February 23, 2018

Politics and Political Blogs

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Whatever your political persuasion — right, left, or center — the blogosphere is a great place for bloggers to share their political views and make plenty of friends and enemies. We try to follow the conservative, liberal, and everything in between of politics and political blogs/blogging — but only when it intersects with business blogging.

Have a read below of our latest entries on politics and political blogging…

How To Share Your Blog Content?

Posted by: of BizGrowthNews on 06/28/08


Have you ever wondered how to make sure that you provide the opportunity for people to share the great articles on your blog to their social networking sites?

You might recall I wrote about one tool recently that you can add to the side bar of your business blog that allows people to save PDF’s of your articles and even email them to others.

A plugin that you might want to consider for your business blog that is becoming increasingly popular is ShareThis. ShareThis is available to use across a host of blog platforms including WordPress.org and TypePad.com

You’ll usually see the ShareThis logo at the bottom of an article or blog post.

When you click on it you will see you have several options:

  • You can post the article and share it to your favourite social networking sites such as Digg and Ma.gnolia
  • You can make sure that your friends at your social networks such as Facebook and Twitter know about the post or article you have read
  • And you can even email yourself or others a copy.

Of course it’s not just making sure the readers of your business blog understand what the ShareThis logo means – it does rely on us as content creators writing content that people want to pass on to their friends or keep as reference material.

So why not consider adding ShareThis to your business blog? And if you have added the ShareThis plugin to your business blog, perhaps you can share with us your experience of it as a tool to encourage people sharing your great content?

ECO-SAFE Business Blogging

Posted by: of BizGrowthNews on 06/16/08

Have you ever come across a business blog and have wanted to print out a blog post but find that there is no print icon on the blog page?

I always think that we need to make it as easy as possible for people to access our content from our business blog so one of the things I did some time ago on my main blog was to add some plugins so that people could then print a blog article and also email articles to others.

However I recently came across a service that enables us to guide people to alternatives to print pages yet still makes your content accessible to readers and enables you to virally market your blog to others with a tell a friend functon – and it’s free!

The ECO-SAFE Merit Badge can be added to your website and offers the opportunity to website and blog visitors to:

  • send themselves or other an email of the blog article
  • send themselves or others a PDF of the blog article
  • download a PDF of the blog article.

Why not add the ECO-SAFE Merit Badge to your business blog? That way you are being kind to the environment and enabling others to share your great content with potential readers and potential clients.

Oh I almost forgot to let you know, you can also register for free iTunes music of your choice when you add the ECO-SAFE Merit Badge to you blog or website.

Brand Yourself on Your Blog, in Your Feed, with a Photo and Sig Line

In my blog post about the importance of your avatar in social media marketing, I included my headshot photo to show folks what I use as my avatar on social media sites:

Stephan Spencer avatar

Seeing this in my post gave one of my readers, Dave Dugdale, the idea to append his photo to the end of posts on his blog’s RSS feed. That is a great idea. That headshot image of me appears only in my aforementioned post because I added it by hand. It certainly wouldn’t be hard to automate it so that your image (and byline, and links) would appear on ALL your posts. Then, folks using RSS readers and website aggregators like Bloglines and Google Reader will see this photo and byline while reading your post, helping brand you and letting people know who you are. You, as the author, will appear more real, more tangible, more human, to the reader. S/he will relate to you more as a fellow human being, take notice of you, remember you, and listen to what you have to say. S/he may even then recognize you at conferences and introduce herself/himself to you (this has happened to me on many occasions!).

Another important benefit of this tactic is that it somewhat thwarts content thieves who “repurpose” your blog post content on their blogs. If they are scraping from your RSS feed, they will be putting up your photo, byline, and links on all the posts they stole from you! (By the way, if they are scraping your HTML — which won’t be nearly as common — then the photo and byline would need to appear on your blog site, not just your feed.)

So how do you accomplish this — putting a sig line containing your image/avatar on all your posts? You could add the sig line to your template (theme) files. But there are other, easier ways. For instance, if you’re running WordPress, there’s the RSS Footer plugin or the WP-Avatar plugin.

Or, if you’re using the excellent Feedburner service for your RSS feed, there’s the “Feed Image Burner” tool.

You can also put a tiny image of yourself into your blog’s favicon too, which will cause it to show up next to your blog’s name on many RSS readers. That’s what I’ve done on my blog. Here’s what it looks like: favicon

If you don’t have a custom favicon, don’t know how to create one, or don’t know what I’m talking about, then you should read my post Favicon and Robots.txt – Must-Haves for your Blog.

Using Your Feed Reader to Generate More Traffic and New Business

Posted by: of BSETC on 05/7/08

Feed readers are tools that keep track of the blogs you have interest in. You may use your feed reader to keep track of competitor’s blogs or blogs that will notify you of trends or important news. Whichever blogs you choose to add, there are some great ways that you can make use of that blog traffic.

Here are some of the ways that to generate traffic to your blog.

Build a Network

When you’re reading other people’s blogs, you’ll develop a network of like-minded individuals and people who share similar interests. You can also meet people to provide your products and services to and you’ll find people who have products and services that you need.

The beauty of creating a network this way is that the more you are on other people’s blogs and commenting on their posts, the more traffic you will receive. The thing to remember is that people love to have visitors on their site and they want to know who those people are. If you’re commenting on posts they have written, you can bet that they are going to appreciate that and check out your site as well.

Do This!

Register a feed reader account at a website like Newsgator (www.newsgator.com) or Blog Lines (www.bloglines.com) and add some feeds from your favorite blogs. Now, spend about 1 to 2 hours per week reading your blog feeds and comment on posts that you feel you can provide valuable feedback on.

Create Links Back to Your Site

By commenting on other people’s blogs, you’re creating a search engine ranking fiesta and all roads lead back to you! Page rank is determined by a number of things but one of those things is how many incoming links you have to your website. The more links, the higher you rank.

One thing to keep in mind though is that a simple comment is not going to give you much back in terms of valuable traffic and notoriety. When posting comments and creating these links back to your site, you want to be sure there is some substance in your comments.

Another way to create links back to your site is to write great blog entries that people will want to post onto their blogs. In the world of blogging, people ‘copy’ content all of the time and link back to the original author. This allows you to have a viral marketing source and you won’t need to do anything to generate this traffic.

One last way to create links back to your site is to add your favorite bloggers to your “Blog Roll� and request that they add you to theirs. If you have a lot of colleagues, friends or family who also own blogs, ask them to also add you to their “Blog Rolls.� All of these incoming links will increase your traffic AND your page rank.

Do This!

Right now, go to your blog and create a “Blog Roll� if you don’t have one already. Add your favorite bloggers to this list. Next, ask your friends, family and colleagues to add you to their links list on their blogs. Make sure that whatever you do in terms of links, it is reciprocal so that both parties benefit.

There are many ways to generate traffic but those are just a couple of the ways to utilize the RSS feed reader tool that you have to stay in the line of sight of your potential customers (and ideal clients).

Erin Blaskie is the owner of Business Services ETC, The VA Coach and VA Matchmaker. She services internet marketers, coaches, speakers and solopreneurs with their everyday operational needs which frees up their time to focus on the big picture. She can be found at www.erinblaskie.com.

Is Your Monitor Size Holding You Back?

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Bloggers are information workers. And information workers need a big screen monitor — and/or multiple monitors — to be optimally productive. The Wall Street Journal blog recently posted about a study by the University of Utah that found that folks using a 24-inch screen completed tasks 52% faster than those with an 18-inch screen. And folks using two 20-inch screens completed tasks 44% faster than those with an 18-inch screen. So size (and quantity) really does matter. This conclusion was affirmed by most of the commenters to that WSJ post.

So… what monitor size are you blogging with? And are you using two monitors, or just one? That one single small monitor you’re using for blogging is holding you back!

According to a Google employee who commented, Google engineers get to choose between a single 30-inch HP LCD or two 24-inch monitors, and employees in other departments get one 24-inch.

My office setup is 3 screens — my MacBook Pro laptop screen which is 15-inch, a secondary, 17-inch monitor plugged into my laptop, and an iMac with a 17-inch built-in display. The iMac and my MacBook Pro are set up to both use the same keyboard and mouse. To accomplish this, I use a free software program called Synergy. It is amazing! I can move my cursor across the three screens with one long swipe of my mouse. I can copy text on my iMac and paste it onto my laptop, and vice versa.

When I went from one screen to three screens, I definitely saw a productivity benefit across many activities, including email, blogging, article writing, and Powerpoint creation. Right now as I write this post, I have the “Write Post” screen on one display and the Wall Street Journal post open on another display. It makes it so much easier when I want to quote or reference bits from the WSJ.

Another interesting point that another commenter to the WSJ post made was that monitor size was a criterion he used in evaluating potential employers. He called it an “environment factor.” That was really good insight. We at Netconcepts are in the process of trying to fill 11 open positions. Seeing workstations configured with awesome monitors could very well influence a candidate’s decision to come work at Netconcepts.

The Process of Starting a Corporate Blog

Posted by: of Made for Marketing on 02/25/08

Do you really need a process for starting a blog? Well, not if you’re a small, one-person business and you’re the only person to answer to. However, if yours is a multi-million (or billion) dollar enterprise that needs multiple layers of approval, then the following first in a three-part series on the process of setting up a corporate blog will benefit you.

This comes from a post at MarketingProfs, so here are the highlights. For the full post and original material, read on over here.

There are three phases to the corporate blog process. 1) Investigate, 2) Create, 3) Activate. This post deals only with the investgate phase, which follows these steps:
1. Determine Goals for Your Corporate Blog
You need to to determine why you’re doing this, get baseline measurements in place and create a vision for success. See the mindmap below for more detail.

2. Assess Your Market for Blog Viability
Not every company should blog. You need to understand what kind of conversation is taking place in your market and if you can easily enter the conversation with your blog strategy. You also need to look internally to make sure that this fits with your corporate culture.

3. Map to Overall Marketing/Communications Strategy
This is critical. The blog should not be an appendage or bolt-on to your marketing. If you’re going to do it right, it needs to be integrated into the rest of your messaging and conversation.

4. Risk Profile Assessment
Ask yourself a few questions to determine how ready you are to engage in the market conversation. You’ll have sooner or later, but here are a few things to look out for before you leap.
– Have you ever personally used social media and what’s your comfort level?
– What is your company’s tolerance for risk (e.g., initiating new or untested marketing tactics, launching bold corporate initiatives, etc.)?
– How does your company normally react to negative commentary from the media?

For more, read the MarketingProfs post: What’s the Process for Starting a Corporate Blog? How Long Does It Take? [Part 1 of 3].

Weblog (Blog) Implementation Process Roadmap

Shorten Your Blog Post URLs So You Don’t Look Spammy to Google

One of the great things about using WordPress is that it automatically creates keyword-rich, spider-friendly URLs for your posts (as long as your Permalink settings in the Options tab of the WordPress admin are configured properly). Many times, though, these URLs are TOO keyword-rich. In other words, the URL has too many words in it. That happens if you create a long title to your post, because every word in the title is worked into the URL automatically by WordPress.

But how long is “too long” for a URL? For the answer to this question, I went to the source: Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team. In my interview with Matt Cutts, I asked:

“What is excessive in the length of a keyword-rich URL? We have seen clients use keyword URLs that have 10 to 15 words strung together with hyphens; or blogs – we have seen them even longer there. A typical WordPress blog will use the title of the post as the post slug, unless you defined something different and you can just go on and on and on. Can you give any guidelines or recommendations in that regard?”

Matt answered:

“Certainly. If you can make your title four- or five-words long – and it is pretty natural. If you have got a three, four or five words in your URL, that can be perfectly normal. As it gets a little longer, then it starts to look a little worse. Now, our algorithms typically will just weight those words less and just not give you as much credit.

The thing to be aware of is, ask yourself: “How does this look to a regular user?â€? – because if, at any time, somebody comes to your page or, maybe, a competitor does a search and finds 15 words all strung together like variants of the same word, then that does look like spam, and they often will send a spam report. Then somebody will go and check that out.

So, I would not make it a big habit of having tons and tons of words stuffed in there, because there are plenty of places on a page, where you can have relevant words and have them be helpful to users – and not have it come across as keyword stuffing.”

Based on this new information from Matt, you can see that even your blog post slugs have the potential to appear spammy and “keyword stuffed,” which doesn’t look great for your readers and may end up getting flagged as “spam.” So how can you prevent your blog from appearing spammy?

I’d strongly recommend that you curb the length of your URLs. There are a couple of different approaches to this in WordPress:

  1. Hand-craft your own “Post Slug” when you are writing the post. To do so, simply type in your desired post slug into the “Post Slug” field found on the right-hand side of the “Write Post” page in the WordPress admin (you probably will have to hit the + sign to see the field). You can mirror your post’s title but drop throwaway words like “the” and “and”. You can take the first four words or so of the title as your slug. Heck, you could even write something totally different that doesn’t resemble your post title.
  2. Use a WordPress plugin that will trim your post slugs down to a more manageable size, i.e. to five or six words. There are two plugins to choose from that will accomplish this: the WordPress Slug Trimmer plugin or the Automated SEO Friendly URL plugin.

For more great tips from Matt Cutts, I invite you to listen to my audio interview in MP3 format or read the full transcript. The interview is a little over 30 minutes long, and it has some invaluable advice.

Enjoy, and happy search engine optimized blogging!!!

Trick out your blog with a video Swicki

You may have noticed (and hopefully used!) Eurekster’s Swicki widget on the right column sidebar of this blog (under the heaading labeled “Buzz Cloud”). A couple more examples of swickis can be found on my personal blog and on my daughter’s blog.

A swicki is a topically-focused custom search engine where you can define the topics and the sites that it focuses on.

My favorite feature of the swicki is the “What’s Hot” buzz cloud, which I’ve blogged about before. It’s a very cool feature that visually conveys popular search terms in a tag cloud format.

The swicki widget can do image-based buzzclouds too. So instead of displaying keywords, you (the blogger or website owner) can choose to display images instead.

This month Eurekster rolled out another major enhancement to their swicki widget: video-based buzzclouds! So now you can add to your blog a video buzzcloud widget with a custom social video search engine, which pulls from over 14 million hours of video content from blinkx.

See an example video buzz cloud on the right.

Sign up for a free swicki widget (text, image, or video) and build your free, Eurekster-powered custom social search engine here.

Windows Desktop Blogging Software

Posted by: of Online Marketing Blog on 05/17/07

Sometimes, writing blog entries via a web form just doesn’t work. That’s why I’m looking forward to Mariner Software’s new blogging client called WinJournal. The WinJournal name might be familiar since Mariner Software also created MacJournal.

Currently in beta testing mode, WinJournal offers journaling, blogging and podcasting in one application. The blogging capabilities work with all popular Windows blogging software including: MovableType, TypePad, WordPress, Live Journal, Blogger and Windows Spaces. WinJournal also allows you to publish blog entries to a web server via FTP so it can be used as a web site editor as well. WinJournal can also be used to write entries stored locally.

Other options include: wiki style links, spell check, auto save, security/encryption, WYSIWYG text editor, calendar, multiple journals, labels, full screen mode and tabs. There is also a skins manager to change the look an feel of the WinJournal software. This is a good thing since the default skin under XP isn’t so good.

Other popular desktop blogging software includes: Qumana, , , , , Rocket Post 2 and Zoundry. Thomas has a short review on desktop and web based browsers at OMB.

Technorati Adds Authority Metric

Posted by: of Online Marketing Blog on 05/11/07

Technorati launched a blog authority widget last month but now that Authority score is showing up next to blog search results and on a new and improved blog profile page. I’ve been paying a lot more attention to Technorati since Online Marketing Blog the top 100 Favorites list and made an appearance on the top 100 Popular blogs list recently.

Basically, the Authority score is based on the number of blogs linking to your blog within a certain period of time. I had someone ask me if they should start promoting their blog differently in order to up their “Authority” score. My recommendation is, don’t do anything that isn’t going to further the main goals of the blog. Getting on a list that can send you traffic and build credibility is nice, but if those visitors don’t respond well to your content, they’re just drive by traffic.

Jumpstart Traffic to Your Blog with these Web 2.0 Steps

I stumbled upon this post about 5 Steps to Jumpstart Your Website [or blog] over at College Startup.

It leans heavily on Web 2.0 sites like Reddit and Digg and some upstart called Netscape. However, if you’re looking to reach a new audience this post has the links you’ll need to try out.

I took the author’s advice and posted Top-Level Domain Survey (or what to do when your .com is taken) to his number one recommendation and got about 30 hits in 30 minutes from the source. Not bad for 2 minutes of work. (Not including the hour or so I put into creating the survey and blogging about it.)

YMMV depending on your audience, post and title.

Extend Your Blog’s Reach with a Blidget

Comments Off on Extend Your Blog’s Reach with a BlidgetLinking Blogs : Add to del.icio.us :

Blidget is a new tool/service/offering from Widgetbox that allows you to create a widget out of your blog. (What is it about Web 2.0 that requires every new tool to have a celebrity couple name?)

By turning your blog into a widget you can make it easier for people to syndicate your content while still maintaining some of your branding. Creating a Blidget only takes a few minutes, and depending on your blog software, installing it may be a one-click affair.

If you’d like to add BBC’s widget to your own blog, click below:

Get this widget from Widgetbox

How to Subscribe to a Blog Feed

For many of you this may seem basic, but there’s a first time for everything….

Have you ever wondered how us “blogging experts” keep up on dozens or even hundreds of blogs a day? Do we visit dozens or hundreds of Web sites a day hoping that each one has posted new, worthwhile post(s)? Don’t we have lives? Don’t we have businesses to run?!?

The answer is that we subscribe to the feed from these blogs and collect them in one central location. I prefer NetNewsWire (Mac only!) while others prefer the browser-based Bloglines.

Unfortunately, subscribing to a blog feed is counter-intuitive. The very action we’ve been trained to do with Pavlovian perfection–clicking on a link–instead presents us with a page of XML mumbo-jumbo.

To that end, I’ve put together this little movie (at 10.2 MB it’s actually not that little) that walks you through the subscription process. Soon you’ll be able to subscribe to blogs with the best of ’em, keeping up on important industry information and staying ahead of your competition.

How to Subscribe to a Blog Feed: The Movie!

Apparently, WordPress has become the blog police?

One of the core questions that people ask me when they decide to start using a weblog as the foundation of their business marketing and branding efforts is: where should I host my blog? My usual answer is that it doesn’t really matter and that you can get started a lot faster by using a hosted service like WordPress or Typepad, but I’m going to have to change that now.

Why? Because the team at WordPress.com has come up with new regulations about what is and isn’t acceptable on blog postings, and if you cross the line, they’ll not only shut your site down with less than twelve hours warning, but they’ll also ban you from ever signing up again.

It starts with banning blog entries that have (sponsored) links from PayPerPost, but that’s a sticky slope and it’s easy to have that move into other prohibited areas, including perhaps exactly what your business blog is about. Then what?

So, come clean, are you hosted on WordPress.com? And if so, what’s your opinion on this clarification of their Terms of Service and its implementation within the community?

Note: this is an excerpt of a longer article I’ve written on this subject: Is WordPress now the Blog Police.

Defining ROI on Business Blogs: HubSpot.com cracks the code and delivers solid answers

Posted by: of andrewbourland on 11/6/06

No doubt about it: the most complex problem business bloggers face is coming up with a clear definition of what ROI their blog has produced.

How many sales did it result in? How many subscriptions did it sell? How many seats to your conference did it fill? How many solid leads did it generate for your sales force?

Brian Halligan, a former VP of Sales at Groove Networks and MIT Sloan graduate launched Hubspot.com to provide solid answers to that very problem. Hubspot tracks visitors at each stage of involvement in your blog’s content, and tracks that visitor as they move down the funnel to an actual sale. Every day and with every post and with every event you can track where you stand with the visitors you have attracted to your website.

Though still in beta mode, Hubspot.com’s solution is definitely worth checking out.

If you would like to hear the full story, watch the video above.

It’s not too long, just under 20 minutes. Time well invested, given the amount of time you would otherwise spend wracking your brain seeking answers to this very complex problem.

What’s Your Blog Juice?

Posted by: of Online Marketing Blog on 10/12/06

A bit of ripe linkbait has been launched by Text Link Ads in the form of a “Blog Juice Calculator“. The tool takes into account 4 metrics when calculating a blog’s popularity: RSS subscribers (Bloglines only), Alexa traffic ranking, Technorati rank, and incoming links

Here’s how the BBC group fared:

http://bloombergmarketing.blogs.com/ 6.3
http://www.bourland.com/ 1.3
http://www.flyteblog.com/ 3.8
http://radiantmarketinggroup.com/ 0.9
http://falkow.blogsite.com/ 2.4
http://www.businessblogconsulting.com 6.1
http://www.pheedo.info/ 3.1
http://hyku.com/ 2.1
http://blog.larixconsulting.com/blog 2.8
http://www.toprankblog.com 7.1
http://www.stephanspencer.com/ 5.8
http://www.intuitive.com/blog/ 6.6
http://www.onebyonemedia.com/ 2.4
http://www.danavan.net/weblog/ 4.3
http://www.thinkinghomebusiness.com/blog 3.1
http://www.debbieweil.com/ 3.2
http://blogwrite.blogs.com/ 1.6
http://ensight.org/ 4.1

Is a tool like this useful? Even though mine did well, I’m not sure yet. I was expecting higher scores for BBC contributors all around.  TLA uses this kind of data to determine how much a link is worth on a web site or blog, so I guess in some ways it might be. I’m just not 100% convinved yet.

Blog Inside: IT@Intel Joins the Blogosphere

Posted by: of Thinking Home Business on 10/12/06

There is a new arrival on the corporate, indeed Fortune 500, blog scene – the IT@Intel Blog.

The site will probably not appeal to people who want the full array of possible effects – audio, video mashups etc. Because unlike the groovy, dancing main Intel site, the IT@Intel blog is visually and organizationally sparer, along the lines of the related IT@Intel web site.

The blog uses MovableType’s Enterprise 1.3 platform, but again the graphic presentation is quite unlike some other corporate blogs using MT Enterprise, such as the rather jazzy GM FastLane blog.

The appropriateness of the IT@Intel Blog’s very neat design becomes evident when you see that, although this is a public blog, it appears to be aimed not so much at the general public as at the IT community and people with related interests.

And although I am not an IT engineer, and I like my rococo in its place, for me the visual spareness of the blog’s layout reflects a pleasingly elegant clarity of architecture and navigation.

There is a simply stated manifesto of guiding principles:

  • We will provide unique, individual perspectives on what’s going on at Intel and in the world;
  • We will post comments, except for spam and remarks that are off-topic, denigrating or offensive;
  • We will reply to comments promptly, when appropriate;
  • We will respect proprietary information and confidentiality; and
  • We will be respectful when disagreeing with others’ opinions.

For anyone who thinks that’s a bit light on for a corporate blog, never fear. There is a more extended and decidedly heavier statement in the legal page, whose phrasing, with its caveats and warnings, reminds us that this blog is indeed a corporate one.

The neat architecture is expressed in the simplicity of layout. The navigation menu along the top has just five items, so whatever your interest in the blog you can find your way there quickly – no need for head-scratching:

  • Recent Posts
  • About the Blog
  • Meet the Bloggers
  • Archives
  • Contact us

And as indicated above, other than the almost monochrome banner there are no pictures, no audio, no videos.

One other comment on underlying concepts and architecture is that the URL structure, http://blogs.intel.com/it/, allows nicely for any number of additional blogs to be created within the Intel blogs framework. Admittedly that’s not a big revelation from an IT engineering-based company, but it is a handy reminder of the value of thinking through structure and architecture before launching any blog in the business space.

There are four bloggers listed and posting at the IT@Intel blog, enough presumably to spread the load but not so many as to make it a case of “everyone’s responsibility is no one’s”. All have titles that indicate a high, or reasonably high level of seniority in the corporation (I don’t know the corporate structure or Intel’s policy on titles). And all are apparently working in an IT engineering or user experience framework. No one from marketing.

It is noticeable that there are no buttons or icons, not even a modest orange button for XML/RSS.

I like the way they have set up the sidebar with six elements, each in its own text box: Most Popular Tags, Recent Comments, Most Active Posts, Blogroll, Related Links, and Subscribe.

The treatment of the tags is interesting – no cloud in the sidebar, just four tags and a link to All Tags for anyone who really needs a cloud to make their day. There are only seven blogs in the Blogroll (that would have been an interesting discussion to be a fly on the wall for, surely – who’s in, who’s out?), only six Related Links and a simple, linked list of basic feed options in the Subscribe box, including a “What are feeds?” text link to a clear explanation on a separate page.

And content? Style?

Early days, but I liked what I read. Four individuals, each with a different style and each evidently keen to make his (yes, all males) mark as a blogger.

But they might have to up their rate. Four posts on October 9 and, at this posting, none since, is not exactly off to the races, guys. But those four posts have already attracted a number of supportive comments. So I hope the bloggers are encouraged by that and produce more, and more frequent, posts.

Pickedup from a Techwhack story via Google Alerts.

Knock, knock. Is anyone reading my blog?

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on 10/3/06

BBS 06 Speaker BugWell Dave already spilled the beans (here and here), yep I’m speaking at BBS at the end of the month.  The question is, then, just what the heck am I speaking about.  RSS Metrics.  Oh boy, yeah.  I wrote a bit about it on my blog already, but essentially what I’m going to help people work out is how to measure their audience on their blog.  This, btw, is no mean feat.  The reason Feedburner has been so successful is that they do give those metrics.  But, my talk isn’t going to just be “Use Feedburner.  Thank you.  Any questions?”.  That’s more than a little lame.  Don’t ask me how I’m going to simplify the discussion, because I’m still noodling that around in my head (ouch).

The reason, besides I was stupid enough to agree, that I’m talking about RSS metrics (and maybe blog metrics in general), is that as businesses get into blogs, bosses want to know what impact the blog is having.  Who is reading it, how often, when, what …  And while it might seem easy to dismiss these things, it really isn’t.  It is important.

If you are interested in biz blogging, BBS (as Dave said) is a great time to learn and network.  Pick the brains of folks already doing it.  Hang out with fun folks and just bask in the general blogginess.  I know that after BBS you will have a ton of new ideas and ways to start blogging or improve your blogging.   Now let me sweeten the pot a bit.  If you want to go I have a discount code for you worth $100 off any package.  When you register use code LCAS06 and the discount is yours.  There are deals to be had for hotel rooms (I use Hotwire myself) and I’ll be there Tuesday night and for the workshops and conferences.  Stop by and say hi.  I’m sure Dave and I will be hanging out somewhere chatting (look for the tall guy with the beard and the shorter geeky guy with glasses).

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Business Blogging Seminars from SixApart

SixApart is hosting a series of Business Blogging Seminars in cities across the US. According to their informational page, participants will:

  • Learn how to create effective blogging strategies and policies
  • Hear dynamic use cases from specific industries
  • See the latest blogging technologies demonstrated, including RSS and podcasting
  • Have your specific business blogging questions addressed in our Q&A sessions

Now, of course this will undoubtably feature how to use a TypePad or Movable Type blogging platform to create a presence in the blogosphere. However, there will probably be good information even if your a dyed-in-the-wool WordPresser.

Current cities include:

  • Washington, DC (9/28) (10/19)
  • Detroit, MI (10/30)
  • Boston, MA (11/2)
  • San Francisco, CA (11/13)
  • Chicago, IL (11/16)
  • NYC, NY (12/11)
  • Miami, FL (12/14)

Hey, Six Apart! How about Portland, ME? I’ll even put you up.

If you’d like to get more information or register, go for it. (BTW, in the interest of transparency, that’s an affiliate link.)

VideoBlogging: A Great Option for Corporate Bloggers

Posted by: of andrewbourland on 09/18/06

There was quite a bit of controversy over at TechMeme this past weekend over the question of whether bloggers should videoblog or just stick to text.

I’d like to weigh in on this issue, given my credentials as a brand spankin new videoblogger that just launched a new business oriented videoblog (we interview entrepreneurs from early stage companies).

For the most part, sticking to text is best. It’s easier, cheaper and far less work and maintenance than having to put up a videocast of whatever you would normally blog about. People can scan text quicker and it’s easier to reprint a particularly informative blog entry to pass around the office.

But there are times where video could come in real handy…

An interview with a key player at your company or within your industry.

A quick demo of a new product or service you are launching.

Some quick interviews with partners and clients you run into at a conference or trade show.

A Channel 9 type “mini-documentary” of projects you have underway and the people in charge.

Video helps you capture that human essence that words cannot always do… An expression on a person’s face, the tone of their voice, a hesitation in saying something… Impossible to capture in text. Easy on video.

You don’t necessarily need a production grade videocamera, special lighting or even a studio to add video to your blog. The resources you need are surprisingly affordable and easy to use.

Bottom line, it’s not an either/or question… really more of a “which is more appropriate for what I’m trying to communicate here?” type of a question.

Video is growing in leaps and bounds on the net, and it behooves you to learn how best you can benefit from it.


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