The next three pages of my social media moleskine from 2007 contain notes from Toronto’s first PodCamp, a #podcasting
and digital media conference, where sessions gave intros to what would become known as “search engine optimization” and a new term I learned back then, “digital footprint”.
First up, an informative session by the now Internet famous, best selling author, and CEO, +Julien Smith
. At the time, Julien had a successful podcast and a Harry Potter forum. He also gave an interesting session on how to make Google index his sites to his favour.
I remember his opening sentence in his session was something along the lines of “Google understands English better than any of us”. If you can decode my chicken scratch, you can see that my main takeaways were the importance of using keywords in your posts and link text. After all, Google is a machine.
My learnings in SEO continued in a session by PodCamp co-founder, +Christopher Penn
, who also made quite a name for himself in the digital marketing world. Like Julien, Chris was always a fountain of new learnings at PodCamp. His session recorded in my notes focused on tools useful for growing your podcast's audience (or blog – a lot about podcasting related to blogging as well).
Going through my notes, I remember that this was the time when I learned how simply posting something wasn’t enough. The web 2.0 world was all about being proactive and reaching out. For example, post your new episode across social networks to reach various audiences, make sure your name is prominent on your about us page, and make use of tools that help make your content accessible.
As you can see, the same rules still apply today.
I was already using WordPress by early 2007 but Chris’ session taught me how much more the platform had to offer in terms of SEO and plug-ins. This is why attending conferences provides a golden learning opportunity for your own projects in addition to professional or personal networking.
I want you to note the top left portion of the second graphic. PodCamp was a two-day conference. Chris’ session was on the first day. By the morning of the second day, there was buzz about the venue of people having registered their names (and their kids!) as a domain. Note the stuff about using the same names across social networks. This ties in to my last post about personal branding. Your domain name and user name on social networks is part of your branding. The same thing applies to the profile photo you use. Use the same one across networks and people will remember you (hat tip to Mitch Joel who talked about that in his session which I wrote about in my previous post).
The second graphic also contains notes from three other sessions. Unfortunately, I did not write down the names of the presenters so I don’t remember who they were. Though I think PodCamp co-founder, +Chris Brogan
, might have led the last one since it talks about helping others which is his niche.
I learned about more useful digital tools such as Feedburner (like a vanity url for rss feeds - instead of having to ask your listeners to change their feeds in their pod catchers, all you have to do is update Feedburner), StumbleUpon (it's amazing how much inbound traffic I still get today from StumbleUpon!), and how podcasting can be useful in the business/corporate world. It’s a pity my workplace at the time wasn’t comfortable with the idea of social media.
Back to the third session in the 2nd graphic; note the overall theme of your audience being part of your content. After all these years, I still see many podcasters, brands, and organizations forgetting this in all of their digital communications. What sets podcasters apart from regular radio is the relationships that can be built through podcasts. As long as the host is approachable and genuinely interested in involving their listeners. #socialmedia #podcastingtips #socialmediatips #brandingtips