Ted Shelton – Stop pushing the rope @ New Communications Forum

Ted started the Personal Bee 18 months ago to understand how the media is fragmenting and how people are putting it back together again.

There was an old way of communicating, where communicators talked and the media (hopefully) listened. Because these channel were limited, there was more control on the part of the gatekeepers and less in the hands of the communicators.

Things have changed. The known influencers may not be as influential anymore; and the new influencers may not be known or difficult to reach.  This is the challenge communicators face today.

So what are the effective tools for reaching the new influencers?  (After a short break to fix the noise his jacket is making things got rolling again.)

Search is one tool that is everywhere but that needs to be rethought.  It’s not just a tool but a media outlet.  It’s more powerful than pretty much anything else.  If you can get a client ranked well on Google, it is more valuable that appearing in traditional media.  People don’t go the the mainstream media for information, they go to search.  People don’t do the the second page of results – often they don’t even scroll – so getting into the top five results in critical.  Obviously, the approach to take to deal with this is search engine optimization.

Search isn’t just Google though.  For blogs, Technorati is the key.  It isn’t about indexing archived content (as is the case with search); the goal is to index the live Web.  They have it down to 60 seconds between the time a blog is published and it is indexed by Technorati.  There are 70M blogs indexed by Technorati but only 7M of them have been updated in any given month.

One tool that Technorati has recently introduced is WFT (where’s the fire) which is designed to let readers contribute blurbs to the site which function as mini blog posts.  It’s the fastest growing part of the site.

Digg is one of the key social media sites.  The value of Digg comes in a variety of ways.  First, it is indexed by Google.  But it provides a faster means to get information in front of people.  There are problems – Digg can be gamed to improve rankings.  There are tools that let you look to see who’s dugg a specific story.  The idea is for the community to rank, value and comment on content.

There are an increasing number of similar community sites that target different groups and interests.  (Digg tends to be younger, male and technical.)

There are thousands of companies that are out there trying to help you communicate.  They may be wonderful, helpful, special, etc.  The reality though is that there are three things to be focused on:

  • Search (Google)
  • Blogs (Technorati)
  • Social Media (Digg)

Some points to bear in mind:

  • People search in short bursts
  • Crafted messages that function as short, searchable bursts
  • Use Technorati to find the people who are writing about the topic you care about
  • READ the blogs before you post or contact them
  • Use WTF
  • Tag the content you create

Ted did a nice job providing a clear and practical overview of some of the key social media tools.  It was, in some ways, a good cap for many of the themes at the conference.
[tags]Ted Shelton, The Personal Bee, newcommforum, SNCR, Technorati, Digg [/tags]

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