Joining My Fellow Podcampers at Open Square

I’ve joined a group of local people who want to learn more about using the tools of the web. It couldn’t take place in a more logical place–Holyoke’s Open Square. The high ceilings, polished wood floors and huge space is a perfect venue for this confab.

I began by hosting an informal session about search engine optimizing. I went around the room and asked people what they wanted to get out of their websites. One guy runs an appraisal service on line, another offers paid podcasts to teach Indonesian language to Australians. Some of the women worked in real estate, another maintained health care websites.

I ran through my regular list of tips and tricks…more sensible advice than tricks. Joining me at my table was Val Nelson, a web designer. It was nice having her there since who really knows the answers here. All I can do is dispense advice, but there is no final word on a big topic like how to do better in searches.

Other sessions offered advice on location blogging, and how to use social networks to generate business. Best-selling author John Robison presented on how to promote your book on line. He has done very well with his book about mental illness as a youth.

I found out about a service that sends instant blasts if anyone mentions you on twitter, and that using OpenID is a better way to leave comments on blogs.

One man who works in an alumni office said he got ten good prospects for his university annual fund from being on Linked In. “They don’t read anything that we send them, but they do relate to on-line marketing like Linked in.”