• Networking Events ROILet’s face it—running a networking event is hard work. This morning, the rest of the team and I are attending Social Media Breakfast Tech Valley #11 (SMBTV), a bimonthly morning networking event featuring local and national speakers who present on a variety of social media-related topics. We’ve collaborated with several companies in the area, including Enable Labs, LinguaLinx, and Media Logic, to organize and run the event. In the midst of finishing client projects and dealing with end-of-month responsibilities, running a networking meet-up can seem like madness.

    To be frank, we didn’t decide to take on more responsibilities strictly out of the goodness of our hearts, although SMBTV is a great way to give back to our community. We see return on our efforts in the forms of branding, authority building, and most importantly, visibility to potential job candidates. The agency-to-talent ratio in Upstate New York is pretty daunting from a hiring standpoint, so we are eager to find opportunities to highlight our company and identify potential team members. In short, we’ve justified the ROI for our involvement.

  • Hey-oh! Rhea here and guess what? I’m supposed to leave for vacation in about six hours. I know I’m a business owner, what am I doing taking vacation?!

    Maintaining sanity, that’s what. We all need a break from our technology loop:

    Before I go I want to follow-up on several questions left in the comments of last week’s Whiteboard Friday. I talked about the difference between SEO vendors and SEO consultants and the most common question was how to make the shift from vendor to consultant or a concern over being stuck in the middle. So, I wanted to take a couple minutes to explain what a piece of the process has looked like for us.

  • outspoken media communityAs you all know, Outspoken Media is going through a rebranding process. As we evolve and our messaging changes to fit our new culture and brand focus, it’s inevitable that our audience is going to shift. In fact, it already has.

    But, rebranding is a scary process when it comes to nurturing and building a community. Ideally, we want to retain our loyal readers and supporters throughout our evolution, while at the same time attracting new community members who align with our values and goals. We also want to be able to track our evolution, and approach the act of growing our community in a natural, organic way.
    But, how do we do this? After all, this is all new to us too. Here’s how we tackled the task… (more…)

  • Outspoken Media is cursed. At least that’s what it feels like when we travel and seem to have the worst luck. We’re thankful that no one has been hurt, but we’ve had thefts and more travel complications than I can count. At least we have incredible industry friends like you buying drinks when we finally made our destination. For that, we thank you and I hope that with the most recent string of incidents, we’ve broken the conference curse, because I personally can’t take much more of this.

    Rather than crying or yelling about our most recent bad luck, I’ll simply state that our car rental was broken into by a pro and we had about $5,000 worth of property stolen including two laptops. It was interesting because there was no sign of forced entry or damage to the vehicle and we had nothing visible that would entice them. Then we found the key. A key that matched the make of our vehicle tossed in a stairwell close by.

    In under one minute, the cop was able to wiggle the key until it opened the vehicle. Smart and terrifying that something so simple can/does work.

  • Amazing Paid Search Tactics & Tools - SMX Advanced 2012Okay, I’m getting a little out of my comfort zone here. We thought it would be interesting to cover a paid search session, although Outspoken Media doesn’t do paid search. I imagine I’m going to be hearing a lot of new terms, and I’ll do my best to keep up with these guys because it’s an amazing group of speakers: Brad Geddes, Ping Jen, Frank Kochenash, and Dan Sundgren, with Matt Van Wagner moderating. They’ve got some great tips for PPC, and some insights on what’s coming down the pike. Get ready to improve your campaigns!

  • Pagination & Canonicalization for the Pros - SMX Advanced 2012Whew! Back from lunch, and ready to dive in again? I sure hope so because this is a session you don’t want to miss. Adam Audette, Jeff Carpenter, and Maile Ohye are about to throw some advanced SEO tactics and information your way, as Vanessa Fox moderates. So get ready to take some notes, and learn a few things because I get the feeling you’ll be able to immediately put some of their tips to use. Ready? Let’s do it.

  • iSEO: Doing Mobile SEO Right - SMX Advanced 2012Anything worth doing is worth doing right, right? Right. As an SEO, if you’re not taking mobile into account, you’re doing yourself—and probably your clients—a disservice. But before you can optimize for mobile, you need to understand mobile content ranking factors. Speakers Pierre Far, Cindy Krum, and Bryson Meunier will also delve into the benefits of running a separate mobile site as opposed to a one-size-fits-all philosophy. Because, you know, that philosophy always works so well in the world of SEO. Barry Schwartz and Angie Schottmuller are moderating. Let’s jump in!

  • Keynote with Bing's Derrick Connell - SMX Advanced 2012Here we are—SMX Advanced 2012, Day Two! If you followed any of yesterday’s coverage, you know this conference packs a wallop, especially when Matt Cutts is throwing penguins at people, as he is apparently wont to do. What’s that about, you ask? You’ll just have to read the post from yesterday!

    But before you do that, let’s get through today’s sessions. It’s a new day with just as much search marketing goodness to be had. We’re kicking things off today with a keynote from the corporate vice president of Bing’s Search Program Management team, Derrick Connell, in the form of a discussion with Danny Sullivan while Michelle Robbins moderates. The back-and-forth Q&As are my favorite sessions to liveblog, so let’s get to it.

  • You & A With Matt Cutts - SMX Advanced 2012Hey look, it’s Matt Cutts! Um, that stuff I said before about Google? Yeah, I was just kidding. Kind of. But not really. As a matter of fact, even if Google itself doesn’t have a sense of humor, Matt certainly does. [Okay, maybe not really Matt, but still. It's funny.] This is the session a lot of you have been waiting for, and SMX was kind enough not to make you wait until the second day of the conference.

    While Danny Sullivan moderates, members of the audience have the opportunity to put questions directly to Matt, who is not only the head of Google’s web spam team, but a “distinguished engineer.” No, really! You know you want to add “distinguished” to your job title now. But before you do that, listen up because I’m pretty sure a lot of people are going to ask the questions you’d ask if you were here, and Matt does not mince words.

    Here we go!