One negative to listening to several technology podcasts is that I get to hear lots of different people discussing the same thing in their own fashion. Democratically, this is probably a good thing, but from my perspective, I hear pretty much the same opinion from the various folks, so it comes off as redudant. One recent example is the general uprising against Nintendo corporation for naming their new console the Wii.
People hate the name with a passion. They loathe it for the fact that it makes you think of pee jokes, or shouting out “Wheeeeee!” And mostly, they hate that you have to say, “The Wii. It’s spelled W-i-i.” Any time you have to stop and spell something out, It gets annoying. Ditto Intel’s new Viiv marketecture.
Venti Pain in my Ass
I completely and utterly refuse to say things like “venti.” If I were in Italy, I might go along with it, but I’m not going to fit into your paradigm, just because it makes you feel smug about my $3.00 coffee. Similarly, restrooms with alternative gender identifiers is really annoying. How the hell do I know if I’m a space pirate or a cinammon spice? Just tell me which door won’t elicit screams when I pass through it.
When naming things, the urge is to strike out into new territory and name your product or service or idea something new that differentiates. While new is a good thing, “new and still easy to talk about” really helps bypass some hurtles. Worse than a stupid name is an inelegant name. There’s something afoot there right now in the space of video podcasting. Some folks call it vlogging to mirror blogging. Others call it IPTV, which is sort of like when we named films “motion pictures” or cars “automobiles.” They harken back to something instead of point forward.
Naming things after one’s self (like, say, chrisbrogan.com) can tie you into a situation where you might want to bring others into the mix. For instance, in yesterday’s post about content networks, I mentioned the need for aggregating great content into unified sites. Obviously, bannering under my name won’t be all that useful in that regard.
What’s In Your Name
Names can be limiting in other ways. Look how many times you see a regional company go national or international, and they find themselves wanting or having to rename to more accurately represent their new opportunity. Similarly, if you name your company around a specific technology, you’re just asking for a rename. Three years ago, there was no “podcasting,” and accordingly, there weren’t 10,000 or more URLs with pod or podcast in the title. What happens if we all shift away, just like most folks have abandoned streaming-only or flash-only content?
Your name has to be flexible, easy to say and understand, easy to grow into further opportunities, and welcoming. I’m asking a lot. But then, what do I know? Some of the TOP corporations are: General Motors, International Business Machines, American Telephone and Telegraph, and the like. Maybe you can name yourself whatever you want, and then use initials later.
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Eric is a glutton for punishment. He accepted not one, but TWO interview requests while at Podcast Academy. Here’s the text interview:
Tell me about your job at FeedBurner.
My official title is Business Development Associate but I’m really in publisher relations. I collect feedback from our publisher universe and help turn it into reality as in, “this is a great idea. We should figure out how to do this.” I talk to engineering about what publishers want to see and what they love about our service. I reach out to the user base and ask what do you want to see? What arenâ€™t we doing well? What are we doing well? I check in with other publishers who aren’t using FeedBurner. I show them what they can use to help their potential and current subscribers like the BrowserFriendly and FeedFlare services.
FeedFlare is great and has an open API so you can create your own custom Flare. You’ve got two feeds? You can cross-promote within themselves. You publish a book? You can make a FeedFlare that says check out my book. It’s very helpful and it’s free.
Also, I should note that we don’t lock you in. We believe that, as a publisher, itâ€™s your content and your subscribers and we are just there to help. We’re very big on that. We make it really easy to leave the service should you ever be dissatisfied.
What brings you out to events?
What I love about events is that I get to meet all the publishers that use FeedBurner, from Reuters to pro bloggers to smaller bloggers like myself. I love the idea that anyone can publish their thoughts and get them out there and there’s a kind of a democracy to see which ideas rise to the top. If you have a niche, you can easily access that niche. Feeds help a lot because every publisher publishes at different intervals so, instead of checking the site a lot, readers can subscribe to the feed and get the content when it comes out.
Also, I’m internally looking at to how we can make the FeedBurner community stronger. Maybe we should set up FeedBurner meet-ups. I’d be interested to hear if that’s a good idea. If we have meetings in different cities, should we host meet-ups? Meeting our publishers is always lot of fun.
Are you part of a community?
Absolutely. That’s one of the reasons I got into the blogosphere in the first place and why I like FeedBurner so much. I realized it was where I wanted to go as soon as I stepped into the office. We work in an open offer where we all, and I mean all of us including the founders, have desks in one big room. Its great for communication and itâ€™s fun!
Before FeedBurner entered the picture, I was looking at companies in Silicon Valley and Boston, but FeedBurner was just this great group of people. I knew right away that working there would be a lot of fun and very rewarding.
Funny thing, I was going to conferences already and talking to the blogging and podcasting communities, being that I’m a publisher myself. Now, I get paid for it. How great is that?!
Who’s contributing to FeedBurner’s future:
Our users contribute a lot to our success. They are a passionate group and arenâ€™t afraid to let us know what we need to be doing, what they donâ€™t like, and what they love. I watch Technorati on a daily basis and it’s amazing to see how many people will write about us on any given day. Some of this is praise, some of it is complaints so we try to respond quickly. It’s this constant feedback loop. We see a lot of posts that say “this is cool, and you should do it too!” The fact that they take a time to put a post out about how much they like FeedBurner is very rewarding.
Which RSS reader is on Eric Olson’s computer?
I use Newsgator Online and have used it ever since I have been reading feeds. I have been thinking about getting something more robust like FeedDemon but havenâ€™t made the leap yet. With that said, I have accounts with most major readers for testing so I see a lot of the functionality out there.
Who are you reading?
Off the top, I’ll say Ventureblog.com from my own interest in startup capital. David Hornik is the one that inspired me to start blogging VC (and encouraged the idea of the VentureWeek Podcast too). Heâ€™s a great guy and a great VC.
Feld.com is another great one (disclosure: heâ€™s one of our investors but I read him far before I started at FeedBurner). He talks about some great issues that entrepreneurs face and speaks to them from a VCs perspective. Plus, he posts pictures of his treadputerâ€¦ long story, donâ€™t ask.
TechCrunch. That’s an obvious one. Who doesnâ€™t read that!
VC Confidential — (another one of our investors). Matt McCall is writing some cool stuff that entrepreneurs can benefit from: how to value companies, etc. It’s his outreach to help entrepreneurs to understand what’s going on in VCs heads.
Seeing Both Sides by Jeff Bussgang over at IDG ventures is another favorite. He’s a VC and a huge Sox fan. There’s a nice picture of him on the blog with all kinds of Red Sox stuff in the back. I did a podcast with him and Dave Balter, the CEO of BzzAgent, recently which was a blast!
Another good one on climate related stuff is TerraBlog by the TerraPass people. TerraPass is a neat thing I discovered. What they do is calculate the amount of CO2 your car produces in a given year and then figures out a dollar amount you can send them. They invest the money you send in enough clean technology to balance our your car use. Super cool social entrepreneurship stuff. I just love that.
On to more social entrepreneurship: I am a very big proponent of the use of microfinance to end world poverty. Unitus is a microfinance group that I love. They are, in a sense, VCs to microfinance organizations. They help them grow through capital, consulting and technology. Their blog is a great microfinance resource.
Letâ€™s see, RedSox.com, of course. Hardball times is another great baseball pub especially if you love metrics and the analytics. I’m reading 70 something feeds right now so Iâ€™ll stop here but if anyone wants my OPML I am happy to share!
Which podcasts are you listening to or viewing?
Venturecast by David Hornik. It’s fairly infrequent, but he records random thoughts while in his car commuting, on various thoughts, models and companies.
I listen to Alex Reimer. He’s a Red Sox fan and he’s been on Leno. His show is called Without a Curse. It’s just great because he’s this kid (12 years old I think), but he has really insightful baseball analysis, and he gets big names from around Boston on the show.
I listen to C.C. Chapman’s podcast, Accident Hash for great new podsafe music. Sound Opinions is another good music show on Chicago Public Radio and via podcast.
I listen to some of the Podtech.net stuff, the VC ones, the tech ones. John’s stuff is great. He’s always getting top interviews. He’s breaking stories. He’s doing a lot with big tech. You’ve just gotta listen to Podtech.net.
I try to catch the IT Conversations ones that are of interest to me. They’re longer, but they’re always great. There’s a lot of content. It’s good because you can find what you like.
VentureVoice. I listen to him without fail. He just did one with the Brooklyn Breweries founder. Itâ€™s a cool interview based show focused on entrepreneurship.
Oh, and Dane Cook. He’s by far my favorite standup comic. I used to go see him all the time. I subscribe to his podcast, and I’m on his site pretty frequently to see where I can catch him. Unfortunately this time in Boston, he was sold out, but that’s awesome that he’s selling out arenas. It’s a more interesting story to me personally, because of his use of social media to develop his audience and personal brand. He was very smart about using MySpace, using feeds and using blogs, to connect to his fans in a more personal way. It is a brilliant story regarding how to use social media to get your stuff out there.
Funny thing, I emailed him because I’m still a regular subscriber to his podcast. I said I’ve been a fan of yours for years. You should swing by the FeedBurner office. We have to get your feeds on FeedBurner.
At FeedBurner we try to gather for lunch at the same table and we’ve got this flat screen monitor in the kitchen. A lot of times it’s The Daily Show, and lately we’re going through Aqua Teen Hunger Force, which is now a favorite of my CTO and has been a favorite of mine for years. But if I’m grabbing the content, I love to get Dane Cook’s clips from YouTube.
Are you watching any video podcasts?
There’s only a couple that I watch without fail as I donâ€™t have a video iPod yet: Ask a Ninja, and the new Ricky Gervais videocast. Ask a Ninja is phenomenal and everyone should check it out.
Lots of people aren’t using RSS feeds. What’s the deal?
We compare our podcast numbers to what iTunes has, and we are pretty well matched up. Overall we manage about 275,000 feeds (both text and rich media) as of this past Monday, but we don’t know how many publishers aren’t using us. As there are so many publishers out there its hard to figure a percentage on how many use us of the total.
I think RSS use is picking up though as the value proposition is a clear one. For example, my Dad got an RSS reader a few weeks ago now. When her picked me up from the airport the other day he said, “Yeah I meant to tell you that this is saving me so much time. I used to go to lots of websites and there’s nothing new there. Now, in the reader, I am able to rifle through it. It takes me ten minutes instead of an hour.”
IE 7 should have a profound impact on the amount of RSS use out there as they have built it right into the browser. Firefox has had this capability for a while but the majority of people are still using IE so they havenâ€™t been exposed to it.
What has to improve in getting blogs to talk better to feeds?
I think the hosted blog services will really need to allow users to redirect their feeds. This benefits the user. Letâ€™s say I want to hop from typepad to WordPress but all my subscribers are on my typepad feed. Well, now they are stuck there and I will have to ask them to move. This problem is eliminated if you are using a FeedBurner feed but, even still, if you are an established blogger not using us and you now want to, you have a lot of subscribers on your original feed that we canâ€™t count unless you can redirect to us. With the hosted services you canâ€™t redirect so part of your subscriber base is always missing from your stats.
The fact is that we’ve got good relationships with all of the blogging services. It’s just a matter of getting the time to sit down and ask, “how do we integrate better?” I think it’ll be simple fix. Itâ€™s great that there’s a community. We’re all friendly with each other and we all want each other to succeed.
What’s your view on partnering?
We’re of the same mind on partnering as we are with newsreaders. Basically, everything we have is opt-in, every little option. You can choose. We think users should have a choice. Iâ€™ll use feed-to-e-mail to illustrate my point though. We originally offered only FeedBlitz. Squeet then emerged and people wanted to use that. We said, “okay, we’ll hook up with Squeet.” Then, we came out with our own feed-to-e-mail service and offered that along with Squeet and FeedBlitz. We really want our users to have a choice.
What’s next? What’s 2007 bringing for FeedBurner?
Right now, we’ve been working hard on shorter term things, three, six months out. We’re working on the engineering schedule: what’s got to be built. A lot happens where we want to adapt to what users want. We want to be nimble enough to innovate quickly. We want to remain useful for people.
Specific to being here at Podcast Academy, we’re looking at ways to help monetize podcasts, which should come out somewhere around the end of the year. We’re taking the approach of building good tools first, as we did with text feeds, in order to provide podcasters with tools to grow the medium. This will set them up to be very successful with the advertising piece when it arrives.
We definitely take a measured approach to doing things. The service may roll out a little slower than other programs, but we think this is best for long-term success.
From the academy, I’m picking up some great ideas. Have we thought about this? Why can’t we do this metric? What’s the limitation? We’re working hard on that now. That’s something specific we’re doing in relation to podcasting.
Long term, we’re trying to keep refining the service, looking to remain relevant. Any kinds of improvements to RSS or stats we can add we will. The more features publishers want the more weâ€™ll add.
At the end of the day, weâ€™re successful when our publishers our successful. To that end, we will continue to make feeds easier to use for all involved through the various tools and metrics we create and provide.
Eric Olson is available at [email protected] .
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A friend reminded me that not everyone knows what podcasting is all about. To that end, here’s a bit of a walk-through on what it is, how to consume podcasts, why I’m bullish about them, and what you can do with them:
Podcast – a Definition
A podcast is content (audio or video) that is recorded (vs live), available in digital format for download (typically in .mp3 format for audio, and a variety of formats for video), and available in a subscription format via syndication methods such as RSS. The common usage of the term “podcast” is as a unit of content: “I was listening to a podcast the other day.”
Podcast – is NOT
You can listen or view a podcast on any portable media playing device (formats notwithstanding). You do NOT need an Apple iPod (which are fine products, and somewhat related to where the name is derived).
You can listen to or view podcasts on your computer, using a portable media player (Sony PSP, for instance), burned to a CD or DVD, and in several other ways. I’m told TiVO lets you subscribe to podcasts right there on your TV. Newer versions of the Apple iTunes software have podcasting built right in. There are several other softwares out there that serve as “Podcatchers”, or software to receive RSS subscriptions and consume podcasts.
The cool thing about podcasts is that you’re in control of the content you consume in a given day. I fill up my portable MP3 player, and I never have to listen to the radio. If one of the podcasts is about a topic I’m not interested in, I can just skip to the next one. Try doing THAT with your radio news station. I can interlace podcasts with music in a playlist, so that I can get a format that blends all the things I like.
Another great thing about podcasts is that lots of them are produced by people just like you. In the same day, I’ll listen to podcasts created by traditional media sources, by corporations learning how to use the medium, and more and more, I listen to productions created by people like you with a passion for something that they’ve converted into another medium.
Podcasting is the new Blogging
In lots of ways, podcasts both video and audio are turning into the new blog. For one, they’re a lot easier to create these days. Services like Odeo make it as easy as leaving a voicemail, if that’s the level of effort you want to put into it. Guys like Doug Kaye are out on the road running the Podcast Academy giving out information for very low cost on how to get yourself started in Podcasting, and all the various topics of interest when you get going.
Videoblogging is really taking off. Check in with Steve Garfield, the father of vlogging (as it’s sometimes being called), as well as the Boston correspondent to RocketBoom, organizer of Boston Media Makers, and other stuff. He’s got a great weekly video program called Vlog Soup that will get you started on understanding how podcasting and vlogging (just a subset of the concept, basically) have really turned the way blogs get done around. There’s some fascinating content out there that you can fill up your time to consume with every day.
In his fascinating piece, The IM Generation, Tony Perkins (media maverick and entrepreneur) says that over 60% of content the newer generation of media users is consuming is content created by their friends, or people in their own personal networks. This points to a whole group of people who don’t really give a damn what’s on the 11 O’Clock news, and who really aren’t watching as much MTV as you think.
I strongly encourage people to consider not just consuming podcasts, but actually creating them for yourselves. There are stories out there to be told, and you can do it for very little money. I’m creating my audio podcasts with a free piece of software and a reasonable microphone. You can get into some money on this if you’d like (check out Paul Figgiani’s great site, Podcastrigs.com, for some excellent setups that will cost you more than FREE). Or, you can stick with low-cost solutions, like buying an iRiver Audio MP3 player and a microphone from RadioShack. You can use free software like Audacity to edit and clean up the audio, and then you can publish it to a site that hosts such artwork for free, like Ourmedia.org.
I’ll have something to announce fairly shortly. Roger’s just helping me iron out the last kinks, and I’ve got a little more editing to do. When it’s all ready, you’ll be one of the first to know. Until then, hit me with any questions you might have about podcasting, as per this article.
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First off, I think this idea is worth thousands! Maybe not millions, but thousands. I’ll give it away to you for free. FREE! If you promise to do one thing: link to this from your blog. Link to this post, and you can have this idea I think will be worth plenty to whoever executes it well. Link address: http://chrisbrogan.blogspot.com/2006/04/turn-your-catblog-into-content-engine.html
Are you a blogger of some kind or another? Give this some SERIOUS thought. Are you blogging for your own entertainment value, or do you want to grow an audience who’s interested in what you’re talking about? If you’re trying to build an audience and you’re hoping to deliver more and more quality content to them, here’s my take on how to turn your Catblog into a Content Engine.
We’ll start with some basics, and then I’ll get to some “how to” ideas.
What’s the Focus?
If you want to grow an audience, it’s pretty hard to do so by shifting your focus all the time. One day you’re talking about digital cameras, and the next, you’re asking if everyone saw the latest episode of “Lost.” This doesn’t sit well with the average audience. They want to know what they’re getting when they show up. Sure, there are blogs that work like a variety show. Heck, BoingBoing is the #1 blog out there, and they don’t stick to a tight focus. But if you can get their numbers, you don’t need my advice.
Focus means sticking to a general theme, but it doesn’t mean you should get too narrow that you blog yourself into a corner. It’s great to cover the digital devices space or gadgets, but a blog focused solely on the Apple iPod is a short term play, where you might get some good hits for a few months, but how long can you keep up a passionate and frequent stream of posts about your iPod?
Try to understand the focus of your blog, and refine the posts that go there to the area you choose.
Who’s Your Audience
This is tricky, as feedback isn’t always easy to come by. For the most part, I believe our audience is ourselves. Who are you? Are you a 36-year-old technology worker who is creative, who reads all the time, and who is interested in thinking about things in ways different than the average bear? Hell, you are ME.
I define my audience as: people who are interested in self-improvement, and who like to read thought-provoking articles.
Now, it’s not like I know for sure 100%. I have a few dozen folks who write me either frequently or otherwise, but that’s a small sample compared to the 85 subscribers to my RSS feed and the 240 unique hits a day I’m getting.
The point is, you have to really consider who would want to read your content and WHY. As much as you want it to be about your incredibly witty take on life and your conversational style, it’s also a bit about themselves. So, what are you writing that has traction with them? What’s giving them a sense of resonance with what you’re doing?
How Far Will You Go?
When I lost 65 pounds, a common thing my heavier friends would do is ask me, “How’d you lose all that weight?” I’d say, “The old fashioned way: I eat well, I watch my portions, I exercise, and I run.” Oh, they’d say. That’s easy for you to do. That’s a lot of work.
Yeah, no kidding.
If you want to grow an audience, you have to work hard at it. People aren’t necessarily going to keep their eye on your site when you head off for a two week vacation to “I don’t feel like posting” land. You’ve got to make the effort to keep new, fresh content rolling out of your blog, and you’ve got to be willing to commit to putting up new material reguarly. If not, don’t expect an audience to wait.
When Leon decided to take a vacation, he put Lifehack.org in the hands of a few writers he thought would keep up the quality content his site is known for delivering. Can you imagine this for a moment? This is a blog. He wanted to go on vacation, but knew that the web, the blogosphere, wouldn’t really wait a few weeks for him to come back. And so, he planned. He got content onto his site while he gets a chance to rest his toes or whatever it is he’s doing.
Are you ready to think about it like that?
Here’s the brainstorm part of the post. A lot of this has come to me via conversations I’ve had with some really great folks. Some of my ideas make perfect sense to them, and in a few cases, I have every expectation that they’re going to race off and become thousandaires. Let’s see if it resonates with you.
Are you drawing web comics and getting the same four or five poeple to comment on how they like it, or that it’s funny, and that’s it? Why not turn your blog into a showcase of all the other web comic folks you regularly read? Especially– and here’s a recurring trick– folks with just a trickle of traffic like you. Get in touch with these creators and see if you can interview them. Get permission to post examples of their work on your site. Build your blog into a great place to go to find the lesser-known edges of the web.
Ditto if you’re into weight loss. As much as people want to congratulate you on your recent 2 pound loss, how much MORE value would your success bring if you augmented it with pieces covering the food industry (via surfing news stories and adding your commentary), and also by interviewing other weight loss bloggers for their success secrets?
The seed here is this: how can you turn your little niche into a strong representation of lots of the other smaller sites, such that the result is greater than the sum of its parts?
Throw Media at Them
If you’re writing about office productivity, snap some photos of cubicle hell. Make it more interesting: become an anthropologist and take GOOD photos of the stuff people decorate their cubes with. Post a daily snap from another cube. Branch out from your office. Go to other places. Follow this incredible collection of posts (which later will make you lots as a coffee table book – think Post Secret).
Are you writing about small businesses in rural America? Get out there with your camera, and your videocamera, and your whatever, and throw some pictures and graphics around these articles. When you read a magazine, you don’t just read a pile of typewritten pages. There are graphics, drawings, pictures, color. Try to do the same with your blog. Make the images interesting.
Gather All Ye Rosebuds
You are reaching a small audience today. How many? (By the way, get some kind of a stat counter to know this. Without numbers, it’s hard to see the improvement, right?) How will you get more? One way is to band together.
Reach out to other bloggers who are like you: writing great stuff but not necessarily loaded with readers. See if you want to band your content together at a single site, and then focus all your energies at that one target. Similar to watching television, we much prefer a lineup to a stand-alone show that will thereafter force us to reach for the remote again. Right?
Putting the best content under a single banner is a great way to build the strength of whatever content you’re trying to produce.
Give The Audience Something to Do
In these modern times, the audience is a participant. How is American Idol KILLING all the other shows put against it? (Grammys, Olympics, more). One hint is that they involve the audience. You vote. You decide who wins. There are PLOTS on the internet to derail the show by banding together voters to knock off the show’s favorites.
Amazon lets you rate books. Netflix. Blogs have this power, too. Not just Digg, where the interaction is just as literal as American Idol, but sites like Lifehacker involve their readers by giving them software to go check out, and videos and how-to guides to teach them new kills. D*I*YPlanner.com has templates for you to download, and further, they encourage you to make your own and upload them. They are screaming out, “Come share! Participate!”
Blogs can do this in lots of ways. One is, if you write your blog so that it’s not just about YOU, there’s a chance something you are writing about will resonate with your readers. Sure, it’s great to give them experiences from your life to illustrate, but try to focus the lens back on them when you can.
Get readers to do guest posts. Invite your audience to share their best pieces. Put together sites where you collaborate. Look at Illustration Friday. I go there religiously to contribute, even if that takes the form of just adding a link to a big long list of people posting drawings on their various blogs. I bet THEY have great traffic.
How can you make it more interactive for your audience?
Re-purpose Your Content
I listen to and watch a lot of podcasts and videocasts. There’s a new element in town, though, and it bugs me: big content providers are slapping together their old material and calling it a podcast or a vidcast. Marketers are in the game pimping their movies and calling their marketing materials podcasts or vidcasts. But really, they’re doing a clever thing. They’re using content they’ve already produced in more than one way, and that means more value for the effort.
How does this apply to you and your blog?
Say you’ve written 200 really decent posts. You’re proud of the work. Why not dump all that into a word processing software like Writely or Writeboard and cook them into a free eBook to give to your audience? How about taking your web comic and burning the “Best of” onto a CD for distribution? Can you make tee shirts?
You want a quick podcast idea? Take the best of your content and read it into a microphone. Edit out the “ums” and “ahhhs” and you might have yet another product to put in front of that audience.
Sponsors, Promotions and More
Once you’ve started gathering steam, it’s important to roll that snowball into something bigger still. Get even larger content providers to ally with you. Find even better ways to add bang to your content. And if you’re in it for money, start showing your stats around to advertisers. See what your now-4000 readers is worth to someone.
Promote your blog. Use it like you would a company name. When you look to people for interviews, ask to interview them for Fake Movie Critic, and not “for my blog.” If someone asks, it’s okay to say you’re a blogger. If they’re not into that, it’s not your problem. PLENTY of big time mainstream folks are treating blogs with nearly as much respect as they give mainstream media.
(By the way, interviews RULE as a way to get new readers, and as a way to get to know someone new. I met a guy who’s influenced the hell out of me ever since interviewing him a few weeks back.)
Get your blog name into your email signature. Oh, and before I forget, domains are only about $6 US from 1and1.com, if you use them as a forwarding site. If you want to up the credibility of your blog even just a tiny notch, you can front-end your site with a good name. (Believe me, if I could do this over again, I wouldn’t have led with my own name. I’m happy now, but I’ll need to re-brand eventually.)
Get a Flickr account and a Frappr map and meet folks through LinkedIn. Use all these SOCIAL applications to start spreading your brand around. Leave relevant comments on blogs you like, and sign them with your site name.
Above All Else, Passion
If you’re blogging to get rich, you might want to reconsider. There are plenty of success stories, but there are mountains of people just phoning it in out there. You will do okay, but you won’t necessarily blow the world apart with your fresh new voice if all you’re doing is trying to get clickthroughs.
People LOVE passion, even if it’s for something they’re not entirely into. You’ve had that experience, right? Someone is just NUTS about something, and you find yourself smiling and nodding along, even though you are SO outside your territory. That’s what the best posts can be like on a blog. Hopefully, you get a sense of my passion in all the posts I share with you. Do that with your own effort. Share your passion outward.
That’s all I have for now. If you like this post, please feel free to blog about it, share snippets and quotes, and go right out and implement the idea. The link to this article is: http://chrisbrogan.blogspot.com/2006/04/turn-your-catblog-into-content-engine.html
And thanks. You make this all worth it.
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Thank fricken *.deity that I’m the #1,2,3,4,5,7,8,9,10 results that Google pulls up. All that loot I’m paying Larry and Serge to keep it that way is payin’ off!
It’s funny, because if I worked for most corporations, I think you’d probably be spot on. Actually, not only do my coworkers read my blog, they account for nearly 20 percent of the traffic on any given weekday (stat counters are grand, eh?). Now, if only I could get the bastids to sign up to my RSS feed so I’d count them as “regulars,” I’d be in business.
First, I follow the blogging policies my company has laid out. I never mention the company name. I rarely mention even which industry I’m in. If you review my posts, I keep my work-related talk to borders containing mostly myself. I have never said a negative comment about my organization (not for fear, but because I love the place). I’ve worked there 9 plus years and counting (though I told them in my first ever interview that I’d quit after 2).
Oh, and one quick sidebar: most (but not all) the folks at my company don’t play cutthroat games that I’m aware of. If they do, they’re subtle. If they are overt, usually they find themselves working elsewhere eventually. I only have one bona-fide person I know of talking smack about me at work, and her opinion of me is unimportant.
I’ve held five positions within my organization. My first job? I had no experience whatsoever. I went from managing a call center to managing several accounts. My second job? I had no experience except maybe a general technical aptitude. I went from account management to technical product support. My third job? I had LOTS of experience. I ended up managing the people doing what I do. My FOURTH job? No experience. I became a project manager, based on the strengths of my previous role.
My current job is a mishsmash, so it doesn’t count. Basically, my current job is: Chris has been around awhile so he can do a lot of things.
The new role will be (if I follow through and completely pursue it) will be working for a brilliant man, who is also not afraid to criticize someone in public. I think his comments are always fair, though sometimes a little off-tone. He seems reasonable. The third thing I said in the job interview was that my strengths were in x, y, and z, and that I would work to bring a, b, and c up to a level where I’m useful. Oh, and when I was done with him, I spoke to the Director of Human Resources and talked about this, too. He said, hey cool, go for it. What’s to lose?
One thing I’ve said when applying for any position within the company has been this: if you find someone better qualified, than please hire them, because I want the best people on our side. I believe this. It’s not hype.
If you re-read the last post, I’m mostly saying that with confidence, you can accomplish anything. Believe me, my current boss is a great example of that. He’s done three deals in two months, that when all is said and done, put my company in a tremendously better position to accomplish something than what went on before. I personally couldn’t have done what he did. I couldn’t deal myself out of a paper bag.
Self-deprication, I’m learning, isn’t really useful in lots of business contexts. People smell it as a sign of weakness. Thus, my post about confidence and authority is saying, “stuff that lack of confidence down in the sock drawer for later; people want to see your Captain America game face!”
Does that help?
(PS, if you’re my CEO, can you pass my website around at conferences?)
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