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Mapping the Readership of your Blog by Location

Due to the tool being profiled in this post being discontinued it has become irrelevant.

However you might find this more recent post on a Mapping Service more helpful.

Choosing Complimentary Colors for your Blog – ColorMatch Tool

Color-Match

Have you ever struggled to select a color scheme for a blog? It’s pretty obviously looking at the disaster that I’ve designed here that I do!

So this ColorMatch tool is going to be very handy!

It is designed to help you select a 6 color palette for your blog. All you have to do is select a main color that you like using the slider and it will do the rest and come up with 5 complimentary colors. What could be easier?

Update: Michael from Figby has just posted a comprehensive list of these sorts of color matching tools for the design impaired. There are 14 in total – quality stuff!

Bloglines Revenue Models – A fine line to walk

I missed this snippet of a post by Bloglines CEO Mark Fletcher late last year where he talks about the business model (income stream) for Bloglines in the future:

‘Eric was interested in the business model behind Bloglines. Not accepting my usual stock answer of “Volume!”, I detailed that we will integrating highly targetted contextual advertising into Bloglines next year, or “Adwords on Steroids” as Eric puts it (I like that description!). To reiterate what I told Eric, when we do start to roll out advertising, we will be very sensitive to user feedback, and we will be looking to our users to help guide us in this area.’

It will be very interesting to watch the rollout of such a system of ads for a number of reasons. Firstly I’ll be fascinated to see how their users (RSS subscribers) react to seeing ads appearing in or around their RSS feeds.

But secondly I’ll be interested to see how publishers react to it.

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:: w.bloggar :: version 4.0 released

Wb-Tools

PC users might be interested in the latest release of :: w.bloggar :: which has just been released.

:: w.bloggar :: acts as an interface between you and your blog, acting as a post and template editor. It allows offline editing (of course you have to connect eventually to update your blog).

The latest version (4.0) supports MovableType advanced post options and new tools like WordPress, SquareSpace, B2evolution etc. Get a full list of the update changes at their What’s New page.

Looks like a good system – but unfortunately I’ll never know as I’m a Mac man and they have not and will not ever release a version for me. Instead I use ecto which supports both Mac and PC users. If w.blogger is anything like ecto I’m sure its a very useful tool!

I’d be interested to hear from w.blogger users – how do you find the new version? – write us a short review of the interface and I’ll gladly publish it here or link to it on your blog.

Word Press – Web Application of the Year

ars tecnica has just announced its awards for 2004 and has named WordPress as Web application of the year.

Let’s face it. Blogs are in fashion, and why not? Vanity knows no bounds, and there are some people who actually do something productive with theirs. From the influence of blogs on the coverage of the US presidential elections to every random teenager who has problems with their partner/parent/teacher/cat, blogs are out there allowing your most intimate feelings to be shared with random people at wifi hotspots. WordPress is the most prominent rising star of weblog software, completely free and with a large and active community. Styles, plugins and hacks are readily available, with problems such as comment spamming being addressed far more rapidly than competing applications.



I have to agree – WP is moving forward very quickly and is a highly useable application for blogging. I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops in 2005.

Keyword Identification Tool – NicheBOT

Nichebot
Thinking of starting a new blog but you don’t know what keywords to target? NicheBot might be a tool worth checking out. Its a very useful tool that helps you to identify keywords that:

1. are being searched for

2. don’t have too many other sites competing for the same keyword

To use it simply enter in a keyword that you’re considering targeting – I’ll choose ‘MP3 Player’ for our example as its something I’m kind of interested in. After a short wait they’ll come back to you with a result page like this which has some very useful information (well it gets me going!) – the results are made up of the following pieces of information which they glean from Google and Word Tracker

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Find Your Future Google PageRank

So we know Google are doing a page rank update – on some data centers the results are not showing yet. Are you impatient and want to know what your blog’s page rank will be? You might find this future page rank predictor tool useful.

Future PageRank from SEO tools looks at a variety of data centers around the globe and checks to see if there is any discrepancies.

For example – this blog is currently showing a page rank of 3 on Google.com – but after checking the tool it seems that a page rank of 6 is on the way which would be a nice thing.

Dpbsts

It seems most of my blogs have had an increase in page rank which is a nice feeling (one even seems headed for a page rank of 7 – up from 6) – however the backlink update of the last two weeks was not so positive and SERPs and traffic have suffered terribly (see attached graph which is an example of the decrease in traffic over the past few weeks on the blog with the page rank of 7).

So whilst the updates don’t seem to be final I’m left in a strange place – page rank is on the improve but traffic levels remain at an abysmal level.

And still we wait – assured by more experienced blog/webmaster friends that time will tell and that things will improve.

In the mean time the Future Page Rank tool will be a handy one.

[Read more…]

Translating Blogs

The Multi Lingual Blog (Blogos) has an interesting post examinging Translation in the Blogosphere.

‘Now that millions of individuals around the world are being empowered, if that’s the right expression, by blog software to file reports from sites that the news media cannot always reach, or expose and share their personal lives in interesting new ways, or engage in intense discussion about issues of moment, far from the exclusive institutions of the nation state, the language barrier suddenly looms up like a wall of ice from the sea of words. How can we free the meanings encoded in those alien tongues?’

This is another of those ‘gap areas’ where I see opportunity for some enterprising person or group to provide some tools that would be snapped up by thousands of bloggers around the world who want to expand the reach of their sites (whether they be purely hobby blogs or professional ones).

I’ve previously experimented with free translation software like Babel Fish or Google’s Translation Tools – but I’ve never been completely satisfied with them. I’ve recently seen a number of bloggers who have people translate their articles by word on a voluntary or paid basis – but this is a slow and arduous task.

The other end of the spectrum is how to monetize your translated pages. Many advertising programs will not allow you to put your ads on non english sites. Adsense now has a number of languages available for its ads, but it can get quite tricky to set them all up if you have multiple versions of the one page.

I’m keen to hear how others have tackled the issue of translating their blogs? Have you seen good models of it? What tools work for you? What don’t? Feel free to leave your comments and suggestions below – share the knowledge so we can all improve our work.

Message Cast – Live Message Alerts

I’m testing Live Message Alerts on this blog at the moment which enables you the reader to receive an alert every time I post new content. You can choose to be alerted either on you msn messenger, via email and/or to your mobile device. You have to have an MSN passport to be included in the program. The system uses my RSS feed and is currently in Beta. Let me know how it works for you if you sign up for it. You can do so via this button.

LiveMessage Alerts