February 4, 2015
Andrew Sullivan, blogging pioneer and Blogger-in-Chief at The Daily Dish, retired from blogging in the ‘near future’.
One of blogging’s most unique voices, Sullivan has been sharing his conservative political views since 2000.
He has written newsworthy posts throughout his 15 years as a blogger. He admitted to being wrong about the Iraq war and shared his thoughts about marriage equality, live-blogging about the Green Revolution for a month in 2009, and wrote a lot about Barack Obama.
He also formed a bond with his readers that he was able to share the politics of his own life – getting married to his husband, getting his green card, and getting his heart broken when Dusty passed away.
It is this kind of relationship forged with readers that makes Sullivan a legend in his own right.
A lot of people may not be familiar with Sullivan, but people who matter in his field do. Ta-Nehisi Coates, Noah Smith, and other luminaries in the political blogging world have acknowledged and paid respects to Sullivan’s departure.
As a guy who has never heard of Sullivan prior to writing this interview, I do not want to undersell his accomplishments of inspiring a wave of socially and politically conscious bloggers and entertaining the intellectual readers. That said, I would like to refer you to this wonderful piece by Tyler Cowen who provides a succinct but effective retrospective of Sullivan’s blogging career.
November 8, 2013
A little while ago I read this great post by Ken Mueller which got me thinking, “Where have I never been with my posts before?”
I was quite surprised to find that the answer was “The customer’s mind-set.” I have written posts in the past about providing great customer service and nurturing post-purchase, but never actually about how a business could be seen through the eyes of a customer. Most importantly though, how customers view the “little mistakes” that you decided to let slide or deal with later.
Here are ten little mistakes that I see quite often when browsing the web, and how they could be making your customers view your business in the wrong light!
Little mistake #1 – Not blogging or updating your social networks
It’s very easy to neglect things like your blog and social networks. What with more urgent work tasks, familial and social commitments and unexpected requests dominating many of our lives, the simplest solution is to try and alleviate the pressure by “just blogging tomorrow.” That tomorrow then becomes the day after, and the day after that and the day after that, as you can see from the lonely looking lambs in the example above (almost as lonely looking as the stagnant blog itself)!
It’s a vicious circle, and one that can leave both existing and potential customers seeing you as just as neglectful in other areas of your business as in your content. It can also come across as you simply not having anything interesting to say, so how could you have anything interesting to offer your customer too? read more
October 10, 2013
Because blogging has become more mainstream, it’s not enough anymore for businesses to simply have a blog, publish some posts, and call it a day. Blogging has become its own unique cog in the overall branding and marketing machine, forcing companies and blog owners to additionally market their blog if they want to make it successful.
Marketing your blog and promoting the great content that you are focused on writing can help not only generate more blog traffic, but also get more referrals clicks to other pages of your website, especially if you are regularly linking to them within your blog posts (where appropriate). read more
September 19, 2013
In December 1997, Jorn Barger of Robot Wisdom coined the term “weblog.” It combined the word “web” and “log,” and at the time such “weblogs” were incredibly basic. There were no push button services at the time, and not just anyone could start plugging away. Eventually, “weblog” got shortened to “blog” sometime around the year 2000, and we have seen massive changes ever since. WordPress, Blogger, Typepad and others have made it super easy for anyone to start creating content, helping to make their voice heard.
As blogs started to evolve, so did the level of interaction around them. The rise of search engines made content easy to discover for the first time ever, and commenting systems made it so that posts were no longer one-sided. Now, thanks to the age of social media, search engines are no longer the main source of discovery. Despite getting my start at blogging around 2008 when Facebook and Twitter were really beginning to gain traction, I always valued comments. read more
August 22, 2013
Google+ is no slouch in the social media space, commanding nearly 200 million active users in the stream as of May 2013. While it does offer unique features like Hangouts, group video chats with up to 10 people, it’s not too awful different from other social networks. You can follow or “Circle” people, segment the people you follow into specific circles (lists), share with specific circles or publicly, and so on.
You can create a community, start a page, and with cool features like Auto Awesome, upload the best looking photos possible. With any social network, the biggest defining factor is its community, many of which who span well beyond the tech geek stereotype. As Google+ continues to grow, so has the idea of it becoming a serious avenue for bloggers. read more
August 21, 2013
Over the past year, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Named and Numbers (ICANN), the non-profit organization that is responsible for, among other things, assigning domain names on the Internet, has given initial approval for over 1,500 new “top level domains” (abbreviated as TLDs and sometimes referred to as “domain extensions”).
This means, fairly soon, you could start seeing sites like http://www.site.love, http://www.site.beauty and http://www.site.toys, among many others.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be snapping up your own .baby or .love domain any time soon, many of the extensions may wind up being controlled by private organizations, such as L’oreal’s bid to control .beauty, where there are obvious business interests in the TLD itself, not in selling new domains. As such, many of those applications are for closed registrations, meaning that the operators of the extension will be selective in who they allow to register.
This has already sparked a predictable and understandable fear of corporate control over the Internet. But while the discussion about the balance between corporate control and Internet freedom is important, it’s also important to ask why ICANN is so eager to expand the number of extensions so quickly and what the impact of that expansion could be on the Internet.
Sadly, if previous expansions have taught us anything, it’s probably the latter. read more
August 7, 2013
Last year, as the debates over SOPA and PIPA raged, Joshua Kopstein at Motherboard wrote a post entitled “Dear Congress, It’s No Longer OK to Not KNow How the Internet Works“. In the post, he blasted Congress for joking about how little they understood about the Internet while, at the same time, attempting to legislate it.
A year later, it’s time to revisit that message, but in a different context.
With the recent NSA scandals, the attack on Tor network (widely suspected to be orchestrated by the U.S. government), and deep concerns about how government and private entities are cooperating to share user data, it’s clear isn’t just the government that needs a primer on how the Internet works.
The everyday user that does as well.
For most people, including many who grew up with the Internet, the Web seems almost magical. They click to visit a site or send an email and they get content or data from half a world away, nearly instantly.
But where most people take the time to understand at least the basics of how their car works, far fewer have taken the time to understand how the Internet works, even as they depend upon it more and more as part of their daily lives.
But like not knowing how a car works, ignorance can be dangerous and, also like a car, a little bit of understanding can go a long, long way. read more
July 24, 2013
When The Guardian broke the NSA Prism scandal back in early June, the uproar on the Internet was both immediate and widespread. The Internet, as we talked about two weeks ago, has not let the scandal die down and it remains a hot-button issue today.
However, whenever a major scandal like this emerges, it inevitably has unintended consequences on other debates and discussions. The Web community, in the most broad sense of the word, tends to be laser-focused on whatever issue is most prevalent on any given day.
Issues that aren’t so prevalent, however, take a back seat.
One such example of this is the copyright debates. Though copyright became a hot button issue in early 2012 with the SOPA/PIPA protests, it had been a focal point of the tech community for a long time before.
Today though, much of that attention is gone and many of the tech sites and authors that focused heavily, or even almost exclusively, on copyright issues have shifted their aim to government-related issues. This move has quieted an online debate that is still very much active in courtrooms and legislatures all over the world and one that could easily play an important role in the PRISM/NSA discussion.
Unfortunately though, the reasons for this are straightforward and there isn’t much that can be done about it, at least not without breaking the laws of physics. read more
July 12, 2013
It’s been just over a month since The Guardian broke the story about the National Security Agency’s (NSA) massive data collection program known as PRISM. The fervor has not died down and additional revelations about how the program works and similar systems existing in other countries have only stoked the flames
That anger has culminated in both “Restore the Fourth” rallies across the U.S., outrange online and a great deal of mockery as people turn to humor to best express their feelings. The nation, and indeed the world, has also turned its attention to the flight of Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor who originally leaked information about the program to the media.
But in the midst of the anger, lawsuits and questions, a larger conversation is taking place, one that revolves around privacy online, how much information we put out about ourselves on the Web and who has access to it.
That is because, while the Internet has certainly made our lives more convenient, it has also made them more trackable. In our bid to communicate better and easier, we put out so much information about ourselves, both intentionally and unintentionally, that the discovery of the NSA’s program may be as much a moment of reevaluation of our own practices as well as our government.
After all, for the government to collect the information it does, someone else has to have it first and the government is not the only entity with a vested interest in tracking you and monitoring your activities. read more