Marshall Kirkpatrick’s New Writing Routine

Marshall Kirkpatrick, of ReadWriteWeb fame, has a personal blog as well. Yesterday he posted his new writing routine, and I just love the simpleness of it.

1. Find story idea
2. Reach out to sources for info
3. Research online using various magic research tools, while I wait for sources to get back to me
4. Stop and think
5. Talk to sources, maybe research some more based on what they say
6. Write!

Kirkpatrick needs to spend no more than two hours doing that, but you can steal it for your own writing. It would also depend on what kind of story you’re working on.

How do you find, research and write your blog posts?

Mashable Launches Branded TweetDeck

Mashable has announced the launch of MashDeck, a strangely familiar looking Twitter app using Adobe Air. You recognize it because it is basically TweetDeck, the popular Twitter app, rebranded for Mashable, which basically means some minor design tweaks (for the worse if you ask me), and a default Mashable search column. TweetDeck previously did a Blink-182 branded version, so maybe ReadWriteWeb is onto something here: Is this the business model?

ReadWriteWeb Does Sponsor Posts

I was a bit surprised to see that ReadWriteWeb published a sponsor post (about the .me domain, which is cool, check out /shameless plug), something I haven’t noticed them doing before. This is how they, well, defend it I guess:

[…] we offer our long-term sponsors the opportunity to write ‘Sponsor Posts’ and tell their story. These posts are clearly marked as written by sponsors, but we also want them to be useful and interesting to our readers. We hope you like the posts and we encourage you to support our sponsors by trying out their products.

Right. I’m not sure I like this kind of sponsored post actually, it is too much marketing. I don’t mind thanking sponsors in posts though, as in “thanks to our sponsors, June 2009” or something like that. This? Too much marketing, but at least RWW are transparent about it.

The Ad Heavy Feed Footers


It was bound to happen, ads hitting the RSS feeds. It’s not even anything even remotely new, popular services such as Feedburner (pre-Google) offered advertising solutions for your feed, and does now too, thanks to Adsense. Other players in the feed sphere did it too, and don’t forget the publishers themselves – adding something at the end of the RSS feed isn’t even all that hard. And I’m not even mentioning the fact that if you put an ad in your blog post, it’ll go right along in your feed.

It makes sense. A lot of us like to read, or at least glance, stories in the feed reader. We might not visit some sites in weeks, despite being regular readers.

Enters the ads in the RSS feeds. Problem is, where there is plenty of opportunity to make it look splendid and great on a website, the feed doesn’t have the same possibilities. Which makes it ugly. [Read more…]

ReadWriteWeb Launches Startup Channel

ReadWriteWeb isn’t just hiring, they’re expanding too. The most recent “channel”, as they call their overhead sections, is ReadWriteStart, focusing on startups and sponsored by Microsoft BizSpark.

Our sponsor for this Channel is Microsoft BizSpark. They pay the bills, but they have no say in what we write.

Fair enough. Read the launch post and check it out for yourself.

TechCrunch Passes 10,000 Posts, Celebrates by Killing the Embargo

Techcrunch LogoTechCrunch has announced that they’ve passed the 10,000 post mark, which is impressive to say the least. The tech blog launched in June 2005 and has become a phenomenon since then, loved, hated, ignored, and important to the web 2.0 startup industry, if you can call it that.

They’re saying that the Death to the Embargo post was the 10,000th one, and naturally the controversy hit TechMeme, with lots of follow-ups. ReadWriteWeb takes another stance, saying they’ll respect embargoes, which Arrington & Co. obviously won’t anymore. Personally, I think embargoes are a good thing when used right. Problem is, usually it is just a press release you can’t write about until a few days time, and that’s just nonsense. It is a whole different matter if you’ve got early access or similar. An interesting discussion to say the least, one we’ll pass for now.

Anyway, congratulations to TechCrunch on writing a whole lotta posts!

Facebook Reaps Mobile Success, Will Blogs Come Next?

The fact that Facebook is something of a success and phenomenon won’t come as a surprise to anyone reading the Blog Herald, but the recent mobile growth just might. Apparently they launched some new mobile services, and that sparked this success blog post, with the following message:

People are hungry for interactive mobile features worldwide, and Facebook users are no exception. Usage of our mobile products has grown from 5 million to 15 million active users since the beginning of the year. We have expanded our mobile team and are continuing to make improvements every day.

That by itself is impressive, and the success can probably be put down to the ability to actually interact via your mobile phone, something that isn’t too common, as ReadWriteWeb points out in their story.

Blogs could see the same mobile growth, it’s just a matter of reaching out with content that fits the mobile phone. Sure, you can read traditional blog posts on smartphones, and perhaps even ye olde mobile phone, and if you have a mobile version of your site, via any of the providers or by yourself, it might even be pretty usable. That’s not the real issue here. [Read more…]

ReadWriteWeb Blog Network Disbands


ReadWriteWebReadWriteWeb has disbanded its blog network, which included AltSearchEngines and last100, as well as the main ReadWriteWeb blog. Richard MacManus says that the reason for the decision is “to focus on building and extending our core ReadWriteWeb brand”. That makes sense, we’re in a recession after all, and it is better to tighten the portfolio and strengthen the things you truly believe in.

Also from the RWW post on the matter:

I will retain a personal stake in both AltSearchEngines and last100, but as of 1 November they are under the majority ownership of Charles Knight (AltSearchEngines) and Steve O’Hear (last100). I’d like to thank Charles and Steve for putting in so much effort to build up AltSearchEngines and last100 respectively. Both have done a great job covering their respective niches and we wish them all the best in continuing to grow the sites.

I can’t find anything about this on last100, but AltSearchEngines writes about it, using cute toons to further push the point. [Read more…]