Tag Archives: blogging

Barcamp 2 – day 2 – Saturday morning roundtable for bloggers

Got up a little late today, but finally arrived at ATDC for Day 2 of Barcamp.   Sitting in on a discussion about blogging.  Folks are talking about what they blog about and what platform.  WordPress seems to be the most popular.  Drupal is mentioned, but generally considered overkill if all you are doing is blogging.

One guy has a blog written in the voice of his dog. Is also considering an anonymous blog about an honest take from an entrepreneur’s perspective.

Some folks are using them for technical posts, and putting youtube videos up.  Michael Mealing uses Drupal for some of the space industry realated blogs, but they are not blog only communities – moght drop Drupal for something more email friendly.

We have a Chyrp user – similar to Tumblr – very spontaneous.  Aggregator for things he is looking at.

Discussion is moving to platforms and hosts. WordPress stays on top.

Plug-ins can add value.

Question about Google Gears in WordPress, but nobody knows the answer this morning.

Much kudos for Akismet anti-spam.

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Sometimes they just fly by

As anyone who writes a blog knows, it doesn’t matter what tool you use, be it WordPress, or Blogger, LiveJournal or TypePad, we all must face one inescapable truth – that blog is a hungry little beastie and no matter how much content we feed it, it always wants more.  Neglect it for a week and it simpers and whines and gives you reproachful looks.  Does it matter that you cranked out 5 posts last weekend? Does it care that you had a crazy hectic week, client deadlines to meet, AND proposals to get out? Nope and Nope.  The blog is hungry and it wants words to chew on.

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Live from Barcamp – Day 2 – Session 1 [for me] Drupal sh*t

Presenter: Rusty Stanton

The setting — grabbing OJ and a muffin on the run.  Can’t find the room.  found the room and Rusty.  No projector.  Wing it.

The paraphrase:
Quick recap on using drupal to present podcasts.  Question to class – experience with drupal?   A Joomla user says he went to that platform cause he found it first.  The verdict — drupal is more of an api for development – joomla is more designer friendly – a little more complete.

Q & A — how to restrict php to be non-exec or blocked from db?  It’s complex or you could right a module.  Recommendation – write a custom module that has a set of special tags or an API. Could write a token-filtering module to allowe a defined set of functionality.  Lots of question from a guy from WREK Atlanta radio.  Currently managing a drupal site and is facing some challenges with balancing flexibility without giving too much control.  Rusty runs GA Podcast site on drupal 4.7 — Site can’t be totally open because they are using taxonomy to organize radio programs.  They are rewriting to make programs nodes instead of taxonomies which will allow finer grade of permission administration – through user roles.

Problems of open source systems – often the 3rd party modules are buggy or hyper-tailored to one purpose — look for modules that are well-maintained or you may need to write your own.  Sometimes drupal’s are abandon-ware — written byt not supported.

Upgrade issues — can’t directly upgrade from 4.7 – 5.* — need to disable all 3rd party modules — need to get upgraded modules and reinstall.  Drupal 6 will have some php 5 specific stuff.  Drupal, a spectacular api, but kind of a pain in the you know what for end users.  But getting better.

Transition to discussion about WordPress.   How to create hooks?  Rusty gives an example of a plug-in that let him send specific content to someone who was stealing his content.

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Live from Barcamp Atlanta pt.2 – Better product blogging

Having wireless troubles in the second session I am attending. Talk will be focused on tips and techniques to improve product blogs. Presenter is Dave Coustan – http://blog.extraface.com This talk is about product as in product development not retailing per se.

Here’s my paraphrase of Dave Coustan’s talk:

Tip 1. Think of your product as a Point of View
Defines a way of looking at a product.
The job isn’t just done on your blog, you need to carry your point of view through your comments on other blogs.

Dreamhost vs. Lunarpages is used as an example of a point of view – oriented blog. Larger discourse on the ethics of hosting.

Tip 2. think story arc, not monster-of-the-week
Example – Earthlink — multi-post feature on Earthlink’s startpage creates ‘story arc’ – builds engagement, sense of time, and investment of the user through participation ( returning to read subsequent articles).

Tip 3. Organize revision cycles for a human being. Make it easier for the product team to write about what they’re doing, by giving them a context.

Tip 4. Who gets to break product news? Break (in the journalist sense) your own story – let the product team make their press releases truly meaningful. Play nice with your PR team.

Tip 5. Create and foster a subculture. Encourage tribal/cult branding – reward your community with attention and possibly schwag.

Bonus tips:

Make the lame interesting [like that’s easy] Example – usability lab from del.icio.us — a little humor, a little “don’t take yourself to seriously attitude” helps the dry material to be more meaningful.

Grab from the mail bag.

be specific when asking for feedback [yes always guide the call to action – that’s good marketing]

Throw in a cute animal [as a bunny owner I find this especially meaningful]

— post session —
New terminology “Dark Blog” internal closed blog that can’t be read outside the corporate network.
Getting feedback — lure ’em with candy. Encourage participation by using contests, and directly soliciting feedback.

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