December 26, 2007

Benefiting from Jargon in Blogging

Bloggers are often criticized for using jargon. As well as blogger jargon, because of the conversational and often rushed nature of blog posts, bloggers often use their own industry jargon as a short hand. This can cause confusion and dismay in the audience, but actually using jargon properly can work to the blogger and audience benefit! read more

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December 25, 2007

Want. Want. Want. Blogging is About Giving.

I want. I want. I want. I hear this every day from other bloggers, especially new ones.

Guess what. Blogging isn’t about want. I know you want more traffic, more readers, more money, more attention, more links, and more wants.

Blogging isn’t about your wants. Blogging is about the gives.

Here’s how it works.

I give good content worthy of links, and others link back. I give links to information and resources, encouraging readers to leave my blog and go elsewhere, and they come back for more if the giving was good.

I give links. I give content. I give readers an opportunity to air their opinion and advice on what I give. I give other bloggers content worth linking to and referencing. I also give other bloggers challenges to improve their blog and blog content.

I may want, but without the giving, I won’t get.

Neither will you.
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December 24, 2007

Freedom of Speech and Anonymous Blogging

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The holidays are around the corner and some of us will be indulging ourselves in festivities. I thought this would be the perfect time to reflect on freedom within the blogosphere. I live in a relatively peaceful country where I can do or say whatever I want within the boundaries of the law. In the Netherlands the law is pretty keen on freedom of speech which sometimes leads to heated debates but at the same time allows me to speak my mind.

Freedom of speech is something I take for granted. Blogging is also something I take for granted.

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Hoax Bait — A Special Kind Of Link Bait.

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Over the past few days the notorious blogger Fake Steve Jobs (also known as senior editor of Forbes magazine, Daniel Lyons) had put together a series of posts which made it appear as though he was being the target of legal action from the target of his satire: Apple.

What made it such a great piece of work was how legitimate it sounded. Oh, they had sent their lawyers after him. He had dropped his “FSJ” persona and was largely talking with that mask off. He was concerned and worried about having the pants sued off of him. And so on.

Which made it all the more poignant when a great majority of tech bloggers got suckered into these posts as they were all, in fact, fake. What’s the lesson here?

Only that bloggers are pathetically easy targets for hoax bait.

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The Art of Backlinking

Why are backlinks important? Backlinks are another jargon term for links that “come back” to your blog via blog post articles, blogrolls, comments, and such on other blogs. They are also known as referrals or incoming links. In the world of Google PageRank™, links to your blog count. The more incoming links the better, right?

Semi-right. Yes, incoming links to your blog count, but Google now uses TrustRank™ in their algorithm. Though it’s usage is still in its early days, TrustRank evaluates incoming links based upon the page ranking and “quality of trust” of the blog sending the links to your blog, the keywords within the two linking blogs, and a lot of other information and details. If the data doesn’t add up, that incoming link might not mean much. If the data does add up, it could be a boon to your blog and its page ranking.

The key to getting links to your blog is getting quality links, links that improve your blog by association, not numbers.
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December 21, 2007

Google Relents: Blogspot Users Regain “Other URL” Feature On Blogger

It looks like after a bit of “yelling and fussing,” Google has restored the “other url” feature within Blogger’s commenting system.

After previously rolling out OpenID, many users were upset after Blogger removed the ability for unregistered users to link ones commenting name with their domain link.

Google has restored this feature within blogger powered blogs, and posted an apology on the Blogger Buzz.
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Are You Stopping Comments Before They Ever Get Started?

I was reading a book recently on the art of conversation and found a whole section on body language. How the position of your body influences your openness to a conversation.

For example, if someone has their hand up to their mouth or by their brow, they look like they are intent upon their thoughts. The last thing you’d want to do is interrupt their thinking, right? They don’t look approachable.

Crossed arms and legs or turning the body away from you, or the dreaded eyes wandering around the room not looking at you, are signs that the person isn’t just unwelcome towards your conversation, they want out and away from you.

Blogging isn’t about body language. It’s about language. Have you thought about what you do to stop the blog conversation on your blog before it even begins? If you aren’t using body language, what signs do you use? What are the clues?
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Respect in Blogging

One part of blogging that often gets talked about is “transparency and authenticity”. While I fully support these ideals, I think there is an aspect of blogging that does not get much coverage, and that is respect.

Since one of my friends got attacked pretty shamelessly by a couple of sites for some pretty innocent remarks, I have been wondering what it was that troubled me so much. I came to the conclusion that they showed her no respect. Banter is fine but they crossed a pretty serious line in my view. The fact they were online seemed to strip the conversation of the mutual respect that would be present had the discussion been face to face.

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December 20, 2007

Starting a New Blog: Worth the Effort?

I can’t tell you anymore how many blogs I have been a part of, and during the last few years, I have started and stopped numerous blogs on my own. The fact is that building a blog from nothing is very difficult, and depending on what you want out of blogging, it can be very limited in its rewards.

I have watched as many great blogs have been bought, sold, started up, and shut down, and it is always interesting to see which people make it out on top. Sometimes though, it seems like there are already so many amazing people in every niche, that it can feel overwhelming to join in and put your opinions, thoughts and time out into the blogosphere.

The biggest word of advice I have for anyone starting a new blog, in hopes of creating something that will get them from an office slave into a full time blogger is to be passionate. I have built blogs in very crowded niches (e.g. Xfep.com) to what I consider a successful level, I have watched as bloggers sell off some of their best blogs, just because they aren’t passionate about the subject anymore.

In any and every niche, there are spots open for passionate people to rise to the top given enough time, energy and determination. I have seen this countless times. I have watched bloggers come from no where, to being read by thousands of people every single day.

While it does seem like some people are hitting their digital saturation point, I have to admit that the hunt for the best content is always still going, and if you are going to start a blog, make sure your passion for the subject shines through, or it won’t be worth the effort.

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What Do You Want Gone From the Web in 2008?

My report last year on the things I want gone from the web wasn’t as prophetic as I hoped. I was really hoping that people would get a “hint” – okay, a slam across the forehead – and clean up the web. The things that really annoy me, and many others, are still around, though there have been some changes and improvements this year.

Here is the status of what I wanted to see gone from the web in 2007:
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