Browsing articles tagged with " contest"

Who Wants to Win $1,000 in Cash?

Jan 24, 2012   //   by Gerald Weber   //   blogging, Contests, SEO Blog  //  3 Comments

Regular readers probably know the following two things about me:

First, I’m a big fan of guest blogging contests. Not only do I like the fact that they give participants an opportunity to win cash and all kinds of great prizes, but I also think they’re a great opportunity for a writer to be exposed to a new audience. Whether a writer is an active blogger or someone who owns a business, a guest blogging contest can connect them with readers that may have otherwise never known about them.

Second, I recently launched MySEOCommunity.com. Because it brings together everything that I’ve been working on for the past few years, I view it as “my baby.” Although I’m well aware that it’s not the Internet’s first SEO community, I think that it has several features that set it apart from the rest. You can read about the community’s unique features on its About page.

As a result of my love of guest blogging contests and the launch of MySEOCommunity, it’s only logical that we’re celebrating the launch of the site with a new guest blogging contest:

The Mad SEO Scientist Guest Blogging Contest – Grand Prize $1000. Cash!

2012 SEO Guest Blogging Contest

Since a great SEO guest blogging contest has to feature a great 1st prize, the maddest SEO scientist in this contest gets $1,000 in cash and a lifetime premium membership to MyBlogGuest.

If you check out the official announcement, you will see that the prizes for the contest’s other winners aren’t too shabby. In fact, this contest has over $2,000 in total cash prizes, as well as some other awesome goodies from all of our sponsors!

If you’ve participated in any of our other guest blogging contests, you know there are two parts to the recipe for success:

-Write a killer post
-Promote the heck out of it and interact with the post’s audience

Since the new site is all about community, we’re really emphasizing the social aspect of this contest. So, not only will you want to Tweet your post out once it’s published, but you will want to engage with everyone who leaves a comment on it. Additionally, if readers start discussing it on channels like Google +, be sure to interact with them there as well.

The deadline for this contest is March 5th, so it’s time for you to head to your lab and start cooking up an amazing post!

And a huge thanks to all of the sponsors who made this contest possible:

$1000. Sponsors

Next Digital is Asia/Pacific’s largest full-service digital agency. They specialise in creative, marketing, strategy and technology, leading the new digital age to discover what’s next! Digital Marketing

$150. Sponsors


Google AdWords

WordStream, provider of ppc software and a better Google Keyword tool

Search Engine Marketing Group SEO Link Building services

$100. Sponsors

Julie Joyce www.LinkFishMedia.com

Doc Sheldon The Clinic

Create amazing blog using our Awesome Thesis Child Themes

web design company

A professional website design copmany Helping you create a unique brand image

ShellShock UK Content Strategy Link Building aka Content Marketing

Ash Buckles www.SEO.com

$50. Sponsors

Brian Waraksa Houston Internet marketing

Jacob Share Group Writing Projects

Ajeet Khurana About the Web

The people at Top Web Design Schools, a directory of web related college programs

Customer Paradigm Magento Developers

BestGardenGifts.com Best Garden Gifts

HotTubVariety.com Hot Tub Reviews

EarthCareGreenhouses.com Wholesale Greenhouses

GoGardenGuides.com Home & Garden Social Bookmarking

USA Greenhouse Store Greenhouses

Bob Jones Perth SEO

NewsPuff.com News Puff

MiniGreenhouseKits.com Commercial Greenhouses Supplies

OurCrazyDeals.com Our Crazy Deals

www.Zoomit.com Canadian News

David Leonhardt SEO Ottawa

John McElborough SEO Agency

Contest Media Partners

www.Blokube.com

www.famousbloggers.net

Contest Media Partner Blogengage

Free Blogengage Account $29.95 Value blogengage.com

Ana Hoffman www.TrafficGenerationCafe.com/

Non-cash SEO Prizes

David Harry A full years membership at SEO Dojo, a value of $250.SEO Training Dojo

Lifetime membership to: My Blog Guest. MyBlogGuest.com is the free guest post exchange community where users meet to exchange guest posts and network.

Link-Assistant.Com SEO PowerSuite Enterprise (max. functionality license) SEO tools

SEMrush.com – the best tool to spy on your competitors ($210 value) www.semrush.com

WebSEOAnalytics.com 1 Year subscription to their Professonal SEO tools

www.Hostgator.com 1 Year Business web hosting

Gerald Weber

I founded Search Engine Marketing Group in December 2005. More recently I co-founded viralcontentbuzz.com. which is the free platform that helps bloggers generate REAL "social buzz" on their best content. Feel free to follow me on Google+

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Publish Free Content and Win $1000 – MyBlogGuest Articles Gallery Contest

Jan 3, 2012   //   by Gerald Weber   //   Contests, SEO Blog  //  3 Comments

How would you like to win $1000 for publishing a guest post on your blog?

No, that wasn’t a typo; you don’t even have to write a post to win $1000!

MyBlogGuest Contest

While this is the first big blogging contest of 2012, it’s the coolest and simplest contest I’ve seen in a long time. Instead of wearing yourself out by trying to put together the perfect post, you can let the platform do the work for you.

So, what’s the catch? There’s not one. MyBlogGuest is an awesome site that’s holding an awesome contest. In case you haven’t had a chance to check them out before, MyBlogGuest connects bloggers with people who want to write guest posts. Instead of spending time sending out cold emails, MBG provides a thriving community of people who already want this content. What’s neat about MBG is you can benefit from both writing guest posts and accepting guest posts from others.

$1000 Contest Details

This contest is centered around a specific feature of MBG, which is the Articles Gallery. Here’s a quick video that shows how easy it is to use the Articles Gallery to find awesome free content to publish on your blog:

Yup, MBG really does make it that easy to find great content that’s 100% free. While you can use MBG all year long, for this contest you will want to publish your guest post anytime between now and February 15th; the contest itself officially ends on February 20th. Keep in mind that the earlier you put your post up, the more time you will have to promote it to your audience.

To participate in this contest, head over to MyBlogGuest to sign up for free. All you need is a PR2+ blog, Twitter & Facebook count buttons installed at the post level and a commenting system that doesn’t require registration.

The winner will be determined by a combination of Tweets, Facebook Likes, comments and how engaged you are with the post & the MBG community.

You can check out the 3 rules on the original announcement, but they’re nothing overly strict. Instead, they just boil down to don’t be a cheater!

Ann Smarty has done an awesome job with MyBlogGuest and this contest, so I’m pumped to see the posts you all enter!

Leave a comment with a link to the post you enter into the contest:

Gerald Weber

I founded Search Engine Marketing Group in December 2005. More recently I co-founded viralcontentbuzz.com. which is the free platform that helps bloggers generate REAL "social buzz" on their best content. Feel free to follow me on Google+

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Don’t Dare To Make These Seven Social Media Mistakes

Oct 13, 2011   //   by Sandipan Mukherjee   //   Contests, Social Media  //  28 Comments

This is a guest post from Sandipan Mukherjee. It is part of The 2nd annual “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.

Social media has become a necessary part of any kind of online marketing efforts. While there are many success stories of people using social media for personal and business reasons, there are also plenty of people who may feel their efforts are not paying off.

So are you feeling the same? Have you taken the time to create great content, but feel like you’re not getting the recognition you deserve? Here are some of the most common mistakes you must avoid when targeting social media for your traffic.

NOT ENGAGING WITH FOLLOWERS

Do you have conversations with your followers? Do you reply when they comment on your Facebook page or @reply to you on Twitter? If you don’t, then you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to build goodwill. The best professional and corporate social media users engage with their followers. They answer questions from their followers. They ask questions to their fans. Yes, it takes more time to have a two-way exchange online, but it also creates much bigger rewards. Take the time to reply to your followers and let them know you’re listening.

USING SAME STRATEGY

Facebook is not MySpace. Twitter is not LinkedIn. And they’re all different from Google+. Every social networking site is different and you need to create a different strategy for each site you decide to engage in. Trying to run a one-size-fits-all approach will limit your ability to be successful anywhere.

HAVE NO SOCIAL MEDIA PLAN

Research and planning is just as important on Social Media websites as it is in any other form of marketing and advertising. Every community is different and won’t respond in the same manner. Every successful campaign needs to have a set of goals. You should always do some research if you need to achieve these goals. Ask yourself what do you want to achieve with your social media content? Are you able to identify what type of impact you want to have?

IGNORE CRITICISM

It is inevitable that you will get negative comments as well as positive ones. Do not make the mistake of ignoring or dismissing your visitor’s criticisms. Sure, sometimes it’s frustrating to read negative feedback about your site – but criticism can also be beneficial.  Obviously, not all things can be changed, or need to be changed, but try to respond politely to any criticism. There is no way to please everyone, but be diplomatic. Nothing damages your brand and website more than ignoring criticism or fighting fire with fire.

MISLEADING IMAGES, HEADLINES AND TAGS

Coming up with a great headline and intro are important for written content, but make sure your headline isn’t misleading. If your headline has no relation to your content then your visitors won’t stick around for very long. Similarly, don’t use misleading tags or images. You might get some initial clicks, but most people won’t ever come back to your site if it appears that you deliberately tried to deceive them.

TARGET ONLY ONE SOCIAL NETWORK

With so many social networks covering almost every available niche, why are you just targeting one? Most successful websites that target social media traffic will use different social networks.

IRRELEVANT SPAM

One of the worse things you can do is to send out your content to completely the wrong people. Most social networks allow you to have friends and thus you can share links with them. Use the search bar to find people who have an interest in your topic. Sending every piece of your content with everyone on your friends list is a definite way to have your content voted down in the short run, and in the longer term, you’ll be labelled as a spammer. What you should do is to get to know who you have added as friends and find out what they are interested in. This way, you will be able to share relevant links and you will increase the chances of others voting your story up.

Hope this post will help you avoid the major mistakes you can make when targeting social media for your traffic. Feel free to add comments if I missed out some points.

Sandipan Mukherjee

Sandipan Mukherjee is the founder and CEO of Squarex Technologies. Squarex Technologies is a Web and Software Development Company.

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The Seven Secret Steps to Irresistible Blog Posts

Oct 5, 2011   //   by Andrew   //   blogging, Contests, Copywriting, SEO Blog  //  19 Comments
La Defense, Paris

Go on. Follow these irresistible steps to success...

It’s easy to get hung up on the words you write. As a top blogger, you’d be foolish to not at least consider them. After all, words, sentences and paragraphs are your bread and butter.

But once you’ve worked out what to say and the tone in which to say it, do you take the time to consider the format?

Because if the layout of your copy isn’t readable, nobody’s going to stick around to see what you’ve written. And that renders all your well-chosen words redundant.

So read on and learn the secrets that are going to ensure your target audience is going to read all the way to the end.

The Seven Secret Steps to Irresistible Blog Posts

Master the Art of the Paragraph

We all remember when we’re obliged to start a new paragraph. When you change topic, change time or change place. That’s what your teacher told you at school, so you just keep ploughing on with the same rambling paragraph until you’ve exhausted the topic, run out of time, or moved to sunny Tijuana.

You credulous buffoon. Why on earth did you think your teacher was right?

Here’s the one time you need to change paragraph. Doesn’t matter if time, topic and place are still the same, there’s one point when you need to hit that return key.

When dramatic effect demands it.

A quick, single sentence paragraph is visual shorthand for “this bit is important”. So make use of them when you’re sharing something groundbreaking. And watch as your reader starts to scroll down looking for the next one.

Or for something just as arresting…

Hit ‘em With a Hail of Bullet (Points)

What have great bloggers and successful gangsters got in common? Other than a penchant for whisky cocktails and jaunty hats?

That’s right – they both know how to fire bullet points with deadly accuracy.

Why are bullet points so effective?

  • Visually arresting – a bullet point hits you like, well, a bullet between the eyes. You can’t ignore it. You stop and read.
  • Clear and concise – it’s impossible to ramble on a bullet point. You’re throwing out pure, distilled information
  • Breaks up blocks – people won’t read a wall of text. Liberally scatter your bullets, and your layout remains fresh and interesting.

Stop Skimmers by Sprinkling in Subheadings

Skim readers love subheadings. It’s pretty much all they’ll stop for.

And you want a skim reader to stop, because if they don’t, they’re scrolling all the way to the bottom, off the page and out of your life.

So unleash a few content speedbumps to slow them down. Enticing and enlightening subheadings help your readers to find the content they find most useful or interesting – so they’ll make a bee-line straight for it.

And then they’ll read it.

And if they’ve slowed down long enough to read a whole subsection, they’ve slowed down long enough to write a comment, hammer out a tweet, or buy your eBook.

Not bad for a bit of bolded text.

The Internet Can’t Say No to a Funny Picture

He might be able to write Shakespeare, but he can't format it

By now, the reader’s concentration is beginning to flag. All the typographical tricks are keeping them on the page, but you need to cut them some slack.

So throw in an illustration or two.

Preferably one that backs up your points – and don’t forget to add an amusing caption, just to re-enforce your message. Because long after they’ve forgotten the exact wording of your advice, they’ll remember that the funny monkey told them just how to keep people reading.

Beef Up Arguments With Block Quotes

By now, you’re coming around to my way of thinking. You’re plotting sublime subheaders, and coming up with cunning captions.

But something’s nagging at the back of your mind. Wouldn’t this post be truly, completely irresistible if you could just see a second opinion?

Block quotes are a great way of providing a second opinion. As they’re generally from another authority on your subject of choice, they carry weight.

And because they’re visually interesting, they fulfill the same role as bullets points and subheaders – they force the reader to slow down and pay attention!

Mr603 – Outspoken Member of the Twitterati

Yeah. That’ll just about cover it.

Think About Your Font

What font is your blog written in?

I can say with some certainty that you’re probably not going to have a clue. Which is frankly ridiculous if you want to create a truly irresistible post.

The art of font creation is a huge subject that I don’t have space to get into here. But prove the power of the font to yourself. Copy this post into a word processor.

Now set the font to Comic Sans or Vivaldi.

I think that proves my point. Don’t you?

 Avoiding Irritations

Follow the six secret steps, and you’ll have framed your content in an absolutely irresistible way. But don’t rest on your laurels yet, dear blogger.

Because you’ve still got a final chance to throw it all away. By irritating your readers and driving them from your site, never to return.

Irritating blog quirks could fill a whole post to themselves, but there are two content killers that you’ll need to avoid at all costs:

  1. Pop Ups: I know you want your reader to sign up to your mailing list. But please don’t hurl a pop-up at them after they’ve just started to read. It’ll break their concentration and raise their hackles. Just don’t take the risk.
  2. Pagination: We’ve all got mouse wheels. So don’t split your post into seven chapters across seven pages. Because a blog reader will scroll for miles and miles to read your content. Just don’t expect them to click.

So there you have it. The seven secret steps to making your blog’s content truly irresistible. You don’t need to use all seven techniques in everything you post, but keep all of these techniques in your locker, and you’ll find your audience to be far more responsive.

And who can blame them? You’re totally irresistible.

Andrew

Andrew Nattan is the wholly modest genius behind the Unmemorable Title copywriting blog. If you really loved this post, you should probably follow him on Twitter and subscribe to his RSS feed. And if you didn’t, you can always email him threatening messages.

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Social Media Suffocation: Why I’ve Had Enough Of Networking Online

Sep 29, 2011   //   by laustinseo   //   blogging, Contests, SEO Blog, Social Media  //  25 Comments

This is a guest post from Lewis Austin. It is part of The 2nd annual “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.

I don’t know about you, but I believe that all those one-time satisfied social networkers are FINALLY beginning to stem the hysteria that’s been surrounding the craze for a number of years now.

The original concept of social media is dropping dead, partly because more and more people are beginning to pick holes in its design and influence. Those who were quick to jump on the social bandwagon have found that the fast-growing phenomenon can only plod along for so long until it hits a big, brutal brick wall.

A lot of web users wouldn’t even have been interested in the launch of Google +, even though it is supposedly a revolutionary platform that will change the social media landscape irreversibly, because it’s automatically been compared to every other network of its kind (*coughFACEBOOKcough*). The reality of it all is that none of the features behind the best-loved social networks are new. Everything in the social media world has been done before and I’m clutching at straws trying to find anything that’s blown me away recently. If you look at the major networks and question what sets them apart from the rest, you really start to find more similarities than differences. And often the underlying reasons causing the introduction of each feature are much more flawed than you, being a fierce social networker, would care to admit.

DOOR-KNOCK POLITICS

The new features that have been released are simply expansions on what we already had. Take, for example, Facebook Places. Essentially, Facebook Places has just ripped off Foursquare and Gowalla. And for those who don’t know, Foursquare and Gowalla are location-based social networks that revolve around their ‘check-in’ feature. This means that if you’re meeting up with friends you can announce your new location to a select list of friends. Facebook decided to kill their app off, as they realised that only 6% of users had actually bothered trying it, so now the Places feature has been integrated into status updates. Which in itself is just irritating.

I’ve got a couple of burning problems with this system. Firstly, there is no need to dish out your latest physical location on a digital map for everyone to see. What purpose does it serve? Facebook makes all sorts of personal information available to others anyway, so essentially any nosy soul is set up to become your stalker; they can already look up your email address and phone number but now have the opportunity to track your current location too.

This feature is obviously raising concerns for safety of the younger generation of Facebook profilers. Despite the rules there are a lot of kids on Facebook who are clearly under 13 (a whole separate issue for a whole other blog!). Although some may argue that FB can’t be responsible for those who break FB law, these fledgling users have created a danger for themselves because their entire list of friends has full access to all of their information. It’s all too easy to imagine how less-than-scrupulous members of society would go about getting in touch with those who are slightly more impressionable.

You need to ask yourself if you want all of your Facebook friends to know exactly where you are 24/7.  This isn’t a trust issue but more of a case of TMI. Quite frankly, being constantly bombarded with details about someone’s whereabouts is dull.

Anyway, the crux of the matter is, Facebook Places was not an original idea. Fact.

Now here’s one you may have spotted. Google Circles is just a developed version of Facebook’s Groups. This Google+ feature allows you to organise your contacts into particular groups, or Circles, and lets you choose how you share your data. Basically, this means you can separate dignified posts from slightly less savoury updates and distribute different types of information to different groups of people in your life. But, however well Circles took off initially, once I waited for all the Google+ hype to die down it became clearer to me that there was definitely a primitive version of Circles already available to app-starved socio-lites.

Facebook Groups were clearly the inspiration for the big G’s ‘pioneering’ feature. It must be said that Google has used this idea as a crucial building block for its platform and developed the initial idea significantly, which is highlighted in comparison to the lacklustre reception of Groups – in fact, it has to be said that many Facebook users did not really know about the feature and found no valid use for it. (…Myself included).

THE TWITTER-PATTER OF TIRED FEET

Twitter is the micro-blogging social network that has acquired 200 million users since its launch and it is safe to say that in terms of popularity, this site has literally exploded. The whole concept of Twitter is just a squished-down version of Facebook, taking all of the good qualities that Facebook offers to networkers, simplifying them and condensing them all together to create the hassle-free conversation platform that we all know and love. The process of befriending one of your peers consists of the click of a button and once you’re deemed a ‘follower’ you gain access to their status updates as and when they happen.

There is a bare minimum of information that is actually shared between users. All that’s required is a profile name, your general location and a paragraph about yourself. One of the most appealing things about Twitter is the simplicity of it all, I suppose. Updates are only 140 characters long, so all information that is shared is short and to the point (a concept that Facebook never really understood right from the beginning, with their fancy lists and whatnot). You don’t need to read through a novel of uninteresting information to find something useful. However, what is happening on Twitter is not new – the idea of ‘following’ others and checking out their updates is practically a simplified RSS Feed.

There is a mentioning feature which allows you to let someone know you are talking to/about them, but again this is a meeker version of the status tags on Facebook where you can tag someone in a post. The recent addition of the promoted Tweets feature leaves a lot to be desired, too. Allegedly set up to give businesses the opportunity to stick a short ad up alongside their relevant search terms, the idea is a spin-off of Facebook paid search advertising, which itself is an adaptation of Google’s highly successful Pay Per Click model. Despite its good intentions (for the profitability of businesses if nothing else), the feature seems to have slipped right under the radar and remained so unobtrusive to the point that many users have wondered whether its introduction was worthwhile.

THE MARRIAGE OF FACESPACE AND MYBOOK

Yet the classic case of feature-swapping is best explained by the rivalry between Myspace and Facebook. These networks were both possibly the biggest international social networks going at any time. I remember when Myspace was big. Myspace drew in the younger generation of networkers through its clear focus on custom pages and entertainment, but the novelty soon wore off as users began to migrate over to Facebook. I had a lot of fun on Myspace myself but when all of my friends began flocking to Facebook I had no choice but to join – after all, what is a social network without any friends? You’re just talking to yourself on a pretty little platform.

In an attempt to win back some users, Myspace introduced the same features that helped Facebook win users, such as photo tagging and of course the infamous like button.

We do need to remember, however, that this brutal method of prising users from the arms of the musclier, more exotic newcomer is not uncommon. Resorting to copycat tactics has always been a last ditch effort to win people back.

IT’S BUSINESS TIME

More and more businesses are flocking to social networks in the hope of building brand awareness and generating leads, but this trend isn’t a new one either. In the past, businesses simply had to go it alone. There was a distinct lack of professionalism and strategy behind social media management, with companies stabbing users in the dark with half-arsed promo campaigns, but now social media management has expanded into an actual occupation. Proof of this is that SEO companies and the like employ dedicated social media marketers (such as myself!) to manage the successful manipulation of platforms like Twitter and Facebook. We handle everything, from the basic layout to the select information we share with fans. Companies will invest in this service because, as long as their chosen social marketer knows their stuff, social networks are the equivalent to free advertising – it just takes some time to determine the methods that will work best. But despite starting every social campaign with the best intentions, we have to ask ourselves this simple question from time to time: have those very users we’re looking to influence cottoned on to our efforts? Are they so used to being ‘sold to’ that they simply shake off all our attempts to amaze them? Social networks weren’t set up to cater for big money-hungry brands.

LOCKING YOUR DOORS AND LEAVING NETWORKS THE KEY

Privacy is an issue that’s constantly niggling at the back of our minds. It’s simply human nature to want to keep our information safe and secure; hold our cards close to our chest. The on-going disputes about each user’s right to confidentiality are going to eventually determine the way in which we communicate. We need to understand that the net was made for sharing, yet still have some say in the way in which our personal information is used. Unfortunately, it’s a debate that’s not going to get resolved anytime soon, and here’s why.

Google caused uproar with its real names policy. Even though Plus was still in its beta stages, if Big G believed you were posing as someone else, you got promptly kicked off. Such was the case of Violet Blue, a renowned author and blogger who’s so highly regarded that she once appeared as a guest on Oprah. Violet was invited to the network by Big G itself, yet once the fake names policy was put in place, her account was suspended. Work that one out.

Teething problems, perhaps? I don’t think so. The Google+ team have stuck to their guns and are of the opinion that you need to pay for the privilege of joining their network by surrendering your identity. Using fake names makes it impossible for your closest friends to find you and therefore goes against the entire principle behind SOCIAL networking. But for many, the issue is this: if you’ve been using a make-believe persona throughout your entire cyber life, why should you need to disclose your true identity now? Many enjoy venting their frustrations or meeting other like-minded tech-heads completely anonymously. This ‘real name’ palaver caused problems for many and turned G+ from a convenient communications platform to a definite hassle within a matter of weeks. I reckon all the effort put into restricting usage should have been put into creating a safer, more secure environment for all networkers.

FB-I

There are hugely popular conspiracy theories related to Facebook and its privacy policies. Many believe that the CIA use Facebook as a data mining system, which sees them flaunting the fact that many of us have become dependent on it and will happily choose convenience over security any day of the week.

The well-known ‘hacktivist’ group Anonymous have warned that they’re planning to take down Facebook sometime around November 5th. This group of free radicals is being targeted by the FBI and have already infiltrated many government run websites that they consider against their cause. Better back up your favourite pics just in case then, hey. Targeting Zuckerberg’s crowned jewels is no coincidence, though; group leaders were furious after sussing out that Facebook will desperately hold on to your personal information, no matter what you do. If you decide to throw in the towel and delete your profile, FB will ‘hold on’ to your info, just in case you decide to return with your tail between your legs. They won’t just cling to your name and email address; they’ll make sure they store all of your activity history. If I’d have known this when I first set my profile up, I would have avoided joining completely!

Surely, the only move that will truly ‘revolutionise’ social networks would be giving users full control over their own privacy settings. Not just the ability to decide who’s allowed to tag you in their album or who’ll be able to track down your late-night video-sharing – proper, true control of your online footprint. Finding a way to make it harder for close friends and complete strangers can dig through a past that they weren’t involved in. My personal opinion is that having that information available is practically advertising it to be read, so I guess the best way to fight FB’s policy is to be extra careful about what you release.

PROFIT ABOVE PRIVACY

So, keen to overturn this dismal perception of network privacy, Google+ launched with the admirable intention of making sure everyone was upfront and honest about their identity and used their profile for the right reasons. What they fail to tell you is that, once you’ve set up a Gmail account, the bots crawling their servers can pick out keywords from your messages and use what they find for targeted advertising. They’ll pick out frequent topics from your conversations and send you useful (*cough*) ads and tailor-made discounts from relevant companies. Now, if we received our post already hacked to pieces by an over-eager mail man, we wouldn’t be best pleased, would we? So in terms of the way your account is manipulated, is this purely a case of ‘what I don’t know about can’t hurt me’? One step forward, twenty gigantic strides back, big G.

Microsoft actually took a stab at Google’s prying eye and created the GmailMan video to promote their new, slightly more ethical email service. It’s an exaggerated stab, granted, but the root of the problem is clearly raised.

REALITY AND WEB-ALITY

There used to be a clear line drawn between reality and web-ality. In real life you pop off down the pub for a pint and a catch-up; in web-ality you connect with those you never would have met were it not for the internet. Yet it seems that as time goes on the web still strives to become as realistic as possible. It’s important to remember that once you’ve ‘friended’ someone on the web, they’ve generally got unlimited access to your online movements. This isn’t like real life. In real life, if you meet a new friend, you don’t tell them everything about you. Some things they just won’t want to know.

With each ‘convenient’ update released, with each development launched, we’re told that we become closer to the ‘ultimate’ social networking experience. These platforms were set up to make it easier to connect with people, but what if we’re just victims of a communication overload?

This could be said of the latest changes that have been proposed for the Facebook layout (which, by the way, haven’t been received particularly well). The design updates, which were revealed by founder Zuckerberg at the annual F8 convention, include plans to encourage each user to share as much media as possible, allowing each of your friends to watch your online life almost in real-time. To replace traditional profile interfaces, Zuckerberg wants to roll out a vis-audio timeline of your activity, replacing streams with a mish-mash of videos, photos, audio and statuses. Facebook has received criticism from the masses – many have protested by describing the new look ‘too cluttered’ and ‘too complicated’ and are of the opinion that the site has become ‘too difficult to use and enjoy’. There’s too much going on, quite frankly, and users have been put off by the inability to easily shut off particular aspects of their life from certain friends.

The Likely Aftermath

Trying to tie together all these issues in what was supposed to be an upbeat article has been a mammoth task. But at the end of the day, I feel that many of us are still blinded by networking’s glory days and refuse to accept that the networks’ foundations are crumbling. Unless we can break down the barriers that stop social media REALLY progressing, we’ll simply keep getting fed the same ideas over and over until we fall off the wagon completely.

Listen and learn, social networks. Your users don’t want real life, they want freedom, optional anonymity and, above all, choice – three aspects of social media that are quickly slipping out of their reach. Major turn off; major brick wall.

But what do you think? Are you still enjoying social networking as much as ever, or do you feel the concept has been exhausted too?

laustinseo

Lewis Austin lives in Chelmsford, England, and is the Social media Marketer for SEO Positive Follow his blog on Twitter

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The Bad Ass SEO Guest Blogging Contest

Aug 2, 2010   //   by Gerald Weber   //   blogging, pay per click, SEO Blog, Social Media  //  36 Comments

Yes, you read correctly, it’s time for The Bad Ass SEO Guest Blogging Contest. For the next month, I’ll be accepting guest posts right here on my blog. As you can see below, the top guest bloggers are eligible to receive cash prizes (current pot is $2100.) cash and there are a couple non-cash prizes.

To clarify, you don’t have to actually be a bad ass SEO (although it wouldn’t hurt) to enter the contest. The general theme is SEO and the contest itself is bad ass since we have several generous sponsors that put up cash and a few other prizes.

What is the Bad Ass SEO Guest Blogging Contest? Blogging is always fun, but it’s even more fun when there is cold hard cash involved. Starting today (August 2nd) until September 2nd, you can submit guest posts to my blog. I’m pretty flexible as far as acceptable topics as long as they fit within the general theme of this blog. So, anything from SEO to blogging to social media will do.

How long does the contest last? The contest starts today August 2nd and ends September 2nd You must submit your post between these dates in order to be eligible to win. The winners will be announced 15 days after the contest ends. This will allow us ample time to publish any remaining posts and to judge all contest entries.

What can you win? Take a look at all the sponsors, cash and other prizes!

$200. Prize Sponsors

Daniel McGonagle Link Building

BestTravelWebsites.com Best Travel Sites

ArrangeYourVacation.com Vacation Rentals

$150 Prize Sponsors

Candy Store

$100 Prize Sponsors

Alisa Bowman Marriage Advice

Vertical measures

Internet Marketing Services

SEO Software

SEO Ottawa

Virtual Assistants

Hesham Zebida Thesis Skins

Gerald Weber Houston SEO

Toni J Young Network Marketing Training

Quillcards Distinctive Ecards by Quillcards

Ghostwriter Dad Ghostwriting services

$50 Prize Sponsors

Whitney Segura Whitney Segura’s Internet Marketing Blog

James Brown James Brown

Raxa Design Houston web design

Eric Brantner Freelance Copywriter

The Servant Media Houston Business Development

Ana Hoffman, Traffic Generation Cafe Increasing Targeted Website Traffic

The Lane Real Estate Team Kennewick Homes

Other prizes: Non-Cash Sponsors

Hostgator.com 1 year Business Hosting plan. Includes toll free phone number and SSL $179.40 value Business Web Hosting

David Harry A full years membership at SEO Dojo, a value of $250.SEO Training Dojo

Link-Assistant.Com SEO PowerSuite Enterprise (max. functionality license) $599 worth with a life-time Live! Plan subscription. SEO tools

Special thanks to the contest media partner: My Blog Guest. MyBlogGuest.com is the free guest post exchange community where users meet to exchange guest posts and network.

What are the rules?

  1. Register for a user account with SEM Group so you can submit your post for review. Please fill out all of your profile information and if you don’t have a Gravatar please get one. You may have up to 3 links in your bio.
  2. If you have already published a guest post here in the past there is no need to register. If this is the case and you aren’t sure about your login just send me an email and I’ll let you know your login credentials.

  3. You must submit your post by September 2nd 2010
  4. Your article must be original content, and it must be written by you.
  5. On the day your post is published, you must write a post on your blog about the contest that contains a link to the official contest post and links to all of the sponsors. A You can get the code to link to all of the sponsors here

    $200. Prize Sponsors

    Daniel McGonagle Link Building

    BestTravelWebsites.com Best Travel Sites

    ArrangeYourVacation.com Vacation Rentals

    $150 Prize Sponsors

    Candy Store

    $100 Prize Sponsors

    Alisa Bowman Marriage Advice

    Vertical measures

    Internet Marketing Services

    SEO Software

    SEO Ottawa

    Virtual Assistants

    Hesham Zebida Thesis Skins

    Gerald Weber Houston SEO

    Toni J Young Network Marketing Training

    Quillcards Distinctive Ecards by Quillcards

    Ghostwriter Dad Ghostwriting services

    $50 Prize Sponsors

    Whitney Segura Whitney Segura's Internet Marketing Blog

    James Brown James Brown

    Raxa Design Houston web design

    Eric Brantner Freelance Copywriter

    The Servant Media Houston Business Development

    Ana Hoffman, Traffic Generation Cafe Increasing Targeted Website Traffic

    The Lane Real Estate Team Kennewick Homes

    Other prizes: Non-Cash Sponsors

    Hostgator.com 1 year Business Hosting plan. Includes toll free phone number and SSL $179.40 value Business Web Hosting

    David Harry A full years membership at SEO Dojo, a value of $250.SEO Training Dojo

    Link-Assistant.Com SEO PowerSuite Enterprise (max. functionality license) $599 worth with a life-time Live! Plan subscription. SEO tools

    Special thanks to the contest media partner: My Blog Guest. MyBlogGuest.com is the free guest post exchange community where users meet to exchange guest posts and network.

  6. You can be either a sponsor for the contest or you can compete in the contest. Unfortunately you can’t do both.

Post Guidelines

  1. Guest posts must be at least 450 words, not to exceed 1000 words.
  2. You may have as many links as you wish in the body of the content. However, please limit links to your projects or websites to your bio. Absolutely no affiliate links allowed.
  3. Your bio must have a Gravatar. Please use a picture of yourself and not a logo.
  4. Keep your post relevant to the overall theme of this blog. SEO, link building, internet marketing, pay per click, social media, blogging tips are all acceptable topics.

How to win

  1. Write a post about the contest to help spread the word in the blogosphere. Your post (contest submission) will be judged First on quality of the content and style of the post.
  2. Add Sponsors links to your post using the correct anchor text and make sure the links are do-follow. This is extremely important and your post won’t be eligible to win if you haven’t fulfilled this requirement. The sponsors are the ones making the cash prizes possible, so show them some link love.
  3. A high value is placed on the number of and quality of comments received on your guest post. Also, be sure to interact with and respond to your commentators. This will help you win! Ambiguous and/or spammy comments will not help you.
  4. Spread the word about your post through all your social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, Sphinn, etc. A high value will be placed on number of Tweets and overall social media promotion.
  5. Keep in mind, the sooner you submit your post the more time you’ll have to promote it. So the early bird gets the worm!

Also feel free to use the donkey image in your post. You can get the code here

Also feel free to upload the image to your server if you like.

IF you have any questions feel free to contact me. Also you can contact me on Skype, I’m searchengineguy.

Let the blogging begin! Woot!

Gerald Weber

I founded Search Engine Marketing Group in December 2005. More recently I co-founded viralcontentbuzz.com. which is the free platform that helps bloggers generate REAL "social buzz" on their best content. Feel free to follow me on Google+

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