Gaming The System or Web 2.1?


Most social bookmarking sites like Sphinn, StumbleUpon and Digg dislike, actively discourage and sometimes actually punish participation in bookmarking groups. They argue that these groups game the system and distort the natural, egalitarian flow of their voting systems.


These systems are designed around the idea that superior content will always be recognized and rise naturally to the top with the positive votes it receives. (Can't you here the angels singing?) The problem lies in the fact that most of these sites use an algorithm that requires X number of positive votes in X amount of time for the article to reach superstar status. While a few users may sit around hitting the refresh button on the "New" or "Upcoming" page, most users can't remain on constant alert for the awesome article because, you know, they have a life.


Marty from AimClear wrote an article last week that got me thinking about the natural progression of things from a marketing point of view. In the article Marty discussed the the social bookmarking sites', specifically Sphinn's, problem with and dislike of bookmarking groups or alliances as well as his justifications for their existence.


The article is quite in depth but his point is basically this, If the content is great and folks want to vote for it, what difference does it make how they heard about it?


What Do These 3 People Have In Common?


  1. A fantastic musician struggling to pay the bills while working on music row.
  2. An awesome artist barely getting by painting portraits on Jackson Square.
  3. A creative writer posting to a blogspot blog with 35 subscribers.


Answer: A lack of promotion.


Most successful people, at some point, had the help of a well connected individual or two who recognized their talent and used their connections and influence to promote them. Social media sites have the ability to create instant notoriety for an author that can, perhaps, be the big break of discovery they need.


  1. If you feel you have written an outstanding article, why is it not acceptable to alert your friends and ask their help in promoting it if they feel it is worthy?
  2. Why is it not OK to share what you feel is top-notch content with a friend  you think would appreciate it?


Web 2.1


In Marty's article he asks, "Social media is the new PR, but is there no PR in social media?"


The fact is, social media promotion groups are simply the natural progression of the Web 2.0 environment. Web 2.1, if you will.


Demanding social media users not form promotional alliances requires an active suspension of common sense and is akin to demanding that members of Downtown Whoville Unlimited or the local Rotary Club not exchange business cards or contact one another away from meetings.


What To Do


Anyone who sits around in the present proclaiming, "We are the future and we make the rules!" is bound to find themselves ruling the past.

- Ad Tracker


Instead of trying to stamp out the inevitable, social media sites should try to find ways of accommodating this move to Web 2.1.


StumbleUpon has made great strides in this direction and is providing an example other sites would do well to duplicate through "Groups", the "Stumble Their Favorites" button, individual RSS feeds and the "Send To" feature on the tool bar.


Digg seems to be inching in that direction with the recent addition of "Friends". Sphinn, however, is dragging woefully behind with its stubborn resistance of the future.


Is it not the ultimate irony that Sphinn proclaims itself to be a hub for "Internet Marketing News" yet frowns on the most basic of marketing principles?


*This post may be Sphunn here.



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Review Contest Results


We got some great entries for the review contest. While the number of entries was a bit disappointing, the quality was superb. We received four entries with the answer to the question, "Why do you blog?"


As I said in the beginning, I reserved the right to not choose a winner or choose more than one. Since only four of you decided to take the time to write an entry, I have decide to reward each of you with the winning prize.


That's right, over the next couple of weeks each of the following blogs will receive a full review.


Telling It Like It Is

The Upfront Mortgage Broker

The WWW Observer

Weight Loss Weapons


Thank you all for your entries. I've got my work cut out for me on this project but I look forward to it. There is some great writing talent, dedication and passion contained in these blogs and I look forward to digging it up and sharing it with you.

Contest Entry Time Again


You still have time to get your entry in for the contest here. Someone is going to receive a full review of their blog, why not you. You can read the full details here.


Contest Blogger


Contest Blogger is giving away a hardcover copy of that book everyone is talking about, The Secret. All you have to do is go to this post and follow the directions like I just did but you better hurry up, the drawing is on November 1st.



Contest Beat


I love contests that are easy to enter and this one is as easy as it gets. Contest Beat is giving away $100 in a contest on his blog. All you have to do to get in the drawing is add to your blogroll and for a second entry you can blog about the contest like I just did. You better hurry on this one as well, it ends on October 31st. Good luck!

Contest Time


First I want to congratulate everyone who read all the way to the bottom of Wednesday's post. I hope you got some extra traffic from the stumbles. Some times it pays to pay attention :)


On To The Contest


Back in July (A little over 2 weeks into my blogging career.) I wrote an article titled, "Why Blog?" It was well received, got several comments and was referenced by a few respected bloggers.


Veteran blogger Rhys Wynne, in his 1st comment on this blog, made what turned out to be a very prophetic statement;


"Most bloggers blogging now won't be blogging by Christmas."


At the time I thought the comment was a little snobbish and harsh. After going back and checking the commentors on that post, I found 5 were still active, 3 were dormant and 1 was on life support with only 2 posts a month. That comment was scarily accurate. (We're not going to discuss how he later told me he only subscribed to my feed so he could watch the train wreck.)


Your Assignment


First, go back and read that article, then come back here and leave a comment describing your motivation for blogging and how you plan to avoid falling by the wayside and ending up in the blog dustbin. Is your motivation money or fame? Is your blog just a creative outlet? Is it a megaphone for activism? Don't just make something up, tell the truth. Take as much space as you need.


Sunday I will select what I feel is the most original and unique response. That winner will receive a full blog review published right here on this very blog. Just so you know, I reserve the right to choose more than one winner or no winners if all the responses are lame so put a little effort into this. I know there are some very talented people who read and subscribe to this blog.


Now, put your thinking hats on and get to work!



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Catching Up


I've got some stuff to talk about but none of it is really big enough to warrant a separate post so I'm doing one of my "bits & pieces" posts.



Google 2.0


Are you sick of hearing about this post yet? I'm getting tired of writing about it.


It ended up on Digital Point again this week as well as a couple of foreign language forums (I think Indonesian). It was also discussed on a couple of relatively decent traffic Indonesian blogs; BrokenCode and CasaAranda.


Once again, while you guys were patiently waiting for me to come up for air, we had tons of people running around the blog. Fortunately they didn't make a mess and it doesn't look like they broke anything ;)


You should take a few minutes and read the comments on the forums and read the latest comments on the post itself.There was one in particular by a guy calling himself NanoMan who was whining abut me spreading lies! LOL! Some people are so uptight :)





I cannot remember how long ago I submitted this blog to Blogsvertise and never heard back from them. Then I received an email from them Monday telling me I had been accepted to the program. It presented me an offer to do a paid review that paid $5. (I know, a whole $5! All for me!)


I guess I'll give it a try and I'll probably apply at PPP also. I just wanted to let you guys know I'll probably be working in a few paid reviews but I promise not to let them get in the way of the real content. If you don't want to read them just skip them or hit the "next" button on your reader.



Another Win (Wynne?)


Did I tell you I won another contest? I can't remember and don't feel like digging so I'll just risk posting it twice.


I won second place in the Great Money Jar Contest over at Rhys' place. We were supposed to guess how much money was in the jar. The twist was he didn't want to know the value of the money, just the weight.


Now, I don't have any idea how much British money weighs (Or why they would weigh it.) but I took a long look at the pictures and guessed 43 pounds 28 ounces. It turns out I was way (weigh?) off but, fortunately, it doesn't seem the Brits are very good at guessing the weight of their own money.


Anyway, my superior guestimating skills won me one of those cool adicon spots at the top of his sidebar.


Swing over and take a look. It's so cute!



It's Good To Be Back


I just wanted to let you know I'm getting back into the blogroove fairly smoothly. I already have three new posts in the works so all will be well with the world again in no time.


Be sure to check in tomorrow. We'll be running a small contest.



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I'm Done


Yep, you read it right. I'm done. The project is completed. It's in the can. The fat lady has sung and left the stage.


Now I've got to remember how to do this again. I wish I could say I have been accumulating all kinds of great blog ideas but the opposite is actually true. The fact is, the project I just completed required my absolute concentration. Besides that, I wasn't able to keep my notebook with me so any great ideas I may have had are long since down the drain.


I'm going to work really hard for the next few days to get back up to speed with my blogging.





Let's all remember the folks dealing with this year's round of fires in Southern California. Don't forget, some of our own are in the middle of this and have blogged about it. I think of Matt from Blog About Your Blog and Susan from Susan Suarez dot com. I'm sure there are many others and we all probably have readers from that area.


If you pray, do.



Thank You So Much!


I just have to say, You guys are the best!


You were patient and understanding with me when I fully expected you to forget about me and move on. When I expected the subscriber numbers to fall off they actually increased a little and even set a new high yesterday of 119!


I wish I could put into words how thankful I am and how much I appreciate you. You are the reason I do this. You make me want to do it better. Thank You!



I Need One More Favor


I need to ask a favor from each of you. (Lurkers included) Please give me a week to get my blog legs back before you bail. Content may be a little thin for several days because I exhausted my idea stockpile back at the beginning of the lean time when I thought I could pull off maintaining a regular blog schedule and the project. Silly me!



A Little Something For You


I wanted to show my appreciation to you for your patience with me lately and I wanted to reward you for actually reading the entire post.


As a small token of my thanks, I want to give you a little stumble love. Just leave a comment on this post with a link to an article you would like for me to stumble and I'll get it done.


I don't know how much weight I swing at StumbleUpon but I have over 800 stumbles and over 100 fans. If you want to report back with your results that would be great.


I will stumble every link I receive until 3:00 pm Central, Friday so get them in. You may submit up to three articles but they have to be submitted in separate comments. Let's have fun with this, so get started commenting!




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The Final Push!


OK, I'm entering the final push before the end of my project. This means ALL of my time for the next few days will be spent off-line so don't get your feelings hurt if I can't respond to your comments or answer your emails right away.


I still would like to hear your suggestions for a contest.


Thanks for your patience and I'll see you on the other side!

Is This The End?


Not quite but it's getting close!


That's right, the blog hiatus is coming to an end. I should be back to full-time (or at least, nearly full-time) blogging early next week.


I'm trying to decide how to jump start things again. We'll almost certainly have some sort of contest with a cool prize. We'll have to see.


For now, you can click over and read my first post on Blog About Your Blog. It's a review of International Freebies For All that was won in the last BAYB contest.


Don't feel neglected because I posted over there. If anyone should feel neglected its Mary from International Freebies For All for having to wait so long for her review to be posted.


After you read that awesome piece of literature, click over to read the rules of the new BAYB contest then go home to your own blog and get your entry written so you can have a chance to win a review of your blog or one of those other crappy prizes like cash from Bidvertiser where you can get $20 of free advertising for new advertisers.


Since I'm now a writer for Blog About Your Blog, I don't know if I'm eligible but, if I am, I've got my three entries done. Too bad for you guys. You know how I am with contests. Well, there are four prizes and I can only win one. Maybe it's not so bad for you after all.


So there it is. I'm looking forward to getting back to the real world of this blog and away from the lunacy of civilization. Any and all suggestions for a contest or other promotion would be appreciated. (You can just forget about my Wii, that ain't happening!) 



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Its All About Perspective


How many hits would qualify as a "High Traffic" day on your blog? 50? 100? 1000? 10K?


What do you consider to be a good StumbleUpon experience?


I've recently discussed an increase in traffic we've seen around here from one relatively popular post but I think some of you may have gotten the wrong impression of the actual numbers. We're going to straighten that out with this post.


The first thing you have to understand is this blog breaks the rules and stereotypes. For Pete's sake, it's called "AdSense Tracker" and doesn't have an ad in sight!


One of the more unusual quirks about this blog is it rarely has as many daily hits as it has subscribers. A good traffic day around here is 50-70 hits but the subscriber numbers have been near or over 100 for a while now. It seems most blogs with this type of subscription rate are running 5-10 times, or more, the daily traffic.


With All This In Mind, Let's Look At The Results


  1. Sunday September 16th - This is the date of the original post with 55 visitors. As you can see, over the next couple of days, traffic picked up a bit to near 100 hits primarily due to StumbleUpon.
  2. Wednesday September26th - This is the day the post was discovered and linked to by a couple of higher traffic blogs which led to the the linking of several other blogs as well. The one day spike of 206 visitors tapered off quickly.
  3. September 30th through October 5th - During this time the post was being discussed on some of the SEO and Webmaster forums. During this period traffic was fluctuating between 80 and 100 hits per day.


Stumble Factor


During this entire episode the post was receiving hits from StumbleUpon and still gets a couple of hits a day. The post has received 19 Thumbs Up and 5 reviews so far and SU has delivered 184 hits.


Traffic By Source


Blog Links 351
Forums 240
StumbleUpon 184
Google 126
Social Networks 96
Other 137
TOTAL 1134


You see, you have to keep your perspective. What is a big deal to me would only be a small blip to many of you. While most blogs with over 100 subscribers average thousands of hits a week, this blog is over three months old and just recently received it's 5000th overall visit.


Thing that make you go, hmmm.


Please don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining in any way. I love and appreciate each and every one of you guys. You are my loyal band of readers and without you this blog would have no soul. Thank You All!



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Breaking The Rules For A Good Cause

OK, I'm absolutely swamped. You all know that. That's my excuse for breaking so many rules with this post.


I have sworn off memes, as you know. I don't quote other writer's articles, as you know.


Until now.


The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is a cause worth doing both for. I was tagged by Steven from Vandelay Design and asked to continue this meme.


On October 15 the Internet Marketers of New York will be hosting a charity party to raise awareness and money for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (details at the end of the post). The party of course will include food, drinks and socializing with other internet marketers. A $40 donation will be collected at the door, and Best of the Web is sponsoring the party.

If you’re like me and you don’t live close enough to New York to make it for this event you can still participate by donating online. To read the story of someone facing this difficulty, visit aimClear and read Marty’s story.

$40 Donation to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Monday, October 15, 2007
7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Town Tavern Bar & Grill 134 W. 3rd Street and 6th Ave. (Google Map)
All Internet Marketers Are Welcome!


I'm not going to tag any other bloggers with this. If you would like to help spread the word, feel free. Please consider doing what you can for this worthwhile cause.

Where It Came From


So, do you guys remember the post I made a couple of weeks ago about Google ending PageRank? Well, we have been seeing a lot of traffic coming to that one post.


It's been linked to and discussed by several bloggers, some with large audiences. It's been scraped by at least one blog and partially reprinted by at least one other. Now it has been linked to and discussed on a few forums such as SEO Chat, Blogger Love, High Rankings, Digital Point and even a foreign language forum. It also seems to be making the rounds at Google.


What has been the funniest part by far is the people who only skim through and jump to the conclusion it's real. You really should take the time to read through the forum reactions and even the comments on the post itself. People are so silly.


But Where Did It Come From?


One of the most flattering questions I received was, "Did you get this from somewhere?"


God's honest truth. I spent less than 30 minutes on the entire post. The idea came to me while I was drying off from the shower. I developed the concept for the post while brushing my teeth, sat on the edge of the bed with my spiral notebook and wrote out the entire post except for the last paragraph. I had to do a search for the names of the Google founders for what I thought would be the killer punch line of the article.


In an interview posted on the Google blog, the founders of Google were asked if they were trying to take over the entire internet. Sergey Brin adamantly stated, "We absolutely are not trying to take over the internet!" Co-founder Larry Page interjected, "We don't like to use the word 'trying'."


I guess the jokes on me because I don't think 10% of the people read that far.


So There You Have It


The entire article is almost certainly a complete fabrication from the imagination of one blogger who, in all probability, doesn't have any inside information. I simply took a topic everyone was already in a near panic over and confirmed their worst fears.


And just for the record, I am not, nor have I ever been associated with Google in any way other than having an AdSense account. Yes, that rumor is out there too.



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When It Rains It Pours


I sat down at the computer this morning still basking in the warm feeling of disbelief about my recent contest wins around the blogospere when I checked on the blog, checked stats, checked Technorati...


...Why was John Cow dot com linking to me?


I had forgotten they were running a couple of contests that ended last night.


That's right, I won again! I won a Nintendo Wii and a $50 game voucher.


I've got to be honest here. I'm stunned. I don't know what to say. What is there to say? Is there a record for how many blog contests someone has won in 1 week?


I've never played a Wii. I'm not really a gamer. What game or games (How much do they cost?) should I get?


I've got to go reply to some comments. This is a weird feeling I'm having.


I wish I wasn't so tired.