Friends, I’m going to be at the Computers in Libraries Conference, in Arlington, VA, this morning. I’m not speaking or anything but just coming to check out the action. A friend of mine was able to score me a ticket. If you’re at the conference too, drop me a line. Maybe I’ll live blog a session or two… we shall see.
Lately, I’ve been getting into a lot of discussions about blogging with my friends and co-workers. They’re always fascinated to learn about the new medium but most will say, “I just don’t have the time.”
The thing is… in today’s culture, I don’t think a person can afford to not blog. It has to be a priority to have a personal marketing strategy. Blogging is an effective way of marketing yourself and your ideas.
The World Wide Web is truly amazing. It allows for a global ongoing archived conversation. Any one can have a voice and develop a presence in the different communities and conversations that exist.
The thing is your voice has to have a presence.
Things will work better for you if you’re out in your community discussing the issues that are important. I don’t want to have a hermit as a business partner or as an employee.
Blogging isn’t about being overly verbose and whining a lot. It’s about learning to market yourself and your ideas within the global conversation. It’s having a presence.
On Friday, I had the pleasure of hanging out with the Harvard Free Culture Group. At their meeting, Dean Jansen of the Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF) debuted the Web site Make Internet TV. The site, a project of PCF, is a resource to help people make videos. It covers everything from equipment, shooting, editing, licensing issues, publishing, and promotion. There is even an underlying wiki where users can contribute their knowledge and tips. This Web site is really a great resource. Check it out.
I have to admit that I’ve only half paid attention to and understood the various debates that have been going on about the future of HTML. Most of what has been written has been pretty cryptic, until now. David Andersson wrote a great piece for Digital Web Magazine called, “HTML5, XHTML2, and the Future of the Web.” It’s worth a read.
Have you read the article? What are your thoughts on the future of HTML?
With now over 70 million blogs, you can almost guarantee that someone is talking on their blog about you, your company, or some topic that you should be paying attention to. But how do you know if the blogosphere is talking about you?
Blog search engines are the best tool for this situation. The two most widely used blog search engines are Google Blog Search and Technorati. They each have their strengths and weaknesses, which I won’t dive into in this post.
Once you’re at the search engine, plug a URL or some keywords into the search box. You’ll get a list of results of people that are talking about the keywords you mentioned or who are linking to the URL that you typed in.
Typically you’ll have the ability to sort by the date/”freshness” of the post or you can sort the search results by relevancy.
Instead of having to do this search every couple days, you can take the RSS feed from the search results and subscribe to it in your RSS reader. Every time there is a new post about the topic or link you searched for, you will be alerted in your RSS reader. This is super handy for keeping your finger on the pulse of what people are saying about you or the topic you’re interested in. (I will write an intro to RSS readers and subscribing to RSS feeds in a future post.)
Once you see that someone is talking about your or a topic you’re interested in, I’d encourage you to drop them a comment. Acknowledge the fact that they wrote about you or engage them further in the conversation. People like to know the fact that you’re listening. Dropping them a comment is the easiest way to do that.
If you haven’t yet, lets take a blog search engine for a spin. Let’s search for people are saying about:
What are your thoughts? Did I miss something? Do you find this helpful? Please comment and let me know.
Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about blogs and how to blog. I’m going to do a series of posts with intro information for those that are new to the blogosphere.
Topics will/may include things like:
- How to blog
- Why blog
- What is RSS and how do I use it
- Figuring out what people are talking about on blogs
- Figuring out if bloggers are talking about you
- What to blog about
- Doesn’t blogging take a lot of time?
- and much more I’m sure
They may not be posted in that order but those are are the topics that I want to get to.
Did I miss anything? Are there questions that you guys have been getting that should be answered? Do you have questions about blogging? Let me know.
Are there good resources that you use to intro people to blogging?
Wednesday, as I was getting ready to leave work, I was printing off some stuff I wanted to read while on the plane to Boston. Tim O’Reilly had recently written an interesting post about the lessons he’s learned so far from his pursuit for a blogging code of conduct. It was too much to really take it all in by reading it on the screen. I printed it off.
Well yesterday I got on the plane. I pulled out the print out of the Tim O’Reilly post. Much to my frustration, I found that the only the first page of the post had printed and that the other 10 pages were all comments.
After further investigation, I see that Tim uses Six Apart‘s product Moveable Type to power his blog. I had written before about how Typepad blogs do not print well. I guess this goes for Six Apart’s whole product line.
I can’t be the only one who prints off blog posts from time to time. Sometimes its easier for me to process what I’m reading if I can scribble on it.
How do you guys feel about this? Anybody else print out blog posts from time to time?
What can we do to fix this? Can someone pass a message to Mena Trott and the folks at Six Apart? It seriously wouldn’t take that long to institute a print style sheet. Maybe if we all start talking about it, they’ll pay attention.