web 2.0

Web 2.0. When regular non-net-addicted people hear the words Web 2.0, usually it’s met with a frown of confusion or a cocky smile. “Yeah, Web 2.0. I’m all around it.” or “Web 2.0? Is that a kind of software?” This term developed as an umbrella term that means nothing and everything. It means the social part of the internet.

If it was a part of the house, it would be the living room or the patio. If was the part of the body, it would be the mouth. Web 2.0 is simply that part of the web that is largely user controlled more than anything else. Blogs. Message Boards. Forums. Social Networking Sites. Social Bookmarking sites. User-generated video sites.

Now more than ever, power is bestowed to the user. I am empowered to publish with one click with a blog. I am empowered to express my opinion in a message board. I am empowered to comment in whatever tonality I prefer in a news article in a news forum. I can make myself known in the identity I chose in a Social Networking Site. I am free to choose my favorite site and make it known to others in a Social Bookmarking Sites.

What is interesting with the title is the word “unseen.” Yet it resonates true in our society today. I think less than 1 in 10 people know what web 2.0 is, let alone care, but the more interesting thing is the fact that Web 2.0 actually matters.

It is the most popular social lounge next to Starbucks – and gives you more benefit than that all-important kick in the head that caffeine brings. If you are a business owner, it is a fast way to communicate with the consumer and build your brand, if you are an individual artist, it is the fastest, cheapest way to get your music out there.

Think of how many Indie artists have leveraged myspace in order to get people to listen to them, and eventually attend their shows. If you are simply an expressive individual needing some online company – there are online communities everywhere – within groups in social networking sites like facebook, myspace, yahoogroups, etcetera. If you are a blogger it is a certainty that there are a community of bloggers out there blogging about your theme – whether it be niche or mainstream.

To put it in simple, concrete terms, getting involved in Web 2.0 is creating a blog at WordPress. Commenting on other blogs. Connecting with your friends on facebook. Digging a relevant news story at digg.com to share the news piece to others. It is going on forums like Yahoo Answers, Topix.net or Answerbag.com, sharing what you know, and allowing other people to help you out with a question.

Why get involved?

In Asia alone, 3,733,783,474 people are online. This is 56.5% of the world population. This is an interesting statistic since most of the control of Web 2.0 actually originates from the United States. In North America, 334,659,631 people go on the internet – roughly 5.1% of the entire population. (source: http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm)

Roughly 10 percent of the world’s population – that is 627 million people, have shopped online at least once. This information is from a study done by AC Nielsen in 2005. That was three years ago. Can you imagine the numbers today?

According to Technorati, a widely popular internet community, there are currently about 50M blogs. 175,000 new blogs are being created everyday. Blogs are being used for all sorts of occupations in all sorts of disciplines. Blogs have been used to share knowledge, promote a person, product or service, or even get help.

In ourukrainianjourney.blogspot.com – a mother of an adopted Ukrainian boy seeks financial help for her new child’s needs. Even Martha Stewart is reachable via comment and click. Aside from this, the unstoppable growth of the information which cannot be recorded as it occurs on tangible books, is recorded in the blogosphere.

Web 2.0 has infiltrated the SEO/SEM and Web Development industries as well. Such web development companies as Meteorsite, a los angeles based SEO and Web Development company are developing web 2.0 applications and using web 2.0 designs in their websites. Now the industry terms SEO and Web 2.0 Marketing are almost inextricably linked, with Web 2.0 being the marketplace and playground for SEO practices.

Message boards are affecting our opinions more than ever. There’s various forums where people can seek help in every field of work or field of interest – like Ehealth forums and Elancetalk. Omigli.com is a great search engine where you can type in any keyword and find a chunk of message boards about any topic.

And finally, getting on the bandwagon of Web 2.0 is important because of the viral nature of Web 2.0. Hence you have the terms viral marketing, word-of-mouth marketing and guerilla marketing. If you post anything funny, sexy, or pyrotechnic on YouTube for example, (the three main baits of marketing) on the net, you’re bound to get at least a thousand hits.

Digging a news story on digg.com puts it out there for other surfers to quickly find. Several companies have taken the viral route in marketing and advertising. Check out a collection of funny viral ads at funnyplace. Now anybody can be a star on YouTube – and potentially be unraveled talents if ever that wandering producer hits you up and takes an interest.

Creating a buzz about yourself or your product is simpler than going to an ad agency and paying big bucks, and might even have more profitable returns.

Now that you’re convinced (I’m claiming this) that Web 2.0 is the way to go, how do you start? Start putting your favorite keyword and adding “blog”, “forum” or “messageboard”. Go to Google Blog Search and start reading up on your favorite blog topics. Leave a comment. Spark a discussion.

Start by leaving a comment here! Socialize to your heart’s (or finger’s) content. Jumping on the bandwagon has never been so beneficial, and enjoyable.


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Hello sneezers and infecters. The Viral Trolls post is quite a success – I’ve now got bragging rights to the top one spot for the keywords “Viral Trolls.” Apparently, people throw around the troll word all the time, but have not really talked about it much in a single post. Yay, I got the top one spot. It’s not the most profitable keywords in the world, but it does allow me to brag about it in this itty bitty blog.

What I’ve chosen to write about today is to give some “DoFollow” help to viral blog commentors out there. The “revolution”, or “phenomenon” how over you want to call it has been going on for a year or more. So we can move on to why turning your blog into a “dofollow” is utterly profitable and why you should link from “dofollow” sites – let’s see what Wikipedia says about “nofollow” and what it is exactly:

“nofollow is an HTML attribute value used to instruct some search engines that a hyperlink should not influence the link target’s ranking in the search engine’s index. It is intended to reduce the effectiveness of certain types of search engine spam, thereby improving the quality of search engine results and preventing spamdexing from occurring in the first place. The concept for the specification of the attribute value nofollow was designed by Google’s head of webspam team Matt Cutts and Jason Shellen from Blogger.com in 2005.”

“Nofollow” was initiated to fight spam, yet it has affected decent backlinkers and blog commentors as well. Luckily for us we have a choice, as there are more “dofollow” sites emerging, where you can actually be rewarded for your linking efforts.

If you have SEO for FIREFOX you’ll notice that some links are actually highlighted in red — these are “no follow” links — meaning the search engine spiders crawl over them like they don’t exist. Blog comments on “nofollow” blogs usually have a purely viral effect. It could still drive traffic to your site though — in a viral way — somebody clicks on your link and finds your site.

Another way to find out if the link is no follow is to press control + U while you’re at the page in question and search for the words “no follow” on your page’s source page. (does that make sense?) It’s gonna look like a little something like this:

no follow

I actually did some research as to how to make my own blog a “dofollow” blog. I’d love to get a barrage of comments. (Come on, who doesn’t like attention? Even if it is virtual.) It entails getting a plug-in.. I currently cannot use this plugin as of the moment, having a free blog on wordpress.com — but this will be coming soon once I pay for outside hosting — a promise to myself and my readers. Here are some sites that offer wordpress.org hosting. Hosting your blog on another server has a lot of benefits — one among them is being able to join the Do follow revolution. Another is being able to install plug-ins, and some widgets that actually only work on wordpress.org (one of them is Blogrush – the traffic driving widget).

Some hosts:
DreamHost
MediaTemple
Blue Host

For a complete list of hosting services check out wordpress hosting .

Well the obvious question now is, apart from making my blog a do follow blog, how do I find dofollow blogs, forums and etcetera to link from? Where is dofollow web 2.0? A little skittle around the web for dofollow resources actually proved to be very productive. I actually posted a question on digitalpoint forums and asked how to get high PR links without spending a lot? Apparently, I end up answering my own question.

Do follow search engines. Type your keyword and find only dofollow results.

The best one garnering from the feedback of many is Backlinkspot
Some others are
Commenthunt
Ezbusinessneeds

One personal favorite is W3ec . The interface is very revolutionary. (If you check it out you’ll see what I mean.)

Here are some more great links:

21 Dofollow Social Bookmarking Sites
. Bookmark your way to the Pagerank you’ve always dreamed of!
Sites that really do follow. Dofollow directory.
Do follow blog community. Like blogcatalog or technorati, only these is exclusively for bloggers who follow. Did you follow me?
Do Follow Blogs. Another do follow blog directory.
List of forums that allow “do follow” signature links
Sign your way to link juice.

Backlinking has never been so rewarding, and having too many comments never so accepted. If they say you have something to say about everything, maybe you should be saying what you say in do follow blogs.

Hope this helps you. Spread the virus.


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Viral Trolls

April 21, 2008

Before I go on to my next topic of discussion –which is a topic of great interest to me, just because I’ve heard it offhandedly dropped in forums — I will show you a picture that is meant to incite fear and disgust. I present to you, his royal lowness — the troll.

troll

It is neither pretty nor pleasant to look at. We often hear this term on the net — “You are trolling.” “Beware of the troll.” The funny thing is, the troll was popular probably only at one point in history — when the troll doll was popular. I remember seriously coveting this doll when I was about 8 or 9. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the “adorable” troll doll. (Kids must’ve been masochistic then to like a doll this ugly).

troll doll

In wikipedia, the internet troll is described as

“An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial and usually irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, with the intention of baiting other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.”

I encountered this term recently when I was cruising around in Yahoo! Answers. A guy asked this question:
Im a catholic but I hate the Pope and I hate Catholocism. Is that bad?

Somebody said “Troll Alert!” in one of the replies. It seems that trolls are whoever disrupts the pleasant and normal flow of conversation in forums or comment forms. This question doesn’t really deserve a straight answer — it is more of rhetorical. “Is that bad?” seemed to be added just to officially make it into a question. I’ve seen this in youtube comments — commenting just to insult other commentors, without any real purpose of saying something relevant, or vilifying or critiquing the video/post/article in question.

The important point is that nobody should be a viral troll — although I imagine that some people out of extreme emotion probably morph into internet trolls without actually realizing it. Respect other people’s space while you give your 2 cents about the topic at hand. Stick to the topic and be objective. and don’t incite negative buzz just to get attention — it will eventually backfire. Don’t troll through the net, stroll through the net!

Out of curiosity (remember: curiosity killed the troll!) I google the keyword “Viral Troll.” And I ended up finding pretty interesting results:

This is the Top 1 result.

In summary — the angry troll victim shot back, “you are nothing but a viral TROLL… hows that coming from a “parolee scumbag”?

Troll here is used with so much disgust, it is almost like a modern cuss word. And this is understandable. A TROLL search at youtube yielded this video — a guy calling out to the web public in agony, having been victimized by a heartless, ugly, ruthless viral troll.

My heart goes out to this guy. Let’s help make the world wide web troll-free and truly free.

It is interesting to note that “Troll” more than being a unpopular way to be in Web 2.0, is also not a very popular keyword. SEO’ers wouldn’t have a hard time ranking high on this. Google had no data on the keywords “Viral Troll” because there wasn’t enough data to support it.

Check out this article about the increasing popularity of trolling:

Twice as Many Americans Troll Video-Sharing Sites Daily

Just to remind you how ugly trolls are:

(excerpts from the Danish Ballad of Eline of Villenskov) source: Wikipedia

There were seven and a hundred Trolls,
They were both ugly and grim,
A visit they would the farmer make,
Both eat and drink with him.

Out then spake the tinyest Troll,
No bigger than an emmet was he,
Hither is come a Christian man,
And manage him will I surelie

Comments welcome, just don’t be a troll :).


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I’ve stumbled upon several great tools for viral marketing that could make your business of spreading good disease much easier, and much more fun. These sites don’t seem to be that prominent on the net, which kind of surprises me.

First site I’d like to present is Cocomment , a community site for people who just seems to have opinions about anything and everything in the blogosphere, in short, blog commentors. I used to track my blog comments through google docs (in my opinion the best thing since sliced bread) , copying and pasting the URL. Cocomment automatically submits your blog comment to your account as a part of “My Conversations” and lets you know if there are any follow-up comments. You can easily join groups with similiar interests and join in the fun comment exchange. Saves the time of seperately looking for blogs and related discussion to your interest. You can also tag your comments so that other interested parties may find it more easily. You also get an rss feed of all your blog comments.

cocomment

What about forums and message boards? As we probably all know already, this is a great way to increase web presence, mingle, and generate traffic to your site. Omgili is simply a message board search engine. Just enter your keyword and find a gazillion related boards and forums. They also have a buzz widget that you can download to your site. Just enter any string of keywords and discover and compare just how much buzz has been generated on your keyword the past few days.
omgili

Lastly, the Seo Book Keyword Research Tool . This is a great way to find related sites to your keyword. Get a page with links to the news forums, product review sites, blogs, technorati links, answer sites and more related to your site.

seobook

Any thoughts and additional tips are welcomed. Isn’t web 2.0 a great thing?


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Just how much do bloggers blog about viral marketing? I was just curious and I looked around for any site that would give me the info — technorati has this trend graph easily pastable onto any blog post. It seems that the technorati blog buzz about viral has increased in the past few months. People are picking up.

‘Posts that contain Viral Marketing per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart
Get your own chart!

Viral marketing, buzz marketing and guerilla marketing are terms that are commonly interchanged, let’s see what the buzz is on buzz:
Posts that contain Buzz Marketing per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart

Wikipedia’s defintion of buzz marketing:
— is a reference to the passing of information by verbal means, especially recommendations, but also general information, in an informal, person-to-person manner. Word of mouth is typically considered a face-to-face spoken communication, although phone conversations, text messages sent via SMS and web dialogue, such as online profile pages, blog posts, message board threads, instant messages and emails are often now included in the definition of word of mouth.

Well what’s the green on guerilla? Sorry I couldn’t think of any other word that started with the letter “g” that meant buzz. Well since technorati’s color is green — then it’s the green on guerilla.
Posts that contain Guerilla Marketing per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart

Wikipedia’s take on guerilla marketing:
“Guerrilla Marketing” was coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his popular 1984 book Guerrilla Marketing, as an unconventional system of promotions on a very low budget, by relying on time, energy and imagination instead of big marketing budgets. The term has since entered the popular vocabulary to also describe aggressive, unconventional marketing methods generically.

The charts look pretty similar – with viral marketing taking the lead. Seems that this term is more commonly used. Let’s have some fun. I was also curious to find out — are technorati bloggers funnier or sexier? Maybe both?

Posts that contain Funny per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart

Nothing funny about that graph. The next chart is slightly sexy though. See all those sexy lines?

Posts that contain Sexy per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart

Sexy wins by a curvy landslide! So that’s our technorati blog buzz for the day. What do you think?


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I found an interesting post on viral marketing in thereeladdict.com .

” I like the idea behind, but what I’m baffled about is the financial angle. I can’t really see this kind of approach actually wooing over any fence-sitters. Don’t get me wrong, viral marketing is neat in theory, if not in financial practice. It seems to be an intention on the part of studios to reward – in a high creative way – those who invest heavily in an upcoming release, catering to that investment by creating additional ways to immerse oneself in one’s own anticipation and the universe of the film. That’s exactly what makes no sense to me though. Let’s face it. I imagine most of the people who are getting involved with these campaigns are obsessive film geeks like myself. In other words, an audience that is pretty much a guaranteed ticket from the earliest stages of development of a film (like THE DARK KNIGHT). From a business point of view, what’s the point of investing money in catering to an audience that already wants to see your film?”

My comment:

Perhaps the problem is that viral marketing becomes an end in itself. We market to be talked about, but really at the end of the day, it’s all about whether the target individiual actually buys the service, product or idea. Buzz for the sake of buzz is just that, publicity and not really marketing. It’s hard to measure the effectiveness of a viral campaign, although I am led to believe that it can at the least increase traffic. If you increase traffic and have people talk about you, but you still don’t sell, then there must be something wrong in the marketing message in itself. All actors have a stage presence, but not everybody gets the Award. Just like on the net, you may have a presence, but it doesn’t always mean anything. For certain products or services too, they don’t start with the audience, consumer already liking the product — so viral marketing may be necessary. Also, it is quite important to tailor the campaign specifically to the product’s objectives and needs.


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I watched Be Kind, Rewind last Sunday, and I was surprised to see that this Jack Black movie actually had a lot of heart and good content. In the beginning of the movie I was not really amused to see the usual stupid-jackass-dumb and dumber type of jokes, but as the movie progressed, I found myself engrossed, and thinking about how this flick was actually a “viral marketing” flick — a classic example of how a business can go viral — how a business can become successful through word-of-mouth.

The movie moves around “Be kind, rewind,” an old-fashioned, yawn-inducing video store that barely gets customers. They even do some “guerilla marketing” and start painting graffiti on a wall under a bridge, claiming to have caught other taggers doing it when intercepted by the police. This move, a viral stunt that may be perceived as drastic, does not work.

Jack Black gets caught up in electrical wires and gets “magnetized.” (watch the movie to see how this happens) He goes to the store and erases all the content of the videos. They find this out when a depressive, crazy customer comes back and says that her Ghostbuster tape is empty. They come up with the ingenious idea to actually shoot the film and record on the ghostbuster tape, and have the customer think that that is the real ghostbuster movie. More customers come in and they are demanding movies, so Mike and Jerry do all they can to improvise, to fill in the blank tapes and keep business going – afraid of revealing the “tape erasure” to Mr. Fletcher, the owner of the video shop. See the trailer below so you have an idea of what I’m talking about:

The beautiful thing about the success of the Be Kind Rewind video shop is that it started from an innocent idea, meant to cover up a store anomaly. Mike and Jerry become an accidental production house and people end up loving their stuff. What cannot be missed here is that it all started with an ingenious idea. The put a name to the still nameless act of doing “a-la-carte” moviessweded. Who cares if it’s not a verb?

It spread like a virus on the small town of Passaic, New Jersey, and before you know it, they are being visited by enthusiastic patrons from as far as New York. What is interesting is that the act of making movies as requested, of putting the actual customers in the movies, is the same formula that online landslide successes that is used by youtube, digg and even wordpress. Power to the user. Power to the people. The users determine content and they are included in the content. Censors actually shut down the Be Kind Rewind “sweding”operation in the movie — the same way that user-generated sites are commonly set out to be manipulated by the internet giants. But they fight, and create their own movie. For us, by us. Written, produced and directed by the “Be Kind Rewind” community, it is a smashing success. Rightfully called smashing, because the building is “smashed” (destroyed) afterward.

The sweded video is the viral video. It was loved by the community in the movie with the same reason we are in love with youtube — we are part of it. We say what we want. We dictate content. Perhaps this is a point of reflection for viral marketers and web 2.0 ‘ers out there. If the consumer or customer is involved, and it is about them, and they have a say on what goes in your service or product — there is a greater chance that your product, service or idea will be bought.

Whether you are into viral or not, check out this movie anyway. Watching ghostbusters being remade by Mike and Jerry with hilariously funny techniques is worth it.


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