Posts Tagged 'Blog'

Five Ways To Increase Web Presence- Guest Post by Keren Dagan

Monitor something on the web

There’s a lot going on, on the web, all the time. New companies, technologies, conversations, ranking schemes and more are created daily. You can pick one and start monitoring it over time. I monitor around 800 blogs’ Technorati rank for over eight months now. I publish precipitating results to my Twitter @blogmon account and accumulated results in here. It is not just helping me to weed out good blogs from the rest, it is also helping me to learn a lot about the blogsphere, Technorati, mashup challenges and more. There is still a lot to do in this little project but it help me to establish few, but very interesting connections through working on it. Few ideas: monitor tags from Delicious, the top 100 blogs on Technorati list (here), use Google Trends, Alexa, Twingly blog rank. If you have some programming skills you can automate most, if not all the steps and scale the process. If not, that’s OK too. You can start with only few. The added value is that you’ll keep consistently monitoring it over time and finding the right way to present the results. Where to report results? Read on…

Lifestream

From one of my favorite blog ReadWriteWeb I learned that there at least 35 Ways to Stream Your Life and counting. Pick one or more and join the conversation. The key is to do it right and here I’m still learning.

Few ideas:

One way is to keep current, riding new waves of conversations – start with Twitter Search‘s Trending Topics or if you are in Europe use Twingly’s Hot right now. You can also see interesting tags on hashtags.org (Most Popular, Recently Added) and then search for them on Twitter Search.

Report results from your monitoring project: You can use Seesmic, Twitter, Jaiku, FriendFeed or any of the other life streaming tools. An interesting one that allow you to present your data using timeline is Swurl. You can use Google Docs to build online document that could be published and embed (using iFrame) inside a blog post, web page, pointed using a link from Twitter. A more demanding option is using Google Chart – good for automation.

Share interesting experiences, links, books, movies, knowledge – think what might interest others to follow.

It is amazing that all these great services comes for free. What that is more fascinating is how easy people with common interest find and subscribes to your feed and or vice versa.

Start a knowledge base, join and participate in a community, online book club or group

There are so many groups open for new members that are looking for active participation on Ning, Facebook, LinkedIn and many more. You can also start and lead one.

Examples: I joined Your Inner CEO Community on Ning. This is not just a good book but also a very active community. I’m also working building a knowledge base around Salability and Performance using an unbelievable smart service (armed with powerful semantic search engine) called Twine. I joined bloggers communities like Pijoo or MyBloglog.

I have to admit that things are going slow for me in this section – see the Bonus tip #2 for the reason why.

Become a beta tester

There is nothing more exciting (for me) than shaping new product functionality, look and feel. As an early adopter you have a chance to interact with extremely talented and creative minds building new technologies. You can contribute from your experience, and unique thinking, helping building a great new product. Be ready to deal with challenges such as poor performance, trouble getting subscribed, on-boarding, product crashes and hangs. Yet, be merciful, look at the bigger picture. Give feedback on both the details and the overall functionality. This is my favorite activity and the one that requires the most of my time. I wish I could do it more. You’ll be amazed how suddenly you mostly interact with the CEO, CTO and the VP of engineering (some time it is the same person :)).

Few ideas: use Mashable Beta Invite section to find candidates. Subscribe to Techcrunch feed, or subscribe by email (I consume it in this way) to learn about new companies. Some start-up companies’ offers private beta invites through Techcrunch blog.

Write a guest post

I could not help a little recursion in here 🙂 Now, seriously, write something compelling and offer it to some of the larger and established blogs out there. Having a guest blog post is a win win. You get to be noticed and the host to be perceived as the patron for upcoming new bloggers.

If you noticed I did not mention the word blog. I recommend having one even just because today this is the best way to create your web identity. I see mine as the home base. Yet, you don’t need to have a blog to establish web presence and blog also require some effort. Thanks to the great blog platforms available today it is not so heard to start from a very good place.

Two bonus tips:

Be patient – if you do start a blog Google appreciate the age of the domain and that you’ll consistently write blog posts. I noticed a significant change not before 6 month of blogging.

Focus – don’t do all these five at once unless you are single, have no kids and don’t have a life. Each one of the activities listed here demands time and should be done with care. It is better to do one or two as best as you could to build positive, meaningful web presence

I will not get into existential philosophical discussion about the why in this post (please create your meaning) but I will finish this post saying that I have a lot of joy doing so. I learned a ton and still learning constantly. I made new connections all over the world that otherwise could not have happened. So, give it a try.

Keren Dagan is a professional software developer manager and an amateur blogger. He likes to think both strategically and tactically on web technologies, trends, and phenomena. He mostly write about data and search engines technics. You can read his blog http://webnomena.com/ and follow him on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/kerendg. Keren brings to the blogsphere more than 10 years of experience in software development and management building highly scalable solution for the enterprise and his unique way of looking at things.

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Ten Minutes Blogging School

One of my best friends decided to make a move and start blogging. He asked for my guidance, and instead of keeping it between us, I decided to post it here. So, here we go – welcome to the Ten Minutes Blogging School:

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1. Choose a Platform – you are looking for a combination of flexibility and stability. Flexibility is the ability to add widgets, video players, badges and so on. Stability is the total uptime of the system. Therefore you need a well known service. I am using wordpress.com as it offers a good enough flexibility (they approve every application separately so not everything is working on their platfor

m out of the box) and they provide a reliable service. Another great thing about WordPress is that you can later install your own version of the platform and get maximum flexibility with zillion plugins that are av

ailable for the WordPress platform but not implemented in wordpress.com

2. Buy a Domain – so now you have a blog in wordpress.com. Its address looks like xxxx.wordpress.com. You don’t want that. Buy a domain (from Godady for example), upgrade your wordpress.com account by buying 10 credits ($10), and redirect the blog to that address. So instead of having a long and annoying address, you will have one tailored for you. It is very important to get this thing done first – so all the links to your blog from external resources will be done to the new URL.

3. Go to Feedburner and create an RSS feed – find the RSS feed address that wordpress.com gives you and “burn” it with Feedburner to get an independent RSS feed. The reason is that your RSS address is very important in order to maintain readership over time. If tomorrow you will decide to move to your own hosted wordpress platform, or change your bloggin infrastructure, you will still need to keep the original RSS feed address.
4. Choose the template you like and start writing!

That’s it for the technical stuff. Now for the real thing – Community and Promotion

5. Identify other blogs and sites in the same topics. Comment on them regularly with your blog address in the identification. other readers will find your blog this way, and you will get more incoming links

6. Add your blog link to your Facebook profile, and import its RSS feed to your notes. You can also open a Facebook group and invite your friends to it. Use it to keep in touch with your readers.

7. Add the blog to your Linkedin profile, in case it is relevant to your business, or you believe your business contacts will be interested in it.

8. If you are on Twitter, use TwitterFeed to push your post to your Twitter friends. Use it carefully, and try to communicate using Twitter for other topics as well.

9. Constantly post your posts to Digg, Del.icio.us and StambleUpon

10. Answer your comments – it is the way your readers communicate with you. It takes time but it worth the effort.

Is that it?

No, there are many strategies, and technics to write and promote a blog. But these things are the basics to get you going. Remember – write about your passion, you will have the best posts if you’ll do that.

Good luck to all the new bloggers among us!

Tailor Your Social Media Strategy to Your Industry’s Rules of Engagement

In another great post, Ayelet Noff, AKA Blonde 2.0, gave some tips for effective usage of social networks. I agree with most of the points she raised, and I love her blog (and her as a person 🙂 ), but one thing caught my attention:

Finally, I want to discuss the topic of private vs. public identities, which I have written about in the past. Due to the whole premise behind Web 2.0, the borders between our personal and professional lives online are slowly disintegrating and to my belief, this is a good thing. When I upload pictures to my Flickr page, I upload professional pictures, but I also upload pictures of me, just hanging out with my friends, or traveling to interesting locations. When I update my status on Twitter, I may update regarding the latest post I just wrote on my blog but I may also twitter about an interesting article I just read or the latest movie I just saw.

I know that some people try to keep a certain professional façade online because they are afraid of what other professionals may think…I think these individuals are only putting themselves at a disadvantage… People like to connect with other people who are open and genuine. The more you allow people into your world, the more people will allow you into their own. By creating a rich profile you are only showing others that you are an active member of the community and that you have a multi-dimensional and unique personality of your own.

I believe that like everything in life, things are a bit more complex.

Different industries, different ethics

The view that open equals better is a one of the foundations of the Internet industry. It is so deeply rooted, that one can find its print in every aspect of its day to day life – informal dress code, open communication standards such as HTTP, flat standards organizations, and an implicit preference toward young entrepreneur. We all remember how Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder and CEO, was filmed jumping on a yellow ball, laughing hysterically.

The telecom industry is different, in many aspects. Dress code is more formal, standards organizations are hierarchical, and young age is not necessarily conceived as an advantage for entrepreneur.

I live in both worlds. I am a blogger, using social media in my day to day life and work, and at the same time working with telecom companies, directly or as part of my capacity as IMTC VP or Marketing.

SO?

These differences are not only semantic ones – they reach to the core of these industries. Therefore they differ in the way they evaluate bloggers and social networkers.

The Myth of Social Media Openness

Yes, social media users are usually more open than other. But the reason for that is that many of the leaders of this revolution are coming from the Internet industry. Therefore they see openness as added value. In my opinion, like in many areas of marketing and relationships, social media cannot be treated as one-size-fits-all. Every industry has it own rules of engagement, that should be respected. Ayelet notes:

I know that some people try to keep a certain professional façade online because they are afraid of what other professionals may think…I think these individuals are only putting themselves at a disadvantage…

And she is right, if I am covering the Internet industry. But I don’t believe that openness provides the same benefits when I cover industries that do not see it as core value. In some of my talks with Telecom companies about bloggers, I heard comments like: “when I read an article, I don’t want to know if the writer is married or not – it is completely irrelevant”, ” Why should I see a picture of the writer at the beach, with his kids without a shirt?” and so on and so forth. Some even noted that it reduces the reliability of the writers in their point of view. Though a bit extreme, we need to understand that when we approach such markets and create their social media strategy.

Bottom Line

Social media is here to stay, and every company, news organization or brand that disregard it lose the amazing benefits this field can provide. But just like in any other area, we need to learn the rules of engagement of the industry, and customize our strategy to it. Otherwise we are harming the company, and the field of social media as a whole.

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Social Media, Corporate Thinking , and What Nu Metal Has To Do With It

Doing a good presentation is a hard task. Especially when you need to explain abstract concepts in 45 minutes, that require listeners to change their way of thought about the most basic concepts of their trade.

When I do seminars for companies and explain the concept of social media, I face this challenge all the time. I must get marketing groups, who are used to one way communication, to open their channels to a conversation with their customers. I need to convince CTOs to spend time of their engineers on writing external blogs.

Here are two effective ways I use to convey these fundamentally different messages to corporate decision makers:

Images images images – forget bullets, lists, sections. don’t let them read – let them see. Find images that are strong and tell a story. Flickr made our life much easier, as you can find there amazing images, and even look for creative commons licensed images specifically. For example – this picture can be used to describe traditional media:

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This one to describe social media:

image

And this one to describe the differences:

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Don’t avoid problematic issues: some of you will be surprised to hear that many people still believe that blogs are only online diaries of lonely girls. In my presentation I show various kind of bloggers, and refer to this group as well, again with a picture:

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By referring to these issues as part of the discussion, you can make sure that the topic is handled as part of your overall message.

What’s Nu Metal got to do with it? Check out this Korn clip, and see how they convey a message in its first part:

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VntFEWF8I8A]
Korn – Evolution

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Om Malik Starts Video Shows

When I asked Om Malik in a joint panel at Blogference if he has plans to go into podcasting and Internet Video shows, he said that he was thinking about this direction. Less than a month later, Om published his first show, in cooperation with Revision3. The show covers Internet trends and analysis, topics he analyze in his blog.

Contrary to what I thought, the initial aim of this product is not to get more advertising dollars. In a recent conversation, Om stated that he viewed video as a medium that surpass the limits of blogging – while posts has to be short and precise, online video enabled him to do long form interviews. Another angle I found interesting is that Om saw this medium as a mean to let viewers analyze the information given on their own, based on raw interviews.

And, as always, beyond the regular business concepts and needs, Om just stated that “it is fun” – I can’t agree more.

I wonder if we will see a lot of professional bloggers adding original video to their media offering. Video production requires different type of planning and production, it is more time consuming than blogging, and in today’s market, doesn’t necessarily brings more viewers than textual blogs. This would change if video production companies will tailor their service to fit bloggers, by reducing the planning and production overhead from the bloggers themselves. Script is especially crucial here – not necessarily a strong blogger’s capability.

In any case, if I was BlogTV or Ustream I wouldn’t hold my breath – when I’ve mentioned the option of having live sessions, he simply said that his schedule is too full for that. This is another proof that live broadcasting is not as appealing as pre-recorded content, an issue I’ve raised in a previous post.

Good luck Om!

                   

GigaOm Killed The Radio Star?

3 Things to learn from Tech.Chick.Blog

I came across Tech.Chick.Blog through mybloglog community a couple of days ago. It covers the tech area from a personal angle, playing the sexy geek card.

Three features made this site more personal and easy to use
1. The contact button is large, and easy to find.
2. Within the contact area, Gabbrielle Atticus, the writer, listed all of her online identities– twitter, Digg, Jaiku, Technorati, Stumbleupon and so on.
3. Last but definitely not least – in her “about” section, she uploaded a short video clip about herself. The clip is simple, clear, and in good quality.

These three features added a stronger personal angle to her blog, and made it more effective in creating both emotional attachment and direct connections with the blogger.

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Vloggers Unite! A new Facebook group just for you

Yes, I’ve joined Facebook too. You can find my profile here.

After the brainstorming in Podcamp Europe about how to increase internet TV viewership, I was concerned with ways to continue the discussion while not in a face to face event.

Couple of great things happened soon after:

  • Several bloggers wrote their opinions and got amazing comments (see this post for more details).
  • Chris Brogan had his 100 comments project around a similar topic – don’t forget to visit and comment on his post.

In order to continue the conversation I am proud to announce the opening of a new Facebook group titled Internet TV, Vbloggers and media disruptors.
The aim of the group is continue discussions about key issues of the industry such as monetization, production tips, content marketing, industry perspectives and everything that is important to the community.

It is a group where YOU create the conversation – so get involved and present your ideas and dilemmas!

We are planning to use this group as a hub to additional activities such as Skypecasts, group chats etc. If you have ideas on how to increase involvement and create additional value through this group – email me, or better yet – write it on the group’s wall.

The group is open to all Facebook members – if you are not there yet, it now allows everyone to register.
Thanks to all the new members,and see you there!

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