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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

New Google Feature: Sponsored Links

I just stumbled across a new (?) feature on Google – Google Sponsored Links which allows you to enter a term and then see what ads Google has in their stock pile.

The initial page that you go to looks like you’ve come to an error page but enter in a term in the search bar and you’ll get a list of ads that they have. For example here are ads on the topic of Blog Money and here are some for Digital Cameras

The results do seems to vary depending upon your location (I get a lot of Aussie ads). This would be a useful tool for you if you’re deciding on a topic for a blog and you want to run Adsense Ads. Check your keywords/blog topic on this tool and you’ll see if there are sufficient ads to make it worth your time. If your keywords don’t produce any ads it might be worth changing your approach or finding another income stream as it will be hard to get ads served to your blog and therefore difficult to extract any money from Adsense.

ecto blog: Special christmas discount!

ecto is offering a spacial Christmas discount on its amazing blogging software. I use ecto for MacOS 10.3 (windows version is also available) and absolutely LOVE it – it totally revolutionized my blogging experience when I stumbled upon it.

‘With ecto you can write and manage entries for your weblog(s). The advantage over using your weblog’s control panel is that you can compose entries offline and use the extra features ecto offers, such as spellcheck, creating links, attachments, and much more. ecto is designed to make blogging much more easier and yet give the users as much power as possible to manage their weblogs.’

Get a list ectos features at:

Mac version

Windows version

The discount is valid between 20 – 26 December and is for a limited time only – get 30% off here.

PubSub LinkRanks

PubSub LinkRanks are a useful tool that help to keep track of how different domains are being linked to by the blogosphere. They define them as:

‘LinkRanks are a measure of how many pages link to each particular site, with more weight given to fresher links and to links from a wider variety of pages.’

They help you keep track of what is hot in terms of topics/sites but are also useful for tracking your own domain.

For example they will keep track of how your domain is going over a month with a little graph. For example my livingroom.org.au domain has been pretty up and down this last month in terms of inward links and has ranked anywhere from 580th to 460th in the sites being tracked. Also helpful is their list of sites linking up to your domain.

Get a full description of how LinkRanks works here.

ecto blog: Amazon

The wonderful people who developed ecto – a tool that has revolutionised the way I blog – has added a feature that I requested in forums a few weeks back to their MacOSX version – the ability to add Amazon affiliate products to your blog all remotely! This means not only can I blog this entry without having to log into MT – but I can now also add links like this one to “Blogging: Genius Strategies for Instant Web Content” (Biz Stone) or the image based one in this post with just a couple of clicks!

Have I mentioned that I LOVE ecto?

Essential Pro Blogging Tools

Hypothetical question time – If you were stranded on a desert island (with dsl broadband and a laptop) and the had to make a living (to pay for your boat ride home) from blogging – what would be your top 5 blogging tools/programs/services?

Ok – silly question – but someone was just asking me about my blogging and the tools that I use – I told them that I LOVE…

1. Google Adsense – my wife loves them too – They give me money to research and write about stuff that I’m really interested in and probably would have researched and written about for free!

2. Bloglines – These people find me the stuff that I write about in a 10th of the time it would have taken me to find it otherwise. They also tell me if others are writing about it within minutes of them doing so.

3. Ecto – I still remember the day I first fell in love with this little program. It makes uploading blog entries so quick and easy. What you see is what you get editing – one click publishing – purrrrr.

4. Google News – Once again the nice people at Google come to the problogging party and kindly email me news on any topic that I might choose. Articles from around the world that I’d never have heard of land in my inbox daily.

5. Topix – Once again this service sources news (for free) from around the globe and shoots it into either an email or an RSS feed for my blogging pleasure.

What are your top 5 blogging tools??

Betting on Tools that Power Blogs

BusinessWeek has an interesting article that talks about another option for making money from blogs – through the infrastructure that makes blogs possible. They write –

While Web log entreprenuers search for a viable business model, venture capitalists are backing companies that make it all possible

Ask David Sifry when his little San Francisco startup called Technorati will turn a profit, and he laughs contagiously. No, Technorati, which tracks Web logs, or blogs, and will soon offer blog searches, is a long way from turning a profit. But it has big-league venture-capital backers like Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Mobius Venture Capital, and they’re willing to wait as blog entrepreneurs cast around for a good business model.

It may take a while. Truth is, the fledgling blogging industry’s business model is closer to a question mark than a dollar sign. Sifry would be the first to admit that he’s part of an industry in flux. “This reminds me of the Web in 1994,” Sifry says. “It’s an ecosystem that’s evolving and just being built.”

PICKS AND SHOVELS. Plenty of people are part of the building process. Sifry estimates that about 12,000 new blogs pop online worldwide each day. On about 10 million blogs today, writers are posting about 400,000 new items per day. That’s more than 16,000 per hour. The interest is out there. The question is: How can money be made?’

TypePad Blogs to get Contextual Advertising

Kanoodle and Six Apart (makers of Typepad and Moveable Type blogging systems) are partnering together to offer Typepad bloggers the opportunity to run contextual ads to their site – and thereby add a revenue stream to their blogs. This is similar to what Blogger blogs can do with Adsense – however it seems that this new system will be a little more seamless and integrated into the Typepad blogs. It will be interesting to see how many TypePad bloggers utilise the system due to go live in the first quarter of next year. For more information see the following press relase.

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