July 23, 2007

Blog Post Category Trauma: Suggestions for Useless Categories

Recently, I asked you to answer the following question:

Who thinks these are effective post categories?

  • I’ve Been Thinking
  • Some Blog Stuff
  • More Blog Stuff
  • My Thoughts
  • About My Car
  • Dreams and Wishes
  • Left Over Junk

There were some interesting answers.

Mandrill said:

1 – too vague, they don’t give any clues as to what is covered by them.
2 – The category title should be directly related to the subject matter.

That’s very close, and part of the problem.

Angelo said:

I think it’s a matter of people using their categories as tags. It’s okay if you’re not much for organizing your blog posts under particular taxonomies. But if you’re strict with categorizing content as such, then I think categories should be more descriptive of the general topics of the blog posts under them.

Categories are tags, but tags aren’t always categories, so that’s a good answer.
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July 20, 2007

Are Google Corporate Blogs Overcoming Comment Phobia?

Google, unlike many corporations, seems to embrace blogging as one of its chief ways of communicating their thoughts online. Blogging after all, is a quick, cheap method (unless you are paying for hosting) to mention new features, dispel rumors and even correct a few blunders without hiring a PR team.

But unlike some of the corporate blogs out there, Google seems to have shied away from opening up their comment section, despite the fact that competitors such as Yahoo have allowed users to post feedback for quite some time.

Even though Google’s main corporate blog has declined to open up their posts for reader reaction, it looks like over a dozen Google departments are opening up their comment section for the masses.
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Do You Kill The Blog Conversation?

Are you one of those bloggers who answers the question completely, leaving no room for others to answer? Are you killing the blog conversation?

I’ve had a lot of appreciation and debate over the following statement from my article on How NOT to Comment on Comments:

Make your comments add to the conversation. Don’t just chime in because you want to see your name published on the web. Contribute. Give. Share. Exchange. Keep the story going. Keep the ideas flowing. Help us help each other by continuing the dialog.

At the time it seemed a new thought that it is the responsibility of bloggers to keep the conversation going on other blogs, as well as on their own.
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July 19, 2007

Bloggy Network Launches is My Home

Filed as News with 8 comments

Bloggy Network has recently announced the launch of is My Home, a local blogging effort where content centered around select localities are featured.

Each is My Home blog is tailored to your city – this ain’t no cookie-cutter content. Our bloggers will be poring over their cities, making sure you know what is going on. If you are looking for a great wealth of local information, and haven’t found what you are looking for, our blogs are a great place to start.

is My Home currently features nine cities: Atlanta, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Memphis, Nashville, and Philadelphia. Jacob Gower says Bloggy is looking into expanding into more cities (currently limited to US cities), so if you think you’re passionate enough to run a local blog for your city, give them a buzz.

[via Blog Network Watch]

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Splashpress Media Partners with Contec Innovations, Inc. for Mobile Content Distribution via BUZmob

Splashpress Media, in its aim to reach out to more markets and to give existing readers a wider choice in accessing content, has partnered with Contec Innovations, Inc. for the mobile distribution of blog content via BUZmob . Accessible through splash.buzmob.com (or through m.splashpress.com), Splashpress Media’s mobile portal includes feeds from its various blogs and other content-generating sites. When accessed, the portal will automatically detect a user’s device and browser type, and will serve the content in a format that is readable by that device, and organized according to topic, with easy navigation links. This includes full fledged web browsers, WAP browsers, mobile browsers, and the like.

Contec has issued a press release:

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(CCNMatthews – July 18, 2007) – Contec Innovations Inc. (TSX VENTURE:BUZ – News), a provider of mobile infrastructure software, today announced UK-based Splashpress Media has mobilized dozens of blogs, feeds, and portal sites, using the BUZmob(TM) mobile publishing service.

“Mobilizing our content inventory provides additional value to both our readers and to our writers. By extending our reach into the mobile space we’re well positioned to grow our market position and tap new revenue streams,” said J. Angelo Racoma, a principal at Splashpress. “BUZmob’s ability to support the largest number of handsets was critical for us. Implementing the service across our multiple sites was quick and easy, and required no content change on our end,” Racoma added.

Visitors to sites published by Splashpress Media can now push content to their mobile device directly from their web browser. In addition, a custom mobile portal (http://splash.buzmob.com) has been created which aggregates the most popular Splashpress-owned content properties. Splashpress’ top sites include: The Blog Herald (www.blogherald.com), 901am.com, Performancing (www.performancing.com) and Business Logs (www.businesslogs.com).

“It’s great to have Splashpress come aboard and we’re seeing tremendous interest from Internet publishers to mobilize their content with BUZmob,” commented Don Lay, Contec’s CEO. “So far over 50 content publishers, including websites, blogs and services, have gone mobile using our ad-driven BUZmob service,” Lay added.

BUZmob, now in beta release, provides content publishers with a simple, web-based solution to deliver feed-based digital information to mobile users on any device, on any network, anywhere – without requiring the end-user to download software or to subscribe to any service. More information on BUZmob, including the BUZmob Publisher Network Directory can by viewed at blog.buzmob.com.

The Blog Herald has been publishing a mobile edition for some time now, done through a WordPress plugin that strips off formatting for easier access on mobile devices. However, the new mobile interface is more usable and accessible. Aside from this, we see the value added of BUZmob’s mobile distribution in these ways:

  1. We are able to set up a mobile portal for all blogs and feeds we manage, such as the Splashpress Mobile portal, accessible at m.splashpress.com. This way, users don’t have to jump from feed to feed in order to read content from our other sites.
  2. Users can individually add blogs to their own portals, so only one URL needs to be bookmarked. This will contain all the feeds subscribed to using that mobile number (whether within or outside of Splashpress).
  3. We are also exploring a new means to monetize our content–through placement of ads on the mobile feed, care of BUZmob.

BUZmob lets mobile users read content from any blog or site that publishes RSS feeds. You can manually enter any blog or feed URL at www.buzmob.com, along with your mobile number. You will be sent a link and a mobile ID, which you can then bookmark for easy access to your subscriptions (much like an online RSS feed reader).

The Blog Herald’s mobile feed can be directly accessed via m.blogherald.com. If you want to add the Blog Herald’s mobile feed to your existing BUZmob subscriptions, or if you want to set up a new BUZmob account for your mobile phone, go to buzmob.blogherald.com on your computer’s web browser and fill in your mobile number.

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Are You Losing Readers? How Do You Keep Your Readers Reading?

On Tuesday, I asked Are You Losing Readers? Why? and gave you some reasons why you may be losing readers. Today, let’s look at how you can keep your readers reading.

There are two types of readers you want: new readers and old readers.

New readers are drawn to your blog through search engines and word-of-blog recommendations. These usually point towards your older posts, though they can point to recent posts, which soon become old posts.

Something in the recommendation to that post caught their interest. If the content on your blog matches that attention-getting content, they will probably put your blog in their feed reader and return for more. You’ve just lured them in and hooked them, turning a new reader into an old reader.

Now you have to keep them.
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July 18, 2007

Internet course to teach blogging to Caribbean journalists

Filed as News with no comments

The Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication has announced the launch of an Internet-based course for journalists who have at least two years of professional working experience behind them.

The course, open to broadcast, online, and print journalists, will focus upon the writing and visual skills required to publish blogs for a Caribbean audience, and will lead to a Certificate in Online Journalism qualification.

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WordPress Wednesday News: WordCamp 2007 This Weekend, WordPress Theme News, WordPress Podcast Meetup, and Sunburned, Traveling Andy Skelton

Too much exciting news for WordPress Themes. The world descends upon San Francisco and WordCamp 2007. Competitions are heating up and drawing to a close. Windows Live Writer offers WordPress extensions and blogging joy. A WordPress Community Podcast Meetup scheduled for Friday before WordCamp. Don’t forget to upgrade Plugins as well as WordPress. And Andy Skelton near to completing his cross-country motorcycle ride to San Francisco!
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Blogging? You’re A Moron

How did that headline make you feel?

By that headline, I don’t mean to say you’re a moron for starting a blog. I just wanted you to experience being called a moron – because if you have open comments on your blog, you will inevitably receive negative comments in response to your posts – some directed at you personally.

Negative comments can be particularly deflating. As bloggers we spend a great deal of time brainstorming posts, writing, proofreading, and rewriting, all with thoughts of what the reaction will be. Clicking “publish” is essentially putting yourself out there for the entire world to enjoy – but also to judge. After spending much time and energy on a post it can be
particularly discouraging if the first comment received trashes your post and you as a blogger.

But I feel that even the worst negativity can be turned positive. Here are strategies I use to deal with negative comments:

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July 17, 2007

Roger’s Book, Ferdinand, the Word Guy, and Me

Filed as Features with 4 comments

As you know SplashPress and The Blog Herald are running the Independent Blogger Book Quest in which I’m reviewing a book published independently — without the backing of a major publisher. In keeping with our mission at the Blog Herald, the books will be about blogging, business, and the work of online professionals. Read this post for guidelines to submit your book for review.

Maps for Modern Magellans

Blogger Book Quest: Roger’s Book, Ferdinand, the Word Guy, and Me

Title: Maps for Modern Magellans: Charts for Captains of Commerce
Blogger/Author: Roger Anderson
URL: Modern Magellans

http://www.modernmagellans.com/

Get this Book: Maps for Modern Magellans: Charts for Captains of Commerce

A Business Book for Folks Crossing Uncharted Waters
Are you feeling that your blog or your business is lost at sea? You might pick up Roger Anderson’s book, Maps for Modern Magellans: Charts for Captains of Commerce. It’s a map for uncharted waters. read more

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