Jump to content

Cre8asiteforums Internet Marketing
and Conversion Web Design


Photo

Time To Close Forums. New Gen Has No Need For Them.


  • Please log in to reply
102 replies to this topic

#1 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 13525 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 01:19 PM

I like to ask questions. I believe it helps to keep asking them. I like to learn. Get a pulse.

So I asked Where are Skilled, Generous SEOs

Some of the most well known people in the search engine marketing, social networking and web design industries were once moderator’s at large forums. They gave back. They taught. They offered help to the community and the industries they love. They asked for nothing in return, but nearly all of them now have their own businesses. Some are speakers at conferences. Several have turned to focus on their own local towns. As the Internet expands, some of them have found they are needed in new places, like schools or organizations.

When they leave, the forum or community they participated in suffers. There are not enough replacements.


Lisa Barone followed up with her response:
Who's Who’s Responsible for Teaching, Protecting SEO?

Yesterday Kim Krause-Berg asked a pointed question. She asked: Where all the skilled, generous SEOs? And the question got many people riled up, myself included. But was she asking the right question?

Kim was part of the SEO generation where people flocked to forums to create relationships, to seek advice and for their own personal edification on the subject. In 2010, the forums have dried up. There are less people helping out and fewer people seeking them as a source of information. And at the same time, with the industry growing, we have more spam than ever. We have more people attempting to sell Walmart-style SEO for $10 and more folks submitting pure garbage to Sphinn and calling it information.

And that seems to be the basis for Kim’s question. Where are all the generous SEOs that used to mentor these confused newbies? She associates the lack of mentors with the increased amount of disinformation and spam.

I adore Kim and I consider her one of my early mentors. But I think she has it backwards.


I hope I have never taught anyone to start out a rebuttal by being confrontational from the get-go. Some of the most vocal women in the SEO community rounded up my donkey.

I think my original post could have been edited, but in the blog writing world of being my own blogger, I write pray and duck for cover. CLEARLY I was misunderstood by anyone looking for a fight.

So I will ask my questions here, in a dying resource, apparently.


1. Where is the new generation of SEO's, with talent, skills and ethics?

2. Are any of them ready and available to "give back" by mentoring or teaching others?

3. If so, where? (That was answered by NOT IN FORUMS. THEY ARE DEAD.)

To which I say, good. I can retire.

#2 Brad

Brad

    Mach 1 Member

  • Members
  • 354 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 02:12 PM

I would hope that Cre8asite will still be around!

(Funny, we are having a very similar discussion at a much smaller forum that I'm involved in.)

I'm not sure I know that answers to your first two questions. For #3 I think the answer is blogs and Twitter. It is not centralized like with forums but there must be something going on. Those that are good enough to survive then graduate and move behind a pay wall like SEOBook.

That's my guess.

#3 jonbey

jonbey

    Eyes Like Hawk Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4389 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 02:23 PM

Yeah, I have been having a similar discussion too. Oh, hi Brad!

Maybe the problem is the remaining good SEO's are spread too thin and there are so many pseudo-SEO's that only "learnt" SEO last week and are already peddling their services.

I guess it is partly greed. I have heard some SEO's admit that they no longer provide advice in forums - why give it away for free?

I would not be where I am if it were not for places like Crea8asite and Searchguild/fudwatch. Maybe time for a revival!

#4 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 13525 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 02:32 PM

If you can get past the drama between me and Lisa on her turf, there are great points.

They (many at Outspoken) took my meaning to be that I was complaining the the first generation of SEO's have dropped the ball and are no longer teaching. That blew me away and upset me. I'd NEVER say such a thing, nor do I think it.

I believe in the practice of giving back what it is given to you. Karma. You help someone, someone will help you. What happens here in the forums is that the majority of helpers and its the same ones doing it, year and year.

I'm being told that forums are old school. Twitter is the hot place.

Mentoring is old school. Sharing knowledge is costly (keep it to yourself).

Nobody has to teach anyone. Nobody is responsible for the integrity of the practices being taught.

Some of the feedback is surprising but this is how I get a sense of what's going on. I ask.

#5 SEOAware

SEOAware

    New To Community

  • Members
  • 2 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 03:02 PM

Kim, your forum is a good one and typically filled with people that "know". I don't visit many forums for a couple of reasons -

1). I have not time and tweetdeck allows me to monitor things quickly without much effort and
2). Most forums are filled with crap from "SEOs" that p*** me off with stupid questions and answers.

I see all the morons offering services they know nothing about. We can't do much about it at this point. I think people like you will always be considered a leader and someone that I personally respect. You always have class and dignity and I respect that. You are also a very kind person/

I think any post can be taken the wrong way even if that wasn't the intention. It is always good to discuss it in a respectful manner.

#6 Brad

Brad

    Mach 1 Member

  • Members
  • 354 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 03:06 PM

>> Some of the feedback is surprising but this is how I get a sense of what's going on. I ask.

I'm glad you did. The questions are often much more important than the answers. Somebody needs to ask the hard questions and you did. And really isn't it our job to initiate discussion?

I'll post this here, because I'm following this discussion at 3 places, and somehow a forum seems the right place.

I'll be the first to admit I'm a dinosaur. I resisted Twitter and Facebook, for the longest time. I wasn't getting it. Then Kim said something on her blog about Twitter being a marketing tool and then some snot-nosed kid who does marketing locally also mentioned what he was doing with Twitter. So I tried Twitter. And I needed to find SEO people on Twitter to follow so I went looking for all those names, Kim, Diane V., fantomaster, rcjordan, etc. that I remembered from forums and threadwatch. My point is: I was clueless as to who the younger SEO's and marketers are although I'm discovering more through WOM. So maybe people like me that have been hanging out in one or two forums just are not seeing the younger folk.

Following the tweets of people I trust has lead me to many other younger SEO that have interesting things to say and they in turn have lead me to others still.

It seems to me the delivery method has changed - more publish something on a blog and push it out there and forget it. Less conversation oriented than forums, less nurturing, less tutoring and more "here is my book read it".

#7 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 13525 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 03:08 PM

But is it viable to keep it open here?

I no longer ask for donations or ads. No time. This year I renewed our license and domains on my dime. But folks don't realize a forum or blog is not free. Free for them, but not the owner.

So, how much longer is a forums needed?

If no new new SEO's need it, why bother?

#8 bwelford

bwelford

    Peacekeeper Administrator

  • Site Administrators
  • 9008 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 03:16 PM

I'll post this here, because I'm following this discussion at 3 places, and somehow a forum seems the right place.

Exactly, Brad. You've hit the nail on the head.

The problem is that other formats are too linear and it's tough to have a debate. So some rubbish can be presented without any countervoice. I run into people who accept what they have read because it makes sense to them, without them ever hearing the alternatives that may be better. I am sure there are a great proportion of people who are doing their websites serious SEO damage because they rely on the average SEO advice that gets published, which often has glaring mistakes. They have no easy way of getting an informed critique of what they are doing.

#9 Michael_Martinez

Michael_Martinez

    Time Traveler Member

  • 1000 Post Club
  • 1354 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 03:17 PM

If no new new SEO's need it, why bother?


Because it's easier for me to see emerging trends from the discussions in forums than from other sources. May God forbid that I should have to gleen SEO complaints and happy thoughts from Twitter.

Forums are not just about people teaching people. They are also about people reaching out and sharing experiences without any real reward in sight.

Put all that together and you assemble a glob of information that paints a picture you'll never get from any blog post -- and surely not from a Twitter or Facebook account.

I hope you keep these forums open, Kim. This is one of the last places I visit regularly when it comes to SEO forums. I've abandoned most of the others.

#10 Guest_joedolson_*

Guest_joedolson_*
  • Guests

Posted 20 April 2010 - 03:27 PM

I think there's actually a secondary problem, as well - forums, blogs, and other resources provide a staggering amount of valuable information which does not require any interaction, as in a forum. A lot of the more conscientious people (potential providers of information) do their research through searching, rather than by asking questions. And in a huge number of cases, they can find their answers through search.

What this means is that people aren't necessarily seeing forums as a venue for discussions; more as a resource for information. They come, get what they need, and go away.

And less conscientious people come into the forums and ask the same darn questions over and over and over, because they haven't bothered to do any research. It creates a nasty cycle: if you are working hard, you can find the information without needing to participate in a forum. Not participating in a forum means that you don't build an interest in forum life or in continuing the discussion in that way. If you're lazy and looking for a quick buck, you go to forums and promptly p*** people off, which contributes to turning people off from their own interests in forums.

I'm not sure I'm capable of telling whether there are younger people taking the lead in SEO -- honestly, I don't follow SEO developments at a high level any more.

Are forums needed anymore...hmmm. Tough one. Honestly, this is the only one I spend time in, and you can see pretty clearly from my posting record that I haven't actually spoken a lot lately. That's partially because even when a good question is asked, it's usually on a very specific SEO-related topic -- which just isn't my area. CSS, programming, best practices questions - they just don't seem to come up very often anymore.

#11 DonnaFontenot

DonnaFontenot

    Peacekeeper Administrator

  • Site Administrators
  • 3803 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 03:31 PM

I do think forums will head down into the heap of ashes sooner rather than later. I don't think the types of people or types of questions or types of sharing or types of communicating has changed, but I do think the methods by which those things happen is changing.

Remember when everyone had a pager attached to their hip?

The medium evolves. The new generation will congregate in new mediums. The old mediums will fade away. Relics of the past have emotional attachment, so those people who remember them fondly will fight against their demise, but their demise will come regardless.

That said, I'm one of those people who cut her tooth on those old mediums, but I can still see the crumbling architecture nevertheless.

The one thing a good SEO is always best at: adapting.

I'll do my best to adapt to whatever medium evolves.

#12 Brad

Brad

    Mach 1 Member

  • Members
  • 354 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 03:40 PM

Posting in a forum is easy. (Okay interesting posts are hard.) The part that wears me out is promoting the forum, trying to find new blood.

Barry, I love the forum format, but I think fashions have changed. I don't really know why, but they have.

Kim, I have not been around Cre8, even as a lurker for several years until recently. I was sort of taken aback after revisiting a few weeks ago by how -- quiet - things were here at Cre8. All of you, I don't say this to be mean or to try to hurt - out of respect I owe you honesty. The lack of new threads and responses shocked me. When I was last here, Cre8 was bustling - growing. The contrast was noticeable.

Like Michael M. (hi Michael) I too hope Cre8 can stay open in some way. Wasn't there a discussion group before Cre8? It seems to me that this community has adapted and remade itself in the past, perhaps it can reinvent itself - morph - into something new? Does it have to be a forum?

#13 K.S.Katz

K.S.Katz

    Ready To Fly Member

  • Members
  • 11 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 03:55 PM

Kim,

I have not been around Cre8, because I'm getting my information elsewhere. Ouch! I know, it sounds bad because I love Cre8, but the reality is that I've moved to getting my info through Social Media or paid forums like SEO Dojo. Part of the reason is lack of time. Part is topic visibility. Part is that I'm a lurker at heart.

That being said, I would hate to see Cre8 go away. If you need some help, please let me know.

- Kat

#14 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 13525 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 04:00 PM

The lack of new threads and responses shocked me. When I was last here, Cre8 was bustling - growing. The contrast was noticeable.


We know :) Believe me, we know. We're losing Mods because they're exhausted and burned out or got too busy with work. And we're not getting in new faces, which is why I started asking where new folks are. I already know the pro's are working or volunteering in other places.

But I got into hot water for bringing it up :(

#15 jonbey

jonbey

    Eyes Like Hawk Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4389 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 04:06 PM

fair point to raise though. It is easy to spread yourself too thin. I am still a forum guy, but do sometimes get frustrated that I do not always find an answer. Social Media is an issue. Facebook keeps growing and many web design and SEO groups over there. Plus all the private groups where people whisper in smokey rooms about their darkest secrets.

#16 Brad

Brad

    Mach 1 Member

  • Members
  • 354 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 04:11 PM

I think you should explore adapting. You all have first class minds and talent you ought to be able to come up with something new to try, if it does not work try something else.

Maybe something that will not burn out mods, something adapted to search engine referrals and find-grab-and-go.

#17 jonbey

jonbey

    Eyes Like Hawk Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4389 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 04:22 PM

Good idea Brad! I nominate you as project leader. Congrats!

#18 Brad

Brad

    Mach 1 Member

  • Members
  • 354 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 04:27 PM

>>Good idea Brad! I nominate you as project leader. Congrats!

I didn't say I have a first class mind.

#19 jonbey

jonbey

    Eyes Like Hawk Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4389 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 04:45 PM

>>Good idea Brad! I nominate you as project leader. Congrats!

I didn't say I have a first class mind.


That is why you would make a good leader!

:rofl:

#20 AbleReach

AbleReach

    Peacekeeper Administrator

  • Site Administrators
  • 6467 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 04:51 PM

CSS, programming, best practices questions - they just don't seem to come up very often anymore.

Joe, do you have time to play? I am not a programmer, but I'll ask the for-dummies questions, any time I have spare brain cells to stretch! There are some (hopefully) basic things I want to understand & be able to do.

#21 Guest_joedolson_*

Guest_joedolson_*
  • Guests

Posted 20 April 2010 - 05:06 PM

Sure! Ask 'em and I'll do what I can.

Although I should mention that I'll be away for the day starting in about an hour (rehearsal), and out much of the day tomorrow...although not so much that I wouldn't have time to answer a question or two tomorrow, I hope.

#22 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 13525 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 05:16 PM

I need a reality check...

Lisa Barone said on Twitter that I asked the "wrong" question and I had things "backward".

I should have said, and wish I did, say "Where are the NEW skilled, generous SEO's." I understand that and a friend would have nudged me to fix it. But that didn't happen. Rather, my take from reading Lisa's blog was that I upset the pro's and made it sound like I was negating them.

Reality check. I really got upset at that. I could have sworn my career in writing and these forums was to support the industry and the people. So many jumped in with "WTF" and how could she say that remarks that I flipped. Questioned everything. Lost my zen.

The dialog here, my blog and Lisa's blog are a bit to keep up with but I'm trying to learn. For starters, I lost my cool. But I chose to. For all these years I've been polite. I did what many SEO's do and fought back.

So now I am a "bully".

I think I lost a friend in the process.

Sooo, makes me wanna go back to sewing.

#23 fairclb

fairclb

    Gravity Master Member

  • Members
  • 209 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 05:44 PM

I think many see forums as "old school", new ways of communicating like Facebook and in some respects blogs have taken over what would have normally been discussed on forums in the past. One experiment might be to create a Facebook group and see how that goes.

Personally, the more I interact with the younger groups the more I question their desire to learn what we would consider the proper way of doing things... at least until they find that much of what we are saying actually has a basis in experience and personal successes and failures. I won't speak for anyone else, but I wasn't much different in that regard, but over time I have learned that those that mentored me were actually very smart people and I was fortunate to have them teach me. But... just as they need to learn the value and experience we bring, we should learn to embrace the new and improved methods of communication on the Internet.

There will always be a need for collaboration and mentoring, maybe the problem isn't that the younger generation doesn't want the advice, maybe it's that the older generation hasn't reached out to them in a way or on a medium that they understand.

By the way Kim, if you need help I am more than happy to help you moderate.

Edited by fairclb, 20 April 2010 - 05:49 PM.


#24 jonbey

jonbey

    Eyes Like Hawk Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4389 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 06:12 PM

I think the idea that forums are dead is just people misunderstanding the purpose of a forum. A Facebook group would be no different, in fact, it would be worse. You still need to moderate it, but the categories would be a nightmare, good posts get buried forever and there will probably me a massive influx of fluff. OK if you are starting out from scratch or plan an small invite only group, but not as good as dedicated forum software.

I think that there will always be a need for forums. You control your forum, you make the rules, you moderate according to your morals and judgment, not those of a larger organization.

Besides, I am pretty sure you cannot do this on Facebook, Bebo, Ning or MySpace:

:emo11: :emo11: :emo11: :emo11: :emo10: :emo10: :emo10: :emo10: :emo11: :emo11: :emo11:
:nanaparty: :nanaparty: :nanaparty: :nanaparty: :emo8: :emo8: :emo8: :violin: :violin: :violin:

#25 AbleReach

AbleReach

    Peacekeeper Administrator

  • Site Administrators
  • 6467 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 06:21 PM

I think we need active community members more than we need more moderators.

Hey, I'm a moderator, and I used to burn a path to Cre8, directly from whatever I thought was interesting, as often as possible. Lately, not so much. A few of the last things I shared were related to Social Media, which did not go over well here. I think Social Media (& in some ways blogs) brought out a sort of a have vs have not dynamic. We used to talk about how small businesses could make good online, with good SEO, usability and content. Now there is more complaining about how you have to be famous or infamous, where there used to be more complaining exclusively about the SERPs. I think complaining generally misses the boat -- for myself included. Ideally, complaining is a stage, like when toddlers get cranky just before restless hunger just before a growth spurt.

In a couple days I'll start a dummies level thread about scripting/programming something I think is useful. I use WordPress, and there are plugins for it, but I want to be able to understand and fine tune, and I'll bet I'm not the only one!

I challenge lurkers and you who are more talkative to start and/or contribute to a thread about something you think is interesting - or do the same for something you've wanted to learn!

I think we used to talk more about web standards, too. There was a fire here for developing an awareness for good standards. Is it my imagination, or are we off in our own corners doing our own stuff as fast as possible, not checking in for social/nerd sharing & coffee breaks? Some blogs can become little communities of their own, but I don't think they can do what forums do. In a forum we are all participants. In a blog, visitors come for a show put on by the owner(s.)

#26 jonbey

jonbey

    Eyes Like Hawk Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4389 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 06:31 PM

Good idea on WP. I still have so many questions. As MH gets more popular I need to ensure that my site can cope. Just to help with your planning, my current thoughts, based on some WP optimisation blogs I have read are:

WP Cache - is it safe? Can you use it with comments on? I keep reading about problems
Database lookups, PHP stuff - one blog post suggested removing as much php as possible, e.g. rather than look up the blog URL, hard code it in, same with categories if they hardly change, and everything else.
JS questions - if you use an external script, like Tynt, is it better to copy the .js and put it on your server for less DNS lookups?

These are some of the questions floating around in my head at the moment. I have a lot floating in my head.... maybe I should make a point of asking more stuff.

#27 DonnaFontenot

DonnaFontenot

    Peacekeeper Administrator

  • Site Administrators
  • 3803 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 06:52 PM

Good questions, everyone. Start threads! I know I've got at least a few thoughts on some of those. :)

#28 bwelford

bwelford

    Peacekeeper Administrator

  • Site Administrators
  • 9008 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 08:01 PM

In some ways, most social media are like rushing, turbulent rivers. You may be able to communicate with others close to you for a time but they and you are moving fast. Unless you get your answer or your information at that moment, you probably will have wasted your energy. As Heraclitus said, you cannot jump into the same river twice. The Facebooks, LinkedIns, Twitters of this world are for instant gratification. It's all about me. It's also very difficult to follow a thread of conversation.

Forums on the other hand are like small lakes where you can meet the same people from time to time and can recognize others and be recognized. You can have ongoing conversations and even be alerted if you only want to stay aware of particular topics. It's a very different kind of world for very different kinds of people. If you are around for a time and then must be away, lo and behold you will be recognized on your return. Hi Joe, what have you been up to. Haven't seen you for a while. That's much more frequent here on a Forum than in the Twitter-stream.

#29 fairclb

fairclb

    Gravity Master Member

  • Members
  • 209 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 08:18 PM

That is very well said bwelford, and I wholeheartedly agree, I guess the question is do the younger audiences want that or do they want the instant gratification? I don't have the answer, but it is an interesting question. Maybe there is some sort of middle ground, a way to provide the benefits of the tried and true BB and the newer social media.

#30 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 13525 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 08:28 PM

My husband asked me, "Why do they come to forums? Community or info?"

Then, "If the medium is dead, you can start something new with the folks who like the community and would miss the people".

What has held the mods together and kept us going is that we like each other and developed a sense of family. Many members are included in our sense of family. And like family, people move on. Change. Etc.

I'm not convinced, after the comments in Lisa's thread, my blog post and Twitter that forums are the right course or worth our time.

Some points included things like "the new folks don't want to learn" and education comes from a wide variety of sources, putting forums out of the loop. Like Barry S. said, if you want help on a Google problem, you can now go to Google.

A free forums like this one is a big undertaking for a very small set of users. Sure, new threads can start but we already know from experience that a few people will jump in and then it fizzles.

Liz has a point too about social media and networking. She's learned a lot but has discovered that here is not the place to share what she knows.

#31 AbleReach

AbleReach

    Peacekeeper Administrator

  • Site Administrators
  • 6467 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 09:33 PM

Liz has a point too about social media and networking. She's learned a lot but has discovered that here is not the place to share what she knows.

Naaa. I do not blame the medium.

Back then I wasn't determined & tough enough to keep sharing -- plus, at the time I had other fish to fry, so I directed my energy elsewhere.

Three or four years ago I was saying that the next big wave in web marketing would be WOM (word of mouth,) and SEOs thought I was talking about gossip and said so. In the blogosphere, many went out of their way to say Social Media is worthless and can only lead to crap traffic - and many of them are now active on FaceBook and Twitter, and I do mean *active,* if they like Social Media or not.

I think that when forums are healthy, they're a great place to learn together and challenge each other. When people lose faith or forget to be the *loyal* opposition, forums are like political spats - they can go to hell in a handcart, quickly. I lost faith, but I shoulda, coulda, woulda stuck around and kicked some patoo... or at least (more likely) learned to love stirring that pot no matter what anyone else thought. Pot stirring has its graces - helps to keep things from sticking in the wrong places.

//added//

"Pot stirring has its graces,
keeps things from sticking
in the wrong places."

I swear this could be the part of a Country and (Social Media) Western song!
:-)

Edited by AbleReach, 20 April 2010 - 09:40 PM.


#32 Ruud

Ruud

    Hall of Fame

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 4887 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 09:54 PM

The Death of (Cre8asite) Forums

Are forums dead is a question that can easily answered in general by picking three random topics and doing a search for them combined with the word "forum". You'll find lively, growing, bustling communities discussing digital scrapbooking, poodle grooming, rabbit raising, and motorbike care and repair.

Are forums dead to the SEO community then?

Is Webmaster World? Digital Point? Highrankings? The Google forums?

I don't think so.

So then the issue becomes: is Cre8asite Forums dead?

I think so. I think it is, at the moment.

The reason is simple too: we don't answer the questions people have. Cross browser delivery, user experience, make it right -- these aren't the things people roaming the forums seek answers about. And when they do there are countless, literally countless, resources at hand one Bing away.

Some core questions that people who want to -- who need to -- make a living online have are; how do I earn money online? if it is by being an affiliate and Google hates thin affiliate sites, what do I do? how do I start a web site today, write 10-50 pages of content and get it to where I somehow get money from it?

We approach things differently. Someone I respect a lot once said we're a bit of a bunch of tree huggers :) And that's OK -- but not everyone has the time to hug their site; some have to make things happen today.

The SEO forums mentioned above address those issues (linking, ranking, algo changes, ad placement, etc.) and do it well.

Do we have to? No. But I bet you that we don't rank, don't come up, for the questions people are typing into their favorite search engine.

The New Game

Some things are better left unsaid because once said, Google hears and adjusts. That started to change the information people put out there already back in 2006, 2007. It's only become more quiet since then. There are some common, well known factors involved in ranking that "everybody" knows about. Over the past 4 years those topics have been written about from just about every angle; 97 1/2 ways to get a free link; 3 links in 30 minutes; etc.

That doesn't leave a whole lot of room to answer specific questions. To give away the competitive edge. *That* is the real reason we see so much crap on Sphinn.

Then, the game has changed to selling knowledge. Rand was a great forum participant, went up and left to build his own (premium) community. Dave Harry has a unique angle into SEO -- and runs the (premium) SEO Dojo. Even Sphinn tried to go premium for a bit...

The New Media

In 2004 the only place where I could talk with an SEO god was on a forum. Today I follow bunches of them on Twitter and read their spur of the moment (or very well planned...) tweet-thought.

While (old skool) blog posts are woven together form links, Twitter is almost all linking. Shared items (Google Reader), Facbeook likes and tweets make for a very immediate way of saying what you want to say, hinting at it, simply by (re)posting a link.

The New Mentors?

I don't pay a lot of attention to it. Like Aaron said "It seems a lot of the SEO discourse at the public level has dropped off sharply in quality (but not in quantity) over the past couple years" and Rae answered "SEO Bloggers are like reality TV stars... Most don’t have the talent, they just have the platform to pretend they do."

Just from impression I'd say the new mentors come more from the social media/networking side of things now. Chris, Li, Brogan - huge. And they definitely give back, inspire, answer. Chris Brogan is to social networking what Darren is to blogging. Glenn Allsop is pouring back everything he knows about making money with sites back into his (virtually unmonetized) blog.

The New Cre8asite Forums?

If a site owner would come with Cre8asite into the website hospital, we'd have dozens of creative ideas to get the thing jump started again:

-scour social media and lead questions back to the forum for expanded talk;
-introduce ad revenue sharing on those threads;
-call in personal favors and have one SEO god per week answers questions from the community;
-encourage people to fan/like/follow Cre8asite groups/pages/lists on Facebook and Twitter so that the social buzz of C8 spreads;
-write blog-post like entries to draw traffic;
-etc.

The problem is though that there is no common interest in a community site like C8 to do so. There is no money to interest or force the owner ('owner' generic, not talking about you, Kim) because there is no owner. And faced with the choice between building our lives, our families, our businesses, our blogs ... or a forum we don't own ... the choice is clear, right?

Just as the drone of multitasking has made way for the zen of single-tasking, so I announced earlier this year (on Twitter...) that I expect 2010 to be the start of social withdrawal. My own post of how I went X days without Twitter has been just one of many that you can find of people taking a step back and saying "wow... this is getting to much..."

Filters, filtering, and a trustworthy solid signal of quality will (again) become important to people. That could very well be a new place for C8.

#33 AbleReach

AbleReach

    Peacekeeper Administrator

  • Site Administrators
  • 6467 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 10:38 PM

I bet you that we don't rank, don't come up, for the questions people are typing into their favorite search engine.

I don't think it would take much to start doing that again. Just (LOL) some content and a few inlinks a day.

No! Seriously!

If 2010 is the start of social withdrawal, in our niche, that creates a hole that a forum like Cre8 can step into. At some point, marketers who are burn out on blogging at their own sites and learning in isolation via Lynda.com are going to want to roll ideas around in public. Without going out and re-entering the daily blog mill again, what are they to do? Some of the big forums aren't especially chatty, but Cre8 - we're a bunch of treehuggers who are posting childhood pictures in After Hours, laughing about going on a virtual cruise.

Outside of our niche, I don't think Social Media is ready to slow down. Not at all.

Example - Most of my local news stations bring up Social Media related things on a regular basis, and I don't mean just the latest silly viral video. I saw neighborhood news blogs get cited a couple times over the last few days, as reliable sources of information about what happened to a sea lion and a whale that washed up in the Seattle area recently. These neighborhood blogs each have *active* FaceBook Pages with over 1000 fans each, and they're just getting started.

I think SEO is a little different where SMM is concerned, because SEOs can't help but be bean counters. We build a thing to market, and pass it around between our 200 or 2000 or 20,000 "friends and followers" and, being marketers, whatever it is gets passed around and tracked, a LOT. I think that sometimes w/ marketers on SMM, there is more sharing and tracking than conversation. This will start to die off. It doesn't work very well. It is artificial. This sort of thing is how "marketing" and "spam" got to be related in the public's mind, IMHO.

Step out of the world of overworked and exhausted marketers, and the everyday people who are doing it are doing it because they like it, not primarily as a part of their marketing plan. Most of the time, they're not "sharing" in anticipation of traffic, though looking for traffic might be a side-trip once in a while. Social Media for these people has just hit the edge of mainstream.

#34 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 13525 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 10:40 PM

Ruud...it all sounds loverly, but I'm not sure this ole gal can hang in there anymore with the type of commitment and energy required.

Hence, why I was hoping to find a new generation. Someone just posted at Outspoken saying "nobody cares about SEO" anymore. Its about social...content writing. Interesting.

#35 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 13525 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 10:50 PM

Found this in Twitter (he can reveal himself if he wants to!)

"but it's an old tortoise of a communication medium"


Yep. :emo3:

It is no longer serving us. But what is the right next step?

#36 SEOAly

SEOAly

    New To Community

  • Members
  • 2 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 11:40 PM

I'm not sure those who are new to the industry really spend much time in forums these days. There's no doubt that forums provide some of the most useful information around. I learned a TON here and over at Jill's High Rankings forum, but I was never as vocal in forums as I have been on blogs. I got a lot of information from forums, but never participated...even here at Cre8asiteForums, which certainly would have been the one, had I done so. I'm not sure exactly why...just habit, I guess.

Once you're used to blogs and Twitter and other social web sources, it's not always as easy to find specific information, get an answer to a specific question or participate in the discussion within forums. Take commenting on blogs, for instance...if I have to log in, I usually don't bother. Sharing information published on blogs is also somewhat easier than sharing information from forums...thanks to the use of a variety of sharing buttons and services that are usually incorporated into the blog's design.

I got Lisa's post in my RSS inbox today and read it, but never actually went to Outspoken to see the comments...until now. And my first reaction was HOLY CRAP! It's obvious from a lot of the comments that they read Lisa's post and never bothered to read yours at all. Lots of people like the confrontational style Lisa is so famous for. I do. And I often agree with her. Even when I don't, I appreciate her obvious intent to stir the pot in order to bring attention to her brand and/or generate responses by stirring up emotions.

I have to be honest, in reading and re-reading Lisa's post in my RSS reader and not taking any of the subsequent comments into account, it seems like Lisa just doesn't share the opinion that mentors have disappeared...just that they're communicating in different ways that don't involve forums the way they used to. It seems like some are trying to manufacture controversy where little exists just to be able to say, "I'm on Lisa's side..." and likely never read your post to begin with.

Because people are so accustomed to her being confrontational, they assume she's always wagging her finger, being accusatory or trying to manufacture controversy. So much so that they tend to believe her intent to be far more inflammatory on some posts than it actually is. Lisa may not have agreed with you that mentors are as few and far between, but anyone who actually read both your post and her response to it wouldn't have jumped to the conclusion that you two were at war or that her opinions were the polar opposite to yours - rather just that where people go to find mentors, where those mentors spend their time and how they communicate has changed.

Rae's comments are another thing altogether. She seems to approach everything as if she's being attacked personally, but what seemed to be lost on her was that you were asking who was going to pick up the baton and run with it...who would step up to carry on the tradition of those like her who have helped rookies navigate the SEO learning curve. People attack in packs. And they're desperate to get the attention of people like Lisa & Rae and, just as importantly, have others witness the attention they hope to get from them...which means hopping on the bandwagon of what they perceive to be an opportunity to take their sides.

If they can do so by fanning the flames, throwing you under the bus and reading more into Lisa's response to your post than she may have intended, they're fine with that. Sad, but true...and it's like being back in Jr. High all over again. It's one of the worst things about this industry and probably a big part of the reason new talent doesn't chime in or contribute to the conversation very often. I was a glutton for punishment and probably didn't care as much about what people think as some, but I have a feeling that's more the exception than the rule.

I could probably contribute more through blogs and such, but I do feel as though my commitment to helping those who seek me out, as well as educating clients and small business owners, does help to spread the right information to the people most in need of if. When people reach out to me on Twitter, via e-mail, etc. I always try to help them as much as I can. Just like people helped me when I first started out.

Just because people don't participate here as much as they used to doesn't mean they don't believe the forums still have value or that new people don't still come here to learn from the existing threads. Lots of industry newbies may find incredibly valuable information here, but don't feel they have anything constructive to contribute to the threads they learn the most from. Only you and your team of mods can decide whether the time & effort you invest maintaining the forum is worth it based on traffic info and other personal considerations.

I'd hate to see Cre8asiteForums go away. I feel bad that I haven't participated, but I've sure learned a lot over the past several years...especially when I was brand new and had no idea what the hell I was doing. Don't assume that reduced participation means the existing threads are any less valuable. There's a ton of great information here and that's what rookies need more than anything else when they're first starting out.

There's my two cents...okay, maybe more like 412 cents, but there you have it. :)

#37 AbleReach

AbleReach

    Peacekeeper Administrator

  • Site Administrators
  • 6467 posts

Posted 20 April 2010 - 11:47 PM

@SEOAly - I saw that you were lurking and hoped you would come back and post.

Thank you.

:applause:

#38 bwelford

bwelford

    Peacekeeper Administrator

  • Site Administrators
  • 9008 posts

Posted 21 April 2010 - 12:26 AM

Good to have your POV, SEOAly. I too feel there is less animosity between the original posts but what with link-bait and all everyone tries to stir up the fight.

Actually as a marketing wallah, I see this whole thread as a cup half full argument, rather than a cup half empty. I push my clients very hard to focus, focus, focus on a market niche. How do we define our niche? That's the sector where we can demonstrate a competitive advantage against possible alternative suppliers.

Clearly it doesn't include the New Gen, but I'm not too unhappy about that (particularly since I'm not one of them). In fact to create an alternative debate, I might even suggest this Forum should focus on Seniors. That is now anyone over 50 but we wouldn't be too exclusionary. This is a growing sector of the population and many of them are fitter than people half their age. They're on to second or third careers and the wisdom and experience in this group is staggering. ... OK if pushed I could widen the age range down to say 35. :)

The advantage of focusing on this niche is that I guess most of the spurious SEO advice and FUD that goes on would be in that other niche (New Gen did we call them?). Here we can talk about the wider picture of Internet Marketing, of which SEO is only a part. That has always been the theme here.

The other advantage is that many SMB owners would naturally find what they are looking for within this niche/group. They don't need to know how close you can skate to Google's guidelines or whether PageRank sculpting is in or out. OK on any given day it may be quiet but as SEOAly pointed out over time we generate an incredible body of sensible advice without all that flim-flam.

Edited by bwelford, 21 April 2010 - 12:26 AM.


#39 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 13525 posts

Posted 21 April 2010 - 02:24 AM

Wow Aly! I can't sleep and was hoping to hear from you. When I read what you wrote, I got teary eyed. Still am. I really value your opinions.

I don't believe for a minute that Lisa didn't mean to jump on me. A year ago or more, I would have. But her writing style has changed. Her company is "outspoken". In my opinion, there are ways to communicate a different POV without putting down or negating the person you are responding to. She did not do that with me.

She said, "But I think she has it backwards." She could have written her entire post without mentioning me at all. She made great points and perfectly sound observations. But she also needed or wanted to negate mine. She could have said, "Kim has some good points. I look at it this way, however."

Based on the comments, it was really obvious my post was not read by her readers. When I read down to Rae's first comment, "What I want to know is why Kim, or anyone else, would think the burden of teaching and protecting SEO seems the responsibility of the old school generation of SEOs for life," I knew immediately my post was not read or if so, was really misunderstood in a terrible way.

Now, up until now, Lisa and Rae and I were on decent terms. Either one of them could have come to me, privately, as friends, to see if perhaps I could have been a bit clearer in my post. For example, I should have said "NEW Skilled, Generous SEO's" in my post title.

Then Lisa replied in the comments, "I genuinely feel like you’re asking the wrong question, which is why this post was written."

Again, this is not how I would communicate but its how she does it. I asked a question in my blog. I always ask questions. She decided it was the "wrong" one. She said I asked, "Where are all the generous SEOs?" If my post was actually read, I asked where the new SEO's are hanging out these days because it's not here. The folks doing the teaching and offering advice here are the same people who have been doing it for years and years, with the exception of some new really great folks who have piped up in the past few months.

I got great answers in my blog to my questions by those who understood and read what I wrote.

Completely out of character for me, I went off in Lisa's thread. I have long felt that everyone finds me unable to fight back and I don't tend to lose my cool in public. I keep a lid on my mouth because my clients are professionals and have certain expectations from me.

It was hard to not take it personally when Lisa said on Twitter that I couldn't back up anything I was saying and that I chose to be a "bully". Meanwhile, Rae was also Twittering and I responded to her because she was calm, communicating without emo, and adding great stuff to the conversation. Which is what I was hoping for. A conversation.

To say to me that I can't back up something made no sense to me. I had no idea my post would get comments. My blog is a quiet one. I guess I asked questions that others were also asking themselves, such as who do we pass the baton to? Do people think Danny Sullivan will live forever?

In our heyday, we had long, historical debates in these forums. In our history, we have actually banned maybe 5 people for being unbalanced and not being able to contribute well. I think we are rare. Many forum mods edit every post. We don't edit unless its blatant self promo. We were one of the first to allow links in sigs. But folks have short memories. They also forgot that these forums used to sell ads and raised thousands, which we gave away to support the SEO industry. Rebecca Kelly's internship under Ammon Johns was sponsored by us. We gave money to support Bruce Clay and a contest they had. We provided money for books, classes, courses, prizes.

Lisa wrote:

The mentors are out there in full force:

They’re answering questions all day on Twitter.
They’re moderating discussion threads on LinkedIn, Business Answers, etc.
They’re tending to the comments on their own blogs.
They’re at conferences, both in their local area and worldwide.
They’re in email and on phone chats.
They’re at the bar getting drunk on war stories, not alcohol.
They employ their own team of SEOs that they train and nurture.
They’re creating the SEO businesses that are shaping the industry.
Old gen and new gen mentors aren’t in forums because forums, like Pamela Anderson, are considerably less sexy than they were in 1998.


I had asked where the newer folks are and if they are passing on knowledge. I pointed out the quality of Sphinn articles, which are very poor, and the sheer volume of scams in the industry, as well as bad practices and myths.

A lot of people feel that forums are out of the picture because new people dislike them. They want instant talk, instant answers, instant feedback.

I think this is a reality we have to face. If none of changes involves offering an instant result, I don't think we'll be doing any service to anyone.

#40 cre8pc

cre8pc

    Dream Catcher Forums Founder

  • Admin - Top Level
  • 13525 posts

Posted 21 April 2010 - 02:50 AM

Added> A friend just posted on my post's comments a suggestion for creating a forums for advanced folks, because as he rightly points out, most of the newbie posts are severely limited and one sided (they ask, you help , they thank you and leave)

Taking Barry W's older folks suggestions and another one from Twitter about these being an "old tortoise", I'm thinking we change the name to Old Tortoise :)



RSS Feed

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users