links for 2008-03-21

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links for 2008-03-19

Twitter Up, Blogging Down

Yes, I’m Twittering more than I’m blogging here lately. I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

Just a few minutes ago, Jeremiah Owyang posted to Twitter:

“Is your blogging reducing due to Twitter usage? It has for Adam Stewart.”

…So I hopped over to see what Adam Stewart had to say. This part of his post rang true for me:

“Generally, one line of thought often turns into a blog post. With Twitter, that one line of thought becomes a small post that speaks for itself, and it feels like old content once I release it into the Twittersphere.”

So I commented:

“Yeah, I’ve definitely noticed this effect re: my personal blog Contentious.com. Hasn’t hurt the blogs I run for clients, but the cobbler’s children has no shoes. Honestly, I generally find Twitter more personally useful and satisfying than blogging. Can’t sum that one up in 140 characters, so I guess I’ll have to blog it. But at least now, while I’m wrangling with a heavy workload, Twitter gives me a way to vent some of my compulsion to converse and share with the people who seem to be the core audience of my blog anyway.”

…As I imbibe more green tea and think this through further, I remember that blogs have always been an awkward tool to satisfy my deepest desires for conversational media. Yeah, I love to write — but I tend to find quality conversation far morerewarding and satisfying than merely writing. Despite all Twitter’s limitations and weaknesses (which are many) I find it to be a superior conversational media tool. In many ways.

Of course, I’m sure that whatever conversational media tools crop up in the next few years will be even more versatile, robust, and usable. I’m looking forward to being part of that evolution. What about you?

links for 2008-03-18

Making your home page “bloggier,” but not “a blog.”

JoniMitchell.com
A bloggier home page definitely doesn’t have to be ugly.

Right now, several of my clients are working on site redesigns and also are looking for ways to increase site traffic. One of the most basic strategies for attracting more traffic to your site is making your site more appealing to search engines. That’s why I’m suggesting that these clients might consider adding a “blog” to their home page, because search engines love blogs.

…OK, I realize now I need to learn to say that differently when talking to clients. All of these clients are from major, respectable media organizations — consequently, they have a generally negative immediate reaction to the word “blog.” Even though these people are savvy about online media, they still tend to immediately associate “blog” with a negative and largely inaccurate stereotype: poorly designed rant-fests that attract trolls and flamers like cockroaches.

No, that’s NOT what I’m advising for their home pages.

Rather, I’m saying it can be useful to manage the newsiest parts of your site with a blog-like back-end — a content management system interface that makes it easy to post discrete items, categorize and assign a permalink to each, and present them online in reverse-chronological order. Then you generate a feed (RSS) from that content, so you can syndicate the most recent items to a space on your home page layout.

Here’s how you can benefit from that strategy…

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links for 2008-03-17

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