September 2, 2015

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

Posted by: of Stephan on 05/14/13
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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.


Posted by: of on 07/29/04

Blog for blog publishing platform WordPress. Strange that the blog’s archive starts only this month.

Ugh. I’m working so hard on various paid research proejects at the moment, that I’m giving this poor blog short shrift. I’m relying a bit to heavily, therefore, on you, my wonderful readers, to do all my fact-checking for me. Poor blogging habits, I know, but there you are; my theory being bad blogging is better than no blogging at all.

Anyway, I got this wrong, as commenters have pointed out. This blog is unaffiliated with the business, just a volunteer blog. Therefore, it doesn’t really count as a business blog, does it?

Sorry! I’ll try harder next time, I promise. <fingers crossed>


Jane Blog

Posted by: of on 07/29/04
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Jane (not her real name)

Just to be clear on this recent theme of faux blogs, I’m not against the idea in principal. As I said the other day, I actually think the Beta-7 Sega blog was pretty clever. It’s just the lame ones I object to.

Jane Blog is another example of a faux blog done really well. It’s well written, funny, cheeky, naughty, in short full of the right snarky tone of many good personal blogs. Importantly, compared to something really lame like Barbie’s blog which links to nothing, Jane actually reads and links heavily to lots of very hip blogs — Gawker, Defamer, Tony Pierce, Fark, Eurotrash (!), Anil Dash, Suicide Girls (naughty!) and lots more — both in her posts and her blogroll. And if that weren’t enough evidence that this is written by someone who gets blogs, she uses TypePad, not some hokey pseudo blog publishing platform. (E.g., she has permalinks!)
But, just in case you weren’t clear, in her About Me page, she concludes:

(by the way, I‚Äôm not actually real, I‚Äôm a fictitious character on the TV series “Good GIrls Don’t.” But that won‚Äôt stop me from writing to you every day. I mean, every weekday. Cause on weekends I‚Äôm in party mode.)

You go, girlfriend!


NYT: Wry Hoaxes Enliven the World of Web Diarists

Posted by: of on 07/29/04
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Mark Tosczak points out that the NYT has caught onto the fact that not all blogs are real.

NYT: Wry Hoaxes Enliven the World of Web Diarists

Right This Way: The Fodor’s Blog

Posted by: of on 07/28/04
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One of the best business blogs I’ve seen. Period.

I could go on, but you should just check it out if you’re interested.


Reuters: Blogging and Business Moving Mainstream

Posted by: of on 07/28/04
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As Olivier put it, “Yawner from Reuters.” That about sums it up.

Reuters: Blogging and Business Moving Mainstream

What Features Would You Like to See in a Blog Publishing Platform?

Posted by: of on 07/28/04

Folks, I’m working up to something here, but meanwhile I thought I’d just put a question out to you all to tell me what features you wish your blog publishing platform or any blog publishing platform, for that matter, would include in a feature release.

This is a basically a call for whining about the shortcomings of the tools on the market. What, also, are features you think need fixing?

Leave replies in the comments field, and please note what platform you currently use. Thanks!

Internet News: IT Heavies Lifting Dollars For Blogs

Posted by: of on 07/27/04

I’m slamming on deadline on the moment, and this long-ish article is actually a bit too dense for me to give it the credit it deserves, so I’ll just call it to your attention. A “Big Think” kind of piece for the CTO at large enterprises to chew on.

My favorite quote, from Ross Mayfield:

“Social media builds relationships. Connection happens before conversation, but still, this is business. What you will not find on your balance sheet is an underlying value proposition of enhancing social capital.”

I admit, I have no idea what the hell he’s talking about, but I’ve spoken with him on the phone about this kind of stuff a few times, and he’s really, really smart and very compelling in context. Maybe I’m just too tired now….

Thanks once again to Olivier for the tip. (You guys don’t realize it, but Olivier sends me about half of what I blog here; it’s just too tedious to credit him every time. I’ve invited him to blog to the site directly himself, but he says he’s too busy. Yeah, you and me both, buddy!)

Ross has more interesting commentary about this on his blog now.

Internet News: IT Heavies Lifting Dollars For Blogs

CNN’s Convention Blog

Posted by: of on 07/26/04

Yes, it’s cool what this political season is doing for blogs, such as that CNN now has a blog for the conference (and, possibly even cooler, a Blog Watch page), but why is it that major media companies think they need to re-invent blog software instead of just using MT or one of the other excellent tools out there, tools that include key blog features such as permalinks?

NOTE TO CNN AND ALL OTHER MAJOR MEDIA COMPANIES TRYING TO JUMP ON THE BLOG BANDWAGON: permalinks are a good thing. In fact, they border on being an essential ingredient of a blog (unlike trackbacks, for example). Without permalinks, no one can point to anything you write, which means much less traffic for you!

(As another example of this trend, USA Today’s otherwise excellent Today in the Sky travel blog by Ben Mutzabaugh has no permalinks, and it pisses me off when I’m blogging for BizNetTravel and want to link to him.)

If you know other examples of this trend, please do tell. Shame is the best medicine in such cases, I find.



Posted by: of on 07/26/04
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Posted by: of on 07/26/04

There was so much coverage of the BlogOn conference in Berkeley last week that BlogTalk, in Vienna, got short shrift. In fact, it almost snuck below my radar. I’d appreciate any links to others who covered this (in the comments).


WSJ: Meet the Bloggers

Posted by: of on 07/26/04
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Stephen Yellin
Stephen Yellin
16, high-school student
doing his part to
fulfill blogger stereotypes
(if only he were
named ‘Rantin’)

Get it while you can, this story is set to self-destruct for non-WSJ subscribers in about a week. A who’s who roundup among the bloggers covering the Democratic Convention in Boston, the blog story of the week (if not the century).

WSJ: Meet the Bloggers

Strange Attractor

Posted by: of on 07/26/04
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Suw Charman

Suw Charman is indeed attractive (judging by her picture, anyway), and the way she spells her name is a bit strange (from a guy whose sister is named “Sue”), but I don’t think either of those help explain her blog’s name, a new entrant from the excellent Corante family of blogs. Once again, I am pleased to see a blog with a clear mission statement:

In Strange Attractor, Suw picks out patterns from the apparent chaos that is the blogosphere. She explores business blogging as well as adjacent territories such as social technologies, writing and storytelling, e-learning, digital rights and journalism.


Mediapost: Convention Coverage Could Boost Blog Traffic, Ad Rates, and Awareness

Posted by: of on 07/26/04

More optimism about blog advertising. My concern with this angle, which I’ve expressed to BlogAds CEO Henry Copeland before (who’s quoted in the story) is the current over-reliance among blogs on political advertising at the moment. Sure, pick the low-hanging fruit while you can, I suppose, but let’s not create the impression among advertisers that political ads are all blogs are good for. Otherwise, come November, and that’s it for another four years.

Mediapost: Convention Coverage Could Boost Blog Traffic, Ad Rates, and Awareness

Another Fake Blog: I Love Bees

Posted by: of on 07/26/04

ATTENTION XBOX WEENIES: When I first created this post, I didn’t really understand what this blog was about. Whatever. Now I get it. I’ve since acknowledged that. Please stop posting comments on this thread to that same effect. Point taken. Get a frickin’ life already.

It’s sad that consumer marketers think the best thing they can do with a blog is create fake ones. It was one thing when Sega did its Beta-7 blog, as that was actually really good and lots of people fell for it. But the stupid Be Tag-Free thing and now I Love Bees (from Xbox) are just lame. Michael O’Connor Clarke has the full story in his aptly named post Buzz Marketing.

A few commenters in my comments section on this post suggest that I’m not giving this its proper credit, that the blog is just one link in a chain of some kind of online mystery teaser campaign, and that lots of gamers who are following it think it is in fact a pretty cool campaign. I haven’t had the time (or inclination) to follow up on it further and judge for myself, so do take my cynicism with a grain of salt. May be I’m the one who doesn’t get it in this case, not the marketers.

What I think this does hightlight, however, is that it’s possible to come into a marketing event like this without the proper context, so marketers need to consider that. Like in the movies, you should be able to see a sequel without having seen the original and still enjoy it. If this works in its full context but looks bad if you find your way into it partway through, that is a problem. A link to this page from Instapundit would blow away the people are finding it from the start, and then more people could have a negative impression than a positive one. Like my annoyance at Big Blog Company the other day; so their “fuck you” comment wasn’t intended for outside eyes. Their mistake, however, was assuming it wouldn’t be seen out of context. Taken out of context, it wasn’t pretty.

Another Fake Blog: I Love Bees


Posted by: of on 07/24/04

MSNBC’s political commentary show Hardball with Chris Matthews has launched a blog to accompany the political conventions. A group blog, bloggers will include

  • Ron Reagan (son of the late president)
  • Willie Brown (former SF mayor)
  • Dee Dee Myers (former press secretary under Clinton)
  • Chris Matthews (Hardball host)
  • Joe Trippi (Howard Dean’s one-time campaign manager and web/blog guru)
  • Chris Jansing (MSNBC anchor and correspondent)
    Joe Scarborough (MSNBC host)
  • Andrea Mitchell (NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent)

It will be interesting to see whether the blog lasts beyond the conventions. My guess is it will.


BlogOn conference coverage

Posted by: of on 07/24/04
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Various coverage about BlogOn conference, mostly highlighting the experiences of everyone’s favorite blogging business, Microsoft.

Poynter: Newspaper Blogs and Making Money

Posted by: of on 07/23/04

Steve Outing, a columnist for Editor & Publisher and blog enthusiast, reports on Poynter’s site that the Spokane Spokesman-Review has started successfully selling ads on some of the paper’s blogs, recently recruited from among the paper’s reader community.

Ken Sands, managing editor of the new media division of Spokesman-Review, notes this (in the comments field, but I highlight here):

Slight correction: the ads are being sold on blogs that are produced by staff writers. The site also links to community bloggers, but doesn’t sell any advertising related to non-staffers.

Poynter: Newspaper Blogs and Making Money

VAR Business: The Ogre’s New Voice: Can Blogs Save Microsoft’s Image?

Posted by: of on 07/23/04
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VAR Business points out in this piece that blogs have done something quite remarkable for Microsoft: made it cool.

VAR Business: The Ogre’s New Voice: Can Blogs Save Microsoft’s Image?

Paul Holmes: PR People, Take Blogs Seriously

Posted by: of on 07/23/04
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Slowly but surely, the PR industry is starting to take blogs seriously. This long article, published originally in The Holmes Report, a newsletter for the PR industry, is reproduced on Steve Rubel’s site (a guy who does get it), Micro Persuasion. While the points made in the article are generally the right ones about how blogs really are something important for businesses to pay attention to, I can’t help but observing that The Holmes Report’s own “weblog” hasn’t been updated for almost two years.


Report (PDF): The Power and Politics of Blogs

Posted by: of on 07/23/04

Daniel W. Drezner, assistant professor of political science at the University of Chicago and Henry Farrell, assistant professor of political science and George Washington University, have posted a new academic paper on blogs:

This paper addresses this puzzle by focusing on two interrelated aspects of the “blogosphere”: the unequal distribution of readers across the array of weblogs, and the increasing interactions between blogs and mainstream media outlets…
The skewed distribution of weblog influence makes it easy for observers to extract information or analysis from blogs – but the reason they are important is that journalists and opinion leaders are readers of blog.



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