Author:Vanessa Anne Blaylock

As a Virtual Public Artist my work invites virtual communities to express their identity, explore their culture, and demand their civil rights.

15 Comments on “The Jerry Maguire of Blogs”

  1. Saturday, 30 June 2012 at 23:37 UTC #

    You got it VB! I dig that about you! You ma’ main girl! /me smiles. Here they come

    • Saturday, 30 June 2012 at 23:41 UTC #

      btw, when i Tweet they are automatically posted to Facebook. seems to help.

      • Saturday, 30 June 2012 at 23:47 UTC #

        haha, I really need so sift thru my linkagefulnesses… it’s set up so that I can manage to tweet the same item 3 times, without actually tweeting it even once!

        haha, or 4 times if I actually tweet it! 😛

        • Saturday, 30 June 2012 at 23:49 UTC #

          Sounds like i’ve got a lot to learn about SEO. I’m so darned cautious of that stuff tho. I dig that about you, Yo!

          • Sunday, 01 July 2012 at 04:57 UTC #

            IDK if we ever finished that White Hat / Black Hat stuff with Miso… but Black Hat SEO is “cheating” like keyword stuffing, where you just insert trending terms that your stuff isn’t really about, or maybe as we saw scraped stuff or whatever. There’s lots of Black Hat techniques that IDK about, but you get the drift.

            Peeps like us wouldn’t really even use them because it’d just bring peeps who didn’t care about our stuff anyway. But imagine you sold widgets. And for small amounts of money you could “steal” thousands of extra eyeballs… a few of those stolen eyeballs could turn into sales…

            Many peeps advocate “If you build it, they will come” — that you shouldn’t even worry about SEO, you should just do good work and let the search engines do the rest for you.

            But with so much online content competing for a mere 2 billion online eyeballs… haha… well, people that is, so I suppose 4 billion eyeballs! 😛

            Anyway, White Hat SEO is not playing dirty… but it’s just making sure that you aren’t shooting yourself in the foot.

            So you should do things like ALT-Tag your photos and Tag your posts.

            You know when you upload an image you get that “what is it” box?

            It has TITLE, ALT, CAPTION, and other stuff.

            The caption is optional, sometimes I have one for an image, often times I don’t.

            A Good title like “Yordie Vaneeesa SL9B” is better than a bad title like “Snapshot_509″

            And you should always try to type something in the alt box. It serves 2 purposes. For anyone not seeing the image, because they have them turned off or whatever – that I imagine is a small number, IDK, but also very importantly, for the blind / visually impaired, their screen reader will read the alt info and that’s how they’ll experience your post. So no alt means you’re really leaving that section behind. IDK how many peeps visiting our site that effects, probably not many, still, we’re trying to celebrate diversity and be inclusive and it’d be nice to take a few more seconds and help them experience our post that they bothered to read as fully as possible.

            The second thing that your Photo ALT info does is tell search engines what the image is of. This can really help you! haha, Help Me Help You!

            Amazingly, when I’ve looked at our stats, we’ve actually gotten more traffic from Google Images than from regular Google Search.

            So if your photo is
            TITLE: Snapshot_509
            ALT: ” ”

            You’re really cheating the blind and your friend the search engine.

            Think of ALT as what a visually impaired person, or a search engine can’t see in the image… and CAPTION as not what the image IS, but what it MEANS…

            Example…

            TITLE: Yordie Vaneeesa SL6B
            ALT: Yordie Sands in a polo shirt and distressed jeans, and Vaneeesa Blaylock in a red dress both hold tennis rackets inside a train car.
            CAPTION: OMG! Was this 3 years ago already! SL6B is where we met. Gosh time flies! Happy Anniversary friend!!

  2. Sunday, 01 July 2012 at 19:05 UTC #

    Oh VB… I totally agree with you, the “if you build it, they will come” is just not gonna work unless there’s a miracle. I’ve seen solid stats that say there are 185,000,000 blogs, and if you cruise around for any period of time you discover there’s a lot of that feeling. It takes work to make a successful blog.

    Many people don’t really care who sees your work or it their blogs are successful, even people with big names. That’s a personal decision and frankly, it’s a lot easier when you don’t have the pressure of making a site work. But once you get it in your head that you actually care (for me this was a i difficult decision), then you have to go to work.

    I really need to get to work on photo ALT Tags and better captions. I work fast and I know I miss a lot of opportunities there. I’ve been trying to use Flickr for my photos and then using them in my blog but I’m starting to think it better to enter the photos at both sites. Not sure.

    Btw, Alexa doesn’t track all 350,000,000 websites on the planet, so if you show up on Alexa you are already “In” so to speak. iRez has a very good Alexa ranking to build on. I think the one issue right now is “Sites Linked In”. My main blog’s growth in this area has been very slow because I didn’t really start trying to grow it till this past year. My sites linked in is like 60 but Berry has over 600 sites linked in. This is a key to traffic. So even those sites that scrape your stuff can end up helping drive “linked in” up. Sometimes nothing more than a comment will trigger Alexa to credit you with a link.

    • Sunday, 01 July 2012 at 19:22 UTC #

      so on this one you’re ahead of me. Is Alexa good as in meaningful as in useful?

      I see SO many sites, whether it’s Social Bro & Klout… or Alexa & Technorati… that rank your stuff… but I’m never certain if they serve any real purpose or tell you anything real. I find many of these big name sites very flaky and it seems very easy to have dramatic rises or falls in their rankings with no real change in our content or connections.

      For sure Links-in is good / important. That’s a measure of interest and connectedness that search engines also key on. But I know of many links-in that Alexa doesn’t list for us. So is it just a “scam” to get me to go spend hours on Alexa feeding their site… so their look-how-cool-you-are engine can give us a bigger number for the connections we already had and didn’t really change?

      haha, not to be cynical! For sure some things really do matter! But I think many things just feed themselves. Klout is a fun game, and no doubt if your Klout is 2x mine, then you probably do have more connections / interactions. But I don’t see that “feeding Klout” is a useful thing.

      Technorati is weird to me. They’ve been the leader for ages. But our exact same blog on Blogger they gave a rating of 1 to… move it over to WordPress and the ported over content suddenly got a 470. Yes, a 469 point increase for changing platforms! It’s been impossible to move technorati over from our old “vaneeesa.com” to our new “irez.me” and in dealing with, and honestly this may sound like an emotional word, but it is in fact a technical word, dealing with the IDIOTS at Technorati, I just can’t see how anybody is home there.

      So if you think Alexa is “real” I’ll go feed it… but I’m skeptical of these sites and their stuff like – if you put an Alexa badge on your site your ratings will go up…

    • Sunday, 01 July 2012 at 19:26 UTC #

      oh PS: you may have noticed our little SHARE buttons got rearranged. I was looking at our “referers” (links in) and discovered that Reddit & StumbleUpon, even though we’ve barely ever used them, were responsible for more incoming traffic than Facebook & Twitter, even though we feed them all the time! O_o

      so I rearranged the buttons! 🙂

      • Wednesday, 04 July 2012 at 21:27 UTC #

        I occassional use Stumble but FB, Twitter then newly G+ are my faves. I only use Tumblr for EA tho.

        • Wednesday, 04 July 2012 at 21:39 UTC #

          it’s weird, if you look at our stats, Reddit has tremendous traffic – like half the total of Facebook, with us feeding FB all the time, and never even feeding Reddit… unfortunately, so far I’ve found Reddit really frustrating to use…

          Stumble Upon comes in next, a fair ways back from Reddit, but still pretty strong, AND I find SU very easy to use, so I’m trying to focus on it now.

          Surprisingly, for ALL the feeding we give it, our clicks from Twitter are actually pretty minimal.

          So I guess I like FB+SU right now… and might throw myself against Reddit again sometime later.

  3. Sunday, 01 July 2012 at 19:40 UTC #

    It sounds like Technorati is blog centric? Perhaps Alexa is more site centric, but yes, Alexa is for real.

    I don’t know which is the premier ranking service, however i believe it’s at least among the top five. And as for links in, this is a big mystery to me how they do it. I only know that their process is excruciatingly slow. If you were to double your actual links today not all of them would show up on Alexa at once, some not at all and some would come as if from outer space (meaning, who the hell is that linked in?) As for feeding links in, I never looked into that, there dashboard is pretty basic.

    Be sure to “Clain Your Site” on Alexa. It’s a simple process of signing up. Sounds like I need to sign up for Technorati too.

    Yes, there is a lot of todo about Klout (mine is 59). I’ve never done anything to improve my own Klout; however, I’ve given away a lot of Klout both as friendship and as service on missions from Empire Avenue. In essence, on EA people can create “missions” where they pay you to give them Klout. These are easy missions to do, so I do a lot. There is some method to the madness though. Many brands run contests trying to boost their Klout. So when someone on EA feeds them Klout in their name, the person paying for the mission gets in the running for a reward from a brand. This goes on every day. If I were you, I’d sign up for Klout. Klout is a link, I’ll give you some Klout to get you started. But don’t get involved in trying to drive it higher. If you have Klout you will find that your klout score will rise.

    • Sunday, 01 July 2012 at 19:54 UTC #

      haha, well just to throw one more on the heap, if you want to do the “Google rel=author” thing, you have to have your G+ profile linked on the home page. If you want to do it, LMK and I can add a link for you. (of course now you’ll have to go google what that all means! 😛

  4. Sunday, 01 July 2012 at 19:59 UTC #

    Dang, Vanessa… i’m running as fast as I can. hahahahha. Yeah, been meaning to open a G+ account. Is all the real name identification delt with now? I used to write (my own regular guest column for a year) for MSN/CNBC under my real name (haven’t in several years tho) but I want to keep that separate.

    • Sunday, 01 July 2012 at 20:10 UTC #

      it’s actually my impression that they haven’t changed anything re pseudonyms even though they said they did.

      or maybe they’ve gone more “don’t ask don’t tell” in the sense that in the beginning Vic Gundotra was sponsoring those Official Google Witch Hunts, and that seems to be over.

      I never signed up till very recently. Even though they said pseudonyms would be allowed, they rejected the name “Vaneeesa Blaylock” even though I’ve had that name on many google products for 3 years. So I went through their appeals process offering as many “demonstrations” of my name as a commonly used name online as their forms would allow me to submit. I received a 2 word reply to my appeal, “appeal denied”

      So I forgot about G+ for a month or so. But I keep hearing about the value of rel=author, so I finally went back to G+ and changed my name to meet their needs, just as I did 3 years ago when Facebook rejected my name… I simply typed “Vanessa Blaylock” and G+ said (so to speak) “No problem, welcome to G+”

      So, since “Yordie Sands” is more like “Vanessa” than “Vaneeesa” I think you’d have no problem.

      • Sunday, 01 July 2012 at 21:06 UTC #

        I think psudeonyms are important as brands, but also as protection against privacy protection. It’s still the wild west on the Internet.

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