Tag Archives: Blogs

Delete all: Seven reasons to use blogs instead of email

As we try to muster an informed, engaged group of groups and individuals in developing successful projects or policies (let alone manage the whole effort), isn’t it time that we delete all email?

There’s a real case to be made that blogs are a far superior tool for administering, managing, cajoling and empowering any group of people united in pursuit of a common goal because they:

  1. Highlight truly engaged, productive participants by shifting communication and education responsibilities to individual members.
  2. Give equal and open access to all available information, feedback and decision documentation.
  3. Provide a permanent, easily searchable archive of every topic relating to the project.
  4. Organize content chronologically (posts and comments) so there is no uncertain about what is the latest and greatest information or decision.
  5. Can force project to individuals’ top priority by having them set the blog as their browsers‘ home page.
  6. Eliminate lost messages by cutting email clutter and avoiding spam filter hang-ups.
  7. Heighten urgency and sensitivity of information that is conveyed by email when email is only used to communicate politically sensitive information to “need-to-know” individuals.

Bottom line, using a blog can provide a great opportunity for introducing openness and efficiency into an organization and a project when used properly.

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My life on the D-List

One thing unites all bloggers – the obsessive search for stats and feedback that, at a minimum, prove they aren’t the equivalent of some loon haranguing an empty sidewalk in Hyde Park.

So here are some easy online stats generators that you can use either for self-aggrandizement or for measuring and fine-tuning your professional or organizational blog or online presence:

  1. Conduct a weekly Facebook search on your, your organization and your competition (ditto for whatever social utility you use).
  2. Go to www.xinureturns.com and see how your URLs rate.
  3. Visit www.compete.com and see how you stack up against the competition.
  4. Go to http://www.kineda.com/are-you-an-a-list-bloglebrity/ to rank your “bloglebrity status.”

Help stakeholders find your blog with better SEO

The growing popularity of blogs as a tool for engaging stakeholders and coalition members may not be matched in usefulness without careful attention to search engine optimization.

The term “search engine optimization” or SEO for short, describes the process of increasing both the quality and quantity of traffic to your website or blog. It is the technique of making your content easier to find for search engines like Google. 

A lot of attention is given to this topic when a blog or website is set up, but then tends to dwindle.  Yet there are many ways that you can make it easier for stakeholders and others to find and use your blog by how you handle content development.

Here are seven ways to accomplish that (modified from a 10-tip list originally created by Typepad):

1. Write descriptive post titles.

This is the single most important thing you can do to optimize your blog for search and drive more traffic. Imagine what you might type into Google to find your post and include it in the title of your blog post. 

2. Use image titles that match content in your post.

Title images with one or more words from your post title to increase the “relevance” of your post. This will help your blog index better against that term.

3. Use SEO keywords in your content.

Include the key terms from your image and title in the body of your post, especially early in a post. You will have a greater chance of coming up higher in the search engine rankings. To find keywords, use Google AdWords’ Keyword Tool.

4. Post regularly.

The more often you update your blog, the more often your pages are indexed by the search engines, and the higher your ranking climbs. That is why blogs are inherently more search-engine friendly than a websites;  many bloggers post new content on a regular basis.

5. Link to other quality related content.

When you link to quality sites or articles on the web that are relevant to the content of your post, you increase your chances of a higher ranking. 

6. Submit your blog to the major search engines.

You can further get your content out to the search engines by going to Google, Yahoo! or any of your favorite search engines and type in “submit blog.” You will be directed to a page that will allow you to submit your URL for indexing.

7. Stick with it.

Since so many people launch blogs and websites and abandon them within weeks or months, part of the calculation used to rank pages is how long the site has been around. If you keep blogging, your ranking will go up if you are still posting consistently after a year.

Selling blogs and wikis to your clients, others

The biggest challenge to putting Web 2.0 technologies into play is getting clients and others comfortable with the idea when they’re concerned about the loss of control.

One way to allay their fears is to put in place a written set of policies or guidelines that address issues or concerns they may have.

Depending upon the situation, a good starting point for creating such guidelines is to build upon the IBM Social Computing Guidelines, which have been used by many in Corporate America in forming their own policies on Web 2.0 usage.  (And a tip of the hat to Dana Newsome for the pointer to the Guidelines.)