John Andrews is a Competitive Webmaster and Search Engine Optimization Consultant in Seattle, Washington. This is John Andrews blog on issues of interest to the SEO community and competitive webmasters. Want to know more?

johnon.com  Competitive Web & SEO
March 5th, 2007 by john andrews

Platinax Internet

This is a sponsored review. Platinax went through broker ReviewMe to ask if I would review the Platinax small business / entrepreneur web site. I agreed for a few reasons. First, I recognize Brian Turner from a few SEO forums, and my recollection is he’s a positive guy who often speaks directly, which I like (even if he doesn’t include johnon.com in his blogroll). Second, I feel qualified to review an entrepreneur / small business resource site because I am a decidely small time entrepreneur, having started several successful companies that I very deliberately chose to keep small despite growth opportunity.  I like small, and I have worked with big (Fortune 50, NASDAQ/NYSE listed) many times.

Platinax has a directory and blog and forum, and the front page summarizes what is going on. It’s a business directory plus blog plus syndicated news on small business. I think the potential is in the forums.

Funny thing about forums… once they are well managed technically, the forum value varies with the visitor. If the forum includes the right people, it and can be a very valuable resource for some but not others. I wasn’t aware of Platinax before, but I recognizes a few names from my webmaster travels. They keep it very open, sort of the opposite of so many of the cliquish forums. If you’re intimidated by sites like ThreadWatch and DP, and don’t like the idea of subscribing to single business forums like the MOZ blog, you might find Platinax a safe place to establish yourself as a voice. The make-money-fast stuff is quickly identified for what it is, and eradicated with just enough snarkiness to keep things entertaining. It’s a UK site, but out of Scotland which might explain the slightly different snarkiness (more polite? Less aggressive?) than UK forum stuff like I see on ThreadWatch.

Platinax is definitely less sophisticated than many SEO forums, which would make it attractive to small business owners who are not looking to become full-time Internet marketers. I’d call it “small business friendly”.  With sections on all the typical online business topics (marketing, PPC, SEO, legal, organizational issues) it covers the bases, and the current participation seems very positive and practical. It definitely needs participation to grow. As I read through some threads, I wished there were more active posts and questions because it feels like a very positive environment that’s underutilized.

There’s value in the Platinax forums for small business owners because guys like Brian take more advanced information on other sites and bring it into the forum, where they also make themselves available to support a discussion. For that reason I’d recommend it if you are a small business working online, and looking for a community experience. I’d also recommend it if you are a wanna be consultant with some decent experience under your belt. You can join and establish your persona helping the community without the crowds you find on the bigger forums.

 

 

 

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July 14th, 2006 by john andrews

Here Come the MySpace SEOs

This post is a bit premature. But I post it anyway. hell, I can always update it.

Here come the MySpace SEOs. Where? Well, I said it was premature. But they will come. And when they do, will you be ready?

I am a big fan of newbie SEOs. I was a big fan of Matt of WordPress fame back before his darker days, when he had just started out on the SEO route. I called him an SEO. Yes, before the doorway pages. Just because of the way he fostered the WP community, and set up his Photomatt community. Dead-on SEO character.

My prior MySpace post made me consider what will happen when all those MySpace community diggers learn their way out of their paper bags and realize that their skillz might actually be used *outside of myspace*, on the broader Internet where people actually click on ads and buy things. Homepages pushed people to learn Web programming back in the day. MySpace is pushing people to learn how to garner attention for their web *pages* on MySpace today. MySpace: Training Grounds for How to Make Friends and Influence People. Markus targeted the aging AOL adopters of the very early nineties. They did the “online chat thing” back then, and their doing the online dating community involvement thing with Markus now. And Markus is taking the check to the bank.

I think my next eBook will be “How to Transfer your MySpace Skills to make Millions on the Web” or something like that :-)

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July 14th, 2006 by john andrews

Web 3.0 – Now It’s All About MySpace

MySpace. The biggest thing on the net since Instant Messenger. MySpace. The #1 destination on the web if you chop up Yahoo! into separate domains and services. MySpace, where dancing bears and shoveling construction workers can’t hold a candle to embedded video clips and simultaneous ring tone wavs blaring out from dark gray on black text with a red-hearts-on-black bg gif. Only the 35+ webmasters will get the “dancing bears” joke. That’s ok. MySpace is not for 35 year olds. MySpace is for those other people. The ones everyone has always ignored. You know, the younger crowd.

Well now MySpace is the big opportunity. Christine Dolce is a star, and she STARted on MySpace. From her website:

Christine quickly established herself as an icon with looks that kill, great style and personality to match. Dubbed as the “Queen of Myspace” in a feature story in March’s issue of Vanity Fair Magazine, with over 30 million profile views and 900,000 “friends”, Christine is one of the top 3 popular out of the 80 million profiles on the site.

And those stats are old. She has since become MySpace “friends” with more than 1 million MySpace users, has launched a clothing line, modeled for Playboy, and generally replaced al lthose other blondes on the publicity circuit. Remember the “Slimfast, baby” blond star? What was her name again? See?

Chrstina Dolce didn’t get there by kismet. She didn’t get all that early attention with your typical Mash-up MySpace page. She had Baker Media setting her up. Pros at MySpace. Handlers, you might say. In the Web 1.0 SEO world on the Internet, the “SEO Rock Stars” are all in their 30’s and forties. Their classic moves are classic like in “classic rock”. Sure there are youngsters, but the real action follows on the hip hop revolution into MySpace, and the MySpace generation.

But all SEO’s know it’s never too late to adapt, and I found a blog article that presents that very, very nicely. In “Secrets to Launching Your Empire (or how to become an A-Lister overnight) Part Two“, Cowboy says this deep inside an excellent pesonal review of MySpace, in the section called “Speak Their Language”:

The Myspace crowd is a lovey dovey population, its also a hate filled population. It’s a young population that is much different than our parents. The MySpace generation has been exposed to more in a shorter period of time. Consider all the school shootings. Consider 9/11, the first attack on the mainland in our history. Consider all the useless wars we are fighting, the taking away of our rights, consider our socio-economic dumbing down. The MySpace is the Underground America. It’s where the future wars will be fought for the minds and hearts of Americans. The MySpace generation is highly emotional. It’s very real. Many people on MySpace communicate on Myspace better than in real life. To them MySpace is a reality….It’s friends without borders. Many people on Myspace use it to communicate with people they have been friends with but are separated with. Many people on MySpace could care less about commercialization of society but desire to recreate some community that they most definetly have lost due to broken relationships at home, a bitter war, and a fucked up reality being drowned out by commercialization.

I added the bolds and fixed a typo or two, and ellipses (…) mean I skipped some. But all of it is good. You should read it. Especially the part that goes

it’s time to simplify your business and begin to communicate with your customers. Blogs are a great way to do this. Like wise your blog is a great place to launch a business. Even if your blog only has a handful of readers. I would much rather have a business launch with a handful of customers who believe in my brand than launch a business with 10 million dollars in extra cash. And that’s what Web 3.0 really is. It’s about communicating and leveraging your friends into developing the only the brand that matters and that’s yours.

Did you see it? I know you did. You definitely saw it. Web 3.0. That’s right, we can now happily skip right over that useless, unremarkable industrial era of tool development known as Web 2.0, and jump right into the culturally immense upside-down anarchy of MySpace and community development. Whew. I thought it would never get here.

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