An indulgent post bag this week. So many fascinating posts, I couldn't keep the short-list all that short.

Take the debate about search engine optimisation (SEO) amongst various pockets of the digital marketing profession. My approach to SEO has always been to develop content for humans first and search engines a close second. But definitely second.

And where does SEO stand when future 'votes for' a webpage, as interwoven into the search engines' algorithms, come not solely from links from other websites but from more inclusive sources such as social bookmarking services like Delicious and Stumbleupon, and Twittered links?

David Meerman Scott hints this week at his view of SEO... "SEO and your crap filled site"! And in case you remain uncertain, click over to Graham Jones' "Search is on its deathbed...bye, bye SEO".

And if you fancy getting into this sort of stuff more deeply, Brian Solis struts his visionary stuff again this week with "Are Blogs Losing Their Authority To The Statusphere?"

Best regards, Philip and the MarCom Professional team.

Is Twitter improving media relations?

by Stephen Waddington of Rainier PR

Social networks and blogs are providing a brutal feedback loop between PR professionals and journalists. Check out these posts on Twitter that I’ve collected in recent weeks and this post from Sally Whittle.

Journalists are outing bad practice and setting out their expectations clearly. Smart PR professionals are adapting fast and are using these new channels to develop direct relationships.

It must surely drive up professional standards for the PR industry? More...

What does the Google behavioral targeting move mean for mobile advertising?

by Andrew Grill of Gigafone

Recently, Google announced that they will start “behavioral targeting” for web searches. From their announcement:

We think we can make online advertising even more relevant and useful by using additional information about the websites people visit. Today we are launching “interest-based” advertising as a beta test on our partner sites and on YouTube. These ads will associate categories of interest — say sports, gardening, cars, pets — with your browser, based on the types of sites you visit and the pages you view. More...

FT Digital Media Conference

by Ben Matthews of Pudding Relations

Today I’m lucky enough to be at the FT Digital Media and Broadcasting Conference, taking place at the Millenium Mayfair in Grovesnor Square, London.

Billed as ‘Lessons from the Digital Frontier’, the event has a line up from the who’s who of the digital media space - BSkyB, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Channel 4, BBC, and the Financial Times itself. You can find more details and the full line up here.

Richard Waters, West Coast Managing Editor (that’s the West Coast of the US, not the West Coast of the UK, e.g. More...

The World's Greatest Twitter Treasure Trove - Please Feel Free to Plunder & Pass On!

by Trevor Young of One19

Twitter continues to nibble away at the edges of mainstream acceptability (or is that respectability?) Here, for the first (and definitely last) time, the PR Warrior has kindly cobbled together for you lot to plunder potentially the broadest array of stuff about Twitter ever posted in the one place.
This is a one-time deal folks, so sit back, dim the lights and enjoy the Twitter show.

Forget Twitter, go back to email

by Graham Jones of Internet Psychology

Twitter is the current "in thing"; the numbers of people using it is rising exponentially. But could it have reached its peak? Remember just a year ago when the buzz was about Second Life? What happened? It didn't even get discussed at the recent Social Media Conference in London. And remember Friends Reunited? That's been a serious failure for ITV which is now touting it around in the hope it can sell off the doomed site. So is it possible that Twitter will go the same way - a here today, gone tomorrow "fad"? All the evidence is that Twitter is something different and is likely to survive long-term. More...

Presentations I Wish I’d Written #1

by Ben Matthews of Pudding Relations

This presentation by Bud Cadell (”Awesomest Strategist Ever”) is just fantastic. Called Digital Media isn’t Mass Media for Cheap, the deck has beautiful images, clever and engaging design, clear messages, and highly useful and relevant content.

The perfect set? Judge for yourself:

There’s more presentations on a similar format on Bud’s blog, but this is one presentation I’d wish I’d written and I’ll be working to get my own slides to this level. More...

Twitter, Sweet Charity and The Rhythm of Life

by Hamish Thompson of Twelve Thirty Eight Ltd

“Daddy started out in San Francisco,

Tootin' on his trumpet loud and mean.

Suddenly a voice said, "Go forth, Daddy.

Spread the picture on a wider screen."”

Not since Sid Meier’s magnificent Civilization series of video games have we seen such an interesting manifestation of the evolution of a society as we are witnessing with San Francisco start-up Twitter, the remarkably enduring ‘next big thing’ which is now already three years old. More...

Struggling to find work? Here’s how to promote your copywriting services to clients

by Matt Ambrose of The Copywriter's Crucible

I think we’re all getting bored of hearing how times are tight and marketing budgets are getting slashed, so I thought I’d offer some tips to on how to pitch copywriting services to clients. Even in brighter times, it’s always been difficult securing funding for a web project’s written element. Businesses often care more about how their website looks than what it says. But not investing in quality copy is like creating a beautifully decorated cake with intricate icing and filling it with sawdust (analogy taken from Boagworld web design podcast about copywriting). More...

How U2 producer Brian Eno solves the paradox of choice (lessons for online PR)

by Andrew Smith of escherman

A recent Daily Telegraph interview with legendary music producer Brian Eno contained an instructive quote about dealing with too many choices: “In modern recording one of the biggest problems is that you’re in a world of endless possibilities. So I try to close down possibilities early on. I limit choices. I confine people to a small area of manoeuvre. There’s a reason that guitar players invariably produce more interesting music than synthesizer players: you can go through the options on a guitar in about a minute, after that you have to start making aesthetic and stylistic decisions. More...

Social Networks Now More Popular than Email; Facebook Surpasses MySpace

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

You heard that matter how much time we sink into our inbox trying to keep up with all that barrage of never-ending mail, a new report sent over by Nielsen (thanks Sandra Parrelli) claims that Social networks and blogs are now the fourth most popular online activity today.

The report, "Global Faces and Networked Places," features data captured from December 2007 through December 2008 and reveals some very interesting statistics worth noting.

Here's are the highlights:

Two-thirds of the world’s Internet population visit social networking or blogging sites, accounting for almost 10% of all internet time

Time spent on social network sites is also expanding: More...

Google’s New Ad Preferences Explained

by Katy Barrilleaux of Lead Maverick, Inc.

You’re probably familiar with Google’s AdSense Contextual ad network that displays ads on websites based on the context of the content on the page. Now we are introduced to yet another type of ad network. Google has launched in beta what they call “Ad Preferences.” Ad Preferences displays ads to the user based on the user’s interests as edited by the user and as interpreted by the user’s search history, websites visited, etc. In Google’s words:

As you browse certain Google services and websites that have partnered with us using our AdSense program, Google stores a cookie in your browser to understand the types of pages you visit (this cookie appears as in your browser). More...

The future of mobile meets retail

by Andrew Grill of Gigafone

I came across the video presented below over at Dave Knox’s blog Hard Knox Life (he’s a Brand Manager at P&G), who in turn found it at Feed: The Digital Design Blog.  It was previewed at the Wharton Business Technology Conference by Microsoft Labs - looking at “Microsoft 2019“. The video shows how mobile might meet retail in the future.  However,  I don’t see it as being 10 years away.  Tesco already have the analytics behind this conceot as well as a mobile MVNO (Tesco mobile).  More...

Riding the Rave #1: David's New Manager

by David Meerman Scott of David Meerman Scott

You know when your marketing agency or business partner just doesn't get it? It's frustrating as hell.

Friends Tim Washer, Scott Teems, and I put together a three part video series to show the absurdity of working with others.

This is part one. Direct YouTube link here.

Watch this blog for parts two and three in the next several weeks.

Tim Washer is all of the following: Host. Comedian. Writer. Presbyterian.

Scott Teems is a filmmaker. His latest film is That Evening Sun, which he wrote and directed and stars Hal Holbrook. More...

BackType Connects the Conversation Graph

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

I'm a strong supporter of BackType and the work of Christopher Golda since the debut of the highly valuable comments search engine last September.

Listening effectively requires extensive and active monitoring of not only blog posts and Tweets on Twitter, but also blog comments and other active networks that define the Conversation Prism. It's how to identify active communities that necessitate not only responses, but ongoing participation.

BackType brings blog post comments into the spotlight. More...

The Advantages of Digital Print over Lithographic

by David Knowles of

In follow up to last week’s brochure design tips, we thought we’d discuss why you should consider printing your brochures digitally, rather than rely on good old lithographic. Digital is being hailed as a revolution for small business’ print marketing: compared to litho, digital is quick, often cheaper and can deliver messages personalised to your customers’ interests. Why is digital printing different to lithographic?

Traditional litho ‘offset’ printing requires the creation of a plate for every print, which is then used to transfer the image via a rubber blanket onto the paper. More...

Tracking Brands on Twitter to Improve How You Listen and Engage

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

Recently, I reviewed Twibs, a directory that lists all brands and businesses currently using Twitter.

Electric Artists released a new app that is a real-time listing of the top brands, media, television, entertainment, and celebrities that the team is currently following on Twitter.

While this service offers appeal as a directory for consumers seeking their favorite brands and personalities on Twitter, it's much more promising as a real-time monitor of how businesses, media properties, and celebrities are using Twitter - for better or for worse. More...

Search is on its deathbed...bye, bye SEO

by Graham Jones of Internet Psychology

Search engines have never been as important as they would like us to think. Now, that truth is suddenly coming home to roost in more ways than one for companies like Google. They would like us to think that we are constantly "searching" for things online - but we aren't. We are "locating" stuff we already know about, a lot of the time.

According to Bill Tancer, a researcher with the search intelligence company Hitwise, there is frequently a pattern to searching - often triggered by events outside the Internet. More...

SEO and your crap filled site

by David Meerman Scott of David Meerman Scott

Many people think that Search Engine Optimization involves some sort of magic formula. Sadly, quite a few SEO firms perpetuate this myth by shrouding their work in secrecy and mythology, spouting ten-dollar words like "algorithm" when they talk to potential clients. They make it seem like their SEO work is similar to driving the space shuttle and mere mortals can never do it.

Note to regular readers: I have written about this subject several times, but it is worth a re-visit based on how many people ask me about it. More...

Humanizing Social Networks: Revealing the People Powering Social Media

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

Compete: Top 25 Social Networks

Social Networks are among the most powerful examples of socialized media. They create a dynamic ecosystem that incubates and nurtures relationships between people and the content they create and share.

As these communities permeate and reshape our lifestyle and how we communicate with one another, we’re involuntarily forcing advertisers and marketers to rapidly evolve how they vie for our attention.

Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Yelp, and other online communities transformed the regimen and practice of marketing “at” More...

Giving fans and critics a voice online

by Hamish Thompson of Twelve Thirty Eight Ltd

The Government’s announcement that it is launching an online review mechanic for public services is an interesting move. It’s an eye-catching initiative, although providing customers with a voice in relation to very specific service experiences is a risky enterprise unless handled very carefully.

The key issues are:

Authenticity – Can readers be certain that the reviews come from bona fide customers of the service? Too many online review services are prone to manipulation, bias and blatant falsehood. What is required is a closed loop system that guarantees the authenticity of the customer. Reevoo is a perfect example of this type of service and is building a widely trusted brand. More...