This interview with David Wallace of SEM Firm SearchRank was part of a series of interviews I ran with prominent members of Sphinn. Note that these were carried out a couple of years ago, and thus are partly dated – but also interesting to see what still holds true and what predictions have come true.
See the full list of previous interviews at the end of this post, for more interviews.
1) What benefits have you seen from your activity at Sphinn?
Traffic to my own site when posts I have authored go hot.
Also, Sphinn has allowed me to come across some really great posts that I might have otherwise missed due to the fact that I cannot add every possible feed to my reader.
Finally, it has allowed me to connect to some new people in the internet marketing industry as a whole.
2) Share 3 – 5 key elements of your success with Sphinn.
How about two? Getting several stories to the home page which drove traffic to the site and very likely allowed us to pick up some new subscribers and also being able to highlight other people’s posts, especially those that might not get the attention they really deserve.
3) What other social networks do you participate in (Digg/clones, Facebook/LinkedIn/Myspace, Ning-type sites, forums, specific blogs you comment on a lot)? Can you share your usernames there, and what type of content you’d consider sharing with the other members of those sites as well what you wouldn’t pass on?
I have pretty much given up on Digg. I have been using Mixx a lot lately and of course submit stuff to Small Business Brief (www.smallbusinessbrief.com) as well. Besides that, I am on Twitter all the time — it is always an open tab next to Bloglines.
As for user names, I typically go by my name (David Wallace or DavidWallace) or my company name (SearchRank). Most often I share content that is either related to search or social media. However on Mixx, I submit a wide variety of content including Christian related topics as well as anything related to Disneyland.
4) What features would you like to see on Sphinn?
Maybe a “Groups” function? It would also be nice to receive email notification when people “stalk” you as with Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites.
5) Besides only submitting their own stuff or only sphinning their own stuff, what are some common mistakes people make with social media?
Inactivity and don’t work to build their networks.
6) Tell us a minimum 3 non-Sphinn items about yourself that people could use to catch your eye on Sphinn (i.e. to Sphinnbait you).
Titles attract me. I have the “new Sphinns” as a feed in my reader which is where I most often come across new Sphinn items.
I also tend to return favors. In other words if people submit my stuff to Sphinn or other social media sites, I like to return the favor.
Number three – I am a sucker for humor, things like Matt McGee’s “Reasons Why You Need a Break From SEO” and the like attract me.
7) Which of Cialdini’s 6 principles do you feel most important to gaining influence and why? Can you share some anecdotes?
Probably “Authority – people will be most persuaded by you when they see you as having knowledge and credibility on the topic.”
I originally gained exposure by publishing articles on Search Engine Guide and then getting involved in forums such as High Rankings, Search Engine Watch and Small Business Ideas. From the stuff I wrote and the help I offered via forums, people came to see me as a person of authority in my industry.
8) What is the future of social media?
It is only going to grow. I think we will eventually see social media creep into just about every site in existence, at least those that want to draw repeat traffic.
I think we will also see social media sites drive significant traffic. I am already seeing sites like StumbleUpon and Digg drive more traffic than some of the smaller search engines such as MSN and Ask. Whereas SEO was getting kind of boring, social media has opened up a whole new world of possibilities in online marketing.
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