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Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Blogging All-in-One for Dummies Now Available

Many people like to have a book by their side as they learn something.  If you’re one of those people, then you might be interested to hear that my new book, Blogging All-in-One for Dummies, is now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all other online and offline book sellers.

Blogging All-in-One for Dummies offers over 700 pages explaining anything and everything about blogging for a beginner audience, so you can start your own blog right away!  It’s a perfect supplement to the content you read here on BloggingPro.  The book includes 8 minibooks about starting a blog, choosing a blogging application, publishing blog content, growing your blog’s audience, making money from your blog, and more.  There is even a minibook about Twitter.

While Blogging All-in-One for Dummies is certainly the most comprehensive book about blogging available, following are a few other books that I recommend: Read More

Categories: Blogging Resources, Blogging: How To, Opinion
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WordCamps Need to be GPL too now?

WordPress logoJane Wells from Automattic published an update on the WordCamp How To blogtoday which is a warm welcome to anyone wanting to host a WordCamp. I have been lucky enough to help organize a WordCamp here in the Netherlands last year and hope to repeat that this year -yes, you’re all invited :) – and anything and everything is welcome to help make that a smoother experience for all attending.

Guidelines

The newly drafted guidelines are in fact pretty much straight forward on most topic such but there there are some questions it raises.

  1. It’s about everything WordPress. The guidelines state that it for 80% should be about WordPress.
  2. Open to all, easy to access, shared with community.WordCamps are meant to be low-key local gatherings that are affordable — cheap, even — to allow people from all walks of life to attend, meet, share, and learn.
  3. Locally organized and focused. Showcasing local talent and helping local practitioners connect is one of the best things about WordCamp. The best WordCamps tend to have both local and visiting speakers.
  4. Read More

Categories: Opinion, WordPress News
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Who Actually Leaves Blog Comments?

Aside from traffic, one metric that makes bloggers really feel accomplished is the volume of comments they are able to attract.  A blog that generates intelligent conversation between visitors is more likely to get “sticky” visitors who will return in the future.

But all comments are not created equal.

While I am thankful to everyone who takes the time to leave a comment (well except for those annoying Russian spammers), I do think each blog commenter can be categorized into general groups.

  1. The Correctors.
    They point out typos and factual errors. Look how smart I am.  They get off on getting you with your pants down. Read More

Categories: Blogging Sense, Opinion
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“Kids Don’t Try This At Home!” Do All “Good Writers” Make “Good Bloggers”?

Truth be told, there’s a bit of an exhibitionist in every writer.
(Wouldn’t you agree?)

No matter how private or reclusive we may be in our own personal lives,
I believe we go “public” because it’s inherent in our “wiring” to want to change the world, inspire, and “win friends and influence people.”
And for us it’s through our creative ability.

As such, many of us set our sites on becoming bloggers as a way to expand our platforms, our influence base, and our bottom lines.
We in fact are told through an array of sources that we must!
Blogging has become the “new black”.

SIDEBAR…

This kind of reminds me of how when a new, “popular” fashion or fad is introduced in the women’s clothing arena, many females will embrace it regardless as to whether or not it’s appropriate to their lifestyle, size, figure or age.
And some really shouldn’t.
Case in point?
(Spandex is not every woman’s friend!)
The point of this piece?
Not all writers should necessarily become bloggers just because it’s the “in” thing to do.

In other words, blogging should not be considered a natural “write of passage”.

This revelation came to me some time ago when I put out a call for bloggers for a creative project I was working on.
I got submissions from folks from all walks of life, with all sorts of degrees, awards and credentials.

And some, to be quite honest, with more impressive backgrounds than my own!

Unfortunately what I ended up with were blog posts that were too technical, or too cerebral, or too long, or too “vanilla” and bland in nature.

I hate to say it, but I was over worked and

underwhelmed.

These very talented authors were skilled in “communicating” but not “connecting”.
(Are you with me?)

Here are a few reasons that “all” writers do not necessarily make good (pro) bloggers.
They lack one or more of the abilities that fall under the categories I like to refer to as the 3C’s.

• Conversational tone-–Blog writing calls for an informal style, smooth flow, and brevity. Some writers, in their desire to impress, use hundred dollar words, uncommon acronyms, or technical jargon that is not easily grasped by the average reader. Don’t be one of them.
• Consistency—Bloggers with paid gigs, or those hoping to cultivate a solid following for their own personal blogs, must blog well and blog often. One has to produce with or without a “muse”.
• Creativity-–Gifted bloggers know how to take an old topic, theme, or event and give it new life in the way that they spin it. Like good chefs they take the same everyday ingredients and blend them together differently to yield “food for thought” for readers’ enjoyment.

Should blogging have standards?

Do you think that blogging calls for different writing skills than more formal forms of writing?

Are all writers “blogging material”?
What are your thoughts on this?

Categories: General, Interesting, Opinion

Silence of the Lam(E)s? (5 Reasons Readers Should Leave Blog Comments)

Frankly I don’t get it.
Folks requesting organ donations have had greater success than today’s blogger seeking comments on their blog posts.
And I say this with affection: I’m amused but confused.

In my mind, reading an enjoyable (or minimally interesting) blog and not leaving a comment is like dining at a restaurant and not leaving a tip. And isn’t “food for thought” just as gratifying?

Ask any blogger and they’ll tell you that comments left on a blog by visiting readers are the equivalent of finding a 20 dollar bill in a back pocket of some old jeans, or receiving extra chicken nuggets in your value meal package that you didn’t have to pay for.
Or getting a date with Keanu Reeves.

Okay, well maybe that’s just me. :-)

But anyhow…
Consider this a public service message: We wanna hear from you. Read More

Categories: General, Interesting, Opinion
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2 Reasons Why PuSH (or PubSubHubbub) Could Threaten Twitter

Ever since Google introduced PubSubHubbub (aka PuSH) to the world, blog platforms (both large and small) could finally provide “real time RSS” to feed services like Google Reader, Bloglines and of course the ghost town known as Friendfeed.

Blogger was (not surprisingly) one of the first to adopt this technology, followed quickly by Typepad, Tumblr, MovableType, Posterous and last but not least WordPress.com (who finally joined the PuSH club a few days ago and was kind enough to create an official plugin for WP.org fans too).

With PuSH quickly becoming a standard feature for blog platforms and services, one has to wonder whether or not Twitter’s days of fame are numbered. Read More

Categories: Opinion
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3 Reasons Why WordPress Should NOT Make An iPad App

Often on the forefront of mobile blogging, WordPress has been able to spread the “WP love” upon multiple devices (specifically for the Blackberry, iPhone and Android smartphones), with plans  to create a Nokia app as well.

While bloggers will probably swallow the iPill and buy the iPad, it may not be in WordPress’s best interest (or even its rivals like Typepad and Squarespace) to create an iPad app due it its present limitations. Read More

Categories: Opinion
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3 Reasons Why Bloggers May Prefer Twitter Search Ads Over Google’s Adwords

As you are probably aware of by now, Twitter is finally going to unleash ads upon the masses in order to help keep the lights on.

While rumors are still speculating on whether those ads will be within the tweet stream, it looks like All Things D suspects that Twitter will instead place ads within search results, similar to how the mighty Google profits off of search (hat tip: Mashable).

If Twitter chooses to go the tweet search route, it may be wiser for bloggers to spend their marketing dollars within Tweet search than Google Adwords for three simple reasons. Read More

Categories: Opinion
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Will Mobile Apps Help WordPress Replace Blogger As The World’s Most Popular Platform?

Despite the popularity of WordPress (at least among the top bloggers on Techmeme and Technorati), Automattic’s blog platform is a distant second compared to Google’s Blogger (aka BlogSpot).

Whether this is due towards Blogger’s powerful free features or “keep it simple” user interface is subject to debate, but regardless of the reason the fact remains that Blogger is King.

While WordPress’s odds of over taking Blogger on the PC may be as great as Frosty the snowman’s chances of conquering hades by himself, WordPress may be able to surpass Blogger globally thanks in part to the popularity of cell phones worldwide. Read More

Categories: Opinion
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Is b2evolution Still Relevant In The Age Of WordPress?

Considered by some to be a distant cousin to WordPress (as they have  “same blood“), b2evolution has continued to evolve at a seemingly faster pace than its younger cousin (as b2evolution is on version 3.3.3 while WordPress is on 2.9.2).

Although boasting numerous plugins, template skins and a small but passionate community, b2evolution has nearly faded from the public spot light as most people outside of the “realm known as geek” have never heard of b2evolution (as it brings up blanks stares, unlike WordPress or Blogger). Read More

Categories: Blog Software, Opinion
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