Change of plans: I'm here at the Robert and Maryam Scoble presentation "10 Ways to a Killer Blog: Getting noticed in the new word-of-mouth network."
Sue Polinsky says she was turned on to blogging via Scoble. Sue: Everybody in this room has turned an online relationship into a face. "The person who yanked me, who made me feel good about being a geek... is Robert Scoble.
RS: I think this is the first talk we've even given together.
No. 1: Blog cause you want to. "A story without love is not worth telling."
No. 2: Read other blogs. "Have you read 50 blogs for at least two weeks.? ... I learned early on that reading other people's blogs gave me something to write about... You should feel compelled to join in the conversation."
No. 3: Pick a niche you can own (be different). Some are just blogging for their families... but others want an audience larger than their family and friends. Those two groups of people talk differently.
MS: RS is the kind who want to "make and break and change things."
RS: It's a Google World. People are going to find you via search. The way search engines work is off of linking behavior and content... The best way to get found is to specialize... but if you write about lots of things, you won't be ranked as high.
For instance, taking on politics as a general topic, you'll be starting with disadvantages. But if you become the political blogger for people with three fingers, you can own that niche. You want to own a Google keyword.
Sounds like they're talking about smart branding.
"If I see a blog that says 'Joe's Average Blog' I'm less likely to click on it."
Jill Foster, Living With Geeks, is doing a documentary about living with geeks... she talks about passion...A guy whose name I couldn't hear says "SOMETIMES THE PASSION WILL FIND YOU. Just get on and hone your skills...
NO. 4: Link to other blogs.
MS didn't want RS to link to her, but because Dave Winer did, she got 3k unique visitors on the first day... give link love and they'll link back to you...
If you want to get linked by another blogger, keep linking and writing about them. They'll find you.
Billy Jones: When you write about a company, link. He did it recently when he criticized a company, and within days they were in contact with him and changing their system based on his ideas.
RS: the Internet rewards people who share information. A lot of publishing companies are resistant to linking out of their properties. But the sites that link out get the most traffic. There's a principle behind this: If you continue to link to interesting new people ... you'll be an authority level above those who restrict their link. If you link to both left and right politically, you've now placed yourself above both of those communities.
Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend on blog-whoring via comments... she raised her traffic by going to Americablog and putting a link up to a related topic she had posted on her own blog.
RS talks about memeorandum and Tech Meme and how they tracks linking behavior as a way of determining what's considered important by bloggers... "To do one of these pages he has to have a community of hundreds of blogs that link to each other." He's addicted to Tech Meme: "It's where I find the best news."
No. 5: Admit mistakes.
RS: I think it's real important: Take a strong stand on something, but then step back and see what comes back at you... You find that you learn so much from your audience when you're listening.
On the HP Board scandal: He called the chairman "a cancer on HP and she needs to be cut out.' And I didn't know at the time that she had cancer... and that was over the line, and I apologized... and I think that's smart blogging."
No. 6: Write good headlines.
RS uses Google Reader to go through a bunch of feeds. "I'll go through a thousand items in an hour or so. And I've noticed that some people don't write headlines that grab my attention in the aggregator." Same with search results.
RS: "If you look at Technorati... or any of the blog search engines, you see a headline and a snippet of text... and what I'm doing is scanning down the list for something interesting... "
So think of the keywords that would bring people to your post, and then hit 'em.
Ben Hwang: It's really easy if you right good headlines to get hit by the big sites... (Digg/Slashdot)
MS: "My most popular link is 'Top 10 reasons to link geeks.'"
Dave Beckwith: 85 percent of people only read the headline.
For the record, I just changed the title of this post from "ConvergeSouth No. 2" to "Top 10 Scoble Blog Thangs"...
No. 7: Use other media.
Video gets more attention than text...
Michael Habbib: If you put up a photo from Flickr on your blog, Flickr will drive traffic to your blog...
Ed Cone: It's a gift economy... so if you give it away, it will come back to you in good ways...
RS: Talks about Second Life... 400k people in there now, and there
are about four in this room who are part of it... but people are making
movies in second life and moving them out to their blog...
No. 8: Have a voice.
RS: "I don't think of what I'm doing as writing... I'm just talking to you."
Question: How do you keep from being sued? RS points out that truth is the best defense, but really turns the conversation toward taking responsibility for what you write and taking risks for things that you believe. "At some point you have to put your own butt on the line."
No. 9: Get outside the blogosphere.
He talks about blogger dinners in the early days in Silicon Valley. And those people became the power core of the blogosphere. And those were open dinners. We put on our blogs: Come!"
No. 11: Write well
MS: Do it quick. Spell check. Check your state of mind and state of emotion.
No. 12: Expose yourself.
No. 13: Help other people blog.
Today's "Scoble-hack" from Ben Hwang: If you wanna contact RS and he doesnt' respond, go through MS...
No. 14. Engage with commenters
A lot of people don't do that, and they're turning down a major way to get noticed.
No. 15: Keep your integrity
RS: Here's what he learned from Dave Winer: "You are what you seem you are... It's OK to be biased as long as we know what your biases are."
Cartoon: The future belongs to the geeks. Nobody else wants it.