I'll qualify this piece briefly by saying that I feel strongly that organic 'Search' is still No.1 for most websites or blogs to reach a target audience. Target ad buying is second for most marketing campaigns on the Internet, and there's more places than ever to do it potentially suited for YOUR target audience.
I've read a lot lately about bloggers having a hard time monetizing or losing readers RSS feeds. Some are just getting started, many have been around a long time, while still others are 'Net Vets' starting new ventures.
While there are many ways to build an audience, the most recent 'experiment' to achieving my own personal goals has been to 'cross-platform', starting in the space where I'm the most active as a launchpad.
It's no secret, I'm a huge Friendfeed fan. I'm there several times a day. I find it entertaining, interesting, informative, thought provoking and just fun .... and the new beta finally lets me 'turn up the noise' a little (IE: Find new people).
I visit all the major social networks during the course of a week, and yes, they're all getting even more social. The reason is obvious (and the competition healthy). They all want you to make them number one.
Those who've read this blog for a while know I just don't keep any secrets. If I find something neat that works, I pass it on.
I did a little research this week. I really like doing my own research and testing, and for lack of a better way of putting it, leading and not following. Things just change too dynamically on the 'Net.
Yesterday's big thing is tomorrow's old news.
Like many, I got a little put-out when Facebook firmly decided to move to their new format this week. I needed more time. I later changed my mind after giving it a good run and wrote about it here. (Incidentally, the petition to delay the change won, and Facebook has confirmed it's giving users more time to get used to the new format).
People tend to highlight almost every social network except Facebook. The reality is that Facebook is HUGE and the changes are positive and interactive. Facebook still has the potential to be one of the biggest IPO's in tech history (if it even gets that far .... before someone buys them).
My activity on Friendfeed automatically translates to Twitter followers. Facebook too. I enjoy it because my scope continues to broaden into new spaces, and a world of opinions (and yes, unfortunately, a few spammers?!). The friend or follow requests come. I do look at their stuff, and 9 times out of ten, I green light them.
This week it was time to re-visit sites I had ignored for a while and I decided that for my immediate purposes, LinkedIn would be a primary target. It had changed a lot since I last visited (for the better). My network was old and small. My profile was completely outdated.
I made a simple post to Friendfeed, a brief note on Twitter, imported my Gmail contacts and had an active and decent showing in less than a day.
One of the highlights was the same thing that had happened when I first started using Friendfeed. I discovered someone I hadn't spoken to in years, and that was, well, just cool. A good friend.
I am not a 'professional social networker'. I have no desire at all to visit 29 (or 40?) networks every day.
I want my Internet to be informative, thought provoking, profitable, and fun .... (and still have time to visit 'the real world' once in a while :)
The point? Start where you are the most active. Chances are, people have grown to 'follow' you, hopefully respect you, and will answer a simple request. When you cross over into the next space, you may just find people that you've never heard of ..... but could be your next best friend or ....
..... your next big client.
Edited 9 AM ET Sept 12 cba