The Best Documentaries on Netflix (UK)

From killer whales and dinosaurs to Banksy and Cobain, UK Netflix has a lot of treasure in its documentary vaults.
1. Blackfish (2013)

A damning exposé of SeaWorld and those who sail within her, Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s documentary focuses on killer whale, Tilikum. Dragging trainer Dawn Brancheau into a pool and killing her (after two previous, similar incidents), the ‘nature or nurture’ question is given some serious heft - was the floppy-finned, 12,000 pound Tilikum born a killer, or is his cramped captivity to blame? It’s not hard to see why thousands felt the need to boycott SeaWorld upon the film’s release.
Read Empire’s review here.

2. Cobain: Montage Of Heck (2015)
Illustrations, voice recordings and personal photos are just part of the fabric that forms Brett Morgen’s documentary. From troubled youth to tortured teen to rock idol, Morgen keeps things intimate, focusing much more on the man than the icon. Executive produced by Kurt’s daughter Frances Bean, we are given access to unheard songs and even anecdotes from girlfriends pre-Courtney. Dave Grohl may be missing, but Cobain’s parents, sister and Krist Novoselic are all very much front and centre, making this an absolute must-watch for anyone with even the slightest interest in the Nirvana frontman.
Read Empire’s review here.

3. Exit Through The Gift Shop (2010)
The Keyser Söze of street art, Banksy remains a pretty mercurial presence in a documentary that’s ostensibly about another creative type, wannabe documentary maker Thierry Guetta, and his efforts to track down – you guessed it – Banksy. Considering Banksy is behind the film itself, this shouldn’t be too hard, but therein lies the rub. Imagine Labyrinth directed by the Goblin King himself. Is it a mockumentary? A serious statement on modern art? An elaborate April fool? Whatever it is, it’s an edgy doc worth revisiting.
Read Empire’s review here.

4. Catfish (2010)
If you come to this hoping for whiskery river fish, you’ll be disappointed. There aren’t any. But if you’re looking for a bumpy ride through the minefield that is modern online interaction, Catfish will hit the spot. New York photographer Nev Schulman meets and bonds with an eight-year-old artist, Abby Pierce, via Facebook. From there, he falls for Abby's older half-sister, Megan, over the same medium, only to find her suspiciously reluctant to meet. It turns out she’s not quite who she claims to be. But is he being played or are we?
Read Empire’s review here.

5. The Look Of Silence (2014)
If you’ve not seen 2012’s The Act Of Killing, return to this when you have. Seen it now? Good. Joshua Oppenheimer’s follow-up to his critically-lauded and genuinely harrowing documentary is just as acclaimed and just as painful. This time Oppenheimer’s focus turns to a specific family who were affected by the 1965 Indonesian communist genocide and now live their life in silence. Not for the easily upset.
Read Empire’s review here.

6. West Of Memphis (2012)
Aided and abetted by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh under their WingNut Films marque, this stunning documentary sets about righting some pretty grevious wrongs. The title refers to teenagers Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr., who were convicted of murdering three children in 1993. Wrongly, as Amy J. Berg's doc establishes, as it shows up one miscarriage of justice after another. One of very few docs to garner five Empire stars and richly deserving of them all.
Read Empire’s review here.

7. Nas: Time Is Illmatic (2014)
"Life’s a bitch and then you die,” rapped Nas on his 1994 recordIllmatic. The hip-hop icon might not have been so gloomy if they'd had Netflix back in 1994 – not with docs like this fan-pleasing homage to a classic LP to enjoy. It’s also an engaging origin story for Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, a nuggety young rapper who emerged with remarkable self-assurance from the projects of Queens to conquer the Billboard chart.
Read Empire's review here.

8. The Queen Of Versailles (2012)
One of those stories that feels too far-fetched to be anything other than true, this modern-day fable is Citizen Kane by way of The Big Short. Greed, hubris and epic delusions of grandeur collide with the economic downturn as Jackie Seigel tries to create a vast Xanadu in the Florida swamplands and ends up with the world's biggest ruin instead. As the Seigels survey their broken down behemoth and try to derive some meaning from a life that's deprived them of the three indoor swimming pools and two bowling alleys they'd planned, it's hard to know whether to laugh, cry or send money.
Read Empire’s review here.

9. The Square (2013)
Netflix's first ever Oscar nominee, The Square peels back the news headlines and TV reportage to document the human side of 2011's Arab Spring in Cairo's Tahrir Square. It's as hard-hitting and visceral as you'd expect from footage recorded by the young revolutionaries protesting against Hosni Mubarak. It's an enthralling front row seat in these young people's battle to topple a corrupt and decaying regime.
Read Empire’s review here.

10. The Central Park Five (2012)
Ken Burns – rightly acclaimed as a master documentarian for his work on landmark PBS films like The Civil War and Prohibition – here turns his focus to more recent history. In 1989, a female jogger in New York City’s Central Park was assaulted and raped. The mass public outrage that followed, fuelled by the press, led to five black teenangers being wrongly convicted. Burns explores mob mentality and an inflammatory media at a turbulent time in New York’s history; his film led to the city settling with the defendants for $41m.

How to Add an RSS Feed to a Web Page

RSS, which stands for Rich Site Summary, but is also often known as Really Simple Syndication, is a commonly used format for publishing a "feed" of content. Blog articles, press releases, updates, or other regularly updated content are all logical candidates for getting a RSS feed.

It's easy to add an RSS feed to your Web page or even add it to every page in your website should that be what you decide to do.

RSS enabled browsers will then see the link and allow readers to subscribe automatically. Addditionally, search engines will see the feed when it's linked in the HTML. Once you'vecreated your RSS feed, you'll want to link to it so your readers can find it.
Link to Your RSS with a Standard Link

The easiest way to link to your RSS file is with a standard HTML link.

I recommend pointing to the full URL of your feed, even if you normally use relative path links. One example of this using just a text link is:Subscribe to What's New


Subscribe to What's New

If you want to get fancier, you can use a feed icon along with your link (or as the standalone link). The standard icon used for RSS feeds is an orange square with white radio waves on it. Using this icon is a great way to let people immediately know what that link goes to. Subscribe to What's New


You can put these links anywhere on your site that you want to suggest people subscribe to your feed.
Add Your Feed to the HTML

Many modern browsers have a way to detect RSS feeds and then give the readers an opportunity to subscribe to them, but they can only detect the feeds if you tell them they are there. You do this with the link tag in the head of your HTML:

Ads
How to Add
Web Design and Seo
How to Web Page Design
Seo Website Link
How to Seo a Website

Then, in various locations, the Web browserwill see the feed, and provide a link to it in the browser chrome. For example, if you go to my previous articles page. In Firefox you'll see a link to the RSS in the URL box. You can then subscribe directly to the What's New feed without visiting any other page.

The most effective way to use this is to add the into the head of all your HTML pages with an include.
RSS Usage Today

While still a popular format for many readers, RSS is not as popular today as it once was. Many websites that used to publish their content in RSS format have stopped doing so and popular readers, including Google Reader, have been discontinued due to ever dwindling user numbers.

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #22

Day #22 - Be Consistent and Don't Give Up

If there's one piece of advice I wish I could share with every blogger, it's this:



The above image comes from Everywhereist's analytics. Geraldine could have given up 18 months into her daily blogging. After all, she was putting in 3-5 hours each day writing content, taking photos, visiting sites, coming up with topics, trying to guest blog and grow her Twitter followers and never doing any SEO (don't ask, it's a running joke between us). And then, almost two years after her blog began, and more than 500 posts in, things finally got going. She got some nice guest blogging gigs, had some posts of hers go "hot" in the social sphere, earned mentions on some bigger sites, then got really big press from Time's Best Blogs of 2011.

I'd guess there's hundreds of new bloggers on the web each day who have all the opportunity Geraldine had, but after months (maybe only weeks) of slogging away, they give up.

When I started the Moz blog in 2004, I had some advantages (mostly a good deal of marketing and SEO knowledge), but it was nearly 2 years before the blog could be called anything like a success. Earning traffic isn't rocket science, but it does take time, perseverance and consistency. Don't give up. Stick to your schedule. Remember that everyone has a few posts that suck, and it's only by writing and publishing those sucky posts that you get into the habit necessary to eventually transform your blog into something remarkable.

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #21

Day #21 - Uncover the Links of Your Fellow Bloggers (and Nab 'em!)

If other blogs in your niche have earned references from sites around the web, there's a decent chance that they'll link to you as well. Conducting competitive link research can also show you what content from your competition has performed well and the strategies they may be using to market their work. To uncover these links, you'll need to use some tools.

OpenSiteExplorer is my favorite, but I'm biased (it's made by Moz). However, it is free to use - if you create a registered account here, you can get unlimited use of the tool showing up to 1,000 links per page or site in perpetuity.



There are other good tools for link research as well, including Majestic, Ahrefs and, I've heard that in the near-future, SearchMetrics.

Finding a link is great, but it's through the exhaustive research of looking through dozens or hundreds that you can identify patterns and strategies. You're also likely to find a lot of guest blogging opportunities and other chances for outreach. If you maintain a great persona and brand in your niche, your ability to earn these will rise dramatically.

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #20

Day #20 - Connect Your Web Profiles and Content to Your Blog

Many of you likely have profiles on services like YouTube, Slideshare, Yahoo!, DeviantArt and dozens of other social and Web 1.0 sites. You might be uploading content to Flickr, to Facebook, to Picasa or even something more esoteric like Prezi. Whatever you're producing on the web and wherever you're doing it, tie it back to your blog.

Including your blog's link on your actual profile pages is among the most obvious, but it's also incredibly valuable. On any service where interaction takes place, those interested in who you are and what you have to share will follow those links, and if they lead back to your blog, they become opportunities for capturing a loyal visitor or earning a share (or both!). But don't just do this with profiles - do it with content, too! If you've created a video for YouTube, make your blog's URL appear at the start or end of the video. Include it in the description of the video and on the uploading profile's page. If you're sharing photos on any of the dozens of photo services, use a watermark or even just some text with your domain name so interested users can find you.

If you're having trouble finding and updating all those old profiles (or figuring out where you might want to create/share some new ones), KnowEm is a great tool for discovering your own profiles (by searching for your name or pseudonyms you've used) and claiming profiles on sites you may not yet have participated in.

I'd also strongly recommend leveraging Google's relatively new protocol for rel=author. AJ Kohn wrote a great post on how to set it up here, and Yoast has another good one on building it into Wordpress sites. The benefit for bloggers who do build large enough audiences to gain Google's trust is earning your profile photo next to all the content you author - a powerful markup advantage that likely drives extra clicks from the search results and creates great, memorable branding, too.

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #19

Day #19 - Aggregate the Best of Your Niche

Bloggers, publishers and site owners of every variety in the web world love and hate to be compared and ranked against one another. It incites endless intrigue, discussion, methodology arguments and competitive behavior - but, it's amazing for earning attention. When a blogger publishes a list of "the best X" or "the top X" in their field, most everyone who's ranked highly praises the list, shares it and links to it. Here's an example from the world of marketing itself:



That's a screenshot of the AdAge Power 150, a list that's been maintained for years in the marketing world and receives an endless amount of discussion by those listed (and not listed). For example, why is SEOmoz's Twitter score only a "13" when we have so many more followers, interactions and retweets than many of those with higher scores? Who knows. But I know it's good for AdAge. :-)

Now, obviously, I would encourage anyone building something like this to be as transparent, accurate and authentic as possible. A high quality resource that lists a "best and brightest" in your niche - be they blogs, Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, individual posts, people, conferences or whatever else you can think to rank - is an excellent piece of content for earning traffic and becoming a known quantity in your field.

Oh, and once you do produce it - make sure to let those featured know they've been listed. Tweeting at them with a link is a good way to do this, but if you have email addresses, by all means, reach out. It can often be the start of a great relationship!

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #18

Day #18 - Add Value to a Popular Conversation

Numerous niches in the blogosphere have a few "big sites" where key issues arise, get discussed and spawn conversations on other blogs and sites. Getting into the fray can be a great way to present your point-of-view, earn attention from those interested in the discussion and potentially get links and traffic from the industry leaders as part of the process.

You can see me trying this out with Fred Wilson's AVC blog last year (an incredibly popular and well-respected blog in the VC world). Fred wrote a post about Marketing that I disagreed with strongly and publicly and a day later, he wrote a follow-up where he included a graphic I made AND a link to my post.

If you're seeking sources to find these "popular conversations," Alltop, Topsy, Techmeme (in the tech world) and their sister sites MediaGazer, Memeorandum and WeSmirch, as well as PopURLs can all be useful.

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #17

Day #17 - Survey Your Readers

Web surveys are easy to run and often produce high engagement and great topics for conversation. If there's a subject or discussion that's particularly contested, or where you suspect showing the distribution of beliefs, usage or opinions can be revealing, check out a tool like SurveyMonkey (they have a small free version) or PollDaddy. Google Docs also offers a survey tool that's totally free, but not yet great in my view.

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #16

Day #16 - Use Your Email Connections (and Signature) to Promote Your Blog

As a blogger, you're likely to be sending a lot of email out to others who use the web and have the power to help spread your work. Make sure you're not ignoring email as a channel, one-to-one though it may be. When given an opportunity in a conversation that's relevant, feel free to bring up your blog, a specific post or a topic you've written about. I find myself using blogging as a way to scalably answer questions - if I receive the same question many times, I'll try to make a blog post that answers it so I can simply link to that in the future.



I also like to use my email signature to promote the content I share online. If I was really sharp, I'd do link tracking using a service like Bit.ly so I could see how many clicks email footers really earn. I suspect it's not high, but it's also not 0.

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #15

Day #15 - Attend and Host Events

Despite the immense power of the web to connect us all regardless of geography, in-person meetings are still remarkably useful for bloggers seeking to grow their traffic and influence. The people you meet and connect with in real-world settings are far more likely to naturally lead to discussions about your blog and ways you can help each other. This yields guest posts, links, tweets, shares, blogroll inclusion and general business development like nothing else.



I'm a big advocate of Lanyrd, an event directory service that connects with your social networks to see who among your contacts will be at which events in which geographies. This can be phenomenally useful for identifying which meetups, conferences or gatherings are worth attending (and who you can carpool with).

The founder of Lanyrd also contributed this great answer on Quora about other search engines/directories for events (which makes me like them even more).