Blogging Archives

How To Choose Good Tags

“Tags” have become something you see a lot more frequently on blogs these days.  The latest version of WordPress supports tagging, as does Blogger and other blogging platforms.  In addition to whatever native tagging support is available, there is html based Technorati tags.

What are tags?  Simply put, tags are keywords and phrases that describe the content of a web page or blog entry.  Blog search tools like Technorati, StumbleUpon, Thoof, Digg and others make use of tags in categorizing posts and making them searchable.  Each tag can be considered to be one possible path by which your content can be found.  This means that the more tags you use the better.

Of course, you shouldn’t just stuff in boatloads of tags anymore than you should stuff in tons of irrelevant keywords just because they’re popular in a search engine.  Tags, like the META Keywords on an html page, should be relevant to the content they’re describing.

A post talking about somebody like Paris Hilton getting arrested for DUI could have tags like “Paris Hilton”, “arrested” and “DUI”.  You could also include tags like “people”, “news”, “society”, “celebrity” because they would all have some connection to the actual content of the post.

A really handy tool that I’ve been using is a simple bit of javascript.  If you click on this link: Technorati Tag Generator, you will be prompted to enter tags and click ‘OK’, It will then return html code to paste into a blog entry that will display the tags.  To enter a tag with more than one word, just use a + to join the words i.e. multiple+word+tag. [note: I didn’t author this bit of javascript, but I can’t remember where I found it either.]

What’s cool about this is that Firefox users can drag that link to your “Bookmarks Toolbar” and it will create a button that you can use anytime you need it.  I’ve found it to be invaluable.  Put spaces between tags and enter as many as you like.  For example, for this entry I’m going to enter the following into the tag generator:

blogging tags technorati technorati+tags tagging tag+generator seo

It will return html code to produce the tags you see on the next line:

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Edited 2/19/08: updated tag generator code so that the tag links are nofollow because there is no reason to spend link juice on social bookmarking sites like technorati

Virtual Travel

I think that most people are interested in a certain amount of travel simply because there’s so many places in this world to go to and see for yourself.  I mean, you can look at pictures and videos all day long and when it’s all said and done it’s still not the same thing as seeing it for yourself.  The thing is though, that travel can get real expensive quickly.  I think that’s one of the big reasons that a travel blog can be such a big hit, because it caters to those of use that might want to travel but for whatever reason, can’t do so.

Once in a while I’ll look at a travel blog myself.  I know it’s not the same thing as being there but it’s still interesting because you can pick up all sorts of little tidbits about various places around the world…. History, Culture and of course, one of the big things about a travel blog is that if you’re reading a good one, you can get treated to some really good photos of the places they’re talking about.  Just today I ran across a really spectacular winter shot from a mountain top of a cabin just above the tree line overlooking a really great sunset (or sunrise).

Technorati Tags: travel, blog, virtual+travel

Iran, Another Censorship State

Isn’t it funny how Iran wants to paint itself as the neighborhood good guy that doesn’t mean anyone any harm.  What they don’t really want to talk about though is that all this applies up until you have an opinion that doesn’t march in time with the government’s official line.

That’s when they get you.  Like the story recently about an Iranian journalist Roozbeh Mirebrahimi who could end up in prison for life if he returns to Iran. He spoke with about Iran’s methods of suppressing free speech.

Of course, this guy is blessed in that he’s not still in Iran.  Instead he’s living in New York and continuing to blog away.  Also there’s apparently an ongoing increase in the number of Iranian people using the Internet which is going to guarantee that it’s going to get harder to find and stop bloggers that want to tell the truth about what’s going on over there.  Perhaps if more of them would be able to get and use anonymity tools then perhaps there wouldn’t be nearly as many ending up in jail instead of living their lives and their worst worries being things like finding discount furniture that was worth buying and wouldn’t fall apart within a few weeks of getting it home.

Technorati Tags: news, politics, political+opinion, iran, censorship, internet, blogger, anonymity, anonymity+tools, blogging, anonymous+blogging

Newsletter Management

If you’ve ever tried to manage a newsletter or some other opt-in email campaign then you know about all the hassles involved.  From designing the email or newsletter template to handling subscription and unsubscribe requests and dealing with bouncing mail it can easily grow into a nightmare.  That’s what iContact Email Marketing is all about. It is an email marketing, surveying, auto responder, and blogging tool.

This email newsletter tool lets anyone from small businesses, non-profit organizations associations to easily communicate online with their customers, prospects, and members. their prices start at $9.95 a month.  Included is a large selection of templates and other features such as surveys, an email autoresponder, and blogging capability from the same application.

The application allows you to track the opens and clickthroughs on your emails, add a sign-up form to your web site, segment your list, and manage your subscribers.

Quick Look At Accomline Blog

This is a blog that’s all about travel and the accommodations you need when you get to your destination.  It appears to be operated by Accommodation Line, a worldwide site offering hotel and accommodation bookings up to a year in advance.  Their blog is a source of accommodation travel news from a variety of destinations all over the world.

There’s a lot of travel related information and accommodation news in several categories from North America to Europe and from Shopping to Strange.  Also covered is Travel Ideas.  You can read accommodation stories and reviews of hotels and other accommodations.

The blog appears to be fairly new with archives going back to July ’07 but it’s got plenty of growth potential and will no doubt become a major source of accommodation updates because the Accommodation Line website and it’s connections to literally thousands of hotels around the world.

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