I am not sure where to start.
There have been so many great things this year and an abundance of riches that I cannot possible do justice to all my finds in one post. But here goes:
When I first started blogging, I started with a WordPress hosted theme and although I had been told that WordPress was not the easiest platform, nevertheless after a couple of days of trial and error, I soon got the hang of it. However, after looking at doing some affiliate marketing, I discovered that if I wanted to advertise or link to other sites that I would have to have a self-hosted site. I went with Bluehost who have been excellent. Their support is second to none and really they have never missed a beat.
I have also set up blogs on:
I must admit that having used these sites, I have not really decided which one is best although I have stuck with this blog for three reasons: (a) I am paying to have it hosted with my domain name; (b) it is one where I have the majority of my content on excellence in professional practice; and (c) I have managed to blog everyday for a while now and I would prefer to continue that endeavour.
If you asked me now which site I would start with, I probably say Posterous – it is incredibly easy to set up and post to but more than that it offers a way of syndicating material at the hit of one button that the others save for Tumblr do not. If you haven’t used Posterous, I would thoroughly recommend it and I would say the same for Tumblr only its track record of late at staying up and not crashing is poor.
TypePad is equally easy but I am not convinced that it offers the same slickness as some of the others and does feel a little bit old fashioned now.
If you want to grow your blogging practice though and see it as more than an outlet for your thoughts then I would go with WordPress as it is the one that offers the greatest functionality.
I only subscribe to two dedicated blogging sites – Problogger and Copyblogger – and both are excellent. If you have the time, I would recommend that you read both of them before you dive in – you will save yourself a whole heap of time.
If you haven’t yet got your Google account then please get one. You don’t have to use the email functionality, although I have been using it for 9 months and have had no problems. My only slight criticism is that you can’t order it as well as Outlook and you have to scroll through each one unlike Outlook where you can at least sort by date or field title alphabetically.
Assuming that you have got a Google account then the next thing that you have to do is to start using Reader as opposed to RSS. If you are not sure what either are then in short they are a means of aggregating in one place the websites that you visit frequently. In other words it is a way of viewing the content from the websites without having to visit each website. I think of RSS as version 1 and Reader as version 1.01. In other words, although it does the same job it offers far greater functionality, such as:
- You can search by website names or subject and if you find something that you like then you can sign up to receive daily/weekly updates;
- You can insert a URL and it will suck it in and allow you to subscribe as above;
- It will automatically suggest other sites that you may like. This saves time doing searches on Google Blogs and Technorati;
- You can sort your sites by type. In my case I have a favourites sub-folder and a number of others. You can look at all of these or collapse the list and just look at one folder;
- You can plug in the Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn feeds of your followers which does save some time, particularly if you don’t have time to check out all those platforms every day;
- The most powerful function though is that it allows you to syndicate the content via your other social media sites. In my case I have enabled Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogger, Delicious, Tumblr, Posterous, Diggit, Reddit, Orkut and Myspace. What this means is that at the click of one button you can share meaningful and valuable content, including your own blog. WOW that’s all I can say. Just remember though which feeds you are sharing. I have made the mistake of posting the same piece across Twitter sometimes 3 times which is incredibly frustrating/irritating for my followers.
I cannot recommend Reader enough. It will save you so much time and allow you to start digging really deep around a particular subject. If you have Google Buzz then you can always share it via that medium with a comment. I like Buzz but there are not enough people yet who use it to make it worthwhile the investment in time.
I have tried and used all of these platforms. At the moment I have stuck with Hootsuite because it means that I don’t have to keep collapsing my browser to view the contents but Tweetdeck is probably a better platform – by design aesthetically and its functionality. That said it crashed a few times and I ended up uninstalling it. Lazyscope is still in Beta (test) form but is a fantastic tool for Twitter. It enables you to see the full content of the link i.e. a blog post on the right hand reading pane and subscribe to the blog or Twitter stream.
Much underused but still the best B2B platform on the market.
I think what people fail to appreciate is that it is not a business version of Facebook or the old Friends Re-united but it is a platform to network and do business.
My top tip would be to make sure you complete your profile as otherwise you will miss some great opportunities to connect with people and more importantly create a buyer friendly profile to enable you to be found on a search engine.
I love this bookmarking site. It is far better than Delicious. I have now enabled it as a bookmarklet on my browser which means at the hit of one button I can clip all the best stuff and come back to it when I need to. Google has a good bookmarking option but having fired up the mobile version of Evernote I suspect that I will start using it more and more.
Nuf said but all I would say that the best video of 2010 was finding Tony Robins‘ talk at TED. If you have 20 minutes please watch it. In addition Tom Peters has also posted a lot of his latest book The Little BIG Things which are fantastic. The best one is the Recession 46 which I have blogged about when talking about Attitude.
As a postscript to YouTube perhaps the most apposite video I came across was from 3 Geeks and a Law Blog on client relationships or perhaps it is more about managing client expectations. Anyhow the video is called The Vendor Client Relationship and is well worth a watch.
I haven’t cracked this one but I have enjoyed the experience. Tim Ferriss is a big fan and it is one that I will probably come back to in 2011.
Social Media Strategy
The most relevant resource was Brian Solis‘ blog. I love his material. I bought his book Engage which is fantastic although it does take some getting used to in terms of its layout. In addition I have followed David Meerman Scott and Charlene Li. Each one provides a slightly different dimension but nevertheless they are all heavy hitters.
Did I do ‘Art’
Finally, I couldn’t leave this post without mentioning the most inspired and inspirational blogger for 2010 – Seth Godin. OK I am late to this guy but by crikes have I have learnt a bucket full. There are too many great blog posts to mention but he just has a way of demanding of my consciousness a new way of thinking. If you read Linchpin you will understand the term Art. It is not expressed in a literal sense but for me it challenges me to ask have I or am I doing the very best work that I can possibly do. It chimes with the mantra of Excellence espoused by my hero Tom Peters since his fist book In Search of Excellence.
I hope you find some of these finds helpful and reflecting on them sure makes me feel that I have covered a lot of ground this year and the field of social or new media is changing so quickly that no sooner is something out there than it is being replicated by another entrepreneur who wants to do it better, faster and for less cost. Also, the fact that so much quality content is free and there is an incredible amount of material ready to inspire us all.
I know it sounds a bit cheesy but if you came across something that blew your mind, made you laugh out laud or made you cry (in desperation or joy) then I would love to hear from you.
For more on developing profitable business, innovating in professional practice and implementing social media, subscribe to the RSS Feed of my Blog. Follow me on Twitter at @0neLife, or @Ju_Summerhayes connect to me on LinkedIn or friend me on Facebook. If I can help you or your practice, check out my coaching and consulting firm via LinkedIn, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 075888 15384.