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January 16, 2006

The Education of a Late-Adopter Blogger

A few things:

  1. Apology 1: I didn't realize that editing an entry causes RSS feeders to send the entry again. As you RSS subscribers know, I make a lot of changes to my entries, so you're getting multiple copies of the same entry as I tweak it. Unfortunately, it's unlikely I'll stop tweaking. I think of my blog like a web page that I can change all the time. I wasn't aware that I'm causing you to get entries over and over.
  2. Apology 2: I'm just figuring out how Typepad and Ecto work together. It's been an educational experience in font wars and templates. To put it mildly, I was feeling around in the dark.
  3. If anyone knows of a counter that I can put on my blog that shows a running count of visits for the day and then resets each day to 0, please let me know. After a while, a cumulative counter gets boring. I have a counter where I see the daily stats, but I'd like to put one on the blog for everyone to see.
  4. If you want me to cover a topic, please leave a comment in one of the postings. I read just about every comment.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Guy

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Comments

I collect type group of adherents. Join! Your mind wit and brain potential is simply necessary for us. All of you correctly write. Thanks the friend.

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Guy, Welcome to the Blogosphere. You might be interested in a free alternative to Ecto for posting ... Qumana. Our new (but very solid) v3 beta works on both Macs and PCs now.

http://www.qumana.com/index.htm

Feel free to ping me if you have any questions.

I'd also recommend all the services at FeedBurner ... FeedBlitz for E-mail and FeedFlare add ons are especially cool.

Greetings. Found you via a del.icio.us link.

1) RSS aggregators will pick up on any changes made to any entry, regardless of how small. If you simply load the entry, make NO changes, and save it again, it will be sent again.

As for the blog as a web page, yes, it is. If you're not blogging for money, go hog wild, just keep it readable for us ;) (If you're blogging for money, there's a whole school of thought on when enough tinkering is enough. Personally, I've been blogging since 1996, and haven't stopped tinkering, yet.)

2) (I don't know TypePad, and am currently learning Ecto)

3) Don't know about a daily visits counter, like that, but there are several great free statistics packages that show you the number of visits per day. Both in unique visits, and total page loads. The one that would probably fit you best, as this juncture, is SiteMeter. It's free, but requires a small (20x20) graphic to be displayed on your website. You can place this graphic anywhere in your template you want. They provide instructions for doing so with TypePad.

4) Hmm, suggestions. Since I have no idea what you're covering in your blog, having only just come to this entry, I'll make the same suggestion I make to every new blogger: Write what you're passionate about. If you start writing something, and find yourself bored about it, pick another topic.

-Eric Scalf (Author of MindFyre: Amateur Blogging since 1999) (by the by, a little HTML allowance in the comments (such as italics, and bolding) is a good thing, IMHO)

A big fan, love your books, they strike straight to my entrepreneurial heart.

You asked for topics, so here goes;

How about some top tens (always good to get comments started)?
- Top innovation trends to watch out for
- Top movers and shakers (could be companies, could be people)
- Top innovations of 2005

Other topics
-When to quit (a business, developing an innovation, etc)
-When is a product a fad and when is it the future?
-How big a market is big enough?
-How much company ownership to give and to whom? (VC's get x% first round, etc)
-When to sell your company?
-How big a team to acquire and at what stages?
-Best Bootstrapping Tips...

If you're ever at a loss for topics, let us know. We have a few zillion more you can cover.


Hi Guy!

You're doing great so far, so not to worry. I know what you mean about going back to posts and tweaking. I often go back and fix typos or add a little tidbit here or there. I try not to go back and change but sometimes I can't help myself.

Since I just wrote my first book last fall I've learned there's a big difference between writing for a blog and writing for a book or magazine. Maybe your "book writing" bias is driving your need to go back and edit, polish, tweak, etc. You might find this diminishes over time as you blog more. Or not!

Last thing - thanks for the Ecto reference. I just got it setup and I love it. With my clumsy fingers, having the spellchecker is a blessing!

Thanks for the fine blog. Keep it rolling!

Kevin Stirtz

Guy,
Great blog. I found it today and am enjoying the read.
I set up my own firm's blog last month and have also continued to tweak my posts after publishing. I wondered if this would cause RSS problems, and now I see that it can.
My solution is to try to limit tweaks as much as possible by self-editing initially, but I won't shy away from it if something needs to be improved.
I'm a PR guy, so I think the power of well-crafted posts trumps the potential inconvenience of duplicate RSS items.
But that's just me!

I commit the same first mistake. I re-edit several times some entries or, sometimes, I get doubled entries, so I think I annoy my subscribers (if any; I don´t really know how many are they.)

Any clue about counting my subscribers?

...

Hi Guy,

First thanks for being such an inspiration to entrepreneurs, your devotion to helping those chasing dreams and growing companies is much appreciated.

I would like to hear your thoughts on VoIP as it relates to developing countries and emerging markets where there are entrenched state-backed telecom monopolies and, in some cases, pending legislation to make VoIP illegal.

My company, TalkFree capitalizes on the demand for a cheaper alternative for those in developing countries to palce calls. We enable private label resellers to grow businesses and have noticed some interesting trends in the space.

Best,

Jesse Krieger

Guy, while the business "stuff" is unique and powerful, so is the personal "stuff" like Hindsights. I find it inspirational when people are honest about their struggles along the way, it is an affirmation of our humanity and powerful it its own right, even to the bottom line!

i was getting around to asking you to please stop doing that. well.. u made it clear u'r not ever going to. what can i say? u'r absolutely right (not to mention entitled) to tweak like crazy. they're ur thoughts. of course u knew that. just going for teachers' pet. please let me know if the position is already taken so i can stop reaching.

on the other hand... if u change it, u fake it (of course the outcome is better. but not genuine). and, even worse... i doubt that any of the eaters (being fed) are looking around for the small adjustments.

my cents: either u distictly show what u modified in the post, or... keep the post u'r changing for a few days in the oven. when it's baked, serve it. can't go wrong.

Apology 1: i don't have time to read all the comments to check if i'm just rephrasing.
Apology 2: if i come off as being arogant (and i'm not saying i am)... sorry. can't help it. long boring story.

"Apology 1: I didn't realize that editing an entry causes RSS feeders to send the entry again. As you RSS subscribers know, I make a lot of changes to my entries, so you're getting multiple copies of the same entry as I tweak it. "

No worries, I just see that it is the same entry, flick through, and go on. Pointer: If I am called away from a post I am working on, I save it in draft.

Marketing and public benefit corporations ("not-for-profits")--I was scolded this summer by one of my organizations for referring to myself publicly as "evangelist for [insert name here]"--management thought it was a religious reference. The "providing services" sector has an anti-marketing bias, or an antiquated view of what marketing should be, IMAO.

Happily, I was able to pass on your post re branding. It lead to a productive conversation and perhaps some movement in a positive direction.

Nathan said, "I've been hearing that a lot of people have been having numerous problems with Typepad... you should move over to WordPress!"--Well, Typepad has been exceptionally stable and reliable for me, as I work on the 2,500th post.

I'd love to hear your take on the idea of a defensible business model.

Every VC lists this as criteria for funding, but I imagine this buzz word may be subject to interpretation.

Your thoughts?

hey Guy, could you not have names be direct email address links, trawling spiders really don't have a problem harvesting them and while I like blue frog, I don't want yet more spam. If you convert the name into a JPG or something similar, that'll help.

How about the advantages/disadvantages and general desireability from a VC perspective of a new category product vs. the better mousetrap technology.

Once upon a time you had a mail list for fathers. 1) do you still have that mail list? 2) you have some incredible insights into parenting and raising kids. Maybe you could blog some of your experiences as a dad?

Aloha

I'll echo the first comment and say that if you have any thoughts on the non-profit world I'd love to read them. I've only recently subscribed, so my apologies if this is a more well-worn topic here than I can tell.

In particular, I'd love to read your thoughts on trail-blazing with new tech for non-profits. I work with Tech Soup's Net Squared http://netsquared.org where we are bringing together tech companies and early adopters to support non-profits. Many NPO folks could use help with talking points to gain support from upper management for using new web tools like blogs and RSS.

While I'd love to read here your thoughts on that, do let me know if you'd be up for an interview on the topic. I've recently interviewed Barb Dybwad from Weblogs Inc. (http://netsquared.org/barb ), Mark Cuban (http://netsquared.org/cuban ) and Search Engine Watch's Gary Price (http://netsquared.org/price )

Let me know if you're up for sharing your thoughts in that context.
-Marshall

Would love to see how to apply the evangelism to not-for-profits groups...I have some sort of an idea of how to go about it, but am not totally in focus in creating a plan as it were.

Thanks Guy!

MyBlogLog.com is a cool tool.

In terms of blog subjects, I'd love your thoughts on how to identify competition and define a market for new products or services. I agree that it's clueless to imply you have no competition; however, in fairness, it can be hard to clearly identify your competition when you're offering something quite different than the status quo. One example is SeniorNet, from way back in "Selling the Dream" - they didn't have any direct competition in terms of empowering seniors through technology, but they did have indirect competition from people trying to empower seniors in other ways (sports and rec leagues) - you could even argue that TV is indirect competition for them, since it's so easy to stay home and watch. So how far do you dig if your competition is indirect? And how would SeniorNet, with no direct competition, prove their market to funders?

Brett

The first thing I want to say is I’m a huge fan!
Ok now that that’s out of the way I just want to say that Google Analytics is one of the best out there, but as my marketing experience comes to mind it's generally not seen as a good thing to put a counter on a page for the following 3 reasons!

1) Very "retro" seen as thing "we" used to do in the 90's

2)Perception is everything I’ve seen great pages out there with only a few loyal visitors, so the page count will be low, so "newbie’s" that find the page dismiss it as "well if this guy knew what he was talking about more people would be reading this page"

3)Your page is growing everyday with more and more people, and sometimes it's a bad thing when people see that everyone goes to the page they might stop going (i.e. when everyone has that red sports car its just not the same anymore)

Anyways just some ideas!!
Can't wait for more future posts!

Greg M!

Love the blog, Guy. And don't worry about the RSS stuff. Everybody's a newbie at something at one point or another.

For blog stats, I'd recommend BlogBeat (http://www.blogbeat.net) Very clean and simple UI and it's geared specifically for blogs. I've been using it for months now and I love it.

1. Showing duplicate blog entries while editing Comments is the results of a bad RSS reader..

2. Havent done this

3. Use a Web analytics software.. (e.g using google analytics, omniture etc.. you can paste some javascript to your page, that will upload stats to their DB and you can then login to their site to see the data over time..)

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