Category Archives: Blog Stuff

Add a Community to Your Blog with BlogFrog

Posted by Kat Armstrong.

I recently met with BlogFrog CEO Rustin Banks to discuss adding communities directly to your blog. Your readers want to interact with you and with each other. Adding a customized BlogFrog community to your site allows your readers to ask questions, share photos and chat live with each other – without ever leaving your site.

With comments, your readers can only leave their thoughts about whatever it is YOU have to say. They don’t have an easy way to interact with each other. Your subscribers are obviously like-minded. After all, they are each interested in whatever you are talking about. Using BlogFrog compliments whatever blog comment service you are already using. The comments section is there for people to leave feedback and additional thoughts based on what you have written. Adding the additional components from BlogFrog adds a whole new layer, allowing your readers to talk to each other and spark new discussions.

My first instinct was to ask why we should use BlogFrog. After all, we have sites such as Google+, Facebook and Twitter to discuss things on with other individuals. Rustin was quick to point out that we are limited on these sites. We only have the capability of talking with our followers. We aren’t really giving them a way to talk to each other unless they want to jump through hoops and figure out how and where to follow the other parties on various social sites.

Believe it or not, it won’t cost you anything to use BlogFrog. The beauty is that you will be getting paid to use the service in a manner of speaking. You can enable high-quality advertising and make a higher CPM in most cases than what you will be able to find on your own.

Once you have signed up with the service and chosen your elements, it’s very simple to add BlogFrog to your own site. You’ll basically add a widget to your main page. The components are platform agnostic… install your new community on any template which allows JavaScript.

My assistant Kat is fond of saying that building a community isn’t about connecting people to you – it’s about connecting them to each other. BlogFrog has created the perfect way for you to give your community the tools they need to interact with each other, build upon what they already know and perhaps change the world.

Technorati saves Maryam’s day

Google didn’t help Maryam (my wife). MSN Search didn’t help. What did?

Technorati!

What happened? Maryam desperately wanted to see one of her favorite authors but the show was sold out. She tried all the usual tricks, but finally she found someone with tickets on Technorati.

Along these lines, lots of people have been telling me their skepticism of Edgeio, which is a service that lets you sell things right from your blog. “Sounds like a recipe for spam,” one guy told me today when we were talking at lunch.

But Maryam’s experience is exactly why I’m interested in Edgeio’s potential.

Hey, MSN, when are we gonna get blog search of our own?

Apple releases new stuff, new blog search engine opens

Some guy named Steve Jobs was on stage this morning announcing stuff for some computer company in Cupertino. Didn’t ya hear? I know none of the blogs were covering it, right? ;-)

Anyway,  I was just talking with Greg Hartnett, president of Best of the Web. He’s an Apple fan, by the way. But that’s not why we’re talking here. They just turned on a new blog search engine and directory. Now, how does this differ from Technorati?

It has far fewer blogs in it. Huh? All the blogs were hand picked by 69 editors.

So, let’s go to Technorati and do a search for “Steve Jobs”. 65,168 posts. Pretty good, but there is some spam there on the first page. Particularly one post named “Bill Gates Wants to Be Steve Jobs” is repeated several times.

Do the same “Steve Jobs” search on Best of the Web and it only finds 174 results. Now, that might sound like a mismatch, but the Best of the Web searches are often higher signal.

Anyway, I need to try it more to see if it’ll be a significant competitor for my blog search time with Technorati/Feedster/IceRocket/and all the other blog search engines.

So far I think this one needs more work, but it shows some promise. What do you think? The engine is here: http://blogs.botw.org/.

Update: I’ve done a few more searches and early returns on my comments show that this isn’t ready for prime time. It shows that blog search is hard to do.

Brrreeeport crazy and more search engine lies

Damn, brrrreeeport is the top search on Technorati and there are 420 posts there. Wacky.

What’s an even better deal is that Google says there are now about 14,000 results. What the f___? I HATE the lies that are going on on search engines. Quick: click through and tell me how many entries there really are. Hint: it isn’t 14,000. Funny that Google’s blog search can only find 382.

MSN says there are 1,369 results. Yahoo says there are 1,010 results.

Feedster is back online with 454 results (they were doing server upgrades when I did my first tests).

Anyway, it’s very bbbrrrrryyyy here in Keystone, CO.

Does anyone believe any of these numbers? How can we verify any of them?

Update: Dave Sifry, founder of Technorati, looked into it more.

Tips for joining the A list

I keep getting asked “how do I get more traffic?” Or, “how do I get TechCrunch to notice my blog?”

Quick: go to Technorati and do the brrreeeport search. Now, which headline and opening text grabs you? Makes you wanna click? Hint: we’re all being slammed with hundreds of sites every day. The more interesting you can make your headline, the better. Think about what your headline will look like in the search engines and use every one as an opportunity to grab a little bit of traffic.

Now, look at the 98 brrreeeport results on Technorati. All are on the same topic, right? But some headlines stand out from the noise. Which ones grab your eye? The one that says simply “brrreeeport report?” Or the one that says “brrreeeport beats Mohammad cartoon?” Conflict is a story telling device. Use it in headlines!

Also, notice that Technorati has a way to “claim” a blog and if you do that you’ll get a little picture next to every one of your posts. Posts that have pictures win!

One other fun thing? Brrreeeport is a “top search” on the Technorati home page right now.

Need another tip on how to join the A list?

Here’s another one: be different. What do I mean by that?

Well, Dan Wieringa asked me for some help with his blog. It’s a decently written blog, but it isn’t getting much traffic.

First notice how his blog looks very similar to tons of other blogs? That’s hurting him.

One of TechCrunch’s popularity secrets is that he uses lots of graphics and screen shots. Makes his blog more pleasing to the eye. Sorta the way Technorati looks better than Google’s blog search.

Another thing? Dan’s title tag is boring. You need some personality! Look at Darren Barefoot’s title tag. Lots of personality and gives me some sense of who Darren is. Oh, and his blog’s design sticks out too. Different. Clean. Personal. Who wouldn’t fall in love with that smile? Yeah, WordPress.com makes it hard to change the template right now (Matt Mullenweg promises that’s changing soon, but in the meantime you can get ready by doing the other things — come up with a better title tag, write better headlines, work on finding interesting content that’ll help you stick out of the crowd on search engines and memetrackers.

Another way? Steph Booth taught me this one: tag often. Tag frequently. Tag better. In WordPress.com your categories are also tags. Don’t worry about using too many tags. The more tags you use, the more likely someone will find you in a search engine.

Another tip? Make friends with other bloggers. You know, if 15 z-listers link to you, are you a z-lister, or did you just move up to the m-list? Hint: it doesn’t take that many links to be seen as an “authority” on Technorati. Well, unless you’re Om Malik and then Technorati just thinks you don’t have any authority. Yikes. But, anyway, usually you will get noticed if a few blogs link to you and it’s not hard. Got a good post today? Why don’t you email a few people (one at a time, not in a group) and say “hey, I think you’d enjoy my post today on xxxxxx.” Don’t beg for a link, just show some passion about what you’ve written or posted.

Or, heck, do what I’m doing this week — just say screw it all and go skiing. See ya from the slopes tomorrow!

While I’m slushing at Keystone, Colorado as part of the Bloggy Mountain High trip (yes, my way was paid for, so this link is a sponsored link) why don’t you stick in your own URL and toot your own horn and join the A-List! Or, at minimum, post a good tip for getting noticed!