Posts Tagged ‘Lid’

Web stuff to think about

Friday, April 4th, 2008

The Cluetrain Manifesto

The Cluetrain Manifesto was written ten years ago by four great Webcelebs; Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls and David Weinberger. It’s targeted at businesses that want to understand their customers better, and turns your understanding of marketing and communications on its head.

From Chapter 1: Internet Apocalypso

The question is whether, as a company, you can afford to have more than an advertising-jingle persona. Can you put yourself out there: say what you think in your own voice, present who you really are, show what you really care about? Do you have any genuine passion to share? Can you deal with such honesty? Such exposure? Human beings are often magnificent in this regard, while companies, frankly, tend to suck. For most large corporations, even considering these questions – and they’re being forced to do so by both Internet and intranet – is about as exciting as the offer of an experimental brain transplant.

Blogged Directory

Launched in February 2008, Blogged is a clean, fresh looking, human edited blog directory.

Once you submit your blog (free), the editors check it out, and if it passes muster, they include it. When I submitted BlogWell, it was reviewed within 24 hours.

From their about page:

Our blogs are reviewed, rated, and categorized by our editors, so you won’t have to experience the frustration of filtering through blogs that are either spam, outdated, or irrelevant.

52 easy ways to optimize your blog while on your coffee break

Jennifer has put together a brilliant list that describes how to optimize your blog, and each tip takes no longer than 15 minutes (your coffee break) to implement.

Do yourself a favor and bookmark this post.

Add your blog to your email signature
Yes, many of us are lazy and don’t add a signature to our emails, whether it is because we send out emails that are totally not related to the blog, or just one of those things that has been on the to do list forever. Add a blog and a short tag line to intrigue people to visit. You never know, your daughter’s softball coach might actually be a fan of whatever you blog about and your signature just got you a new reader.

Choosing a Blogging Platform

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

weighing-options.jpg

Credit: Capt Kodak

This is the third in a series of posts about how to blog well. If you’ve missed the others, you can find them here:

Blog Well Files – Part 3: Choosing a Blogging Platform

Once you’ve made the decision to blog and created a blog plan, the next question you need to consider is:

Do you want to host it yourself, or do you want someone to host it for you?

Self Hosted Blog Platforms/Blog Software

With a self hosted blog, you’ll need to download the software and host it yourself.

The two most popular blog software products are WordPress and Movable Type.

Both require some technical ability. It is essential that you are familiar with FTP and databases. You will be in charge of installing updates, making backups, and ensuring anti-spam plugins/add-ons are kept up to date. A basic understanding of CSS and PHP is useful too.

Although more technical skill is required, self hosting your blog gives you complete flexibility and control.

Hosted Blog Platforms

With a hosted blog there is nothing to download, and you don’t have to worry about any of the backend stuff because it is all done for you by the host. The most popular blog hosts are WordPress, Blogger and TypePad.

However, by not fully controlling the back end, you’ll find each platform has its own limitations. For instance, Blogger won’t let you have pages, so no about page or services page; TypePad offers no free service, and WordPress won’t let you run advertisements.

Blog Platform Comparisons

I’ve created two tables to help you figure out what is best for you. The first compares WordPress, Blogger, and Typepad, and the other details the differences between WordPress and Movable Type software products.

If you decide you want to go with a hosted platform, my only recommendation is to buy your domain name through the host, or pay to redirect it to your own domain. That way, if you choose to host it yourself in the future, you will keep all the links you amass, and from the outside, it will look exactly the same.

blogging-platform-comparison.jpg

Download Blog Platform Comparisons (PDF)

The decision on which blogging platform to use should be made now. Not because you can’t change your mind later on – you can – but changing brings other problems down the track.

I started blogging with WordPress.com, and then decided to use WordPress software on my own domain. All of my rankings tanked and I had to start building them back up. I’m not saying it can’t be done; I just want to warn you that it does take a lot of time and effort to do. If I had known then what I know now, I would have seen no effect on my rankings when I moved to hosting it myself.

This post is in no way the definitive guide on blogging platforms, and while no one can help you determine what is best for you, I can tell you that I’ve tried WordPress (both self hosted and hosted), Blogger, and TypePad and still lean heavily toward WordPress. I find that it is easier and simpler to use, offers more options for customization, has a huge community that welcomes any newcomer, and is amazingly quick to help when you get stuck.

I invite you to share your own experiences in the comments below so that we can all continue to learn and hopefully help others avoid making the same mistakes that we did.

Related Posts:

Other useful resources:

If you found this post useful, please consider subscribing to my feed.