Double Header Day Assignment – 004

6 02 2008

Random People at the Giants Game

The assigment for today’s class and this week is as follows:

Pick a topic that you want to write three posts on

Check Google search results for keywords related to that topic and take a screen shot of the the top results. Look at who is coming up on these topics already.

Plan your three posts, considering…
– Titles of each post (write for findability)
– Tags (what series of tags will give this series of posts a stong theme and help it be found)
– Links (who or what are the important sites and people to link to on this topic… wikipedia and a google search results page are always easy sure winners).
– Overall theme – how will these posts work together to give you a strong theme.

Write your posts, publish them, and promote them

Prepare a report for next class, including…
– Traffic (who checked out your posts, where did they come from, how did they find you?
– Incoming links (is anyone linking to your posts? what are the results?)
– Subscribers (does your blog have any RSS subcribers? how many? how did you find them?)
– Comments (did anyone comment? who? do they have blogs? how did they find you?)
– Results (where do you come up on Google? Have you gotten any feedback? How do you feel about your blog?)


Homework Assignment 003 – Blogs and Stats

23 01 2008

sectThe assignment for this week is to grow traffic on your website using some of the techniques we’ve been talking about in class… Technorati, tags, polls, linking, etc. Pls write a post for next class talking about what traffic on your blog is like, what you’ve done to increase it, who your top referrers are, what your most popular posts are, and what search terms people are using in Google to find you. This could be a good chance to link to other peoples blogs and thank them for mentioning you, linking to you or just checking you out. 🙂


Homework Assignment 002 – RSS

16 01 2008
  1. Here’s an article from my site on RSS.  Pls read it.
  2. Add 10 RSS feeds (blogs) to your Google Reader.
  3. Follow your feeds this week and make one post to your blog linking to something you found in your reader.

Topics for Today’s Class

16 01 2008

Blog blog blog blog blog blogger blogging. :)Today I thought we would talk about…

  1. blogging basics
  2. stats and traffic
  3. RSS!!!

What other things do you want to add to this list? Have you played with your blog this week? Did you ‘get it’ or find it confusing? Let’s help each other figure all this out and use this project to do some cool stuff online. 🙂

Blogging Basics

16 01 2008

From Technorati

What’s a weblog?
A weblog, or “blog”, is a personal journal on the Web. Weblogs cover as many different topics, and express as many opinions, as there are people writing them. Some blogs are highly influential and have enormous readership, while others are mainly intended for a close circle of family and friends.

Why are blogs important?
The power of weblogs is that they allow millions of people to easily publish their ideas, and millions more to comment on them. Blogs are a fluid, dynamic medium, more akin to a “conversation” than to a library — which is how the Web has often been described in the past. With an increasing number of people reading, writing, and commenting on blogs, the way we use the Web is shifting in a fundamental way. Instead of primarily being passive consumers of information, more and more Internet users are becoming active participants. Weblogs allow everyone to have a voice.
What are common misperceptions about weblogs?
The main misconception about blogs is that they are only personal diaries. Weblogs come in all flavors, from personal journals that are mainly shared with close friends and family, to blogs with readership levels placing them in the league of mainstream media. Blog topics include political commentary, product reviews, scientific endeavors, and any area of information where people have a deep expertise and a desire to express it.
What is a blogger?
A blogger is someone who writes a blog.
What is the blogosphere?
Blogosphere is a word used to describe the online community of bloggers and their writings.
How is a weblog different from a website?
A weblog is a website that is updated frequently, most often displaying its material in journal-like chronological dated entries or posts. Most blogs allow readers to post comments to your the post, and link from their blog to your posts using the permanlink URL or address. In a blog, the content can be published and syndicated separate from the formatting using an RSS feed. Readers can then subscribe to the feed to automatically receive updates.
What is a weblog post or entry?
An entry, a post, or a posting, are the terms often used to refer to a specific article or commentary written by the blogger on his or her weblog.
What is a comment?
Many weblogs allow readers to write a reaction to what was written in the blog entry. Comments can often be found directly following the blog entry.
What is RSS?
RSS is a file format that allows anyone with a website — from large media companies to individual commentators — to easily “syndicate” their content, similar to how comic strips and popular columns are syndicated by their owners to hundreds of newspapers. Except that on the Web, the RSS syndication is usually free, and the content that is syndicated is often not the full entry, but excerpts and links back to the originating website. Technorati uses RSS to track updates to millions of blogs.
What is “syndication”?
In traditional media, syndication is a way of making content (such as OpEd columns or cartoons) available to many media outlets to publish simultaneously, usually for a fee. In the world of weblogs syndication means making part of a website available for consumption in a specialized reader or for other sites to use and publish, often for free. The part of a site made available for such syndication is most often a “RSS newsfeed” that lets other tools and sites display some or all of the site’s content with proper attributions and links to the original source.
How is RSS different from a blog?
A blog is a website which usually includes current entries, comments, a “blogroll,” and an archive. An RSS newsfeed is a way of representing a portion of that website.
What about an RSS search engine? Is that different from what Technorati does?
Yes. RSS feeds are a subset of the World Live Web. An RSS search engine searches only content structured in specialized XML formats such as RSS and Atom but does not look at a site’s HTML or other markup. Not all blogs have RSS feeds, and some sites that are not blogs (such as The New York Times or some online event calendars) do have RSS feeds. Many blogs only send out a small portion or summary of their full postings and leave the full postings on their sites as HTML. Technorati specializes in searching all blogs, not merely those with RSS feeds, and instead of only indexing the RSS feed (often the first few hundred words of an article), Technorati reads all of the HTML code in a blog posting, and also tracks all of the activity around a blog or post such as inbound and outbound links.
What’s the relationship between blogging and journalism?
Weblogs are different from traditional media. Bloggers tend to be more opinionated, niche-focused, and partisan than journalists, who strive for editorial objectivity. Blogs encourage dialog with readers, which is why many traditional journalists now also have blogs. The relationship between blogging and journalism can be characterized as symbiotic rather than competitive. Bloggers are often sources for journalists, and many blogs contain commentary and riffs on what journalists wrote that day. Frequently newsmakers use blogs to respond to what journalists write about them. And by linking to traditional media, weblogs can introduce new readers to journalists and their publications.
Are weblogs a business or a hobby?
For most people, blogging is a hobby. For some, especially journalists, writers, and business and political leaders, writing blogs enhances their professional careers by giving their voices a broader audience and allowing more engaged contact with their readers, constituents, and customers. Some bloggers have readership numbers approaching that of big media and are able to earn income from their popularity.
What is a permalink?
The homepages of most weblogs have several entries, or posts, listed on them. Because blogs tend to be frequently updated, articles you find on a weblog’s homepage one day may not be there the next. A permalink is the permanent identifier to a specific weblog post or article. Bloggers love permalinks — they provide an easy way to capture specific references to posts or articles about which bloggers are writing.
Why is linking so important?
A link from one weblog to another helps provide context around an argument or point, and it is essentially a “vote of attention” from one blogger to another. By linking to another site or blog, the weblog author is saying, “I find what you are saying important enough to link to it.” Linking also helps create the conversation of the Web, the critical mass of connected thought that is not available in static text.The relevance of a site on the Web can be determined by how often a source is cited and therefore considered an authority. Links in the world of weblogs are even more important since bloggers frequently link to and comment on other blogs, creating a sense of timeliness and back-and-forth one would have in a conversation. Technorati tracks the number of links and the unique source of links to determine the breadth and readership of any author or site. Technorati is uniquely positioned in the center of this ongoing conversation monitoring who is linking to whom and which bloggers are commanding attention on various topics.

What are “inbound links” and “outbound links?”
Inbound links refer to hyperlinks from other sources citing that weblog. Outbound links refer to hyperlinks from the weblog to outside sources.
What is a “blogroll?”
A blogroll is a list of blogs and bloggers that any particular blog author finds influential or interesting — so much so that the author wants the link to be enduringly visible on his or her site instead of just in occasional entries. A blogroll is often found to one side of a blog’s entries, and the hyperlinked names lead directly to the blogs in question. Blogrolls indicate which online community a blogger is attracted to or belongs to, and they are part of the conversations of the blogosphere.”

Homework Assignment 001: Industry Blogs

9 01 2008

Here’s the homework for next week…

Find three blogs related to your industry and tell me about them. Write a post linking to each of them and telling me why you picked that one. A good place to find blogs is Technorati or Google Blog Search.

Bonus 1: Create a new blogroll called ‘industry blogs’ or something similar and add several links to this blogroll.

Bonus 2: Subscribe to these blogs RSS feed in your RSS reader.

SXSW 2008

9 01 2008

The Flaming LipsI’m going to SXSW 2008 and you should too!

It’s a great film, music, and technology conference in Austin, Texas. Let me know if you’re coming and I’ll make sure you get invited to all the best events!

“The SXSW MUSIC AND MEDIA CONFERENCE showcases hundreds of musical acts from around the globe on over fifty stages in downtown Austin. By day, conference registrants do business in the SXSW Trade Show in the Austin Convention Center and partake of a full agenda of informative, provocative panel discussions featuring hundreds of speakers of international stature.

The SXSW INTERACTIVE FESTIVAL celebrates the creativity and passion behind the coolest new media technologies. In addition to panel sessions that cover everything from web design to bootstrapping to social networks, attendees make new business connections at the three-day Trade Show & Exhibition. The newest element of the event is ScreenBurn, which adds specific gaming industry programming as well as a two-day Arcade to the mix.

The SXSW FILM CONFERENCE AND FESTIVAL emphasizes all aspects of the art and business of independent filmmaking. The Festival has gained international acclaim for the quality of its programming with a special focus on emerging talents who benefit from having their films in the company of the cinematic greats whose work is regularly presented.”