Written on September 23rd, 2004 at 05:09 pm by Darren Rowse

Blog Cards

Blog Promotion 3 comments

Blog Cards are like Business Cards that feature a bloggers blog address to make networking easier.

Ripples and BuzzMachine are both talking about making and using Blog Cards.

David St Lawrence of Ripples writes ‘I made up a blogging business card some weeks ago because I got tired of writing my weblog URL on the back of my other business cards. This card has my name and the tagline Online Essays along with this URL and email address of choice.’

I’m not sure that the Average Joe blogger is going to be rushing out to get cards - but I’m sure they will be useful for some.

Written on September 23rd, 2004 at 05:09 pm by Darren Rowse

Blog Design Showcase

Blog Design 1 comment

Want to know what a good blog design looks like?

Blog Desiger - Rachel Cunliffe has just released the Blog Design Showcase. She writes:

This is a collection of outstanding blog designs, thoughts on what makes a good blog design, and will also be where I announce new blogs that I have designed.

She also invites readers to submit suggestions for inclusions.

Written on September 23rd, 2004 at 05:09 pm by Darren Rowse

Blogging Books

Miscellaneous Blog Tips 1 comment

Blogging about Blogging is happening with growing frequency on many weblogs, but writing in hard copy is also becoming more popular. Here are a few of the best selling and most popular books on the topic. (Descriptions are taken from Amazon) I’ve read most of the first two - both are worth a look. If you’ve read these or other books on blogging leave your reviews and suggestions in comments.

Blog On: Building Online Communities with Web Logs By Todd Stauffer.cover

Weblogs — or blogs — are taking the Internet by storm! Now you can expand your site using message boards, mailing lists, and numerous other features to maintain and promote community with help from this easy-to-understand guide. Includes practical tips for making tweaks and improvements with HTML, Flash, Web images, and much more.

Blogging: Genius Strategies for Instant Web Content by Biz Stone.cover

Turn your home page into a microportal with fresh content that will keep readers coming back. The first hands-on book on building blogs, this is an excellent tutorial for new bloggers, and includes many advanced techniques for veteran bloggers…. This book features hands-on tutorials for building a blog, adding a user based commenting system, adding team members, syndicating with JavaScript, adding searches to a site, and much more. This is the book for creative web-enthusiasts looking for the “next thing” and it’s the first book of new ideas and advanced tutorials for bloggers already numbering in the hundreds of thousands.

We’ve Got Blog: How Weblogs Are Changing Our Culture - By Rebecca Blood:cover

We’ve Got Blog is a collection of 34 essays that explore this rapidly growing trend. Contributors include such noted bloggers as Joe Clark, Cameron Barrett, and Giles Turnbull. The discussion covers the history and community of weblogs, contrasts weblogs and traditional journalism, and offers advice on starting a weblog.

We Blog: Publishing Online with Weblogs By Paul Bausch, Matthew Haughey and Meg Hourihan. cover

Your Complete Guide to Creating and Maintaining Weblogs. Weblogs offer an exciting new way to voice your opinions, share ideas with others, and help your business grow. Written by a team of weblog pioneers-the people who helped create Blogger and the MetaFilter community blog-this book shows you how to build, evolve and automate weblogs for personal and business use.

The Weblog Handbook: Practical Advice on Creating and Maintaining Your Blog by Rebecca Bloodcover

Weblogs–frequently updated, independently produced, and curiously addictive–have become some of the most popular sites on the Web today. The Weblog Handbook is the first book to explain how weblogs work and explore their impact on the media landscape….With a clear and engaging voice, Rebecca explains how to choose among the available tools, even walking the beginner through the process of creating their first weblog. Along the way she answers commonly asked questions concerning weblog etiquette, how to attract readers, and the qualities that make a weblog stand out, alerting the novice to considerations–and pitfalls–they didn’t know to ask about.

There are others around also including:

- Essential Blogging
- Design for Community: The Art of Connecting Real People in Virtual Places
- Running Weblogs with Slash

Unleashing the Idea Virus By Seth Godincover

Whilst not about blogging at all - ‘Unleashing the Idea Virus’ is a book that taught me a lot about the medium. I’m re-reading it again at present.

Counter to traditional marketing wisdom, which tries to count, measure, and manipulate the spread of information, Seth Godin argues that information can spread most effectively from customer to customer, rather than from business to customer. Godin calls this powerful customer-to-customer dialogue the ideavirus…. In Unleashing the Ideavirus, Godin examines how companies like Napster and Hotmail have successfuly launched ideaviruses. He offers a recipe for creating your own ideavirus, and shows how businesses can use ideavirus marketing to succeed in a world that doesn’t want to hear it anymore from traditional marketers. Seth blogs here.

Written on September 23rd, 2004 at 05:09 pm by Darren Rowse

Understanding Trackback And Comment Notification

Blogging Tools and Services 0 comments

Dave Pollard writes some great Blog Tips - here is another good one on Understanding Trackback.

‘Trackback simply lets another site know that you have a post referring to it on your own site. Read the previous sentence until it makes sense.’

Written on September 23rd, 2004 at 05:09 pm by Darren Rowse

Three quick ways to increasing visitors to your blog in a week

Blog Promotion 1 comment

Wayne Hurlbert shares Three quick ways to more visitors in one week. It is written more with a business blog in mind but most of it is somewhat transferable.

He also has a good link on Analyzing our visitor counter logs

Written on September 23rd, 2004 at 05:09 pm by Darren Rowse

Blog Content Tools

Writing Content 1 comment

Finding good fresh content for your blog will make it more attrActive to your readers. There are a number of great online tools that I have used to come up with up to date content that might be useful for others.

Let me say first up that the relevance of these tools will vary from blogger to blogger. Most of them will probably be of less use to those writing Personal Journals than to those writing K-logs or filters. Personal Journals will probably draw more upon the brain of the writer as a tool than anything I share below.

The following tools help you to see what else is happening online - if current up to date information is of relevance to your blogging you might find them interesting. It is not a definitive list so please feel free to add your own tools in comments and if appropriate I’ll add them to the following list:

1. YahooBuzz is a useful tool if you want to know what kind of information people are searching for on Yahoo in the last 24 hours. Check out Yahoo’s top 20 searches here. They also show you search terms that are on the increase and decrease and and break results down into categories such as TV, Movies, Music etc. Also interesting is their Popular Search by Country page which I check out weekly when updated on a Thursday.

2. Google Press Centre is a similar yet much simplified tool to Yahoo Buzz except that it looks at search terms on Google. I don’t find it as helpful as Yahoo - but still check it out from time to time.

3. A great way to keep up to date with the latest news on a particular topic of interest is to get yourself hooked up with a News Aggregator. The one I use is Blog Lines but there are many others available. Basically it helps you to read blogs, newspapers an other frequently updated websites quickly and accurately. If you want more information on RSS and News Aggregators check out News that Comes to You, Bringing the World to Your Desktop and An introduction to RSS news feeds.

4. News Now provides a list of news feeds from around the world.

5. Technorati is a tool I check out daily. It provides readers with Breaking News (which is a collection of news items that have been getting a lot of links in the past 12 hours) and Current Events (which is a list of links (not just news) that are popular in the blogosphere in the last 3 hours.

6. A number of sites are around that provide lists of links that are popular in the Blogosphere. Three of these are BlogDex, Daypop Top 40 and Popdex.

7. Blogosphere also tracks trends on a 4 and 24 hour basis (see its sidebar).

8. Feedster is something I’ve only just discovered - it is like Google but it searches RSS feeds. So if you are thinking of writing a post on a particular topic plug it into Feedster and see who else is or has been writing on it.

In conclusion it is worth saying that the above tools are unlikely to present you with new original content for your blog. They only point you to what others are writing and reading about online. This is useful - however in my experience the content that tends to get attention is original in nature. Only a small number of blogs successfully rely upon second hand content so put something of your own into the mix!

Leave your own suggestions in comments.

Written on September 23rd, 2004 at 05:09 pm by Darren Rowse

Blog Ethics

Miscellaneous Blog Tips 3 comments

Here is a great article on Weblog Ethics.

1. Publish as fact only that which you believe to be true.
2. If material exists online, link to it when you reference it.
3. Publicly correct any misinformation.
4. Write each entry as if it could not be changed; add to, but do not rewrite or delete, any entry.
5. Disclose any conflict of interest.
6. Note questionable and biased sources.

Written on September 23rd, 2004 at 05:09 pm by Darren Rowse

Good weblog design and layout

Blog Design 1 comment

Here is another worthwhile article on weblog design and layout from How to Save the World. His 9 main points are:

- Use Titles
- Abstract Long Posts
- Use a Teaser Paragraph for Long Posts
- Select a Readable Font, Size & Column Width
- If You’re a ‘Linker’, Add Something of Value
- Give Readers Someplace to Go for More
- Use Graphics If They Add Something
- Use Categories Only If They Help Your Readers
- Use Outlining ‘Twisties’ Cautiously

Each is expanded really well in the original post.

Written on September 23rd, 2004 at 05:09 pm by Darren Rowse

How to be a Top 10 Blogger

Miscellaneous Blog Tips 5 comments

The Evangelical Outpost is doing some analysis of the Top 10 Bloggers in the Ecosystem. He has come up with 9 things you can do to become a Top 10 Blogger. Its an interesting post - here are his headings - he writes more on each in the post so head over for a good read.

a) Be a lawyer (preferably a law professor)
b) Be a part of the elite media
c) Attend an Ivy League college
d) Get and Advanced degree at an Ivy League school
e) Write for the New York Times
f) Have your work published
g) Clerk for a (future) Supreme Court justice
h) Be a musician
i) Get lucky

I would add two more suggestions.

j) Be American
k) Be Male

Thoughts anyone?

Written on September 23rd, 2004 at 05:09 pm by Darren Rowse

Martin Roth’s Blog Tip

Blog Promotion 1 comment

Martin Roth is a legend around some Blogging circles. He’s the guy who started collecting links of Christian Bloggers which today is Blogs4God.

Martin responded for my call for people to post their own blog tips.

So here are Martins Blog Tips.

To paraphrase his main points:

1. Tell people that you’ve arrived.
2. Tell people when you write something about them.
3. Comment on others blogs, reply to those who comment on yours.
4. Survey other bloggers and publish the results.
5. Have something to say and say it well.

He expands each very well so check it out here.

Thanks Martin - If you have a blog tip write about it on your blog and let me know and I’ll link up to it.


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