Monday, August 30, 2010

Onsugar gets indexed quickly and easily

As well as trying out Posterous and Tumblr, I've also recently started a blog with Onsugar. This is another free blogging tool that is quite similar to Posterous.

And like that site, it does seem to be very Google friendly. I started it very recently, have only added a couple of posts, and have not linked to it from any other site, yet it's already been indexed.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Posterous beats Tumblr for SEO

I have been trying out Posterous and Tumblr recently. While Tumblr is a very elegant tool, with great designs, the blogs do seem to take a while to get indexed by Google for some reason.

Posterous blogs are not nearly as pretty, and when you log in the interface is a bit more clunky. However, it's the clear winner when it comes to SEO, in my opinion. I have only recently started a blog there and it is already fully indexed.

Posterous also seems to get a lot more traffic from other users. There is a basic counter that records page views in the dashboard. Even though I've been doing very little link building, it's still racking up more and more hits. I've installed a counter on my Tumblr blog and I haven't had much traffic at all.

That said, Tumblr is still a good tool - particularly if you value aesthetics highly in your blogging.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Blog stumbled

Recently got a surge of hits from being listed on StumbleUpon. I'm sure there's a way of finding out who had done this through the site but wasn't able to when I looked briefly last night. I'll probably give it another go when I find time.

In any case, thanks to whoever submitted my blog. Very much appreciated.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A local classifieds site with a difference

I have used free online classifieds in the past, and they can work quite well. That's why I've been gradually collating a list of free classifieds sites for Aussies.

These sites seem to pop up pretty regularly, so I do a search for new ones from time to time. I just did another one, and found a site called iNoticeboard. This is a local classifieds site with a difference: You don't see any ads or categories on the main page. Instead, you enter your postcode, then place your ad. It makes for a much simpler interface than traditional classifieds.

I'm not sure if people will find that appealing or not. In any case, it's definitely original. It's only just started so it will be interesting to see how it goes.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Marketers should be cautious with Tumblr blogs

I have been writing the odd post over on my Tumblr blog. It's a really graceful and user friendly tool. However, it's not the best if you are hoping to really jazz up your blog with widgets, etc. There's little space for them.

Also, Tumblr has a strong policy of endorsing pure, expressive blogging as opposed to using a blog to make money. Here's a post by someone who had his account suspended.

Here are some tips on how to avoid this outcome and keep your Tumblr account.

UPDATE: It's not just marketers who should be careful with this blogging platform. They have been known to disable blogs that have been built solely for the purpose of making fun of other bloggers.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Not addicted, just attached to blogging

There have been reports of people being addicted to blogging. While I doubt that I've actually become a confirmed blogging addict, I have certainly become very attached to my blogs.

And that's why I actually found it quite upsetting to learn that the blog platform I use for my main humor and opinion blog will eventually be closing up shop.

Of course, there's no reason why I can't import all the content to another platform and keep going with it. I might actually do that. Or I might take this as some kind of sign that I need to move on and just finish it for good.

In any case, I can't help but feel sad about it. I know this sounds weird, but writing a blog is kind of like having a friend. Even if you don't get any comments you are still conversing in a way. You are expressing and refining ideas and opinions, getting your voice heard. So, every time you log in and post something you are addressing an imaginary person there on the screen in front of you.

Because each blog has its own theme, subject matter and appearance each of these attachments is quite different. It fulfills different needs. And it could be said that just as we outgrow friendships as our needs change and grow, so we end up eventually leaving our blogs.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Posterous, Onsugar and Soup

I'm getting more and more interested in microblogging. As well as trying out Tumblr, I've also started a Posterous microblog.

There are other sites very much like these that allow you to post different kinds of media, and also have Twitter-like social features.

I've recently found two more. These are Onsugar and Soup. They both look good and as far as I can tell they also have free domain mapping like the sites mentioned above.

UPDATE: Have found the feedback page for Soup, which gives a pretty good idea of what it offers. It's clearly a lot like Tumblr in many ways.

UPDATE: Just found another one: Amplify. It also looks good, with similar features. It doesn't seem to offer domain mapping, however.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Blog content scraping is lazy and unethical

I just discovered that someone is scraping content from one of my blogs. I've had this happen before to this blog, and it really annoys me.

I know that a lot of the time content scraping doesn't matter that much. The worst these plagiarists can do in most cases is to steal a little bit of your traffic. And quite often they lose their hosting accounts because of complaints from annoyed bloggers. (I think that happened to the guy who was nicking content from here.) But it's the laziness and dishonesty that I find really galling.

Of course, people who do this rationalize their actions by saying, "Well, there's nothing new under the sun and you can find the same information and ideas all over the internet. The blogger whose content I'm scraping is probably rehashing what he's read elsewhere. He's not being original himself, so why should I? And what right does he have to complain about me?"

There are two arguments against this attitude. One, he might not be rehashing what he's read elsewhere. He might have tried something out repeatedly and is expressing what he learned from actual experience. Doing this takes time and effort and gives the information added credibility.

An if he is rehashing something, he's still writing it in his own unique way, and also probably combining it with other information, which adds a little value and insight. Again, time and effort.

When the blog content scraper simply steals someone's unique writing and takes credit for all that work it's just not right.

Basically, if you are going to use someone else's observations verbatim, that's fine. You should just make it clear you are quoting them, with clear attribution and a link back to where you found them. Then the originator still gets the credit, as well as the SEO benefit from the backlink.