Thursday, April 10, 2008 by Mistlee


How to Use Social Media Tools to Achieve Web 2.0 Optimization

Posted: 10 Apr 2008 11:34 AM CDT

social networkingThe Internet is changing and the changes are happening quickly. Luckily, the changes are in the favor of entrepreneurs, small businesses, authors, and small presses. Welcome to Web 2.0 and social media.

Learning about and utilizing these new tools and technologies is essential to establish a dynamic and truly connected Web presence. The beauty of Web 2.0 is that it is driven by the people who use it. Unlike today’s Internet, Web 2.0 relies more on a site’s popularity among the masses. Incorporating social media optimization alongside search engine optimization enables anyone to establish a truly optimized Web presence—especially if paired with a meaningful message.

The tools available to achieve this optimization are numerous but can seem overwhelming. However, once armed with a general knowledge, it is easy to select the tools and technologies to catalyze the greatest amount of Web traffic.

According to Wikipedia, Web 2.0 “refers to a perceived second-generation of web-based communities and hosted services—such as social-networking sites, wikis and folksonomies—which aim to facilitate collaboration and sharing between users.” Additionally, Wikipedia defines social media as “the online technologies and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives. Social media sites typically use technologies such as blogs, message boards, podcasts, wikis, and vlogs to allow users to interact.” Thus, Web 2.0 and social media optimization means optimizing one’s Web presence in three general ways: Interactivity, Sharing, and Collaboration.


The essential premise of social media is that information (media) offered to users will be interactive. Social, in a word, means interactive and interactivity can be accomplished in many ways, whether it is allowing readers to comment on or share content, subscribe to it so they can have it on hand, or display the content on their own site.

To make online content more interactive, Web 2.0 and social media users can implement these tools and technologies:

  • Blogging, using WordPress or Typepad
  • RSS Feeds (see Feedburner for more information on RSS feeds)
  • Podcasting and Vidcasting
  • Wikis
  • Social Media News (Press) Releases
  • Social Media Newsrooms
  • Image tools such as Snapshots


Sharing in the “live” Web means that content is offered to others through blogging indexes and media communities; by tagging interesting sites on social bookmarking sites; or by developing mini applications like widgets or mash-ups.

Remember: Anything that can be posted to a Web site will have some type of “media community” in which to share it.

To begin “sharing” content in the live Web, Internet users can:

  • Include their Blog, Podcast, or Vidcast in directories like Technorati, Google Blog Search,, or BlogPulse
  • Tag their favorite blogs and Web sites on social bookmarking sites like Technorati and
  • Share and tag multimedia in Media Communities like Flickr and YouTube
  • Use Collage tools or Webcasting like SplashCast Media or blogTV
  • Create and distribute Widgets or Mash-ups using services like widgetbox, Open Social, or Yahoo Pipes.


Web 2.0 and social media users need to be willing to give back. This could mean commenting regularly on others’ content, joining and contributing to a social networking site, contributing to crowd-sourced news sites, or becoming an avatar in a virtual reality.

Specifically, some of these efforts may include:

  • Commenting on others’ blogs (using co.mments is a good way to track them)
  • Contributing to crowd-sourced news aggregators like reddit, Digg, or Fark
  • Creating profiles on social or professional networking sites like LinkedIn, MySpace, or Facebook
  • Participating in microblogs like Twitter or Jaiku
  • Posting events in social calendars such as, or
  • Becoming an avatar in a virtual world like Second Life or There
  • Participating in communities or forums like a Yahoo group, a Google group, or starting your own using services like Ning.

Participating in the new, live Web is ultimately about connecting with people. A common mistake businesses make is to apply old methods to these new tools. It has been disastrous for many of them. With a real and conversational message and general understanding of the new social media tools and technologies, anyone can participate in the new Internet and find tremendous benefit from their efforts!

Deltina Hay is the principle of the companies and She has worked in programming and Web development for 25 years. Ms. Hay’s graduate education includes computer science, applied mathematics, and psychology.

Microsoft and Yahoo!, Search Engine Partners? How Mergers and Acquisitions May Change the Search Engine Playing Field – and Where Google Comes In

Posted: 10 Apr 2008 11:28 AM CDT

search engine rankingsUntil recently, there were five major players in the search engine world: Google, MSN, AOL,, and the Yahoo! search engine. These top Internet search engines quickly could be narrowed down to four, however; AOL uses the Google algorithm and will yield nearly identical results. Further narrowing is rapidly occurring – seems to be stepping out of the spotlight to focus on specific markets, and in early March 2008, Microsoft began attempting to purchase the Yahoo! search engine. If there are just two top search engines with which to be concerned, what does this mean for your business and for SEO as a whole?

What’s Going On with the Yahoo! Search Engine?

As almost anybody with access to a news source knows by now, Microsoft put in an unsolicited offer to purchase the Yahoo! search engine in early March 2008. Yahoo! rejected this offer at first, saying that it undervalued its company as one of the top engines (and a provider of other services, including email and chat as well). Microsoft did not increase the offer at this point; it instead decided to enter a proxy battle.

A proxy battle would involve Microsoft putting up its own board of directors to let shareholders decide if its purchase of the Yahoo! search engine would be acceptable or not. In essence, Microsoft has decided that it will attempt to convince shareholders that their interests are better served by people who will approve this acquisition between two of the top Internet search engines. And Yahoo! shareholders have been beaten down for some time, so it is widely expected that the majority will in fact favor this acquisition.

Meanwhile, Yahoo!, on spurning this offer, began talking with other companies in order to build strategic partnerships and keep itself as one of the top engines, as it had been for so long. It was rumored that MySpace’s parent company, News Corporation, was in talks to work with the Yahoo! search engine, as was Google. However, these talks seem to have fizzled, and Yahoo!’s board of directors has begun speaking directly with Microsoft’s board. Yahoo! bought a bit of time by delaying the election of its board, but it is believed that this is all the shareholders will stand for at this point.

So I’m assuming that if the acquisition goes down, the Microsoft search engine and the Yahoo! search engine will likely be using the same algorithm, even if they remain separate sites. It just makes sense not to spend the money to have two separate research departments, especially when the Yahoo! search engine is widely regarded to be superior to Microsoft’s. (more…)

Remote Blog or Self Hosted Blog?

Posted: 10 Apr 2008 11:23 AM CDT

blog So you’ve decided to blog, but aren’t sure whether you should host the blog yourself or sign up for a free service like It’s a dilemma that many bloggers face. There are pros and cons to both, which makes the decision difficult for many. Neither is perfect, and neither is for everyone. Fortunately, you should be able to make the best decision for you if you are armed with adequate knowledge of both. In this newsletter, we’ll go over services like, and others, plus software that allows you to host your own blog. We’ll also go over the pros and cons of each. After reading this, you will know which is best for you.

Who offers free blog hosting?

Many sites offer free blog hosting. Among them are Forumer, Blogger, BlogEasy, Aeonity, BlogThing, and Blogates. A quick search for free blog on Google reveals many possibilities.

What software can I use to host my own blog?

Like free blog hosting, there are many possibilities for software that makes hosting your own blog easy. Most of them are free to use. These include:

WordPress(the most popular software), Apache, Roller, Blosxom, Geeklog, Textpattern, LifeType.

There is also blog software which you can purchase for use on your site. These include:

Community, Server, Movable, Type, Radio, UserLand.

One negative about using software and hosting your own blog is that the process can often times be complicated. You have to download the software and install it to your server, which doesn’t always go easily. It’s particularly hard for those who don’t have a lot of experience installing things on servers.

Why should I remotely host my blog at a place like Blogger?

Places like Blogger allow you to host your blog there. It’s a good option for many people.

The Pros

It’s easy to set up and maintain a blog. You don’t have to go through the trouble of installing software and configuring it to work on your server. All you have to do is sign up for an account and start posting. It’s friendly for beginning bloggers. Sites that host blogs offer good tutorials on how to make your blog postings, so that even someone who is completely new to the concept of blogging can do it easily. Most blog hosting sites are completely free to use. There is no need to pay for things like a domain name and hosting. Monetizing your blog is easy. Rather than having to manually put HTML/Javascript codes on your blog to manually set up things like AdSense and Pay Per Click advertising, you can select an option on most blog hosting sites that does much of the work for you.

The Cons

You don’t have as many options to customize your blog. Remotely hosted blogs are admittedly somewhat limited in terms of what you can actually do on them. You have to stick with what is provided to you in terms of look and features. The URL you get is always You don’t get to have a custom domain name like This can possibly hurt traffic to your blog. Blogs hosted on free blog sites don’t look as professional as self hosted blogs.

Why should I self-host my blog?

The Pros

You have more options and more flexibility. You are able to tweak the blog to your liking. Your URL is your address for your blog. Rather than having go to where your blog is hosted to read it, they can read it right from your site. The ability to make your blog look professional. Blogs that are hosted on sites of their own tend to look a lot better than those hosted on free sites. More space for your blog. Free blog sites usually place a restriction on how much space you have for things like photos and music. By hosting your own blog, you are able to use as much space as you need. The Cons

There are sometimes problems with setting up blog software to run on your site and server. If you aren’t experienced when it comes to working with mySQL, the process will be hard. Updates aren’t as easy to post. You have to manually set up programs to monetize your blog. However, if you are good with HTML/Javascript, this shouldn’t be too hard. You have to pay for your own hosting and domain

As you can see, there are pros and cons to both. Which should you choose? Well, it depends on who you are and what you intend to use your blog for. If you intend to use it for business, then a self-hosted blog is the best idea. If it’s a personal blog, then a free hosted blog will probably be fine for you.

Chris Haycock is an information publisher, specialising in helping others start and run their own successfull internet businesses. To find out more about the above, and to get an absolutely no cost two hour business blueprint video, go to