Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Want Some Attention? Tell Your Readers To Go Away!

The evidence is clear.

Want some attention?

Tell your readers to go away.

Robert Scoble has again a great essay that strikes right at the center some of the most ingrained online marketing and promotion myths: You Need To Keep People On Your Site.

Nothing could be further from truth, especially when you generalize this too much.

If it is true that we are inside a rapidly growing ocean of information and that in many ways we are all acting as a second filtering and aggregation layer for all of the content, resources and news being published, it goes with it that those who can ride such opportunity by systematically exploring, discovering and sharing their personal selections do indeed play a highly important and valuable role.

Rich link-hubs with highly dynamic content such as news aggregation sites, vertical directories, collaborative filtering services (delicious, furl, spurl, slashdot, etc.), and those few very generous and capable bloggers, all leverage the same vector: unearth new interesting stuff and send out people to discover and learn.

"For instance, Yahoo. How did they start? Two kids in college telling their readers to go away and check out some other site.

Craig's List? He took the Yahoo concept further. His list sent readers away to check out jobs, housing, and other stuff.

eBay? Even further! eBay put you in touch with people selling stuff and said "we'll help you negotiate the price, but after that, will you please go away and complete the transaction?"

And, then, there's the now famous Google. They couldn't find enough ways to send their readers away, so they started selling advertising to companies and people who'd pay to have Google's readers come to them. go to Google to go someplace else, right?

Ever wonder why Gizmodo is getting more than a million unique visitors a month?

They tell people to get lost!

Go someplace else.

Engadget does it too. 250,000 unique visitors per day, Jason Calcanis told me.

Yet, look into it, nearly every item tells you to go away and get lost.

You know, go to someone else's site.

It's the new marketing, er trolling.

Instead of being desperate and saying "look at me look at me" you tell your readers to get lost.

Go someplace else.

What's the philosophy?

Those sites will take you to the coolest stuff on the Internet. And by doing that, Engadget and Gizmodo have BECOME the coolest places on the Internet.

Just like Craig's List, Google, eBay."

And do you wonder why Robert Scoble's "link blog", distributing over one hundred "get lost" invitations to its readers daily, get so much more traffic an dattention than his main blog?

The reason is the same.

If you can be a guide, a clearinghouse, a trusted place from where to learn, appreciate and understand more, there is no amount of outbound links that is going to counter the magnetic force you will express to those who are interested in what you are pointing to.



Robert Scoble - [ Read more ]
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posted by Robin Good on Wednesday, November 3 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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