Shortcuts that aren’t so short

The cab drivers in my little village are an angry and bored lot.

It doesn’t matter where you are going, they’ll find a shortcut. Back roads, vacant lots… they’ll drive two miles out of the way to miss a light.

I thought about this when I read a blog post describing the best way to get the most out of a Squidoo lens. The author said you should make sure that the keywords and title are perfect and limit outbound links so that you can be sure that people will only do what you want them to. Others spend time studying the algorithms of Google and Yahoo to figure out the very best way to jump ahead in the rankings for their blog or corporate site. Is it reciprocal links or careful metatags? What if I create some sort of ring so that the  spider won’t realize the scam?

Hey. It’s not so hard. If you make great stuff, people will find you. If you are transparent and accurate and doing what’s good for the surfer, people will find you. If you regularly demonstrate knowledge of content that’s worth seeking out, people (being selfish) will come, and people (being generous) will tell other people. It turns out that it’s easier and faster to do that than to spend all your time on the shortcuts.

There are some airlines that spend all their time dreaming up ways to lobby the government and others that spend all their time making flying a better experience. There are restaurants that dream up ways of charging more for bottled water, and others that work hard to create an experience worth bringing a group to enjoy.

All I know is that the cab drivers in my town are still angry about that light.