How do you generate buzz?

by Francois Joseph de Kermadec

Related link:

Much like there were at a time more homepages on free hosting services than seeds in a supermarket-grade tomato, there are gazillions of blogs out there today. In fact, starting a personal space on the Internet has never been so simple, thanks to many companies providing free blog hosting. Simply fill in a couple forms and you are all set, ready to type away in a straightforward interface — even if you still think Ogg Vorbis has something to do with French Cuisine.

This however raises a pressing question. How does one go about getting a blog known? At the golden age of home pages, a couple search engines, usually sponsored by our national phone companies, were all the services whose attention we needed to grab — and a friendly mail was all it took. These were the days being on Voilà was all that mattered.

The increasing number of search engines, their introducing paid inclusion plans, the explosion of sites, SPAM pages and the like has magnificently blurred that picture to the extent that it is almost impossible to know where one should start. In fact, in many cases, the best advice you can give to a new webmaster is to wait until Google picks the site up, which can take up to three months, provided your site is properly formatted.

Blogs are supposedly at the center of a social exchange sphere and provide a myriad of linking and referencing tools, from pings to trackbacks to comments. The question however is how do we get the system started?

A few days ago, I have started my own little blog,
The Purple Soup and was directly confronted to these questions. Now, the Zone is more of a personal space and, therefore, "audience building", in all the marketing sense of the term is far from being my goal. However, it gave me a good chance to experience these things hands on and to play along. The Purple Soup being all RSS-based, it also raised some interesting challenges in terms of it being picked up by search engines.

So far, what holds true in life seems to hold true in the online world: the best and most rewarding way to build a circle of friends is not through advertising or self-promotion but word of mouth, establishing a trust relationship with one's readers and staying true to oneself — there are too many computer generated pages out there already!

Blogs are, fundamentally, about social networking and, in that, staying true to their nature seems to me like the best and most effective way to "promote" them in the long run.

Of course, since this very entry is part of a blog, may I ask you for your opinion? Talkbacks are eagerly awaiting you!


2005-09-08 14:47:04
1. get a job writing articles for O'Reilly's website.

2. use your column space to promote your personal blog.

3. profit!

2005-09-08 14:51:59


Why didn't I think of adding Google ads in this entry? ;^)


2005-09-08 15:17:36
Technorati is an easy way to get your blog cross-referenced on a site that IS indexed by Google.

For a broader consideration of RSS and getting indexed by search engines, this article is informative:

2005-09-09 05:02:45

Thank you very much for passing that link along and for taking the time to post!

It is most interesting! :^)


2005-09-09 05:48:34
Hi. This is a manual trackback. :)

2005-09-09 19:52:35
I can tell you what worked for me. Produce not-totally-crappy content consistently for four years. Not exactly get-rich-quick, but you didn't ask for a scheme here.
2005-09-09 20:04:42
Hmm. There's no blindingly obvious way to get to your archives. Having archives is a huge part of building blog readership. Readers find your blog via Google and stick around for new content. I probably get as many as a thousand visits a day from Google searches, a non-trivial fraction of which convert to full-time readers.
2005-09-10 02:37:10

First of all, thank you very much for taking the time to post, I really do appreciate it! :^)

Indeed, writing quality content for years seems to be the best way to go and what I tried to outline in this entry.

About archives, it is true that their accessibility could be improved and I am working on seeing how I could integrate that with the Zone as it is today.

Thanks again for your comments! :^)


2005-09-13 03:47:12
Talking from experience...
Given what happened to one of my O'Reilly weblogs last weekend, here's what you could do:

Write a controversial post on some kind of technology issue which has a high probability of getting picked up by Slashdot (e.g. "Why Windows is better than Linux", "I am Darl McBride's son", "Why Technology will kill the Comic scene") . Then, just wait... As long as you can take the inevitable name-calling from that crowd, you'll get a large number of hits (e.g. my normal postings get around the 500 page view mark, the one picked up by Slashdot now has 12,000 from just one weekend).

2006-01-30 00:07:48
Bill I love your show. I am a Conservative Republican, and I don't know why we are being so nice to Suddam Hussein when he was so horrible to his own people.