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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    How to be more interactive without Social Media

    Okay, so I'm starting to realize that "great content" is not enough in 2011 (unless you are the NY Times).

    And yet, every time I hear a radio ad that says, "Check out our website on Facebook and 'friend us'" I want to PUKE!!!!

    What kinds of things can I do to make an online magazine more interactive, and yet not resort to Social Media?

    What about creating a simple "Add a Comment" feature at the end of various articles?


    Debbie

  2. #2
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    What about creating a simple "Add a Comment" feature at the end of various articles?
    That's certainly an option, but it won't bring people to the site in the first place. Social media are not about what you like, but what your visitors like. You have to put them front and center.

    The problem with allowing comments on your site is that most of them will come from spammers. So there's a lot of moderation required. It's just how it is, unfortunately.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    That's certainly an option, but it won't bring people to the site in the first place. Social media are not about what you like, but what your visitors like. You have to put them front and center.
    But my business objectives and website are about what *I* want.

    My point is about not *compromising*. (I could get LOTS of visitors if I started posting porn videos on my sites, but am I willing to sink to that level?!)

    To me, there is an important difference between people telling friends how much they "like" SitePoint or a particular thread versus the mindless masses whose sum-total as a human-being is the list of products that they "Like".

    In the future, obituaries will read,

    Lacy joined God in that mega-mall in the sky this weekend. She was 40, a pro-shopper, fashion-diva, and she leaves behind a long list of products she "Likes" including: <insert shameless promotion for corporations here>...

    I'm not interested in those types of people...


    The problem with allowing comments on your site is that most of them will come from spammers. So there's a lot of moderation required. It's just how it is, unfortunately.
    True.

    So what if I require registration like SitePoint has?

    *Obviously* spammers still thrive on SitePoint with that, but if I had a queue awaiting my approval before things appeared on my website, I could have "quality" comments and maybe create more interest about my articles and website, right?


    Debbie

  4. #4
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Generally you'll find that most visitors won't want to register just to leave a comment and they won't return. If you are using a platform such as Wordpress for your blog, you can also add an anti-spam widget that will take care of many of the spam comments you would otherwise have to moderate.

    The bottom line is that websites need administrative work, no matter what type of site they are. They also need promotion and Social Media is one of the best available ways to promote a blog or website.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    Generally you'll find that most visitors won't want to register just to leave a comment and they won't return. If you are using a platform such as Wordpress for your blog, you can also add an anti-spam widget that will take care of many of the spam comments you would otherwise have to moderate.
    Then what about SitePoint?

    People register here to leave comments.

    I'm struggling with just having a website with no registered members and all free content versus trying to build a community (e.g. SitePoint) where people contribute and come back for more.


    The bottom line is that websites need administrative work, no matter what type of site they are. They also need promotion and Social Media is one of the best available ways to promote a blog or website.
    Isn't there a way to build a community without resorting to Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc?


    Debbie

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    The problem with allowing comments on your site is that most of them will come from spammers. So there's a lot of moderation required. It's just how it is, unfortunately.
    I've found allowing comments via disqus or facebook login as quite an effective compromise between user inconvenience and spam levels.

    Another benefit of using facebook is that due to the personal attribution of commentary you get a lot less trolling.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    Okay, so I'm starting to realize that "great content" is not enough in 2011 (unless you are the NY Times).

    And yet, every time I hear a radio ad that says, "Check out our website on Facebook and 'friend us'" I want to PUKE!!!!

    What kinds of things can I do to make an online magazine more interactive, and yet not resort to Social Media?

    What about creating a simple "Add a Comment" feature at the end of various articles?


    Debbie
    Debbie, I am going to have to disagree with you.

    I work for an Internet marketing and SEO company, and our number one focus is content. Though we spend a lot more time on actually writing content than many other do, we have become very successful at organically ranking not only sites, but individual pages (and blogs, google Knol pages, Squidoo, etc.).

    Writing content for the web is quite an art, but can be mastered fairly easily. Keep in mind that google and other search engines are looking for not only your target keyword(s) but also related words and factor in keyword density (and many other things). But on that, you need to be sure to get your keywords in, but not use them too much or too little and also be sure to get your related phrases in. Use Google Keywords Tool to find related phrases.

    The easiest way to check is pretty simple. If you read it and it sounds "spammy" it probably is. Find a balance. And remember: you aren't writing solely to a search engine. If the page can't close sales, it doesn't matter if it ranks #1 or 100.

    Content is king, and ranking high organically can be done without ANYTHING else if it is done right.



    In regards to your question: comments are a great thing. It allows the users to engage in the topic (and it also allows the users to create content for you, which can help on the SEO end).

    Not quite (but very close) to social media would be websites like de.li.cious digg.com stumbleupon.com

    all great social bookmarking sites that are very good at driving traffic (and relevant traffic) to pages.
    Last edited by ralph.m; Aug 1, 2011 at 23:33. Reason: removed unnecessary link

  8. #8
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    reach out to maximum people and keep on discussing. Spread your quality content by any legal means. Don't spam. Do discussions as much as you can and help out people by giving quality solutions. And you done.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradKCulp View Post
    Debbie, I am going to have to disagree with you.

    I work for an Internet marketing and SEO company, and our number one focus is content. Though we spend a lot more time on actually writing content than many other do, we have become very successful at organically ranking not only sites, but individual pages (and blogs, google Knol pages, Squidoo, etc.).
    I'm trying to focus mainly on content, but apparently my content wasn't enough?!

    What do you mean "organically ranking"??


    Writing content for the web is quite an art, but can be mastered fairly easily. Keep in mind that google and other search engines are looking for not only your target keyword(s) but also related words and factor in keyword density (and many other things). But on that, you need to be sure to get your keywords in, but not use them too much or too little and also be sure to get your related phrases in. Use Google Keywords Tool to find related phrases.
    Maybe SitePoint should write a book on the topic?!

    Or do you know of some good books (or free content) out there on this topic you mention?


    In regards to your question: comments are a great thing. It allows the users to engage in the topic (and it also allows the users to create content for you, which can help on the SEO end).
    What if I require people to create an account before they can add a comment?

    99% of people on another thread of mine have shot this idea done.

    Quality comments would be great. Letting ANYONE post ANYTHING is not okay in my book...


    Not quite (but very close) to social media would be websites like de.li.cious digg.com stumbleupon.com

    all great social bookmarking sites that are very good at driving traffic (and relevant traffic) to pages.
    Okay.

    Thanks,



    Debbie

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    I'm trying to focus mainly on content, but apparently my content wasn't enough?!

    What do you mean "organically ranking"??




    Maybe SitePoint should write a book on the topic?!

    Or do you know of some good books (or free content) out there on this topic you mention?




    What if I require people to create an account before they can add a comment?

    99% of people on another thread of mine have shot this idea done.

    Quality comments would be great. Letting ANYONE post ANYTHING is not okay in my book...




    Okay.

    Thanks,



    Debbie
    Organic ranking simply refers to a pages rank in a search engine for a particular keyword or phrase.

    I tend to use the term a bit more loosely, so when I say it is possible to be successful at ranking pages organically, I mean that you can rank a page and land it on the front page of google without paying for 1000 backlinks, posting it to every social media medium, or really doing anything.

    A page that has relevant content targeting keywords and related phrases can rank without driving any traffic to it at all. It has to get indexed of course, but people who try to say you NEED to drive 1000s of backlinks and all that are lying.



    I don't know personally of any books out there. I was given the basics first hand and learned the rest simply by writing content. I got lucky and picked it up very quickly, but the best way to learn to write on the web (which is much different than writing for school, work etc) is to simply do it and see what works and what doesn't work.


    As far as requiring users to be registered:
    This is something we do on everything we put out there. There are too many bots out there posting comments on blogs, etc. about viagra and other junk. No comments is better than a bunch of spam comments and relevant comments are gold.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard
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    You can always allow people to post comments without requiring them to register. In fact, a large number of blogs do this where you can enter your name, email, website and comment without the need to register, but you can also usually register as well to save you time for sites that you frequent.

    Also, the reason people on Sitepoint register vs. other sites is because this is a community, not a single persons website. The dynamics are a bit different. Additionally, there are a LOT of people that view Sitepoint without registering. If you look at the home page at the "Who's online", you'll see something like 77 members, 2222 guests. That's only 3% of Sitepoint's visitors that are registered. Sitepoint just gets enough traffic that it gets a people willing to register.

    The fact that Sitepoint is also something of an industry website, instead of something like say a cooking blog, people are also more likely to register.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradKCulp View Post
    As far as requiring users to be registered:
    This is something we do on everything we put out there. There are too many bots out there posting comments on blogs, etc. about viagra and other junk. No comments is better than a bunch of spam comments and relevant comments are gold.
    Thank you!!!



    Debbie

  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samanime View Post
    You can always allow people to post comments without requiring them to register. In fact, a large number of blogs do this where you can enter your name, email, website and comment without the need to register, but you can also usually register as well to save you time for sites that you frequent.

    Also, the reason people on Sitepoint register vs. other sites is because this is a community, not a single persons website. The dynamics are a bit different. Additionally, there are a LOT of people that view Sitepoint without registering. If you look at the home page at the "Who's online", you'll see something like 77 members, 2222 guests. That's only 3% of Sitepoint's visitors that are registered. Sitepoint just gets enough traffic that it gets a people willing to register.

    The fact that Sitepoint is also something of an industry website, instead of something like say a cooking blog, people are also more likely to register.
    All good points.

    I am trying to build a "community" because I see how powerful (and rewarding) it can be. Thus my reason for wanting people to register.



    Debbie

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    online magazine
    I am taking this is your keyword; truly speaking for such product social medias are the best place; however, as you are looking for something different then I recommend you banner or add posting on various sites those are related to your nice. I think this is the best alternative to social media for the online magazine.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard
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    If you want a community, you need to allow a community.

    It sounds like you want a "community", but you want to have an iron grip on everything that goes onto the site. You can't have it both ways. You'll have to loosen your control and let the community have some say.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samanime View Post
    If you want a community, you need to allow a community.

    It sounds like you want a "community", but you want to have an iron grip on everything that goes onto the site. You can't have it both ways. You'll have to loosen your control and let the community have some say.
    Huh?

    I have no clue what you are referring to.

    Please explain.


    Debbie

  17. #17
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    But my business objectives and website are about what *I* want.

    My point is about not *compromising*.
    That quote and community cannot possibly work hand in hand.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samanime View Post
    That quote and community cannot possibly work hand in hand.
    SitePoint requires registration to post in their community, and that is my requirement as well.

    I think you're splitting hairs here with what I said eariler.


    Debbie

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    Sorry, but I don't understand why you are so anti-conventional-social-media. What's bad about getting people to your site over twitter, facebook and so forth? Of course there are smarter ways to attract attention than asking people to "like" through the radio... But good content will eventually attract "likes" and result in word of mouth. So I think it's all about content. For then building a more interactive user experience ON your site there are plenty of ways. But as someone said before: This will not get loads of visitors to your site in the first place but it will keep them coming back. So I think you need to go with both.

  20. #20
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    Double Dee,

    You should try an implement more a blog community. Blogs are very interactive, information, allow for "great" content, as well as interaction. I think this is your best bet.

    What do you think of something like this?

    Robin

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    The problem with allowing comments on your site is that most of them will come from spammers. So there's a lot of moderation required. It's just how it is, unfortunately.
    thumbs up!

    Moderation can take a decent amount of time especially when you handle a handful of sites at a time. I figure the ratio of spomments to genuine comments is 9:1. There are one liners, and even paragraph long mindless "yada, yada" that will give you he impression that the person who posted it actually read and appreciate your post.

    So if you prefer comments over Facebook likes, Tweets, etc. Then Disqus is a great resort.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    Okay, so I'm starting to realize that "great content" is not enough in 2011 (unless you are the NY Times).

    And yet, every time I hear a radio ad that says, "Check out our website on Facebook and 'friend us'" I want to PUKE!!!!

    What kinds of things can I do to make an online magazine more interactive, and yet not resort to Social Media?

    What about creating a simple "Add a Comment" feature at the end of various articles?


    Debbie
    Hi Debbie,

    "Great content" really is king and the amount of it is also important if you want to get noticed sooner or even at all. Why do you feel like puking when you hear "Check out our website on Facebook and 'friend us'"? Why are you so against social media? I'm afraid there is not much you can do to get noticed without social media.

    However, in answer to your question, I would say you can probably have some form of contest or an interesting free ebook with an enticing topic. Even then, you will need to market it!

    All the best!

    "If we all treat each other like we treat ourselves - what a wonderful place earth would be."

  23. #23
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    I still believe that content can go a long way in making or breaking your website. You want to have information on your site that attracts visitors. The type of content you use, will depend on your target market. Some targeted groups will want to read articles or even news entries. There are others who will be looking for a forum with good content where they can learn from others and share their own experiences. There might be some individuals who like to be able to take interactive quizzes on a website to help them learn more about products or services they need. There are many types of content you can use to make your site interesting. Also, many prospective clients are going to be people who use social networking. This is not something to count out even if you yourself are not big on social networking sites.

  24. #24
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    Disussions and interactions in a community increases awareness about your site and products/services. It can be in the form of forums or social networks or blog commenting.

  25. #25
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    I have to back up BradKCulp on his comments. I've done a lot of work in the last 12 years of being in business, and content quality is the single most underrated aspect of any project. Sometimes convincing clients to re-write their content to be better suited for the web is like pulling teeth from an angry alligator!

    Cheers,
    Brent


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