Linking Without Walls

In the midst of Pubcon, probably the largest webmaster conference in the world, an interesting little link Building experiment was bubbling in the background. It goes to show that not all links are built with clever gadgets, reciprocal request or paid links. Some are straightforward bribes. I am delighted to play my part – because the bribe, for me, was to get a chance to see the Blue Man Group. (See? They got the link of course.)

The experiment (come PR coup) was hatched by Joseph Morin, who linked up with one of the largest show promoters in Las Vegas to collect most of the unsold tickets in Vegas to the many shows that are on, over a two day midweek period. Carefully synchronized to avoid as many of the big Pubcon parties as possible, Joseph then offered these tickets to any blogger, You Tube enthusiast or viral marketer coming to the conference. The cost of the ticket? An unenforceable promise for us all to comment or review the show or do “whatever we do” online.

Well – after seeing “O” in 2006 and spending $300 getting tickets, this was not an opportunity to be missed. The Blue Man group landed a series of Bloggers and enthusiasts. I did not get the whole list…but the Blue Man Group certainly managed to get some publicity. At the start of the show, they played up the scam, calling out Jill Whalen and Greg Boser in an amusing introduction that must differ every night of the week. Not that Greg actually turned up, but Jill was certainly there. It didn’t seem to matter.

So was the link building scam a success? Well:

I am sure there are many more. That’s just for ONE of the shows. Joseph also arranged tickets to Spamalot and KA (which in the UK is a small car made by Ford) and Mystere.

This was a great link building campaign and based on good old fashioned marketing principals.

3 thoughts on “Linking Without Walls

  1. How would you measure a “review night” that was part of an on going internet geek outreach program?

    Vegas is the most analyzed, surveyed, measured, studied, and statisticallized business town on the planet. It is all about numbers baby. Numbers of people, dollars, days of the week, demand for shows, predications, odds of winning, odds of losing, foot traffic, beds sold, rooms at max dollar – it is a numbers, numbers, numbers world in Vegas.

    I have never dealt with any business that is so into numbers. Nothing goes on in Vegas that can’t be measured. If it can’t be measured – it isn’t worth doing.

    So the question is simple; how would you measure a “webmaster site owners review night out” that was part of an on going internet geek outreach program? How would the hotels know that they reached their intended targets?

    The only way is if those site owners demonstrated they own sites by posting comments about the shows they saw. Vegas found those comments to be invaluable. The links (which were very few), were just the icing – not the cake. The real story, is in the posted stories by the attendees themselves.

    -bt

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