August 23, 2007

YouTube’s “InVideo” ads get vocal thumbs down in feedback

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Bloggers may want to think carefully about YouTube’s new “InVideo” advertising system, currently being tested with a few “select partners”, given that initial feedback from a small group of vocal users has been pretty negative.

Though the number of responses is fairly small (around 150 at present), and negative comments usually make it far further than positive ones, feedback to YouTube’s own blog post on the subject was pretty clear: “Yuck” was the first response.

“Please don’t ruin the YouTube experience. I really don’t want to have to upload all my videos to a different site. But I will,” wrote drivin98.

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WordPress For Small Business – A “Revolutionary” New Theme

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It’s no secret that businesses can benefit from blogging. Regularly updated content keeps the reader interested in what’s going on, gives them a sense of accessibility to the business, and can mean return visitors and potentially clients. But one of the challenges to blogging for your business is the choices you have to make when stepping out. What platform should I use? Should I go with a free theme, or have a custom theme developed?

I like WordPress. I really like WordPress. And strangely enough, there are countless small to medium business owners who are still unaware that WordPress can not only fill their blogging needs, but also serve as a fantastic platform for updating their website as well. The technical phrase for it is a “Content Management System” or CMS. Using WordPress as a CMS isn’t terribly difficult, especially since WordPress was one of the first blogging platforms to use a “page” system where static content could be published. read more

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August 22, 2007

WordPress Wednesday News: Happy Birthday WordPress.com, WordCamps in Beijing and Israel, Censorship in Turkey, and More WordPress News

WordPress.com turns two. WordCamps in Beijing and Israel announced. WordPress.com is censored in Turkey. Expect a mandatory security release of WordPress soon. New dates in the WordPress Roadmap. Lots of news on WordPress.com and WordPress Plugins!

WordPress News

International WordCamp Events: WordCamp Beijing is scheduled for September 1, 2007 with Registration active now and an interesting Schedule of Speakers. Work has stared on WordCamp Israel with more information coming soon.

WordPress Plugins Competition: The Weblog Tools Collection Plugin Competition is still taking your votes on which of the WordPress Plugins you like the most. There are some amazing entries on the Weblog Tools Collection Plugin Competition Prize and Plugins List! I’m playing with some of them now. Have you found some favorites and can’t-lie-without WordPress Plugins on that list? Go vote for them.

Update WordPress: The latest update of WordPress is out. WordPress 2.2.2 and 2.0.11 have been released and are security-related upgrades, thus are mandatory upgrades for all full version WordPress users. Mark Jaquith reports on some of the security issues covered by this update.
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Video Bloggers Rejoice! YouTube To Add InVideo Ads

It looks as if the boys and girls at Google are giving video bloggers another way to monetize their weblogs.

YouTube has just announced that they will be partnering with a “few lucky users” in order to experiment with a new form of advertising within the video itself. Called InVideo Ads, this new feature will allow users producing original content to make money on YouTube’s domain, as well as on their own blog.
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Marketing Your Blog In The Real World (Offline)

This week’s post is different – instead of sharing another “newbie” tip, I’m actually seeking your advice.

Over the past month, I attended two weddings, met many people for the first time, and did much more “offline” socializing than normal.

Upon meeting someone new, the inevitable ice breaker is, “So… what do you do?” followed by the obligatory mention of profession and home state, and ideally, stimulating conversation ensues.

But despite encountering folks from across the country with a variety of interests, I hardly mentioned my blog, Webomatica. A few days after the last event, I realized I missed the opportunity to gain a few more readers.

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August 21, 2007

Most Internet marketers fail to tap into blogging, despite recognising importance of effective web presence

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Just five per cent of Internet marketers see blogging as a viable tool in achieving sales and marketing objectives, with 78% never having used the medium, according to a recent survey by WebTrends.

More traditional methods fared better, with 46% often using direct email, 37% using web analytics, and 36% using web optimisation techniques.

Blogging sat near the bottom of the “new ideas” pile, with online competitions and website/e-news sponsorship scoring 8%, viral marketing on 5%, podcasts on 4%, and web seminars on 3%.

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Cleaning Up Old Posts, The Gateway to Your Blog

Graphic Copyright Lorelle VanFossen - New and improved blog post signA popular article I wrote recently, SEO Tips: Increase Page Rank By Revitalizing Your Old Posts, offered tips on why and how to put some new life into your old posts, thus increasing their value.

Old posts, especially timeless posts, continue to give value to your blog for many years, bringing in new readers and visitors as they discover your blog posts in their searches. The more they are linked to by others, the more likely that post becomes a gateway to your blog, the first impression new visitors see when they walk in the door.

My Tech Talk recently offered a post on helping individuals or businesses learn how to blog and featured my article, Learning About Blogging and How to Blog. I thanked them for the link, then decided to check out the article on my blog. After all, it’d been quite a while since I’d looked.

Thank goodness I checked!

The article was written in 2005 and continues to get a lot of attention through trackbacks and comments today, two years later. It pops in and out of the top 25 most popular posts lists. It is post ID number 31 on my blog, so it came from the earliest days of this blog when I was still running it solely as a test blog for WordPress.com. My blog was called “Lorelle on WordPress” back then because everyone was calling their blog “Mark on WordPress”, “Matt on WordPress”, and whatever your name was on WordPress. The name stuck, as did the blog’s purpose.

I’ve not looked at that post with more than a cursory glance since it was published. Getting so much attention, maybe I should have given it a look over to make sure it was still worthy of that attention sooner, especially since many link to it and it’s a gateway to the first thing people see on my blog. I checked it to to see:

  • What it says.
  • How it says it.
  • If it still says what I want it to say.
  • Is it offering good links to other resources on my blog?
  • Are the outgoing links still valid?
  • What can I do to make it even better?

Here are the steps I took to clean up my old post.
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Rock Star Bloggers, Chase Away Readers (or Keep Them) in 3 Easy Steps

I’ve been reading since I was short. I’ve only been blogging for a couple of years. . . . but I’ve noticed something about bloggers. We’re all rock stars. It’s true and there’s nothing wrong with that. You don’t have to have 1000 readers to be a rock star. You only need one loyal fan.

The problem is that, over the long haul, we sometimes change the way we blog. Like rock stars, some of us peak too early. Some of us get better as time goes by. Some of us get tired of the daily grind, and some buy into our own PR.

What’s sad is when a rock star blogger I love quits doing what won my heart and starts phoning it in. What’s devasting is when a rock star blogger I know begins to think the universe revolves around his or her blog.

Blog writing’s tough, and though being a little Internet famous can be fun, keeping up with readers can be a pain. I guess a rock star could make a case for wanting readers to go away — more leisure, less stress in a rock star day. In a case like that, I think the best thing might be to help.

For those rock star bloggers, I offer these 3 easy steps. read more

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Five bloggers group together to prosper in difficult technology niche

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Five friends have joined forces to launch a collaborative technology blog, with the hope of earning extra income by blogging together.

The Hi-Tech Squad is written by five family men from the USA, UK, and mainland Europe, who have been lured by the hope of earning some extra income through their blogging.

Each member has their own areas of expertise. “By blogging together we ensure broad, quality content and also the burden isn’t just on one of us,” said Gary Sims, one of the group.

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August 20, 2007

A Look at Movable Type 4

mt_logo.gif Among the blogging community, WordPress seems to get almost all of the attention. However, among enterprise customers and loyal followers, Movable Type, the blogging platform owned by Six Apart, remains a powerful and popular contender.

Recently, Six Apart announced the release of Movable Type 4. With over 50 new features and a completely redesigned administration area, it aims to convert bloggers and change the way blogs are administrated.

All of this comes just before a release of Movable Type that will be open sourced, which will provide a free version to the community that will be both unlimited and community-maintained.

But while Movable Type 4 has been generating a lot of buzz, the question is whether or not the new features are worth the attention. As with everything else though, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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