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News Aggregators – Pulse

March 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Right now I’ve started exploring Pulse and based on my first impression may be the most visually appealing option available.  Pulse encourages users to use their service by providing users with “packages” of useful news sites which can then be displayed on “pages” (which can be organized under headings such as gaming or technology).  Pulse displays available news articles by displaying the headline picture (if available).  The full article is displayed within the app, so the you never have to visit the site to read the article.

Pulse in particular does not load up the entire article at once.  Pulse will provide a small snippet of the article for the user to read, and if you decide that you want to read the whole article you an load it within the app.  I assume that Pulse chose to do this in order to reduce the initial loading time for smartphones.

So far I’m really enjoying Pulse and I have yet to find a major flaw within the app.  I will continue to use Pulse in the future.  If you want to join click on the link!

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Categories: Social Media Tags: ,

Movable Type

February 22, 2012 6 comments

Movable Type is the last blogging platform I will cover.  I’ve begun to notice a trend between the various blogging platforms I have looked at; all of them offer a similar service with some small differences.  Movable Type offers three levels of service (Movable Type, Movable Type Pro and Movable Type 5 Advanced).  The basic version of Mavable Type offers exactly the same features as other blogging platforms, the main difference is that Movable Type is not a web-based platform, users will have to download and use a program to use Movable Type.  Movable Type does not provide a hosting service so users will have to find a independent hosting service.

Movable Type Pro costs $399.95 – $999.95 for a liscense to use.  Movable Type Pro is aimed at businesses looking to establish a blogging presence.  Movable Type Pro is different from the basic version because Movable Type will offer premium customer service for businesses.

Movable Type Advanced is Movable Type’s high-end platform.  Aimed at large corporations who require compatibility with Oracle or SQL server databases.  This product will provide all of the features of the previous two products with the added benefit of priority service.

Movable Type allows dedicated bloggers to develop stunning blogs (arguably better looking than any of the other platforms) just look at bike hugger for an amazing example.

Overall I think that of all the platforms Movable Type may be the best suited for businesses (WordPress.org may compete) because of their focus on providing businesses with what they truly need (priority support and business features).  Movable Type may not be well suited to a beginning blogger, however it offers more quality than most of the competition.

Visit Movable Type for more information!

Categories: Blogging Tags: ,

TypePad

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

TypePad is one of many blogging platforms that are available to you.

TypePad offers two distinct blogging platforms.  TypePad Pro is their flagship platform, and the first thing you’ll notice when trying to use it is that TypePad will cost you a monthly subscrption.  Other than the fact that you have to pay for TypePad, the only remarkable difference between this product and similar platforms is that TypePad promotes itself based on their built-in SEO features.  TypePad will also host the blog for you (however the url will still include .typepad)

TypePad Micro is TypePad’s micro-blogging platform (which is thankfully free!) and the registration process only requires your facebook account.  I view this kind of integration (across social media platforms) as a huge bonus for any blogging platform.  Go here to to sign up and learn more!

Unfortunately TypePad doesn’t really offer anything different from other blogging platforms (even considering that TypePad charges for use, unlike the majority of other platforms) so I cannot recommend it over their competitors (WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger)

Categories: Blogging Tags: , ,

Permalinks

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

According to WordPress.org’s codex permalinks are “the permanent URLs to your individual weblog posts”.  What makes Permalinks interesting is that you can create “pretty” permalinks (instead of having a series of numbers or symbols, the link is shorter and aesthetically pleasing).  To create pretty permalinks use mod _rewrite fuction (visit here for a more detailed explanation than I can possibly give).

Permalinks are essential because they provide a permanent way to access the material you are trying to link to.  If the links were not permanent then they would change over time and your content would be negatively affected.

 

Categories: Blogging Tags: ,

Blogger

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Blogger is a Google product (so right off the bat it integrates with both your Gmail and Google+ accounts) that allows users to set-up and manage their blogging presence.  What makes Blogger unique is that Google has allowed users to use AdSense with their blog to generate revenue.  Blogger allows users to not only control how their blog appears to viewers using a computer but also independently modify the template for mobile devices.

Like all other major blogging services Blogger allows users to post using mobile devices or email.  Blogger allows for generic security settings (users can make the blog invisible to search engines) however it does not allow for the same control that Posterous does (or at least as easily).

I think that Blogger would appeal more to businesses for two reasons.  Blogger’s integration of the AdSense service will allow companies to justify their blog expenditures by using real revenue data (and not just brand benefits). Secondly Blogger allows easy integration with Google+ and Google Analytics (which will allow a company to consolidate a lot of their online presence onto one service).

Sign up for Blogger here!

Categories: Blogging Tags: ,

Posterous

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Posterous prides itself on being a blog targeted towards media sharing (whether it be picture, video, audio or word).  Posterous feels a lot more simplistic and refined than the more complicated WordPress.  All of Posterous’ blog modification options are streamlined and easy to figure out.

Posterous does not seem aimed a businesses (even though they themselves promote it towards businesses).  Posterous provides free hosting (which is good for individuals) however there is no easy way to independently host a blog created using Posterous.  Posterous acts as a traditional social media community in some sense.  Unlike WordPress where your blog creation screen is independent from the WordPress community, Posterous has a built-in dashboard which allows the user to directly seek out blogs that they like and interact with the general community.

Posterous uses the term “Spaces” to describe their blogs.  A Space is a location where a user can post various types of media.  Spaces can fall under four categories (Blog, Group, Media or Business).  The great thing about Posterous is that the user can easily control whether the space is public or private, and can easily create a list of users who have permission to see the blog (for example a family can create a blog to share photos between family members).  Posterous allows users to easily create multiple blogs for various purposes (Travel to Europe or Family photos) which will help users manage and control where their content is posted.

Posterous allows users to link their social media accounts and other blogs to their Posterous service.  By using Posterous users can post updates to Facebook or Twitter, and add posts to other blogs.

Unlike WordPress (who provides their own analytic tools for WordPress.com) Posterous allows users to embed Google Analytics into their blogs.

Click here to sign up for Posterous!

Categories: Blogging Tags: ,

B2C vs. B2B Blogging

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Blogging takes many different forms depending on what your company’s target market is.  There is a vast difference between what you should aim to accomplish depending on if you are in a B2C or a B2B market.

B2C Blogging

In my view B2C blogging is all about developing the community.  A B2C blog should be focused on developing a platform that the company and consumers can use to communicate. Instead of focusing your blog around your company, make the blog about the consumer (post interesting product stories or creations – like the Coca-Cola guitar).  By focusing on developing the community you can use your blog to build a positive brand image and develop a positive and lasting community.

B2B Blogging

B2B companies need to focus on using their blog as a way to generate leads.  Using the comments section to develop your company’s leads is a way to guarantee that the companies you sell to will be interested in your product or service.  B2B blogs need to appeal to how the selling process is different for a B2C product and a B2B product. B2B clients tend to want to be more informed about the product before the actual sale (B2B buyers do more research) so B2B companies need to use their blog as a platform to distribute information to the client.

Categories: Blogging Tags: , ,
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