Archive for the ‘Blogs’ Category

How to include an E-mail Link in your Blog

Monday, October 24th, 2005

When writing your posts, you may on occasion say “contact me by this date in order to … “, and want to have the “contact me” portion be an e-mail link, like this … contact me

This is how you do it.

  1. Write your message.
  2. Highlight (select) the words that you want to link to e-mail.
  3. Click on link in the menu bar.
  4. When the link address bar appears, delete everything that (may) displays automatically (like http://).
  5. type in “mailto:yourname@yourwebsite.com” (no quotes), replacing my yourname and yourwebsite with your information.

It’s that simple. Good blogging and have fun!

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Google’s Blog Search

Tuesday, October 11th, 2005

Google has created a special search program that searches only blogs for the topics in which you have interest. The Google Blog Search comes complete with its own set of FAQs. You can access the blog search by clicking on the link above or going to Google’s Web site, clicking the “more>>” just above the data entry box, then selecting Blog Search on the Google Services page.

The blog search works likes Google’s regular search. You are presented with “results pages” with the results sorted by relevancy. I searched for “blogs“. Google returned
“Results 1-10 of about 1,340,419 for ‘blogs’ “. Then I searched for “web development blogs” and Google returned “Results 1-10 of about 13,164 for ‘web development blogs'”. So, the more specific you get, the tighter the results.

If you’ve subscribed to an RSS Reader (see my earlier post: What is RSS? ), when you find a blog that you want to follow, add it to your list.

How do You Get Your Blog Listed?
Google says that,

“… we will soon be providing a form that you can use to manually add your blog to our index, in case we haven’t picked it up automatically. Stay tuned for more information on this.”

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How to Get Your Blog Link to Open in Another Window

Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

Quick tip for my blogging clients.

Oftentimes we want to link to sources of information, but we do not want our audience to leave our site for good. One way to accomplish this is to have the linked site open in another window. This is the action you want: Adventures Online.

How do you do that?
When your blogging tool creates the link it will look like this:

StandardLink

You want to edit the link and add a few words after the Web address and before the closing “>”. Make sure the Web address remains within quotes and the “_blank” is within quotes.

LinkTarget

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What is RSS?

Saturday, August 13th, 2005

This is the second in a series of posts that will address “How to use Your Blog to Gain Exposure” on the Internet. The first post addressed the shift in information delivery. Today’s topic, “What is RSS?”, will introduce you to RSS and its related vocabulary, and provide a 10,000 foot view of how RSS works.

Why do you need to know about RSS?
Because you want to communicate with your target audience, and as menitoned in the previous post, the habits of your target audience have shifted. RSS is a technology that will help you meet them on their turf.

So, What is RSS?
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It is the name assigned to the behind-the-scenes statements (code) that must surround the content of a feed.

An RSS feed is content wrapped in RSS code. The “content” is usually the title of a blog entry and, say, the first two sentences of the entry.

A content producer is someone (i.e. you or an organization) who provides RSS feeds.

RSS Readers are software programs that recognize RSS code and display the content in a readable format.

People who use RSS readers are called subscribers (whether or not they pay for their subscription).

Aggregators are organizations that search the Web for RSS feeds and create an index of all the topics it discovers. Aggregators gather, then sell the information. An aggregator may provide an RSS Reader at its Web site and provide all or portions of the information to you for free.

Here’s how it works
First a content producer creates an RSS feed. Then an aggregator indexes the RSS feed. Then subscribers use their RSS readers to read it.

Remember that an RSS feed is only a snippet, so, included in the feed is a link to more information – to your entire blog post.

To learn more…
If you are curious to learn more about RSS readers, try Bloglines. Bloglines provides a free Web-based RSS reader. Click on the My Feeds tab, create an account, and select your topics. I use Bloglines to keep current on topics of interest to me. I find it accurately indexes information so that I only receive information that falls within the topics I chose. Best of all, my e-mail has been drastically reduced. I no longer receive e-mail alerts about information being posted. Now, I learn about the new information when I go to the RSS reader at my convenience. It is such a time saver!

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From E-mail Alerts to RSS Readers

Wednesday, August 10th, 2005

This is the first of a series of posts that will speak to “How to use Your Blog to Gain Exposure.” One of the suggestions will be to syndicate your blog content. You may be saying, “Syndication? Me? I can’t compete with CNN and the New York Times.”

This post is intended to help set the foundation with regard to how syndicating your blog is not only feasible, but, simply the natural response to your target audience’s evolving needs.

Let’s start by acknowledging a shift in the delivery of information. For years, people have been signing up to receive e-mail alerts whenever there is an update by their favorite news services and content providers. If you are one of those people, and very interested in knowing what is going on, you have signed up to receive several to many alerts. Add those alerts to your legitimate e-mail and the unsolicited spam, and, well, you know we are overwhelmed with the volume of e-mails that we receive daily.

Wanting to reduce the number of e-mails they receive, people have moved away from e-mail alerts to RSS feed readers. RSS readers put the subscriber (no fee) back in control. Nothing is delivered to the desktop, and the person is made aware of updates on demand – at his or her leisure. Instead of having the alerts delivered to their e-mail boxes throughout the day, they open their RSS reader when they are ready, review a list of alerts, then decide which to read and which to ignore.

Subscribers do not have to sign up to receive all of a content provider’s updates. The RSS reader allows you to pinpoint specific topics about which you want to keep current – effectively creating highly targeted opt-in lists.

The playing field has been flattened.
Imagine the possibilities…

The larger content providers will provide news and general info about all subjects, but, you are an expert in your field. If a subscriber is interested in a topic, is it likely that they will only want to hear about it from a single source? From only a well-known news source? Or is it more likely that they will want to know what the experts in the field have to say?

Wouldn’t you rather spend your time and money appealing to a target audience that has volunteered to hear what you have to say?

Coming next: “What the heck are RSS and RSS readers?”

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