Category Archives: Social Media

201 Tips to Get your Blog to Rock

201 A-List Tips to Rock Your Blog is written by Leo Babauta & Mary Jaksch – this 39 page guide provides some interesting tips on how to write great blog articles.

Contents include:

  • Introduction
  • Sizzling Start-Up and Branding Tips
  • Dazzling Design Tips
  • Tips to Ramp up Your Writing
  • Hot Headline Tips
  • Picture-Perfect Image Tips
  • Tips to Power Your Promotion
  • Glorious Guest Posting Tips
  • Tips to Skyrocket Your Subscriptions
  • Magnificent Money-Making Tips
  • Motivating Mindset Tips, and
  • One Last Tip

Find out more at 201 A-List Tips to Rock Your Blog

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Government websites – are they still relevant?

Last week I attended my first eMetrics conference in Sydney. It was the first time eMetrics had come to Australia. Jim Sterne gave the opening keynote address. He was fantastic to listen to – both informative and entertaining!

His opening gambit was to ask the participants what were the three reasons for them being there in the room?

My three reasons were:

1. How to determine the return on investment (ROI) for government websites;

2. How government websites can better meet the needs of their customers;

3. How government websites can reach the people they are missing.

His keynote then went on to talk about how the market place is a conversation, its not about cost its about value. Its about developing a social media marketing framework that allows people to communicate better. Its also looking at it from the customer’s point of view.

I came out of that session thinking that the government shouldn’t be thinking about government websites, they should be looking at how to network with their consituents using social media – and that the government was totally missing the point.

Government is really good at spin – they have a message, a campaign and they put it out there on TV, radio and newspapers and on their government website. They want everyone to sing from the government’s hymn sheet. But more and more people are seeing through the spin – they don’t necessarily believe the message any more, let alone go looking for it.

If government wants to reach the people, then government needs to play where the people are playing and that is not on a government website. The people are playing in the social media space.

Nielsen’s Social Media Report – Wave 3 2009-2010 claims 38% of Australians are interacting with companies via social media and most prefer to do this through a social networking site rather than the company’s own website. This could apply equally to government – it would be easy to assume that more Australians would like to interact with government via social media rather than the government’s own website. Other statistics of interest – 63% of Australian have watched an online video, and 14% have either browsed or followed companies on Twitter, 73% have looked at a social networking profile, and 57% have updated a social networking profile.

Nielson also stated that "Social networking on sites such as Facebook was a key driver in Australians’ trial and uptake of social media. Close to three in four online Australians (73%) have looked at others’ profiles on social networks and well over one third (37%) of these report to be interacting with others via social networking sites on a daily basis. Facebook dominates the online social networking space, with three quarters of Australian Internet users (75%) reporting to have visited Facebook 59 percent have a Facebook profile, and the average time spent on Facebook in a given month is 8:19 hours – seven and a half hours more than its closest rival site, YouTube."

So my takeaways from this session were that if government looks at issues and needs from the people’s point of view, they will never fail. Government needs to play where the people are playing and that is in social media sites such as Facebook or they will become distant and irrelevant.

5 Articles you should read: 13 April 2010

Document Accessibility Should Begin at the Author Level, By Deborah Kaplan and Monir ElRayes. Government Technology, April 9, 2010. "…Significant progress has been made to improve the accessibility of content presented on Web sites, often in HTML format. However, the accessibility of other electronic formats, such as Microsoft Word documents and PDFs, still lags behind and is often added as an afterthought, if at all. Given the enormous volume of content created daily — often in the form of documents authored by individuals who know little about accessibility — this means far too much material is inaccessible to far too many people…."

SEO 101 – Parts 1 – 16, by Stoney deGeyter, Search Engine Guide, January 19, 2010 – April 1, 2010.

Part 2: Everything You Need To Know About Title Tags
Part 3: Everything You Need To Know About Meta Description and Keyword Tags
Part 4: Everything You Need To Know About Heading Tags and Alt Attributes
Part 5: Everything You Need To Know About Domain Names
Part 6: Everything You Need To Know About Search Engine Friendly URLs & Broken Links
Part 7: Everything You Need To Know About Site Architecture and Internal Linking
Part 8: Everything You Need To Know About Keywords
Part 9: Everything You Need To Know About Keyword Core Terms
Part 10: Everything You Need To Know About Keyword Qualifiers
Part 11: Everything You Need To Know About SEO Copywriting
Part 12: Everything You Need To Know About Page Content
Part 13: Everything You Need To Know About Links
Part 14: Everything You Need To Know About Link Anatomy
Part 15: Everything You Need To Know About Linking

Search and Rescue: How to Become Findable and Shareable in Social Media, By Brian Solis, Search Engine Watch, April 1, 2010. " Search isn’t an isolated experience. The act of looking for information is now fused with validation, which means the socialization of search will unite discovery with context and relationships. It all begins with where we purposely search for relevant content and also where we respond to interesting information that crosses our path…" Then read Optimize Your Brand for Sharing and Social Search in 11 Steps, By Brian Solis, Search Engine Watch, April 2, 2010. "Yesterday, we focused on how to make your brand findable and shareable in social media. A white paper by Gigya validates the shift to, and resulting importance of, social search and its dependence on crowd participation. Online businesses must optimize in order to earn referral traffic from social networks. .."

The 8-Step SEO Strategy, Step 1: Define Your Target Audience and Their Needs, Posted by laura, SEOmoz Blog, on April 6th, 2010. "… The first step in most marketing campaigns, Search Marketing included, is to start by defining your target audience.  Your target audience is a defined set of people who you are marketing your product to…"

Horizontal Attention Leans Left. Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox, April 6, 2010. Summary: Web users spend 69% of their time viewing the left half of the page and 30% viewing the right half. A conventional layout is thus more likely to make sites profitable…

Social media usage in Australia

comScore has released the results from a study on 14 August 2009 which has found that more than 70 percent of Internet users in Australia visited a social networking site in June, up 29 percent from the previous year.

Top Social Networking Sites in Australia Based on Unique Visitors
June 2009
Total Australian Internet Audience*, Age 15+ – Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore World Metrix
  Total Unique Visitors (000)
Jun-08 Jun-09 % Change
Total Internet : Total Audience 11,044 12,386 12
Social Networking 6,862 8,857 29
FACEBOOK.COM 3,125 6,102 95
MySpace Sites 3,369 3,530 5
Windows Live Profile N/A 1,962 N/A
Bebo 1,627 1,475 -9
TWITTER.COM 13 800 6,122
DEVIANTART.COM 259 505 95
DIGG.COM 329 494 50
TAGGED.COM 246 475 93
Buzznet 269 409 52
Orkut 36 252 60

*Excludes visitation from public computers such as Internet cafes or access from mobile phones or PDAs.

More information is available from comScore.

CeBIT publishes Twitter for Government

Twitter for Government: a quick reference on the value of Twitter to the Public Sector has just been published.

Topics covered include:

  • What is Twitter:
  • The value of Twitter
  • What does it mean for me?
  • How does Twitter work?
  • Sending messages
  • Sending links
  • Following people
  • Search Twitter
  • Things to avoid

Available from the CeBIT conference site www.gov2.com.au – Suggest you download it today and add it to your social media tool set.

eGovRC – adds member’s forum – section on government websites and SEO

The eGovernment Resource Centre has just launched the eGov Forums for registered members to share information, ask questions and answer other’s on all issues eGovernment.

There is a section on Government websites and SEO as well as Social media and Government 2.0.

If your forum topic is not covered, there is a section where you can ask to have it considered for inclusion.

The forum is governed by rules and there is a help post to guide you through how it works.

Time for government web people to get involved and start sharing and questioning!

Twitter spam tips and bible

Two new articles I found today about Twitter – worth a read

“Twitter Tips: Three Ways To Deal With Twitter Spam
You can take proactive steps to prevent Twitter spam such as unwanted direct messages promoting products and services. Here are three quick tips for keeping Twitter relevant and keeping spammers and mass-followers out.” By C.G. Lynch

and

“Twitter Bible: Everything You Need To Know About Twitter –
Our Twitter guide delivers expert advice on how to get started, practice good etiquette, network and job hunt, search smart and stay organized with the social networking service. You’ll also find analysis on how to better engage your followers, use Twitter to reach customers, and go mobile with Twitter.” By C.G. Lynch

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/CherylHardy