Thursday, August 7, 2008

Blog a Day Challenge part 2

After one week of the great blog-a-day challenge of August, 2008, I can say this is turning into a great learning exercise. I didn't have a blog when Dani Greer first presented her challenge to the Yahoo!Group BlogBookTours (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/blogbooktours/?yguid=329143594). Since then, I've learned:
  • All blog hosts are not created equal
  • There is something called 'tiny URL'
  • Individual blog posts have addresses

Why are these items important?

Let's begin with the blog hosting sites. I'm not sure that is the official name, but I'm talking about the different places you can sign up and establish a blog of your own. Some are simple and straight forward - great for beginners and for people who don't care to become html experts. Others are packed with features - and the complexity that comes with the advanced features and functions. Some have great support available and others do not. Some have unlimited space. Others come with a limited amount of space for free and then options to purchase more space. Some are established and have the ability to drive readers to your blog with little effort on your part other than acutally writing. Others are new and depend on you to drive the traffic. Bottom line - do some research and choose one that fits your needs.

The idea of tiny URLs is that you can go to http://tinyurl.com/, enter a long URL such at the one for BlogBookTours in the first paragraph of this post, click a button, and receive a much shorter URL that will drive readers to the same site. The tiny URL for BlogBookTours? http://tinyurl.com/63npqj. Doesn't that look cleaner? The web site says that tiny URLs do not break in email and never expire.

And my favorite - Individual blog posts have addresses! Did you know this? Have you ever given or received a link to 'an article' and been disappointed when the link took the reader to a home page rather than to the specific article? I have. On more than one occaision I have tired of searching for the specific article and left the site prematurely. This can be avoided. When reading an article that you want to share, simply click on the title of that specific article and then cut and paste the URL. Is there a downside? Yes. When I read the long address, I know where it leads. The tiny URL is completely criptic.

For example, if I go to Helen Ginger's blog page, scroll through the arcticles and find a great article on medical forensics for writers that I would like to share, I can click on the url at the top of the page and paste that (http://straightfromhel.blogspot.com/) into an email to send. The problem is, this link will take the reader to Helen's home page where Helen's most recent wisdom will be on display. If I want to drive my reader to the specific article, then I need to click the title of that article before copying the url. Clicking the title generates a specific address - http://straightfromhel.blogspot.com/2008/08/bookmark-it-writers-medical-and.html - that will take the reader straight to the post in question. As an added bonus, when I return to the email to find the link for my own use, I will also be able to find the post more efficiently. What else could I do to simplify? I could go to tiny url and translate that long address to this one - http://tinyurl.com/6kmdho.

5 comments:

L.J. Sellers said...

I too have learned so much from the BlogTour list serv. Ping and Twitter, to name a few. This writing/promoting business is constantly challenging. And that's part of why I love it!
Lj

http://ljraves.blogspot.com

Helen Ginger said...

Ping is great. Twitter is fun (and you can use it as a promotional tool for your book, yourself, or whatever you're trying to promote - for example, this morning I tweeted about the Texas Book Festival, in particular, the events at the Austin Museum of Art, which I chair).

And tiny URLs are wonderful. When you've got a long URL and you want to link to it (like the example you gave from my site), tiny URLs can really save space. I use them on Twitter (where each post is limited to 140 characters) and in my newsletter which is limited in how long each lines should be so that my readers don't have to put up with a slew of broken lines).

It can be fun to learn new stuff (thank you for sharing what you learn), but you'd think one day we'd be able to quit! Nah, what's the fun in that?

Vivian Zabel said...

I was sorry to hear you had to move your blog. Moving anything is hard work.

May your move be a good one for you, though.

I enjoyed your entry, interesting and helpful information.

Vivian
http://vzabel.multiply.com/journal

Vivian Zabel said...

Hmm ... I even have a Google/Blogger identity and still had problems posting my comment above. Strange.

Vivian

Teagan Oliver said...

Hmmm, thanks for the info and the heads up on the medical forensics for writers post. I'm off to check it out.

Great blog!

Teagan Oliver
www.TeaganOliver.com
www.TeaganOliver.blogspot.com
www.ParanormalMaine.blogspot.com