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Posts Tagged ‘Blogs’

How to subscribe to blogs without filling your e-mail inbox

Recently, somebody made a good point to me while I was selling her on the idea of doing a blog. She wondered how we could get busy people to read the blog — without having to visit the site to look for updates, or without needing to subscribe to yet-another e-mail alert.

I explained how I use iGoogle and, to a lesser extent, Google Reader to read the latest posts on 10-15 blogs on my must-read list. I also among a few old-timers who use the Feeds area in my Internet Explorer browser to keep track of blogs and Twitter search term updates, but I didn’t want to go into that.

For me, it’s been very time-effective to have connections to about 10 blogs on my iGoogle page. I can see the name of each blog — as well as the three most-recent posts on each. Also, I do subscribe to other feeds through Google Reader, which appears on my iGoogle page, too. But I haven’t learned near as much about Google Reader as I should. I’ve read several posts lately about power users who employ the Reader to manage subscriptions to dozens of blogs and websites. I’ve got room for improvement in that area.

All of this makes me really appreciate that I took a home-study course years back about RSS (Really Simple Syndication). I take it for granted that people know to click on that ever-present orange square to subscribe to blogs and websites. No need to go visit the blog to see if it’s been updated. No necessity to subscribe to yet-another e-mail.

Yet I’m finding that a lot of people aren’t familiar with RSS, iGoogle and Google Reader, or Internet Explorer Feeds. Another opportunity for me to share some of what I’ve learned about these tools.

I’m really curious to hear how you manage your blog reading. Please let me know in the comments section.

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Categories: Blogs Tags: , ,

Classic blogging book still relevant

March 5, 2011 3 comments

Felt like a historian while talking social media marketing with my daughter as we walked past the Apple Store in a local mall last night.

I had just finished reading Naked Conversations: How Blogs Are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel, the classic 2006 book that had somehow escaped my reading list. Krista Neher, author of the Social Media Field Guide, had suggested the book in her Bootcamp Digital last fall. Got it for 1 cent, plus $3.99 shipping and handling, on Amazon.

“Imagine a time with no Facebook, or YouTube, or Twiter,” I said to my daughter, as teenagers swarmed to the tables with iPads, iPods and iWhatevers. “How did we do social media? With blogs, podcasts, message boards, wikis… some of the online resources we now take for granted as we connect with family, friends and associates.”

That’s why I recommend that people still read Naked Conversations, even though at times it seems like something from the Three Stooges era of social media. (I say that because my daughter and I have been getting a kick out of the dated phrases and behaviors in the classic film clips lately. Who calls guys mugs, girls dames or toots, or tries to get laughs by smacking someone or biting their leg? Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck. Woo-woo-woo…Sorry, I digress. 🙂 )

Anyway… there is a lot of very helpful information in Naked Conversations. It served as a good refresher to me — and helped me better understand some nuances that hadn’t been clear to me before.

I particularly like the fact that two of the top bloggers in the world share their experiences with the medium. They give many examples of successful blogs. They do a fantastic job of selling businesses on the power of honest and open blogging.

They end with this recollection of their conversation with Yossi Vardi, the adult supervisor of ICQ’s four student founders:

“He pointed to us research showing that story-telling and conversations are at the essence of human culture. In that light, blogging is a point on a cultural continuum that goes back all the way to when our ancestors sat in caves shivering around fires and doodling on the walls. To paraphrase Vardi, blogging is storytelling and conversations on steroids.

“Ultimately, blogging has ended one era and ignited another. In this new era, companies don’t win just by talking to people. They win by listening to people as well. We call it the Conversation Era. It doesn’t change everything because as John Naisbitt told us, everything never changes. But something has changed, and blogging is impacting business of all sizes in most parts of the developed world. It has made the world a smaller, faster place.

“And business is the better for it.”

A miracle blog

January 30, 2010 7 comments

Tami Boehmer: Blogging to help others, and herself

In September 2009, my wife Tami launched a blog called Miracle Survivors: Information and Inspiration for Cancer Thrivers.

Tami wanted to build a platform for a book she’s writing called From Incurable to Incredible. The book, scheduled for publication this spring, will feature 25 cancer survivors who were given a terminal diagnosis and shocked everyone by thriving years beyond their prognoses.

Tami shares parts of their stories on her blog, as well as snippets from her own cancer journey. She’s been battling a breast cancer recurrence for almost two years. She’s got Stage IV metastatic cancer, with tumors in three areas, including her liver.

Thankfully, a new treatment she started in late November has the tumors shrinking or stable. She’s also doing a lot with nutrition, excercise, spirituality… to support the medical stuff.She attended an alternative/integrative treatment conference in Florida several weeks ago.  She’s headed to another next month. (She gives updates on the blog.)

Back to the blog…

The blog (created by Jason Bayer or JManStudios, using WordPress)  is a social media success story, in my humble opinion. Our Google Analytics report shows that it has been visited by 2,602 people from 53 countries and 48 states. (Must not have Internet access in Wyoming or North Dakota!)

People in Canada, the United Kingdom, Romania, India, Australia, Belgium, Mexico, Malaysia and many other countries have read the blog. Most visits come from Ohio, Kentucky, California, Texas, New York and Louisiana.

On Dec. 22, the blog got 133 visits — mainly because one of the people featured in the book shared a link with family and friends. It probably gets about 25-50 visits a day.

Most visitors come directly to the blog, although a number arrive via Facebook, Google, our family blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, the Cincinnati Women Bloggers blog and the Nickles-N-Dimes blog. Some various nice folks associated with groups such as Cincinnati Women Bloggers and New Media Cincinnati have done a great job telling those affected by cancer about the blog.

Tami (and I) have made countless connections with people who have inspired us and lifted our spirits during the ups and downs of her cancer journey. Hopefully, we have returned the favor.

Everyone is looking forward to the book, which we plan to self-publish thanks to a financial contribution from a close friend of Tami’s. The cover is being designed, and a book editor is going through the copy. Tami is wrapping up the final six or seven stories.

Meanwhile, she’ll continue to blog away — inspiring and informing others walking the same path — the trek toward Miracle Survivorship.