Hans Kullin – why blogging about yourself makes total sense

Taking control over Brand You online requires that you are active, otherwise other people will define the image of you. By using different types of social media you can influence your own brand because many web 2.0 services like blogs and micro blogs rank very high in a Google search. Already back in 2005 I noticed that journalist blogs trump articles in traditional media – an entire career on a newspaper can’t match the high rank of a personal blog.

My own blog and social media tools have ranked high in a search for “Hans Kullin” on Google but other channels are beginning to eat their way into the very top results. Tags are beginning to have a huge impact on Google. The top ten results for my name on Google.se are:

1. The “About me” page on this blog
2. This blog
3. Blog posts tagged with my name on www.s-bloggar.se
4. Blog posts tagged with my name on mindpark.se
5. Blog post at fyranyanser.se with my name in the headline
6. My profile page on profsweden.ning.com
7. Blog post at bisonblog.blogs.com/blog with my name in the headline
8. My page at micro blog service bloggy.se
9. My page at micro blog service jaiku.com
10. Blog posts tagged with my name on sv.wordpress.com

So this blog still claims the two top spots, although I have chosen 1) not to name the blog after myself, 2) not have my entire name as the domain name and 3) not have my name in the title tag.

The first traditional media link comes in at result number 16 and the first professional link (my employer) is at #25.

It is interesting that two blog posts from 2006 still rank so high (#5 and #7) on my name. I wonder why that is. Either way, the conclusion is that although I am extremely active on social media I only “control” five of the top ten results. And although I am certainly no SEO expert, here are some quick advice on how to make your own channels rank higher up in Google in a search for your name.

1. Choose your name as the domain name for your blog.
2. Put your name in the title tag of your blog.
3. Name the title of your “About me” page with your name.
4. Publish at least one blog post with your name in the post title (see title of this blog post), especially if you already have your urls set up so that they match the title of the blog post.
5. Where suitable, use your name as a tag in your own blog post.
6. Register for a few micro blog services and use your real name in the profile.

But what about Facebook and MySpace? Yes, valid question. I thought that these pages would rank high but I guess no one is linking to my profile page which means that my Facebook profile is only at #52 in Google. But of course, a presence on networks like Facebook, Ning or LinkedIn is important too.

These are my random thoughts. Any SEO experts out there that would like to add comments?

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Media Culpa’s five year anniversary

On February 17, 2004 an outbreak of dengue fever killed 91 people in Indonesia and the board of directors of the Walt Disney Company rejected a hostile offer by Comcast. But more importantly (?), the blog Media Culpa was launched. Well, I had actually been fooling around with the blog for some time, but that is the date with the oldest remaining blog post. In other words, this blog is celebrating its five year anniversary today.

So much has happened through these five years that it is hard to summarize or pick out the most important moments. But I felt that it would be appropriate to highlight a few blog posts from these five years.

Here goes:

May 14: 2004: Link love from Dave Winer’s Scripting News

May 14, 2004: Steve Rubel already the most influential PR blogger. I’m at #17 of 28.

May 24, 2004: First corporate blog post to find its way into (Swedish) mainstream media

June 24, 2004: Link love from Doc Searls.

June 24, 2004: I get in touch with Iranian PR blogger Hossein. At this point there are more PR bloggers in Iran than in Sweden.

June 29, 2004: Answer to the question “does your company use blogs”: 7 out of 10 Swedes reply “what’s a blog?”

July 12, 2004: I participated as the only Swede in Global PR Blog Week: a number of pioneering PR blogs (such as Elizabeth Albrycht and Mike Manuel) together created a week long blog event about PR and communication.

August 12, 2004: Link love from Engadget. PlayStation banned from Swedish prisons

August 25, 2004: First Swedish daily to launch blog (Svenska Dagbladet)

October 13, 2004: Kryptonite crisis talk of the month.

October 15, 2004: Number of hits in Google for the word “podcasting” rises from 20 to 66,000 in about one month.

November 10, 2004: This blog ranked as Sweden’s fifth most influential blog by Observer (now Cision).

November 15, 2004: First Swedish blog forum, Bloggforum. I participated in the media panel along with PJ Anders Linder, chief political editor of Svenska Dagbladet, Billy McCormac and Jonas Söderström.

December 13, 2004: I was nominated to the 2004 Weblog Awards, category Best European (Non-UK) Blog. Finished at #8.

December 14, 2004: I’m on the cover of Internetworld.

January 27, 2005: The power of blogs. Blogger made L’Oréal pull ad.

February 18, 2005: Media Culpa nominated for Internetworld’s award, Best Swedish blog in the IT and Media category. I didn’t win.

February 25, 2005: Microsoft distributes press releases via RSS. I beat them with a few months for the law firm I worked for.

March 2, 2005: Swedish media RSS feeds reaches 100 – Nordic reaches 200

May 25, 2005: First blog survey published – BloggSverige 1/BlogSweden 1

June 14, 2005: Honorable mention in MarketingSherpa’s 2005 Best Blog Awards

July 11, 2005: Citizen journalism in the London bombings

February 15, 2006: Link love from Boing Boing.

June 27, 2006: My new blog disclaimer

August 25, 2006: Second blog survey complete – BloggSverige 2/BlogSweden 2

September 17, 2006: Marketing managers not willing to invest in blogs

September 22, 2006: Link love #2 from Boing Boing.

October 14, 2006: Sweden’s Minister for Trade brought down by blogger

November 2, 2006: Media Culpa is pick of the day, by the Blogger team.

December 20, 2006: Media Culpa’s 2007 predictions – it’s not a pretty sight

February 17, 2007: 1,000 blog posts published

March 14, 2007: I defend blogs in an article in Computer Sweden.

March 23, 2007: I totally dismiss any value in Twitter 🙂

April 5, 2007: Media Culpa is listed (at #71) on Advertising Age’s list Power 150 as one of only two Swedish blogs.

November 13, 2007: Media Culpa’s top 10 blog pitch pet peeves

November 13, 2007: I published a column in Aftonbladet about the media landscape in 2012.

January 30, 2008: Third annual blog survey – BloggSverige 3/BlogSweden 3

June 15, 2008: I reveal that Dagens Nyheter uses a 12 month old interview as their top story about the wire-tapping law (FRA).

September 15, 2008: Media Culpa listed under Social Media on Alltop.

November 24, 2008: Research – Corporate blogging among listed Nordic companies

Febraury 12, 2009: Media Culpa is ranked as the third best Swedish media blog (YABA)

January 8, 2009: Has Twitter reached a tipping point in Sweden?

And finally, some stats from the last few years (since I installed Google Analytics):
– 67% of all visitors are not from Sweden.
– Top traffic source: Google, 36% of all visits
– Day with most visits: Nov 3, 2006

[Photo courtesy of matski_98]

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A few technical changes to this blog

I’ve made some changes to the way this blog gets published. In order for the social bookmarks (below) to work, every blog post now also gets published as a separate page, which they weren’t before. That means that the permalinks now look like this:


instead of this:


Both new and old URLs seem to work so hopefully you won’t notice any difference. But if you find som bugs, please let me know (I wouldn’t want every link to this blog to become invalid).

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Media Culpa’s top 10 blog pitch pet peeves

At what point does pitching a blogger become spam? Well it doesn’t take much, if you ask me. I have been biting my tongue for very long (I don’t want to be like Chris “Long Tail” Anderson), but now I feel it’s time to let off some steam. So, without further ado, here are my top ten blog pitch pet peeves.

1. Don’t send me press releases about stuff I don’t blog about.
You would be amazed if you knew the kind of press releases I get. I have been on the Swedish Christian Democrats mailing list since the last election. Hello! I don’t write about politics and I have no intention to start now. Read my blog for a while so you get a sense of what topics I cover.

2. Don’t send me press releases from a generic sender.
Who on earth is “mediaservice”? Answer: the Swedish Christian Democrats again. I would rather have a dialogue with an identifiable human being.

3. Don’t send me attachements.
It’s bad enough if you send attachements to someone’s job, but you are sending me this stuff to my home computer. If this thing breaks, I’m toast. I don’t have an IT support to call if I get at trojan or a virus. I can’t afford to open anything with an attachement if it’s not from a trusted sender.

4. Don’t send me press releases with nothing but attachements.
How dumb are you if the only thing there is in the email is a jpeg file? Do you really expect me to open this crap? One of Sweden’s largest media corporations should read this and be ashamed. Bonus pet peeve: the attachement is 5 MB or more.

5. Don’t send me press releases with vague headlines.
Same company as above. Don’t send me an email just telling me to “hold the date” and forcing me to open an image file to find out what the date is about. I won’t do it.

6. Don’t send the same personalized letter twice, from different people.
Leading PR agency advises leading software company. Sends very nice letter to bloggers, asking if they can send a press release about a news story. Same “personalized letter” comes slightly adjusted from a second person at the same company a few weeks later. That makes our “dialogue” feel fake.

7. Don’t send me yesterday’s news.
Same PR agency as above. Sent me a press release dated the day before (yes, really!). And besides, the whole story had already been covered the same morning by the leading business daily, which made it not so interesting for me.

8. Don’t send me the same release twice within ten minutes.
This happens more often than you could imagine. Oh please, check your mailing lists for duplicates, would you? Bonus pet peeve: if you mess up and need to send out a new corrected press release, don’t demand that the blogger who just blogged the story shall update his blog post within minutes. I take responsibility for my own content and reputation, thank you very much.

9. If I tell you to stop, please do.
If you wonder why I have chosen to only name the Christian Democrats on this list, it is because they are the absolute worst on blogger relations. When I finally got tired of observing them making fools out of themselves, I sent them a polite email telling them to remove me from their mailing list because I wasn’t interested. That’s exactly one week ago and I still get their press releases. Nike was right: just do it!

10. Don’t send press releases at all.
Get to know me. Build a relationship. That’s why there is a ‘social’ in front of ‘media’ when we talk about blogs.

So what to do? A good start would be to check out the “pitching bloggers” section of the NewPR Wiki and this list of links.

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Join the Media Culpa group on Facebook

media-culpa Just a quick note to those who might be interested. Media Culpa now has its own Facebook group and you are more than welcome to join and discuss how digital media affect traditional media and public relations. Posts have so far just been in Swedish but the aim is to expand the dialogue to English as well. Welcome.

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