Kristin thinks about… SEO

Doesn’t it sound like a breakfast cereal? New! Crispety-crunchy SeeOh’s, now with more see and rounder ohs!

In all seriousness, Search Engine Optimization seems to almost be a ritual dance shrouded in mystery and knowing winks, missing only some great food, firelight, and awesome drummers. And yet, SEO affects everything Web these days. If you want someone to read your blog, buy your product, know your brand, or find your videos, you must tie in to either an existing SEO framework via an established product like YouTube or become versed in dancing the SEO dance.

Having worked previously for the Texas A&M University System on projects that benefitted internal customers, knowledge of SEO was not needed. The web applications were all account-driven and protected, and internal marketing was good enough to get the job done.

Moving into the private sector, I am deeply impressed at the scope of the industry that surrounds how to find your website (and particular information ON your website). Tools, trainings, consultants, books… It is all overwhelming, not to mention terrifying for my checkbook!

From a very basic point-of-view, following SEO ranking methodologies such as complete image tags with alt text and titles specified suits several purposes including assisting web users having disabilities. I suppose the web crawlers would be considered the most simple-functioning, disabled readers you could possibly get on your site. If the crawler can successfully find information and navigate the site, there is a very high probability that any given real human can too.

Where I saw SEO methodologies breaking away from the good, common-sense, practical website coding was in (somewhat controversial) reference to duplication of content. This also makes sense: if I am searching for reviews on a new steam mop I saw, very little will aggravate me as much as seeing the SAME reviews over and over on different sites. I want to see different peoples’ opinions. There are many recommendations along these lines too.

I am just at the beginning stages of learning about optimizing content to be found. More detail will come later when I have had time to digest a little more.

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Kristin thinks about… Bravery

The hardest thing I have ever had to face was the sudden death of my mother. As the oldest of four, I have taken a large part of the responsibility for processing and handling the fallout, including the care of my father who came to live with us.

Having your foundation collapse can be devastating, and I reacted as such. In fact, it took me over two-and-a-half years to become what I considered “mostly normal.” Within six months of that milestone, just over a year ago, my father passed away.

I am happy to report we are almost finished with sorting and closing the estate. On our own front, my husband and I are preparing to sell the house we bought two years ago with rooms for my father, and move back into something more appropriate for us.

So, what do I choose to do in the midst of this? Quit my job and attempt to strike out as an independent freelancer! In an upcoming article I will talk more about this ongoing situation.

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Twitter Updates for 2010-08-25

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Why should you hire me?

Day 2: List Post

31 DayBlog ChallengeReasons to Hire Kristin

  1. Long-term collaboration potential.
  2. Clear instruction given to help understand common technical processes.
  3. Warrantees for corrections are standard.
  4. Solid programming background is mandatory and available.
  5. Proven record of absorbing new technologies provides best results possible.
  6. Challenges are welcome and encouraged.
  7. Image adjustments are no sweat.
  8. Kristin cares about YOU and what YOU need.
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Out of Blogspot

Blogger and WordPressThe recent site I helped a client with started from a migration out of Blogspot. The data did not all come through easily and cleanup is still going on.

The worst offenders were images and tags (which did not come through) and post metadata.

The cleanest solution was to export the Blogger information into a site, try to watch the images there, adjust the target site permalink settings, export the data, and import into the standalone WordPress installation.

All tags had to be recreated and some images transferred that way, but any images with spaces in their names or capitalization that did not match the post text indicated as broken and/or did not migrate at all.

The process was highly frustrating as the site was quite image-intensive so any upload or download work took quite some time, and there was a deadline looming.

A comprehensive step-by-step of items that worked was sorely lacking. This might be a good opportunity for a plugin or a service though… Hm.

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What is this blog?

Day 1: My Elevator Pitch

31 Days Blog ChallengeAll my life I have been told I live in my head, always thinking. I have found this to be a great asset at times as I try to find the whole picture, and I enjoy putting this talent to work solving challenges people face.

This is my quest to become an independent web freelancer, documented so that others who may walk the same path as I might find the path easier to travel.

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Kristin thinks about … Sleep.

sleeping girlThis has been an emotional weekend.

My client’s new site officially launched with a bang and looks like it is doing very well!
My siblings were here going through the last bits of my parents’ estate, which means all the more emotional bits put together.

We all survived, they are all on their way back to their respective homes, I have completed some additional details for a client, and my head is seeking a pillow.

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Twitter Updates for 2010-08-21

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Kristin thinks about … Blogging!

Between my web clients and preparing to move (again), I am slowly making all my details nicely rounded out. At some point it will come together, please be patient with me.

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