Blog Software Review (part one)

After a year of messing around with blogs, I have had a chance to work with some of the programs out there. My inamirrordimly blog uses Nucleus, but I also have been working with Typepad and WordPress. While a lot of people use typepad, it seems that WordPress has been gaining some momentum. Andrew Jones of Tallskinnykiwi.com told me that Typepad has had its day and that WordPress is on its way up. While I have enjoyed using Nucleus, Typepad and WordPress are a bit more accessible for the blogging novice. And here are a few thoughts along those lines.

I have had a Typepad blog since April of last year, while the WordPress thing is new to me as of this year. Though I could say a lot in comparison, here’s the short cut to my point: WordPress takes a little bit of time to learn and requires even a minimal knowledge of html code, but it’s free. Typepad is really easy to use and makes buidling links and editing your content really easy. The down side is that the extra convenience costs you $6 a month.

Continue reading Blog Software Review (part one)

Coming Up

I’m very excited about a few things coming up. First of all I bought a new USB cable for my Canon Powershot A95. I lost the cable yesterday and was bummed that my pictures of Mt. Equinox (near Manchester, VT) would have to stay on the camera. I’ll have them up soon I hope.

The other project that I am very excited about is the development of a web page for the Northshire Non-Profit Network. We are meeting this Friday at GNAT at 8 am. There will be coffee, tea, and donuts. This is a great grass-roots kind of group that meets to collaborate on a variety of topics from newsletter, to volunteers, to this week’s topic: events. There isn’t a strong agenda driving the group, only a topic, and all are free to contribute. It’s a great place to share ideas and to find new ones.

My plan is to propose a web site for the group at this meeting.

Continue reading Coming Up

Posted in Web

Make Your Own Buttons

If you’re like me and you don’t have a clue about code, there are short cuts out there. For example, Adam Kalsay’s Button Maker allows you to specify the content, lay out, and color of your buttons. I made a simple one for my web site that I will offer to users who want an attractive link to put up on their own web sites and blogs.

Sometimes I want to list directories or blog tools on my site and certain products do not provide their own buttons. In order to make your side bar uniform, this button maker enables you to make your own in a matter of minutes. It’s then a matter of saving the image, uploading it to your web site, and then copying the location of the image. If you ever wonder how to do it, you can view the source of any web site by clicking on the view option of your internet browser and checking out the page’s source code.

Continue reading Make Your Own Buttons

Posted in Web

The Future of Blogs

CNET news has put together a list of articles relating to the future of blogs. Of particular interest is an interview of Mena Trott, one of the developers of Moveable Type, which powers the popular blog building program known as Typepad.

While I will provide some excerpts from from the interview further down, it’s also worth nothing that there is a review of Blogging For Dummies and NY Times article on blogging on the road. On now without further ado, here’s a look at the interview with Mena Trott.

Continue reading The Future of Blogs

Posted in Web

Do Unto Others . . .

A casual scan down the right columns of this web site will show that I have been quite busy adding links and signing up for affiliate programs. This was not an overnight decision. While I plan to continue adding helpful links, I have also given a lot of thought to the “monetizing” of this blog.

My basic philosophy follows some of the following points:

  1. Provide as much free assistance as possible.
  2. Keep the content fresh and helpful for writers, non-profits, and whoever else ends up on this page.
  3. The page will pay for itself

Continue reading Do Unto Others . . .

Posted in Web

Vermont Non-Profit Links

I have spent the past few days accumulating links on a social bookmarking/tagging service called del.icio.us. You can access my tags here. While you can scroll down the list of my most recent tags and browse them, there is a listing of categories on the right where you can seek out what is of interest to you. I have focused lately on collecting Vermont blogs, non-profit information related to Vermont, and non-profit information related to technology. There is general info mixed in as well.

The beauty of this service is that you can see how many people have tagged the same item, thereby giving you an idea of its popularity and possibly its usefulness. Once you connect to another person’s del.icio.us account, you will find that they have their own collection of tags to choose from.

If you would like to get started with social bookmarking, you can set up a del.icio.us account very easily. If you are not using Mozilla Firefox as your internet browser, I recommend downloading it. It’s a much better and safer browser than internet explorer. Then go to the add-on section and download the del.icio.us extension.

This extension will put a “tag” icon on your browser bar next to your print icon. If you’re at a web site that you like, just click on the tab and you can categorize it for your bookmarking account. This is a very easy way to store and organize information, while also connecting yourself to a network of people whose preferences are available to you.

Posted in Web

Technorati

Speaking of technorati . . .

Signing up for technorati is a great way to promote your blog. Technorati is a blog search engine that allows people to find blogs related to certain key words. By signing up for an account you can register your blog and define it with a list of 25 key words. After you post to your blog and categorize your content, follow the below link to get the code that can be placed at the bottom of your post:

link
While most major blogging programs use categories that can be sorted through technorati, use these links to add key words that will make your post stand out. On inamirrordimly.com, I have received the most technorati hits through very specific tags at the end of my posts.

Technorati Profile

technorati tags: , ,

Posted in Web

State of the Blogosphere

Blog search engine technorati has published a report on the state of the blogosphere. Read it here: link.

Here are some main points from the summary:

In Summary
  • Blogging and Mainstream Media continue to share attention in blogger’s and reader’s minds, but bloggers are climbing higher on the “big head” of the attention curve, with some bloggers getting more attention than sites including Forbes, PBS, MTV, and the CBC.
  • Continuing down the attention curve, blogs take a more and more significant position as the economics of the mainstream publishing models make it cost prohibitive to build many nice sites and media
  • Bloggers are changing the economics of the trade magazine space, with strong entries covering WiFi, Gadgets, Internet, Photography, Music, and other nice topic areas, making it easier to thrive, even on less aggregate traffic.

technorati tags: ,

Posted in Web

Making a Buck … or Two

It’s unrealistic to expect your web site to make a lot of money. Nevertheless, it may be possible to have a web site that pays for itself.

Using Google ads and other advertising programs that use key words, you may be able to place ads on your organization’s web site that will provide links to sites of interest to those using it.

While a static web page will not do a whole lot for your organization, a more interactive page with blog posts, regular updates, and a wide variety of content may make Google ads an option to chip away at some of your hosting and development expenses.

Harold Davis of Googleplex and author of several books on Google comments:

“Blogs are good because they keep content fresh, but that’s just a small part of it. Good reference material really draws traffic. On a photography site I run, for example, one piece I wrote on how to convert raw digital photos draws more traffic than 99 percent of my other photo pages.”

Content, content, content. That seems to be the key. For more ideas on using ads, read the whole article: link.