Archives for January 2013

Blog Topics: 5 Ways to Uncover Ideas

You haven’t posted in weeks and the self induced pressure is on to create a blog post.  You had an idea the other day, but How to find blog post ideasyou didn’t log it anywhere, and now that idea is foggy.  What are you going to do? Where are you going to find blog topics of interest to both your readers and yourself?  Sound familiar?

Hopefully you’re overflowing with topics and ideas to investigate that lead to colorful and informative posts.  Answering questions of your readers through posts should be your vision.  For those times when your idea tank is on empty, below are 5 ways to generate ideas and fill up the brain.

 

Quora

It seems like Quora came out 20 years ago.  The Q & A platform debuted in the summer of 2010 as the brainchild of two former Facebook employees Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever.  Last week Quora launched a blogging platform that allows you to post within Quora.  Until last week I hadn’t spent much time in Quora since it started.  However, over the last few weeks seemed to be getting e-mail alerts daily with new followers, coupled with the new blogging platform and Quora has some buzz.

There are over 300K topics to choose from in Quora.  There is something for all tastes.  Go in there for 30 minutes and you will find some ideas for blog posts.  Some of the Topics with the largest amount of followers include:

Technology Trends

Healthy Eating

Social Media

Dating and Relationships

Business Models

 

 

RSS Feeds / E-Mail Newsletters

If you haven’t registered to a least 10 Feeds or E-Mail lists in your vertical you’re making a big mistake.  I’m a bigger fan of e-mail lists because many times that will come with free e-books just for signing up.  Many of these e-books contain content that is better than on that blogger’s site.  It’s a great to learn about what others are blogging about in your field and some of the methods they employ.

Yes, you will run into people that will just push product and services constantly through e-mail.  Just unsubscribe at the bottom of the e-mail if you’re not getting any value.  I’m currently subscribed to many more than 10 and a high percentage of time I take away something of value with each piece.

Tip: Use an e-mail address that is solely for this purpose.  I created mailinglist at geeklesstech.com and all incoming e-mail comes into my iPad separately.  I don’t it have mixed in with my other high volume addresses.   This makes it more manageable and not so overwhelming

 

LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn discontinued their Q & A section today January 31, 2013.  No problem.  Go into your relative LinkedIn Groups and you’ll witness a lot of conversations taking place.  Make sure the LI Group is active.  You’re allowed to be active in 50 groups at once.   Find 2-3 that work for you and participate.  The ideas will be cascading down your face.

 

Inbox Q

This is a handy tool that allows you to find people asking questions on Twitter.  You set up your campaigns (keywords) of what you want Inbox Q to find for you.  You can answer directly from the application if so inspired.  It gives you an idea of what people are asking on Twitter for your topic which should stimulate some ideas for a post.

Inbox Q

 

Your own Posts

Take a look at your own posts.  They’re right there on your site.  In my case, I have a lot of experience on LinkedIn but have only published one post on LinkedIn.  That’s three demerits.  You probably lacking in content for a topic that you are well versed.  Please share that knowledge with us.  In the next two weeks I’ll publish a LinkedIn post derived from Quora, E-Mail Newsletter, LinkedIn groups, and Inbox Q.  I hope you will as well.

What methods do you use to generate post ideas?  Please share with us.

 

Facebook Graph Search – A first Glance

Facebook Graph Search just became available to me about an hour ago.  I want to start by saying I’m generally not impressed with the new shiny toy thing, and I’m not going to say this is a “game changer” but I think there might have been a groan or two from Mountain View, CA (Google Headquarters).

After a quick first glance Facebook Graph Search has given Facebook a nice shot in the arm.  That’s a good thing.  The searches seems endless, and you can get very specific as you’ll see blow.  You can really do a deep dive of what you’re looking for as Facebook has included several filters.  I’m from the camp that online privacy is dead, but even I felt slightly uncomfortable how you could pinpoint an users likes and preferences.  It was all available before Graph Search, but now it’s really at your fingertips and much easier to access.

 

Facebook Graph Search

So as you can below Facebook allows you to search for people, places, and things.  Facebook gives you about a 45 second tour.  You start with a main menu that includes “My Friends” and “Restaurants nearby” –

Facebook Graph Search

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Restaurants nearby

So if you search “Restaurants nearby” you’re going to get local restaurants that have Facebook Business Pages.  While an argument can be made that every local business should have a Facebook Fan Page already, companies that don’t have a page will be at a little disadvantage.  It will be interesting to see how Business Pages over the next year with the arrival of Graph Search.

Restaurants Nearby Facebook Graph Search

 

Refine your Search

I searched Museums in New York, New York.  It will bring up all the museums in New York City that have a page.  You can also see that it shows all my friends that “Liked” each museum.  You can also refine your search to show other places such as bar, hotel, and movie theaters.

You can refine your search by Place Type, Liked By, Name, Places In, and Visited by. This will give the user searching pinpoint results.

Facebook Graph Search NYC Museums

 

Graph Search Web

There will be times when your search will need help from an outside source.  That outside source is Bing. Right now 50K SEO consultants are running to optimize their clients sites for Bing.  Oh no…

The search for “social media consultants new york city” brought me to a Web Search.  Now you don’t leave the Facebook site, but the results are pulled from Bing.  Well you didn’t think they were going to use Google did you?

Graph Search Web Bing

 

My friends who like Bon Jovi

Basically you can search “My friends” who like anything.  In the example below I searched, “My friends who like Bon Jovi”.  Here are some of the results.  Again, you can refine your search results.  The other point of interest on these search results are the month and year that you became friends with someone.

Graph Search - My friends who like Bon Jovi

 

Facebook Graph Search – At first glance I liked what I saw.  This will certainly keep users on Facebook longer.  The Graph Search also allows us to see what friends like and that is very powerful.  For example, we are definitely motivated to try restaurants that our friends like and recommend.  While the detail (a full review of a restaurant) isn’t there yet, I can see this being a resource that people use.  A recommendation from a friend goes a long a way, and makes our buying decisions easier.

Undoubtedly there will be bashers of the new Facebook Graph Search, but that’s to be expected of anything big and new.  This is fresh out of the oven, and while I tested it for about 2 hours, the Graph Search looks very solid.

I hope you found the article valuable.  Please share if you liked it, that would be much appreciated.  I look forward to your comments.