Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Internet Content Providers: Just Content, No B/S

When you are an Internet bullshit artist, perception is everything. But when you are a quality Internet content provider, the thing that matters is how well you write, your understanding of SEO, and your ability to provide your clients with quick turnaround times. The Content Dude enjoys his White Russians, and he does indeed place an emphasis on bowling, womanizing, and the occasional Cuban cigar, but in the end, the cat lives for content.

There is something to be learned from the Content Dude's approach to writing. He doesn't write to please his clients at all. He doesn't write things that are "just good enough," either. The Dude writes to please himself. Whether he is writing about radiator repair materials or the feasibility of teleportation, the Dude simply shapes and fine tunes the material until it is to his liking. The fact is that Internet Content Providers' clients are always more than satisfied with the Content Dude's work, which is why he has money for Stoli, Kahlua, Milk, and bowling. But that is simply a symptom of his personal artistic integrity.

If you do what you're good at it, and you do your very best, and you do it just because, good things happen to you. The perception that I'm referring to here is related to the fact that it's been over a week since I posted on our blog. It may look like the Content Dude is not on top of things. Allow your mind to wander, it's okay...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Athens, GA Web Content

When you are in the business of web content and search engine optimization, you are supposed to post very relevant and useful information on your blog in the hope that people will link to it. Then, you will look like an authority in your field. However, true revelatory insight that everyone hasn't heard before is rare. But if you are linked to a lot, you get mucho Google juice, and everyone wants some of that, so you develop an insouciant following that may have nothing to do with your unique brand of genius.

But that's the way that the 'net rolls, and it's cool. I don't have any information for you today that is going to make you $48,000 this month. (If I did, why would I tell you for $49.95?) But I want my clients and potential clients to get to know me, so I am going to write about the fact that I'm moving to Athens, GA on the 12th of August.

I grew up in New Jersey, so Athens is not a true homecoming, but I lived there about ten years ago and it really felt good. I'm a musician as well as a writer and I went there to try to get noticed musically. I achieved that, and was made an offer that I found to be insulting at the time, but I was just plain wrong. So, I am coming full circle and going back to Athens in an effort to contribute to the artistic culture and see if anybody is interested in the music that I play. I'm also going to do what I can to get content clients local to me in Athens. Writing content is a "day job" that you don't have to do during the day, and starving artists have to eat, right?

I like writing content and look forward to balancing my content business with my musical aspirations. That is, until I am a very rich and famous celebrity. I will then be unavailable to write content for you. But, you will be able to say that you used to buy content from the Content Dude before he was an international superstar. That is, if you contract my services while they are still available to the general public.

Wouldn't it sadden you to think that you passed on an opportunity to own content that was written by a jet-setting international Grammy winning A-List mega-ultra musical demigod of epic proportions? Don't take that chance. Act now and get in touch so we can take care of your content needs while we still can.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Corporate Content Sucks

I have always been an unconventional thinker, and I have never trusted cookie-cutter "normalcy." I like interesting people who keep it real. I feel the same way about businesses. Unfortunately, the business landscape is dominated by corporations who have no personality or tangible substance. They are not people who happen to sell a product or service. They are soulless entities with only one aim: profit for their shareholders. This shows in their content.

As a potential customer, I can get just about anything from many different sources. What would convince me to buy from you would be the value you were offering me of course, but then I would consider whether you seemed cool to me. I would also try to get a feel for how you treated your employees. I like to support peeps who are nice, smart, positive, aware, and trying to be part of the solution, as it were, rather than contributing to the problem. What is the "problem?" Being fake, phony, shallow, disingenuous, greedy, and willing to do or say anything for a buck.

It seems to me as though people could have a lot of fun and allow their own unique personalities to shine while they are earning a living. Being yourself, however, is not "professional." The idiocy that is the necktie tells the story here. Why would anyone choose to wear a tight collar around their neck and then wrap this ridiculous piece of fabric around it? It seems like this custom is telling you that in order to "look professional," you have to feel uncomfortable. Clearly, when it comes to work and doing business, we are conditioned to believe that we must become some sort of amalgam of what "officialdom" expects from us. But who started all of this convention, and who put them in charge?

I think that the wave of the future is transparency and genuine communication (and no neckties). Lying and twisting the truth in an effort to make a sale is lame. None of that works on me. What would get my attention is a human voice of intelligence, wit, and good humor that honestly explained what was being offered and why I should buy it from that source.

Corporations are not real people. The people who work for corporations are not real people either (while they are working)--they become a projection of the corporation's expectations. So even though the corporate voice is not real, it has become the standard that the rest of us tend to mimic.

What would get my attention is a site that has content that is speaking to me like a real person (like this one). But the opposite is true for most people. They "trust" slickness and corporate jargon. So the Content Dude will continue to wait patiently, and in due time, the tie-less shall inherit the earth.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cheesy Twittering

I know that there are people who (apparently) make a lot of money by using bots on Twitter for spam marketing, but to me, that sucks. The whole practice of spam-botting in general sucks, but I am going to stick to Twitter here.

Let me state this disclaimer: this is a vent. Nobody will care that I wrote this, and nothing well change because I wrote it. But the Dude of Content needs to keep it real, and he swims below the surface (a surface that is often times muddled with Kahlua, but I digress).

People who are shamelessly always trying to make a buck on every Twitter post are almost as bad as those who use the bots. It shows such a lack of real integrity and class that it is amazing, but here is the rub, and it permeates our entire culture: C.R.E.A.M., as the great Wu Tang Clan recognized so many years ago. Regardless of what you do to make money, be it violent, ruthless, unfair, unethical, illegal, or just sadly cheesy like the Twitter spammers, it doesn't matter. You have succeeded. That is our culture.

You can ruin formerly good things, and nobody cares, as long as you emerge with money (and power)--like Twitter--and you can just call yourself an "Internet entrepreneur" and people will not only not think you're wack, they will climb under your capstone. (There are bigger things that conform to this same principle, like governments, corporations, religions, and professional sports teams, but this is about Twitter dammit : > )

So when you choose to not be a dick and ruin things, you don't get any of the money. But if you join in the wackness, you lose your soul, either on a pretty deep level because you consciously chose to do so, or to a lesser extent because you were too shallow to have much or any soul in the first place.

All of this is what makes a man become a Dude, which to me means that you recognize that life in this culture we call modern America is a parody that makes no sense. Time for a White Russian...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Internet Marketing, Google and Ethics

As an Internet content provider, I write what my clients ask me to write. If I am directly writing on their web site or blog, of course I know where the content will appear and I know what they are doing with it. There are other instances, however, when they ask me to send them some articles in a .doc file, and once I do this I have no idea what they are going to do with the content. I have done my job and violated none of Google's guidelines in writing it, so in a very real sense it is none of my business how they use content that they have purchased from me.

I recently had the experience of getting a pretty big, time sensitive article writing project for a client. I had done similar work for him, and I just submitted the articles, got paid, and that was it. One day when I was in the middle of this assignment I got an email from the client with the heading "Google caught us." He told me to stop writing the pieces, saying that "Google isn't running the stories anymore." I don't know exactly what he meant by that or where he was trying to post the articles, which were perfectly well written and not even stuffed with keywords. There was just a little call to action at the end of the pieces suggesting that people visit his site.

He then asked me to write a couple of articles per day for his site. At this point I didn't really want to work with him, but I didn't want it to seem like I was judging him, so I did it.

Then, yesterday, he told me that he had more work for me. He said he had come up with a "truly original idea" that involved spamming Craigslist. As he was talking I knew I wouldn't do it, but once again, I didn't want to offend him. I told him that I was a registered Craigslist user and that I can't post more than three legitimate ads per day. He said he had many different Craigslist accounts. I told him Craigslist will recognize the same IP address. He said he has an IP scrambler, and then kind of trailed off into how he'll get another person to post, but he would ask me to write the content. He changed the subject before I could respond.

I wrote him earlier today and told him that I couldn't work with him any longer. I won't even write for his site. I told him I was too busy because I didn't want to preach to him, but I would guess that he understands the real reason. He had also recommended me to a friend, and I assume that I won't be hearing from him, but that's fine.

Turning away customers is difficult, because as I learned in college, customers are good for business. But I'm in this for the long haul and I am going to stay within Google's guidelines, remain true to my own ethics and make the 'net a little bit better by providing content that doesn't suck. The Content Dude won't abide spammers, and hopefully, you won't either.

(I am adding this a month or so later: dude stiffed me for the money he owed me to boot!)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Search Engine Karma & Collectivity

Most of us would like to find a quick path to success, and our financiers certainly want to see rapid returns on their investments, so this is built into the system. Finding a way to make money fast is not just unrealistic thinking or personal greed--it can the a means of economic survival. I am an honest and ethical Content Dude at heart, but I have to eat like everyone else, and I can't change the world (though God knows I have looked foolish at times trying). Mostly out of naivete, I have implemented SEO content techniques that are not grossly unethical, but just kind of annoying, over the last few years. Link building was taught to me by someone who had a lot of temporary monetary success with shill blogs. Those efforts did not yield the fruit that I would have liked, but all was not lost: I learned something.

Do think that there is such a thing as "search engine karma?" I do. Perhaps the intentions of the content writer impact the success of the content in capturing readers' attention and moving up the SERPs. If things are always evolving, even by the millisecond, it would seem to me that algorithmic functions that contain significant density could morph in ways that cannot be measured because they would change by the time you took the measurement. This is true even if you had the means to measure a rather abstract set of probabilities.

But that's not all. I posited the notion on the Terence McKenna message boards back around 1997 that the Internet is an external manifestation of Jung's collective unconscious. Further, it has become a vehicle of synchronicity.

In other words, when you have an intention and put it out on the Internet, which is what search engines capture, you get a series of results or possible "next steps." I am suggesting that this computing process is intertwined with the human consciousness now, and all of the same principles that the mystics have contemplated and recognized since the dawn of humanity are present when someone submits their consciousness to the Internet.

It is ego vs. transcendence to collective cooperation (Oneness). If you are in ego, you see the Internet and Google as entities that you can trick and spam for money. If you are in transcendence to collective cooperation, you see the Interent as a way to express yourself and your intentions and place them into the "cloud," as it were. If you are free of mental/intentional "blockages" (firewalls?) you will receive results that will lead you to the next step along the path of realizing your intentions.

Anyway, that's how I experience the Internet and life in general, and the Content Dude is all about keeping it real, so we have laid out some food for thought. In so doing we have risked our reputation as sane, middle of the road, safe thinkers, but what the hell, we want to work with people we like. Our Internet Content Providers SEO content tip of the day: keep you search engine karma clean, and good things will happen for you.