Hacking avc.com

August 20th, 2013 § 1 comment § permalink

Fred Wilson

Fred Wilson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We launched a fun new featurette today—the tech circle. You can read more about it on our main blog, and on Fred Wilson’s blog, but in essence it is a showcase for our latest product, the content discovery network.
This was my first product launch again in years, so I couldn’t sleep really. But not simply because something was going to go live.
Since Fred was leading the pack with his blog post, and since Fred blogs early in the morning, we had to flip the switch on his blog before he wakes up. Because all blogging tools are somewhat old, the best way to do that is to actually put some code into the design of the site.
I’ve had Fred’s google analytics access for a while now, and now he shared his blog access as well. So I had the honor to hack my way trough Typepad’s opaque templating system. Of course I first tried on a test blog, and of course the templates changed on the live blog as well while I was still figuring out how it all works. Hopefully nobody noticed. 🙂
Anyways, our recommendations have now connected together a group of very interesting product people from very different backgrounds. Would love to hear your comments on it, and would love to hear if anyone would want to start a new circle with some of your blogging friends.
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Launching RankWP.com

February 19th, 2013 § 10 comments § permalink

Screen Shot 2013-02-18 at 9.57.07 AM
I have a very special announcement to make, at least very special to me. i’m happy to be announcing the launch of a community project, that’s building on top of the WordPress Plugins directory, augmenting it’s default information about the plugin, with some never-seen-before data, that should make your decisions when evaluating plugins even easier. It’s called RankWP.com

I have been a blogger since 2004, ever since i installed my first WordPress, version 1.0 if i recall correctly. it was the hottest thing online back then, and one could argue, it still is. Also, the first product we ever released at zemanta was a WordPress plugin. of course we uploaded it to the directory, and rejoiced when we saw bloggers discover it, starting to use it, leave reviews and ratings.

one of the best features wordpress had, and still has, is it’s extensibility trough plugins. there is a plugin for just about anything you could think of, more possibly, there are several. for every wordpress-based site owner, testing various plugins is a regular, and fun activity. wordpress.org directory is like an app store for website owners, built in a true open-source fashion as an ever-growing and ever-improving repository of blogging goodness, where developers across the globe are building on top of previous efforts of likeminds.

with thousands of plugins available, it’s not always easy to find the best one for your needs. it’s easier if you know just how popular it really is, so we have built an algorithm that estimates the actual number of active users of each plugin. plugins also become more or less popular over time, so we started tracking their popularity rank and show you how it’s changing. both of these informations are available now for all the plugins for the first time.

Screen Shot 2013-02-18 at 9.56.49 AM

all these great plugins are built by people, and most developers publish more than one. we are happy to expose most successful developers based on the aggregate number of users of all their plugins. of course automattic’s own developers have a clear lead, but of the independent developers, Yoast is a clear winner. I’ve shown him an early version of this project and he was kind enough to say a few words for this announcement:

“For users to find new plugins, or better alternatives to plugins they’re already using, is really rather hard. RankWP seems to be a very good step in the right direction of allowing people to see what other people use, which plugins get installed and uninstalled more often and which developers tend to have good plugins. I hope they keep developing this as the community could really use this.” – Joost de Valk

you’re all cordially invited to take a look, send me feedback, suggestions, corrections. if anyone feels like helping, either coding or editing the content, you will be very welcome.

TypePad Blogs Get More Relevant With Zemanta Recommendations

May 16th, 2012 § 2 comments § permalink


Groucho Marx & anonymous blogging

Groucho Marx & anonymous blogging (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m late to the game, probably everyone knows already, but for the record:

TypePad Blogs Get More Relevant With Zemanta Recommendations

Life just got a little easier for bloggers who use TypePad. The hosted blogging platform announced that it is integrating Zemanta’s content recommendation tools into its service, which suggests links to related stories from across the Web. Zemanta also generates in-text links to related information.

via: www.readwriteweb.com

… when we started 5 years ago, we had a list of most relevant blogging platforms of all times. now all of them are our partners 🙂 it feels empowering and inspiring to make dreams happen, but you have to remind yourself of that achievement, because when you reach them, you have other dream already.

time for “Push PR”

April 7th, 2012 § Comments Off on time for “Push PR” § permalink

An Empire of Silly Statistics…A Fake War for P...

An Empire of Silly Statistics…A Fake War for Public Relations (Photo credit: Marquette University)

Ernest is entirely right – PR companies just don’t get the fact, that we don’t care what they think should interest us – that’s what it means being ‘independent’:


How PR fails at Blogger OutreachMarch 29, 2012

At some point in the last year or so, someone pegged me as an influential blogger… and then it started. A constant and never-ceasing stream of daily e-mails from various PR companies mindlessly clogging up my inbox.

It does not, however, mean that PR is dead – there clearly is a need for ‘public relations’. the need is actually much larger than it ever was, on both sides – corporate communications as much as on the receiving end – bloggers have to be current and informed, just like journalists had to be.
I believe the solution is in making PR more pushy.
As a writer, I expect the right content to come to me, I don’t want to seek it out. In that sense, I expect it to be pushy, but also highly targeted and personalized. Just like it used to be, back in the days when there was roughly as much PR professionals as there were journalists, and the two crowds well managed eachother.
as the new media grew, keeping up with targeting became impossible, and now they rely on ‘curated’ lists of thousands of bloggers, they never really looked at. I believe that’s where we at Zemanta make a huge difference – I often link PR messages from my posts, because they are recommended to me exactly when I’m writing about the topics they adress, so they actually provide value to me – I would never go look for them otherwise.
Pushy is not spammy, if done right. But there is no way you can do PR right without help from algorithms these days.

multi-channel marketing and bad infographics

April 6th, 2012 § Comments Off on multi-channel marketing and bad infographics § permalink

we all like infographics, because they make data and information value central, and then use visual storytelling rather than fancy words. in this act of replacing word compositions, with incredibly stronger visual compositions, we perform two actions:

  1. reduce the message to it’s core. this is always a combination of ‘extended puncline’ and ‘the context’.
  2. amplify the core

as infographics are becoming massively popular, the consequences of performing the first action badly are becoming a problem. it usually happens when the creator of the infographic is biased. here’s a very simple and benign case:

Blogging Better Than Facebook? Why Not BOTH? [Infographic]

I find that a lot of people involved with social media tend to get into discussions about which platform is better with the ultimate goal of eliminating of one platforms they are discussing. This happens often with the Facebook and Google+ debate, with the goal of eliminating Facebook and totally defecting to Google+ or vice versa.

We need this to understand how you use our service - you can take it out if you like. Cheers, your Blogspire team.

via: anisesmithmarketing.com

good marketing is always multi-channel, with the message adapted to specifics of each channel. yes, you should always do Facebook and Blogging, and probably a few others as well.

the original author of the infographic has noble goal though – to her the blog is the hub of your online life, a point I very much agree with, and a great argument to invest in it. but saying no to all other channels is just madness.

How to Overcome the “I Wish” Mentality and Start a Blog

April 3rd, 2012 § Comments Off on How to Overcome the “I Wish” Mentality and Start a Blog § permalink

envie de randonnée [Explore 118 du 22/03/12]

Image by Vins64 via Flickr

the last two (of the three) points in this post are spot on! my take:

  1. stop over-consuming information – everyone wants you to be passive consumer, but you feel you should be active participant. stop f**ing listening to other then, stop obsessing over your wall, stop and think and write! i check out my FB messages occasionally, just so friends don’t call me rude, and that’s it!
  2. nobody’s perfect, don’t over-engineer – stop worrying about the quality, whatever you write will be 80% OK, and the last 20% you’ll develop by doing, not by waiting.
it’s exactly what I had to change in my mind, to start blogging again. and it makes me happier.

How to Overcome the “I Wish” Mentality and Start a Blog

This Guest post is by Adarsh Thampy of Conversionchamp. I wish I started my blog a long time back when there was a lot less competition. I wish I was able to write great content from the start. I wish I had the money to purchase hosting and set up a self-hosted WordPress blog. I wish, I wish, I wish…

We need this to understand how you use our service - you can take it out if you like. Cheers, your Blogspire team.

via: www.problogger.net

Using WordPress as your publishing hub

March 29th, 2012 § Comments Off on Using WordPress as your publishing hub § permalink

Personalizando WordPress 1.5

Personalizando WordPress 1.5 (Photo credit: juanpol)

Your blog is your online home. Even if you spend most of your day somewhere away, this is where your toot-brush is, where you are yourself.

I’ve been a proponent of this view since I started blogging, and it’s also the reason why I’m sticking with WordPress – I like moving furniture around.

Using WordPress as your publishing hub

This morning at WordCamp San Diego I gave a talk titled “Using WordPress as your publishing hub. It went well and lots of people had great questions. If anyone has followup questions I’m happy to answer them in the comments. The slides are included below.

We need this to understand how you use our service - you can take it out if you like. Cheers, your Blogspire team.

via: andrewspittle.net

In a nutshell, regardless of what you are doing around the web, you will promote your posts on twitter, and not the other way around. That’s the core power of the blog!

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Compete.com stats about blogging platforms

March 16th, 2012 § Comments Off on Compete.com stats about blogging platforms § permalink

Español: Christian Coma (CC)

Image via Wikipedia

great post with charts and numbers from 2011 on three most famous hosted blogging platforms. it clearly shows that blogs are not declining, and we at Zemanta saw a huge influx of bloggers with new years resolutions in January!

Round 2 of Tumblr vs. WordPress vs. Blogger: FIGHT!

Tumblr is up almost 70% from last December, steadily gaining share. WordPress seems to have followed a similar path on par with an audience size close to Tumblr. Lastly, Blogger seems to be on a steady albeit conservative growth path.


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Guest Blogging And Black Mailing. Or What Is It?

March 7th, 2012 § Comments Off on Guest Blogging And Black Mailing. Or What Is It? § permalink

I was really sad when I read this article. So far I have rarely came across misunderstandings amongst fellow bloggers.  Every time a blogger screws a fellow blogger, a pony dies somewhere.

Guest Blogging And Black Mailing. Or What Is It?

I love doing guest blogging. And I love so many genuine guest bloggers who are nurturing the blogosphere with awesome content on other blogs, apart from their own. Since I’m so much into guest blogging and since I’ve experienced all its goodness,…

We need this to understand how you use our service - you can take it out if you like. Cheers, your Blogspire team.

via: www.probloggingsuccess.com

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A blogger or a journalist? Debate over the power and influence of tech writers

February 27th, 2012 § 2 comments § permalink

the guardians......

the guardians...... (Photo credit: simada2009)

Roughly a year ago, we had an incident with neighbors in the co-working space in NY. They were two writers for an online magazine, fairly young, geeky, caffeinated.

Now, in this co-working space, the only thing separating the offices is a one-layer glass, so you can hear the other people if they talk a bit louder. During one of our skype meetings, when we had bad wifi reception, so our VP Sales tried talking louder to get the message trough, those two writers got annoyed and started tweeting confidential information about our clients. I learned about it when a friend from an ad agency sent me an email with screenshot from his FB wall.

It took some more shouting to resolve it and get the tweets removed, but the damage has been done already.

I’d like to believe that well-bred old-school professional journalist would never do that. Because my generation thinks that internet changed the world so significantly, they do not learn from previous generations and are reinventing the wheels. those two kids probably call themselves journalists, but in reality they are just reckless kids, who will need another decade or so to grow up and start behaving responsibly.

this article brilliantly talks about similar situation with tech bloggers:

A blogger or a journalist? Debate over the power and influence of tech writers

A blogger or a journalist? Debate over the power and influence of tech writers This article was published on guardian.co.uk at 20.37 GMT on Sunday 26 February 2012 . A version appeared on p28 of the Main section section of the Guardian on Dan Lyons used his personal blog to attack Michael Arrington and MG Siegler.

We need this to understand how you use our service - you can take it out if you like. Cheers, your Blogspire team.

via: www.guardian.co.uk

… I wholeheartedly agree with his points, but unfortunately there is no way back. the geeks rule the internet, for better or worse. and media is not the only part of the old world order that is deteriorating, all other industries that are being ‘disrupted’ are bound to this same ignorance – disruption brings more efficiency to the market, at the cost of ignoring inherent value system.

actually, i believe that the ‘gain’ of disruption is just temporary and the cost of building out value system is simply deferred for later stage of the cycle.

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