I noticed that the top headline on Techmeme this afternoon is a couple of posts from Robert Scoble complaining that not enough people link to his blog. at first, I was scratching my head at this given that Robert's blog still manages to rank in the top 50 most linked blogs according to the Technorati Top 100 then I saw a post by Jeff Sandquist that made things clearer.

In his post entitled Scoble Intel LinkGate 2007 - Bootstrapping a new business via blogs Jeff Sandquist writes

I can empathize with Robert to a point on this.  I am well aware of how damn hard it is to build an audience.   Robert is tasked with doing this for PodTech a relatively new business and the stakes are high.   Exclusive content like Robert's Intel piece took time and money to produce (flight to Portland, cameras, bandwidth, a crew and more) and needs to show a return.  I can imagine that PodTech looked at a piece like this as a bootstrap for their network.  The hope being that the exclusive piece will get Slashdotted, Digged or high profile tech blogs (Engagdget / Gizmodo) will also follow suit.   The hope is that a few of those viewers will stick around, view other PodTech content and maybe others will subscribe to the feed to return another day.  Building an audience, inch by incch is hard work.  This all takes persistance and time all while you are justifying to your sponsors and leaders your content style and tone.  So when the Intel piece doesn't result in a lot of flow (guess we're still in the eyeball game <img alt=" src="http://www.jeffsandquist.com/smilies/wink.gif">) from the big sites Robert flew off the handle in frustration. 

I believe as this business grows, it is going to get even harder to bootstrap the businesses soley through traditional grass roots/link based marketing.  With the number of blogs and media sites continuing to grow, it will get harder and harder to get links to even exclusive the most content.

From that perspective it now makes sense to me. PodTech hired an A-list blogger in the hopes that he'd bring in lots of traffic due to the popularity of his blog but it looks like that isn't working as much as they like and now Robert is beginning to feel the pressure. I tend to agree with Jeff that perhaps PodTech should look to more than the blog of their A-list blogging employee as their primary source of traffic and buzz. 

This also explains why Robert felt obligated to give a shout out to PodTech when he got listed as one of the Web's Top 25 celebrities instead of basking in the glow of getting such props from the mainstream media. There's probably a lesson here for folks who plan to parlay their blog fame into an endeavor that requires driving eyeballs and capturing an audience.


 

Monday, January 29, 2007 12:50:57 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I wasted a few minutes of my life reading about this, the arrogance is amazing. I didn't read everything, but has anyone mentioned that perhaps Scoble isn't getting links is because his content isn't good? Long, unedited videos with no transcripts (or abstracts) aren't exactly link bait ...

Egotistical debates like these remind me why I hate "the blogosphere"
Monday, January 29, 2007 1:43:02 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I read Scoble daily but I could care less about podtech.
Sorry Rob, it is not who you work for, it is what you write.
podtechwho
Monday, January 29, 2007 4:27:48 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
The one thing that Scoble needs to do to get the links is produce good content. And, with the best will in the world, a tour of a chip plant aint it. Even if it is a 'world exclusive' that the chips have got, umm, even better. Whatever.
Monday, January 29, 2007 5:17:08 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I have to agree about the content. If we were talking edited videos that had a decent signal to noise ratio that would be one thing but most of Scoble's videos contain about 20 minutes of real content and 40 minutes of Scoble shootin' the breeze with his guests. I don't really have time to watch two people joking around with each other.

Also, Podtech's eventual goal is to become people's source for technology feature stories which would (eventually) supplant sites like Engadget so I don't think its really fair to demand free, premium advertising from Engadget via a link.
Tom
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