Robert and Maryam are speaking on getting noticed in the new word-of-mouth network.
1) Blog because you want to. A story without live is not worth telling. Maryam talks about how Robert kept pushing her to blog for four years. Then one day, she started to blog. As soon as she started, she was blogging about Robert and he tried to get her to stop talking about him on her blog.
If you are blogging about something you don’t really care about because you think it’s profitable, you won’t have passion to go long-term.
2) Read other blogs. Use Technorati to find blogs that are similar to the topics you want to discuss, pick up writing styles, and learn about your competitors. If you read 50 blogs in two weeks and you aren’t compelled to answer back the things that you are reading, you probably won’t be a good blogger.
Maryam started blogging because she was going to a lot of conferences, but people told her they had no way of linking to her. It brings out community and a bond that she hadn’t experienced before. Through blogging she has gotten a much better job and has made a lot more friends. She loves it.
3) Pick a niche you can own - be different. There are two kinds of bloggers - ones that want to make things, and shake things. Others just want to talk to their friends and use their blogs to post baby pictures, talk about books they read, etc. Either way, each group should have a common set of values. When Robert visited people outside of Silicon Valley, he studied the way people use their computers. People go to Google and search for Yahoo because they want to get to Yahoo. Same for Yahoo, one of their top terms is Google.
Normal people outside the tech world aren’t using things like Google Maps, Google Groups, or Picasa. Everyone comes at this world through the search engine, so how do they interact with that?
Question - if you were to pick a category to be different in, would that be the tech category? Yes, it would be hard, but Mike Arrington came in late to the game and went to number one. He was also very focused on a very specific part of the tech industry, being Web 2.0.
There was a niche blogger in London who talks about the London Underground transportation system. After the London bombing, everyone hit her site, and now she is popular. Of course, we don’t want to have a terrorist act happen to make us famous, but you get the point.
9:07: Jason hits the stage and says you don’t have to have the gin tasting the night before the conference instead of the night after.
9:08: Blogging is a great way to build a business, and it’s a business in and of itself. back in 1994, people thought the web was the place to get text, and then thought it was a magazine, then maybe the future of TV. However, you can do a lot of different things with it. Same with blogs - they are like paper. You can make a marketing brochure, a beautiful book, or toilet paper.
9:10: Blogs are real and authentic. There is a movie called “Homepage” which Jason recommends to the attendees. No one knows who Justin Hall is, which blows him away. In 2002-2003 there was a lot of mistrust overall. This is where blogs became free, and started gaining traction. People wanted to express themselves, and that created the perfect storm for blogging. Enter Weblogs, Inc.
9:12: Rafat Ali over at www.paidcontent.org earns about $70,000 from blogging, twice what he was earning working for Jason at Silicon Alley Reporter. Jason started to see the power in the medium. Xeni Jardin flourished after working for Jason, which is when he started wondering if he was holding people back rather than letting them loose. The proof was that when they left, they did better and more interesting work.
9:15: When Silicon Alley Reporter was over, Jason and his CTO Brian Alvey started talking about blogging. They started building blogs in the fall of 2003, and Jason’s idea was that they make is similar to About.com with a bunch of mini-portals.
Jeremy Pepper, Jeanette Gibson, and John Starweather
How does Cisco manage relationships with End Users when there is a reseller middle man?
By providing them a unique way to interact with the company online. They can log in and get a personalized view, along with interactivity.
Can they talk about steps they are taking to educate employees internally about the potential for engagement, so that they understand the impact of blogs, podcasting, etc.?
To educate, you need to have some good data so that you can show how influence really moves across the Internet, and how something you might post online actually reaches customers and hits the community. Cisco puts a blog, podcasting, and news section on their Intranet system, so global employees can all get to that information easily.
11:30: TypePad is a hosted blogging service that gives you a 30-day free trial. Keywords are very important. What words do people use when they try to find your product or service? This aids in choosing a TypePad subdomain for your blog address.
11:35: Dave takes everything through the basic TypePad setup process. Filling in fields, choosing a domain, Terms of Service, etc.
11:38: Question - Are you giving traffic to Six Apart rather than to yourself when going with a hosted blogging service? The blog should be subset of your domain. You can redirect your domain from TypePad through their interface, forwarding your TypePad blog to your personal site.
11:43: Focusing on title of the blog - again, focus on keywords here. Then moves to choosing a TypePad layout template. The further down content is on a page, the less relevant to Google. As for sidebar, 2 column right is much better than 2 column left as far as ranking.
11:49: Password-protected blogs are an option, which is great for private communication or corporate blogs.
11:56: Dave goes on to show the TypePad interface and posts a blog post right from the stage.
9:00 AM: Dave begins by asking how many people updated their website in the past seven days. Of course, many of them have, since this is the Blog Business Summit. However, maybe 5% of site owners update at least weekly.
9:03: Google aims to provide good, fresh content. Same with all search engines. Since most info on the web is out of date, this is the dilemma of the search engines.
9:04: What is findability? When customers try to find your product or service, can they find it? This is what is critically important to your business - especially if they find your competitor instead of you. Every time someone finds someone else, they aren’t finding you.
9:05: No one really understands what the best practices of blogging really are - they are case by case. If you can’t be found, you’re already dead. If I ask my cellphone for the closest Chinese restaurant, and the Chinese restaurant across the street doesn’t show up as a search result, they’re dead.
Unfortunately, times change. Those image rollovers that you used to think were innovative are now horribly outdated and your competition seems to have redesigned their Web site about every 6 months since yours went live several years ago. It’s time to redesign.
For anyone starting up his or her own business, an understanding of business incorporation is must. While there are both pros and cons in taking this step for your business, you want to be sure that whichever side you fall down on, you are making an informed decision that will ultimately result in the flourishing of your endeavors.
The first stage in establishing any business entity is to decide the legal structure this will take. These structures range from sole proprietorship to several types of corporation, and the form you select will depend largely on your business intentions. A small business, owned by a single person, is generally run as a sole proprietorship, and though there are few tax benefits to operating in this way, there is also far less paperwork involved in establishing operations. Incorporation is most suited to larger operation, owned by two people or more, who wish to protect their personal assets, enjoy a multitude of tax benefits and find new ways to raise capital in the future.
There are dozens of reasons why you should look up the forums that are related to your market and post to them often. Here are 3 to get you started, after the jump.
Many Internet businesses are started by people who have only a casual knowledge of the inner workings of the medium. The world wide web is a global, interconnected network of information which people can access from just about anywhere - home or work, computer or cell phone, wired or wireless. This gives you one clear advantage running a business on the Internet over running it in a physical office or brick-and-mortar storefront - unlike a business or resource one would have to travel to, yours is only a click away. There are a few things you should look in to before jumping in head first.
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