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July 2004 Archive

Blogging Business in the Mainstream

posted by DL Byron on July 30, 2004

CNN international writes that, “in a sign blogs are moving mainstream, major technology companies, including Microsoft Corp. and International Business Machines Corp. came together at a recent conference to discuss the profit potential of the Web publishing format.” Hello CNN! While I didn’t read many glowing reviews of the conference, it’s good to see blogging mainstreamed. Where some experience blogs-in-the-media fatigue, others need this type of story to convince their management that blogging is a good idea.

Besides that, it gets people thinking about how and what to blog. For example, a company could blog on their intranet to get their management team’s message out via RSS, or optimize their search-engine results, without spending huge amounts on Adwords.

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Has RSS saved the world yet?

posted by DL Byron on July 25, 2004

It’s been weeks since I’ve read how RSS was saving the world. Have we all been evangelized yet? According to the attendees in our blogging session, they were like, “what the?” Not only does RSS have the worst-name ever (should’ve been named PointCast or something), the attendees didn’t quite get it until Steve demonstrated it live. He showed how to subscribe to a feed and how fast a DDW blog post showed up in a feed reader. Oh yeah!

Now think about getting customized news posts from iTunes, virus protection software, or the corporate office, on your intranet. This will all happen when RSS is built into OS X and Windows. That’s coming. Until then, it’s our job to continue to evangelize. We’re not quite there yet.

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Another Great Conference

posted by DL Byron on July 25, 2004

At Digital Design World Seattle, attendance was up, there was a good vibe, and the crowds were having a good time. I talked to many business attendees and that’s a sign of the economy picking back up.

During the Blogging session, my co-presenter Steve Broback said to me, “I was surprised to see that less than 5% of the attendees of the Web Design track (all of whom are Web site authors) were bloggers, and even more surprised to see that same low percentage were using a newsreader. So many of us talk about it being ‘late in the game’ to be starting a blog today, but I sense the revolution is just beginning.” I agreed and noted that we needed to fill the demand for blogging “know how.” The attendees got what a blog was, and what it could do for their business, they wanted to know how to get that done. I heard a big, “wow” from the audience when I built a Typepad blog on-the-fly, published it, and showed how a link to it on Texturadesign’s site returned the number one google result. You can’t front on that.

When you see results like that, it’s easy to understand how blogs work for business.

As a reminder, our entire presentation is online, with related links, resources, and all of our Movable Type templates.

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From Webvisions to Digital Design World

posted by DL Byron on July 19, 2004

From the Blogging Panel at Webvisions, I learned that there’s strong demand for blogging know how. I think sometimes we tend to forget that there’s much to learn. From my perspective, the audience got the, “I love cats” part of blogging, but not the how to sell a product, deal with legal issues, what to say, or how to publish. The Q/A was very similar to the blogging panel at SXSW. I’ve updated the talk Steve Broback and I will give on the How/Why of Blogging this week at Digital Design World to cover more of the “how.”

In the halls, we talked about Amazon’s plogs, whatever those are exactly, and the various projects we’re working on. It was good to know Keith was speaking. Scott covered that and more about Webvisions in his post earlier today.

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WebVisions recap

posted by DL Byron on July 19, 2004

I think WebVisions went well. Our presentation was in the “technology” track, but our talk had a lot about user experience and brand. So we tried to cover both angles a little bit and I fear it might have got a bit scattered.

The toughest thing is we never know the knowledge level of the audience, so I never know how basic/advanced to make things like this. So I fear some people were bored and some were confused. I talked about this with a couple people at the conference and the consensus seems to be that this is the way most conferences are. You just have to do your thing - hopefully by covering a range of things we had something for everyone.

Byron had some strangers come up to him after the presentation and say it was good. He also got an email from someone saying ours was “the most interesting of the day.” So that’s a good sign and great to hear.

I missed Byron’s panel, instead opting to listen to Keith’s presentation. I had heard there was slide featuring 50 cent and I couldn’t pass that up. I think Keith did a good job. Some of the ideas he talked about seemed to relate to some of the ideas we talked about, which I think is a good thing. And I found out about a Flash replacement thing that I hadn’t heard of. I actually had a very similar idea awhile ago, but never got around to doing anything about it - which is probably good because this one looks more robust and well thought out than anything I could’ve come up with.

If anyone out there saw our presentation and has any comments please let us know.

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posted by DL Byron on July 15, 2004

webvisions I was discussing the details of my presentation tomorrow at Webvisions with Kirsten Blair and she was kind enough to send me a schematic. I’ll be at the podium there with Scott discussing web design and technology. I’ll also be on a blogging panel later in the day.

The speech comes at a time when, “design is more prevalent than ever, the web is maturing, yet we’re at a Standards crossroads with entrenched positions on both sides.”

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TDFBlog's Niche Market

posted by DL Byron on July 10, 2004

Speaking of the peloton, I chatted with the TDFBlog earlier this week. I’ll mini-case study the site at Digital Design World later this month. What impressed me is that the publisher, Frank Steele, found a niche, got the site up in about an hour with TypePad, is driving traffic, and making good money.

The site works because he aggregates a variety of Tour de France news sites and provides RSS, where the other sites don’t. So, I can get all the TDF news in one place, check headlines with the RSS feed, and click through if I want to read more.

Now that’s the power of a blog. The TDFBlog filled a niche, and responded to a consumer demand that other sites hadn’t noticed. I’m sure they’re going to notice now.

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Cafe Bustelo

posted by DL Byron on July 10, 2004

Our Director of Sales at Clip-n-Seal turned me onto Cafe Bustelo, a dark cuban espresso roast. I order online if from Java Cabana , a nice ecommerce site. The grind works well with my Brikka stovetop espresso maker and well, it’s a, “damn good cuppa joe!”

Coffee is part of cycling, a tradition, and drives much of the peloton.

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Tour de France

posted by DL Byron on July 02, 2004

The Tour de France has never been this hyped and starts tomorrow. 7 Americans in the race, Lance’s record breaking attempt, Sheryl Crow, strong competitors, live TV coverage, and much more. My prediction is for T-Mobile and Uhlrich or Tyler and Phonak, with Lance on the podium, but not winning. Here’s a set of Tour links:

There’s also a Tour Happy Hour, from 5-7, at the Summit Public House (206-324-7611) in Capital Hill.

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