The Story of Stuff: Powerful, Interactive Online Education & Activism
I certainly don't want to diminish the enthusiasm of those who are authentically spreading joy by giving gifts, but as someone who has not only been concerned about the environment and the people on our planet for many years, and someone who has been watching various forms of interactive online videos and Flash movies for those that are the most powerful and (in my humble opinion) the most likely to succeed in making a difference, I was really blown away by the twenty minute presentation: The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard
Please click the link above to watch this fabulous program and check out this great website (or watch the Flash video intro below). Then if you are so inspired, please "pay it forward."
WordPress Has Become My "Standard" for Blog Websites (thanks in part to Google's Matt Cutts)
One of the most interesting moments at Webmaster World was the endorsement of WordPress by none other than Google's Matt Cutts. For those who may not know, Matt has become the wonderfully laid-back and articulate "voice" of Google at Webmaster World. (photo by Andy Beal used under Creative Commons license.) As detailed in the video interview linked below, Cutts unexpectedly told the PubCon audience that by designing and producing a website in WordPress you, in essence, make it defacto search engine friendly. Especially with the latest version 2.3.
I was very pleased to hear this because I've recently upgraded my golf blog, TheJoyofGolfing.com to WordPress 2.3; and then in the same week, ComBridges has also recently taken over site updates for a client who has a more static page (non-blog) website that was already produced in WordPress. Our company is also currently using it to add an integrated blog to a pre-existing design. These are options that, frankly, I didn't realize existed with a "blogging" platform previously.
Bottom line, I have become increasingly impressed with the WordPress website publishing platform. In addition to a well-thoughtout and feature rich back-end interface, there are options for everything from Google AdSense to static pages that make it more than just a blogging tool. And the real capper is the excellent array of third-party plug-in tools which have been written for the open source WordPress platform. For example, as a search engine marketer, I was thrilled to find out about the "all-in-one seo" plug-in for search engine optimization. I've gotta believe that WordPress is now the state-of-the-art website publishing platform. Personally, I feel empowered by its features, stability and extensibility.
And then today, I got word that Yahoo has written a very impressive plug-in of their own which helps website and blog authors to almost extemporaneously add links and pictures. Yahoo's is kind of a "smart" plug-in that has the capability to suggest links as well as pictures (via Yahoo-owned, Flickr). Click here to watch a video demo of the Yahoo Shortcuts for WordPress.
Below, you will find that interview with Matt Cutts. It includes similar comments about WordPress' search engine friendly "nature" as well as other sage search marketing advise. Note, this endorsement is particularly interesting (as one commenter to this video points out) given that Google owns a competing blog platform (which I am using here), Blogger.
Note, as mentioned, WordPress can also do "flat" pages so it isn't necessarily just a blogging platform. It's really a website development platform or even a lightweight CMS (content management system) as well as a blogging platform, or some combination of the above, depending on your needs.
The only trouble is that now I'm going to have to convert this blog over to WordPress. Fortunately, I don't think that's too tough...
I had the pleasure of spending three days last week at the Las Vegas Convention Center attending "PubCon" or the Webmaster World conference. There's a lot of information that I intend to share on this blog, but, for openers, I would like to make a bottom line observation:
Great Content is Now King The old axiom that "Content is King" seems to be maturing and I would update it by saying that "Great Content is King." At Webmaster World, there are all kinds of discussions of all kinds of search engine optimization tactics from "duplicate content" (content from other places that may appear on more than one page of a given website) to paid links, and other kinds of artificial as well as authentic link acquisition strategies.
What became apparent to me this year is that Google and the other search engines are now working more intensely than ever to differentiate between "authentic authority" and "artificial authority." Authority being the term for those sites that earn strong positions on SERPs (search engine results pages) by merit of the number of links from other sites pointing to them.
While some "artificial" link acquisition strategies may still work, I think that, based on what I learned at Webmaster World, it needs to be said that, long term, it is going to be only the links earned "the old fashioned way"--specifically from great content that merits authentic links from real people who appreciate that content--which will be recognized by the search engines with valuable results page positions. I believe this trend is now more substantial than before and is irreversible.
So if you are working on search engine optimization and organic search engine marketing, the most important strategy is now (and perhaps has been for a some time and will continue to be for the foreseeable future) the creation of not just content, but great (meaningful and relevant) content that will earn meaningful links based on that content's own merit.
Coming soon: More posts inspired by Webmaster World including the young publisher who is making major moves on some of the established publishers in the video market via the web, a major entrepreneur who is raising big bucks and buying huge volumes of web traffic, great free search engine marketing tools and much more.