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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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Blogging Resources – Inc.com

Inc.com has a good list of blogging links including blogging tools and ‘how to’ guides.

URL info – Analyze and Improve your Blog

URL info is one of the most useful tools for probloggers that I’ve recently stumbled upon.

It may not look overly sexy when you first surf into it but this simple page has 107 useful tools for you to analyze and improve your site. They describe it as follows:

URLinfo is a tool for handling web pages: finding information about it, translating it, finding related pages, etc. To use it, type a URL (web page address) into the box in the top frame. Then choose a tab (such as General or Cache), and click on the name of the specific tool you wish to use. The Translate and Search tabs require a bit more, but should be self-explanatory. Click on the [info] link at the end of any tab for details about it.

Some of the tools are more useful than others – but overall I think you’ll find plenty of information there to help you improve your blogging. Its a definite bookmarkable link!

Gawker Targets Males with New Blogs

ProBlogger Nick Denton from Gawker has just announced three new blogs:

- Jalopnik a blog about Cars

- Kotaku a blog about Video Games

- Screehead a blog about “funny shit.”

The blogs unashamedly are targeting a young male readership – a smart strategic move from Gawker who has obviously seen the same research about Young males using the net more and more that the rest of us have seen. The difference between Nick and the rest of us is that he’s done something about it and is positioning himself very well for some successful and profitable blogging.

They’ve also signed a deal with Audi to sponser their Jalopnik blog – another smart move.

CopyScape – Keeping your Content Secure from Plagiarists

CopySafe is an internet infringement Protection tool that helps you to find out of people are stealing your blog’s content. I’ve accidentally stumbled upon a number of sites recently that have copied and pasted articles that I’d written word for word (and link for link) from one of my blogs onto another blog. On every occasion so far it only took an email to the relevant blogmaster for them to remove it (with the threat of further action) but I’ve often wondered how many other articles I’ve written have been stolen. Now with CopySafe I can find out. All it takes is for you to add the URL of the post from your blog and it will suggest possible plagiarism infringements.

Found via Affiliate Tip

GreyMatter Blog Publishing Platform Review

Business Blog Consulting has a good review of the Grey Matter Blog Publishing platform that is really worth a read if you’re thinking through which is the best blogging platform for you. Rick describes Grey Matter in this way:

“It’s a server-side, PERL-based platform, like Movable Type, which means, among other things, it requires rebuilds of the archives when you make significant changes to the templates. Joni tells how this process early on crashed her then mom-and-pop web host’s servers and she was polited asked to take her web site elsewhere. (Bad blogger! Yikes!) Also, GreyMatter is no longer being actively developed by its principal developer, although there remains an active, die-hard community of plug-in and hack makers. It is also not so easy to install for novices. For those reasons, Joni suggests it’s better for those who like playing around with the underside of the tools and maybe not ideal for most corporate blog installations.”


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