Web guru Alex Blagg of ABajillionHits.biz jacks your strat with a powerblast of social media marketing know-how and online insight.
JESSE THORN: Our guests on The Sound of Young America this week have been telling stories; telling their stories. But it’s useless to tell your story if no one’s listening. That’s where the internet comes in.
When we first met my next guest, Alex Blagg, he was a satirist; a comedy writer. He was contributing comedy pieces to The Sound of Young America, but in the past five years since the last time we’ve spoken to him, he’s transformed himself into a web guru. His website, abajillionhits.biz is a compendium of vital information about what he calls, “Jacking your strat.” It’s been featured in New York Magazine, The Daily Beast, Tech Crunch, Fast Company, The Village Voice, and even in an internal memo from Gawker founder Nick Denton.
I talked to Alex Blagg about how you can jack your strat, and we put together this power smash of vital internet information.
Alex Blagg, welcome to The Sound of Young America.
ALEX BLAGG: Thanks a lot Jesse, it’s great to be here.
JESE THORN: Let me ask you this, so much web strategy is about building connections; developing a network. Once you’ve done that, where does the money come in?
ALEX BLAGG: To be really jacking your strat you’ve gotta be watching a few key metrics, and you’ve gotta be able to have a top level, drill down, look at what your comprehensive footprint is on the internet. Me? I’ve driven over a bajillion hits, that’s why the website’s called that. A bajillion is the highest recordable number that there is.
JESSE THORN: How does the strategy behind abajillionhits apply to a regular Joe listening out there developing their brand in radio land?
ALEX BLAGG: First of all, I think radio land is their first problem. Radio is basically like reading a book with your ears; not a great strat.
JESSE THORN: Let’s talk about examples. What’s a business that’s out there in the world that you would love to do some strat jacking with?
ALEX BLAGG: Why don’t we talk about your business, Jesse? Are you jacking it all the way? You’ve got this maximumfun.org. First of all, .org? Is this a charity organization that you’re running here? No! It should be a business. Maximum Fun, I kind of like that…but, I feel maybe something like Maxim Fun. Maxim I think girls, I think of going out, having fun, being a man. Fun, that could be anything, but Maximum Fun, that seems a little redundant.
JESSE THORN: Let’s talk a little bit about Tumblr. This is a very popular new blogging platform.
ALEX BLAGG: I think what Tumblr doesn’t have figured out quite yet is the monetization. Specifically, how are we going to exploit these broke artsy city kids into really driving a lot of profit for your business or brand. That’s what I’m here to talk about. If you want to get more into the Tumblr space, Jesse, we could really talk about that.
JESSE THORN: Let’s talk about that. How would you suggest that I alter my work in the Tumblr space in order to – –
ALEX BLAGG: First step you should do is start re-blogging me at least once a day. You don’t re-blog for the Tumblr audience that you have, you re-blog for the Tumblr audience that you want.
JESSE THORN: Is it a good idea to create a Tumblr blog if your ultimate goal is to publish a book?
ALEX BLAGG: I’ve had a lot of people that have offered me a book deal just to publish my Tumblr, but I think why not. No matter what, it never hurts to put every thought you have on the internet.
JESSE THORN: Let me ask you about Facebook. Facebook has been around for a while; it’s the most popular social media platform. What’s the 21st century utilizations, the best practices, for this incredibly popular technology?
ALEX BLAGG: Well Jesse, it all comes down to engaging engagement. You can’t just blast out your content and expect everyone to engage with it on their own, you’ve gotta engage with them by going to where they live – – some people call it spam; I call it engagement. You don’t get to 500 million friends without poking a few people.
JESSE THORN: Let’s talk a little bit about influencers.
ALEX BLAGG: Influencers are the people that are driving the conversation. I’m obviously an influencer. I think you could be an influencer with some work, if we jack your strat a little bit. I think right now the place you need to be looking for influence is Foursquare. They’ve actually created badges and titles like mayorships. For example, I’m the mayor of all sushi in Los Angeles. I earned that badge by checking in to a lot of sushi restaurants because I’m a pretty successful guy and I eat sushi a lot.
JESSE THORN: I’m going to name a few influencers, and I want to hear a little bit about your impressions of how they influence what’s going on on the internet, and why and how they’re important.
Let’s start with Nick Cannon, the singer, sometime-rapper, sometime-actor.
ALEX BLAGG: I recently met Nick Cannon at a Twitter conference, nice guy. Then the news broke this week that his wife Mariah Carey is pregnant. I don’t want to comment any further on that.
JESSE THORN: How about the Macintosh guru, John Gruber from Daringfireball.net?
ALEX BLAGG: I’ve got, like, four iPads, Jesse. I bet Gruber doesn’t have four iPads.
JESSE THORN: Tell me a little bit about your impressions of Nick Denton, the founder of Gawker Media.
ALEX BLAGG: I think Nick Denton has a real nice strat, Jesse. This is a guy who has clearly proven again and again that he knows how the internet works. Whether he’s saying, “Check out this amazing basket of kittens crawling on Justin Bieber!” and then it’s a picture of an athlete’s [expletive]. I respect that.
JESSE THORN: We’ve talked a lot about what’s going on right now. What’s coming next?
ALEX BLAGG: I’ve been working on this project right now. I’m trying to create a way to digitally download and eat potato chips. Bam! Right there, that’s the way that my brand synapses into an idea, and I’m going to be the person that launches the world’s first digital downloadable potato chip.
JESSE THORN: So Alex Blagg of abajillionhits.biz, if people were going to go out and do one thing to change their lives and jack their strat, what would it be?
ALEX BLAGG: Following me on Twitter. I’m basically the pope of the internet. If you want salvation, and a bajillion hits, you gotta come to me.
JESSE THORN: Alex Blagg, founder of abajillionhits.biz and the self-described hottest young veteran in the viral social media landscape. That power smash of vital web information was edited by Matt Gourley. You can check out Matt’s amazing comedy podcast Super Ego online at gosuperego.com.
About the show
Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.
Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.
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