As background for any SEM firms living in a cave for the last few days (oh no not another cave man joke) 🙂 Sphinn is a brand-spanking new social media community founded by Danny Sullivan (of Search Engine Land fame). The site caters to search marketing professionals and Bloggers who submit their own content or recommend others’ material.

There’s been quite a bit of dialog within Sphinn-threads regarding the SEM community’s feelings about the site. Andy Beard just asked Danny Sullivan to step outside to discuss things further.

Vote For Your Favorite Search Marketing News.
The “news” is voted to the top and gains prominence. For instance, if you feel so inclined, please go give this story a Sphinn (vote) here. Whether you like Sphinn or not over a thousand members joined in the first couple of days. That’s a lot of users for a niche’ social community targeted to a relatively small professional trade group. It’s yet another way to research SEM topics which you should certainly check out.

Does Sphinn Matter?
There’s some debate as to whether Sphinn is a popularity contest or actually adds value to the SEM community. Andy Beard spoke out for the detractors which sparked in depth debate in his blog. Danny Sullivan, founder of Sphinn, jumped in for voluminous dialog which had emotional overtones in public, rare for Danny Sullivan. Thanks to Andy and Danny, two stand-up guys, for engaging in this quality conversation which is totally fascinating…link-baiters debating link baiters for and about link baiting communities…chicken egg/egg chicken. Of course there was also a lively debate within Andy’s submission of the blog post to Sphinn itself, Sphinn – SEM Attention Wars | Andy Beard – Niche Marketing.

What’s the KPI to Justify Investing Time in Sphinn?
Sphinn, while self-admittedly not perfect, is a representative caricature of how our industry behaves as a professional community. As I see it Sphinn is useful to consolidate and codify one’s established (or fledgling) reputation amongst SEM peers. My question when first taking a gander @ Sphinn was “what’s the KPI” of investing time in Sphinn? The KPI is high quality links and reputation.

For a newer SEM the KPI could be to establish him or herself as conference-speaker-worthy. Another thought is that harvesting good ol’ fashioned pleasure and a camaraderie from hanging with like-minded folks is what life’s about. You can sure get some decent headline writing ideas at Sphinn :). Having phun and connecting is allowed.

When we started our company our business plan noted that when marketing an SEM firm, you were competing for top rankings with the only other folks in the world who know how to compete-other SEM firms. Danny just centralized the jousting and made the competition official. It’s both playful and serious…just like we SEMs are…Social media mirrors life.

Regardless of whether you’re excited about Sphinn or not, there’s no question that there the site offers an outstanding aggregation of SEM info, well organized for consumption. The sampling below belies the depth of the community even in these early days.

Here’s the top vote getting posts and discussions on Sphinn so far:
Sphinn – The Social News Site Every Search Marketer Should Be Using

Linking to Wikipedia is lazy and a disservice to someone else who really deserves the link!

How to SEO Your Site in Less Than 60 Minutes

A Letter to the Women of SEO

7 Costly Mistakes Webmasters Make About Web Directories

Welcome To Sphinn!

Beginners Guide to StumbleUpon

Short Term SEO is Shortsighted

Paid Links – Can’t Be a White Hat With ’em, Can’t Rank Without ’em

Yes, Virginia, There ARE Followed Wikipedia Links

Sphinn.com is basically a popularity contest.

Tips On Using Sphinn

Sphinn It Plugin for WordPress! It’s now that easy to Sphinn it!

Bricks & Mortar 2.0: Treat Me Online Like I’m In Your Store

DaveN Banned on WebmasterWorld

29 Super Awesome Tools For Diggers

How Does Google Handle Duplicate Content?Let Eric Count Up 15 Ways

5 Signs That You Need A Break From SEO

The difference between Employed and Independent SEOs

Google Webmaster Central Gains Message Center

Sphinn Bookmarklet

  • Darren McLaughlin

    I Sfinned an article and got one visitor. Not too inspiring so far 🙂

  • Matt Keegan

    I sphinned this article and I joined the site. 1000 newbies already? Glad that I got in rather early! Thanks for the information!