Category Archives: Social Media

"Lucy" by Benjamin F. Guy

Humility, Twitter Reciprocity and Not Being Famous

A month ago now I was at SMX West in San Jose, meeting up with good friends and colleagues, and meeting many for the first time as well. I had the pleasure to be introduced to someone well-known in the search space. We had a few great discussions over the course of 3 days, and at one point he turned to me and said, “I am sorry, but up until today I have never heard of you.” My response was merely, “So what?”
I don’t have any aspirations for recognition from strangers, I just want to do good work. But the exchange stuck with me, and started to think, do I fall into the same trap as to quickly assume because I haven’t heard of someone that the conversation is less meaningful or interesting? And where do the new connections generally originate if not in person? On Twitter, of course.

So this past week I just turned back on my Twitter follower notifications –  the past two years or so I was getting so much spam that I had to turn it off to maintain some level of sanity (especially those that pull the follow > unfollow > follow again trick to get your attention). And I still don’t know how people can engage with 10,000 people, or even 2,000 for that matter. But I wanted to see who the real people are in real time as they followed.  Plus it’s easier to detect the spammy profiles compared to back in the day when you actually had to visit a Twitter page, so the inbox hasn’t suffered too badly.

Interestingly, I noticed that I still didn’t follow back. And not because I didn’t want to “JOIN THE CONVERSATION”. I am on Twitter because I care about the people I follow and what they say, and it’s easier to do that if I manage that list. In fact I could probably do a better job reining it in. So does that make me a Twitter snob? No, the way I look at it is this – the people we seem to respect are following the least amount of people. It’s not an exclusivity metric or a popularity contest, it is because they have curated and honed in their following list to a realistic and useful level, and when they do converse, it’s not broadcasted noise.

Anyway, back to the “I am sorry but I have never heard of you” exchange… what is most interesting to me is the assumption that this was a bad thing. My participation in the marketing community – online and offline – has been a genuine effort to contribute and build respected relationships and trust, not about fame. So I keep my circles pretty tight. I could use Twitter (or anything else for that matter) as a platform to elevate my status, but what’s the point? I can’t equate accomplishing my goals that way, it’s not how I work. Let me clarify that using social media to meet people  – especially before and after events –  is a very powerful thing. But I don’t need it as a narcissistic stroke of the ego. And frankly, there are more than enough egos in this pond to contend with, another would just be jumping the shark.

A Case Study In Outsourcing Ridiculous Titles on Twitter

It’s nearly midnight, I completed my first blog post in three months, and get stuck on a decent title. I take a break and hop on Tweetdeck to share my lament. The recommendations come fast and furious:

“Bing Biz Portal Kills Google Places SEO while PANDA is a +1 addict”

“10 Tips About Google +1, Panda, Content Farms, Google Blocking and SEO Killers For Social Media Success”

“The Panda Update Killed SEO and +1 is Social Media Awesome and Google Sucks”


“How I Increased My Site Traffic 0.0001% by Optimizing for Blekko and Not Getting Banned”


“+1 Gamechanges Panda’s Face In Fit of SEO Madness”


“I Killed SEO, and Your Next!”
(misspelling intentional because grammar is only an option at this hour)
Mind you, the post has very little to do with SEO, and nothing to do with Panda, +1, Blekko, Bing or Google. We search people need to get out more.

Very special thanks to Jon Henshaw, Dr. Peter J. Meyers, Tony Verre and Dawn Wentzell for their creative insights. But I still don’t have a decent title despite these literary gems. At least they are not going to waste.

Launching Maine SEO, Search and Social Marketing Consulting Services

The time has come.

But why the delay? I needed a nudge. A big fat nudge.

But despite that, I have been extremely lucky to have colleagues, friends and family who have pushed me in this direction for years. I have been inspired by too many to list here. Why it has taken so long to get started is because I had always believed that I was better suited working on a bigger team. That still may be the case, but what’s awesome is that I can still do that.

I am thrilled to launch my own business. This is a great opportunity to bridge global search marketing expertise and apply it locally. I have a serious passion for SEO, reputation management and social media marketing, combined with a holistic strategic and tactical perspectives. I have over a decade of marketing experience and a proven track record in strategically defining and implementing successful campaigns.

Enough of the complex marketing-speak – my focus will be to be savvy and insightful. And cause trouble here and there.

Let’s do this.