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Who Is Darren Rowse?

Fluff Post Warning: Everyone is doing this (ok – not everyone) but a few of my favorites bloggers including Jeremy and Arieanna. Using this little tool you can work out who or what you or your blog is – according to the web. Here’s a few of the things that it said I am:

Darren Rowse is One ProBlogger to Watch.
Darren Rowse is the guy behind ProBlogger.
Darren Rowse is a machine.
Darren Rowse is *really* Rolf Harris.
Darren Rowse is making a living.
Darren Rowse is getting over 80000 visitors per day.
Darren Rowse is writing a series of articles about how to turn first time readers into regular readers or better yet subscribers.
Darren Rowse is a digger deviant with no more right to live on God’s clean earth than a weasel.
Darren Rowse is heading for another 24 hour blogathon to raise money for the victims of the Tsunami.
Darren Rowse is at it again.
Darren Rowse is an interactive professional blogger.
Darren Rowse is de man achter deze blog en hij verdient zijn boterham met zijn weblogs.
Darren Rowse is a well-recommended blogger with some good ideas.
Darren Rowse is vandaag een interessante discussie gestart over welk businessmodel je nu zou moeten kiezen als.
Darren Rowse is always up to something over there in the land of Wonder.
Darren Rowse is still talking to me.
Darren Rowse is an Australian blogger who has painstakingly put together an indispensable list of helpful ideas.

Full list is here – small things amuse small minds.

Increasing the Longevity of Key Posts – Part I

Last week I wrote about the nature of two types of blog posting in Evergreen vs Time Related Posts (or posts that are long lasting in their relevance and appeal to readers versus posts that are time or event specific). I wrote that each can be profitable forms of blogging – but I failed to give any tips on how to get the most from your Evergreen Posts.

One of the best ways in which you can lengthen the longevity of your posts and take them to ‘evergreen status’ is to be smart about how you integrate them into your blog.

Let’s look at how most blogs operate.

  1. You write a wonderful post with evergreen potential and hit ‘publish’ – your post appears in the prime position of your blog – front and centre where anyone coming to your blog will see it. At this point it will be read by virtually everyone who comes to your home page.
  2. You write another post an hour, day or week later and your evergreen post begins its decent down your page. You might allow 10 posts on your blog’s main page and so after 10 new posts it slips away into another blogging dimension – your archives.
  3. At this point your post drastically reduces its chances of ever being read again in large numbers – it is out of site to your readers and because its no longer on your main page the chances of search engines sending traffic its way decrease also.

So what is a blogger to do? Is there a way (short of letting your main page contain 100 posts – and slowing to a crawl) of keeping your wonderful post in the spotlight?

I’d like to suggest that there are a number of ‘in house/on blog’ strategies that smart bloggers use to increase the life of their evergreen posts (note there are also off blog strategies that I won’t go into here). Let me outline a few before I invite your opinion:

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Follow up Posts

Wayne writes a good post on the topic of follow up posts:

‘Returning to a previous ongoing controversy or concept, provides a useful and interesting source, of blog post ideas. Often your longer term readership will appreciate finding out more information on an idea previously presented in your blog.

Blog SEO efforts are also enhanced, by picking up previous themes or topics, and running with them in several new directions.

Followup posts are ideal for political, legal, and sports blogs. Each those blog categories is ideally suited to continuing column ideas. Most regular readers will be very intrigued as to how the initial case, policy, or game under discussion, was resolved.’

Nice post again Wayne I’m sure I’ll write more about this – in a later post…

Podcast Network Sign First Sponsor – LearnDog

The Podcast Network have just announced their first sponsor – an Aussie organization named LearnDog who work with teenagers to help them to make good life choices. LearnDog’s website might be a little on the light side of information about who they are and what they do – but they do have a blog that reveals a little more.

LearnDog product manager is quoted in the Australian Newspaper as saying:

‘”Our goal is to launch LearnDog on a global stage so millions of kids can showcase their talents using new media. We aim to create a positive learning experience that helps kids deal with the great youth dangers of suicide and depression.”

LearnDog will use radio, TV, press, and new media, including web blogging, PodCasting, chat and SMS, to provide assistance to 14 to 18-year-olds and disadvantaged people. An animated character called LearnDog will interact with these people. The company was founded by Mark Keough, who also set up Archer College, a Registered Training Organisation that delivers professional training using the latest in educational technologies. Seyfang, a windsurfing fanatic, says LearnDog will help kids to learn stuff by finding ways to show their talents and link them to training and/or well-being programs.

“We want to reach them through media channels like TV, radio, print media and new media channels like web blogs, PodCasting, internet generally, chat and SMS,” he says.`’

I like this concept – new media has so much potential to be a life giving force to many and LearnDog seems to be one example of someone taking steps to test this theory.

New Blogs on the Block

Let me introduce you to some new blogs – 5 of which have been added to the 9 Rules Network in the past 24 hours and 1 that is being developed by a good friend of mine – in fact the person who designed this blog.

Rachel Cunliffe is the author of Designer Blogs – a blog about blog design. Rachel is an experienced blog designer and has done a bit of work for me over the past couple of years. She is based in New Zealand and designs simple, clean and up to date looking blogs. Designer Blogs will feature critiques on blog design, award winning designs and ideas and tips on designing your blog. Knowing Rachel well I suspect this will be a quality blog and one to watch. There isn’t much in archives yet – but no doubt it will fill up quickly as Rachel is dedicated and hardworking blogger.

The 9 Rules Network has added five interesting blogs to their stable in the last day or so. As per usual – these are well designed blogs (most of them are by designers) with interesting content. Some were in existence previously, a couple are brand new (ish). At this stage the only thing that really links them together is the 9Rules logo and incoming links from the 9Rules blog and home page – oh and they almost all share another common feature – a common publisher code on their Adsense ads – going into a common pot I guess to be shared.

  • Strange Brand – James Archer has been writing this blog on the topics of marketing, branding, advertising, PR, small business and the entrepreneurial spirit for a month now – each of his articles are spot on – he scratches right where I itch.
  • Return of Design – Another blog by James that he’s been writing for a week now on the topic of Design.
  • Kartooner – This is an older blog, written by Eric Sagen, that joins the network with a large archive of post on an array of topics. It is a personal blog with lots of depth and the ability to hold one’s interest.
  • Mark Boulton – Yet another older blog already brimming with usefulness. Mark’s blog is on my daily reads via RSS and has a wonderful grasp on web design.
  • Almost Cool – Peter Flaschner is another amazing web designer who writes about his craft in this very ‘cool’ blog. He’s been at it at Almost Cool since October of 2004 and his archives are well worth the search through.

So there are some new blogs to add to your News Aggregator – they’re all on mine now.

My Backpack

Backpack Logotype-SmallI’ve decided to test Backpack with their free service. My hope is that it will help me to be a little more organized in my blogging.

I’ve made my front home page public to show you a little of what it can do – I’ve not put anything special on the page so far, but you get the idea.

Of course there are other secret blogging business things lurking behind the scenes in the private areas (insert evil laugh here). Actually the only thing behind the scenes at the moment are a growing list of blog posts that I want to write on ProBlogger in the next few days which I emailed to the list as I thought of them. But I can already think of a number of uses for my BackPack which could assist me in my blogging.

The free version has ads on the public pages and doesn’t allow image or file uploads. It also only allows limited numbers of active reminders and pages – but it definitely gives a feel for the program. I’m really impressed by its simplicity, speed, smooth transitions and many potential applications.

A number of features I’d love to see incorporated would include:

  • SMS alerts to my mobile carrier in Australia (Telstra)
  • ability to email reminders
  • ability to respond to ‘reminder’ emails from within the email. ie if at the bottom of each email it had a link to ‘snooze’, ‘delete’, ‘edit’ etc. It does have one link to a page where all this can be done – but a one click option to delete would be cool (I’m lazy).
  • public editing of pages (I wouldn’t want this on any page – but I’d love to be able to offer a couple of pages to readers of this blog to be able to edit. Even if there was a ‘register’ option where the public could apply to be a contributer.
  • ability to change the look and feel of public pages

Of course these might be features I’ve just not yet found.

I’m particularly interested in how others are planning on using BackPack – especially in your blogging. Do you have any initial reactions on it that you’d like share?

Blogging – A Job that Never Ends

Sydney-Harbor-Bridge-1Driving across the Sydney Harbor Bridge on the way to the airport on a recent trip my taxi driver decided to give me a trivia lesson on the bridge. One of the statistics he recited was about painting the bridge – a job not for the feint hearted. It takes 80,000 litres (21,000 gallons) of grey paint and is an an endless task. As soon as they get to one end of the bridge they start again at the other.

Some days this is how I feel when it comes to blogging. There is an endless source of news, stories, tips and links to post on any given day. My goal each day is to clear my News Aggregator (Bloglines) of unread items. This is no easy task as I’m tracking 391 feeds in the search for quality content for my blogs. I do tend to scan more than I read word for word – however I like to do a pretty comprehensive job which takes time.

I get to the end of most days and have a similar feeling to the bridge painters in Sydney as I click the last ‘unread’ feed or folder – only to refresh the page and find more. A never ending task in a sense – but a satisfying feeling for that split second each day when its a fully read feed list.

A number of readers have expressed to me their frustration with this aspect of blogging – sometimes it can all seem rather overwhelming. I usually respond with some advice that my Dad used to give me when I felt overwhelmed by my studies:

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Vespa Blogs

Vespa-1

Steve Rubel announces that Vespa will start blogging later in the year at VespaBlogs.com. They write:



‘Why is Vespa launching blogs?


Piaggio USA feels blogs are an ideal way to connect with Vespa brand loyalists and encourage them to become online evangelists. It is an extension of the scooter clubs that have existed offline for years. One reason is that U.S. scooter buyers are heavy online users. According to internal Piaggio USA research, a full 65% of prospective motor scooter buyers visited the Vespa USA Web site, while 56% visited other sites when conducting research prior to purchase. Piaggio USA hopes that by hosting a transparent peer-to-peer discussion, it will enable more individuals to embrace scootering for a wide array of daily lifestyle needs. In addition, it will enable Piaggio USA to actively listen to consumer feedback in real-time.’

This is a very smart move. Vespas are a lovemark (if you haven’t read this book can I recommend you grab a copy from your local bookstore) and the best way that you can tap into the love that owners of your products have for such a product is to provide a space for them to come together to talk, connection, obsess, rave, gush, dream, evangelize and be excited about your product. This is what might just happen with such a blog.

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More on Blogging and Farming

Return Customer extends my post on Blogging as Farming and takes it in some interesting directions by looking at an article about small farms. Some of the quotes from the article are excellent and the comparisons to blogging are obvious:

‘One way farmers can draw customers is by growing a crop few others are selling locally….’

‘Small farms also have the ability to develop close ties to regular customers. Farmers should pay attention to what repeat customers are buying and why….’

‘Farmers markets offer a great venue for developing repeat customers … Farmers need to connect with customers and explain the benefits of fresh, locally grown produce to turn the novel experience of visiting the market into a weekly routine’

Read more at Cultivate Your Business and Customers