Friday, January 7, 2011

Do You Care About Your Content?

Greetings Friends,

I had lunch with "Lord Geek" the other day, and the main topic of conversation was, how important is content to a Web site? L.G. definitely resides on the dark side, because he told me that link building has content beat by a country mile. That's not exactly what any writer wants to hear, particularly as this is how I've chosen to make my living. I've vowed to find a way to make content matter just as much, if not more than visibility. Of course visibility is important; who wants to write amazing content if nobody is going to read it? So therein lies the conundrum: how do you get the world to care about  content, as much as they care about pleasing Google? I haven't yet figured that out.

There are countless blogs and Web sites out there that have absolutely atrocious content. The untrained eye may not notice, but the trained eyeballs (mine) pop out of their sockets every time they read content that's grammatically incorrect, stuffed with SEO keywords and was probably written by someone in Manila who is severely underpaid and under appreciated. Bad content is like those bags of Chinese-made gym socks for $1.99 you buy at Wal Mart. You wash them twice, then your big toe shreds them on the third wearing. You're definitely not getting your money's worth.

Ever since I started this blog, I have deliberately refrained from writing about SEO and other technical subjects because I find them boring. Also, opinions are like assholes; everyone has one. Talk to 6 people about SEO, and 6 people will tell you they've got it all figured out. Talk to me, and I'll tell you, yeah, I've got a firm grasp on it, but there's a lot about it that I have yet to unpack. I have this annoying habit of relating a lot of what I find in life to great novels and other forms of literature. For instance, a Facebook friend of mine posted the other day about how much he hated the series finale of The Sopranos. I happened to love it. Why? Because the ambiguity of it left us with a lifetime of "what ifs" and a million different interpretations of what it meant. The beauty of an ambiguous ending is that it makes you think. Life itself rarely wraps up into nice, neat little packages. Television shows have always done that; when one came along that didn't, we got angry. We weren't given a definitive ending. Read the great novel The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James and you'll understand what I'm talking about. Study the work of John Milton and you might get where I'm going with SEO. Laugh at me all you want, but it takes more than a geek to make all this work. The geeks of the world need help from people like me. And heaven only knows where all this might take us.

The playing field is constantly shifting, and we all need to have our game faces on 24/7. That's why Ink & Paint is evolving. Remember, if we don't evolve, we become extinct; and I for one am by no means ready to leave the party. I've got so much I want to accomplish; I hope you'll all be coming along for the ride.

Do me a favour: read a few Web sites - I mean, really read them. And drop a comment here to let me know what you find.

Have a wonderful weekend.


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