February 07, 2007

Clear Blogging out - free chapter.

My new book, Clear Blogging, started selling at Amazon yesterday and Apress has just made available Chapter 9 ("Successful Blogging") as a .pdf. Just look on the books Apress page under Extras (direct link here).

One of the main themes I built into this book are ways of being more productive and more time efficient as a blogger. Chapter 9 is basically a mini blogging course on:

  • Ways of finding things to post on (creating "beats", using Google as your Blog Radar).
  • Structuring your blog (theming your blog, maintaining a story list, accessorizing longer posts, 22 ideas that will make or break your blog).
  • Tools and methods for improving your writing (handy bookmarklets, WhiteSmoke, How to write a compelling post by B.L. Ochman, How to write a blog post, by Seth Godin).
  • The ins and outs of Technorati tagging (covered elsewhere in Clear Blogging in much, much more detail, including an interview with Technorati CEO David Sifry).
  • Socializing your blog (Digg, Reddit and Sociable).

If you're a blogger, I hope you'll find this free chapter (and the book :) ) useful, informative and above all else information you can take action with. Enjoy!

February 06, 2007

Clear Blogging is now out!

Just a quick note that my second book, Clear Blogging: How People Blogging Are Changing the World and How You Can Join Them, is now out. If you’re wondering what this whole blogging thing is, or how to do a blog for your micro-ISV successfully, or how to connect to and tap into the power of the Blogosphere, I think this book is for you.

You’ll find more info on Clear Blogging at my blog, http://clearblogging.com.

November 30, 2006

Quick FYI...

Just so you know, I doubt I'll be posting again until sometime next week or the week after: I'm in the final stages of finishing Clear Blogging: How People Blogging Are Changing the World and How You Can Join Them and my editor has hooked up my chair -ZAP!- to give me a jolt -ZAP!- every minute I'm not writing the book.

Expect to see some nice changes around here in Dec.

Clear Blogging: How People Blogging Are Changing the World and How You Can Join Them

August 03, 2006

3 Ways to save time with RSS

While you may have started tracking your favorite blogs via your favorite desktop or web RSS reader, here's three simple ways to spend less time getting more value out of your RSS feeds.

80/20 Your RSS Feeds. FbafterThe 80/20 idea has been around for a while - 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers, 80% of your leads come from 20% of marketing activities, etc. The same principle works for information - 80% of the value of all the RSS feeds you've accumulated comes from about 20% of the feeds.
Reorganize your feeds into two main folders or groups: the 20% which are really worth following, the rest that you might sporadically scan. Here's what it looked like in FeedDemon.

Shortcut your bookmarkets (Firefox). There's a poorly documented trick in Firefox that will save you several steps when you come across Blog you want to subscribe to. First, you need to be using Firefox (of course) and you need to be using a RSS service like say NewsGator that offers a bookmarket - a tiny Javascript program that looks like a bookmark. Tore0000_1 In Firefox, change the Keyword in the Properties of the bookmarket to a short, easy to remember code (I use "rsn" for RSS into Newsgator).
When I get to a blog I want to subscribe to, I enter "rsn" in the Firefox Navigation Toolbar and the feed is pulled right into NewsGator where I can organize. Next time I start FeedDemon on PC, the feed is there. And you can group all your bookmarkets into a folder and move it off your Bookmarks Toolbar. Nice!

Track interests with a Google Blog Search RSS Feed. One nice feature of Google Blog SearchGoogle_search_blog is you can turn any search into an RSS feed. Just do the search (Limiting it to say today) , do the search, then Subscribe to your preferred RSS flavor. This is a great way of tracking ongoing interests, for example, Getting Things Done.

August 02, 2006

Questions for Alvin Toffler?

I'm going to be interviewing Alvin Toffler, author of Future Shock, The Third Wave, Revolutionary Wealth and other futurist books next week for the book I'm working on. If the name doesn't ring a bell, Toffler is a futurist who 30 years ago saw the world we now live in, and the world we're going to be living in.

Anyone online is living in the world Toffler foresaw a quarter-century ago and wrote about in Future Shock and The Third Wave; the whole world is living in now what he foresaw in War and Anti-War.

If you've got any questions you'd like me to ask him, comment them here. No guarantees, but this is as close to having a genuine crystal ball on the future as you or I are likely to get.

Some of Toffler's books: Revolutionary Wealth Future Shock The Third Wave

May 24, 2006

Blogging from Word 12, beta2

If you are reading this post every blog posting application including my favorite, BlogJet, is in trouble. That’s because I’m writing it in Microsoft Word 12, beta2 and just clicking the nice Publish button.

Word12blogging

Good:

  • No more crappy TypePad editor!
  • Simplification of my life.
  • Supports posting to different blogs.

Bad:

  • Too new for much info on how to post to a WordPress blog,
  • Categories are unsupported if posting to TypePad.
  • Posting embedded images directly to TypePad does not work.
  • All the good social bookmarking, technorati tags will need to be added (Or will it? – Investigate this!)

Office 12 Beta2 is freely downloadable from Microsoft. It's far from perfect – it's a beta! But the long and short of it is being able to blog from Word is simply awesome.

technorati tags:
del.icio.us tags: 
Add to: | del.cio.us | digg | yahoo! | furl

February 04, 2006

What's your CI?

Stowe Boyd over at /Message has coined a new metric that I think micro-ISVs would benefit by adopting: the Conversational Index. Start with your micro-ISV's blog (you do have a blog, right?). Tally up you posts, divide by the sum of comments plus trackbacks (posts/comments+trackbacks): That's your CI.

A CI of < 1.0 tells you your prospective customers are not just passively listening to you, but care enough about what you say to say something back. A CI of say >4.0 means you need a major change in direction because no one is interested in what you say enough to comment or post about it.

Now, Don Dodge calculates CI a little differently, but the point is the same: your blog to be effective needs to be a conversation, not a monologue. And, this metric needs to take into account RSS, but I expect as more data becomes available, how CI is defined will be tweaked to take RSS into account.

My CI? 1.62. Good, but definitely has room for improvement. So what should I be writing more of, or less about? And while you're at it, what's your CI?

Ci_on_020406

Technorati Tags: , ,

February 03, 2006

And now, the news!

CBS News is doing something extraordinary. If you go here, you can vote for one of three stories to assign to Steve Hartman and the winning story will air on the CBS Evening News the following Friday.

It would be like the Pope, with all due respect, lifted his robe while on the Vatican balcony and said, "What should I be wearing?"

Kudos to CBS for getting in touch with its viewers like never before.

Cbs

Technorati Tags: ,

January 24, 2006

Writing for the Web well

Whether you're a micro-ISV or just trying to get the last blog post out for the day (ahem), here's a short and sweet article with good tips on how to write well for the web:

How to Write Successfully for the Web

It is part of the wikiHow project that Google promotes as one of the contents you can add to your personalize Home page. Well worth the read.

1123927_b30d3d1d19_m

Technorati Tags: , , ,

January 04, 2006

Brand your Blog.

A little branding tip from Laura at Six Apart: instead of the generic TypePad logo, extend your micro-ISV's brand by creating and using a favicon.ico.

A favicon.ico is a 16 by 16 pixel .gif formatted image, easily created on Windows in a graphics program, or with IrfanView or created online with FavIcon from Pics.

Once you've created your micro-ISV's favicon.ico, upload it to your Home directory at TypePad and people will see it in their browsers from then on, both in the address bar and in the tab (FireFox).

Faviconatwork

Three quick other things to mention about this: they make your site stand out in bookmarks, a variation of this trick might work with other blogging engines, and you should use the same favicon.ico for your micro-ISV's main web site.

(Technorati tags: )

ToDoOrElse?


  • Who?
    Bob Walsh, (Author, managing partner of Safari Software, Inc. a micro-ISV)
    What?
    Exploring the intersection between Getting Things Done and building a micro-ISV.
    Where?
    Live from Sonoma, California USA.
    When?
    Once or so a workday.
    Why?
    Because there's a way to get everything done, I just know there is!
    Micro-ISV?
    Micro Internet Software Vendor, a self-funded startup company: See mymicroisv.com for information and resources.
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