Even the Web is Not Immune From Bad Behavior

I watch a number of blogs and I found this post at the Blog Herald interesting reading and wanted to share it with you. I live in the Washington DC area and bad behavior on the road is typical here. We have some of the rudest drivers in the nation, as documented by the Washington Post. Not only will someone flip you off for following the law, but if you move into their lane when they are 10 car lengths behind you, they may get incensed as you are slowing their commute down, that you are sure to get honked at and maybe even flipped off. This post at the Blog Herald talks about similar rude behavior on the Web specifically on Twitter and on blogs.

Although I have never had a situation on any of my platforms with rude comments, bigotry, and flaming exchanges between participants, I know that bad behavior like this exists. I have seen it first hand on several webmaster professionals forums. It is unfortunate that the larger you get, the more readership you garner, and the more visible your platforms become, you do become targets for people who really should take a deep breath, step back, and review what they have written before they click publish. 

People who exhibit this type of bad behavior on forums and blogs are called Trolls and you really don’t want them commenting on your own media platforms. Yes, controversy can be good for traffic, but when controversy steps over the line to rude behavior, then it must be stopped.

The post that I mention in the first paragraph speaks on the topic that should you block comments from certain individuals due to their history on other blogs and forums that you are aware of or should you wait it out. So based on all of this, should you turn off commenting on your own blog? Should you enable comment moderation? My recommendation for the majority of blogs still is to let comments come and to not moderate them. If rude comments do be come a pattern, then turn on comment moderation, but only once you’ve had a documented problem. The free exchange on your blog or forum should not be hampered by possible bad behavior until you really need to address it.


Spend 15 Minutes a Day For Success Your Way!

That’s all it take is 15 minutes a day to network your way to success on LinkedIn or Facebook. I have found that by interacting with connections in a non-threatening, non-selling way that you create relationships that really do translate into selling opportunities.

I don’t use Facebook or LinkedIn for selling, but I have picked up several new selling opportunities just this week alone by connecting with others. What I have been able to do specifically is to enrich relationships that existed before and move them to a truly more personal level and it’s fun on top of that.

With Facebook, I found out the birthday of several key clients and past clients and was able to send them a personalized digital gift for their big day. Personal interaction is what the Web is all about now and so the ability to connect on someone’s special day is not only good business, but being a good “friend”.  In our increasingly online world people want to do business and interact with “real” people who will take the time to get to know them as more than a dollar sign.

So for success both for personal enrichment and for creating new business opportunities the mantra is now “Spend 15 minutes a day for success your way!”

Want to know more about how to use LinkedIn for creating a network, make sure to subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter that will be coming out September 1 for a special issue on how to use LinkedIn for your business. Subscribe today!


AdWords Getting Big Changes

Some very important changes are coming to AdWords. But that being said, you may not see them appear in your account just yet, Google is rolling out some of these changes to key contacts first.

Here are the changes in a nutshell:

  1. Quality score is not predetermined. It will be determined on the fly as each search query is done. This allows advertisers in local areas to possibly be a better match for local queries. This will also help keep your ad showing. For poor performing accounts this means that you will not be eaten alive by a bad history as your quality score can and will change more rapidly. This is a good change.
  2. No longer will we have keyword disabled with the phrase “not eligible for search”. I have just hated that when a keyword, which is good for an account is disabled arbitrarily by Google based on their algorithm. Low search terms could simply not get traction in an account. The phrase Google will now use is “first page bid”. As Google now shows options to view more ads this is also a good thing for advertisers. Not only will advertisers have more assistance in regards to ad placement, but if you really want to spend less you can and then appear in pages other than the first page. This change also gets rid of the minimum bid.
  3. Keywords will no longer be disabled. This really ties into number two as these two changes work so closely together minimum bid and not eligible for search. Many keywords that were either low search volume terms, niche terms Google did not understand and for some accounts aggressively disabled them in accounts literally shutting down and ad group. You may still have issues with impressions with this roll out, but at least the advertiser feels more like they are in charge than Google’s money making ad apparatus. I have had some advertisers simply feel like they were getting squeezed for money and it appears that Google has addressed some of these very important issues in these upcoming releases.

The changes from my point of view are good and welcomed. Keep an eye out for these changes in your own AdWords account in the upcoming weeks.

Read the full article here: http://searchengineland.com/080821-210012.php


Are You Stealing Content?

The law is clear, but there are some bloggers who believe that ignorance is bliss when it comes to copyright law. I have seen bloggers take full content from an article published on the Web and think that by noting the web location and author that they have not infringed on a copyright. I have seen others take the full content and then claim “fair use” – that they are educating the public and do not need to adhere to the law, and then their are others who simply do not care about the law.

For our professional blogging team, here are my personal guidelines:

  1. Never steal content! You may quote a paragraph, but then link back to the full article.
  2. Do not just thinly reword content. If you want to create a blog post based on an article, read the article, put it aside and then write your own in your own words. Put your “fresh spin” on the topic.
  3. Never use images from Google images. You can use Microsoft Office clip art freely without a royalty charge and from the client’s own website, but do not copy and paste in images you find on the Web.
  4. Don’t think if you steal you won’t be caught! Google and site spiders now are just to smart to be scammed. Consider using the gist of the topic only for your content.

I review each and every post that our bloggers do for clients. I am making sure that we are not stepping on any toes and keeping the client’s content unique and interesting. Are you doing the same on your own blog? There are serious ramifications from stealing content. Don’t become a legal target out of ignorance.


LinkedIn The Social Network of Choice For Professionals

LinkedIn is where it is at for professionals of my age and caliber. Facebook is for college and newly employed persons. Yes I have a Facebook site and keep it updated, but by far the number of colleagues, clients, and prospects at LinkedIn beats Facebook four to one.

I have found that more of my peers are on LinkedIn and if not eager to join. LinkedIn is easy to join and set up, but the real power is in your connections. I sent out my Outlook contact book at LinkedIn and in less than 30 minutes I had 30 connections. People are actively using LinkedIn and want to connect with you there. As a comparison, I sent out the same number of invitations on Facebook and got three connections in one day. Professionals are simply using LinkedIn more than Facebook.

So what’s the benefit of using LinkedIn to connect with others? Wow, there are many benefits to using LinkedIn, here are just a few:

  1. People are hungry to connect – no really starving to connect! I have not had a single person turn me down, not even those who did not have an account, they set one up to get into the fun.
  2. The ability to use Questions and Answers is fabulous – wow, that is a powerful tool. I asked a question and got extremely savvy answers from professionals who really took time to point me to links, answer my question, give their personal experience in less than 12 hours. What an excellent way to not only poll others on a topic but to connect with others with common interests.
  3. I sent out a few requests for recommendations and got four in less than 30 minutes. I was able to then ask to be able to use their comments beyond LinkedIn for marketing on my own website. The recommendations that I got from clients were worth their weight in gold. Not only do they appear on my LinkedIn profile, but with the speaker’s permission I will be able to use them any where and any time. Wow! That alone was worth the 10 second investment to send out a mass request.
  4. LinkedIn is very easy to use. LinkedIn shows you what to do to complete your profile, add business history, get referrals, and any additional information to make your profile really work for you.

If you are not using LinkedIn yet, now is the time to jump in and see just how easy and fun this network can be, you may end up as surprised as I am at how friendly, sharing, and interactive it is.


What Exactly is a Ning?

I have been testing out a Ning for a client to check its viability for his particular use and so I set one up for myself to see just how easy or hard it was to do. The first question that I got from people who looked at my Ning was what exactly is a Ning?

A Ning Is:

  1. A private label branded social networking site built around one particular brand or topic.
  2. It allows people to interact with your content or topic in a social manner and create a personal page on your topic within your Ning to share with others; drawing others into conversation.
  3. It allows you to create forums or groups within your network to engage others and allows them to create groups to share or comment on your content.
  4. It creates a rich experience for users and allows full interaction in a new manner.

What a Ning is Not:

  1. It is not a blog, although one of its components is a blog or blog RSS feed. It is more than a blog, it is a true social network.
  2. It is not Facebook or LinkedIn, it is a private label network and so its success is based on your promotion of the content and use of your Ning through selling its use to others who are interested in your topic.
  3. It is not a website. It is more restrained than a website in that you have compartmentalized content and not full freedom of use as you would with a website. But the expense to create some of these applications within a single website would be cost prohibitive.

A Ning is exciting, it is fun, it is interactive, but it really relies on member interaction. If you have a Ning and no members, you have nothing. If you are going to consider doing your own Ning, check out mine first at http://webauthority.ning.com/ This fairly simple Ning took around 6 hours to create and is a work in progress. It uses one of the Ning templates and includes many of the free modules customized for my use. You can create custom advertising sections with images on your own Ning.

Feel free to join my Ning if only just to check it out and run it through its paces and see what a Ning is. I won’t pester you at all to interact or with spam mailings. This way you can see if a Ning is for you.