In my ongoing effort to create some kind of focus here on this blog, I’ve decided to create a “sub” blog (if you will) to hold things like my links posts and other little things that don’t really belong in this format. It’s going to be updated far more often than this blog is, so I hope you’ll also add it to your RSS feedreaders if you’re listening in on this one.

As I type this entry, it contains a single YouTube embed, but I plan to expand on it to include small anecdotes, quotes, pictures (maybe some moblogging eventually), and whatever other odds and ends I don’t think belong on this blog with this format. What will stay here are the longer-form posts that take more time and editing, as well as picture galleries and the like. Bonus Round is for trivial things.

It’s also using a WordPress theme called P2, which I’ve recently been experimenting with and I think fits this kind of an idea quite nicely.

If you like what you see, leave a comment. Since comments appear on the main page on the Bonus Round, I have moderation turned on. See you there.

(Photo credit: Galaga Game Over by flickr user Liquid Lucidity.)

Michael Hyatt on why people in traditional publishing need to be blogging (transcribed from the embedded video):

…People get stuck right here. Because they think: ‘Okay; Do I want to start a corporate blog or do I want to start a personal blog?’ And we’ve all seen those personal blogs where it’s just—you know—somebody’s diary, and it’s boring, and it’s not that interesting, and we’ve all seen the corporate sites, where it’s nothing but a stream of PR announcements. You know, I don’t think either one of those will garner a lot of traffic, and I think fundamentally it’s a false dichotomy. I think the best corporate blogs are blogs that are personalized—that are about the individuals in the company that are writing the blog.

We are a nation—maybe a world—of voyeurs. Reality TV is still very popular. People want an inside look at how you think, what you have to say, how your company operates. And the great thing about publishing is it’s very mysterious. I get emails all the time from people who—they can’t fathom how a book makes its way to the market […] but they just don’t know what the process is. They’re mystified by it. And for you to peel back the curtain a little bit in a blog and give people an inside look at your company connects them to your company. And an inside look at your own life connects them to you.

He goes on to list twelve reasons why publishers should be blogging. I think you should watch the video to receive the context and to hear the rest of the talk, because it’s really good. I’ll place a summary of the twelve reasons behind the cut below.

In his post linked above, he entreats other publishers to attend the O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing conference next year (where this talk was taped):

I also one of two traditional publishers who participated in the “CEO Panel.” (The other one was Tim O’Reilly himself.) Surprisingly, I did not see any other CEOs from traditional publishers in attendance. Perhaps I just missed them. Perhaps they sent people to attend. Frankly, I think they need to attend themselves. This is not something you can afford to delegate.

If you are a traditional publisher, you need to be there next year. The world is changing fast. This is the only conference I know of that is totally dedicated to exploring the future of publishing.

I hope this conference gains steam over time. The list of presentations was staggeringly interesting. I plan on watching a handful of the other presentations over the weekend. You can find them at toccon.blip.tv.

Continue reading “You May Take This As Encouragement”

Reuters:

Networking and blogging sites account for almost ten percent of time spent on the internet — more than on email.

Time on the sites ranked fourth, after online searching, general interest sites, and software sites, according to a study released by Nielsen Online.

One in every 11 minutes spent online globally is on networking sites. Between December 2007 and December 2008, the time spent on the sites climbed 63 percent to 45 billion minutes.

I don’t find this horribly surprising. I suspect the chief reason social networking is winning out over email is spam-related. Even with good filtering that’s out there like Gmail, there are still a lot of people who have email accounts that let a whole bunch through, and the amount of it now is just staggering.

Social networking is more attractive than email because it’s largely permission-based. If I don’t want you to speak to me or know anything about me, I can shut you out and there’s nothing you can do about it. Messaging is largely controlled in the same way, and in the case of (especially) Facebook, there’s a lot more than just communication I can do within the same web service. I can play a game with one of my friends, I can upload a picture or tag an article… there are a lot of options.

What do you think? Why are people spending more time on social networks than with email? (I sincerely hope it’s not because of SuperPoke.)

Michael Hyatt tells a story of meeting with another publishing CEO regarding blogging:

He asked, “How do I get started blogging?” My heart lept (sic). I knew he would have an instant audience. I, for one, would love to read what he had to say. I imagined all kinds of things I could learn from him.

Then he dashed my hopes. “Who do you use to ghost write your blog?” he asked.“Excuse me?” I choked.

“I mean, who do you use to write your blog? Could I possibly hire him or could you recommend someone that is really good?”

Honestly, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The guy obviously did not get it. I blurted out, “I don’t use a ghost writer. I write every word myself.”

He then said, “Oh, I couldn’t possibly do that. I don’t have the time.”

Without thinking, I said, “Then you shouldn’t do it at all.”

The worst thing you can do with blogging or Twitter or social networking of any kind is to set it up and then make someone else do all the work for you (the second-worst is to begin something and then let it lay fallow). Engaging with people on the Internet and within social media spheres is about making personal connections, not about being a company mouthpiece. Read through Mike’s quote up above: he recounts his anticipation of another CEO from a large publisher actively blogging about what he finds interesting and what he can share about the industry and his unique position.

He’s then very disappointed at the impersonality of his peer’s request. Why? Because he was looking to make a connection. To learn and grow within the industry by reading what someone else has to say—and to engage in conversation.

Continue reading “We Need Blogging Ghostbusters”

I don’t normally hawk stuff on my site, but I’ve noticed that there’s a handful of people reading these days and I’d like to make sure I extend the offer for those of you who are paying attention.

I have a desire to pick up some extra work on the evenings and weekends, and this extra work comes in a few flavors. If you or your church—especially in the St. Louis area—have need of any of these services, please get in touch with me and let me know.

  • I can provide technical services for computers, either in churches or in homes, such as networking, software installation, or various other tasks like antivirus or antispyware tools. I’ll also gladly recommend software for you to use that’s inexpensive or even free. (And I specialize in Macs.)
  • I can also provide training for Microsoft Office programs or especially using tools that exist on the Internet, such as blogging or other applications you might have on a web site—or I can introduce you to some online tools that might be useful for your needs.
  • If you have need of a Web site, I can provide inexpensive and reliable hosting, including setting up domain names (a “.com” or a “.org”), and getting various services set up and configured. You can have access to your site if you need it, or you can ask me to assist you with that for a regular rate.
  • If you’re not even that far and you’d like to have a site designed, I would be happy to assist with that process and get you started with a site that you can update yourself with little trouble after the initial setup. I’ll even train you a bit in how to use the site software and how it works. (This is of course a touch more expensive than the other stuff.) If you’d rather a professional update the site instead of yourself, I would be happy to do so for you on a per-item basis.

If I think of any other services I can render, I will add them in the future or say something about them. If you or anyone you know would be interested in these services, please contact me via e-mail at ryan@themarkelfamily.com and we’ll talk.