Anyone serious about running a website and would like to see it prosper beyond the odd hit from friends and google love is aware that it is no longer sufficient to write quality articles then hit the publish button. Build it and they come has turned into a tired cliché that no longer serves the savvy blogger. We need to market our site and promote its existence.
Like a child yelling repeatedly, “Look at me jump, Mum!” until she finally offers a quick glance in his direction and the kid retorts, “You missed it”, we generate enough “noise” in the hope that someone does not miss our repeated call. In the quest for recognition, and dare I say, our fifteen minutes of fame, we have turned into obsessive compulsives under the guise of promoting our websites. While it is a necessary by-product of becoming our own PR agents, it makes me ponder how much of that noise we are replicating and the consequences of our promotional materials.
ANZAC Bridge, Sydney
RSS feeds used to be the prime method by which we were notified of blog updates. Now we get the same message from various sources.
Twitter stands at the forefront of self-promotion. The powerful microblogging platform has become a personal PR tool that no self-respecting blogger can ignore. Not even me. We use it to communicate, network with others, exchange information and give our blog posts the occasional plug.
We log into Facebook, check the number of “Likes” we have amassed since the day before, or “Fans” as they used to be called. We connect with an audience, share more information and give our blog posts another plug.
We join Stumble Upon, form alliances with other Stumblers so we can share articles and stumbles in the hope of driving traffic to our sites.
To recap briefly, we now visit blogs, leave a comment, retweet the post and stumble pages we like.
We create a Links page on our website designed to promote our closest friends and alliances. We may link to anyone who asks or have a stricter policy. Regardless of our preference, a Links page stands a list of networks we build with like-minded bloggers.
We may even have a YouTube channel, contribute reviews to Urbanspoon, Foodbuzz, Travel Blog Exchange, Tripatini and others. We may have a professional profile on LinkedIn page, use Digg, Flickr, Foursquare, Google Friend Connect and Buzz. All these networking sites require us to connect with others before we can effectively self-promote.
Lo and behold, there’s also email which we use to communicate, gather subscriptions and disseminate newsletters.
By no means is this a comprehensive listing of social media and networking sites yet we use many of these on an almost daily basis. The point of the exercise is clear. Join, network and promote. Or to put it in plain words, collect a group of ‘friends’, say hello and spread the message.
But how much noise are we creating and how often are we replicating our message to the same audience?
Some may argue that different media reach different audiences and demographics. Someone on Twitter may not be on Facebook or may not subscribe to RSS feeds. Therefore by using different channels, we disseminate information on a broader level. Others may advocate that the replication is merely providing a service that caters to personal choice.
The noise we are replicating through various media equates to one variable. Time. A commodity that leeches into our world and eats into precious writing time. After all, where would our websites be without content?
Will we ever return and streamline our communication to filter the noise that has floods us daily and occupies a large chunk of our time? Wouldn’t it be more efficient if we condensed all these networks to one location, where we can forge connections, communicate and share?
It may sound impossible yet not long ago, this utopia existed in our own home.
It was our blog.
Comic credit: xkcd
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