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?  Competitive Web & SEO
November 30th, 2006 by john andrews Self-effacing Link-bait for the SEO Community

I have to say welcome to SEO Blog World to SEOLoser, who posted his Pubcon experience on his SEOLoser blog. It is so real it is funny, and it is so funny most of the people he lampoons won’t realize most of it is so true.

I won’t reproduce his words here because you should go there and read them, but I will comment for those who have read them (and for the man himself).

First, the answer is “yes” to the question, “Is this the way people behave when fans come up and say ‘wow’ and stare at them?” You didn’t need to go to Pubcon to learn that. Go up to any human and stare at them in admiration and wait and eventually they will get uncomfortable. Still, it was fun to read your story.

Perhaps more more meaningfull comment is how you are exercising blog power on the SEO world. I try and preach this to my clients, and most don’t get it. You were nobody, wanting the attention of the SEO world, and so you blogged on-topic and in a timely fashion, and got the attention. That’s the story here.

Sure there’s Link Bait and Baiting in general (which you did to Rae and Shoemoney) but then there’s hook-humility (where you self-efface and wait for people to say “no you’re not! You’re not a loser!“. You did those, too. And they worked, too.

But I would like to suggest that they worked not because those people are easily baited, nor because they actually care about your low self esteem. They worked because dude, you can write.

Humans are drawn to potential. I don’t care what edition of How to Pick Up Girls you buy, or how many Dale Carnegie books or dating web sites tips you read, the bottom line is you are evaluated for your potential within seconds of first contact. I don’t believe Shoemoney is as much of a genius as he is an opportunist. You presented yourself to Shoemoney as a nothing. No opportunity. No conversation, no added value. And I don’t believe Rae Hoffman is as much of a genius as she is hard worker. Shawn Hogan? I don’t know him but I know he’s a very hard worker and a very smart guy. What potential did you show in your first few minutes of engagement? Nothing there for Shawn.

And let’s not forget that there are two polarities for potential : positive and negative. Your blog posed both to some of those who responded to your bait. Why risk bad vibes from you? (negative potential…detected by Shoemoney, even if his first judgement missed it). Why miss possibly looking good in front of the readers of your blog as it gets popular in SEO world, especially among contrarians? (positive potential…I see Todd posted. He is a gentleman that Todd).

Lucky for you, you’re not an SEO loser yet because you haven’t tried and failed as an SEO in SEO land. You’re off to a decent start as long as you stick to IM, email, and forums. You may be a loser socially, as you report, but that can be cured with practice (and those Dale Carnegi books).  

There’s still time to prove yourself to be an SEO Loser, though. Now that everybody in SEO world has expectations for you, let’s see how you do. Let’s see how you navigate the SEO world. That’s up to you, not the Rockstars.

Personally, the reason I am promoting you here is I agree with much of what you have hidden inside your post, and marvel at how you did it naturally while many of my clients fail to understand it. But I also want to say there are “SEO not-stars” that get plenty of value out of Pubcon, too. Sadly, you missed much of that because you spent so much time waiting for a bracelet to crash the Yahoo! party, or stalking Shoemoney till he had to use the restroom.

Truthfully, guys like you can be very interesting. People who come from the trenches of web world, bring to Pubcon clues that we SEOs need to compete. True, SEO Rockstars bring promotion potential, and are thus very attractive to people seeking attention. But if you are real, working SEO seeking attention of consumers on the web, there is more value in knowing how a particular industry is dominated by one company that is very immature on the web (that’s potential…see it?); or in learning the background and personality of the web master who leads in a new market niche you have entered; or impressing the hell out of a guy who has been impressing a whole crowd of others for 30 minutes with his SEO knowledge, so he then says in front of them “wow…you really do know your stuff“. You can’t buy that external validation through ecommerce. It’s only for sale in person.

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November 30th, 2006 by john andrews

Nintendo DS Lite and Opera Browser

At Pubcon I was a lucky winner of a Nintendo DS Lite from the Opera booth. I have to admit, I didn’t even know what that was, but I have always loved the Opera browser and especially on my mobile device (Windows Mobile 5). The Opera Mobile browser automagically re-renders an html page to fit the device window, which makes it virtually impossible to tolerate Pocket IE which requires you to scroll all over the place to see a page. Honestly, as I told the Opera people, Opera Mobile beta came out at the time I got my XV6700 and I use dit before even using Pocket IE. When the beta expired, I was left depending on using my PDA phone for web and had to try IE and ….. well it was minutes at most before I was downloading the full version of Opera. There was no comparison in speed or ease of use.

Now I have this cool little white clamshell “game boy” and it runs Opera Mini. Fast, easy, and amazingly well integrated with the DS, this thing detects and signs in to hot spots like I wish my laptop computer could. In Vegas my Thinkpad was sent off for IBM service, leaving me with only the Nintendo. There’s this little ice cream shop inside the Wynn that has free wifi and dang if it wasn’t just seconds to get online and browsing. Awesome. Starbucks? Piece of cake. Secured wifi at home? Just as easy… no worries, found the MAC no problem, added it to the control list and it and worked the first time I put the key in.

The holidays are coming and I can recommend the Nintendo DS Lite as a perfect gift for your kids, provided you also buy the Opera Mini cartidge and are able to confiscate the DS Lite whenever necesary for bad behavior, inadequate school performance, sub-optimal attention to chores, or even less-than-completely-respectful-comments if you are desperate enough to get online.  It just takes a “Hey. That’s your salad fork. Use your dinner fork like I taught you for the main course. That’s it. Give me that Nintendo back. You’ll get it back when you learn to mind your manners”, and that baby is all yours.

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November 26th, 2006 by john andrews

No more Akismet scanning

Sorry, but today Akismet caught 7 different dumps of blog spam which had each 400+ lines of href’s to IE7 exploit downloads (the one that launches embedded media player). All that garbage coming in means I won’t be scanning the Akismet catch basin any more. And that means that if you are one of those who get snagged by Akismet, you’re not going to show up in the comments anymore unless you get Akismet to white list you.

If anyone knows how to add a white list to Akismet locally, do let me know. I’d rather include everyone who comments here.

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John Andrews is a mobile web professional and competitive search engine optimzer (SEO). He's been quietly earning top rank for websites since 1997. About John




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