Do you hear what your customers are telling you? Listening to the feedback from your users is important; the feedback that they can provide can prove invaluable to improving your business. It’s the real people that are actually using your products/services that are able to provide the best feedback. Your product, service or website directly benefits them, since they are the ones that are actually using it. This is especially important when you are launching something new and you do not really know exactly how things are going to go.
Many people have been using [digg](http://www.digg.com) and the [new Netscape](http://www.netscape.com) and think that they are exactly the same, but they are not. Both of them are community driven websites, but there are many differences between them that affect how well the stories you submit perform on them.
[FeedBurner](http://www.feedburner.com) offers two main options for RSS tracking, the first is StandardStats and the second is [TotalStats](http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/pro-totalstats). Most people use StandardStats because it is free, but if you have an extra $5 per month to spare here is why I think you should upgrade to TotalStats.
Lately, I have noticed that when it comes to tracking your buzz a lot of companies are only focused on tracking the so-called influencers. The problem that I have with this approach is that today, everyone is an influencer. You never know at any given time who can influence who and in what way. The barriers to publishing online are so low right now that anyone at anytime can damage your reputation, and they have a number of channels they can use to do so. That is why it is important to track everything and everyone, not just the influencers.
[StumbleUpon](http://www.stumbleupon.com) is a popular social site that over 1 million people use. It is not as popular as [digg](http://www.digg.com) or [del.icio.us](http://del.icio.us), but it drove 17,209 visitors in the last 25 days to this blog. That makes it a valuable traffic source, so lets see how StumbleUpon works and how you can use it to get traffic to your website.
Many of you may have websites or blogs that are not doing to well on Google because they are in the Google Sandbox. If you ever wondered how to get out of the Sandobx, [Andy Hagans](http://www.andyhagans.com/) from [Text Link Ads](http://www.text-link-ads.com/) recently wrote a detailed post on the “[Secrets to Beating the Sandbox 2.0 REVEALED: The Ultimate Guide](http://www.linkbuildingblog.com/2006/09/secrets_to_beat.html)”.
Yesterday I posted on “[Making your blog popular through content](http://www.pronetadvertising.com/articles/making-your-blog-popular-through-content.html)” by using methods such as breaking news which can help boost your popularity. Although it can be effective it can be difficult and time consuming to try to break news, so here are some ways that might help you find breaking news:
As a blogger one of your goals might be to become popular. You might be able to do this by [optimizing your blog](http://www.pronetadvertising.com/articles/optimizing-your-blog-for-search-engines.html) or by using the diverse [social mediums](http://www.stumbleupon.com) out there today. These methods are great and can really boost your popularity, but they are usually not in your control. The one thing that you have in your control is the content on your blog, so here are some ideas on how you can increase your popularity through your content.
Recently [Paul Scrivens](http://wisdump.com/) from [9rules](http://9rules.com) announced that [9rules round 5](http://9rules.com/blog/2006/09/9rules-round-5-october-25th/) will be taking place on October 25th. Some of you may be thinking about entering your blog in round 5 and some of you maybe wondering what 9rules is all about. This blog and [Cameron’s blog](http://www.cameronolthuis.com) both got accepted into 9rules during round 4 and ever since we have been discovering exactly what 9rules is all about. A lot of the people whom I’ve talked to see it as a blog network, but as a member here is how I see it…
* [YouTube & Warner Strike Music Licensing Deal](http://www.searchenginejournal.com/?p=3801)
YouTube and Warner Music have announced an advertising revenue sharing deal with will distribute and license Warner Music Group Corp’s copyrighted songs and other material through YouTube. Under the deal, Warner Music has agreed to license its songs to the people who upload their videos to YouTube. Meaning that any video producer can now legally use Warner Music in their videos as theme or background music, or even produce alternative videos for Warner songs.
How to guides have been a smashing success on the web. New how to guides are written on a daily basis and you always see them popping up on sites like [digg](http://www.digg.com) and [del.icio.us](http://del.icio.us). So why do how to guides have to stop with the web? Why not create commercials based on that principle, such as [how to save money on your phone bill](http://www.vonage.com). Or even how to see a girl naked…
I’ve always been a big fan of BMW and if you’ve ever had the pleasure of driving or owning one you know why. Last night I was watching TV and a commercial for the new BMW 3 series coupe came on, since I also had my laptop handy I decided to hop online to see more. I went to Google and searched for “bmw 3 series coupe” and this is what I saw…
Lately many bloggers have been making an extra effort to try and get on the [digg homepage](http://www.digg.com) so that they can increase the popularity of their blog. Many of the bloggers will do almost anything to accomplish this, some go as far as telling all of their friends on their AIM buddy list to digg their story while others go to the extreme of joining digging groups where everyone diggs each others story. If you really want to get on digg, here is how you do it.
One of the reasons I love trading emails is that I’m often inspired to blog about an idea that comes up. In a recent email swap with David, from the [Social Media Optimization blog](http://www.social-media-optimization.com/), we started talking about SMO strategies and how to target the different channels. With SEO it’s easy, you pretty much want to rank on every possible search engine there is, anytime someone performs a relevant search you would want to show up. Right? SMO is different, most social websites have their own unique communities. For example, if you’re a [“cooking” social network](http://www.bakespace.com/) then Digg is the wrong site to optimize for, [Chowhound](http://www.chowhound.com/) or some of the other recipe sharing websites might make more sense for you.
Social Media Optimization (SMO), if you haven’t heard already, is a term that was recently coined by Rohit Bhargava which refers to the process of ensuring that a website is easy to link to by utilizing the different social media sources including but not limited to, blogs, bookmarking websites and media sharing websites. There are a lot of similarities and differences between SEO & SMO. Because of this, and the idea that one cannot take over the role for the other, it is important to know when and why to use each optimization technique.
In the last couple of months more and more bloggers have been catching onto the power of [digg](http://www.digg.com) and [Netscape](http://www.netscape.com). Bloggers have realized that if they get their blog on the homepage of digg or Netscape thousands of visitors will flood into their blog within minutes. So the question is, how can digg and Netscape be leveraged for traffic, and what results can you expect from them?
As some of you may have noticed, I am addicted to stats. Every couple of hours I have to look at my blog stats or else I go crazy. Today I noticed that my Google traffic went up drastically and my referrers showed that I was getting traffic for terms such as “soesman”, so I decided to do a Google search and check it out. And lucky me, when I did a search I saw a newly designed Google search result page.
Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with [Todd Malicoat](http://www.stuntdubl.com) at the [Search Engine Strategies conference](http://www.searchenginestrategies.com/sew/summer06/agenda.html#400-3) in San Jose. Todd is a well known expert in the field of Internet marketing who has worked both for himself as well as marketing firms. Because of his experiences and knowledge in Internet marketing, I decided to do an email interview with him.
Ask.com announced a new Germany research and development center to be headed up by Eric Heymann, former head of technology at Seekport, as director of global content acquisition today. The German R&D center will work closely with the Pisa, Italy, Campbell, Calif., and Piscataway, N.J. locations. Apostolos Gerasoulis, VP of search technology at Ask.com, said, “the expansion of our European research and development team will allow Ask.com to continue to develop and scale our world-class search.”
Have you ever seen the magic trick where a person is cut in half with a saw and then put back together? As you probably already know, it is just an illusion; the person may seem like they are being cut in half, but in reality the saw never even touches their body.