Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category
With each passing year come more dire warnings from university professors who complain about the fact that their incoming students simply do not know how to express themselves with the written word. One possible reason for this learning gap is that students do not put enough emphasis on writing in the classroom. With the move towards collaborative learning and project-based assessments, students are doing a lot less writing than they were a generation ago.
The answer is not simply to pile on more essay assignments, though. While students do need to write more often, writing serves instructional ends – as well as personal ones – when it is authentic. Blogging is a writing style that lives squarely in the twenty-first century, but it is also a medium that goes back centuries, what with the pamphlets that essayists would spread around town in the first centuries after Gutenberg fashioned that printing press. Because we want our students writing as much as possible, we should encourage them to create a blog so that they can feel a sense of ownership in what they create. There are several reasons why blogging will create stronger writers in the classroom. Read More
Web presence management provider Conductor, in partnership with research firm Ascend2, releases an SEO research study “Inside Enterprise SEO: SEO Survey Benchmarks for Large Companies.” The survey consists of valuable data for marketers about how SEO has performed for clients in terms of meeting their business goals.
One of the most interesting statistics uncovered by the study is the perceived importance of increasing website traffic by marketing, sales, and business professionals:
According to the survey, increasing website traffic is the second most important objective, behind increasing lead generation.
Well, I’m here to tell you that website traffic should never be an exclusive objective of your SEO strategy.
With the millions of blogs, web sites, and online publications to be found today, is it still worth your time to join the fray? Or is too late to join the game?
The answer is actually simple: yes.
The point where it gets complicated is what you mean by “worth it” and the reasons you want to enter the world of online publishing. There are a multitude of reasons one might want to start an online publication at this point.
One, you want to make it big and be rich like famous probloggers.
Two, you need an online platform to reach a wider audience for your business, no matter what size, brick-and-mortar or eCommerce.
Three, you just want to have a place online where you can write and share your thoughts, with the hopes of building an audience with profit not being the main goal.
Whichever reason you may have (it may not even be one of those three), I do think that there are enough justifications to support anyone who wants to start an online publication. Read More
We’ve all faced this temptation at least once. With all the noise there is online, it is only understandable. Take a look at your Facebook feed (although I probably don’t have to say that). What’s the ratio of people complaining/showing off/being passive-aggressive/etc. to people who actually have statuses that matter to you? How about ads and posts that are purely promotional?
Then there’s Twitter. Depending on how many people you follow – and if you use lists – the chances are that you are drowning in your stream.
“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” – Viktor E. Frankl
Many people today are constantly searching for purpose in life. Discontentment transcends age, gender, economic status and race. Fortunately, we are interdependent as a species. We thrive on affirmation and never hesitate to give advice. Such interactions don’t always lead to knowledge of the “ultimate goal”; but they do yield meaningful, shared experiences.
Answering a friend’s question.
Making a suggestion to a colleague.
Following the advice of a family member.
These are all great examples of shared experiences. Since technology has made communication much more convenient, idea and opinion sharing effectively found its way online. Capitalising on the human tendency for semantics, search engines are rapidly moving away from keyword-prompted results towards meaning-based answers to user queries. Read More
Traditional publishing has long maintained a “church and state” separation between the editorial and advertising departments. Meanwhile, from the reader’s point of view, the two have always intermingled. The daily news appears alongside ads for fashion brands, department stores, and household services. We can almost certainly credit the the abundance of local car dealership advertisers for the auto section in local newspapers. The line has always been blurry. Read More
With the announcement that Google is shuttering Google Reader, its popular RSS reading service, there have been a lot of questions about what is next for RSS, the ubiquitous technology that enables easy syndication of online content.
The questions are certainly valid. Google Reader was by far the most popular RSS reader on the planet. It had been dominating the market for years and, for many users, Google Reader was practically synonymous with the term RSS as it was their only direct use of the technology.
But with the key player gone, what’s next for RSS? Will social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, become replacements? Will people switch to alternative feed readers? Or will something else altogether different happen?
I’ve been thinking about this a great deal lately and, though a lot of people are understandably pessimistic about RSS’ role as a user-facing technology, I’m starting to become more optimistic. Though the removal of Google Reader is definitely painful in the short term, in the long haul it could lead to some great new tools, things that would not have been possible with a stagnant Google product dominating the market.
So what’s next for RSS? Here are my (brief) thoughts on the matter. Read More
Nobody likes to fail. Unfortunately, it’s a part of business, and while “I succeed because I fail” is somewhat of a cliche, it still rings very true, and there are real lessons to be learned from not coming up on top. Besides the somewhat obvious “soft lessons” we gain from failing time and again, there are also more direct ways we can leverage failure to come up significantly better than we were before.
While not all of these answers may be directly applicable to your business, hopefully they will offer enough motivation that when you suffer your next, inevitable dip in business, you’ll see opportunity through that collapse. Read More
I was on my first assignment and task as a writer for a law firm. Because of the trend in social media lately, I decided to check how the law firms utilize and use it for their online promotional campaigns.
Recently, the demand for social media marketing has greatly increased for several reasons. One of these is the relatively low cost of maintaining marketing campaigns in social media sites. Plus there are a lot of channels to choose from.
Law firms now extensively use social media in their link building and SEO campaigns. No wonder why because social media is getting more attention. Read More
Back in 2009, on the Blog Herald I wrote a post entitled “Should Your Blog Be on Tumblr?” taking a look at whether using Tumblr was right for your site or not.
While there was no simple answer at that time, it seems a lot of people chose Tumblr in the past 2-3 years. Lately, the Web has been talking about how, if the current trends continue, it’s likely that searches for the word “Tumblr” could outpace searches for the word “blog” by mid-October this year, a day I’ve taken to calling T-Day.
Simply put, Tumblr has had a meteoric rise since late 2010 and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to slow down. It has long since passed “WordPress” as a search term and, given the recent attention to Tumblr, T-Day could be even sooner than the comic predicted.
But would it have any significance? Does it matter if it comes before or after it’s predicted? The answer is simple: Probably not.
Because as interesting as Google search trends are, they aren’t the only source of data and they are easily skewed. However, it is still impressive what Tumblr has managed and, as such, it’s probably worth a second look as a blogging platform. Read More