How I Blog: Matt Craven

Filed as Uncategorized on May 22, 2006 1:51 am

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This is the first post in our “How I Blog” series. To read the rest, visit the archives. Interested in participating? Drop us a note at tips [at] blogmedia [dot] biz.

Matt Craven, Senior Vice President, BlogMedia, Inc.

I’m a Mac user. My main blogging computer is a 15″ Powerbook G4. I missed the Intel Macs by a few months, but my old Powerbook simply wasn’t going to make it much longer.

I use NetNewsWire as my feed reader. Right now, I have around 1,059 feeds in my feedreader. About 100 of these are some type of searches – whether they’re about the sites in our network or just general terms like ‘blog’ or ‘blog network’. I find these searches to be an invaluable way to gather competitive intelligence and source great stories that often get missed in the blogosphere.

I tend to skim feeds first thing in the morning – and then in the early evening. As I skim, I double click on any item that interests me as a potential blog topic – and then open in Firefox anything that might be worth reading later on (longer posts, and so on). Doubleclicking on an item in NetNewsWire opens it in NetNewsWire’s internal web browser.

At any given time, I have around 120 or so items open between NetNewsWire and Firefox.

Beyond that, I also open many windows to look at tips that we receive via email at tips [at] blogmedia [dot] biz or via IM. I usually get 2-3 good tips a day – sometimes it’s some really juicy stuff.

Later in the evening, after my wife has gone off to bed, I sit down and plow through the feeds looking for topics to blog. I generally use the web interface in or Movable Type. I used ecto for quite some time but wound up liking the plain-jane interface that both of these blog interfaces use.

Where I blog from depends on what I’m doing. I work from home most of the time and can blog from the dining room, from the deck (we have two), or from a local cafe. Most of the time though, I blog from my home office (pictured to the right).

Matt\\\'s Home Office

The office setup is as follows (left to right):

  • Apple Powerbook G4: Mail, NetNewsWire, Firefox, IM
  • Dell XPS: Firefox, Quickbooks Pro, Dual 20″ LCDs
  • Apple PowerMac G4 (Dual): Firefox, Yahoo Widgets, iTunes, shell windows to monitor servers. 23″ Cinema Display, 19″ Studio Display

I use one mouse & keyboard for all of these computers using free software called synergy. Highly recommended if you’re using multiple PCs/Macs together.

My best blogging though tends to come when I’m offline. Usually long plane flights or finding some time to be offsite without a wifi connection results in some of my best posts. Less distraction I think.

Matt Craven is the Senior Vice President of BlogMedia, Inc. and the editor of The Blog Herald & Blog Network Watch

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  1. By HART (1-800-HART) posted on May 22, 2006 at 12:43 pm
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    I like this category already .. But .. no printers? Coffee warmer? mini-fridge? Water cooler? Nice view though

  2. By Matt posted on May 22, 2006 at 4:19 pm
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    The printer is off to the far right (the desk is huge, you’re seeing 1 corner of it), HP Officejet T multifunction. The coffee and fridge are two floors up in the kitchen. No water cooler ;)

    There is a DVD player & TV in that room though.. and a couch :)

  3. By Jake posted on May 22, 2006 at 6:56 pm
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    Very interesting post. I would die to have that kind of set up but I think the reason I would die would be because my girlfriend would kill me for NEVER being around. :) I agree that the best blogging goes on when you are offline, away from distractions.

  4. By Steve Johnson posted on May 22, 2006 at 11:43 pm
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    Looks just like my home office, except way, way, way too clean. You gotta start working more.

  5. By Chrono Cr@cker posted on May 23, 2006 at 4:44 am
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    Well Written! This series definitely has the guts to be a winner. Great idea guys!! BTW, I sent in my entry sometime ago, but it was a bit stupid really, after reading this, I get better ideas on how I should have written it.

    Can I send a re-entry??

    And btw, you guys do need to reply to the ideas and tips you get @ tips [at] bm.biz. Not for this series but generally for some of the ideas, otherwise you’ll never encourage member suggestions. Best thing, have a submit form in this blog.

  6. By colbert posted on May 23, 2006 at 8:04 am
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    Matt, you the man…I’ve never seen so many screens since the time I was in Netherlands for an oil/gas company. You have to grow 3 more eyeballs

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