Building Blogging Relationships

After writing Blogging in Formation – Lessons from a Goose I decided to continue the theme of building blogging relationships with a series of posts on that topic. Here is a central index of the posts I’ve done so far:

Building Blogging Relationships – Attitude
Availability and Accessibility
Be a Good Guest
Be a Good Host
Positioning yourself at the Water Cooler
Using Email
Blog Projects and Memes

Dashboard Widget – Adsense Statistics Checker

When I commented on the new OSX Tiger (for Mac) I commented that I’d love a dashboard widget that would check my Adsense stats. Well it seems someone else had the same idea and has just released one. It’s a great idea that I’m sure many Mac Adsense publishers will use – only problem is that it doesn’t seem to work yet. I’ve given it a go and get the same ‘undefined’ errors that someone else comments about. Anyway – I’m sure there will be a new version soon enough or someone else coming up with a better one.


It looks like Google are releasing something that sounds a lot like MyYahoo! that integrates a lot of their services onto a new personalized home page.

Initally planned for a June 30 launch, the new home page option, part of an internal project called “Fusion” aimed at better integrating Google’s various products, was pushed up for launch during Google’s “Factory Tour” for the press now taking place. As a result, universal RSS support is still a week opr two away. In the meantime, a few sources are getting a boost as the only news/info options beside Google News: Wired News, Slashdot, the New York Times, BBC News. Google exec Marissa Mayer, who introduced the product, said the company had been in touch with some news organizations about it and they are “quite pleased with it.” Users can see up to nine selections from each.

It’s pretty basic looking so far.

Blogging Workflow – Tabbed Browsing

Matthew posts a useful little tip for bloggers who are Firefox users – he’s been experimenting with the tabbed browsing feature to speed up his blogging workflow.

My Blogging WorkFlow – I use Safari as my browser of choice and similarly use tabs in conjunction with Bloglines to speed up my blogging process. In short my blogging workflow goes like this:

  1. Open Safari – open Bloglines in the first tab.
  2. As I work through my RSS feeds if I see something of interest that I might like to post I open it in a new tab
  3. I open up to 10 tabs at a time – usually on a similar theme. ie I have a folder for each blog I write and work through them one at a time.
  4. I then sort through each item – looking at them in each tab and decide if they are blog worthy or not. I close any that don’t make the grade.
  5. With the remaining ‘worthy’ posts I then post them using ecto. Sometimes this might entail grabbing a quote from the open tab (ecto does this with one click – it even automatically includes a link back to the source) and then adding a comment or my own opinion to the piece. Other times it is piece that is totally my own content with a link back to the post that inspired it.
  6. After each post I close down tabs.

This workflow is quick, clean (I only ever have one window open) and a simple process that is hard to mess up.

Other Uses for Tabbed Browsing – I also use tabbed browsing in a couple of other ways. I have a start up/stats folder that I open every month that automatically opens up all of my statistics pages in tabs. This includes a sitemeter counter for each of my blogs, my adsense stats, some overall domain stats pages and affiliate earnings pages. I open this collection of bookmarks in tabs first thing every morning and once or twice per day just to keep a finger on the pulse. It means I only take 4 or 5 minutes to check the performance of every blog and income stream.

I also have a similar collection of bookmarks for all my blogs front pages, another one for all my income streams stats pages and another for my top 10 or so sources of information that don’t use RSS.

What is your Blogging Workflow like?

Australian Blogging

Simon Canning wrote a feature in The Australian that touches a bit of blogging and advertising. It largely focuses upon MSN Spaces which it claims makes up a third of all Australian blogs (estimated at 360,000 in number).

I’m a bit skeptical of these figures and wonder how their source could ever get an accurate figure as so many blogs are run on .com, .net or other domains – and most are hosted outside Australia.

It’s good to see an article on blogging in an Aussie mainstream newspaper though – its just a pity that they focused so heavily upon what MSN are doing to make money off blogging and only got in touch with one of the ‘360,000 Aussie bloggers’ for a quick, end of article comment.

The article is better than nothing however – I need to stop being so cynical.

A Good Blog is…

Ken Smith from Weblogs in Higher Education has a good post where he attempts to describe a ‘good blog’ – he writes:

‘A good blog has a focus, a field or topic where the writer keeps up with what’s being said. The writer attends with interest to the work being done by others, and the writer’s thinking is provoked and advanced by the particulars of the work others are doing. The writer is generous with others, responding to their work and risking and sharing ideas with them in return. These values imply character on the part of the writer; anyone who writes seriously — has the character to keep at it — will develop a voice or style appropriate for the subject matter. This voice implies the writer’s character.’

I like what he’s included in this statement – it resonates with me on lots of levels. Particularly this statement about the ‘generosity with others’ and ‘risking and sharing ideas’ with others fits in nicely with my current series on relational blogging.

How would you define a good blog?

Innovative Blog Comment Systems

Wow – look at the innovations that are happening in comments systems at the moment – Peter from Almost Cool pointed me over to the beautifully designed’s beautiful blog with its wonderful comments system. It has live preview of comments with yellow fade. Peter also points to the relational comments system over at which enables commenters to relationally link their comments to others in a visual way.

Looking at blogs like these with such wonderful design and innovative ideas just oozing out of them makes my mouth water some days – I can’t wait to see what they come up with next (and for them to roll out some of these systems for the rest of us!).

Blogging in Formation – Lessons from a Goose

“Two Heads are better than one”…. or so the old saying goes.

I’ve been reflecting this week about the importance of relationships in blogging.

I met up with an old university friend this week for the first time since we studied marketing together – catching up stimulated me to begin thinking about the style of business we were taught. Whilst its a little fuzzy (we did spend a bit too much time in the pub) I do seem to remember sitting through lecturers that talked about competition and the ways to ‘beat your competitors’. The main thrust of a lot of what we were taught was to get ahead of the competition by developing the best products, getting the best people and accumulating the best information. The only interaction you’d have with competitors was when you were laying the boot into them (figuratively speaking). The motto was to win at all costs – me first – others second.

Blogging has reminded me of another way of doing business – an ancient way of actually connecting with others in your field and working together for the mutual good of both parties.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from blogging over the past year is that often its when I give something away that I gain the most. It is when I’ve linked to others, provided a way of highlighting the projects of fellow bloggers, when I’ve spent a couple of hours giving free advice to a new blogger or when I’ve shared my biggest secrets – these are the moments that often I end up in a time of real growth on my blogs.

A wise guy once said – ‘Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor.’

Warning: Tangent Ahead – Lessons from a Goose

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Yahoo! Publisher’s Guide to RSS

Yahoo! have just released a helpful Publisher’s Guide to RSS which has comprehensive sections on Submitting RSS Feeds, promoting RSS feeds, Tracking Success and Monetizing RSS Feeds.

On the money side of things the page is just a place holder/teaser of what is to come. They write:

‘Yahoo! plans to introduce new products and services to support online publishers, including new publishing tools and advertising products.’

This is a good example of how Yahoo! are really embracing RSS where as other search engines seem to be lagging.

If you haven’t already Submitted your RSS feeds to yahoo I’d do it today – it’s definitely worth doing.

Adwords Blog Launched

In my last post (written last night) I suggested that Google Adsense start a blog. This morning I wake up and check in with Jen only to find that Adwords (the advertisers side of Adsense) has started a blog – Inside Adwords. Whilst on the advertising side of Adwords this is a feed I’ll be following closely as I’m certain it will enhance my use of Adsense as a publisher.

There are only three posts there so far but the concept is a good one – already they are sharing tips and giving advice on system outages.

This is exactly what I was thinking last night when I wrote about the need for an Adsense blog – bring it on Google!