Scobleizer Weblog

Daily link Friday, May 13, 2005

My comments are down. I still haven't moved to the new server, but gotta wait until next week. Anyway, Danny Sullivan just wrote me this. OK, OK, Maryam, I'm coming, just one more post! Heh.

Tried to post the below as comments, but the connection refused:

Robert, the first thing in SEO isn't changing title tags and getting links, though that's good advice (telling them to dump the images for actual text on the home page is good, as well).

The first rule of SEO is know your message -- IE, how are people searching for you. Is anyone actually searching for "silicon valley law firm." Computer says no. Or at least Yahoo's keyword research term says no. Check it out here:

In contrast, I see nearly 7,000 people searching for "intellectual property law" and 700 specifically looking for a firm that does this. Since the firm serves both US and international markets, getting top ranked for "silicon valley" isn't exactly the key selling point.

If they are going geographically, san jose law firm pulls in nearly 400 queries per month.

I know, that's not SEO, blogger-style. It's SEO, SEO professional style :)

Don't know who Danny Sullivan is? He's the SEO Guru who does the excellent SearchEngineWatch.

12:28:26 PM    comment 

Bruno Bornstein pointed out that I confused FeedBurner and FeedMarker last night. Sorry about that.

Bruno uses FeedMarker to share with the world everything he read and bookmarked, organized in a vocabulary he created. This is cool stuff.

OK, Maryam is yelling at me to get in the car. We're off to Las Vegas. Probably won't be online until Monday.

12:25:11 PM    comment 

Oh, high flow days are always fun. I'm off to go to Las Vegas. Some quick points. First, existing sites get a bit of a pass. Why? Because it'd cost money/time to go back and rejigger those to have RSS. But, we gotta start somewhere. New sites don't get a pass, sorry.

Second, yeah, you can have a lame site with an RSS feed too. But, at least you won't have me saying it's lame for not having an RSS feed.

Third, most marketing sites exist to build relationships with customers. You think most businesses spend all that money to only have you visit once? Yeah, right. The only way a company can become profitable is have you visit again and again and again. Look at Amazon. Unprofitable for the first few years in business, but now that they have lots of repeat and return customers they are profitable.

Yeah, Amazon doesn't have RSS. But, the bar is higher now than it was in 1998 (just like the bar in 1998 was higher than it was in 1989).

It's time for new marketing sites to get onto Team RSS. In 1994 the new way to build a relationship with customers was with a Web site. In 2005 it's by having a Web site and an RSS feed.

12:22:30 PM    comment 

A few weeks ago when I spoke at my brother's law firm, I did a Google search in front of them for "Silicon Valley law firm." They weren't anywhere to be found in the first few pages.

I told them to change their title tag to include the words "Silicon Valley Law Firm" in their title tag (that's the HTML tag that gets displayed at the top of the browser).

Then I linked to them with those words in the link. Guess what happened? They are now #1 on Google.

10:17:44 AM    comment 

OK, a few people have already written in and said that that Xbox site is lame not because it doesn't have an RSS feed but because it doesn't have any content.

Bing, bing, bing! You win $10 million. You're right!

"So, Scoble, if we're right, why are you being such a shmuck about RSS?"

Because not having an RSS feed is a genetic marker for a lame site.

Hear me out.

Look at the Xbox site again. It has no content, right? Well, add an orange XML icon to the site. What changes? A few things:

1) Now the site promises FUTURE content. Bing! Bing! Bing! New stuff gonna come. This site won't stay static. Static sites are lame. Don't believe me? Well, do some Google or MSN or Yahoo searches. Which sites invariably are at the top of the list? Sites that change often. Why is that? Why do sites like Engadget and Gizmodo have more traffic than most corporate home pages? Content changes often is the #1 thing.

2) If you don't have an RSS feed, your site is lame because you've told the connectors (er, superusers, er influentials) that they don't matter. When I see a site that doesn't have an RSS feed I see a site that says "Mr. Scoble you aren't welcome here and we don't ever want you to come back again."

3) Sites, like the Xbox one, that try to get customers to sign up and give an email address to get new content are telling customers "hey, we wanna spam you and we want our spam to be mixed in with all those Viagra spams you get. In fact, if you really are an advanced user we want our content to be shoved into your "junk" folder. Yes, our content is junk." Do you really want to be saying that? An RSS subscription, on the other hand, goes where +I+ want it to go. Hint: that's not into the junk folder.

So, marketers, if you are being compensated for building lame sites, keep on building sites without RSS feeds. My readers might see them as lame for other reasons, but not having an RSS feed is a genetic marker for "lame site."

Oh, and don't think that very well funded and very advanced sites can't be lame. Steve Wynn's is an example. He built a multi-billion-dollar casino in Las Vegas that opened recently. This morning I wanted to find a place to have breakfast. I was lost on his site. It took 60 seconds just to start it up (it's all in Flash). And, once in, I couldn't find a restaurant that would serve breakfast. Even if I could, I wouldn't have been able to link you into the restaurant directly. Lame, lame, lame. Again, what's the genetic marker? No RSS feed.

10:14:30 AM    comment 

Wow, in Canada, bloggers are being forced to register as a form of campaign advertising. Darren Barefoot has the details.

9:36:51 AM    comment 

Brian Glass is the webmaster at Crossroads Community church in Michigan. He's also an open-source programmer. But he decided to purchase a .NET app from Fellowship Church. How do I know all this? I read Terry Storch's blog. Terry's the IT guy at Fellowship in Grapevine, Texas, which is the fifth largest independent church in the USA.

My book co-author, Shel Israel, interviewed Terry and Brian Bailey for our book.

I wrote, last year, about how Fellowship is using technology.

It's weird how through blogs I get to see a world (and technology) I wouldn't usually hang out in. It gives me hope that the world can actually move closer together instead of polarizing and splitting apart.

9:11:14 AM    comment 

Today there's a news event, an update about the Sun Microsystems-Microsoft pact. News should come in the next few hours. Watch this page for more.

8:56:07 AM    comment 

How about breakfast in Las Vegas tomorrow with Maryam and me? Say 10 a.m. At the Omelet House. Everyone is invited.

8:49:47 AM    comment 

Steve Ballmer spoke yesterday at Stanford University. Pretty good speech. Funny introduction! Good speech, covers a variety of things, mostly trends in the tech industry that he's seeing. Bummer, the video didn't have the question and answer session that reported on.

8:11:36 AM    comment 

I agree with Julie Leung. Yesterday's podcast by Dave Winer is a classic. Must listen to.

7:53:30 AM    comment 

Michael Gartenberg: First take analysis of the new Xbox.

Short take? "Xbox 360 is a brave new world for Microsoft."

7:51:41 AM    comment 

I can't wait to meet Hugh Macleod in London June 7. And, guess what, you're all invited along!

7:46:52 AM    comment 

Lest you think I have some sort of magical power inside Microsoft, just check out the new Xbox site. No RSS feed. Aaaaaarrrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhh.

7:43:05 AM    comment 

Geoff Coupe notes that Flickr recently added IPTC metadata support and wonders if any group at Microsoft is looking into doing the same thing (he just asked me via email). I don't know. I'll try to find out. Anyone know?

By the way, nice MSN Spaces blog!

7:37:02 AM    comment 

Justin J. Vogt can only attend one tech conference this year and is asking for help on deciding which one he should attend and why?

I'm biased (I'm on the team that's putting on Microsoft's PDC this year) so I'll stay out of it, at least for now. What would your advice be for Justin?

7:33:48 AM    comment 

Backbone Media is taking a corporate blogging survey. It'll be interesting to see the results of this.

Of course, because it's respondents are self-selecting that'll make its result set pretty invalid.

7:28:33 AM    comment 

Avonelle Lovhaug: Oh, Scoble, Stop Helping!

"Scoble, don't you realize how humiliating this is? Good golly, if women aren't writing enough things to get your attention on their own, why should have to make a special effort to seek them out? The last thing I would want is for for you to link to me because you found me as part of a special search for chicks who write interesting things. It says to me that women need special "help" because they aren't good enough to be noticed in the regular way. Blech."

Avonelle, who is a talented programmer and speaker (she's spoken at several of the events my wife and I helped plan over the past decade), makes a good point.

But, she doesn't need to worry. I linked to her because she left a comment in my comment section.

Last night I asked people to recommend new weblogs that my readers might be interested in reading. So far I don't see any female names. This is a way for anyone here to get noticed. Whether they are on the A-list or not.

Which, led me to ask: are my readers predominantly male because I only link to men?

The Team 99 experience over the past 10 days, though, completely argues against that theory. Team 99 has been written about in dozens of newspapers, tech journals, and other places. Both on so-called "head of tail" and "long tail" blogs. And overwhelmingly the people participating are male, even after I begged for women to get involved.

I've been thinking about it quite a bit. I link to people I get to know more often. For instance, I've linked to Dori Smith several times over the past few years, partly because she's one of the two people who got me to blog and partly because she came to one of my geek meals and partly because she occassionally links to me and has an ongoing conversation with me (and she shows up in my comments here).

Speaking of which, while I was over at Dori's blog I see that Brent Simmons has released NetNewsWire 2.0 -- my Mac-using friends overwhelmingly use NetNewsWire.

Anyway, Avonelle, thanks for speaking up. I'm going to attend the BlogHer conference for at least a morning (turns out I can make it after all) and it sure would be interesting to have you debate Shelley Powers on this issue.

7:26:11 AM    comment 

Adam Barr noted that yesterday was my second anniversary working at Microsoft. Damn, I forgot my M&M's. Tradition is you put a pound of M&M's out at your door for each year you've been at Microsoft. I totally forgot.

It's amazing how fast two years has gone by.

2:15:20 AM    comment 

Disclaimer. I had absolutely nothing to do with the recent AJAX Summit. OK, now you can read the link:

Shelly Powers: AJAX the Manly Technology.

1:32:08 AM    comment 

BusinessWeek: Culture Wars Hit Corporate America. Increasingly, business must weigh in on hot social issues -- and suffer interest groups' slings and arrows.

12:55:20 AM    comment 

Effern looks at my linking behavior. I'm not linking to enough women, he concludes. Agreed! I'm off to to find some women to link to. One thing, though, I link to a lot more women on my link blog.

12:42:16 AM    comment 

Pete Caputa and Effern Johnson are holding a "visibility week."

Yeah, the thing is, I have given up trying to link to everyone. That's impossible for one person to do. And, it's unneeded anymore now that we have Feedster, Pubsub, Technorati, along with the whole tagging thing.

In fact, I believe that my blogging style will become irrelevant very quickly. It's just not sustainable unless all you do all day long is blog blog blog and that's really not my passion. I enjoy meeting people face to face and having conversations.

Last week, for instance, I met Joel Spolsky in his office. I didn't come away from that with anything really bloggable, but I hope we both had an enjoyable time. I got to learn a bit more about his history with Microsoft. Got to see his offices (very cool and have some really interesting space-utilization designs -- the partioning walls, for instance, are angled to make best use of windows and interior seating). But, is that interesting? I don't know. I should have videotaped it.

Back to the point. Want to be visible? That's getting tougher to do over time as up to hundreds of thousands of blogs open up every day now.

How do you get found? Why don't you leave your URL in my comment along with a paragraph about why your blog is interesting to other people?

12:34:43 AM    comment 

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© Copyright 2005
Robert Scoble
My cell phone: 425-205-1921
Are you with the press?
Last updated:
6/1/2005; 8:54:09 AM.

Robert Scoble works at Microsoft (title: technical evangelist). Everything here, though, is his personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. No warranties or other guarantees will be offered as to the quality of the opinions or anything else offered here.

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