Thursday, December 28, 2006

Go Google!!!

I noticed that my beloved blog was not opening at all. It seemed that the page was not available due to internal server problem or something. I got scared!!! What happened to my blog? Or blogger has been banned in India again? It was around 4.50 p.m. yesterday.

Today, when I started my lovely PC and tried to access orkut, I got a message that orkut is under maintenance. All it says “orkut is under construction. please check back soon (=”

It looks that Google has been renovating all its features, so we can expect more useful and reliable service from them in future.

Wait…if Google goes under construction for an hour, what will happen then?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Content is the King

Ask this question to yourself: “Why would people come to my website?” Obviously they will come to your page looking for some information. Whether your product is tangible or intangible, visitors would like to read something first. And the words should have that power to convince people. Hence developing good and reliable content is the key of building a good website.

Have you noticed that I used two adjectives for web-content? Good and Reliable: what do I actually mean by that? I interpret it this way:

Good Content: easy to understand, written in simple language, grammatically correct, an easy flow through out the article.

Reliable Content: it must speak the truth and offer the right information.

So far I have been politically correct! Believe me or not, to attain publicity, you have to write something controversial sometimes. And forums and blogs are the best platform for this. You can have a better participation in environments like forums and blogs. That is the reason most websites have a blogging environment and forums as well.

Also read my previous post: Difference between Writing and Content Writing. You can find some good tips on content development there.

Why Blog?

Since I am receiving more queries on blogging nowadays there are reasons to think that blogging is getting more and more popular among the mass. If someone asks me what is a blog all about? I usually reply that “Blog is your own webpage that you can use as you want”. I think that is a good definition! But if someone continues to inquire then I must unfold the layers…

Purpose of blogging: earlier people used to say that a blog is a personal diary or journal that is available online. Probably that was the objective of blogging at that time. But as Change is the only Constant in this universe, the concept of blogging has been also changed with time.

Business Houses now maintain their own blogs to reach to more people nowadays. Even Google has its own blog where Google personnel discuss various services. The term Blog is attaining a larger shape day by day and I guess it will replace terms like web portal, webpage or even website in future.

So one reason to have a blog is doing business. Another good reason to have a blog is earning money independently. Google AdSense is a good concept that helps webmasters and bloggers earn revenue by displaying Ads on their websites and blogs. The AdSense works very nicely. In my opinion, the AdSense-AdWords service is a million dollar concept of Google. (Keep watching my blog, I will be posting more on this within a week)

People also maintain blogs to publish online magazines, news items and all. The magic of such blogs are once they are popular, the owner might earn huge money through space selling and advertisements. So blogs are good tools to earn money, no argument right?

Any other purpose of blogging? Yes definitely. I blog to write down whatever I learn (I am not writing the details of my music classes here, perhaps I will be creating a new blog for that). So I need not take classes when to teach something new. All I will do is post the topic in my blog and ask people to read it. If they have any queries, they can comment here and can email me as well.

So my blog is my identity. Why do you blog?

Monday, December 18, 2006

What I Know Is...

I did not want to start this article saying “United we stand divided we fall” but I could not find a better phrase to describe the strength of unity. The day human beings understood the importance of working together, they formed society. In recent times, often big projects are supervised by a group of experts, then what about Collaborative Authoring, where many people join together to write a great novel and make up good stories?

Points behind functioning collectively are:
  1. Power of the mass
  2. Wisdom of crowd
Collaborative Authoring is not a new concept. It seems great Epics and Mythologies were written collectively. The beauty of Collaborative Authoring is it continues to grow recursively. The input of one author insists the others to put more on it.

With the arrival of web-technologies Collaborative Authoring has become easier and simpler as it is now too easy to communicate a person at the other corner of the world. Different web-based applications have enhanced the process. Relay Writing, International Writing Exchange, h2g2 are few good example of Online Collaborative Authoring.

Despite of being invented lately in the evolution process of Collaborative Authoring, wiki has become a strong and reliable supporter of it. The term wiki could be seen as the acronym of What I Know Is. People assemble at a place, select a topic and say what they know. Now the knowledge of each individual builds up a huge store of information.

Wikipedia, online free encyclopedia, is one good example of wiki-based applications. Wiki sites are easy to edit. The person need not be an expert to modify wiki pages and that is one of the reasons behind the huge popularity of wiki. People having vast knowledge are able to add their expertise to a topic through wiki from anywhere of the world.

Many online message boards and web communities have started interacting through wiki nowadays. One such example is the Community Knowledge Base of Debt Consolidation Care. This is a community that helps people solve their debt and credit related problems and offer responsible guidance to find the most reasonable solution for financial issues.

However, wiki is very much prone to vandalism because it cannot sense the mind of the person who edits it. But as long great minds are there behind it, no threat can damage its glory.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Difference between Writing and Content Writing

Writing for web is something different from conventional commercial writings. When a professional writes for consumers she concentrates on consumer psychology and uses catchy headline, creative words (read my earlier post Whirl the World), images and colors to attract attention or create an impact on human mind.

Same is true for content writers also, but content of a website is not written for consumers only, it is the food of search engines as well. To bring the webpage at the top of the SERP, the writer must keep all the related keywords in mind. Keywords are the basic element of online marketing. People sometimes manage to optimize their webpage for targeted keyword(s), but when it comes to more than two or three keywords; the situation becomes worst.

I was writing for all the states of America few days back. The targeted keyword was $state name consumer. Hence I put the state name within the content maintaining optimum keyword density. Suddenly I thought, a person from California looking for information, might try a search with key phrase "CA consumer"! Using abbreviations for state names is a regular practice. So I inserted the code for each state within the content and I think it made the page more user friendly and search engine friendly as well.

But if I was writing it for a newspaper or magazine, I would not have reacted this way. And that is why I believe writing for web is different from conventional writing and experience teaches a lot to excel in content writing.