Connecting With Others Through Citizen Publishing

    March 7, 2005

You’ve probably heard these concerns expressed before. You might even have voiced them yourself.

How can one person make a difference in a complex and technological world? One single voice is likely to be drowned in a sea of background noise. Everyone is wrapped up in their own lives and really nothing can be done to change anything at all.

As society and interpersonal relationships grow ever more distant, many people share that sense of being unable to connect with others. They feel the opportunity for real communication between people is a thing of the past.

As the Twenty-First Century opens, there is little doubt that technology is advancing at breakneck speed. Sometimes, people feel overwhelmed and unable to cope. Their voices seem lost, and they experience a sense that no ideas can be shared.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

Advances in technology can be employed for many purposes, including those for sharing ideas with others. One such technology breakthrough, that benefits the average person, is the blogging platform.

In the past, publishing was entirely in the hands of major corporations. Large scale publishing and media remains in the hands of a few large companies today. The difference today is the playing field is becoming more level as citizen publishing appears on the internet. The citizen publisher arrived in a blog.

No longer does anyone require intensive computer programming skills to have an internet presence. The easy to use blogging systems of today enable almost anyone to publish their thoughts and ideas in a matter of minutes. Anyone can now become a media outlet overnight.

Along with the convenience of pre-programmed blogging technology is the power of instant communication. People who are literally on opposite sides of the world can be sharing ideas in seconds. The ability to connect with others has never been so easy. Blogging technology has made the global village a reality.

Sharing ideas with other people having the same interests has never been easier at any time in history. With the establishment of a blog, anyone can be a publisher. Not only does the blog provide a print format for delivery of the message to visitors, the addition of RSS (Really Simple Syndication) blog feeds sends the message around the world even faster.

Simply setting up a blog and hoping visitor traffic will arrive, might work in the movies, but not on the multi-billion page internet. A bit of good old fashioned marketing is required. Fortunately, the technology of the internet works well for promotional purposes. Blog traffic can be added by understanding a bit about how the internet works.

Millions of people use the internet search engines, including Google, Yahoo, MSN Search, and Ask Jeeves every day to locate information sources. As a blogger and citizen publisher, your information is included in the search engine indexes. It simply needs to be found by search engine users.

The good news is much can be done to help a blog achieve high search engine rankings. The very nature of the blog ensures that probability. The process of gaining high search engine placements is called search engine optimization, or SEO for short. What SEO means is understanding that the search engines value fresh content that is relevant for the search being undertaken by a user.

Blogs almost appear to have been designed with the search engine ranking requirements in mind. Once again the technology of blogs forms a powerful complement, to needs of the search engine computer programming, enabling citizen publishing to flourish.

Search engines are merely very large and complex computers. The mathematical formula programmed into each engine, for calculating the most relevant search results, is called the search algorithm. It’s all simply arithmetic, but it is very favorable to blogs and their content.

Search engine algorithms crave fresh content that is relevant to the search at hand. While the details of the mathematical formula might vary, the basics remain the same. Content is necessary to rank well for any search. Blogs provide that relevant content in abundance.

Written on a very narrow range of topics, and updated almost daily, the amount of content generated by a blog ensures it a high placement in any search result. It’s said that on the internet that content is king, and blogs definitely fulfil that need.

A second powerful search engine ranking requirement is links from one blog or website to another. Bloggers are frequent and generous linkers. Blog owners link to other blogs and articles that interest them, and by extension, their readership. Links are highly regarded by all search engines because they are viewed as votes for the site or blog.

In the most simple terms, the more links to a blog, the more votes it has received. Heavily linked blogs are therefore considered important and relevant to the search. Links and content are related as well. Good content attracts even more links to the blog, building even stronger search engine rankings and developing an ever larger readership.

Links are not only important for search rankings, but they also help readers of one blog to visit other connected blogs, which share the same topics. Links build an entire network of like minded people stretching across the globe.

As a result of the SEO power of blogs, getting your message out as a citizen publisher has never been easier. Technology has made the one person printing press and media outlet a reality for almost anyone. Reaching and connecting with a regular reading audience builds friendships and connections never before imagined at any time in history.

Thanks to the ease of using blogging platforms, and taking advantage of available internet technology for marketing and distribution of the message, anyone can become a citizen publisher.

One person’s voice has never spoken to such a potentially global audience before now. The ability to be connected to others with similar interests has been realized. Those relationships will only grow stronger and more numerous in the future.

Wayne Hurlbert provides insigtful information about marketing, promotions, search engine optimization and public relations for websites and business blogs on the popular Blog Business World.

Check out Blog Business World for yourself.