December 19, 2014

How to Restart a Blog When You’ve Been on Hiatus for Three Years

Posted by: of Stephan on 05/14/13

I left my blog dormant for a few years, but I’m finally back in the saddle! I drafted up a post entitled “How to Restart a Blog When You’ve Been on Hiatus for Three Years” because it seemed fitting. Here are my main points to get you started:

1. Jump in and write something. No apologies. Or a lengthy explanation or justification for being off the grid.

2. Get some tools or processes in place that will make it as painless as possible to post. Like Dragon – which incidentally is available as an iPhone/iPad app.

3. Hire a virtual assistant if that will help you. (More on using VA’s in a future post).

4. Roll out a site redesign at the same time to let everybody know you’re reengaged and committed.

5. Don’t try to get all your readers all caught up on your life all in one post. You’ve got plenty of fodder for many blog posts – so save it for later.

6. Finally, silence the perfectionist in you. I have this bad habit of pouring over my blog posts – my articles even more so – trying to make them perfect. I put a dozen hours or more into articles on search engine land. That’s crazy. That’s not good use of your time. Much better to freeze all those great ideas and insights stuck in your head – share them with the world. It’s okay if the sentence structure isn’t always on the mark. It’s a blog post for Pete’s sake.

AdTechBlog

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 05/24/04

AdTech is the leading conference for Internet advertising and marketing professionals, with some 3,000+ attendees expected for the next three days in San Francisco. I am one of the co-creators of the AdTechBlog, along with the other folks from MarketingVox and a team of volunteer bloggers. We pioneered it in November at the NY show, and the folks who run AdTech liked it enough they agreed to let us partner with them again.

It’s an interesting partnership whereby they retain “ownership” of the product, at least in as much as the domain name, yet they cede to our team total editorial independence. They make a handful of free passes to the three-day show available to our team (which otherwise sell for $1,500 each), and we agree to write something (as we see it) about many of the show sessions, as well as the after-hours party scene, the buzz at the exhibit hall, etc. Promised to be fun.

Frankly, I think it’s a model that would make sense for a lot of industry conferences.

Link

Microsoft.com: Remarks by Bill Gates…Microsoft CEO Summit 2004

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 05/24/04

If you’re still on the fence about the power of blogs in business, our cause has a new advocate: Bill Gates. At the recent Microsoft CEO Summit 2004, a conference for CEOs, Gates raved about blogs and product-oriented communities, two related trends I’ll be talking about later today at AdTech. Thank you, Bill, you just made my presentation! Read the complete speech in the link above or read the BBC’s assessment of the key points on blogs, or just read the pertinent section of the speech excerpted without permission here:

Another new phenomenon that connects into this is one that started outside of the business space, more in the corporate or technical enthusiast space, a thing called blogging. And a standard around that that notifies you that something has changed called RSS.

This is a very interesting thing, because whenever you want to send e-mail you always have to sit there and think who do I copy on this. There might be people who might be interested in it or might feel like if it gets forwarded to them they’ll wonder why I didn’t put their name on it. But, then again, I don’t want to interrupt them or make them think this is some deeply profound thing that I’m saying, but they might want to know. And so, you have a tough time deciding how broadly to send it out.

Then again, if you just put information on a Web site, then people don’t know to come visit that Web site, and it’s very painful to keep visiting somebody’s Web site and it never changes. It’s very typical that a lot of the Web sites you go to that are personal in nature just eventually go completely stale and you waste time looking at it.

And so, what blogging and these notifications are about is that you make it very easy to write something that you can think of, like an e-mail, but it goes up onto a Web site. And then people who care about that get a little notification. And so, for example, if you care about dozens of people whenever they write about a certain topic, you can have that notification come into your Inbox and it will be in a different folder and so only when you’re interested in browsing about that topic do you go in and follow those, and it doesn’t interfere with your normal Inbox.

And so if I do a trip report, say, and put that in a blog format, then all the employees at Microsoft who really want to look at that and who have keywords that connect to it or even people outside, they can find the information.

And so, getting away from the drawbacks of e-mail — that it’s too imposing — and yet the drawbacks of the Web site — that you don’t know if there’s something new and interesting there — this is about solving that.

The ultimate idea is that you should get the information you want when you want it, and we’re progressively getting better and better at that by watching your behavior, ranking things in different ways.

Another big phenomenon is building communities around Web sites, around products. And virtually every company ought to have on their Web site the ability for their customers, their suppliers, various people, to interact and their employees to see the dialogue taking place there and jump in and talk to them and help them.

The idea of these communities making these things fun, how you make sure nobody dominates the community or invades the community, a lot of progress there that make those things important. Built into every one of our products now are connections back to the community, a thing called Office Online, or Visual Studio, our development tools have the developers online, that’s called MSDN. And we learn so much about what people are doing or what they want from that and we literally require our employees to engage in those communities so they’re up there and visible and getting that direct exposure not through statistics but through particular customer dialogue.

Information visibility. This is one that we often talk about, because our view is what’s being done in terms of insight in information is so small compared to what can be done and what should be done — seeing trends in customers, seeing quality type issues, tracking those, even the most basic things around budgeting, forecasting, sales analysis — getting it so somebody can take form the back-end systems that have the information in a very complex form necessarily and navigate that and bring that into their ad hoc tools, typically Microsoft Excel, and play around with it and yet still be connected to the updates and not run any issues about is it secure enough that they’ll let you get at that information, that’s been a big challenge. Steve will talk about a few cases where I think we’ve really got some best practices here in terms of insight into the information.

My only question is, where’s Bill’s blog?

Microsoft.com: Remarks by Bill Gates…Microsoft CEO Summit 2004

Asymptomatic.net: Blog Software Breakdown

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 05/24/04

Whoever runs this site (no name on the posts, no “About Me link”; grrrr) has a nice comparative matrix of features of various blog platforms. There are some notable exceptions among the platforms evaluated (e.g., Blogger.com and TypePad), and it is based of features noted on the software’s various web sites, not through actual usage of each system. The author notes it is mainly a personal exercise he compiled for his own purposes that he decided to make public, so do with it what you will.

Asymptomatic.net: Blog Software Breakdown

BlogAds: Blog Readers Survey

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 05/24/04

My old buddy Henry Copeland, CEO of the weblog ad network BlogAds, fielded a survey of blog readers. He has some 50+ blogs post a link to the survey and more than 17,000 blog readers filled it out. I’m disappointed and a bit annoyed that he didn’t take me up on my offer to help him design and implement this survey, which we discussed a few weeks ago, but the results are still interesting (but Henry, how much more interesting they could have been if I had help! ;-)

Highlights include:

  • Average age: 39*
  • Percent of all respondents who are male: 79%
  • Average household income: $98,000*
  • Average number of blogs respondents read daily: 8*
  • Percent of blog readers who do NOT write blogs: 79%
  • Percent who have clicked on an ad on a blog: 67%

* Noted responses are my analysis of BlogAds’s data, which BlogAds reports differently.

BlogAds: Blog Readers Survey

Six Apart: Movable Type Personal License Options

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 05/24/04

UPDATE: See an update to this post here.

As I noted, I’ve been on vacation in the last week, so this topic has been pretty widely noted in the blogosphere already, but for the record, the popular blog publishing software Movable Type, from Six Apart, has released a new pricing plan for the new 3.0 version of its software.

I’m not going to get into this in detail for a few reasons, including A) it’s past midnight and I have to get up early tomorrow, B) I’m so frazzled from too much vacation and too many project deadlines that I haven’t really thought hard about this yet, and C) there are indications that Six Apart is about to revise the pricing policy (see below).

In summary, however, suffice to say many bloggers have expressed their annoyance at the pricing policy. To oversimplify, the new pricing now costs a flat licensing fee of $100-190 for personal weblogs and $300-700 for business blogs. The price ranges have to do with how many blogs you are publishing and how many blog authors are using a single license of the software. The prices include “introductory” discounts, though it’s not clear to me how long that introductory price applies.

These prices compare to free for personal licenses and $150 for business licences for the prior version of the software.

In no small part, the criticism Six Apart has received for the new pricing scheme stems from the fact that the new 3.0 version did not introduce many new features, but rather it concentrated on scalability and openness for developers, which are not benefits that most users will readily appreciate.

My own high-level reaction to the changes are that I feel Six Apart made a mistake in not adequately testing user sensitivity to the pricing (surprising of them to get caught so unawares by the potential for bad PR from bloggers, who do nothing if not express their minds), and they also made the pricing scheme unnecessarily complicated. That and they probably also did over-price to an extent. Compared, for example, to TypePad, Movable Type does seem too expensive.

That said, I personally believe the value of the software is worth paying for. My experience of blog publishing platforms is limited to Blogger, TypePad and Movable Type, but all in all, I have found Movable Type to be a great tool, which I do recommend to clients. As a personal publishing tool, it’s still really not so expensive at under $200. For personal purposes, I consider blogging a hobby, and as hobbies go, it’s an extremely cheap one (compared, for example, to my other hobbies of bicycling, photography, cooking and others, on which I have spent a lot more than $200). If you’re too cheap for even that, use Blogger or any of the number of other blog publishing tools that are cheaper or free. For businesses, $300-700 is inexpensive for a fairly powerful content management tool.

The biggest risk of the new pricing is that Six Apart risks killing the goose that laid the golden egg. As good as the software itself is, what makes it really great is the extensive support and developer communities for it. If this new pricing proves to alienate much of that critical group of users (and some outspoken folks have already made a show of quitting MT), then indeed something very valuable about this platform could be lost in this new upgrade.

As I said above, however, there is reason to believe Six Apart is rethinking its pricing strategy in light of the criticism — notably, because Mena Trott, the company’s president, has said as much. So stay tuned.

Meanwhile, to catch up on what everyone else has said about this, take a look at the trackback comments on Mena’s earlier post about the new pricing policy. Also of interest may be this 40-minute audio interview with Six Apart founders Mena and Ben Trott (I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet myself).

Finally, I also came across this thorough review of the new features of MT 3.0 by Neil Turner.

Six Apart: Movable Type Personal License Options

Administrative Update for This Site

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 05/11/04

Hello there. So, I’ve blogged so far 184 posts to this site, which doesn’t seem shabby for less than two months’ work. Originally, I thought I would quickly enter about 100 examples of business blogs into this directory and then it would be a simple matter of keeping up with the handful of new ones that subsequently came to my attention, while I also turned to more strategic advice on the subject. As it is, I realize that close to 200 examples of business blogs, I’ve barely begun to scratch the surface of what is out there.

I hope it is proving useful and informative just to see so many examples. I do want to get to more prescriptive advice at some point, as well as more research (such that it is) and resources related to blogs and specifically business blogs, but to start with, there are simply so many business blogs just to show examples of, I will be busy for some time. If you’re one of the many bloggers who has sent me an email suggesting more business blogs to take note of, rest assured I’ve made a note. I have a long backlog of material I’m trying to catch up with, while I continue to work for a living at the same time.

I’m eager for feedback about this project. What is working for you, and what would you like to see more of, or instead of what I’ve been writing to date? How can I improve what I’m doing here?

Anyway, I’m using this opportunity to let you know that I’m about to begin several weeks of travel as of Thursday, visiting locations including the British Virgin Islands (my 10-year wedding anniversary!), San Francisco (for AdTech), China (because I’ve never been to Asia and why the heck not?) and Maryland (for a reunion of college friend). Thus, my blogging here will be quite light until mid-June. Please don’t forget about me, and do check back in a few weeks as I dive back into this project with vigor.

Blogger.com Gets Software Update

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 05/11/04
blogger-relaunch

So, Blogger.com has upgraded its service. I started my blogging exploits some two years ago using Blogger and still use it for my ExecutiveSummary.com site. In fact, for the last few weeks, I’ve been a beta tester for the new version of the software, although I was sworn to secrecy about it until now.

With all due respect to my friends at Blogger, I’m rather underwhelmed with the upgrade, particularly since the developers have been promising a major upgrade to the platform for more than a year, and even more so since Blogger’s original startup firm, Pyra, was purchased by deep-pocketed Google last year. Frankly, as far as I can tell, there are relatively few new real features, and most of these are fairly cosmetic. Here are what they are touting as the new features, all of which are indeed welcome improvements:

  • A quicker sign-up process — While valuable, this is really of more benefit to Blogger than it is to bloggers, in that it is likely to help more people opt to use the software, but it’s a process any blogger goes through only once.

  • Lots of new templates to choose from — Again, nice, but it’s not much help to me, as I’ve already designed my sites and am satisfied with those design. It’s not really an operational feature improvement to the software, though design is a key feature for a successful blog, so I’m sure this well be valued by many users.
  • A general face-lift to the back-end editing interface — It is much prettier, but I don’t know that the programming efforts spent in that regard makes the process of blogging any easier or more efficient.
  • A built-in comments feature — This is a highly valued improvement, but actually it was such a glaring omission from the old system, it is hard to give them points for adding it in at last, as it’s more a question of them finally meeting a standard of a requirement than it being any great improvement. Also, since many Blogger users have turned to third-party providers of comments (I had been using Haloscan), it would have been nice if Blogger had now provided a means to import one’s existing archive of comments, but as far as I can tell, they haven’t.
  • The ability to archive individual post pages — Again, I hate to sound like an ingrate, but this was another serious deficiency of Blogger till now, so it’s hard to see this as a great value-add but more like coming up to par for a blog publishing tool. When I switched from using Blogger to Movable Type on my personal blog a few months ago, I saw my traffic raise fivefold to date. I haven’t been doing much differently in terms of my own blogging, so I attribute that dramatic increase in traffic almost entirely to Google being able to index my archives much more effectively, which is ironic, as Google owns Blogger. I suspect this change will bring similar improvements in Google traffic for existing Blogger users.
  • The ability to create a user profile — Fine, but it’s not exactly a critical improvement, IMHO.
  • The ability to post via email — In keeping with the mobile blogging (aka “moblog”) phenomenon, I suppose some people will value this, but it isn’t a critical feature for my concerns.

I don’t mean to sound too harsh (I’m tired and under deadline pressure, so hence a bit cranky), but I really don’t think this feature set was worth more than a year’s anticipation. Nice-to stuff, some catch-up stuff, but nothing break-through or otherwise tremendously exciting.

I’ve been keeping notes for a while about a long blog post I plan at some point about all the features I’d like to see in blog platforms, but here’s an abbreviated list of some features I think blog softwares need to supply:

  • Photoblogging tools — Obviously, digital cameras and blogs are a natural match. Many bloggers like to take pictures and upload them to their blogs. In this capacity, I’ve played around with photo gallery tools including snapGallery and Express Thumbnail Creator (ETC), both of which leave something to be desired (snapGallery is simple but fairly limited and inflexible in its features, which ETC allows for a lot more customization but it’s more cumbersome to use and somewhat buggy in my experience). With the launch of TypePad (which is what I use to publish this blog), Six Apart introduced a Photo Albums feature, which is my favorite of all photo gallery tools that I’ve encountered. I think a feature like this should be standard issue for all blog publishing tools. I’m really hoping to see it in a future release of Movable Type, though I gather something like it is not yet a part of the 3.0 release of MT.
  • Search — When it comes down to it, blogs are little more than crude databases. Search is a fundamental feature for any database, and it should be a basic feature of every blog publishing tool. Movable Type has a search feature, though it’s not very good (e.g., if you search several words that you know are in a particular blog post but don’t necessarily appear consecutively, it’s likely not to find the page in question). pMachine also appears to have built-in search, though I’m not personally familiar with that system (or most other blog publishing systems, for that matter). Curiously, TypePad, also made by Six Apart, which makes Movable Type, does not have search. And, considering that Blogger is owned by Google, it’s a rather striking that they do not yet include a search feature, though I gather they are “working on it.”
  • Blogroll feature — Again, a blogroll — that is, a list of links in the margin of a blog pointing to the blogger’s favorite sites — is a fundamental feature of most blogs. TypePad also has a nice feature built into the system to automate this, called TypeList. Creating a blogroll in Blogger requires either kludging it by hand in the raw HTML template files, which is how I’ve done it, or using a third-party plug-in such as Blogrolling. The latter leaves a few things to be desired, to my mind, including that you’re dependant on multiple tools to compile your blog pages, including content served dynamically from another domain, which just invites problems, and also since the links are served up dynamically and are not hard-code into the archived pages (at least last time I checked), it means that Google doesn’t see those links when it indexes a blog, so that they other blogs one links to do not get the benefit to their PageRank. (I could be wrong on that, but I’m pretty sure. Clarification from those who know better are welcome.)
  • Categories — Again, this is such a basic feature for blogs, it’s another rather glaring omission that Blogger’s major upgrade still lacks it.
  • Email newsletter — This is a feature that, to my dismay, no blog publishing platform that I’m aware of offers. I believe Movable Type may allow you to automatically send new posts via email to subscribers on a post-by-post basis, but what I think would be much more useful would be to let the blogger schedule newsletters at frequencies of daily, weekly or monthly and have the software simply package together all posts in that period as a newsletter that the blogger could then send out to subscribers. Ideally, the blogger could control variables, such as the design template of the newsletter, and before sending it, he could proofread it, delete posts not worth including the newsletter, uniformly set the length of posts to choices such as “headlines only,” “short” or “full posts,” add an optional introduction to the newsletter and otherwise customize it before pressing “send” manually, or, alternatively fully automating the dissemination, as the blogger prefers. It strikes me as strange that all blog publishers are gaga for RSS and have built it into their platforms, spurring many a nerd to predict RSS will be the future of newsletter publishing, yet the present of newsletter publishing — email — has been do completely ignored by blog software makers so far, despite the fact that the client readers for email are universal among Internet users, much unlike RSS readers.

In conversing about all of this tonight with my friend and house guest Olivier Travers, he points out a significant flaw in my reasoning in all of the above: Blogger.com is not a real competitor to the would-be commercial blog publishing platforms like Movable Type. It is, as he said, “the new Geocities for Google.” In shutting down the Pro version of Blogger months ago, Google clearly signalled that it wasn’t interested in producing a competitive high-end tool for serious blog publishers but rather something free for the masses to help create more inventory for Google advertising. Along with Gmail, Blogger is just another free service Google can offer its users in its inevitable morphing into an online media portal service.

As a freebie service, Blogger will set the standard for the basic features of a blog publishing tool that the fee-based services will have to out-perform, but it probably doesn’t make sense for Blogger to try to stay competitive with all the features in those more robust platforms if its revenue model remains indirectly tied to the users of the tool. Evan Williams, Pyra’s founder, may not like that analysis, but I suspect Olivier is right.

(Meanwhile, I should note, TypePad and Moveable Type sorely need a friggin’ spell checker, as well as automatic post saving, among other features that Blogger already has…)

Link

Google Blog

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 05/11/04
googleblog

Well, ever since we spotted the trial blog at Google a few weeks ago, we knew this was inevitable. The Google Blog was born on May 10th. Disappointing there hasn’t been a new post yet today — seems like they’d have a lot to talk about, but I wonder whether it will end up being a more occasional blog, like Blogger’s own blog. Another peculiarity of the blog seems to be that there is no obvious author. The first post (see below) is from Evan Williams, appropriately enough, creator of blog software tool Blogger.com, which Google acquired last year. But we know this only because he signed the post within the body of the post. The footer information about each post does not contain an author identification, so the second post is anonymous.

Here’s Evan’s first post to the new Google blog:

Ever since I came to Google, they’ve been talking about putting up an official Google blog. And now, less than 15 months later, voil√†.

Oh well, it’s not like we own a recently relaunched service where you can create a blog in two minutes or something. Okay, we do. (Sorry for the plug.) But I guess other Googlers have been a little busy what with all the searching. And the advertising. And filling out purchase orders for all those hard drives.

Anyway, I’m excited the blog’s up. We’re going to post stuff here – regular bloggy things: What Larry had for breakfast. What Sergey thinks of that Hellboy movie. Which Dawson’s Creek character reminds us most of Eric.

And perhaps, news about Google, and our thoughts on whatever random events cross our horizon.

Oh, and we have email feedback too. So we hope to hear from you, as well.

- Evan Williams

(Blogger Program Manager, Google)

ClickZ makes this pertinent observation:

Interestingly, the launch comes as Google is preparing for an initial public offering of stock, during the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) "quiet period" in which companies usually refrain from making public statements that could be interpreted as an offer to sell stock.

CNET’s New.com is already nit-picking at Google’s blog for having discretely edited a post to tone down potentially controversial comments about outsourcing. It’s clear that this blog will remain under a magnifying glass for some time to come, at least through Google’s IPO.

Link

Reuters RSS

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 05/8/04

Yeah, I know blogs and RSS are not the same thing, but their related trends, so I end up lumping them together. Anyway, Reuters.com has just introduced RSS feeds. Cool.

Link

Blog Business World

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 05/5/04

Wayne Hurlbert has been blogging on the subject of “blogs in business, marketing, public relations, and search engine optimization for successful entrepreneurs” since last October. Is his blog “competition” for mine? Well, it’s a big happy bloggy world out there, so I’m not really worrying about it. He doesn’t seem to be solicitiing consulting business from his blog so directly, which is the stated purpose of my blog. He’s been at it longer, though I think I am on track for more posts per week at this rate. The subject matter is also somewhat different, where he’s offering more how-to stuff, such as his recent post on blog promotion, where I have set myself the sisyphean goal, at least in the near term, of cataloging every example of a business blog I can find. Eventually I’d like to get to more content-oriented posts, too, but in the foreseeable future I seem to believe there’s value in just a big directory of examples of business blogs.

Anyway, Hurlbert is definitely offering value on the subject in his own way, so check it out. While you’re at it, check out his roller derby blog. (Whatever.)

Link

Steve Rubel

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 05/5/04
steve-rubel
Steve Rubel

Steve Rubel is a PR pro, VP of client services at Cooper Katz. He called his blog to my attention after I noted the ANA’s blog earlier this week, one of his clients. I see he’s been blogging for only a month (as of this entry), and normally I’d be reluctant to include a blog in this directory that is so new, as so many blogs run out of steam after great ambitions at the beginning. But browsing his archive, I see he’s been on quite a tear since he launched himself into it, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that he’ll still be at it, with gusto, when we check back in on him in a few months and later.

Link

BlogRunner

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 05/5/04

BlogRunners is a kind of blog directory / post aggregation service, somewhat reminiscent of Kinja. A good place to register your blog. (The link above is for the site’s “Business” section.)

Link

Jewelboxing

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 05/5/04
jewelboxing

Jewelboxing is a startup with an innovative product: a system that lets you custom design the jewel boxes for your personal CDs. An innovative product requires an innovative approach to marketing, hence a lively blog. I like the blog’s statement of purpose, too:

We thought it might be useful to document the process of starting an online business from scratch. Jim Coudal will periodically post here about issues involving our product and business plan. Hopefully things will go well but even if the whole thing goes down in flames, it’ll probably be interesting to watch.

Thanks for the tip from Todd S.

Link

Adverblog

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 05/5/04

Martina Zavagno has been blogging for a year (happy birthday, Adverblog!). Based in Italy (though blogging in English), she is a freelance journalist and e-learning project manager, but she makes no bones about what her objectives are in blogging:

I’m dreaming of a future in marketing and advertising, as marketing/account executive.
That’s why I came up with the Adverblog idea…
So if you like this blog and feel like offering me a job… drop me a line, I’ll be on the next plane with destination anywhere!

Link

Brand.Blogs

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 05/5/04
jennifer-rice
Jennifer Rice

Jennifer Rice, who runs Mantra Branding, has been blogging here about branding since December 2003. She writes me by email:

I recently got a project from a Fortune 50 company from my blog… it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for my consulting business!

Hell-yeah! If ever there was a reason to blog, for consultants, anyway, there it is.

One gripe — a nit I have with lots of business blogs — while she links to her business site from her blog, I don’t see a link from the business to to the blog. How are your customers going to know you blog if you don’t point it out? Hopefully just a temporary oversight and not an indication that bloggers don’t think that blogging is “professional” enough to link to.

Link

Defamer

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 05/4/04
defamer

Gawker Media has just released its latest commercial blog property, Defamer, a Hollywood gossip site. Knowing Gawker’s style, the blog promises to be smart Hollywood gossip, which would really be something new. Remains to be seen, however, whether an industry that takes itself as seriously as Hollywood will be able to laugh at itself or will just devote all its energy to decrying the Defamer.

Publisher Nick Denton writes in an email announcing the site:

in so far as a city ever needed a gossip rag, LA is crying out for a Defamer. For a city that’s in many ways the cultural capital of the world, it’s woefully under-gossiped.
Sure, the celebrity weeklies give the latest tittle-tattle on the reality TV romance of the week. But the real stars of Hollywood are the producers, and agents, and PR flacks, and studio execs, and screenwriters. They’re usually behind the scenes. No longer.

Unlike the other Gawker media products, the author of Defamer, “a Hollywood peon” him- or herself, will remain anonymous (we’ll see how long that lasts before he/she is outed).

Link

EverythingNY: NYBloggers Publishers Panel

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 05/3/04

Ari Paparo, of Everything NY, attended the NY Bloggers event organized by Gothamist, and reports here on a panel about commerical blogging by Nick Denton and Jason Calacanis.

Darn, I wanted to attend this event but felt I should really get caught up on some work, and then, needless to say, I didn’t get much done anyway…

EverythingNY: NYBloggers Publishers Panel

Seth Godin Goes on Virtual Book Blog Tour

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 05/3/04
freeprizeinside

I’ve been a fan of Seth Godin‘s since his days running the one-time online marketing agency Yoyodyne, before it was acquired by Yahoo and he became a guru author of umpteen marketing books. (I even happen to know a piece of useless trivia that the name Yoyodyne comes from Thomas Pynchon’s novel The Crying of Lot 49.)

He recently sent me a review copy of his new book, Free Prize Inside. I haven’t yet had a chance to get into it, but the title and packaging alone are so clever I’m sure it’s destined to be another winner for him. Meanwhile, he also just released an unrelated free e-book BullMarket 2004, a long list of marketing resources (I’m pleased to say my ExecutiveSummary.com site was among them, although when Seth and I exchanged email a few weeks ago about it, I had hoped he’d also include Business Blog Consulting, but it seems he hasn’t; oh well).

But what I really wanted to note here was this: Just when you think the guy has got to be out of great ideas, I see he’s now on a virtual “Business Book Blogging Tour.” Details on the initiative are thing (Godin himself has only a short note about it on his blog), but it seems that for the next two weeks he’s blogging on various other business blogs as a guest blogger. [UPDATE: Todd S. of A Penny For.. notes that details of the program are here.]

First stop is at A Penny For… (here’s Godin’s last of several post today). Michelle Miller, who will also be hosting Godin next week, offers a schedule of Godin’s blog stops.

Wonder Branding

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 05/3/04
michele-miller
Michelle Miller

Michelle Miller, who works at the marketing agency Wizard of Ads, started this blog a few months ago focusing on the always hot (no pun intended) topic of marketing to women.

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Tim Bray: Sun Policy on Public Discourse

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 05/3/04

Tim Bray, a technology veteran and long-time blogger who recently joined Sun Microsystem, has helped that company craft a policy for bloggers, not unlike Microsoft’s Robert Scoble’s Corporate Weblog Manifesto. Highlights from Sun’s policy include:

  • It’s a Two-Way Street — The real goal isn’t to get everyone at Sun blogging, it’s to become part of the industry conversation
  • Don’t Tell Secrets — Common sense at work here
  • Be Interesting — Writing is hard work. There‚Äôs no point doing it if people don‚Äôt read it.
  • Write What You Know — The best way to be interesting, stay out of trouble, and have fun is to write about what you know.
  • Think About Consequences — The worst thing that can happen is that … someone on the customer’s side pulls out a print-out of your blog and says [to a sales guy], “This person at Sun says that product sucks.”

And more. Good stuff. (I only copied snippets here; he goes into more detail on all these points.)

Making this post even more interesting, Bray offers a short analysis of the process of how he and his colleagues fashioned this policy in a post titled Making Sun Policy.

Thanks to Olivier Travers for pointing this out.

Tim Bray: Sun Policy on Public Discourse

 

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