September 3, 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.

Innovative marketing: MSN Toolbar & The Kitty Caper

Alright, this is a pretty interesting idea, even if it’s not (on the surface, at least) about blogging: Microsoft is endeavoring to increase the installed base of its MSN Search Toolbar by sponsoring a detective game called “The Kitty Caper”.

I was invited to participate from someone I don’t know (oddly enough, and they sent me the email from a Google Gmail address, of all places) but here’s how the invitation to join the case begins:

“Do you have the detective skills of a bloodhound and the cunning of a fox?

“Your friend, Brandon, thinks you’ll love solving the mystery of ‘The Kitty Caper’.

“Solve ‘The Kitty Caper’!

“Below is your first clue: a memo from the Police Commissioner in charge of the case. If you’re stuck, why not ask a friend for help?

“Unpuzzle the puzzle with the new MSN Search Toolbar

“You’ll need the new MSN Search Toolbar to play the game. So, if you haven’t done so already, make sure you download it now. A nifty detective tool, the MSN Search Toolbar lets you search not just the web but emails and documents, in fact all your PC files – all from the one place. You’ll be clueless without it! So to crack the case, download it now.”

Then you visit the site and learn that…

“On a stormy night in the town of Bottomley, a sinister plot to separate a forgetful dowager from her furry companion unfolds… Using your wit, intellect and trusty MSN Search Toolbar, explore the various environments in the game, pick up clues, challenge alibis and discover who stole my lady’s moggy? Was it the long-suffering Butler whodunit? Perhaps it was the avaricious son? Is the daughter everything she’s cracked up to be? And, just what has a very large carrot got to do with it all?”

Very cool idea. Anyone actually pursuing the “case”?

You can learn more about it at The Kitty Caper Game.

Timber: Business Blogs Are Tipping

Posted by: of Diva Marketing Blog on 04/24/06

At the University of Delaware, Alex Brown is challenging the next generation of business leaders to think new world/web 2.0 marketing. Prof Brown is teaching a class called Infotech Applications in Marketing. Not only does a blog support the course but students are expected to blog and comment.

Do the kids get it? I’ll say they do. Here’s a snip from a post by Mark Muller – Have We Wasted 4 Years Here?

The problem i have with this is not that fact that Mr. Cherkoff said it, it is the fact that i realized today that i have been learning “old” marketing techniques at this “old” school. The University obviously needs to do something about its curriculum and innovate.

[Note: James Cherkoff was a guest speaker.]

Business is changing. Maketing is changing. Hope there are a few college deans who are listening in and taking Mark’s advice to heart to innovate their curriculum.

How will marketing studies be structured in the future? Will there be classes on buzz marketing, word-of-mouth marketing, blogging, building communities? Will blogs projects be on a class blog or wiki? Will Marketing 101 include how to integrate podcasts, vlogs and “clouds” into campaigns?
And .. true to the blogosphere, you never know who might be listening in. Gary Spangler, global ebusiness manager for DuPoint, commented on Mark’s post about blog ethics. Perhaps Mark can include it in his CV when he applies for a job. CMP Media, The Thompson Corporation and Mansueto Ventures (Fast Company) all have positions that require blogging experience.

NYT on Writing Headlines for Google

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 04/11/06

Sadly, Google has no sense of humor. Thus, some advise in search engine optimization from an unlikely source: the NY Times. Of course, for the best advice on optimizing your blog for Google, check out the posts of our own Stephan Spencer.

RSS *Yawn*

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 04/4/06

With our recent posts on RSS, I figured I’d weigh in with a quick opinion of my own. I know its heretical for a blogger to say so, but I think RSS is vastly over-hyped. To that end, I’m happy to point out Dave Taylor’s recent post where he points out an obvious truth: most RSS readers suck.

Here’s a brave admission: I don’t use any RSS reader. I haven’t for a couple of years. I tried various ones here and there, but ultimately I come back to the fact that I just don’t have time to keep up with all that information, and I’m an information junkie, blogger and researcher. I don’t know how the rest of you do it. I have simply don’t have an extra hour every day to scan the posts of the 200 blogs I love. I barely have time to read the industry sites that cover my sector (Internet advertising). Basically, I try to scan MarketingVOX daily, and then spend 2-3 hours with email and then, if I have any time left, I try to actually do some work. I’d love to read more blogs, but where do you fit it in? I’m sleeping only six hours a night as it is. I’m a drop-by blog reader; I cycle through my favorites here and there where I have time andbrowse their archives.
But it’s one thing for a blogger to admit this (and those who follow my blogging know that I’m also a catch-as-catch-can blogger, not a daily machine like some people). But what the hell does an ordinary person need with RSS? A blogger, a trend watcher, a journalist, or just info junkies, I can see the point of why they use RSS. But that accounts for the 5% of the population that already uses RSS. Why on earth would my mom need an RSS reader?

Here’s what baffles me most about RSS and the blogosphere: for all the excitement about about RSS as a reader subscription feature, it’s been virtually ignored by blog software tools as a true syndication mechanism. Why isn’t it a standard feature of every blog publishing tool that you can customize the resyndication of your other favorite blogs? E.g., I’d like flexible controls to put in the margin of my blogs up-to-the-minute headlines (or short posts, or long posts) from my favorite five (or 10, or 20) blogs. I tried to do this two years ago and all I found was some university hack. I suspect there are (but don’t actually know of) some more mature widgets out there that let you do this now, as I’ve seen it here and there on other blogs, but it’s certainly not widespread. It would be like blogrolling on crack. Seems like a no-brainer. Is there a WordPress plug-in for that?

(Of course, what blog publishing tools really need is the ability to aggregate posts and publishing them as an email newsletter, but, as Molly Shannon memorably said, don’t even get me started…)

Favorite Firefox Extensions

Since my list of WordPress plugins was so well-received, I’ve got another list to share. This time it’s my favorite Firefox extensions…

  • Tab Mix Plus – saves your tabs and windows and will restore them if you quit out of your browser or it crashes, allows you to undo the closing of a tab, and lots more
  • Performancing for Firefox – a blog editor for your WordPress, Movable Type, or Blogger blog that features integration with del.icio.us and Technorati, spellchecking, etc.
  • All-in-One Gestures – execute commands by making certain movements with your mouse without having to use the keyboard, menus or toolbars — like going back a page, closing a tab, etc.
  • User Agent Switcher – masquerade as Googlebot, Yahoo Slurp, or msnbot etc. to see if a site is doing bot detection
  • Web Developer – tool for doing CSS coding, building web forms, etc.
  • Google Toolbar for Firefox – Get query suggestions as you type into the search box, view PageRank scores, etc. Check out my screencast on installing, configuring and using the Google Toolbar.
  • SEO-Links – hover over a link and it displays link popularity and rankings for the anchor text from Google, Yahoo and MSN Search. I’ve got a screencast on using SEO-Links too.
  • Copy Plain Text – copy-and-paste from a web page into Microsoft Word so that the formatting isn’t carried over
  • ChatZilla – IRC (Internet Relay Chat) client
  • Sage – RSS feed reader
  • ViewSourceWith – view the page’s HTML source using an external editor (WordPad, BBEdit, etc.)
  • ShowIP – displays the IP address of the web server in the bottom right corner
  • StumbleUpon – get recommendations of related pages to check out from friends and like–minded individuals
  • Search engines for the Search Bar – add your own favorite search engines to the search box in the top right, such as: MSN Search, Wikipedia, LinkedIn, Technorati, Creative Commons, etc.

Here’s a tip that isn’t quite an extension, but over time it’s a huge time-saver. And it works in IE too.

  • When you want to type in a URL into the address bar, you can leave off the the www. in front and the .com at the end, because, by hitting Ctrl Enter, the browser will automatically add the www. and the .com to the address for you!

This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive list of useful Firefox extensions. Check out the new FirefoxFacts ebook for a bigger list of recommended extensions and tips for Firefox. And if there’s an extension you feel should be added to the above list of favorites, please leave me a comment!

Favorite WordPress Plugins

What follows below are some of my favorite WordPress plugins and why. Many of them I have in common with Cavemonkey’s excellent Top Ten WordPress Plugins list. Here’s my list, in no particular order:

  • PodPress – makes it super-simple to post podcasts; includes an inline media player
  • Popularity Contest – offer a leaderboard of your Most Popular posts based on views and ratings
  • Google Sitemaps Generator – creates a Google Sitemaps XML file. What’s killer about this is that it uses Popularity Contest’s ratings for the priority scoring that Google uses to determine how frequently to spider your pages
  • Akismet – you’d be a fool to run a blog with comments turned on and not use this plugin to stop the flood of comment spam. ’nuff said!
  • Adhesive – gives you the ability to flag certain posts as “Sticky” so they float to the top of the category page regardless of whether it’s the most recent
  • Ultimate Tag Warrior – creates tag pages and a tag cloud. Great for SEO as I’ve said before.
  • EmailShroud – an email address obfuscator to thwart those evil email harvesters. Scans for email addresses in posts, but won’t work on email addresses hard-coded into your theme.
  • Transpose Email – another email address obfuscator. Doesn’t automatically scan for email addresses, but can be used from within your theme files.
  • WP-EMail – “Email this post to a friend” functionality
  • WP-Print – Printer-friendly version of posts
  • Subscribe2 – let your readers subscribe to your blog updates via email
  • In-Series – link posts together into a series, regardless of dates posted or categories selected
  • Permalink Redirect – fixes the canonicalization problem where the same page loads whether the slash is there or not. Important for SEO.
  • Gravatars – puts the commenter’s “Gravatar” image next to their comment
  • Subscribe to Comments – a commenter can check a box on the comment form so that they get notified of further comments to that post
  • WP-Notable – places a row of buttons alongside your posts so the reader can easily add your post to their favorite social bookmarks service (del.icio.us, digg, etc.)
  • A Different Monthly Archive – a pretty way to display links to archives by month
  • Related Posts – link to related posts automatically based on the content of the post
  • Related Posts for your 404 – your File Not Found error page can now suggest related posts to the misguided user. Cool!

What are your favorites? Did I miss any important ones?

More Blog Search Engine Optimization Tips and Tricks

Hello from the Search Engine Strategies conference in NYC. Tomorrow I’ll be speaking on search engine optimizing blogs and RSS feeds. If you recall a post of mine from last month, I went into some detail on some tweaks I had made to this blog to make it more search engine optimal. I thought I’d continue where I had left off, with some more handy-dandy blog SEO tips:

  • Use Heading tags
    Heading tags (H1 through to H6) are given more weight by search engines than regular body copy. So use them to reinforce the page’s overall keyword theme. Don’t make the date an H1 tag, instead make the current category name or tag name on your category page/tag page an H1 tag. Make the titles of your blog posts H2 tags. More on this here.
  • Add emphasis within your posts
    Use bold tags, strong tags, etc. within the copy to help identify to search engines which words/phrases should be given more weight.
  • Make use of “sticky” posts
    A “sticky” post is one that always appears at the top regardless of the date/time posted. The “sticky” feature is available in some blog systems by default (e.g. Blogger.com) and in others through the use of a plugin (e.g. the Adhesive plugin for WordPress). Sticky posts make it easy to make your targeted keywords more prominent on a category page or tag page, because it will ensure the keyword-rich copy you write in a sticky post stays at the top of the page. More on how to do this here, and an example of it in use here.
  • Link to and profile your contributors (for group blogs)
    If your contributing bloggers have their own independent websites, they’ll appreciate you passing them some link popularity. To do so most effectively, don’t link to them site-wide but instead from your home page and from within each post that they author. Also create an author profile page for each of them, with a link to that author’s site, a biographical statement (taken from the “About Yourself” field in their profile), and the posts that they’ve authored. This is my profile page for example. Let them define the anchor text of the link to their site, The way I did it for this blog, which runs on WordPress, was to get each author to specify the anchor text they wanted in the Nickname field on their User information and I used that instead of their name at the top of each post.
  • Do keyword research
    Whenever you craft a title, a tag, a post’s body copy, a post slug, or a category, you should be considering whether the words you are using are what your target audience are searching for. Here are some free tools: Overture’s, Google’s; and paid tools: Wordtracker’s, Trellian’s.

If you want proof this stuff really works, and that it’s not hard to do, my 14-year-old daughter in 2 days created her first site, a blog, using WordPress, about Neopets. She wisely named it the The Ultimate Neopet Cheats Site, after doing the research (okay, I helped her) to find that “neopet cheats” was a pretty popular term (albeit not as popular as “neopets cheats”) and not very competitive. Lo and behold, just 2 weeks after launching the site, it’s already on page 2 in Google and Yahoo for “neopet cheats” and climbing! And that was just with one link from my blog.

UPDATE: You can now download my Powerpoint slides from Search Engine Strategies on optimizing your blog and RSS feeds. Also, by the way, my daughter’s blog is now on page 1 in Google for her targeted term. :-)

UPDATE 2: My daughter has now moved her Neopets Cheats site off of WordPress.com because of their policy of not allowing the posting of AdSense ads.

UPDATE 3: My daughter now has a Swicki on her blog which brings in additional AdSense revenue.

Must Be Tough To Be An “A*List” Blogger

Posted by: of Diva Marketing Blog on 02/23/06

Call this post “an observation” about comments & trackbacks. – Guy Kawaski recently posted about The Art of Creating A Community. A lot of people must have thought it was interesting. There were 36 comments and trackbacks.

Not a surprise, in true social networking / blog style, the post also received buzz that wasn’t in comments or trackbacks. One of the bloggers who picked up on the topic was “A*List” blogger Robert Scoble. Robert added his take on the topic and posted on his blog. A lot of people must have thought it was interesting. There were 31 comments and trackbacks.

Comments on the Bona Tempura Volvant blog and the Scobleizer blog took slightly different directions. Feedback on Guy’s blog focused exclusively on the topic. However, many of the Scobleizer comments took point with Robert as an “A*List” blogger – moving the conversation off topic. Guess that’s one of the perils of being an “A*List” blogger.

Why RSS hasn’t supplanted email (yet)

Posted by: of BlogWrite for CEOs on 02/7/06

Fred Wilson nails it. The reason? Because RSS still isn’t “brain dead simple.” For non-geeks it’s still too confusing to set up an RSS newsreader, to find – or aggregate – all the feeds you’re interested in, to subscribe, etc.

The RSS vs. email debate has erupted once again in response to the announcement several days ago that Yahoo and AOL will start charging senders 1/4 of a cent to a penny per message delivered. The idea is that the email or e-newsletter marketers who pay this premium will be guaranteed that their messages will reach intended recipients.

Read Tris Hussey and Steve Rubel on the topic of the end of cost-effective email marketing. Read Dave Winer on why RSS is hard to use and Stowe Boyd on Reads, Not Feeds.

Oh, and don’t misunderstand. RSS is in many ways a better solution for dispensing and receiving information online. But despite the proposed postage for email marketers, email isn’t dead yet.

Blogbeat – Real Time Blog Analytics

Blogbeat LogoFor the past couple of days I’ve been playing around with a trial version of Blogbeat, a real time blog traffic reporting system. So far I’ve been really impressed.

You can drill down to find out what your most popular posts are, how people found them (search engines, other sites, etc.), and track your search page rank.

Unlike Google Analytics (assuming you were one of the few who signed up for Google Analytics in the first five minutes before they shut the door), Blogbeat provides the information in real time. It took me about 5 minutes to install the script on my blog and minutes later I was seeing the traffic reports.

Once you’ve logged in Blogbeat also offers some common results in simple language: “which posts were most popular today?” and “who sent the most visitors my way?” are a couple. Finding out what search terms are attracting visitors is also a click away.
You can also even subscribe to the reports via RSS.

My only complaint is about the user interface. The information is easy to understand, but the font is a little big (too much scrolling required) and there are too many words in different shades of light grey. Also, it wasn’t always clear what report I was going to see when I drilled down a certain path.

If you’re looking for inexpensive traffic report solution ($6/mo for up to 500,000 monthly page views) and you want something with more cowbell–don’t ask–Blogbeat may be just what you’re looking for.

How can I incorporate an RSS feed onto my web site?

It’s a question I hear with some frequency; how can you add an RSS feed to the pages of your own web site, home page or weblog? Many of the solutions are pretty complex, but it turns out that Newsgator Online – a free RSS aggregator and tools service – makes it incredibly easy for you to accomplish just this, even letting you customize the format of the content and intermingle multiple feeds rather than being constrained to just one RSS source.

Even better, the example i show also explains how to set it up and customize it, with detailed steps, meaning that even if you aren’t handy with a computer, you’ll be able to get everything up and running in no time:

    Add an RSS feed display to your Web site

It’s a very cool feature of a very nice application!

Favicon and Robots.txt – Must-Haves for your Blog

I heard at the Search Engine Strategies conference earlier this month in Chicago that the Ask Jeeves spider doesn’t cope well with websites that don’t have robots.txt. So if you don’t have a robots.txt file hosted on your blog’s document root, create a blank one.

Another detail often missed by bloggers is to create your own custom favicon.ico file. The favicon is a little 16 pixel by 16 pixel image that appears in the location bar on people’s web browsers; many of the RSS readers use it as well. Peter Brady at Performancing has some interesting things to say about whether or not bloggers need to have a favicon. My take on it is this: with a custom favicon, you look cooler and more with it, plus it differentiates you from the rest of the pack in your subscribers’ RSS subscription lists. If you don’t have time to mess around creating one in Photoshop, you can do a quick and dirty one pretty easily using the free web-based tool Favicon Generator. It took me all of two minutes to create my favicon for my blog using this tool.

5 Strategies To Combat Negative Comments

Posted by: of Diva Marketing Blog on 12/17/05

The  #1 concern I’m hearing from organizations interested in exploring blogs to support marketing strategies is, “But what about the negative comments? How do we control people posting bad things about our brand or our company?

Marketing has changed. The world has changed. It changed while you were not looking. It changed when the internet, email and cell phones made it easy and cheap to communicate.

Bottom-line with over 50 million people chatting it up on blogs if you turn comments off you loose the home court advantage. People will talk about your company, your products, your customer service and even your blog. Why would you not want that discussion to take place where you can easily monitor it and respond?

To turn comments on. To turn comments off. This has be come a tired debate in the blogosphere. One of the benefits of a marketing blog is the opportunity to dialogue with customers, prospects and stakeholders.  Sorry, no comments does not make a conversation. It’s called a monologue. One person takes center stage with no opportunity for direct feedback. For my money, a blog without comments and trackbacks is an on-line newsletter. And that’s not a negative comment.

Great example of a highly focused brand kibitz on a non “corporate blog” is McChronicles. This blog about McDonalds recently welcomed it’s 18,000 visitor. A Google search for McChronicles pulls 15,800 results. And with this post the count is now 15,8001. That’s a lot of Big Macs! U.S. News and World Report highlighted McCs in an article about customers creating buzz.

Citizen or conversational journalism. McDonald owners get it. Some are asking McChronicles to review their restaurants. Corporate McD people have been known to drop by to listen (tracked by referral stats). However, the folks at corporate McD’s must be busy chowing down on their burgers since a sanctioned McD blog has not yet surfaced.

If you’re still not convenienced that comments on are a smart business decison, here are …

5 Strategies To Combat Negative Blog Comments
5. Turn off comments
4. Monitor comments
3. Develop a comment policy
Include on your navigation bar and above the comment section
2. Delete comments that do not meet your guidelines

The Number One Way To Combat Negative Blog Comments …
1. Show ‘em what you are made of!
Use negative comments (those that express legit concerns) as a way to demonstrate how you handle customer concerns.

Our customers’ sphere of influence is not limited to their around the corner neighborhood or the company water cooler but anywhere there is an internet connection or cell phone access. With the understanding – that companies no longer control the message (influence yes. control no.) – and that customers have more power than ever before in “helping sell your product”, you gain a huge advantage over your competition – those that are trying to swim upstream against the current. It’s an exciting, new world. Don’t be afraid to become apart of it. 

Blogs and Tag Clouds – A Match Made in Heaven

With the blogosphere abuzz with the announcement that Yahoo has acquired
del.icio.us, I predict tagging is going to get a lot more coverage in
the press now. Along with that will come a validation to their readers
of the importance and benefits of tagging with business people. In
anticipation of that, all us business bloggers need to get serious about
incorporating tagging into our blogs.

One thing I haven’t seen enough of on blogs — but I predict will be
up-and-coming — is the appearance of tag clouds, where certain keywords
are larger in font size than others, all of them clickable, leading to
various category pages, tag pages, or search results pages.

One of my favorite implementations of a tag cloud on a blog is on O’Reilly Radar

My second most favorite is a new approach to “auto-tagging” on Eurekster’s blog.

The latter is actually what Eurekster calls a “BuzzCloud” and any
blogger or webmaster can get one for free by signing up for a Swicki. A
swicki is a personalized search engine of the web that is targeted and
relevant to you and your blog audience. The buzzcloud contains a set of
search terms that you have suggested along with ones that Eurekster
auto-tags by noting which searches are popular with your audience. When
one of your readers clicks on the links, they are taken to a search
results page in Eurekster for that search term, and the results popular
with you and your audience are promoted to the top of results and marked
with an icon — in essence, tagging the results as well as the search
term.

I believe tagging that requires manual intervention such as del.icio.us
and technorati are primarily for web-intensive users; the combination of
manual control and auto-tagging offered by Eurekster with swickis can
potentially lead to mass-use.

You can sign up for a swicki for your blog or website here.

IBM’s Podcast Guidelines

Posted by: of Diva Marketing Blog on 12/7/05

Like it or not … corporate guidelines for blogging are becoming SOP (standard operating procedures). Next up podcasting guidelines?  Yup and IBM is the first company, I know of, to draft guidelines for podcasts. Can vlogging guidelines be far behind?

IBM’s blogging guidelines
were used as a basis and then a few extra podcast/medium specific
guidelines were added.  Most are common sense and reflect a standard of
professionalism that should not be a big deal within a business
environment.

IBM’s Podcasting Guidelines

-Do not podcast IBM Confidential material.
Currently there
is no way to protect/encrypt audio files in a manner that meets IBM’s
security guidelines. Files can be easily shared outside of IBM. Don’t
disclose anything you wouldn’t disclose outside the company.

-Be mindful not only of what you say, but how you say it.
Sometimes
the way you say something — the tone of your voice, such as a hint of
sarcasm — can be as revealing as what you say.

-Protect your privacy and the privacy of others.
Make sure
you don’t record any person without his or her consent and awareness.
Surrepitiously recording and distributing conversations is a breach of
other’s privacy and can have severe consequences for you. Start each
audio recording by identifying all the individuals participating.

-Set the bar as high as you can for audio production and content quality.
External
podcasts that present topics or points of view relevant to IBM’s
business or broader corporate interests inevitably reflect on the
company’s brand. To put it bluntly, if it does not sound good, even the
greatest ideas may not be enough to hold a listener’s attention.
 
-There may be some invitations to participate in non-IBM podcasts that warrant IBM Communication’s involvement.
You
should treat these the same way you would treat an interview request
from a reporter. If you’re in doubt, be sure to talk to your local
Communications people to discuss the opportunity before agreeing to
participate.

 -Identify your podcast as the voice of an individual or small group within the company, not the “official” voice of the company.
This
is similar to the standard disclaimer in IBM blogging guidelines — but
in the case of a podcast, it’s necessary to make such a declaration
verbally.

 -Before you initiate a podcast, ask yourself if it is the most appropriate method to communicate with your audience.
Before
creating a podcast, listen to some. Experience what podcasting is like
from the audience’s perspective. Go out and listen to some podcasts.
What do you think works well? What do you dislike? What is it that you
have to say — and is this the right medium in which to say it?

IBM also reminds its folks that MP3 files (like blog posts) can remain accessible for a very long time. Aint that the truth!

Read More: Corporate Blogging Guidelines

Heard it from: Christopher Hannegan’s Blog Employee Engagement

Business RSS 101: How Businesses Can Use RSS for Marketing and Communication

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 11/9/05

More and more businesses are starting to discover and explore RSS (Real Simple Syndication) as an alternative to email marketing.

RSS allows you to syndicate your content very easily; it’s most commonly used in blogging and podcasting as an RSS feed is automatically created by most blogging and podcasting platforms. However, RSS can be created for your Web site as well, and is fast becoming an important communication channel for businesses.

In Your 7-Step RSS Marketing Plan, Rok Hrastnik holds your hand while you dip your toe in the RSS ocean.

Come on in! The water’s fine!

How to Set Up a TypeKey Identity to Post Comments and Trackbacks

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 10/24/05

TypekeylogoHave you ever wanted to post a comment or trackback to a blog and you get the following message:

"If you have a TypeKey identity, you can sign in here."

Unfortunately, if you don’t have a TypeKey identity, there’s no link to get one. Even clicking on the "sign in" link doesn’t help.

If you’ve been stymied in the past, read on…

TypeKey is a tool for bloggers to reduce comment and trackback spam on their blogs. To quote the TypeKey homepage:

Enabling TypeKey on your own site increases accountability for the
content that appears on your weblog and stops comment spam cold.

Unfortunately, it also stops some potential commenters cold.

However, TypeKey is free and only takes moments to set up:

Step 1: Go to TypeKey.
Step 2: Register (for free) by completing your info and copying an overly-cryptic confirmation code.
Step 3: Wait for the confirmation email.
Step 4: Return to the site to enter your confirmation code.
Step 5: Edit your information as you like.

That’s it! Although WordPress
fans will tell you there’s better ways to stop comment and trackback
spam, now you’ll never have to worry about TypeKey stopping your own
comments or trackbacks.

Feedburner’s New Toys

Posted by: of Duct Tape Marketing Blog on 10/6/05

Feedburner has quickly become many a bloggers tool of choice for easily amping up the power of the blog’s feed.

Two recent additions to the Feedburner toolbox suggest they don’t plan to sit around and watch the blog world go by.

PingShot allows publishers who burn their feed through Feedburner to automatically ping a growing number of RSS and blog directories every time they post.

FeedBlitz allows publishers to add email to the ways readers can subscribe. With only 4-6% of surfers out there really taping into RSS at the moment, email is still a great way to communicate.

Both of these new services integrate smoothly into the Feedburner interface and tracking mechanism.

Podcasts Delivered By eMail

Posted by: of Diva Marketing Blog on 09/14/05

[itv] is combing new ‘old media’ – eMail – with new ‘new media’ – podcasts. Podcasts are integrated into  an email. Of course, you can also download the ‘old-fashioned’ way via the [itv] website/blog.

Great way to add more value to your email newsletters and
differentiate from the clutter…at least for now. If you want a forward of the newsletter (you can subscribe for free) drop a comment and I’ll email it to you.

Blogging 101 Resources v. 2.0

Posted by: of BlogWrite for CEOs on 09/13/05

Someone asked me yesterday where to go for a "blogging 101" and I was momentarily stumped.
There’s so much information out there it’s hard to know where to
begin. I decided to be literal and look for resources labelled Blogging
101… or close to it.  Here are a few 101 links to get you started. I include RSS and podcasting because they fall under
the umbrella of corporate blogging.

Blogging 101

Blogging 101 by Rebecca Blood (on MSN Spaces)

Blogging 101 by Kari Chisholm

Blogging 101 v. 1 on BlogWriteForCEOs

Blogs 101 by Rich Meislin in New York Times’ Technology section

Blogging 101 by Technorati

Business Blogging 101 on the NEWPRWiki

Global Voices’ Intro to Blogs

Weblog Basics on About.com

Wikibooks’ Blogging 101

Wikipedia definition of Weblog

Click "Continue reading" for Podcasting 101 and RSS 101 resources…

Podcasting 101

Podcasting 101 on MacZealots.com

Podcasting 101 on TechWeb

Podcasting 101 by Merle Stinnett

How to Record a Podcast by Glenn Fleishman


RSS 101

RSS 101: "Really Simple" 5-Step Guide to Get Started

RSS 101 Screencast by Alex Barnett

RSS 101 for Marketers (Forrester report, July 2005)

RSS Marketing

These are by no means the only 101 resources for blogging,
podcasting and RSS. If you know of others  titled "101," leave a note in
the Comments below and I’ll add them.

 

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