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Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

Our Resources

February 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Over the last few weeks this blog has really taken on a life of its own for John and I. Keeping that in mind how did we pull it off, where did our learning come from and where did our inspiration come from? Well luckily today were going to share 10 resources that proved invaluable to the two of us during our time here. Check it out, share it, comment:

1. Rethinking Your Blogging Strategy

Using research from Technorati and their State of the Bloggerverse series, this resource provides graphs and statistics to help you rethink your blogging and your social strategy going forward.

Mashable resource taking you through creating a stickier blog community. Reducing bounce rates and growing your community are the objectives here.
Mashable provides a comprehensive list of tools to optimize your RSS activities
120 tools integral to every blogger from rookie posters to grizzled vets.
5. Focus
The tittle gives it away but this resource is dedicated to framing your focus and maximizing the power of your content
Starting a blog or at least thinking about it? Start here, you wont be sorry.
Publishes daily content dedicated to blogging and engagement, rated one of the top 10 social media blogs by Social Media Examiner
Another Mashable resource outlining the necessity for a company blog as well as the steps behind getting started.
WordPress resource for maximizing your visibility and increasing your traffic.
Really slick infographic, where do you fit in?

These are just the top 10 as of last night, click through the blogroll and subsequent categories on the right hand side for even more resources!

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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: , ,

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: ,
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