February 16, 2006
A Blog Click Tracking Tool
The obsessive compulsive blog stats person might be interested in a free service called MyBlogLog
MyBlogLog logs the clicking activity of your blog visitors and graphically displays which links are the most popular with your visitors by hovering over the link. This can fall under the heading of "stupid blog tricks," but the service also allows you to post a sidebar widget that lists your most popular links.
This tool does add to the richness of your content.
February 15, 2006
Take Control of Podcast Files
del.icio.us a social bookmarketing service now owned by Yahoo has a great little application for playing mp3 files. Add a bookmark from del.idio.us called a Playtagger and you can automatically play any mp3 file on a site you are visiting.
Most podcast sites have players, but many do not. This way you can sample any file without downloading it. This is a great tool to embed on your own podcast site too as it instantly craetes a player for your visitors.
I have it installed on my Duct Tape Marketing Podcast
Don't know much about del.icio.us? Great resouce here
Convert RSS Feed for Mobile Readers
I'm not sure if mobilize is a word, but if not, it will become one soon. Not because I used it, because the mobile device is getting more powerful, more common and more useful as a business tool.
Blog readers are now subscribing to and reading blogs using mobile phones and PDAs. From what little research I have done there is an entire version of HTML just for mobile reading. While converting all of your web pages, blog posts and RSS feeds to mobile standards may well make sense, it looks like a pretty big undertaking.
A fairly new service called Winksite allows you to easily turn your current blog RSS feed into a version that can be consumed very nicely by mobile readers. Click on the winksite button in this feed and see an emulated view of how a mobile reader would see the Duct Tape Marketing blog feed.
Using this new technology certainly comes under the heading of coolness, but I think that it also supports one of my major marketing principles as well - deliver your marketing message in as many forms and formats as you can.
The service also allows you to create mobile content beyond your blog including journal entries, forum posts and lists of syndicated feeds.
February 14, 2006
Aggregated and Filtered Content Is King
Let's face it, no matter what your business card says, you are probably in the information business.
Want verification of this from a Pulitzer Prize winning author? Go pick up a copy of Thomas Friedman's The World Is Flat. It's a big book, but by page 45 or so you will come to understand that only those who can make information more valuable will survive.
Just a few years ago the rallying cry on the web was - content is king. Not so much anymore. I can find a person with a reasonable command of the English language to crank out 50, web page length articles in a week, for about $100. And, Google's AdSense program has incentivized all the Internet marketers to create this kind of content for ad revenue sake.
The crush of content that the average person has to consume is out of control.
So, the answer? Find, create, enhance, package and distribute content - aggregate it, filter it and make it more useful. That's your job.
And for that job, RSS, and the various tools lumped into the RSS bucket provide the power.
For the self-proclaimed computer geek, the RSS tools and open APIs are an unlocked candy store. But, you know that already.
For the average small business guy or gal, the ease of implementing these once foreign applications makes using RSS beyond blog posts a simple proposition.
Here are some ways companies are using the automatic distribution features of RSS
- Keep customers informed about their company, products, services and promotions
- Update employees and associates about company matters and events
- Aggregate and publish news headlines and stories of interest to clients
- Collect and filter sales intelligence
- Send daily communication to salespersons
- Track changes to real estate and auction listings
- Publish news and news releases to various web pages
- Advertise job opening
- Recommed and update books from Amazon
- Republish FAQs and support forum headlines
- Promote random sales and special offerings
- Provide product or service updates to buyers and owners
- Create and send training programs to employees
- Publish calendars or events and company happenings
- Research competition and competitive keywords
- Send daily tips and other marketing communications
Your job is to learn about this tool and then take what your learn and find creative ways to apply it in order to make the information that your provide, the content you provide, more valuable.
Here is a list of sites to help you get started on the "uses for RSS: journey (The list below is a BlinkList - a tool you may find useful in your information business)
- Uses for RSS
- B-Talk.com :: Go Tell The World
- Time saving uses for RSS
- RSSCalendar.com - Features
- RSS Workshop - a Tutorial
- RSS Marketing and Real-Life Marketing Experience
- Uses of RSS
- RSS Wave: Good Examples Of Newsmaster Sites - Robin Good` Sharewood Tidings
- RSS Responder - Scheduled, reliable, personalised communication with your customer, avoiding email filters
- tonneten library :: syndication: Uses of RSS
- Basement.org: Taking RSS Beyond Headlines : Part One
February 13, 2006
Comments, Trackbacks, and Now - Chat
February 12, 2006
RSS Ads Don't Follow the Contextual Logic
Interesting post from Heather Green at Business Week regarding advertising in RSS feeds. She interviews Feedburner's Dick Costello who is discovering that contextual ads in RSS feeds don't do as well as ads simply focused on the demographic of the reader.
This turns the typical ad model (blog about cameras gets ads about camera gear) on its ear a bit, but I think may make ads in RSS feeds a little more intersting.
It does make sense when you think about it. A blog viewer who comes to blog by way of search is, at the moment, focused on finding very specific information, including ads that relate to that information.
An RSS reader or subscriber may read the feed out of habit and be more open to reading and responding to an ad that hits other subjects.