Creativity & Profit: What’s Culture Got To Do With It?

Wildly successful companies don’t follow the status quo. Industry leaders like Google and Pixar reject the idea that 60-hour work weeks are the only way to stay ahead of the curve. Instead, you might be surprised to learn that their employees enjoy open, flexible workspaces, unstructured schedules, and lots of collaboration. Sound familiar?

People don’t do their best work when chained to a cubicle for 8 hours a day. Some people get great ideas when they’re out in nature. Some do their best work at 2 in the morning, when the world is asleep. Others need constant feedback and encouragement from peers in order to bring their ideas into reality.

As shown in the infographic below, corporate culture is changing. Gone are the corner offices and top-down innovation. Instead, major corporations are trying to capture the openness, creativity, and unabashed fun: the same values that the coworking movement has worked to cultivate for years. See? When we say we’re the future of work, we really mean it!

Corporate Culture Mindset
Image source: www.humanresourcesmba.net

The Content Creator’s 5 Minute Guide To Google Authorship

Google Authorship

Many Cohereians make content for a living. Whether it’s straight up ad or marketing copy, a novel, or daily blog posts, providing new and engaging content is what makes our world go ’round. We depend on this content to attract new clients, give us credibility, and increase our visibility on the interwebs in general.

Recently, Google announced some big changes in the way that it associates you with your content, and how it judges whether your content is worth of appearing above someone else’s in search results. It’s called Google Authorship, a feature some say shows that Google is now beginning to put the emphasis on who created the content rather than where it’s posted.

If you or your company is involved in content creation or SEO, Google Authorship could be a game changer. If you’ve received a notice or invitation recently regarding this feature from Google, here’s what you need to know:

1. The basic goal of Authorship is to associate web pages with the Google+ profile of their authors.

The idea is that when someone searches for you or something you’ve written, your Google+ thumbnail and a link to your profile will appear next to it in the search results. “This creates what’s known as a ‘handshake’ between the two sites, a foolproof way of identifying the owner of both the content and the Google+ profile.” It’s not quite the same link juice as an incoming link from a high traffic website, but it’s still a vote of confidence in Google’s opinion, and that’s valuable.

2. Google Authorship Boosts Your Importance and Authority in Your Niche

According to Bizbrag, when an author consistently publishes quality content, and that content continues to attract heavy traffic and buzz, that author will eventually build up a strong “Author Ranking,” which in return will boost the traffic and, hopefully, the ranking of the other content that he has written.

3. Google Authorship Encourages Interaction

Want to know what your readers are thinking or the topics they really want you to write about? Google Authorship creates a path for dialogue that’s actually superior to a fan page now that Facebook has completely effed those up. A loyal reader searching for more of your stuff will be greeted with an opportunity to add you to their circles, meaning they’ll be able to follow your content (if you’re posting it) and even as you a question or send a compliment (if you’re checking your G+ stream regularly).

Want in? This Google help page provides a step by step guide to setting up your Authorship.

What Freelancers Should Know About Google Plus

Hoping that the third time’s the charm (remember Buzz and Wave?) the company behind the world’s top search engine recently launched a new social networking platform: Google+.

If you’ve been on any of the other well-established social media sites in the past week, chances are you’ve heard a peep or two about it.

Let’s be serious, the notion that the web’s best search service has launched a social network that could combine the intuition of Facebook and the speed of Twitter with possibilities for seamless integration into any existing Google tool is enough to make nerds quiver with excitement.

However, the idea of learning how to use a new social media tool correctly and efficiently hardly brings on the same jovial feelings. Let’s face it, until you know what you’re doing, using social media can be a time suck as well as a frustrating endeavor.

As freelancers with limited time, the big question is: Should we bother?

Here are some thoughts gleaned from freelancing experts and social media “gurus” around the web:

1. Ease into it: Go ahead and create a personal profile (if you can get an invite) and play around in your spare time, but don’t worry about migrating your business profile just yet. Chances are, you’ve had at least a few contacts “add you to their circles” and if you’ve got a few minutes, it’s worth poking around in the tool. Hell, if you’ve got gmail, that only takes one click. But for now, the “business experience” is still under development and Google is actually asking businesses and freelancers to avoid using “consumer profiles” for business purposes. When it’s ready, Google+ will have “rich analytics” and will be easy to integrate with Google Adwords and other goodies.

2. Get a jump on success: If your business is social media marketing, SEO, or content marketing, waiting too long to check out what Google+ has to offer could hurt you. This is the new frontier, and just like with Facebook and Twitter a few years ago, the people who figure out new and creative ways to engage online communities with this tool today will be the experts of tomorrow. Watch the platform carefully, look for avenues of opportunity nobody else is taking full advantage of, and move in with your own particular sales pitch.

3. Savvy sharing: Privacy and segmented sharing (two things that Twitter and Facebook have trouble with) are both prominent features of Google+. By creating circles of contacts, you make it possible to share links, ideas, pictures and more with only those that will appreciate it most (or judge you least). This has big implications for businesses and freelancers who are always looking for more efficient ways to communicate with their current clients as well as potential customers.

4. Impact your page rank: It’s also worth knowing that Google+ users themselves now have the opportunity to “vote” on the value of content and ultimately impact search engine rankings. This has the potential to level the page rank playing field, as simple blog post with 3,000 votes on Google+ may very well beat out a similar story with only 300 votes on a  major website. In the future, this may make SEO copywriting obsolete.

For more on Google+ and all it’s shiny possibilities, listen to Google PR Strategist David Allen talk about about an “optimized business experience” for Google+ in the video below.

And if it’s really keeping you awake at night, here are some additional resources:

Sources: WritingThoughts | PGC.org | Freelance-Zone

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