- Collect interesting articles on a particular topic from different authors, write your own overview/summary to go with it, then assemble it all into an ebook and offer it on your site as a free download.
- Take information relating to a particular company that you would like to land as a customer and arrange it into a scrapbook, then post it on your blog and ask readers to contribute to it further. Hopefully the prospective customer will take notice of your initiative and of your interest in them. If not, bring it to their attention. (What a great, new spin on the standard “cold call”!)
- Augment your articles, white papers, etc. with excerpted content relevant to the topic you’re covering. For example, if you wrote a white paper about “How Google Works,” add Creative Commons-licensed photos and text descriptions describing their data centers.
- Identify keywords that you want to rank well for and create a mini library of Creative Commons-licensed content about that keyword.
Yahoo’s just released a very cool new search engine called Yahoo! Creative Commons Search. With it you can search all the Creative Commons licenced content on the web. For those not familiar with Creative Commons, I’ve blogged about it before. In summary, it is an alternative to copyright, where some rights are reserved by the author, but not all. It’s as quick and painless as can be for the author: you simply fill out this form that specifies how you want your material used out in the marketplace and the license is generated to place on your site. For example, your license can require attribution, restrict to only noncommercial use, allow for the creation of derivative works, etc. There is a wealth of content out there under a liberal Creative Commons licence that will allow you to reuse and repurpose that content in your own projects. But finding that content used to be hard work. (Actually there was previously another way to search, but it wasn’t as comprehensive, and it wasn’t from a major search engine). Now it’s just a search query away, thanks to Yahoo! I can hear you asking yourself: “That’s all fine and good, but what use will I have with it?” Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
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