Get Your Post Inspiration from Referer Keywords

I quite often look at my blog statistics to see who visit my blog, where they came from and which posts are popular. Lately I’ve been particularly interested in the keywords people use in search engines and where these keywords lead them. While you could definitely call me blog statistics addict and argue that the time checking stats could be spend more productive there are reasons why checking stats is good for you. They may serve as an inspiration for new blog posts.

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The Next Step in Geotagging Blog Posts

Icon set

Bruce from is taking geotagging blog posts to the next level by developing a web standard icon. Geotagging is the act of adding geographical metadata to a piece of content such as a blog post.

The first important step in geotagging blog posts was made by cyberhobo who developed a plugin for WordPress that makes it very easy to annotate your blog posts and automatically puts them on a Google Map.

This is what a map with geotagged blog posts could look like:


A more customized example of a geotagged blog map can be found on Shifting Pixels.

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Three Research Articles That Changed My View on Blogging

In the past two years I’ve read many thought provoking articles on blogging. Unfortunately many of these articles are hidden behind the great academic firewall. Researcher and blogger danah boyd explains how and why many academic articles are behind “heavy iron walls” in her blog post ‘open-access is the future: boycott locked-down academic journals.

While subscription fees may keep academic journals going it prevents interesting articles from circulating widely and circulation creates discussion. Fortunately there are also many great research articles out there in the open. I’d like to share three pieces that changed the way I think about blogs.

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How Many Blogs Are There? Is Someone Still Counting?

The question of how many blogs are out there is currently buzzing in my e-mail inbox and in my (Dutch) feed list. Why do we even care about the total number of blogs? Carl Bialik from the The Wall Street Journal explained it as follows in 2005:

First, let’s step back and consider why we’re counting blogs at all. You no longer see articles that attempt to demonstrate the legitimacy of the Web by stating how many Web pages there are. But blogs are still in the process of entering mainstream consciousness, so numerical credibility is important; bloggers themselves cite the statistics a lot.

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Where Do You Leave Your Comments?

When bloggers are quoting other bloggers and you want to comment on the issue, where do you leave your comment?

There are three different options:

  1. Comment on the the original post
  2. Comment on the post that quoted the original post
  3. Start a new post and use trackback/pingback to notify the other two posts

Which one do you choose?

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Blogging May Change the Future of Publishing

Grand Text Auto, a group blog about computer narrative, games, poetry and art, has recently launched an interesting blogging experiment that may take blogging and publishing to the next level. Noah Wardrip-Fruin is putting the manuscript of his upcoming book Expressive Processing, about digital fictions and computer games, online so that the Grand Text Auto community may participate in an open, blog-based peer review. The community is invited to give feedback on the work in the form of comments and/or trackbacks which in its turn may be picked up by the author.

It is the beginning of a more social and networked book.

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The Blogosphere is Defined By Technology

Chris Garrett wrote in ‘Why Blogging is Not About Technology‘ that instead of focusing on technology we should focus on people. Kevin added in the comments that blogging is about sharing information and Lorelle VanFossen added that blogging is about (reader) interaction. An important blogging technology that enables us to share our information is the site feed. While the practice of blogging is not about technology the blogosphere heavily depends on this technology.

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More Tips for Conference Blogging

Blog plateau PICNIC

The Blog Herald previously covered blogging conferences with great articles on Tips for Conference Blogging, Tips for Conference Blogging – Part 2 and Tips for Attending Conferences. Last year I covered many new media conferences in the Netherlands with the Masters of Media, a collaborative blog from the University of Amsterdam. We’ve been to very different venues and ran into various interesting problems including no power and no internet access. How do you deal with these issues?

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On Using Manual and/or Automatic Link Notification Systems

When writing a blog post I place links to relevant sources and material. I choose my links carefully and they represent what I think fits the topic best.

Trackback is an intentional way of notifying other blogs because WordPress requires you to manually enter the blog’s trackback link. It also allows you to send a notification to another blog even if you don’t explicitly link to them in the post. This may be done in an attempt to include the other blog in the conversation. On top of that trackbacks may be considered “the real letters of recommendation on the web.” However, with the increasing disappearing of a visible trackback link is it still a popular feature?

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To Blogroll or Not to Blogroll

I have been thinking about removing my blogroll in a new design. My blogroll needs updating but instead of reconsidering the blogs in my blogroll I have been thinking about removing it altogether. Not only is it outdated, the blogs I want to link to are subject to change and I rather link to blogs through blog posts than through my blogroll.

Currently I mainly link to friends from university and some other people writing about new media. My blogroll is pretty coherent as it reflects the focus of my blog but what about the other people I want to link to?

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