Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Art of Content Discovery and Sharing

Take one look around the 'blogosphere' and there's simply no doubt that more people are blogging than ever before.

With the mainstream media now mentioning blogs (and many incorporating them into their websites), most people now know what a blog is (and not just those of us who have been 'living here' :).

It's Primetime!.

More people than ever are reading blogs for information, opinion, reviews, similar interests, and more.

Conversely, I've also noticed some long-time bloggers that seem to be burning out or doing some 'strange' new things to get noticed. They're stuck deeply in the same groove. For lack of a better way of putting it, they need to take a vacation, come back, and look at the landscape objectively.

The reality is that there are many ways to 'stay noticed' in a growing space, with more 'visibility vehicles' arriving on the scene every day.

Shared feeds are rapidly gaining in popularity, although there's still a very small group of 'us' doing it. These 'shares' continue to get spotlighted on 'share aggregators' and so-called lifestreaming sites such as ReadBurner, RSSMeMe, LinkRiver, FriendFeed, MyBlogLog, and numerous others.

While many of the old Internet marketing rules still very much apply, like everything else on the web, it's changing.

Every day, I discover a few new interesting blogs. I follow them for a while to see what they will post next. If they're really good, I start sharing them.

Discovery has gotten much easier but that doesn't keep me from 'just surfing' or doing a blog search in a defined category. I want fresh shares and interesting content. That's something that I might not find on a major aggregator or social network, but may find in someone else's shared feed or someone's Lifestream. I also use my own blogroll at least one a week (and update it accordingly about once a month) to see who is new on the scene and what they're saying.

There's a lot of brilliant people out there. Just a small portion will get noticed over time.

A few moments ago, I wandered over to a relatively new blog that I had read about over the weekend. The author was prolific and he was networking among those who he thought he should be.

Here's my advice, plain and simple:
  • Be genuine.
  • Keep your ego in your pocket.
  • Make your headline interesting (but don't hype it).
  • Engage others with similar interests.
  • Write about stuff where you really know what you're talking about and / or stuff you LOVE to write about.
  • Don't try to 'game' search engines, Digg, TechMeMe or other popular sites. If you're sincere, they will find you. If they don't right away, another blogger will and a mention could send your stats flying.
  • Forget the one-day wonder posts. They may 'etch your name' for a short while but it's your subscriptions, and those who share your feed(s) that will keep you there.
Finally, don't get jaded. I met 4 people this past week whose websites by all rights should be in Google's top-10 in their space. They had never heard of SEO. Despite some recent posts (by others), that market is alive and well!