Lee Odden

UnGoogle Your Marketing with Social Media

I think one of the ways you can sum up the idea of social media optimization and marketing is: “traffic alternatives to Google”. As great as Google is, marketers are increasingly looking for alternative and/or additional channels for content distribution and marketing and consumers for sources of information and interaction.

Some have suggested social search as an alternative. I don’t think social search will ever replace search engines as we know them today, but I do think the rate of growth for major search engines will certainly be affected by the growing number of niche tools and media specific channels such as social networks, social bookmarking sites, personalized search, tagging, podcasts, video blogs, regular blogs and other “social media”.

Lee Odden

Battelle’s SearchMob

John Battelle has launched a new Digg style service on his Search Blog called SearchMob. It allows registered users to submit articles and vote on them based on the Pligg content management system. via Google Blogscoped.

Similar services that I’ve found very useful include Piers Fawkes’ Marktd for marketing related stories upon which SearchMob was inspired and Constantine Basturea’s New PR for new media public relations articles.

It seems there may be opportunity to for many of these types of sites to emerge in niche topics. My question is, will they augment or compete with search engines?

Update:  I am a bit red in the face for not mentioning Search N Sniff, a similar service launched by Jonathan Nelson a week ago.

Lee Odden

StumbleUpon Rocks

Lee Odden     Online Marketing, Social Search

My current, favorite way of finding new web sites and blogs is hands down, StumbleUpon. I had started using their service over a year ago, but after a few months it just didn’t resonate with me. In the past two weeks I noticed in our main company web site server logs that we were getting a LOT of referring traffic from stumbleupon.com so I decided to check it out again.

I downloaded the toolbar, set preferences and have not been disappointed since. Not only am I a happy user, but StumbleUpon is also a great way to get great web sites or blogs noticed.

It appears Rand has similar thoughts.

Lee Odden

Forbes.com Goes Swicki with Eurekster

Eurekster has announced today that their social search product, SwickiPublisher, will be used to create a new vertical search engine feature on the Forbes.com home page via a tab called “Web” and on the search results pages.

I had the opportunity during the San Jose Search Engine Strategies conference to talk about Eurekster with CEO, Steve Marder. Unfortunatley, I did not get a chance to write about that meeting during the conference, so I’ll include some of the things he shared here.

What is most interesting to me about Eurekster’s site search features is that it learns by analyzing clickstream data as people use it. Tagging or voting is possible, but not required. Eurekster is based, in part, on the notion of “collective wisdom”, or “wisdom of crowds”, where users’ actions and/or behavior provide information to the search engine on what content is relevant.

Lee Odden

Feeding Journalists With Deli.cio.us

Todd Defren posts a nice rundown on using del.icio.us for an online PR initiative for bzzagent. Deli.cio.us is used to create content of value to journalists covering WOMM – the word of mouth marketing industry of which bzzagent is the focus.

What are we doing here? Providing any writer who is interested in WOMM with a customized research page containing the top news in the space, including first-hand reaction — on a daily basis — by a WOMM industry pioneer. For media types, et al., who subscribe to the RSS feed of that del.icio.us page, that’s a daily dose of Thought Leadership!

Lee Odden

Social Search

A few recent articles on social search got me thinking about how much search has changed and continues to change. In a meeting with a staff member last week I was explaining the notion of “collective intelligence” and how millions of individual editorial decisions people make through social search and tagging is taking the user search experience to a new level.

Over at iMedia Connection, iProspect’s Naga Krothapalli talks about the pros and cons of social tagging and search. The pros include: an alternative to browser based bookmarks, ease of use due to tags and the “theoretical” improvement in ability for the search engine to provide relevant and more accurate results. The cons: limited number of user adoption and doing tagging as well as limitations of tagging.