Tag Archives: Internet

Making sure you get found on the web

It’s very nearly time for the ‘year in review’ articles and special supplements and I have come across an early one: the top 10 Internet searches of the year according to Yahoo.   You can see the full list  at http://yearinreview.yahoo.com/2010/us_top_10_searches#Top%2010%20Searches

but here are the top 3: BP Oil Spill, World Cup and Miley Cyrus.  Also in the Top 10 are 5 more celebrities, a ‘celebrity’-making show and the iPhone.  So my question to you is: do you want to be right up there in such elevated company?  In case you are wondering, the search data for 2010 for Google is not yet available, but Bing also has predominantly celebrities on its top searches list.  My own unscientific sample shows that the most popular of my blog posts is the one entitled ‘Avatar and Anthropology’ – and I bet you can tell which of the two words has got people enthralled, can’t you?!

So here’s the rub.  Entrepreneurs and consultants, retailers and, in short, all those  who need to have an online presence are told to do search engine optimisation, think carefully about keywords, write exciting copy, attend this-and-that sales or marketing course…  All with the ultimate purpose of being easily found by as many people as possible.  But what if people are not really searching for your serious-minded business anyway?  Do you stick to your small audience or do you jump on the bandwagon of popularity and use those trigger words creatively?  For instance, in my case, should I say something like: ‘Justin Bieber is a good example of globalisation and intercultural communication’ (and tag it under ‘Justin Bieber’ rather than ‘globalisation’ – which has a far smaller audience and a different spelling anyway in other parts of the world)?

The temptation is always there to broaden our appeal.  We even find ways to justify it to ourselves (and others) by saying that ‘research needs to come out of its ivory tower’.  Or ‘management gurus need to speak plain language instead of jargon’.  And I completely agree with both of these statements.  But it’s a question of how we do it.  I can think of a handful of people who do it well, but many more who don’t.  Can you?

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Blog to Survive

To begin with a sentence that has become notorious over the past few weeks, I met a man yesterday who…  is an expert blogger and Internet psychologist.  His name is Graham Jones and he said that businesses that do not blog will most likely not survive over the next few years.

So there I sat smugly, sipping elegantly from my glass of wine, thinking, ‘Well, I’ll be all right then… ‘, until he quoted a very recent survey showing that you really need to blog daily to attract customers.  Daily!  And I thought I was doing quite well with the ‘once a week when I get round to it and feel I have something important to share, otherwise it’s whenever an idea crops up’!

I won’t steal Graham’s thunder by reproducing his very funny and useful speech about how to find ideas and blog more successfully.  You can find some of those ideas on his website at www.grahamjones.co.uk (and no, I am not an affiliate, I just like talking about people who impress me). 

But I was also wondering if anyone really wanted to hear from me every day, no matter how passionate they are about intercultural issues?  I mean, I have Seth Godin pop up on iGoogle for me every day (or even several times a day, so accomodating an acrobat is he!), but I have to admit I don’t read every entry.

On the other hand, perhaps I should focus on writing shorter, snappier blogs more frequently, rather than infrequent, really long ones that few people can be bothered to read to the end.  I may feel that I am sacrificing quality for quantity, but perhaps it’s not really quality that I am currently providing.  Just rare waffle.

What do you think?

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