Ghostwriting thought leadership

A good piece by Lauren Ingram (at least I assume she wrote it :) on whether we need to start getting more transparent about the ghost writing that goes on in corporate content strategy.

As you probably know much of the ‘thought leadership’ content produced by CEO and higher management in big enterprise is ghost written, often without any input or even signoff from them before it is published. This typically happens in blog posts on the corporate’s own site, but can also extend to guest posts on other sites, as well as publications and industry magazines.

It’s kind of an accepted practice these days, but is it time to rethink this. Lauren notes:

Let’s look at academia, where using someone else’s writing is absolutely off limits. If you’re caught paying a shady essay mill to write your paper, you’ll probably be suspended and may face expulsion. You didn’t do the research. You didn’t write the paper. Your academic reputation would be in tatters.

Somehow, these consequences don’t apply in a professional setting. Instead, if you pay someone to write your professional guest post, your reputation could be bolstered instead.

Personally I think people are generally happy with the idea of a ghost writer – but the question Lauren raises is whether the ghost writers deserve some of the recognition:

When some celebrities sign book deals for memoirs, co-writers are included in the byline, just in a smaller font. It might seem strange at first, but why couldn’t bloggers use this same system? Or at the very least, put some sort of disclosure at the bottom of the story to acknowledge the name of the person who actually wrote the post.

In much the same way as a Prime Minister’s or President’s speechwriter(s) may themselves receive accolades – is it time we moved to a similar model for our thought leadership writers?

It’s not just Australia that has fucked internet

Here’s an all too common example of political incompetence and bungling when it comes to technology and infrastructure planning.

And I thought it was just the NBN that had issues – at least we’ve got something rolling (albeit limping) out…

Of course The Backburner nails it in a piece that you’d be forgiven for thinking was all too real:

The Turnbull Government has announced that the delays in rolling out the NBN and limits on download speeds were all along part of a calculated effort to somehow slow down Australia’s pirating of Game of Thrones.

Local SEO Myths

A useful list from Joy Hawkins on some common local seo misconceptions.

#4 is still the main misconception: that posting on Google+ will improve your rankings.

This is no longer the case. I say ‘no longer’ because it is true that in the early days of G+ there was a benefit to updating your G+ profile. And that continued for a certain extent with G+ Authorship. But those days are long gone.

That Dan Lyons book

Well played Dan, well played.

“Instant New York Times Bestseller” pretty much sums it up.

The book promotion tour for Disrupted is on and thus the pieces have been coming thick and fast over the past two weeks.

Dharmesh has a calm response that I found impressive (disclaimer: Dharmesh is a personal hero of mine).

Ian and I mentioned our thoughts on episode 29 of HubShots (towards the end) and our friend Moby Siddique (@mobysiddique) has a longer, stronger reaction at the start of episode 7 of Inbound Buzz (well worth a listen).

In the scheme of things these stories are merely distractions, and I don’t think anyone seriously considers HubSpot an isolated example of this kind of startup growth issue. Or any corporate for that matter.

I’d love to know how much of this Dan wrote with interest versus intent. As a writer he needs to sell books, can’t hold that against him. But I wonder if he feels he really has contributed value to the world with this. I hope so.

14 Job Interview Questions That Might Just Make You Sound Like You Are Trying Too Hard

Not sure if it is a cultural thing and questions like this are more applicable in US to here in AU, but if I was interviewing someone and they started peddling out questions like:

‘What behaviors does the member who struggles most on the team exhibit? Please give me an example.’

…I think I’d be more worried than impressed.

But question 8, that one’s much more like it.

Search Results Ranking Based on Satisfaction?

An interesting find by Bill Slawski of a newly published Google patent:

A newly published Google patent application describes technology that would modify scoring and ranking of query results using biometric indicators of user satisfaction or negative engagement with a search result. In other words; Google would track how satisfied or unsatisfied someone might be with search results, and using machine learning, build a model based upon that satisfaction, raising or lowering search results for a query. This kind of reaction might be captured using a camera on a searcher’s phone to see their reaction to a search result.

The immediate questions related to this are around how much access you’d give Google to look at your reactions…

But I wonder what our search tools will look like in a few years anyway – will we still be peering at a search result listing on our phone, or will bots and voice input have become more the norm by then?