My soapbox to discuss industry, social interaction, collaboration and web-related topics. Do Follow-enabled.
Recently I wanted to take a shortcut and I selected a freelancer to create a website and theme that would be SEO friendly, and include pre-populated content, a growing page authority in my niche market. I have been very interested in SEO friendly sites ever since taking dips in Page Rank, thanks to some recent tweaks to Google Penguin updates. My primary subscription site took a 2-page Page Rank hit and I have been trying to clear up some likely culprit links from a couple of Fiverr gigs that ar mucking up the system.
I was in the mood to try a new tactic. I had been test-driving SEOmoz and noticed how they rate C-blocks, more than a few of my complementary sites reside on the same server and I was looking to add a new island and joined the crowd with a GoDaddy account. I had been following a SEO and Marketing site called WarriorForum, an Internet Marketing Forum. I had been looking around and learning the ropes and came across an offer from a member to create a SEO friendly presence. There were some decent ratings and the user had some testimonials that appeared legit. So I made a purchase for the designer to take care of building a new niche site for me.
I ended up with a WP blog on a GoDaddy account. I have a reseller account and freelancer asked for access to my WHM panel to setup the new site, I asked him to proceed and I would make the switch. What I got was a templated site using StudioPress template called Genesis with a reseller account on WP Robots 3 plugin which appears to aggregate content from a few selected sites and they are published automatically.
Though it had installed All in one SEO Pack, there were no SEO content applied on the 7-pages (10 were promised) pre-loaded blog posts (things like keywords, titles, description, img alt, etc) and of the few images included in the blog posts none were topical or even related to the site.
Over half of the widgets, plugins and the main theme were outdated and needed to be updated, once I did that I basically had to go back and redo the site layout and have been working over a week to try to get something useful out of his work.
Though it included a few Amazon widgets, everything pointed to the freelancers account (not mine) and I had to go back one-by-one and re-install It is a good thing I am an experienced WordPress user because I suggest a newbie would have been overwhelmed by the problems and configuration and would have likely given up while continuing to drive traffic to his Amazon account. There were no Adsense or Clickbank ads configured.
The freelancer never asked for my account info for any of my revenue programs, I had to configure those on my own. He did appear to have a Developer account with WP Robots, the email field is populated with a gmail account so I didn’t know if he was somewhat legit and I was just a unique customer, I mean he had many replies and votes of confidence.
So I am fixing my site and I got a hit with a pingback on my new blog from the WarriorForum so I clicked through to see what it was about. It appears the Freelancer also sold topmilitaryguide.com to another customer at the same time. He was so unhappy he was posting comments about the sale gone bad and that he challenged the sale on Paypal, but lost. Though he opted for another site with a different theme, it appears that this freelancer just reused the work between us.
Though the site is in operation I believe I mostly could have done the work for pennies on the dollar, and the bottom line is be careful out there.
I was redesigning the website PowerpointRanger.com and I have come to realize the complexity of the web today. What started off as project to modernize the Army Powerpoint Classes website that we have run since 2001, I saw how far the site had fallen behind in those 12 years.
I was looking for and integrated smartphones, free downloadable apps, a monetized search feature, and optimize for Google Adsense placement. I early on considered integrating Google Analytics, as well as ensuring my code was tight, took in to consideration SEO and w3C compliance, as well as using some of the tips I have learned over the years, like how to maximize the blog as a tool. Over on the Web Design Ledger they have some handy posts if you just want to look around and be inspired.
The task has been educational for me, I was stuck in a design rut and I have tried a number of new tactics and techniques. I am not happy with the minimal use of Social Media, but I believe I want to use SM to drive traffic to the site, not he other way around.
The one major hit I took on this project was that I invested in a new URL and moved the site from a solid Page Rank and great placement in Google Search to one that is way down in the listings. I know in time I will be able to Powerpointranger.com in its relevance, but for now I must just be faced with its standings and work to increase its value to the web community. If you have any ideas, feel free to hit me up in the comments section.
I was recently doing a web page redesign and was having troubles trying to get just the right Twitter icon and I stumbled on to the officer Twitter Logo and Brand page it was there I saw it. I had been noticing the bird on many Twitter apps and sites, but I had been fat dumb and happy using the same old tried and true lowercase “t” icons that I have been using for years now. Well, come to find out that the bird is the only approved twitter icon and seems that I (and about half of the internet) have not caught on to the new brand yet. It seems every pre-made social icon packs in the universe are sporting the outdated style, here are 44 icon packs that will perpetuate the old brand for infinity.
Twitter warns users ”Do not modify or alter the marks or use them in a confusing way, including suggesting sponsorship or endorsement by Twitter, or in a way that confuses Twitter with another brand.” I don’t know if they are warning up front they mean business by talking about lawyers and agreements, but this ominous note is the first sentence “This policy is designed to help you use our brand and assets, including our logo, content and trademarks without having to worry about negotiating a separate agreement with us or talking to our lawyers.”
If you think you haven’t seen it yet, I bet you have, It is showing up on more and more site, logos and icons, now it is up to the rest of the internets to catch on and go with the new brand image. Seems the new bird is nameless as Twitter even retired the nickname “Larry the Bird” as well. Actually, the new logo was publicly announced on the Twitter Blog Jun 16, 2012 in the article Taking Flight #Twitterbird. I mean I saw the new image and even watched the video, I guess I never put the two of them together, time for me to get out from underneath these rocks.
Social media has grown by leaps and bounds as far as business development, marketing, and even contracting, especially for those who supply services as opposed to equipment and devices and other objects. Many utilize the culture of social media to generate a lead, or change their management strategies in order to attract more business.
Market saturation used to be all about direct mail, sending out flyers to as many people as possible about a product or service. Extraordinarily it is still utilized today although the cost of such advertising has done nothing but rise, and thus the stratagem is now not so much in vogue.
Today, social media has replaced direct mail for market saturation, and one of the great problems of direct mail has been easily circumvented, that of allowing a business to know just how many people perused their advertising in reality. Smart social media developers have given a reward to those who opened or utilized the lead placed in the social media. For instance, free food, a cents off coupon, or some other kind of reward that allows the advertiser to know just how many people visited their site, as well as took advantage of it.
Utilizing social media to market your products and services also gives you a tremendous edge. You see, while your competition may be wasting their money and energy in using direct mail, or other strategies, you will be able to reach a huge quantity of individuals as well as businesses all in one fell swoop.
As a further thought, utilizing social media to augment sales is certainly not new. Your competitors have found it, and are attracting business that you might have, had you been there. However, the magnificence of this type of marketing is that it is never too late to join social media as a means of building your business or trade.
In addition, let it be said here that using this category of media for advertising is essentially free. Granted it may be necessary to pay the cost of a broadband connection, but sites such as Twitter have no costs associated with them whatsoever, which certainly accounts for its huge recognition and popularity.
Interestingly enough few businesses take full advantage of the search engines that are associated with many of those social media sites. Being made aware of what words social media users are utilizing to land on your page is tantamount to hitting a true goldmine and in addition may be important for your SEO standings.
Be sure to take a look at my new Business Development Blog, TCO Business (Development), it is now online at http://www.danelder.com. Make sure your follow me there and be sure to read this week’s new post How to use Social Media for Business Development. Also, you can sign up for my Feedburner link, and follow me on Twitter.
Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and other social sites are effective tools for businesses to target their online audience. The question still remains, how effective are they, really? With so many online marketing tools available, it can be difficult to determine how each social interaction relates to the ROI, or return on investment. In his article, “The Value of a Like,” Adam Woods explores this topic with other marketers in today’s social generation and they all agree—it isn’t easy.
Tom Ollerton, associate director at Skive and member of the IAB Social Media Council, makes the point that it’s difficult to make a how-to guide for Facebook and other sites because each one is different. Others agree that measuring success based on ‘likes’ is deceiving because they are easily accumulated and don’t necessarily show how engaged a person is in a business.
“The vast majority of people click because they want to win a competition, or because there is something on the site that intrigues them, but they are not suddenly wedded to your brand, and thanks to (Facebook’s ruthless feed-governing algorithm) EdgeRank, they won’t necessarily even see the messages you send,” said Katy Howell, managing director of Immediate Future.
As technology advances, other corporations are proving that knowledge is social and that it can be measured in real terms. Eloqua recently released three types of social media apps with its Social Suite that are designed to pull consumers’ social information, allowing businesses to target existing content and contacts specifically for each user. The apps also create reports that help marketers track which online campaigns or social sites are most effective in encouraging consumers to buy in to their business.
Paul Teshima, Senior Vice President of Product Management at Eloqua, said the Social Suite gives a full view of buyers’ digital behavior. “With that level of insight,” Teshima said, “our customers can at last see how social can truly drive revenue performance.”
Another tool for measuring social marketing is Fathom Pro from Jive, which automatically replies to content posted by users and increases engagement based on its sentiment analysis. This tool works to monitor activity on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs and is useful to larger companies who need to share social media analytics to many employees within their corporation.
Measuring the effectiveness of a ‘like’ may seem impossible, but tracking online interactions is necessary for businesses to thrive in the social generation. “If we want people to engage with us day to day, then we have to give them something in return,” said digital marketing manager James Young. “We could all be offering discounts, but a relationship based on entertaining content has real social currency.”
Eloqua Gives Demand Generation Marketers Onramp to Social Media Success posted on December 20, 2011:
Jive Unveils Free Social Media Monitoring Tool by David F. Carr posted on December 20, 2011:
The Value of a Like by Adam Woods posted on December 27, 2011:
According to a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM),, more organizations are turning to social media sites when recruiting potential job candidates. The number of companies entering the social generation increased from 34% in 2008 to 56% in 2011. As more organizations see the benefits of using social media tools like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, the number of those who do not plan to use social recruiting dropped from 45% in 2008 to 21% in 2011.
Statistics like this show that organizations are realizing that knowledge is social. At Topsarge Business Solutions, we guide companies to find the best way of using these tools to further your business. In the survey results from SHRM, 84% of companies reported they are recruiting passive job candidates who might not have been contacted in the past. The survey also showed that companies can target prospective employees with a specific set of skills or job level. For instance, the number of upper-management recruiting is now rising online.
Social media sites not only make it easier to find the best applicant, it is also more cost-effective. Candidates can easily contact your organization to ask about the job opening, and your business spends less money on advertising for the position. The time and money spent on the entire hiring process is now more efficient with the use of these social media tools. From the beginning search to the final interview, all can now be conducted online.
Increasing the applicant field and searching for those who met or exceed the job requirements is now easier with sites like LinkedIn. You no longer need to worry about whether you made the right choice in hiring. With some guidance provided by Topsarge, you will know.
Dan Elder, MKMP
So, many folks are asking me what I am doing these days since I stepped away from independent consulting business. Well, stepped away is a nice way to say that the work I was doing for the US Army is no longer required, and they can do without the services experts like I provide. I understand, and as sad as I was to see the program that I dedicated so many hours to expires, there are other places where i believe my talents can be used. So, for this weeks blog post, here are some thoughts about Business Development:
“Business development is a combination of strategic analysis, marketing, and sales. Business development (or “biz dev”) professionals can be involved in everything from the development of their employers’ products and services, to the creation of marketing strategies, to the generation of sales leads, to negotiating and closing deals.
The job of the business development professional is typically to identify new business opportunities-whether that means new markets, new partnerships with other businesses, new ways to reach existing markets, or new product or service offerings to better meet the needs of existing markets-and then to go out and exploit those opportunities to bring in more revenue.
Since the field is a cousin of marketing and sales, even when an organization doesn’t have a stand-alone business development department or employees with the phrase “biz dev” in their job titles, you can bet that folks in sales and/or marketing are handling business development responsibilities. You can find biz dev jobs in all industries-at everything from tech startups to huge pharmaceutical companies. What the work entails, exactly, depends on how big a company is and what industry it’s in.”
Want to read the entire article? Check out wetfeet at: http://www.wetfeet.com/careers-industries/careers/business-development
I was recently a part of a discussion that asked what section/directorate should the Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO) belong? Here was my response:
Personally I think there is no use for a CKO in any Army organization. Our G-3s (even when manned by DACs) are not COO, our G-8s are not CFOs, and our commanders are not CEOs. I think the term irritates more than a few people. No matter our professions, the Army is led by soldiers who honor the Warrior’s Creed….a corporate mindset seems to be an antithesis to being combat ready (IMHO). I dont doubt their are some requirements for the “functions” a CKO might perform, but lets scuff up the term and call them what they really are.
Speaking of, at least according to our current doctrine, knowledge management is dictated as one of the major functions of the staff. I think many would agree that of the primary six warfighting functions that the KM effort be championed from within the function of Command and Control.
To me the Battle Staff Officer/NCO who are the proponents on staff to facilitate situational understanding and decision-making must not be bogged down in any one WfF, especially in the dynamic and fluid tempo of full-spectrum operations. The Chief, the Deputy, XO or DCOS all might be able to adequately guide the efforts (organization and operationally dependant), and those responsibilities should be spelled out in an organization’s Terms of Reference.
Q#1- What is the best “way ahead” to provide that enduring capability?
Q#2- What is the “value” that demonstrates why the command should either allocate funds and personnel to the CKO or continue to authorize it’s funding.
Doctrinally, a requirement needs to be established. So there is a proponent for Operational Knowledge Management (who is proponents for other flavors?), but no Knowledge Management Capabilities Manager (TCIM). Or maybe it is/should be TICM Mission Command? If so, do they (and the rest of the world) know it?
In the Army it all starts with requirements…has there been an established and documented need for CKO/KMO/BCO/IMO at any levels, and by whom? If so, that is the place to start. If not, you have to ask yourselves if you even “need” resident knowledge management expertise in the Army, and at what costs? KM (ergo CKO positions) needs to be not only required, but a part of the longer-term strategy of the Army to some ultimate goal. I mean even Enterprise Email made it in to the Army Campaign Plan….
It sems to me that for too long KM requirements seem to come from ONS/JUONS, KM efforts manned by BMM and from hide, guided by memoranda and handshakes, and funded via UFRs and supplemental funding. KM has no true champion and it is not tied to a PEG. Without recognition at the most senior levels of such and changes to these facts you might as well count any long-term KM professional presence like CKOs, KMOs, KM Interns and KM Sections as a casualty to the swinging budget axe. If I was the Army G-8 the things I am going to go after first are the areas there are no documented requirements for.
Read more at: https://forums.army.mil/SECURE/CommunityBrowser.aspx?id=1579420&lang=en-US
Dan Elder, MKMP
Over on LinkedIn in one of my favorite groups Knowledge Management Experts, one of the members shared with the KM community an infographic creation tool called Vizualize.me. This is a slick personal marketing tool that allows professionals to visually show off ones skills and experience in a quick way. You may not be familiar with the term information graphic, but consider that it is a way to present a lot of data visually in a eye appealing sort of way.
If you havent heard the term, it is likely you have probably seen a few of them used on the web, and here on my blog Knowledge is Social. A recent one that I used was the one below about How Companies use Social Media to hire employees, and what to do about it. Infographics are quickly becoming quite popular, evidenced by creation of firms like the powerhouse team who formed visual.ly. Visual.ly is a new inforgraphic company that not only creates high-end info graphics, but is a community that is attempting to form a community of practice for designers and creative types.
Earlier this year on Forbes.com contributor Ed Zitron wrote about visual.ly that “The Visual.ly team sees an issue in that there are many great designers out there who can synthesize and turn data into a piece of informational eye-candy with no focused promotional space or marketplace for them to get their much-deserved recognition.”
Getting back to creating your own qualifications masterpiece, according to the Virtualize.me blog they have only just launched September 22nd 2011, and TechCrunch picked up the scoop from CEO Eugene Woo a few days before. Besides reading the article you can click on their HD video below to learn more about creating your own infographic.
I choose the Lola template because a few others totally ignored 26-years of relevant work experience, so make sure you try all the templates before you publish. And take note that there is a self-rating in the My Profile tab under Skills, you need to fill in the answers if you notice your experience weights are skewed. Overall its a pretty cool tool that you are going to be seeing more about over the coming days and weeks ahead.
It is a pretty cool tool that many will be interested in trying out and seeing how they measure up, but first take a look at my Infographic to see how the finished product looks.
Dan Elder, MKMP
One of the most popular ways to increase traffic to your web site is to have inbound links, but all links are not the same. You want links that have “Juice.” As a Social Media consultant to businesses in the Central Texas area, I am often asked by people new to search engine optimization and web design how to get people more people to come to their page?
Over on Forum Docs there was a recent post that desicribes some attributes and description on Link Juice that is worth the read. The points they bring out is how to qualify the value (or importance) of links by their attributes. The question becomes how do you get those backlinks you need to drive more search traffic your way?
A simple places to make sure your site is listed on is the Open directory Project at dmoz.com . Simply pick your subject and ensure you provide all the relevant data. There you go, your first backlink with Juice! Next up is to head over to Google and Yahoo and look at how you can submit links via their submission services. And of course if you have a blog, don’t forget to register it with Technorati.
If you are in Central Texas and are considering expanding your website presence or creating a new look, you want a professional who can help you navigate the world wide web. We know how to build your site, integrate social media or blogs, or otherwise provide you the permanent online presence that you expect.
Dan Elder, MKMP
Topsarge Business Solutions