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My Space at MySpace

I’ve been meaning to check out Myspace for myself for the last few months and this weekend I actually took the 10 minutes necessary to set myself up an account at www.myspace.com/darrenrowse.

I’m not sure what I was expecting from it but it all seems a little underwhelming so far.

I know I’m not the target audience really and haven’t given it a chance but coming at it after blogging for 3 years on other services leaves me feeling like it’s such a substandard service. I guess the key of it is the masses of people and the social interaction they are apparently having – but in terms of it’s features – I’m surprised how simple and featureless it is (unless there is some section I’m not seeing with all the cool stuff).

Anyway – I’ll play around with it over the next few days and see what I can see. I guess it’s just good to get a feel for what people are using.

YPN increase channels and make other Tweaks

I’ve been offline most of today and just checked my inbox to find 7 people had emailed me to let me know that YPN has increased the number of tracking channels from 50 to 100. They’ve also apparently made a few changes to the design/layout of their back-end and have made a few changes to color palettes. I’ve not logged in to see yet but from what I’ve been told most of the changes are tweaks.

TypePad Users Unite!

TypePad users unite! That’s what John T. Unger is hoping for with his new blog TypePad Hacks which has three main objectives:

  1. User Design: Collect useful hacks for extending the capabilities of TypePad blogs.
  2. User Forum: Provide a forum for issues, news and user concerns about SixApart products and service.
  3. User Power: Organize users into a unified voice to lobby SixApart for the features, fixes and changes to TypePad most important to us. Call it consumer advocacy.

You can read more about his objectives here. I know of a few bloggers that I’ll be sending over to connect with John.

TypePad Hacks: Start: The Purpose of This Blog

Blogging for Charity

9-CharitiesI’ve long believed that blogging not only has the potential to build the reputation and income of people and businesses but that it also has the potential to give something back to the wider community.

I’ve seen this happen in a number of ways over the past few years and have attempted to do it myself on occasion also. Cameron Reilly and I had a long chat a few weeks ago while we travelled to a conference about how some of the new media networks that are out there could give something back in some way. We wondered what impact we could have as bloggers, podcasters and networks if we all focussed our attention on building awareness, raising money and lending expertise of charities.

It seems we’re not alone with our conversation as the bloggers at 9rules have just launched 9charities – a great idea to identify 9 charities per year and help them by developing their web presence for free. I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

Blogathon – I also wanted to let readers know that I’ve decided to postpone my next blogathon for another month. For those who don’t know about it – each year (this will be my third) I blog for 24 hours and ask readers for donations and sponsorthips for a charity. I post once every 15 (ish) minutes for 24 hours (my goal is 100 posts over the 24 hours). In doing so my aim is to raise money but also awareness for the charity.

The reason I’ve postponed it (I was hoping to do it before the end of March) is that for the past few weeks I’ve been struggling with bronchitis and I just can’t throw it off – partly because of the long hours I’ve been working. As a result I’m not sure it’ll be a wise move to spend 24 hours awake blogging as each time I’ve done it before it’s left me pretty exhausted. I’m taking 10 days off early in April so once I’m back from that I’ll begin working towards it – hopefully at the end of April.

A Negative Blogosphere?

Fascinating post over at Scobleizer on The new A list – some reflections by Robert on how he sees the the new breed of bloggers coming through treating his mate Dave Winer who recently announced he’s looking at stepping away from blogging. He describes this new ‘A-list’ of bloggers as a lynch mob.

“No one kept their head – the knives and guns just came out in this street fight. No one called both sides and did some real reporting. No one added any value. Built anyone up. No, all I read was “Dave’s an a++hole” kind of comments…. Ever notice that the new A list only tears down people and ideas but never puts new ideas, new products, new tools, out there to attack?”

My reaction to Robert’s post is mixed:

On the one hand I disagree that the new A-list never puts new ideas, products, tools out there. I see a lot of new bloggers developing interesting ideas and products. This is one of the things that excites me about the space we’re in at present – a new wave of fresh and creative sorts pushing into new space (not just in blogging but in it’s surrounding space also).

On the other hand I connect with the main thrust of Robert’s post.

I’ve noticed a change in the ‘vibe’ of the blogosphere over the last 12 months.

While there has always been arguments, fights, flame wars and snarkyness in the wider blogging community I wonder if it’s gone to new levels in the last year. Perhaps it is just me or the types of bloggers that I’ve been reading lately (and it could well be) – but I’ve noticed a significant increase in the mob mentality among some bloggers of late. Link baiting with ‘attack’ and/or ‘shock’ tactics has been used quite successfully by some bloggers to build their own profile with little (if no) regard for the impact that these strategies have upon those around them.

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Alexa add Dubious Feature

Alexa has just added a new ‘feature’ to it’s service that show ‘other sites owned’ by the same people as the site being featured.

So for ProBlogger it shows two other sitesgambling watch and idolblog (see screen cap below).

I see two problems with this.

Firstly some might argue that there are privacy issues at stake here. I don’t have a massive issue with it on this front as I don’t have any sites I’m ashamed of – but interestingly I’ve just used this feature on a few other blogs that I read and have found other blogs that I’d not heard of that do seem to be written by those bloggers (on one occasion it was a blog on a topic I don’t think that they’d like to be known publicly as the owner of).

Secondly (and more importantly) – I don’t own either of the two blogs that it says I own. I know for a fact that idolblog is hosted on the same server as mine – but gambling watch is a site I’m not really familiar with. I suspect it could also be hosted on the same server – but it’s definitely not one that I ‘own’.

I wonder how many others are being associated with sites that they have no connection to? What do you think of this feature?

Found via an email from Derrick who feels pretty passionately about the issue as you’ll see from his site. For more reading on this see Webmaster World’s forums.
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AdWords Starter Edition

If you’ve been wondering whether you should try advertising with AdWords to promote your blog but have been a little overwhelmed by it’s complexity as a first time user you might find the new AdWords Starter Edition a useful way to start out.

In essence it’s, as it’s name suggests, a simplified AdWords designed specifically for those just starting out.

It allows you to create a single ad compaign from a one page sign up form. It only allows Basic targetting (ie you can’t target specific sites) but it seems a reasonably simple way to get in and learn some of the basics. You can compare the features of AdWords Starter Edition with the normal one here. Also read their FAQ page to learn how to sign up.

The good thing about AdWords is that you can set a budget and start off with a pretty inexpensive campaign to test it as you go.

Tangent – The Spider Monkey Trap

Regular readers of ProBlogger know that I enjoy a good tangent or analogy – here’s a good one from Cameron on spider monkeys and the lure of nuts.

Update: Hmmm that didn’t quite come out right…

Starting Multiple Blogs


One of the questions that I’m being asked quite a bit lately by bloggers who have been blogging for a while is whether it’s a wise thing to start multiple blogs and if so how should one manage it?

It’s a good question and one that I have a few random thoughts on (which I thought would be a good addition to the blogging for beginners series):

Diversification of Income Sources – I’ve posted many times here at ProBlogger about the wisdom of diversifying your interests in blogging and the idea of multiple blogs is central in my own approach to this. While you do need to be careful of spreading yourself too thinly (more on this below) multiple blogs has been very beneficial for me and have been one of the main reasons for my own growth of income over the past three years. My own experience is that a blog’s traffic growth usually starts fairly slowly, then goes through a growth spurt before reaching a plateau where it becomes more difficult to add new readers in great numbers. At this point starting a second blog is often one good way to increase overall traffic.

The main reason that I became a believer in diversification through multiple blogs was as a result of an experience of seeing one of my main blogs suffer in it’s ranking in Google for a six week period. It struck me in this time how easily an income based around one single successful blog could disappear and I was motivated to build other blogs (and other non blogging income streams) so that if it happened again I would not be left completely high and dry.

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