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2005.03.31

RSS For Non-Techies

Blogs are a wonderful thing. But - it's RSS technology that puts blogs on steriods and gives them even more punch and power.

BL Ochman, What's Next Online, has written one of the best non tech explanations I've read on RSS: A Totally Non-Techie Expanation of What You Need To Know About RSS. The article includes resource links and examples of how websites too are leveraging RSS for media releases, product updates and newsletters.

Bloglines, a popular newreader, is now including FedEx, UPS United States Postal Service Package tracking via RSS in its feeds.

Posted by Toby in RSS | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

2005.03.30

Good Morning Marketers! Are You Using Every Advantage?

Think:  What have you done today to make yourself a better marketer and more valuable to your clients and employer?

<pause>

OK, what did you come up with?  Lots, I hope!  For those that are still searching, here are a few ideas that you can employ NOW!

- Blog your way to a better career, or better position with your clients. Napsterize your knowledge and put your voice out there!
- Get involved!  The AMA Sigs, your professional trade groups, or any gathering of like (or diverse) minded professionals is an opportunity to expand your horizons. 
- Still eating alone?  Take a co-worker to lunch or call up a local business owner.  You are your network.  No one close by, then start a blog and network virtually!
- Join the AMA, if you aren't already a member.  Nothing like being part of the greatest collection of  40,000 marketers you could ever imagine!

Posted by Dana VanDen Heuvel in Being a Better Marketer | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

2005.03.14

Great Google Rankings but Nowhere in Technorati

A question was recently posed via email; “How do the blog search engines (TechnoratiFeedster) search and why is my blog not coming up when I get great Google rankings for the same words?”

Being a leader in the space Scott Rafer of Feedster could likely shed more light on this, but I’ll give it a shot.

The blog engines work differently than a regular search engines. Google, Yahoo, MSN and the like, use "spiders" that constantly look for new pages and updates. Most blog engines wait for you to submit your URL. Also keep in mind some of them are directories not algorithmic engines.

There are primarily two things you can do to include yourself in these sites. The First is to sign up for an account if they offer it. The second (and best) thing to do is to "PING" them. They will give you an address for that. Put it in the appropriate box in your blog’s preferences. A great service for notifying several blog engines/directories every time you update is Ping-O-Matic.

Hope this helps!

Posted by Wayne in Putting Blogs to Work | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

2005.03.09

Answering questions on installing blog software, server requiements and blog consultants

Another installment of the "Dear Blogmeister" series of weblog Q&A

Dear Blogmeister:

I am a non-technical person who has created a web site that I'd like to enhance by adding blogs. My problem is that, even though I've downloaded MySQL and PHP, I can't install them because I don't have a web server (IIS or Apache) and, for the life of me, get overwhelmed at all of the technical jargon that is on those sites so give up on trying to download that software. Please help!

My questions are:
1. Is there a simple, one-step software that I can download and install to get blogging capabilities?
2. If there isn't a one-step software, who do I turn to to help me figure it all out?
3. How much memory would I need, potentially, if for instance I want to open the site to allow 10,000 people to blog.

Awaiting your technical input,
Serverless in San Antonio

Dear Serverless:

Good questions.  Blog software is pretty easy, blog consultants prevalent, and server space a non-issue, so here goes.

1. You can download and install Movable Type or WordPress for blogging.  I recommend Movable Type.  There are others, but they are not as well supported.  Also, you can engage a hosted service like TypePad, but it might not meet your goals of having other bloggers on your site.

2. Who do I turn to for help figuring it all out?'  There are a number of weblog consultants out there.  You can find a list here:  http://www.businessblogconsulting.com/consultants/index.html

3. How much space for 10,000 blogs?  Think about the math of this one a bit.  Let's say that 1 blogger writes 5 posts a week for 52 weeks - that's about 260 posts per year.  Some will post less, some more, but let's use that at an average.  Personally, I've posted 1000 times in just under three years, so I'm not too far from the average.   

The full Movable Type blog install is less than 10MB, and each blog post is roughly 30KB, with the archive index pages, such as the index for each of them months, reaching 500KB, a year's worth of blog posts if you had monthly archives, a dozen or so category archives, and the individual archives would require about 33MB of space per blogger, per year. 

In reality, it's less than that due, in large part, to the variance in blog post sizes.  In the end, for 10,000 bloggers, you'd need less than 400 MB of space per year.  Now, you may have images and some other items in there, but the point of the matter is that blogs are pretty lightweight.

Server power is not all that much of an issue either.  Six Apart, Movable Type's parent company, does not have many requirements on servers except to say that you can use the following operating systems, servers, and databases with Movable Type. 

Operating Systems:
Linux
Solaris/Unix
BSD
Mac OS X
Windows Server

Web Servers:
Apache
Microsoft IIS
Netscape

Databases:
MySQL
Berkeley DB
PostgreSQL
SQLite

The other alternative to installing your own is to go with a Six Apart partner host.  You can find a list of these at http://www.sixapart.com/partners/current

Happy Blogging,
Blogmeister

Posted by Dana VanDen Heuvel in Putting Blogs to Work | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2005.03.03

It's Official - The AMA HotTopic Blog Seminar is Going to San Francisco!

We'll in be in San Fran on the 28th of April!  Due to demand (yes, really!) we've added a 4th trip to the tour and we're hitting the mecca of interactive & online - San Francisco.

The AMA will have something out shortly - stay tuned, and get ready to sign up!

We're also tweaking the format slightly to include more on blog advertising, the legalities of blogging and a more defined road map to get you off and running right after you leave the event!

Posted by Dana VanDen Heuvel in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack