2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,600 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 60 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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A Day Made of Glass

Who would have thought that the future would be made of glass?

We’ve all been made to associate the future and technology with metal, yet glass with class is what we should be after.

Watch and be amazed.

It should be more environmentally-friendly?

New Media Shopping

In my previous post on how publications like TIME are using new media to supplement their print editions, I see that many shopping centres are also turning to new media to publicise their wares and draw in customers.

Take the departmental store in Singapore, Tangs, for example. It not only has its Tangs website, you can now be its fan on Tang’s facebook, follow it on Tang’s Twitter, watch its video channel which fetaures interviews with fashionistas, and even visit its online virtual store in Second Life!

The challenge is of course to convert all that online interaction into real currency exchanges for the store!

Back to blogging basics

I came across this really useful post that serves as a good reminder about the essentials of blogging, ie, good content, so I’m going to reproduce the info here, from Ted Demopoulos:

Content, GREAT content, is the basis of long term success online.

Sure, you can produce mediocre stuff and then using some of the search engine and linking strategies we’ve discussed, see some success – but chances are it’ll be short term success.

I want you to produce great content, content that will provide value online hopefully longterm to both your readers and you!

Now one aside. Just great content is not enough. People need to be able to find it. That’s where social media, viral content, sound link building strategies as we’ve discussed (click here and here for some info if you missed it), and more matter. That’s not our topic for today.

Now I don’t want you to great content that just you think is great. Your readers, current and future, must agree that it’s great stuff as well!

So what are the two types of killer content and how do you know if your readers will think it’s great?

The two types first:
1) “Flagship Content” – definitive articles on topics of widespread interest in your niche. This is your content, whether a blog post or regular article or ebook or whatever that people will link to, tell their friends about, read multiple times, etc.

2) “Narrow Niche Content” –  super focused articles and posts on topics that far fewer people care about, but that don’t have a lot of competition, meaning content about, online.

This can be researched using keyword tools, and a whole book could be written on the topic (does the term “Long Tail” sound familiar?). We’ll talk about this later.

Let’s talk about “Flagship Content.”

First some examples of Flagship Content:

My free ebook Effective Internet Presence, at www.EffectiveInternetPresence.com – 30,000 downloads can’t be wrong!

My Article on Striped Bass Flies The most popular page by far on my hobby fly fishing site.
(and incidentally, one of the most profitable).

It can be video too of course, like Rich’s video I mentioned I’m watching above.

Flagship Content – also known as Pillar Articles or Cornerstone Content, has a few characteristics.

1) There is a lot of interest in the topic!

Since presumably you are an expert or on your way to becoming one in the areas you write on, you should have some clues as to what topics would be perfect for pillar content.

For example, I’ve fly fished for two decades for striped bass and I KNEW that there would be widespread interest in an article on the flies you need to be successful.

2) Your content speaks authoritatively

I don’t say here are three good flies, I say these three are responsible for the vast majority of the fish I’ve caught over the past 20 years – they work,  period. Discussion welcome, other viewpoints OK, but these work for me and many others too!

3) It’s “Evergreen Content”

Evergreen content is content that is useful for a long period of time. I expect my striped bass fly article to be just as valuable in 20 years as it is today. And I expect it to be attracting readers for probably the rest of my lifetime if not longer.

If your content’s useful lifespan is short, it’s NOT what I consider to be flagship content. It may be great, but it’s a flash in the pan, (which isn’t necessarily bad – some types of info are very valuable for short periods of time and that’s cool, but we’re not discussing that here).

So how do you discover topics for flagship content development?  

  • What are people in your niche asking you about regularly?
  • What are common threads or topics of discussion?
  • Where is there a need for knowledge?
  • What do people really care about?

Some common types of flagship content include:

  • PDF formatted ebooks
  • “How to” Articles
  • “Special Reports” that have a high perceived (and hopefully real) value
  • Content that solves common problems (often “How To” as above)
  • Lists – “The top 10 . . .” type articles are always popular.
  • “Newbie” or beginner guides.
     

So, lets summarize: Flagship content is content lots of people value in your niche, whether it’s breeding champion pugs, competitive bowling, or endurance juggling.

It’s your niche, you’re part of your audience, so you should have some
insight!

Flagship content has no fixed form. It could be a blog post or blog series of posts, a PDF that readers download from your blog or Web site, or a video.

Flagship content will help:

  • Put you on the Internet map as a great resource
  • Build readership and fans
  • Get you links, which will build even more readership and fans
  • Provide these benefits for a looong time!

I’ve rambled on a long time, so we’ll continue later on “Narrow Niche Content.”

Here are two example to wet your appetite:

Probably not too many people looking for this information, but those looking may really care and just might find the articles mentioned above.

And actually, people do – everyday. More soon!

Wouldn’t it be great if you had killer Flagstone Content that brought you lots of links and readers, possibly forever, and well as some “Narrow Niche Content” – which as we’ll see can bring QUICK results
to beginning as well as established blogs and Web sites.

Demopoulos Associates
20 Tall Pines Road
Durham NH 03824 USA

As we are on the track of getting back to basics, here’s an interesting link sent by 2ton (who does an amazing job with the MiG Ayesa sites) on a Brief History of Social Media.

Now, with Twitter getting all hyped up, esp with the celeb tweets, I’ve caved in and started reading Ashton Kutcher’s tweets, well, at least I think it’s his Tweets as there are so many Ashton Kutchers on Twitter now. Can the real Ashton Kutcher please stand up!

Can’t live without the Web?

Hi there. I must apologise for the absence. Work pressures and other demands on my time have kept me from blogging. I know, I know, excuses. But they are true. Once upon a time, I would be so obsessive about updating my blog that I would feel uncomfortable about not getting online to update it. But then, real life pressures have caught up and face it, I have not been able to Facebook for a while too.

Of course, many of the young digital natives out there would be horrified at that thought! What, no blog updates, no Facebook update, and not even a Tweet for days, horrors, or weeks!

A recent article talks about how Asian youths can’t live with out TV and the Web. I am not surprised. I did a quick check amongst a group of young people just the other day and learnt  that many spent their waking hours while not in school or outside online. Once they are home, their computers/laptops/netbooks will be on. No wonder too that there’s growing concern about the use of energy to power up all these machines.

Hm..sometimes one wonders how it will all go – companies need to seek new ways to power up their systems – perhaps pedal power – get people off their feet and outdoors before they can go online. Win-win?

Blessed Christmas and Happy New Year!

Blogscapes wishes all shalom and a blessed Christmas and a happy new year 2009!

Obama and New Media

Obama has won the US Presidential elections, and will be stepping into the White House and Oval Office come January.

Many have seen his success at the elections last week to be very much tied up with his strong presence online, especially with the use of new media. Many have discussed Obama’s Youtube and Facebook win, and how he’s used new media to reach out to the masses, especially the younger voters, and made an emotional connection with them (via technology!). In a post I made months back, his win was already on the cards, given Obama’s Facebook domination!

Many see the Internet as a great equaliser, as anyone can use it, and most of its apps are virtually free (pun intended), and in Obama’s case, it has been an equaliser in his fight for votes.

From being a relative unknown, he’s now catapulted to being one of the most powerful men (if not, potentially, the most powerful man) in the world! For many, that signifies the American dream. That also signifies democracy. Beyond that, that also signifies the power of new media. 

And for the many who were not allowed to vote (apparently, many non-Americans wanted to!), they could get into the action online as well. There were many online polls that allowed participation by all (isn’t that just what Web 2.0 is about – the Age of Participation)! Even WordPress had its own virtual poll. So did Facebook and other online sites! Even my Fluff pet on Facebook could take part in the polls, and be voted for!

Not surprising, Obama won in those polls too, and the online poll figures do closely match the actual results. So, in a way, we can see the online world as a microcosm of the real world.