Mahatma Gandhi’s iPhone

The is my first post via my iPhone WordPress App. Honestly, if you had told me a year ago that I’d be switching from Blackberry I would have made a comment that ended with, “from my cold dead hands!”

Mahatma Gandhi was quoted as saying, “Be the change you want to see in the world!”

I agree and don’t know too many people that would dispute Gandhi. This quote has been an inspiration to me, but for some reason, has always seemed incomplete… So my deepest apologies to Gandhi but I changed it!

“To be the change you want to see in the world you must constantly be changing!”~ Lee Raito

Change is the one constant we can all count on. Whether it’s changing to an iPhone, changing your income, or changing your lifestyle…

YOU just have to decide to change and go for it.

Mahatma Gandhi would have loved the iPhone!!!

Traditional Blogs Are Dying- The Conclusion

Part 1- Traditional Blogs Are Dying Intro & Current Stats

Part 2- Traditional Blogs Are Dying- Long Run Projection Rates

Part 3- Traditional Blogs Are Dying- The Problems

Section 4: How To Stay Ahead of the Curve and Profit

The internet is still in its infancy, and although blogging is here to stay it will get progressively more difficult to stand out in the crowd with a traditional blog.  New and existing bloggers will not only have to innovate to stay ahead of the curve, they will have to adapt daily to the new technologies being created at the speed of light. This last and final section of ‘Traditional Blogs Are Dying’ will focus on:

  • What web properties to keep a close eye on to stay ahead of the curve.
  • How Multi Media Blogging & Social Networking is no longer an option, but a bare minimum.
  • Utilizing Micro blogging & the next wave of Micro Video Blogging
  • Profiting from the death of traditional text blogs

Web Properties You Need To Watch to Stay Ahead of the Curve

There are a select few websites that continuously stay on top of technology affecting the new blogosphere. It is imperative that you stay tuned to what these sites are not only writing about, but implementing on their own multi-media blogs and micro-blogging accounts.

If you take a little time each day to say abreast of these sites, and jump on top of implementing new technologies first, you will stay ahead of 99% of traditional blogs.

As you will see the new wave of multi-media blogs are seamlessly integrating audio, video, micro blogging and social networking.

http://www.mashable.com/ (All That’s New On The Web) This is ‘THE’ site to stay on top of social networking and new start-ups. Visit Mashable Daily or signup for daily updates, and you will stay ahead of the curve.

This will help you stay on top of WordPress, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and more…

http://lifehacker.com/ Life Hacker Blog is a great site to watch for new tips & downloads available across the web, of which many are mutli-media related.

http://scobleizer.com/ Pay attention to what Robert Scoble not only blogs about, but how he seamlessly integrates audio, video and micro blogging into his WordPress Blog.

Some Additional Sites You Should Watch

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/ Google’s Official Blog is a necessity to watch, as whenever they release new products or update features, you want to be in the know.

How Multi Media Blogging & Social Networking Are Becoming The Bare Minimum Standard

As of today, many will disagree with this Quasi-White Paper and that is to be expected. Staying ahead of the curve has always meant doing things differently than the masses.

Just think of how you consume information today, as compared to just a decade ago. Google has been around really just over ten years now, and as video technology has vastly improved in the last few years, it is quickly becoming the preferred medium online. Just look at the popularity of YouTube and other video sites. This reality is why many bloggers are choosing to innovate with audio & video to set themselves apart from traditional bloggers.

It is now easy to include Video and or audio on most major blogging platforms online; Blogger, WordPress & Live Journal just to name a few.

Here are a few links for various blogging platforms that make adding multimedia easy:

Blogger: http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=67428

WordPress: http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2007/02/05/4-new-ways-to-embed-video/

LiveJournal: http://www.livejournal.com/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=268

While video blogging has been around for many years already, many bloggers and companies have shyed away from the technology for various reasons; technology confusion, personal disclosure & implementation in the past have been to blame. It is now easier than ever to implement the technology, and internet users expectation of a more personal internet experience require content providers to bare their faces and voices to the masses. It is this expectation that will cause countless traditional blogs to die over the coming years. Those blogs that fail to recognize the paradigm shift to multi-media will fade into the obscure grave of millions of traditional text blogs.

Here are a few recommended resources for video & audio (podcast) blogging:

Video Blogging by Jay Dedman

Podcasting Bible by Mitch Ratcliffe & Steve Mack

Utilizing Micro Blogging & The New Micro Video Blogging

Micro Blogging

Guy Kawaskihttp://twitter.com/guykawasaki Guy Kawaski has over 68,000+ people following him on the micro-blogging service Twitter. He drives millions of clicks to his traditional blog (http://www.guykawaski.com/) and anything else online he is promoting, by simply making very short micro blogging posts which are immediately seen by his interested readers.

A micro blogging post is limited to the same amount of characters that a text message on a cell phone, which is approximately 144 characters.

e.g. Guys inputs a short message online or over his cell phone, and it becomes immediately available to his followers.

Guy Kawaski Twitter

Not only is Twitter micro-blogging, it is also direct communication with readers. For example I sent Guy Kawaski a question on Twitter, and with in less than 40 minutes he had responded with his answer.

Twitter is at the forefront of the micro-blogging world, and some very famous traditional bloggers have chosen to move away from the old style blog and focus on micro-blogging instead. One such example is Jason Calacanis http://twitter.com/jasoncalacanis.%20Jason’s%2040,000+ followers watch his every move and communicate with him in real time.

Twitter provides an amazing direct connection with readers that just doesn’t exist with the commenting systems on traditional blogs today (it’s coming though). It is this speed and connectivity that readers and internet users are flocking to. Bloggers today, who want to stay ahead of the curve, must integrate micro-blogging into their process.

Micro Video Blogging is Ahead of the Curve

There are two services that you will want to not only keep your eye on, but as well jump into and integrate into your process.

http://www.seesmic.com/ is a video micro blogging service.

Seesmic brings conversation alive through video. It allows you to see and hear people share their experiences straight from their webcams.

People record a video directly on Seesmic’s website, or upload an existing video straight from their computer, or link to a video posted on a social network, then viewers respond by recording a micro video of their own.

Micro Video Blogging again can be stand alone for some, or if tightly integrated with you main site, Twitter and social networking accounts, will set you apart from the crowd and connect with readers and users in away that just is not possible with a traditional text blog.

http://12seconds.tv/ is another Micro Video Blogging service that is currently in Alpha. Keep an eye on this one, and request an invitation to join as they are not open to the public as of today.

Profiting From The Death of Traditional Blogs

The end goal was to show you or your company how to stay ahead of the curve and profit as the blogosphere makes a fundamental shift from traditional text blogging, to integrated multi-media & micro blogging. The fact is that a large majority of existing and new bloggers simply won’t make the shift. They will keep toiling away at writing great text only content, that as each day passes will get drowned out by the billions of other blog posts that go unnoticed.

So simply by adding multi-media, micro-blogging and micro-video blogging to a traditional blog, will one profit from the death of traditional blogs?

YES, you will ABSOLUTELY stand out amongst the crowd of traditional text blogs, and that alone is the first step to profiting from the death of traditional blogging. In the end, gaining more readers and more viewers, will translate into advertising sales, direct sales, affiliate sales or however you choose to monetize your site.

Traditional Blogs Are Dying- Part 3- The Problems

Part 1- Traditional Blogs Are Dying Intro & Current Stats 

Part 2- Traditional Blogs Are Dying- Long Run Projection Rates

Section 3: The Problems

So as you have read you might already have come to some personal conclusions as to what the major problems currently are for businesses and professionals in the blogging world right now. But, apply the math and future projections and these problems will only compound.

(A) OVERSATURATION-Traditional Text Blogs are drowning themselves based on current growth rates, making it harder and harder to stand out in the crowd.

(B) SPLOGGS-Spam blogs are a constant problem trying to snuff out relevant web content, making it even harder and harder to stand out in the crowd, and as well chewing up valuable time dealing with spam.

(C) Customers and readers are becoming dismissive of the impersonal old fashioned websites, and are flocking to companies and bloggers who innovate with blogs that connect on a more personal level delivering TRULY GOOD CONTENT with video, audio and micro blogging, which are quicly becoming the new base standard.

So what does this all translate into?

This means for companies and individual bloggers that don’t try and stay ahead of the curve, it is likely that they will achieve moderate to little success from traditional blogging.

The amount of effort that is required in promoting a traditional blog to massive popularity is becoming akin to a musician landing a recording contract or an actor trying to land a major Hollywood role. Is it possible, Yes. Is it likely for 99% of bloggers, NO! It is an unfortunate truth in the blogosphere, as there are many, many talented bloggers who will largely go unnoticed because they didn’t innovate and stay ahead of the curve.

A few years back it was almost as simple as throwing up a blog, creating some quality content, and watching the traffic magically appear. Now days, more and more bloggers are spitting out fantastic content, but are having to devote just as much, if not more time to  traffic generation.

Here are some traditional methods bloggers use to try and drive eyeballs to their blogs (of which each day that passes become less and less effective):

blog promotion 

Figure 1.60

The above methods are just scratching the surface, and are currently resulting in mediocre results for the majority of bloggers. They are having to go to more and more extreme methods to try and stand out from the crowd and get noticed.

There are currently 3,950,000 Google Results for “blogging ebook”

There are currently 10,600,000 result for “blog traffic”

blog traffic

Whole industries have developed around traffic generation, and strategies range from simple and clean, to highly suspect and likely to get your blog banned from Google or other search engines.

black hat blog traffic generation 

Figure 1.61

The problem with most of the above method(s), in Figure 1.61  is that in combination with the growing number of blogs, and the growing number of bloggers trying to implement silver bullet style solutions to generate traffic, it is causing even more dilution in an over saturated market.

The core illness or symptoms in the blogosphere that are killing traditional blogs are; oversaturation & sploggs. It will be up to the blog community to bury their dead, innovate and move on.

If you don’t begin to change now, you will be left behind!

… Please Come Back Later This Week to Read The Final Conculsion of Traditional Blogs Are Dying- Part 4 ‘How To Stay Ahead of the Curve & Profit’

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

References:

Figure 1.60 http://technorati.com/blogging/state-of-the-blogosphere/the-how-of-blogging/

Figure 1.61 Screenshot of Get Traffic section of  a Black Hat forum.

Traditional Blogs Are Dying – Part 2

Click Here To Go Back To Read The Intro Post & Section 1

Section 2: Long Run Projection Rates

Using Technorati’s math of 133 Million Blogs worldwide, and disregarding the generally excepted 180 Million blogs number (often quoted online) I did a simple growth chart. As you will see in figure 1.51 below, if blogs were just to simply keep growing at the pace they are now of about 94 Million blogs added each year, by 2018 we will have over 1 Billion blogs online.

Blogs Simple Growth Rate

Figure 1.51

The reality is that growth is speeding up, not slowing down. If blogs did not speed up their growth and are currently posting about 7.4 Million articles every 120 days or over 22 Million per year, then by 2010 there will be over 50 million blog posts being added each year.

Let’s consider if growth compounds.

Blogs Compound Growth Rate

Figure 1.52

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Blogs

133,000,000

199,500,000

299,250,000

448,875,000

673,312,500

By 2013 there could be over 1 Billion Blogs online.

In all likelihood, the compound growth scenario in Figure 1.52 is probably most accurate considering 78% of the 6.6 Billion people on the planet aren’t online yet. As you will see in Figure 1.53 below, over 1 Billion new internet users came online in just the last 8 years, many of whom decided to blog. So, if the annual growth rate of new internet users’ stays constant or grows, then this means even more competition and dilution for the current 133 Million blogs.

Internet Usage Stats 

Figure 1.53

Click Here to Go To Part 3 of Traditional Blogs Are Dying- The Problems

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

References

Figure 1.51 LeeRaito.com Simple Growth Projection (Blogs growing at 94,608,000 blogs per year)
Figure 1.52 LeeRaito.com Compound Growth Projection (Blogs compounded growth of 50%/year)
Figure 1.53 World Internet Net User Statistics http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats2.htm

Traditional Blogs Are Dying- Part 1

Traditional Blogs are Dying & Why You Need to Stay Ahead of the Curve to Profit

This is part one of a four part quasi White Paper I have put together on the changing and controversial landscape of traditional blogging. My hope is to create a conversation on whether people agree or disagree that traditional blogs are dying, and what the future holds for the blogosphere.

Outline:

Intro: The Blogosphere’s Problems Are Your Opportunity

Section 1: Current Stats on the Blogosphere

Section 2: Long Run Projection Rates

Section 3: The Problem(s)

Section 4: How to Stay Ahead of The Curve & Profit

Conclusion: The Death of the Traditional Blog Is Your Opportunity To Stay Ahead of The Curve

Intro: The Blogosphere’s Problems Are Your Opportunity

What is the problem?

The blogosphere needs some form of birth control, as with current growth rates by 2010, there will be approximately 300 Million blogs online making it next to impossible for 99% of regular companies, professionals and personal bloggers to benefit from traditional blogging. There is not going to be a magical pill to stop the growth.

3 Blogs Are Born Every Second

As you will see through out this White Paper there is a fundamental paradigm shift going on in the elite circles of the Blogosphere towards multi-media blogging & micro blogging as the death of traditional blogging takes hold. This shift is occurring because it has to, in order to keep blogs alive and relevant. The statistics that you will read in Section 1 and projected growth rates in Section 2 will astound you, and you will begin to understand why the old school style text blog is a dying breed (Only A Select Few Will Survive)!

Section 1: Current Statistics on the Blogosphere

Many of the statistics you will see here are cast in a positive light, as they were drawn from over 1000 bloggers who took part in Technorati’s.com 2008 State of The Blogosphere Survey. I am highlighting the positive aspects, because I want to be very clear that the opportunity for blogging, into 2009 and beyond, is nothing short of amazing. But as you will also see, there is a darker side of the Blogosphere that Technorati did not delve into. It is this darker side, and overpopulation of new blogs that pose the majority of problems that will need to be overcome in the coming years and decade.

Blogosphere 

Figure 1.10

With three new blogs coming online every second it is hard to fathom the numbers. With Technorati’s 133 Million blogs on record, one way to measure the statistical significance of the all the new content coming online is to look at ping statistics. A ping occurs when a blog posts a new article.

As you will see in Figure 1.11 below, 93% of Spinn3r’s hourly pings are from spam blogs. Technorati safeguards itself and its members from this spam, but the blogosphere increasingly has to fight this new reality.

If you are a blogger, whether corporate or personal this is a major problem which is costing you or your company time and money.

Spam Blogs 

What Are Spam Blogs?Sometimes referred to by the neologism splogs are artificially created weblog sites which the author uses to promote affiliated websites or to increase the search engine rankings of associated sites. The purpose of a splog can be to increase the PageRank or backlink portfolio of affiliate websites to artificially inflate paid ad impressions from visitors and/or use the blog as a link outlet to get new sites indexed. Spam blogs are usually a type of scraper site where content is often either inauthentic text or merely stolen (see blog scraping) from other websites. These blogs usually contain a high number of links to sites associated with the splog creator which are often disreputable or otherwise useless websites.There is frequent confusion between the terms “splog” and “spam in blogs”. Splogs are blogs where the articles are fake and are only created for search engine spamming. To spam in blogs conversely is to include random comments on the blogs of innocent bystanders in which spammers take advantage of a site’s ability to allow visitors to post comments that may include links.Figure 1.12

Why are spam blogs so pervasive? Simple answer… its profitable!

Here are what bloggers are writing about:

Blogging Topics

Figure 1.30

So why do bloggers blog anyways?

Why Do Bloggers Blog

Figure 1.40

Considering only 21% of bloggers make any money at all, it appears many of the remaining bloggers will at some point try and monetize their blog. As you will see in the next section on Long Run Projections, this will be a very difficult task with fierce competition from not only the existing blogosphere, but the millions of new internet users that will choose to blog.

Figure 1.41

Yes, blogging can be lucrative.

If you find yourself in the top 1%, then your blog is responsible for over $200,000 in revenue each year. These top earners also skew the numbers, and as a result have many traditional blog newbie’s chasing a carrot that is 99% unachievable.

Having said all that, the future of multimedia and micro blogging is bright… it just won’t be with traditional text only blogs.

The future of bloggingBloggers peer into their crystal balls and prognosticate:”Andy Warhol said that in the future, everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. His point was that we would shift from having a few famous people for a long time to many famous people for a short time. I think the number of blogs will grow, but the average life span of a blog will shorten.”Scott Sheppard  labs.blogs.com“There will be more blogs used in education, particularly among K-12 students and teachers. Bookmarks will merge with blogs for those of us who use our blogs as note-pads or filing cabinets. Blog archives will be viewed as a rich source of cultural history. Blogs will be a means for more collaborative team work. People will expect businesses, media, and print organizations, even government organizations, to have some form of blog, in order to promote communication. Blogging will also help to provide insight to businesses about their consumers.”Lynn Marentette interactivemultimediatechnology.blogspot.com“This is just the beginning for blogging. People are getting better and better at this skill set, quality is improving, and we will soon have millions of people generating great content around the clock.”Brett Bumeter  softduit.com“There’s a lot of sploggage out there now, and tons of “make money” type bloggers which glut the playing field. It makes the searching and finding of good content difficult. I think the individual or group blog or blogging group networks will simply be a part of the warp and woof of the Internet. There’s no better way to communicate with a large number of people than blogging.”

Amos Dettonville mostbloggers.blogspot.com

Blogs will eventually morph – some will break off into hybridized news sites, others into password-protected ‘personal diaries,’ with others going on to offer products and services (home businesses).”

Dave Lucas  dave-lucas.blogspot.com

“I’ve loved watching how some of the Big Dog corporate bloggers adopt the characteristics that make the best personal blogs so effective: personality, passion, smarts, usefulness, humor. ÊBlogging and other forms of social media are changing corporate-think and driving a revolution in how companies do business.”

Debbie Weil  Blogger and author of The Corporate Blogging Book  debbieweil.com

Figure 1.50

In short, the blogosphere is clearly changing and although the stats are very clear the opportunity is great, there are severe problems to overcome from overpopulation and the increase of spam blogs.

…cont

Click Here To Read Part 2 of Traditional Blogs Are Dying- Long Run Projection Rates

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

References

Figure 1.10 http://technorati.com/blogging/state-of-the-blogosphere/

Figure 1.11 http://blog.spinn3r.com/2008/01/blog-ping-and-s.html

Figure 1.12 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spam_blog

Figure 1.30 http://technorati.com/blogging/state-of-the-blogosphere/the-what-and-why-of-blogging/

Figure 1.40 http://technorati.com/blogging/state-of-the-blogosphere/the-what-and-why-of-blogging/

Figure 1.41 http://technorati.com/blogging/state-of-the-blogosphere/blogging-for-profit/

Figure 1.50 http://technorati.com/blogging/state-of-the-blogosphere/brands-enter-the-blogosphere/

Blogology-The Science of Blogging

Well, finally got time to get a underground project into the light! We launched http://bl.ogology.com this weekend, and are actively looking for writers (Blogologists) who are willing to work for next to nothing in the short term, in exchange for future limelight and percentage of profits.  We have WordPress covered, so if you know of anyone who would like to write about Blogger and or Typepad, and anything else blog related please send them our way.

All in the name of science right! http://bl.ogology.com

Blog Favicon

Favicon WOrdpress Plugin

This is an amazingly easy plugin that I wanted to highlight from the folks over at MaxBlogPress.  It gives you a FAVICON beside your blog URL, beside the tab in your users browser, and if your blog is added to someones favorites it would also stand out in your subscribers fav folder. One easy and free WordPress Plugin that snazzes up your blog in more than one way.

WordPress Plugin: www.leeraito.com/favicon

What I really liked about this was not only how easy it was, but they have a ton of icons to choose from. If you don’t like any that are available you can get them free all over the net, or even design your own. I plan on tricking out my favicon with a custom design, but for now the simple green check mark is good enough, and a heck of a lot more than I was doing before!

FaviconsHere are the favicons that come included! But remember you can find them free all over the place, and they are a ton of free favicon software programs and websites you can use to create our own. Here is one that you can take any image you have and turn it into an .ico file. http://www.html-kit.com/favicon/

Simple directions and the free plugin download I have put here : www.leeraito.com/favicon

 Favicon SEOLastly, there is one huge bonus when it comes to search engine marketing.

WordPress Ping List 2008

Top 24 Word Press Blog Ping List- Current to August 2008 (Sorry- English Only At This Time)

2008 WordPress Ping ListThe Top 24 list below I have compiled from various sources, and is designed for English based blogs. I put together this list out of selfishness and frustration that there seem to be no current scrubbed Word Press Ping Lists available. Specifically, the list that Elliot Back did in 2004 is sorely outdated. I have verified each site manually as of July 31/2008, but make no guarantees. If you feel I have missed an essential English based site to ping, please post a comment and I will update the list.

For those new to blogging  a blog ping is : A notification to a web site that a blog has been created or updated. That’s a good thing and should bring your blog more visitors, as long as you don’t over do it. You can read up more on it here: Blog Ping

http://www.a2b.cc/setloc/bp.a2b

http://api.feedster.com/ping

http://api.moreover.com/ping

http://api.my.yahoo.com/RPC2

http://www.blogdigger.com/RPC2

http://blogsearch.google.com/ping/RPC2

http://www.blogshares.com/rpc.php

http://www.blogstreet.com/xrbin/xmlrpc.cgi

http://coreblog.org/ping/

http://mod-pubsub.org/kn_apps/blogchatt

http://www.newsisfree.com/xmlrpctest.php

http://ping.blo.gs/

http://ping.exblog.jp/xmlrpc

http://ping.feedburner.com

http://ping.syndic8.com/xmlrpc.php

http://ping.weblogalot.com/rpc.php

http://rpc.blogbuzzmachine.com/RPC2

http://rpc.blogrolling.com/pinger/

http://rpc.icerocket.com:10080/

http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping

http://rpc.twingly.com

http://rpc.weblogs.com/RPC2

http://www.snipsnap.org/RPC2

http://rpc.pingomatic.com/

Just copy and paste the above list in your WordPress admin, Go to Options->Writing -> and on the bottom of the page is Update Services, paste the list there, and ping away!!!

Important: Here is a free WordPress Plugin (MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer) which helps optimize your pings to ensure sites don’t ban you! Yes, if you ping too much they will toast your blog. http://www.maxblogpress.com/go.php?offer=leeraito&pid=6

Web com Discount Coupon Code TWC287

Don’t Buy From Web.com Until You Read This or You Will Pay Too Much

First thing… go grab a pen! Write this code down… TWC287 using this link www.LeeRaito.com/Web.com-Discount  

Web.com Discount Coupon CodeThere you just saved your self 20% on any small business website or hosting you decide to set up with Web.com.

If you have any problems please let me know, but as of August 2008 this discount code is still working. Also if you a get a site set up with Web.com please let me know, I’d love to check it out!

Cheers,

Lee

PS. Love the psycho Web.com TV ad…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCzSc-6lNSo[/youtube]