Blogging

Google Blog Search Overtakes Technorati

According to John Battelle, Google Blog Search has now overtaken Technorati in terms of traffic. Much of it is attributed to a link from Google News to its blog search facility.


Ten Tips For Getting Started With Typepad

If you'd like to build a blog like this one, or simply want a couple of tips on how to make an effective blog, take a look at ten simple steps that you can follow to get the most out of your TypePad blog

10 Tips Typepad

I quite like the Draft a simple blogging policy, which offers some useful tips and links to Jeremy Zawodny's Yahoo's Employee Blog Guidelines.


Six Apart To Host A Series of Business Blogging Seminars

Business_blog_tile_smLooks like Six Apart, makers of Typepad, will be presenting a series of Business Blogging Seminars over the next few months. They will be held in cities across the US (wish they could do a couple in the UK!), including New York, Boston, San Francisco and Chicago and will be headed up by Anil Dash, the company's Chief Evangelist - or should that read Brother Dash!

Here are some of the topics that will be covered:

  • Learn how to create effective blogging strategies and policies
  • Hear dynamic use cases from specific industries
  • See the latest blogging technologies demonstrated, including RSS and podcasting
  • Have your specific business blogging questions addressed in our Q&A sessions

How to Build Your Weblog Presence

Shel Israel, over at Naked Conversations, does a neat interview with Kami Wilson Huyse, a PR Consultant and blogger (Communication Overtones), where he asks her about blogging and PR. If you look to the start of the post you will see how Shel first became aware of her:

She started dropping comments onto my blog when I wrote on marketing
and PR-related subjects. Sometimes she agreed with me and other times
not. But each time, she added something of value to the conversation.

Now and then, she took the conversation over to her own blog where
she took it in new directions. That started me reading her other posts
and I was impressed. When I thought she had something useful or
interesting, I started pointing my readers to it as a service to them.

Whether you're new to blogging or an experienced professional, this is a very simlple technique of building your community and getting other bloggers to your site. And I think the two critical words that he uses here are added value. Whether you're blogging or contributing to a forum, you should always add value - if they like what you say they will come visit.

Coming back to the actual inerview she has someting interresting to say about the impact blogs have had on her business:

It has had an immediate impact. My business has already expanded by 30
percent this year alone as a direct result of the blog, and I have
contracts in hand that show at least a 50 percent increase next year. I
have also been able to sufficiently grow my network to implement the
virtual agency concept that I envisioned when I launched My PR Pro. I
am now working with a number of talented independent practitioners and
agencies across the U.S. and the world. The Internet and social media
tools have made possible a distributed workgroup of specialists that
stretches across geographic boundaries.

WOW!

And she only started blogging last Novermber.


One Way to Monetize Your Blog

I have been trying to think up some new ways that I can monetize both this blog and my other blog, Mad About Madrid, and came across a great idea from Oh My That's Awesome. On their website they have an Awesome Sponsor area (top left-hand side of their blog) where they introduce their sponsor for the month and below that feature an advert for the company. Here's this month's (September, 2006):

Awesome Sponsor

Wishingfish

I also like the light-hearted way they answer questions on sponsorship of this section:

How much is it?
Well, it all depends on how big
your ad is! We accept vertical badges 150 pixels wide and between
50-600 pixels in length. (At this size, ads stay above the fold of the
site and are easily visible and clickable.) Based on those terms, the
price is going to vary between very cheap and incredibly reasonable.
Do I have to sponsor a whole month?
Of course not!
Unlike some other weblog sponsorship programs out there, at Awesome you
choose the length of time, you help us set the price, you get all the
credit. Done and done!
What kinds of retailers sponsor Awesome?
The smart
kind, that's who. And typically, we market things to our readers that
we know they'll enjoy and ultimately want to buy, so it's a win-win for
everyone.

I think there may be some mileage in this way of advertising.

Interesting Widgets on Typepad

I'm doing some research for a client at present on the feasibility of adding certain tools on to a Typepad blog and thought that it would be a good idea to highlight some of these tools on this blog:

Trumba

Trumba offers Typepad users a neat way of displaying events online in a calendar format.

Vizu

If you're looking to add some interactivity on your blog or are looking to tap into what your adueince is interrestd, you should head over to Vizu.


Gabbly Chat

Gabbly is a neat widget that allows visitors to your site to cht to each other whilst reading your blog. I needn't have to tell you, however, the potential problems that this could create!

Feedblitz

Feedblitz is a great tool and allows users to sign up for notification of any new articles which have been posted on your blog. I use it on my Mad About Madrid site and it has proved to be very useful - you can add a chicklet which indicates the number of susbcribers to the feed, too.


Blogs of Note – Innocent Drinks

If you live in the UK, you will probably have heard of Innocent Drinks - the company that makes delicious juice and smothies. From their weblog, which is now featured on Typepad, you can read about their humble origins:

In the summer of 1998 when we had developed our first smoothie recipes
but were still nervous about giving up our proper jobs, we bought £500
worth of fruit, turned it into smoothies and sold them from a stall at
a little music festival in London. We put up a big sign saying 'Do you
think we should give up our jobs to make these smoothies?' and put out
a bin saying 'YES' and a bin saying 'NO' and asked people to put the
empty bottle in the right bin. At the end of the weekend the 'YES' bin
was full so we went in the next day and resigned.

The weblog offers an interesting insight into life in the business, its ethics, the people in the company, some of their thoughts and a lot more. This is what corporate blogging is all about - taking the lid of the company and letting customers and other interested parties have a peek inside. Corporate blogs can help businesses display their true personality in a way that sometimes can't be seen through their products and also advertising. Here are some good examples of personality from Innocent Drinks:
Free Lunch Thursday

Unit 6 Here We Come

Building a Festival
Rainforest 1 Burgers 0
Milk, Two Sugars

Please Keep off the Grass

Boy! I think I'll try to find out how to work for these guys.


Blogs of Note – Girl Solo in Arabia

Typepad, the blogging tool that powers this site, often features websites that Typepad users have developed - it's a way of showing the wide diversity of blogs that are out in the 'blogosphere' (or are blogs so mainstream that we can say they belong in cyberspace!). Well, I came across an absGirlsolo
olutely fascinating site today called Girl Solo in Arabia.

The weblog is written by Carolyn McIntyre, an experienced guide to the Middle East for Geographic Expeditions, and charts her journeys in the footsteps of Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta, which took more place than 680 years ago. So far she has travelled through Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia. Here's what Typepad has to say about it:

Her blog has become an informal guide for travelers planning on going
to the Middle East and inspiring verse for those who are afflicted with
neverending wanderlust. The most rewarding side effect of following her
adventure is discovering more facets to the Islamic world than what we
glimpse on nightly news broadcasts.

It really is a fascinating read and, given the current political climate, quite a journey to undertake, too. The information about the places she visits is quite detailed and the pictures really lend to the experience. Some of the pictures and detail which interested me related to the Roman ruins in Tipaza:

Remarkably intact aqueduct which fed the Roman cities of Cherchell
and Tipaza. I have no more information - tourism is in its infancy in
Algeria and there is a dearth of written material about the sites.

and the

marble courtyard of Al-Azhar Mosque. Built in 969AD by the
Fatimids and named for the Prophet's daughter, Fatima al-Zahra, it is
the oldest university in the world and is still a center of Islamic
theology with students attending from all over the world. The marble
courtyard is original...

Well worth a read and will certainly offer good tips if you're planning on visiting any one of these places.

 


Ask.com Launches Blog and Feed Search

I was at the Search Engine Strategies Conference last week in London and one of the speakers was from Ask.com. It actually looks like a neat tool and seems to index blog feeds in no time at all. According to their press release:

Ask Blogs & Feeds is "the most robust index of
content on the Web," covering somewhere between 4 and 6 million new
blog posts daily, for a total index of about 1.5 billion articles.
Technorati claims to index 1.2 million new blog posts each day.

Ask.com is backed up with data from Bloglines.