Kings & Queens of Content
Google's AuthorRank will rank search content based on the author's online clout
We’ve all heard the mantra, “Content is King”, but Google is now patenting a metric that may create Kings and Queens of Content. AuthorRank will rank content based on the author’s online reputation and influence. Reputation and influence being determined by the degree of interaction the writer’s past content has received. Think likes, tweets, comments on other social networks, and links. To take it another level deeper, each of these interactions will also be assessed to take into account the rank of the people making them. So it’s not only what you say, but also who hears you say it…and then chooses to interact. (I’m hearing terrible interpretations of “If a tree falls, but no one’s there to hear it…” jokes forming in my mind). Oh, and in a brilliant move to increase interaction with Google+, this all hinges on tying the content back to your Google+ profile.
So, will this work? I’m sure it will have massive implications on search, but I'm still personally torn about jumping on board. On the one hand, I feel a certain pressure to start worrying about my rank. I can see how this is a tremendous opportunity to solidify our business’ expert position, and also how it can benefit me personally. But, I already have a dormant Google+ account and between Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, this blog, Pinterest, Socialcam and Instagram I’m not overly excited about spending time managing it. So, for the short term, I’m aware and will be paying attention, but am not quite ready to commit to making the effort. How about you?
A few of us had the opportunity to head to TEDxWinnipeg last night. It was a great evening, held at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. If you aren't familiar with the TED movemement, you're missing out. TED is a not-for-profit built around sharing ideas through an ongoing series of talks. TED speakers are thoughtleaders from all over the world and from many walks of life. The talks are shared on the TED website. TEDx is an offshoot of TED that allows communities to stimulate discussion at a local level. Last night's focus, here in Winnipeg, was on The Next Big Thing. For those who weren’t able to attend, here's a brief recap of what we heard.
Jeff talked about deception in the digital age. Surprisingly, when online, people don’t lie that often. In fact, significantly less often than they do when they’re on the phone!
Key takeaway: Unlike a few centuries ago, when hardly anyone could write and illiteracy was the norm, we now live in a world where most of our communication is documented. So be careful what you say and where you say it.
Zahra talked about a new research technique she’s developing that can help detect early signs of Alzheimers. The test measures people’s ability to orient themselves in a virtual world without the use of landmarks. This means they are relying on their relative or egocentric orientation - what’s to the left, right, front or behind - to find their way. Turns out loss of egocentric orientation is one of the first signs of early onset Alzheimers, and loss of memory - what we typically associate with Alzheimers - is actually a late symptom.
Key takeaway: Alzheimers is a condition, not a disease AND you can work proactively to combat its onset. Zahra has helped design this website, which provides exercises you can do to promote healthy brain stimulation and growth.
Monique talked about the power of microbes to heal our earth - specifically to heal the damage we’ve done to it. Did you know there are naturally occurring microbes that clean up oil and other contaminants?
Key takeaway: Rather than trying to develop new ways to solve problems with the environment, we can learn how the earth would naturally tackle these challenges and replicate this process.
Polar bears and human rights. How are these two connected? They are two hugely important tourism features for our province: the polar bears of Churchill and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (not open yet).
Key takeaway: We need to be ambassadors for our province and share these unique attractions. Beyond that, we also need to protect the bears and our commitment to human rights to ensure they (the bears and the rights) are around for the generations after us.
Jarrett talked about the importance of being able to feed the world. Since the Green Revolution (post World War 2) we’ve found ways to produce substantially more food. But we’ve sacrificed quality for quantity. Our food is now about 30% less nutrient dense than it was in the early 1960’s. Scary, but not irreversible. New agriculture techniques are allowing farmers to produce nutrient-dense food comparable or greater than the baseline established in the 60’s.
Key takeaway: We need to stop thinking about producing kilograms of produce and focus on kilograms of nutrition.
Karyn shared the importance of listening. Which is different than providing feedback or worrying about saying something in response that will sound wise. Just listening. Even if you’ve heard it before. People need to be listened to.
Key takeaway: I don’t know, I wasn’t listening. Just kidding. Listening fosters relationships; relationships foster growth; growth fosters new perspectives; new perspectives foster endless possibilities.
Aarya talked about space and the impact its technologies and learning have had and will continue to have on the future. He’s talking revenue through global tele-communications, moon colonies, mining asteroids....
Key takeaway: It was kind of over my head. To be honest, I’m not sure we’ve proven to be good enough stewards on our current planet to start messing up another one. I’m sure that isn’t the key takeaway Aarya would like me to share, but like I said...it was over my head.
The surprisingly candid and humorous doctor shared amazing video footage supporting her belief that the brain is neuroplastic - meaning it can adapt to major damage or trauma by re-wiring or transferring duty to another area. This knowledge has radically impacted how she approaches therapy with her patients - changing from a focus on what they can’t do to what they can do. She highlighted several cases of adults and children with cerebral palsy where this approach resulted in significant improvements in mobility.
Key takeaway: Stop looking for problems, or what you expect to see and start looking for possibilities.
Of everything we heard last night, Karen Pape’s challenge to focus on possibilities versus problems will stay with me. In any facet of life - personal, professional, interpersonal...opening your mind to see opportunities instead of challenges allows you to achieve way more than you thought possible.
Thanks to the speakers and the orgainzing committee for a great night of discussion and learning.
14-week Blog Challenge
We’ve got lots of ideas, thoughts and opinions (lots of those) over here and we’ve got a beautiful blog meant for sharing them. Unfortunately, like any other agency, we often get so focused on client work we forget to take time to invest in ourselves. We decided to make a concerted effort to change that and thought the blog would be a perfect place to start. So, this is week one of our internal 14-week blog challenge.
The challenge: Fourteen weeks, thirteen staff bloggers, one blog post per week (thanks, Brooke, for going twice).
If we succeed: Points towards our annual office game for extra time off at Christmas.
If we fail: Immediate termination for whoever drops the ball. (Just kidding, failure isn’t an option. Not kidding about that.)
The goal isn’t huge, but it’s attainable and will hopefully help create a habit of blogging regularly. To help us succeed, we've put a schedule in place so everyone knows when it's his or her week to shine. In the past, we've shied away from a schedule; with concerns about it being an inauthentic process and because it seemed weird to pencil in creativity. But the reality is, without a schedule, no one has ownership and it just won't happen. Which is exactly why we have a schedule for kitchen duty.
So there you have it. I’ve committed us all by writing this post. Hope you enjoy getting to know each of us a little better.
Today's a big day at the office - the staff photo shoot. We're working with our good friend, the super talented Jerry Grajewski on getting shots of our entire team. This is something that has been in the works for a long time and it's great to finally be doing it.
We're all used to being on the other side of the camera, directing shoots for our clients, so this will be a different experience for most of us. As you can imagine, leading up to today there has been a lot of discussion about what everyone planned to wear. We'll post some of the shots next week, so check back and see for yourself!
Making Linked In Work For You
LinkedIn - most everyone knows what it is, but few are really sure how to use it effectively. I believe it's like any form of social media, you get out of it what you are willing to put into it. You wouldn't expect to see great value from Twitter without being actively engaged yourself - the same rule applies to LinkedIn. But, where to begin?
I came across a great infographic from Mindflash while reading LinkedIn Today. It highlights some basics for LinkedIn success. Boiled down, there are three key steps:
1. Personalize - complete your profile, form relationships through connections, groups and recommendations.
2. Customize - take advantage of opportunities to make your profile unique - use a great picture, provide interesting content about you, your company and your industry, create unique names rather than urls for your associated websites.
3. Optimize - use relevant keywords in your headline and profile text so you rank well when some one searches you.
You can check out the full infographic here.
This have given me some great ideas to make my Linked In profile better. Now I just need to find the self discipline to make it happen (the hardest part). How are you using Linked In?