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With Great Blogging Power, Comes Great Responsibility

Globe and Mail journalist and author, Hal Niedzviecki, takes an interesting look at the impact bloggers are having on the lives of, well…non-bloggers. It appears, like Hal, more and more people are waking up to the fact that they’re being discussed online and that even conversations that take place outside of the web, are fair game on a blog.

It’s a refreshing perspective – hearing from someone who’s only just discovering that bloggers tend to be critical, honest and often, insensitive…

LifeHack’s 6 Tips to Improve Your Blog

Lifehack’s Chris Brogan shares six very useful tips for first-time bloggers – and a refresher for the rest of us – looking to improve their blog.

I won’t repeat all six here, but the first tip is usually the one I see most new bloggers guilty of failing to implement…

Display Contact Info Prominently- Put the author’s name right up there easy to read, and add a photo, an email written out to avoid spiders ( chris at lifehack dot org instead of actually clickable), and even a phone number, if you want people to reach you. Add your IM username, and other contact info. If it’s a multi-author blog, display an “About the Authors” link prominently.

Here’s a couple I would add to the list.

Search Marketers Share Flickr Photos

I often get emailed by new bloggers, asking me to add their blog to my blogroll or link to a specific article. I typically avoid linking, just because I am asked, instead I tell the blogger that I’ll keep an eye on their blog and link to anything I find interesting.

Ok, with that preamble out of the way, here’s where I am going. If you want to get your blog on the radar of other bloggers, create something unique and interesting. I’ve never heard from Andrew Girdwood, but he was smart enough to put together a list of search marketers sharing their photos via Flickr. Not only is this interesting, and going in my bookmarks, but by including the names of popular bloggers, he’ll likely get a lot of links from it.

2007 Predictions

Mashable has “tagged” me to share my predictions for 2007. Here’s some brief thoughts…

  1. Digg will get acquired or die (maybe even both). I think Digg is very close to jumping the shark and is close to its maximum level of exposure. It will either realize this and sell or wait too long and decline.
  2. Yahoo’s new search interface and algo will be key in the revival of the company’s fortunes. Once they switch to a platform that includes a performance metric, they’ll see better average CPCs.
  3. Social media marketing (SMM) will find its place. There will be some marketing agencies who actually figure out how to show an ROI from SMM.
  4. We’ll see at least one company, offering search marketing services, go public in 2007 and more acquired than in 2006.

The Five Key Missteps Microsoft Made with the Vista Blogger Fiasco

I’ve been giving some thought to why Microsoft’s attempt to reach out to bloggers, by sending them free Vista-loaded laptops, went horribly wrong.

I know that hindsight is 20/20, but as a business blogging consultant, here’s the five mistakes that I believe led to such a negative response from the blogosphere.

  1. Microsoft (and Edelman) was not clear in its message to bloggers. They sent out these fully-loaded, top of the line laptops to bloggers without being clear what exactly they expected from them. Did they want bloggers to review Vista? Were they expecting bloggers to disclose the gift? Would there be a follow-up from MSFT to learn flaws about Vista on laptops? The message was clearly too ambiguous as some bloggers shared news of the ”gift” with their readers, while others didn’t.

The Ultimate Secret to Getting Your Website to Dominate Its Industry

Want to know the best way to push any website to the #1 popularity spot for its industry? It’s quite simple, you leverage the traffic from one of Google’s existing properties.

Need proof?

Google’s Blog Search has taken over the #1 spot from Technorati, thanks to a link placed on the homepage of Google News. Hitwise explains how that helped the Google service leapfrog Technorati in just a few weeks.

Google Blog Search began catching up to Technorati in October, when Google placed a link to Blog Search on the Google News home page, causing a 168% surge in market share for Google Blog Search over a two week period (week ending 10/14/06 vs. week ending 10/28/06). Since then, approximately 60% of Google Blog Search’s traffic has been coming directly from Google News, compared to less than 1% before the change.

Microsoft & Edelman Make Two Mistakes with Free Laptop Fiasco

I wasn’t going to share my thoughts on Microsoft sending out free laptops to some A-list bloggers. I figured it was a dumb move by Microsoft, without first seeking the permission of the blogger. But now Microsoft has made a bad situation worse by asking the bloggers to return the laptops after they “review” them. Here’s part of the new request…

You may have seen that other bloggers got review machines as well…As you write your review I just wanted to emphasize that this is a review pc…I hope you give your honest opinions. Just to make sure there is no misunderstanding of our intentions I’m going to ask that you either give the pc away or send it back when you no longer need it for product reviews.