Archive by Author

coComment Upgrades: Great for Business and Community

Easton Ellsworth alerts us of a new version for coComment with some great new features:

  • Track ALL comments, even if the commenter is not using coComments (Great for staying involved in the conversation)
  • Track a comment thread, even if you don’t engage (Great feature for businesses doing Market Research)
  • User interface upgrades.

I’ve been noticing more people using coComment recently, such as Fred Wilson and David Armano. Folks like Jack Yan, Phil Gerbyshak and Easton have been using coComment for some time.

With the added features, maybe Ann Handley and John Wagner (both of whom comment all over the place). Lots of potential on how community architect Mack Collier could use coComment!

Aside: Not only did Easton write this up on his blog, he emailed me separately because he knew my readers would value the tip. That’s huge! Thanks EE.

technorati tags: coComment

Quotes n Notes: Perseverance

Qoutenote_3With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.” – Sir Thomas Foxwell Buxton

It’s almost halftime. In a week, I will have completed my 45th year of life. There’s an old saying about the game of life: “Nothing is less important than the score at halftime.” I’m not sure I totally agree with that, but the point is well-taken.

Here are some of the things I learned in the first half of life:

I learned how to see, I learned how to crawl,
I practiced standing up, then I mastered the fall.
I learned how to lie, and that led to another,
I learned how to apologize to my father and mother.

I learned about the three R’s, that was a bore,
Though later in life I started craving them more.
I learned how to ride, first with training wheels,
Then I found out how falling down really feels.

I learned how to fight, and got sick of defeat,
I learned that this falling stuff is where the road and rubber meet.
I learned that it was ‘dog eat dog’ and I wanted mine,
And if I took the things I wanted “I” would be fine.

Then one day, about a quarter-way through this game
I thought I was standing tall, but was living in shame.
I looked around me and no one was anywhere about
I had fallen without knowing it, I was down and flat out.

With His help, we turned this ship right,
Though the goal of a loving life was not yet in sight.
I started on the inside, beginning deep within,
Hoping that I would find a natural smile again.

I learned I could love, and she’s stuck by my side,
Thanks baby – It’ was a heck of a ride.
I still fall, still getting better at it too.
But I get up quicker, we’ve got things to do.

So if I could learn all that (and much more I didn’t say)
What can be accomplished now, even in a single day.
I learn to laugh at falls (after the Merthiolate, of course)
We’ve got things to do – so we get back on the horse.

Whether it’s our work or our marriage – yes, even our blog.
Stick to your stance, you’ll get through the fog.
You might fall, get bruised or called out by the mobs,
But diamonds are lumps of coal that stuck to their jobs.

So as I get ready for the second half, no more falling (yeah, right)
I realize that great things are not achieved by sudden flight.
And what of you, my friend and reader – how’s the trip on your train?
Remember - If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain

Good News for WebDev Folks

Michael Bloch of Taming the Beast shares a study showing that 30% of US small businesses are still without a web site. Mid-size businesses check in with 15% not having their own site.

Not surprising on this end. I’ve been doing research for some rural Chamber of Commerce and Merchant Associations. Frankly, I’m surprised the number isn’t higher.

Take a look at Old Town Salinas (CA). Over 300 members, but a large portion have no web site listed. And they’re less than an hour drive from San Jose.

Michael shares his thoughts on four possible reasons for these numbers:

  • a fear of cost
  • a fear of jargon and technical concepts
  • trust issues
  • a general fear of the unknown

Yep, yep, yep and yep.

If you’re a small or mid-size business looking to get a web presence, I’ll suggest two things:

  1. Consider blogware to battle a few of the reasons above. You can use blogware to produce a static web site or better yet – engage in a conversation with your customers.
  2. Research other business blogs by visiting iBlogBusiness Directory. Contact the business bloggers you find. Send the author an email and ask questions.

If you’re a business blogger and not yet in the iBlogBusiness Directory, what’s holding you back?  Here’s a niche site I found there: Seeking Succession

If you’re a web developer and you’re looking for affordable solutions for your prospects who push back because of price, check out the directory, grab the feed right from the listing and plug it into your GreatNews feed aggregator – then show your client the example.

What’s that? You’re a web developer but don’t read feeds? I Hear that Train a comin’

technorati tags: iBlog Business Directory

Why Not?

Why Not…

  • wave to the pedestrian as you drive by?
  • say "hi" with a smile to everyone you see?
  • look for the good in others – and find it?
  • give a friend a hug in public?
  • say " we love you" to a customer?
  • have a conversation with a stranger (and listen first)?
  • think of a blog as a tool for conversations, rather than a technology to master?

Why Not? :-) 

FeedBurner adds Blogbeat to Analytics Menu

FeedBurner‘s acquisition of Blogbeat adds more strength to its menu of analytical services.

I currently use Google Analytics (site) and FeedBurner (feed) to measure metrics for visits, clickthrough, reach, etc. With FeedBurner’s addition, I look forward to having all stats under one service.

I’ve said it before – if you offer a feed, but aren’t measuring your feed stats, you’re missing out.

Here are a few reviews of Blogbeat, pre-FeedBurner days:

More on the acquisition from the FeedBurner blog.

technorati tags: Blogbeat Web Metrics

The Gift of Geek

Some people say I have a "gift of gab" – which hopefully means that I give my ears up to listen to others gab (right?)…

My friend Kyle has a natural "gift of geek" He recently hit the blogging ground full-speed and has yet to pull up with a limp. In fact, just this morning he shares his tips on Gimp – an affordable Adobe Photoshop-like image editor.

Make sure to catch Kyle’s Cove for top tips. Where does he get all those toys?

Ready to Get Naked?

In transferring files and bookmarks, I ran across this article from the October issue of Fast Company, Is Mad. Ave Ready to Get Naked?

Love this quote from Mark Finney:

"I used to kid myself I wasn’t going bald," said Mark Finney, the clearly hairless head of media for Orange, Europe’s third-largest wireless carrier. "I’d pull my hair forward, I’d cover it over this way, I’d look in the mirror and think, It’s never going to happen to me. Then suddenly I started realizing I looked really stupid. . . . I hate to say it, but Jon’s right and you’re wrong. You’re covering your baldness, and at a certain point, you’re going to look stupid." 

Business Leader or Business Follower?
Look, whether you’re in advertising, marketing, web development or even blog coaching – there is a responsibility to at least examine change in the marketplace. Your customers, employees and shareholders count on it.

Your business may have the same demographic it did 20 years ago – statistically. But has the personality of that demographic changed? And…will your 25-40 year-old customer tomorrow respond to the same marketing tactics you used yesterday?

Hold it. Do you really know, or are you guessing?

CBS Sunday Morning did a piece on Brave New Blogging World, but I wonder if in some circles, "Brave" should be replaced with "Blind."

"Most of the people who read blogs — they are highly educated. They are middle aged. And they are high income," says Carol Darr, the director of the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet at George Washington University.

"Cause the people who are reading blogs tend to be opinion leaders and they tend to be trendsetters. So they are influential far out of proportion to what their numbers are," Darr says.

Blogging isn’t the Emperor’s New Clothes. It’s about transparency. Give the customer a sense of ownership in your business – and deliver a sense of transparency. No need to go from one extreme (behind closed doors) to another (a glass house), but engage yourself with your customer. Look back twenty years ago. Are we still conducting business the same way? Change wasn’t embraced then, either.

- Best Question Today
- I Hear a Train a Comin’
- The RBI of Blogging
- Comments: Listen & Respond
- A Single Feed Creates a Lifetime of Loyalty
- Lose W.A.I.T. Now, Ask Me How
- Phew! or Ut-Oh?

- Naked Conversations
- The Right Conversation

technorati tags: Naked Conversations CBS Sunday Morning

Lessons Learned Without a Computer

I’m in the process of transferring files from my Compaq heap to a new Sony VAIO FE. Even with a new computer, hiccups and speed bumps have been abundant.

Power20cordAfter getting the computer, my brother and I went to Panera to start setting up. I loaded my bag with the computer and software, he carried the power supply and digital camera. Before the night was through, he decided not to stay in Iowa (did he ever really arrive?) and fled back to California – still packing the power cord and camera.
LESSON: Don’t separate your computer and power cord.

Pen456345_1Even without a computer for a few days, I was able to stay in touch with email (via web based mail) and feeds. One practice I started weeks ago was a weekly backup and storage of the OPML file of my feeds onto a USB Flash Pen drive. What’s real cool is the drive is also a pen (the same one I used to "blog" the previous post.
LESSON: Backup your OPML files and Address book.

Typepad_logo I had a new post ready this morning and just about to publish – when TypePad crashed. Nice post about using FeedBurner Headline Animator in your email signature. We’ll rewrite and post tomorrow.
LESSON: Save as Draft, Save as Draft, Safe as Draft, Publish.

Tom Hopkins teaches the S.T.P. method of doing business. It’s still important to "See Twenty People" each day. Without a computer, I was able to invest more time eyeball-to-eyeball rather than peering over a computer screen.
LESSON: It’s about the people.

P.S. Hey, John. I Love You. Sorry things didn’t pan out as planned.

technorati tags: USB Flash Pen Drive Tom Hopkins

How to Blog Without a Computer


Business Blog Workshop Webinars: Poll

We’ve been putting together thoughts and plans to launch a a webinar series for Blog Workshops as webinars. I could use your help.

The webinar will offer the workshops to a larger audience. The webinars will be live via telephone, and our presentation/coaching will be available simultaneous with web browsing capabilities.

We’re woking with Zane Safrit’s great team at Conference Calls Unlimited to put the pieces in place (easy, affordable and fun!) and should launch our first webinar in early August.

If you were to take part in these workshops, what would be the most likely time you would participate:

technorati tags: BlogFlux