Amanda Watlington was up first. Why should SEMs should look at blogs? 4.12 million hosted blogs, 10.3 million hosted blogs estimated by end of year. 2.72 million are currently semi-abandoned. 51.5% created by teens, 56% created by women and 44% by men (Perseus 2004 Survey). 69.3% og blogs readers are 25-50 years old, 40% have households incomes > 90k, 79.7% like blogs because they provide news they can't get elsewhere. Blogs get nice traffic. She then showed some theoretical benefits of blogs. Blogs and linking are all about related linking strategies. Spiders like blogs because, (1) fresh content, (2) keyword rich, (3) themed, (4)lots of links and (5)spider friendly templates. She shows Seth Godin's blog which is framed and is bad for engines. Use keywords in your blog (example adverblog.com). She then brought up ABAKUS blog, said you should add more categories. She then brings up the JupiterSearch blog as a thought leadership blog, jupiter has links to the main site (she recommends this of course). When should you syndicate your blog? Commit to blogging before electing to syndicate, it is easy technology to use.
Scott Rafer from Feedster is up now, he started Feedster about a year ago. He says syndicate everything, its a main stream media. He says the whole Web is changing, XML joining HTML as volume web-pulishing format. He said Google hates blogs, they took off all the feeds. That is why Feedster came about, to build a blog search engines. SEM differs vastly between the two. XML is machine readable, not human readable, versus HTML is both human and computer readable. They provide a very precise turn around. Once you do your search, you add it to an RSS reader, what to expect soon are ads in RSS readers.
Jeremy Zawodny from Yahoo was up next, one of the blog kings. He is here to talk about what Yahoo is doing with RSS and search. RSS is changing the ways information is bring bought in, its structured data (no h1 tags here needed), a new ecology (all the different styles of linking), there is a lot of link spam (comment spam), and there are lots of integration opportunities here. My Yahoo and Yahoo Search are integrated. He showed an example of search on new york times, with a link to "add to my yahoo." He showed you how it works in My Yahoo!.
Mark Fletcher from bloglines was next up. Bloglines allows searching, subscribe, publishing and sharing rss information. He goes over these functions in more detail but stuff you can find out by trying out bloglines.com.
Chris Tolles from Topix.net helped create ODP and now Topix.net. They are largest producer of non blog rss information (over 7,000 sources). What feeds seem to be to him is a better way to do content management for an individual. NY Times have machine readable content. For Topix, they can aggregate information. He says what is different about Topix is categorization.
Q & A:
Q: How do you combat submission spam? A: Blog/RSS feeds are opt in, you ask for it. Topix only allows non-blogs.
Q: When, where, how are we going to get ads in feeds? A: Feedster said they are putting out themed ads.
Q: How is RSS being used for product feeds specifically? A: Jeremy said he wants to see anything he routinely visits as RSS so he can add it to his reader.
Q: Jason from KeywordsRanking asked the panel their thoughts on how companies handle lawsuits for employees who blog? A: The companies make sure the bloggers have non-disclosure guidelines. He says you see that bigger bloggers are starting to take on journalistic approaches over time.