Sunday, December 19, 2004

The Power of Blogs Part 3

OK, so I built this blog almost a week ago but how will anyone know to visit it?

As with a web site, I have to believe content is the most important thing to consider in getting people to continue to read a blog; so I'll attempt to increase the popularity of this blog by trying to including things that will be of interest others (as well as myself).

However, I can have the worlds greatest content but if no one knows about my blog who will read it?

I tried some of the tactics used in basic website promotion; getting links from other sites.

I placed a link on the homepage: That page gets a lot of traffic over, 20K views a month. That should help a great deal in promoting this Blog.

I also solicited the URLs of other bloggers on one of my discussion boards I was emailed a few blogs which I’ll include in my next newsletter ( I’ll solicit the URL of more blogs in the newsletter and continue promoting other Bloggers. Hopefully those Blogger will return the favor and mention this blog on their own Blogs.

I’ll also be able to track the popularity and relative interest in Blogs, by seeing how many people click on the blog related links. While Blogs are an increasingly popular topic of discussion on the net; it seems to me most people are unaware of the capabilities of Blogs; but I‘ll see for myself. Besides my other goal is to educate people about blogs.

I also decided to see if there was such a thing as a directory of Blogs; where I could list this Blog. I did not find any of specific interest to me, but I found a couple of Blog directories that may be of interest to others.

A couple of blog directories I found include:

African American Blogs, Black Blogs, African Blogs Blogs written by those of African descent.
A project designed to offer a convenient list of blogs for those looking for blogs written by those of African descent.

Hip Hop Blogs
A group weblog that covers hip-hop music and culture. Email Me if you're interested in writing with us.

I found the, slick looking, Blog, of a friend Lynn d. Johnson ( on this directory. I even left her a message and included a link back here. Maybe she visit and or spread the word about this Blog.

In a couple of weeks I’ll check my web statistics to see if how this Blog is doing in terms of traffic. I’ll report my findings after the first of the year; probably in Late January. The period between Christmas and New Years is the slowest period of the year for web traffic (at least for me). However things really pick up after the first of the year with February always being a record month.


Monday, December 13, 2004

The Power of Blogs Part 2

Interestingly enough the process was not as difficult as I thought it might be, however it is far from intuitive -- particularly if you are not technically inclined. In the last 2 hours I was able to:

Complete the set up of a new Blog, on my own domain There are a few outfits which allow you to set up free blogs. Google seems to be the most popular. I also trust Google as an organization -- they seem to be doing everything right. I figure they'd have this web log stuff down pat too.

Next I read up on syndication (which is the real reason I'm even bothering with this blogging stuff. Syndication allows you to push content out to subscribers (people with newsreader software).

If you been on-line since the early days of the WWW you might recall a company called If you do, you'll remember PointCast allowed you to subscribe to weather reports, news, stock prices, and information from various sources. The information was sent directly to your PC. There was no need to visit a web site -- unless you wanted more detail. PointCast’s service was way ahead of it's time. Today PointCast’s business model is available to the masses. Individuals, may now broadcast anything to anyone who wants to subscribe. I intend to send alerts for new book reviews, updates to our bestseller's list, alerts for interesting discussion board posts, new book releases, etc, etc.

Now that I read a little about syndication I discovered there is already a war over which standard will emerge for use in feeds: RSS vs. Atom. It appears virtually everyone including Microsoft use RSS. Everyone, it seems except, my friends at Google, who use Atom. I decided to go with RSS (OK, I know I said Google is doing everything right, though from Google perspective I'm sure they made the right decision).

Set up a New reader
Ultimately, the choice became a non-issue as two of the readers I looked at handled both RSS and Atom. I then went back a reconfigured my Blog to use Atom. I'm using the newsgator reader the free service is adequate and they have a nice user interface that is easy to use:

I set up my newsreader to pull in content from the NY Times (technology, editorial, and book sections), The Wall STreet Journal, (this Blog), the Hip-hop Literature Blog ( the Tavis Smiley on NPR. You can literally create your own customized news and information service.

Blogs will require many web based businesses to rethink their current business models. Blogs will begin to change the web's landscape in a very significant way.

Set up some links on the web site and spread the word
I added some links to the web site and will begin to spread the word. As time permits I'll set up separate feeds, but for now I'll just make announcements directly from this blog.

Your feedback is encouraged. Also, help me spread the word about this Blog.


The Power of Blogs

With this, we begin's foray in the world of Blogs. I've been reading a lot about Blogs lately. It seems the media is way ahead of the curve on this one. Most people still don't know what Blogs are, or if they know what the are, they don't realize their full potential -- yet.

I'm currently trying to figure out how to set Google's Free Blog service "Blogger" up on my own server.