Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-10-15

  • way too many failures today on various tools and apps. Everyone hold on a minute, I'm rebooting the internet. #
  • I just broke my favorite tea mug. Hoping I can find the Potter again at the Saturday market to buy a replacement. #
  • excited about today's pilot launch — over one year in the planning. Whoo! #
  • @Lelonopo The Tall bikes make me anxious because sometimes they have clowns. in reply to Lelonopo #
  • @NoahGK it's an old one and pretty basic: in reply to NoahGK #
  • pleased to see my own article ranking #1 in a query related to a metrics question I'm researching. sadly, I did not answer my own question #
  • welcoming the official start of hot tea season with an inaugural pot of red tea #
  • oh come on! Jeff Pendergraph Out for the Season #
  • finally figured out how @wordstockfest works. $7/day for most events! I think. if true, the website should really market that. just saying #
  • Time To Think Carefully About Which Country Hosts Your URL Shortener via @sengineland #
  • @NoahGK & @TiffanyWinman, I would add to that, I also do more complaining before 9am about early morning calls than most people do all day #
  • no calls from Sweden today. Once again I was passed over for the Nobel Prize for twitterature. Maybe someday…. #

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Quick Review: Audience, Relevance, and Search

Audience, Relevance, and Search: Targeting Web Audiences with Relevant Content

Audience, Relevance, and Search: Targeting Web Audiences with Relevant Content

I’ve worked with many people on Search Optimization over the years I’ve been Search Solutionating and James, Frank, and Cynthia belong to a small subset of people I’ve met at IBM who truly “get” what the purpose of Search Optimization is.

I’ve never had to waste any time with them describing the “why” behind Search Optimization and Findability.  That alone is a treat — but also, I’ve learned a fair amount from working with them and a whole lot more from reading their book “Audience, Relevance, and Search: Targeting Web Audiences with Relevant Content”.

This book is of a far higher quality than many of the  search marketing books I have read (or attempted to slog through) during the search engine book boom of the past 10 years.  James, Frank, and Cynthia provide a thoughtful  approach to creating content that improves the user experience of search AND of your Web site. Because it’s all about the content — a little detail that Digital Marketers often forget in their quest for  #1 rankings in Google.

As a Technical Search Marketer I said “amen” to many of the ideas presented in this book – not because I had already thought them myself (I wish!), but because James, Frank, and Cynthia put into words a way of talking about search that built on what I already knew and put it in a broader context of user behavior and relevance. I  did want tips and guidelines — and I got that. But I also came away with something I would not expect: A greater understanding of why the user experience of search works or doesn’t work the way it does.

This book also goes even further, providing suggestions as to how to use that new understanding to not just write content for a #1 ranking, but instructions on how to create better content for the user.

I think this book would be of use, if not a revelation in some cases, for anyone in Digital Marketing (from novices to experienced SEOs), bloggers, journalists, Web content creators, and anyone who does anything on the Web.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-10-08

  • @NoahGK I'll set up a call to discuss in reply to NoahGK #
  • I have more 3 hour meetings before 9am than most people have all day. I'm in training for the conf call olympics. #
  • my 6am was cancelled. But I'm fully coffee'd and wide awake. Anyone need anything? #
  • @bryanrhoads I've had luck opening corrupted MS files with OS apps like Lotus Symphony. It's free here: in reply to bryanrhoads #

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-10-01

  • @GretchTweets that's why I never wear white. Always dress to match your lunch — that's my policy. Or you should have had mayo instead. in reply to GretchTweets #
  • @turbotodd looks like the Google Instant URL DOES still pass along parameters such as keywords in the string. That is good news. in reply to turbotodd #
  • spending an amazing meeting-free 3 hour block researching affect of Google Instant on keyword referral tracking. Looks positive so far #
  • Happy to have a brand-new (crumb-free!) laptop. But gee whiz, migration is a such a timesuck. Especially compared to mac migrations. #
  • using #NewTwitter and wondering if I am missing something here. just slightly more information and a larger right nav… #
  • RT @ThisIsSethsBlog Seth's Blog: Cost reduction for high-end markets #

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-09-24

  • committing to only entering pirate-themed responses in pop-up bug reports for frequently crashing apps. Yarrgh! #
  • @Lelonopo oh great. Now I can't use tape anymore. RT @change: 3M Joins Target In Supporting Anti-Gay Politics: in reply to Lelonopo #
  • @NoahGK lol! I also think of conf calls in marathon terms. And try to impress people with how many hours of calls I take a day. in reply to NoahGK #
  • last call of the week!. It's two hours long. But last call of the week — whoooo! #

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-09-17

  • just realized you can check multiple emails in Lotus Notes and forward all at once — magically rolled up into one email. Excellent! #
  • interested to see what the twitter announcement will be. For once, an announcement during normal working hours. #westcoast #
  • To determine a solution for a complicated issue, I try to channel the first person I would think of asking for advice. virtual mentoring! #
  • Friday at 2pm PST is the best part of the entire week. Everything works better when the East Coast heads out for the weekend. #

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4 examples of Web Effectiveness

mydw screenshot

A few weeks ago, I was asked for some examples of Web site effectiveness.  Here are a few from

What  elements make a Web site effective?

  • Think Global: Not everyone speaks English or lives in the US.  Make it easy for people  to choose a country, region, or language no matter where they begin their site experience — country and language selection should be available everywhere on the site, not just the home page.  At IBM, Country/Region selection is available in the top-right of the masthead on every page and people can choose not only country, but have a choice of languages for each country as well.
  • People focus: Understand it’s not about the Web site, it’s about the people. Social enablement is key — on your site and off.  On big sites like IBM, with so many  products and services, it’s easy to get overwhelmed,  To help with that , we make it personal on sites like My developerworks.  My developerWorks allows IT professionals, students, IBM product experts, and newbies to interact in their own personalized space on the IBM My developerWorks site as well as connect and integrate and their activities with facebook, twitter, and other social sites.
  • Content portability: Make your Web content available wherever your audience wants to access it — this is beyond making your site search engine friendly (although ensuring your site surfaces in search engines is one of the most  important components to Web effectiveness). Have a validated Web feed and make it easy to find, particularly if you have frequently updated content.  Understand that your audience may not want to come back and check the site every day.  Let  them decide when and where to read, view, or listen to the latest update — on a feedreader, on your site, on an iPod, or somewhere else entirely. Feeds put your content wherever it needs to be. And don’t forget to create content-type specific feeds for videos and podcasts, like the feed listed on the IBM Web site for IBM podcasts and this site on iTunes with an IBM iTunes podcast feed.
  • Provide answers: Most people navigate to a Web site with a question. The first goal of any Web site is to provide the answers on the page, by creating content that people can actually use.  But when the answer is a little more complicated, the site has to make it easy to get answers, when, where, and how the customer wants.  On the IBM Software site, many pages display a number to call or an option to ask via Web interface for a Call back, a quote, or a response e-mail, such as on the Rational Change and release management offerings page.   In some cases, IBM site users will even get a pop-up with an offer for live help from a real person.

gradient zeitgiest


Seth Godin says I need to work on my presentation/graphic skills. Well, not me, particularly — everyone. As a word-focused SEOer, I tend to ignore graphics. In fact, I have an adversarial relationship with graphics. But I’m trying to branch out. On my list of graphics educational material is Presentation Zen — this site and book recommends a particular way of presenting, not just a particular type of graphical presentation. And suddenly I am noticing graphics in a way that I have not before.

But now I am wondering if it is just me, or do all the graphics released this year all look the same?