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September 25, 2007

Which Bloggers Do You Read That No One Else Does?

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If you were paying attention to the blogosphere or the conversation going on over at Sphinn this past weekend, you probably heard the rumbling regarding search engine optimization bloggers. There was some heated debate as to what their responsibilities may or may not be to the outlying community, and what their audience has a right to demand from them.

There are plenty of obvious answers to this. Search bloggers have a responsibility to be fair, to get the facts right, to note their sources, to link out to opposing viewpoints, lots of stuff. I think most of us recognize this.

For me, though, there’s one biggie that doesn’t get touched on nearly enough, and it’s this: If you’re an SEO blogger, it is absolutely your responsibility to highlight new voices. To help bring attention to the people who are saying important things but are getting talked over. It is so important to the success and growth of our industry.

This is something that, truthfully, has been on my mind for awhile now. Not so long ago, a thread was started on Sphinn asking that when users submit something to the site, that they identify early on in the description who the author is. The common consensus was that doing this would help readers connect with authors or blogs that they respected. It helps expert content get noticed.

I remember commenting to Susan that the whole idea of this made me very uncomfortable.

I understand lots of things. I understand that there are some authors out there who have reputations stronger than others. I understand that we all have people that we’re naturally inclined to agree (and disagree) with. I understand that people don’t want to "waste their time" on writers with bad priors. I get that, I do. I just wonder if we’re not doing a great disservice to all the new voices out there. I wonder how many great articles are getting ignored because their names weren’t instantly recognizable.

You can argue that, in the case of Sphinn, by putting the names in the descriptions that, over time, new voices are found. If each one of Danielle James’ blog entries is submitted as "Danielle James wrote", then after a while she will gain a reputation for writing great stuff. And that’s true, but in order for that to work, someone has to be submitting it. Someone has to go out there and find that great content and submit it for her. She could do it herself, but unless you have someone like Tamar or Chris submitting things for you, trying to go "hot" is an uphill battle.

As search bloggers, are we doing enough of that? Are we going out and finding the rare pieces or are we relying too heavily on the A-listers? Do you leave your feed reader and hunt for new voices or do you just spend your entire day in there?

I know that I try and find new eggs. And when I do find them, I link to them. Perhaps I could be doing more of that.

And I’m not knocking the system or pretending that I’m doing everything in my power to help others gain more attention, but as search bloggers, I really feel finding new voices is one of our most important responsibilities to our community.

Tell me: Who do you read that no one else does? Who do you think is the best new voice out there is? How did you find them?

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9 responses to “Which Bloggers Do You Read That No One Else Does?”

  1. DazzlinDonna writes:

    Yep, yep, yep. Which is why I sort of started a meme here.

    Although I didn’t really think of it as a meme at the time, others took it that way and have turned it into one.

  2. Jill writes:

    Nope. IMO, you’ve got it backwards. It’s a good thing for those new voices to also have their names appear in the descriptions of the sphinns. Having the author’s name appear right off the bat before clicking through is good for them as well. It’s not going to stop people from clicking through.
    It’s just not fair to any person who writes something not to have it recognized from the outset. It’s good branding for the writer, whether they’re new to the field or not.
    I’ve read a ton of blog posts from people I never heard of before because of Sphinn, and I’m grateful for that. Once I read one good article from someone, I’m that much more inclined to read another…if only I knew they were the author right from the start.
    By the same token, once I read a crappy one, I am not in as much of a hurry to read another. Either way, I simply can’t see anything bad about having a person’s byline be obvious from the start. If nothing else, it’s simply good manners.

  3. Andy Beard writes:

    SU is great for this, it is easy for anyone to connect with you to take a look at something.

    Even is someone else submits something for you, by taking part in the discussion you can “own” the article and get your avatar recognised.

    Use the same avatar everywhere, make it distinctive

    When you turn up on a reader’s blog and hit that Stumble button, and then maybe Sphinn them, they are never going to unsubscribe.

    I also am using a heavily maligned widget for discovery – you can almost always pick something interesting just by a title.

  4. Michael Dorausch writes:

    Reading through this I was going to claim “I’m guilty” primarily of being an A-List reader of SEO related material, or at least blogs spoon fed to me by Tamar or Chris.
    I then had the realization that I view their content (and yours) rather than rely on the entry-level SEO material that typically reaches niche industries, so in that respect, I’m a hunter.
    I could be doing more seeking and linking. I’ll take this as a reminder.

  5. Arno Nel writes:

    there is a new south african blog which sounds interesting:
    http://www.businessit.co.za/blog

  6. JMorris writes:

    I’ll break the ice to answer Lisa’s question with SEOlogs.com. SEOLogs is owned by Badi Jones, who also owns dnScoop.com.

    While I wouldn’t consider SEOlogs an “unknown” blog, but compared to the A-Listers here, it’s a relatively young and upcoming SEO blog.

    Now, to comment on the article itself…

    Speaking from the perspective of new SEO Blogger, I can and do appreciate the desire to seek out and link to new authors. It is to my benefit, hopefully :-), so of course I’m going to appreciate it.

    Also, as someone who wants to establish a credible and long standing blog (whether popular or not), I also want to be sure that I’m doing my part in the SEO Blog community by also contributing to the discovery and promotion of fresh ideas and new authors.

    I’ve already seen far too many little groupings of A-listers who constantly banter back and forth through their blogs, but rarely bring exposure to fresh ideas that come from outside of their network. I agree that SEO Bloggers have an obligation to the community as a whole to bring exposure to these new voices and that will become a priority for me on my blogs.

    Thank you Lisa for this post. You’ve given me some good food for thought… and action.

  7. Lee Odden writes:

    We try to draw attention to new SEO blogs in our weekly BIGLIST update every Friday which includes anywhere from 1-10 blogs added.

    Those blogs are discovered by reading other blogs’ blogrolls, from Google Alerts, trackbacks and in some cases, comments left on the blog. Currently, there are over 400 blogs on the BIGLIST with a purge of 20-60 blogs every 30 days or so based on post activity.

    One blog that I think has really evolved the past few months and that’s putting out some unique info is aimclearblog.com

  8. Kate writes:

    I think Wayne Smallman at Blah! Blah! Technology is one of the best original bloggers out there. He writes about technology trends, but more often than not he discusses SEO, social media, etc.
    He says he is switching to a new blog layout soon, but in the meantime, subscribe to the feed to avoid reading white text on black background. It’s really worth it.

  9. Patti Fousek writes:

    Ummm. I read my own blog, http://www.creativemindsearchmarketing.com, does that count? I literally just started this blog in September, so please don’t be too harsh.



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