Tuesday, February 07, 2006

RSS, seductive vs sticky sites, mentor bashing


It's time to plunge into RSS.

Most of you know that I've been a huge skeptic of poor little RSS, the red haired stepchild of the blogorama. I even published, and later deleted, a post entitled "Against RSS".

I was opposed to Push Communications. I didn't like information being driven to me. Pull Communications means you make your blog so interesting, helpful, reliable, revelant, clever, amusing, shocking, enlightening, profound, technically correct, that your readers feel self-motivated to visit your blog frequently.

Now, as I read Extreme Tech's "Hacking RSS and Atom" by Leslie M. Orchard (Wiley, 2005), I change my tune and finally wake up more fully to the RSS Revolution.

Start exploring RSS/Atom feed syndication.

(1) computers
(2) networks
(3) internet
(4) email
(5) web
(6) blog
(7) social media/wearables/embeds/web services hybrids
(8) customized feed syndication/aggregation/presentation

Feeds for:

(websites, blogs, blog citations, trends, forecasts, environment sensor/assistive tech, psycho-geographics, net art installations, podcasts, astral webbing, glogs, wikis, email directories, discussion lists, chat channels, forums, video, personal name citations, new MP3 postings, competitive product offerings, eBay quotes, stock prices, any online source updates).

Seductive vs. Sticky sites

[...that your readers feel a compelling, inner driven motivation to keep visiting your blog frequently for a long time...regardless of whether or not they post any comments, or email you, or vote on any polls, or buy your t-shirt, or do anything you might want them to do.]

Not a "sticky" site, which web pros use to refer to a surfer's duration of view and multiple page views. Your site is so "sticky", no one can leave it. Bah! Utter nonsense in most cases, as Jakob Nielsen wisely stated in a recent Alert Box.

But rather: a "seductive" site. You keep updating your blog in a frenzy of feverish passion that gets worse every day.

One more cup o Kava and I'll come up with a better term, another dreaded neologism. "Magnetic vs. Sticky"? "Disney Land vs. Quicksand"?

You can help mean old Vaspers.

Why not noodle it and suggest what to call a blog that people keep visiting frequently for a long time?

A good weblog? An A-List Prodigy Miracle? A stodgy old bum-burner? A racket and roll machine?

The Perfect Blog is a Fast Blog. If your reader can get maximum info or amusement in a minimum of time, you're on the right track, sister. Mix in a bizarrely unique personality, I'll sell you one if you need it, and your blog will be witheringly popular and successful, because it's eventful.

Your readers: make it easy for them to Dip and Flip back into whatever they *really* want to do, like play games, chat some gossip, hook up with a date, buy a book, download music, or look for a better job.

Not spend precious seconds piling up at your blog, but a visitor can dive into your blog, grab some relevant info or a few laughs, then pop back to whatever they need to do next.

Against Blog Ads, again

Blog ads...what a piece of work.

My personal opinion of ads in any medium: HATE.

And I'm a former ad writer from Madison Avenue, Wall Street, and my name is Steven Streight who has lived on Main Street and in Normal, Illinois, but not both simultaneously.

I have faith in marketing conversations, not in sales propaganda. The whole world is going Cluetrain. You might as well get used to it. Give it away for free, or provide an understated, even obscure and difficult web order device on your blog, like a paid PDF dl.

I'm going to do many ecommerce experiments right here and other places, the pickled necklaces of the sturdo-sphere.

If you for some odd reason choose to run ads in your blog, and I strongly advise against it, still, if you disagree and do it anyway, you'll want want and expect ever-increasing numbers of potential shoppers to visit your blog. You may even evolve to want popularity, and ad click-throughs, more than you care about being profound, confrontational, independent-thinking.

mentor bashing (shame on me)

You all know that a crazy, hateful, vulgar blog post can get a lot of hits and links. But so will an astonishing, super beneficial, instant classic like my dorky "Not against flesh and blood, but robots" or, to continue this self-serving charade, my over-rated and much hated "Comment Spammers: internet pigs and how they feed" that colleague and mentor Amy Gahran liked so much.

She, Amy Gahran, of the blog Contentious, is the first major business blogger to notice and encourage mean old Vaspers the Grate. She was mentioned in a Jakob Nielsen book, then in Nick Usbourne's magnificent profound Net Words book on web and email writing savvy.

She also is in my "Secrets of the Blog Pros" book, about 2 pages of classic blogopioneer genius ravings from "you caught me late at night and I'm full of coffee" angle on "what makes a blog successful and how do you measure success?"

When I go aggressively against something a blogger like Amy Gahran, Toby Bloomberg, Robert Scoble, or Jakob Nielsen say, you must realize it's because I love them so much that I pick on little details of their proclamations. I hound my mentors and role models mercilessly, relentlessly, stridently...as I bless them in my heart.

I don't flame personalities...I kill bad ideas.

Blogs bear an inherent antagonism to advertising, sales, and corpo-speak (dry, we-saturated, auto-intoxicated, hype-heavy business language). Sell yourself, and people will demand products to buy. It happens a lot to rock stars, films, and cartoon characters. Retailers call it merchandising or something.

Let's look for more bad ideas to slaughter. Ready? I KNOW you are.

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