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First to 100 Sphinns: Prove Yourself a Marketer

Sphinn, the social media site for search marketers, is shaping up. I have to say I am impressed with the way it has started to demonstrate real value. But one thing I would hate to see Sphinn suffer is “under achiever syndrome“. You know, where you try hard but stop pushing when it’s time to push the hardest, for whatever reason. We have enough of that in SEO already… SEO practitioners working for too little money, and suffering too much criticism from people who probably don’t even know how to register a domain. Sphinn doesn’t have a single article pushed past 75 Sphinns, and most are under 30. What’s with that? Why don’t you marketers Sphinn stuff? It looks weak, especially when the Diggers and Slashdot kiddies spare a glance. It doesn’t have to be that way, but it is up to you. Sphinn can help promote YOU, not just the BigFish brands that dominate the SEO space. With this post and your Sphinn account, I offer you a chance to be part of history.

Sphinn this submission to make this post go to 100 and make attention history. Sites like Sphinn live off user involvement : Click to promote (or Sphinn). Often your click is more important than the story. Often who submitted the story is more important than the story. How many Sphinn’s it has can definitely be more important than the story. Is Sphinn a popularity contest? Of course! Markeitng is a popularity contest! It’s all about attention! Rand knows this. Rand is a marketer. Oh, and by the way, Rand’s picture is at the top of the “Most Sphinned” page, with his submission of a “story” that says “Sphinn is good”. Duh. Of all the marketers on Sphinn, why has no one else worked Sphinn to place themselves at the top of that page? I use the first name “Rand” and everyone knows it is Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz, right? And WHY is THAT?

It only gets worse over time. The front page items get prominant placement for Sphinns. That’s why you want to go over 10 or so, to get to the front page; to get more Sphinns. That’s momentum.. just like organic SEO has momentum. I have to highlight for you underachievers out there, it is not gaming the system to work to get more Sphinns! Just as a comic book writer wants to get syndicated so more kids can read his comics, you want more Sphinns so more people will be exposed to your message! That is marketing, and I know you know that!

So why don’t you Sphinn stuff?

What about that “greatest hits” page? Appearing in the top 10 on that page adds exponential growth possibilities… everyone knows you can’t go wrong Sphinning something on there. Everyone else has already said it’s worth Sphinning! Did you ever go there? Ever Sphinn anything up? Sure you have! Was it somehting in the first ten, above the scroll? Of course it was! So those items get even more Sphinns. Will the Top Sphinned article ever get displaced? Maybe, but only by an earthquake of popularity. And in the mean time…. Rand’s face is top front and center.

Now I don’t have any problem with Rand holding that position. He’s a marketer, and he’s playing the Sphinn site to market himself. All fair in business. But I want OH SO MUCH to see the Sphinn community control the marketing power of the Sphinn site, as opposed to the BigBoys like Rand. So Sphinn this article to get it to 100 first. Just do it to prove the point. It won’t stay forever. Guys like Rand won’t leave themselves at #2 for long. But at least they should be challenged to work harder, right? I mean, sit there at the top forever because you were the first to post “Sphinn is great” and everybody agreed? Geesh. That’s like reserving in 1995 for $75, and keeping it forever. What a great idea.

But Sphinn is not like the Internet domainname system Sphinn members are in control. Now is your chance to make a difference. Sphinn this article, to get it to be the first article with 100 Sphinns. That should be easy, since 100 is not very many. Your reward for putting my mug above Rand’s on the MostSphinned page? A back link from my blog to yours. That’s right, I’m buying votes Million Dollar Home Page style, but for the community benefit instead of cash for me. You Sphinn this article and I list you here, and we Sphinn the submision to 100 before any other gets to 100 and we make history. And what history would that be? Marketers taking control of their own community site. That’d be nice, eh?

Duh. A marketing community executes on a plan to promote itself, on it’s own site, to prove it is a community of marketers and not just a community of followers. That’s what I want to see. Come on Sebastian and Natasha and Todd, have a go. Get your link, and put your mark on the point. Tamara? Rand? Come on, Rand. I know you want the back link. Why not be the first to Sphinn this? What a statement that would make, eh? Better hurry, before Danny Sphinns it first. I can see how that would be a positive bold endorsement of “power to the members” from Danny. And everybody else. Sphinn, and email me, and get a link to your own blog. It’s that easy. How fast to 100? That’s the only unknown.

So Sphinn this article to 100. Or don’t. I don’t care, but I would love to see it, and I suspect it would help push Sphinn further down the road to becoming a true marketer’s resource community, like we need.

(True marketers will be thinking hmm… I’ll be first, and get a link, and then hope it dies down, so no one else gets a link, and I get all the link juice from John’s blog. See what I mean? Don’t let them scare you off. Sphinn it and get your back link.)

—– off to a great start! So these people should use the competitive webmastering form to send me their URLs… please limit it to something branded with your Sphinn identity if at all possible. I will link to a gun site or whatever if it’s got your real name or can be linked to you somewhere on the web (show me), but no adult sites, illegal stuff, etc. you know the drill... all rights reserved, can change at any time, won’t spam you with affiliate links to SEOBook, etc etc etc).

If there’s no link, it’s because the Sphinn profile didn’t have a link, I didn’t get one from you, or we made a mistake. Let me know what to fix.


  1. I just bought and redirected to this page. Don’t worry, though. I’ll pay the autorenew. I’m a giver!

    Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 5:09 pm | Permalink
  2. Burgo wrote:

    Sphunn! And not even for a back link; I’m more interested in helping it along to see how this sphinnbait plays out…

    Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 5:22 pm | Permalink
  3. Hey John, Just given the post a nice little Sphinn! We’re upto 9, 100 doesn’t seem too far away now ;-)

    Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 6:01 pm | Permalink
  4. Lee Odden wrote:

    Use the list as you like John! :)

    Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 6:28 pm | Permalink
  5. Great post, John. I’ve Sphunn it too. I hope you make the 100.

    However it really would be great if items with real content could get on that front page. For example I feel that one I Sphunn today should get there. It’s called Telecom CE0s Do Not Get Web 2.0,/a>. So if anyone is reading these comments, perhaps they could try to get it at least above 10, please. :)

    Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 6:30 pm | Permalink
  6. Todd Mintz wrote:

    I’m in.

    Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 6:31 pm | Permalink
  7. SEOish wrote:

    I will sphinn, and…

    Lee, yeah he peretty much yanked your list :)

    John Andrews notes: Hey, I credit him at the bottom! Anyway, that list has plenty of good back links for Lee, so I was confident he wouldn’t mind some circulation ;-)

    Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 7:21 pm | Permalink
  8. Mike Levin wrote:

    John, interesting post here. Maybe I’m thick, but I’m still trying to get it. I’ll visit the links you provide. I actually found you through Technorati. No one visited me from this page yet, but on an interesting note, you can’t stuff HitTail referrer logs. We only record the first click from each visitor. Subsequent visits from the same user get filtered.

    Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 10:26 pm | Permalink
  9. I noticed some clicks :)

    Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 10:30 pm | Permalink
  10. PPCBlogger wrote:


    Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 11:53 pm | Permalink
  11. Sebastian wrote:

    You asked that nicely … sphunn :)

    Baiting link baiters with links & attention is a great stunt. I bet it beams you up to Sphinn’s hall of fame in no time.

    Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 12:54 am | Permalink
  12. Luke Regan wrote:

    Sphunn. Love it. It’s a nice little microcosm of the workings of the whole search marketing industry.

    Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 2:44 am | Permalink
  13. Ciaran wrote:

    I’ll Sphinn this even though we’re yet to see a click from the list (we used to be Eyefall). I’m sure one will turn up…

    Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 2:45 am | Permalink
  14. rob wrote:

    Damn technorati ;)

    Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 3:42 am | Permalink
  15. rob wrote:

    Damn technorati ;)

    Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 3:42 am | Permalink
  16. IncrediBILL wrote:

    Good grief, I’m on a list of Sphinncters…

    Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 7:18 am | Permalink
  17. Derek wrote:

    Nice idea! I gave it a “sphinn” this morning

    Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 8:22 am | Permalink
  18. Shell Harris wrote:

    Well, you strategy worked, WordPress reported a link from technorati was found to my blog, Big Oak SEO Blog, and I found this article and then Sphunn you today. Only one click to my site so far though.

    Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 10:40 am | Permalink
  19. Sebastian wrote:

    Last round, push it with an incentive for sphinn #100 :)

    Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 10:52 am | Permalink
  20. Andy Beard wrote:


    Q: Did you initially publish the list without the nofollows until Technorati has picked it up?

    Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 12:43 pm | Permalink
  21. 100th sphinner? That will be… MEEEEE!

    Quote: “True marketers will be thinking hmm… I’ll be first, and get a link…”

    Nope. True marketers wait till the 99th, and then claim the fame and glory on top of everybody else’s hard work… bwahahaha :)

    Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 1:10 pm | Permalink
  22. Amy Greer wrote:

    Nicely celebrated, Paul. Here’s to # 101.

    Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 1:20 pm | Permalink
  23. john andrews wrote:

    Awesome response. I expected no less, and didn’t it feel good?

    Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 2:27 pm | Permalink
  24. John, Thanks for bringing the social to the Sphinn community. It has to be a place that marketers can hang their hats, you have just brought out the old welcome mat and set the tone.


    Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 5:30 pm | Permalink
  25. And I bumped it up a little…to 108.

    This is fun. :)

    Thanks for rallying all of us together John.

    – Daniel

    Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 6:46 pm | Permalink
  26. Congrats on the milestone…and more!

    This was an interesting post, and a great way to promote the use of Sphinn.

    Friday, August 10, 2007 at 5:57 am | Permalink
  27. Why is it that the best ideas seem so obvious after the fact? I nominate this post as one of your most inspired. Well done! And while you’ve already hit the magic 100, I’ll Sphinn it if it’ll help keep this on future best of lists.

    Editor’s Note: Hey thanks for the compliment. It seems to me there is much more Sphinning and voting going on since I did this, which is probably the best part.

    If you want to do more, I notice that the Sphinn count image was designed to accommodate 3 digits. That means “999” is the largest number of Sphinns a post can get before…. ??? Before what exactly happens? Does “1000” extend to the left? To the right? Centered across, overlapping something? Or does it break? or Reset to…. “000” (that would be way cool). Sounds like a mystery, that can only be solved if a post goes all the way to 1000…. ;-)

    Friday, August 10, 2007 at 3:06 pm | Permalink
  28. And when we DO get to 1,000, you know what he’s going to wonder next, don’t ya? ;)

    Great stuff, John!

    Friday, August 10, 2007 at 7:25 pm | Permalink
  29. Hey,

    Good list over there… I am sphinning, The best Sphinn baiting Article I have seen….

    Monday, August 13, 2007 at 7:21 pm | Permalink
  30. OOM wrote:

    So it seems you got well over 100, now what? Up for 1,000? :)

    Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at 3:36 am | Permalink
  31. Sphunn Jon! This is truly great linkbait :)

    Friday, August 31, 2007 at 11:53 pm | Permalink
  32. Debo Hobo wrote:

    Great, this a great idea. Gotta love linkbait!

    Sunday, September 2, 2007 at 2:11 pm | Permalink
  33. SEO Honolulu wrote:

    Hey thanks for the mention :)

    psst… could you fix the link where you mentioned me though lol :p

    Wednesday, December 19, 2007 at 11:58 pm | Permalink
  34. seanmag wrote:

    Okay, I’m in. 221 and still Sphinning out of control…

    Monday, January 21, 2008 at 11:12 pm | Permalink
  35. explorer wrote:

    Hi John,

    I have Sphunn 2 days ago, and have summit using competitive webmastering form, but my website still not show in the above list, please advice thank you.

    Text to display : XXXXXX
    The webiste : http://www.XXXXXX

    @Explorer: When it hits 300 I will start updating the thank you’s. In the mean time, you submitted a fake email address, and link dropped your site intothe comments twice. This is not a spam farm, but a blog about search marketing. Thanks for showing some respect.

    Thursday, March 27, 2008 at 10:29 am | Permalink
  36. simon wrote:

    I just made the magic 300 sphinn’s for one article…

    Friday, March 28, 2008 at 8:52 am | Permalink
  37. Geld Lenen wrote:

    I totally missed this post, but I saw it on Sphinn’s greatest hits today! It’s now on 303 Sphinn’s. A really nice achievement, you can be proud of yourself!

    @Geld: thanks, but it’s an exercise in utility. 

    Sunday, March 30, 2008 at 9:45 am | Permalink
  38. explorer wrote:

    Hi John,

    That was my real email, I fill in the “Mail” field, let me know if you have problem contacting me, thank you.

    Best Regards

    Tuesday, April 1, 2008 at 5:13 am | Permalink
  39. Dan Lew wrote:

    Your certainly near the 400 mark now, Would be nice to see who can hold the record and for how long? Sphinn should also issue a prize aswell, Nice achievement!

    Sunday, August 10, 2008 at 12:56 am | Permalink
  40. Great achievement John. I’m sure they’ll issue a prize when you reach 1,000!

    Saturday, September 27, 2008 at 6:13 am | Permalink
  41. Ha ha ha I love this. Maybe you really will reach 1000 , I checked the greatest hits today thinking I would find something great at the top instead an effort to get there only. But nice!

    Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 2:30 am | Permalink
  42. lenen wrote:

    Great article! Keep it going John!

    Sunday, October 26, 2008 at 3:32 pm | Permalink
  43. wpdigger wrote:

    It is now 428 Spinns and mine will be 429 . :)

    Tuesday, December 23, 2008 at 5:45 am | Permalink
  44. geldleningen wrote:

    I like this post! Makes me wanna Sphinn too!

    Saturday, December 27, 2008 at 4:10 am | Permalink
  45. I wanna see 1000 Sphinns John!

    Saturday, December 27, 2008 at 4:12 am | Permalink
  46. Jonh you are a great marketer, but could you do the same for a customer product?

    Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 4:29 am | Permalink
  47. Great article! Keep it going John!

    Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

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