AOL Opens Blog Service to IM Users

Just spotted this news (perhaps its old and I missed it previously) that AOL are opening up their blogging tool to their Instant Messaging users. Not only this but they’ll be able to to submit posts to their blogs via instant messaging when logged in to the screen name associated with the blog they’re posting to.

Google Blog Moves

The official Google Blog has moved to a new blogspot address – – it now features a blogroll – I can think of at least one blog they should add.

And so we Move

We finally got the keys to our new home (the one that blogging built) and so over the next few days we’re in transition.

This means packing up my Blog HQ, relocating net connections, hauling endless boxes, cleaning and aquatinting myself with a new neighborhood.

I’m tempted to do a ‘blogging will be light’ post – but then I realized that even a light blogging day means posting only 4 posts here in a 24 hour period – and so I think its already been a heavy day.

Calacanis Podcast

Jason Calacanis has started Podcasting. Perhaps lay off on the singing next time Jason. He gives an indication that they hit a $1800 record for their Adsense ads.

Then he goes on to talk about ‘Intimacy’ and blogging.

How are your Blog’s T-Shirt Sales?

This is a question that might start becoming more and more common if an article at the Wall Street Journal is any indication:

By Accident or Design, Selling T-Shirts Is Big Business on Web says that the online sales of T-shirts are booming.

‘All over the Web, bloggers, artists and entrepreneurs are unexpectedly finding that T-shirts are more reliable moneymakers than the original ideas that brought them to the Internet., a site offering jokes and pictures from college campuses nationwide, sells T-shirts that say “My other shirt has its collar up,” “What Would Ashton Do,” and dozens of others. Its parent company, Connected Ventures LLC, says it takes in roughly $200,000 in monthly revenue from the shirts, about half of its total income. “A year from now things could be very different, but for now, T-shirts are a great way to monetize the Internet,” says Josh Abramson, one of the site’s founders.’


link via an IM conversation with Scrivs

Blog Design Survey – Planning the design of your Blog

Rachel over at Designer Blogs has just posted a blog design survey that she gives her potential clients who are wanting her to quote on blog design.

I think its a pretty helpful list for those thinking through a new blog – whether they are getting a professional to design it or are doing it themselves.

BlogStars – Infringing CopyRight since 2005

Update: BlogStars is asking for feedback on this question now – you can have your say here.

Well it seems that I’m a Blog Star! (nofollow tag used)

Its a pretty flattering thing to have your RSS feed featured on a blog by that title – however I’m left feeling a little disturbed by it.

BlogStars is one of those blogs that is really not a blog. It is a public News Aggregator, disguised as a blog really that publishes other people’s RSS feeds – in full.

Now I’m not overly concerned for myself – my RSS feeds are just excerpts (for this very reason) – but others who are being republished have their full posts appearing here. Its like a new version of their blog.

For example check out the pages for Jason Calacanis and Blog Maverick.

Now these last two fine blogs might have been asked for permission for full reposting of their feeds – but I was not.

This is an increasing trend – every few days I discover another one of these ‘services’. Some of them I don’t worry about because they are purely being used for non commercial purposes, however others, like BlogStars have ads on them. This directly puts them in violation of my creative commons license which explicitly stats ‘You may not use this work for commercial purposes.’ BlogStars also publishes feeds from other services as well including Daypop, Blogdex and Feedster – again this is in violation of at least some of their published copyright information. They might just be on the way to a legal challenge or two if they don’t wake up to themselves.

Of course, like many other such ‘services’ BlogStars has no contact details on their ‘blog’ (if you can see one let me know) which forces me to a public humiliation post in an attempt to get their attention.

Those of you who have expressed frustration with me not publishing full RSS feeds might like to thank the fine people at Blogstars (and others ‘blogging’ in a similar way) for it.

The irony of it all is that Blogstars have an image at the bottom of each of their pages that says ‘page protected by CopyScape – Do Not Copy’.

Update: BlogStars is asking for feedback on this question now – you can have your say here.

The business of blogging and MetaFilter

Good little article in the San-Francisco Gate on Business Blogging and Small companies promote themselves through Web logs. It has features friend of ProBlogger Paul Chaney and a good list of examples of small businesses that are using the humble blog as a part of their business plan.

Found via MetaFilter who are having a little discussion about blogging (thanks for the link whoever put it up) – and who are a highly visited blog which has a few revenue streams itself. I’ve often looked at this blog and wished I could get my hands on it to optimize it better – especially its Adsense Ads. I suspect that with a few simple tweaks we could significantly increase its earning potential.

What’s Wrong with Blogging

I once heard of a debate between a Christian group and a Pagan group – it could have been a pretty un-constructive rant like event where one group tells the other group what’s wrong with it and visa versa – everyone would have gone home with the same opinions that they came with – however this debate was different.

Each side was told to prepare arguments against their own religion/faith perspective. The Christians had to say what they didn’t like about Christianity, what they felt uncomfortable with and had to deconstruct and poke holes in their own framework for thinking. The Pagans had to do the same for paganism.

The result was fascinating – rather that the two groups coming away with reinforced hatred of and anger towards the other the event was incredibly constructive. Both groups found that they learned not only a lot about the other group – but about their own perspective.

Ok – so why am I telling you this on a blog about blogging? Have I mistakenly posted this here instead of on my Spirituality blog?

No – I”m actually wondering if it might be a helpful exercise as bloggers to do something similar.

Let’s talk about what we don’t like about blogging. What are its weaknesses? What are its limitations? How would you construct an argument against blogging?

Lets learn something about Blogging by deconstructing it for a bit. Put the boots in readers – lets kick it about for a bit – time for a bit of a bitch session!

The rules are simple – you’re not allowed to say ANYTHING positive about blogging in comments below (or feel free to respond on your own blog and leave a link below so we can find it). There are no wrongs and rights – everyone’s critiques of the medium are valid.

Go on – I know you want to – lets lay into Blogging!

Critiquing the Critiquing of Weblogs Inc

Jacob has an interesting critique on Weblogs Inc – taking a close look at the topic and posting frequency of some of their blogs. He particularly takes aim at two factors:

1. Lack of Updating – Jacob notes that the Digital Radio blog Droxy has only one post in the past month and that the outsourcing blog has one post so far this year. There are others that I’ve noticed over the past few months have had some pretty irregular bursts of posting (and not posting). Whilst I’ve had similar thoughts to Jacob about the inactivity of some of their blogs (I guess it doesn’t look good for the network to have something inactive?) I can also see why it may have happened. There are a number of factors that could have come into play:

  • Author Issues: WIN’s blogs rely upon a large stable of authors to keep their blogs running. In my limited experience with network blogging I know that authors being humans (well most are) means they will often bite off more than they can chew. You just have to look around the wider blogging community and you’ll quickly find that a large percentage of blogs that start out with passionate, excited, confident, wide eyed bloggers don’t make it past a few months of blogging (sometimes its only days before they die). In a stable of 70+ blogs there are sure to be a few authors who pull the pin on their blogging (or at least pull back to a trickle of posts) as a result of disillusionment, busyness, life situation (sickness, babies or other changes), distractions or even laziness. This leaves the WIN team in a sticky position of either having to find another author, let the blog remain inactive but live or killing it off.
  • Lack of Content: I’ve started a number of blogs over the past year or so that I thought would be a breeze to write – but soon found that there just wasn’t enough content or news around to sustain them. In these cases I actually don’t have a problem with less frequent posting. After all there are no ‘rules’ on how often blogs should be updated – the posting rhythm of each blog will differ depending upon a number of factors – some are daily, some weekly and perhaps its ok for some to be monthly. Of course a blog with a date showing the last post is months old doesn’t exude freshness or authority to readers.
  • Lack of Return on investment: Some blogs just don’t perform. They don’t get indexed by search engines, readers don’t click with the author, ad values are poor, Adsense doesn’t have ads to serve – whatever the case – sometimes they just don’t work. This can breed disillusionment. It can also take you to a place after giving it a real go of giving up which is probably a smart decision in many cases as there might be other projects that would be a better return on investment.

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