Jeremy Zawodny, well known Yahoo blogger, just announced that the Yahoo! Employee Blog Guidelines have been published and has been made publicly available through his site.
The official guidelines are a good read – especially if your company or organization has concerns over employee blogging.
For individual bloggers, Jeremy had this to say and more:
Go forth and write. Be yourself. Speak your mind.
Ever since AdSense For Feeds was released by Google, questions have arisen over Google’s policies regarding this new program. Matt questioned whether the program was only accepting Blogger.com and Movable Type sites. T. David asks if the program is already full. Tim Bray wonders what exactly is a “Feed User” and why the Terms and Conditions of the program are so unclear.
Although Google has not publicly addressed these issues, Jason Shellen from Google is using his personal blog to answer Tim Bray’s questions. He’s doing his best to keep the two-way conversation alive.
Here’s a list of blogs run by Google and Yahoo employees.
Aside: Too bad there is no one inside Google talking about the 302 issue. Instead all we have is a one-sided conversation and some very canned PR responses.
Mark Fletcher, CEO of Bloglines, says they will be releasing a blog search engine by summer. Mark says Bloglines’ search engine will surpass any current search offering out there (Technorati, Feedster, PubSub). (via Business Week)
Bloglines has the benefit of being backed by Ask Jeeves – incorporating Ask Jeeves search technology into the Bloglines database of feeds could prove to be the “world class blog search” Mark Fletcher is promoting.
Looks like there is a new AdWords blog by the Google team.
Jeff Barr admits in his response regarding Syndic8′s spam issue that he was “really stupid and greedy too.”
About a week and a half ago, Syndic8.com was banned from Google for content spamming. Today it seems they are back in with a PR of 8.
Jeff admits to “crossing the line” and regrets doing so. His response addresses some very interesting issues regarding SEO and the blogosphere.
In this link-happy world, I have found that people are more interesting in talking about you than talking to you.
I’d have to say that is true and as for why – Jeff answers this himself.
Apparently it is easier to create a link than to send an email.
Why do people expect others to spend the time include them in the conversation?
Jeff could have involved himself in the conversation simply by posting a response much earlier. This is a great example of blogs as a tool for crisis control. The only way to impact the public conversation is by partaking and expressing your point of view. If you wait for someone to ask your point of view – it is too late.
But that doesn’t mean there is only one chance to join the conversation. Jeff wasn’t able to respond initially and impact the first wave of the blogmob. But his response demonstrates the power and effectiveness of being transparent and responding with blogs.
So now another word-of-mouth wave is passing and public opinion is changing. Bloggers are spreading news of Jeff’s response as fast as the blogmob initially spread the news of Syndic8′s mistake.
Feedster is allowing signups for their RSS ad network. For now all you can do is signup and wait for Feedster to review your site.
Google just snapped up Dodgeball, a cool small 2 man company helping people socialize.
Dodgeball + Blogger Mobile + Mobile Web Search = Cool things.
You send a text message to Dodgeball that you are at CoolPartyPlace. A post is generated on your Blogger blog, inviting others to come meet you. Google then sends individual directions (Google Maps) to everyone’s Gmail accounts including basic information on CoolPartyPlace (via Google Web Search). In addition to directions and venue information, Google supplies everyone with social information of all the people planning to come meet you (via Orkut/Dodgeball data). As you are waiting, you can flip through your cellphone and look at images of the people coming (orkut portrait) – of course, its based on proximity (Dodgeball’s 10 mile radius) so you can know who is coming first.
After meeting up, you come home and you see in your gmail inbox the links to everyone’s blogs that you met and you are automatically added to everyone’s orkut network.
Update: Looks like someone is really happy.
Infoworld says Google is planning to integrate Blogger with Gmail to ease blogging barrier.
Google also plans to add native image upload support and enterprise privacy features to Blogger. Last week Google added Blogger Mobile, making it easier for Blogger users to moblog.
Integrating email posting and image uploading to Blogger will make things easiers for users of Blogger – but I’m surprised Google still has not implemented some of the basics of blogs, trackbacks and categories.
Mike Rundle has an interesting post about the Huffington Post – seems Hilary Rosen is quite the hypocrite. Previously championing DRM, she is now complaining about her iPod:
The problem is that the iPod only works with either songs that you buy from the on-line Apple iTunes store or songs that you rip from your own CD’s.
Not only is she wrong – she’s ranting on about how Steve Jobs is “monopolizing” through proprietary technology.
But keeping the iTunes system a proprietary technology to prevent anyone from using multiple (read Microsoft) music systems is the most anti-consumer and user unfriendly thing any god can do.
Come on Ms. Rosen. Please go back and review how the RIAA helped create this situation.
Oh, removing comments from the Huffington Post is a great way to show that you “get” blogging, Arianna. Nice try.
If you are using Movabletype or WordPress to power your blog, then most of the hardwork is already done.
Both these systems produce very clean default code and utilize header tags.
Basic SEO tips
However, there are a couple basic things you can do to improve the SEO of your blog.
- Rewrite your urls – Clean up the dynamic urls with a rewrite. Use your keyword rich post title in the url.
- Linearize your content – Move your content higher up in your code. Search engines place greater weight on text found near the beginning of your page. Use css to layout your site.
- Use Categories – Break up your site into categories. This automatically creates on-topic minihubs of content.
What do I mean by optimize dynamically? Utilize templates in your blogging software to your advantage.
For example, you could create three templates – one for your homepage, one for individual post pages and one for categories. For the homepage template you can optimize for a general set of keywords. For the individual pages template you would optimize using variables generated from the post title. For the categories template you would optimize around the category variable. This way every post in the future is automatically optimized.
If you spend the time to optimize templates for variables, every blog using the templates will be optimized – saving you alot of time.
Update: Forgot a really basic one. Make sure you change your title tag so that it displays relevant keywords (like your post title) before your site name.
I’ve been listening to a webcast (free with registration) of the Blogging Goes Mainstream conference – I’d recommend anyone interested in blogs or is already blogging to listen in.
- Robert Scoble talking about his reply to Steve Ballmer’s memo
- Mike from HackingNetflix telling Daimler Chrysler “is missing the boat”
- Bloggers Speak panel on “True Voice”
James Robertson blogs about each panel at the conference.
Google’s blog recently switched over to Blogspot and added a blogroll. As expected, they are paying alot of attention to SEO/SEM blogs (just look at the blogroll links).
MarketerToday explains why targetting the correct keywords can enhance customer relationship.
Larry realized more qualified traffic to his site specifically because he, like, utilized keywords that said what they did.
I’m sure all professional SEMs know how to target keywords, but I really like how this ties into blogging and transparency.
Customers are out there searching and you can strengthen your relationship with them by optimizing for their search. Communicate clearly what you offer, and they will find you again and again, book mark your site, inquire, purchase and come back!
Customers are creating a relationship with your company the moment they arrive on your site. Attracting traffic through unrelated keywords destroys relationships. Why waste resources only to antagonize your audience?
Blogging is all about the conversation and the transparency conveyed through your voice.
SEM is exactly the same – aim for transparency – keywords that truthfully describe the services/products offered. Give customers what they are seeking and you will be building great relationships.
Matt responds to the WordPress issue.
I am acutely aware that this is far from an ideal system and could be a lot better, and we’re working on that. I strongly believe that WordPress can and will be independent in a way that doesn’t involve begging for money, annoying users, or selling out.
This is what everyone wanted from the get go. I can already feel the flames dieing down.
Still bugging me – the default link to wordpress.org. Obviously this is my choice to keep it. Previously there would be no reason to be wary of leaving the link.
Still, it does nothing to reassure me the that default links that ship with WordPress are benign. Before this happend, I had idea that keeping the attribution to WordPress.org on the footer of the blog could actually be used deceptively. Now I know it can, and am much queasier about the default linking in WordPress. Naturally, I see how it’s to your benefit, and a very cool marketing idea, but more disclosure would help alay our worries…
Elliot feels the same.
Waxy has the story. Sad day for WordPress.
I can’t believe Matt would resort to some underhanded cloaking technique to earn adsense cash. No one would have said anything if he was more open about the whole deal.
Update: Tons of people are flaming WordPress and Matt over this. Lets all wait till he gets back from vacation and hear what he says. This is a big deal though. Imagine if he used WordPress.org to link to a link farm – all sites linking back to WordPress.org (a majority of the wordpress installs) could be banned in Google.
After a couple bad starts, a slashdotting, a server failure – Ourmedia is up and running. Ourmedia offers free lifetime hosting for all types of media.
We provide free storage and free bandwidth for your videos, audio files, photos, text or software. Forever. No catches.
One of the main partners of Ourmedia is Bryght, the biggest commercial Drupal endeavour – will be very interesting to see how citizen media develops in the near future.
Google has a new toy up at the labs – Google X.
Mac OS X style navigation on top of a search input field.
Update: Google has pulled this down. (03/17/2005) Elliot has an archive of the site.
Update #2: Another archive.
The Design Eye guys do it again (with Ryan Sims and Paul Nixon instead of Didier Hilhorst and Greg Storey).
This time the group redesigns Dirk Knemeyer’s blog and the results are wonderful.
Check out the deliverables at Design Eye.
I really liked the write-ups – almost tutorial like.
And here’s the finished redesign.