Archive for the ‘legwork’ tag
We recently considered the heretofore blasphemous notion that QR codes are not, in all instances, a complete waste of time. Here's more evidence that they can sometimes be interesting and useful—the Monmouthpedia project. The town on Monmouth in Wales (pop. 8,877) recently embarked on the "Monmouthpedia" project—a huge communal six-month initiative to affix QR codes to its notable landmarks, organizations and even people, and write Wikipedia entries on each of them, which the codes link to. The idea came from a TEDx talk in Bristol, where a Wikipedia editor suggested that Wikimedia's U.K. chapter should "do a whole town" using QR codes. Residents and businesses in Monmouth stepped up, did all the legwork (there are more than 1,000 QR codes in total), and introduced Monmouthpedia this weekend. The advantages for tourism are obvious. It's like a giant museum tour—everything of note in the town is immediately illuminated online. (Plus, of course, there's the publicity of the whole project itself.) "Lest you think this is a passing interest, the town of Monmouth is in it for the long haul," says a Wikimedia blog entry about the project. "Many of the QRpedia codes are printed on ceramic plaques that should last for decades. The information in articles is backed by the Wikipedia community and will be continually improved and expanded. Physical guides and maps will become outdated, but the Wikipedia articles will always be able to be updated. This potential for on-site access to up-to-date information in any language is what makes the Monmouthpedia model so exciting." I'll drink a QR-coded Guinness to that. More images after the jump. Via PSFK.
Well, it is the most important factor Google uses when working out how relevant your web page or website is for ranking purposes.
When someone types in a search query, Google heads off to find the most relevant pages that satisfy the query. It ranks them in authoritative order and the factor used to determine that is, you guessed it, its link profile.
The ayes have it
Every inbound link that points to your website and web pages is seen by Google as a vote for it.
The more ‘votes’ it has, the higher its perceived authority.
The higher its perceived authority, the higher it’s ranking.
But not just any old links will do, Google’s far cannier than that. Every link must have:
- Relevance – it must come from a site of the same, or closely related topic
- Authority – the site should be seen as authoritative in its own right
- Trust – the links pointing to the initiating site should be good quality links
So the key is to attract authoritative links from related sites. But how do you do that?
Attracting link love
Knowing you need to attract links is one thing; actually getting them is something else entirely.
Where do you start?
First, there are links from directory submissions, but make sure you opt for directories that are relevant to your industry or market.
Then you need to produce great content that people will want to link to. Generating a lot of high quality, useful information can be time consuming, which is why many companies choose to contract it out to professional copywriters. However it is created, make sure it offers expert advice, opinions, and demonstrates your authority.
Once this has got out into the search engines it may well attract links straightaway, but you may also have to do some legwork. If one of your articles compliments another authority site, get in touch with them and direct them to it to see if they want to link to your content.
You should also hang out on the same online forums as your target audience. This is a great way to interact with other industry experts and could lead to a few links.
Another method is by writing guest blogs and articles. Authority bloggers always need great content, so if you write something that’s targeted for their readers that’s well researched and put together, they will publish it and include an all important link back to your site.
Link building campaign
Setting yourself a link building strategy is vital as it should be an on-going process.
Your campaign should look at attracting:
- Links from authoritative sites
- Links from a number of different domains (50 links from 50 different sites is much better than 50 links from 1 site)
- Deep links – i.e. not just linking to your Home Page, your other pages need links too
- Anchor text links – where you keywords are used as the link text
- Local links – don’t forget local directories and your Chamber of Commerce as they will help with your local rankings
But one word of warning, never ever be tempted to pay for links. This practice is well and truly frowned upon by Google and any short-term gains you may experience will soon be lost once Google discovers what you’re up to.
A natural link building strategy is by far the best way to go. Try to build your strategy into your working week to make sure it is a constant process.
There was a point in time when measuring the influence of a person requires hours of legwork while conducting wide-scale research and statistics. Even then, measures were concluded based on a more-or-less scale.
As with everything it touches, technology also changed this landscape. With socializing now made much easier, the team behind Klout decided to develop a system that serves as barometer of the online influence of a person.
Klout is a social media analytics tool that measures the influence of a person online.
Using the content shared through various social networking sites, Klout’s team of scientists and engineers guarantee an accurate score for all its users. Data collection comes in the form of tracking how a user’s content moves through his social media.
The Beginnings: Klout’s History
As with any company, Klout also had its fair share of trials from the onset, including problems with funding and with acquiring the domain name.
In 2008, CEO Joe Fernandez established Klout in New York City. However, getting the domain proved to be problematic, as someone else owned klout.com.
At the time when the company was still running on klout.net, Fernandez offered a deal to the San Francisco-based klout.com owner–$1,000 to buy the domain name. The owner declined the offer, saying that he already had plans for the domain.
For more than a year, Fernandez asked the owner every week to sell the domain name, but to no avail. By mid-2009, Fernandez moved Klout to San Francisco. He also gained his first funding through the investments of Nova Spivack.
Fernandez’ aggressive tactics worked. Eventually, the former owner of klout.com agreed to sell the domain name for $5,000. On September 2009, klout.com as we know it now, was born.
How Klout Measures Influence
With Klout, a person’s online influence is measured on a scale of 1 to 100. The Klout Score increases or decreases depending on the user’s ability to drive action through content creation and engaging with connections.
There are three ways Klout measures the data from social networks:
- True Reach measures the number of people who actively interact with the user. This involves actual responding and sharing of content, while filtering out spam and bots.
- Amplification measures the number of people who can relate to a user’s post, as seen through reactions and further spreading of the content (e.g. retweets, likes, comments, etc.).
- Network measures the level of influence of the people in your True Reach. With this score, a user can see how often top influencers respond to his or her content.
Is Klout Valuable?
The ability to measure digital influence through Klout gained both acceptance and rejection from the online community.
On the one end of the spectrum, critics say that Klout does not measure true online influence—only the “capacity” of a person to influence. Criticisms were also directed at the company’s methodology to generate scores. It did not help that in late 2011, Klout changed its algorithm which lowered the scores of some of its users, effectively earning their ire.
On the other end, however, Klout is still deemed to be valuable, especially to those who wish to enhance their online reputation.
Klout has the capabilities to properly evaluate the levels of influence of other people. This is especially useful for someone who has a lot of followers, in order to:
- Easily sift through spam and bots; and
- Allow a user to know how far the content (e.g. article) goes within his/her network.
How to Increase Your Klout Score
Establishing an online presence through social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, is a valuable tool for online marketing. Klout allows its users to measure their online influence to give them a gauge of how effective their strategies are.
Here are five tips on how to increase your Klout Score:
- Establish your specially-targeted network. Social sites thrive on numbers. Build a healthy network of people who can relate to your content, as that will give you more chances of interaction.
- Create meaningful and compelling content. No matter how many people you have on your network, if your content is nothing special, your connections will not share it. Worse, some may even ignore you altogether. Meaningful and compelling content are the ones that get a lot of online attention.
- Reach out and interact with everyone. It is perfectly alright to interact with users who have lower Klout scores. This will help them reach higher scores, and lets you become a bigger influencer. Moreover, actively engaging with other users can definitely help your score. Create a respectful and genuine dialogue with others by asking questions or answering theirs.
- Get published. There are plenty of online platforms that you can maximize in order to get your content published. Your articles, videos, or images can now be uploaded on blogs and other social sites. Share your content afterwards.
- Keep going. A lower Klout score does not need to be the end-all and be-all of your online strategies. Social networking sites still provide an avenue where you can learn to interact with various people online. Don’t forget to have fun as you work on establishing your online influence.
Despite all the criticisms, Klout is a prime mover in developing a tool that has the potential to change this kind of industry. Klout gives the opportunity to track and improve social media influence, which proves to be a valuable asset for a lot of people.
Image Credit: lbeto
I’m also available for blog startup, content writing and consultation services.
Visit my other blog, Highly Favored for Christian inspiration and church newsletter tips.
Become a Better Blogger
Oh, how Galaxy S II owners’ hearts must have swelled last night! Samsung’s Filipino arm let slip on their news portal late yesterday that the long-awaited Ice Cream Sandwich update would be made available to owners of the international Galaxy S II on March 10. Sure, it would be all TouchWiz-ified, but users of Samsung’s one-time flagship handset would finally have access to Google’s latest OS update and all the goodies it entails.
It all sounds great, and it would be if it were actually true.
Hours after the news broke, Samsung reps took to the official Korean Twitter account to disavow the erroneous release date. Instead, they stated that the global release schedule for the Android 4.0 has yet to be finalized, and that they would share the news via Twitter as soon as it was. Sorry (again) Samsung fans, your wait for an official taste of Ice Cream Sandwich is now just as murky as ever.
Still, there’s bound to be little love lost if you live in the U.S. and use one of the many Galaxy S II variants currently in circulation. While Samsung can push out their Ice Cream Sandwich update through their Kies software updater whenever they please, the update has to go through additional carrier testing and certification before it’ll ever hit your domestic handset.
While Samsung Philippines seems to have pulled the article proclaiming the news, the upgrade FAQ is still live and presumably accurate, so take a gander to see what the GT-I9100 will be in for whenever the update actually hits. Of course, if you’re really impatient and don’t mind a little extra legwork, you could always install one of the TouchWiz ICS ROMs floating around out there, though the squeamish should probably steer clear.
Reader Casey wanted to make a Spotify playlist based on Billboard’s Top 100 Singles of 1993, but didn’t want to go through the legwork of finding and adding 100 different songs to a playlist. After a bit of searching Casey’s solution was to work a little spreadsheet magic. More »
You’re hungry. You’re feeling social. But you’re also feeling laaaaazy, and planning a big group meal can be so much work that you end up hating everyone at the table by the end of it.
GrubWithUs, a startup best known for organizing buy-in dinners with overarching themes (TechCrunch fans!) or at least one particularly interesting person at the table, is playing with the idea of building dinners for the most interesting person of all: you. You punch in a few details, and GrubWithUs does pretty much all of the leg work — but there’s a catch!
The new service (which just went live in Chicago first, with a national rollout planned) is aptly dubbed “Create-A-Meal”. You start out by telling it which city you’re looking to grub in, how many grubbers there will be, how much dough the group is willing to cough up per head, and GrubWithUs takes it from there. They find a restaurant, negotiate a menu, and send out the invites. They’ll even handle the check-splitting (read: the part that makes you hate your friends) beforehand.
The catch: Much like Priceline or Hotwire’s hotel search, you don’t know what the restaurant will be until the deal is sealed. GrubWithUs says they’re “committed to only working with the top restaurants in the city”, though, so you probably don’t have to worry that your mystery meal will end up being Taco Bell’s $10 Grande Box. GrubWithUs says they’ll gladly work around dietary restrictions — so if you’ve got a friend who only eats cardboard, toast, and fish killed on Fridays, be sure to let them know.
Until now, there was no way for anyone outside of GrubWithUs to build meals. Any meals listed on the site were organized by their sales team in coordination with local restaurants.
Meals are private by default, though you can open them up to the public (and listed on GrubWithUs) if you’re looking to break bread with some new pals.
You can find the new Create-Your-Own page here. Note that while the page seems to load regardless of what city you’re in, the company says the feature is Chicago-only for the time being.
We’re still waiting for our chance to nab a Galaxy Nexus on this side of the pond, but it seems European users haven’t exactly been having the best luck with their first-run devices. Fortunately, it looks like the folks at MoDaCo have a (quasi-official) fix for one of the Galaxy Nexus’s most irritating issues: the dreaded volume bug.
If you haven’t seen the volume bug strike before, do yourself a favor and check it out below. When the Nexus hops onto the 900MHz 2G band (or is even placed near another device that is), the volume level can be seen jumping around wildly. Google and Samsung have owned up to the issue and promised a fix, but haven’t officially disclosed the cause of the issue or an official release date.
Still, that didn’t stop Google’s Dan Morill from tacitly confirming that it is in fact a hardware issue on his Google Plus account. Thankfully, the fix is a relatively simple software update, so international users can do all the legwork from home.
If you’re fed up with flaky volume, you’ve got a choice to make: take the plunge on the pre-release build, or wait until it officially gets pushed out. For what it’s worth, it seems safe enough — according to Paul at MoDaCo, the tweaked ROM is still undergoing some internal testing, but it gets the job done without issue. Installing the fixed ROM isn’t a terribly difficult process, but first-time users who just can’t take it anymore should tread carefully. Oh, and don’t forget to backup your data if you decide to take the plunge — the bootloader unlock required to install the fix will essentially wipe your device in the process.
Some people love Klout, while others are in doubt. But, the fact of the matter is that, in the end, all this talking about Klout is … good for Klout. Apparently, in 100 million ways. At the very least, when it comes to social media influence and reputation, Klout is hard to ignore. Even if, like Alexia, one believes that no one really gives a damn about your Klout score.
Well, thanks to Josh Constine’s legwork and research, we bring you another solution. Enter the snark-ily named Flout.me, founded by Pat Nakajima and Anoop Ranganath. In the duo’s own words: “Sites like Klout try to tell you how important you are. That’s ridiculous! Only you know how important you are. Flout lets you flaunt it to the world.”
Yes. If you find yourself less than desperate to share just how influential you are on social networks and you’re sick of all the social media grandstanding that’s become a byproduct of Web 2.0, look no further. Flout.me allows you to give yourself your true score, whether that’s 9000+, 6, or -31. Right now I, personally, am feeling about -34. But tomorrow’s a new day.
As Josh said (and I find myself in agreement), Klout is currently working in overdrive to become the method by which we measure influence on the Web. Some might say that we don’t really need a decimal-style ranking system to intuit influence. Robert Scoble really just needs Google+, for example. Of course, one day in the future, Klout may just become that thoroughly useful tool with accurate and deep diagnostics, but until then, Flout.me may just provide that viable alternative we’ve been waiting for.
In the meantime, I’m going to get busy designing a way to convert Klout scores into virtual currency so that we can trade those scores on an open, free Klout market.
But, for now, go ahead. Set your social influence score with Flout.me and flaunt it. Because, after all, rules are made to be flouted.
For more on Klout-related news, here’s Josh’s story on Vitrue’s Klout integration and Sarah’s post on how Google+ may just be improving the Klout-osphere.
! Web/iOS: RedBeacon is a new service that matches your need for a painter, plumber, house cleaner, or other home service with qualified professionals. It does all the legwork of checking licenses and verifying background information to save you time. More »
RIM seems to be learning very quickly that when it rains, it pours. Word of a BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service) outage quickly began making the rounds this morning, leaving (once) loyal customers in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East without email and web access.
This is the second outage RIM has dealt with in as many months: their popular BBM service went down this past September, shortly after the company released their disappointing quarterly financials.
For what it’s worth, it’s business as usual for corporate users as BlackBerry Enterprise services don’t seem to have suffered the same fate.
In usual RIM fashion, they’ve acknowledged the issue through their official Twitter account, but they’re keeping quiet when it comes to what caused the outage or how people are currently being affected. A little legwork by The Telegraph points to a server at Slough as being the likely culprit as all three regions affected by the outage are all served by the Slough data center. There’s still no ETA for a fix, but some users are reporting that service is slowly being restored so the wait may soon be over.
BlackBerry users the world over are understandably miffed at RIM, and who knows how events like this will shape the Canadian company’s future. Their stock price recently hit a new five year low, and these outages aren’t likely to instill customers with much confidence. It’s up to RIM to fix things, dust themselves off, and keeping working, but company morale has to be taking a beating right now.