Posts Tagged ‘bloggers

31
Mar
09

Over 6,500 Bloggers Register for “31 Days to Build a Better Blog” (start date delayed!)

blogging-challenge1

Hey everyone!  Hope your week is off to a great start.

Over 6,500 bloggers have registered for Darren Rowse‘s free online course (and personal growth challenge) “31 Days to Build a Better Blog” at ProBlogger.net (a practical daily exercise that will be administered over 31 days with the goal of helping you to improve the creative content of your blog)!

This is the third year Darren Rowse (known as a blog guru)  is doing his wildly popular blogger challenge and, by far, this is the biggest blogger registration he’s had to date (which should tell us all a lot about the validity of his excercises in helping bloggers improve their craft and the increased desire of people to polish their online brand).

So far, five people from Blog Academy are partaking in the challenge (including Dean Meyers, Kelly Fraser, Sarah Cooley, Ravi Gupta and, of course, yours truly!).  It’s going to be great to hear how everyone’s blogs progress.

For those of you who are still contemplating registering, there are a few important updates I wanted to share with you.

  • DELAYED ONE WEEK – The initial start-date was April 1st (this Wednesday).  However, as Darren Rowse explains on his blog, he will be launching 31 Days to Build a Better Blog on April 6th instead.  That gives us all one additional week of preparation!
  • This time around, Darren is adding a Special Forum on his site solely for those who register for the challenge which will allow us all to share our experiences and get helpful tips as well as meet other bloggers (there are over 6,500 in the challenge!).
  • You must register for the challenge here in order to participate (submit your name and a valid email address — the daily instructions will be sent via email).  Registration and participation are free.

If you are planning to participate, drop me an email and let me know.

If you don’t have a blog yet and want to participate, get a new blog account at WordPress.com (free) and give yourself this week to familiarize yourself with the various technical elements of WordPress.com (posting content, the dashboard, etc.).  If you’re not sure how to open a WordPress.com account (or how to manage the WordPress dashboard once you get an account), take a look at these video tutorials I posted on our blog.

Good luck!

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23
Mar
09

Catching Up with Blog Academy Members Blogs

Hi everyone!   I hope everyone is doing and well and that all of your blogging dreams are coming to fruition! A few of our members have actually started their blogs and are well underway to being blogging badasses.  Here is an update:

Constantine Markides took the big leap and bought a hosting plan at GoDaddy.com and migrated his extensive library of essays from his now defunct blog at WordPress.com to his new and improved, self-hosted, blog Fourth Night at WordPress.org. Now he is literally the master of his domain! The blog looks great and his essays are so thought-provoking and entertaining (for example, his post called The One Man Tent will grip you like a good novel – it’s refreshing to see this kind of quality writing on a blog!).  Constantine describes his professional skills in the “About” page as “Archaeological proficiency in the archaic newspaper and literary practices of late-twentieth century antiquity” (in other words, a journalist). With his creative fiction, photos (that he’s takes himself) and a fierce eye for beauty (I’ve seen his photos, he does have an eye for beauty) I honestly can’t wait to see his blog develop as time marches on.  You can find his blog here.  It’s an indulgence.

Steve Alleyne took the blogger plunge and launched his self-hosted blog at StevenAllyene.com on WordPress.org.  He uploaded his first blog post Dating on the north side of 40 following a very long-term relationship which is very funny and heartfelt (I mentioned in our first meeting how much I enjoy Steve’s writing – you will too – trust me!).  He describes himself in the following way on his “About Steve” page:  “I’m not quite old yet not as young as I used to be. However, I AM short. I’m dealing with it. [Shrug]” (that’s just the tip of Steve’s iceberg)

Steve shared with everyone in our first meetup that he had procrastinated with launching his blog for a couple of months and, now, he has a blog and a couple of posts up. Steve is a rock star. He admitted how tough it was (like giving birth) but he worked through it and gave his great writing a place to call blog-home.  You can find bits of Steve’s wisdom and humor on his blog at here.  Steve will be doing a guest post for the New York Blog Academy blog about his experience launching his site in the coming week!

Hermann Mazard just launched his blog (Thoughts of a Confused Enthusiast) this past weekend. Hermann has a lot to get off of his chest about the condition of America, how our government is handling our economic crisis and whether we can or will ever recover. He doesn’t mince words and thank god for that. His honestly and bluntness are refreshing and absolutely necessary (medicine isn’t supposed to taste good and sweet!).  Being a college professor, Hermann is very skilled at using the power of the pen to make a point that (though it may be sharp and cutting) is always wrapped in a well-researched, thoughtful essay. His very first post is Why Good Mortgages Goes Bad (warning: he spares no one (dead or alive) in this analysis of what really led to America’s the mortgage crisis and who is to blame). Great read and food for thought!

Jade Dressler (PR expert) sent me her two blogs and I’m so glad she did! The first blog (Jade Dressler) is her perspective on culture and the arts and what a truly unique perspective it is (I kid you not – and I worked in arts and entertainment!). It isn’t often that a blog can get you to see the ordinary in our surroundings in an extraordinary way (Jade does this with such ease I’m almost jealous!).  Her second blog (ITI Phone Home) is a hysterical and bizarre look at pop culture and celebrity from the perspective of someone who clearly is an alien in this strange land. In her “About Me” page she says of herself, unapologetically, “I know what I am and I’ve decided to out myself.”  Thank goodness.  Just blog every minute of it for us please.   Thank you.  Her latest post is “I HEART MAN BOOBS” and it is an ode to man-mammary that will crack you up!

Look for blogs soon from the delightful John Windsor-Cunningham who is in the process of launching his blog which will be a web video blog that will take a weekly comedic look at USA from a Brit p.o.v. (LOVE IT!!)

Also launching soon is Anat Fanti. As she explained in our first meetup, Anat is interested in helping people who are in dark and difficult situations (during these economically dire times) find the light in their situation and move towards it.  Indeed, Anat is a beautiful light herself who inspires people every day in ordinary conversation. One could only imagine how awesome and inspirational her blog is going to be!

As soon as John and Anat give me the word, I’ll share their blogs with all of you! Until then, let’s send them much support and positive blogging vibes! : )

CONGRATULATIONS to our members who launched blogs this past week.  Rock stars.  Each of you!

congratulations

Please check out their blogs, subscribe to them and let them know what you think of their writing in the Comments sections of their blogs.

Blogging is not a destination — it’s a journey.

Warmth and good cheer,

Charlie : )
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20
Mar
09

Recession Breeds New Bloggers on a Mission

recession-bloggers

It stands to reason that during times of upheavel, voices that would ordinarily be silent in more steady times tend to rise above the noise or (at the very least) find a way to be heard amidst the noise.

I was inspired to create New York Blog Academy because of my deep belief that blogging (thanks to a crippling recession that is pushing people to the brink of their desperation and frustrations) will enter a new era (like every other sector of American life struggling to define or redefine itself).

What does that mean?  What we took for granted and merely fiddled with in the past with blogging, we will now not only appreciate, but find a way to use to lift ourselves (and each other) out of this muck.

CNN, the NY Times and other major media outlets have begun reporting on the new crop of blogging voices borne out of the pain of this recession.  These are people who have never had a blog before but who (for the first time ever) feel compelled to express their struggle and to help other people through their struggle.  Having never had a blog myself until recently, I can honestly say that I can relate and that I, too, am a blogging product of the times.

Some of these new bloggers are documenting the recession news, while others are using their new blogs to launch companies as first-time entrepreneurs (after being laid off from corporate jobs) or to find new work.

Here are a few of these new blog-voices as noted in CNN and the NY Times articles:

  • The Daily Bail — “Bailout News, Opinion & Analysis. A Path to Federal Bankruptcy.”
  • Recession Wire — Capturing the stories and improving the lives of urban professionals who (like the three women who founded the blog) are getting effed by the economy.
  • Pink Slips are the New Black — the founders of this blog state on their site:  “We’re angry.  We’re frustrated.  We’re unemployed…  Like you.  There is strength in numbers.  Join us.”
  • Feeling Up in Down Times — Psychologist Marlin S. Potash created this blog to “bring psychology research and clinical experience to you… and to help you to deal with the shifting ground of what to count on”
  • Timely Demise — “Tracking the changing retail landscape in today’s economic environment.”
  • Laid Off Dad — One laid off dad’s stories of life in the big city… unemployed.

Although these blogs may be temporary (because they focus on a narrow, hopefully short-term, topic — the recession) they have brought each of the founders (new bloggers) recognition and an audience they would not have had otherwise.  They grabbed the blogging bull by the horns and met a need head on (the need for people to have somewhere to go to vent about these troubling times, to be encouraged, and maybe even find an opportunity).

I look forward to seeing the blogs our members produce!

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14
Mar
09

What Blog Academy Members are Saying…

meetup-badge

I’m excited at the prospect of meeting all of the members (72 members and counting) of The New York Blog Academy (especially tomorrow, at our first official meetup!).

Until then, I thought it might be interesting for you to see what members of New York Blog Academy are saying about their expectations for this meetup.  These are comments that have been left on our Meetup.com Meetup Homepage so feel free to mosie on over there, look at the comments and check out the profiles of our members to get acquainted with the group.

As you can see from the comments below, we have a lively group of people from various backgrounds (and with unique voices) in the New York Blog Academy meetup who are enthusiastic to meet one another and bring their blogging goals to fruition:

  • “ Excited at idea of having a blog, especially as I dont find it easy to learn new Internet things! I woreked for the National Theatre when I lived in the UK, and suspect can get quite a good blog going once I understand, and look forward to meeting others. ”
  • “A friend of mine roped me into it. We committed to becoming famous bloggers.”
  • “I am very interested in learning about blogging and how it will help me in presenting blogs as options for my clients.”
  • “I am on the verge of starting my own blog and looking for my voice and identity. So happy you are doing this, Charlie!”
  • “Sounds fantastic! ”
  • “I could use some guidance of course but also I think rubbing shoulders with those that are blogging regularly, or at least aspiring to, could be helpful. “
  • “This is EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for in regards to my latest project! “
  • “Sounds like a great group! “
  • “I would like to start blogging. I need to write more often and I think this is the direction I should be going in.”
  • “I AM CREATING A BLOG PERSONALLY AND AS PROGRAMMING DIRECTOR OF OUT IN TV AND FILM. LOOKING TO NETWORK, GREAT IDEA FOR A GROUP!! “
  • “I am process of creating my blog and I wanted to hone my craft. “
  • “Not sure what I’m looking for – but it sounds interesting…. “
  • “I have been blogging for a while and I have tried tons of different blogging platforms. I would love to share my ideas with the group and hopefully help others create amazing blogs. “
  • “I’m totally interested in making my blog pop and learn some new stuff to add on to make it more professional looking and spike up the content. I’m in… “
  • “It’s just what I need now! “
  • “I have a blog that has died due to lack of activity. I would love to be reinspired and get back in the game. “
  • “I’m a fiction writer with lots of friends who blog, and I’d like to better understand a form that’s really great when done well. “
  • Blogging brings up writer’s block for me. So, I like the idea of discussing the process with other blogphiles (or would-be bloggers). So, Phantom(e) “Charlie”, what are we in for???? Look forward to it.
  • “I’m a professional blogger and i’d like to meet other folks who want to blog”
  • “I’m very interested in blog writing. This sounds like an awesome group!”

Hope to see you at our first meetup tomorrow (if you can’t make it tomorrow, don’t worry, there will be many more Blog Academy meetups!).  And if you haven’t joined yet, please do:  New York Blog Academy Membership.

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12
Mar
09

Hot Blog: Running from the Camera

running-from-camera

Running from the Camera is a prime example of how you can take any subject matter or idea (no matter how seemingly inane) and turn it into an entertaining and, in this case, an odd (yet charming) blog.

A blogger by the name of Muggezifter in Rotterdam chose an awesome and intriguing topic for his blog:  himself… running away

It’s unabashedly simple bordering on rediculous.  He takes pictures of himself running away from his camera after he sets the timer and posts the photos without comment or text (except for the location of where the photo was taken).  The photos are taken in various locations throughout the Rotterdam.

Says Muggezifter of his blog:

The rules are simple:  I put the self-timer on 2 seconds, push the button and try to get as far from the camera as I can.

You would think something like this would get old quickly (how many times can you see a photo of a man running from a camera before your attention wanders elsewhere – never to return to the blog again?).

But actually, my response has been quite contrary to annoyance and boredom.  The compilation of photos of him running away from different locations, on different days, in different weather, wearing different outfits is almost poetic and artistc.

Depending on your philisophical outlook on life, the photos can either speak to the belief that we can never be truly happy all of the time because we are always running from one thing to the next or an affirmation that life is exhilirating because there is always something new to run to.  Or, it can just be a photo of some dumb guy running away from his camera.

No matter your take on it, you have to give him credit for originality (unless, of course, any of you can point out where this is being done elsewhere — in which case, do tell!).

He has a couple of other blogs as well but Running from Camera can be found here.

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10
Mar
09

Who are the Bloggers?

bloggers

I was just perusing through Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008. Every year, Technorati releases this report to document the evolving trends  and statistics in blogging as well as the impact of blogging in our lives.  Traditionally, they focus on trends and statistics but for 2008 they decided to actually survey and speak in depth with bloggers about how and why they blog.

The report is broken down into the following sections:

I was most interested in the people behind the blogs which is reported on in Who Are the Bloggers.   According to Technorati’s research, Bloggers are a diverse hodge-podge sampling of the population and more well-off financially than even I guessed:

Bloggers are not a homogeneous group, but they are an educated and affluent one: three out of four U.S. Bloggers are college graduates, and 42% have attended graduate school. They skew male, and more than half have a household income over $75,000.

They are experienced: although it has only recently exploded into the mainstream, blogging is not a new phenomenon. Half of Bloggers are on their second blog, and 59% have been blogging for more than two years.

They divide blogging into three distinct categories:

  • Personal: blog about topics of personal interest not associated with your work
  • Professional:  blog about your industry and profession but not in an official capacity for your company
  • Corporate:  blog for your company in an official capacity.

As I suspected, most Bloggers fall into the first category (personal blogging).

Four out of five bloggers are personal bloggers who blog about topics of personal interest. About half of bloggers are professional bloggers — blogging is not necessarily their full-time job, but they blog about their industry or profession in an unofficial capacity. 12% of bloggers blog in an official capacity for their company.

But things get complicated quickly because most people have many interests and goals and, therefor, their blogging reflects their multifaceted lives.  Having two or three blogs is now normal (and expected).  So, many of us fit into all three of the above categories.  Technorati illustrates this fact of the blogosphere below:

bloggers-statistics

All of this made me think about the members of New York Blog Academy and whether or not we reflect (to some degree) Technorati’s findings.

Take a look at the members in our group and read their profiles (63 members so far).  We are very diverse!  Some members are blogging for the very first time while others are, like the Technorati data above points out, are among the majority of people who have several blogs that fall into all three blogging categories.  It’s exhilerating to see so many faces from various backgrounds all coming together in the name of creative and professional expression.

This diversity in our backgrounds as well as our various blogging goals and and experience assures us that we will have enlightening and lively discussions and learn  a lot from each other.

I look forward to our first Meetup this Saturday!  To learn more about the Meetup and to RSVP, visit our events page here.

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09
Mar
09

Interview: The Blog Squad on Bizzuka Talk Show

The legendary Patsi Krakoff and Denise Wakeman of The Blog Squad were interviewed on Bizzuka’s User Friendly Thinking Show (a web radio talk show hosted by  Paul Chaney and John Munsell (CEOs of Bizzuka) that features interviews with experts and industry thought-leaders in web design, content management, Internet marketing and social media).

Krakoff and Wakeman are co-founders of Build a Better Blog (a blog that offers tips and tricks for creating an effective business blog) and The Blog Squad (their blogging consulting company).   In this interview they discuss everything from blogging for business, to using social media, to finding your audience, and getting great PR.  The interview is an hour long (an eternity on the internet) but they offer some great advice and tools for aspiring bloggers (and bloggers who have been blogging for years but are stumped as to how to continue to grow their site).

If something in this interview catches your attention and makes you consider blogging in a different way, leave a comment and let us know!

Enjoy!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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