Here's where I get to tell you about me and why I think I have anything worth saying to you in a world where you literally have millions of choices for reading.

All About Search Engines and Search Engine Marketing

The primary reason to read this blog is to learn more about anything online marketing, especially things search engine related. You name it, if it's about online, you'll read something about it here. That includes information retrieval and search engine theory, SEO, paid search, social media, reputation management, affiliate programs, email marketing, web analytics, and case studies of great search marketing programs. There are two differences with my approach.  First, since I came to search engine marketing later than many, I have had to learn it "the hard way."  Meaning that I had to figure out what people would speak about at online marketing conferences without the aid of an interpreter.  I'm not speaking here about the big concepts – those are relatively easy to understand.  I am speaking about the implementation of those ideas.  As with everything the devil is in the details.  For example, the details to optimize a large site for the best search engine rankings on specific SEO keywords are not only numerous, but often with many variations in approach to chose from.  As a result, I have great empathy for so many who still are coming to the science of online marketing for the first time – which is to say the majority of entrepreneurs, company executives, and senior marketers.  I therefore do not assume that my readers will know scads about these subjects, and do my best to go step-by-step and bring them along.  Of course, I can't stretch my posting to the extent of assuming you know nothing about online marketing.  But it is my sincere hope that you do not feel you need to be an expert online marketer to appreciate or understand the points, many technical, I am trying to make.

Ethical Implications of Technology

Mixed in with discussions of search and online marketing, you will find entries that step back from the "how" or "what" of online marketing technologies and take a broader view as to the "why."  Why are these technologies important to our lives?  To our community?  To our humanity?  What are they doing to the way we communicate with each other, express ourselves, think about problems, and deal with problems of the human condition  I call this ethics of technology, and it has a very personal interest for me.  I have helped build much of the technical computing infrastructure we take for granted today.  I remember a world without fax machines or CRTs, when computers were managed by solemn priests in white coats working in glass houses. You could see them through the glass, gliding silently and purposely around their charges, the objects of their hubris, the epitome of their desire.  I remember when I first used email and thought how wonderful the world would be if I could communicate with everyone so immediately.  I remember the first desktop computer with CPM and Visicalc; I carried the original Osborne computer and was thrilled that I could work wherever I happened to be.   I remember being so proud of helping launch Java to the world and working with the gurus of Internet security, like Whit Diffie (at Sun), Taher El Gamel (at Netscape), as well as Brian O'Higgins, Paul Von Oershert, and others (at Entrust). But I also remember what Adam Osborne said to a group of us at Stanford in 1983: "He who lives on the cutting edge of technology is bound to be sacrificed upon it."  I never truly understood that statement until many years later. Today, email is the bane of my existence. I suffer the burden of numerous electronic leashes that on the one hand have great value to me in terms of working and communicating with others, but on the other enslave me and make it nearly impossible to ever escape work.  Having helped create some of the security infrastructure online, little did I realize that I would also help accelerate the evolution of identity theft, spam, worms, phishing, pharming and other banes of the interconnected world. Many share a similar love-hate relationship with technology. Others use a technology in some technology-driven network without thinking twice about it consciously, yet at a subconscious level something is disturbing their comfort, like sand in an oyster. Even others look across generations. Those of us who grew up with the Internet as a tool in our workplace understand the Internet and its technology in one way; those of other generations who grew up learning on a computer connected to the World Wide Web, and interacting with cell phones and PDAs model its use very differently in their minds.  Communicating across that generational chasm can often be perplexing and frustrating to individuals on either side. Are these changes good or bad for us and our society, especially in a world facing such overwhelming challenges as ours – overcrowding, global warming, global terrorism, the loss of species and the exhaustion of critical resources? How can we know? What questions should we be asking and, if we are not asking them, why aren't we? What assumptions will we have to jettison in order to use technology more wisely? These are ruminations that I plan to work in even as I keep you up on the latest trends in Internet technologies.  They are important, and need to be considered, especially as the pace of technological evolution accelerates even more. 

No 140 Character Limits

Lastly, let me say that there is one thing I won't buy into, and that is writing for what I will call the Internet attention span. If you want to cover the immediate point in one line or less, you won't find it here. I intend to be focused and succinct, but unlike the new generation I still plan to tell my stories in words and not just use them for real-time status updates. I hope at some point to have flash and video on the site that will tell stories as well, but the things I want to cover cannot and should not be approached without serious consideration of all their subtleties. So there you have it. Why you should read and the way I hope to share a conversation with you. Enjoy Arthur Coleman OnlineMatters, Inc. – @onlinematters on Twitter