Genie Unpacking, expect more Time Lapse

Over the last months, I backed three projects at Kickstarter. Overall, I've been so excited about the projects and couldn't wait for the product to arrive. Today, one of the projects I backed came through, and a package out of Hong Kong was delivered.

But first, here are the three projects I backed:

  1. The Genie - Motion control time lapse device
  2. The Kick - A pocket size lightning studio for photo & video
  3. NanoLight - The world's most energy efficient lightbulb!

Genie - Motion Control Time Lapse Device

If you read my blog on a regular basis, you know I have lost my heart, and a lot of time to photography. You can see some of my best pictures at DPictures.com.

So naturally, I was drawn to some great photography gear projects on Kickstarter, like the Genie. And who wouldn't want to be able to make great time lapse video's of a series of photo's? My first attempt ever was a project I could have used the genie, the Equinox at Chichen Itza Mexico. And just check out the appealing video of the Genie by the team of Syrp.

A simple, affordable and extremely easy to use device used for motion control and image capture for Time Lapse Photography + more. The Genie is an all-in-one device used to combine image capture with motion control, capable of either panning or linear movement that’s commonly used in Time Lapse Photography. Simply attach your camera to the top of the Genie, plug it in, and program it to move and shoot to your desired needs.

I hope I can soon be able to start with more time lapse photo series, and make some interesting video's!

Genie Unpacking

So today, I took the special moment to unpack the Genie, and document the moment...(BTW,  as part of the backing of the project, my name got printed on the box, see picture below)

Syrp Genie in a BoxName mentioned on the Box of the GenieGenie by Syrp Genie in the Box by SyrpThe Genie all unpacked

SEO in 2013 – Meetup at Airbnb SF Office


What's going to happen in the world of SEO in 2013? I'm not going to write you a list of predictions, you can read a number of these by other people who live and breath SEO for a living. No, I would like to highlight my thinking what will be necessary for SEO moving forward, and what has been presented tonight at the first ThenSome SEO meetup in San Francisco in the HQ of Airbnb, organized and planned by SEOgadget & SEOmoz.

Presenting at Airbnb HQ for the SEO meetup ThenSome

SEO Themes for 2013

For this presentation I looked at a number of recurring theme's in SEO. More and more you hear from people that the way you would rank sites in the past does not work anymore. The cycle for black hat SEO is getting shorter, where the rinse & repeat of a trick is becoming almost not profitable anymore.

In general, when SEO's find a new optimization technique which works, they tend to overuse it in a way that the search engines quickly write a fix for it. Remember Exact Match Anchor text, right. That stuff can kill your site right now.

Unless you are in the PayDay Loan vertical in the UK. Just look at the stuff that is ranking on PayDay Loans, and do some backlink checks. Don't be surprised if you see ~75% exact match anchor text for these sites!

How about that for Exact Match anchor text

No wonder SEO got a bad reputation. Spreading false information, spamming the search engines with links, all in the name for profit!

Dilbert SEO false information in Search

Source: Dilbert

Big Game Changers in SEO

I see three important changes on the web which have an impact on how you would prioritize your SEO strategy.

  1. Local
  2. AuthorRank
  3. Social

Social

As more people share content on Twitter and Facebook, which have closed off their streams for certain search engines, it becomes harder to get a signal through the Link Graph, as its dissapearing. The disappearing link graph forces search engines to search for another authority signal. A social website you can control being a search engine can become a great signal how to rank the content and websites being shared.

AuthorRank

As Eric Schmidt so elegantly said:

Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance

The ease of publication & monetization of web content has deteriorated content quality, and false information thrives online. G+ as an identity layer to prevent spam and attribute content to authoritative sources

Local

Mobile is taking over Desktop. Location matters for relevance of Search Results. Where you are, will determine  your intend and what you are searching for to great extend. You will just have to pay attention to this space if you are serious for SEO to succeed.

My SEO Success Formula for 2013

Over the years I've had enough time to really think some concepts through.

  1. Build an Awesome Product
  2. Success in SEO Requires Dedication & Commitment
  3. Have all your Technical Ducks in a Row
  4. Build More Real Relationships

Build More Real Relationships

I remember I first met Joost de Valk, from Yoast.com, through Twitter. It was kind of odd that our paths never crossed before, as we are both from The Netherlands and do SEO. But only 4 years ago, we started chatting, and when I came for a visit to Amsterdam, Joost took the train, and we met up for Coffee.

Now Joost is one of my SEO & Online friends, and we help each other out where possible. This is the value of building a real relationship. I have a tremendous respect for Joost, as he has built some really good products, while being there for his wife, kids and family.

The way you can build up relationships as a company can resemble your personal relationship building. When Airbnb was still a young company, Paul Graham gave the following advice to the founding team:

Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like

So Brian, Nathan & Joe, the founders of Airbnb, took a plane to New York to personally meet up with all their hosts in the Big Apple.

Have all your Technical Ducks in a Row

So many technical best practices to share...

A great website can only have great SEO if you have all your ducks in a row when it comes to the technology. So many new advances have been made to mark up your content using rich meta data, html5 or including the Facebook Open Graph or Twitter Cards tags. These make it super easy for more awesome sharing online.

Presenting the SEO aspects of the Airbnb Annual

Check out the tweet from this morning, which includes the picture we had specially made and a short summary of the new Airbnb Annual report.

Tweet with a Twittercard of the Airbnb Annual report

Oh, and BTW, did you notice the Schema data at the bottom of this post for the SEO Meetup?

Success in SEO Requires Dedication & Commitment

Slapping a piece of content on an authoritative domain with loads of backlinks won't get you anywhere in the near future. Real SEO success comes with hard work, lots of research and dedication for a great end result in the product. Just check out these examples:

  • The Epic List of Content Strategy Resources; Jonathan spend more than 25 hours researching the complete list he could find on the topic. The time was spent over the course of 2 weeks, where writing the post took another 2 hours or so. And he is not done yet! Expect more to be added to this post.
  • The Advanced Guide to SEO; Sujan & Neil spent 6 months planning, writing and designing the content for this guide. The end product is a wonderful example of the work you will have to put into a product to make it awesome. They furthermore invested a large amount of money into the product. Sujan actually told me they spent 2-3x the amount they originally had planned.

If you're an in-house SEO specialist, commitment from your executive team is also very important. They will need to have a similar vision for what you would like to build, and should not be afraid to take a leap of faith in the strategy. SEO takes longer to show lasting results than $10K in Paid Search, but at least you don't have to cough up the money every day.

Take the Annual Report for the year 2012 at Airbnb. There is a print version, for which the plans came from the founders, and was in the works for months.

Airbnb 2012 Annual report in print

Build an Awesome Product

Ultimately, you won't succeed if your product sucks. Check out this tweet from my friend Laura:

The Best SEO is a product that doesn't suck. Otherwise it's just manipulation

That's right, I expect companies to step up their game, and raise the bar for everybody. If you would like to rank in search engines, you would need to delight your costumer in such a way that they are starting to expect your site to rank at the top of the search engines for their queries. That is the ultimate goal, have such a high Net Promoter Score, that it makes Google look stupid if they don't put you at the top of their results! And who wouldn't like that to happen.

So build a product people would like to share, talk about and which will get media attention without having to do any PR outreach!

Or even better, build a product kids will find even better than their Christmas presents! My daughter made this drawing after the Holiday Break at school; the tree house adventure was the best part of the break, trumping her Christmas presents! As a father, that's what it's all about..!

Building lasting memories

Get them young.. and build lasting memories of your brand!

The rate of change in SEO has been accelerating over the last couple of years. What do you need to focus on these days in SEO? Who should you hire and where do they sit in your organization?
Starts: 02/07/2013 06:00 pm
Ends: 02/07/2013
Duration: 3 hours:
99 Rhode Island Street
San Francisco, CA
US

Some great SEO's came out for the meetup. Among them, Jordan Koene and Jonathon Coleman, both chose Obama O's over Capt'n McCain's

Jordan Koene at the Airbnb HQ office

Jonathon Coleman with the Obama O's at Airbnb HQ

GMail Advertising Targeting

Wow, I just spotted a scary relevant advertising at the top of my inbox in Gmail. For a couple of years, I've completely ignored these ads, as the targeting was so bad. You would see totally un-related advertising on this position. Probably because of the large amount of spam which would weasel its way into my inbox. But it is kind of scary the following ad was served to me today, just 2 weeks before the due date of our baby...

Gmail advertising targeting

It has been made well known by Google that Gmail would be free, but that Ads would be targeted based on the content of your emails. You know it, if it's free, you're probably the product being sold. Even with a limited number of emails about our new little bundle of joy, you see how the Ads are targeted at Baby & Kids clothing...
I guess the targeting has only improved with the consolidation of all the data Google is collecting about me, across Gmail, Search, Browser history and mobile check ins. Talking about an advertisers wet dream...!!!
What do you think? Time for a new email provider..?

Gaming Author Rank, Buy Yourself to #1 in SEO by Paying for G+ Circles

Friday night, wanted to kick it back with the busy times coming. However, this one I cannot let go..! Dan from DejanSEO published a post just now, where he exposes Google+ Ads to gain more followers. Read it here: Google+ Pushes Ads for Pages. So here is a thought...

Buy Your Way to the Top of the SERP's?

What if rankings are influenced by your authority on Google+, through the number of people who have you in their circles and their authority on the web, and you can now pump up your authority by buying ads to make people follow you. That is simply genius, as you can go out buy a bunch of followers, and dominate the search results!

Then, when you are spamming too much, Google can just dial down the visibility of your Google+ profile, while you are still paying for more followers to get the same rankings. Get out your checkbook people..!

It even gets better... What if you can target really influential people on Google+ with your ads, and pay a premium to get their attention? At that moment, Google has a money printing machine on Google+! Listen to this...

Influential people would like to stay influential, so they set up their Google+ profile to get the benefits from Author Rank. Brands would like to pay for the influential people to follow them, so they will pay more for the visibility of their ads. Now do the influencers receive any of the advertising revenue...NO! Google pockets all the advertising revenue.

Nice.. Well Played Google...!!!

Unfortunately, there is only a handful of people in the world who would understand what is actually happening here, and what implication this will have for Google Search results, the Internet and online reputation in the long run. If you have a thought, feel free to drop it in the comments below here...

Feel free to tweet this if you like it!

Google+ advertisement source by DejanSEO

Source image: Dejanseo

About Author Rank

Proclaimed as the next best thing after sliced bread, Author Rank has made its way into the jargon of the SEO consultants; now you can actually proclaim real authority in the Google SERP's by showing a little image next to your ranking article, which would build more trust with the searcher as they might recognize you as the editor and a trusted source of information.

Especially SEO's have proclaimed Author Rank as the next big thing in SEO. If you have visited conferences in the past year, you have seen an increasing number of slides dedicated to getting your picture showing up in the SERP's through the implementation of Rel=Author on your site. (see here how to set up Rel=Author on your site) Heck, I even presented about creative ways to use the real estate next to your result to increase the click through rate on Search Marketing Expo West last year. Here is a post I wrote about it.

Here are a couple more from colleagues of mine:
Google Confirms Hidden Benefit Of Authorship: Bonus Links After A Back-Button Click
More emphasis on Author Rank by Google: More Author results
Author Rank: A Step-by-Step Guide to Dominating Search with Content Marketing
AuthorRank could be more disruptive than all of the Panda updates combined

And more mainstream:
How Google Author Rank could change content marketing… and journalism
Google Author Rank: The Next Big Thing In SEO

Fool SEO's for Fun & Profit

So once again, The Google has all the SEO's working for their enjoyment, fun and most of it, profit..! SEO's at agencies have been telling their clients not to miss the train on authorship, and build up their Google+ profiles to take advantage of the land grab in the SERP's. Now they can start telling their clients they will have to start paying for that authority in the forms of increased circles.. which does not even happen on their own site.. something they don't control..

Genius...!!!

Google Adwords ExpressImage source: Dejanseo

 

Genius Marketing: This is How You Launch A Book Successfully

Two years ago I had the pleasure of being invited to speak at SMX Sydney. I happily accepted as I had never been in Australia. On my trip to Down Under, I had the opportunity to get to know some of the other international speakers more closely. I already had met Marty Weintraub before, and had seen him speak multiple times, which is always a treat. But on the trip to Sydney Australia, Marty and I exchanged some of the most interesting conversations and grew closer. Now fast forward to today, I welcome any opportunity to catch up with Marty over breakfast to discuss the latest ideas we have on Online Marketing.

While reading Marty's first book: Killer Facebook Ads: Master Cutting-Edge Facebook Advertising Techniques (Amazon Link), I added another dimension to my experience. You see, I've seen Marty speak at multiple occasions, which helped me simulate his way of presenting the whole book in my head while I read it. I finished the book in no time, at Weintraub speed.

For his second book; The Complete Social Media Community Manager's Guide: Essential Tools and Tactics for Business Success (Amazon link), Marty partnered with the talented and awesome Lauren Litwinka. I was completely blown away by the fact I was mentioned in their list of 72 Must-Follow Online Marketeers in the book. Wow, look at the people on this list, what great company to be in with. For easy following of these folks on Twitter, I created a public list which you can find here. (I've added Lauren and Marty as well to this list, as they more than deserve to be on their own list of Geniuses, follow them both @Aimclear & @Beebow)

Did you find your name on this list, retweet here:

72 Must Follow Online Marketing Geniuses by Marty Weintraub & Lauren Litwinka

Instantly you see the advantage of having a long name. I'm stretching over two lines in the list. Apart from being a great honor to be mentioned here, I also see the value of the list as a marketing tool. To drive awareness and sales for a book at the launch must be quite a challenge. But what if you have a list of people who are happy to promote your book for you? Now that will make a difference...

I'm not saying you should write a book and include a list of people just to put them to work and help you creating buzz for your book. I'm sure Marty and Lauren have learned a great deal from all of the people on this list, I know I have!

The Complete Social Media Community Manager's Guide

A little over a year ago, Laura interviewed me just before I was speaking at SMX West.

Please share on Twitter:

 

Community managers are the linchpins of today's social media marketing campaigns, and The Complete Social Media Community Manager's Guide is your ultimate guide on how to do the job effectively, efficiently, and profitably. This detailed, step-by-step road map shows you how to cultivate, convert, and manage all of your social media communities and gives you a running start with downloadable, ready-to-use tools and templates.
Published by: Sybex
Date Published: 01/22/2013
Edition: 1 edition
ISBN: 1118466853
Available in: Paperback

Sleeping in a Treehouse

Feel free to Tweet this experience:

Since I joined Airbnb a couple of weeks ago, I have been steadily checking the boxes on my on boarding process. The final on boarding action I need to check off my list, is to actually book and stay with an Airbnb host in their property. So I made a plan...

Build Lasting Memories

When I was young, I went on summer holidays with my family. I can still remember flashes of these, stopping at French wine houses to buy wine, on which European citizens still needed to pay duty when crossing the borders, Spending countless hours playing on the beach in the water with my brother or finally getting my own tent when camping. Those memories last a lifetime!

Having small children myself now, I want to spend sufficient time with them, so that I'm able to build similar lasting memories. However, that is not always easy, busy life, not a lot of long vacations and a new baby on its way.

So what better opportunity to spend time with the kids while staying in an awesome place. Airbnb is not only good to find your vacation rental for a longer stay, there are plenty of great listings in which you can just stay for a night, or two.

Pajama Party in the Treehouse

As our CEO Brian Chesky just recently mentioned in a TV show about Airbnb;

"We want to provide incredibly local and personal experience when you travel. people love homes and that's why you live in them. What if you can feel at home anywhere in the world?"

So for my daughters 6th birthday, I arranged the ultimate birthday party adventure. What better adventure is there than staying in this Treehouse close to San Francisco...! It was magical and resulted in a family plan to pick a treehouse to stay at every year. Now my son of 4 can't stop talking about how much he would like to stay in a treehouse for a night together with Daddy!

A Treehouse for Every Year

So to keep this tradition going, Jools and I made the plan to go visit a different treehouse every year, and try to sleep a night in the Treehouse. Luckily for Dad, there are a great number of Treehouses around the world, with a good selection of tree houses available here in California!
Feel free to Tweet this experience:

Treehouse at the Sunset time.

Evening Pajama party in a treehouse, Bo-Jools

Airbnb Treehouse near San Francisco at Dawn. Sunrise above the Bay

Morning sunrise at Airbnb Treehouse Burlingame

Two Mushrooms at sunrise

Mushroom in the morning sunlight

My Review

For my daughters 6th Birthday, we rented Doug & Linda's treehouse. It was an unbelievable experience, and probably will stick with her for the rest of her life as a fond memory of her childhood. Although it was raining really hard upon arrival, the treehouse is built solid and can stand the wind and rain. The host, Doug, was very friendly, and had the treehouse ready for checkin an hour earlier than normal.

We had cake and hot chocolate while lounging in the treehouse with the rain falling on the roof, making that cozy noise. Pajama Party For The Win! Waking up, the sky had cleared, and we experienced a beautiful sunrise above the Bay of San Francisco. We enjoyed the breakfast supplied by our hosts, and spend more time in the garden on the swing, finding mushrooms and enjoying the nature.

The Treehouse is an absolute recommended experience for anybody who ever wanted to sleep a night in a Treehouse, or just as an adventurous overnight stay while on a trip through California. It's just a great vacation rental for anybody on a holiday in the Bay Area!

Feel free to Tweet this experience:

Carte Blanche – YouTube Auto Generated Pages #FTW

(Updated Jan-3-2013; since I started writing this post, a lot has changed. I initially began to write about the Auto-generated pages by YouTube back in Oct 2012. Only being able to finalize the post after the FTC closed the negotiations with Google on their behavior)

For an SEO workshop at First Round Capital, I collected a number of new screenshots of changes in the way Google is displaying results in Search. I stumbled on a YouTube page, which is, after re-reading the guidelines, is in clear violation of the Google Webmaster Guidelines. More and more you see Google taking an aggressive stands towards implementing their own domains into the results, either as Universal search boxes, or as normal results. But who cares, not the FTC: see here! After all, it's Google's index, Google's website and Google's Audience, right..?

Auto-Generated Pages by YouTube

In Google Webmaster Guidelines you can find the following Technical Guideline:

Use robots.txt to prevent crawling of search results pages or other auto-generated pages that don't add much value for users coming from search engines.

For years, Google has been advocating the prevention of crawling of search results for any website. How many in-house SEO teams have been scrambling lately with the removal of Search-in-Search. I know one large eCommerce company was hit really hard late October this year. How convenient, with Google Shopping Pay-for-Play and Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner.

If you are large, and spend sufficient Adwords budgets, you might get an answer like:

"We believe the changes are best for our users, where we optimize for the user experience. We cannot disclose the details of the changes made to our algorithms and the way we rank websites. Google publishes Webmaster Guidelines recommend you go through these. Are you familiar with our webmaster Guidelines?  

(Not an official quote, more my best recollection of what was the answer to our questions)

And with that, the discussion is closed. Even the biggest budgets don't give you access to what is happening in the Googleplex with regards to the rankings. Trust me, I've been on the receiving side of that message!

But do you expect action will be taken against YouTube...? See this Auto-Generated YouTube page, filled with Michael Jackson video's...

YouTube auto-generated pages ranking great in Google Search results

Search Bias

As you can read from the final decision (or negotiation, it's however you would like to look at it), the FTC does not see any 'Search Bias' in Goolge results.

First you read:

Under the same commitment, Google also has promised to provide all websites the option to keep their content out of Google’s vertical search offerings, while still having them appear in Google’s general, or “organic,” web search results. The FTC investigated allegations that Google misappropriated content, such as user reviews and star ratings, from competing websites in order to improve its own vertical offerings, such as Google Local and Google Shopping. Some FTC Commissioners were concerned that this conduct might chill firms’ incentives to innovate on the Internet.

But then...(emphasize mine)

The FTC conducted an extensive investigation into allegations that Google had manipulated its search algorithms to harm vertical websites and unfairly promote its own competing vertical properties, a practice commonly known as “search bias.” In particular, the FTC evaluated Google’s introduction of “Universal Search” – a product that prominently displays targeted Google properties in response to specific categories of searches, such as shopping and local – to determine whether Google used that product to reduce or eliminate a nascent competitive threat. Similarly, the investigation focused on the allegation that Google altered its search algorithms to demote certain vertical websites in an effort to reduce or eliminate a nascent competitive threat. According to the Commission statement, however, the FTC concluded that the introduction of Universal Search, as well as additional changes made to Google’s search algorithms – even those that may have had the effect of harming individual competitors – could be plausibly justified as innovations that improved Google’s product and the experience of its users. It therefore has chosen to close the investigation.

Now, I came to the auto-generated page on YouTube by doing a simple search on Google for the query: Michael Jackson. Check the screenshot, where all Google properties are in the red boxes, with the knowledge graph content in the green box (also linking to other Google pages)

Google SERP for Michael Jackson. How many Organic results do you count..?

 

The big blue arrow is pointing to the page on YouTube which does not have an embedded video in the SERP. This initially caught my attention, as normally, YouTube video's are integrated through a Universal Search One Box.

Now, the questions is, how many 'real' organic results can you count..? Right; 6! It's what we call a 7-SERP, as there are only 7 results organically ranking for the query. But with the Auto-Generated page from YouTube at #3, you can bet Google is raking up the pageviews on their own site.

Expect the worse is yet to come

With the News on the FTC arrangement with Google today, they have carte blanche from one of the only government institutions which could have stopped more integrations in the search results.

Maybe 2013 will become the year SEO dies...SEO is Dead, Long Live PPC (and Google Revenue growth!).

 

Disclosure: because I expected the outcome  due to what I believe could be called a lack of understanding of the government officials, I went long in Google back in December. It has paid off so far... :-)

Postscript: Don't get me wrong, I live of the fruits of the changes made by the search engines. SEO is constantly evolving, and there is a growing need in corporations to understand the direction and best practices. I wrote the post for my entertainment, and to be able to get my thoughts in order of where it's all heading.

The Fast Food of Technology News – Headline Journalism

I won't deny it, I'm a Techmeme junky. Every morning, and during the day, I check what are the latest headlines in the world of Tech News. And although I stopped reading Techcrunch by going to the Techcrunch homepage and picking a story, I end up a lot of times on an article on Techcrunch, TheNextWeb or The Verge through Techmeme. So when Gabe Rivera published a post around the biggest (i.e. tallest) stories of 2012, my first expection was to see the sites which make up the top of the Techmeme Leaderboard to take credit for breaking the biggest techstories of 2012. To my surprise, hardly any of the top tech stories on Gabe's list of Tall Tech Stories were from the websites which sit at the top of the Techmeme Leaderboard.

Techcrunch in the Lead - Techmeme Leaderboard

Techmeme Leaderboard March 3For years, Techcrunch have been holding the #1 position on this leaderboard. It has been a close call one day in March this year, where The Verge almost took the top spot. With just 0.04% difference, Techcrunch held the top spot of the Leaderboard (click the screenshot on the right for large image of the LB from March 3). This screenshot of the small difference between #1 & #2 was made on March 3 2012, which was the period Techcrunch lost a number of main contributors, editors and executives.

Only 0.04% difference, however, Techcrunch got their act together, and started to increase the lead again, where the AOL site ended the year with a comfortable lead, and % of top headlines well above the 10%. Meanwhile, The Next Web, a technology website started a little over 5 years ago, have shown a gain in coverage, and have been on #2 for the last couple of weeks. (disclosure, The Next Web was started by two of my Dutch Internet Friends, Patrick & Boris, and I've helped the editorial team here and there in stories, like here, here and here, and even got a guestpost published back in 2010)

How do get these technology websites featured on Techmeme Leaderboard? According to the explanation of Techmeme about it's rankings:

Sources are ranked by Presence, the percentage of Techmeme headline space a source occupies over the 30-day period. "More" links are not taken in to consideration here — only full headlines are counted. For more information, see our original announcement from long ago.

The Tallest Tech Story

Techmeme Tallest stories in Tech for 2012In his blog post, Gabe already points out how the Techmeme Leaderboard websites have not been well represented as the leading headline for the tallest tech stories.

It's important to understand that each headline shown here is just the one that happened to be the leading headline when its cluster reached the maximal size. So these headlines don't always indicate the most representative story of the bunch, the best summary, or the most cited story...

...The stories dominating this list are mainly announcements, often product introductions, from the industry's largest firms, often Apple...

So when the tallest Tech Stories are announcements from the larger Tech companies, mainly Apple, where do the % of headline visibility for Techcrunch, The Next Web and others come from? Yes, covering these announcements.

At the latest Apple announcement, I believe it was the iPhone5 announcement, I counted the number of articles written by Techcrunch. I believe the editors published more than 15 articles on the announcement.  A couple of years ago, when I enjoyed reading the full website from Techcrunch, all these announcements were published into one single article. Now you will have to flip through multiple articles to get all the details you would like to see.

Headline Journalism

We are living in a world where more and more Internet Journalists are becoming accountable for the number of pageviews they generate. Having worked at a Tech Media company, where the number of pageviews is directly linked to the revenue the company makes through advertising, I know the pressure of pumping pageviews. Mo Pageviews, Mo Money.

So the company can either pursue Pageview Journalism, like Mashable & Business Insider are pumping Slideshows, where the top 20 lists are spread over multiple pages, or the company can pursue what I call Headline Journalism, spread the actual news over as many articles all with a catchy headline. Push these on the social media streams to grab the attention of the news consumer with the headline, when they click on the link in their Twitter stream or Facebook Newsfeed, Voila, you just printed another Pageview!

I stopped reading Mashable for their abuse of the Pageview Journalism techniques. I can't look at any more slideshows with a top 10 list. I don't want to waste 5 minutes of my time to flip through a number of pages just to find out who is at the top of another lame list. That is 5 minutes I will never get back.

The Headline- & Pageview Journalism as I described here, can be called the Fast Food of Technology News. You consume it fast, it's cheap to make, and you're not getting a whole lot smarter from it, as you might get hungry again in a couple of minutes...

Quality over Quantity

As people get overloaded with news, too many signals from the social streams and the need to flip pageviews to get the real, full story, I expect more readers to turn away from this kind of journalism, and will start searching for, and sharing more in depth, high quality writing, where the research and time invested in writing the article is worth their time.

So writers of the Technology websites featured on the Techmeme Leaderboard, Please write something that is worth my time. You are getting 5 minutes of my life, think about that!

The problem is, who will pay for all these writers who spend more time writing good Sh*t? Because time on site has not paid any of the bills...yet!

Happy New Year 2013

And with that...it is 2013. Happy New Year to everybody, and all best wishes.

Moet & Chandon Champagne, White Star Label

Pied a Terre Shoe Ads

While doing some research for KW/Page rankings for Airbnb, I came across an un-related paid search advertisement by my former employer, eBay. It's kind of funny that I used to know how keywords would flow into the paid search systems for those targeted ads, and sometimes completely unrelated ads could have massive Return on Investment. Here, I was looking at the keyword Pied a Terre, where a lovely room in Philly ranks just on the second page for me. Rittenhouse Squared Pied a Terre, $80 per night!

According to the all knowing Wikipedia, a Pied a Terre is

The term pied-à-terre implies usage as a temporary second residence, either for part of the year or part of the work week, by a person of some means.

It looks like the Ad generated by the eBay Paid Search system is based on the French word Pied, which means Feet.

Pied a Terre eBay Ads
In the past, there have been plenty of strange eBay paid search ads shared. Over the years, the systems used to optimize those ads had become much better to filter out the obvious wrong keywords to bid on. I heard eBay is moving away from their internally build system to an outsourced solution, where we probably can expect a learning curve again around what keywords are relevant, which creative needs to be served for those keywords, and how to optimize for conversion and ROI. What a waste...