Is TW now a political forum?


I've read TW since its inception and it seems to have changed considerably over the last year or so. Is it just me or has it moved away from internet marketing. To be frank I'm just not interested in most of the topics now presented as they dont assist me in busines one iota.


IMO TW's what you make it,

IMO TW's what you make it, so if you want change, you can make it.


Yes its changed but like kidmercury said.. post it if you got em.

Or go to one of the alternatives theres a zillion good sites out there. Personally I get most of my stuff out of blogs now a days.

I wouldn't say "political"

I wouldn't say "political" but there are people here with opinions about a lot of things, and no fear of voicing them. I personally don't like politics of any flavour much, but opinions can be interesting.

NickW did an awesome job

NickW did an awesome job with Threadwatch, likely working 18 to 20 hours a day on it, but if any one person consistently works that much they are going to get burned out. While I also work on other stuff outside of Threadwatch I don't think it is an exaduration to say I have worked 80 hour work weeks for 50+ weeks a year for close to a decade straight now.

I think it is a bit hard to balance it all, with all the emails I get, trying to read 200 feeds, getting sued, trying to run a community site, writing another blog, updating a book, creating a network of sites (or two or three maybe), creating seo tools, reading books to keep learning, and going to about a dozen conferences a year.

As KidMercury said, TW is what you make of it. I don't think one person can do it all unless there was a better business model integrated into the site, but I have been slow to change on that front because I don't want to piss off the members. Until I change on that front it is going to be hard for me to work more than about 30 - 40 hours a week on the site.

Many readers of Threadwatch have probably over 100 times the capital as I do, better tools, are more business savvy, have access to greater data, and have been in business longer. That might be part of why you don't see lots of SEO 101 type posts. Many of the readers here are advanced beyond my own level, plus if I post beginner SEO threads that probably makes more sense to post on my other site which is more geared toward the wider audience earlier on in the SEO learning cycle.

It is easier to post on the most recent news than it is to try to post tips that people don't want to give. In the comments people post great insights here and elsewhere, but typically I think many people tend to overlook most of the nuggets anyhow.

To me Threadwatch is about learning, and I still learn a the recent post on price fixing. I did not have anything useful I could have contributed to it, but I still learned from it and can look back at the thread later on if I need to.

As far as politics go, search engines have made huge deals with governments recently. I really can't see an angle where we gave that no coverage.

I probably am a bit of a political nutter and do let some of that stuff slip into my posts. I can't really separate myself from who I am though. I would rather not write anything at all than to self censor my own opinions.

"Anonymous Scaredy Cat"

Personally, if "Anonymous Scaredy Cat" had the balls to make a public argument,rather than an anonymous one, then I might have more time for their point of view.

As Seobook says it takes a lot of time to post as Nick did.

TW could do with a few more people willing to make fairly regular posts. Unless "Anonymous Scaredy Cat" is one of those that do, then they really are daft to think that they can expect others to shovel up the swill that they want to read.

If what you want to read is not here, then you post it...or you go off to that nice Doug whatshisnames forum and post there.


And exactly what is public about a public argument made by posters whose anonymity is also guaranteed by a nic such as cornwall.


and let's not forget Nick was searching when he built and ran TW... that entrepreneurial passion of seeking higher ground enables one to work harder and take more risks along the way. He's moved on and Aaron isn't using TW the same way. But has opened it for anyone else to do so.

So some posters bother to give it a go on TW, and others whine. It will be what those who make it, make it. It will never become anything out of whining.

As to why it was "useful" to you before and not now, that is not really important to anyone here (except perhaps you). What is more important (to everyone else other than you) is what you contribute to TW.


If anyone has an idea about how to make things better, I'm certain Aaron would be more than willing to listen. If you want to see other types of stories feel free to post them. If you think it's hot or important, you can send me a PM or email, and I'll take a look. While I don't want to speak for the other editors I'm sure they feel the same way.

Again not wanting to speak for the others but the nickname thing is just a case of branding. Since many people have built up reputations with theirs it just makes more sense to keep using them.

the anonymous person shot me

the anonymous person shot me a quick email with who they were...they said they didn't mean harm but felt the site has lost the focus and direction as to them "its no longer the nuts and bolts of marketing"

I don't have a way of keeping score on that, but I typically prefer (and learn more from) the discussions that occur in threads here more than at most other places.

I can try to become a better news ferret...I really want to learn how to create an automated way to find some of the best news to make it easier to do, but that could take a bit of time and resources.

It couldn't be done entirely algorithmically because the editorial style or noticing slight or major changes in how people speak about a subject isn't something that is easy to automate, and the three key criteria are:

  • timeliness
  • style, perspective, and depth
  • picking up (or creating) news that may not have already been covered elsewhere

I have SEO Bytes for tracking forums, but it really needs some algorithmic work to become more useful.

As far as tracking SEO blogs it might be cool to create something like Memeorandum for them, and use that tool for selecting some of the things that would get posted to.

I am not sure if a Digg type thing would work unless it was done by someone really sharp because as it spreads that type of system gets a lot more noise to it...although it would be really fast at getting most of the scoops.

Well yes, the title says it

Well yes, the title says it all 'threadwatch...less noise more signal'.
Not much threadwatching seems to be going on these days.
Lots of Google 'politics' and lots of in jokes from the members of a cliquey little club but not a lot of it 'focused on marketing and technology news'.
Take a look at this posted in 2004.....
Threadwatch :- New site that cuts the signal from the noise of search engine marketing forums and blogs. A real time saver.

By Webforce Web Design at Thu, 2004-11-18 05:45.


Not much threadwatching seems to be going on these days

Not that there still aren't some worthwhile discussion going on in forum threads, but now that every SEO and his cat has a blog I think a lot of the discussion has shifted away from the forums and onto the blogs, just my opinion though.

I think a lot of the

I think a lot of the discussion has shifted away from the forums and onto the blogs

that is how I see it as well.

By Webforce

that same Webforce is the person who created SEO Bytes.

I have been trying to put a bit more effort into the forums the past few days, and may going forward, but I think there is a lot more interesting stuff in the blogs, at least on average (or per unit time...however you want to word it).

The not-a-whole-lot of forum coverage is not something that is new since I got the site. It has been that way for a while now, as noted in the NickW interview a half year ago:

What tools have you moved away from since you first started Threadwatch?


oh yeah?

Lots of Google 'politics' and lots of in jokes from the members of a cliquey little club but not a lot of it 'focused on marketing and technology news'.

While I grant you may perceve that, cabbagehead, it is not the case. Compared to [url=http://www.webmaster]other sites[/url], there is virtually zero clique over here. I suspect those "in" jokes are elusive to most of us, not just you. And in search, what brand is mentioned more than any other during the past year or so? And by what margin? Yeah, there's a lot of Google pro and con discussion up here. And mostly "con" precisely because the signal is stronger than the noise. god help us all if TW gets to be a kiss-ass AdSenseForum. I prefer kick-ass over kiss-ass every time.

Also this is not a webmaster forum. It isn't either a website marketing forum. It's about search and search marketing, and the search industry. It's far more competitive in my view than those other sites exactly because of the lack of noise. Noise obfuscates reality. Noise distracts. I agree a case can always be made for insufficient signal, but there is definitely signal here. As for the amount of it, are you listed in the Most Frequent Contributors list?

I struggle constantly with the need to reveal clues to make a point or clarify a position or in some cases counter a post's assertion, but I am mindful of that Svedish SEO guy who always says "I could tell you, but why would I?" He's dead on. And every time I have done due diligence on an TW quip I didn't get, I have learned a ton of useful stuff.

Let's not forget TW is now up against alot more "thread watching" going on than there was a year ago. Digg, MySpy, etc have all entered the race and offer social rewards for participation. I don't come to TW as much for the threadwatching as the editorial. IMHO It's priceless.

Long post and too much noise, but I had to throw in.

I find great value in TW,

I find great value in TW, even though I do miss the forum coverage, because there really are editors instead of just an aggregator. They are not only pointing out what is important but also why they think it is important. And there is a lot of interesting stuff in the comments too.

>>SEO blogs

The one problem I see is that while a site like TW was needed to filter forums, that might not be so true with blogs. I'm thinking about TW audience retention here. With blogs a person can just add the RSS feed to their feed reader and go there directly - after awhile do they need TW?

Not being critical, just pointing out what might be a danger of relying too much on covering blogs.

Many of the early TW

Many of the early TW adopters were and are SEO and/or forum veterans. It's a different audience that, with all due respect to anyone, is unlikely to tolerate being put to the task of answering endless questions about the ABCs of SEO, SEM or anything else. Which I'm thinking is one of the reasons why these folks hang around.

Thing is, TW is a non-forum-specific place where people can get together; that's one of its values, is it not?

That said, there *are* tips posted here, but you have to be savvy enough to read between the lines and knowledgeable enough to evaluate them when you see them. I take those as something of a wish to share among comrades without blurting out their best optimizing and marketing tips to the world at large.

I don't so much see a clique here as I see references to things/occurrences which I may or may not recognize, but I think that's to be expected. Bear in mind, too, that some regulars are fairly new to the game or, at least, to this crowd. No matter; value is value.

For me, TW serves the purpose of allowing me *not* to read 200 feeds per day, and a bit of cameraderie -- both of which I find valuable. I felt a real sense of loss when Nick took off and I thought TW might go bye-bye. I'm glad to see it hasn't, because I honestly find value in this place. What I get here is not what I get at various forums (which are also valuable); thing is, it's different, and in that difference is value.

And, that said, that means that whatever monetization you wish to do, Aaron, it would be clever if it accommodated that audience. The question is: what do *they* need? (The corollary, of course, is what do *you* need to make this investment of your time, effort and expertise worth it to you.)

Lastly, do we care whether the information being discussed here comes from forums or blogs or manually created websites? I don't. Nor do I care if it was *ever* discussed elsewhere; the value is in the information. But, what I'm hearing is that some people want more of ... something.

So, as to helping: I've been optimizing since 1998 *as an adjunct to* my real love, which is building websites, and technical and artistic growth, which is what I post to my developedtraffic blog. Not sure that the latest developments at Adobe/Macromedia, or how to write cron files for database backups, is quite the thing for this audience. ;)

But, that said, what I'm also hearing here is that help is needed. I'll see if I can give it, or participate more. Fair is fair.

Lastly (really), I think

Lastly (really), I think there have been some political developments in search, in which case it's natural to cover them. That does not make TW a "political forum".

Just as if, next month, search engines make a lot of strides towards personalization services; if discussed here, neither will that make TW a "personalization forum".

Current events are part of the scene.


No, no, no - it's bollocks, not balls. We say bollocks around here. As well as a few other words that would startle the horses. And, whilst I'm clearly being flippant, that more relaxed and irreverent atmosphere is what keeps me reading and posting here, along with an assumed level of sophistication (nous, that is, not underpants) and intelligent comment. I don't call that cliquey, just a natural extension of having been through the noise and finding a calmer backwater, albeit it one with strong currents. As DianeV said, cameraderie, not closed wagons. If there are secret forums, noone's told me about them. Whine.

I've been waiting for a 'How's it going Aaron - what are your plans?' post, and, whilst this isn't it, it's in the ballpark. I don't work for others, so 'important' and 'significant' would have to slap me pretty hard to make themselves known a lot of the time, but I'll echo what graywolf said above - he may also speak for me in that respect.

Finally, I still spend a lot of time looking at other forums. I can't find much to link to, so those who do, and don't find it mentioned here - please step up to the plate.


... ballpark ...

You meant bollockpark, right?

Seriously though:
The problem with SEO forums is not that they have less valuable info. It's just that most of us already know everything (well: almost) by now. Interests shift, and TW shifts with it. For those who already know all the techniques, it's more interesting to talk about the bigger picture. That and the occasional gem: a new trick or a cool implementation of old techniques maybe...

So today it may be blogging and social bookmarking and search-related politics. Tomorrow it will be about technology like Google Implants™ and YPS: Your Personal Satellite. And how World Peace can be achieved with just three lines of code...

Maybe TW should spawn a "junior" version (no offense intended). Something that starts anew at the level it started years ago. And non-political advanced-but-not-bored-yet SEOs now will love it like we did back then....

Just a thought.

Wit ...

I like your style. :)

Side Note: I'd be interested

Side Note: I'd be interested in a threadwatch IRC channel

>>threadwatch IRC channel

Sign me up! Instead of refreshing the right side monitor all the time I could just track the flow.

I don't have any experience

I don't have any experience running a channel.. does anyone else ?


So, in stead of tools we should now speak of warez? *LOL 1 733+ S30 H4X0R LOL!!!!!111*

Sure adds some linguistic perspective to the balls/bollocks discussion...

A friend of mine made some

A friend of mine made some interesting IRC software...his time is limited and he is SOOOOOO tempermental to work with, but there might be some soft of an idea there.

The thing is I already have lots of people on my IM list. Wouldn't people prefer to do most of the communication direct with people they know and trust or where does IRC fit in the realm?

The primary things I like

The primary things I like about IRC is:
- I have met people via IRC that I don't have on IM.
- I can lurk
- I can shoot a question or idea out and get a response immediately in a more conversational tone.

it is difficult to find a

it is difficult to find a decent server for IRC though...many of them have been spammed out of existance. I do know of a few servers, however, and would be happy to help if this is an idea people want.

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