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Social Media Experiment on Cooperative Writing

I’m going to layout the background of the experiment and it is rather long, if you would rather just skip to the guidelines and start having fun.

Background

Yesterday was a fun day for me on the Internet (not so much in real life, but that’s another story for another time.) I got a chance to participate in a round table discussion radio show on “how to be found on the Internet”. The show is a weekly show hosted by Bill Boorman and it’s called READY FOR LIFT OFF! covering various subjects related to careers, recruiting and such. I’ve participated in online radio shows before, in fact I participate rather regularly on the Recruiting Animal Show with my friend the Recruiting Animal (@animal on Twitter.) Bill has an altogether different style of hosting than Animal, but the show was still quite enjoyable.

One statement that Bill made during the show, as we were discussing blogs, really bugged me. Even though I didn’t say anything at the time, I guess it bubbled down into my subconscious mind. I say that because it bubbled up about the time I was ready for bed. The statement that Bill made was that he felt that the best blogs are the ones that have the most comments on them (or something similar to that maybe not in those exact words), the blogs that are controversial. I thought to myself ‘poppycock’ – the number of comments on a blog has nothing to do with whether or not it is enjoyed by the reader, useful, well written, or heavily trafficked. So that thought jut stayed with me.

Later in the day I ready a tweet by Stephanie Lloyd (@StehanieALloyd who happens to also live in Atlanta) about a blog contest that she has a post entered in. Her post is “Just stop it. You don’t get to use Twitter anymore.” I don’t know all the rules of the contest, but from Stephanie’s tweet I gather the winner is going to be the one that has the most comments.

There it was again, someone who was attributing ‘value’ or ‘worthiness’ to the number of comments that a post has. So I started thinking what if I could show these people with whom I completely disagree, that there yardstick for measuring a post’s value was wrong. It flashed through my mind that I could make any number of controversial posts that would whip the audience into a frenzy. I could post about the healthcare reform bill, Obama’s choice of radicals, socialists, and communists as ‘Czars’ or special advisers. I could post about the soaring national debt, the economic down-turn, the inefficacy of the stimulus package or the TARP fund. Any of those subjects would definitely draw attention and more than likely cause heated debate – since the country and my audience are probably split down the middle on either side of any and all of those issues. But my intention wasn’t to start a big brew-ha-ha, I wanted to do something positive. I also thought it would be cool if I could leverage social media while doing it.

Purpose

That’s when it came to me, why not run a social media experiment that would be positive & cooperative and at the same time try to do something that would generate hundreds (and maybe multiple hundreds) of comments.

So here’s the idea let’s write a story, using the guidelines below. When we are finished we should have a very interesting story, written cooperatively by hundreds of people. I hope that it will be fun and very entertaining. I also hope that it creates lots of new friendships and deepens relationships. The fact that it will generate lots and lots of comments (at least I hope that it will, otherwise I’ll have egg on my face) is not what will bring the value to the post, but the positiveness of it. And the resulting, entertaining, wild roller-coaster ride of a story that will undoubtedly come out of it. so the experiment should show that value is not in the number of comments, the the community that is built by them and the conversation that occurs during them. Much better than starting a shouting match, don’t you think? check out the guidelines below and get commenting.

Guidelines

1) First commentor starts us off – write the beginning of a story (any subject, setting, characters, etc all your choice) with one sentence, no longer than 50 words.

2) Next commentor, copies comment above, adds another sentence, no longer than 50 words.

3) Next commentor, repeats the process.

3.5) You may comment multiple times, but not consecutively.

4) You may include hyperlinks (which will be active and indexable since I use ‘Do Follow’ – read more about ‘Do Follow’)

5) If the story gets to long to fit in the comments section, I’ll makes some accommodations to keep things going.

At some point in the future, after we have all had lots of fun, I’ll publish the full story along with some stats as the ‘results’ of the experiment.

Hope this sounds like fun and that you will participate. Let’s see how many people we can get to participate, how many comments we can generate, and what a great story we can write together. So go ahead and comment below.

PS – feel free to use the ‘Share this button’ to Digg the story or share it with friends by email.

billboorman-020I have a new friend who lives in the UK, Bill Boorman (@BillBoorman). Bill is a recruiter trainer (we have that in common) and a heck of a nice guy.  He mentions me in an article that he just wrote lamenting his poor SEO skills and SERP (search engine results page) ranking.

Bill has a really good number of followers and quite a few first level connections on LinkedIn.  His main issue is that he writes great content (in his opinion as well as others’) on his blog but doesn’t think he is ‘getting found’ by enough readers.  It is a question of traffic… he wants more.

There are lots of ways to increase your traffic.  One of the best ways in my opinion, is to rank well for search terms related to your particular niche.  To do that you can employ a do-it-yourself methodology for you can hire a professional.  My thought is that you should hire a professional.  I have made a pretty good argument for hiring a professional on my business blog: SEO for Hire.  Another good friend of mine Erin Kennedy, a certified professional resume writer, makes a good point in one of her recent blog articles about hiring a professional resume writer… different field, but same principle.

It boils down to this Bill, you can spend a lot of your own productive time trying to get SEO right for your site, or you can hire a pro.  Best choice is the latter.

Branding Email – Visual Instructions

I saw a great post on branding your email over on RecruitingBloggers.com.  My friend the Recruiting Animal (@animal on Twitter) rusn the site which has a multitude of recruiting based bloggers who contribute there.

This particular article was written by CindyKraft (@CFOCoach), check out her blog here.  Cindy did an excellent job of explaining what needs to be in an email signature.  Seeing the post gave me an idea for writing this post.  See, since I’m a lazy guy I have no compunction whatsoever at ripping off great post ideas and running with them.

After reading Cindy’s psot I thought the only way that I might improve upon it would be to add a visual – and perhaps give an explanation of what components I put into my signature.  so here goes:

email-siggy

I send email from Outlook, always in HTML.  That gives me the ability to have live hyperlinks in my email.  The components of my signature are pretty complicated.  First I should pause for a minute to give credit where credit is due.  I stole the idea for the signature from my friend Jim Durbin (@SMHeadHunter) who is heavy duty into social media marketing, thanks Jim.

So here are my components:

  • Logo - contributes to branding.  I do SEO which should get you ‘Seen Online by Everyone’ – this is a visual that will get you to recognize me and my brand.
  • Full Name – hyperlinked to an up-to-date online resume.
  • Title – lets you know who you are dealing with (ego gratification for me ;o)
  • Affiliate Program – hyperlinked to my affiliate program description.  I share the wealth.  YES, I’m in business to make money, but you can earn too!
  • LinkedIn Profile – a quick click and you can connect to more than 15MM people
  • Office Phone – hyperlinked to Jaxtr which can let them call me for free with just a click
  • Website - hyperlinked to my email capture squeeze page

If you don’t know how to do this or you don’t have time, I can put them together for you.  Rates are negotiable (depending upon the size of your staff/number of sigs you need)  Get in touch with me through my business blog at http://WebsitesThatDriveSales.com/blog/

New Twitter Background for @CarlChapmanSr

I splurged a bit.  I had a designer create a new twitter background for me that displays all of my contact information.

You can check out the full effect at http://twitter.com/CarlChapmanSr

Carl-tower-small

I think it looks pretty cool… what do you think?

Feel free to comment.  Also, if you’d like a cool twitter background like this, just let me know, I’ll hook you up.

Get to Know My Rotties – Roscoe & Doobie

I thought I would post some pictures of my dogs for y’all.  Their names are Doobie (the oldest) and Roscoe.  Doobie was a rescue from a drug dealer.  He was recovered by the Sheriff’s Dept. following a drug arrest.

Roscoe came to us from a breeder who tried to rip us off and was ‘convinced’ to hold to her agreement after I use some web magic and SEO to illustrate that her business might suffer a blow to its reputation if she didn’t do the right thing.

From time to time I’ll post more pictures and maybe some videos.

sacked-out

Taking a nap.

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Waiting to be released to eat breakfast.

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All packed up and ready for our walk.

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Aren’t they the cutest?

Fell free to comment or ask questions of leave links to pictures of you dogs or pets if you like.

Just added ‘Subscribe to Comments’

subscribe-smallI just added a great plug-in to my blog that is designed to encourage conversation among readers. the blog here isn’t only about me, but about my audience as well. In fact it is mostly about my audience. I have other blogs where I provide good and services and do it for money. Here I just give away advice.

Since the idea here is for a free flow of great information, what better way to do that than to encourage commenting? Hope y’all will make use of the new feature.

- Carl

PS – here is the link to the plug-in for your wordpress installation: Subscribe to Comments Now!

Perry Belcher & Google

While I was twittering this morning I happened to see a tweet by Perry Belcher. Perry had posted a link to an article about something funny that happens when you type ‘twitter is’ in Google [you can see the article here: http://mashable.com/2009/08/11/google-twitter-search/]

I thought it was pretty funny. And it gave me an idea. I wanted to see what would happen if it did the same thing only substituting ‘Perry Belcher’ for Twitter. for those of you who don’t know Perry is something of a guru in online marketing, a social media genius, a mentor of mine. I think he is heroic. Like many of us, he’s not perfect.

Check the screen shot below AND then read on to get some explanation.

perry belcher in google

You see in the list a few ‘peculiar’ listings. As it happens Perry got in a scrape. More than a few people have tried exploit his hardship by publicly slamming him. I think it is compeltely undeserved. You can check out Perry’s explanation in a video that he made on the subject: Perry Belcher Explains

I’ve gotten a ton of great information from Perry. I can vouch for him interms of knowledge. As far as character, he appears to be as genuine as they come. I’m glad to be associated with him. Check out his "Get Money from Google" which is top notch.

 

New Feature — Joke of the Day

I’ll do this as long as I don’t get any death threats… ;o)

To get the joke of the day, you’ll have to follow me on Twitter: @CarlChapmanSr

My New AARP Card

One of my really good friend’s ['big Daddy' Don Shilesky] sent this to me in an email.  I love it!

aarp