Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Minimum Viable Blogging

I’m not a huge fan of the marketing surrounding the “lean startup” or the idea of a “minimum viable product”. There’s merit to all these ideas, but the hype is what kills it (for me).

I have realised something recently — I spend a lot of time & energy writing emails and creating documents within Google Docs or Keynote. Its just the nature of how things work. When it comes to chatting, there’s IRC and lately even Slack. All this bashing on the keyboard means that I very rarely have time to blog and talk about the things that are going on via mail/docs.

So I’m going to try something new. If an email or doc I write isn’t private, and I’m having wide distribution to it anyway and it could be of interest to others, I will also blog it. The hardest part of that is adding links so far!

After all, if you’ve read the ESR guide on How To Become A Hacker, it clearly states that the world is full of fascinating problems waiting to be solved and most importantly no problem should ever have to be solved twice.

So maybe I don’t read things over to ‘edit’ them, but this is a blog, not a publication. And the byline does say ‘rough notes on…’

Evolution of expression – have blogs really changed?

Apple PensLinkedIn allows blogs (a publishing presence – read LinkedIn Builds its Publishing Presence). Medium is a place to read and write things that matter (a curated blog). Svbtle is a new kind of magazine. There are networks like Read & Trust, that eventually make magazines out of content.

WordPress requires setting up. It means you’re serious about writing something. WordPress.com is hosted and eventually you pay for it. Tumblr just got a billion dollar exit, for what? Allowing you to easily express yourself.

Have blogs really evolved or have people just found different mediums to get published? All mediums come with different levels of control. Discovery is crucial. Will end users ever get RSS or do dashboards need to be built?

Posterous, Tumblr, and blogging outposts

Fettuccine with Dungeness crabI was always a Posterous user over a Tumblr user.

How did I use Posterous? I would email photos, take random quotes from websites, etc. and ensure it made it to my “outpost”. I had stopped using Posterous a little before the Twitter acquisition, and didn’t care much for it when it shutdown. I did take a backup of my stuff though, because it never was federated to my own blog or anything like that. I did like the fact that it would post links to Twitter automatically and would save my images to Flickr as a backup bucket for my photos. 

How did I use Tumblr? It claims I have 11,766 items, which you can say is a mirror of my tweets for a period of time. It also contained a mirror of my Posterous posts. In fact it shows that it might have stopped not long after the iPhone 4 came to Malaysia and I visited Phnom Penh for a barcamp. So it does bring back memories. I just found the mass post editor – last Tumblr entry was October 2010. Apparently I started using it in June 2007. It might have even fed my last.fm feed to it as I can see music being popped in during the early days. It also states my timezone was GMT+10, so definitely legit – I was living in Melbourne then.

I decided not to delete this archive (just to rename the subdomain with the -old tag – very handy). However the new blog will never be my primary blog due to Tumblr’s architecture.

So I guess that puts an end to the re-Tumblr experiment. I even had the bookmarklet installed in the browser raring to go.

WordPress has aside support. I don’t use it here but its almost similar to a service like Tumblr, no? I guess it goes back to owning your content – I’m a fan of keeping things here on a site that I control (note that I don’t use wordpress.com either).

That said, Posterous sold for a lot less to Twitter (I speculate). Tumblr sold for $1.1 billion to Yahoo!. Let’s hope all is well, failing which users will be a migrating. 

Restaurants need to manage their online reputations

Drawing on Rena Bloggers are an opinionated lot. They tend to speak the truth (most of the time – let’s ignore undisclosed advertorials). You have a bad experience at an establishment, you have a blog, you’re bound to pen down your thoughts. Its only natural. You’re trying to help the general public that bothers to search for the term, to avoid such a place.

Before blogs and web publishing became popular, folk would write e-mails to their friends, and this may end up being forwarded. In fact, forwarded e-mails still exist till today, for the non-web publishing savvy.

So, I find it surprising that American Chili’s has not discovered social media, blogs, and the online world, just yet. Most complaints tend to circle around the branch in Bangsar Shopping Centre, but looking at the comments, you can see that your mileage may vary at all their outlets. For reference: The best AND worst spot for a Guinness, Bodoh punya manager, american chili’s bangsar says there’s a marked difference between a vodka orange and a screwdriver.

In there, there is a perfect opportunity to respond to folk. All those posts have comments open. Why isn’t Chili’s being engaging? Do they need the “social media experts” to contact them offering services? After all, today, when I Google “chili’s bangsar” (not logged into my Google account, and without quotes), link number 7 and link number 10, point to a couple of the blog posts that I linked to above!

This is the age of the Internet. Start responding to your customers. They have the right to talk back now. Foursquare, Yelp!, blogs, and many other services have given them the opportunity to speak their minds.

Of course, if you plan to start being engaging on the Internet, don’t be arrogant. That’s just a sure fire way to ensure that savvy folk don’t show up at your restaurant. Same Google test (“bar italia malaysia”) – post was #7 on the Google search page. However, there were so many other posts/comments before it about how much Bar Italia did not rock.

So here, I’ve just identified two establishments that need to improve their online reputations. Do you search online before going to eat at a restaurant? Do you put weight on Foursquare tips of places you’re going to?


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