Posts Tagged 'blogs'

St. Louis Bloggers Guild – A Step Forward

Blog much? Well then you need to hear about this. St. Louis bloggers are joining together to form a first of it’s kind guild.  Writers have a guild, directors have guilds, so why not bloggers?

St. Louis Bloggers Guild is already drawing attention, with write ups in the local media, as well as a swarm of bloggers looking to join.  Why a guild? What’s it got to offer over something like a blog carnival or an online only blogging community?

The St. Louis bloggers Guild is not just about posting all on the same topic, or giving each other a pat on the back, though it can do that too.  It’s about informing, promoting, protecting, and yes, connecting.  Sound interesting yet?

The guild isn’t just about putting fingers to keys, and putting up the posts, it’s about forming a real community.  Not just faceless nicknames anymore, but folks you get to know in a real way.  There will be parties, conferences, blogging fests and more.  Yes even beer on occassion.  I mean heck, we are St. Louis, home of Budweieser!

St. Louis bloggers won’t be hemmed in either.  This isn’t about corralling folks and making them get in line.  It’s about a community hub, and it will take all types.  There’ll be blogs about St. Louis involved, and blogs about parenting, blogs about tech, and blogs about camping, even blogs about cupcakes.

So what’s stopping you from signing up today?  Hey, you can go visit the main page here, or go right to joining up here.

Want just a bit more incentive? How about joining several of us for a little mixer this Saturday night?  Yep, come meet some of us face to face and share a drink or an appetizer.  It’s a party at Atomic Cowboy in St. Louis.  The short story is be there at 6:30 PM. We’ll be the ones chatting it up and acting like bloggers.

Please come out and show your support or if you can’t make it, do drop by the guild website and visit.

See you around the net!

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Should You or Should You Not Submit Your Own Stuff?

Social Media Mom bring us one of the big questions of the day:

Should You or Should You Not Submit Your Own Stuff?

To summarize, she shares her feelings via quote:

I agree 100% with what Jack Spirko, from the Dallas Business and Marketing Blog says, “To me social networking has a greater future if we judge the content rather then intent“. Is it really that important who submits it? If you like it, you can Mixx it, Digg it, Stumble it, Sphinn it, or whatever. If you don’t, then by all means don’t vote for it and move on!

Oh, but if it were only that simple. Just share our best work and have folks vote on it. Many argue that the Internet already votes, simply count your page views and there you have it. If only that were true.

Posting your best stuff and hoping might be work if everyone on the Internet was aware of every blog post, news article, and web page in existence. Not only would they know of the existence, but know the complete URL, the language, and then have a browser that can read it. This doesn’t even cover corporate or nationwide blocks in place on Internet browsing.

You’ll say next perhaps that the best stuff still gets around. I wager you that there’s plenty of great stuff you’ve never seen and never will. There just isn’t time. No time, and tons of competition for people’s attention when they are online. There’s the latest crazy thing on YouTube, the cute dog pictures from Aunt Saddie and erotic fiction for others. Just how is one supposed to get squeezed into that?

If you were a store owner, or politician or author, then the answer is to talk about it, shout about it, and even take out huge ads on TV and radio. But if you’re a blogger? Well, don’t go telling folks, it just shows how selfish and self centered you are. It smacks of a big ego, or little concern for others. It reeks of neediness and attention starvation.

Dang, talk about something hanging over you head.  So then what should a blogger do?  Write great stuff and pray?  Should the blogger have to start turning out tons of content just to make sure they get search engine hits.  Or even rob their writing of its creativity or uniqueness for search engine hits?

It’s the same problem many authors have that don’t have a big firm to back them up, it’s hard to get noticed.  One innovate thing that’s occurring though is more authors are taking their books to the bloggers. They are emailing them, tweeting them, interviewing with them and more.

It’s obvious what happens if bloggers do the same thing with their blog though, it gets shot down quick.

What can we as bloggers do to help if we aren’t supposed to submit our own content for notice and sharing? One thing we can do is network to the high heavens.  We need to network like we mean it.  Note, networking <> shouting about your content, your brand or your hot boddy.  It means engaging people wherever they’re at, and getting to know each other.  This is a slow process and something to think of more as a long term investment.

Something else we can do?  Be remarkabled. Seth Godin talks about it all the time. Others live it all the time.  How can you and I be remarkable?  No ideas? Don’t feel bad, if you had them and executed on them, you’d already be remarkable.

Remarkable doesn’t have to be tough though.  You don’t need to write a book to be famous or noticed.  What you can best do to get noticed is be a generous giver.  The best thing is you don’t have to give money, or lots of expensive things.  The real key is to give without asking for anything in return.  You don’t have to ‘give’ in private either, even if you don’t brag.

I could write a ton about giving and giving honestly and feeling rewarded about it.  The key is to give your time most of all.  Take time to comment on other blogs.  Take time to email your contacts.  Take time to make conversation.  Take time to listen.  That last one counts more than all the others.  When people knw you’re listening, you suddenly become a lot more remarkable.

Social Media Mom ends her post like this:

What do you think about self submission? Should we or should we not submit our content to others, social sites etc.? I would love to know whether or not you think it is a good or bad thing to do and if so, why?

And I’m seconding her questions.  Don’t feel obligated to answer them here, but do take time to answer them for yourself. Cheers.

(PS do send me your best stuff to read, view, listen to.)

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Aggregation? Aggravation!

So you start blogging. Next step, you’ve got your RSS feed being distributed. Heck, you probably didn’t even have to sign up for that. That RSS feed, you don’t realize it at first, but lots of folks are latching onto it to read your posts. They are subscribing themselves in a tool called a feed reader. If they want, they can still visit your site, but now they can save themselves the trip. And life goes on.

But one day, your readership tapers off as well as your RSS subscribers. The clicks go down, and you begin to wonder if your content sucks or what. Being certain it can’t be your writing or lack of goods as a blogger you start searching around.

It’s then you find it; there’s a site aggregating your content. A site that is taking your feed and posting it right back onto the front of their homepage. Not just an aggregator clearly showing that you’re a contributor but not related to their company, but an aggregator selling ads on the side.

So you step back and think. Is this adding value to your site or stealing it. Yeah, you’re just not 100% sure it’s legal, and yeah it’s aggravating but what to do? No point ruining your name or someone else’s but you have the right to your opinion about this practice. Naturally, you do what you know best; you blog.

This is really happening to friends of mine. My blog hasn’t been added to the site. I am an interested party though, and wanted to share what my fellow bloggers had to say.

I encourage you to visit the blogs. Read them through, and consider what’s said. Agree or disagree, that’s your right, but please take an interest. It could be your blog next.

News Bitch

Little Bald Doctors

WOBL in Training

Superfunpatrol

The State of Discontent

Mamalogues

Slacker Moms-R-Us

MidwestBlogs -St Louis

Prologos

Highway 61

A Bun’s Life

Courtney Watson

The Art of Self Destruction

I’ll post more as I gather them. Stay tuned.

If reading about all this isn’t your thing, then might I suggest kittens.


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St. Louis Blogging has a new home

Blog and live in or near St. Louis? Then there is a new group in town to check out, St. Louis Pro Bloggers. So what’s St. Louis Pro Bloggers all about?

“STL Pro Bloggers is part of the Midwest Blogs network. Through this city page you can find information about activities and events in St. Louis and connect with other St. Louis bloggers. Register and become a member today and have your blog indexed on the site!”

It’s already got a review of the most recent St. Louis Blogger Meetup, and the upcoming Lo-Fi Saint Louis Reset Party. Expect to find more events of interest to bloggers here as well. It doesn’t stop with just some unknown face behind the site either. St. Louis Pro Bloggers is inviting you to register and contribute as well. You can be invited to contribute new articles or republish some of your work there.

One of the benefits of such a site will be an increase in attention to blogging in St. Louis. It will also provide tips and event lead ins as well. And what better place to connect with fellow bloggers than a site dedicated to us.

I look forward to both providing event information and write ups on those events. How about you?

Come check out St. Louis Pro Bloggers today.

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Speaking of blogging. I’m headed to SOBCon08 in May.  They are having a contest and your clicks count. If you visit their site from anywhere on my blog, it counts as a vote for me. It’s that simple. Click through to SOBCon08 and you’ve already voted.

Thanks for those that have already voted. Check out the contest so far here.

Contacts, Friends, and Meetups

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So I’m going today to the 1st meeting of Social Media Club St. Louis and I’m wondering if I should. Oh, not because it won’t be fun, or constructive, and not because I won’t make new contacts, but for just the opposite. I’m worried about making too many new contacts.

That’s right, too many. I’m quickly facing the point in my social networking and media relationships cycle where there are just too many folks to keep up with. Contacts galore, but you say, how many of them do you pay attention to. Too many and not enough.

I’m now following hundreds of contacts on Twitter, some on Utterz, and countless blogs via RSS. That’s not to mention messages and interaction on Facebook and other smaller spots. And today’s meetup is bound to bring me more cool folks to follow and interact with.

So what’s a guy to do? I’ve already talked about social networking contact issues here, here, and here. Still my conclusion is the cliche, less is more. How am I accomplishing this?

There isn’t really one answer for me, but here’s how I’m going to handle it today.

1) Give folks my almost universal ID – tojosan – good for Twitter, Utterz, and more social networking and media sites.

2) Give folks my blog information

3) Accept and note down their universal IDs and add them as contacts

4) Get their blog information – and subscribe on a trial basis

My expectations?

1) Two or three out of a dozen plus will become regular contacts

2) Two or three will have blogs of real interest to me

How do I feel about that? Just fine. Honestly, more of them would just be attention thieves from the others. Will I stop following the blogs? Maybe not, but they’ll be relegated to the weekly vs daily checks for sure. Since they are local, it might be hard to pass them up. The key criteria will be subject matter though. I’m very uninterested in political ranting, and much more interested in articles about restaurants, tech, and movies.

Will you be screening your new potential contacts? Or will you just keep adding anyone that you meet? Is it exclusionary to put off making contacts of folks that you aren’t interested in, if they are interested in following you? What’s your plan for your next meetup?

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Click here to help me win a free ride to SOBCon08. No registration or anything. Just click.

Thanks,

Todd

Blogging can be fun and educational!

Check out the latest and very emotional piece from Twittering on the Edge.

Want some inside thoughts about Free Speech and the Middle East? Check out Verge New Media’s latest piece.

Love Valentine’s day, then join Shashi on My Digital Thoughts as he ponders one of my favorite days.

Love cupcakes, interested in some new flavors? Check out The Cupcakes Project’s latest with steamed salted caramel cupcakes!

Just a few of the great things you’ll find online this week!

Cheers!