Weblogs

There’s nothing like success to make your day

I’ve got this blog up and running on my new url!

I’m not all that happy with my current business name: DW Summers and Company. It’s hard to say, long and time consuming to write on checks, and doesn’t really say much about what I do. All in all, it’s kind of boring. So I’ve come up with an alternative that I’m working on: Donsca Communications. The last part may change, but the rest stands for Don S(ummers) Ca(nada). And that’s me.

So I registered the url a few weeks ago. Not really sure what to do with it, but for a start, I thought I’d map it to this blog.

That was the start of the adventure.

I know nothing about setting up a dns server, so it was off to the web for research. Oops, all gobbledygook to me, so I just browsed through some overview articles supplied by Typepad and a couple of other sites.

Wait, it didn’t actually sound that hard to make a cname change. I went to my registrar, clicked past the warnings about messing with your dns, and got to to the first screen. It asked one question that had to be answered before moving on, “what region is this for?” Well, I had no clue. It could have been anything, so I backed up and gave up on that route.

Just the other day I ran into a free dns server and thought I’d give it a try. I entered the url http://www.donsca.ca, chose to add a value, entered my Typepad information in the cname field, and left it to do its work after pointing to the site from my registrar.

Two hours later, I was able to confirm the change through a dns search. Not bad, considering Typepad suggested that it might take up to 48 hours. Anyway, I finished the mapping changes at Typepad and before I knew it, this blog had the new url, all the links seemed to work, and all was well.

The name of the blog hasn’t changed. It’s still DWS@Large: Building a life and building a business, one day at a time. That’s what I’m up to these days, and who knows where it will lead. This is just one more step.

 

Looks like we’re back in business with Ecto

_DSC3655-3A while back, I (and others) ran into issues with the Flickr plugin in the Ecto offline blog editor for the Mac. The developer couldn’t duplicate the results we were getting, but he/she persisted. After some help from a poster in the forums with much more technical savy on the Mac than me, there seems to be a fix. This is my first test of the new improved version.

Well done Adriaan. Must have been hard figuring it out without being able to duplicate it yourself.

Bloggers can pick up Ecto here: http://illumineX.com/mac/

It’s never easy

Starting with a new program always means adapting to its foibles. It seems Contribute is no different.

The first few posts to Typepad and Blogger went off without a hitch . The first time was a snap, but now I’m back after Xmas, things are not quite as rosy.

A Blogger blog I have doesn’t seem to work now. All I get is a message saying there is an error, or I’m not logged in. Perhaps the upgrade to the new Blogger format there has something to do with it. I saw something in the help section that there are 3rd-party programs using an older api. Patience, I guess.

Typepad still seems to work.  Well, we’ll see at the end of this post, won’t we. There is one other private blog that won’t let me in, so I guess I’ll have to see about getting them to fix that.

All said and done though, so far Qumana has been foolproof. I’ve managed to post on all the blogs I’ve tried so far. Might have to stick to that, rather than Contribute for blogs. We’ll see. That might go against the grain at work. 

Happy Birthday, Blog

You’re one year old, dear blog. As of July, that is. Hard to believe, but congratulations.

So, what have I learned?

I havent posted much: 60 some odd posts; around one a week for the most part, and that was in spurts.

I’ve gone from 0 to around 434 visits. I doubt many of those are regular readers, given the frequency of posting. Might help if I selected a niche instead of just posting what I’m thinking about. But I don’t seem to be there yet.

Through the comments, I’ve run across a couple of blogs that I wouldn’t have experenced. Thanks guys. theBizofknowlege and dragonspeed.

The visitor count jumped over the last 6 months or so. Not sure why.

I have lots of work to do if blogging is going to be a part of my life. Less time reading, and more time participating. At least that’s what I’ve heard from too many bloggers to link to. But here’s a popular one anyway. It’s a good place to learn.

Onward and upward as they say.

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Inspiring blogger stories

I hadn’t seen anything about this site before, but I’m glad I found it tonight. Here’s the blurb from the home page:

Bloggers Stories chronicles the stories of how the blogosphere has touched people’s lives and, in doing so, opened the door to new way of creating relationships and opportunities.”

What an inspiring idea for new bloggers like me. You hear lots of advice about starting a blog and the effects of blogging, but so many stories in once place about how it can transform lives adds another dimension to that advice.

I’ve only read a few entries so far, but you can bet I’ll read through them all over the next few days.

There might be hope yet! Rock on Blogger Stories.

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How to win the newspaper war?

I see in the Vancouver Sun today (p. D6) that Sun Media Corp. in Toronto is cutting 120 jobs. (Sorry, the story seems to be behind the firewall).

Most of the lost jobs will be those of  “journalists, editors, photographers, librarians, freelancers and some management.” According to the report, the company wants to introduce some new technology, shore up it’s online business, and expand its free local papers – like 24 hours. I suppose in the future they’ll be using some (more) centralized newsroom to create their news.

You’ve got to wonder…a media company…and the first thing to go when they want to save a few bucks are the content producers. Is there some logic in that? It sounds like a manufacturer saying “Oh my, we’re not doing that well. Let’s shut down the production line while we think about it.”

It seems to be the way things are moving though. CanWest does it now. As I sit on the couch in the morning, reading the Vancouver Sun newspaper and listening to Global news on TV, I’m amazed at how often I’m reading the exact same story that I’m hearing. And when I pick up the local community newspaper, half the same news is in there too. Sigh.

I wonder what new model for content will grow as more and more bored people start leaving mainstream media. I see blog posts about services like Scoopt Words and BlogBurst that offer to link bloggers with the mainstream press. Perhaps that’s the next model for fresh content in independent community newspapers, or on community websites – content from local bloggers commenting on their communities, i.e. citizen journalism. There’s been lots of talk about that too, but there’s still not much of a model for linking content producers with payment. That’s a stumbling block for all but the most dedicated.

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Limelight for bloggers

Steve Rubel writes about a new service  offered by some daily papers in the US.

“In what could be a landmark moment for citizen journalism, four newspapers plan to syndicate bloggers’ content on their own sites through a new program called Blogburst.”

Very interesting.

From the website at Blogburst, we get the following advantages:

“What do you get out of this?

Visibility and exposure on major news and portal sites

    • Traffic through attribution and links back to your blog
    • Authority and credibility within your topic area
    • New readers who wouldn’t normally find out about your blog
    • The opportunity to take your blog to the next level”

What you don’t get is to add advertising in your feed (yet). That’s kinda one-sided, but I guess if a blogger wants the exposure it’s a good thing. You can always advertise on the blog itself, and given that it’s an opt-in arrangement, you could always opt-out if you felt it wasn’t paying in other ways.

I guess the question remains about who should get paid for content. Too bad they don’t offer some sort of payback through a click through setup from their online editions.

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Can we have more ads in RSS please

 

Yes, you read that right. But within reason, please.
 
I’m getting to the point of unsubscribing to a number of very good blogs. And it goes back to the age “old full post vs lead-in” argument that goes on from time to time.
 
It’s all personal preference, of course, but…
 
One of the reasons I prefer RSS is that I don’t have to hop around constantly from blog to blog. But lately, more and more people seem to be providing only the first 100-200 words through RSS. They invite you to the blog site to read the rest. Often ‘the rest’ is just a paragraph or two that wraps things up. How irritating.
 
Now there are a number of reasons to do that, I guess. Two could be:
  • to get people to come to their site and see/click on their ads
  • to get people to come and comment on their post
 
Well for the former, why not just put a few ads in your RSS feed and be done with it. For the latter, I’m not sure that’s how to do it. If I like a post and want to comment, I’ll click through to the site and comment. If I have to click through to your website to see a whole post, I might not even finish reading it, let alone head over to comment.
 
That said, I understand that some folks like to read through some introduction to a post and then click through to read only those that interest them. But really, with the RSS reading tools available today it’s not that hard to scroll through to the next entry.
 
Guess there’s really no answer for everyone. Perhaps I’ll just move those blogs to my someday/maybe list of blogs to read. I’ll go through them when I’ve got more time (hah, hah).
 
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Coming out

Well, practice makes perfect, but it’s time to go public. Gulp.

I’ve spent the last couple of months reading and learning about the blogosphere. I’m still not all that clear on a number of things, but you learn by doing, right?

So we’re open for business.

Over the next few months, some kind of theme, or meme, or niche will probably show up. Right now, I’m following through with the “at large” aspect of my

life. Until I find more of a focus, I expect I’ll drift around commenting on whatever piques my interest.

I’m sure that I’ll make some mistakes, but a reader or two might find me as well.

Guess we’ll have to see how it all goes.

So for now….Welcome to my blog.

Prepared minds. I like that.

I love finding insightful articles. There is one today  From Knowledge Jolt with Jack on how breakthroughs happen .
 
Jack offers a review of Andrew Hargadon’s How Breakthroughs Happen: The Surprising Truth About How Companies Innovate , and this excerpt really hit home (clipped; bolding mine).
“Hargadon spends the first half of the book… to explain his thesis that breakthroughs happen via networks.  The biggest aspect of this is getting “prepared minds” to interact the right way to develop the next breakthrough.”
Prepared minds. I like that.
 
If you’re participating in the world around you and open to ideas, it’s amazing how things start to link up. If you live and work in a silo, it will never happen. Focus too much for too long and all that results is the same old, same old.
 
Blogs are good for preparing minds. So are all the various opportunities in every community to meet and interact with the people around you. Share what you can. Be interested. It will come back to you in spades.
 
At least that’s what I’m finding.
 
 
 
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