January 25, 2007

Bloggers and Their Feed Readers: Which One to Choose?

Bloggers can’t live without their feeds or feed readers. They are critical to providing an alternative way to get their blogs to their readers. Feeds are a powerful resource for tracking blogging subjects and industries, as well as who is blogging about what.

LeeAnn Prescott of HitWise takes a look at web-based feed readers and her findings might help you determine which feed reader might be your next web-based feed reader.

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January 24, 2007

Keith Waterhouse: a look back over 77 years, tech free, and proud of it

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I’ve had my disagreements with Keith Waterhouse over his perception and portrayal of bloggers, but I have to say I’ve gained a new sense of respect for the man for whom technology is a dirty word and an unfathomable mystery, yet who has had an amazing career and seen a multitude of changes in more traditional media.

In an interview with Ian Burrell of The Independent, we see a man who has stood up to Robert Maxwell, written West End plays and best-selling books, and landmark television programmes. Despite what you think of him, he has an immense following – more than most bloggers only dream of.

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Tips for Conference Blogging – Part 2

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In the first part of this series, I covered a few of the basic techniques and approaches to blogging from conferences. Conference blogging is a great opportunity to introduce new ideas for your readers and provide direct quotes and interviews. In this post, we’ll talk about ways to make the most of the blogging medium itself in the context of a conference while at the same time being sensitive to the needs of your readers.

As a conference blogger, you enjoy many freedoms. You don’t have to stick to the straight and narrow. You can explore new territory and leverage all the benefits of the blogging medium to welcome your readers into the event. Below you’ll find a few ideas do to just this.

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Want a free mobile site for your blog?

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I have been seeing more and more about mobile social software. With the flood of new handheld devices and the spread of broadband access, it felt like a good time to explore options for building my own mobile site.

THE FIND: My search ended when I came across WINKsite, a service that lets you construct feature rich mobile sites in minutes.

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WordPress Wednesday: WordPress 2.1 and More

The majority of the news around this week has hovered between the (installation advice below) and the security patch release of WordPress 2.0.7 after a known security flaw was exploited and some popular WordPress blogs were hacked.

Whether you will update to or not, please upgrade at least to due to the recent threats.

WordPress 2.1 News

WordPress 2.1 is named after Ella Fitzgerald, the amazing singer renown for her famous 3-octave range and how she changed the jazz world forever. All major WordPress releases are named after famous jazz musicians, and this is the first woman to make the list.

Ryan Boren announced the release of the WordPress 2.1 Release Candidate late last week, and the final public release came out on schedule, Monday. Expect a lot of reports from your favorite blog on how they handled their WordPress 2.1 upgrade. read more

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Can A Big Company Really Blog?

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There’s an interesting article in The Economist about CEOs attending the Davos World Economic Forum being encouraged to blog (the theme this year is “The Shifting Power Equation”). On the face of it, this makes about as much sense as the CEOs being encouraged to slam dance at the raging party that Google guys Sergei and Larry are going to throw.

But, to get back to the question, is blogging really a suitable activity for a company boss? Seth Godin, author of business books such as “Small is the New Big”, and “All Marketers are Liars: the Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World”, is sceptical. Blogs work, he says, when they are based on the values of “candour, urgency, timeliness, pithiness and controversy (maybe utility if you want six)”. As he asks, “Does this sound like a CEO to you?”

Candour, in particular, will surely strike most bosses as a reckless risk in the liability-laden world of corporate America after Sarbanes-Oxley.

The notion of CEOs blogging grew out of the world of small business, in particular the online start-up, where having a blog is now as obligatory as having a an AJAX-laden homepage and a domain name that is either a misspelling or a made-up word. In the start-up context, a CEO blogging makes all the sense in the world, because the CEO and the other handful of team members ARE the company. The company hasn’t taken on a life of its own yet. There are shareholders, but most of them are the people blogging, so they are looking after their own interests. More importantly, there is no Sarbanes-Oxley threatening to send the CEO or other executives to jail if something they publish “spontaneously” to their blog runs afoul of SEC regulations.
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January 23, 2007

BBC to join NBC, CBS, in YouTube Deal?

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It looks like the BBC is in negotiations to sign a deal that see its content placed on YouTube, much like NBC and CBS have already done. The International Herald Tribune reports that negotiations are underway with the Google-bought company, with as yet undisclosed terms. Its unclear whether or not they would have a dedicated channel, such as NBC, or, merely syndicate different shows, like CBS has done with shows like the David Letterman show.

What’s not unclear, however, is the rationale for heading towards YouTube.

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The Huffington Post ‘Huffs’ Social News

On Friday, The Huffington Post quietly slid their foot in the door of socially driven news by launching a public beta of HuffIt. Insert obligatory glue-huffing joke here. read more

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Major UK-focused affiliate marketing survey results published

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In November and December 2006, E-Consultancy carried out a survey of 1536 UK-based affiliates, which they estimate accounts for around 4% of the total number of UK affiliates. Here are the key findings.

Who are affiliates?

  • Affiliates are predominantly male (83%), in a long-term relationships (68%), fairly evenly distributed across the United Kingdom, with 36% living in London and the South East.
  • 48% are educated to degree level.
  • Only 25% say that they’ve taken any form of marketing course before becoming an affiliate, and 50% say that their education has not helped them with their present knowledge and understanding of affiliate marketing.

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Busting Blog Ad Clutter

I recently ran across a brilliant article that might help us all improve our blogging and blogging experience. The title was titillating and I knew it would solve my problems, but it took a while to find the blog content. When I did, I had to weigh a very important decision.

Is the content in the article worth the advertising assault on the eyes?

I wanted to write about the article. I wanted to promote it to my readers to let them know I’d found a worthy treasure. I wanted them to take time from their busy schedule to seek out this treasure and learn and grow from digesting the wisdom in the article. Yet…

My eyes hurt scanning the page looking for the words of wisdom I knew would be there. I had to poke and scroll around looking for the magic words. Finally I found them, under 6 rows (and 8 ads) between the header and the content.

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