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Trend Watching Websites and RSS Feeds

One skill that I think is vitally important for Professional Bloggers is the ability to keep up to date with the latest trends. So much of blogging is being able observe and even anticipate what people are interested in or looking for and providing appropriate content to meet there needs in a timely manner. Trend watching is therefore something we should either be actively doing ourselves or at the very least outsourcing to someone else to do for us.

In many regards almost every blog being tracked on my RSS feed list is a vital part of my trend watching but I also read quite a number of other specific trend sites to help me keep my finger on the pulse. Some of the more recent sites that I watch daily that specifically are looking at the latest trends in a number of industries are as follows (I’ve included RSS feeds of those that have them but unfortunately most dont seem to have caught onto that trend yet!:

- Small Business Trends - which as the name suggests keeps an eye on the latest trends and influences of the global small business market (RSS).

- PSFK - a collaborative trend spotting site run by a number of bloggers from around the globe (RSS).

- Trend Central – Tracking trends across topics of Lifestyle, Style, Entertainment and Technology (no RSS).

- Herman Group – Trend Alert – looking at trends across a number of fields in this weekly column (no RSS).

- Trend Watching – A blog-like site with trends from around the globe across a number of fields (no RSS).

- Google Zeitgeist – Tracking what people search for on Google (RSS)

- Yahoo Buzz Index – Tracking what people are searching for on Yahoo (RSS)

- Trends in Japan – Tracking the latest fads in Japan across different areas (no RSS)

- Trend Report – Mainly Consumer trends (no RSS)

- Trend Mag – Tracking a variety of trends (no RSS)

I’m interested to know what trends you watch for your blogging and what online (and offline) sources you use?

InsideBlogging – The Blog Consulting Company

Leave it Behind has 10 useful tips for building a better blog. Here are the titles of each section:

1. Use Categories

2. Use Titles

3. Publish During High Traffic Times

4. Syndicate Your Entire Post

5. Click Your Own Links

6. Develop an Authentic Voice

7. Tell Us Who You Are and How to Contact You

8. Don’t Be Afraid to Promote

9. Comment on Other Sites and Your Own

10. The More You Write, the More You’ll Have to Write Write About

Found via Inside Blogging

Why Comment Spam is Dangerous to Our Blogs

Comment Spam is a terrible thing. I feel like I’m constantly fighting a battle against the slime that leave unsolicited, irrelevant and often degrading comments filled with links to disreputable sites on my blogs. It comes from the automated bot spammers but also from the small blogger who think that a comment like ‘nice site’ with a link back to their site is any better. I delete them all and add them to a blacklist.

There have been mornings that I’ve logged onto my blogs after peaceful night’s sleep to find thousands of comments on my blogs. It can be down right depressing – especially when you think you’ve finally installed that tool to stop spammers in their tracks only to find that they’ve found a way around it.

However I fight on. You see I believe that if we don’t delete and fight comment spammers then we’ll do ourselves a disservice. Comment spam left unchecked can not only bring your own site into disrepute and degradation, but I believe it can also decrease your site’s standing in Google and other search engines and that in the end we all suffer from it.

This morning I was doing some surfing and I thought I’d stop by Blog Search Engine to see what was happening there. I ended up on their blog and was really disappointed by what I saw. It wasn’t that the blog hasn’t been updated for a few months (that is their prerogative) but it was the 142 comments on the last post – all of which (bar one that I could find) were spam to poker, finance and drug sites. Unfortunately this was the tale to virtually every post on their blog – between 80 and 160 spam comments everywhere you look.

Whilst I can understand the frustration of dealing with spam I worry for Blog Search Engine when I see the way they’ve let their blog go. I worry for them on a number of levels:

[Read more...]

Tips and Suggestions for Launching a Successful Blog from the Evangelical Outpost

The Evangelical Outpost has a great series of posts on How To Start a Successful Blog that might be worth checking out if you’re towards the beginning of your blogging journey. His tips cover the topics of:

Part I – Before You Begin

Part II – The Beginning Bloggers Toolbox

Part III – How to Become an A-List Blogger

Part IV – The Art of Marketing Your Blog

Part V – Owning a Micro-Niche

Part VI – Three Essential Elements of Blog Design

I particularly find part IV useful as he explores the idea of owning a micro niche which is an approach that I myself subscribe to in most of my blogging. Rather than blogging on a wide variety of topics it is much easier (but still not simple) to establish a reputation in a smaller niche with a blog.

Some of his other posts on blogging are also quite insightful including How to become a Higher Being (a look at the top ten blogs on the ecosystem) and How to get linked by Instapundit (a look at who Glenn links to and how to get his attention).

Long Term Blogging Builds Credibility

Holy Weblog Batman! T.L. Pakii Pierce is writing some great articles these days! His recent one on Cracking Credibility & Why Internet Marketing WILL Change is worth the read and talks (as the title suggests) that credibility is an essential element of effective blogging.

Blogging is not a silver bullet solution – it takes time to build an audience, time to build relationships and time to build credibility as a source of information that people will keep coming back to. Its common sense really. T.L says it much better than I do:

‘When you consider the cost of blogging and the return on your investment, the ROI of blogging is phenomenal…BUT…it comes at a price.

But doesn’t everything?

The price is that you must commit to a relationship that will require ongoing attention. Blogs will amplify your message and your reach in a powerful way and at near zero cost when compared to other means of reaching a market with your message. But the price of relationship is the need to continually connect with your market and develop your social network in order to build an authentic and authoritative voice that can be trusted.

This is an extremely important message to receive and digest for newbie marketers and newbie bloggers especially. You cannot approach blogging thinking you will set a up page and sell tons of items. You have to properly prepare a message that helps carry your product to a targeted niche audience….’

[Read more...]

Are Explicit Copyright Notices Necessary for Weblogs and Web Pages?

Dave Taylor answers the question “Are Explicit Copyright Notices Necessary for Weblogs and Web Pages?” and writes:

‘This means that you do not need to have an explicit copyright notice for you to have a legally enforceable copyright, as long as your name appears on the work as an author. Anonymous material is covered too, but you can read about that yourself if you’re interested.

The US Copyright Office clarifies how the Berne Convention applies to U.S. Copyright law: “The use of a copyright notice is no longer required under U.S. law, although it is often beneficial.

Continuing to quote from the Copyright Office: ”Use of the notice may be important because it informs the public that the work is protected by copyright, identifies the copyright owner, and shows the year of first publication. Furthermore, in the event that a work is infringed, if the work carries a proper notice, the court will not give any weight to a defendant’s interposition of an innocent infringement defense—that is, that he or she did not realize that the work was protected. An innocent infringement defense may result in a reduction in damages that the copyright owner would otherwise receive.“’



Good answer which is what I was advised by my own legal investigations. Dave goes on in the article to write about what makes a good copyright notice. Well worth the read.

Using your Visitor referrer logs

Wayne posts a useful tip on using your Visitor referrer logs in your statistics package over at Search Engine News Journal.



‘Visitor referrer logs are valuable records to examine, from time to time. In my case, and probably yours too, the visitor logs get more than one peek a day. Admit it. It’s not just an exercise in ego or vanity to read your visitor log records. In fact, it might be the nicest thing you can do for the interests of your regular and new readership.

In the referrer records, there are probably indications of the keywords and phrases that discovered your blog. Everyone who uses a search engine types in a search phrase in the hope of finding some relevant information on the subject.’

Read more of this article at Visitor referrer logs: Keeping in touch

26 Steps to 15,000 visitors a day

Jon from Flamin Tiki has a great common sense article filled with useful tips on building up your blog titled 26 Steps to 15,000 visitors a day. I would second everything he writes – although would want to qualify that the 15,000 visitors per day promise depends a little o the topic that you choose. You could do every step suggested with a non searched for topic and never have any visitors – so choose carefully. Otherwise its a great list which should give new bloggers plenty to work on.

Moveable Type announce Upgrade to combat Comment Spam

Six Apart have just announced the release of Movable Type 3.14 which they have developed to fix ‘the issue of extreme loads witnessed on servers under the strain of a massive spam attack.

Its a free upgrade for all MT3 users.