When Content Partnerships smell funny

Funny job descriptions turn up these day – have you ever heard of a “blog relations consultant”? I sure did today, and I can’t say it was an enjoyable encounter. Just know this: unloading your backlink-ridden postings upon a popular blog is not called a “content partnership”. I would call it backlink scraping, but that sounds a lot more unfriendly, doesn’t it?

Could it be there are altruist blog angels, interested in leveraging your popularity rank for utterly unselfish reasons? Unlikely, even though the first paragraph might sound tempting to some:

We’re currently reaching out to bloggers like you to form a content partnership, or a guest blogging partnership, where our Professional writes can contribute guest blog posts on your blog once or twice a month.

Hang on, it’s getting a lot funnier:

Our Writers would not be writing marketing material, but would like to provide Unique content for your blog. Please fill out this form if you are interested so that we can set up an editorial calendar.

Two note-worthy facts:

a) I had no idea that the difference between marketing and “great” content lies solely in the “uniqueness” of the latter.
b) This difference between the two mentioned content categories sounds even weirder considering that the person who sent me this e-mail works for a company which is “marketing” in its name.

So, sadly, I’m not going to start a “content partnership” with you. But I have a free consulting advice for you: set up your homepage before you start pestering innocent bloggers. Somebody might actually take a look at your URL, and read the following sentence:

We will use a unique combination that will allow you to fully utilize the Internet.

And then he might click around the bit and start to wonder, if a completely empty homepage is indeed “he latest trends of marketing that will literally put our customers first”…

How to turn WordPress into a Social Network Site

WordPress offers a fascinatingly wide range of options: thanks to the power and the creativity of the open source community, the world’s most popular CMS has developed from a “blog-only” product into a multifaceted platform. Hundreds of plugins are waiting to cater almost every web publisher’s needs. These days, two new plugins take WordPress to the next level by integrated elaborate social network features. BuddyPress is now available at version 1.2 which plays along well with standard WP-installations; the previous version required WP multiuser edition. And then there’s Mingle, a new brilliant extension by Blair Williams, author of the (genius!) PrettyLink plugin.

Even though both plugins offer similar functionalities, they take a completely different approach at turning WordPress into a social network. While BuddyPress aims at running a stand-alone social network site, Mingle extends the community capabilities of nay existing blog. I installed it here on datadirt yesterday. Curious for a test-drive? Just click the new link Profile in the main menu! In the following posting I’ll explain why extending a blog with social network features is generally a smart idea. Read more

Musicblogocide 2010: Google shuts ’em down

When Public Enemy released their classic hit Shut ’em down, they were criticizing authorities. Yet recently, Google has given the track’s title a completely new meaning: without any prior warning, the company shut down at least six renowned music blogs hosted on Blogger/Blogspot. Or, as Paidcontent.org puts, it, “wiped them from the internet”: Read more

How to impress a French girl

I’m not a big fan of Google in general: there services are not that great, but there’s no alternative. But it regularly frightens me how this machine works. Today, European director Steve Rogers told an Austrian newspaper: “When a company gets bigger, it is seen as intransparent. But we try to be as transparent as possible.” Right after that Mr. Rogers showed what he really means when he answered the next two questions about Google’s situation in China: “I’m not allowed to comment on this.” (Kleine Zeitung, February 9th 2010, page 29). Temper, temper! Read more