Blogs in Plain English

December 4, 2007

Following on from last weeks What are Blogs, Common Craft people finally get around to explaining Blogs in Plain English.

I always wonder why they didn’t cover this topic from day one, I nearly consider doing something similar to explain the concept.

 

Author: Support @ 9:00 am
Category: Blogging




What are blogs?

November 29, 2007

business week blogs and business

I guess the majority of people who read Terinea Weblog, already know what blogs are? Although, I realised the other day I’ve never actually explained in my own words what blogs are.

Blogs are not a new technology

I find most people struggle to understand the concept of blogging because they are looking for a piece of new technology to be involved. Usually when explaining something new in computing it will involve a new piece of hardware or software. Blogs on the other hand, are simply a collection of web pages which are commonly referred as blog posts. The new posts appear in date order with the latest post appearing at the top of the page. You can think of them as a online journal or web log, hence the name weblog which has been shortened to blog. Posts can contain anything from text, pictures, quoted text from other website’s, links to other blogs, music, charts, tables or embedded video.

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The Community

So far you might be thinking so what, they sound like a regular website? Well blogs (good ones!) are all about the community of readers that read and leave comments. For example if you disagree or wish to add something to this particular post, you can simply scroll down the page and leave a comment. As one of the authors of the blog I should acknowledge your comment and maybe even update the post if the comment adds value.

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Tell me when you update

Another big different with blogs over regular website’s is something called Really Simple Syndicate Feed or RSS Feed. You might of seen the RSS Feed logo on various web sites or within your web browser. Instead of visiting a blog to check for updates, a RSS Feed will inform you when the blog has been updated. In fact you don’t actually need to visit the blog at all, using something called a RSS Reader will pull new posts down for you.

Still confused? Watch this excellent video from Common Craft.

Business and Blogging

To find out why your business might want a blog, take a look at…

  • Blogs and Wikis: Growing influences and markets of the Internet
  • Benefits and Weakness for Business Blogs

Some external links

If you’re thinking about starting one for your business, check out our

Skip to the end

So in summary…

  • Blogs are a web Journal or Web log
  • Readers can subscribe to the blog using the RSS feed
  • Latest posts appear at the top
  • Old posts appear at the bottom
  • Posts can be sorted by categories and date
  • A two way medium
  • Readers can leave comments
  • Can be about anything from knitting to the stock exchange
  • Blogs should be fun and informal
  • Writing a blog is referred as blogging
  • Can be used for personal or business
  • Reading other blogs and leaving comments is as equally important to running a blog
  • Should be updated more regularly than a website
  • Use a desktop blog writer to make the whole process an easier one
Author: Support @ 8:40 am
Tags: ,




Top 10 Business Productivity Tips for 2007

November 12, 2007

image

Over the last two weeks I have been busy with day to day business and refreshing our marketing material (promotional leaflet, banner stand and Website). So continuing my philosophy of blogging offline. I decided that one of the banner stands should offer free advice which can act as a talking point to potential customers.

So here are Terinea’s Top 10 Business Productivity Tips aimed at business owners:-

1. Company Email Address - Your emails will look more professional if they incorporate your
company name. (Yes, we still come across many businesses that use Hotmail and yahoo)

2. Open Source Software - Quality software, that’s free to use within your business.

3. Online Backup - Automatically backup your data to a secure offsite location.

4. Company Blog - This is a cost effective marketing tool that is becoming as influential as
traditional media.

5. Secure Password Database - Keep your passwords and settings in a secure encrypted database.

6. Disaster Recovery Plan - In the event of a disaster , you need a plan to get your business back up and running.

7. IT Support Relationship - Make sure you have a relationship with a local IT company that can advise you on the best IT solutions.

8. Do More With Your Mobile - If you’re out and about a lot, why not get your emails on your mobile, so you can react faster to your customers.

9. Online Applications - Calendars, Word Processors, Spreadsheets, Virtual Whiteboards - All running online and accessible from anywhere!

10. Shared Calendar & Contacts - A central location to share your contacts and calendar with your staff .

Extra - Social Networks* - Forget MySpace, Facebook has been the biggest thing this year and with Google to up the game with OpenSocial, you can bet social networks will become an important tool for businesses.

*For a number of reasons we didn’t put this tip on the banner, maybe next time when the sector has had a little time to mature.

Why didn’t you include..?

We chose items that are:-

  • Aimed at SME’s (Small to Medium Enterprises)
  • Measurable return on investment
  • Fairly simple to implement
  • Cheap
  • Quick and effective

What are your top tips?

I would love to hear what top tips you would offer to potential customers to demonstrate your knowledge? It doesn’t have to be IT related either!

Author: Support @ 12:20 pm
Category: Blogging, Business




Flickr made easy with Windows Live Writer

November 6, 2007

The Well Tempered Clavier

Windows Live Writer is a excellent blogging tool, sorry essential blogging tool! Although as I have mentioned before, it sometimes needs a couple of additional features to match your business needs. For example, an easy way to insert photos from your flickr account.

Clients must despair with people like myself, i.e. advising businesses on new technology. I advise them on something like blogging as a business tool, introduce them to tools such as Windows Live Writer to make the whole process easier.

Later on, I might suggest using Flickr to store and display any interesting images of their clients, services and products. I’m usually met with the question why would I do that, when I can just upload them to the blog site? True, but…

Reasons for a Flickr account

  1. People can view all your photos in one central place.
  2. Community can leave comments, suggest tags or leave annotated notes.
  3. Gives you another shop window to expose your business/brand.
  4. Photos have tags and can be placed in albums (sets and collections) to make navigating around the gallery easier.
  5. If the people enjoy your photos or want to know more they will visit your profile, where they can visit your website.
  6. You can easily* integrate your flickr photos with your blog posts.

* By installing Flickr4Writer!

Some of our pervious posts on flickr are flickr Marketing, How to use Flickr For Your Business - PowerPoint Slides and Why We Have A Company Flickr Account.

Windows Live Writer and Flickr4Writer

Take for example Bill of The Well Tempered Clavier, who has just got his head around the whole blogging thing. Last week I advise him to get a flickr account to upload photos of his green shirt and book signing events. No problem, Bill used Flickr’s uploader tool which makes the whole process a breeze.

Then, Bill rang me this week to see if he could insert a photo from his flickr account straight into Windows Live Writer. Without messing around with web browsers, copying and pasting, there isn’t a simple process. Unless you install Flickr4Writer extension!

  1. Step one, download the extension from Flickr4Writer
  2. Install it.
  3. Restart Windows Live Writer if you have it running.
  4. Compose your blog post.
  5. Place the cursor where you would like the image inserting.
  6. image
    Click on Insert > Flickr Image from the top drop down menu or from the right hand task menu.
  7. image
    Enter your flickr username and click on Search. Once the first images have loaded you can then choose the options from Search Type to narrow down your results. Use the left and right arrows underneath the Search button to flick through your photos. Once you have found the photo select the Picture Size and any Layout preferences. Click on Insert Image.

What additional features would you like to see in blogging tools such as Windows Live Writer?

Author: Support @ 1:31 pm




Our newest clients in the local rag

October 30, 2007

Its nice when our clients get some offline media coverage.

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William Coles has just launched his first novel, The Well Tempered Clavier. Terinea overhauled Bills blog site.

“I remember that first weekend in Edinburgh, going up the Crags and watching the sun going down over the Castle - and it just blew me away.” Having worked his way through the ranks from being a staff reporter on The Sun to New York correspondent - at the time of the Monica Lewinsky scandal - William became a political correspondent and a commentator on the royals. But throughout it all, he harboured an ambition to write books so, when he moved to Edinburgh, he resolved to pursue that line.
http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/features.cfm?id=1715832007

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The Illicit Still is our first client in Edinburgh since House of Fraser bought Jenners Department Store, to install one of our EPoS solution, commonly referred as touch screen till!

AT THE BAR

PROBABLY the first and possibly the only Edinburgh bar to utilise Facebook, The Illicit Still chronicled its recent overhaul extensively on the social networking site, as well as recruiting most of its staff through its pages.

And what an overhaul. The Brougham Place bar has been completely renovated, resembling its former incarnation in shape and size only.

The Illicit Still has two real ales on tap, with a pint of either Caley 80 Shillings or Deuchars IPA costing a modest £2.50. Their present promotion means you can down a pint of Foster’s Super Chilled for £2.20. A standard glass of wine comes in at £2.65, with a bottle at only £8.

Get in early if you fancy a shot on their Nintendo Wii, which is hooked up to the giant plasma screen.
• The Illicit Still, Brougham Place, Monday-Saturday, 11am-1am, Sunday 12.30pm-1am, 0131-228 2633

http://living.scotsman.com/food.cfm?id=1712522007

Author: Support @ 9:00 am




Whisky company embracing social media

October 22, 2007

dug the sheep dig and pig nose dog

Dug the dog

Last Thursday I was invited along to a whisky tasting evening hosted by Spencefield Spirit and Mike of Digital Agency. Spencefield Spirit are a small company (Alex and Jane) that sell Sheep Dip and Pigs Nose whisky.

Without the deep pockets of larger competitors, Alex and Jane, along with some help from Digital Agency have been using digital and social media to expose their brands and create a customer experience. For example their whisky featured in the Burning Man festival, they blogged about it and uploaded the photo’s to flickr. Jane mentioned on the companies Facebook group, Sheep Dip Fold about her Christmas Cake recipe, after a number of requests Jane uploaded the recipe to the blog and along with photo’s on flickr.

Alex, Dug and Jane of spencerfield spirit

Alex, Dug and Jane

Before you ask, here are the reasons for the names of their whiskies:-

Sheep Dip

The name came about because British farmers have long referred to whisky as Sheep Dip. There was a time when farmers distilled their own “home-made” whisky and in order to avoid paying taxes to the revenue man hid the whisky in barrels marked “Sheep Dip”. Farmers’ merchants continued this tradition by entering cases of whisky as “Sheep dip” on farmers’ bills and so “pulling the wool” over the farmers wives eyes.

Pigs Nose

The blend contains a high percentage (40%) of malt whiskies, principally from Speyside imbuing the product with their characteristic softness; the name comes from the farming expression “soft as a pig’s nose”

Whisky and Passion

Okay Spencerfield are not going to take on the big boy’s over night, but its important to show the company (Alex and Jane) have a real passion for their brands, that can’t be manufactured or purchased off the shelf (I’ll have 10 blog posts about my business please!). Its probably more important for niche brands such as theirs to show this passion.

So if your a whisky fan, keep an eye out for Sheep Dip or Pig Nose in your local or alternatively purchase some online.

Author: Support @ 6:00 pm
Category: Blogging, Events




How many Google Readers do you have?

October 18, 2007

Google Reader number of subscriptions to your blog

Google has recently updated Google Reader to allow you to check the number of readers for each of your RSS subscriptions. Which can be handy feature when faced with cutting back on the number RSS subscriptions you have time to read.

You can also check the popularity of your own blog. This is something I do on monthly basis as a way of measuring our blog development.

Now depending on the way you read it (picture above), I either have 11, 17, 22, 28 or 39 readers who subscribe to the blog using Google Reader. According to Feedburner its 28, but that won’t take into account those who are subscribed using the raw feed not produced by Feedburner. While on the subject, make sure your blog doesn’t make that mistake by seeing my post on WordPress and Feedburner.

Finding the number of readers that use Google Reader?

Okay lets cut to the chase, how do I check the popularity of my blog with Google Reader.

  1. At the moment this is a closed system, so head over to Google Reader if you don’t already have a free account.
  2. google reader - add subscription
    Once logged in, simple click on Add Subscription
  3. search for blog with Google Reader
    Type the name of the blog you wish find out the numbers for and click Add.
  4. Digital Agency number of blog readers
    Here we have searched for our good friend Mike from Digital Agency. I would say Mike has a nice health 76 readers who read his blog using Google Reader.

Social Google and Facebook

Now what would happen if Google decided to use this metric to determine website rankings? In one easy swoop Google has become a social search engine. Now you can understand why Google doesn’t appear interested in buying Facebook, but would rather compete with it. Google recently purchased Jaiku (Twitter type of service) and Zingku (Facebook for mobiles) maybe Google is up to something with its social networking site, Orkut?

Author: Support @ 8:00 am
Category: Blogging




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