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?

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December 10th, 2008 by john andrews

He Can’t Play but He Sure Can Edit

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzqumbhfxRo&autoplay=1 350 350]

Gotta love the cranium taps. Found at Hedge’s House

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December 5th, 2008 by john andrews

Amazon Trolled: Brilliant Social Commentary Cloaked as Innovation

This is was beautiful. If you don’t appreciate the beauty, that’s ok. There is no accounting for taste. As an old teacher of mine once preached, in art there is not your taste and my taste but simple taste. You simply have taste, or you do not. Lucky for most of us, there is always opportunity to acquire taste.

The web is disruptive. The web is beautiful because it is so enabling…. and much of that which is enabling is, in fact and almost by definition, disruptive. Very few Big Corporations get this. One that does is IBM. Inside it’s bowels, IBM understands innovation like few corporations do. Watch IBM (if you can) and you can learn a great deal about success. Watch Amazon, and … well… what do we learn?

Corporations that grab on to innovation and exploit it, soon become ripe for disruption themselves. We know this.. they know this… and that’s why they have lawyers. Amazon, like Google and Verizon and every other Big Player in tech, hires large teams of lawyers to protect their exploitive positions. To resist disruption as long as possible.

This project is was beautiful. It takes the very definition of the web as platform for innovation, and turns it seemingly against it’s supporters, as if to solicit response. Amazon was the target, and Amazon got trolled.

Argue all you like if this was an intentional artistic parody or not, but that does not matter. It functioned perfectly. Amazon exposed itself… susceptible, vulnerable Amazon, a corporation lacking the cajones needed to survive on an innovative open platform like the world wide web. I doubt IBM would have responded this way. I know Verizon would. I’m not sure about Google… I’d love to see someone troll Google with such aplomb.

Of course none of this matters if we continue to meddle with free enterprise through protectionism and politics the way we have been for half a decade now. But at least such “art projects” serve to expose the players for who they really are… and that is beautiful no matter what your “taste” in art.

references:

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December 5th, 2008 by john andrews

A guy who gets It

For each article by a Guy Who Doesn’t Get It, I try to find one from a guy who does, without looking for it by author. I found one. It’s about the “tech industry cycle” and right now, and uses OpenID as an example. Perfect. From the conclusion:

The trick in each cycle is to fight complexity, so the growth can keep going. But you can’t keep it out, engineers like complexity, not just because it provides them job security, also because they really just like it. But once the stack gets too arcane, the next generation throws their hands up and says “We’re not going to deal with that mess.”

And of course, from a tech development perspective (as opposed to a marketing business strategy perspective), OpenID is a glaring irregularity:

For a clue to how deeply mired in crud we are right now, check out this discussion among users and developers about OpenID. No one has a clue what problem its supposed to solve.

The only way this article could be better is if it recognized OpenID as the web-corrupting marketing strategy that it is… adding little value to the web, while locking down market identities for use by the Big Boys. Yeah, them’s fightin’ words, but it’s been obvious since Passport failed and Liberty drew certain tech players into evangelism. As always, watch the people if you want to recognize the underlying mission. Past behavior is indicative of future performance.

For the SEO angle, think abut complexity and how it has consumed so much of our SEO resources. I predict more and more SEO Consultants will be using primarily Google tools for their client SEO project management going forward (to keep costs down and make life easier), and that the SEO Toolsets (such as Raven SEO) will continue to develop as quality, almost comprehensive SEO project management systems (increasing in cost like analytics did after GA was released). Tight communities like SEOBook and Shoemoney Tools will either increase loyalty/commitment or lose focus (the latter not likely for either of those mentioned – they are both valuable to their members).

We might even see some mergers between such tools-based communities and well-established link directory businesses (Best of the Web) and affiliate markets (Pepperjam). Simplicity is key… but hard to achieve, for sure.

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