Archive for July, 2009

New Tricks: Why you should use Technorati, and how to get started there

Some time ago, Gina Chen wrote a wonderful blog post on “Save the Media” on Technorati and its uses for journalist bloggers.

I mentioned Technorati about a week later ago in my post, “Get to know your bloggers,” as part of the basic research every reporter, editor and producer — hell, every blogger — should do when starting a blog.

Let’s walk you through what you’re actually going to do on Technorati:

1. First, you’re going to want to join the site, of course. Create an easy username/login, because you’ll be able to “claim” as many blogs as you want, which is good if your newspaper or broadcast station has multiple blogs.

2. Once you’ve done that and received your login, you’ll click “Blogger Central” near the top of the screen and scroll down to “Claim Your Blog.” You shouldn’t see any blogs, since you haven’t claimed any yet, but this is what I see, because I’ve already claimed two blogs:

Technorati screenshot

3. When prompted, type in your blog’s home page URL to claim it.

4. Technorati will then give you a bit of code to link to insert in a blog post for publication. After you “ping” Technorati, in turn, will then spider your page after you “ping” it.

Pinging Technorati is simple. In your first post, just code in something like:

<em>If you like my blog, you can also check out my Technorati page <a href=”CODE”>here</a>.</em>

5. Now you should ping the Technorati page. You can also set your blog up to automatically ping Technorati when you post a story. You blog will soon show up on your “Claimed Blogs” page.
___________

Once you’re on, here are a few things to remember:

- Your blog authority is determined by the number of inbound links you’ve received over the last six months.

- Technorati is a great way to find blogs similar to yours. If you see one that has a high authority rank, you probably want to start commenting on it to get noticed.

- One interesting trick is to set up all of the blogs in your blogroll — and tags you care about — in a Technorati Watchlist. In a blog post on “Micro Persuasion,” Steve Rubel suggests this is a good way to keep track of what’s going on in your part blogosphere. (NOTE: I haven’t tried this before, but it seems to make sense.)

If I haven’t convinced you, maybe these folks can:

- Darren Rowse, Problogger.net – ‘Help me, my mom is my blog’s only reader’

- Allen Stern, Center Networks – ‘How I use Technorati’

16 comments July 6th, 2009

New Tricks: How to use Posterous

I’ve recently signed up for Posterous, a lifestreaming site that may very well be the next shiny Web 2.0 tool.

What is lifestreaming, you ask? It’s a way of aggregating your life — photos, videos, articles and blog posts — in one place. In a recent post, I say lifestreaming can be thought of as a linear, time-based scrapbook. A Web 2.0 version of “Being John Malkovich,” sort of.

It’s simple enough to sign up for Posterous:

1. First, go to the Posterous registration page. Select your URL — e.g. YourNameHere.Posterous.com is the default, but you can install Posterous as the CMS on your personal blog — as well as your password. Enter your contact e-mail address. One word of advice: Use an e-mail account that you can access from your mobile device easily; this way you can upload photos and videos directly to your page, instead of just using SMS for the posts.

Be sure to fill out your profile completely. Add a bio and a photo, because if you don’t, your page’s sidebar will appear quite sparse.

2. Create a contact on your phone for Posterous. Enter the telephone number in as 41411. (It’s a short code — definition here — so that’s why the number is only five digits. Enter the e-mail address as post [at] posterous [dot] com. (Use the actual symbols for “at” and “dot,” not the bracketed words. Just saying.)

Now create some test posts, like I did here and here, just so you can get the hang of it. If you have the iPhone 3.0 software, you can even upload your audio recordings directly to the site by e-mailing them to post [at] posterous [dot] com.

3. Add the “Share to Posterous” link to your browser. This will make it easy for you to take any content you want from the Web and post it directly to your Posterous site. Go to this page, scroll about halfway down, and literally drag the button to the top of your browser.

4. Share/post a photo or video through the bookmarklet: To share a photo or video, just open up the URL for the photo specifically, like this stunning picture of yours truly or this classic Michael Jackson music video.

Click the “Share on Posterous” link on your browser, and a window will open, like so:

Posterous photo

Chances are the picture’s file name will be the default headline. Change the “title” field to whatever you want your post’s headline to be. Post your written content into the “Your Comment” field below the photo. (Warning: Be sure to change your headline now, because you won’t be able to re-save it for SEO purposes. To change the URL, you’ll have to start all over. You don’t want to do that.)

5. Share/post a story through the bookmarklet: Say there’s a story you want to share on your Posterous page. Simple enough. First, find the URL for what you want to share. Then click on the Posterous bookmarklet. A similar window will pop up.

If the story has one main graphic, it will automatically show up in the box. If the page has multiple graphics, you’ll be able to cycle through them. If you don’t like any of them, just click on the picture — the HTML code will show up — and just delete it.

Add some text below the graphic, and be remember to give your post a title. You should end up with something like this.

6. Post content via e-mail: Just open a blank e-mail — it must be from an account you registered on Posterous — and enter your headline in the subject box. Now enter the body text as the main e-mail message. Send it to post [at] posterous [dot] com.

7. Post content via your mobile phone: Posting content from your phone is simple. There are several ways to do it:

  • Post via SMS: Just write be sure to write the word “POST” before the text you want to be your headline. Text it to 41411 and you’ll get something like this. Unfortunately, your post won’t have any body text initially, just a headline. You can always go back and change this later, though. NOTE: One thing — if you post via SMS, your full text will appear, but the post URL seems to have an 81-character limit.
  • Post via e-mail: just open a blank e-mail and send it to post [at] posterous [dot] com. Your post headline will go in the subject box and the body text will go, well, in the body of your e-mail.
  • You can also send cell phone photos via e-mail. If you’re using an iPhone, first make sure you upgrade to iPhone 3.0 software. Open your Camera Roll, select one or multiple photos and “Copy” them. (You can do this with the upgraded software.) Then open a new e-mail and “Paste” the photos into the body of the e-mail. To add text above the photos, just type it above the first photo. Your final post will look like this if you have one photo or this if you have multiple photos. Nifty, huh?

8. Now it’s time to link Posterous to your social media accounts. Posterous allows you to link your profiles on Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, as well as your WordPress, Blogspot or Xanga-powered blog for either automatic or select syndication. Just click the “Add a service” button at the top of the page, and Posterous will set it up almost automatically.

If you only want to post to one page, just e-mail your posts to [name of the service] [at] Posterous [dot] com.

And if you like the service so much, you want to pull in your current blog and switch platforms, you can import your existing posts to Posterous.

For your viewing pleasure, here’s a video fellow Chicagoan @Outsanity created for his blog about Posterous. Enjoy:

Please let me know if I left anything out of this post, and let us know if you like Posterous as much as we do.

35 comments July 2nd, 2009

Old Media vs. New Media: Battle to the death?

The media landscape continues to change, but that doesn’t mean it’s a fight-to-the-death between Old Media and New Media.

TechCrunch’s Robin Wauters took Old Media to task for not being quick enough to report the Michael Jackson’s death, saying new media entities TMZ and Twitter get it, and Old Media essentially is too slow to be relevant anymore. In the comments, there is a mini-war going on, with some people siding with the Chicago Tribune, which says Old Media did the “heavy lifting” in confirming Jackson’s death, and others saying that Twitter and TMZ is all we need anymore.

Instead of asking who will win, why not ask this: Why can’t Old Media and New Media get along?

Old Media should stop pretending like new ways of information aren’t important. Whether Old Media likes it or not, people are getting their news in new ways. The Old Media does need to move quicker. Ask any editor at any newspaper, and he or she will tell you the newsroom needs to always be moving quicker to get news out. Old Media needs New Media for various reasons, not the least of which being that people increasingly are turning to New Media outlets exclusively to get their news.

Meanwhile, New Media needs Old Media, too. Twitter can run rampant with rumors (including a widespread, though false, rumor that actor Jeff Goldblum had died). Old Media is good at doing some “heavy lifting” when it comes to verifying information. Some New Media outlets are good at that, too, but this is the Old Media’s forté.

There’s no reason for this to be a battle. If Old Media is in the New Media world and doing it right, the two can live together harmoniously.

15 comments July 1st, 2009


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