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SlideShare

February 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Hey all, I just uploaded today’s power point presentation to SlideShare. Check it out here.

Categories: Uncategorized

RSS

February 22, 2012 Leave a comment

RSS is very possibly one of the Internets most unique acronyms, simply because its meaning cannot be agreed upon. To some its Rich Site Summary, to others its Real Simple Syndication. At the end of the day both definitions have similar meanings, for the purpose of this post it is both.

So we know what RSS means, but what does RSS do and why should you use it? RSS solves a problem that many heavy web users are familiar with, too much content not enough time. RSS allows users to add an RSS subscription to their RSS reader and stream content from around the web into one consolidated location.

However RSS is not simply a tool for end users to browse and enjoy your content, RSS provides creators of content a unique distribution opportunity.

While RSS was at one point only considered to be a means to deliver news headlines, RSS has quickly become a powerful medium to disseminate all kinds of information. As traditional marketers are attempting to rein in content delivery, measuring e-mail open rates, click-throughs and conversions, Internet users are fighting to gain control over the content they receive. Savvy marketers and business owners are using RSS as a way to improve corporate communication and increase their external exposure and brand appeal.

1. PDF Documents – Consider broadcasting meeting agenda notes or documentation as a PDF included with a feed, allowing interested individuals to access information without having to deal with cumbersome e-mail attachments.

2. PPT Presentations – Presentations can easily be distributed in a feed enclosure. The added benefit is that presenters using Power Pointâ„¢ will not have to lug their notebook to a meeting to present – they can manage the presentation from an iPod or similar handheld that reads RSS feeds.

3. Video – Video or streaming video are both possible via the enclosure field. Have lectures or even political debates come to life with the added video component.

4. Audio – Audio content does not mean that feeds are limited to your favorite songs. Podcasting is the coined term for audio content contained in a feed and can include language instruction, talk shows or editorials.

5. Images – Imagine realtors using the enclosure field to display photos of homes to interested buyers. Now they can carry a light-weight catalog with them to show potential buyers at a moment’s notice.

6. Downloads – Consider an information technology department in a large corporation conducting proprietary software updates, including executables or zip files in the enclosure field which allow users to update the software at a convenient time.

RSS for Business 

Here is a quick video that helps explain the creation and applications of RSS feeds for your blog or website: 

Now that we understand how RSS works and what it can do for your blog, check out this almost exhaustive list from Mashable. The list includes RSS tools for Windows, Mac or Linux, desktop or web based, RSS managers and subscribers. Also included are RSS mixers such as Yahoo Pipes (more on this later) that allow users to customize and share RSS feeds.

 

Categories: Blogging, Uncategorized Tags: , ,

For-Profit vs. Not-For-Profit Blogging

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Blogs take radically different forms depending on what you want them to do.

Not-For-Profit Blogs

A blog should be the primary driver for communication between the community and the not-for-profit organization.  A good blog should also be a “donation driver” for the organization.  Blogs like ” The Salvation Army” (http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org/) also pride themselves as being a site people can visit after a disaster for information or help.  What makes a good not-for-profit blog (in my opinion) is the relative simplicity of the layout (to keep with corporate image standards), the prominence of a donation tool and the attractiveness of the colour scheme and image layout.  WorldVision’s blog (http://blog.worldvision.org/) features all of these attributes.

Click here for more examples of good not-for-profit blogs.

For-Profit Blogs

For-Profit blogs are typically hard to pull off.  There are countless examples of bad for-profit blogs available.  For-Profit corporations typically look at blogs as a way to introduce new products or inform customers about the company (Just look at Speedo‘s Blog for a good example!).  While blogs are good at this function what they truly excel at is serving as a communication channel.  My example of a good for-profit blog follows this theme.  Coca-Cola recently launched a blog focused on the theme of conversation.  On the front-page of the blog all the posts are either about a coll coca-cola related event or a unique promotional activity.  By launching this blog Coca-Cola hopes to create an active community focused around the Coca-Cola lifestyle, not the corporation.  This blog is focused around simplicity (few menu links), organization and visual aesthetics.  More than anything else for-profit blogs should maintain and reinforce the corporation’s image and not deviate from it.

A few tips for a would-be company blog:

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Focus the blog around the community, not the company
  3. Clearly lay-out how the blog will maintain
  4. Remember that your blog is a reflection of you, don’t make sill mistakes!

Widgets

February 6, 2012 Leave a comment

Widgets are a cool add-in provided by WordPress.  Widgets allow you to change what types of content are visible for a visitor to your WordPress blog.  Widgets allow to insert dynamic content (like your twitter feed) or static content (like links to other websites).  This content will be visible on your blog’s  menu bar.  For example I have added the Seneca OCMC twitter feed to this blog in order to illustrate how the Twitter widget works.

You can add widgets by hovering over the appearance header and the selecting the widget tab.  The widgets themselves offer a variety of choices and options for you to play around with.

Widgets are a great way to add functionality to your blog, and encourage people to keep coming back.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , ,
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