5 Takeaways from PubCon

pubcon 2010Back to reality after a great week in Vegas attending PubCon.

Really quickly I wanted to share, in no particular order, my top 5 takeaways from the week.

1. “Likes are the new links” – this was a quote from Bruce Clay during the week’s best session. Bruce was part of a panel that discussed Google Caffeine and May Day. Bruce thinks that when you add up what Google did with Caffeine (increasing the size of the index) with the fact that they have to account for social in search results plus the fact that a greater percentage of links are spam – the currency for validating sites will change from links to personal recommendations.

Whether or not you buy it, it’s definitely thought-provoking. I’m going to be testing this one while following it closely.

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Three Keys to Being a Subject Matter Expert on Twitter

not a perfect tweet
Status updates don't equal quality for SMEs

I’ve talked about my take on Twitter before. My biggest complaint/knock is that there are millions of people Tweeting but far less people listening. Bottom line: too much noise and not enough value compared to other ways to invest time and money in Internet Marketing.

That being said, I’m not totally against Twitter. I’ll agree that there are some ways to put Twitter to use effectively (more on this in a second), but just a very small percentage of Twitterers use the tool effectively.

Up to this point in time, one of the best uses of Twitter is to establish or enhance a brand’s perception by playing the role of a subject matter expert (SME). For example, a real estate broker in a crowded marketplace could differentiate him or herself by avoiding the temptation of tweeting endlessly about their own listings and instead offering helpful content to homebuyers and sellers. Twitter users in that marketplace who subscribe to the broker develop a sense of trust about the broker, making them more likely to be clients. That should result in more business for the broker (a nice ROI).

The benefits of being an SME depend on the specifics of the industry, but the universal benefit is differentiation. And differentiation usually equals more business. For example, it could mean more leads or the ability to charge a higher hourly rate for consulting, speaking, or training.

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“What’s your take on…”

I love chatting about search engine marketing and social media with people. It’s one of the more fun parts of my job. In almost every conversation I have with clients or potential clients, I get asked for my take on one thing or another. I realized that people that I talk to are asking these questions, then people I don’t talk to directly (but they look at my website) probably have the same questions. I put up a page with my up-to-the-minute Internet Marketing philosophies on the most sought after areas in Internet Marketing (at least they are the areas that I get asked about the most).

My opinions on these things change from time-to-time (for example, my opinion on Foursquare changes every few days), so I’m going to do my best to keep updating this.

Of course I have more to say about each area, but it’s designed to be used as my high-level thoughts on each topic. Let me know if you have other areas you’d like me to address.

How My Home Office Gets In The Way Of Being Mayor

home officeI’m 50-plus checkins deep into my Foursquare career and I’ve realized my future as a mayor in the geo-location app is limited. Even though I’m relatively brand new to the game, it’s clear already that there’s only so many mayoral crowns that are within my reach.

The reason? My home office.

Yep. My choice to run a lean internet marketing consulting operation and work at home stifles my ability to become a prolific Foursquare mayor. No Super Mayor badge for me. Bummer.

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