Blog It Ideas Checklist Renewed

peopleStrategic Listening” is integral to our lives and becoming better listeners is integral to creating interesting fresh content and a vibrant blog discussion climate. You can use both your skills and online tools to listen what’s being said about any topic before you write about it and publish.

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Content Curation: Baby Steps

Without doubt content curation is here to stay and more bloggers are looking to identify best practices and best tools to maximize their efforts.  If you take a close look at the custom menu at the top of this blog you will find a new Better Blogging Tips link.   The link is to my first topic page on scoop.it Better Blogging Tips: “writing, grammar, blogging and content curation tips for becoming a better writer and blogger ”. That’s where I have begun learning how to locate and curate content in magazine style format. Continue reading

Emerging Social Networks

group of people Have you considered what the next wave of social networks will be like?  Social media ie. technology that enables our connectness is becoming more seamlessly and rapidly integrated into our activities that soon the phrase may disappear.  We are no longer limited to desktop computers; mobile growth is phemonemal. We connect and communicate on the go wherever we go. Continue reading

Twitter Selected Content Blocking by Country

twitter bird icon Twitter has announced their ability and intention to block selected content by country.

We haven’t yet used this ability, but if and when we are required to withhold a Tweet in a specific country, we will attempt to let the user know, and we will clearly mark when the content has been withheld. As part of that transparency, we’ve expanded our partnership with Chilling Effects to share this new page, which makes it easier to find notices related to Twitter. There’s more information in the Help pages, both on the Policy and about Your Account Settings.

Google Search is all over Your World

google magnifying glass
If you are concerned about your privacy and what your online “friends” may have shared about you that wasn’t appearing in simple searches before, then take note of Google Search, plus Your World is being been rolled out for people who are signed in and searching on www.google.com in English.

We’re transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships. We began this transformation with Social Search, and today we’re taking another big step in this direction by introducing three new features: Continue reading

Daily Dot | Maryland judge dismisses Twitter harassment case, misses the point

Rest easy, Twitter trolls: Harassing someone with mentions on the microblogging network is now officially protected as free speech—possibly because the judge responsible doesn’t fully understand Twitter.

via Daily Dot | Maryland judge dismisses Twitter harassment case, misses the point.

Brief Updates for Google Plus Watchers

lowercase "g"

“Of course I know that it’s important not to waste your time. So the following list of things that you should be doing on Google+ will keep you both productive and effective, not just entertained.”  Read  10 Productive Tasks You Should Be Doing On Google+ Right Now.

“What if from the outset, Google+ was never supposed to simply be a competitor to Facebook? What if Google wasn’t bringing the fight to Palo Alto, swords drawn and ready to take them on. No no, Google’s vision was much, much bigger than that, and it comes down to one thing. Advertising.”  Read  Google+ Was Never a Facebook Competitor

Related post: Facebook or Google Plus?

Facebook or Google Plus?

google plus iconIf you are a regular reader of this blog then you are well aware of my antipathy when it comes to Facebook. However, I have been considering joining Google Plus. For the last month I have been reading all I could find on both so I had some information upon which to make an informed decision. Below are excerpts from some articles I would like to share. What I’m looking for now is feedback from those readers who do have a Google Plus account. Continue reading

Social Media Speed-Marketing Tools

facebook vs twitter infographic Click for full size infographic  and witness the dramatic rise in the importance of Facebook and Twitter and YouTube to marketers  as companies and brands embrace social media across the board in a number of ways to reach potential customers.

An active social media program will make your business locations more prominent in sources across the web, and prominence is a primary factor used by Google in local search rankings.

Build a fan base on Facebook. Forty percent of Facebook users also follow a brand. More than half of these Facebook users will move on to purchase that brand. Facebook ‘likes’ are a speed-marketing tool that virally spread brand awareness by delivering information to the news feeds of everyone befriended by your brand fans.

via 6 Ways to Use Social Media to Boost Local Search Results – Search Engine Watch (#SEW).

Top Social Media Tutorials

twitter bird image When I joined Twitter, there wasn’t a big marketing presence. It was me, my friends, some news sources, and a dozen celebrities.  Today many use Twitter as means of promoting their blogs and for many others Twitter has become an online marketing tool for selling their products and/or services to followers. As both profiles and tweets are  limited to 140 characters it’s obvious who I may be inclined to follow and who I’ll probably bypass.

Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting.  At the heart of Twitter are small bursts of information called Tweets. Each Tweet is 140 characters in length, but don’t let the small size fool you—you can share a lot with a little space. Connected to each Tweet is a rich details pane that provides additional information, deeper context and embedded media. You can tell your story within your Tweet, or you can think of a Tweet as the headline, and use the details pane to tell the rest with photos, videos and other media content. See it in action.

Twitter connects you to  people all over the world who share common interests with you. If you focus on relationships then Twitter is great tool for making connections.  There are many ways to use Twitter, here three to get you started:

  1. Use Twitter to increase traffic to your blog;
  2. Use Twitter to improve your blog content;
  3. Use Twitter to increase your blog readership.

For an in depth guide to using Twitter effectively I recommend The Twitter Guide Book.

stumbleupon icon

My experience of StumbleUpon has been a positive one. I have read many informative and and inspiring articles others have shared and I have contributed many myself. I’ve also made some friends. I haven’t been active lately but now my computer troubles are behind me I intend to spend more time surfing and stumbling.

The stumbleupon concept is that stumbleupon helps you discover and share other great websites. This concept is in opposition to the idea of of using StumbleUpon just to promote your own site. That’s not how StumbleUpon is designed to work and that behavior will get you banned.

As you click Stumble!, we deliver high-quality pages matched to your personal preferences. These pages have been explicitly recommended by your friends or one of 8 million+ other websurfers with interests similar to you. Rating these sites you like automatically shares them with like-minded people – and helps you discover great sites your friends recommend. —  Take a Tour

For an in depth guide to using StumbleUpon effectively I recommend How to Use StumbleUpon: Your Comprehensive Guide By Kristi Hines.

If you read When the Ban Hammer Comes Down on StumbleUpon you will discover how you can avoid the pitfalls of thumbing up your own site, the same sites, authors, and subjects repeatedly. It’s all about maintaining diversity of  a truly resourceful entity.

Related posts found in this blog:
Five Twitter resources for bloggers
More Twitter resources
How to use StumbleUpon Effectively

BlogCatalog Forum in the Frying Pan

friedeggs logo

As reported in my It’s Official: Blog Catalog is Fried post earlier  this month, Tony Berkman, Angie Alaniz and their BlogCatalog Team are moving forward with the complete restructuring of the BlogCatalog site.  Today BC Team Member, Jason Teitelman  made a announcement that caught the few remaining forum addicts off guard.  As of June 1st, 2010  (projected date) the moribund BlogCatalog Discussion  Forum will be history. Continue reading

It’s Official BlogCatalog is Fried

Image representing BlogCatalog as depicted in ...
Image via CrunchBase

It’s official BlogCatalog and TweetFeed owners Tony Berkman and Angie Alaniz  have broken the eggs and fried them too. They have cooked up something new and I don’t mean HalfHour meals. So what’s the Broowhaha all about?

No more BlogCatalog profile pages for members. No more groups and no more  forum. The entire structure is being changed. Continue reading

A Google Buzz Turn-Off

google buzz iconThe most annoying thing about Google Buzz was logging into G-mail and finding  I was automatically following all my Google contacts and no other options were provided.  Then the rest sunk in.  Yikes! The people I follow and the people that follow me have been made public to anyone who looks at my Google  profile. Yes, it was yet another privacy issue! Continue reading

The Age of Invasion: Google’s Watching You

cats eyesOne can be stalked by opportunistic voyeurs and internet marketers on twitter and other social media and social networking sites,  where I have been compelled to spend time every day deleting the armies of bots that were auto-added as my “followers” overnight. That’s not to mention the time I spend deleting invitations to join the bot army generating brigade and even make money from tweeting.

Meanwhile, the A List blog gurus are lecturing us not to use sites like twitter only to post links to our articles. Well, that’s the reason I have these accounts and I limit my social networking time so I can still have a real life offline.   But apparently we bloggers are now expected to rise to the challenge of  “providing value” in 140 character tweets, and be eager to enter pseudo relationships with those we did not want to communicate with in the first place.

Read even more tweets and find that the same A list blog gurus are now differentiating between readers and customers by viewing conversion rate metrics. Converts are those who buy what you are selling and apparently everybody with a blog is selling something now.

According to Terry O’Reilly on CBC radio “The age of persuasion has become the age of invasion”, and who doubts that?

Wednesday, February 17: Millions of Canadians tune in each week to hear Terry O’Reilly’s hugely engaging take on advertising on CBC Radio’s award-winning The Age of Persuasion. He’s our very own Mad Man – an advertising guru and industry pioneer who’s co-written his first book, The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate our Culture Terry O’Reilly will be our guest, and you can tell him which ads have had the strongest effect on you.

Websites are stand alone islands lacking discussion opportunities and RSS feeds.  Websites don’t achieve PageRanks but blogs have them all so the blogosphere has been invaded by opportunists and changed its nature. It’s now a huge cyberspace shopping mall, and I’m among those who aren’t buying the change. I can locate local sources of goods and services without the help of Google, thanks.

Google Local Business Center Introduction

Big Brother Google Knows all and sees all

Now we also have geotagging just in case the same opportunistic voyeurs and peddlars stalking us online can’t find our doorstep, Big Brother Google can even provide photos of what that doorstep looks like and who’s coming and going in and out the door. In addition Google’s lending a hand when it comes to customer profiling — How Google tells you what men and women want.

The age of Big Brother is here and we are being pandered with platitudes about “usefulness” while our personal information and location data is flowing out into the hands of identity thieves. Worse still, most folks don’t realize just how much personal data Google has simply because they voluntarily provided it.

The Social Media Reality Show

Everyone who I want to find me already knows how to do that. The ptibulls won’t take them down unless I command them to. Both barrels on my shotgun are fully loaded with rock salt to spray the backsides of creepy crawlers as they flee at top speed in the opposite direction.  lol :D (Just joking … of course.)

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Are you surfing the Google Wave?

Google-Wave-logoAll over the internet we see people saying they have an invitation to try out Google Wave, or crying the blues because they haven’t received one as yet. The two videos below Google Wave Developer Preview at Google I/O 2009 and  Google Wave Overview explain what riding the wave is all about.  It’s an open source personal communication and collaborative tool.

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Re-mix the web with Netvibes

netvibes logoNetvibes is a free web site that lets you personalize your web experience. Take everything that matters to you while online — newspapers, blogs, weather, email, search, videos, photos, social networks, podcasts, widgets, games and funny applications — then bring them together in one single page, your personalized page.  You can make this page automatically update every time you open it. That’s what netvibes does. And it does so much more. Continue reading

Promoting your blog in blogger forums

community

community

One way we all form acquaintances and friendships  both offline and online is through small talk.  By participating in small talk others have an opportunity to discover our personality types, attitudes, interests  and sense of humor. Therefore, it’s not surprising that a very effective way of making “friends” in the blogosphere is to use a blogger  forum for promoting yourself and your blogs by posting into discussion threads on blogger forums. It’s also an opportunity for those who are seeking contact and the camaraderie it creates to publicize their “friendship” on the forum, that carries over into other social networks too.
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Social Media and Social Networking Plain and Simple

friendsaroundtheworldSeveral readers who are new to blogging have asked me to explain what social media and social networking mean, and how to use them to promote their blogs.

I have used some resources in this post to define the two and explain how bloggers can join the melee,  participate and use them in effective ways to promote their blogs.

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Blog Catalog Basics

(1) Introduction to Blog Catalog

BC is a premium blog directory and diverse community comprised of 200,000 blogging members from all over the world, who are focused on making new friends, and promoting their own blogs with the aim of increasing traffic to them.

(2) Community guidelines for forum posting

There are guidelines for posting to both of the BC forums (General Discussion & Political) that prevent us from dropping our blog links into every comment we make. Those rules also prevent us from creating link only, link drop, or link exchange threads on the forum and they will be reported and deleted if we break the rules.

(3) What is  BC Blog Rank?

BC Blog Rank – a special formula that analyzes your hits, views, comments, neighborhood members and other special secret ingredients to create a numeric score based on a 100 point scale. Your Blog Rank is primarily used to determine the order blogs appear in our Directory and Search Results. The higher your score the better your placement.

(4) Excellent networking features

Excellent search facilities and other features on our BC Profile pages and dashboards that aid effective networking. At the top of each BC pages you will find useful links to search facilities and groups that can be used to locate bloggers who are like minded and/or who share common interest with us. Members may also form their own groups too.

add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: seed the vine :: reddit :: furl :: TailRank

7 steps for effective networking at Blog Catalog

My first post in this series is Blog Catalog: Premium Directory and Social Network and if you haven’t read it previously then I do recommend that you read it prior to reading this one.

(1)  Write an appealing profile

Your Blog Catalog profile page is the most effective advertising spot in the social network for you as a blogger and for your blogs too. Accept the fact that people want to know a bit about who you are and that they are not likely to be impressed by a one liner. Put some effort into creating a  biographical statement for use on your BC profile page and on other profile pages in other social media sites as well.

(2) Write  concise and informative blog description(s) for your profile page and select categories and tags

Blog descriptions  are extremely important. Put some effort into creating a concise, appealing description of your blog, your brand and your focus. Take a close look at the Category choices in the Directory and put some thought into selecting the categories and the tags for your blog(s).

(3)  Use the BC search facilities and learn how to network effectively

The search link is at the top of every page. Click it and use the filters  to narrow your search so you can locate similar and related blogs.

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Social media time management strategy

How to Stop Social Media Taking Over Your Day by Chris Garrett

(1) Only share what is safe to share – Once you connect to people outside your close friends and family you need to restrict the information you place in these networks. If in doubt, keep it to yourself.

(2) Observe before following.

(3) If people are taking too much of your time, drop them, and do not feel any guilt about it. There are no rules that say you have to follow everyone who follows you!

(4) Pick your venues and do not try to be active in all of them.

(5) Do not take part in time-wasting activities, such as quizzes and zombie games.

(6) Set Social Media time and log off when that time is over.

(7) Grow your network selectively and steadily – Learn how much activity you can manage.

(8) Use tools where appropriate.

Ten Causes of Social Media Meltdown by Doc Nicole Sundene
Since an “Ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” according to my favorite Chinese proverb, let’s take a little look at the Top Ten Causes of Social Media Meltdown:

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Ten Causes of Social Media Meltdown

by Doc Nicole Sundene,
Naturopathic Physician,
Editor in Chief of Kitchen Table Medicine

La la la la la la …isn’t social media fun?  First you make a few accounts meet some great people, find some fabulous blogs to read and receive unsolicited kind feedback and support from virtual strangers. Yay! Don’t you feel so positive? You suddenly find yourself Twittering and Facebooking and Stumbling and Digging to your heart’s content.

You subscribe to a bunch of great blogs, start reading and commenting away–and then it happens.  Something bad happens; someone says something bad or gossips about you. Maybe a big nasty fight breaks out in a forum or a dispute arises between your two closest friends and you’re asked to take sides.  Regardless of the asinine behavior it always notoriously happens at that exact moment in time when your eyes are bleary, your brain is fried, and you are already feeling stressed and weary from a dozen other things.

meltdown

meltdown

You snap.

Your world feels like it is crashing down all around you!

Your synapses are misfiring, the rage boils up from deep inside,

and you slam your computer shut and stomp off… BaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!

You my friend have just had a TOTAL SOCIAL MEDIA MELTDOWN.

Since an “Ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” according to my favorite Chinese proverb, let’s take a little look at the Top Ten Causes of Social Media Meltdown:

1.      IM Invasion: Now IM is one of the most ingenious conveniences of our time and it is also the most annoying dang thing ever invented.  “What are you doing?”  “Hi”  “How are you today?” “Can you vote for this?” Good gravy! How can one possibly concentrate on writing a blog with other people popping up in your face 900 times an hour? Personally out of all the socialnetworking options out there this one can be the most repeatedly invasive and most bloggers in need of accomplishing daily internet tasks will need to set strict boundaries for IM.

2.     Over-stumbling: Seriously I have tried to bookmark and reorganize the entire internet through Stumblupon.com and it just isn’t possible.  I give up!  I love that site, but it just isn’t good to spend more than an hour a day stumbling.  I maintain a pretty popular stumble site with just under 300 fans by stumbling about an hour or so a day.  Sometimes less than 15 minutes.

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