Invited to the Fast Company BetaBy: Andy Beard - January 29, 2008
Lee Odden was kind enough to invite me to the Fast Company beta, I assume he just imported his contacts from LinkedIn or Gmail (I hope he didn’t use Gmail because of security risks) so I have had a snoop around, added a profile and this blog to their list of feeds.
From what I can tell they have been live for over 1 month now, it is possible I received invites before and didn’t respond to them, along with the other 20+ invites I seem to receive to every new social networking platform.
I thought it would be worth writing a few tips, just as I did for Gooruze as there are a few gotchas, and ways to increase your benefit of using and contributing to the new Fast company site.
This isn’t a site that would interest many niche bloggers, though I dare say many of my readers who blog in related niches such as social media, technology or various forms of online marketing might benefit from using it. Think of it very much as a niched LinkedIn.
Adding Your Blog
There is the opportunity to add your blog to their list of optional feeds to include in their feed reader and have listed on profile pages.
Whatever you do, take your time when creating the description, as it supports HTML, and there doesn’t seem to be a method of editing it afterwards, at least I haven’t found one.
The first 2 or 3 lines seem to show up in general feed subscription areas, so make sure there is enough information to encourage a few clicks from potential interested users.
In addition you should include an extended profile with a few links 😉 This is important because a full description is displayed on the profile page of any person who decides to display it and sign up to your feed within Fastcompany.
From what I can see those links are search engine friendly, as you will see on my Andy Beard – Niche Marketing profile page.
You will also notice that feed descriptions are viral – everyone who adds you will also provide links from their profiles.
Fastcompany Bio and Profile
There is plenty of opportunity to get creative with your bios on Fastcompany and an opportunity for highly relevant links.
Links with anchor text can be added in the Bio section, a link without anchor text to a personal website, and even a link with anchor text to any company that you have worked for, using the company name.
Aaron Wall has just joined as well, not sure whether that was via an invite from Lee, or if Aaron invited Lee, and has taken the opportunity to test out the blogging system which uses Drupal.
Apparently there is the opportunity to have content promoted to the front page, though I am not sure whether that applies to the front page of "beta" or the front page of Fast Company itself.
Is there an opportunity in this?
Possibly – guest blogging has benefits if you are writing on a blog in the same or similar niche, and Fastcompany has a lot of subscribers if your content gets promoted to the front page and their RSS feeds. This might be worthwhile if you cover a particular topic in great depth on your own blog, and wish to also introduce the topic with a lighter post to a slightly wider audience.
Fastcompany has groups – to be honest doesn’t everywhere? Unless they provide an easy way to track group discussions, I am just going to ignore it for now, just like I generally end up not taking part in Facebook groups as much as I should… or maybe shouldn’t, again that is a time factor and opportunity cost.
The Scoble Effect
With Robert Scoble now working for Fastcompany, you can be sure that the site will attract a little more attention, though he will be concentrating on video content.
Fast Company Beta Conclusions
For me creating a FastCompany profile was worth a couple of hours work, and may bring some benefits in the future. I will probably add a few blog posts of a more general marketing or technology nature and see what benefit can be gained.
I am not sure if it is invite only, but if you want an invite, just ask in the comments and make sure you comment with an email address suitable for the invite to be received.
I would like to emphasise not abusing Fast Company with lots of spam links, I am sure they have some moderation in place and most of these tips will have little use if your blog doesn’t represent content they think the Fast Company readership will enjoy.
Thanks to Jim from Seo Wrench as he has confirmed you can sign up without an invite.