January 28, 2008

Former probloggers looking for work?

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Have you ever needed to retreat back to the world of working after you’ve been a problogger? Fortunately I haven’t but I have a few friends who have lately. Luckily it’s not the end of the world. They have amazingly marketable skills and they just need a hand up. A new company called Standout Jobs is looking to help faciliate web 2.0 companies looking to fill job slots and revolutionize the recruiting process.

Here’s a peak into what Standout Jobs is all about:

Standout Jobs is built on the idea that companies need to provide candidates with a better online recruiting presence. Companies are losing out on great people because they don’t offer:

* Detailed and interesting information about what makes them tick
* An interactive, friendly experience
* A way for on-going relationships to form

Building relationships is the key to blogging and its the key to finding new work. So if you are a blogger looking for a gig with a company check out Standout Jobs, if I were looking I’d jump over there and check it out. It’s run by a long time friend of The Blog Herald so I’m excited to see what happens with it.

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Cease and Desist, Copyright and Fair Use

On Friday, an article appeared on Techdirt that struck fear into the hearts of many of us who follow copyright issues on the Web. According to a press release, a law firm had successfully established copyright in a cease and desist letter and could, in turn, use that to prevent others from republishing it.

The tactic of publishing cease and desist letters has a rich tradition on the Web. Sites that have found themselves bullied by larger companies have used the technique to turn the tide without going to court andChilling Effects was brought into existence solely for the purpose of publishing cease and desist letters as well as DMCA takedown notices. There has also been some questionable use of the technique as The Pirate Bay has published many cease and desist letters to ridicule those who have fought against them.

However, as the dust has settled and more details of the case have come to light, many of us have breathed a sigh of relief. As others have begun to more thoroughly read the full decision, it is clear that the courts ruling is far from a clean-cut or as life altering as previously thought.

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January 25, 2008

Introduction to the world of Blog Consulting

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A lot of people ask me about my history of flipping websites one of the amazing things about ‘flipping websites’ is that it’s given me amazing experience into building a successful blog, although a lot has changed in the last year or two as far as what it takes to really take things to the next level. I’m going to take you through the process of development to execution on a blog consulting gig since I’m in the middle of starting a new client gig.

The first step I take is to work with the client to find the right web hosting company. In this case the client had multiple accounts and so this was easy. They went with Mediatemple. There are lots of others out there that I can recommend including my personal favorites ASmallOrange
and ModWest.

I then help the client select an amazing domain name. I generally use Instant Domain Search a great service for simple and elegant branding. You might also check out Deleted Domains for some interesting names that have expired that still have back links.

I then install the only blogging software I take into a battle. WordPress, even though I have a love hate relationship with it at times.

Next I setup a Social Media and Blogging Toolkit, this entails setting up accounts at places like Twitter,Digg,Reddit,Tumblr, and the like to help not only engage the social community at large, but to also build strong relevant back links. Being apart of the community conversation is very important IMO.

Next I setup a Gmail account for this project. [email protected] usually does the trick. I then create a set of feeds to listen to in Google Reader. This really helps me develop a feel for the niche I’m consulting in. I”m a blogger, not an expert in every possible field that a client brings to my attention.

Once I get this out of the way. I can move into the heavy lifting on the site. Stay tuned next week for my next installment on Blog Consulting.

Occassionally I work with the guys at Performancing on projects so if you are interested in Authority Building,Blog Management, or Social Media Optimization head on over and check out Performancing.

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7 Ideas to Make Blogging Your Creative Habit

Content is the best part of blogging — good material provides a platform for action and even a few bonus insights to the reader. For the writer, the height comes from the pleasure of turning a great concept, composing a good sentence, sometimes earning something in addition to reputation. Trading hard earned knowledge to have it.

How do you face that empty screen, the blank digital canvas that stares back at you? Day in, day out looking to come up with post ideas. You power up the computer, open your program, look at the white space and what do you see? I would like to suggest that what you see is possibility. Make creativity a habit. Choreographer Twyla Tharp has made a career of it. You can, too.

Forget your “but’s”, “maybe’s”, and all the other defeatist thoughts — it doesn’t take extraordinary talent to be creative. It takes discipline. Set daily routines for yourself, and transform what you thought was just a stroke of genius, the spark of a rare moment into a habit — your creative habit.

It takes work, and it takes commitment. When you decide to blog for money it takes healthier doses of both — do a reality check with Darren Rowse and ProBlogger. The good news is that it is possible for you, too. If you are willing to loosen up a little.

To be creative, you need to know how to prepare to be creative. It’s about much more than quality of presentation, it’s about being able to bridge between what you see in your mind and what you present to the world — skill is how you build that bridge. And you build your skill with practice.

Immerse yourself completely in what you are doing. No multitasking, no background music, no distractions from what is in your mind. All of those activities are mere crutches that delay your moment of truth — when you start typing and the words flow onto the page. Listen to what your mind is saying.

Discover what is the one tool that feeds your creativity. Then find a way to make it portable. For a writer it may be a pen and a pad of paper to be able to jot notes. I type my posts, but I like to jot down notes anywhere I am to capture moments of inspiration.

Reveal yourself. In other words, learn to understand your patterns, sources of inspiration, what makes your writing work. The real secret of creativity is to go back and remember. Use your memories to rediscover new ways to talk about topics.

Start a creative box with your notes, images, and all the sensory information you need to store your ideas for when you’re ready to retrieve them to tell a story. We tend to do that in rapid fire format, it doesn’t have to be that way. Sometimes a topic becomes much better with the passing of time. The box is your preparation.

Improvise and see what happens. I wrote some of my best posts on the spur of the moment. Let your inhibitions go and just write. Want to know my secret? When I start feeling the tingling in my belly, the thought of being a little scared, I am certain I’m on to something. Trust your gut, it’s an excellent guide. If you never dare write it, you’ll never know.

Build a bridge to the next day. Never completely finish everything you have on your plate. You may notice that your moment of peak energy is just after you have written a killer post. Start another one, begin outlining the idea before you leave it for the next day. You will be glad you did, as it will be provide a launching pad for generating more material when you start working the following day. it’s a jump start. I try to work at least two days ahead of myself so I have time to edit, tighten, research, insert that inspiring phrase.

Find your very own validation squad. This is a group of people that does not have an agenda and you know will be candid with you. Seek their counsel, test drive ideas with them. Sometimes all we need is for our idea to be heard to tackle it.

Confidence is a trait that can be earned and needs to be refreshed constantly. Make blogging your creative habit and your will uncover limitless opportunities to generate content and have fun with it.

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I Hate What I Blog About

I was rather stunned when a blogger I’d met at a recent conference told me, “I hate what I blog about. What should I do?”

All I could say as my brain ground to a clattering halt was, “Oh, my.”

Not very profound.

Author William C. Knott was much more profound in his book The Craft of Non-Fiction:
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Just Jump In!

Jump in

“It wouldn’t work for me”

“My niche doesn’t do things like that”

“Our audience won’t like it”

Have you ever not tried something out of fear of failure? Are people you trust telling you to try something but you are holding back?

A few times this week I have asked people if they have ever tried different things and each time they have told me that either something wouldn’t work or that they were afraid that it might not work out the way they hoped.

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January 24, 2008

Edublogs Campus: Bringing Blogs to Schools

I worked on my school newspaper. Didn’t you? Many bloggers got their first taste of joy in writing while working on a newspaper or newsletter at school. Imagine what your education would have been like if your school newspaper was a blog?

James Farmer of Edublogs is bringing blogs to the schools, and his new Edublogs Campus might be the next school newspaper and more.

Edublogs, the popular free blog hosting service for educators and students, now offers a unique package based upon , the WordPress-driven multi-user program that runs , to help teachers and schools set up their own blog hosting service. Edublogs Campus is described as “Your own blog based teaching and learning environment” that allows teachers, school officials, students, and parents to create their own social and educational interactive environment through blogs.
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Interview with Gyutae Park of Winning the Web

Thanks for taking the time to answer some of my questions.

I am sure you must be running on a little bit of a high from winning a competition against Tyler Cruz, the owner of a blog with a larger readership. Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself, your blog, and the recent competition.
Gyutae ParkSure. My name is Gyutae Park and I run an Internet marketing blog over at Winning the Web. I work full time as an SEO but am extremely interested in working on some of my own projects while marketing and monetizing them as much as possible.

Winning the Web officially launched in mid-October of 2007 and has seen huge success attaining a subscriber count of over 350 in just 3 short months. As many know, one of my main strategies in promoting the blog has been to create some crazy contests and competitions that generate huge amounts of buzz, links, and attention. In my first contest I bought a John Chow review to promote a contest for a free John Chow review. read more

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WordPress Wednesday News: Happy Birthday WordPress, Automattic Wins and Gets Lots of Money, Security Concerns Over Plugins and Core, WordCamp Hamburg and Hating the Name WordPress.com

Happy Birthday, WordPress! WordPress.com and Toni Schneider win! Venture capitalists throw money at WordPress and Automattic. WordPress Plugin concerns raise their heads. Security and WordPress – becoming an issue? WordPress.com bloggers get 3 gigs. WordCamp Hamburg is this weekend. And we don’t like the WordPress.com name.

WordPress News

WordPress.com Wins! WordPress.com and Automattic won at the TechCrunch Crunchies. Automattic won in two categories, for WordPress.com for Most Likely to Succeed and Toni Schneider for Best Startup CEO. Congrats all!

Happy Birthday WordPress! Mike Little always reminds us of the birthday of WordPress and WordPress just turned five years old. Happy Birthday!

It’s Raining Money: Matt Mullenweg has announced that Automattic has secured USD $29.5 million from venture capitalist investments this year, up from $1.2 million in 2006. The New York Times has joined the investor team, too. The money is to be used for more investment in WordPress.com’s free blogging service, improvement in comment spam protection, hiring new developers and staff, and much more to help make WordPress and Automattic projects grow. As in the famous words of Dolly Madison, “Money is like manure; it’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around encouraging young things to grow.”

New Automattic Official WordPress “News” Blog: Automattic, the parent company of WordPress, announced the WordPress Publisher Blog, a magazine style blog promising articles from WordPress developers and the staff of Automattic on how to use WordPress and offering interesting tips and tricks and news.
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Skipping 2.4: How to Make Things More Complicated in the WordPress Community

By now I reckon everyone knows that the next version of WordPress is 2.5, right? I mean. Lorelle does a great job serving up the news here at The Blog Herald, you can’t expect a better update than that, seriously. So you all know, 2.4 is skipped, right?

No?

Well, maybe the people e-mailing me, asking me on various IM networks and whatnot isn’t readers of The Blog Herald, but some at least should be. They aren’t ignorant newbies, they’ve been around online for quite some time, and most of them aren’t afraid of hacking a bit of code. Still, they are confused. Where is 2.4?

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