Today’s Finds – Food for Thought

I enjoyed some blog posts this week from people I’m not as familiar with. One of them wrote about the need for search engine marketing and/or Internet education in schools and universities. Another looked at the “SEO Rock Star” theme in a different way. More on them below.

It’s been an exciting week too. Cre8asiteforums loses three moderators and gains two new ones. Both are women, well known and respected in the search marketing industry. We’re celebrating the addition of Donna Fontenot (aka dazzlindonna) and Miriam Ellis (aka “SEOigloo) and look forward to their energy, passion for their work and dedication to helping people.

SEOMoz featured a guest post called Why Won’t You Let Me Study The Internet?. He writes:

While I am currently expected to do research, collaborate, and turn in my assignments online I am not given the resources to learn specifically about the medium that drives it all. The major universities (with the exception of Stanford) simply haven’t committed to the internet and as such, there is no way to major in something like internet science. I am not offered classes like SEO 290 or Social Networking 300.

My 14 year old son came home the other day from school grumping outloud, “I HATE FLASH!”. Turns out he’s learning FLASH design in his Tech Ed class and dislikes it (he’d rather be studying history). His school is a public school district Middle School equipped with all kinds of gadgets in the class rooms. They communicate via web sites with parents, teachers and students. Rooms have interactive stuff that bring lessons to life in ways I never dreamed could be done. My kids know how to research using Ask and Google because they’re taught it in school. Typing is a requirement for homework. But, in their web design classes, they don’t learn how to design pages to appear in search engines or make them accessible to special needs users. Usability? Not taught.

Should we be teaching our skills to school kids and college students?

This week many people were out at SMX West. One participant wrote a blog article on his experience that I felt offered a different perspective. He had some opinions and ideas that may be shared by others and I admired his willingness to come forth with his SMX West Day 3: “Matt & Danny and Rand! Oh My!” I “sphunn” the post, and if you follow that link from the Sphinn button on his blog post page, you’ll see that Danny Sullivan responded.

Other Inspiration

Turn Usable Content into Winning Content by Colleen Jones is a must-read. She writes,

What we don’t understand as well, however, is how to make content win users over to take the actions we want them to take or have the perceptions we want them to have. We don’t understand how to make Web content both usable and persuasive.

Diane Aull writes the brilliant Why Do The (Good) SEOs Cost So %&*# Much? One of the best articles I’ve read this year so far.

One of my favorite passions…How to Build a Green Business.

I liked Tech’s feminine side and finally, among the tons of articles out on user personas, this one stands out:

QA Session on User Persona Method with Lene Nielsen, who wrote her Ph.D. thesis “Engaging Personas and Narrative Scenarios”.