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More thoughts on defining blog (but much more intelligently put!)

It seems my “I goofed” post, or rather my attempt to explain the difference between a web site and a blog has got some folks thinking. Taughnee at endeavor creative (do you have any idea how hard it is for a Canadian to spell endeavor? I spell in endeavOUr every time!) has a very interesting, totally relevant story to share. It’s a fun read too.

EDIT: URI is fixed.

Blog Saturation? Is it still bleeding edge?

At work we do a bit of blogging. My boss still doesn’t really grasp the concept of what a blog is, but now he wants to host blogs for a niche group. The problem is, he doesn’t think anyone knows what a blog is and doesn’t want to use the word “blog” in the title. Perhaps in the tagline.

It seems to me “blog” is reaching saturation. It was the word of the year last year and there are just to many people blogging for people not to know. But the real question I guess is really do they know that the word “blog” is what kind of sites they’ve been seeing a lot of lately. With the popularity of MSN Spaces, Blogger.com, Typepad and others, is the word “blog” that important in letting people know that’s what we are offering?

In the next few weeks we’ll be rolling it out and I was just wondering how important the word “blog” is to the branding of “blog hosting” and describing what it is.

What Kind of ProBlogger Are You?

I recently wrote an article, Solo Blogging vs Network Blogging, which is a follow-up to the quiz: Are You A Solo Blogger Or A Network Blogger?

In the quiz, I identified four main problogger categories:

  • Solo Bloggers – Those who set up their own blog/s and try to earn money this way.
  • Network Bloggers – Those who are ‘hired’ by (or joined) a blogging network or two.
  • Bi-Bloggers (I know, the name sounds a bit strange, but, ah well…) – Those who set up their own blog and join a blogging network or two.
  • Trailblazing Bloggers – Those who may either set up their own blog, blog for a network and/or run their own blogging networks.

My own blogging history shows that I began as a solo blogger. Then, I started blogging and writing for the “megablog” (Darren’s words, not mine) , About.com. (Hence, I became a bi-blogger.) And recently, I started my own network.

What about you? What kind of problogger are you?

Link blogs and RSS feeds

Over the last few days, besides going to the sensational State of Origin match last night, I’ve been playing with a new (for me) blog tool. Using del.icio.us and RSS Digest, I have set up feeds off my blog where I can show the headings of articles and blog posts I read and think others might like to read.
This was all pretty simple to do, and free (though RSS Digest is donorware – and a great service), but will it prove to be any use to anyone but me?
Linkblogs are, of course, a good way to keep track of your own reading and work as an external brain (as the jargon du jour goes) and adding an RSS feed is just an easy extra step.
What do you think about this sort of stuff – does it add to blogs or just clutter up the sidebar?

The difference between a website and a blog

This is not directly related to problogging as such, but it’s an insight we can probably all relate to. This is cross posted from The Blog Studio, making this an act of shameless self promotion. But its too good not to share, so I’m going against my better (sober) judgement and posting it here too. Sorry Darren, I hope you’ll forgive me!

I get this question all the time: “what’s the difference between a web site and a blog?”

What it comes down to is this:

A company has a website. That website talks to customers.

A person has a blog. That blog talks to people.

It’s a matter of attitude, not of technology.

Yes, this is a gross oversimplification. But it gets right to the heart of the matter.

Blogs Must Earn Their Keep

Sounds like Darren is having a wonderful time on his well deserved holiday. From a ProBlogger fan, it’s been great fun reading the variety of posts by guest bloggers.

Over the past few months, I’ve been talking to marketers around the country about how blogs can support business initiatives. Most folks are intrigued and want to explore ways to incorporate this new tool into their strategies. However for some the deal breaker is how to justify to their management that blogs are not a resource drain.

If blogs are going to be accepted as a credible marketing tactic they must be able to earn their keep within a company’s master marketing plan. Let’s save the “people talk” for blog conversations. In “marketing talk” that means accountability. As with any interactive strategy “blog” metrics can be tracked and ROI can be established. Compliments of Diva Marketing here are a few suggestions.

Blog Specific
*May be measured by unique or total posts

-Search rankings
-Visitor hits*
-Page views
-Trackbacks *
-In bound links – general*
-In bound links – “high ranked” blogs/sites*
-Comments* such as customer feedback/new ideas
- Newsreader subscriptions

Conversions
- Newsletters subscriptions
- Sales
- Leads
- White paper/other down loads

Buzz
- Speaking engagements
- Podcasts, vlogs and other interviews
- Media mentions/quotes
- Mentions and links on other blogs/websites

Intangibles
- Customers’ emotional involvement with the brand
- Increase in brand loyalty
- Providing customers with the opportunity to talk with people within a company and ensuring that customers are heard, responded to and respected by those people who are assuming the role of the public “voice” of their company.

Make yourself available

This may seem kind of obvious. But you’d be amazed at how difficult it is to get in touch with many business or pro bloggers.

There have been a couple of instances where I’ve wanted to suggest stories to people I read, and I haven’t been able to get in touch. Once I wanted to pass some work on to someone, and I couldn’t find his email address!

I know the whole refrain about spam-bots. There are ways around it. You can encode your address, or your could stick it in an image. Even simpler, do what many do and spell your address out like so: peter at theblogstudio dot com.

Stick your contact info somewhere obvious. I used the footer on The Blog Studio as an easy, always available piece of real estate.

What do you think? Am I missing something? Is there a reason people don’t want to be contacted?

The great level playing field

I had the opportunity of being on a phone hookup this morning with Andy Wibbells from Easy Bake Weblogs (the recording will be avilable soon), on the topic of blogs and there’s one point I made thats resonated with me since: blogging is the ultimate in level playing fields.

What other forum can deliver your thoughts to millions of readers without the need for any technical expertise? If you can get on the internet, through home, work, cafe or other way, you can write a blog. They said back in the 90′s that services like Geocities did this, but I disagree, the early home page phenomenon provided the potential of an internet presence for all, but it wasn’t a level playing field: you needed to have some idea about presentation and they weren’t as usable as blogs. Compare and contrast this to blogging; you set up an account, you write a title for a post, you write your content, and then you hit publish.

Every minute of every day thousands of new blogs are being created and posted to around the world. It doesn’t matter whether you are rich or poor, black or white, gay, straight or other, or where you live (as long as you can get on the net) : any one can blog, and more are more people are. This is the goldrush folks; and instead of having to travel far and wide to get to the gold, the gold is delivered to your door step. Whether you choose to dig for gold is strictly up to yourselves.

Strategy for maximizing page views

I was going to call this article tips for maximizing page views. But tips implies that what I suggest is going to work! These are merely thoughts and suggestions. I hope to encourage a bit of experiment and conversation with this post. Please use the comments and trackbacks to let us know if you try something as a result of this.

So, page views. A page view is not a hit, nor is it a visit. Total page views tells you how many individual pages have been seen over a given period. Dividing that total by the number of unique visitors gives you your average page views per visit.

How ever many you have, you want more. Page views are the add-on items of the web world. They’re the rust-proofing on your new car. The guacamole with your nachos. They’re where the profit is made. More page views = more ads seen = greater chance for your visitors to click on an ad.

Of course this is all completely moot if users are clicking on ads on their first or second page view. But if they were doing that we’d all be out shopping for Porshes instead of playing in Darren’s playground while he’s on holiday.

There are two main strategies I want to discuss here. The first is easy, the second requires some creative thinking.
[Read more...]