How to get all Web 2.0-ified and stuff like that:
1. Personal Blog: go to wordpress.com and open one. Name it something you can live with for a few years. Do not use Blogger. Do not use TypePad. Use WordPress. Write down the password. Take some time in the control panel and learn how to write a post. Bug me later to explain the ecosystem of trackbacks and comments, read any of a million posts elsewhere about how to blog. Free.
2. Blog Reader: like Mr. Wolf in Pulp Fiction asked, are you an Oak or a Pine person? For me it comes down to: are you a Google or Yahoo person? Do you have a gmail or a yahoo email account? A Google portal page or a MyYahoo page? Doesn’t matter. You need a blog reader to hold and read subscriptions to other blogs. The reason blogs rock is you don’t have to visit them to read them. They come to you. In your blog reader. All are free. Three choices in my mind.
- Bloglines — good web based service. I used for a couple years. Now I use
- Google Reader — buried in the Google Lab
- MyYahoo — those who know about these things say Yahoo is actually the best at social media stuff thanks to their acquisition of …
3. Flickr: blogs need pictures, pictures needed a home, pictures need to be shared. Get a decent digital camera, sign up for a Flickr account, download the Flickr photo uploading widget, and figure it out. No Smugmug. No Shutterfly, no whatever. Flickr. Any questions? Free unless you do a lot of pictures, then you need to go Pro.
4. Del.icio.us : think of it as bookmarks that you can share and which are hosted elsewhere, not on your PC. Also, this is the cool way to share web pages with other cool people. You can share pages with me by tagging them “for:dchurbuck”. Free.
5. Feedburner: good way to get statistics about your “feed” the thing people subscribe to so they can read your blog in their blog reader.
6. Google analytics: because you have to measure it if you want to manage it.
7. MyBlogLog: good way to see who is looking at your blog, and let them know you are looking at theirs.
8. LinkedIn/Facebook: these are good networking places. LinkedIn is more of a headhunter sort of thing. Facebook a little more social. Your teenagers will deem you a geek if you get a Facebook page, but hey, the mission of being a parent is to horrify and embarrass one’s children at every opportunity.
9. Technorati: the best of the blog search engines, but Google Blog Search is coming on strong. Get an account, register your blog, and Technorati will help track who is linking to it and where it ranks.
10. Things to avoid: Twitter, Plazes, most sidebar widgets. Adsense, affiliates (you will NOT make money as a personal blogger), and any plug in that ruins the look of your blog.
So, take an afternoon, sign up for all this stuff, use the same log in and password, and for heavens sake, use FireFox to get it done. What did I leave out?