Beginner’s Guide to Blogging #2

13 01 2009

You have found a Blog platform and you have registered a blog.  You have also found a design template that you are happy with.  You might want to explore which features of the template you can adapt and alter.   You can often add graphics to the headline or background and this is a good way of  making a template based blog look a bit more individual.   Have a look at the widgets and see which ones will work best.  Have a look at your favourite blogs to get some ideas about which widgets to use.  Don’t worry to much about changing the look and feel of your blog even if it is ‘live’.  At this point it won’t be getting any traffic.  Work on the design and layout until you are happy.

Make sure you get the basics right.  There will be no separate proof reader and no grammar checker.  If you aren’t good at these things get someone to check your posts before you publish.  Most blog platforms have spell checkers, use them and proof read your work.  A blog with spelling mistakes or poor grammar will be the kiss of death, even if the quality of the writing is good.

The importance of the quality still can not be underestimated and it is our job to make the material engaging.  Some people find this easier than others but it can be learnt.  There are many blogs out there created by technically brilliant people who can’t or won’t write in a coherent fashion.

If it doesn’t come naturally then practise.  Read as much as you can learn what works and take advice from others.  If that doesn’t work then partner up with someone that can write.   If the content is poor then the blog is too.





Fear and Loathing

8 12 2008

 

Companies are waking up to what is happening with their brands and there is  concern in the boardroom.  To them the web 2.0 world is the wild west.  There are people staking claims, there are outlaws and there are wild rumours of huge fortunes.  This is a digital frontier where the laws of the old world do not apply and voices are raised against the might of the old corporations.  There are already celebrated examples of major brands and corporations capitulating in the face of on-line challenges like the David and Goliath battle between Jeff Jarvis and the mighty Dell. 

Because of this many businesses are fearful of Web 2.0.  They are starting to realise that the PR profession has a new role to play but they feel very uncomfortable about participating in an environment where the consumer talks back.   Ultimately the choice for organisations is a simple one, they either take part in these conversations or they don’t but the conversations won’t go away.  So ultimately there is no choice.   The consumer will demand that the corporate talks to them.  According to Brian Solis leading PR 2.0 evangelist  “Social Media is no longer an option or debatable. It is critically important to all businesses, without prejudice. It represents a powerful, and additional, channel to first listen to customers, stakeholders, media, bloggers, peers, and other influencers, and in turn, build two-way paths of conversations to them. ..in the process, you become a resource to the very people looking for leadership, expertise, vision, and also solutions… it’s measurable and absolutely tied to the bottom line.”

That is why companies like Dell,  Starbucks and Chrysler are actively talking and listening to their customers.





Changing Communications

29 11 2008

 

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We are experiencing a communications revolution that began in the 1960s with the birth of the pre-cursor to the internet, but entered a significant new phase in 2004 with the arrival of Web 2.0.  


This is an iteration of the web where ordinary users can add words, pictures, sounds and video.  A simple idea in theory which in practise signifies the transfer of control of the internet from the few to the many. It is the democratisation of the internet.    

The phrase web 2.0 was coined in 2004 but nothing fundamentally changed that year from a technological point of view.  The tools that were available to create Web 2.0 environments already existed.  What changed was the way that people started to view the internet.








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