July 25, 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.

Do You Need a Blogging Regimen?

As a certified Business Blog Consultant–I’m still awaiting the paperwork, but I’ve been assured it’s on it’s way–I work with a number of businesses on their blog and other Web marketing strategies. Being a blog consultant is tricky; much of our work is up front.

We often design a blog, set it up on either WordPress or TypePad, strategize with the client, identify influential bloggers in their industries, and show them how to work the software.

Often, that’s where our work ends. Some of our clients blog regularly and see the expected, positive results and return on their investment. Others, unfortunately, put up one or two posts and begin the shame spiral of neglect.

Although I’ll sometimes nag a client who’s blog is whithering on the vine, there’s not much I can do–short of ghost blogging–to get their blog back in shape.

Which is why I wrote Jumpstart Your Blog: A Business Blogging Workout Regimen. The article reviews some blogging basics along with the amount of time new bloggers should spent on each activity.

I’m not sure if this is a salvo against abandoned blogs, a wake-up call to companies that have neglected their blog, or a reality check to people who are thinking about a blog but don’t realize the time and passion that needs to be committed to a successful business blog…I guess I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

If you do have a new or lapsed blog, perhaps all you need is a workout strategy. What do you do when it’s been a while since your last blog post?

Do we have to join every social network?

This might be a question just for us social media consultants, but I think it is more generally applicable: do we need to sign up for every new social network that comes along so that we can reserve our names thereon?

This came up because I just signed up and joined friendfeed.com (and yes, the obligatory link: You can find me on friendfeed.com as DaveTaylor) partially because I was curious about it, but also because I received email from a colleague that included the comment sign up now to get good user names.

But do we really need to do this?

What’s your opinion, fellow blog and social media consultant?

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

Why proposals fail, a top 10 list you don’t want to be on

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on 02/7/07

Jim and I have been working with Ben Yoskovitz (who also blogs with Des, Jeremy, and I at b5).  Ben is a sharp guy and has skills that keep Jim and I in line (read guys with lots of great ideas … sometimes harebrained ideas though).  Ben told us that he was writing up a Top 10 list of why proposals fail.  Now given that he’s been reading the proposals I’ve been writing for OBO lately, I’m kinda worried.

Anyway, Ben’s list rocks.  Basic stuff.  Simple stuff.  And how about this for a closer to the post:

Your business rocks. You work hard. You deserve more business.

Don’t let proposals get in the way. Do them right and you’ll win a lot more business.
Source: Top 10 Reasons Why Proposals Fail : Instigator Blog

Ben has been “lucky” enough to have this make the front page of Digg.  I put that in quotes because his server has crashed at least twice today.  Ah the peril of fame.

Okay, while this post isn’t about blogging it is about consulting which is what this blog is also about.  I think Ben’s post is one of those that should be printed, laminated, and tacked to your wall.  Maybe even given to all new hires.  I dunno, but these are points to keep in mind.

One of the best set of point involves not being too technical and getting to the benefits.  Jim and I had a section in our proposals about TechCrunch.  Ben pointed out that to most of our potential clients (folks who don’t have blogs yet) TechCrunch might as well be Crunch ‘n’ Munch to them.  They just don’t care—it has no inherent meaning to them.

Okay folks, everybody dust off some recent proposals and see if you make the top 10 list.  Man, I’ve got some work to do.

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B. L. Ochman on Social Media Consulting

Posted by: of Blogging Systems Group on 12/14/06

Yesterday, I posted Toby Bloomberg’s explanation of what a social media consultant is and does. I also asked PR-blogger B. L. Ochman for her take, and here’s what she had to say… (more…)

Vote for Dave Taylor in 2006 Weblog Awards

Posted by: of Blogging Systems Group on 12/13/06

I’m sure most of the readers of this blog know technology consultant and business advisor Dave Taylor. He is a fellow blogger here at BBC as well.

One of Dave’s blogs, AskDaveTaylor.com, has been nominated for a very prestigious award as the Best Technology Blog in the 2006 Weblog Awards. If he wins, Dave will beat out the likes of tech blog notables as Gizmodo, Slashdot, and TechCrunch.

While those other blogs are certainly award worthy, I look at it this way. Dave Taylor has contributed more intellectual capital to the storehouse of business blogging knowledge than just about anyone I know. He is a master teacher who can explain technically complicated matters in a way that make sense to even the most nascent. Conversely, he is never belittling toward those of us who ask the simplest of questions. That is the mark of a true statesman and gentleman. Dave is both.

At the recent Blog Business Summit in Seattle, I had the privilege of attending a session where Dave was a panelist. I was amazed at the ease and fluidity with which he presented his ideas. Dave spoke as one having a deep knowledge and understanding of his subject. It was a privilege to sit under his tutelage.

Real masters of their craft are few and far between. Dave Taylor is one such artisan. For that reason, I urge you to cast your vote for AskDaveTaylor.com. And, if you’re so inclined, because the award hosts allow you to cast votes every 25 hours, do so repeatedly.

Just What is a Social Media Consultant Anyway?

Posted by: of Blogging Systems Group on 12/13/06

Toby Bloomberg used to be business blog consultant. Now, she refers to herself as a social media consultant.

Just for fun, I asked Toby what that was and here’s her reply. (more…)

Advice for creating a mastermind group?

Alright, BBC community, here’s a question for you: How do you create an effective and valuable mastermind group?

Let me explain…

If you’re in business like I am, you spend a lot of time making your own business decisions without much advice from peers or mentors. Sometimes that’s cool, but sometimes you can really make big blunders and move your company or consultancy in just plain the wrong direction. Larger companies have a group of executives who can be counted on to analyze strategic and tactical decisions, and the smartest of them have a Board of Directors, a group of senior people who offer sage advice (except, maybe, for HP, but that’s another story) and help the company grow smart, strong and true.

But I don’t have anything like that. Like many other entrepreneurs, I’m flying solo, so while the idea of a Board sounds good, I don’t really want to put anyone in the fiduciary line of fire for my business (there are legal responsibilities when you’re a board member).

Instead what I want to create is a small group of entrepreneurs and business folk here in Colorado who have the savvy and experience to help me steer my business in the right direction and, hopefully, I’ll be able to help them do the same. It’s basically a board of advisors, but I’m going to refer to it by the more appealing name of a mastermind group.

And so my question. Are you in a mastermind group of any sort? If so, please do share logistical details like how often you meet, how long the meetings are, how many members you have, what membership criteria you use, etc etc. If you aren’t, why not consider creating one in your own local community?

I’m not fishing for people to join my mastermind group as I already have a couple of sharp and successful colleagues with whom I’ve been noodling this idea, I’m more just interested in the logistics, in the pragmatic day-to-day implementation of a mastermind group for successful entrepreneurs.

Thanks for any insight you can offer!

Website Content Guru Gerry McGovern Weighs in on the Value of Blogging

I’ve been pestering Gerry McGovern — one of the foremost experts on website content and author of the books Content Critical, The Caring Economy and the upcoming book Creating Killer Content — for a while now on why he doesn’t start blogging. I recently pinned him down on this question. I also asked him whether he thinks this whole blogging thing really has something to it, or if it’s all a bunch of hot air. And does he encourage any of his clients to blog. Here’s what Gerry had to say in my email interview of him…

You’d never know I might start one yet! In fact, because of your constant prodding, I’m talking with a group of my partners about starting a joint blog. I think blogging is amazing, and such a positive reflection of an open, inquisitive, questioning culture. There will always be a role for the book but the blog is the conversation where the next book might just be born.

Everything in its place. Let’s not get carried away. Blogging is a new form of conversation; a rough and ready way to share knowledge. It’s a form of research, a way of getting down and dirty and digging into the roots of an idea. To watch a brilliant thinker and writer blog is very illuminating. But I find that quality blogs–that I can go back to time and time again–are pretty hard to find.

I have so far not encouraged any of my clients to blog. Most of my clients–and they include some very large organizations–are still mastering the basics of how to manage content professionally. Blogging may seem simple, but it’s quite a sophisticated strategy, and it requires a very open, sharing culture.

I was surprised to learn that Gerry doesn’t encourage any of his clients to blog, even though he thinks blogging is amazing. I agree with Gerry that business blogging is a sophisticated strategy and it’s not for everyone, particularly when so many companies can’t even cope with managing their traditional web content. But I don’t think it’s all that hard to pull off. If Gerry starts blogging, I bet he’ll start recommending blog strategies to his clients! ;-)

You can read my full interview with Gerry here.

BBC contributor is keynote speaker at the Blog Business Summit

Conferences and workshops tend to blur together when you travel and speak as frequently as I do, so I appreciate getting involved in an event that’s focused more on education and discourse than on selling stuff, either from the podium or the exhibit hall. Don’t get me wrong, those sort of conferences can be valuable and I’ve definitely learned quite a bit attending those sort of events, but as a former research scientist, there’s much I prefer about getting together with a few hundred of the best people in the industry and exploring best practices together.

That’s why I am delighted to share with the Business Blog Consulting audience that I am not only going to be enthusiastically attending the upcoming Blog Business Summit in Seattle, but that I’m also going to be speaking a number of times, including a keynote talk on what I call “findability” and why blogs are such an important part of that equation.

The line up of speakers for the Summit reads like a who’s who of thought and influence leaders in the blogging world, including fellow BBC contributor Tris Hussey. It’s the last week of October on the waterfront in Seattle, and if you’re interested in business blogging or blog consulting, you’ll definitely want to learn more about the Blog Business Summit.

(If you’re interested in my comments and thoughts on the speaker lineup, and what I’m planning on talking about when I stand at the podium no less than four different times, please pop over to my thoughts on the Blog Business Summit)

Guidelines Needed for Government Employee Blogging

Posted by: of Thinking Home Business on 09/18/06

Virginia Department of Business Assistance employee and dedicated blogger, Will Vehrs got a good result last month from the Commonwealth’s Department of Employment Dispute Resolution. The severity of disciplinary action against him for some blogging activity was reduced and the ten days’ pay that had been docked was ordered to be restored.

The story in summary form is at Virginia’s Daily Press site in the article State worker suspended over blog comments wins grievance. That’s not a blog post so I’m not sure about the archiving, but the story is told also on Townhall.com.

The bigger story here is that as an outcome of these events we have a landmark decision by a government agency, about public sector employee blogging, in the published findings of the Virginia Department of Employment Dispute Resolution (EDR).

I am not a lawyer, but I have been a government executive and more recently a government sector consultant. I believe this document will prove very helpful to public service managers who take the time to read and ponder it, and to anyone who consults on blogging to government departments or agencies.

Not before time. Until now I have not been able to discover any really useful information, directly about government employee blogging, as distinct from coverage of general issues about employee blogging.

There are several well-cited codes or sets of guidelines on blogging by employees in the corporate sector, e.g. those from IBM, Sun Microsystems and Thomas Nelson. But to the best of my knowledge no one has yet produced a set of blogging guidelines for the public sector, or at least not so as to be readily accessible from an online search.

And my sense is that any public sector manager or blogging consultant asked right now to advise a government agency on, for example, blogging guidelines for employees, would have to cobble something together from the various corporate sector guidelines and codes of blogging conduct.

That would be better than nothing, but might not be enough to provide guidelines adequate to the challenge. Or at least might not be enough to satisfy the client that every area of risk or uncertainty has been covered adequately and in language that speaks to the government employment context.

There is also the issue of workable guidelines being developed for individual agencies, which, it could be inferred from the EDR decision, may be acting less than prudently in relying on blanket guidelines established on a ‘whole of government’ basis.

A related issue is that if a government agency permits (or encourages) employees to blog, there could be a need for some quantification of what constitutes acceptable use of ‘on the job’ time. As the EDR decision makes clear, one of the limitations on Virginia Department of Business Assistance (VDBA) managers’ ability to discipline employees over blogging was that the applicable policy, i.e. the Commonwealth’s policy on Internet usage, allowed for ‘incidental and occasional personal use’ of the Commonwealth’s internet access, but did not attempt to quantify that.

Nor, it seems, is a ‘common sense’ approach going to be necessarily adequate in itself. In Will Vehr’s case, the supervisor counseled him about use of the weblog, warning that he would have to be careful not to ‘cross the line’, to be careful about the frequency and content of his commentary, to use good judgment and make sure his commenting did not become a distraction. Those principles are pretty much in line with the various corporate guidelines, such as those mentioned above. But once a media storm blew up and politicians and community members got involved, the principles were not enough in themselves to enable the supervisor to discipline Vehrs in such a way that the action would hold up under the scrutiny of a grievance procedure.

An interesting side issue is that although Vehrs had a disclaimer posted on the blog stating that the views he expressed were his own, EDR found that the posting of the disclaimer was “not sufficient to insulate him from violation of the policy (that he was required to state that his communications were personal and not a ‘communication of the agency or the Commonwealth’)”. Which raises the question of what would constitute a disclaimer adequate for the purpose.

According to reports, such as that on the Townhall.com site, the VDBA’s solution to these interesting challenges to public administration has been fairly basic – ban blogging. Presumably that means blogging on the taxpayer’s time. Nothing is said in the reports I’ve seen about guidance on private blogging by a state employee, where similar guidelines surely need to be established as are included in corporate sector guidelines cited above.

A ban is not a policy. And while understandable in the circumstances, that outcome is not helpful for those of us who might be interested in seeing how a government agency would go about adopting a more nuanced policy approach.

So in the absence of such an approach and drawing on the EDR findings, here are some key points I would be looking to include in any set of guidelines for government sector blogging, in addition to principles already established for the corporate sector:

  • quantify what would constitute an acceptable – not necessarily recommended – upper limit of time over a given week for personal use of the employer’s internet access, on the employer’s time, for blogging
  • with due consideration to privacy issues, establish logging and archiving arrangements adequate to provide objective evidence of time spent in blogging, to assist in resolving any future dispute
  • advise employees fully, in writing, of any applicable law, overall service guidelines and any specific governmental, departmental, agency or unit guidelines
  • advise employees of the need to provide disclaimers in a prominent way, so that readers of their blog posts or comments understand that ‘their views are their own’
  • provide managers with appropriate guidance and training in their supervisory role regarding employee blogging and specifically on the need to be able to provide objective evidence of any alleged breach of guidelines, before proceeding to disciplinary action

I’m sure there are more principles and refinements to be included in any comprehensive set of blogging guidelines for government employees. On the other hand, I expect that some bloggers will regard even what I’m proposing here as unduly restrictive or onerous.

But whatever guidelines eventually emerge, public sector managers, and consultants advising the public sector, have reason to be grateful to Mr Vehrs for having taken his grievance to EDR, and grateful to that Department for publishing its decision online.

Kazaa Australia Boss Sues Canadian Blogger

Posted by: of Thinking Home Business on 08/16/06

In a case which has evident implications for Canadian bloggers but also for bloggers worldwide, Kazaa Australia boss Nikki Hemming is suing Canadian blogger Jon Newton and others for defamation, on the basis of an article earlier this year on Newton’s p2pnet site, as reported in this week’s IT Today section of the national daily The Australian (not a hyperlink permalink, no guarantee it will be there indefinitely).

The suit is over material posted on p2pnet and anonymous comments on that post, some months ago at a time when Hemming was in court in a Sydney case. Included in the suit with Newton are his ISP and four John Doe, anonymous commenters. The article has since been removed from the p2pnet site.

Jon Newton is disputing the suit vigorously and observes that if Hemming wins the case ‘it’ll open the door even wider for lawsuits against Canadian bloggers’  .

Canadian internet law professor Michael Geist has commented on the case and its implications in his BBC Online article Free speech, libel and the internet age. Geist draws attention to how the legal frameworks in different jurisdictions have a variety of implications for internet intermediaries, such as internet service providers and even individual bloggers who allow comments.  

The difficult question is not whether these sites and services have the right to voluntarily remove offending content if they so choose – no one doubts that they do – but rather whether sites can be compelled to remove allegedly unlawful or infringing content under threat of potential legal liability.

The answer is not as straightforward as one might expect since the law in Commonwealth countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia varies depending on the type of content or the nature of the allegations.

Canadian media lawyer Dan Burnett also comments on the different treatments in different jurisdictions, in his statement as reported at the August 5 Toronto Freedom of Speech Online concert and benefit. Burnett sees Canada as being laggard in reforming the law and comments:

In addition to the reforms we are lagging behind already, the internet age raises some new and fundamental questions. How does the right of reply on wiki and reader-post sites affect the law? Are we going to hold site operators liable for automatic posts by others? Are (we) going to recognize a defense for a person who operates a public forum for debate?

So where are bloggers without ready resource to internet lawyers to go for advice on these matters?

It seems not uncommon for bloggers to refer, on defamation and other legal issues, to the Electronic Frontier Foundation Legal Guide for Bloggers. That’s good as far as it goes, and there is some good advice in the document, but unless I’m missing something the document is a legal guide for the United States of America, not a global guide. (Actually, from a chat today with a lawyer friend very knowledgeable in these matters, I would seriously doubt whether a comprehensive global guide of any depth in this area is likely to emerge in the near or distant future.) 

Whatever the peculiarities of various legal jurisdictions, clearly some degree of prudence is needed in terms of what we post to our blogs and what we allow in terms of comments. Dave Taylor had some good advice on this in his post last year SEO Book’s Aaron Wall sued over comments on his weblog: Dave saw the case as ‘a wakeup call to business bloggers who haven’t yet thought through their own comment and comment moderation strategies’. 

And however the currrent case in Canada turns out, it too is clearly a call to look at the posting and comment moderation policies for our own blogs and those of any companies to which we consult.

Sorry Strumpette, Your Corporate Blogging’s Dead Riff Is Oh So Clever But It’s Not accurate

Posted by: of BlogWrite for CEOs on 07/26/06

Strumpy (aka Amanda Chapel / anonymous PR blogger / tall, athletic, Pantene shoulder-length black hair, perfect perky boobs – ed. note: you’ve got to be kidding) is all fired up today with his/her new meme: The Death of Corporate Blogging.

God, (s)he’s clever the way she/he/it writes.

But (s)he’s wrong: corporate blogging – or at least the widespread use of blogging as a business communications tool is NOT dead. And I’m not just saying that because my new book, The Corporate Blogging Book (Penguin Portfolio August 2006), is coming out next week.

Well OK that’s one reason I’m saying it.

Corporate blogging is just getting started

The real reason is oh so simple. Far from being dead, corporate blogging – the use of a blog either internally or externally as part of a company’s online communications and marketing toolkit – is just getting started.

As Ken Yarmosh, who live-blogged my Washington DC book launch yesterday, put it:

“Despite the echoes we often hear in the halls of geek-dom, the blogosphere is not saturated yet. There are many, many more voices to come, blogging on everything from finance to real estate, to yes, even air conditioners. And I know, because I’ve met them this afternoon.” – Ken Y.

Look, I’m sifting through the stack of business cards I got yesterday and here are the kinds of corporate blogging wannabes who attended (I won’t use specific names out of respect for their privacy): commercial real estate, attorney-at-law, non-profit foundation, custom publishing group, government affairs office, board of trade, three or four national associations and so on.

Strumpy, read my book

Strumpy, read my book for god’s sake and maybe you’ll get it. I make a lot of points. Three of the key ones are this:

It’s not about being cool

Corporate blogging is not about being cool. It’s about following your customers where they’re going… and that’s online. You gotta be there to interact with your customers. It’s that simple. Blogging enables an instant (or almost) conversation with them. And that’s what people want. They want to be heard. They want to be acknowledged. Then they’re more apt to do business with you and your organization.

A blog is just a publishing platform
A blog is just a platform, a powerful, simple, inexpensive Web publishing system. Why in heck wouldn’t most companies adopt this platform? Call it Web 2.0. Call it common sense. Call it budget cutting. Who needs a whole IT department that takes months to update a page on a corporate site, when a non-techie manager can do it in minutes with blogging software?

Customers are driving this – not consultants
The new world that PR practitioners, marketing strategists and other consultants are touting is here. We haven’t concocted it as a way to line our pockets with gold. Marketing has become a two-way conversation between customer and corporation. The big guys at the top have lost control or at least complete control. A lot of the best creative stuff (new ideas, great writing) is bubbling up from below.

With 40,000 or 60,000 or whatever new videos being posted everyday to YouTube, with trackbacks and tagging and RSS and digging and Technorati and del.ici.ous and all that cool stuff innovating, fine tuning and becoming easier for the non-techie to use every day… well I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that corporate blogging is here to stay.

Remember, those ordinary people are customers. They’re driving this thing. Not the corporate blogging consultants.

Sorry Strumpy, stuff it.

Update: See here.
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Brian Carroll Shows Us Book Launch 2.0 With the Release of “Lead Generation for the Complex Sale”

Posted by: of BlogWrite for CEOs on 06/13/06
brian_carroll_book.jpg

Way to go, Brian! It’s exciting when a fellow author hits publication day and can announce the official release of his book: Lead Generation for the Complex Sale (McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0071458972, $24.95).


2.0: the new way to publicize your book release

Just got an email from Brian with a link to today’s press release about the launch. (He uses PRWeb which I’ve also used and recommend highly. Inexpensive and reliable; your release gets picked up by Google and other news sources.)

Cleverly, he’s also released a matching podcast through PRWeb Podcast. [Note: Brian's PRWeb podcast is 7:41 mins and links directly to an MP3 file that is 7.1 MB. Wish there were an interim download page for this.]

Notice that Brian also has a big-name publisher, McGraw-Hill. These days, that isn’t enough. You’ve got to market your book as imaginatively and aggressively as if you were self-published. In fact, proving that you can do that is one key piece in getting a book deal.

About the book

Brian sent me a preview copy. It’s a handsome hardcover that packs in everything you could possibly want to know about creating and sustaining a lead generation program. If you’re in big-time sales with long lead times — or managing anyone who is — you gotta have Brian’s book on your desk. Order on Amazon.

More about the book and other ways to order.

Andy’s just BlogWild! The book is out!

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on 04/6/06

So Andy whimped out and asked me to post for him about the official release of his bookBlogWild!“. Geez Andy, it’s a great book! Why wouldn’t you want to write about it? Now I’ve already done a review of both Andy’s and Des’ books, but this is Andy’s day. The book is real, it’s done, it’s even hard cover!

And I really did enjoy it (I still have to try the recipes). Here’s my thing about business books. First they need to be readable. Good prose is key. Humour is important. Next, they need to cut to the chase. Brevity scores major points in my book. Took me less than an hour to go cover to cover (yeah, okay I skimmed the Typepad sections … but I know when I’m fixing Toby’s site I’ll be referring to it). So if you car pool to work or take transit, you might be able to be done and have action steps before you even get to work!

That brings me to my next (and next to last) point … action items. End the chapters with nice easy action items. Something short and tangible that could even be done while you’re on hold or something. Intense action items just don’t work. KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid.

Finally, the anti-hype factor. Yes, blogs are hot. Yes, people are clamoring about them. But there are real business reasons for using the a blog to get your message out. How about saving money! There’s a good one (and it’s in Andy’s book). Andy leverages the hype about blogs to get your attention, but then puts all the advice into anti-hype tone. This is so important. People might get sick of talking about “blogs” per se, but they aren’t going to get sick of being able to write about their business, communicate with customers, and get a good search engine ranking for like $15/mo.

So … Andy’s book is for real. Congrats Andy!. And boy with all the authors on this site I’m getting to feel like the odd man out! Oh well. Who wants to read a book written by a geek anyway.

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Malcolm Gladwell Starts Blog

Malcolm Gladwell, author Blink and The Tipping Point, (two of my favorite books that I read last year,) has started blogging over at http://gladwell.typepad.com.

This only makes sense, since Gladwell has long been providing bloggers, especially business bloggers, with fodder for their posts.

What I love about Gladwell (and Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner and Seth Godin) is how he makes you reflect on your own world view. You won’t always agree with these guys, but it does cause you to examine your own preconceptions that you might be holding onto out of sheer laziness.

BTW, I had never visited Gladwell’s home page before today, but I’m pretty sure he stole the idea from us.

Welcome to the blogosphere, Malcolm. Glad to hear your voice in the first person!

There is a career in blogging and we’re all living proof

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on 02/17/06

I was talking with my girlfriend last night about this and Dana’s post about the most influential business bloggers (and a quick IM chat) really drove this point home … a lot of us have started great careers (sometimes even new ones) through blogging.

Think about Steve Rubel … he started a CooperKatz, started blogging and is now one of the most respected PR and business bloggers out there … not to mention now a senior VP at Edelman.

How about Dana … from his blogging and consulting … Pheedo

Rick Bruner … DoubleClick.

Me? From a consultant trying blogging for a kick to CBO at Qumana and partner in One By One Media

The lesson here is that blogging isn’t a magic bullet, but it does let you highlight your skills and talents to the world. Just by writing about what your are passionate about. Not bad. Not easy either, btw. It does take a lot of work, a lot of reading, and dedication. The rewards? Well the rewards are worth it. I enjoy writing but I enjoy even more the feeling that I’ve embarked on a whole new career path, just by doing something I love to do. And a new career that I am excited about and looking forward to for years to come.

So … fellow BBCers … what’s your story?

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Darren’s advice for new bloggers …

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on 02/17/06

Blogging for BeginnersHave you been reading Darren’s Blogging for Beginners series? No? Well you should. All of us should. It’s a great check-in for old hands and newbies. Today’s installment is on writing good content and another must-read on the blogosphere (maybe I should bone up on this since content is my topic for the Blogonomics Business Blogging Cruise … and BTW there is less than a month left to get discounted pricing). Darren’s series is something that you should certainly start with when you’re considering a business blog … or encouraging clients to blog.

Speaking of which …. if you are starting blog … this is another important article to read: 23 Questions for Prospective Bloggers – Is a Blog Right for You?. Let’s face it, while all of us here contributing to BBC are sold on blogging and lots of us are making careers of it, it isn’t for everyone. Starting with Darren’s post … ask yourself these questions … and you’ll be in a good position to know if a blog is right for you.

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Should you count “number of comments” as part of your blogging currency?

Posted by: of BlogWrite for CEOs on 02/16/06

Yes and no. Many blog entries just don’t elicit a response, even if it’s a popular or well-read blog. But sometimes a blog entry hits a nerve and it’s like uncorking a geyser.

That’s what’s happening today over on Steve Rubel’s Micro Persuasion blog where he’s announced that he’s moving to Edelman as a Senior VP. 42 comments and counting (“hey, congrats!” and “you da man!”) as of 2:48 PM Eastern. Hey, Steve, what’s the most comments you’ve ever gotten on one of your blog posts? We’d love to hear.

Micro Persuasion is #72 on Technorati’s Top 100 blog list.

Steve Rubel Jumps to Edelman

Posted by: of Online Marketing Blog on 02/16/06

Steve Rubel has made the big leap from CooperKatz to public relations giant Edelman:

“After five years at CooperKatz, I felt it was time for me to take the next step in my evolution. So I am excited to announce that I will be joining Rick Murray’s team at Edelman (the world’s largest independent PR firm) on February 27 as a Senior Vice President. I will be working out of their New York office.”

He humbly says he’ll be doing pretty much the same thing, just a bigger organization. One big question is, what happens to Micropersuasion? Apparently CooperKatz will rename their blog practice to Cogence and Edelman will not use the Micropersuasion name in any of their service offerings. Steve will be able to continue using the micropersuasion.com domain name. Further details can be found on the Micropersuasion blog.

Congratulations Steve!

 

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