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What About Me? June 2, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Blogs, Marketing, Search.
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Techrigy’s SM2 is an excellent search tool that will scour the vast world wide web for any mention of your name or any of your websites or blogs. They offer a free account that allows you to search for up to five keywords or phrases and stores up to 1,000 search results which is excellent. The results are can even be sent to your email account on a daily basis if that’s what you want.
SM2 was designed for PR & marketing professionals but there’s no reason why you couldn’t use the tool for researching your own personal brand. The results will surprise you and teach you a few things too.
Final thoughts: There are a bunch of ways to manually search the web for your name and personal brand such as TweetScan for Twitter or google for your blog, but SM2 provides a powerful search mechanism along with impressive analysis tools including charting with comparisons, demographics, geo-location, sentiment and drill-down reports.

St. Louis Blogger’s Guild April 18, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Blogs.
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St. Louis now has a blogger’s guild! What a great idea! I think this will start a new trend all across the country with chapters in every state, culminating in a universal centralized Blogger’s Guild and union. Will it have health benefits and 2 weeks of vacation? Ok, that might be premature but the idea is still fantastic and long in coming!

Even if you’re not in the St. Louis area, go to the St. Louis Blogger’s Guild and show them some support and encouragement. I think it’s a cool thing they’ve started that can become important to us all someday soon.

Clustrmaps March 2, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Blogs, Widget.
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Clustrmaps is a free widget for blogs that simply shows you where in the world your readers are coming from. There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles, just a nice visible view of your audience.

It updates all the time so the map isn’t that out of date. It’s really easy to embed the code and takes up very little screen real estate so I think it’s worth having.

How to Pimp Your Blog February 24, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Blogs, Marketing.
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Why are some blogs popular and others not? Obviously, the best thing any blogger can do to make their blog a success is to write excellent posts consistently. However, even the best written blogs will languish in obscurity if the blogger does not perform some promotional and marketing tasks to spread the word about their words. Yes, it goes against everything a writer believes in, but it is a necessary evil. If you want to share your craft, then you must learn the craft of promotion and marketing.

Blog/RSS Directories
Here’s some good news. I’ve done a lot of the dirty work for you and compiled a list of the best blog and RSS directories available today, including the brand new BLOGGED. I’ve published Paisano’s Blog Directories List online and made it public for all of you to use. It’s a work in progress so look for it to change often. Some will come and some new ones will go. Feel free to send me any that I’ve missed as I am sure there are many. As a matter of fact, there appears to be thousands of blog/rss directories in existence, but most of them are small obscure indexes that aren’t worth the time or effort to submit your blog to. I’ve chosen about 44 blog/rss services that all seemed to be pretty active and offer easy methods of submitting blog urls or rss feeds to.


Criteria

I avoided those services that required a referential link on your site in order to be listed on their site. While I think it’s fair to ask bloggers to add a badge or widget, it’s an entirely different matter to require it. Also, I selected only free services. There are many services that actually charge bloggers a fee (one-time, monthly or annually) to be listed. Again, it might be a personal choice, but I don’t feel anyone should have to pay to be listed on any service. Of course, that is your decision to make.


Mass Submissions
There are many paid services that claim that they can submit your URL/RSS feed to hundreds or even thousands of directories for you but I stayed away from such solutions. Who knows, they might actually work and be worth whatever the cost. I just don’t know enough about these types of services to include them at this time.

Summation:
The quickest and least expensive way to start spreading the news about your prized blog is to submit it to some blog/RSS directories. Here’s the link to Paisano’s Blog Directories List again. Most of the sites included were found in this excellent resource: TopRankBlog’s BlogRSS Directories. Note: Many of their listings were no longer working or required fees or a commitment to include a referential link back and many just didn’t seem worth the effort. Finally, this is just ONE method to promote your blog. There many other things you can do. By far the best suggestions for promoting your blog come from Darren Rowse, Mr. ProBlogger himself: ProBlogger’s How to market your blog. He delves deep into the fine art of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and many other mysterious practices that appear to work wonders for countless bloggers.


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Automatic Blog Backups for Free! January 11, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Blogs.
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So many of us are blogging these days, but I wonder how many of us are actually backup our work. Sure, we can create blogs outside of the website in a word processor or in an online office suite as I do with Google Docs, but most bloggers are creating their work right there online within their blogsite (blogger, wordpress, typepad, etc.). If anything ever crashed then all that work would be gone forever.

Who has time to go to every blog entry and save each piece? Well, thanks to BlogBackupOnline all you have to do is set it and forget it!

BlogBackupOnline is a free backup service that will allow you to backup several of your blogs automatically every night. You enter your blog addresses, the login credentials and how often you want to back them up and BlogBackupOnline does the rest! Did I mention it was FREE?!!! Well, the basic account is free and limited to 50 total megabytes of backups, but that’s not bad.

I’ve been using it for several blogs for years and it has rarely failed to perform a backup. Give it a shot. The blog you save may be your own!

Twitter 101 January 9, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Blogs.
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Unless you were living under a rock the last year or actually had one of them there things they call a life, then you know all about Twitter.

In any event, whether you are new to Twitter or a seasoned veteran, here are some cool and hopefully useful links to checkout:

www.Twitter.com is grand central so no whoop-ti-do there.

http://twitter.com/public_timeline is where you see everyone’s public tweet every four minutes.

http://twittervision.com is more fun than the public timeline because it shows a map of the world and all new tweets and where they are coming from.

http://www.twitterholic.com is the leaderboard that tracks who has the most followers on Twitter and who follows the most people. The leader changes all the time but the core top 25 are pretty static. Justine and Robert Scoble duke it out for the most followed humans on Twitter. Interesting to note, Where as Justine rarely follows anyone (7,000 vs 200 est.), Scoble actually follows more people than follow him! There are always debates about following on twitter. Is it better to follow as many people as possible or to be selective?

Twitter fan wiki http://twitter.pbwiki.com

Twitter Apps: http://twitter.pbwiki.com/Apps

Twitter Direct Message Bots: http://twitter.pbwiki.com/Direct+Message+Bots

Twitter tips http://twitter.com/help/lingo

ReadWriteWeb’s Top 10 Twitter apps http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/top_10_twitter_apps.php

Twitter Karma examines everyone you follow and those that follow you and reveals interesting results.

The Time of Your Life (Online) December 31, 2007

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Blogs, Social Aggregators, social networks.
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Circavie is a service that lets you create visual timelines of anything you want to document online. Each entry can include hyperlinks, images, text and even comments.

You can navigate the timelines via the arrows at the bottom of the screen or by clicking anywhere on the timeline and scrolling left to go back in time or forward for the future.

Example timeline: History of Blogging

Another example: Fred Lippert and Family


http://dandelife.com is well-known for its TimeLine feature that displays your stories and online activities chronological order. It looks something like this:

Dandelife does much more than Circavie because it can also serve as a social network aggregator and include your streams from other services like Twitter, Flickr, delicious and more.
You can view your friends’ network streams as well.Here are three screencasts that show more of Dandelife’s features: http://dandelife.com/demos

Moo-ve over TinyURL, URL-finished! December 28, 2007

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Blogs, social networks.
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We all know about the valuable use of www.TinyUrl.com , especially on the 140-character limited Twitter platform.
Well, there’s a new sherif in town and its name is MooURL! You are probably wondering why would anyone even care which url shortening service they used? The answer is simply because MooURL offers more options. One is the bookmarklet tool that makes shortening a long URL even easier than ever with the click of a button. Second, you can actually create your own customized shortened URL. Here’s an example:

While this isn’t a lifechanging event or jaw-dropping new service, it will certainly save you time and improve your online experience much more than TinyURL ever would.

Hictu December 15, 2007

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Blogs, Video.
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Everyone is excited about Seesmic but it is going to be in private BETA for a long time before it is open to the public. In the mean time, why not try the original video twitter, Hictu ?

They launched a year ago in December 2006 and have not garnered much press or attention for some reason, but here is a good Mashable piece on Hictu.

Hictu lets you post short messages like Twitter (160 character limit vs the 140 limit for tweets) but here’s the twist, you can include a video message as well.

Here is the composition screen where you create your messages (text or video). Notice the option to send the message to your Twitter account.

Hictu also lets you create an online profile card with many of your different instant messenger contact information: Yahoo, MSN, GTalk, Skype and more. You can embed the card on any website too.

Final Thoughts: Until Seesmic does officially open its doors, we could give Hictu a shot. Here is an interesting post from Robert Scoble about Seesmic and Hictu. Checkout the comments where the people behind Hictu chime in with some interesting and valid comments regarding the love affair that Seesmic is having with the press and media and the unfair coverage that Hictu is receiving.

 

Video Twitter? November 21, 2007

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Blogs.
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Utterz is referred to as the audio Twitter but now there is a Video Twitter launching called seesmic.
www.seesmic.com  (in private beta for now).

***Update***
 hictuI just learned about Hictu which was labelled as the video twitter long before Seesmic!
Check this out, they even provide audio tweets so they’re like an audio & video twitter.
Too bad their look is so 1990’s.