Why Does Google Provide Free Products? Welcome to deansguide’s 5 Year Anniversary

Introduction

Special acknowledgment must be made to two very important people in my life. The first is my inspiration to begin blogging and the man that introduced me and inspired me in becoming a social media consultant: Patrick Kitano. Pat, my former business associate at Domus Consulting Group and close friend, is truly a thought leader in the social media space and one of the original first adopters of Twitter and Facebook.

The second hero in my rise into blogging and social media is my current business partner Susan Hanshaw, A former Vice President in a large direct marketing firm and marketing expert, it was Susan who helped me believe in my abilities and was instrumental in launching my public speaking career. She means the world to me.

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Dateline March 31, 2012

Today is my 5 year anniversary as a blogger. Although my instincts say write a post about my accomplishments and experiences as a blogger, my judgment says that’s too self serving. Instead, I will dedicate this short post, #718 to my thoughts on Google and why they have provided free products to the masses.

Google’s Premise

Long before consumers had privacy issues with Google, Google understood the “social graph” and how the information we provide to them, through all of their free product offerings, could impact their ability to deliver target specific advertising that works.

Today, Google understands that Google+ is the “glue” that binds together their product offerings. They have rewarded consumers and brands that have adopted Google+ with SEO benefits. Any free product that Google offers is done, first and foremost, to capture your personal information, your habits, your favorite things-people-places. Eventually all of this social graph intelligence will help them continue to build better advertising product offerings and in the future truly build a real-time search engine that prominently includes “social signals” and not just questionably link stuffed websites.

Conclusion: Citizen Journalist Power to the People!

Blogging is the lynchpin driving force behind Web 2.0. We  have finally gained control over our own information. We now are “citizen journalist” with the power that blogging has represented in the democratization of content, news, and personal information. We are in control and own our destiny like no other time in history. We have wrestled this control from the greedy, over confident, and monopolistic print and television media that had a stranglehold over us for over a century.

It’s a new day, a new era. Are you taking advantage of your rights? Join me in standing together forever for the rights and freedoms that every person enjoys to take control of their story and present it to the world.  .  . long live citizen journalism, blogging, Google, and the spirit of discovery!

How Has Blogging Changed Your Life?

March 30, 2011 marks the 4 year Anniversary of my blogging life with the creation of deansguide as the vehicle for publishing my messages and wrestling control away from the mass media stranglehold on information. Blogging has changed my life in many ways from providing a forum to prove my expertise to acting as common ground for my relationship with my girlfriend. It has opened up a world of knowledge and research, helped me network and connect with people throughout the world, and been the foundation for launching my writing and public speaking career. Yet with all of these wonderful developments there is still room for the fun, unusual, and bizarre occurrence .

Highlights and Lowlights on deansguide

  • Ed Okun:deansguide was the leading blog on 1031 Tax Group con artist Ed Okun and recognized as a repository and meeting place for victims of Okun to tell their story
  • US Attorney: deansguide was recognized by the US Attorney’s office in Richmond, VA as one of a handful of blogs allowed to publish information about the Ed Okun Ponzi scheme that bilked over $160 million from investors nationwide
  • Helping Victims:Elizabeth Callanan and 350 Okun “Train Wreck Victims” speak out on deansguide
  • Forbes: Mike Maello associate editor for Forbes.com contacted and consulted with me on the Okun story
  • Informant: I was contacted by “Mr. Miami” who was close to Okun’s wife and fed me breaking news information throughout Okun’s trial
  • Mob Ties: I received numerous phone threats by associates of Okun or his representatives to “stay quiet” about the investigation
  • Hell’s Angels: my first blog article was about the 50th Anniversary of the Oakland Hell’s Angels and the party planned for the occasion. I was contacted by a former Angel who approved of my writing and one man who claimed to be a member of the “81″ who promised to make things “hard” if I didn’t watch what I published
  • 330,635 Views: the number of page views deansguide has garnered
  • 1,062: top traffic day on deansguide. Not huge but satisfying considering the blog’s many reiterations
  • Reuters, Nielsen, Fox Business, Computer Shopper, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune and other media sites have republished deansguide articles
  • 700 & 2,000: deansguide has published 698 posts and I have written over 2,000 blog articles since I began blogging

Conclusion

I have met Kings, Queens and paupers through my writing. I have been threatened, harassed, and bullied. I have been lauded as a savior and scoffed at as a quack. My subject matter has included the Hell’s Angels, Real Estate, Social Media tips, wine, Mob figures, networking, Silicon Valley, business self help, and hundreds of other subjects. Throughout my writing experience one thing comes to mind- advice from one of my dearest friends “Chili Eye” Charles Henderson: “just let the bullets fly, write like you stole it. Write with a run and gun style.” Without Charlie’s encouragement I would have never started this blog- thank you my friend rest in peace brother!

Garvey Brothers Vineyard Management Company Launches Blog

February 10, 2010, Napa Valley vineyard management company, Garvey Brothers, launched their first blog GarveyBrosVMC with the goal of providing an insiders view of the vineyard management industry and Napa Valley and Sonoma Valleys.

The Garvey Brother’s Story

Garvey Brothers Vineyard Management company was established in the spring of 1998 with a core value proposition in mind: “provide quality farming services to vineyards in the St. Helena and Rutherford Appellations” of Napa Valley. As a result of hard work, dedication, prayer and a little luck, Garvey Brothers VMC now manages 400 acres and provides consultation services for an additional 75 acres.

Licensed and Certified Farm Labor Contractor

Garvey Brothers VMC is a licensed and certified Farm Labor Contractor. This license not only provides protection for our vineyard owners in the form of a security bond, but also ensures that Garvey Brothers VMC is kept up to date on all new employment laws and regulations, providing additional value to our clientele.

Philosophy

At Garvey Brothers Vineyard Management, the goal is to provide excellent service and to make a seamless connection between our Team of Field Workers, Vineyard Owners, Winemakers, Administration Team, and Management. While we strive for this “seamless connection” we are working with the utmost integrity and remaining fiscally minded- as we continue to produce premium wine grapes in both Napa and Sonoma Valleys.


5 Reasons to Use PicApp Free Images on Your Blog

Bloggers are constantly faced with finding media, specifically pictures, that will both draw the attention of their audience and entertain. One of the biggest challenges is finding pictures that are not copyright protected. Beyond mining the Wikipedia’s of the world for your photo content, the best picture resource is PicApp.com.

5 Reasons to Use PicApp

  • Free: the images are free to use
  • Copyright: there is not copyright infringement possibilities as Pic App allows you to use their library of photos without legal ramifications
  • Ease of Use: it is very simple to cut and paste the embed code into any blog article
  • Search Engine Optimization: according to PicApp “All PicApp images include the right meta-data to assist search engines index the images and your posts better.”
  • More Traffic: high quality images improve your blog content, help to ensure people stay on your blog longer, and helps to facilitate return visits to your blog

3 Year deansguide Anniversary: Blogging a Life Changing Platform

Dean Guadagni Business Director Inner Architect

Today, March 31, 2010, marks the 3 year anniversary of blogging for me aka deansguide. My initial idea was to create a publication platform to support my real estate related business, provide valuable information on the San Francisco Bay Area, and publish content that would help others adopt blogging.

Evolution

With the revolution of Web 2.0 social media, my blogging has taken on a more diverse scope of content. From my initial beginnings as a real estate blog, I moved the focus to a more broad based do it yourself- how to format.

$160,000,000 Ed Okun 1031 Tax Group Embezzlement

Every blogger hopes for a break, that untold story, the one chance to make a difference. My break came with the Ed Okun 1031 Tax Group case. My contact at a well known title insurance company in San Jose tipped me to a local 1031 provider who stole investor monies and ran out of town. This initial tip resulted in:

  • #1 ranked blog on Ed Okun in the blogosphere (2008-2009)
  • Only blogger authorized by the Department of Justice to publish breaking news information on the Ed Okun case
  • Developed source in Miami with Okun inner circle
  • Received death threat as a result of articles published about Okun and his legal council

BlogBurst Publishing Platform to Mass Media

My thanks go to Blogburst my syndicated publishing partner that has placed 233 deansguide articles on such prominent media site as:

  • Reuters.com with 205,685 page views
  • Nielsen.com
  • Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Sun-Times News Group
  • Ziff Davis Enterprise
  • Computer Shopper
  • IBC
  • FoxNews
  • AnswerBag 2010
  • Livestrong
  • BBQ Report
  • AnswerBag

Total Page Views

Total page views from deansguide articles, published articles, innerarchitect blog, guest posts, & 2 unrelated blogging assignments: 752,320

Thanks and Acknowledgements

My thanks and heart felt gratitude goes to my mentor Pat Kitano. Pat, principle at Domus Consulting Group LLC, was the inspiration behind me beginning to blog and the first person to make the assertion: “Dean you need to start a blog.” Pat is one of the brightest new thought leaders in the social media breaking news space. A former Wall St. Investment banking executive, Kitano brings the analytical intelligence of a financial principle infused with the future casting foresight of a Tim O’Reilly. I am truly blessed to have been mentored by this man.

My thanks and heart felt gratitude goes to my business partner and life partner, Inner Architect Founder and CEO, Susan Hanshaw. Susan was a critical part of my development as a blogger, as a social media consultant, and as an effective writer seeking a voice and audience. I appreciate her dominant skills as a writer, direct marketer, analyst, strategist, and mentor.

Finally a huge thank you to WordPress.com for hosting this blog, providing an instant audience, for providing a free plug n play platform for publishing my writing. Thank You!

To all who have read, commented, criticized, complemented, and made your feelings know here on this blog~ I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I only hope you can feel the exhileration and excitement of publishing solid thoughts, helpful content, and worthwhile efforts everyday. Thank you all!

5 Blog Writing Tips To Engage Online Readers

ComputerShopper published this deansguide article 11-13-09

Blog writing is vastly different from “long” writing seen in newspapers and magazines. The idea behind blog writing is to capture a reader’s attention immediately, create succinct articles, and keep the word count under 500 words when possible.

5 Tips to Engage Online Readers

1. F Shape Theory: Jakob Nielsen, Time magazine’s King of Usability, formulated a theory describing online reading habits. Online readers, according to Nielsen, read the title first, then scan down the left side bar looking for keywords important to them. If the reader finds a keyword they scan left to right into the body of the text. If the reader does not find a keyword they scan down the left side bar and leave. The F Shape Theory

2. Bold: Utilize the Bold feature to help text stand out, pull the human readers eye to keywords and subheadings, and more readable for Google ‘bots

3. Bullets and Numbers: Online readers love bullet and numbered lists. Use these list articles as often as possible

4. Images: Pictures attract the eye and help hold the reader’s interest. Utilizing screenshots is a very effective method of teaching your readers when producing any how-to articles. Example below:

bitly002

5. Video: This adds a higher level of engagement for the reader. Youtube.com is also a very prominent social network that can drive traffic to your site. Warning: videos should be succinct like written content. Any video over 3 minutes is usually too long unless it is a training vehicle for your audience. Example of lawyer Gary Gwilliam’s compelling video about his fight to conquer alcoholism and addiction:

10 Reasons Why Job Seekers Should Blog: Major Corporations Are Already Blogging

Jorn Barger weblog definitionCourtesy Jorn Barger Wiki

As Business Director for Inner Architect, my first priority is solidifying relationships with prospective clients in our industries of choice. Before we focused on Direct Marketing driven social media marketing strategies for corporations, our first niche of focus was the employment niche.

As early as June of 2008, we began writing about how important blogging would be to job seekers in finding a new position. Throughout 2008 and through Q1 of 2009 we continued to postulate and support blogging as the near perfect method for job seekers to differentiate themselves in landing a job. Unfortunately our messages mostly fell on deaf ears–leaving us no choice but to look for other niches more willing to leverage blogging in their businesses.

In today’s world, Corporations, small businesses, and entrepreneurs have adopted blogging in a steady stream since the advent of Web 2.0. The actual number of established blogs is in debate, yet the rough estimate is that their are over 150,000,000 blogs in existence today.

The vast majority of job seekers are not  adopting blogging as a method and tool in their job search. Although this group has the need, and blogs are the nearly perfect application, the move to adoption is almost non existent. The following are 10 reasons why job seekers should blog.

10 Reasons Job Seekers Should Adopt Blogging

  1. Publishing Platform: a blog is the writing platform to begin creating content about you
  2. Control: blogging allows job seekers the opportunity to control their own information about their expertise and experience
  3. Delivery: blogs are delivery systems for a job seeker’s content. The url for articles can be delivered to potential employers that currently blog
  4. Networking: a blog allows job seekers to meet other bloggers; hopefully those new connections work for their targeted companies
  5. New Skills: by adopting blogging, job seekers begin to learn about Web 2.0, social networks, blog software, delivering links, and how the new paradigm shift of information is being formulated everyday
  6. Perception: job seekers that blog are perceived as being more savvy, as younger due to the perception that social media-blogging is a young person’s activity, and more relevant to employers because of these new skills
  7. Visibility: blogging allows job seekers more visibility as a blog is “open” 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. It is a organic, living resume
  8. Reputation Management: blogging provides a tool for job seekers to deliver messages that can correct or challenge erroneous information about them online
  9. Due Diligence: when hiring managers perform due diligence on a job seeker, the first place they begin is with a Google search of that candidate. Hiring managers are looking for information in Google (and online) that will give them a clue as to that candidates’ understanding of the internet. Equally important is the fact that hiring managers are also searching for any bad behavior or personal information that might signal the candidate is unfit to become an employee
  10. Research: blogging requires research. Research requires skills in searching and finding information online which is a new skill for many job seekers. Research into specific subject matters that pertain to a job opening will increase a job seekers knowledge base on that subject

Realtor’s Greatest Analytics Tool: Hubspot’s Website Grader

hubspot website grader

Realtor blog sites are being created everyday to support careers, businesses, and communities. But do you know how to measure your progress once you have launched the blog? Do you have analytics in place? Are you measuring through Google Analytics, WordPress statistics, Alexa, Quantcast, Sitemeter and other traffic measuring sites?

Website Grader Measures

The best tool you can use to analytically measure your blog or website is hubspot’s Website Grader. Hubspot, a Boston based social media analytics marketing firm, is one of the leading industry think tanks devoted to everything social business.

  • On Page SEO: analysis includes meta data, headings, images, & interior pages
  • Off Page SEO: analysis includes domain info, Google Page Rank, Google Indexed Pages, last Google “crawl” date, traffic rank including Alexa ranking, Inbound links, blog directory listings
  • Blogosphere: includes analysis of url established, Technorati ranking
  • Social Mediasphere: analysis includes listing in bookmarking sites del.cio.us, digg
  • Converting Leads: determines whether your site has RSS feed, Conversion form
  • Competitive Intelligence: keyword analysis and info on competing websites closely related to your site

Blog Strategies: Revisit Your Library of Content To Create New Articles

deansguide 10-16 top 3

The top 3 articles for 30 days ending October 16, 2009 on deansguide are

  1. “Twitter Strategies: #FollowFriday To Recognize and Attract New Followers” with 909 pages views
  2. “Hearst Mansion: Nation’s Most Expensive Residential Listing-$165,000,000 and The Godfather Too!”
  3. “Immigrant & Social Order: The Oakland Chapter of the Hell’s Angel’s 50th Anniversary”

My deansguide blog has 573 articles published to date. That library of content will be buried and unbeknowst to the reader if I do not do the following things to ensure it’s continued readership.

Leverage and Repurpose Your Content: Revisit Your Past

The content you write on your blog builds a library or reference point to your past. The following are strategies that will continue to add new readers, gain exposure for past articles, and provide you with an easy to write blog articles when necessary:

  • Internal Linking: make sure to create internal linking to your past content library of articles. By linking past articles to current work, you open the gates to new material for readers unfamiliar with your past works
  • Categorization: categorizing your articles makes it easier for readers to find your work;  another benefit of categorization-you can create an article on the best of a particular “category”
  • Retrospectives: if you have written a past article or series of articles, you can write a retrospective aka “look back” article to analyze where that particular subject matter has progressed today
  • Repurpose: if you have articles in your content library that were too long, losing readers in text, you can repurpose an important point creating a new “tighter” succinct version of the old content
  • Listing: like so many great bloggers, see BeingPeterKim.com, you can write an article based on your best articles from any time frame ie. quarter, month, or week

Conclusion

The Top 3 articles by page views this week for deansguide were written:

  1. September 25, 2009 Twitter article
  2. July 10, 2007               Hearst Mansion article
  3. March 30, 2007          Hell’s Angels article

Your content library will serve you well if you understand how to link back to it, create new versions, and make the content easy to access.

Twitter vs. Blogging: 6 Most Common Excuses Not to Blog

Twitter logo

Blogging is the most powerful tool, with multiple uses, that an entrepreneur, small business, or large corporation can leverage in building their brand. Microblogging, Twitter being the best example, is a miniature version of blogging. Both tools have their push backs. Twtter strategies like blogging strategies help answer and discredit many of the most common excuses people have for not adopting blogging or microblogging. The following are the 6 most common excuses not to blog, reasons why they are myths, and how Twitter compares.

6 Most Common Excuses Not to Blog: Myths

  • Articles Must be Long: the fact is that the useability or readability of a blog article is best when it is short, 250-500 words, due to the reading habits of blog readers aka skimming. Check out the F Shape theory by Jakob Nielsen
  • Twitter: 140 character messages allow brief easy to write “posts”; the barrier to entry for writing is nil
  • Must Write Every Day: writing every day is best but it is not mandatory. It is beneficial to write 1-2 times per week
  • Twitter: again every day is best but it is possible to connect by writing 2-3 times per week
  • Fear to Write Publically: write about expertise do not write in diary format. Stay on business point
  • Twitter: the same holds true stay on business point, give value, and do not write in diary format
  • Resistance to Technology: learning the technology is about using the technology. Experience breeds confidence and efficiency
  • Twitter: far easier platform to learn, no coding, and much shorter ramp up period
  • Nothing New to Write: every subject has been covered but not by you with your expertise and skill. You must demonstrate your expertise
  • Twitter: same idea here but in far shorter messages; showcase your expertise
  • Who Will See My Blog: if you provide SEO, fresh relevant content, and network in the blogosphere your target audience will see your blog
  • Twitter: if you follow the right people, recommend them, and garner their respect through a follow back then your target audience will see your tweets

If you are interested in social media marketing strategies, please consider reading Inner Architect blog. We are a social media marketing and strategies firm based in San Rafael, California.