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April 12, 2007

Bookmark Strategies

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I’m excited, I’m excited.

I’m seated in the Bookmark Strategies session with speakers Michael Gray (Atlas Web Service), Lee Odden (Online Marketing Blog), Todd Malicoat (Independent SEM consultant), and Neil Patel (Advantage Consulting Service). You have to admit; this is a pretty kick ass panel. And even more fun, I know all of them. My coolness factor is almost immeasurable.

[Things worth noting: Michael Gray has a Yoda laptop cover. Not quite sure what to say about that.]

Okay, first up is Lee Odden to deliver an introduction to social bookmarking. The first thing Lee does is comment about the freezingness that is this room. No harping; just saying.

Lee explains that in the olden days of the Web, bookmarks were browser-based. You could save Web pages for future reference but they were often difficult to manage, presented navigation issues and had annoying single location access.

These days, bookmarks have gone social and are Web-based. This means one click saving opportunities, tagging, sharing, wisdom of crowds, RSS capabilities and portability. With social bookmarks, the intention is to save that great post so you can revisit it on a regular basis.

The major players in social bookmarking are:

  • Del.icio.us: Most popular bookmarking site. High opportunity for traffic, syndication and the ability to use social features. Uses both tags and folders. (Lee gives the audience a walkthrough of how to bookmark something on del.icio.us.)
  • Furl: A LookSmart property. Medium traffic opportunity and medium-low syndication opportunities. One of its unique features is that it caches your content. Notes are searchable and you can export your bookmarks from Furl with the cached pages.
  • Blinklist: Medium traffic opportunity and medium-high syndication opportunity.
  • Magnolia: Medium traffic opportunity with a low syndication opportunity; very group oriented. Its API rivals that of del.icio.us. Cache’s content and offers thumbnails.
  • Google bookmarks: Medium to low traffic opportunity with a medium opportunity for syndication. The unique features are that it affects personalized search results. There are multiple ways to add bookmarks, and your content can be access via the IE toolbar.

Use chicklets to entice your users to bookmarket your content via text links, combination, drop downs, fold outs, or pop ups.

Lee offers up two great tools you may be interested in:

  • Share This: WordPress plug-in. Once installed it creates a Share This link which lets users bookmark something while staying on the site
  • AddThis.com: If opens a new browser window when users bookmark something. It gives you statistics about who’s clicking on what.

If you’re going to get into social bookmarking, become a user first. Pick a tool, place buttons prominently, but don’t overkill it. Match bookmark service to audience. Track referrals and understand they’re not limited to blogs. You can use them on Web pages, email, etc.

Up next is Todd Malicoat aka Stuntdubl to talk about why del.icio.us is yummy. Mmm.

[Keep yourself amused. Todd broke the projector. He's from Albany, what do you expect?]

Okay, we’re back. Why should you care about del.icio.us? Because it gives the right links, offers bookmark aggregation, gives real bookmarks, delivers real traffic, and has great users (aka they actually purchase things).

Todd offers some tips to get the most out of social bookmarking:

  • Coordinate the launch: When you’re trying to making del.icio.us’s popular page, coordinate your launch with others. Go through your contact/AIM list and get people to give you some early bookmarks. You need 30 to 50 bookmarks in a 24 hour period to be considered "popular".
  • Offer a Call to Action: Put an "Add This" chicklet right after the article to encourage users to bookmark it.
  • Tagometer: Tag badges tell other users how many other users have bookmarked it. Peer pressure is always effective.
  • Firefox plug-in: Put the icon in your browser
  • Feedburner
  • Know your audience

The thing to remember with social media is that if turns into this snowball of buzz, traffic, links, top SERPs.

And now troublemaker Michael Gray. Let’s get ready for some accent!

Michael is here to talk about using social bookmarking sites for research. Research is important because it allows you to find out what’s working, what’s not working, discover trends, identify key players, identify your competition and keep track of who’s saying good or band things about you.

Sorry, Susan, but Michael says social bookmarking is about being social. To be successful you have to get people to like you. [Thanks, Glinda, I'll keep that in mind.--Susan]

Michael likes RSS because it’s big, fast, easy, orange and one of the best ways to keep track of info that changes quickly. Hell, yes!

When you’re getting ready to build content start by talking a look at Digg and do a search for your topic. See what other stories have been dugg or read through things that have been buried and find out why they were buried so you can better them.

StumbleUpon is another good way to research what’s popular, as is del.icio.us. When you add things to del.cio.us you can see how many people bookmarked that content. It will tell you who posted it first, the tags they used, and who else tagged it. Did it happen overnight, over time? You can add people to your network so you can monitor them and see what they’re doing.

Track your company name and your mentions in news services like Google Alerts, Google News, Track your URL (and your competitors’) in Digg, Netscape, del.icio.us and Technorati.

Oh, and don’t push crap. Write good stuff and use varying friend networks to get stuff moving.

I think Michael is scaring the audience by repeatedly using the world "stalker". They’d be really scared if they knew he meant it. Michael Gray really is a stalker.

Neil didn’t deliver a presentation; he’s just on hand for the Q&A. Slacker.





One response to “Bookmark Strategies”

  1. Rhea writes:

    Thanks for the session reviews… it’s almost like I’m there, but sans hangover.



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