New software is up and running

As you can tell by looking, I’ve completed the switchover from the software I was using to publish my blog—pMachine—to Expression Engine. Expression Engine is distributed by the same company, but it offers several significant features not available in pMachine. The one that motivated me to make the switch is the inclusion of Captcha.

Captcha stands (sort of) for Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart. You’ve no doubt seen Captcha implementations elsewhere. Captcha generates a graphic image of a word that computers can’t read—only people can. You have to enter the word in a text field to show that… Read More »

Hometown paper covers local business blogs

I live in Concord, California, in the San Francisco East Bay. I’m close to Walnut Creek, not too far from Pleasanton (home of Peoplesoft) and San Ramon. Our local newspaper, the Contra Costa Times, does a decent job of covering technology, given that part of its readership is in the Silicon Valley area and that the San Jose Mercury News is a sister paper.

So it didn’t come as too much of a surprise when I picked up this morning’s paper, turned to the business section, and saw a front-page story about local small businesses that have taken up blogging as a form of marketing. Under the headline, “Blogs connecting small firms to their… Read More »

More evidence that PR needs to be pushed

BL Ochman’s What’s Next? includes a post about a cyberalert.com study that suggest most PR people “are not altering their media monitoring methods to adapt to recent changes in media channels and the new realities of digital news dissemination.”

According to the executive summary of The 2004 Worldwide Market Survey on Media Monitoring, “Despite recent advances in news monitoring services, traditional services like paper-based clipping and in-house monitoring remain the primary tools used by PR professionals to monitor the news.”

Since cyberalert.com is a media monitoring company, much of the study produces self-serving results, such… Read More »

Conference on RSS set for May

If anyone has any lingering doubts about the rise of RSS, you can put them to rest. IDG World Expo has set May 17-18 for a New York conference dedicated to content syndication. The conference is being billed as an “executive-level” gathering targeting content owners and producers, media execs, corporate marketers, advertisers and public relations professionals. Two tracks will highlight the conference: publishing and marketing. No speakers or pricing have been announced yet, but there is a Web site for the conference: www.syndicateconference.com.

Comment spam on the rise

A week or so ago, I spent several hours painstakingly removing hundreds of comment spams from this blog. Every one of them featured links to poker sites on the Web. Consequently, I had to modify my blog settings to require member registration to post comments—which has resulted in a drop in comments. I’m in the process of configuring a new blog app from the same company that includes Captcha, a utility that requires anybody submitting a comment to enter a word they see in a graphic in order to post their thoughts. It’s easier than registering as a member and will thwart most comment spam, which is blasted onto blogs by machines and not… Read More »

Six reasons why marketers should blog

Why should marketers turn to blogging as a key tool? According to networking marketing writer Linda J. Bruton, there are six reasons, the most important of which have to do with search engine rankings. Bruton provides details for each of her arguments. Here’s the short list:

  1. Fast search engine spidering and indexing of your site
  2. Blogs can build your backlinks quickly
  3. A frequently updated blog will keep the spiders visiting your site often
  4. Your site is stickier and more appealing to visitors
  5. A blog is the fastest and easiest way to build a brand-new website without training
  6. Keyword competition in RSS feed sites is much less than in… Read More »

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