Because I thought it was fitting to re-launch my blog with a shorter reprise of my earlier “100 Things” posts:

1. I am so pleased that SEO has actually become about creating quality content and providing useful information – especially I started in the days where keyword stuffing actually did work.

2. However, the sheer amount of link-building and SEO-centric content is still disappointing – I know everyone wants to get traffic, pageviews, and therefore those sweet advertising dollars and new client prospects. But don’t sacrifice quality. One original article that tells your story is worth a thousand or more crappy re-spun posts.

3. As much as I would like to pretend I am above the typical internet circle jerk sites that all repeat each others’ content, much of which is sourced from Reddit and other forums (sorry not sorry for the language – see what I did there?), I have some respect for them, and occasionally get sucked in by the catchy titles and funny combinations of gifs.

4. That said, I think Reddit might be one of the most valuable sources for inspiration and market research, especially if you look beyond the front page.

5. The fact that “Wasting Time On The Internet” is an actually Ivy League course will never cease to amuse me.

6. So many blogs and even companies try to copy each others’ marketing formulas – more so than ever. Looking at the “Best In Class” sites (however you define that) can be an inspiration, but it definitely doesn’t equal success.

7. The sheer number of ways to curate your experience and the content you receive amazes me – the web has basically become one big “choose your own adventure” game. But the number of users who take advantage of these is still relatively low – perhaps the amount of options are overwhelming and therefore it leads to mental inertia?

8. Pandora tops the mobile listings in regard to user interaction, and it is probably not that far behind for desktop as well. After all, listening to music is a relatively passive activity compared to posting on social media or similar ways to engage on mobile. We’ve come a long way from the days of Napster (yes, I remember and loved using Napster).

9. So many companies either neglect or make a big deal out of the simple things, like claiming all their listings and brand names on various sites, social media and otherwise. Don’t ignore it but don’t make the process overly complex, either.

10. Content discovery can be one of the most valuable aspects of the web in general, but it seems that the majority of people stick to the sites they know and trust.

11. The democratization of not only knowledge but access as well may be how the internet has truly changed the world. Almost anyone, anywhere can make themselves heard with nothing more than a mobile phone.

12. When you find yourself wishing that you could use emojis or gifs in an actual live conversation with another person, perhaps it is time to step away from technology for a bit. Use your words!

13. That said, a properly deployed meme can sometimes say more than words ever could.

14. This isn’t new, but it is underrated. The ability to reference virtually anything in a conversation or article and link right to the source might be my favorite element of the web – it is essentially real time citations on steroids (sans the academic regulations).

 

Now I”ll open it up to comments – what has changed about the web in the past 10 years for you?

I love it when people talk about the different marketing channels like they have nothing to do with each other, then they go home and browse the web while watching TV and listening to the radio and chatting on Facebook, Twitter, et al.

Your audience interacts with your brand as a whole.  The same people reading your blog see your commercials and get your newsletters and watch your YouTube channel.  How they first come across you and/or your company may vary, but their interaction with your brand extends across media.  They’ve already integrated your marketing strategies without your involvement.

File under: painful obviousness, harsh language.

Yes, this blog has been quiet for a while – but I’ve been busy on Twitter (@jazspin), and I’ve been working on a number of exciting projects that truly exemplify the power and utility of the web.  Watch this space.  That said, it is has been nice getting out of the echo chamber for a while – there are plenty of amazing blogs out there, but there are also plenty that are bandwagon jumpers.  Another testament to the fact that people respond to authentic voices both online and offline.

On a related note, I recently re-read the Cluetrain Manifesto (ten year anniversary edition).  The first time I read it was online, sitting in my parent’s basement and probably signed into AOL chat talking with my friends and downloading music – it was 1999 and I was still in high school (yes, I was that much of a nerd even then).  I would like to think I am perceptive enough to have fully grasped it at the time, but not so much.  I did take away the knowledge that internet was going to change things forever, however, and that it was already making the world that much smaller and more connected.  I also recognized the way that the web opens doors – a realization that I did not fully take advantage of until I started my first blog, an endeavor that led to a gig with AOL, and the rest is history (and fodder for archive.org).

Today, I work on the web, developing interactive campaigns and changing the way businesses operate.  It has been an interesting road, to say the least.  There are days when I think I have to drag people kicking and screaming into the 21st century and days when I am so inspired and excited I want to do some Tom Cruise style couch jumping.  Fortunately, there are many, many more of the latter.

“And I believe that good journalism, good television, can make our world a better place.”

“In emerging democracies like Russia, in authoritarian states like Iran or even Yugoslavia, journalists play a vital role in civil society. In fact, they form the very basis of those new democracies and civil societies.”

– Christiane Amanpour
These two quotes seem particularly apt given recent world events.  And by journalists, I don’t mean just the official press, I mean the courageous citizen journalists like the twitter users who are giving everything they have to make sure the world hears their story and perspective from inside Tehran.

Everyone who doubts the power/usefulness of social media should read Andrew Sullivan’s post, “The Revolution Will Be Twittered“, and then check out the #iranelection hashtag on Twitter.

The key force behind this is the next generation, the Millennials, who elected Obama in America and may oust Ahmadinejad in Iran. They want freedom; they are sick of lies; they enjoy life and know hope.

This generation will determine if the world can avoid the apocalypse that will come if the fear-ridden establishments continue to dominate global politics, motivated by terror, armed with nukes, and playing old but now far too dangerous games. This generation will not bypass existing institutions and methods: look at the record turnout in Iran and the massive mobilization of the young and minority vote in the US. But they will use technology to displace old modes and orders. Maybe this revolt will be crushed. But even if it is, the genie has escaped this Islamist bottle.

I think the days of CNN breaking the news are over – people will share their stories themselves, bypassing the mass media conduit if necessary, and the role of the media will be to verify, organize, track, and curate the information reported via liveblogs, Twitter, etc.  The Huffington Post is doing a great job of that right now with their page on the Iran elections and subsequent fallout.