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May 6
Tracking A Healthy Epidemic: The Link Leak Virus Explained
Domino Effect.jpgHere is some top-secret information I've uncovered regarding the Link Leak Virus.

Name: Virusicus Linkilikus, AKA "The Link Leak Virus" (or LLV for the acronym-obsessed).

History: See Martin Neumann's excellent summary.

Symptoms: Healthy pleasure in linking to high-quality resources on a regular basis; lack of selfishness and highmindedness; confidence that blog readers will return if fed good links regularly.

Treatment: There is no reliable way to treat this highly contagious virus.  Some have hypothesized that the only way to eradicate the Link Leak Virus is to re-emphasize to bloggers that a blogger's blog is her castle, and that therefore all who enter must be subject to her words and her words only, without any outlinking of any kind.

Disclaimer: The information above is meant with a dash of humor and not to be taken seriously as a notice of any physically harmful virus :).  Also, the more a person succumbs to this powerful virus, the more he envisions the Web as a tool to connect  people, rather than to disconnect them.  Truth be told, I wish all people were infected with LLV.  Especially corporate bloggers who think their business blog is the only resource worth linking to.

Now go spread a little link leakin' love while you gear up for Blogtipping Day on June 1st, 2006!

May 2
The BlogBurst Debate: Who Will Benefit?
BlogBurst Logo.gifI have a question for you.  Please post your answer below.

Question: Who will benefit from BlogBurst?

I think many bloggers will benefit from BlogBurst.  Would you object to a post from your blog appearing in a major newspaper or at a major news website, along with your name and URL - at no cost to you?  (I didn't think so.)  All you're doing if you sign up with BlogBurst is accessing one more potential source of incoming traffic to your blog.

The key benefit to BlogBurst, I think, is the exposure that you'll get.  People you never could have reached otherwise will come to your blog wanting to learn more, and they'll come trusting that your voice matters because they first heard it through BlogBurst.

The only possible drawback I see is that BlogBurst requires you to give them a full feed of your blog, without embedded ads.  To me, the benefits outweigh the potential costs.  Can't you just create one feed especially for BlogBurst and another that includes ads if you like?

Some bloggers worry that BlogBurst will make money off of their content without rewarding them at all.  You can follow some of the ongoing BlogBurst debate at ProBlogger and TechCrunch.

A few hours ago, BlogBurst's Dave Panos explained the service's plans at ProBlogger.  Listen to Dave:

"We have repeatedly said that we will have a blogger compensation track after we get out of the lighthouse period. Everyone needs to see how the system works before weighing in on the monetization approach for Publishers, Bloggers and Pluck. This is all in the spirit of cooperating to build a system where everybody can win. Second, all posts do provide full attribution back to the blogger, including their byline, a photo/icon, a link to their blog and a link to the specific post. That’s a lot of very valuable exposure — and the key ingredient."

Sounds very fair to me!  I think Aaron Brazell, Darren Rowse and Quick Online Tips would agree with me.

If you have a corporate blog, you should strongly consider joining the free BlogBurst program.  Give it a shot and you'll be surprised how much you may reap from letting BlogBurst sow your posts everywhere!

(Disclosure: I'm enrolled in BlogBurst, as are several other Know More Media authors, such as Jeff Carr, Razib Ahmed, Bill Belew, Marshall Sponder, and Maria Palma.)

So: Who do you think will benefit from BlogBurst?  It's okay to say "nobody" - but please defend your answer.
Apr29
Cocomment Firefox Extension: It's Aliiiiiiiiive!
Cocomment Logo.gifJust a quick update and some gushing praises related to the new cocomment Firefox extension.  I've emailed a few of you to vent some of my excitement.

Install the new cocomment Firefox extension!  It streamlines cocomment so you don't have to use a bookmarklet every time you make a comment at a blog.  It works very well - few are the pages where I haven't been able to get it work (and that's what this del.icio.us page is for) - and you can even tag your comments so they are better organized at your cocomment page.

My cocomment page shows all the recent comments I've left using cocomment.

I was conversing with David Brazeal about this when the light flickered on in my mind.  If you get the cocomment extension and comment at that page, it will tell you within a few minutes when another cocomment user posts a follow-up comment!

Here's where you can let your imagination run wild.  What if you could see what a blogger is saying not only at his or her blog, but ALL OVER the blogosphere?  And what if you could grab that as a feed?

Well, you can! See: Comments by Easton
Also: All cocomment comments left on conversations I've joined

This changes the way I blog.  I comment more and respond more quickly to others' comments.  I have a record of where I've commented so I can review those links regularly.  I get notified instantly when another cocomment user responds to me at any of those pages.

Yes, I wish cocomment would index EVERY blog comment (not just ones submitted by cocomment users).  And I wish it offered a comment search engine and slice-and-dice feed creation capability a la Topix.net.  Or a cocommenter directory, organized by tags so you could tag people according to the kinds of comments they made.  And I wouldn't mind if it put ads here or there throughout or charged a subscription fee for extra toys, because I want this idea (or something like it) to succeed.

In a way, your cocomment page and feed become like another personal blog.  It enhances the connectedness of the blogosphere in my mind and makes it easier for people to have conversations.

What ideas do you have for using cocomment?  What do you think cocomment should do to improve?
Apr26
It's A Great Day For Blogtipping
In the spirit of appreciating and encouraging three of my favorite bloggers, I've decided to go blogtipping today.  (It's simple: just pick three bloggers you know and give each one three compliments and one tip.)

Jeremiah Owyang:
1 - I admire the speed at which you learn and adapt to change.
2 - You're great at holding my interest all the way to the end of each post.
3 - Your blog is simple, yet sophisticated in terms of both its design and its content.
Tip - Maybe you could put a "recent comments" list in the right-hand column, to go along with the "last posts" list.

Liz Strauss:
1 - Your blog is a super repository of blogging wisdom.
2 -  I like all the addictive links in your left-hand column.
3 - Love the SOB phenomenon.
Tip - Could you call me an SOB too :)?  I just want to hear you say it!

Trevor Cook:
1 - Your linkposts are always rich in high-caliber links
2 - You're not afraid of Amanda Chapel
3 - You provide a great window to the Australian blogosphere
Tip - Maybe post a tad more frequently - I only say so because I love to read what you have to say!

Happy blogtipping!  Pass it on if you're in the mood!
Apr25
Corporate Blog Review: GM FYI Blog
pixoh_r7nj6d3f5.jpgHere's my quick and dirty review of General Motors' newest corporate blog, the FYI Blog:

What It Is: The FYI Blog is supposed to help people get to know the GM company culture better, by discussing corporate events.  The blog's authors are its employees of all ranks.

Why It Matters: Because GM is a giant company and many other companies are watching to see how successful its second corporate blog will be (the first GM corporate blog available to the public was the FastLane Blog).

Post Frequency: Judging from the FYI blog archives so far, it's about once every day or two (it's got six entries and it's about a week old).  With so many thousands of employees, GM should consider starting many more company blogs, or at least helping its employees post more often.

Blog Design: I'm not an expert, but it looks nice to me.  Nothing scary or flashy.  Offers permalinks, timestamps, comments and trackbacks.  The syndication (feed and email subscription) options are very basic, but they are there.  You wouldn't guess that this was a blog by one of the world's biggest companies, and maybe that's intentional.  There's a simple, straightforward blogroll.

Kudos: I really like that the categories have little icons associated with them.  It just makes the blog more comfortable and intuitive to visit and navigate.  The posts are friendly and the authors respond to visitor comments.

Suggestions: I wish you could easily contact the author of each post.  Right now, all you can see is the post author's name and position at GM.  Also, it just feels very bare - I wish there were a big GM employee blog network of sorts where you could see what employees all over the place were working on and talk to them online about their progress.

Bottom Line: I've only started to really examine the GM FYI Blog, but I think it has lots of promise, even though it's only a week old and has just six entries.  It'll be neat to see if anyone from GM is listening well enough to respond to this post - if you're there, I'd love to talk to you about your blog!  (Take me to your blogger - the one behind the curtain!)

What do you think of the General Motors FYI Blog?  What do you like or dislike about it?

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