BuzzFeed

On the Internet, there’s an entire subculture that revolves around viral content. Whether it’s finding it or sharing it, there are a lot of people that are interested in being a part of the next big online sensation in some way. As you probably know, it’s not very hard to find interesting and sometimes crazy and hilarious content on the Internet. However, with so much content out there just waiting to be consumed, only the best of the best can rise to the top and become truly viral. BuzzFeed tracks viral content and displays it for your enjoyment.

I’ve already given up plenty of time while going through the site as I’m writing this. There’s a lot to see here, and one click usually leads to another. Unlike some other sites of this nature, human editors track the fire hose of content and choose what goes on the front page. Users can then respond to the postings and specify what their reaction was to help categorize the content. While other people may control what goes on the front page, that doesn’t mean that you can’t share content. Using your profile, you can post content and see what people think. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover the next Numa Numa dance.

Create Great Blog Headlines

Getting your blog read starts with a great headline. With all the blogs out there though, it’s hard to come up with catchy headlines. You probably want to avoid those titles that everyone else uses such as “how to…”

So here are some catchy headlines that you can use to get people to stop and read your blog:

  • What everyone needs to know about…
  • Here’s a quick way to solve…
  • Little known tips for…
  • The secret of…
  • Who else wants to…

What Makes A Blog Successful?

There really is no one answer as to what makes a blog successfully. Some popular blogs are completely offensive while others are extremely thoughtful. Others are very well written while others are grammatically incorrect with poor punctuation. However, there are some basic elements that can improve the success of a blog.

  • Successful blogs are both interesting and engaging. If a reader is interested in the content and sufficiently engaged, he or she is likely to become a regular follower.
  • Successful blogs provide a venue for readers to comment. The ability to comment helps keep readers more engaged.
  • Successful blogs are frequently updated (frequently being when you have something worth blogging about). Remember though, quality is more important that quantity.
  • Successful blogs include visual elements. Images are more likely to grab readers’ attention and draw them in.
  • Successful blogs have a defined scope and are written by someone with expertise with the topics.
  • Successful blogs contain personal insight. This gives the readers’ something personal to which they can connect.
  • Finally, with all the blogs available these days, remember that the more successful ones are original! If there are already several blogs on “How to Create a Successful Blog,” readers won’t be compelled to reader yet another one.

Check For Parallelism In Your Writing

Imagine if Julius Caesar said “I came. I saw. Gaul was conquered by me” instead of “I came, I saw, I conquered.” He took advantage of parallelism to create a powerful sentence. Parallelism means that elements of the sentence are parallel. Here are some examples of sentences that are not parallel to demonstrate the meaning of the term:

I like to walk, swimming, and to dance on the street.

I prefer hockey more than playing baseball.

When elements in a sentence are not parallel, it is distracting for the reader because the sentence is not balanced. Many cases, it even forces the reader to re-read the sentence.

To ensure your sentences are parallel, just remember that when you start a verb pattern continue the pattern throughout the sentence. You can make the examples above parallel by continuing the verb pattern:

I like to walk, to swim, and to dance on the street.

I prefer hockey more than baseball.

[awsbullet:english grammar fun]

Common Blog Mistakes

Blogging gets easier with practice. The more you blog, the easier it becomes but be prepared to make some common mistakes along the way. Some of the common mistakes people make when blogging are described below.

  • Expect people to read your blog. It takes a lot of time and effort to establish a popular blog. Don’t expect people to read your blog just because you posted it.
  • Lecture readers. The real magic of blogging happens when people comment on what you have written. However, writing in a way that sounds like you are lecturing does not encourage people to comment. When you write, use your own voice and involve readers in your discussions.
  • Ignore headlines. Headlines are what catch people’s attention. If you want people to stop and read your blog, you need to create catchy headlines.
  • Blog without purpose. If you don’t have anything to blog about, don’t blog for the sake of blogging. Save your blog for another day when you do have something you want to share with people.

[awsbullet:lynne truss]

Easy Instructions For First Time Bloggers

Many people find the whole blogging thing intimidating. They just don’t know how to get started. Furthermore, there are tons of web sites that provide tips for getting starting. However, many of these sites over complicate the entire thing and make it seem much hard than in reality. Hence, many people opt out of blogging.

When someone asks me how to start their blog, I usually refer them to a blog post by Penelope Trunk, which I have had on my list of favorites for a few years. It’s called The easiest instructions for how to start a blog. I love the instructions because they are simple and to the point.

[awsbullet:mignon fogarty]

What Makes A Blog Successful?

There really is no one answer as to what makes a blog successfully. Some popular blogs are completely offensive while others are extremely thoughtful. Others are very well written while others are grammatically incorrect with poor punctuation. However, there are some basic elements that can improve the success of a blog.

  • Successful blogs are both interesting and engaging. If a reader is interested in the content and sufficiently engaged, he or she is likely to become a regular follower.
  • Successful blogs provide a venue for readers to comment. The ability to comment helps keep readers more engaged.
  • Successful blogs are frequently updated (frequently being when you have something worth blogging about). Remember though, quality is more important that quantity.
  • Successful blogs include visual elements. Images are more likely to grab readers’ attention and draw them in.
  • Successful blogs have a defined scope and are written by someone with expertise with the topics.
  • Successful blogs contain personal insight. This gives the readers’ something personal to which they can connect.
  • Finally, with all the blogs available these days, remember that the more successful ones are original! If there are already several blogs on “How to Create a Successful Blog,” readers won’t be compelled to reader yet another one.

[awsbullet:ProBlogger]

Google Updates Their Patents, Behavioral Advertising, Video Promotions and more

Google is updating their patents in what is being described as the company’s ability to deliver targeted ads, new video content and additional advertising for their mapping services. The new patents that have been updated further suggest that Google is going to use more behavioral advertising to target their audience. The updating of their patent’s is sure to draw criticism by Google’s opponents who may suggest that what Google is doing could infringe on users rights to privacy.

In a recent article it states the changes that Google is going to make to their current patents, which include the following:

The patents range from a method to deliver, target and measure advertising over networks to an overlay for advertisements in video content. For a company that attempts to stay away from the word “targeting” comes an update on a patent originally filed on July 24, 2009. The filing, updated on Jan. 28, 2010, provides a method to deliver ad targeting and measuring tools over networks.

Aside from behavioral targeting and auctions, another patent updated in January describes a video ad overlay. The process appears to be similar to the lower-third ads created in YouTube. Updated on Jan. 14, but filed on June 9, 2009, the patent describes a method for creating ad overlays for use in digital videos. Attributes of a video overlay advertisement are entered through a browser-based interface that functions on a client device and communicates to a server. The server receives the signal, and in response, provides the client device with a video overlay advertisement with the desired attributes.

Google also updated a patent filing on video promotions in a video-sharing site. The patent abstract describes a method of promoting video content on a video hosting Web site. The technology helps to select the video and match it with an ad. The promoter selects associated keywords and indicates financial terms for the promotion, for example, by agreeing to a predetermined cost-per-click or cost-per-impression payment with the video hosting site.

The patent filing to generate and serve tiles in a digital mapping system describes techniques that enable online serving of aesthetically pleasing maps. An image tile-based digital mapping system is configured for generating map tiles during an offline session, and serving selected sets of those tiles to a client when requested. It also describes a method for handling map labels and other such features in a tile-based mapping system, such as when a map label crosses map tile boundaries. These are served up through servers or computing devices.

The folks at Google are also going to introduce more panoramic and 3-D imaging to their mapping services. Google will also add additional advertising to their mapping services. Google also plans to collect additional data in order to further enhance their mapping services.

It would appear that Google is attempting to stay one step ahead of their rivals at Microsoft and Yahoo. By offering advertisers additional ways to monetize their advertising dollars, Google could lead the way in which future advertising is conducted on the Internet.

Google continues to be a rolling stone that collects no moss. LOL

Comments welcome.

Source.

Please Visit My Deals and Steals Site

The Power Of Video Vs. Text-Based Content

There should be an image here!The Internet constantly has new content flowing through it each day — each second, for that matter! This thought had me thinking that, with all the content available on the Web, what really stands out? Everyone wants their content read and shared with others. However, since the Internet is noisy and has so much content out there, you really don’t know what to check out half the time. This leads me to the power of video. After hearing a lot of buzz around the Internet that 2010 is the year of social TV, I started to realize how true this really is.

Everyone has a blog, but getting people to actually trust what you say and take interest is another story of its own. So what does video provide that text-based content doesn’t? Well, I recently listened to a podcast on Blog Talk Radio and T.S. Elliott, who was the guest on the show, mentioned that video allows you to see who the person sharing the content is. It helps build trust and they, in turn, will know they are dealing with a real person. This couldn’t be more of an accurate description on why video is so powerful. Just think, everyone is writing, but not many are video blogging or producing video content in general. Yes, I know there are a lot of people who post videos, but there is still more text-based content out there. This all goes back to 2010 being the year of social TV. I definitely see it coming and eventually taking over text-based content. There will always be writers out there, but readers take kindly to video over actual reading because it feels more personal and there’s more of a social interaction.

Here’s another example from my own personal experience that shows how valuable video is. About a month ago, I started following the work of Gary Vaynerchuk. At first, I didn’t realize he was a blogger, nor did I know his primary expertise was with wine. Then I stumbled across Wine Library TV where he talks about wine and reviews it via video. First, let me mention, I am not passionate about wine, nor am I a wine guy. However, I still look forward to seeing Gary’s wine show because I can actually see something happening in front of me. It’s far more entertaining to see something via video than to read it, in my opinion. When something is in the form of video, you can see an individual’s passions come through on the screen. When something is done through text, you can only read it. You don’t know the emotions the individual is feeling on the other end. I believe Gary’s passion for what he does and being able to see it every day is what keeps me tuned in. Like I said, I don’t care about wine and if this was done through text-based content, I wouldn’t care.

Video is going to grow as the years go on, but will it ever completely replace text-based content? I don’t think so. Text-based content will always be around, but I believe the demand for it is declining as more people want to see video. I know I will always watch the video review of a product instead of reading an article review. It’s more personal and it seems more authentic. Like anything, it’s all about personal preference and how you want content distributed to you. Which way do you prefer to get your content? Is video your favorite method, or do you still prefer to read? I wonder when everyone is going to jump on board and have the video content rolling in. I know it’s something I am working on now and I believe it will only get better in the years to come.

Frank Angelone is the founder of Social Tech Zone where he provides businesses and individuals with news and tips to better themselves in the world of social media and technology. He also is the author of the Computer Speed Blueprint, where he teaches those using Windows how to increase the speed of their computer.

Your Site Listed With Google News – So Easy It’s Hard

So what does it take to get a site listed with Google News? I know someone who has done this recently and can offer some of the following insights on the matter.

Here are the basics of what I learned.

  1. News please, not so much opinion. This may seem obvious, but Google does not seem as receptive to how-tos or opinion pieces for inclusion.
  2. Content can be reporting on news breaking elsewhere, but you need to add some original spin to it while remaining newsworthy.
  3. Keep it short. Going off the deep end with too much content is not going to help you out. A couple of short summaries that explain who, what, where, and when will suffice.
  4. You need more than one author. This should be obvious, but Google News is dead set on this one.
  5. Multiple posts, at least M-F, if not also on weekends.
  6. Use a sitemap after you are accepted, then make sure your title is kept simple.
  7. Use an aged, established site well before applying. A new site with no history or “trust” in the Google bank is a waste of time. Work on it for some time first, then try applying. You generally need at least two months of news content before even trying to apply.
  8. Unique URLs and permalinks.
  9. Dedicated hosting. If you are writing about popular topics, don’t go into the ring with a Godaddy shared host – you will be destroyed when traffic hits.
  10. Follow other tips in this post.

Now to be clear, there are going to be other obvious factors that are generally similar to what one might see for using AdSense. Use common sense, study up on the subject and mark my words, it is totally doable to get your site listed in Google News. But it also means you must be able to follow the stringent requirements Google puts forth as well.

If you are successful, are able to present a Web site that looks and feels like a news site from the content down to the layout, chances are good you have a real shot.

[awsbullet:citizen journalism]

Pearltrees

Let’s face it, there’s simply too much content on the Internet for anyone to keep track of. Instead of trying to keep up with everything only to be severely disappointed, it makes sense to identify a handful of the key topics that you care about and then endeavor to stay informed about the latest happenings in those areas. That may sound great, but it’s easier said than done. The people behind a service called Pearltrees recognize this and have built a solution that they think can help.

A pearltree is basically an interactive tree of data that’s focused on what you care about. The branches have pearls, which are nuggets of information related to a central topic. You can continually add new content and even discover content from people who have the same interests as you. This content can then be added to your pearltree, and so the story continues. Pearltrees is confusing and understandable at the same time, so don’t feel bad if it’s not something that you want to spend time working with.

Here Is A Unique Take On Pirates: Sell Them Post-Release Downloadable Content

Today must be the day for better ideas. First it was the CEO of Time Warner who wants to actually add value to their services and now EA has come up with a novel way to stop piracy. OK, maybe not stop piracy but to make a buck off of those who pirate. Here is what EA proposes:

John Riccitiello, the gaming-savvy head of Electronic Arts, doesn’t want anyone to pirate games. But those who do, he told Kotaku, present a new market that EA needs to make money from.

How?

By selling people who grab games digitally — without paying for them — post-release downloadable content.

What a novel idea. But do people actually want post-release downloadable content? EA thinks so:

Riccitiello spoke energetically about the popularity of the company’s downloadable content add-ons. Some of EA’s DLC has been free, such as the launch-day offerings of a new town in The Sims 3 or a nudity option in The Saboteur. Others, such as the paid DLC for November’s Dragon Age Origins, generated a million downloads in its first week, according to an EA spokesperson.

“The consumer seems to really like this idea that there is extra stuff,” Riccitiello said, while expressing surprise that some of this DLC is downloaded so soon after people start playing the games. “The consumer wants more, and when you give them more or sell them more it seems to be extremely well received.”

Some of the people buying this DLC are not people who bought the game in a new shrink-wrapped box. That could be seen as a dark cloud, a mass of gamers who play a game without contributing a penny to EA. But around that cloud Riccitiello identified a silver lining: “There’s a sizable pirate market and a sizable second sale market and we want to try to generate revenue in that marketplace,” he said, pointing to DLC as a way to do it.

I sincerely hope that EA can pull this off. It would be great for the software companies who can generate added revenues from those that steal. Plus, we consumers may no longer have to go through hoops when we buy a piece of software only to have a terrible time getting the software registered.

Comments welcome.

Source.

Google Offerings Unification

So what is up with this strange Google Unification on its home page? By unifying type stuff, to me it just feels like it is really trying to bring home the fact that Google does offer a heck of a lot more than merely search. And prior to this, you would be amazed at how many people were totally unaware of this fact.

To this end, I applaud Google for the long overdue changes. Not entirely clear as to what the holdup was, but better late than never. I still think there are some additional features that could be listed at the top, but it’s a good place to start. It’s not like it is overstating anything with icons or images, right? And if it did, would this even matter? I think sticking with the text is definitely classic Google.

So what do you think? Is Google in any danger of becoming more like Yahoo! with total information overload? Perhaps, instead, you feel it doesn’t really matter as you think Bing is better anyway? Hit the comments; let’s hear your thoughts on this.

[awsbullet:google power]

Google Tries To Compromise With Newspapers With First Click Free Program

Google and the newspapers seem to be at odds recently as the FTC holds hearings over the dilemma. The main thrust of the newspaper argument is that they are not making a profit in this digital age and they are accusing Google of stealing their news. In response Google has stated that any newspaper on the Internet can opt out of being indexed by the mega search company.

So over at the Google news blog they have posted what could be seen as a compromise solution called First Click Free.The article states:

As newspapers consider charging for access to their online content, some publishers have asked: Should we put up pay walls or keep our articles in Google News and Google Search? In fact, they can do both – the two aren’t mutually exclusive. There are a few ways we work with publishers to make their subscription content discoverable. Today we’re updating one of them, so we thought it would be a good time to remind publishers about some of their options.

One way we overcome this is through a program called First Click Free. Participating publishers allow the crawler to index their subscription content, then allow users who find one of those articles through Google News or Google Search to see the full page without requiring them to register or subscribe. The user’s first click to the content is free, but when a user clicks on additional links on the site, the publisher can show a payment or registration request. First Click Free is a great way for publishers to promote their content and for users to check out a news source before deciding whether to pay. Previously, each click from a user would be treated as free. Now, we’ve updated the program so that publishers can limit users to no more than five pages per day without registering or subscribing. If you’re a Google user, this means that you may start to see a registration page after you’ve clicked through to more than five articles on the website of a publisher using First Click Free in a day. We think this approach still protects the typical user from cloaking, while allowing publishers to focus on potential subscribers who are accessing a lot of their content on a regular basis.

In addition to First Click Free, we offer another solution: We will crawl, index and treat as “free” any preview pages – generally the headline and first few paragraphs of a story – that they make available to us. This means that our crawlers see the exact same content that will be shown for free to a user. Because the preview page is identical for both users and the crawlers, it’s not cloaking. We will then label such stories as “subscription” in Google News. The ranking of these articles will be subject to the same criteria as all sites in Google, whether paid or free. Paid content may not do as well as free options, but that is not a decision we make based on whether or not it’s free. It’s simply based on the popularity of the content with users and other sites that link to it.

These are two of the ways we allow publishers to make their subscription content discoverable, and we’re going to keep talking with publishers to refine these methods. After all, whether you’re offering your content for free or selling it, it’s crucial that people find it. Google can help with that.

It does appear that Google is making an effort to keep publishers happy and at the same time have them setup a pay wall to increase their revenues. This is a stark contrast from having Murdock using terms like ‘thieves’ and ‘digital parasites’ for others who use the Internet.

Google is at least addressing the problem in a civil manner.

Comments welcome.

Google blog article is here.

Two More Media Outlets Join News Corp In Hissy Fit

There should be an image here!Looks like a Denver and a Dallas newspaper are going to follow along with News Corp. in their desire to pull down content from Google. It kills me to read this stuff as it is like they really believe anyone is going to notice!

Look, let’s be honest here. No one not in a retirement home is still getting their stuff from the local paper. Unless you live in a town where a lot of interesting things are going on, most young people just don’t care. And whether this is a dangerous oversight on their part or not is really beside the point. In the end, it’s a young person’s world.

I remain firm that the problem with so much of print media is that even online, they are clueless as to how they can make money and remain profitable. Not going to say that I have all the answers, but clearly, neither do these guys either.

[awsbullet:current events]