As some of you may know, the Search Marketing industry has wrapped its arms, prayers and hearts around Dana Lookadoo, founder of YoYoSEO, whose spine was broken in several places from a biking accident. She’s in critical but stable condition. If you are on Facebook, a group called Updates on Dana has been started by Alan Bleiweiss. We are waiting to hear how we can help.
In the pre-dawn days of Internet Marketing, of screaming modems, countless search engines and directories and equally varied chats, groups, forums and clubs, Cre8asiteforums was launched. At that time, in August 1998, the term for online marketing was “web site promotion” and web designers were called “webmasters”.
Based in the United States, Cre8asiteforums quickly became a global teaching site about search engine optimization, drawing in famous experts and beginners alike. Today, the forums boast specific areas of expertise and leadership in the blending of usability and search engine optimization, plus accessibility, persuasive design and most of all, critical thinking in all areas on the Web.
Register today to gain access to member only forums. Follow us to stay on top of all the new perks coming out this year.
If you are a long time member of the community or someone on the outside with strong experience in a specific skills set we cover here, we are seeking new moderators and conversation starters.
The pay is miserable, since it is all volunteer. However, if the past is any indicator, two of our previous moderators were hired by Google, nearly all of them became so well-known they became “rock stars” in the industry or added more juice to their previous reputations and some are just outright famous, like Rand Fishkin, Jill Whalen, Bill Slawski, Ammon Johns, Donna Fontenot and more.
Forums are the New Black (What does that mean, anyway?)
The entire nature of the Web is founded on people helping people and there is a renewed surge in the “old” way of connecting via forums and online communities. It’s fun to answer questions and show your expertise. It’s also easy to ask questions and get a variety of responses.
Moderators here have an easy job because of how these forums are set up. We do our best to prevent spammers from even getting into the house. If they do, the community itself reports them instantly and the member is banned. Mostly the “job” is just about being social, greeting people, and being a conversationalist.
- No set hours.
- Must help promote the forums.
- Required to post a new discussion at least 3 times a week.
- Invited to guest blog here.
- Free pass to LABS (an advanced forum open to 1000 post members and by invite.)
- Access to the “Back Room” where all the goofing off happens.
- Must be a good writer, respectful to everyone, and have a proven record of skills and solid reputation.
Pop me a PM, use the contact form or email me at cre8pc at gmail.com if you want to join the Moderating team.
We enjoyed our Cre8tive View chat with Ann Smarty on establishing your personal brand online. Her suggestions were not quick fixes. They were honest and simple.
She started off by explaining how she got the name “Ann Smarty”. This is not her real name. Being from the Ukraine and establishing her online presence using the English language, she knew people would struggle with her Russian name.
It took less than 6 years before everyone would come to know and trust Ann Smarty. She’s been blogging at countless sites for years, and helping out in communities all along. The key to developing a personal brand is, said Ann, getting out there in the various online communities and joining in the discussions.
This means really honest to goodness participation where you add value to a discussion or provide accurate information in a blog post or article. It’s the way the Internet grew in the first place, before revenue generation forced a huge change in how people marketed their companies, self or careers.
If you are an individual building your personal brand, you will never spam a community, forums, or send out spammy emails. You will do these
- Choose a name people will remember you by. For years.
- Offer help to others and ask nothing in return.
- Teach and provide examples that don’t promote your own site.
- Write in a non-aggressive way.
- Never, ever attack anyone online. It’s ugly. (Unless your brand is about being mean.)
- Look for communities where you feel comfortable in being there.
- Start your own community. This lets you develop your own following.
Small businesses can take the lead on offering to help their customers by writing about what they know and sharing it freely on their site. If you sell anything you make yourself, share what you know on your own site and also in communities or online groups in LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook. Share. Share. Give. Give.
Reach out to authority figures too. Some of them will be too busy but others are more understanding and giving of their time. They started a zero once. Ask to interview them. Invite them teach your readers. Bring in guest bloggers with followings. Keep reaching out.
It’s easier to be yourself when the brand is you. Ann discussions the limits of corporate branding. It tends to be sterile and bought via ads. Customer service helps them too.
For your own personal style, you may have to give out more pieces of yourself than you are comfortable with. The good news is that with the right mix of generosity, sense of humor, expertise in your field or simple curiosity, you can compete with people who are spammers, rude to people, arrogant, selfish and have egos the size of Jupiter.
Your best bet to building your personal brand online is to be patient.
I sensed something wasn’t right while sitting in the front row as I watched Google’s Matt Cutts deliver his always anticipated keynote talk at this year’s Las Vegas Pubcon.
Back home in her southern home, Cre8asiteforums Site Administrator, Donna Fontenot, did more than sense it. She figured it out and wrote about it the now infamous thread, The Words No One Noticed At Matt Cutts Pubcon Keynote. At the time of this writing, there are 104 comments.
As Google gives more and more “answers” in the SERPs, there’s little to no incentive for users to ever leave Google, or ever have the chance to see the valuable content we have. People say, well, it’s Google’s site, so they can do what they want.That’s not always the case, however.
The “answers” that Google gives is not their content. It is OUR content. We’ve always had an implied “contract” with Google.
We’ll let you crawl our sites, Google, if you’ll send traffic back to us.
The “contract” isn’t this: We’ll let you steal and use our sites’ content, Google, without anything in return (traffic).
The crux of the issue is this.
All the work you have done to get your websites ready for “Google Acceptance” is a ruse. It’s not about getting your pages ranked well so that you gain traffic and flattering search results. It’s about providing the search engine the content it values the most, presented by the technology they develop for mobile and Chrome, and keeping the gems THERE so the activity takes place in something they control.
Someday there will be no reason to go to your website because Google search results pages will provide the exact answer to your query or exact match to your product search.
What are your thoughts on this? The Words No One Noticed At Matt Cutts Pubcon Keynote
Tomorrow’s Cre8tive View stars Ann Smarty, who will be discussing
Establishing Your Personal Brand Online (How long and What it Takes)
Follow our Google Hangout, the Cre8tive View, for the URL when we go live Wednesday, at 3pm EST. Remember to log in early as the hangouts can fill up quickly.
A recent news story about Oreo cookies raised an interesting question by a Cre8asiteforums member about the potential risks of a great user experience.
Forbes broke the story, Why Oreo’s Are As Addictive As Cocaine to Your Brain. A small study conducted by Connecticut College students and a professor of psychology, found that when rats ate Oreo cookies, their pleasure center activated more neurons in the brain’s “pleasure center” than exposure to drugs of abuse. The rats even ate the Oreo cookies the same way as humans do, by taking the cookie apart to eat the middle first.
The study, Student-faculty research shows Oreo’s are just as addictive as drugs in lab rats, was a surprise.
“It basically tells us how many cells were turned on in a specific region of the brain in response to the drugs or Oreos,” said Connecticut College professor Joseph Schroeder, who led the research. Oreos actually activated cells in this brain area more than did either cocaine or morphine, which suggests that that magical combination of sugar and fat may be even more delectable to our brains than drugs.”
“Our research supports the theory that high-fat/ high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do,” Schroeder said. “It may explain why some people can’t resist these foods despite the fact that they know they are bad for them.”
This got us thinking in Can Good Usability Be Harmful? Not only are Oreo cookies irresistible, but the packaging makes it extra easy to get to them. Wrote member “Xcelios”,
“They also mentioned that researchers did a study that showed that when Oreo changed their packaging 2 years ago, they experienced a large boost in sales simply because the packaging re-design allowed consumers to indulge in their Oreo addiction much easier than they could before. They went from a tray packaging system to a bag system. So instead of pulling out the tray, eating a cookie, and pushing the tray back into the packaging, users could just reach in and grab cookie after cookie without ever closing the bag; it became so much more user-friendly and accessible to the end-user.
So that got me thinking. From a user’s standpoint, do you think there are any other instances in either product design, web design, graphic design, etc. where good Usability can actually be harmful to the end user?”
Can Ease of Use Lead to Risky Behavior?
Marketing and persuasive web design strive to a give out some sugar, at least figuratively. In the best of situations, a brand is remembered because thinking of it makes you feel good, like Hershey’s Kisses. The same can be said for certain websites.
Amazon works hard to be the easiest, most pleasurable and fastest site to use. This makes it fun to browse and add items to a cart and want to return to do it again. This may be “harmful” to those who have no willpower and spend like crazy.
Drive-thru fast food eateries and even drive-thru drugstores are another example. Their ease of use makes it not necessary to get out of the car to pick up or place an order, which means less physical exercise. Fast food is high calorie and quickly satisfied hunger and cravings for salt.
With ease of use comes responsibility. We all have a choice to either park our cars far away so we get in a little walk or not. We may not have as much willpower when it comes to Oreo’s.
Photo credit: Arielle Krause