Monday, November 26, 2007

Social Media and The Godfather: A Comparison

While this has little to do with social bookmarking and even less to do with Search Engine Optimization, I'm compelled to put it on this blog, just because it's fun. Digg as Michael Corleone? Classic.Take a break from SEO for 10 minutes and read this entertaining piece. You deserve a break. You've been working very hard.

(via SocialNewsWatch)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Active Diggers Mixxing it Up

When Greg Davies (cGt2099) was banned from Digg for his 4th TOS infraction, it got a lot of play. Several top Diggers made mentions of the occurence and offered support (and criticism) for this. One thing in particular stood out in the post on his blog: he's found a new home at

Over the past couple of weeks, a subtle under-current of curiosity has brought many of the most active Digg members to check out this Digg Clone. None of them have left Digg. Many haven't even posted anything yet. Still, they were curious.

We could discuss the platform differences, community difference, pros and cons all day, but this is not a critique. I'm not bashing Digg. You won't be hearing about the "Mixx Effect" any time soon. The Wall Street Journal won't be partnering with them. Any rumors that start flying around about the sale of Mixx will not be in the $300,000,000 range.

Comparisons are for others to make. I just put together a little screenshot that I thought was interesting.

A few heavy hitters' names in that list.

I'm not sayin'. I'm just sayin'.

Social Media
Social News Articles

Monday, November 12, 2007

Social Media Watch Launches

Social media, in its purest form, is not the best way to use Social Media. After months of research, I now realize that social media websites like Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Propeller, and Mixx are good for search engine optimization, but not ideal. A gun is good for hitting people over the head, but they can be used much more efficiently if used for their proper purpose.

For several months, I have used this blog to go after both facets of internet marketing that I hold dear to my heart and paycheck. I've branched out.

Social networks, social media, and social bookmarking are turning into big business. First, they were exploited for marketing, but not properly. Then, the search engine optimization benefits became clear. Now, we're back to marketing, but companies are doing it a little differently this time. So, I built Social News Watch, a blog dedicated to finding the best articles on the internet about social media, as well as writing some of my own observations about this growing trend.

Actually, "trend" probably isn't the right word. It implies temporary status, and I believe that "the social web" is here to stay in one form or another. Companies such as Ford, IBM, CNN, and others are starting to get more into the segment. There are new products such as YouTube marketing, social media news releases, and viral blogging that are starting to take form and take hold.

Heavy hitters such as Facebook, Digg, and Google are applying countless hours and dollars into finding the best ways to leverage their positions smack dab in the middle of the segment. It's worth a watch, and that's what this blog will be about.

Watching social media.

There are other blogs out there that discuss the topic. What we'll do here is sort through the hundreds of articles posted weekly on the subject and offer them to the public with a brief synopsis. Not a scraper blog, but rather a compilation of quality news broken down to their simplest form, almost like a human edited news feed reader that eliminates the bad and highlights the good.

We want to highlight the startups that just might make it as well.

We will be posting like crazy for a while to catch up, but once the dust clears, it should be a true social media resource. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Social Media News

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Social Bookmarking for Car Dealers

I got this story idea from looking on Google analytics and seeing an unusually high number of people finding this blog through that keyword phrase. It's funny -- I work in automotive marketing but I never really thought car dealers would be looking for this yet. The social bookmarking for SEO phenomenon has only been around for about a year and a half -- car dealers are usually 2-3 years behind the internet trends.

That's a joke, so if you're a car dealer reading this right now, don't be offended. It's a joke, but it is true. The automotive industry is one that, in general, has been reluctant to keep up with internet marketing trends. It isn't that they don't believe in them or think that they exist. The reluctance stems from a love/hate relationship within the automotive marketplace when it comes to the Internet.

Let's face it. The Internet has caused car dealers to completely change the way they do business. They no longer have the control over the deal that they had pre-web. People have invoice pricing, trade evaluation, and quotes from dozens of dealers before they every hit the lot. It has cost the industry a lot of money, even shut down many dealerships over the last few years.

For that reason, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that they are catching up and catching on. It has become a necessity, and I should be glad that they are getting involved.

First, the shameless pitch: if you want to know more about social bookmarking for car dealers, feel free to send me an email: jrucker (at) Or, you can visit my website. There is a shell up there now, but there is some interesting information on it -- Car Dealer Marketing. Can't submit a lead as of November 10, but soon, you will be able to.

Now, for those who are interested in learning more about social bookmarking without having to pay me millions of dollars a month, here are some pointers:

1) Create single accounts on the social bookmarking sites. People new to the segment who do not understand it may feel that multiple accounts is the way to go. It isn't. You will get caught, IP banned, links deleted, etc.

2) Avoid the social news and media websites like Digg, Reddit, Propeller, and Newsvine. This is contrary to what most will recommend, as they CAN be very useful in search engine optimization, but for car dealers, they are a waste of time. You have no news. There aren't interesting stories or funny pictures or awesome videos on your website. Spamming them will get you banned. If you think "so what, it's still worth a try," be warned. I've seen some dealers face unnecessary retribution for spamming one of the sites listed. Without going into details, let's just say that there was "inappropriate content" placed on a website by someone angry at a spammer who hacked in.

3) Vary your anchor text (submission title) and use good, descriptive keywords. There's no need to make them interesting on bookmarking sites, so put in the terms that you want to move up on in the search engine results.

4) Don't use programs. They save time, but they can also waste time and you often lose the benefits of A) knowing that your submission went through, and B) varying the anchor text. You can use the Web 2.0 Toolbar (article on it somewhere on this blog), but the "Submit to 200 SB sites in minutes" programs aren't effective for car dealers.

5) Be active. Don't just submit and run. Leave comments, add friends, join groups, etc. The goal is to create a link, but the loftier goal is to get more people to bookmark your website.

6) Check for nofollow attributes. On IE, View Source, then search for "nofollow". See if it applies to the links of the bookmarks. If the site uses nofollow tags on the submission, it isn't worth the time to create a profile and start submitting. At least not for car dealers.

7) Hire a pro. This may be obligatory shameless plug #2, but I was kidding when I said that I charge millions, just in case you didn't know. Social bookmarking has so many benefits beyond the SEO benefits. It pays to pay someone who knows how to do it.

Social bookmarking is here to stay. There will be new variations, protocols, options, and strategies that will arise from now until the next big thing comes out and replaces the Internet altogether. Until then, learn what you can or hire someone who already knows.

Social Bookmarking for Car Dealers

Until they fix shouts, use: Digg_This:_09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0

The way things work with the current shout system, you can shout spam a story to every one your friends list in 3 quick clicks. In contrast, if you want to send a REAL shout, you have to do it one at a time.

To me, it's completely reversed from the way that it should be. I watched Graham (CosmikDebris) send shout after shout to some of his friends regarding an apparent bug on the Digg website. He had to copy, click, click, paste, and click over and over again several times just to get an important question out to his peeps, yet a shout spammer can fill our shout board and send hundreds of people "Please digg this" spam in a matter of seconds.

Until Digg fixes this issue, I have a possible solution. If you want to get a message out to your friends and you don't want to spend an hour doing it, use the infamous Digg This: 09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0 post and share it. As of now, it's difficult to use share to put out a message because many, myself included, skip right past any shouts that have stories attached. I almost missed a very nice message by Verge who was shouting a story to send a mass message.

The Digg_This:_09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0 post is probably the most recognizable post in Digg history. With over 44K diggs, it will stand out as your friends sift through the shout spam to find any real messages from their friends. Even if they scan quickly, it will most likely get their attention and at least make them check to see what someone is saying about it.

Just a thought. Please Digg this and get the word out. The shout feature can be one of the best new changes to Digg in a long time. We just have to figure out a way to wade through the sea of spam. Hopefully this is an answer.

Social Blog

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Race to 1000 ends in a draw with a red eyed tree frog offered as a peace dove

To explain what happened in the previous post, Muhammad Saleem replied in his blog that the frog was neither conspiracy nor was it some strange way of messing with our minds. He and Zaibatsu have decided to end the race to 1000 front page stories abruptly before its conclusion. Why? Read his story for details, but needless to say, their significant others are probably very happy by the news. It was fun to watch!

read more | digg story

Agalychnis callidryas - zaimsaleembatsu conspiracy

Are Zaibatsu and MSaleem sharing the same brain?

Or are they the same person? Come to think of it, I've never seen them together in the same place. The Drill Down -- could it be one person disguising his (or her) voice? Is MrBabyMan part of the conspiracy?

Were they hacked? By a tree frog?

Whatever is happening, it's clear that Agalychnis callidryas, the supposedly innocent red eyed tree frog, is hind-leg deep in the middle of it.

Digg Blog