Tag: business_blogging

How to blog – blog training course

I am developing and running a blog training course starting next September 25th for IT@Cork.

It will be a 5 week course, one hour a week (6pm Monday evenings) in the National Software Centre in Mahon. It will be open to non-members and members of IT@Cork alike. The course fees will be €50 for IT@Cork members and €100 for non-members.
The entire proceeds of this training will be going to IT@Cork.

A very rough outline of what I will be going through each night is as follows:
Week 1. Intro to blogging and RSS
How to set up a blog
Hosted vs non-hosted
Free vs. paid

Week 2. How to optimise your blog
Spam prevention

Week 3. Your blog content
RSS searches

Week 4. How to Promote your blog and posts

Week 5. How to Podcast

This outline is open to suggestion and change – please feel free to suggest any topics which you feel are missing and/or under-represented in the comments to this post.

I have created a Google Calendar for this training course – you can subscribe to the calendar and see any changes to the course outline as it becomes firmed up.

Here is an RSS link for the training calendar.
Here is an iCal link for the training calendar.
And here is a static HTML link to the training calendar.

Email admin@itcork.ie to book your place.

UPDATE – In response to valuable feedback from Keith and Paul in the comments I have added in RSS and images to weeks 1 and 3 of the course. The Google Calendar has also been updated

Do you still think blogging is a fad?

I see Dave Sifry (who I interviewed on PodLeaders.com a couple of weeks ago) has published a new quarterly State of the Blogosphere.

Dave’s main findings are that the blogosphere is still doubling in size every 6 months – so it is maintaining its rate of virtually exponential growth. The blogosphere is over 60 times bigger than it was only 3 years ago.

The main points to note are:

  • Technorati now tracks over 35.3 Million blogs
  • On average, a new weblog is created every second of every day
  • Technorati tracks about 1.2 Million new blog posts each day, about 50,000 per hour and, most interesetingly,
  • 19.4 million bloggers (55%) are still posting 3 months after their blogs are created

Do you still think blogging is a fad?

Is blogging becoming monologous?

Robert Scoble announced the other day that he was going to start moderating the comments on his blog:

It was that moment that I decided to moderate my comments here. Yes, I am now approving every comment here. And I will delete any that don’t add value to either my life or the lives of my readers.

This is a huge change for me. I wanted a free speech area, but after having a week off I realize that I need to make a change. That, I’m sure, will lead to attacks of “censorship” and all that hooey. Too bad. I’m instituting a “family room” rule here. If I don’t like it, it gets deleted and deleted without warning — just the same as if you said something abusive in my family room I’d kick you out of my house. If you don’t like that new rule, there are plenty of other places on the Internet to write your thoughts. Start a blog and link here. Etc. Etc.

Steve Rubel, similarly moderates his comments, Marketing guru Seth Godin has turned off comments on his blog, Michelle Malkin only allows trackbacks and others have systems in place which require you to register to leave a comment.

This is a disappointing trend in blogging because it starts to take the meme ‘markets are conversations’ and change it to markets are monologs (once more!). Further – how can we now seriously evangelise the benefits of having comments enabled when some of the most prominent bloggers have theirs locked down?

I'd like to thank the Academy…

I won the Irish Blog Awards Best Technical Blog!

Unbelievably I won the award for the Best Technical Blog at the Irish Blog Awards on Saturday night. I didn’t think I had much of a chance 1) considering the quality of the competition and 2) the fact that the volume of posting here has decreased since I upped my podcasting output!

Still, those fivers I slipped the judges obviously paid off!!! Thanks to everyone who voted for me and to Damien for organising the event.

Now, if I could find some way to monetise this – anyone need a blog/social software consultant?

Launch of Structured Blogging

I see Jeff Clavier has a post about the launch of StructuredBlogging.org at the Syndicate conference. Structured blogging is

a way to get more information on the web in a way that’s more usable. You can enter information in this form and it’ll get published on your blog like a normal entry, but it will also be published in a machine-readable format so that other services can read and understand it.

For more see the structuredblogging.org website.

The announcement is being made by Marc Canter, and Salim Ismail of PubSub.

This is very fortuitous timing – Salim pre-announced the structured blogging initiative in his amazing podcast on this site last week and co-incidentally, I am interviewing Marc canter at the end of this week for a podcast to be published next week!

Are these podcasts topical, or what?

Captcha's are lame

A captcha is an acronym for “completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart – in other words a type of challenge-response test used to determine whether or not a computer user is human (or another computer).

From the Wikipedia entry on Captcha’s:

A common type of captcha requires that the user type the letters of a distorted and/or obscured sequence of letters or digits that appears on the screen. Because the test is administered by a computer, in contrast to the standard Turing test that is administered by a human, a captcha is sometimes described as a reverse Turing test

Recently, I have seen several bloggers install captcha’s as a way to try to stop comment spam on their site – guys, captcha’s are lame.

Captcha's are lame

Why are captcha’s lame? Captcha’s are lame because:

  1. they force the burden of work back on your commenter and pushing extra work on your readership displays a lack of respect
  2. they show you are too lazy to properly secure your blog against comment spam (using blacklists, .htaccess, number of links, etc.) and most importantly,
  3. they discriminate against partially-sighted readers

There are many good anti-comment spam tools and procedures available, don’t use captchas.

Shel Israel podcast

The Shel Israel interview went ahead last night, as planned. Shel was great, full of warm humour, interesting insights and relevant anecdotes. below are the questions I asked him and the times in the podcast they were asked:

Shel, what is it about Ireland that appeals to you? – 1:15

You guys wrote Naked Conversations right out there in the open – as you completed each chapter of the book, you published it online – what was it like writing a book as transparently as you guys did with Naked Conversations? – 2:30

Most people have read the book now online, will they buy it? – 5:50

If you were writing another book, would you do it online? – 6:30

Given that very few Irish companies have started blogging yet, why should a company have a blog? – 7:28

What are the advantages of blogging to a business? – 8:40

What advice would you give to business bloggers to help them become become successful – 11:50

Companies can be afraid of being open in their blogs (what if our competitors are reading the blog) and are afraid of what will be said in the comments – how do you deal with these fears? – 15:11

If I am a developer, how can I see what people are saying about my application/product? – 17:55

What do you see as the benefits of Podcasts/videocasts to businesses? – 23:30

How is a podcast/videocast of use to smaller companies (smaller than Microsoft!)? – 25:25

So blogs/podcasts/videocasts are about humanising companies? – 27:50

You have recently blogged that you are going to start writing about startups – what aspect of startups most interests you? – 32:30

What challenges do startups face today that they didn’t 25 years ago? – 34:30

Brian Greene’s question:
There are 40,000 blogs updates every hour of the day. How am I to read all that? seriously hasn’t blogging just added to the textual data smog that make it easier for government to bury the truth, making facts harder to come by? 37:30

You can listen to the podcast of this discussion here.