Tuesday, January 26, 2010

An Experiment in (Free) Blog Syndication

Unless you enjoy talking to yourself, I think it's a pretty safe bet that bloggers want someone to read what they write ?? ....

Over the past year, my advice has generally been a mix of SEO, PPC and active participation in social media (in particular - Twitter, Facebook and YouTube).

The larger technology blogs ... TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb, GigaOM, CNET and Mashable have all made huge strides in 'crossing-over' and syndicating their content to newspapers and other online (and offline) media.

What about the medium and smaller blogs?

For the most part, the days of Newsburst and seeing your stuff on Reuters and Fox are over .... and the position / return wasn't that great anyway. It was more about knowledge and credibility.

Enter 2009.

A few months ago, a young guy approached me about using content from this blog for his start-up experiment.

Sam Apple runs an active and growing online publication called The Faster Times.

At first read, my reaction was ... "I really don't belong with this group?". Beyond that, Sam wasn't offering ANYTHING in return.

Sam was not only persistent .... he's just a great salesman.  Honest and to the point.

Worked for me.

Isn't it easier to ask than scrape ????

Apparently he now only won me over but Jeff Jarvis (CNET), Fred Wilson (A VC), Craig Newmark (Craigslist) and a host of well known personalities both from the web and entertainment world.  Simply a fascinating mix and done over a very short timeline.

In all honestly, for me, it was yet another experiment in online marketing.
Would I see more uniques visitors (here?).  More comments, e-mails, etc??

The answer (after green lighting 5 or 6 pieces to the 'other publication' over the past few months) is a resounding YES.

While we all know that every social network, bookmarking site, etc is another marketing channel, direct syndication to smaller, growing publications as an adjunct to aggregators and other distribution platforms .... very simply may be the next step. While there has been blogging co-ops for many years, this is a different approach.

So, for now, Kudos to Sam and the MANY writers at the Faster Times, young and old, well-known and not-so-well-known.

You may be on to something.

updated Jan 27 2010  10 PM ET