Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Is Facebook Going To Lose Social Media Consultants Clients?

During my normal perusal of Twitter, I noticed something from Chris Brogan. His tweet was about possibly deleting his Facebook profile. It caught my attention and clicked on the link that brought me to his website.

He had written a quick post about the ads on Facebook. Basically he had seen a couple of inappropriate ads talking about women cheating and sexual encounters. I personally haven't seen any inappropriate ads on Facebook, but the reason I bring this up is a comment that I saw.

The comment was from Pete Codella, someone I hadn't heard of before but works in public relations and consults about social media. He said...
Chris - I couldn't agree with you more. I’ve also noticed some very distasteful ads on Facebook lately. It makes it increasingly difficult for me to be a proponent of using Facebook as part of a company’s online marketing and positioning strategy.

For someone who does consulting on social media or someone who is looking to do that for a living (me!) it's something that they need think about. Business are looking to get into the social media networks and if ads like those are riddled through Facebook, it might be hard to choose that network.

Facebook is such a big network that this one group of advertisements might be overlooked and seen as an anomaly, but who want their business associated with these ads? Facebook needs to be careful or they might lose those profiles and social media consultants might shy away and use other networks to promote their clients. It's just another thing to consider.
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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Non-Blogging Tips To Make You A Better Blogger

Well I am sitting in my living room with the wood stove burning and a blizzard outside and I got to thinking about some things I could do to make me a better blogger. So here are some non-blogging tips to become a better blogger.

Image courtesy of sean dreilinger

Adapt and evolve.
Being able to go with the flow and change when it's not working is an important trait to have in any one's life, but it is extremely important as a blogger. Recognizing trends and following them without totally immersing yourself in them will keep you up to date but allow you to diversify.

Just about everyone who runs a blog and a lot of people who run business and websites now have a Twitter profile. And if you don't have a Facebook page or at least doing some kind of social networking you are being left in the dust. The ability to adapt and evolve will make you a better blogger by connecting you with more people, which brings me to another tip.

Connect with as many people as you can.
I talked about Twitter and social networking sites above, but with them you are able to connect with so many more people than even just a couple of years ago. It use to be just your friends and the people you knew from high school that you were connected to online. But now we can connect with bloggers all over the world.

You know the saying, "It's not what you know, but who you know." It has always been true and continues to be true. Networking is a great way to get information and social networking websites make this easier. You can receive tips from a blogger in India or even find a job from someone Twitter that you might have never received because of the connection you have had online.

Sharing is caring.
Once you have your Twitter account or social network profile, make sure to give to the people following you or the people you are friends with. Giving little tips and sharing websites of others is a great way of portraying yourself as an expert. Every once in a while you can give links to your site, but shameless self promotion will lead to lots of unfollows and losing friends.
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Friday, December 19, 2008

Twitter Desktop Clients

I've been off the computer for awhile now which means I've been off Twitter and haven't been blogging. I don't want to make this one of those "I'm sorry I haven't posted in a long time, but I promise I will post again soon," posts. Life just got in the way and my computer is broken.

Today I want to talk about Twitter and some of the desktop clients. What is a desktop client? Basically it's a third party application that allows you to receive your twitter updates without using the twitter.com website.

TweetDeck - website/download
TweetDeck feeds you up to the second tweets from the people you are following with a little beep and alert. It's much easier than being on the twitter website and pressing the refresh button. I have it downloaded on my computer and miss it on my girlfriends computer which I'm using now. You can put people in groups, resize the program, and get all the updates from twitter while you were sleeping.

Twirl - website/download
Twirl claims itself as "the social software client." Once I get my computer back i will download this program and test it out, but until then I will forward you to Rajeev @ mintblogger.com and his guide to Twirl. One feature that Twirl has that TweetDeck doesn't is the ability to connect to other social media sites other than Twitter.

If you would like to look at other Twitter desktop applications, check out the Twitter Downloads page. There are some others that look pretty cool.

What client do you use? Or do you just use the website? Leave a comment below.
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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ultimate Social Media Etiquette Handbook?

I've been without my computer for the last five days or so because of a busted power cord. So I have been using my girlfriends computer which doesn't have TweetDeck. Not having TweetDeck has left me out of the loop on Twitter. It's been weird so I have been forced to use the actual Twitter website and refresh the page.

Well this morning, Twitter has been...well...all a-twitter about a certain article. Even Newsweek tweeted about it. The article is entitled The Ultimate Social Media Etiquette Handbook.

But is it really the ultimate? It's probably very close. The article was written by Tamar Weinberg who is a social media consultant. She contributes to Mashable and other online publications and is a former contributor to Life Hacker, so hey, she has some clout.

She focuses mainly on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn but the information really can be used for any social networking site. Make sure to read the article and use the information, because everything you do online is there for every one to see.
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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Is Microblogging Realy Micro Blogging?

I wasn't a fan of microblogging or Twitter when I first heard about them, but I have come around. My problem with microblogging now is the word. Obviously the messages we send on Twitter-like services (something I will be posting about soon) are considerd micro, but are they really "blog-like?"

I've linked this site before, but Microblink shares news on all the microblogging news. Mike Templeton of microblink.com defined microblogging a month ago. Here is what he defines it as...
microblogging [mahy-kroh-blŏg-ing] verb
A small-scale form of blogging, generally made up of short, succinct messages, used by both consumers and businesses to share news, post status updates and carry on conversations.

It is definitely small-scale messages to share news, post status updates, and carry on conversations. But these short messages are basically instant messages sent to the people you are either friends with or are following you.

If you look at Wikipedia's definition of blogging you will see that basically sharing news is the only thing the two definitions have in common.
A blog (a contraction of the term "Web log") is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video.

Now I really like the definition Mike Templeton and the team from Microblink.com came up with, but I think the term microblogging still needs some work. I'm just really sure which direction that work needs to head.

Do you have any ideas? Do you agree or disagree? Leave a comment below.
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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Write Better Blog Posts With These 5 Tips

Writing better blog posts is something all of us strive to do. Not only will better written posts help convey the information to our reader better, but it will make our blog better and in turn bring more readers. So here are a few simple tips to help you write better blog posts.

Write shorter more concise articles.
Most readers won't read every word you write. They will scan the first sentence and generally the last sentence in paragraphs, so if you write smaller paragraphs with more information in them, the readers will in turn come away with a better understanding of what you wrote about.

Use interesting titles with keywords. Think newspaper headlines.
In most blogging platforms the title is used in creating the page your article will be posted on. Not only will the title attract the readers to that article when you first write it, but if they search through the archive it will grab their attention then. Well written titles will bring readers to that post for months to come.

Keywords will help in tagging the post in a certain category and also allow search engines to crawl it so people will find that article when searching for certain keywords.

Do not use simple generic words like "the" to start your titles.
If you start using "the" as the first word in your titles, your articles will get lost in the archives with all the other articles titled the same. Keywords will help, but try and pay a little more attention to the title as it will be the first thing readers see.

Use bold headlines to break up your posts and bring attention to certain parts.
Take for example this article. There are bold headlines basically giving you a one sentence summary of the paragraph below it. This way readers could essentially just read the bold headlines and still get just about all the information. It also breaks up the post so it feels like it's not just a bunch of words.

Write articles with both internal and external links.
Putting a lot of links into your post will cram as much information as you can into each one. Links to your own articles will, or internal links, will intertwine your posts and will help new readers to your blog find other relevant information. External links will give readers another perspective and even more information. And by linking others and sending traffic to other sites, hopefully they will link back to your articles too.
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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Update On 30 Day Blogging Challenge

Well the 30 blogging challenge is a week in and I've seen some good results already. My traffic has grown a little bit, even on the weekends.

I have found a little trouble writing a post every day. I'm not sure if it's some of the distractions surronding me lately or what but I'm trying to write a quality post every day. It's also hard with all of the other blogs about blogging out there to find something new to write about, but I'm working on it. Another regular post about everything blog will be posted tomorrow.
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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Blogs Are Being Sold Left And Right

One of the reasons people start to blog is to get their thoughts feelings out and possibly help others with relevant information. Another reason is to make money.

There are some that blog professionaly and there are some that just earn extra income from it. Most of the time bloggers earn money from advertisements but there are many other income streams that bloggers can and do earn money from.

One of the most popular ones as of late is selling their established blogs. There are a couple of different reasons for selling their blogs. First, they have no time to update the blog anymore. Many factors can suck up the extra time most of us use to post on our blogs including a new baby, a new job, or many other things. Secondly they hope to make some money off the articles they have written, the traffic their blog gets, or even the readers that follow their blog.

Now selling websites is not a new thing but selling blogs has become very popular. Ever since a blog sold for $15 million everyone has tried to cash in on this.

Personally I would find it hard to sell all the things I have written and a site I had worked so hard on. I would probably just hire a staff and continue my blog running if I wanted to start a new project. If you are planning on selling your blog just give it some good thought.
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Friday, December 5, 2008

Bloggers To Follow On Twitter

Twitter has become an amazing tool and recently I have started using it a lot more than Plurk. I no longer feel that Plurk is superior especially with the amount of people on Twitter. You can follow me on Twitter here.

It has become more of a small messaging service, SMS, but more of a small news delivering service. I follow some prominent bloggers and they share a lot of information and interesting sites. Here a few of the bloggers that you should follow...





You may notice that I left off some the most popular ones including Darren Rowse of ProBlogger and Jeremy Schoemaker of Shoemoney. I don't have them on here because most of the tweets are either from their RSS feed or meaningless chatter.

If you are interested in more information about Twitter check out Darren Rowse's blog about it, TwiTip or this article from Lost Art Of Blogging, Twitter: Why It’s So Great And How To Effectively Use It.
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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Nine Must Read Articles For Bloggers

Todays post isn't really a post, but more of links to articles that just about everyone should read. All but one of the articles I will post today are from one site, the other is from Chris Brogan.

The site that most of the articles are coming from is useit.com - usable information technology, a site by Dr. Jakob Nielsen a co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group. He has been called a guru, a king, a leader, a czar, an expert, and a pioneer in web usability. He writes a bi-weekly column called Alertbox where he focuses on web usability. Alertbox has been going strong since 1995.

How Users Read On The Web
This is an article from 1997 where Dr. Nielsen states that users don't read on the web, they scan. I've talked about formatting posts before and just about every other professional blogger or someone blogs about blogging will you that readers scan. With so many people saying it, why not do it?

He also talks about smaller paragraphs, relevant sub-headings, bold keywords, and fewer words. Most readers won't read the whole paragraph nor the whole article, but scan through the first couple of paragraphs and look for links and bold words. Format your posts accordingly.

Using Link Titles to Help Users Predict Where They Are Going
Link titles are something that had just been invented when Dr. Nielsen wrote this article in 1998, but holds true today. He talks about the title= feature with links and how this will help a user learn more about the link they may want to click on.

The example above is from his site and is a great example of how to use the title= feature. Although he does state not to do it on every link as a user clicking on a link that says Home or About Me is pretty sure on where they are headed.

Microcontent: How to Write Headlines, Page Titles, and Subject Lines
Blog posts are generally seen just by their title as a link and unless the title tells a reader exactly what they will read about, they won't click it. He talks about staying away from "cute" and "clever" headlines that might trick the reader as they will just close the page anyways.

Another important point he stresses is not to start titles with "the" or "a" because these articles can get lost in your archives. There could be 10 or 15 articles that start with "the" and your readers will get lost and not know which ones to read. Start the title with something about the article, something with relevance.

Deep Linking is Good Linking
Just like the title of his article says, linking your articles from within your other articles is a good thing. Don't get carried away though, as Google might penalize you.

Weblog Usability: The Top Ten Design Mistakes
A must read for anyone that has a blog or wants to start one. Some of them top ten are found through the articles he has written and I've posted about, but this list simplifies them into one nice neat package.

F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content
Another must read article from Dr. Nielsen for anyone who has a website or blog. Read the article and format your posts accordingly.

Write Articles, Not Blog Postings
This might seem as inconsistent with his article about writing shorter posts but if you read the whole thing, you will understand what he means. This article is a little longer than all the others but it has a lot of good information and is another must read.

How Little Do Users Read?
Like his article about how readers read, this one talks about how little they actually do read. There is research, comparisons, and graphs. Once again another must read.

The last article is from Chris Brogan
His post is titled 40 ways to deliver killer blog content. Chris is another person that can be called a leader, an expert, and a guru on the web and if you aren't reading his blog, then you are missing out on a ton of content.
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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

12 Social Network Aggregators And Services

I've talked about social networks and the importance of them and the need of creating an online social persona. I've also gave you a huge list of social networks that you can join. There are millions of people online who have joined multiple social network sites and like everything else in the world, they want all their information to be compiled into one service. In comes social network aggregators.

There are many different ways compile all your social networking profiles together including a browser, a desktop application, an online application, and an instant messaging like application. I have compiled a lot of them here.

Power.com connects "all your friends in just one place." In reality they connect your friends from only a few different places: MySpace, hi5, Facebook, Orkut, and MSN. So if most of your friends are within those social networks, than this site will be great for you.

HelloTxt seems to be popular and I have seen some Twitter updates using it. "HelloTxt lets you update your status and read your friends' status across all main microblogging and social networks all at once." When they say all, they mean just about all. If a social network isn't there, don't worry because it probably will be soon. Updating your status on all your online profile is easy with this service.

When Facebook came out with their news feed that showed you everything your friends did, in my fraternity at college we called the stalker feed. FriendFeed reminds me of this except this could actually be useful. Instead of reading about what that hot girl in class said on some other chicks photo you get updates on what your friends upload to the web. Whether it's pictures, videos, music, or news, you will know what your friends are doing.

You and Me Online is another place to add all your friends. What started as a clubbing/party site evolved into a popular social network site. It allows you to add some of the most popular social networks and see what your friends are doing.

Gathera is a little different than the other online applications. This is more like an instant messaging service that allows you to check your email, your social networks, and chat with your friends in one nice little application. I haven't used it but the flash intro on their website shows you what their application looks like and it seems like people would like Gathera.

Spokeo claims it's a friend finder/tracker that brings your friends updates from all over the web. But the way they are seeming to advertise it on their site is as a stalker program. Finding "truly mouth-watering news about friends and coworkers" doesn't sound like a service I want to join. "Uncover personal photos, videos, and secrets...GUARANTEED." They even have an "hr" section where they can research on potential candidate across the 41 networks Spokeo supports. Your profile should be private to those you aren't friends with so this service can't find the "juicy" news it is looking for.

Secondbrain is a different kind of service. Instead of just updating you with your friends status, this service allows you to import all your content from many different services, browse and search for more content, categorize your content, share it, and then "find people through content, and content through people." What kind of content can you import? All your content from bookmarking sites, social bookmarking and news sites, all the blogging platforms, online document sites, picture and video sharing sites, and others. If you have content all over the Internet, than this service will help compile it into one place.

8hands is a similar service to the rest of these, except for the fact that it's a desktop application. "Get notifications of new comments, messages, friend requests, videos, feeds and more - in real time! IM and share online content with your friends: Just drag and drop your YouTube videos, Flickr pics and more into our easy to use chat window. Receive summaries and statistics on your social networking activities.
Easily access your community locations from a single entry point." And if that's not enough, they have a mobile version so you will never be left out of anything thats happening with your friends on the web.

Flock Browser
The Flock Browser is powered by Mozilla and is very social media friendly. You can email, blog, share pictures, and micro-blog through this browser easily. I haven't used it yet, but I plan on downloading it and writing a review of it, so look for that soon.

"Profilactic is a social media aggregator/lifestreaming service that pulls together just about everything you and your friends create online." Create a profile, aggregate your social networks, and people can watch all of them on your lifestream through Profilactic. With over 190 social networks currently supported, this service has the potential to become very popular.

Ex.plode.Us is basically a search engine for social networks. You can search through multiple networks at once for friends with the same interests. Check it out and see if you can find any new friends.

Broadband Mechanics
Broadband Mechanics has built a platform for you to create your social networking site. The software is called PeopleAggregator. Check out their site if you would like to start your own for your specific niche.

Mashable.com also has a post about 20 ways to aggregate your social network profiles. Most of them I have talked about here, but there are a few I didn't.

For me, I do not use a social aggregator for the same reason I don't use news/blog/feed aggregators. I have a few different profiles but would rather login to them. The Flock Browser is interesting though and I will download it to try it out and some point.

If you enjoyed this post please comment or show some love and submit it to Digg or Reddit or some other social bookmarking site.
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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Linkbaiting: Good Or Bad?

A controversial topic in the blogosphere is whether or not linkbaiting is a good or bad thing. We will cover a couple different topics about linkbaiting and then try and decide on whether or not you should do it.

First, what is linkbait? Linkbait is what bloggers and other Internet users call posts that are written for the sole purpose of receiving a digg or stumble. But since the word linkbait has negative connotations should we continue to call stuff linkbait, and is that word even relevant?

Obviously we all want lots of traffic and Digg and StumbleUpon can provide it, but is writing posts specifically for the purpose of being bookmarked or added to social media sites the right thing to do?

We all should be writing posts full of content that anyone would be happy to bookmark, but if those posts are few and far between than linkbaiting is a problem. On the other hand if you write every post chaulked full of content that is worth of being social media bookmarked than linkbaiting really isn't a bad thing.

Most blogs about blogging have written about linkbaiting but Darren Rowse from ProBlogger has a few posts on it. Take a look at his 20 linkbaiting techniques and his introduction to linkbaiting.
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Monday, December 1, 2008

Brand Your Business And Website, Now

For your business or blog or site to survive, it needs to have a brand. This brand needs to be recognizable every where and by every one that sees it. There are four ways to create a brand and I will detail them below.

Image courtesy of BiggerPictureImages.com

If you ever been to a NASCAR event or watched one on TV, you have most likely seen all the names and logos on the cars going around the track. Most of them are small but you can still make out the company because of the brand. It's a very powerful thing.

The first way to brand your site is with a logo.

Image courtesy of bijoubaby

Logo's are very powerful. I'm sure you know what the logo is above, it's Pepsi. This logo is recognized throughout the world without even a name attached to it. A lot of logos have the company name with it but if your logo can stand alone, then it's even better. There are others as identifiable as the Pepsi logo including the Nike swoosh and the Mac apple. If you can create a simple logo like those that can be identified as your business or site, then you have a very strong logo.

Another way to brand your business or website is the name.

Image courtesy of boback

Every one knows what Coca-Cola makes. Their name is synonymous with their logo, because it is their logo. You don't just have to see their logo, but if you hear Coca-Cola you know what the logo is and what someone is talking about. When I says ProBlogger you most likely know what I'm talking about. The same with Google or Microsoft.

The third way to brand your site or business is with your name.

This way to brand your business might be a little harder but if you can do this, you will always be known for it. When I say Darren Rowse, most of you will think of his site ProBlogger, Digital Photography School, and now more recently TwiTip. Other big names are Chris Brogan for his social media prowess or Seth Godin for his take on marketing and blogging.

There can be disadvantages to doing this though. Your name will always be linked to the site or business you create, especially if you are on the Internet. So be careful before choosing this way of branding. If you ever plan on selling your business or website, it might be difficult because it is named after you. And it could be bad if they then change it to something bad or distasteful.

The fourth way to brand something is with a mascot or caricature.

It's not new but something I am seeing frequently are cartoon characters on a lot of sites. Mascots are popular in sports venues but it seems that Internet has caught on and blogs have started using them to brand their site. From The Net Fool to SlyVisions to The University Kid to the super affiliate Zac Johnson to John Cow. The cartoon characters are every where. Once your caricature is on your site and you start creating social network profiles, you can use that as your avatar which will further the reach of your brand.
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30 Day Blogging Challenge

I have been neglecting this blog far more than I'd like to. My stats were decent when I was posting every day but have dropped a lot since I have taken a week off a couple different times. So as have today, December 1st, I will be taking the 30 day blogging challenge. I will be posting every day from now until the last day of December.

Image courtesy of Marcos Vasconcelos Photography

I like to think of this 30 day challenge as a marathon because it will be difficult to write 30 quality posts in 30 days especially with a new puppy and my job as a basketball coach, but I am going to try. Once the challenge is over I will be reviewing all of the stats and write a post about it.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Is Microblogging Still A Fad?

If you have found your way to Everything Blog Magazine then you are most likely interested in blogs and blogging. I've been running websites for a long time now and got back into blogging a couple of months ago. When I came across microblogging, I thought it was just a fad that would probably fade away after a couple of years. Obviously that is not the case.

Microblogging has not faded and in fact, with the success of Twitter, it seems like it is here to stay. But why does writing 160 characters or less appeal to so many people?

I think the small messages people send on these microblogging services appeals to every ones fast paced life style. Basically these little messages we send through these services are just text messages sent online. And in fact there are a few programs that allow you to use Twitter with your phone like TwitterFon, Twittelator, and TwitterBerry.

With the millions of people using microblogging services it is probably a good idea to join a few of the services to stay connected with your readers and other bloggers from around the world.

Twitter isn't the only microblog service either. Plurk is the other popular service that a lot of people have joined. But there are still others including Jaiku which Google acquired last year. Although like Gmail when it first came out, you can only join Jaiku if an existing member invites you. Don't know anyone on Jaiku? Go to Jaikuinvites.com and ask for an invite. Pownce and Identi.ca are a couple less popular services and Rejaw is a brand new one. Do you know of other microblogging services I missed? Then please comment below.

On top of the microblogging services there are services that can update all your microblog and social network statuses at the same time. HelloTxt is probably the most popular one but new ones are being created all the time. A similar service called kwippy shares your statuses with the world but in a different way. By adding kwippy to your instant message service you share your statuses and receive comments on them.

If the microblog services that are around just do not work for you, how about you check out Twingr. Twingr allows you to create your own microblog community. Your new microblog community will be hosted on their site and it can be about anything you want.

All these services just aren't enough, but there is also a microblog wiki, a site dedicated to microblog news Microblink, and even a social media site like Digg or Reddit at Microblogging.com which gives you the opportunity to submit and vote on microblog news.

There are just so many ways to get involved with microblogging and so many people using it that it is something you should absolutely contribute to if you run a blog or a site.

If you enjoyed this post please comment or show some love and submit it to Digg or Reddit or some other social bookmarking site.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Social Networks: Most Important Thing On The Internet?

Social networks are probably the most important "inventions" on the Internet. And with so many of them it's next to impossible to not connect online with anyone you have ever met in your life.

I'm a member of a few different social networks and try to keep them updated and talk with people on them regularly, but sometimes it's hard to talk with everyone. But every once in a while someone will find you online and you will be able to reconnect with them.

Now there are other ways to reconnect with people online like email and instant messaging, but unless you have their email address and/or IM name, you will be unable to find them without some serious searching. Social networks allow you to search for peoples real names and find long lost friends.

My girlfriend doesn't understand the whole reconnecting and talking online, or even the power of social networks. She is on Facebook and MySpace but rarely talks to anyone on either. But here is a cool story that just recently happened to me...

I have been a member of Facebook for a long time. I found it in 2005 or so in my sophomore year of college and became friends with 100's of people I knew through school. Now I had transfered to Oregon State after one year at Western Oregon University but still kept in contact with some people from WOU.

Since leaving Oregon State last year I have been working and not staying in contact with the people on Facebook as much. But my roommate from WOU joined and friended me. I talked to him a few times, catching up, but that was it. Two weeks ago I applied and received the JV Boys Basketball coach at Forks High School.

I talked about it a little on Facebook where you can say what you are doing. My freshman roommate from WOU wrote on my wall saying that he is coaching for a small high school. Now Forks High School is very small and we travel about 3 hours to every game we play. His high school is one of the ones we play and he is actually traveling here to play this Saturday.

He coaches the JV girls and so I will be able to connect with him this weekend after talking with him on Facebook. Social networks are an amazing thing and if you don't have a profile on any, check out my big list of social networks and my post on the importance of creating a social network profile.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Helping New Bloggers Beat The Odds

I'm always looking around the web for different topics to write about and what other bloggers are saying. Just about every day I find a new blog to follow. I use these blogs for topic ideas and information on what the rest of the blogosphere is writing about blogging. I will then usually add my opinions on certain topics but I sometimes come across an article that needs nothing added to it.

Today I came across a blog called Motivate Thyself by Eric Hamm. He has some very good articles and tips but one of his popular posts is titled 10 Tips To Help New Bloggers Beat The Odds and Push Past Their Rookie Status. It's a mouthful but one of the best articles I've read in a long time.

He goes through 10 things you can do keep yourself motivated and push through the immense wall separating you from success. It's a long article but well worth it.
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Monday, November 17, 2008

Newsletter Subscription Pop-up's Are Very Annoying

Newsletters sent by e-mail can be a great way to connect more with your readers and offer them a little bit more information than is available on your blog. You can give them secret tips and tricks that you either will not post about on your blog, or send through the newsletter early. A lot of people sign up for newsletters and I receive a few everyday.

By sending out newsletters you will be adding to your site. You can also monetize them and even provide affiliate links to products that can earn you even more money. It's also something that doesn't have to be sent out every day as most people don't expect them that often. It is not uncommon for them to be sent out weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly but make sure to have a decent amount of information in each one.

The problem that I have been seeing lately is the way some people are trying to gain more subscribers. Pop-ups. It is very intrusive and I will always close it. It looks unprofessional, but some of the most popular bloggers started to do it.

Darren Rowse has a pop-up on his blog about photography, Digital Photography School and wrote about how to drastically increase email newsletter subscribers over at ProBlogger. Even Jeremy Schoemaker over at ShoeMoney had the pop-up.

Will this be a new trend? I hope not because I see others reading about the increase in subscribers and then start doing it on their blog. So how do you increase your subscribers without the intrusive pop-up?

First, you must have an informative newsletter that comes out pretty often. Make sure to have the subscriber form or link above the fold where it is easily found. Have a little snippet about subscribing to your newsletter either at the end of every post or at the beginning. Talk about the insider tips and special deals you can receive when you sign up and either bold it or italicize it.
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Friday, November 14, 2008

Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures


We have all seen these ads around the internet and the commercials on TV boasting about how they know all the secrets to making millions of dollars working only part time. Get rick quick schemes are every where and in times like these you might consider forking out that $60 to buy the system.

Don't. Seth wrote about the overnight millionaire scams yesterday and I thought I would talk a little bit more about it.

If someone had the secrets to making a million dollars why would they tell everyone about it? Wouldn't they just use their secrets to make them loads of money? Haven't you always heard that if something is to good to be true, it probably isn't?

To quote E-40...
You want that fast quarter, I want that slow nickel.

It's better to work hard for your money as it will feel more rewarding and most likely that money will be with you for a while. We can take this approach to that of getting money from your blog. Don't look to receive a bunch of money at first. It will come eventually.
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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Submit Articles, Increase Traffic, And No Penalty From Search Engines

Writing articles and submitting them to article directories to either get paid or gain traffic is popular but there is a right way to do it.

Search engines are working diligently to erase duplicate content and if you submit the same article to many different sites and use it on yours, you could potentially be penalized or even banned. That is something that all of us don't want to happen. So how do you submit articles and continue to do it effectively without being penalized?

As I stated above don't send the same article to many different sites and especially don't post it on yours. Not only could you get penalized but it looks tacky if a readers reads your article at some site and then comes to yours because they liked it and see the same article on the front page.

The best way to submit articles and still receive that traffic we all desire is to create a series of articles. Writing a part one, two, and three will allow you to submit part one to an article directory and then post part two and three on your site. Make sure to include links on the article you submitted to your site where the other parts of the series are. Also include a link on your site to the article submitted so your readers can read all parts.

Here are a few sites to submit articles too..
Constant Content
Ezine Article Submission
Zinos.com eZine digest and database
Article City
Go Articles
Article Alley
SitePoint forum thread with hundreds more links to article submission sites
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Importance Of Creating A Social Network Profile

Most people have some sort of social network profile out there on the web. Whether thats a profile that's personal on MySpace or Facebook, or a profile on Twitter or Plurk for your website.

There are a few questions about social networking and creating a profile and I will try and answer them here.

Photo courtesy of Barbara Rozgonyi

Question 1: Why do I need to create a social network profile?
Creating and updating a social network profile will connect you with more people than just those searching through Google or Yahoo. Most social networking sites allow you to become friends with people which will connect you even more with them. Creating profiles at multiple sites can also bring more visitors to your site.

Question 2: How will this profile improve my site?
These profiles will allow you to create a community surrounding your site. Not only will people be able to comment on your site but they will be able to contact you through other means than email. This sort of contact is a lot more intimate than email. This community will follow your site and be loyal readers as most social networking websites will allow you to link your site.

Once you start to market your site through your social network profile, start marketing your social network profile through your site. This way they are interconnected and will expose them to the most people.

Question 3: Okay, so I made one, when do I combine my real life profile and my blogs social profile?
That is a very tricky question. It depends on if you are just blogging to express your opinions and ideas or you are trying to start a business. If your goal is to start a business than I would say combine them. You want to start building a brand (something I will talk about in a future post) and combing your two profiles will help start this. If you are just blogging to express your opinions and ideas than I would say keep them separate.

Question 4: Which social networking sites do I join and how many?
Basically if you spend a lot of time online than you can join multiple social networking sites and create profiles. But you want to make sure you can update them all. Don't create a Plurk profile and then never use it. You won't gain any friends nor will you help your site. This doesn't mean you need to update it multiple times a day like some people do, but at least keep it updated.

The kind of social networking sites depends on what niche your site is in. Facebook profiles and MySpace profiles will work for any site, but check out my big list of social networking websites and join a few that interest you and a few that are in your niche.
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Twitter VS. Plurk: The Breakdown.

Micro-blogging services have exploded lately and more and more people are using the two big ones, Twitter and Plurk. It's basically like texting but everyone you are friends with can see what you write. Most people are members of both but I'm going to lay out the differences of the two services.

Simplicity of making friends or accepting followers.
Twitter makes this very easy by allowing you to follow someone which means you can receive their tweets. If they follow you back then you are basically friends and you will both receive each others tweets.

Plurk has a system thats a little different. You can be a fan of someone and receive their plurks but they will not receive yours. With Plurk you have to ask to be someones friend just like other social networks. This system is very familiar to most people and I feel is the better of the two. Although, it seems to take a day or so for a new friend to show up on my friends list.

Tools, tools, applications, and more tools.
If you want to use some sort of tool or application with your micro-blogger service, then Twitter is your obvious choice. Tyler over at SMM Guru compiled a master list of Twitter tools and applications. Are this many tools necessary? No. It makes things way to complicated.

There are a few tools for Plurk, but for the most part, it's unnecessary. Plurk's messaging service allows you to reply to other people's messages directly in a little chat box and every time you login, it tells you how many new replies there are. The tools for Plurk in the link above just add a few new things to Plurk like polls or pictures while the tools for Twitter change the whole dynamic.

Very different layouts.
I am just going to come right out and say that Twitter's layout sucks. It's very bland and annoying. Yes you can use a tool instead of the actual Twitter site and you can change colors and add a picture to the background, but ultimately the programmers didn't design a great layout.

Plurk's layout on the other hand is very innovative and fun. The time line layout makes the messages easy to read and the ability to reply to each one allows for better communication. The karma idea isn't a new one to the internet as forums have started using it to try and deal with trolls, but it's a cool idea none the less. The higher karma you have the better options you have access too. It's quite easy to improve your karma which doesn't alienate those who have few friends.

They are both great assets in helping build your social persona and being apart of both is most likely your best option. But, in my opinion Plurk is the better looking of the two. There are more people on Twitter but Plurk is steadily gaining ground. If you aren't a member of either you probably should be.
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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Do's And Don'ts Of Starting A Website Or Blog

DO: Have everything programmed and set up before having the site go live. The design should be finished and all the links and pages should work. If your site isn't finished when people visit, they most likely won't return.

DO NOT: Expect a lot of visitors when you first start out. Your site is new and probably not in the search engines yet, but give it time. If you promote it correctly than the people will come.

DO: Attempt to start a community around your site. Blogs and forums with a large following are highly profitable. I've read of numerous sites being sold for over $50,000 all the way up to over 12 million dollars.

DO NOT: Start spamming your site every where once your site goes live. Generally people like to find new sites but if they see you posting comments with your link it on every site they visit or find you in every forum that frequent, that person won't come visit your site.

DO: Start social networking as soon as possible, hopefully before you start the site. Join social networks like Digg, Facebook, Twitter, and other sites that fit into your niche. Be active in them and this will enable you to have a social presence before your site goes live and possibly give you a small loyal readership in the beginning that can evolve into a large loyal readership.

DO NOT: Spend money on a domain or hosting unless you are going to be in it for the long haul. Domain names are relatively cheap but hosting can milk your bank account. So unless you plan on at least making some money with the site there is no reason to spend money.

DO: Write great original content that people will want to read. I've said it before and I will say it again, your site needs great content.

DO NOT: Steal content from other writers. It will make you look very bad and could prevent you from many future endeavors. Information on the internet spreads quickly and your reputation will be tarnished.

DO: Use other peoples content to enhance your site but ALWAYS give credit. I'm not saying use their words or the entire post, but if you can add a different perspective of a post you saw on another blog, link to it.


DO NOT: Give up. Your site will be small at first, but stick with it. The readers will come if you keep writing great stuff. The links will come if you immerse yourself into the online community.
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Monday, November 3, 2008

Differences Between Hobby Bloggers And Professional Bloggers Work Spaces

Whether on a laptop in the living room or on a company computer during brief periods of busy work, the place where you blog can have a huge impact on the quality of posts. A lot of bloggers that do this as a hobby generally type their posts in a very relaxed and comfortable manner.

I started a thread at my favorite blogging forum, Bloggeries, where I asked where people sat and blogged. Most of them blog as a hobby and the answers reflected that. Here are a few of their answers...
ghing - I usually blog at my desk in our office..

sometimes on the pantry.. hehe...
I don't have PC at home so I usually blog in our office...

cjharley - I sit on my couch with my laptop appropriately in my lap while the TV is on in the background.

sadiessay-so - During the week when you see me post during the day I'm at work waiting on the other accountants to process more payments. At night, like now. I'm laying back on my couch with my laptop watching TV.

napkinpirate - I say at work in the middle of checking people in and out of the hotel...or at home afterwards on my bed with my laptop...

Now, lets switch gears and think about the people who run very successful blogs and/or blog for a living. Forgetting those people who are technically journalists but run a blog off a news site, most professional bloggers write at their desk in an office. Here are a few pictures of professional bloggers work spaces...

Images are of Zac Johnson, Super Affiliate's workspace.

Image is of Jeremy Schoemaker of Shoemoney.com's workspace.

As you can see once it becomes more of a job and the stakes are higher, blogging on your laptop while sitting on the couch with the TV on in the background just won't cut it.

I still sometimes blog on my couch while watching the television (like I am doing now), but found that I focused better while sitting at our kitchen table which is acting like our desk. The TV is out of eyesight so it cannot distract me and I can concentrate more on writing.

Where do you sit and blog? Please comment...
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Friday, October 31, 2008

I Hate RSS Feeds And RSS Readers

To Many Options
Entire post or a snippet? E-mail or through a reader? Pictures or no pictures? To consolidate or to not consolidate? There are just to many options to "burning" your feed. Instead of working on building your content or helping establish yourself in your niche, you are stuck trying to work this feed to make it look pretty. Unnecessary.

Full RSS feed vs. partial RSS feed
Yeah, okay, this is kind of an addition to "to many options" but I feel this needed it's own bold headline. Darren Rowse of ProBlogger even two people debate about using full or partial RSS feeds.

A partial RSS feed will only show a small snippet of your post to your subscribers and will make them click on the link to actually read the post. This allows the reader to read the title of the article and then make his or her own decision on whether or not to visit the site and read the rest of the post. Now if you have advertising (of course you do, you are a blogger! =P ) on your site, a partial feed will not show it. So you are missing out on unique visitors and/or page views that could ultimately increase the price you charge for advertising, and that's bad.

A full feed shows the subscriber the entire post in their reader. This means they have no reason to visit your site at all. So once again, they miss out on advertising and are basically just reading a newspaper.

Less comments?
If someone reads your posts through a reader they are probably less likely to comment on the post. You want them to comment. You want to build a community around your site and less comments means there are less people contributing.

Less recognition
When someone is subscribing through a reader it is a sign that they like what you write and wish to read more. But, on the flip side there is no reason for them to return. Your site just becomes another story among hundreds of others that someone may be subscribing to.

So if readers are lame, what do you do?
Write great content that makes the reader want to come back and read your posts, but not through an RSS reader. You want your readers to bookmark the site and come back every day. Now for some people that might get annoying but if you are truly interested in the persons material, then you should be coming back and visiting.

I still keep my site available to subscribe because I know that people like to use them, I just prefer for people to bookmark my site and come back every day.
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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Big List Of Social Networking Websites, J-Z

This post has been added to the other list. Go to the big list of social networking websites post and take a look.
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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Big List Of Social Networking Websites

This is a large list of different social networking sites around the web. A lot of these most people have heard of or are a part of, but there are some I'm sure you haven't heard of. Just joining a few of these will help build your social persona and allow you to network with many people. Take a look at a few, join a few, and promote your site through these.

- http://badoo.com
- "Badoo is a truly worldwide online community that provides its members with the ability to communicate and share their lives with people both locally and around the globe. Its many features include the next generation in photo/video sharing and social networking. More importantly, though, Badoo allows its users to gain an instant mass audience for themselves and their work."
- A social networking site that is very popular with 14 million registered users and is considered one of the top 10 community websites in England. It's free, but apparently you can pay to have a higher prominence. Wikipedia

- http://www.bebo.com
- "Bebo is the next generation social networking service where members can stay in touch with their College friends, connect with friends, share photos, discover new interests and just hang out."
- Another social networking site that was bought by AOL in March 2008 for $850m. Registration is free and with over 40 million registered users, it's a very large community. Wikipedia

- http://www.blackplanet.com
- "BlackPlanet.com is your place to meet and connect with African Americans around the country. Chat or post photos and videos to share your black experience. Look for other African Americans who are sharing theirs—even if you’re searching for news about what’s hot in music, fashion, sports and events or looking for the buzz in business, politics and trends, we are the home for what is relevant to you and your community. This is the largest online community for Africans, African Americans, Caribbean Americans—the entire black family—to network, share an urban lifestyle, find romance, entertainment, and even jobs."
- With over 20 million registered users, it definitely is the largest black community online and one of the largest niche social networking sites. Wikipedia

- Broadcaster’s Social Video Network is the next evolutionary step in online social communication combining the most popular aspects of social networking with our own free broadcasting tools. Broadcaster users can easily integrate their Live Social Video broadcast feed into their personal websites and social networks such as Facebook by using Broadcaster's simple embed code. Broadcaster Social Video offers:

• Instant communication
• Ultimate self-expression
• People watching at its best
• User controlled environment
• Better and safer than being there

- Broadcaster.com is a social video network where you can watch people on their webcam and they can watch you. Here are the people that Broadcaster.com says are in their community, "People watchers, Lifecasters - Online video diaries, Live interactive "shows" - Trivia contest, Professional talent exhibition - Musicians, and VJ style - mixed shows (live and prerecorded combo)." Wikipedia

- http://www.buzznet.com
- "Buzznet.com is a vibrant social media destination representing the next evolution of social networking. Buzznet distinguishes itself from traditional media sites and social networks that are focused on profile pages and communication tools by enabling Web users to program dynamic multimedia communities around the music and pop culture topics they are most passionate about. More authentic, content rich and frequently updated than a website, and more interactive than a blog, Buzznet's integrated media and community platform allows its users to network like never before with leading bands, trendsetters and their peers through self-created content, videos, photos and journals. This unique user-centric approach has attracted more than 10 million users who program, by contributing, combining, providing context and connectivity, making Buzznet a top destination for people seeking the most current and authentic content and news."
- Buzznet has over 10 millions users and is growing every day. This social network is based on music, photos, videos, and pop culture. Wikipedia

- http://www.cafemom.com
- "Launched in late 2006, CafeMom is already the largest social-networking/community site for moms AND the leading women's/parenting site on the internet - passing mainstream sites like ivillage, babycenter, and Marthastewart on the engagement metrics that matter most."
- This site is dedicated to women and moms specifically with a ton of different groups created by its 1.25 million members including "pregnancy, raising boys, recipe swap, photo moms, and marriage and relationships." Wikipedia

- http://www.care2.com
- "Our premise is simple: To help you make a difference. With more than 9 million members and 400 nonprofit partners, Care2 is the largest and most trusted information and action site for people who care to make a difference. Whether you’re passionate about green living, health & wellness, human rights or protecting the environment, Care2 puts the tools for change in your hands."
- This a large community of people that care about the environment, but it's more than just a community. You can donate to a good cause, sign a petition, send an e-card, receive tips on how to be green, and even get your own email account. Wikipedia

- http://www.classmates.com
- "The company operates three international social networking services with a focus on reconnecting school acquaintances, including StayFriends in Germany (www.stayfriends.de), StayFriends in Sweden (www.stayfriends.se) and Trombi in France (www.trombi.com)."
- It's kind of obvious that this site's goal is to reconnect you with old classmates, but why don't they specifically have an about page that says this? The site must be doing something right as there are over 50 million members. The site does look to reacquaint you with old school mates, old college friends, workers from past jobs, and even people you met in the military. Wikipedia

- http://www.deviantart.com
- "It is our intention to create the most powerful outlet in the world for known and unknown artists alike. Most importantly we intend to take our time to do it right. For the first time in history there is connection and communication between artists and fans on a massive scale. deviantART represents a breakthrough for the promotion and exposure of otherwise stranded artists in all corners of the globe. Our job is to make sense of the possibility, and craft it in a responsible manner."
- deviantART is basically a large community for artists. They can share their art no matter in what form it comes, with everyone. Although there is a free membership, you really will need to pay a membership fee to get anything out of it and with 8 million members, they are doing something right. Wikipedia

- http://www.facebook.com
- "Facebook gives people the power to share and makes the world more open and connected. Millions of people use Facebook everyday to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet."
- If you haven't heard of Facebook then you probably aren't on the internet very much. Facebook has become one of the largest social networks with over 100 million members and growing. Create a social profile, friend people, and join groups all while staying connected with those with whom you have lost contact. Wikipedia

- http://www.flixster.com
- "Flixster is a community for movie fans of all shapes and sizes. Whether you are a die-hard horror fan or lover of romantic comedies (or both), Flixster is a place where you can find others who share your taste and through them discover new movies that you will love. About two and a half years old, Flixster is already one of the largest movie sites on the web with over 15 million unique visitors and almost 2 billion movie ratings."
- Flixster became the largest social network dedicated to movies, although some say it was with too "aggressive viral marketing." With applications on Facebook, MySpace, and Bebo, millions of people have been connecting with others over their movie interests. Wikipedia

- http://www.flickr.com
- "Flickr - almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world - has two main goals: 1. We want to help people make their content available to the people who matter to them. 2. We want to enable new ways of organizing photos and video."
- Flickr allows everyone to upload their videos and photos online for others to see. You can search for photos on a certain topic or comment on others photos. It's much better than just uploading to a site that hosts it as with Flickr, there can be a lot more communication. Wikipedia

- http://www.fotolog.com
- "Fotolog is the world's leading photo-blogging site, one of the world's largest social networking sites and a global cultural phenomenon. More than 18 million members in over 200 countries use Fotolog as a simple and fun way to express themselves through online photo diaries or photo blogs. What makes Fotolog special is not just the ability to post photos, but the way it makes it easy to connect with others - whether staying in touch with friends and family, exploring the diverse Fotolog universe, discovering photos of new people from different cultures, participating in the site's fascinating special-interest communities or, perhaps most important, receiving personal feedback from around the world on your photos."
- Fotolog is the biggest photo blogging site online. For those interest in more than just blogging, than Fotolog would be a great place to look. This site has over 18 million users and most of them are outside of the United States. Unfortunately to get the most out of Fotolog, you have to pay for an account. Wikipedia

- http://www.friendster.com
- "With more than 85 million members worldwide, Friendster is a leading global online social network. Friendster is focused on helping people stay in touch with friends and discover new people and things that are important to them. Online adults, 18 and up, choose Friendster to connect with friends, family, school, social groups, activities and interests."
- Another social network website that is popular outside of the United States. There are estimates that nearly 90% of the population of the Philippines have a Friendster account. It's also probably the only social networking site that owns a patent. Wikipedia

- http://www.fubar.com
- "fubar is the Internet's only online bar and happy hour where the party goes on 24/7! Think of it as a MySpace for grown-ups."
- fubar touts itself as the only online bar, but in reality it's just a way of meeting people online. To break the ice, you can buy them a drink, or check their salutes to see if they are who they say they are. If you are looking to pretend drink and meet people over 18, than join fubar. Wikipedia

- http://www.geni.com
- "Use Geni to: Build your family tree, Preserve your family history, Share family photos and videos, Celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and other events, Create profiles for your children, and Memorialize loved ones."
- If you interest in genealogy at all, than Geni.com is the site to go. You can create your own family tree, search of other family members, and connect with the other 15 million users. Wikipedia

- http://www.hi5.com
- "Launched in 2003, hi5 is now one of the world's largest social networks and a top 20 website globally — with 80+ million registered members in over 200 nations. hi5 Networks, Inc. is headquartered in San Francisco, California."
- Another social network created in the United States but more popular outside of it. In 2007 it was one of the top 25 visited sites. Wikipedia

- http://www.imeem.com
- "imeem is a social network that enables users to discover, interact and express themselves with media, including music, video and photos, and form connections based on shared tastes and interests."
- Sharing your play lists and music is easy with imeem. You can connect with those who share the same interest in music or find new friends who's interests are much different than yours. The imeem company was founded in 2004 and has some of the core engineers from Napster. Wikipedia

- http://www.itsmy.com/itsmy/index.php
- "itsmy.com is the strongest community brand in mobile internet. It runs off-deck, operator independent with more than 2 million registered mobile users, 4.5 million mobile home- and content pages containing 10 million mobile UGC-items. Mobile 2.0 social networking services like free homepages, personal mobile TV broadcasting and location based services make itsmy.com the stickiest mobile community. itsmy.TV is the world leading mobile social TV service."
- You can send pics or videos through your phone, flirt, get mobile games, your own domain at you.itsmy.com, and connect with other people with your phone. Sounds like a cool idea but it seems that it would just be slutty girls sending scandalous pictures and horny young boys looking at them. Wikipedia

- http://www.last.fm
- "Every track you play will tell your Last.fm profile something about what you like. It can connect you to other people who like what you like - and recommend songs from their music collections and yours too."
- Every song you listen to will been seen by other people. This reminds me of the big thing that used to be on blogs years ago, where people would have it saying what song they were last listening too. This could be good for new bands to get their music out and with 20 million users, that is a lot of ears that could potentially listen to your music. Wikipedia

- http://www.librarything.com
- "LibraryThing is an online service to help people catalog their books easily. You can access your catalog from anywhere—even on your mobile phone. Because everyone catalogs together, LibraryThing also connects people with the same books, comes up with suggestions for what to read next, and so forth."
- This is a much smaller social network, but this is one can potentially be one of the better ones. LibraryThing is for those who like to read books and find books that aren't possibly as main stream as the New York Times best seller list. Over 400 thousand users and over 20 million books, I'm sure you will at least find something remotely interesting to read. Wikipedia

- http://www.linkedin.com
- "Find past and present colleagues and classmates quickly. LinkedIn makes staying in touch simple. Discover inside connections when you’re looking for a job or new business opportunity. Your network is full of industry experts willing to share advice. Have a question? Just ask."
- A professional networking website is probably the best one on here. Everyone is always trying to make connections to better their career and this site will make it easier. There are over 30 million users which will almost guarantee you will find somebody in your industry. Be weary though as a lot of people do things on the internet that aren't work appropriate. Wikipedia

- http://www.livejournal.com
- "LiveJournal is a community publishing platform, willfully blurring the lines between blogging and social networking. Since 1999 LiveJournal has been home to a wide array of creative individuals looking to share common interests, meet new friends, and express themselves. LiveJournal encourages communal interaction and personal expression by offering a user-friendly interface and a deeply customizable journal. The service's individuality stems from the way highly dedicated users utilize our simple tools, along with the instinct for individual expression, to create new venues for online socializing."
- One of the first "blogging" sites, LiveJournal has been around a long time. When I started creating e/n sites, a lot of people created their sites on LiveJournal. The word journal or diary can be a scary word for men and this could explain the 4.4 million females and 2.2 males registered. Although there are 2 million people who hae unspecified their gender, I'm certain that not all of these are men. Wikipedia

- http://www.meetup.com
- "Meetup is the world's largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. More than 2,000 groups get together in local communities each day, each one with the goal of improving themselves or their communities. Meetup's mission is to revitalize local community and help people around the world self-organize. Meetup believes that people can change their personal world, or the whole world, by organizing themselves into groups that are powerful enough to make a difference."
- If you ever been apart of a forum that tries to start an annual meet up you will know how hard it is. This site makes it easier to connect and get a meeting scheduled. There are over 4 million users in 2000 different cities, so you should be able to find somebody to meet up with. Wikipedia

- http://www.migente.com
- "MiGente.com is your place to meet and connect with Latinos around the country. Chat or post photos and videos to share your experience. Look for other Hispanic Americans who are sharing theirs—even if you’re searching for news about what’s hot in Latin music, fashion, sports and events or looking for the buzz in business, politics and trends, we are the home for what is relevant to you and your community. This is the largest online community for Latinos, Latino Americans, Hispanics and Hispanic Americans—the entire Spanish-speaking family—to network, share an urban lifestyle, find romance, entertainment, and even jobs."
- MiGente.com is a social networking site aimed at the Latino's around the world. You could have some sort of Hispanic background or just love the culture, either way, MiGente.com's 2 million plus users will offer you something of interest. Wikipedia

- http://www.mocospace.com
- "Find friends near you, Chat online or on your phone, Instant message, Share pics & videos."
- Another mobile social network that seems to attract young girls being slutty. You can chat, share images, and videos, but you can do that with your phone already. I guess you wouldn't have to give your phone number away, but it still seems sketch to me, but over 2 millions users can't be wrong. Wikipedia

- http://multiply.com
- "Multiply gives you an easy way to share all kinds of digital media, including photos, blogs, videos, music and more, all in one convenient place: your own personal web site. With Multiply, you can share and discuss your stuff with everyone in your "social network," and also be alerted whenever they have something new."
- Multiply tries to be a little different than the other social networks by allowing users to securely share media files, but it's basically the same. Just like Facebook, it connects you with your friends friends and these people become your network. Multiply has over 10 millions users, but is banned in China. Wikipedia

- http://www.myspace.com
- "MySpace is an online community that lets you meet your friends' friends. Create a community on MySpace and you can share photos, journals and interests with your growing network of mutual friends! See who knows who, or how you are connected. Find out if you really are six people away from Kevin Bacon.
MySpace is for everyone:
Friends who want to talk Online
Single people who want to meet other Singles
Matchmakers who want to connect their friends with other friends
Families who want to keep in touch--map your Family Tree
Business people and co-workers interested in networking
Classmates and study partners
Anyone looking for long lost friends!"

- The biggest and probably the best social network out there. Anyone from actors, to bands, to artists, to companies have MySpace pages. Even my mom had a MySpace page. Over 250 million users is what the site claims, allow I'm at least a million of those are for spam or completely unused. But basically if you don't have one, you should get one to network with 100's of millions of people. Wikipedia

- http://www.myyearbook.com
- "It all started during Spring Break 2005, flipping through a yearbook in my room and realizing it sucked. This is 2005 - why the hell is anyone buying yearbooks anymore? We wanted more than the typical stuff -- autographs, will, pictures -- although those had to be there too. What would make this site different -- and loved -- is it would be full of the people you know and meet in real life everyday. And it would go with you your whole life. It was real life on the Internet."
- A social network with the same idea, to connect old friends and school mates. Started by a couple of high schoolers and their older brother, myYearbook has grown to over 5 million users. Wikipedia

- http://www.ning.com
- "Ning offers the latest social networking features, all infinitely customizable to meet your unique needs. The Ning Platform makes this possible. As a platform, you don't have to appeal to Ning for the features you want. If you have the time and the inclination, you can build them yourself. It's the software equivalent of Home Depot. Unlike other services that offer a “one-size-fits-all” offering, your social network on Ning runs on a programmable platform."
- Kind of a cool idea, but basically a group on Facebook. I have yet to involved with Ning, so I can't really offer to much about Ning, but it was supposed to compete with Facebook and MySpace. I don't see how it can compete, but it could possibly contribute a little something extra. Wikipedia

- http://www.orkut.com
- "orkut is an online community designed to make your social life more active and stimulating. orkut's social network can help you maintain existing relationships with pictures and messages, and establish new ones by reaching out to people you've never met before. orkut makes it easy to find people who share your hobbies and interests, look for romantic connections or establish new business contacts. You can also create and join a wide variety of online communities to discuss current events, reconnect with old school mates or even exchange your favorite recipes. Who you interact with is entirely up to you. Before getting to know an orkut member, you can read their profile and even see how they're connected to you through the friends network."
- The orkut site was created in the United States and intended for here, but it has grown in popularity in other countries. It's the most visited site in Brazil, which is where it is now managed, and the second most visited in India. It's similar to other social networking sites but allows you to scrapbook. Wikipedia

- http://www.perfspot.com
- "PerfSpot was created to provide the perfect web portal for people of any age, gender, or background to share their interests and favorite things on the web."
- Another social network that claims to be the best spot to share everything. When I went to the front page there was a group of photos of some college party, so it seems to be exactly like every other social network. Wikipedia

- http://www.plaxo.com
- "We started with a different kind of address book, one that leverages the power of the network effect to stay up-to-date. We securely host address books for more than 40 million people (and growing rapidly)."
- Sharing address books with that many people seems kinda weird, but it's another way to connect. Plaxo added something called Pulse that allows you to connect a lot of your other social media outlets including YouTube and Flickr. Wikipedia

- http://www.plurk.com
- "Noun. plurk (plüer-kh) - A really snazzy site that allows you to showcase the events that make up your life in deliciously digestible chunks. Low in fat, 5 calories per serving, yet chock full of goodness. Verb. plurk (plüer-kh) - To chronicle the events of your always on, action-packed, storybook, semi-charmed kinda life."
- A micro-blogging service that allows you to connect with others by sending them little 140 character messages. I mean you don't want to bore people with too much information. Wikipedia

- http://www.pownce.com
- "Pownce is a way to send stuff to your friends. What kind of stuff? You can send just about anything: music, photos, messages, links, events, and more. You can do it all on our web site, or install our lightweight desktop software that lets you get out of the browser."
- Another micro-blogging service but this one makes a little more sense. You can files and other things to your friends, not just a link or little message. Wikipedia

- http://www.reunion.com
- "In the ever-evolving world of social networking, Reunion.com is the leading website for the grown-up social-network user to reconnect and keep in touch with family, friends, lost loves, and colleagues as life changes. With more than 50 million registered users and membership increasing on average by 1 million per month, Reunion.com offers the fastest and most comprehensive way to rediscover and stay connected with people from your past."
- Fifty million users is a lot of users, but Reunion.com isn't free. You can join for free but are unable to very much without paying for the premium access. I guess if you can't find lost family members or friends on any other free site, you might be able to find them here. Wikipedia

- http://skyrock.com
- "With a Skyrock account, you can: Stock unlimited photos, videos, and texts in your blog! Make new friends and chat with peeps from around the world! Check out tons of photos, videos, and profiles, from the humdrum to the unhinged..."
- Another way to find new friends and share everything about your life including photos, videos, and a blog. There are over 20 million users of Skyrock. Wikipedia

- http://www.tagged.com
- "Tagged helps people keep in touch with their friends and make new ones. We provide a fun media experience featuring expressive custom profiles, fluid widget embedding, integrated video, chat, and much more."
- Over 70 million members are allowed to connect with other through many different options. Another social network that was started by Harvard students. Wikipedia

- http://www.twitter.com
- "Twitter is a privately funded startup with offices in the SoMA neighborhood of San Francisco, CA. Started as a side project in March of 2006, Twitter has grown into a real-time short messaging service that works over multiple networks and devices. In countries all around the world, people follow the sources most relevant to them and access information via Twitter as it happens—from breaking world news to updates from friends."
- Twitter has become probably the most popular micro-blogging site. It is geared more towards just keeping friends updated with what you are doing throughout the day with small messages. You can receive updates many different ways and there are over 60 tools that have been created to try and make Twitter more efficient and possibly more annoying. Wikipedia

- http://www.wayn.com
- "WAYN is the fastest growing travel and lifestyle social networking community website in the UK. WAYN is present in 193 countries and membership has grown from 45,000 users in March 2005 to over 13 million today. WAYN helps you to keep track of all your contacts from around the world and make new friends based on where you are now, where you have been and where you are going!"
- WAYN or Where Are You Now is a social network designed to connect people from around the world. If you like to travel, you can learn about hot spots, restaurants, and clubs in another country that you would like to vist. Wikipedia

Windows Live Spaces
- http://home.services.spaces.live.com
- "Windows Live Spaces is your place on the Web to share your thoughts, photographs, and interests with others. Whether you want to meet like-minded people, write a blog about your favorite music, or simply share your photos with friends and family, the tools you need are here."
- Microsoft's blogging and social network site that has over 100 millions users. You can blog, share photos, keep a guestbook, and keep an internet profile. Wikipedia
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Friday, October 24, 2008

Link Baiting!

My goal for this blog was for it to be considered more of a magazine than just a blog. I eventually want to hire people to write columns on certain parts of blogging. As of right now it is just me posting and so I will try to cover every angle at some point.

I have been working on a post about social networks all day, but for some reason blogger hiccuped and lost half of it. Hopefully I will have the post up tomorrow. Until then, read this article from SmashingMagazine.com titled Golden Rules of Linkbaiting.

It's a very in depth article that will probably be able to answer any question about link baiting. These are the articles I would like to write for this site. The posts I have written are not that in depth, but this will soon change.
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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Social Media Sniping - The What And How

Social media sniping, or SMS (not Short Message Service - SMS), is basically searching for articles or blog posts that are starting to gain a lot of exposure and posting a comment on that site. Now this can get out of hand and look like spamming, so you don't want to do this all the time or with every article.

If you are going to snipe a post and write a comment, make sure you read the article and give something worthwhile. Don't just comment...
Cool post.

I enjoyed reading this.

Your comment will actually need to answer a question of the article or another commenter or maybe even ask a question relevant to it. If you do leave a post, don't disregard this site altogether. Come back to see if anyone has either answer your question or maybe even posed another one. This will make your comment look even less like comment spam. It will also help if it's a post or article relating to your niche. Not only will this help with your credibility and expertise, but you will be connecting with even more people interested in the same things you are.

This idea isn't a new thing. A friend of mine bought a lot of stuff on eBay and always talked about snipe bidding when there are just a few seconds left. Tyler over at SMM Guru talked about Digg sniping, but I feel you can do this with just about any social media site.

So try it out and see if any traffic is brought to your site. If after a few SMS attempts
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