Thinking Google: The ‘’ edition

Hmmm. Where did the weekend go? I spent mine pondering the demise of Google Authorship, David Amerland’s book Google Semantic Search: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Techniques That Get Your Company More Traffic, Increase Brand Impact, and Amplify Your Online Presence and attempting to understand and deploy Total #geekweekend! Here’s the best of what I found:

The week in review for 3/24/2012

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Never Fall In Love With The Medium


Chris Brogan cut through all the Pinterest crap with a great reminder this morning. He said…

It’s Never the Medium. It’s the People

We seek to connect with people. We want to reach them for whatever our goal might be. It’s our effort to connect with them in a meaningful way that benefits our mutual needs that should be the goal. It’s never about the delivery mechanism.

We want what we want. Can you listen to Dr. Stephen R. Covey on cassettes? Absolutely. But if I leave those cassettes in my car (well, if my car had a tape deck), then I’m out of luck, aren’t I? With, I can download the audio file to whatever device I want, as often as I want. It’s not the medium. It’s the information.

The People Are the Goal

Who follows whom on Twitter isn’t all that interesting. What we do with those connections is why it matters. How we take our access and make something interesting happen-that is the goal.

Again, it’s not whether I follow you or not. It’s whether something I do can improve your business or goals, and it’s whether you can share something or introduce something, or riff on something, or whatever. It’s how we use the network to build a system. It’s how we make our platform shine to help others, to grow our business, and more. That’s the magic.

Is Pinterest The New Amazing Network?

It will be, for those who use it to build a relationship that goes beyond the pins. Any network is serviceable, if you learn how to interact and help people satisfy their needs.

Now, let’s make mix-tapes together, shall we? Let’s make songs of love: a love of doing better business by building stronger human relationships over whatever medium we want.

You in?

Source: Never Fall In Love With the Medium

No, I’m not into Pinterest. I’ve played with it, found a few shortcuts [like use the Pinterest extension from Shareaholic in Chrome], created a couple hundred pins. It’s fun, but it’s not as useful for me as Evernote! I thought I’d use Pinterest to share the infographics that I love [I’m a huge fan of infographics!] but I ran into a couple of shortcomings that make Pinterest less that useful for me…

Ask yourself this question: If a picture is worth a thousand words, which of the thousand words will I use to describe the picture so that it can be found by anyone, anywhere at any time. Pinterest doesn’t really give you the ability to describe or search for what you are looking for very well. Pinterest would be really cool if it had a powerful advanced search feature or better yet, visual search. As it is though, for me it’s just a cute little toy at the moment. Those words may come back to haunt me someday but for now, that’s my take…

Here’s a little riff I did comparing Pinterest and Evernote focusing on some of the features that are important to me. I’ll let you decide what works best for you…

Here are some of the best reads I’ve found on Pinterest lately:

It’s fun and cute, but not very useful to me…

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Twitter trends this week @e1evation

I’ve hit the Twitter wall! Apparently my ‘twitter ho‘ [warning! link NSFW] strategy of follow everyone is tragically flawed…

According to Twitter…

“We do not limit the number of people who can follow you, but we have put limits on how many other accounts you can follow. Every account can follow 2,000 users total. Once you’ve followed 2,000 users, there are limits to the number of additional users you can follow. This number is different for each account and is based on your ratio of followers to following; this ratio is not published. Follow limits cannot be lifted by Twitter and everyone is subject to follow limits, even high profile and API accounts.” Source: Twitter Help Center | I Can’t Follow People – Follow Limits

I have been using a cool new app called SocialBro [I don’t make these names up — I just report them] to aggressively follow more people. Even I didn’t realize there was a limit. Until now. I’ll have to consult with the great Twitter oracles in my network @tommytrc and @mmangen to see where I went wrong. This social media stuff can be tricky — even for an instructor that supposed to know it all [remember, all is a lot to know!]. I’ll report back on what I learn next Thursday — twitterday @ e1evation!

In the meantime, if you’re interested in Twitter trends, you might like this screencast I did a few weeks back on how I’m using Getting Things Done [GTD] principles for content marketing. Twitter has become an even more critical part of my social media strategy because of the way I use it now…

Here’s the roundup of the best Twitter articles I read in the past week…

Content marketing and Search Engine Optimization [SEO] trends in my world

Image representing Joost de Valk as depicted i...
Joost de Valk of Yoast

Content marketing — posting relevant content to this blog — is the way I have done Search Engine Optimization [SEO] in the past. Thanks to my Search Engine Optimization [SEO] bff Ronnie Binser of Video Leads Online, I’m now focusing on doing Search Engine Optimization [SEO] ‘on purpose’ instead of by accident…

For a long time, I have depended on WordPress to do my Search Engine Optimization [SEO] organically without a lot of intentional effort on my part. Most bloggers know that WordPress has an excellent reputation for naturally producing great Search Engine Optimization [SEO] results. At the beginning of the year, however, I decided to become much more intentional about my brand online and decide what topics I really wanted to dominate online and go after them intentionally. That’s where Ronnie stepped in…

Ronnie helped me see how I could use keywords intentionally in my writing. He also gave me some insights into Panda — Google’s search engine algorithm — that really helped me get a grip on Search Engine Optimization [SEO] for content marketing.

Don’t get me wrong — WordPress is great — but in order to do Search Engine Optimization [SEO] on purpose instead of by accident, it needs some help. I found that WordPress is great, but if I want my content marketing to be effective and get me found for the things I want to be found for [wow, that was a tortured phrase] I’ve got to be more intentional.

Sooo. Here’s what I’m working on now…

  • Learning from a smart guy like Ronnie who knows Search Engine Optimization [SEO] cold
  • Using a plugin like InboundWriter that forces me to align my WordPress writing with my Search Engine Optimization [SEO] objectives
  • Evaluating a Search Engine Optimization [SEO] plugin like Yoast that will rock my Search Engine Optimization [SEO] and take it to the next level

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no expert in this area — I’m just a ‘seeker’ — but I’m happy to share the good stuff I found this week via Storify…

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Google trends for 2/1/2012

Image representing Google Reader as depicted i...
Image via CrunchBase

Google, Gmail, Google Reader, and now Google+ are all a vital part of a content management and marketing for thought leadership system. I use Gmail and Google Reader for content management and Google+ for content marketing. Gmail, and it’s business version Google Apps for Business, are critical for managing what I call ‘just in time’ information — information that affects relationships and revenue. Google Reader is what I use to handle ‘just in case’ information like news and industry trends. Applying this approach to your content management will go a long way toward lightening the load in your inbox, but Gmail features like Priority Inbox, keyboard shortcuts, etc. give Gmail a clear advantage over other email systems, too. Google Reader allows users to create a virtual newspaper that delivers up to the minute reports on the things that are important to your world. Together these Google products are like the peanut butter and chocolate combination of content management. The cherry on top of the sundae is that these Google tools, like so many others, are available as excellent android apps as well!

The best thing about these products is that they are free, or have the appearance of free. Even with news like this report from Mashable, I still think these tools are a good value…

Google+ is still an unknown variable in my content marketing world. I’m not happy with the way that Google is ‘forcing’ me to use it whether I want to or not, but I am gradually starting to use it as part of my content marketing plan. Sometimes I’m grateful that my social media certification course at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College forces me to be familiar with all these tools! btw, Google Reader is what I consider to be a ‘secret weapon’ for my work. I’ve done several posts on it — here’s a link to a series I did on getting content into and out of Google Reader that you might enjoy…

In the meantime, here’s a collection of the best content I’ve read on Gmail, Google Reader and Google+ in the past week:

[View the story “Trending topics in Google for this week” on Storify]

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Trending topics in Facebook and social media for this week


Love it? Hate it? Facebook must be part of a complete social media tool kit. I originally started using Facebook five or six years ago to start keeping tabs on my high school boys — now I teach Facebook for Business as part of my social media certification class. I have to admit that while my love for Facebook is waning that is remains a social media tool that everyone must master…

You see tools are just that. Tools. You don’t have to love them. They don’t have to be fun. Some tools are just so important that you have to hold your nose and use them sometimes. Facebook has become sort of like that for me. It used to be one of my favorite places to hang out online — now every time they make an improvement, the improvement means Facebook has exposed more of your privacy. As long as you  remember that you are not the customer, you’re the product — it is possible to have a fulfilling social media relationship with Facebook. Just be careful as to how you go about it and no one will get hurt…

Here’s my weekly summary of the best Facebook information I have found in this past week…

[View the story “Trending topics for Facebook on 1/31/2012” on Storify]

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Content Management and Content Marketing for Thought Leadership

Image via Wikipedia

Two years ago, I wrote an epic post called ‘From Thinker to Thought Leader in one easy workflow’. The original title was ‘By Jove, I think I’ve got it‘ [shows how little I knew about writing effective post titles, eh?]. Well, it took me a couple of years, but I’ve finally found it. It? That elusive personal niche that everyone keeps talking about. I call it ‘content management and marketing for thought leadership‘ and it is my passion and my purpose in life.

What is content management and marketing for thought leadership you might say? First some terms…

Content management?

“Content management, or CM, is the set of processes and technologies that support the collection, managing, and publishing of information in any form or medium. In recent times this information is typically referred to as content or, to be precise, digital content. Digital content may take the form of text, such as documents, multimedia files, such as audio or video files, or any other file type which follows a content lifecycle which requires management.” Source: Content management – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Content marketing?

“Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation and sharing of content in order to engage current and potential consumer bases. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty.” Source: Content marketing – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thought leadership?

I like the perspective Mindy Gibbins-Klein’s shares in her book 24 Carat Bold:

“What does a real thought leader look like? How would you go about finding one, or becoming one, if that is of interest? Well, let’s start with the Wikipedia definition stated earlier: ‘A futurist or person who is recognized among their peers and mentors for innovative ideas and demonstrates the confidence to promote or share those ideas as actionable distilled insights.’ Not bad, but there is one important word missing here: market. It’s not just about being recognized by your peers and mentors. To effect real change, you need a market, or followers, or fans or constituents or a congregation… you get the idea.

Gibbins-Klein, Mindy (2009-09-01). 24 Carat BOLD: The Standard for REAL Thought Leaders (Kindle Locations 309-313). Ecademy Press. Kindle Edition.

So to me, a thought leader is a person who…

  • Is an expert in their field
  • Has innovative ideas or perspectives
  • Promotes and shares those things using the “good, fast, and cheap” tools available on the internet
  • Becomes recognized

So then what is ‘content management and marketing for thought leadership‘? My simple definition goes like this: It is “becoming and being known as the expert“.

Here’s a little riff that I did last summer on the difference between thinking and thought leadership…

When I first rebooted e1evation, llc 3 years ago and shifted the focus from lead management to lead generation using inbound marketing tools, my tagline was ‘marketing, sales and technology for small business, non-profits and academic institutions’. I laugh now because that focus is so broad that not even Mashable! with their massive staff can cover it comprehensively. As time has gone on, I’ve continued to sharpen my focus so that I can increase my expertise in this emerging area. This is who I am and what e1evation, llc and this blog is about; content management and marketing for thought leadership.

When Michelangelo was asked how he created his classic work ‘David’, he said “”Ho iniziato con un blocco di marmo e scheggiato via tutto ciò che non aveva l’aspetto di David” [loosely translated: “I started with a block of marble and chipped away anything that did not look like David”]. I was inspired last week by Chris Brogan‘s comment “My blog is a piece of crap. Time to work harder.” If his blog is crap, what is mine? Why am I settling for less than sharp focus and clarified outcomes? In the month of February, my goal is to chip away from this blog everything that does not look like ‘content management and marketing for thought leadership‘.

Henceforth, this blog will be about the following topics:

  • Content Management
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media [including blogging, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter]
  • and the strategies, tools and tactics that make them available for every thinker who aspires to thought leadership

…and I will parse out my thinking in the following categories…

  • Thoughts
  • Tactics
  • Tools and technologies
  • Trends

I’m going to continue to perfect the ‘e1evation workflow’ — my ‘lather, rinse, repeat’ cycle for ‘thought leadership’ marketing — while applying the zenlike simplicity of ‘getting things done’ principles to content management and marketing for thought leadership.

If that’s what you’re looking for, stick around. Watch me. Interact with me. Let me know how I’m doing now that I’ve found my niche. If you want If you’re looking for something else let me recommend

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Trending topics in content marketing

IBM Lotus Web Content Management
Image via Wikipedia

Later today, I’ll be posting on some major changes that are happening in my business and on this site — you’ll want to be sure to check back later! In the meantime, every day I pull together the best of what I’ve read on one aspect of my focus. Mondays are all about content marketing and here are some of the best thought on the topic I’ve found in the past week…

[View the story “Trending topics in content marketing for 1/30/2012” on Storify]

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