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I typically never hear ‘inside jokes’ before anyone else but this is a first for me and I have the feeling a lot of people are scratching their heads ‘huh‘, ‘what‘, ‘I was at all the SEO conferences and I still don’t understand‘, etc. This post is aimed to include all the outsiders on this joke. In the spirit of an SEO community.
After hanging out with Martin Bowling at SEOmoz Blackhat Expert Seminar 2008, I learned an ‘inside joke’. A joke so funny that it’s not, but it is. Napoleon dynamite style (why is it funny? Idk, it just is). Now, every time I think about “Martin Bowling loving Zima“, I smile. If you asked me why, I honestly couldn’t tell you. It’s just funny. Trying to explain a joke, especially this one, is like trying to explain why you shouldn’t eat sand… :p
Either way, I’m writing this post because Zima is becoming big, bigger than an ‘inside joke’, it’s evolving into a brand (which I’ll get into later).
His Zima Loving Beginnings
Martin Bowling started drinking alcohol when he was 16 21. His preferred beverage has been beer. I’m not sure which brand he prefers more but beer none-the-less. In my opinion, I’d categorize Martin as heavy-weight, it takes a lot to intoxicate him. Disclaimer: Martin Bowling is not an alcoholic, not even close, just a social drinker like 98% of the SEO community like Bobs SEO in Las Vegas. Martin thought his life was complete, until he was introduced to, his long lost love, Zima by Andy Beal.
He went to Andy Beal’s Reputation Management Seminar. There, during the after hours, they were enjoying a few drinks. Andy said, “It’s on me, I’ll cover the tab.” So, Martin enjoys himself, not overly doing it, just a couple of brewskis. After a few beers, Andy is like, “Man, this guy is drinking up the bar. They are out of cranberry juice because they were making me so many cosmos.” Govisithawaii then told Andy Beal that he (andy) should start saying Martin Bowling loves zima (even though andy had no idea what zima was) and it caught on like wild fire
Martin Bowling and Zima blossom together
So that’s how this Meme Marketing was birthed. Then only a few days later, Martin went to SEOmoz’ Expert Training 2008. He was treated to a case of Zima by the Moz crew. During the session’s Martin shared the Zima love. In one of the after hours event, Rand Fishkin and Danny Sullivan were fighting over the last bottle. Danny won.
Then before you could blink twice, a blog was started about Martin Bowling loving Zima. Just a few days later, Google rolls out with Google Suggest as the default to the homepage. Martin then realizes this would be a reputation management nightmare. Noting how when you type in [martin bowling] in Google, it suggests [martin bowling zima]. At this point, the love between Zima and Martin Bowling began to blossom in such a way, it was uncontrollable. This Meme Marketing has branded Martin and become apart of him.
SEOmoz then gives away Zima at their booth. Andy Beal adds fuel to the fire and creates ‘Pilgrim’s Picks for September 18 – Zima Edition‘. Recapping the contest Martin Bowling created to reward the best ‘Zima/Martin Bowling’ viral meme content (via, twitter account, avatar, video…etc) with a free ticket to Scary SEO and a bunch of other goods (more details/links below).
The Future of Zima and Martin Bowling
Dr. Pete had an idea, to create a SEO friendly URL shortening service and call it ‘zi.ma’. Martin asked for some help to buy the domain because it was going to cost 200$. With the help of a few people and Andy Beal, Martin acquired the domain. Surprisingly, this happened within one day. Then a few days later Matthew Inman decided to help out by creating some logos/graphics.
In short, the future of Zima and Martin Bowling is the Scary SEO contest and Zi.ma, a SEO friendly url shortening service. I hope you all enjoyed the history behind the beginnings and the early developments. If you got some thing interesting that you created that has Zima as a theme, tweet it to Martin Bowling, I’m sure he’ll love it.