Archive by Author

Whistle Stop – 03/10/06

Just one stop – but it may keep you busy through the whole weekend.

It’s a really, really big and valuable list. You could have fun (work?) with this list all weekend.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Whistle Stops – 03/09/06

Tips & ‘trics & another To-Do:

Technorati Tags: , Blog Metrics, Blog Archives, Whistle Stops

Real World Blogging – 9.5 Steps to the Edge

Brian Oberkirch at Weblogs Work shares a superb list of life Living on the Edge: Blogging in the Real World. I’ve added snippets, but not the whole. Don’t miss the whole.

  1. Get Small Fast: "…social media helps you offer sharp, targeted stuff that is high value to the right readers."
  2. Just Do It: "How do you learn to blog? By blogging. Badly at first, but improving with each push of the publish button."
  3. Link, Link, Link: Guess what is the fourth most important thing to do in a blog post.
  4. Write a Little, Often: "Have a big idea? Chop it up into a series of posts."
  5. Listen, Learn, Rinse, Repeat "How can you learn anything if you’re always running your mouth?"
  6. Ping, Don’t Pitch: "Engage other bloggers.  Comment on their stuff."
  7. Spread the Words: Great tips that I need to implement.
  8. Search Me: "Blogging is a long-term play with no good shortcuts."
  9. Think Beyond the Blog: "I really mean all the new tools we can use to self-publish our ideas."

I’ll add one I think is important:

   9.5 Don’t Horde Hoard Knowledge. This post serves as an example. If you look at the services Brian provides, there are some similarities to what I offer. Yet, I believe what Brian wrote is valuable to my target audience (business owners and decision makers). I feel it’s my responsibility to share this kind of information. People will find it whether I share it or not.

By sharing his knowledge, Brian proves that he cares for his audience. Hopefully, I’ve done the same. Ideally, you will too.

Additionally, my post here extends the conversation outward. And the edge extends further.

Technorati Tags: , , Extended Conversations

Whistle Stops – 03/08/06

Update January 2014: Whistle Stops began as a daily posting of interesting items I found on the web. Since then, we now have Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. I share things I find on those networks. On these old posts, there may be links crossed out or dropped because they no longer exist.

There is also a free, weekly newsletter I put out by the same name. Consider subscibring.

Get Whistle Stops Weekly

Short trip today, but these are great stops

  • Ed Kohler teaches us how to make a tag cloud. Sweet! My weekend project at Copywriting Watch. Now, if I can just find a way to tag the blogroll by subject matter. Ed?
  • Mark True is elaborating on his earlier post, Be Subversive. First up in the four-part series – Be Observant. Here’s Mark’s feed so you can follow along.
  • The new Change This manifestos are up.

Technorati Tags:
Technology Evangelist, Change This, Brand Warrior

A Blog Posting Mantra (2006 version)

When I was coaching baseball, our hitters memorized this mantra for a great swing:

Front Foot Closed, Back Foot Pivot, Back Shoulder Turns, Head At Contact.”

Here’s the checklist (mantra?) I offer for a great posting practice (An 2014 update is available)

  1. Write Post First – Sometimes we humans can get on a rabbit trail. By writing the post first, you don’t handcuff yourself to a certain title.
  2. Then Title Post – By doing writing your headline after the post, you’ll have a better headline and it will match the content of the post.
  3. Pick a Category – You may decide to add a new category after the first two steps.
  4. At Least One Link Out – This practice extends the conversation. If you can’t find a blog, find something relevant. I also suggest to link within your sites, but don’t be a dead-end.
  5. Image Above the Fold – Understand that many are reading from feed aggregators. If an image helps tell the story, make sure the reader doesn’t have to scroll to see it – they may not scroll.
  6. Share Your Post (on Social Media Platforms) [addition circa: 2010] – Share your posts with various and appropriate social media platforms. I’m not a fan of “automated” but do favor “scheduled” – Buffer and Hootsuite make this very easy.
  7. (Outdated) Tag Your PostI prefer Technorati. You may prefer something else. In any case, make sure you use tags. Think find-ability and link-ability.The easier you are to find, the better your chances of people linking back.
  8. (Outdated) And Ping ‘Em - Use Pingoat or Pingomatic to let blog search engines know you’ve updated your site.

This list doesn’t talk about length, voice, subject matter or ethics – and it’s not meant to do that. This is a checklist that can be used to make sure you touch all the bases. From a mechanics of posting perspective, what else is on your checklist?

To experience this checklist “live,” join me at the Get Started Blogging Workshop on May 21st in Clive, Iowa. Less than a dozen seats remain.

Technorati Tags: , Blog Workshop,

Which 5 Blogs Would You Want?

As I’m reloading my feed aggregator with blogs, I’m thinking about this question:

If I was stranded on a deserted island (with limited Wi-Fi of course), which five blogs would I want to have with me?

It would be tough to leave off MAKE, I might need it to escape the island. Tough to choose only five.

What are your five choices?

Technorati Tags: ,

Whistle Stops – 03/07/06

Update January 2014: Whistle Stops began as a daily posting of interesting items I found on the web. Since then, we now have Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. I share things I find on those networks. On these old posts, there may be links crossed out or dropped because they no longer exist.

There is also a free, weekly newsletter I put out by the same name. Consider subscibring.

Get Whistle Stops Weekly

Special invitation to Jim Pollock and Zac Voss for today’s journey through podcasting:

  • For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report A podcast that reviews NewComm Forum and previews their forthcoming podcasting book.
  • Manager Tools a podcast on developing your team so you don’t have to fire them. (podcast)
  • Chuck Tanowitz has a great series of posts about podcasting: What Makes Podcasts Work (Pt. 1, Pt 2, and Does Size Matter?) My thoughts on the last? Nev & Shel, record it all, but deliver it in chunks – some today, some tomorrow.
  • Easton Ellsworth found four nuggets that are relevant to business podcasting from these 20 tips. Keep it short pops up again.

If you’re a speaker, instructor, trade show presenter – get familiar with podcasting. Remember what Chris Pirillo says, Podcasting is a process, not a file or genre (feeds are the key).

Technorati Tags:

Is It Relationship Building or Relationship Manipulation?

The cloth of trust has been soiled. The marketplace manipulated. The conversation staged.

This NY Times article (free reg. req.) about Wal-Mart, Edelman, and a few bloggers is similar to an old Hollywood movie.

In the Martin & Lewis comedy, Money From Home, Dean Martin is singing from behind a tree as Jerry Lewis mouths the words, trying to serenade Dean’s romantic interest. When she finds out that the words come not from Lewis – but from Martin, she’s a bit upset at both of them. Martin & Lewis got caught.

How is this similar? Wal-Mart, Edelman, Bloggers got caught. Edelman’s rep whispered in the ears of those bloggers. Reaching out to the blogosphere? Or possibly finding some motivated individuals who could easily be fed. C’mon.

Some bloggers (Holtz, Taylor, Jarvis, Holmes among them) wonder what the big deal is. Richard Edelman responds with a Word to the Wise. I agree with Scoble on this one. Thankfully, each of them talk about disclosure being very important.

This thread of email shows that much of what was sent by Edelman’s rep looks like spam with only the recipients name changed, perhaps with Mail Merge? (Rob- why are you sharing this email thread?)

I’m all for getting products and services out to bloggers and bartenders and people who are in the habit of sharing their opinion. I’m even okay with a company’s P.R. firm leading the charge – though I’d prefer to see the company get into the conversation with a blog. There’s a difference between building a relationship and manipulating one.

Full disclosure: I’ve supported Iowa Voice by purchasing ads in the past. I have a sense of what’s going on in Brian’s life by reading the site for the past several months. Think there’s motivation? Think Edelman didn’t sense this upfront?

Maybe this isn’t such a black eye for Wal-Mart or Edelman (though someone had a game plan), but it sure isn’t pretty for bloggers.

"A guy asks his wife if his yellow shirt is clean enough to wear to church. The wife responds, ‘If there’s doubt, it’s dirty.’"

Follow more of the conversation on Technorati.

Technorati Tags: , , , , Iowa Voice

Whistle Stops – 03/06/06

Update January 2014: Whistle Stops began as a daily posting of interesting items I found on the web. Since then, we now have Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. I share things I find on those networks. On these old posts, there may be links crossed out or dropped because they no longer exist.

There is also a free, weekly newsletter I put out by the same name. Consider subscibring.

Get Whistle Stops Weekly

Not as catchy as Pick of the Orchard, but here are some conversations and articles around the blogosphere worth reading:

  • NY Times: Wal-Mart Gate: IF this is true, Oops on Wal-Mart. Ouch on Edelman. Embarrassment to Bloggers. Ugly story about retail giant’s P.R. efforts to feed bloggers info through their consultant firm. Bloggers bite. Everyone gets egg on their face.
  • Pitching Bloggers at hyku: Maybe the culprits above should have read this first. Though Josh goes into more detail in the comments, I’m not sure I totally agree. Does it matter where the relationships start (blog comments or email)?
  • Consumers Communication Bill of Rights at DigTank: Maybe these five guidelines should be kept in mind when contacting bloggers.
  • Business Blog ROI  from Shel Holtz: We’re not at the stage where businesses consider blogs as indispensable. “Anecdotal evidence counts as measurement as much as numbers do.”
  • Shel Israel and Jim Estill on Blogging for Executives at ProPR: Good summary and insight from today’s AIMS session in Toronto.

Extending Reach with the Washington Post

The Washington Post article on how Blog Buzz Helps Companies Catch Trends in the Making made the blogosphere rounds yesterday, appearing on 31 blogs according to Technorati and posted seven eight times on del.icio.us.

The article itself deserved to make the rounds and is worth a read, but the Post’s use of social media tools is also prompting some of the popularity.

Wapost_1  The three most recent blogs to mention the article appear in the "Who’s Blogging" box. Clicking on the Full List brings up all blogs that posted about the article according to Technorati.

You can also save and tag the article using the del.icio.us social bookmark tools.

What does this have to do with business blogging?

If you want to extend your reach and readership, pay attention to the post articles that matter to your business and your audience. If you have something relevant to say, do so with appropriate linkage.

Here’s how some others have posted about this article. Notice the different viewpoints, each creating value.

My suggestion is to register to WaPo (it’s free), subscribe to the feeds that matter to you (also free) and post when appropriate.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Google