Today I have been mostly reading…

I’m just catching up iwth my Instapaper backlog from the past few days and come across a couple of articles that qualify as ‘must reads’.

The first is from the ever-dependable ‘One Man and His Blog’ and has the catchy title Google targets SEO over-optimisation – so just write good stuff.  The title does say it all really: Google’s new algorithm changes seem to favour quality over heavily optimised content, which should favour sites that are writing for their audience rather than writing for Google’s spiders. However, read this in conjunction with this piece on SEOmoz by Carson Ward (don’t you love American names?). He’s talking about the need for inbound links to get you higher up the page rankings and the article contains the great quote “Content rarely attracts natural links by merely being useful, but by being unique and creative.”

The second article is a longish one from the Guardian by Frederic Filloux called Media Culture Shifts: theory v reality, and is about changing a business from ‘print’ to ‘digital’. As he says, the theory is simple, but in practice “morphing a legacy media business into a modern, digital-dominated company is a f*** (frighteningly) complicated endeavour“.

He makes the very good point that outside observers, lecturers, consultants have the view that moving from where you are to where you should be is obvious and straightforward, but these outsiders tend to

“all have a remote view of what a P&L or a KPI is; they never had to fire someone or to agonise over picking up x v y to fill an open position; they never had to make a recommendation for investing several million … in a project with an uncertain future. They probably never experienced failure and the ensuing humiliation and anguish. This doesn’t mean they’re not interesting … to read, it simply says they propagate a theoretical and narrow view. In a way, some of their ”obvious” prescriptions remind me of people who claim losing weight is easy: All you have to do is exercise more and eat less. Sure. But don’t tell me what, tell me how.”

It’s worth reading as this is the situation that most of us find ourselves in right now. Sure we sort of, probably, kind of think we know where we sort of, probably, kind of want to get to, but at the moment managing the current business takes priority over managing the transition.

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