Are Blog Archives Working for Your Blog?

Example of blog archives

Your blog archives are the list of months some bloggers keep in their sidebar that link to monthly chronological collections of their blog posts. In the early days, a site with such a monthly listing in their sidebar meant this was a personal blog. Without it, it was a website or professional site.

Are you still displaying your blog post archives? What benefit do bloggers get when the offer a long series of months and years in the sidebar of their blog? Do visitors and readers really use them? Do you?

With all the worry about duplicate content and Google’s PageRank, if your blog is generated similar or duplicate content within the categories and tags, then why do you need to clog their databases with archives?

Have you ever found archives in a search result? I do all the time. I click though hoping to find the answer to my question and find nothing. That information might have been on page 4 of that month’s archive of posts, but now, the natural chronological push from the present to the past of the blog structure may have pushed the information I need onto page 6.

How would I know? [Read more…]

TechCrunch’s Web Tablet Project

This is interesting. TechCrunch have started a project where they want to build an open-source based web tablet, running Firefox and possibly Skype on top of a Linux distribution, with just a touch screen interface. Add a power button, and a $200 price tag, and you’ve got the essentials of this interesting project.

There’s great interest in this, truly, because the first post on TechCrunch is at 593 comments, and TechCrunchIT, another site in Michael Arrington’s network, have two posts for discussions, the first which is now closed, and a new one to keep the discussion going on.

I’m hoping they’ll pull this one together. A simple web tablet for $200 would be sweet indeed.

Starting a Blog With Zero Tech Know-How

Let’s preface this post by warning you that the site we’re about to talk about uses one of those shady, ‘we’re going to take all of your money,’ templates.

The technically challenged no longer have to let their Technophobia keep them out of the blogosphere. Blog Setup Service is a new site that promises to do all of the blog setup legwork for you for $97 a year.

As someone who spends much of his time writing blogs – and not setting them up – I was curious to hear from you on the value of such a service.

I’m not analyzing this specific company offering the service. Rather, I’m curious to hear what you think the demand of this type of service is and what a fair fee to charge for it is.

I know many strong writers who have been scared to blog because of the tech involved. Perhaps a service like this would strengthen the blogosphere even more.

Prepare Yourself for the Blog Bullies

Blog Bullies

In 2006, I wrote about copyright violations saying that it wasn’t a matter of if but when your content would be stolen. The same premise applies to blog bullies.

It’s not a matter of if a blogger will blog bad things about you but when.

It’s going to happen. It may have already happened. It’s happened to me plenty of times. So what do you do when someone makes fun of you, pokes at you, says hurtful or harmful things about you or your blog on their blog? [Read more…]

BlogCatalog Launches Political Blogging Channel

BlogCatalog, the self-proclaimed ‘fastest-growing social network for bloggers,’ has launched a new Political Channel, hoping to engage millions of members in the political process.

“As we approach the Democratic and Republican conventions, BlogCatalog’s Political Channel will serve as a benchmark of what is on the minds of mainstream political bloggers across America,” stated Tony Berkman, BlogCatalog CEO. “With almost 5,000 political bloggers and 114,000 non-political bloggers already part of the BlogCatalog conversational ecosystem, BlogCatalog is the Internet’s leading destination for mainstream political bloggers to have their political voices heard, engage in the political debate, increase their blog’s exposure, and participate in lively discussion.”

New political channel features include:

– discussion area
– highlighted posts
– political social search
– political groups
– open call for writers

All bloggers listed in BlogCatalog are opt-in and must pass a 5-step qualifying process, reviewed by a BlogCatalog Analyst.

The Legal Risks of Blogging

A recent article in ABC News paints a fairly grim picture about the current state of blogging. According to the article, as well as the Media Law Resource Center, there have been 159 civil and criminal court actions taken against bloggers since 2004 with countless others threatened into silence before any kind of action was filed.

Though the number of actions taken are still very small compared to the number of bloggers writing (Technorati was tracking over 70 million blogs at its last report), the threat of legal action is enough to scare many bloggers into changing the way they write, removing content or otherwise altering their site.

The problem is that, even if the image of bloggers being sued is an exaggerated one, the image of bloggers being threatened with such suits is much less so. For every lawsuit that reaches trial, there are dozens that are settled and for every one that is settled there are likely hundreds that are threatened, but never filed.

This has helped to create a climate of fear, one that bloggers need to be prepared for.
[Read more…]

MacRumors Founder Quits His Day Job

Dr. Arnold Kim apparently quitted his day job a couple of weeks ago, but I just learned about it in a New York Times piece on him. Kim is the owner of MacRumors, a popular blog about Apple stuff, and a great one at that, with 4.4 million readers monthly according to Quantcast.

The NYT article is a nice inspirational read, with some nice quotes from Kim, and some good advice as well. Funny thing is, Kim is a doctor already pulling in decent money, so the step is really interesting in principle.

Check out the NYT article, and wish him luck! I’m pretty sure MacRumors will be even better because of this.

What Are Your Favorite Quotes?

The writer is… an athlete required to break the four-minute mile every morning.
— Irving Stone

Replace writer with blogger and you have a good description of what the job of blogging is.

I’ve been collecting quotes since I was very young. One of my favorite books is the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, which just celebrated it’s Diamond Jubilee. I don’t know when the old rusty red edition found its way into my hands as a child, but I was totally taken with the never-ending collection of wise and whimsical things people said for every occasion. I wanted to talk like they did, combining words in such a way to make a powerful punch when provoked.

Maybe that was my first introduction and training into press release, editorial, and technical writing?
[Read more…]