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September 25, 2007 / Toby Dayton

One More Reason To Blog…

As I mentioned in a post some time ago about why I write a blog, one of the most significant benefits of doing so is that it increases one’s knowledge of and appreciation for the web. By blogging on a somewhat regular basis and actively participating in the community of bloggers related to what we do at JobDig, I have meaningfully expanded my horizon and increased my knowledge about the industry we’re in. This hyper-awareness of the media, advertising, and recruiting ‘space’ could conceivably be possible by simply reading other people’s blogs, but certainly not to the extent possible by actively participating in the dialogue. It’s like listening to a great conversation versus being part of that conversation – the latter is far more rewarding, interesting, and educational.

Diggings has also helped me stay more aware of the ridiculous pace of change taking place on the web. I pay more attention to trends, search, new technologies, and the rapidly evolving social media that are all fundamentally transforming the web. A few small examples might include Ning, Swicki, MyBlogLog, Technorati, Feedburner and RSS, and me.dium. Of course that list is by no means complete, as I have looked at dozens and dozens of new technologies and companies over the past year. Some of these technologies I have integrated into my blog, and others I have passed on or not yet adopted. Some are well-known and some are more obscure. Some have been interesting and additive, while others have not been as useful. And while it is possible to simply read about these emerging companies and technologies, it’s a very different exercise to actually analyze them, understand them from a user standpoint, and watch the actual results that are derived from using them.

One of the most significant benefits of a blog is deepening my understanding of search and search engine optimization (SEO). Just as simple an exercise of observing the search phrases that generate traffic to Diggings has been educational about how people use search engines, how powerful tags can be, and how and why SEO is such a critical component for success on the web. While I certainly am not an expert on SEO, I now pay significant attention to not only SEO as a topic, but more importantly the ‘above-board’ tactics that are recommended, the impact that SEO can have on site performance, and how and why SEO matters from a real hands-on perspective. It’s also just fascinating not just from a technical standpoint, but from a sociological standpoint as well.

Some of the search phrases that have recently generated traffic to this blog include company smoking policies, Dolan Media IPO, newspaper cost-cutting, how to recruit people, newspaper decline, Tampa classifieds, and Audit Bureau of Circulations Star Tribune. Some of the stranger ones, but ones that also make sense based on the topics or words in certain posts include to charities in France, to puke or not to puke, best new TV shows 2007, and ugly death. Again, it’s fascinating and educational to see what people search on to get to Diggings, and if for no other reason, I’d recommend blogging as a way to gain visibility into the phenomena of search. It’s also just entertaining. Yesterday, I received a visit from someone who had searched on the phrase ‘Minneapolis Star Trib, the worst paper ever?’. Of the 368,000 search results for that query, I was the 7th result.

[tags]Why Blog, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Blogs, Why Blog?, Ning, Swicki, Technorati, MyBlogLog, Feedburner, RSS, Overusing Tags To Generate Search Results[/tags]