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Back Channel Blog Comments: The Wages of Sin for Not Facilitating Your Own Social Media Stream

I’ve been professionally writing for most of my life.  In 2004 or so, I bet big on daily blogging, and found a lot of success in the prairie days of the early, roughshod, internet.  Years before that, I was writing for paper and online magazines.

One thing I missed in my dedication to longform writing was the initial wave of mixing traditional work with social media networks like Twitter and Facebook.  So what I did, in effect, was to give over control of the discussion of my articles to the wild internet where — through back channel conversations of which I was not aware — my work was being discussed and evaluated.

Boles Blogs readership has remained vibrant and steady throughout the years and, lately, we’ve even been growing lots of Followers and LIKErs.  All numbers are up across the board, so I wasn’t searching for a cause — or even begging a reaction — concerning our direct-response comments flow.

Funny that people didn’t want to login using Twitter to comment on my articles here, but they were perfectly fine “discussing my work” on Twitter while logged into Twitter.  I understand that meme-shift, though.  Commenting here is participatory.  Starting a new Twitter stream makes you a publisher.  It’s all about dynamic control and perception.  You fight that sort of back-channel co-opting by being there and being alive and watching and responding.

The remedy for that missed meme was to not just propagate new articles into Twitter and Facebook, but to be more proactively lively in the Social Mesh to make more of a difference and to be more easily found.

Continue reading → Back Channel Blog Comments: The Wages of Sin for Not Facilitating Your Own Social Media Stream

Today is Our Eight Year Anniversary on WordPress.com

This morning, at 2:55am Eastern, as I was waiting for the Apple Store to open at 3:01am — a lovely notification popped up in my WordPress.com admin area telling me today, September 20, 2013 — was my eighth year anniversary on WordPress.com!

Now that is a milestone to celebrate!

I remember I was one of the super-early adopters here on WordPress.com and I was the in the early 500s as a registered user number — there are now over 80 million WordPress blogs in the world.  I loved the idea of Matt Mullenweg‘s WordPress.com right from the start:  An excellent publishing platform that was dead-simple to use all day every single day of your life!

Continue reading → Today is Our Eight Year Anniversary on WordPress.com

Great Blog Posts Demand Excellent Article Rewriting

Our beloved Boles Blogs author Nicola just finished writing an incredible, and memorable, stretch of connected articles that absolutely deserve our devotion and celebration!

Over the past 20 days, our Nicola wrote 18 articles for publication.  These were not simplistic blog posts.  These were intricate posts packed with photographs and personal insight.  Many Boles Blogs articles average 300-500 words, but Nicola’s works in this stretch averaged over 800 words per post and many doubled that number.  That’s over 15,000 words written in 20 days!

Continue reading → Great Blog Posts Demand Excellent Article Rewriting

Revisiting the “Freshly Pressed Effect”

Yesterday, we were delighted to win a spot on the WordPress.com Freshly Pressed page for our Kaposi’s Sarcoma article, and that sort of public recognition has, in the past, meant big booms in readership and other quantifiable areas of blog publishing and — as I did in the past with our first Freshly Pressed win for Black Cat Bone — I will share those metrics with you now.

First, because of our Freshly Pressed feature on June 5th, we enjoyed our “Best day for Follows on Boles Blogs” — that is a big and huge record for us because followers tend to become dedicated readers and they stick around.

WordPress.com followers are counted, and not counted, in odd ways.  Facebook friends are counted in the final, public, tally, while  “moved” followers from old blogs to a new blog do not count.  No LinkedIn connections are counted as followers — even though they should be — to match the same relational logic as Facebook friends.

Continue reading → Revisiting the “Freshly Pressed Effect”

Boles Blogs Wins Freshly Pressed a Second Time!

Yesterday, around this time, I received the following email from WordPress.com editrix Michelle Weber:

Hiya David,

Dust off the welcome mat and get ready to welcome some new readers — we’ve picked your post (http://bolesblogs.com/2013/06/04/do-you-remember-kaposis-sarcoma/ ) to feature on Freshly Pressed on WordPress.com!

This must have been a tough post to write, but it’s an important one — thank you. We thought it was a great read and think the rest of the community will agree — we’re really looking forward to the discussion that comes out of it, and are glad we can give it (and you) some more exposure. The wide variety of high-quality content on your site deserves a bigger audience!

Keep up the great blogging! Follow @freshly_pressed on Twitter to be inspired by other great bloggers — we also tweet each new Freshly Pressed post, so it’s the easiest way to know exactly when to start bragging. (I’ve tagged @BolesBlogs in the tweet, so you should get a mention notification as soon as it launches.)

Thanks for being such an awesome part of the WordPress.com community. We couldn’t do it without you!

Cheers,
Michelle

Continue reading → Boles Blogs Wins Freshly Pressed a Second Time!

Searching via iPhone Now Fixed!

We discovered an oddity with the premium Elemin theme we are using here on WordPress.com:  You could not search our articles using an iPhone if we turned off all the “mobile-specific” theme displays.

Continue reading → Searching via iPhone Now Fixed!

Preventing Avatar Spam and Gaming Facebook LIKEs

If you live on social media networks, or if you write a blog, or manage a Facebook page, you’ve certainly seen a rise in efforts to game the networks for profit.  Way back on September 11, 2006, I predicted right here on this blog that people would begin to use Avatars — their online identity — to make money by selling their craven image to the highest bidder:

What’s to stop active — or better yet, INactive — blog commenters from getting hired by companies to change their Avatar to promote a website or a phone number or some other advertising blitz? Can you imagine being a new beer company and going out and finding the top 1,000 blog commenters and having them all change their Avatars to the logo for your beer?

Why it’s sheer viral genius! You could buy hundreds of thousands of page views on the cheap that could reach for years back into the history of Avatar-enabled blog pages on thousands of blogs — and the beauty part is this: No one would be the wiser.

The Search Engines already indexed and tagged the old content as safe and sufficient and your Avatar Ads would be silently served up when a search return is clicked through to the blog. The Blogmaster would never know — especially if you were not posting recent comments.

Continue reading → Preventing Avatar Spam and Gaming Facebook LIKEs