Tag Archives: blogging

Back to Blogging Week (no FriendFeed/Twitter for a week?)

Sorry for being gone so long. It’s clear I have spent too much time on social networks. Been hanging out on FriendFeed and Twitter and not blogging.

I’m not the only one, Steve Rubel, famous PR blogger, said he’s giving up his blog for lifestreaming.

Jeremiah Owyang, the other night, told me I was losing myself. Or my thought leadership or something like that. It made me wistful for good old WordPress. So, here I am.

Starting today I won’t use FriendFeed or Twitter until Saturday.

Now, my items will still show up on Twitter and FriendFeed because of RSS and automatic posting, and your comments will get posted here thanks to Disqus, even if you leave them via FriendFeed.

On Friday Rocky and I leave for London for a trip with Traveling Geeks anyway. Check out our schedule and I’d love to meet up with you in London or Cambridge.

So, it’s time to answer a bunch of email I haven’t answered. It’s time to dig out Google Reader and Feedly and rediscover blogs. It’s time to develop some helpful content here and over on Building43 (which is rocking and rolling, by the way).

Oh, if you care about blogs, go ahead and retweet this. ;-)

Why I haven't posted for two weeks

TechCrunch has the news tonight: Scoble to leave Fast Company.

Back in 2003 I wrote a Corporate Blogging Manifesto. Rule #13 is “don’t write if your life is in turmoil.”

It’s even harder to write when you are negotiating for stuff. But it’s really harder when you also are trying to deal with your career while continuing to do your job. This week I uploaded something like 20 videos to Fast Company TV. Whew! I am visiting as many companies as I can as quickly as I can (yesterday I saw two more, today I’m visiting another three) so that I can get a good bead on what I should build next and also to get some ideas of where to take my blog.

I’m building up quite a white board of things I’m going to do here. One thing is I’ll be moving off of WordPress.com soon to a hosted version of WordPress. That way I can really play with some of the newer plugins and widgets that I haven’t been able to use here.

Also, I’m really loving the new low-cost cameras like the Flip Mino HD, which costs about $200. Almost all of my most recent videos on Fast Company TV were shot on these low-cost cameras.

Anyway, I can’t talk about what I’m doing next yet because it’s not completely decided. I’m working on that and hope it’s in shape so we can announce something at the SXSW conference.

Oh, one thing I’ve learned over the past year, and especially this past month, is who my real friends are. Thanks to Bob Safian at Fast Company for helping guide me (I’ll still be writing a column for Fast Company thanks to him and David Lidsky, my editor). Kudos to Rocky Barbanica, who was my producer. In the past couple of weeks I’ve learned I can’t replace him by not sleeping. My editing sucks and it’s good to have someone thinking about shots, audio, and all that. Thanks to Seagate for being a dream sponsor the past two years. They did everything I asked them to do and they rarely asked me to do anything in return and they made doing hundreds of videos per year possible. Seagate deserves lots of credit for supporting the startups who always got on my show for free thanks to their sponsorship (lots of other places, like the Demo Conference, charge startups to get access to the audiences they’ve aggregated). Thanks to Brian and Julie over at Seagate for all the great support over the years we’ve been partnering together.

Well, onward, I’ll be back here more soon. Thanks!

This blog is dead! ORLY?

I see a few people are talking about the death of A-list blogging. Including my blog in that as evidence.

Actually you’ll see me blogging more and social networking less. Why? Cause I’m starting to have longer thoughts again. Might have something to do with not being able to drink Diet Coke anymore due to my kidney disease.

I can’t wait for Dan Lyons to predict the death of Facebook or Twitter because I’m blogging again.

Anyway, I think Twitter is blogging. When I go back and look at my blog back in 2004, for instance, it looks a whole lot like Twitter. Short item with a link. So some of that content behavior has moved elsewhere. Big whoop.

But now that I’ve done 18,000 tweets I find I’m getting bored there and want to play around with longer blog posts again. Mostly because I find I’m having something to say.

Welcome back to the dead. :-)

Interactive blogging experimentation

I’m playing with a new technique of writing that I call “interactive blogging.” What is it? Well, instead of writing a post like I’m doing here and then publishing it after I’ve finished it, I post WHILE I’m writing my ideas on a topic. I’ll start a Twitter post like, but I will post it onto friendfeed. I’ve set friendfeed to publish to Twitter, but when it does it leaves a URL at the end of the tweet back to the friendfeed item. That lets me setup some interesting questions that I’ll write really quickly on. The advantage here is that I can see how people are reacting LIVE to my ideas. They often ask me questions and take me down paths I wasn’t expecting to go. Here’s some examples, wonder what you think:

I will discuss why I can never have another Diet Coke here.

Health privacy is dead. Here’s why.”

Too many choices at Best Buy. Photo and discussion.

Want a news tip? Amazon Kindle is sold out. Hint here.

@netvalar now wants to know about friendfeed’s rooms. Here’s why they are the coolest tool for Twitter users

“To new friendfeeders (there are thousands due to Twitter invites and follows), here’s what you need to know.”

On the other hand, sometimes you just need to do a really well thought out post and not have the distractions. Comments from other people are distractions and they can take you down paths that aren’t very productive and interrupt flow. You can see all that in the examples above. But they are fun to do because engagement from other people is fun and addictive.

Did I harm my blog by FriendFeeding this year?

Since I’ve been blogging eight years this month I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my blog and how I want to do things differently in 2009.

I told Mike Arrington, founder of TechCrunch, that I wonder if I’ve made smart time investments in 2008 by spending so much time on Twitter and friendfeed. Yeah, I knew about the Chinese earthquake before pretty much anyone, and 45 minutes before CNN reported it, but doing that required being online with Twitter open late at night after most of you had gone to sleep or were watching some TV.

He just posted that I need a friendfeed intervention, which is why I’m writing this post.

About a month ago I asked people over on FriendFeed and the comments came in hot and heavy. Of course most of them thought I did a good thing by spending so much time on FriendFeed this year.

How much time? I told Arrington tonight that I bet it’s seven hours a day or more. I started in late February. So, that’s around 2,000 hours. What did I get for my 2,000 hour investment this year?

22,997 followers.
6,841 comments. (These are blogs and items I had something to say about, so I left a comment on them).
13,078 likes. (These are blogs and items made by other people that I wanted to share with you).
I manually followed 5,405 people. (You can see all the content they generate in real time here).

Anyway, what did I give up by spending time on Twitter and friendfeed?

  1. A few of my friends think I am not as good a thought leader anymore because they don’t get as many long posts as I used to do.
  2. If you check Compete.com you’ll see my overall traffic went down about 14% this year while FriendFeed’s traffic went up 4,056%.
  3. I don’t get any money from friendfeed, while on my blog I do sell ads now.
  4. I’m not breaking as many stories anymore so I’m showing up on TechMeme less and less.
  5. Arrington himself told me he is reading me less on my blog, although lots of the “A list” crowd have been showing up on friendfeed now that it has hit a certain audience size and is starting to show up on their referral logs.

What did I gain by being on friendfeed and Twitter?

  1. I now get a much wider-range of news and am available to a wider range of people.
  2. My words now get indexed by the two most popular “real-time web” search engines: Twitter Search and friendfeed search. I know people who get their news by visiting Twitter search and looking at what news is “trending,” or becoming more popular.
  3. I am now part of the conversation in a way that I’d never be if I were just blogging. Seth Godin, for instance, only blogs and he rarely gets discussed on Twitter or friendfeed. If he were active he’d be discussed 25x more.
  4. I’ve made a lot of friends that are just reading me on twitter, I’ve met many people at Tweetups and the like that I’d never have met if I weren’t so active.
  5. By being active I’ve been quoted in countless articles about Twitter or friendfeed, which helps me too.
  6. Because I listen to the conversation I am getting better video interviews. Compete.com shows that FastCompany.TV is growing nicely this year and has taken up the slack for my blog. Add that into all my new readers on Twitter and friendfeed and I’m happy about my total readership. Seagate deserves a lot of thanks there for sponsoring FastCompany.TV back when there were no viewers.
  7. I now have a new news source that other bloggers won’t have: a crowd of 5,400 people who are bringing me the best news from around the web in real time. Already I’m seeing stuff there that will turn into blog posts and insights that other people aren’t seeing. Because I’ve build relationships with many of these people over the past year they call me and warn me about important news before they call other people. This “funnel” of news could be a sizeable advantage for someone trying to compete in a very competitive space.
  8. I now have a list of 23,000 people on friendfeed and 44,692 on Twitter that I can show potential sponsors. Before all I could say is my monthly uniques.
  9. In friendfeed Mike Arrington has 15,108 followers and I have 22,999. Mike has a LOT more blog readers than I have, so he should have dramatically more followers than I have on friendfeed. But by participating in these services I have collected more subscribers. Do they offset the same number of blog readers I’d have if I spent so much time blogging instead of hanging out on friendfeed? That’s the question that got Mike and I to talk.

Why does this all matter? Well, if you are going to do this as a business you’ve got to prove how many readers you have and demonstrate both audience size as well as influence.

The other thing that advertisers are asking me for is quantitative data about who is reading me. Some companies now don’t want to reach geeks, for instance. So, they are looking at your social networks to see what kind of audience you’ve attracted.

So, what do you think? Do I need a friendfeed intervention? Looking forward to having a good conversation. Of COURSE we are talking about this on friendfeed. In fact, in multiple places. :-)