<$BlogRSDUrl$>

Blog Business World

Blogs in business, marketing, public relations, and SEO search engine optimization for successful entrepreneurs

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

 

Best laid blogs of mice and everyone else

Blog post popularity is a bit of a mystery to most bloggers.

Which posts will become heavily viewed and linked by other bloggers is entirely in the realm of guess work.

No amount of crystal ball gazing, tea leaf reading, or random chants into cyberspace will provide accurate predictions of blog post interest by others.

You might as well forget the forecasting game, and simply write what you want, and leave it at that once you're finished.

The feeling is common to all bloggers. That tremendous well researched posting on the critical issue of the day falls flat.

Clunk.

No one links to it, despite its well reasoned arguments and its extensive reasearch into the arcanery of our time. The fact you just happen to think it's Pulitzer Prize winning material seems to hold very little sway on the readership either.

On the other hand, you were tired, not feeling well, and on the verge of not posting anything at all that day. Sitting at the keyboard, all that appeared was what looked like a throw away rambling series of thoughts partially full of a bit of sound, little fury, and signifying considerably less than nothing.

What happened?

Technorati displays dozens of citings of the post, and the blog's visitor counter proves the page to be one the blogger's most read posts ever.

All for a post that on the surface, seemed pointless and worse than painfully flawed.

Why does that phenomenon occur in blogging circles?

I'm sure a few enquiring minds want to know, or at least see it as a potential diversion.

Not that a diversion is a bad thing. That's what made society great, or at least almost so, in the first place.

One possibility is the tossed off at the last possible second blog contains the real blogger. Instead of cold and dry facts, the writer's personality lands on smack on the page.

The well researched thesis could, in reality, be so dull and boring that by comparison, paint dry watching turns into the equivalent of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Besides, some people don't read all blogs for facts and numbers and data and other duller than the average dishwater matters. Instead, many blog readers want, and some even crave, a morsel of character and personality in the blog lines.

Of course, the great post could simply have appeared on a busy day in the blogosphere, but that is a topic for another day.

Besides, it might blow my fractionally baked, non-researched, top of the head, tossed off at the last millesecond, post right out of the virtual water.

We wouldn't want that, now would we.

Oh...link freely to this post.

I need my rather shaky theory validated.

Kind of like parking.




Social bookmark this

Monday, November 29, 2004

 

Blog post length: The long and the short of it

Blog post length is a decision a blogger makes every time that fingers are put to keyboard.

Some bloggers write short one line posts with an accompanying link.

Other bloggers tend to write almost full length daily columns. I confess to being in the longer post camp.

Still a third post length option is somewhere in the middle. Placing a link, with a paragraph or two of opinion and thoughts on the issue, makes a nice useful post as well.

A great combination for most bloggers is some combination of all three posting lengths. While I tend to stick to the theory, of more typing is better for me (probably a pseudo-exercise thing), variety of post word counts is a good policy.

Some topics simply demand more facts, explanation, and opinion. Often a one line blurb is insufficient to give your readers the full concept of the blog link provided. More words are required.

Such posts are a dream to wordy types like me.

Of course, becoming Gleemanesque in post length is not always something for which to aspire.

Occasionally, a long post can add weight to a blogger's opinions.

Sometimes, long columns cause the writer to look a trifle verbose. I plead guilty as charged to terminal verbosity.

To make a long story short, and I rarely do that, mix in a number of varying length postings on your blog.

When a one liner and a link suffice, do it. After all, it's better to have posted and been brief than to never have posted at all. Was that a sad ripoff of a poetry or what!

Anyway, where wasI?

Oh yes, I was talking about (some would say rambling on) about long entries versus shorter writings.

Okay. Bottom line.

Mix them and match them, and you won't go too far wrong.

Long posts work better as essay type columns.

Short posts work best to steer your readers to other bloggers' interesting and worthwhile posts.

Medium length posts enable you to add some commentary, as necessary, to a linked blog.

Now, all I have to do is determine the length of this post.

I vote...too short!

Stop those protests. I was only kidding.

No, I wasn't!




Social bookmark this
 

Lachlan Gemmell moves Carnival of the Capitalists left

This week sees a shift to the left for the travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists, makes a stop at a blog where business and social values get equal treatment.

This week's posts feature a theme focussing on the benefits of capitalism, as we visit Lachlan Gemmell and his business and societally oriented blog, known as Lachlan Gemmell.

When Lachlan Gemmell is not writing about business, and the speculating about the benefits of the capitalist system, he's blogging about his software startup business.

This week's edition of Carnival of the Capitalists highlights some of the best bloggers writing on the internet today.

Blogging topics presented include entrepreneurship, management, education, legal issues, regulation, taxation, internet commerce, marketing, the national and global economies, and politics.

As you would expect from Carnival of the Capitalists there are discussions of the social value of business, economics, along with some very eclectic entries.

It's always great to read and discover the many high quality blogs out there in the blogosphere.

We don't always get to them all, and this edition of Carnival of the Capitalists has introduced many of us to some brand new ones.

As I am always privileged to do, I have an entry in this week's Carnival of the Capitalists as well.

My entry post this week is entitled "Blogger bounced from mainstream newspaper" where I discuss how a blogger was dropped from a mainstream media job, based on some rather flimsy reasons.

If you wish to submit an entry to next week's, or any Carnival of the Capitalists edition, e-mail your entries to the new address:

cotcmail -at- gmail -dot- com

If you are searching for new and exciting ways to expand your blog's readership, you should seriously consider sending an entry to Carnival of the Capitalists.

Merely being included in the company, of the first rate regular Carnival of the Capitalists contributors, will enhance the reputation of your blog.

The extra visitors can't sent to your blog won't hurt either!

The growth and staying power, of Carnival of the Capitalists, is beginning to catch the attention of people outside the blogging community. Each hosting, brings a fresh assortment of new readers, to the various blogs involved.

The visitors aren't only bloggers anymore.

Readership is expanding to include the mainstream media, various government and private organizations, many businesses, and other interested people from beyond the blogging community.

Many people are introduced to some tremendous blogs that they might otherwise have missed.

Next week's Carnival of the Capitalists moves over for the second time, to Jeff Cornwall's must read business, economics, and entrepreneurial blog called, I suppose logically enough, The Entrepreneial Mind.

In the meantime, click that mouse over to this week's Lachlan Gemmell hosting of Carnival of the Capitalists.

If the great posted entries don't convince you to click, the possibility of finding some brand new blogs to read Carnival of the Capitalists certainly will offer you a fresh taste of capitalism. (groan)

Social bookmark this
 

Blog contests as traffic builders

Blog contests are a great way to build up some new visitor traffic to your blog.

While contests are very much a part of the mainstream, contests have not been an especially frequent event in the blogging community.

A few quick ideas could change all of that in an instant.

Blogs often gain extra visitor traffic through viral marketing and memes. As everyone knows, if you can get many other blogs to link to an idea and pass it around, that thought can build up your blog.

Why not turn a contest into a meme. What better way to get a bit of viral marketing happening for your blog.

Ideas for blog contests are virtually (in more ways than one) unlimited.

You could ask for blog posts, and judge the best one.

You could ask for blog posting topics, and select the most unusual, or the one best suited to your blog's theme, or any combination.

You could have people guess some hidden number, similar to counting jelly beans in a jar.

Maybe you could have the contestants guess the secret blogs in a pre-written and hidden list. The winner is the person with the most correct answers.

As you can see, these are only a few rather crude and simple suggestions. Since your imagination is better than mine, you can create more and better contest concepts.

Prizes could cover a huge variety of possibilities.

Consider offering the winner 25 posts written by you and posted at their blog.

You could write a review of the blog contest winner's blog, and give them a permanent link from your blogroll, as a part of the prize.

Perhaps the winner could have their posts, or their winning entry from a judged event appear on a select group of blogs.

Maybe an arrangement could be worked out with an author, or even several authors to provide books as prizes.

Maybe a blog hosting company might sponsor a year's free blog hosting.

Other businesses might offer prizes for your contest. All you have to do is ask them.

As with the number of contest ideas, there is no limit on the prize award possibilities either.

Simply sit down and write a list of some possibilities. Those ideas will trigger other ideas, and so on, and so on.

In short order, you'll have ideas for literally dozens of blog based contests, and countless prizes for the winners.

Contests are a wonderful meme, and a classic form of viral marketing.

Get some contests working for your blog today.


Social bookmark this

Saturday, November 27, 2004

 

Another blogger Darren Barefoot's services on eBay

The blogging services for hire concept has found another well known blogger offering his serives on eBay.

Yesterday, I reported that Jeremy Wright of Ensight is auctioning his blogging skills on the popular internet auction site eBay.

Jeremy is now joined by another Canadian blogger, Darren Barefoot of DarrenBarefoot.com in the "blogger for hire" sweepstakes.

Darren Broadfoot is a highly regarded public relations and marketing specialist, who offers impeccable credentials, to those cutting edge businesses interested in adding blogs to their marketing and public relations mix.

Any forward thinking business person who acquires Darren's services, at whatever the final bid, is getting a first rate bargain, in my opinion. Adding a business blog has never been so easy, and of such potentially high quality, from day one.

Talk about your rare opportunities!

While Jeremy Wright offers top drawer technical and programming skills, Darren Broadfoot brings public relations and marketing experience to the table. Of course, both bloggers have strong knowledge of the others areas of specialization as well.

Either blogger would be a tremendous addition, to any business, looking to making a blog an integral part of their online presence.

Darren Broadfoot has placed a very underpriced $500.00 USD starting bid on his eBay auction. That amount matches the bidding level, of Jeremy Wright's services value, to date.

If your business is seeking to add a blog component to your business and website, either Darren Barefoot or Jeremy Wright would boost your business internet profile tremendously.

Be sure to bid on the services of one, the other, or even both bloggers for double the impact.

Bidding closes December 6, 2004.

***Update*** November 28, 2004

With the opening day past, there have been no bids on Darren's services so far. That should change, however, when businesses calculate the tremendous bargain being offered.

***Update*** November 29, 2004

Bidding activity has begun on Darren's blogging services auction. His opening bid requirement of $500.00 has been met. That means that other potential bidders, waiting for someone to open the bidding, should enter into the auction. With seven days remaining in the open bidding process, there are very likely to be some dramatic increases in the bidding level.

***Update*** November 30, 2004

No new bids have been placed in Darren's auction of his high quality blogging services. The high bid remains at $500.00 USD. There are still over six days remaining in the bidding time, so there are certain to be further offers placed by some savvy online business people. For those who aren't familiar with Darren Barefoot's abundant blogging talent, a click over to his blog is definitely in order, to see what you've been missing.

***Update*** December 1, 2004

Darren Barefoot's eBay auction bidding has remained steady at the same amount of $500.00 USD. With still over five days remaining for entering the auction for Darren's blogging talents, the potential bidders are biding their time. I expect the bid amounts to increase dramatically over the weekend and into early next week. As it stands right now, Darren Barefoot's blogging services are at the level of an absolute steal.

***Update*** December 2, 2004

The bidding on Darren Barefoot's eBay auction, of his blogging services, has started to roll. A few bidders have entered some bids, and have got the competition for Darren's blogging talents underway. With a current high bid of $685.00 USD, and just over four days remaining, there should be a huge indrease in bid volume over the next few days.

***Update*** December 3, 2004

Darren Barefoot's eBay blogging services auction is in a bit of a lull at the moment. The bidding remains at a very low $685.00 USD. That bidding level should move much higher in the next couple of days, with just over three days of open bidding remaining.

Social bookmark this

Friday, November 26, 2004

 

Blogger Jeremy Wright sells himself on eBay

Always seeking a new concept of blogging, and constantly pushing its boundaries, noted blogger Jeremy Wright of Ensight, is selling his services on eBay.

The well known internet auction site features Jeremy's proposed sale of his blogging know how.

Jeremy puts a fresh new twist on the traditional "work for hire" often associated with some forms of writing contracts. Instead of placing a set dollar amount on his blogging talents, Jeremy is letting the market determine his value via public auction.

Keep in mind, that what Jeremy is offering are his professional blogging services. The only variation, from a standard "work for hire contract", is the use of an internet auction, to finalize the writing fees.

The description on eBay says the highest bidder receives the following:

This auction allows you to utilize this blogger for 3 months. He will produce between 5-10 posts a week. In addition, the blogger will work with you to see what potential there is for blogging for you and your company - in effect acting as a blogging consultant for you for the period.


Bidding has been slow up this point, with the auction ending on December 3, 2004.

As of this date (November 26), the bidding sits at a high of $227.50 USD.

The level of blogging expertise offered at auction, is definitely worth many times that amount, in my opinion.

Jeremy Wright first made headlines by selling his popular Ensight blog, and becoming its staff writer.

Continuing his newsworthy ways, Jeremy's story has been picked up by The Blog Herald and Blogosphere Radio.

Get those bids into eBay for Jeremy Wright's blogging services today.

***Update*** November 27, 2004

The bidding for Jeremy's sevices has now reached $500.00 USD. That amount is still a rock bottom priced bargain, in my opinion.

***Update*** November 28, 2004

There have been no new bids on Jeremy's blogging services since yesterday. The high bid remains at $500.00 USD. Perhaps some forward thinking business person will understand the value being offered and increase the bid level.

***Update*** November 29, 2004

New bids are the order of the day on Jeremy's blogging auction. The high bid has moved, over the course of the day, to $1250.00 USD. With over three days remaining in the open bidding process, this total could still go much higher, and begin to reflect the true value of the blogging services being offered.

***Update*** November 30, 2004

Jeremy's auction is attracting a few more interested bidders. Some new competition to the previous bidders have entered the fray. Thanks to the new interest, from different businesses, Jeremy's blogging services are now tentatively priced at $1550.00 USD. With just over two days to go, there is still lots of room for a much higher final selling price.

***Update*** December 1, 2004

Jeremy Wright's eBay auction has picked up some steam. Along with the previous bidders, some new businesses are also competitive bidders. With the larger interest in Jeremy's blogging services, the high bid at the moment is $1600.00 USD. With Friday the final day for purchasing Jeremy's blogging talents, I expect the bidding levels to rise quickly.

***Update*** December 2, 2004

With less than one day remaining in Jeremy Wright's eBay auction of his blogging services, there should definitely be some last minute bids placed. The high bid is now $1825.00 USD. The price remains a clear bargain. Any other forward thinking businesses would be wise to get their offers into eBay right away.

***Update*** December 3, 2004


The bidding has been closed on Jeremy's eBay public auction of his blogging talents.

Some fast and furious bidding ensued, over the final day before the closing of the sale. When the dust finally settled, a final selling price of $3350.00 USD was reached.

In my opinion, $3350 USD is a fair, if probably a slightly underpriced amount, to hire the skills of a first rate blogger like Jeremy Wright.



Social bookmark this

Thursday, November 25, 2004

 

Blogger bounced from mainstream newspaper

Bloggers still have far to go to achieve recognition, and even anything remotely resembling equal status with mainstream journalism.

In an absolutely must read column called "Worlds Colliding" by baseball blogger Aaron Gleeman, of Aaron's Baseball Blog , Aaron dissects how another blogger was shunned by the mainstream journalism world.

In a blog post that cements Aaron Gleeman's reputation as much more than "a baseball blogger", Aaron describes how fellow basball blogger John Bonnes was treated as an outsider, and pushed aside, by members of the mainstream sports writing clique.

As I reported in April, 2004, John Bonnes of the Twins Geek blog moved over to the well known Minneapolis Star-Tribune newspaper's sports section. He has written an indepth baseball column for that publication, similar to the ones enjoyed by his blog readers, until now.

In his final column, John Bonnes describes the final clash of the bloggers with the journalists.

The reasons for John's leaving the newspaper are not entirely what we all expected either:

But the most serious criticism was from journalists who felt that the weblog was an end-around of their union, providing additional sports coverage without paying the dictated wage to a member of the writer's guild. In the bigger picture, a divisive presidential campaign increased tensions, when biased bloggers would take shots at mainstream media coverage. Many journalists ended up reacting to bloggers the way pharisees reacted to self-proclaimed prophets.

There is substance in the journalists' criticism. Blogging is much different than journalism, but readers can get the two confused. Journalists generally need to demonstrate some balance to any issue they examine, regardless of how demented the other side of an issue is. A blogger usually wears his bias on his sleeve. Newspapers have structures in place to make sure their information is accurate and not libelous, like editors and lawyers. There are absolutely no controls on a blog. Professional writers roll their eyes at weblogs that are poorly written or barely readable. Bloggers will point out that still leaves hundreds of weblogs that are attracting as much on-line traffic as mainstream columnists.


Aaron Gleeman summarizes the difficulties, faced by bloggers, when confronted by entrenched members of the mainstream media:

The same is true about myself and hundreds of other people out there writing blogs, whether about sports or politics or just random events in life. Just people with voices and keyboards, nothing else. And while there are many members of the mainstream media who react well to this relatively new writing phenomenon, the overwhelming majority have, at the very least, some resentment.


One fact is made very plain by the case of John Bonnes, whose blog was one of the very first sports blogs that I ever read frequently, by the way. Blogs and bloggers are still not completely accepted as full members of the journalism community.

John Bonnes was very gracious in his farewell column, and as a result, did all bloggers a tremendous service. He showed the class that has made his baseball column one of the best, and that bloggers can be some of the nicest people in the world.

When I proposed the Blog Chamber of Commerce concept, one of the main reasons was to help enhance the reputation and credibility of bloggers and their blogs.

Doubters in the Blog Chamber of Commerce idea felt there was little need for any such concern. They felt that blogs were already an established form of media outlet, and there were other fish to fry.

Mainstream journalists have just shown, that like other professions, they will stubbornly defend their territory from encroachment, by those they deem to be "amateurs". There are some difficulties with that rather negative stance, however.

Bloggers are not attempting to replace newspaper, television, magazine, and radio. Instead, bloggers are simply seeking recognition as another legitmate form of media. In the early days of television, that now ubiquitous medium was treated as an interloper to be largely ignored as well.

Blogs are not attempting to supplant the role of the press. Bloggers are attemtpting to enhance communication and interaction between writer and reader in an entirely new way.

In the end, however, the move of John Bonnes and his blog to the mainstream, turned out to be simply another turf war. The established media is now in the self defeating and shortsighted position of fighting a rearguard action.

In the end, turf protection is a losing battle. Instead of fighting bloggers, journalists should be encouraging their freedom of expression.

Unfortunately, that day is not yet here, as old prejudices die hard.

As we have seen from the John Bonnes incident, bloggers and blogs still have miles to go before full acceptance as a full fledged media format is achieved.

John Bonnes was one of the first bloggers to cross over the great divide to become part of mainstream journalism.

That trip was not very well received by the tradtional media at all.








Social bookmark this
 

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends and readers; and to bloggers everywhere.

May the blog be with you!

Enjoy the day with your family and friends.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wayne Hurlbert

Blog Business World

Wayne's Derby World

Social bookmark this

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

 

Regular series as post ideas

Blog posting ideas are occasionally difficult to dream up out of thin air.

Sometimes that blank white blog posting box can appear rather forbidding.

One proven solution, used very effectively by more than one successful blogger, is to write a regular post series.

A post series is usually designed to appear once a week, and is based on a single theme or topic. Sometimes it's simply a roundup of links for the week. For many bloggers, the series becomes synonymous with their blog.

A weekly review of books, movies, music, and other blogs are proven winners as blogging series themes.

Anita Campbell of the great Small Business Trends blog has gained praise from her wonderful PowerBlog Review series. The concept is to examine one blog per week, and distill its most important lesson for the reader.

As a blog series, the PowerBlog Review provides Anita with one sure regular blogging topic.

Over at the wonderful Lip-Sticking blog, Yvonne DiVita has her regular series on Smart Man and Smart Woman. Through an indepth interview process with internet movers and shakers, Yvonne has her guests share their secrets of business, blogging, internet commerce, and an entire host of other subjects.

As a regular feature, the Smart Man and Smart Woman interviews ensure that Yvonne always has a topic up her sleeve. Yvonne runs other series too, just to really be on top of things!

Todd S. over at A Penny For... always seems to have a series of some sort going on. His concept is is have his visitors contribute to the discussion he has started, on various aspects of a topic. Todd usually runs the theme and discussion over the course of an entire week.

With a regular discussion series, Todd always has a week's worth of posts all mapped out for himself and his readers.

By being creative, you too can develop a regular blogging series for your own blog.

Not only does a weekly feature help reduce blogger block, but also helps a blog develop a regular following of readers. Many people will return each week for the usual feature article.

As a traffic builder, that's very difficult to beat.

Think of being regular...wait, that's not the best choice of words...

But you know what I mean.





Social bookmark this

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

 

Talking with clients

Business blogs are all about communications and conversations.

Developing a dialogue with current and future customers and clients builds a relationship based on familiarity and trust.

Sometimes, even lasting friendships are the result of a business blogging converstaion.

A successful business blog blends information with details about the writer's personal lives. Some bloggers mix the business and personal better than others.

I admit to being more heavily biased toward the information side, and much less to the personal side of life. It's clearly a weakness of my blogging technique. I want to help others with information, and neglect following my own advice.

As the phrase goes, "Physician heal thyself".

Of course, I safely ignore that advice because it was probably given just prior to a blood letting, or some similar quackery passing itself off as healing.

I thought of the personal side of business over the last couple of days when I was talking on the phone to a couple of SEO clients. I thought of how I could turn esoteric discussions of Google PageRank, SERPs, and the alleged Google Sandbox Filter into a blogging topic.

Well, the truth is, the basic phone conversations didn't really lend themselves to a column on business blogs; or the personal side thereof.

I always wanted to write "thereof" in a post. There was my chance. I am a happy man now.

I know. Small things amuse me. At least I'm easy to keep satisfied in life.

Anyway. I did discuss business blogging with my clients as a powerful SEO tool.

One of my SEO clients is quite far along, in the process of establishing a business blog, and is devouring all of the information he can on the subject.

He should be up and running in the near future, striking another blow for the power of blogging.

Another client I spoke with on Monday is not quite so far along in the transition from traditional website to website plus blog component. Of course, that client is not quite as far advanced in the SEO process either, and will need a bit more time.

The point of all of this digression and rambling is not every business is at the same point in their internet evolution.

Some companies are still recent additions to the world wide web, while others can trace their presence back to the early days of the internet. The client I spoke with today recalled some really old school internet concepts.

As business blogs go, some businesses are going to be more readily poised to adopt a blog component for their company immediately.

Other companies are going to take a bit longer to get up to speed.

Fortunately, I can point my clients to many tremendous business bloggers for information; and for inspiration.

With the rich motherlode of blogging resources currently available, the opportunity to find great blog development advice grows on a daily basis.

As the blog resource base multiplies, more new bloggers can find any needed information quickly and efficiently.

Okay, you ask, when am I going to discuss some personal aspects.

Well, maybe in another column.

I am always too busy dispensing blogging information and advice.

Social bookmark this

Monday, November 22, 2004

 

Social Twister hosts Carnival of the Capitalists

There is really a twist at the travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists, makes a stop at a blog where business and cultural issues get equal treatment.

This week's posts have a definite business, politics and economics air about them, as we visit Greg Narain and his business and societally oriented blog, known as Social Twister.

When Social Twister is not writing about business, he's writing about blogging, social networking, and occasionally motorcycles.

This week's edition of Carnival of the Capitalists features some of the best bloggers writing on the internet today.

Blogging topics presented include entrepreneurship, management, education, legal issues, regulation, taxation, internet commerce, marketing, the national and global economies, and politics.

As you would expect from Social Twister there are business, economics, and some eclectic entries everywhere.

It's always great to read and discover the many high quality blogs out there in the blogosphere.

We don't always get to them all, and this edition of Carnival of the Capitalists has introduced many of us to some brand new ones.

As I am always privileged to do, I have an entry in this week's Carnival of the Capitalists as well.

My entry post this week is entitled "Blogs sell books: Writers take note" where I discuss the real world value of blogs for marketing books, including a successful real world case study.

If you wish to submit an entry to next week's, or any Carnival of the Capitalists edition, e-mail your entries to the new address:

cotcmail -at- gmail -dot- com

If you are searching for new and exciting ways to expand your blog's readership, you should seriously consider sending an entry to Carnival of the Capitalists.

Merely being included in the company, of the first rate regular Carnival of the Capitalists contributors, will enhance the reputation of your blog.

The extra visitors can't sent to your blog won't hurt either!

The growth and staying power, of Carnival of the Capitalists, is beginning to catch the attention of people outside the blogging community. Each hosting, brings a fresh assortment of new readers, to the various blogs involved.

The visitors aren't only bloggers anymore.

Readership is expanding to include the mainstream media, various government and private organizations, many businesses, and other interested people from beyond the blogging community.

Many people are introduced to some tremendous blogs that they might otherwise have missed.

Next week's Carnival of the Capitalists moves over to Lachlan Gemmell's self named business and economics blog called, logically enough, Lachlan Gemmell.

In the meantime, click that mouse over to this week's Social Twister hosting of Carnival of the Capitalists.

If the great posted entries don't convince you to click, the possibility of finding some brand new blogs to read Carnival of the Capitalists certainly will offer you a new "twist". (groan)

Social bookmark this
 

Guest PowerBlog Review at Small Business Trends

As many of you already know, my friend Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends offers a regular feature called PowerBlog Review.

In each PowerBlog Review, Anita examines a different blog, and points out the blog's strength and "power" for her readers.

This week, she gave me the honour of providing a guest PowerBlog Review.

For my guest entry in the series, I chose the wonderful Ripples blog, written by my friend David St. Lawrence.

As I say in my review:

There is no compartmentalizing of business on the one hand, and personal thought and contemplation on the other, in the Ripples world. Both are part of the same yin and yang of life, and richly described and shared with readers, from all walks and stages of life.


For more on my guest PowerBlog Review of Ripples, cruise on over to Small Business Trends.

After that, be sure to take a leisurely tour of Ripples.

David St. Lawrence will be glad you dropped by.


Social bookmark this

Sunday, November 21, 2004

 

Ping those blogs...Ping those blogs

Ping those blogs.

Ping those blogs.

Ping those blogs.

I know. I know. I sound like I am raising money for some worthy cause (which I often do), but for the moment, I want you ping your blogs.

By pinging your blogs, you are telling the various news feed sites, and blog update systems that you have updated your blog.

When you make that truly great, or even not quite so great but still okay post, you want to let everyone know about it.

After all, you aren't just posting into cyberspace for no one to read are you? It's sort of like whether or not there is a sound, from a tree falling in the forest, and nobody is there to hear it.

It's the same with blogs. You have to get the word out that you posted an entirely new entry.

That's what pings are for. (My apologies to the similar song).

My friend Jennifer at Drink This... has provided a very complete list of blog services to ping. It's truly one of the most complete lists of blog pinging tools I have ever seen.

She has done a lot of work for you, researching and linking to all of the sites, so it would be great if you gave her a few bucks donation for her efforts. She has a handy PayPal button on her blog.

She deserves a reward for her efforts and research work.

Oh, and there is the worthy cause I mentioned earlier. You knew I would get around to it sooner or later, right?

That list of pinging tools is growing all of the time, providing you with many more opportunities to get the word out, about your latest blog postings.

In the meantime...

Ping those blogs.

Ping those blogs.

Maybe someone should start a Telethon For Bloggers.

Oh the ideas that pop up when a person is having a good time!

Ping those blogs...


Social bookmark this
 

Blogging improves writing skills

Blogging improves your writing skills.

Better writing ability, and an enhanced ability to express yourself in print, is a rarely thought about benefit of blogging.

While most people think of writers as infinitely talented, living in some rarified air denied to the rest of us, writing is a learned skill.

While some people are indeed born more talented with the written word than others, most people can become better writers simply through practice.

Blogging is as good a practice field as any.

Like playing sports or a musical instrument, improvement in skill level only results from constant practice. The more you work on the skills, the better at applying them you become.

Writing your daily blog post provides a fresh blank canvas for self expression. As the words form sentences on the page, a sense of accomplishment is the direct result.

It feels good to finish a blog post.

Don't be bashful. Feel proud of what you have written.

Many bloggers have told me they had no idea that they could write even one coherent post; let alone one or more a day. Often, they were entirely convinced that writing well formed thoughts was impossible for them.

Becoming bloggers changed that mistaken idea entirely.

It's all a matter of practice, and with that continual application of fingers to keyboard, the skills improve constantly.

Before you know it, another well written and easily understood blog post appears on the page.

It's almost like magic.

Of course, I keep thinking that through constant practice, my typing skills will eventually improve to the level of being semi-adequate. Occasionally, I can even type a word or two without looking at the keyboard. That event always shocks me.

I believe that is truly a case of real magic; or perhaps even a miracle of monumental proportions.

Well, enough of that.

With writing, the more a person does it, the better they get at doing it.

Blogs are a great way to practice and hone your ability to express yourself and your thoughts via the written word.

Learning how to write well, and express thoughts in a logical and coherent manner, are hidden benefits of blogging.

It's a good thing those benefits don't stay hidden for long.




Social bookmark this

Friday, November 19, 2004

 

Blog Chamber of Commerce conference call successful

I have talked about the concept of a Blog Chamber of Commerce recently, and the idea has been taken to heart by Paul Chaney of Radiant Marketing Group.

To kick off the idea, and to receive feedback both positive and negative, Paul Chaney with the generous support of Zane Safrit of Conference Calls Unlimited, hosted a conference call on the subject.

Included in the discussion was a cross section of business bloggers of all types.

I want to thank all of the contributors to the conference call, as some great ideas and feedback on the Blog Chamber of Commerce idea were discussed.

Those on the line included:

Andy Wibbels of Easy Bake Weblogs

Anthony Casalena - CEO of SquareSpace.com

B. L. Ochman - President of What's Next Online

Bill Flitter - VP of Marketing for Pheedo

Donna Fledderer - Owner of Virtual Business Connection (A small business blogger)

Henry Copeland - President of Blogads

J. D. Iles - Owner of Lincoln Sign Company (A small business that blogs)

Toby Bloomberg - President of Bloomberg Marketing

Paul Chaney - President of Radiant Marketing Group (who so generously hosted the event)

Zane Safrit - CEO of Conference Calls Unlimited (They underwrote a portion of the cost of the call, and we all appreciate that very much.)

Oh...and I was part of the call too.

Thanks to Paul Chaney, for compiling the list of names, on everyone's behalf.

The response among the participants was generally positive to the idea of a Blog Chamber of Commerce.

There were some dissenting voices who also provided a positive value, as they assured us that the project would have to be kept practical and realistic, while providing real benefit to member bloggers.

Paul Chaney summarized the tone of the call very well:

The benefits that were enumerated ran the gamut from being a credible clearinghouse of information and resources to promoting the "industry" of business blogging to serving as a networking center.

Some of the disadvantages discussed had to do with fears that the organizational structure would become top heavy and institutionalized.


Paul says he will be posting a transcript summary on his blog in the very near future.

Overall, things look very good for the establishment of a Blog Chamber of Commerce.

Paul and I are looking forward to hearing from as many bloggers as possible on the concept.

Ideas and thoughts, both for and against the initiative, are very welcome. We need as many voices heard, and issues brought forward as possible.

We want to hear from all of you.

Please feel free to E-mail me on the subject with your thoughts and ideas.





Social bookmark this
 

Blogging for customers: Conversations

Blogging for customers.

It sounds kind of like a bad game show, doesn't it.

Put a few business bloggers in a room and let them vote one another off the blog host, based on numbers of references in Technorati, or something like that.

Well, not exactly.

Although, a blog game or reality show might be an idea to consider for the future.

What I am talking about is letting a blog start important conversations with your current and future customers and clients. What better way to build up a business than to talk to the people themeselves.

I know it's considered rather a novel approach to business marketing to let your customers help develop your product line. Letting them help with the marketing process might be even more radical.

In fact, neither is true. It's very mainstream.

We used to know the ideas as customer feedback and complaints on the one hand, and testimonials and word of mouth advertising on the other.

Businesses have thrived on old fashioned viral marketing and talking to their customers for generations. It's just in a new wrapper.

One of the colourful new wrapping papers is the business blog.

Business managements who take the blogging leap of faith, and make no mistake, that's what it truly is for many companies, find an entirely new customer relations and marketing channel.

What is new, however, is often scary for many people.

Concerns immediately arise about "staying on message" and "what about negative feedback" and "can the results be measured quantitatively using known metrics".

After absorbing such objections, the blog can solve all of the problems. I can't say it will eliminate corporate buzzword jargon speak, however.

By writing blog posts, on your industry, your product ideas and processes, your company and its people, some handy business advice, as well as some personal tidbits about your life, the business blog will develop a regular readership audience.

That audience will want to talk to the blog writer. That is the conversation part of the blog. Oh, did I say that the blog needs a commenter for immediate feedback, as well as e-mail contact addresses as well?

If I didn't before, I just did now. Is that efficiency or what!

As the conversations carry on between business and customer, the lines begin to blur in everyone's minds.

The customers begin to feel as if they are part of the company's planning process, and their voices are being heard by company management. They no longer see the company as a faceless corporate them.

The business blogger starts to think of the customers and client as friends and acquaintances, and no longer as numbers on charts, graphs, and computer spread sheets. Instead of numbers, the customers become real flesh and blood people, with familiar names.

In time, the lines blur and fade to such a degree, that business and customers become almost as one.

As partners in the company.

That is the value of business blogs as conversations.


Social bookmark this

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

 

Blogging about clients: Ethical dilemma

Blogging about your clients and their businesses is an ethical dilemma faced by many business bloggers.

Steve Rubel of Micro Persuasion has brought that problem and possible conflict of interest to the forefront.

His concern is that on blog client discussion...

...is certainly a polarizing issue among at least the PR bloggers and worthy of an ongoing discussion.


Steve is correct.

Some bloggers strong disapprove of mentioning clients in a blog post.

Other bloggers support the idea of providing real world examples, from the business client base, if the information and experience gained, is helpful for other businesses.

Still other bloggers support the idea of mentioning clients, provided that full disclosure of the business relationship is included in the post. Along with that disclosure is its companion concern of letting the client know their business was discussed on a publicly available blog.

As most of my readers already know, I support the idea of a blogger's right to choose their topics and subject matter. If they choose to discuss clients publicly, that is their right to do so.

Should a blogger elect to not mention clients by name, that should also be their privilege.

As all of you know, I rarely discuss my clients at all. I do mention that I provide freelance articles for SEO Chat on topics ranging from search engine optimization to internet marketing to business blogging. I have a link to SEO Chat, and to My SEO Chat Articles Page, on my Resources section.

Strictly speaking, SEO Chat is not a client, but a buyer of my articles. Regardless of the exact business relationship, I always try to mention that fact in my posts, when the company and website are mentioned.

I have never blogged about my search engine optimization clients. That is not to say that I wouldn't do so in the future, with complete disclosure. It simply says that I haven't mentioned them up until now.

Instead of being concerned about discussing clients on a public forum, perhaps a better approach to garnering them some publicity would be the use of other channels.

Sending press releases to the media, adding links to internet directories on your client's behalf, and offering them search engine optimization and search engine marketing advice, might be a better route. Of course, in all cases, you want to ensure that you have your client's full permission.

Permission from a client to appear on a blog would also be an important step, and a courtesy to the client as well.

If you do decide to mention clients and customers on your blog, the most important thing for your readers is to tell them about the business relationship.

Up front.

Permission from your customers and clients to be subjects for your blog should also be secured prior to posting.

By taking care of everyone's potential concerns in advance, some unpleasantries after the fact, can be avoided.






Social bookmark this
 

Blogathon for needy bloggers

Blog revenue is always an interesting topic for discussion.

One of the most talked about, and widely used methods of earning money from a blog, is to ask for donations.

Considering the number of PayPal buttons on numerous blogs, many bloggers could use a few extra bucks to keep writing.

Another form of donation is a Wish List. In setting up a Wish List, a blogger specifies certain items they would like to receive as gifts, in lieu of cash. Amazon.com is well known for offering Wish Lists.

For an example of a Wish List, take a look at Jennifer, of the political and cultural blog, Drink This... While you are there, she might appreciate a present.

Another idea is to hold a huge Blogathon For Needy Bloggers.

Bloggers from every area of the blogosphere could take part, blogging for dollars, for less fortunate and struggling post writers.

Participating bloggers could agree to get sponsors and pledges of cash; or maybe even merchandise. In return, the blogger would commit to writing a minumum number of posts, blog for a set number of hours, or a combination of both.

The money and possible merchandise would then be divided among bloggers who are out of work, or not earning enough income in their current jobs.

I don't view this as charity for bloggers. Instead, it's more like helping out a friend and colleague through a difficult financial moment. With a bit of a boost, the recipient can then get back into the work force, or begin a small micro business.

Once employed or established, that blogger will no longer need assistance, but be earning their own income.

The idea is readers will gladly pay money to support a valuable, but struggling blogger to keep writing.

Obviously, the more readers that a blogger can accumulate, the more chances of receiving donations and gratutities. At the same time, a top quality niche blog could receive larger than average donations as well.

As good quality posts, packed with interesting information, attract links from other bloggers, so too can they cause readers to open their wallets.

Or at least click a bit of cash the blogger's way.

The question that my readers often ask me (and yes, people do e-mail me about all sorts of blogging issues, and I enjoy reading and responding to them as well) is whether it's a good idea to add a tip jar or donation button to their blog.

I can't say for certain, if many bloggers are doing well financially, from tip jars and doantions buttons. What I can say, is that some bloggers deserve more cash than they are currently receiving.

While the big name blogs haul in fairly substantial amounts, and deservedly so, many small readership blogs go without support.

When you tour your favourite blogs, be sure to consider leaving a small donation for the blogger. Even $2.00 to $5.00 will go far, if there are several such donations.

Not many bloggers are likely to retire on tips and donations, but the vast majority aren't asking for that level of support anyway. Most small readership bloggers are simply looking to get their internet and hosting bills paid.

Helping small bloggers, by way of direct donations or through a Blogathon, is a worthwhile effort on your part.

There are many unemployed and underemployed bloggers in the blogosphere. Not only are their tip jars empty, but their food cupboards are bare as well.

It's time to consider a Blogathon for Needy Bloggers.

Your participation would make all the difference.




Social bookmark this

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

 

Blog post ideas: Finding the angle

Blog post ideas are a challenge for every blogger.

Even the best bloggers have writer's block...or blogger block as the case may be.

While the obvious solution is usually to simply post a link, pointing to another blogger's post, there are ways to enhance that linking technique.

Look for what editors and journalists call the story angle.

In the case of your blog, it's how does the linked blog post relate to the main themes and topics of your blog.

For my blog, I attempt to relate other blogger's posts to either blogging in general, or business blogging in particular.

I posted a column the other day about how a blog can develop into a business. I related that idea to how you, as a blogger can grow a business idea directly from blogging.

I could have also used the angle, of making money from the blog itself, rather than as spin-off businesses.

I wrote a column on how blogs sell books, based on a blogger who was co-author of a best selling baseball book.

The angle was how bloggers can become authors themselves and use their blog as marketing tool, as was the case with baseball blogger Aaron Gleeman.

When you read other blog posts, always think of how the post could possibly relate to your blog's subject matter. By using that angle finding technique, you can provide powerful insights for your own regular blog readership.

You can create some very well written blog posts, that are of interest to a large cross section of the internet blog readership, simply by finding the angle.

As always, be certain to link to the blog post, and I always like to link to the blog's home page as well. Linking to the home page helps the reader find more great posts by that blogger.

I consider it proper journalism, and good blog manners.

By searching for the relevant story angle in every blog post you read, you might find yourself overwhelmed with tremendous post ideas.

You won't be troubled by blogger block again.

Well, almost never, anyway.

Social bookmark this

Monday, November 15, 2004

 

Trader Mike bullish on Carnival of the Capitalists

The market is definitely up at the travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists, makes a stop at a blog that is all about the markets and the economy.

This week's posts have a definite business, politics and economics air about them, as we visit Michael Seneadza and his economics and stock market oriented blog, known as Trader Mike.

Note that Trader Mike was featured this week in the prestigious business magazine Barron's.

When Trader Mike is not writing about the stock market and economics in general, he is an active and successful stock trader and analyst.

This week's edition of Carnival of the Capitalists features some of the best bloggers writing on the internet today.

Blogging topics presented include entrepreneurship, management, education, legal issues, regulation, taxation, internet commerce, marketing, the national and global economies, and politics.

As you would expect from Trader Mike there are business, economics, and market oriented entries everywhere.

It's always great to read and discover the many high quality blogs out there in the blogosphere.

We don't always get to them all, and this edition of Carnival of the Capitalists has introduced many of us to some brand new ones.

As I am always privileged to do, I have an entry in this week's Carnival of the Capitalists as well.

My entry post this week is entitled "Blog Chamber of Commerce interest growing" where I discuss the value of forming an organization to support and spread the word about the value of business and related blogs.

If you wish to submit an entry to next week's, or any Carnival of the Capitalists edition, e-mail your entries to the new address:

cotcmail -at- gmail -dot- com

If you are searching for new and exciting ways to expand your blog's readership, you should seriously consider sending an entry to Carnival of the Capitalists.

Merely being included in the company, of the first rate regular Carnival of the Capitalists contributors, will enhance the reputation of your blog.

The extra visitors can't sent to your blog won't hurt either!

The growth and staying power, of Carnival of the Capitalists, is beginning to catch the attention of people outside the blogging community. Each hosting, brings a fresh assortment of new readers, to the various blogs involved.

The visitors aren't only bloggers anymore.

Readership is expanding to include the mainstream media, various government and private organizations, many businesses, and other interested people from beyond the blogging community.

Many people are introduced to some tremendous blogs that they might otherwise have missed.

Next week's Carnival of the Capitalists moves over to Greg Narain's noted technology and internet information blog known as Social Twister .

In the meantime, click that mouse over to this week's Trader Mike's hosting of Carnival of the Capitalists.

If the great posted entries don't convince you to click, the possibility of finding some brand new blogs to read Carnival of the Capitalists certainly will offer you some tricks and tools of the "trade"(groan).

Social bookmark this
 

Blog idea turns into a business?

Blog ideas as business plans?

It could happen.

Concepts developed and refined as blog content can form the basis of a business venture. By writing out the business ideas, and adding to and subtracting from them, a business can indeed be formed from a blog.

Many thoughts can be put to paper, or in this case, to keyboard and blog. As each concept is presented, others follow naturally, whether consciously or subconsciously. In the end, many great business ideas are born.

Hugh MacLeod of the highly popular and irreverent gapingvoid blog is currently thinking of several business possibilities.

One of them, as would be expected, is a result of his highly creative cartoons.

As another, and an offshoot of the creativity involved in cartooning, is to consult and advise other businesses on creativity and its processes.

An overall, and encompassing idea, is of course the marketing and advertising consultancy potential, resulting from Hugh's business experience. As a matter of fact, business consulting is a possible business, or sideline for almost any blogger.

Just like that, there are three business ideas resulting from one blog.

From my own blog, I have enhanced tremendously my freelance writing and search engine optimization (SEO) businesses. They grew up alongside the blog.

Most bloggers have at least one book in their heads; and probably many more hiding in the brain as well. Combining a print on demand or even a traditional publisher, with the marketing power of blogs, is already a proven and winning team.

Books can be marketed as standard hard copy editions or as e-books.

E-books and tips on your business area can be offered as a free giveaway, to attract more potential customers and clients.

Bloggers are writers. There is always a demand for good writers everywhere. Many website owners are prepared to pay very well for good copywriters to create website content.

Magazines, both on and offline, definitely pay for well written articles. Since you know your own area of interest well, there is really no one better to write about it than you.

Becoming a professional blogger, and writing the posts for business and corporate weblogs is about to explode onto the mainstream. As bloggers, who already have a track record, you already experienced to handle those professional blogging and writing assignments.

Of course, these are only a tiny fraction of a percentage of business ideas that can result from blogging.

I am confident that your creative mind will dream up many more.

Be sure to write them down.

You can even blog about the creative process that led to the new business idea.




Social bookmark this

Sunday, November 14, 2004

 

Blogs sell books: Writers take note

Blogs sell blooks.

Lots of books.

That's now a proven fact of the publishing world.

Even better, is the fact that blogs sell books that are self published, by print on demand publishers.

The combination of those two phenomona are transforming forward thinking bloggers into successful published authors.

One such real world example, of a blogger book success story, is the statistically oriented baseball book called the The Hardball Times Baseball Annual.

Written by a group of baseball bloggers, the book is self published by Lulu.com. The book currently sits at #10 on their all time best seller list.

Not only is the book available in the traditional hard copy format, but as a lower priced e-book as well.

The success of the book is the result of the efforts, of the blogger authors, and their promotional and marketing techniques.

Guess what!

The promotional and marketing heavy lifting has been done in the blogs themselves.

Posts have been written about the book, and excerpts placed on the blogs, as the proverbial free samples.

The main blog for the book is the growing group baseball blog known as The Hardball Times.

One of the authors is noted baseball blogger, and friend of Blog Business World, Aaron Gleeman of Aaron's Baseball Blog.

Aaron has marketed the book on his own blog; as have all of the other authors. By posting about the book on their blogs, The Hardball Times Baseball Annual is being discussed and linked by even more bloggers.

That list of bloggers mentioning the book now includes me.

I guess that's proof of the value of blog book promotion all by itself!

As a successful self published book, The Hardball Times Baseball Annual will soon be available through book selling giant Amazon.com and in brick and mortar bookstores everywhere.

The bottom line for the authors was promoting and marketing the book through their blogs.

The lesson for other writers, hoping to sell a self published or any other type of book, is to blog about it.

Blogs provide the single most powerful means of getting out the word about a book.

Coupled with the flexibility of a self publisher of print on demand books, bloggers can become best selling writers.

By not going through the traditional publishers, bloggers can market and promote their books in any way they choose. One technique is through blogging their book.

Once the book gains a bit of momentum, as a direct result of the blogging efforts, other avenues of promotion and marketing open up immediately.

Nothing gets success like success.

That initial success is from bloggers using their blogs to get the book moving.

***Update*** November 22

Aaron Gleeman is now reporting that The Hardball Times Baseball 2004 Annual has moved up from #10 on Lulu.com's all time best seller list.

The book now sits at #6 all time at Lulu.com.

Credit that constant rise in sales totals to the marketing value of blogs.

Social bookmark this

Saturday, November 13, 2004

 

Bloggers as TIME's People of the Year?

Bloggers as TIME's "People of the Year"?

Leading blogger Steve Rubel of Micro Persuasion thinks blogs and bloggers are the ideal choice for the coveted distinction.

Should blogs and bloggers indeed grace the cover of TIME Magazine, it would mark a turning point in the blogging community.

Steve Rubel makes his point about blogs as TIME's "People of the Year" this way:

For 2004, I cannot think of a single person or persons that had a greater influence on society than the bloggers. Let's remind them by making our voice heard. If you think about American politics, media, business - no one, no one had a greater influence for better or worse than the bloggers. Not Osama Bin Laden. Not Sadaam Hussein. Not John Kerry. No one. The bloggers absolutely deserve to be this year's People of the Year.


In fact, to make his point, Steve is starting a petition to TIME Magazine with that goal in mind.

You can make your voice heard by e-mailing directly to the editors of TIME Magazine.

The idea of blogging is catching on and growing exponentially in importance.

Blogging has changed the face of the internet in general, and of journalism in particular. Business blogs are reshaping the way some leading companies communicate with their customers and the general public, in both public relations and in marketing.

Legal and political blogs are read daily by journalists covering those important topics.

Business reporters read leading businessm marketing, and public relations blogs for stories for their beats.

Online business people are adding a blog component to their traditional and static websites to take advantage of blogs' enormous advantage in search engine optimization (SEO).

More changes to business and journalism are yet to come, as a direct result of the power of blogs.

There is no doubt about the power of blogs.

Many leading bloggers are taking up Steve's cause, and lending their names and blogs, to achieving the goal of bloogers gracing TIME's cover.

You can help too.

Send your e-mail to TIME Magazine editors today.

Do your part to make bloggers TIME's "People of the Year".


Social bookmark this

Friday, November 12, 2004

 

Tinbasher gets real world blog power

Business blogs.

We often talk about them, and recommend them to business owners.

We suggest the business blog as an additional component for traditional static websites for various reasons.

Included in those reasons for starting and maintaining a business blog are marketing, public relations, customer service and feedback conversation, search engine optimization, and added traffic.

Often lacking are real world examples of how a business blog has really helped a business.

In seeking concrete, or in this case, a steel example of the power of business blogging, The Tinbasher Blog had a post on that very subject.

Paul Woodhouse, owner of The Tinbasher Blog describes his success with business blogging this way:

Before I started up The Tinbasher again, the Butler Sheetmetal site had been bookmarked twice. This week alone it’s been bookmarked fourteen times. We’ve also received as many hits this week as the whole of August and September combined. I appreciate arguments can be made about of all this, but that’s not my point. More people are visiting the site since the reincarnation of this blog and more people want to return to the site too.

I read alot about metrics and ROI(return on investment) and I agree you can’t measure it scientifically. But let’s be perfectly frank, you don’t need to. I see hits going up, stickyness going up and, most importantly, enquiries going up...


There you have it from the blog owner himself.

The regular sheetmetal traditional website received limited visits, and almost no bookmarks. That is important because a bookmark represents a returning visitor.

In sales, a relationship of trust must develop between seller and buyer. In this case, the business blog is performing that task, by adding returning visitors. That trust relationship is being built.

There is little doubt that when those businesses, who bookmarked The Tinbasher Blog are seeking metal work, they will purchase from Paul Woodhouse and his staff.

As a real world example of the power of business blogging, The Tinbasher Blog provided that hard evidence.

Carved in steel.

Social bookmark this

Thursday, November 11, 2004

 

A moment of silence

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada and the British Commonwealth and Veterans Day in the United States.

Today we take a few moments to pay tribute and give thanks to the brave men and women of the Armed Forces, past and present, who fought and continue to fight and die for our freedom.

Today is not the day for partisan discussions of politics and wars.

Today is the day for remembering those who paid, and continue to pay, the supreme sacrifice for freedom everywhere.

Today we remember them.

Every day, we should keep remembering them.

Always.

In Flanders Fields

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.



Social bookmark this

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

 

Blog Chamber of Commerce changes suggested

A possible Blog Chamber of Commerce is one of my suggestions for getting the word out about the benefits of business blogs.

Support for the idea has been great, as many leading business bloggers understand the lack of knowledge, among the mainstream internet users, about blogs in general and business blogs in particular.

Paul Chaney at the Radiant Marketing Group has suggested a slightly different approach.

Instead of a Blog Chamber of Commerce, Paul is suggesting a Professional Business Bloggers Association.

The idea has merit, and in combination with the ideas presented by other business bloggers for the Blog Chamber of Commerce, there is definitely some powerful potential.

Many well informed people are not fully aware of blogs, and what they can do for a business.

Paul Chaney has written an informative post on business blogs, and their value for business. It's a useful primer on business blogging, and I added the search engine optimization (SEO) benefits of blogs in a comment on his post.

Whether bloggers form a Blog Chamber of Commerce, or a Professional Business Bloggers Association, the need to spread the word about blogging is the overall goal.

Let's get started on that project, and let people everywhere know the power of business blogs.

By joining together, and working as a team, we can strengthen blogging everywhere.

Social bookmark this

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

 

MoBlogs indexed in Blog Search Engine

You may have seen them.

You may have heard about them.

You might even have one.

They are moBlogs, and they are a fast growing phenomenon, on the burgeoning blogging scene.

According to Loren Baker of Blog Search Engine, a moblog can be defined this way:

MoBlog stands for mobile weblog which consists of content posted to the Internet from a mobile or portable device, such as a cellular phone or PDA. According to Wikipedia, much of the earliest development of moblogs occurred in Japan, among the first countries in the world where camera phones (portable phones with built-in cameras) were widely commercially available.


To keep up with this fast growing number of MoBlogs being added to the blogosphere, Blog Search Engine Directory and IceRocket Search have teamed up to bring MoBlogs into the search community.

The partnership between Blog Search Engine and IceRocket is designed to include searches for MoBlogs for the following reasons:

...bring cell phone pic blogs, or MoBlogs, into the search engine world with a new search feature which produces image results of the latest MoBlogs images available. Blog Search Engine has over 10,000 blogs indexed in its blog directory and this new feature gives them a jump on other cutting edge search engines in the blogging world. The partnership between the two companies utilizes IceRocket search technology to serve search results from TextAmerica blog entries - a MoBlog only blog hosting service.

While Google and Yahoo are trying to accumulate the largest web image search index, bloggers and site publishers are finding other targets for web search. TextAmerica's MoBlog service offers some of the latest and most rapidly updated images online. If one is looking for some online pics of a current event or buzz worthy topic, it makes much more sense to search via MoBlogs than 3 month old image search engine indexes.


Blog Search Engine owner Loren Baker said, "IceRocket's MoBlog search technology brings a new dimension to the Blog Search Engine which we never had before, we're a much better blog searching solution now with our new search functionality."

IceRocket CEO Blake Rhodes continued, "Blog search is incredibly important, sometimes you like to know what other people think besides the traditional media. Besides, MoBlogs are fun, they really let you see what others are up to."

For those who are not entirely sure about the background of IceRocket Search, it was one of the investments made by blogger and Dallas Mavericks of the NBA owner Mark Cuban.

Bloggers are well advised to submit their blogs to Blog Search Engine for inclusion.

The addition of MoBlog searches to the IceRocket index, could help propel that search engine into the mainstream of search, at least for bloggers.

Expect more similar partnerships in the future as blogs continue to carve out a very large and highly visible niche on the internet.

Blogs are a growing force, and that force just got quite a bit larger.


Social bookmark this

Monday, November 08, 2004

 

INSITE hosts Carnival of the Capitalists

The ever growing and highly popular travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists, makes a stop at a blog that is all about business, economics, politics, and capitalism.

This week's posts have a definite business, politics and economics air about them, as we visit John Beck and friends, and their insightful (I had to say it) economics and business oriented blog, known as INSITE.

When the INSITE authors are not writing about business and economics, they are offering their thoughts on the world of politics.

This week's edition of Carnival of the Capitalists features some of the best bloggers writing on the internet today.

Blogging topics presented include entrepreneurship, management, education, legal issues, regulation, taxation, internet commerce, marketing, the national and global economies, and politics.

As you would expect from INSITE there are business, economics, and political entries everywhere.

It's always great to read and discover the many high quality blogs out there in the blogosphere.

We don't always get to them all, and this edition of Carnival of the Capitalists has introduced many of us to some brand new ones.

As I am always privileged to do, I have an entry in this week's Carnival of the Capitalists as well.

My entry post this week is entitled "Links and content: Blogs need both" where I discuss the value of adding abundant theme related links into your blog, and providing top quality content to attract readers and even more incoming links.

If you wish to submit an entry to next week's, or any Carnival of the Capitalists edition, e-mail your entries to the new address:

cotcmail -at- gmail -dot- com

If you are searching for new and exciting ways to expand your blog's readership, you should seriously consider sending an entry to Carnival of the Capitalists.

Merely being included in the company, of the first rate regular Carnival of the Capitalists contributors, will enhance the reputation of your blog.

The extra visitors can't sent to your blog won't hurt either!

The growth and staying power, of Carnival of the Capitalists, is beginning to catch the attention of people outside the blogging community. Each hosting, brings a fresh assortment of new readers, to the various blogs involved.

The visitors aren't only bloggers anymore.

Readership is expanding to include the mainstream media, various government and private organizations, many businesses, and other interested people from beyond the blogging community.

Many people are introduced to some tremendous blogs that they might otherwise have missed.

Next week's Carnival of the Capitalists moves over to the high quality business and financial markets information blog known as Trader Mike.

In the meantime, click that mouse over to this week's INSITE hosting of Carnival of the Capitalists.

If the great posted entries don't convince you to click, the possibility of finding some brand new blogs to read Carnival of the Capitalists certainly will offer you some insights (groan).

Social bookmark this
 

New AMA definition for marketing

A new definition of marketing and approaches to the topic?

It's about time!

Jennifer Rice of What's Your Brand Mantra? has begun a fascinating discussion of the American Marketing Association's new definition of marketing.

She points readers to the Peppers and Rogers site for more information on the definition change.

Jennifer offers her valuable insights to the issue when she says:

But I think the key phrase here is, "marketing is an organizational function." I don't know many companies that have truly integrated marketing as a mindset throughout the entire organization. This definition sets the marketing executive in a more pivotal role in a company; he/she is no longer simply responsible for a department, but for "delivering value and customer relationships." It's up to marketing to work with other departments to ensure that -- from promise through delivery -- the customer experience is consistent and positive. So while the AMA is a bit late to the party, it offers up a definition that holds a lot of room to grow.


I agree with Jennifer. Marketing is not a single distinct function of a single department within a company. Everyone within an organization is marketing the company, its image, and the promise of its brand. They just might not know it, as no one has likely told them.

Every person within the organization reflects upon the organization. The organization also extends beyond its own walls to its current and potential customers.

Whether a person buys a business's products and services or not, they hold some general opinion of that company. That opinion may be firmly held, or simply a vague impression. In any case, the customers and their needs, wants, and desires must be taken into consideration.

Marketing is not just a function of the "marketing department", acting in isolation.

Marketing is everyone within and outside of the company, combining their thoughts and ideas, on the direction of the business. Products and services must meet the needs of the buying public and they must be supported and endorsed by everyone within the organization as well.

Jennifer is right.

The new definition of marketing, while helpful, doesn't tell the whole story of marketing.


Social bookmark this
 

Trudy Schuett's BloggerCon space available

My friend Trudy Schuett at WOLves has a space reserved at the well known blogging symposium called BloggerCon.

She is offering the space to other bloggers, free for the asking. With the space at BloggerCon, you would have the opportunity to attend, and rub shoulders with many of the most influential bloggers in the blogosphere.

If you are interested, you had better hurry, as the space won't last long.

Trudy can be reached by e-mail at:

twschuett - at - peoplepc.com

Trudy won't be blogging for awhile either, as she has been called in to tend to her father. He has taken ill, and needs her care.

Our prayers and thoughts are with Trudy and her father.

Well wishes and e-cards can be sent to the same e-mail address:

twschuett - at - peoplepc.com

Trudy and her father are certainly in my thoughts.


Social bookmark this

Sunday, November 07, 2004

 

Blog Chamber of Commerce interest growing

Since I first presented the concept of forming a Blog Chamber of Commerce, several leading business bloggers have expressed strong support.

I am not surprised at the interest in the idea of a Blog Chamber of Commerce. This is due to the overwhelming need to promote and market business and related blogs.

While knowledge of blogs and blogging is commonplace for us, even very internet and marketing savvy people are not aware of the blog potential. Instead of support, the idea of blogging is often met with apathy at best and contempt and derision at worst.

Clearly, the message of how blogs can help businesses of all types and sizes has not got through. The rest of the online business community, where blogs are not used, are blissfully unaware of the blog possibilities.

In effect, we are preaching to the choir.

We all fully understand the principles of blogging. Our concerns are all about improving our blog's quality, increasing its readership, and using it in our businesses in general.

Not everyone on the internet is at that level of awareness.

We know blogs are powerful marketing tools. The blog potential for changing the way public relations is performed is well known.

Blogs are almost unrivalled for developing a two way conversation with current and future customers and clients. For search engine optimization, and getting a website to the top of the search rankings, blogs are the expressway to the stars.

Not everyone knows those facts, as we do.

No one has told them, and so many myths, misconceptions, and distortions exist.

Instead of support and shared interest from much of the mainstream marketing, business, public relations and media communities, we receive condescending pats on the head.

It's time we stood up and were counted.

Those ideas and many more are why we need a Blog Chamber of Commerce.

As Chamber of Commerce members, bloggers would have a strong membership voice backing them up in the media and in the wider community.

A Chamber of Commerce, by its very definition, carries an image of strong pro-business principles, and support for entrepreneurship in the community.

Members would proudly display a Blog Chamber of Commerce button on their sites, linking to a central Blog Chamber of Commerce Blog, and to other Blog Chamber members. Working to add members to the blogging cause and to the Chamber, to increase awareness of blogging, and supporting other bloggers in their efforts, would be their mission.

Bloggers elegible for membership would include business, marketing, public relations, corporate, small and independent business, legal, professional, real estate, accounting, consulting, employment, educational, medical and dental, finance, search engine optimization, economics, writers of fiction and non-fiction, and any blogs in support of internet business in general.

The Chamber, among other intitiatives, would send press releases to the various press release sites, as well as to media outlets. Getting the message of blogging to the wider community would be paramount for its success, and for all bloggers.

Forming a Blog Chamber of Commerce also displays that business and professional bloggers are serious business people. It shows that our blogs are an integral part of our business. They are not a hobby, although they are also fun to maintain.

Dispelling the myth that all blogs are online diaries and personal journals is a great place to start. While we all read and support a vast number and types of personal blogs, they are very distinct from business oriented blogs.

When the wider public discovers the power of blogging, and increase their levels of business and profits as a result, the entire economy benefits. More people are employed and money is spent at other businesses, many of them Blog Chamber of Commerce members.

The Chamber could use the standard accepted model of non-profit management. The first step would be to recruit members and get them involved in the Chamber activities.

A Board of Directors would be elected by the membership, with terms of office set in advance. A new Board would elected to replace the outgoing Directors, at regular intervals.

The Board of Directors would agree upon policy direction, on behalf of the membership, to ensure that the blog message got through to interested parties.

Volunteers would be requested to perform various duties on behalf of the Chamber.

These duties could include writing press releases, helping to form policy initiatives, spread the word of the Chamber and benefits for members, and organize Chamber functions for the membership and the wider business community. Some functions and events would most certainly be fund raisers for the organization.

The Chamber of Commerce could elect to support many of the already existing blog initiatives taking place around the internet. By throwing its support behind other blogging groups, who could also become Chamber of Commerce members, those organizations would receive wider participation and promotional benefits.

The possibilities are endless, for the value of a Blog Chamber of Commerce, and its service to the blogging community.








Social bookmark this

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?