An Easy Step To Increase Your Blog’s Exposure

*Update 10/28/09 – You know something cool that I just noticed: The post you make on FriendFeed itself gets indexed on Google. Type into Google: Increasing Blog Exposure. My Friendfeed Post is No.1! At least as of now. That’s not a bad keyword to rank No.1 on. Now its not a direct link to this post, but a direct link to the post I made in FriendFeed that has a link to this very post. It may be because there are 4 “Likes” and a few comments on the post itself that give it that extra juice, but that’s good if Google takes that into consideration because it’s using FriendFeed’s meta data to point to more relevant information. I may have mentioned it before, but by posting to FriendFeed you also get the benefit of an automatic back link. Same for Twitter. Oh, I would also say, make a Facebook “page” for your blog and post there too. I’m assuming since “pages” are public that they are indexed too, but I’m not sure on that point. Still it can’t hurt. You can also look for Facebook “Groups” that relate to your topic and post there, but you don’t get any media to put with it and you have to do them individually one by one. I’m hoping that since Facebook bought FriendFeed, they’ll be adding some it’s functionality there soon. Because Facebook has almost as many uniques as Google itself does! Massive untapped potential!

If you’re not a member already, join FriendFeed, a free microblogging network that is like the Twitter that we always wished that were. FriendFeed has a number of cool features absent in Twitter, namely in line media, uploading files, way better search, and for the purposes of this blog post, most importantly “Groups.”

Groups in FriendFeed is like a regular account but narrowed to a specific topic and most of the groups, once you join, allow anyone to post to them. So when you have finished a blog post go into FriendFeed and search for groups around your topic. You go into “browse/edit groups” and then at the top right there’s a link to “Find Groups” in which you can type a search term.

For instance when I release a new song I’ve recorded, I search for groups around music and join them. The other day I released a new song and did just that. There were a number of Groups concerning Music, some with thousands of members, some with hundreds, some with just a few. I chose to join 10 groups to start, there are many more, that I will probably add later.

Here’s the cool part: You only have to post one time to add the post to as many groups as you want. It’s like Twitter but you get more text to write, I think around 250 characters, and you can upload a photo and or a media file (in my case a song) with the post.


And as opposed to Twitter where you have to depend on the number of followers you have, and even then, there’s probably on a few percent of those who may be interested in the particular topic that you’ve written about that day, with Groups on FriendFeed, the members of those Groups don’t have to be following you to see the post, and they are already interested in the topic, so that even in a small group of only 20 or so, you’re going to get more engagement.

So the benefit with posting to FriendFeed Groups is that you can post just one time and get in front of an interested audience automatically, with the added benefits of a photo, media, and more text to grab their attention. Also, FriendFeed doesn’t shorten your link, so that viewers are more likely to feel safer and click it.

Now the drawback is that FriendFeed is small, but not too small (around a million uniques per month), and the topics and by its nature the membership leans more towards the tech arena. So for instance a topic like “Blogging” which is what this blog post is about it, has a lot of Groups, but a topic like “Knitting” may have very few or none at all (I haven’t checked) But I did have no problem finding quite a few groups around Music and Wine, the topic of a couple of my recent blog posts.

So depending on the topic this step may get you from quite a lot, to only a small amount of extra exposure. But with the ease with which its done, and the level of engagement that follows, its more than well worth it.

Also, it adds you some Google juice because the FriendFeed pages and Groups (unless they are private) aren’t behind a walled garden and are optimized for search. Plus you’ll be part of a like minded community to engage with, make new contacts, and increase your knowledge.

Oh, and did I also tell you that you’re post will automatically be Tweeted to your Twitter account by FriendFeed, if you so choose, as well?

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Facebook’s FriendFeed Acquisition Could Be the Best Thing to Happen For Both Services and It’s “Sharecroppers”

This a contrarian view, and if I were betting on it I would put my chips in Dave Winer’s corner. That Facebook just bought FriendFeed for its genius, ex-Google Engineers, namely Paul Buchheit and Bret Taylor, and that the site will eventually die. Also he feels the users, and that’s an appropriate word, especially guys like Robert Scoble and Louis Gray who evangelized and put so much time and energy into the service, who really made the service, were used to build the audience and then sold down the river for 50 million, leaving many months of energy and data wasted. I get that. I would probably bet that’s what will in fact, take place.

But let’s pause for a moment. I’ve been noticing in the past couple of days after the acquisition that more people have suddenly started following me on FriendFeed. Now that may be anecdotal, but I was thinking that maybe we got this thing wrong. The facts are, as great of a service FriendFeed is, and I believe that it is the best Social Media experience on the web, they simply weren’t getting traction. They weren’t growing. Now I would argue that they should have just given it more time, but I’m not as smart as Paul Bucheit or Michael Arrington, and as I believe was mentioned in the ClueTrain Manifesto, the “build it and they will come” philosophy simply doesn’t work anymore. It takes many more dimensions now a days, especially that of timing. Perhaps if FriendFeed would have been build two years ago, it would have been the “Twitter” of now. Look at Bing. It’s supposed to be as good of a mouse trap as Google, but it’s too late. So now Microsoft has done a Yahoo deal to get more exposure.

The FriendFeed team are engineers, perhaps some of the best software engineers in the World, but perhaps they don’t have the skills of how to build a big, network effect audience. But now they’ve married the people who knew how to build the biggest audience in the world. Also, besides Gmail, Paul innovated and built some of Google’s advertising products. So he may also be an expert in search monetization, and perhaps the most qualified person in the world to figure out how to monetize Real Time Search. That’s just what Facebook is struggling with. They have the audience, and now they need a genius to figure out how to monetize it. This could be a perfect marriage, and the result could be not only a fantastically successful Facebook, but a better product and so better for the “users.”

Will FriendFeed continue as a stand alone site? Probably not. But there are strong paradigms in its favor. First, it is the best Social Media product in the market. It doesn’t have an audience or at least a big enough one. But now it’s getting exposure to 300 million other users. It doesn’t take a big percentage of those folks signing up for the service to make it viable in its own right. Also, as mentioned in the book “Free” by Chris Anderson, the costs of running such a website is halving each year. You combine those two synergistic principles and you may have a site that not only continues to run, but actually still be innovative and perhaps as much of a household name as Twitter is becoming.

How to Put a Cool, Interactive, Real-Time FriendFeed Widget on Your Website



I got this idea when I first saw Scoble’s website and his subsequent Building43 site where in each case the FriendFeed widget is much cooler than the one they give you at FriendFeed (even the Java one) in the sense that it behaves just like the site does, inline videos play within the widget, comments stream in real time to the widget and can be made inside the widget. With the generic widget they give you at FriendFeed, it is static. In other words you have to refresh the page to get the updated content, and when you click content, be it a comment or a video, it takes you away from your blog or page and to the FriendFeed page. No Fun. This is Fun. This is interactive and “breathes” “pulsates” which is one of the main themes we are hitting on for Web 2010. No matter what business you are in, you want a site that encourages people to not only be there but to interact with you. Basically it comes down to this: They’ve got the same stuff down the street. The customer has 4 or 5 choices. The business that is more FUN, the nicest, that Woos and Schmoozes is usually, all things being equal, going to get a greater share of the business. Is a more interactive, “cooler” FriendFeed widget woooing and schmoozing? Not really. But its better than thte static one. It shows that you are trying. And customers can sense that, and sense that you are “into” what you are doing, and will tend to gravitate towards you.

<iframe src=”http://friendfeed.com/stephenpickering/embed?css=https://stephenpickering.com/wp-content/themes/ocean-mist-2_0/friendfeed-styles.css%3fv=17″ frameborder=”0″ height=”1400″ width=”310″ style=”border:1px solid #aaa”></iframe>

Obviously change the credentials to your own (these are mine showing), and if you are a WordPress user don’t forget to add the specific CSS theme you are using so it will look right. And obviously the size to fit your sidebar or whatever.

FriendFeed Is In Danger of Becoming the Coolest App Everyone Uses

I waited with baited anticipation for today. When Scoble said Friday that FriendFeed, a service that’d up until now I’ve only thought of as a backend aggregator of everyone’s Social Media (it is that too) was coming out with a new, improved UI today, my first thought was merely, “Oh, how nice.” Somehow in my mind FriendFeed has been the nice youngest child who is so sweet, comes up with the most unexpected things that charms everyone in the family, but never threatens the turf of big brother or sister, and everyone says how cute he is, how smart he is, and how one day he’s going to grow up to be someone really special and make someone really happy. Big brother and sister roll their eyes. They have other plans for the little twerp.

Well today, little brother, FriendFeed, just got a perfect score on the SAT and is heading for Harvard on a full scholarship! Friendfeed still has all the power and utilitarian tentacles reaching in all directions under the hood, but today instead of jumping in the workvan, if feels like getting behind the wheel of a new BMW. It’s warm, inviting, elegant, tasteful, and yet will get you going down the road in a heartbeat without feeling a thing except for perhaps a whisp of Steely Dan infusing the luxurious leather air all around with “In the Corner of my eye, I saw you, (Twitter) at Rudy’s and you were very high, you were high!” That’s how all the pro’s (Facebook) play the game. They change their name.

The first thing I read this morning was Steve Gillmor‘s piece in TechCrunch where he swooned so romantically, his writing was so fantastically beautiful, all I could think of was, “Why is this guy not a novelist?” Later today on the GillmorGang, his weekly podcast, one of his regular guest read a passage outloud from the piece to embarrass him. He sounded like an empassioned lover over the new FriendFeed. I thought it was too over the top too. I mean is he really comparing these guys to the Beatles? I thought. And then when Mike Arrington chimed in like the Grinch who stole Christmas saying that the game was already over, Twitter’s growth was too stupendous, their lead was too large, the tipping point had been reached and that was that, I felt like when Greenspan took our punchbowl away in 2000, and my dream of being an overnite internet millionaire with it.

Next I read another TechCrunch Piece about the beta launch by. Watched the shortened Youtube video it had attached at the end of the piece of the Friday demonstration to the tech press, and contined to refresh Scoble’s Twitter page every ten seconds to see if his longer videos of the same presentation in HD were up yet. Finally they came up and I watched them all. Bret Taylor, the co founder and Technical Engineer of FriendFeed gave the presentation. His cheeks blanched, his voice quivered a little as the stares of Gillmor, Arrington, Scoble et al. listened and watched. But his demeanor, sure it was nervous, but it was also filled a a great since of humility on the surface, but one could since the brilliance underneath the hood. And that is how this company and product feel. Very humble, very unassuming, still filled with a sense of wonderment of what is possible, eagerly listening to and respecting what the onlookers had to say, but also with tremendous power and potential one can feel under the hood. One had the feeling of when the young Google first made its quiet presence felt.

And since Brett Taylor is the architect of one of the most successful Google products, Gmail, one almost wonders if he isn’t more of the essence of the “good” Google we’ve grown to love more than its founders are.

I watched all of Scoble’s HD footage of the event. The Spirit of Scoble seems to be infused with the personality of this company, and to me that is just another A+. No one questions his credibility. He relishes in the wonder of these things and how they mesh at the nexus of social interactions mixed with marketing. And besides, if you can’t be as excited and exuberant about what your doing in life, how you spend your time, as he is, then what really is the point? How could you go on droning on about this stuff if your only perspective is that of a VC wanting only to make money from something, no matter what it takes. That takes the life right out of it, and usually the money too.

The more I played with FriendFeed the Beta tonight, the more excited I got. It’s not only warm, fuzzy, elegant, and smooth, its fun! It has the keys to the Castle. It’s found the Grail Castle of Social Media, I think precisely because it makes what is productive, what is useful, the same thing as what is fun.

You must go sign up for the new FriendFeed. Watch Scoble’s vide: 20 Things About FriendFeed, how to use it and his latest blogposts about it including ¬†Tips for Real Time Web working on new¬†friendfeed , and just start playing with it. You’re going to love it. You’re going to constantly be amazed at all the cool stuff it can do, and now with style. I think Arrington is wrong. I’m putting my money on this horse named “FriendFeed”, even if its 20-1 right now because I think its Secretariat. Twitter is clunky. It must have fail whaled a hundred times on me today. And its becoming more MySpacey, LA/Euro Trashy every day. Twitter is where Myspace was a few years ago, tons of people signing up everyday, tons of Media Coverage, Stars signing up, making their own “pages.” FriendFeed is going to come from behind in this race and mow it down, and in the long run I think it might even catch Facebook too.

In my daydream, it’s Arkansas Derby Day. The Cherry Blossoms whip galliantly in the 75 degree sweet Ouachita Mountain air that the Purple Martins are coloring with exuberance. I turn to my tasty companion and pour her a glass of wine. The year is 1957 on my bottle of Pouilly-Fuiss?©. Then I turn with complete confidence and walk to the cashier’s window.
“Give me 5 million on ‘FriendFeed’, please,” I say.
There’s a short pause as vested short, dark haired lady stares at me as if an angel had opened up one of the pillowy, drifting clouds.
“To win.”