December 23, 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.

Will the Edelman — Wal-Mart saga ever end? Two more flogs outed

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on 10/20/06

This is not a good couple weeks to be working at Edelman.  Okay, first we have the whole Walmarting across America thing and subsequent apology now, Edelman is coming clean that two more of the Wal-Mart blogs are actually flogs written by Edelman employees.  Yikes.  It turns out (shocker … not) that Working Families for Wal-Mart and PaidCritics.org are Edelman PR fronts (yeah there’s irony for you).

Well Shel applauds them for at least admitting it now (instead of being outed), B.L. wants their head, or at least their butt out of WOMMA, Mathew ponders if PR folks can really be transparent and do their job (good question).

I think this whole fiasco, debacle (anybody have some more words for this?) calls into question, as Mathew and Shel suggest, can PR and blogs actually co-exist?  I don’t think so.  At least not like this.  You just can’t have “corporate fronts” as blogs.  You want to reach out to critics?  You want to get feedback?  Then just have a regular old blog.  No, a “Wal-Mart employee blog” isn’t going to fly and we all know why.  I think a Wal-Mart exec blog might work, if they could take the heat, and I don’t think they could.

I have a good number of friends in the PR biz.  This can’t be a fun time for them.  Everyone is now questioning PR and blogs.  Every company blog or blog that seems to be arms-length is suspect.  Is disclosure enough?  Is authenticity and transparency enough?

Steve … man I’d love to do a podcast with you on this.  Just get your thoughts.  Are you game?

The MediaPost broke the story, follow more on Techmeme.

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Is BlogBurst a solution for new journalists?

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on 02/20/06

The question this weekend wasn’t if the Americans would win in hockey (the women just earned the bronze), but how BlogBurst (just in beta from Pluck) would compensate bloggers who sign up for their program to re-publish blog posts in MSM newspapers. A comment left on Techcrunch indicates that there will be a revenue share once BlogBurst leaves beta, so that is good news (sorta).

The larger question is, then, what will this mean for the MSM? Can newspapers re-build or reinvigorate their online readership with blog content? Blogs are certainly getting a lot of attention, and blogs, IMHO, are building and enhancing the ideas sparked in the MSM, seems to me that it would be a nice compliment to have blog posts related to a topic supplement online content.

It will remain to be seen, though, what the revenue model will be and how it pans out for bloggers.

More on my blog here

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Battle of the AdBlogs

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 02/2/06

AdLand (or is it Ad-rag? I never know) is having a little Battle of the Ad Blogs voting contest going on, in case you case. Since we’re not technically an ad blog, I guess we shouldn’t have our feelings hurt that we were nominated for nothing. My buddy Steve Hall of Adrants is making a blantant appeal to readers to ballot stuff for him in the Best Commercial Ad Blog category (after VNU has apparently been lobbying its employees to vote for AdWEEK’s AdFreak; poor Steve, meanwhile, is on his own at Adrants). Steve’s battle cry seems to be working; he has regained a healthy lead in the category. Go Steve!

Blogging – Dilbert Style

Posted by: of Made for Marketing on 11/25/05

Dilbert_blog
It appears that the world was just waiting for Scott Adams to start a dilbert-esque blog. Well, in fact, he did just that with the Dilbert Blog.  The number of comments that he’s attracted for each post in just two short months of blogging is just mad – a recent post on "why [Scott Adams] is stupid" has almost 200 comments alone, and it was posted on the 22nd of November.

A few days ago I invited the readers of my blog to tell me why I’m stupid. The results are in.  If you are new to the Internet, allow me to explain how to debate in this
medium. When one person makes any kind of statement, all you need to do
is apply one of these methods to make it sound stupid. Then go on the
offensive.

Who says that no one reads blogs?  It looks like those folks that are reading blogs are the same ones  who’ve long since left the fairytale world where corporations are good and ethical and our bosses are right and reasonable.  (mine is, don’t know much about yours…)  I guess that puts the blog numbers
‘way up there’ considering that just about every disengaged worker in America is at least a passive Dilbert fan (there, take that generality and turn it into and absolute).

Faux Blogs from Hollywood

When is a blog not a blog?

When it’s a faux blog. Recently, two (or more) marketing hacks from Hollywood decided to cash in on the buzz on blogs to manufacture blogs around new releases. Perhaps they created these blogs to add "authenticity" to the campaign.

In other words, if you can’t be sincere, perhaps you can fake it.

Exhibit A: A History of Violence Blog by David Cronenberg
As my friend Josh Hallett describes it, this is more of a journal than a blog. There’s no comments, no RSS, no trackback, no posting dates.

And
even though it purports to be from the mind of Cronenberg, the writing
is in the third person. Only the video clips are "from his mind." (And
he comes across as surprising mundane for someone who has directed The Fly, Scanners, and Crash. But I digress.)

Is it interesting? If you find David Cronenberg interesting, perhaps. If you like watching videos of him getting into a Porsche, perhaps. But I don’t think it’s a real blog.

The communication here is all one-way; there’s no interactivity, no way for a community to grow around this "blog." This is not a blog, but rather a photo of a blog. It also seems to me to be a missed opportunity.

Exhibit B: Miles’ Blog (Surface)
This
is a "blog" for a new show on NBC called "Surface" that I have to admit
I haven’t seen. It’s written from the perspective of Miles, apparently
a pre-pubescent character who–from what I can tell–is documenting the
care and feeding of Nim, a sea creature he’s raising.

I’m torn
on this. On one hand I see an interesting way to market a show by
having material about the show available outside the confines of a TV
set or a program schedule. It would be great to see updates during the
week that document things that haven’t been on the show, but affect or
are referenced by later events within the show. It would make this blog
(and marketing campaign) truly viral.

On the other hand, this
"blog" is completely lacking in authenticity. (No comments, trackbacks,
or RSS, either.) The writing comes across as a Harvard grad trying to
write like a over-educated 15-year old, not like the character from the
picture. (Again, having not watched the show, perhaps this character
has graduated from Harvard with classmate Doogie Howser, M.D.)

If you are going to do a character blog, why not allow at least moderated comments and trackbacks?
Maybe you could include comments from fans who are also "in character."
It would give an opportunity for a community to build around this
fledgling show, and to develop a passionate, core audience.

Ultimately, the question becomes "what is a blog?"
Is it posts that include trackbacks, comments, and RSS? Does it include
linking to other blogs? Can it be written by a character, or does it
have to be written by a real person, by that person?

Hollywood
appears to be searching for ways to leverage the popularity of blogs
into their marketing campaign. As a "business blogger" myself, I can’t
fault them for that. However, can the people who bring you sound
stages, CGI and canned laughter create an authentic blogging experience?

CBC Bloggers to challenge the CBC itself

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on 08/21/05
Caught this yesterday on Tod’s blog—BREAKING- Locked-out CBC Workers to Launch Competitive service—since I’ve been at Blog Business Summit all week, yesterday was the first chance I had to catch up on my reading.

The gist is that locked-out CBC workers are going to use a blog—www.cbcunplugged.com—andpodcasts to put out news and favourite programs to compete with theiremployer.  I can’t wait.  Tomorrow is the big day.  Ihaven’t been to the CBC website in days.  If I don’t get the newsupdate e-mails, I don’t go.  Who has my attention now?  The Globe & Mail.  Their newsletter is nice, html layout, etc.  I’m going to have to see if I can get an evening wrap up in addition to my morning one.

 
 
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Weblogs Inc. on Million-Dollar Run Rate

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 08/4/05

We’re playing catch-up here in the next few days with some stories that broke a few weeks ago of interest to our readers, but since we were on hiatus for a few months, I figure some back-filling is appropriate. In case you missed it, Jason Calacanis, CEO of Weblogs Inc, announce the other day that of Google AdSense alone, the collective 100+ blogs in his commercial blog empire have reached a million-dollar annual run rate, in addition to what they’re earning from display ads.

WSJ: Many Advertisers Find Blogging Frontier Is Still Too Wild

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 03/25/05

Decent article about blogvertising. I was interviewed at length but didn’t get quoted. Oh well. Features the usual cast of characters: Denton, Calacanis, Copeland.

Just had a call with Todd S. (are last names important?), and he was aggrieved by the last paragraph of this piece:

For now, many big companies are sitting on the
sidelines. "We’re in a wait-and-see mode," says Stuart Bogaty, senior
partner and managing director of mOne Worldwide, a digital ad agency
that is part of WPP
Group. He thinks that companies will remain skittish until agencies can
better monitor and control what individual bloggers are saying about
them. On the other hand, that might undercut their renegade appeal. "If
we were able to convince a blogger to do that," he notes, "it would
reduce the value of his blog in general."

The link above allows free access to the story for a week, so read it while the reading is good.

WSJ: Many Advertisers Find Blogging Frontier Is Still Too Wild

Blogspot, Xanga Blogs Outrank NYTimes.com in Traffic

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 03/19/05

3/22/05 UPDATE:

The numbers discussed in the original post below are based on Alexa data, which are notoriously questionable (Alexa’s numbers come from users of its browser toolbar, so by definition it’s a self-selected audience, which in this case probably skews heavily towards bloggers). Tig Tillinghast of MarketingVox read my post and sanity-checked it with Hitwise; those numbers say that NYT’s audience is still larger than Blogspots, but the trend of the data would suggest that Blogspot is soon set to overtake NYTimes.com.

ORIGINAL POST:

Wonking around Saturday night, I found something interesting: collectively, the blogs hosted on Blogspot get more visitors than NYTimes.com, according to Alexa.

Blogspotvsnytimes_1

Meanwhile, Technorati’s David Sifry reports on various recent trends among blogs with cool graphs, including the rapid growth of the blogosphere, spikes in blog posts based on mapped to news events, and in-bound links to top-blogs vs. mainstream media sources. Good stuff.

UPDATE:

Xanga.com crushes NYTimes.com:

Xangavsnytimes

Particularly informative is to look at the two-year trend: Xanga and Blogspot.

BlogAds Blog Reader Survey

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 03/11/05

BlogAds, a leading ad network for blogs, released its second annual survey of blog readers. Some 30,000 blog readers filled out the survey. I’m too busy to summarize, but suffice it to say blog readers appear to be a high-quality audience that should be attractive to advertisers.

This is must-read for anyone who is trying to sell advertising on blogs. One thing that would make the study better, however, would be to index these questions against average Internet users, so we had a sense of how blog readers are better than average Net users. Still, it certainly makes a case for the value of blog readers.

UPDATE:

I neglected to mention that Gallup just released a survey about blog readership that found that 15% of Americans, or 19% of U.S. Internet users, read blogs at least a few times a month, but the findings of the poll were available online for only a few days before they went behind subscription-access lock-down. Here is a MediaPost article that analyzes the two polls together, including this nugget:

Frank Newport, editor in chief at Gallup
poll, says his results are not inconsistent with Copeland’s conclusion.
Newport compared readers of blogs to readers of The New York Times. "We know that only a fraction of the American public reads the Times, but it affects everyone because that’s what the people who control mainstream media read."

Jason Calacanis: Why Bloglines sold: It’s not a business

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 02/14/05

For once I agree with Jason Calacanis.

Jason Calacanis: Why Bloglines sold: It’s not a business

Gawker Media Launches Two New Single-Sponsor Blogs

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 02/4/05

You’ve probably already read this by new (I’m several days late in getting around to this post; I’ve been insanely busy at work of late), but Gawker Media just launched two new blogs: Lifehacker, a software blog with Sony as the exclusive launch sponsor, and Gridskipper, a travel blog with CheapTickets as exclusive launch sponsor. More details on publisher Nick Denton’s site.

Penn Media Converts 50 Email Newsletters to Blogs

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 02/4/05

According to the press release:

Mokena, IL Penn Media announced today that it will publish fifty of its flagship owned and operated e-zines as Blogs, positioning them as one of the largest publishers of consumer trade blogs. It has contracted with Pheedo, Inc. to guide them through the evolution and provide RSS and Weblog advertising services.

Gizmodo: Bill Gates Interview

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 01/11/05
Big geek, little geek
Big geek, little geek:
Gizmodo editor Joel Johnson with
Bill ‘G-money’ Gates

Another sign of the times and validation for how seriously some businesses take blogs. Major score for Gawker Media’s Gizmodo: Microsoft approached them about an interview with G-Money himself, Bill Gates.  Much of the conversation in this first-installment of the serialized interview is about blogs and RSS. Big congrats to my man Joel Johnson, Gizmodo’s editor. (I bet Pete Rojas is just sick over this!)

Gizmodo: Bill Gates Interview

FT: Niche Appeal of the Blogging Business

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 01/7/05

Yet another story about whether blogs are going to turn media and advertising on its head. I have to say, I am disappointed by this piece. The writer was trying to interview me, but we never connected. It just seems poorly edited, with some obvious factual errors (such as calling Henry Copeland the CEO of DailyKos, when he is the CEO of BlogAds), starting paragraph with “Nor” where it doesn’t make sense semantically or grammatically, and stating as a fact that “blogs offer…soaring incomes,” among other dubious points. But I’ll spare the nit-picking. Nothing much of interest to regular followers of this trend, and nothing about blogs as a customer-communications or marketing vehicle, just blogs as a publishing/advertising medium.

FT: Niche Appeal of the Blogging Business

Adrants: Adrants Named Number-One Site to Bookmark

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 12/22/04

Big congrats to my buddy Steve Hall for his Adrants blog being named the #1 "Websites You Should Bookmark" in Ad Age’s (print-only) 2004 Book of Tens issue. (Just in case you thought sex had stopped selling…)

Adrants: Adrants Named Number-One Site to Bookmark

NY Newsday: Bloggers Adopt a Revenue Stream More Lucrative Than Panhandling

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 11/1/04

When it comes to making money off a blog, Columnist Lou Dolinar says it perfectly:

The odds of making a living by writing a blog are a lot like the odds of a garage band turning out a hit album: It can happen, but you better enjoy the music and hang on to your day job in the meantime.

Much attention to Blogads, which he calls a “brilliant idea,” which may be a bit hypish, but I’m all for my buddy Henry’s service.

NY Newsday: Bloggers Adopt a Revenue Stream More Lucrative Than Panhandling

NickDenton.org: Gawker’s testosterone trio

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 10/5/04

Three new blogs from Gawker Media: Jalopnik, about cars, Kataku, about computer games, and Screenhead, about “funny shit” (think Fark or Everlasting Blort). More details on Denton’s site, per the link in the headline.

NickDenton.org: Gawker’s testosterone trio

Search Engine Watch Blog

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 09/17/04

Search Engine Watch, the definitive site on all things search engine, now has a blog authored by Search Engine Watch’s found Danny Sullivan and Gary Price.

Link

Pestiside

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 09/15/04

Alright, this isn’t strictly a business blog, though I suppose it probablay has commercial advertising ambitions, but having lived in Budapest Hungary myself for five years in the early 1990s as part of Generation Expat, I have a soft spot for the place. A friend living in Hungary tells me that the author of this new daily blog, Erik D’Amato, intends for it to be “the Gawker of Budapest.” So far, it looks fairly well on the mark.

Having run a newspaper myself for 2-1/2 years in Budapest and struggling with trying to get Hungarians to see the value in advertising in an expat publication (this fresh after communisism, when the whole idea of ads was a foreign concept, literally), I suspect it’s not going to be a cake walk to get Hungarians to advertise on a blog. But I wish him well.

Link

 

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