How to get on Memeorandum

People keep asking me about how to get noticed. How to get on Digg. How to get on Memeorandum. Well, you’re asking “how do you promote your blog?”

Yesterday Buzz Bruggeman and I talked about that (his company has been in lots of newspapers because of his blogging) on stage at the Blog Business Summit.

The Eastside Business Blog took some good notes that might help you.

I get a ton of email every day asking me to blog their site. I love getting that kind of email. Just make it simple. One paragraph with a URL (only make it longer if you really are adding any value). Say “this might be interesting to you.” Don’t beg for a link. I hate that. I do love knowing about new stuff that I don’t yet know about. I don’t blog everything I’m sent, sorry. I get more than 100 emails a day.

Which is why I said not to rely on a link from me to get noticed. But I still enjoy learning new things.

Oh, and where does the male bias come from in Memeorandum? Well, I just did a quick look through my “blog this” folder in email. Almost all the email I get suggesting I look at new blogs is from men. I think there’s a social phenomenon going on here that researchers should look into.

RSS usability sucks

At the Blog Business Summit yesterday we discovered just how bad RSS usability sucks. Molly Holzschalg was on stage with me and visited a blog and was trying to find its RSS feed. She couldn’t find it. Why? Cause there’s no consistency in this industry on how to subscribe.

Some sites use RSS icons. Most that I visit use the orange XML icon. But other sites don’t have any icon and instead use words like “subscribe” or “feed” or “web feed.”

Even others, like many Blogger sites, don’t have any icon or word with a link at all. For those you’ve gotta know to simply add “atom.xml” onto the end of the URL. Aaaaarrrrrrgggggghhhhhhh.

And then there’s sites like Dare Obasanjo’s. He’s a geek. Works at MSN. But look at the right side of his blog. He has four DIFFERENT icons for RSS. One for Yahoo. One for MSN. One for Bloglines. One for Newsgator.

Oh, I bet Jakob Nielsen is screaming right about now.

Whenever I hit problems like this I ask myself “what would Jeffrey Zeldman do?” Or WWJZD for short. 🙂

Why Jeffrey? He’s still leading the Web design movement forward and is my favorite writer and speaker on the topic.

I find his minimalistic answer unsatisfying. He puts a text link in very small type at the bottom of his page.

My advice? Stick with the orange XML icon. Why? It sticks out. If the page Molly was trying to deal with yesterday had one of those she would have found it instantly. The BBC’s answer is actually pretty good too. They went with an Orange RSS button and next to it have a link to “What is RSS.”

In fact, I think that’s really the best answer: “just do what the BBC does.”

One guy at Microsoft I wished blogged more

You probably don’t know Charles Fitzgerald. He’s one of those guys who you might read about in the press once in a while but most people wouldn’t see. But I’m on his team and I’ve gotten to see some of the things he’s done at Microsoft and I’m most impressed. I met him in the hall the other day and we chatted about the tech industry and he’s one of those guys who is scary smart and that you can’t BS. He’s one of those guys who gets mentioned at meetings with 1,200 people. Why? Cause he makes stuff happen and cause he doesn’t hold back his opinions and he’s scary smart.

I’m so blessed to be surrounded by people like that. Why? Cause it sharpens your mind. You’ve gotta do your best work to impress people like that (and sometimes even that isn’t enough).

He doesn’t write on his blog very often, but it is enjoyable when he does and I always learn something.

New Memorandum stance, BlogTronix impresses

I’m going to make a real effort not to link to anything that’s already on Memeorandum. Why? Because that way new things will show up on Memeorandum. Sorry, Shelley Powers, that means I won’t link to you today either. 😉 (Which is a bummer, cause she made some good points about Memeorandum’s bias).

But, yesterday at the Blog Business Summit I saw two things that really are interesting. Here’s why. When I go to companies to speak, they keep asking me “how do I do something similar to Channel 9.” That isn’t easy. We had two developers working on that for quite a while. They started with Community Server from Telligent (Microsoft’s employee blogs are run on top of Community Server — we have more than 2,000 now and a TON of traffic, so it holds up very well. The new forums are built on top of Community Server as well). Our tech team on Channel 9 (Charles, Brin, Adam, and Jeff) mashed in video components and a Wiki and other stuff and then hacked the heck out of it to make it Channel 9. I’ve been hoping that a company would come out with a set of tools/service that would make it possible to do a Channel 9 style site.

BlogTronix is the answer. It’s awesome. Has all that and more (and has security built in so you can blog both internally and externally very easily). I’m going to get a test blog there and will write more after I actually can try it out.

The other thing that Steve Broback showed on stage was FeedFire. It lets you build RSS feeds out of sites that don’t have feeds. Steve writes about that tool here.

Update: I totally messed this post up, so here’s the fixed post.