A further reminder about my Google Plus site

I have yet to do the necessary cross-linking between the various places in which I put eDiscovery information. At the moment, it makes more sense to push the stuff out there and worry in due course about making a cohesive whole out of it.

Various things come together here. One is that LegalTech New York starts  on 30 January. Many providers of eDiscovery software and services make announcements before or at LegalTech, and any ambition to capture them all is doomed to failure unless one is content with a copy/paste approach and has nothing else to do.

I am doing two sessions of my own there (one  on information governance with Nuix and a double session on cross-border eDiscovery with Huron Legal).  There is the usual problem of trying to make sure that I meet up with as wide a range of people as possible, in circumstances where pre-booking them all (as they sensibly would like for the  sake of their own diaries) necessarily limits the number of engagements which I can fit into a day and cuts me out of the ad hoc meetings which you get by just being around (you are not “around” if you are shut up in meeting rooms for three days).

I have three events between now and then – a webcast with Nuix, an eDisclosure seminar with Hobs Legal Docs in Manchester and the eDiscovery track at the Computer Privacy and Data Protection event in Brussels – on consecutive days next week. There are a couple of papers to write and, in addition to the product news, there is an endless stream of interesting and important articles coming out every day by others. Oh, and I have just taken delivery of a MacBook Pro,  which will transform productivity and open the door to a wider range of media, including video – but only once I have set it up. I have not even opened the box yet.

This is all good, all interesting and I would like to keep pace with it all. Using Google+ is part of that ambition, partly because of its simplicity (one-step hyperlinking where WordPress requires three, automatic stripping out of any text formatting) and partly because I set myself a lower production standard, giving priority to quantity – good quantity, I hope – over polished quality.

That only works if it finds readers and, preferably, new readers beyond those who come back to the blog anyway. The key to that is Google indexing and that, as is clear from various things which I have written recently, shifted controversially in favour of Google Plus last week. I do not obsess over viewer statistics, nor do I think that any one post is going to make an overnight convert of anybody, but my business is promoting information and understanding, and being found in Google searches is very much part of that. Google’s recent announcement changes all the rules of search engine optimisation.

I did a test exercise last week, putting the same post simultaneously into the blog and into Google Plus. This was a couple of days after Google announced its algorithm change and it is perhaps premature to expect it to compete with a blog stuffed full of eDiscovery related keywords with five years’ worth of indexed content. The test piece was headed Guidance Software Webinar – Migrating to the Cloud: Navigating the eDiscovery Challenges.  When I last looked (using Google.com) for the search string guidance software cloud webinar the top two hits were from Guidance’s sites, my blog entry was third and the Google+ post was nowhere. As at today, my blog post is top and the Google Plus post is the second entry on page 2.

That tells me all I need to know – that there is a value in spreading the content between the two sites (which is not the same thing as duplicating entries) partly because that gets a broader spread of search variants, and partly because of the way that Google’s algorithm values cross-links. It has always been the case that different viewers can get different results from Google; the personalisation of results will increase that variety and therefore increase the value of an alternative source.

The Google Plus format is extremely useful for passing on quick links to interesting articles by other people, for product announcements and for registration pages for webinars etc. which means that I can increase the subjects covered without diluting the more thoughtful approach which is expected (or, at least, which I expect myself) from the blog. I still won’t catch everything but “everything” is more than you will want to read anyway.

My recent Google+ posts include product announcements from Symantec and First Advantage, a link to an ESIBytes podcast, some observations on the Google changes, and a follow-up to a blog post about the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. I tweet these as they are published. The purpose of this post is to invite you to dip occasionally into the short posts which will appear on that page.

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