Also, i dont think discordia attracts any more sociopaths than say, atheism or satanism.

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000's SEO Dump

Started by Triple Zero, June 21, 2010, 01:04:29 PM

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Triple Zero

Well not that I got much response to this post before (why btw? too obvious? GASM Command too hidden for good discussion--I do get the feeling people read this place much less than O:MF), so I decided to repurpose this thread into generic shady tricks to write popular poop.

Because a lot of our GASM projects are based (partly) on generating buzz in social media, it is important to know how to write a good headline or link title that people are likely to click on, or share with others.

Writing headlines is a bit of an art, but fortunately for us, there are also a lot of easy tricks that usually do "good enough".

Just be careful you don't accidentally sound too spammy.

For instance, after reading (some of) these links, you will notice headlines like "5 Ways to .." and "The 10 most ridiculous ..." or "25 Great ideas for ...", also known as "list posts", everywhere. This is what blogwriters do when they don't have anything to write about. They pick a bunch of links from their recent history, bookmarks or whereever, augment it with some extra links found on Google, write a short description for each of them, and use a headline like this. They are catchy headlines, until you notice they are everywhere :) might have been one of the earlier adopters of this technique.

Anyway, 10 awesome links about writing great headlines!

Ex-Soviet Bloc Sexual Attack Swede of Tomorrow™
e-prime disclaimer: let it seem fairly unclear I understand the apparent subjectivity of the above statements. maybe.


Triple Zero


Again, pretty obvious, but nonetheless inspirational:

HOW TO: Turn Some Made-Up Bullshit Into A Definitive Expert Blog Post

I may be tipping my hand here, and letting you go a little too deep inside my bag of strat tricks, but I want to talk about a powerful tactic for making something viral out of nothing.

One of the great things about the power of the social web is that you can pretty just make up whatever bullshit you want, and if presented properly (ie, on a blog with decent traffic), people will not only accept it as truth, but repeat it for you across the Net, ad infinitum (that's Latin for "a lot").

Some of my favorite tech and social media blogs have created an entire cottage industry out of the Strat Secrets I'm about to drop on you, so get ready to deep dive into a pretty serious data dump.

1. Make Up Some Bullshit That Will Drive a Provocative Headline

It doesn't really matter what kind of bullshit you make up, so much as it portends to provide people with an insight or answer to something that is patently unexplainable, such as how the Internet actually works. The more insane/idiotic your theoretical headline sounds, the better, because people will be so confused by the ludicrousness of what you're suggesting that they'll simply have to click the link to find out more. Bonus points if you can tie it onto some kind of pop culture keyword that will drive great SEO (ie, "HOW TO: Use Your iPhone 4 to Become the Justin Bieber of Foursquare").

2. Put Your Made-Up Bullshit Into the Context of an Authoritative "How To" Guide, Like You're THE Expert

Leveraging a few simple formatting tricks to present information to people as some kind of expert step-by-step guide they should actually be following (as opposed to just some bullshit you made up) really gives your blog post a gravity that regular words and paragraphs just can't provide. Utilizing this simple editorial tool, you can literally become the Expert of Everything. Try it!

3. Come Up With a Couple Points That Barely Support Your Made-Up Bullshit

It doesn't really matter if you're essentially just reheating and repeating the half-baked pseudo-logic of your headline/premise without adding or expanding with any additional ideas, you just need to fill out enough space for the piece to feel like a full, featurey blog post.

4. Illustrate the Made-Up Bullshit With Lots of Stock Photos of People Generically Doing Things With Computers and Gadgets

People love to hang out in cool bars, drinking mojitos and poring over your made up bullshit on their smartphones. It's pretty much everyone's favorite after-work activity.

COOL SOCIAL MEDIA BRO: Hey Ariel, did you see Mashable's post on 'HOW TO: Hack Foursquare To Become the Mayor of Everything By Lying About Where You're At'?

ARIEL: Woah, Jeff - you just unlocked the badge to my panties.

5. Blast Out Your Made-Up Bullshit On Twitter

The genius of the whole thing is: no one actually reads anything anymore. They just see it on Twitter or Facebook, get the gist, re-tweet it to seem like they're a relevant part of the conversation, then move on to the next piece of made-up bullshit. After a certain number of retweets, @-mentions and #hashtags, your made-up bullshit is magically transformed into Truth and Wisdom. I don't know it works, but it just does.

6. Watch the Made-Up Bullshit Get Retweeted, Shared, Shouted and Buzzed Endlessly Thanks To Your Network of Clueless Middle Management "Strategy People" Who Desperately Worship Your Site as a Provider of Answers, Because Otherwise They Would Literally Have No Idea What Is Happening

Congratulations! Your made-up bullshit became something that someone said in a meeting to sound like they know what they're talking about/justify their meaningless job. Now just pat yourself on the back, give yourself a new made-up title for your Twitter bio, and start making up some more bullshit.

BTW, the original article is--of course--filled with all sorts of people fondling their gadgets and being all web2.0 and such.
Ex-Soviet Bloc Sexual Attack Swede of Tomorrow™
e-prime disclaimer: let it seem fairly unclear I understand the apparent subjectivity of the above statements. maybe.



GREAT THREAD! I will be returning here frequently.

Triple Zero

Responses to this article on Reddit were kind of cynical: "People are likely to latch on to things other people like--Revolutionary.", but I think they missed the subtle distinction that is trying to be made here.

Most models of memetic transfer follow the idea of an epidemic, "going viral". This is based on the shape of social networks, which are "small world" or "exponentially distributed" graphs, meaning that most nodes have a small number of connections and some nodes really have a great amount. That's cool and it works for modelling simple memes, the kind that are usually meant when people talk about "memes" or "internet memes". They're basically just catch-phrases (or catch-imagery, if you wish), like LOLcats, "Yo dawg" or "imma let you finish". They're not very interesting to our purposes, IMO, and probably a large part of the cause why people in this board get irritated and annoyed when they hear the word.

Some of us know that memetics entails a much broader subject though. The distinction (not very clearly) made in this article is to "larger" memes, or rather, trends. Farmville and Facebook in general are given as an example. The research states that adoption of trends is not just based on a simple viral/epidemic model of highly-connected nodes, but rather that people are much more likely to latch onto a trend if a lot of their peers follow that trend, not just simply if one single highly connected peer does. This follows closely Cialdini's theory of "social proof" in his book Influence - Science And Practice (you can find it as PDF on Gigapedia--highly recommended).

Full article of the research mentioned:
(And another article that was linked in the discussion, turned out to be the wrong one, but maybe still interesting: )

Game theory explains why some content goes viral on Reddit, Digg
By Casey Johnston

A lot of attention has been lavished on ideas "going viral," but this may not be the only way that ideas spread, according to an article published in PNAS last week. With some extensive theoretical work in game theory, two researchers have shown that trendy changes don't spread quickly just because they gain exposure to a high number of people. Instead, the spread of innovations may work more like a game where players are gauging whether to adopt something new based on what others immediately surrounding them do.

The popularity growth of things like websites or gadgets is often described as being similar to an epidemic: a network with a lot of connections between people increases exposure and then adoption, as do links stretching between dissimilar groups. When the trend in question spreads to a node with a lot of connections (like a celebrity), its popularity explodes. While this is fitting for some cases, in others it's an oversimplification—a person's exposure to a trend doesn't always guarantee they will adopt it and pass it on.

"It is not only the intrinsic value of a new technology (or other types of innovation) that makes it attractive. It is also the number of friends who have adopted it," Amin Saberi, one of the authors, told Ars. In instances where there is incentive to make the same decision as people around you, the authors of the paper argue, the spread of innovations may instead follow rules of game theory, which differ in big ways from the rules of viral or epidemic trends.

To demonstrate how this is possible, the two researchers set up a theoretical scenario with several people, or nodes, connected in a network, like friends in a social group. They then instituted a game where in each round, each node had to decide whether to adopt a new innovation based only on the current behavior of their neighbors.

For example, a node/person in the game would look around and see how many of his friends were participating in a trend, say, Farmville. If none were, the odds of the node starting to play Farmville were low; if all were, odds of playing Farmville were high. The game was weighted so that imitating neighbors' behavior had a higher payoff than going against the grain.

With only these rules, a social enclave where everyone has perfect information about what everyone else is doing would never adopt anything new. If people only made decisions based on that others were doing, none of the nodes would ever see changing as the best strategy.

To fix this, the researchers introduced some noise into the situation so many nodes had incomplete information. They weighted the decision so that a node with zero information about what his neighbors did would choose to adopt the innovation, whatever it was (this could be considered an analog to a reality where a person doesn't care what others think and evaluates new innovations based on other factors).

When they played around with the structure of the network operating on these rules, they found nodes with local connections, as opposed to the long-range ones that facilitate epidemics, spread innovations more quickly. Nodes that weren't as tightly integrated to the network and maintained fewer connections let change spread more quickly, while nodes with lots of connections actually slowed the spread down.

The highly connected nodes turned into roadblocks, because even without perfect information on its neighbors' outlook, the highly connected nodes get more external pressure from their unenlightened neighbors. A highly connected node must then be extremely ignorant of its neighbors to adopt a trend, or else must be surrounded by neighbors that have switched over first. This was one of the biggest differences between the game-theoretic spread and the epidemic spread.

The model seems to apply less to individual pieces of content, where simple exposure is enough to create huge growth. On the other hand, it could explain, for instance, loyalty to sites that distribute that content, like Digg and Reddit, or to particular genres of memes. The authors say it also crops up in choices that influence social connections, like the choice between voting Republican or Democratic, or to adoption of technology, like choosing between Verizon and AT&T.

Dr. Saberi gave the following example: "the reason I am using Facebook as opposed to another social network is not just its quality... it is also because I have a lot of friends who are using it"; he notes this could also apply to operating systems. Likewise, while there are many reasons to choose one cell phone carrier or another, features like free calls or texts within a network can influence a group of friends to migrate to the same network as each other.

In the game theory model, networks trend to an equilibrium of everyone adopting the change—not terribly realistic. Still, the model shows that trends may spread quickly based on something other than the brute force of exposure. Even with a more complex, socially influenced process, the popularity of an innovation can grow rapidly.
Ex-Soviet Bloc Sexual Attack Swede of Tomorrow™
e-prime disclaimer: let it seem fairly unclear I understand the apparent subjectivity of the above statements. maybe.


Mesozoic Mister Nigel

I like it! This'll be useful at some point.
"I'm guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk," Charles Wick said. "It was very complicated."


Leaving this tab open so I can read it when I don't have two 11yr old boys running amok in the house.
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Triple Zero

This is a really good article about SEO:

I'm only halfway, but I'm already enjoying it tremendously. It's not only useful for people wanting to promote GASMs or mindfucks/viral pranks/etc, but maybe also for those members among us who are small business owners and need to promote their business online.
Ex-Soviet Bloc Sexual Attack Swede of Tomorrow™
e-prime disclaimer: let it seem fairly unclear I understand the apparent subjectivity of the above statements. maybe.