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Blog Business World

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

 

Visitor logs: Helping your readers

Visitor referrer logs are valuable records to examine, from time to time. Of course, the definition of time to time can vary considerably. For many bloggers, the visitor log examination can take place almost every minute of the day.

In almost all cases, the blog visitor logs get more than one peek a day.

Admit it. You do it. No one will scold you for your honesty.

It's not just an exercise in ego or vanity to read your visitor log records. In fact, it might be the nicest thing you can do for the interests of your regular and new readership. Instead of thinking of your visitor logs as being all about you and your blog, think of them in terms of your blog readership.

In the referrer records, there are probably indications of the keywords and phrases that discovered your blog through searches for information. Everyone who uses a search engine types in a search phrase in the hope of finding some relevant information on the subject. If the phrase found your blog, then one of the major search engines including Google, Yahoo, or MSN Search, thought your blog posts were important information. After all, your blog did appear in their search results.

By having that search information at your fingertips, you know what information that your visitors need. If the search is for some area of interest to you and your blog, and that was the topic of one of your blog posts, then it makes sense to write even more posts on the topic. The more search phrases that are included in your blog posts, the more searches will locate your blog. More importantly, however, your blog will grow in importance in terms of the information that it provides to the public.

After all, that's what your visitors want. They want to learn more about your blog's topics and themes. It's up to you to provide them, and your blog's visitor logs will indicate how your blog was found.

I know that it's fun to write new posts, on fresh areas of interest. We all do that, and we blog that way every day. Sometimes, it makes sense to step back, and examine what your readers want to find at your blog. Instead of simply writing a post about what you want, perhaps it's time to turm the issue around completely. Write posts that your visitors want to read.

To use a product marketing analogy, you are listening to the needs and desires of your current and future customer base. In this case, you existing blog customers are your regular readers, while new visitor traffic represents new clientele.

As we all are aware, I hope, a business that refuses to meet the needs of its customers doesn't stay in operation for long. Blogs can suffer the same fate, if the blog writer's post topics are of interest to almost no one. If no one reads your blog postings, then your blog will never find a larger audience. For business blogs, a growing and active reading audience is essential to its success.

The customer, or in this case, the blog reader knows best. If they can't find useful and informative posts on your blog, they will look elsewhere for what they require.

Keep reading those visitor referrer logs, and continue searching for the interests of your readers. The searches that found your blog will provide that information. If the same search phrase leads to your blog over and over again, it's time to consider writing more posts on that topic. After all, that's what your visitors want to read.

Your increased blog traffic will be there to prove the idea, of writing for the reader, to be a sound one. For business bloggers, the end result will be greater numbers of prospects and customers.

Oh. The information on your higher traffic level is contained in your blog visitor logs too.

Keep reading your blog visitor blogs, and help your readers find the information they seek.

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Monday, November 28, 2005

 

Carnival of the Capitalists at Gill Blog



This week sees a consultative approach to the travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists makes a visit to the business and professional consulting blog known as Gill Blog.

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, market trading, internet commerce, marketing, the national and global economies, and technology.

As you would expect from Gill Blog there are many discussions of business, marketing, and entrepreneurship.

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.

I have an entry in this week's Carnival of the Capitalists as well.

My post is titled "Non-profit organizations: A blog can help" where I discuss the almost unlimited benefits that a blog can provide for any non-profit organization.

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

You can always use the handy entry form at Gongol.com where all you have to do is fill in the blanks. Talk about making it easy to be included!

Another brand new form for sending entries to all of the internet carnvivals is provided by The Conservative Cat. This is a great one stop entry drop, for all your blog post entries, for every blog carnival.

Note as well that Carnival of the Capitalists. has a new URL at http://thecotc.com/. Be sure to update your links and bookmarks.

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 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 be at Adam Siegrist's business and technology blog known as Techronization.

In the meantime, click that mouse over to the Gill Blog hosting of Carnival of the Capitalists.

If the great posted entries don't convince you to click, or the possibility of finding some brand new blogs to read doesn't do it, then Carnival of the Capitalists certainly will offer some ways to consult with others. (groan)

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Sunday, November 27, 2005

 

Free teleseminar: Conversations with experts - Tom Evslin







Conversations with Experts: How to Build Your Business On and Off-line

Hosted by Denise Wakeman and Patsi Krakoff of Build a Better Blog System.

Blooks - More choice for readers; more opportunity for authors

Wednesday, November 30, 2005, 8:30 p.m. ET - Free

Guest Expert: Tom Evslin, Hackoff.com

Book publishing is undergoing the same Internet-induced disruptive change in marketing, promotion and distribution that has confounded the traditional music industry. Readers benefit from increased choice and online access to content including fiction; authors will benefit from reduced barriers to publication.

Blogs are both a new distribution platform for fiction and a new marketing and promotional channel. Although some readers will always prefer a book they can hold in their hands, online books can have interactive features which traditional books don’t including reader interaction, subscription by email or RSS feed, and linked online support material.

Hackoff.com: an historic murder mystery set in the Internet bubble and rubble is written by Tom Evslin, the ex-CEO of an Internet company who is a well-known blogger. The blook (book on a blog) includes a faux company website, an online store, a wiki, and a user forum. Although the book will have a hard-cover edition, the Internet is its first distribution platform and the basis for its publicity campaign.

Tom Evslin was founder Chairman and CEO of ITXC Corp. The NASDAQ-listed company grew from startup in 1997 to the world’s leading provider of wholesale VoIP. Evslin conceived, launched, and ran AT&T’s first ISP, AT&T WorldNet Service. WorldNet popularized all-you-can-eat flatrate monthly pricing for Internet access. Evslin has been blamed and praised for this ever since. He is unrepentant. At Microsoft, Evslin was responsible for Microsoft Exchange and for overcoming the lead Lotus then had with cc:mail and Notes.

Evslin’s software company, Solutions, developed the first commercial EFT software. Solutions was the first developer of commercial communications software for the Macintosh and developed Glue (a predecessor of Adobe Acrobat). Fractals of Change http://blog.tomevslin.com is a popular read.

Register for this conversation with Tom Evslin:

http://www.ConversationsWithExperts.com

Conversations with Experts is sponsored by Build a Better Blog System.

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Activist blogs: Blogging for societal change

Activist blogs are becoming a more important feature of the blogosphere. With the acknowledged power of blogging for business and for non-profit organization, it's reasonable to expect that blogs would become a powerful tool for changing the world.

You'll know the activist blogs when you see them. While your first thought might run to the various political blogs, I am referring more to the blogs that are issue related. For example, an activist blogger might write about the environment, abortion, legalizing drugs, or missing children, just to name a few controversial and emotion packed issues.

Activist blogs usually are single issue, and for good reason. The blogger wishes to concentrate the entire blog's efforts toward a single and often highly controversial goal. Along with those various hot button issues, there will be controversy and negative feedback, as part of the overall package.

A blogger for the cause will learn from experience the highs, and unfortunate lows, that go along with activist blogging. Not every day will be pleasant, as opposition to the viewpoint will be frequent and not afraid to be heard. Blogging for change will result in negative feedback. That is part and parcel with the blogging genre, and should be expected. As a result, planning for problems is essential.

Blog comments for an activist blog will be busy, lively, and very often filled with personal attacks and worse. It's important to maintain a balance of comments, and to avoid the temptation to delete opposing viewpoints. Comments must be left open, as free and open discussion and debate are essential for an activist blog. Comments might be even more important on an issue oriented blog than on any other type.

I would suggest that the only comments to delete are obvious spam, and remarks devoid of any value. That would include comments that were racist, sexist, lewd and profane, threatening of violence. Care must be taken to avoid the tendency to over moderate the comments. Let opposing viewpoints stand to encourage more comments and debate on the issues.

A blog certainly provides some very powerful techniques for aiding your chosen cause, and working toward those important goals. The blog will enable your voice to be heard in a crowd of other worthwhile organizations. The search engine visibility alone, makes the exercise a powerful one indeed.

Daily posts on your cause will keep readers returning for more information, either through bookmark, link, or site feed. Other people working to achieve the same societal changes will also link to your blog. Don't be afraid to post contoversial issues, as they often invite the most attention to your cause. Be aware that a wider reading audience will also include some very vocal opposition to your position on the matter.

The mainstream media is constantly searching for spokespeople on various issues. A blogger is an ideal person to fill that role. With daily postings, and the necessary research to fill them, the blogger is very well informed on the topic. As an activist blogger, with a rising public profile, you may be called upon to speak or comment on your blogging issue. During a crisis or major event involving your issue, you may be called upon to comment on a moments notice.

As such, you will need to have contact information on your blog. Be aware of the risks involved, and provide a non-personal, issue only e-mail address. Keep your blog e-mail address separate from your personal ones at all times. A single address, dedicated to the blog is the best option to prevent personal attacks. If they do occur, you are able to change addresses very quickly as well.

Whether you are tying to change the world, or just your own little corner of it, activist blogs might provide the ideal outlet for your goals. Changes in ideas and attitudes happen one person at a time. It only takes one person to get the ball rolling, and to take a stand. Others will follow your lead, and perhaps join your cause. It won't always be easy, and often discouraging, but your issues blog will be an important step toward achieving your goal.

Start your activist blog today.

You might even change the world.

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Saturday, November 26, 2005

 

DMOZ Open Directory Project: Submit your blog



Everyone talks about getting their blog or website listed in the free Open Directory Project, better known as DMOZ, but not everyone knows what to do about it.

Here's some help in navigaing the directory submission process.

DMOZ has become very inclusive and supportive of blogs. Entirely new categories, devoted entirely to blogs, have been added to the DMOZ Directory. You might not be aware of this, but DMOZ has added a special blog category. They are a very blog friendly directory these days. Be sure to get your blog included in the listings.

The Open Directory Project is probably the single most important internet directory. Its listings are used by Google in their search engine rankings calculations, as part of the Google Directory listings, and by many other search engines and directories large and small, all over the internet.

Many other sites and directories use the DMOZ for their online directories. A listing in DMOZ is, therefore, multiplied many times over. Tak about getting bang for the buck.

Here is the DMOZ URL:

http://www.dmoz.org

DMOZ is an entirely volunteer edited directory, where every site is examined by an editor for suitability. To get a listing in DMOZ, is to have several legs up, in the race to the top of the search results.

The first step to a listing, is to check the various directory categories, and find the appropriate one for your blog. Be very thorough here, as submitting your blog or website to the wrong category can result in very long waits, and possibly even rejection.

When you have narrowed your target to the most appropriate category, go to it, and click on "add URL". Be absolutely certain to read the instructions very carefully. They are not merely a suggestion. They are an absolute requirement.

Be sure to submit just your blog home page to only one category. Multiple page or category submissions will likely be treated as spam, and your blog might be rejected.

You will be asked to write a brief description of your blog or website. This is not the place to be flowery and biased. Be as objective as possible. If the editors think your description is too promotional, they will certainly change it on you. Your submission may even be rejected entirely.

Your blog has finally been submitted. Now what?

Since the website submissions are accepted on a first come, first served basis, you wait. The waiting period can last anywhere from one week to six long agonizing months.

Whatever you do, don't decide to resubmit your site. I can't stress that strongly enough. Don't even think about resubmitting. At best, your submission will be moved to the back of the line again. At worst, your blog may be rejected.

In the meantime, you won't hear from DMOZ one way or the other. Keep checking their site each week for results. Keep updating and adding content to your website or blog. The editors will like your site a lot better with the additional content, and your chances of approval go way up. After all, the editors are searching for unique content. It's up to you to procide it.

Be sure you have no pages "under construction", as the editors will reject any sites that aren't ready for prime time.

If you can't stand the wait, you can contact the category editor about your site's status, directly through their Feedback link. A better route, however, is to ask a polite question on the DMOZ public forum.

The DMOZ public forum URL is:

http://www.resource-zone.com

You don't have to be registered to read the forum, but you must register (free) to post a question. As always, be sure to read and follow the posting guidelines.

Happy submitting.

It's well worth the effort!

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Friday, November 25, 2005

 

SEO: Why search engine optimization anyway?

SEO is short for search engine optimization. I can almost hear the yawns already as you roll your eyes with boredom. Most website owners and bloggers have little interest in optimization of their blogs or websites. As long as the search engines like Google, Yahoo, and MSN Search index them, most people are satisfied.

After all, SEO sounds boring and pointless at best, or shady and dishonest at worst. More myths than facts surround the concept of search engine optimization. These myths are fueled by discussions of Google penalties and search engine banning of sites. Many people mistakenly believe that SEO involves all sorts of trickery and underhanded tactics. Many other people consider the topic too boring to even contemplate. Drying paint as a spectator sport appears to have more appeal.

In fact, SEO is not really boring or dishonest, as much as it's misunderstood. The idea of SEO is to make your blog or website more visible in the search engines. Increased visibility means more visitors, and it's hoped they convert to paying customers. SEO critics believe that their site should rise or fall in the search engine rankings based on merit. Of course it should. The only problem is the search engines like Google can't always see those great website or blog qualities.

What SEO does, in the most basic sense, is to help the search engines discover, read, index, and rank your site based on a number of factors. In order to achieve their goals, the search engine spider robots need to know the themes and topics of your blog or website. They can't guess. It's up to you to show and tell them. That's the purpose of SEO.

Fixing the title tags that appear at the very top of the web browser (blue line at the top of Internet Explorer, for example) shows the spiders the topic of the page. The on page content contains words. Obviously. What the spiders need is the appearance of searched keywords. You can't rank for blueberry muffins if they are never mentioned on your blog. By including the searched upon words in the post titles, headings, and body of the content, you are helping the search engines understand your blog or site topics and themes. Once understood, they can be ranked.

Gaining links from other blogs, websites, and internet directories tells the search engines that your content is important and informative to other bloggers or traditional site owners. As such, the search engines can give your pages higher rankings. Popular linked to pages get the benefit of higher search engine placement. If the clickable link from the linking page, contains the searched words found on your page, so much the better. The search engines then understand the topic of your page is also recognized by others as well.

There is no need for dirty tricks or underhanded tactics, in your SEO efforts. You know your blog or website contain valuble and informative content. What optimizing the pages does is helps the search engines understand their importance too.

SEO is like holding the hand of the search engines and guiding them to your blog or website. Once there, the optimized title tags, links, headings, and post titles and body give a guided tour of the content. The spiders need spider food in the form of great content. Your SEO efforts show the spiders the way to the cupboard, and keep the spiders well fed.

SEO will help make your blog and website content easier to find, read, and digest. That's important to the search engines. By helping them, they will help you by providing your blog or web pages with higher search engine rankings.

After all, you do want everyone to enjoy your great content.

SEO gives your content more visibility for the search engines, making it easier to find, read, index, and rank highly.

That is neither boring nor dishonest.

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Thursday, November 24, 2005

 

Carnival of the Vanities at Don Surber After Hours




The 166th edition of the longest running internet blog carnival, the well known Carnival of the Vanities, moves to Don Surber's newly renamed political blog known as Don Surber After Hours.

Carnival of the Vanities is the original collection of blog postings, assembling some of the best and wide ranging bloggers on the internet.

This week's Carnival of the Vanities entries include politics, literature, science, medicine, technology, business, culture, comedy, and religion.

I have an entry in this week's edition of Carnival of the Vanities as well.

My post is titled "Blog comment spam: How to fight it" where I discuss the importance of keeping comments on your blog open, and how to combat the many blog comment spammers who want to abuse your blog's open conversation.

To participate in the Carnival of the Vanities, or any of the other blog carnivals, one of the easiest techniques is to use the all inclusive carnival entry form at The Conservative Cat.

Another participation option is to simply e-mail your entry to the host of the week.

That's what I usually do.

As I suggest elsewhere, hosting and contributing to the various internet blog carnivals is a great promotional idea for your blog.

Next week's edition of Carnival of the Vanities appears at the eclectic group blog known as File It Under.

In the meantime, head on over to the Don Surber After Hours hosting of Carnival of the Vanities and enjoy the posts on offer.

You will almost certainly be introduced to some great new and interesting blogs.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

 

Garage sales: More saving ideas

If your startup or even ongoing small business is like most, maintaining your cash flow is often a challenge. Especially difficult is making needed purchases of equipment or furniture when your money supply is tight. Perhaps used items (or previously owned, if you prefer) might take care of your business needs.

In a previous post, I have already discussed the buying power of auction sales. A second source of much needed items is the ubiquitous, and often maligned garage sale. If lowering your purchasing costs is important, or even imperative, then the garage or yard sale might be the place for you.

Garage sales offer literally everything from small items to automobiles. There is no limit on the possibilities on offer, and all at reasonable prices. Note that in all cases, the depreciation on the item has been taken by someone else. After all, you are not buying retail and you are also avoiding the payment of additional sales taxes. You are purchasing the item at something closer to its real value.

Furniture is one of the mainstays of the garage sale, and offices usually are in need of chairs, tables, lamps, and other similar furnishings. That much needed sofa, for the waiting area or lobby, might be only a few dollars away at a neighbourhood yard sale. While care must be taken with all garage sale buying, the prices are very difficult to beat.

Unlike auction sales where the price works its way upwards, the prices at a garage sale are designed for negotiation. In fact, for many people, the haggling over the final price is half the fun of garage sale buying. If you can't get the item for your price, simply move on to the next garage sale. What you need might be available up the street for less.

Garage sales require a bit of strategy. Prior to setting out on your buying quest, chack the newspapaer classified ads section for a list of sales. Establish a route, and start out early. Try to attend the sales as early as possible. While some people dislike early birds, other sellers are happy to make that first sale of the day. As well, most sellers enjoy the bargaining aspect of the sale, so don't be shy about making a reasonable offer for the items you want to buy.

Keep in mind that garage sales are a numbers game. You have to attend many to find those hidden treasures. For that reason, don't spend too long at any one sale. If they don't have what you need, move along to the next yard sale on your list. Moving too slowly will lower the number of attended sales. As a result, your chances of filling your buying needs are not as good.

Many people think they don't have the time to attend garage sales. While that may be true for some people, it's not a fact for everyone. Think of the time you would have to spend in most retail outlets, finding sales representatives, and buying from them. The time factor is not much different, and garages sales are more fun anyway. After all, you could also find a few collectible or antique items for yourself along the way.

Don't let the stigma of used items, or the lowly garage sale image deter you from using that valuable buyind resource. While it's true that you will probably have to wade through many bad sales, you will also find some great ones. If they have what your business requires in the way of office furniture, business equipment, tools, or other needed items, you are well ahead of the game.

Think of garage sales as a way of conserving your cash flow. The health of your small business might depend upon it.

Make a list of garage sales in your area, and have some fun. The money you save will be your own.

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Monday, November 21, 2005

 

Carnival of the Capitalists at Gongol.com



This week sees an academic course approach to the travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists makes a visit to Brian Gongol's site known as Gongol.com



There is also part two of a special tribute to the great business and entrepreneurship thinker, author, and visionary Peter Drucker.

This week's Carnival of the Capitalists offers several more tributes, from some of the best business and economics bloggers, in memory of the contributions made by Peter Drucker to the growth of business ideas and business literature.

Even more tributes will follow in the next few Carnival of the Capitalists hostings.

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, market trading, internet commerce, marketing, the national and global economies, and technology.

As you would expect from Carnival of the Capitalists there are many discussions of business, marketing, and of course entrepreneurship.

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.

I have an entry in this week's Carnival of the Capitalists as well.

My post is titled "Auction sales: Business equipment at low cost" where I discuss how purchasing business equipment and office furniture at auction sales can save your business a boatload of dollars.

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

You can always use the handy entry form at Gongol.com where all you have to do is fill in the blanks. Talk about making it easy to be included!

Another brand new form for sending entries to all of the internet carnvivals is provided by The Conservative Cat. This is a great one stop entry drop, for all your blog post entries, for every blog carnival.

Note as well that Carnival of the Capitalists. has a new URL at http://thecotc.com/. Be sure to update your links and bookmarks.

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 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 be at the business and professional consulting blog known as Gill Blog.

In the meantime, click that mouse over to the Gongol.com hosting of Carnival of the Capitalists.

If the great posted entries don't convince you to click, or the possibility of finding some brand new blogs to read doesn't do it, then Carnival of the Capitalists certainly will offer some ways to create some new carnival templates. (groan)

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Blog comment spam: How to fight it

Blog comments occasionally receive a visit from your not so friendly neighbourhood spammer. You know their techniques of spreading fake comments, for their less than desirable wares, far and wide on various blogs. One of those blogs is probably yours.

The spammer's web of intrigue stretches far and wide, and as expected, has already ensnared blog comments as part of their prey. As a result of the perceived spam threat, many potential business bloggers are very concerned about adding comments, to their business blogs.

I understand new the business blog owners' fears. No one wants their blog comments being splattered, with less than desirable non-comments, from the nefarious spammers. I do believe, however, that spam fear should not stop a business from adding a blog component to their marketing, public relations, customer service, and SEO efforts.

Havng a blog is simply too valuable, for anyone in any business, to be frightened away by a few low life spam spreaders. Knowing some methods of fighting the blog comment spammers will help to keep your blog comments safe from harm. By maintaining safe comments, your blog can develop the conversation aspect that is so important in blogging.

Many business people are new to blogging, but they are not new to e-mail. Sadly, as we all know, e-mail boxes are often polluted with spam. Much of that unsolicited e-mail is pornography of the worst and most hideously degrading sort. No one wants that sort of thing trashing their blog comments either.

Because of those concerns, many potential business bloggers suggest that perhaps they should leave the comments turned off. Occasionally, the discussion of whether or not to maintain a business blog, is decided solely on the possibility of blog comment spam. Sadly as a result, all too many business people either don't start the blog, or set one up without activated comments. By not activating comments for the blog's visitors, both the blogger and the reader suffer as a result.

It doesn't have to be that way.

First of all, a blog is a conversation between the blog writer and the reader. Part of that personal interaction, is through the ability of readers to post thoughts and comments, on the posting in question. Many times, the number of post comments will total in the dozens. Literally.

That sort of real and friendly communication between blogger and reader, and often among the comment posters themsleves, is part of the true power of blogs. Many times, reading the comments is much more interesting than the initial post that spawned the discussion in the first place. Remove the blog comment portion of the posts, and the life of the blog becomes a hollow shell, and a mere shadow of its former self.

Blog comments still receive spam, as it remains a problem for all bloggers. Some blogs do receive more than others, and for many bloggers, spam is a major problem. You would think those heavily spam assaulted bloggers would cut off their comments. Right?

Wrong.

Instead of removing their valued comments, they take steps to reduce or eliminate the spam, while maintaining their important conversations with visitors.

Here are some actions savvy bloggers do to combat comment spam:

* They insert code to prevent spammers.

* They place first time posters on comment moderation.

* Sometimes posts remain moderated permanently, prior to being published.

* They require a randomly generated alpha-numeric code be entered, in order to submit the comment, thus preventing automated comments.

* They vigilantly watch their comments, as they are good bloggers who read all of their readers' ideas, and studiously delete the spam posts.

* Many bloggers place the rel="nofollow" coding in their comments, to prevent any Google PageRank flow to the posted links, or any link popularity value from helping the spammers with search engine rankings. Unfortunately, this technique, recommended by Google themselves, also penalizes legitimate commenting visitors.

* They check their comments regularly by having the comments e-mailed or RSS fed to themselves. By subscribing to their own comments with e-mail or RSS, they can check each comment as it appears. Spam can then be made to disappear with the click of a mouse.

While each of these techniques, and there are many more, are helpful to keep blog comment spam under control, spam still happens. Fortunately, even blogs receiving heaps of spam receive many, many times more good and worthwhile comments too.

Spam comments are merely a tiny percentage of the overall comment total. Of course, we all remember the day we stubbed our toe. We had exponentially more days when our toe was just fine. When our toe was stubbed, we took steps (sorry) to make it well again, and to ease the pain. After that, it was gone. So it is with comment spam.

Spam can be kept under control too. Don't let fear of comment spam prevent you from starting a business blog, or setting up a blog without comments.

Don't let that one loudmouth, obnoxious spammer stop your conversations with all the other nice people who read your blog. The good visitors, with many great thoughts, ideas, and helpful feedback should not be denied their opportunity to begin a conversation.

That's the entire point of blogs and blog comments.

To create a conversation.

Keep those blog comments activated, and keep the conversation flowing.

And chase the spammers away.

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

 

Dogs n Blogs blogging conference deadline nears




Blogs and dog sled teams aren't two things that appear related at first glace. Okay, not even at the second glance, but they are now.

The first ever Blogs n Dogs blogging conference held in the beautiful mountain resort Banff Centre, in Banff, Alberta, Canada from Sunday, December 4 to Thursday, December 8, 2005.

The registration deadline of Friday, November 30 is fast approaching.

Held in partnership with the Banff New Media Institute Accelerator Program, the elite panel of blogging experts will guide the novice through the philosophies and intricacies of the blogoshere.

Oh yeah, and they offer dog sled rides too.

Topics under discussion include:

* Managing your public life online

* Blogging and the arts: Web 2.0 independent music publishing, photographers and artists

* Personal blogs and portals

* Blog writing style

* How to make money with your blog

* Building your community and traffic, connecting with your tribe in the blogosphere

* Traditional PR, marketing and the "blogosphere"

* Social networking tools, blogging tools, aggregation and technology: RSS, XML, podcasting and video blogging

A scholarship to attend the conference free of charge (not including airfare) was offered to one deserving attendee.

Six blogging finalists were chosen from the many entries:

Marc Sirkin

Monique Trottier

Stacie Zaychuk

Jake McKee

Derek K. Miller

David Peralty

The contest winner was announced on the Blogs'n'Dogs website on November 14th 2005:

Monique Trottier of So Misguided was announced as the winner. She discusses her award on her own blog.

Monique will join the conference in Banff on December 4th.

Registration is now available and spaces are limited, so be certain to register for Blogs n Dogs as soon as possible.

There is also a participant's form to help the facilitators better meet the needs of all particpants.

Remember that November 30 registration deadline.

Oh, and be sure to sign up for the optional dog sled ride too.

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Saturday, November 19, 2005

 

Blogger roundtable discussions: Visitor traffic sharing

Blogger roundtable discussions are another valuable, yet still very underutilized technique, for building blog traffic numbers. Not only does one blog gain added vistors, but all participating blogs receive a traffic boost. The secret is in the sharing.

Blogger roundtables can be conducted either in print on a blog or through voice via podcast. Both techniques have their advantages. More importantly, both delivery vehicles offer traffic boosts for all participating blogs. The hosting of the roundtable can be rotated among the regular participants. New bloggers can be added, and current participants changed over time.

The key to visitor traffic growth is the pooling of readers, who in many cases, visit a discussion participant's blog for the very first time. An intelligent discussion, on any of a virtually unlimited number of topics, is certain to raise the profile and reputations of the bloggers involved. It will also keep those new visitors returning to the newly discovered blogs.

Any area of blogging from acting and art to zippers and zoos is a candidate for a blogging roundtable discussion. There is no limit on the possible topics, and sub-topics within each area of blogging interest. Sports bloggers are already utilizing roundtables as a mainstay of their blogging activities.

Baseball blogger Jon Weisman of Los Angeles Dodgers focussed Dodger Thoughts hosts what is referred to as a baseball squaretable discussion on his blog. Along with noted baseball bloggers Jay Jaffe of Futility Infielder, Rich Lederer of Baseball Analysts, and Rob McMillin of 6-4-2.

For the discussion, the bloggers have chosen one specific topic, and discussed it indepth, providing greater analysis and more widespread opinion than one blogger writing alone. In this case, the bloggers have chosen the hiring of new team General Manager Ned Coletti by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Maintaing a focus on a single issue allows for more wide ranging analysis and opinion, and also sets the stage for future very targeted roundtable discussions.

Note that all participating bloggers promote the squaretable discussion on their blogs. The posting sends readers from other blogs to the roundtable hosting blog, resulting in a sharing of visitor traffic. While baseball might not be your area of interest, the concept and the format are readily usable for discussing any topic area.

Be sure as well to check the high number of reader comments resulting from the roundtable discussion. From the overwhelming readership response, it would appear these opinion sharing posts are very popular indeed. After all, potential commenters are drawn from all of the participating blogs.

Blogging roundtable discussions also help to form deeper bonds between the participating bloggers. Working together on discussions, either in print or via podcast, helps forge friendships and working relationships for the future. Roundtable bloggers can easily become business partners.

It's time to consider forming a blogging roundtable discussion in your area of interest. Don't wait for another blogger to ask you to start an on the blog conversation. Take the initiative and begin a regular discussion series today.

Your blog traffic numbers and regular blog readership will thank you for it.

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Friday, November 18, 2005

 

Family type relationship building: Blog style

Blogs build internet families both literally and figuratively

Has Wayne gone completely off the deep end this time? Well, it was to be expected sooner or later, you suppose. Of course, before you judge me totally out to lunch, let's look at the concept of family type relationship building a bit more closely.

In fact, the idea is not as outlandish as it appears at first, or to provide a bit more leeway, the second or sixteenth glance. Blogs do help create, nurture, and build internet families. In fact, business relationship building is a generally accepted benefit of business blogs. It's only a small step to creating other forms of interpersonal relationships as an outgrowth of blogging.

There now, was that leap of faith so hard?

In the modern world, you hear every day that people are beoming more disconnected from their neighbours. No one knows anyone around them, except for a small coterie of friends, or perhaps some work and business associates. It's possible to live beside a neighbour for many years, and never ever meet anyone in that home or apartment. In the past, communities were more stable, over longer periods of time. People had time to know and develop close ties with the people around them.

Today's fast paced world has made those bygone days a distant and fading memory. Like some faded black and white or sepia tinted photograph from a long ago time, the days of knowing all of your neighbours, their children, and even their cousins twice removed, are over.

Or are they?

The internet has created a new and exciting medium for developing friendships, and even extended family. The bloggers, as always, are on the forefront of the new family building revolution. Blogging is personal by nature, and the best business bloggers recognize that aspect of blogging. Blogs are personal and blogs are informational. Mostly, blogs are conversational and build relationships.

Many pundits have remarked that blogs are simply online diaries. In the sense that blogs are written from a personal point of view, that's true in the strictest sense. Of course, the online diary definition only considers the writer. Moving beyond that confining blog description, the world of interpersonal relationships develops, as bloggers meet other bloggers.

Distant bloggers are often brought together by an interest in topics, often thought arcane and on the very edges of reason, by members of the mainstream. Some blogging connections are developed from more traditional roots like business, politics, law, technology, sports, and the various creative hobbies.

Blogging communities have sprung up, like dandelions on the front lawn, on a warm spring afternoon. Like minded bloggers communicate with one another, first by by commenters and by e-mails. Later, the friendship passes to the telephone and to live and in person meetings.

Over time, these meetings and discussions blossom into more than simple friendships. Marriages, business partnerships, and yes...extended virtual internet families are often the direct result of maintaining a blog. Blogs create community through conversation, serving a similar social function to other community institutions in the past.

Bloggers have become one of the new family and relationship paradigms of the Twenty-First Century. While other forms of community building have occurred on the internet, few achieve virtual family status as quickly as do like minded bloggers.

Yes, Virginia, blogs do build families.

Really closeknit blogging families too, and you are probably part of one, and didn't even know it.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

 

Carnival of the Vanities at The Examining Room of Dr. Charles




The 165th edition of the longest running internet blog carnival, the well known Carnival of the Vanities, moves to the medical and health issues blog known as The Examining Room of Dr. Charles.

Carnival of the Vanities is the original collection of blog postings, assembling some of the best and wide ranging bloggers on the internet.

This week's Carnival of the Vanities entries include politics, literature, science, medicine, technology, business, culture, comedy, and space.

I have an entry in this week's edition of Carnival of the Vanities as well.

My post is titled "Blogs to books: From posts to e-books" where I discuss how bloggers can become published authors through the power of electronic publishing. I also discuss some of the benefits of becoming an e-book author.

To participate in the Carnival of the Vanities, or any of the other blog carnivals, one of the easiest techniques is to use the all inclusive carnival entry form at The Conservative Cat.

Another participation option is to simply e-mail your entry to the host of the week.

That's what I usually do.

As I suggest elsewhere, hosting and contributing to the various internet blog carnivals is a great promotional idea for your blog.

Next week's edition of Carnival of the Vanities appears at Don Surber's political blog known surprisingly enough as Don Surber.

In the meantime, head on over to the The Examining Room of Dr. Charles hosting of Carnival of the Vanities and enjoy the posts on offer.

You will almost certainly be introduced to some great new and interesting blogs.

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Article submission site list

Article submissions are helpful to achieve more inbound links to your blog or website, build your personal and business reputation, add SEO value, and gain traffic.

Publishing an article elsewhere can enhance your reputation as an expert in your industry, leading to other paid articles and speaking engagements. Published writers are far more likely to considered for paid articles and speaking engagements than non-published writers. Having articles appear elsewhere on the internet will certainly enhance your image as a business or community leader.

Articles provide one way inbound links to your blog or website. As such, they provide solid SEO benefits in the various search engines. Because the article will most likely appear on a website that shares the themes and topics with your website or blog, links have even more value. Theme relevance, as in shared topics between linking and linked web pages and sites, is a powerful SEO factor for any inbound link to your site.

The extra traffic sent to your blog or website, from articles published elsewhere, can't hurt either. You always want a few new visitors, right?

Here is a list of article submission sites compiled by a member at the search engine optimization forum SEO Chat. I recognize a number of the sites as solid and repuatable.

I haven't examined the entire list for any costs associated with the submission process, ease of submmission, or site reputation. I would definitely advise caution and due diligence. In other words, check them out thoroughly prior to submission of any articles. I simply copied the entire list from the forum post. That said, there is a virtual goldmine of article submission opportunities in this list, even with some severe pruning.

Here are the article submission sites; absent any outbound links:

1st-in-articles.com
a1articles.com
aardvarkarticles.net/login.php
activeauthors.com/private/index.php
addme.com
addme.com
adswise.com/submit_articles.shtml
advertisingknowhow.com/members/articlesubmit.php
advisor.com
allfreelancework.com/submitarticles.php
allthewebsites.org
allthewebsites.org/articles/article_editor.php
alternative-finance.org.uk/en/
alumbo.com/submitcontent.html
Amazines - amazines.com - PR4
Article Alley - articlealley.com - PR5
Article City - articlecity.com - PR6
Article Emporium - article-emporium.com - PR4
Article Finders - articlefinders.com - PR5
Article Joe - articlejoe.com - PR0
article_depot.50megs.com
article99.com/
articleagency.com
articleavenue.com
articlecentral.com
article-content-king.com
articledashboard.com
articledepot.co.uk/
articlefever.com
articlefusion.com
article-hangout.com
articlehub.com/add.html
Article-Marketer.com
Articlematrix.Com
articlenexus.com
articlepoint.com
articleresponder.com/addarticle.php
Articles Factory - articlesfactory.com - PR5
articles4content.com
ArticlesBase.com
articleshow.com/
articles-online.biz/
articlesphere.com
articles-submit.com
articlesubmissions.com
ArticleSubmissions.com - articlesubmissions.com - PR3
ArticleToGo.com
articlewarehouse.com
articleway.com
articleworld.net
articlez.com
authorconnection.com
barvin.com
bestparentingresources.com
bigarticles.com
biz-ewomen.com
biz-whiz.com
biz-whiz.com
blogwidow.com/submit_article.shtml
boazepublishing.biz
boconline.com/articlesubmit.asp
bpubs.com/cgi/add.cgi
bullmarketer.com/modules.php?name=Submit_News
businessclique.com/
businessknowhow.com
business-opportunity.biz/addarticle.php
businessseek.biz
BusinessToolchest.com - businesstoolchest.com - pr3
buyincomeproperties.com/
Buzzle.com - buzzle.com - PR6
choosetoprosper.com
clickforcontent.com/
Common Connections - commonconnections.com - PR3
Connectionteam.com - connectionteam.com - PR3
Constant Content - constant-content.com - PR6
Createonlinebusiness.com - createonlinebusiness.com - PR3
cumuli.com/ezines/post.html
cyberprosper.com
Digital Women.com - digital-women.com/submitarticle.htm - PR5
dime-co.com/articlesub.html
directonlineloans.co.uk
ebooksnbytes.com/articles/submit.shtml
ebusinessbasics.com/articles/submit.htm
ecomallbiz.com/marketingworld/informationform12/
ezadsuccess.com
ezau.com/
ezilon.com
Ezine Articles - ezinearticles.com - PR7
ezinearticles.com
ezinefactory.co.za
ezineplug.com
e-zinez.com
fabaroo.com
Family-Content.com - family-content.com/articles - PR4
finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/articles_archives/
finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/articlesubmission/
finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/Free_eContent/
finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/Free-Content/
finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/I_Need_Content/
financeresourcedirectory.info
financial-authors.com/
Free Content - certificate.net/wwio - PR5
free-articles-zone.com
freetraffictip.com
freezine-articles.com
freezinesite.com
FreeZineSite.com - freezinesite.com - PR2
fresh-articles.com
fresh-articles.com/cgi-bin/artman/exec/admin.cgi
getyourarticles.com/submit
globalnetone.com
GoArticles.com - goarticles.com - PR6
googul.net/modules/articles/submit.php
groups.yahoo.com/group/aabusiness/
groups.yahoo.com/group/aageneral/
groups.yahoo.com/group/aainet/
groups.yahoo.com/group/ArticlePublish/
groups.yahoo.com/group/articles4you2use4promotion/
groups.yahoo.com/group/epub/
groups.yahoo.com/group/EzineZone/
groups.yahoo.com/group/freeezinearticles/
groups.yahoo.com/group/freelance_promotion/
groups.yahoo.com/group/Free-Reprint-Articles/
groups.yahoo.com/group/FreeWrites/
groups.yahoo.com/group/freezinecontent/
groups.yahoo.com/group/netwrite-publish-announce/
groups.yahoo.com/group/publisher_network/
groups.yahoo.com/group/QC_Reprint_Articles/
groups.yahoo.com/group/ReprintArticles-Paradise/
groups.yahoo.com/group/TheWriteArticles/
hercommunity.com
holisticjunction.com/
Home business Tips Newsletter - home-business-tips-newsletter.com - PR3
home-based-business-opportunities.com
home-business-directory.comm
home-business-income.net
HowToAdvice.com - howtoadvice.com - PR4
ibizresources.com/contact_article.html
IdeaMarketers.com - ideamarketers.com - PR5
innerself.com
insuranceapple.com
isnare.com - isnare.com PR5
Jogena's - jogena.com - PR4
jorbins.com - jorbins.com - PR5
killermarketingarsenal.com/articles.cgi/add
learningfolder.com/submitarticle.aspx
Li'l Engine - lilengine.com - PR7
linkgeneral.com/author.asp
LinkSnoop.com - linksnoop.com - PR3
loanarticles.co.uk
logo2d.com/
look-4it.com
lrsmarketing.com
mailbiz.com/cgi-bin/mailbiz/magcat/dbm_db.cgi?db=dbm_db&add_form=1
Main Street Mom - mainstreetmom.com - PR5
MakingProfit.com
marcommwise.com/
Marketing PitBull - marketingpitbull.com - PR2
marketing-of-training.com
marketing-seek.com/articles/submit.shtml
marketingtroll.co.uk/submitarticle.php
mediamonkey.co.uk
mega-success.com
mega-success.com
midamericapublishing.com
netpromarketer.com
NetterWeb.com - netterweb.com - PR4
NewArticlesOnline.com
newfreearticles.com
newfreearticles.com
niche-article-directory.com
niche-content-articles.com
obp.com
onelasvegas.com/directory/Submit_Article.html
opportunityupdate.com
OpportunityUpdate.com
opportunityupdate.com
Organic-Rankings.com - organic-rankings.com - PR3
personal-finance-hq.com
personal-writer.com/submitarticle/
powerhomebiz.com/termsofuse/articlesubmission.htm
pressbox.co.uk/
Prnewswire.com
promoloop.com
PromoteNewz.com - promotenewz.com -PR4
promotezone.com
promotiondata.com/submit.php
PromotionWorld.com/articles.html - promotionworld.com -PR4
prweb.com/
reprintarticles.com/articlesubmit.php
rlrouse.com/submit-article.html
Sales Masters World - sales-masters-world.com - PR5
searchguild.com/managearticles.php
SearchWarp.com - searchwarp.com -PR4
selfgrowth.com/artman/exec/admin.cgi
seniority.co.uk/
settinglifegoals.com
sideroad.com
site-reference.com/submit.php
smallbusinesshowto.com
smallbusinessoutpost.com/forms/submit_article.htm
SmartAds.info - smartads.info/articles - PR4
smartbiz.com
stickyarticle.com
submityourarticle.com
submityournewarticle.com/
T & I Grafix - tigrafix.com/ - PR3
textads.sourceforge.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=Submit_News&file=index
The Warrior Forum - warriorforum.com/forum - PR4
theallineed.com/submit-articles.htm
theezine.net
TheEzine.net - theezine.net - PR4
thriftyfun.com/add.ldml
top7business.com/
toparticles.net
topten.org/
Top-Web-Marketing.com - top-web-marketing.com/article - PR3
toupin.com/
UniTerra.com - uniterra.com -PR3
upromote.com
ushopi.comp
valuablecontent.com/
Web Host Industry Review - thewhir.com/find/articlecentral - PR5
webhostsonline.com/articles.html
webmasterslibrary.com/
webpromotionguru.com/contact.htm
WebProNews.com - webpronews.com - PR7
webreference.com/new/submit.html
WebsiteFuel.com - websitefuel.com - PR3
website-promotion-ranking-services.com - website-promotion-ranking-services.com/article.htm - PR4
web-source.net/
williammcdermott.com
womans-net.com
womensarticles.com/
work911.com
WorkAtHomeArticles.net - workathomearticles.net -PR3
workoninternet.com/Submit_Article.html
writingcareer.com/freearticles-submit.html
Xongoo.com - xongoo.com - PR6
zinos.com - zinos.com -PR6
zongoo.com/submit.html

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Monday, November 14, 2005

 

Free teleseminar: Conversations with experts - Martin Wales







Conversations with Experts: How to Build Your Business On and Off-line

Hosted by Denise Wakeman and Patsi Krakoff of Build a Better Blog System.

How to Make More Cash Online With Automated Systems

Wednesday, November 16, 2005, 8:30 p.m. ET - Free

Guest expert: Martin Wales of 1ShoppingCart.com

Get practical tips and powerful insights from Martin Wales. He’s a marketing specialist and business development expert who works with one of the internet’s leading ecommerce providers. Listen in and model the leaders for the latest in online sales and marketing success!

A few simple changes can bring you immediate and impressive results, whether you have a traditional offline business or pure online presence. Using the right strategy, you're guaranteed to increase your sales and your profits today.

Martin Wales is featured in the #1 Best Seller Success Secrets of Online Marketing Superstars by Mitch Myerson and a co-author of Walking With The Wise Entrepreneur along with Suze Orman, Robert Kiyosaki, Harvey Mackay and Donald Trump. He's published internationally and in several MBA programs. He's also a technology marketing columnist, talk-radio, and TV personality. Martin's the former host of The Entrepreneur Magazine E-Biz Show, Customer Catcher Radio and Business Break television.

Register for the Conversation with Martin Wales at:

http://www.customizednewsletters.com/CE/cesched.htm

Conversations with Experts: How to Build Your Business On and Offline is sponsored by Build a Better Blog System.

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Carnival of the Capitalists at The Entrepreneurial Mind



This week sees an acedemic course approach to the travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists makes a visit to Jeff Cornwall's highly regarded business and venture capital blog known as The Entrepreneurial Mind.



There is also a special tribute to the great business and entrepreneurship thinker, author, and visionary Peter Drucker.

This week's Carnival of the Capitalists offers several tributes, from some of the best business and economics bloggers, in memory of the contributions made by Peter Drucker to the growth of business ideas and business literature.

More tributes will follow in the next few Carnival of the Capitalists hostings.

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, market trading, internet commerce, marketing, the national and global economies, and technology.

As you would expect from The Entrepreneurial Mind there are many discussions of business, marketing, and of course entrepreneurship.

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.

I have an entry in this week's Carnival of the Capitalists as well.

My post is titled "Blog posts: Out of topic ideas?" where I discuss a number of ways to generate ideas and topics for your blog posts.

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

You can always use the handy entry form at Gongol.com where all you have to do is fill in the blanks. Talk about making it easy to be included!

Another brand new form for sending entries to all of the internet carnvivals is provided by The Conservative Cat. This is a great one stop entry drop, for all your blog post entries, for every blog carnival.

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 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 be at Brian Gongol's site known as Gongol.com

In the meantime, click that mouse over to the The Entrepreneurial Mind hosting of Carnival of the Capitalists.

If the great posted entries don't convince you to click, or the possibility of finding some brand new blogs to read doesn't do it, then Carnival of the Capitalists certainly will offer some ways to look for ways to be a full time acedemic. (groan)

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Non-profit organizations: A blog can help

Blogs are an ideal addition to any non-profit organization. Blogs work well, either as a blog section within the non-profit site, or as a free standing blog linked to and from the organizational website.

Non-profit organizations include charities, industry organizations, trade unions, and Chambers of Commerce.

The goal of any non-profit is not to turn a financial profit in the generally accepted sense. Their goal is to put forward the causes and interests of the organization's membership. Non-profit organizations will have various goals to achieve, and a blog is a natural vehicle to reach those worthy goals.

The value of blogs to any non-profit orgainzation is almost unlimited.

First of all, a blog provides a powerful informational vehicle for the association. The Board of Directors and association staff can keep the membership up to date with the latest initiatives and activities of the organization. Information for the membership can often be very time sensitive. A blog can provide almost immediate information distribution to the membership, the media, and other interested parties. The lead time for printing a hard copy magazine, or even preparing an online newsletter are unable to be as instantaneous as a blog.

Because a blog is constantly updated, with fresh content, the organizational leaders can maintain up to the minute contact with the members. When combined with the power of the organization's existing e-mail newsletter and print publications, the blog completes the informational time consideration with its immediacy.

Since one of the major difficulties faced by many non-profit organization is membership recruitment and retention, a blog can display the benefits of membership, in real time. Regular postings of how members received tangible benefits from joining the non-profit, can be a useful and interesting series on the blog. The more informal language of the blog enables the organization to provide a more personal touch with the recruitment effort.

Blogs help the organization in recruiting volunteers for its many activities, from policy committees to fund raising to membership recruitment drives. Openly posting notices of upcoming association events will attract volunteers from the readership. By keeping the membership updated constantly with information about the organization and its events, volunteers are much more likely to step forward to lend a hand.

A blog serves avaluable public relations function for both local and regional news media. Even the national media may pick up stories from a smaller local non-profit organization's blog. Journalists are known to read many blogs on a daily basis, searching for newsworthy article ideas. By posting the policy positions on the blog, as well as distributing them by way of traditional press releases, the story has a greater chance of coverage in the media.

Constant updates about activities and initiatives, written about on the blog, can go far to helping journalists write about your organization. By making certain that the blog is updated on a regular basis, and providing newsworthy information of interest to the entire community, the blog can achieve a wide media audience. The blog can also help the organization to develop stronger working relationships with media personnl.

Often, non-profit organizations fall victim to some bad press coverage. A blog can get the organization's message out to the news media in a hurry. A rapid response, to real or perceived problems, will go far in enhancing the association's image and reputation in the community. An organization that addresses issues on an immediate manner, and often in real time as events unfold, may be more highly regarded in the opinion of the average citizen. The blog provides that instant communication to the media and the public.

Fund raising can gain a boost from the blog as well. By regularly highlighting how the money raised by the organization, has helped real people overcome their challenges, the blog will make raising donation levels much easier. Real life stories, focussing on real people will assist fund raising efforts as the potential donor can visualize the good works of the organization. Easier volunteer fund raiser recruitment will be another positive result, of the charity's success stories, as they appear on the blog.

Chambers of Commerce, attempting to gain public support for business, will do very well with blogs. By showing the general public and their elected representatives, how a strong vibrant business community benefits everyone, with more jobs and a stronger local tax base, support for business will grow. A strong business community benefits the economy in many ways that often go unreported in the media. The blog can help journalists uncover those important business and economic success stories.

Many businesses already maintain blogs, and will happily link to the Chamber's blog. Small businesses, in particular, will benefit from being part of the Chamber of Commerce reciprocal links from its blog. Association with other successful businesses, and the networking opportunities afforded through working together, can form another frequent posting idea for the organizations involved. Some examples would include a company underwriting an arts or cultural organization, funding a new medical breakthrough, or sponsoring a community recreational facility. Of course, the possibilities for shared benefits for everyone are endless.

As you can see, blogs have much to offer to non-profit organizations. The benefits of a blog to association leaders and managers are almost endless.

It's time your non-profit organization added a blog to its communications program.

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Saturday, November 12, 2005

 

Auction sales: Business equipment at low cost

I love auction sales. I haunt them. My house is a hopeless jumble of auction sale flyers and newspaper ads for upcoming auction sales. My computer has auctioneers’ websites bookmarked under several headings. I surf them daily. I especially like sites that include equipment photographs.

My business has been fully equipped with equipment and tools, purchased for pennies on the dollar, at auction sales. With the exception of the computer, the vast majority of the office equipment and office furniture that I use, was purchased at auction. It is definitely something that every beginning or established business person can do.

I’m certain that you have heard of bargains that other people have discovered when they go to auction sales. I thought the same thing myself. The other guys always appeared to get the best deals. If an auctioneer was not drawing many bids from the crowd, all that was needed was for me to arrive. Everything sold for double its market value right after that. At least it always seemed that way.

I discovered that I was dead wrong.

Auction sales are one of the most cost effective ways to equip your business. Whether you are shopping for office machines or heavy equipment, there are bargains to be found at auctions. It simply takes a little bit of planning.

First of all, you need to locate the sales in your area that match your needs. Since there are always business closures, bankruptcies, retirements, and selloffs, there are always items available for sale. This holds true at any time, and under every stage of the economy. Good times or bad, there are always auction sales in your area. Be sure to check the local listings in your newspaper and on the many auction sites on the internet. You will be very surprised as to what is available.

While many people scoff at the idea of purchasing used equipment, keep in mind that some of what is on offer is barely used. Finding brand new items is a frequent occurance as well. The bonus is someone else has already taken the depreciation, and you can purchase the item for a fraction of the retail price. That said, you should always carefully inspect the items in advance of the sale, to ensure their quality; or lack of it.

If you need todo maintenance of equipment in your business, or on the business premises, there is simply no substitute for auction sale prices. Tools and maintenance equipment represent some of the very best deals at almost every aution sale. In fact, you can buy so many wrenches and screwdrivers, you will find yourself overrun with them. Exercise caution when bidding in the tool shed.

Price wise, it's easy to overpay for the item you desire. Getting caught up in the auction is easy, and happens at every sale. That $25.00 item that you bid up to $100.00 isn't such a great bargain. That item, based on good conditon, is worth about $10.00 or so at auction. Keep your wits about you and don't bid on foolish frivolous items. I know that I do that myself, but you know better. Right?

While attending auctions is not for everyone, and purchasing pre-owned items might not suit every business owner, it might be the right financial step for your small business. Lowering equipment costs, especially ones where the item is needed, and would have to be bought or leased in any case, is a good idea for any entrepreneur. Cash flow management is essential for maintained liquid capital. Keeping your equipment costs in line will definitely help to keep your cash from flowing away too quickly.

Think auctions and save your business some money.

Just don't let your home get crowded with auction sale flyers.

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Friday, November 11, 2005

 

Lest we forget




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.


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Blog links: Internal page link benefits

High search engine rankings are important to most bloggers and website owners. To achieve those page one search placements, a combination of interesting and informative content along with many links to your blog are needed.

Let's talk about links today. To be more specific, let's discuss the often overlooked links to your blog or website's internal pages. When most bloggers and website owners think of links, they naturally consider links to their home page first. After all, the blog or wesbite home page is the most obvious and visible page to be on the receiving end of an inbound link. Too often, the very important links to internal pages are forgotten, and get lost in the shuffle.

Blogs in particular receive an abundance of incoming links to internal blog pages. Think of every time that someone linked directly to one of your blog posts. As that page moves into the blog archives, that internal inbound link remains alive, and providing link popularity to power to that page in particular; as well as the entire blog in general. Incoming link power is spread through the entire blog, as the pages are interlinked, helping all of the pages rank well, to some degree.

It's thought that the search engines, including Google, Yahoo, and MSN Search place importance on internal site links. It seems logical as links to internal pages are a strong indicator of valuable and important site or blog content. As a result, they help boost the blog or site's search engine rankings. Both the linked page and the overall site or blog benefit.

Not only is the link important, but so is what is referred to as link anchor text. While the jargon term is interesting, link anchor text is simply the wording that appears on the clickable link line. Those words that are set to be clicked will often contain keywords relevant to the content of the receiving page.

Bloggers often use very powerful link anchor text, often without concern for the resulting SEO benefits, to describe the receiving post. With that keyword rich link anchor text in place, the inbound link packs double the search engine punch. When linking to your own posts, be sure to use descriptive wording, relevant to the post receiving the link. Words like "read more" or "click here" should be studiously avoided, and not be used as link anchor text.

Links from other blogs or traditional websites, to your internal site pages, can work wonders in your search engine placements. With the addition of keyword rich link anchor text, that linked page can turn your blog or site into an SEO dream.

Isn't that resulting top spot in Google something to get excited about!

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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

 

Carnival of the Vanities at Part-Time Pundit




The 164th edition of the longest running internet blog carnival, the well known Carnival of the Vanities, moves to John C. Bambenek's political and economics blog known as Part-Time Pundit.

Carnival of the Vanities is the original collection of blog postings, assembling some of the best and wide ranging bloggers on the internet.

This week's Carnival of the Vanities entries include politics, literature, science, medicine, technology, business, culture, comedy, and space.

I have an entry in this week's edition of Carnival of the Vanities as well.

My post is titled "Off topic searches: Low return visitors" where I discuss how gratuitous celebrity name dropping might add a one time visitor to your visitor logs, but that person is highly unlikely to return again to your blog.

To participate in the Carnival of the Vanities, or any of the other blog carnivals, one of the easiest techniques is to use the all inclusive carnival entry form at The Conservative Cat.

Another participation option is to simply e-mail your entry to the host of the week.

That's what I usually do.

As I suggest elsewhere, hosting and contributing to the various internet blog carnivals is a great promotional idea for your blog.

Next week's edition of Carnival of the Vanities appears at the medical and health issues blog known as The Examining Room of Dr. Charles.

In the meantime, head on over to the Part-Time Pundit hosting of Carnival of the Vanities and enjoy the posts on offer.

You will almost certainly be introduced to some great new and interesting blogs.

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