As some of you may know, I run Ecademy’s mobile applications club
Following the launch of this blog last week, I swapped notes with a number of mobile apps club members – many of whom wanted to know more about blogging
I also thought that perhaps we should help bloggers who are serious about their own blogs.
(more on that below)
Here are my views based on my research as I launch my blog and also a thought on how we could help your own blog to be set up. Most of these notes I prepared in response to questions from Dave Jennings – so some thanks go to him for the questions and motivation.
This discussion does not include a more general overview of blogging(i.e. political blogging/impact on journalism etc etc). I am assuming that you are in a technology oriented sector(and ideally mobility related).
Firstly, why should you blog?
For starters, google loves blogs. within a week of starting my blog – we are closed to an alexa rating of 200,000 and show a sharp jump in traffic
Secondly, it could increase your business profile and sales
Its the same as when I started the mobile apps club more than two years ago now. Many people ask me – ‘Have I made sales from it?’ Yes, undoubtedly. But you never know where it could lead to(in my case, a complete realignment of my business to a publisher). Something I could never have anticipated. In addition, its fun. I genuinely enjoy it.
Back in 2002, wired magazine said Weblogs Are To Words What Napster Was To Music and its easy to see that now!
I view blogging as ‘your conversation channel’. Thus, its not a radio(i.e. not one-way) but still a channel(i.e. a means where you give out information and receive information)
To run a successful channel, you must be (among other things)
a) Consistent (i.e. blog regularly) and have fresh content
c) Engage with your audience in some way(i.e. a style)
d) Be ‘catchy’
e) Ideally include pictures(and in future richer media)
f) Include something about yourselves(like your favourite cartoon character )
g) Provide something useful to your audience
You could speak about your business ofcourse(in fact – in the context of a business blog – I think you should – albeit not exclusively about business)
From a structural perspective, there are three ways you could blog -
a) Installing a software like moveable type on your server
b) A hosted solution like typepad or
c) At a third party site(a number of bloggers posting on the same site) for example Creative weblogging
I chose (a) mainly because I wanted to run it from my own server and wanted
to take a long term view. I believe over a long term blogging can benefit my
site at least in terms of traffic.
This is not too difficult to do(email me if you wish to know more). However, any option is fine
There is ofcourse, the Jonathan Schwartz approach(blog on your company site – link below)
However, I suspect that’s easier if you are Jonathan (Sun President) and you work for Sun! Most companies don’t get this and PR departments would be on it before you could say ‘Press release’!
Its all online – so its easy to see people who are doing well and emulate them
Here are some bloggers I like and you can learn from
(Doc Searls blog - The cluetrain manifesto guy)
The one and only – Xeni Jardin – whose invitation only community I am a part of for many years
Xeni defies classification – but a very clued on person IMHO
Philosophically, the idea of blogs empowering the individual – appeal to my libereterian ethos.
which leads to ..finally how can this blog help you?
Simply put, if you intend to start a blog(no matter where) – let me know. We can publicise it through the club, weekly email and by linking(trackbacking) to it. At least that will give you a launch pad into blogosphere
Any thoughts/suggestions welcome