your company, brand, or products, we also talk about dealing with an overwhelming negative community or forum.

    I also recommend setting up a process in advanced that helps to identify what type of detractor you’re dealing with, as some should be responded to quickly, and some should never be responded to (ongoing trolls). Develop a plan on what to do, as you’re going to have to deal with different personalities throughout your community program.

    Update: Nicholas Butler says in twitter that Connie’s direct actions helped him give the ACDsee products another try, talk about understanding the value of having a community advocate like Connie.

    The Three Web Activities: Task, Project, and Business Programs

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    For the web professional, there are various activities that occur on a consistent basis, I’ve boiled them down to three succint types of activities. Working as a lowly production UI designer to managing a global website, I’ve had to do all.

    The Three Web Activities: Task, Project, and Business Programs


    The Task

    What: A web task is a short term undertaking that could involve any type of activity that supports a website.

    Examples: These could be content changes, database checks, stylesheet changes, or reporting and monitoring.

    Who: Typically assigned to the content, development, web analysts, production, or engineering team, these are the core activities that keep the website running efficiently.


    The Project

    What: A specific-duration activity, this project involves the completion of a goal, and success is measured upon completion and timeliness to complete.

    Examples: Several projects may be going on during any given time such as a redesign project, code upgrade, cms install, or language translation.

    Who: Often assigned to a web manager, business analyst, or dedicated project manager, this person may call upon resources from various teams in the company from the web team, marketing, and often IT.


    The Business Program

    What: These ongoing business programs (not to be confused a web application ‘program’) are the heart of a web managers purpose, their job is to manage these ongoing programs with a specific goal in mind: increase revenue or decrease costs. These web programs are designed to fulfill objectives of a web strategy.

    Examples: the Intranet program, the Extranet program, the International website program, the Community Program, the Blogging Program, or the corporate website program.

    Who: This duty is typically relegated to the Web Strategist (titles include web manager, web director, vp of web marketing). They will employ a number of ongoing resources to properly allocate for content, code, production, management, and ongoing maintainence.

    While any of these activities can be outsourced, it’s ill-advised to outsource the entire activity, as control and management will be needed. Learn more, see the three spheres of web strategy, or my employer’s Forrester POST methodology for social computing endeavors.

    Defining the term: “Online Community”

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    I’m both passionate about communities (having created the community advocate group in Facebook, as well as held the community manager role at HDS) and am now doing research on this topic. I’m on a quest to find an accurate, reliable, and timeless definition of the term “online community”.

    I vetted this definition with my Twitter network, received nearly 50 responses this morning. I’ve boiled down a definition to the following:


    An online community is: Where a group of people with similar goals or interests connect and exchange information using web tools.

    Also good reads are other ways to define community, (quoting Jake McKee). Amy Jo Kim has a book and online resources that are very helpful.

    Your feedback wanted (as always) how do you define community? Please note this needs to be succint, yet comprehensive and stand the test of time.


    Update:
    I embedded all the responses I received on twitter about the community definition. I think it’s appropriate to note that I’m working with the community to define the term.

    I just saw Shel defined this from his blog as “Communities are bodies of people loosely joined together by a common interest”. That’s the most succint one so far, I’ll add to it to suit the requirement of an ‘online community’: “Communities are bodies of people loosely joined together by a common interest that exchange information using web tools”.


    Update 2: In the comments below, Jake suggests that time and relationships are a factor, I don’t think they are. People don’t have to have relationships to be part of a community (although he suggests that skirts into a community of practice arena) and I think someone can be part of a community, time not being a factor.

    As a result, I’m getting fond of this second definition:

    “Online communities are bodies of people joined together by a common interest”.

    Working this definition out in public has proven fruitful, even some of my colleagues are chiming in.


    The day after. I’ve given this more thought, and in my quest to “boil down” the essence of the term, it’s clear to me that folks do NOT agree on the following being attributes of every community:

    Relationships: From deep to none
    Time (long time to develop vs short time)
    Interaction: from exchanging ideas to just observing.
    Agreement of all ideas

    The two attributes that everyone seems to agree are always part of a community are the follwoing

    A group of people
    Commonalities, affinities

    So the second definition listed above, really has the potential for staying power.


    Update Jan 31st: Jake brings up more points, that an online community is too broad, there’s got to be a more definitive attribute to describe a ‘bunch of people standing around’ vs a ‘community. Could it be interaction, duration, or the building of relationships?

    A very slow week

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    I’m used to being online 12+ hours a day, just to keep up with the news in the rapid fire tech industry.

    This week is so quiet, that even press were asking me to see if I had any stories or anything interesting to share, usually they have a story in mind they are on rapid deadline to complete.

    Many companies launched their features and products in Mid Dec or earlier as business folks take up to two weeks off.

    This really reinforces why I love the tech industry, as this ‘ketchup week‘, is a good reminder what it’s like in many other industries.

    I was telling my colleague Josh Bernoff today that if I talk about my employer I get called a ‘shill’, if I don’t talk about my employer, I’m “witholding information” from behind the ‘paywall’. Ya’ can’t please everyone.

    What really encourages me to spur on is great posts of appreciation from Beth Dunn, who recognizes the work that goes into sharing. Thanks Beth.