Social Organism

So, this past week I have been trying to help my cousin make the move from San Diego (where I’m from) to Santa Barbara (where I live). I haven’t been on the job hunt for some time now, but I was reminded of the agony/intrigue of it this week as my cousin is on the hunt. The interesting thing to me is that, no matter where you are, or what your skill set is, there always seems to be a conversation with someone you know that starts off: “I know this guy…” Now, sometimes it’s just the necessary smoke that gets blown, but occasionally its that spark that ignites a beautiful opportunity. It was this thought that led me to consider the possibility, that no matter where you are, or what your circumstance is, we are all part of an organic, social culture. Whether it’s someone you know that hooks you up with a job, or 7 degrees of Kevin Bacon, we are all networked by nature. It is this aspect of our being that make certain aspects of being a web developer incredibly interesting. These past few weeks, Justin and I have had pretty extensive conversation regarding the whole aspect of ‘social media’. A site like Digg incorporates most all of the aspects of just being in relationship with people. Some things that come up are valuable and interesting. Some things are people who don’t know what they’re talking about, but get a lot of attention. And some things are people trying to exist in a place that they have no business being. The problem is, the latter two seem to be much more common than the former. As I expressed previously, it is this reason that has turned me off to the social media world. But I am beginning to see the value of sifting through all of the bs to get to the meat that is worth chewing.

I think we are all at a point where we are warmed up to the idea and concept behind social media, so let’s move forward now! I think it’s time to stop theorizing about it and start practicing. “Practice and preach, don’t Theorize and Teach” -Anonymous. We know what we like, and what we don’t. We all have ideas that would improve the current realm of social media, sooo… GO! If it’s truly social media that we’re talking about, there should be nothing preventing us from changing the way that this beast grows and flourishes. WE are the body, we belong to it, and we make up the very cells that cause it to exist. It is time to take ownership and make something wonderful. -kenny

Social Media Hype

So, for some time now I have had this sort of (and I know it’s cliché) love-hate relationship with aspects of the whole ‘social media’ world. On one hand, I absolutely love what sites like del.icio.us have done for me. A way to track what I like in an orderly, accessible manner, that is user friendly and sensible. On the other hand, I roll my eyes when I hear someone say “Did you see that site up on Digg?”. Up until now, my opinion of Digg has been that it is simply a Myspace for web geeks. It’s not that I haven’t used Digg, or Myspace for that matter, but when I do use them I keep it to myself. The same way I use del.icio.us to track sites for ME, not for everyone else to see. So now we come to this week. On Monday, my buddy and partner Justin Walton, wrote an article that received quite a lot of attention on Digg. Being as we talk via im constantly throughout the day, he informed me when it had received a few hundred diggs. We continued to watch the numbers climb through the morning until it hit about 1400 diggs, when our server crashed. After scrambling a bit to get it back up and running, we watched the article climb to be the #4 most popular article of the day across the board. It is currently at 2871 diggs! Since monday, we have been seeing the results of this article’s popularity. We had something like 54,000 unique hits on our server, 550 people subscribed via RSS to Justin’s blog, he gained over a hundred new links to his site, and will be appearing soon on Jason Calacanis’s podcast. Now, Justin and I are both benefitting greatly from this. As we are starting a business together, all of the hype and new traffic to our sites will pay out long term no doubt. And as search marketers, Justin and I are also very happy to have the increase in link traffic and publicity. So, as it turns out, my opinion of sites like Digg, is not so bad anymore. I can see the benefit that is offered to web developers and bloggers alike. Whether you are tying to make a point, or sell a product, this whole environment of social media turns out to benefit us all! -kenny

SEO and CSS

Today I read an article by search authority Danny Sullivan regarding, among other things, all of the recent buzz about Google spidering CSS files on webpages. Now, while there seems to be some validity to the issue concerning using css to cloak and hide duplicate content, I don’t see what the big deal is! At the SES conference in Chicago this past December, a number of search experts specifically addressed the issue of duplicate content and quite blatently said not to worry about it. So, why not just chill out? Furthermore, using css will only enable you to alter appearance or layout of content, NOT make it magically dissappear! So all the wannabe spammers are still gonna have to address the fact that Google will see their illegitimate tactics. So for the rest of us, lets all settle down. It’s not like it’s difficult to write valid css! -kenny

Bookmark

This morning as I commenced my usual news reading and coffee sipping, I saw a headline on CNET in my rss site: “Here comes the terabyte hard drive.” I thought to myself, wow, another bookmark in the history of technology. I still remember the bookmark at a gigabyte. I look back to that time, when I began my life as a techy and don’t feel so much like a novice anymore. Now we begin the anticipation of the petabyte hard drive! -kenny

SES Chicago

Well, I’m back from the search engine strategies conference in Chicago. I attended what was a four day conference and trade show. The information I learned was certainly not priceless! With the basic to mid-level training in SEO under my belt, I estimate my worth to have gone up about 15-20k per year on a salary basis. Nice for me 🙂 The conference was a great opportunity for learning the official ‘white hat’ techniques for gaining organic listings in the major search engines, and strategies for development of search marketing in the areas of ppc, link building, and site optimization. I see search marketing to be a very niche, and very lucrative aspect of web development and design. I am excited to dive in full throttle as a search marketer, and even more excited to be able to add search marketing to my resume of services offered to clients. I was able to make some new contacts, from having attended the conference.. One of which was speaker Jim McFayden of Critical Mass. He spoke at the Flash & SEO session as well as the session regarding Ajax, css, and Web 2.0 & SEO session. He caught my attention as one of the few speakers who stood out as a technically inclined search marketer. This of course makes perfect sense seeing as he is a programmer / web developer himself. I was able to meet up with him later one evening for a couple of drinks where we had a great conversation regarding both of our positions as web developers both at a salary job, and on the side. His insight was much appreciated on my part as I was able to glean valuable knowledge from a seasoned search marketer and programmer. I hope the favor was returned as I was able to give a bit of insight to him as well on topics that he was maybe not so up to date. I was also very glad to be able to catch up with my colleague/partner in web development & SEO, Justin Walton of Position Technologies. I guess, catch up is not so much the term seeing as we speak on a daily basis.. But in person was a nice change from the ever so familiar instant message conversations that we carry on from one day to the next. We are both looking forward to some recent developments in our opportunities as partners in web-design and SEO. This conference was only a boost for the both of us. In summary, I was very glad to have had the opportunity to attend Search Engine Strategies Chicago ’06, and many thanks to Barry Langberg of Global Power Supply for having sent me as an in-house representative for GPS. Certainly Global will benefit from my learning as I am the sole web developer for the company. I look forward to the next conference! -kenny

New Blog!

Well, This is the start of my new blog site… So I’m exicited about it, the new layout, new subdomain, a fresh start.. The only bummer is, I can’t find any way to export the posts from my old blog so that you can find them here.. Pretty big bummer.. But I guess it’s better to start over sooner than later.. So what I’m going to do, is just post some of my favorites from the old blog up on here.. Oh Well! -kenny