Chyrp, an alternative blogging engine

I took Chyrp for a test drive recently. It’s a great little blogging engine for personal sites. It’s simple and runs on any out of the box LAMP server. Has some great themes and reminds me a lot of a stand alone Tumblr. Worth checking out for the tech savvy personal blogger or blog hobbyist looking for something other than MovableType or WordPress.

Chyrp is a blogging engine designed to be very lightweight while retaining functionality. It is driven by PHP and MySQL (with some AJAX thrown in), and has a pimpin’ theme and module engine, so you can personalize it however you want.

Other alternative blogging engines I test drove recently include:
Expression Engine
B2Evolution
Mephisto

Tweet frees man from Egyptian Prison

Twitter may not have a business plan. But it is still really useful. Recently a graduate student from UC-Berkeley was arrested in Egypt along with his translator. Yet he managed to send tweets to his family and friends utilizing the social media service Twitter. Within hours his college had hired him a lawyer and helped free him after a protest.

Although the Twitter message helped him find contacts to get out of prison, James Buck, the Berkeley Grad Student says it was more the power of the network he had as an American that enabled him to be released so quickly.

Twitter, more than ever a social utility we can’t live without.

Start A Blog Consulting Business Today

There are a lot of Blog Consulting firms out there. I’ve worked with a few of them on sub contracting projects. I’ve started a blog consulting firm, and helped strategically plot another. There’s bound to be some new firms pop up after Six Apart picked up a MovableType consulting firm for what can only be assumed a six figure plus acquisition.

There are a lot of different types of blog consulting firms. There are those who focus on design, and implementation, those that focus on social media, and those that focus on training and implementation. Other focus on developing content for blogs, or hiring bloggers. Here’s 3 Quick Tips to get started in blog consulting.
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Blogging and Website Acquisitions

I’ve been apart of a number of acquisitions, scouting for acquisitions, and I’ve learned a lot by being involved in this process. Recently a company came knocking looking to acquire a division of my company. In the end the acquisition failed because of their obsession with Google Rankings, and a lack of understanding in how the web operates. But I did manage to learn a lot because of this and their insights into their niche has helped propel my drive to better improve our operation and how we use the social web including blogging.

Lesson I’ve learned:
Blogging has a price point.
When in a market in which I’m trying to grow, blogging should maximize leads and drive relevant traffic to product sales. If blogging isn’t converting customers and evangelists then blogging doesn’t merit a continual investment.

The price of a blog or website is a small part of the deal

Tip for acquirers: when a startup turns you down, consider raising your offer, because there’s a good chance the outrageous price they want will later seem a bargain.

~ Paul Graham

A good blogger is worth your entire enterprise
A strong social networked blogger is worth far more than a blog, a blogger is worth its weight in gold. Your business should start a blog, and hire a strong blogger.

Understanding SEO Is A Neccesity For A Site Acquirer
When a larger company wanted to acquire us their lack of understanding in SEO is what made the sale fall through. If you are going to acquire a website you need to involve a webmaster with at least basic knowledge of SEO in order for a successful sale.

Time is valuable. Don’t Waste It.
After spending around a month on the failed acquisition I learned something that could be applied to many organizations in the midst of acquisitions, or being acquired. Don’t waste time. If you can’t pull the trigger or quickly agree to a price, just walk away. Time is far more valuable than the time wasted on an acquisition that may not drastically change your organization. If you are unable to see how an acquisition is going to drastically change your organization than don’t acquire or allow yourself to be tempted by an a buyout.

FM Publishing raises a boatload of cash

According to Private Equity Hub FM Publishing has raised a boatload full of cash to keep its advertising network afloat and profitable.

Federated Media Publishing has raised between $40 million in $50 million in Series C funding at a $200 million pre-money valuation, peHUB has learned. Oak Investment Partners led the round, with return backers like Omidyar Network also participating. An official announcement is expected to come early this week.

FM Publishing is a Sausalito, Calif.-based operator of an advertising network for more than 200 online publishers, including Boing Boing, GigaOm and TechCrunch. It’s run by former Industry Standard honcho John Battelle, and is known to take extremely large commissions (by traditional ad sales standards, not by more generous online ad network standards).

I’m told that FM had just under $25 million in 2007 revenue, and expects to generate upwards of $60 million this year. That’s one hell of a jump in a down economy, but I’ll accept the conventional wisdom that online advertising will continue to grow, particularly because it represents an affordable alternative for cash-strapped offline advertisers.

When the economy is on the skids like it is now I think its hard to place such a strong valuation on consumer oriented ad networks. But what do I know I’ve never run an ad network.

Gawker Media sheds 3 sites

According to Silicon Alley Insider Gawker Media is shedding three of its underperforming sites: Wonkette, Gridskipper and Idolator. Unlike when he nuked Sploid.com, Nick Denton has mercy on these sites and will basically give them away to other companies with financial incentives for Gawker later down the road if they make money.

Shedding sites is a neccesity that I’ve had to do lately to keep the focus on the core profitable arena of the business.

Case Study: Utilizing Pages For WordPress

For a successful website, and in particular a resource section inside a blog I utilize Child Pages. Proper linear organization makes for a better blog organization and an easier to locate resource library for search engines to index and people to navigate.

Client A: Ridelust
Assignment: Create A Resource Laden Section on Corvettes, and other sports cars.

Chevrolet Corvette 2005 C6 LS2 Convertible Victory Red

The First thing I did was create a Hub Page, the parent page so to speak. You can find it here http://www.ridelust.com/corvettes/. From there we created ‘child pages’ under the parent. Examples of that would be our Corvette History page, and our Corvette Girl Pages.

You can utilize this to create multiple resource laden sections for your website that are organized in a way that search engines and users can find useful content. For a more indepth coders insight into child pages check out Technosailor for the info.

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