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July 9, 2013

Is the Death of Google Reader Bad for Blogs?

Google Reader

Throughout history, things come and go. What was once at the very top, ends up being replaced. When was the last time you made a call from a corded phone? How about listened to the radio? When did you read a newspaper last? The world is constantly evolving, and what’s the norm now may not be so five or 10 years from now.

On July 1, Google Reader saw its demise. Easily one of the most popular RSS readers on the planet, Google claimed declining usage was a factor in their decision to shut it down. Back in March when an announcement was made, bloggers and readers were extremely vocal. Most were very upset, and thought it was an incredibly stupid move on Google’s part.

However, the tech giant has a lot of products and services under its belt. For any business, you need to stay focused, and keep the money rolling in. Unfortunately, Reader simply wasn’t part of a focus anymore. With the shut down, many bloggers started to question what it meant for the industry. Was this the start of a major shift? Are blogs going by the wayside? read more

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April 2, 2012

Use Social Media – Effectively

Filed as Guides with 3 comments

With social media, everyone wants to know that what they are saying is having an impact on other people. Getting traffic that responds to your posts is extremely exciting, and keeping them coming back is even better. Here are some simple tips you can use to increase your social media traffic and success.

Be Real

It is not necessary to put on a front and pretend to be something you are not. Online, sooner or later, someone who knows the real you will blow your cover, and the response will be devastating. Besides, it’s also easier to keep up with the right personality if there are no pretenses. People can tell when you are being real or not. read more

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March 30, 2012

Effective Guerilla Link Building Strategies

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There are many strategies that are effective in achieving the goal of increasing a blog or website’s page rank in search engines. A high page ranking means you’ll get more visits to your website, which is what all blog or website owners want. Among the many strategies that you can use, link building remains one of the most effective strategies.

There are many ways of implementing a good link building strategy for your website or blog. One of the more effective ways of doing this is by using certain guerilla tactics that will generate the links that you need. For example, a popular guerilla link building tactic is to write link bait articles. These are articles that have a compelling content that other sites will want to link to it. It could be a controversial topic or a polarizing opinion. read more

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January 30, 2012

Then and Now: What Your Favorite Blogs Looked Like in Their Infancy

As we all know, every blog has a beginning. The beauty of the web is that websites can be stored in a permanent cache; effectively taking a virtual snapshot of the way the blog exists at that moment in time and storing it for later retrieval. Wouldn’t it be neat if you could go back in time and see what certain blogs looked like then? Well, it turns out you can. Archive.org has a public cache that stores snapshots of websites at regular intervals. It is called the Wayback Machine, and works just like a regular search engine; I tapped into it to bring you some blog history. You punch in the URL of the blog/site you want to look up, and they show you what dates they have stored in their database. The tool is not flawless, and many searches turn up corrupted pages or missing images, but it is really cool nonetheless.   I did quite a bit of poking around on the database, and here are some of the snapshots I found:

The Blogs I Looked Up

From left to right, down the list in order, the blogs covered were Blog Herald, Boing Boing, Copyblogger, Engadget, John Chow, and Problogger. The thumbnails are in sequential order, so that you see the earliest snapshot of the blog to the most recent. To view each snapshot, just click on the thumbnail to load the full-size version of it. If you roll the mouse over each thumbnail, it will tell you what blog the snapshot is from and which date as well. This project was a lot of fun, and I could have gone on forever with it.

One thing that we can all take away from this example is the amazing amount of hard work and dedication the owners of these blogs have committed to their sites. We sometimes forget that everyone has a starting point, and everyone at one time was a nobody. Even Google. Now, I am gonna bet that after you read this post, you are going to head over to the Wayback Machine and start looking up all kinds of sites! Go for it.

read more

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November 30, 2009

The Blurring Line Between Blogs and Forums

What separates a blog and a forum? It’s not as simple of an answer as it was just a few years ago.

Forums have long been making use of RSS feeds and some have even adopted more blog-like layouts. Now many forum applications have begun sending pingbacks and trackbacks to articles linked in posts, an activity that began and, previously was limited to, blogs.

However, blogs have also begun to become more and more forum-like. Though comments have always been a major part of blogging, many are also encouraging original submissions. They are also placing a heavier emphasis on comments and services such as Disqus and Intense Debate provide greater commenter identity and cross-site accounts.

In short, where forums have been pulling from the playbook of blogs in their newest features, blogs have been gradually becoming more community-oriented, turning away from the author-oriented approach they are often associated with.

This has had the effect of blurring the lines between the two and confusing many who are building new sites.

To help make sense of it, I decided to turn to my long-time friend, podcast co-host and all-around community expert Patrick O’Keefe in hopes he could provide some insights into their similarities and differences as well as help sites decide which format is right for them. read more

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November 13, 2009

WordPress.com Rolls Out GeoTagging Feature

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WordPress.com’s free blog hosting site has just rolled out geotagging of posts. This opt-in feature allows you to identify your location whenever you write a post.

Enabling this feature your blogs can be done either automatically by WordPress.com or you can set it manually yourself. read more

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September 21, 2009

5 Things That Change as You Blog

Blogging is like any other business or activity, if you stay with it long enough, eventually things will begin to change for you. If you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ve likely already noticed that you don’t run your site the same way now that you did when you began. Likewise, if you just began, you’re probably already thinking of ways that you can improve or expand.

Your blog, nor you as a blogger, stay the same from month to month, year to year. Things change and, for the most part, it’s best to work with the tides rather than fight them. The change is rarely for the worst and, for the most part, it is inevitable.

Here are five areas that, over, the years I’ve been blogging, changed drastically for me. None are bad things. Some of these are signs of growth, some are signs of simply getting older as a blog/blogger. Either way, they are changes most bloggers can expect to face if they stick with it long enough. read more

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May 5, 2009

Shiny Media reinstates trio of blogs: Pies, WiiWii, Dollymix

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In what may mark the beginnings of a turn of fortune, Shiny Media has announced that three sidelined blogs have been relaunched.

Who Ate All The Pies stopped being updated in September last year, but now Ollie Irish has retaken his role as editor-in-chief, with Anorak handling content production but (at present) with the blog still very clearly branded as Shiny Media’s. Details of the deal aren’t known (and probably won’t be made public) but I’d imagine some sort of revenue sharing and pay-per-post deal is in place to keep both the writers and companies happy. read more

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April 21, 2009

Yahoo Treats Automattic To The blo.gs Domain

Matt Mullenweg has announced that Automattic will be giving blo.gs, a ping service of yore, a refresh:

Yahoo! is transferring blo.gs to Automattic for safekeeping and further development. I’ve been a long-time fan of the service, and it even inspired the early WordPress feature which reordered your blogroll based on update times.

Classy move on Yahoo’s part, who obviously have no use for it.

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March 18, 2009

First “Top 100″ of British parenting blogs published by Talking Tots

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Mummy blogging is taking off in a big way in the UK, with an estimated 175,000 new blogs expected to be launched this Mother’s Day (22nd March) and with 55% being written by women.

By way of encouragement for both the parents who blog, and those who want to discover them, Talking Tots has published its first “Tots100″ index of the best parenting blogs in Britain. read more

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