Useful check list for your new WordPress site

I found this list of useful tips on launching a WordPress site:

Things to watch out for are:

  • fast hosting
  • search-engine optimized theme

WordPress is working on a new codebase:

The new WordPress.com codebase, codenamed “Calypso,” moves WordPress.com away from MySQL and PHP. It’s built entirely in JavaScript, and communicates with WordPress.com only using our REST API.

I don’t know how this will play out for self-hosted sites. You can use Calypso functionality via Jetpack. The benefit, that I read most frequently, is that the Calypso editor is well designed for writers.

See also:

What is WordPress Calypso and what does it mean for self hosted sites?

WordPress-y clean-up

I just deleted over 20 WordPress themes that had accumulated in my wp-content folder. Feeling de-cluttered. I’ve kept Syntax and Underline.

I’ve also been unlinking tonnes of broken links.

Next, I need to figure out why comments are not getting thru.

BTW, there’s a WordPress conf in Zurigo on 19 September.

I’ve been using WordPress since 2004. 11 years. It’s served me well.

Is it slow? Is it bloated? Maybe, but you can always work on improving that.

What will an SEO audit be like in 10 years?

A couple of months ago, I went thru an SEO audit. I wanted to write a blog post to reflect on what I learned. This is my feeble attempt to collect my thoughts and jot down some notes. Where available, I’ve tried to list my source links.

bagger statt strasse

What is an SEO audit? In an audit, your website is analyzed and checked (often by an external SEO specialist) to be sure that it complies with SEO best practises.

football crazy

12 items to consider:

  1. GWT is your best friend.
    I spent a lot of time working my way thru Google Webmaster Tools, cleaning duplicate title and meta description tags. Duplicate title tags are a negative quality feature for Google. Sources of duplicate title tags are

    • non-translated title tags,
    • content management software settings, e.g. showing the same mono-lingual Drupal view in several website languages.

    GWT is the place to find these. Same for missing title tags. Or meta descriptions that are too short. Or the index status, which shows you how many pages are indexed.

  2. Follow a holistic approach. If you think you’re all set ‘cos you have had your new web design and navigation tested for usability by a user experience expert… Think again. You need to involve SEO early on in your design project. Ask for SEO guidance once you’ve gone thru the card sorting/information architecture steps. Check your designs from an SEO perspective. Write content in close collaboration with your SEO analyst.
  3. Question the SEO impact of new website features.
    Ask your web developers about the SEO side-effects of adding new features and changes. I learnt that website changes to make a website responsive and mobile-friendly may add unintended SEO problems, e.g. ‘cos the changes added a second hidden navigation which Google cannot identify yet.
  4. Ignore SEO noise.
    A lot of the SEO advice that you read on the web is blabla. Avoid link-bait. Hearsay. Look for reputable sources and SEO specialists that really know their field.
  5. Use the hreflang tag on multilingual websites.
    Add rel="alternate" hreflang=x on all web pages.
  6. Check the correct usage of heading tags.
    Use only one h1 per page. Keep the order h2, h3, or h4. Don’t jump to an h3 after using an h1.
    Check thru the design elements (e.g. navigation, footer, search button, contact form heading, teaser text blocks, or similar for hidden h1s or h2s).
  7. Improve h1 content.
    A heading 1 should provide a good summary of what to expect on the web page. Include keywords.
  8. Internal linking.
    Add relevant internal links. Add an on-page sitemap. Use footer links for important landing pages, not to repeat the navigation. Never use any hidden sub-page menus. Make sure you use dropdown menus that can be parsed by Google.
  9. Clean up any 302 redirects that may have been added by the content management system.
  10. Repair or replace all internal broken links. Tool tip: I used Integrity for Mac.
  11. Page speed matters.
    Check Google Page Speed Insight to improve the loading time of your site.
  12. Check the XML sitemap.
    The XML sitemap should only include pages with status code 200. Use the real, final URL in the XML sitemap, not the CMS page ID.

10 years plugin

What will an SEO audit look like in 10 years? That is an intriguing question. I have no idea which way SEO will go. My guess is as good as yours. I do know that SEO is getting quite complex. And may even be replaced by *something* entirely new. If you are a website manager, my advice is to dig in and ask lots of questions.

Look at all aspects. Take a holistic approach. Try to form a cross-functional team (designer, ux researcher, web developer, SEO expert, content writer).

ready mix for mandasi

If you do search on Google, remember the search engine result on page 1 is not necessarily the best content, but the best optimized content. Use Google search operators to get you off the beaten track. And there are alternatives like DuckDuckGo and Wolfram Alpha, which we should support more to avoid monopoly and manipulation.

Related links

GWT resources:
http://www.lunametrics.com/blog/2014/05/21/how-to-use-google-webmaster-tools-for-seo/

On-page factors:
https://moz.com/learn/seo/on-page-factors

Duplicate content:
http://www.hobo-web.co.uk/duplicate-content-problems/
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66359?hl=en

How to carry out a content audit:
https://moz.com/blog/content-audit-tutorial

Technical Site Audit Checklist: 2015 Edition:
https://moz.com/blog/technical-site-audit-for-2015

Disclaimer:
All mistakes are my own. Please let me know if I got something really wrong. I’m here to learn. These notes help me to reflect and learn.

#POSSE: A clickable demo of my simple #indieweb blog

Here’s a simple example how you can publish your content on your own site and syndicate elsewhere (POSSE):

  1. I posted a boring flower snapshot into my self-hosted WordPress (WP) blog.
  2. WP posted the entry to Twitter using WP plugins Hum and Publicize
  3. One of my Twitter followers replied to my tweet.
  4. Using Webmention, the tweet showed up in my WP comment moderation loop.
  5. After I approved it, the tweet shows up as a comment in the corresponding WP entry.

As you can see, there are some formatting issues with the emoticons and the image link isn’t displaying correctly.

And to begin with I had some other WP plugins interfering with the Webmention plugin and no idea why it wasn’t working.

Links and ideas from last week’s WordCamp in Zürich #wcch

I attended the WordCamp in Zurich last Saturday.

It’s been a while since I attended a similar geek event and I enjoyed listening to others.

It was encouraging to hear about WordPress. I’ve used WordPress since September 2004. And it’s truly a great sign of continuity that WordPress is still here. Not only that, but there’s a thriving community and a company that want to keep it that way as well.

Secondly, it was encouraging to hear from other bloggers and web developers.

Here’s a quick run through my Twitter notes and faves (like a Storify summary of Tatort on Spiegel.de ;-)).

First talk I listened to was on trends in enterprise blogs. I found this talk useful for my day job.

Large, enterprise blogs have switched off commenting and are experimenting with new forms of integrating user interaction, e.g. by using annotations, or by asking specific questions, or moving comments entirely to Facebook.

Regarding content length, short texts and long analysis articles (aka Longreads) work best. It’s the mid-length texts between 500 and 800 words that are read least frequently.

And many of the enterprise sites use extensive email marketing to bring readers to their site.

The slides are here.

Next talk that inspired me was by Vitaly Friedman. He had a fun starting point by looking at typewriter art in the late 19th century, which led to ASCI art and teletext.

If the Internet hadn’t appeared, we would all be teletext designers and developers.

I think I’ll print this tweet on dead wood and post it on my office door:

Vitaly had some excellent UX examples. His message: details matter for usability.

Another very enjoyable talk was by Paolo on virtual offices and distributed teams. First thing to note it’s not only about tools. The tools should not be the first thing you try to solve when setting up a distributed team. Three common mistakes are

  1. Trying to mimic a local office setup
  2. Measuring work based on the wrong metrics
  3. Suffering instead of embracing change

Recruiting is a very important part of distributed teams. And because your team is in different places and different timezones, managers need to empower their team members. Managers must trust team members to perform and deliver their work packages in time, in high quality.

Next talk:

I liked Christian Leu’s humorous talk about how to become a successful blogger. His point was there are tonnes of articles on successful blogging. There’s no point in repeating this.

Many long-term bloggers have moved to Twitter and are blogging less. Main reason given by many is lack of time. As a result, @leumund presented 10 simple tips to find more time for blogging.

It’s important to stay true to yourself.

In summary, it was an enjoyable day.

Videos of the talks will be published WordPress.tv at some point.

Observation:
There were several talks on maintaining multilingual sites with WordPress. For me this is a sign, that WordPress is used increasingly in a Swiss business environment. Many Swiss websites (even for SMEs) need to display in German, French, Italian and English. My humble tip: Consider using Drupal instead of WordPress for multilingual sites. Maintaining multi-language sites is part of the Drupal core.

While listening to others present, I thought of two WordPress presentations which I could present to share some of my more recent learnings and experience:

  1. Idea no. 1: POSSE and IndieWeb plugins for WordPress – Using Webmention plugin, an URL shortener and Jetpack’s Publicize (see corresponding entry)
  2. Idea no.2: Security for non-techies – Make your WordPress site less vulnerable, even if you’re a non-developer; about WordPress resources, plugins, advice, where to get help

Further links:

Storify

Blogging in an imperfectly multilingual world

Live blogging notes by Evren Kiefer

On communication within a distributed team

The end of time

Responsive web design and low and expensive bandwidth

Some time ago, the Malawi daily newspaper, The Nation, released a new web design. More recently Nyasa Times updated their web design. In both cases, it’s an improvement. And from my current home base here in Switzerland, both sites load promptly.

From family in Malawi I hear that the loading times for both sites have increased. It would be interesting to hear from others if they noticed the same.

Many people in Malawi access the internet via mobile devices. Only few have access to flat rates and most Malawi internet users probably use prepaid data bundles, i.e. every MB of data costs $$$.

In addition, some parts of Malawi and even parts of Blantyre don’t have a good connectivity.

I think it’s important to find out how your target audience will access your site. And then optimize your site for low bandwidth. I’ve written about this topic before. (Click here and here).

I’m not a web developer. But I do think we need to step in and ask questions about page speed. Page speed is an important part of the overall user experience.

Responsive web designs are great. One content base serves web pages on different end devices from smartphone to large monitor screens.

But what about optimising responsive sites for lower bandwidth?

What kind of things should you adapt and change? Best practises for responsive sites?

I switched off a WordPress mobile plugin called Mobilepress ‘cos it was creating a lot of broken links which showed up in Google Webmaster Tools.

Should I reinstall a mobile plugin like Mobilepress on my WordPress site?

This got me thinking about responsive web design and bandwidth. I’ve started doing some preliminary reading and googling on this. Here are some links I’ve found:

Design your site for mobile devices first. The buzzword is mobile-first.

(…) more than 12 percent of the world’s Web traffic comes from mobile devices. This fraction is significantly higher in nations with higher smartphone penetration and is expected to increase notably in the next few years as adoption picks up in Asia, Latin America and Africa.

One important task is to optimise images. I found this Smashing Magazine article provided some helpful guidance on responsive image solutions. But minimizing the bandwidth impact of images isn’t easy.

Test your site to see what is affecting page speed. There’s Google’s Site Speed within Google Analytics, Web Page Test and Yslow to help you identify issues.

In my opinion, this list of web design guidelines for low bandwidth still holds true.

Good background article:
How and Why Responsive Design Can Go Wrong

Conclusion: Building websites isn’t getting easier. Ask your developers to search for ways to improve your site’s performance.

Tips? Ideas and suggestions? I appreciate your comments and suggestions to improve.

Successful blogging?

I love reading list articles. Here’s one that appeared on my radar today:

6 Pillars of a Successful Blog

And just for fun, I’ll run thru the list and assess my own private blogging chez moi.

So let’s get started…

Purpose/Message/Mission
This is a private blog. The main purpose is to learn and reflect.

It’s an ever-evolving mix of learning, reflection, discovery and knowledge management. I’ve always said it’s like a scrap book. Chiperoni.ch will no longer do well from an SEO point-of-view, because the topics are too diverse, too sporadic. I write about the Internet and online marketing. I link to my huge Flickr collection of snapshots. I write about architecture and travel. I post Youtube videos. I try out WordPress plugins and themes.

If you’re setting up a blog for business purposes, think about your purpose. Brainstorm ideas. Put together an editorial calendar. This will help you stand out from the crowd.

Email Newsletter
I don’t send out an email newsletter for this blog. While this Google service still exists, you can get an email notification via Feedburner:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

There are some pretty cool email newsletter plugins for WordPress. I briefly tried Wysija. There’s also Sendpress and Email Newsletter to try. And yes, I wholeheartedly agree… if you want your blog to grow, send out a regular email newsletter.

I do have a cool WordPress plugin called Thank me later, which sends auto-sends thank you messages to people that leave a comment.

A Free E-Book/Manifesto
There is no free e-book to download. There is no manifesto to link to at Chiperoni.ch. Yet. I have plans to write a book or two. Maybe. Some day.

David Meerman-Scott uses e-books very effectively for his topics.

I am a regular reader of the e-books at Hubspot.

IMHO, you should spend some $$ on your e-book layout to get a better return.

A Product/Business Model
There is no business model at Chiperoni.ch. I am here for fun. This is a private, non-profit blog. There is no advertising. So far I have not published any paid blog entries here. If this changes, I will publish a disclosure statement.

Again if you’re planning to offer a product or service, put some thought into your business model. A good starter is this business model generation canvas. It leads you through various business questions.

Site Design
I like minimal blog designs. Currently I am using themes by Elma.

If you’re building a business, test your site design using a poor man’s usability test. Ideally before coding; using a paper test. Find 5 people that fit your site’s target audience. Think of some site tasks you would like to test, e.g. how to contact you; how to ask for a quote. Ask your test person to think out loud while performing the tasks. And then sit next to them and quietly observe how your test person navigates through your site.

Check your site design from an SEO point of view. Are there enough text areas for your key phrases on your main landing pages? I would avoid overusing fancy carousel and slider plugins. Do you have one sentence explaining your main mission, written in HTML?

Effective Self Promotion
It’s 2013. You need to find creative ways to promote your business blog. The Internet is a vast ocean of data. Nobody is waiting for your cool product or service. If your self promotion is too low-key, nobody will notice you. If your self promotion is too heavy and your service offering doesn’t match, you will put people off.

I am stating the obvious. My only advice is to try various ideas and find a marketing mix that works for you. Trial and error.

Or build a private, non-profit blog like Chiperoni.ch. And as such I don’t need to join the success theater.

looking closely

Moving from Google Reader to WordPress.com

Even though Google Reader showed up prominently in yesterday’s SERPs for “best free RSS reader”, someone at Google has decided to end the product life of Google Reader.

Heh Google Search! Google Reader is closing

It’s time to move on to a new RSS reader.

Several RSS readers managed to survive despite Google Reader’s dominance. And some new ones emerged. These tools are getting frequent mentions:

  • Feedly
  • NewsBlur
  • RSSOwl
  • Zite
  • The old reader

Digg decided to build a new reader the day Google announced the end of its Reader. In some ways, that’s the silver lining. RSS readers are getting more attention than in the past years combined.

WordPress.com

This is how you can import your RSS subscriptions into WordPress.com.

First, go to Google Takeout to download your Google Reader data:

google-takeout

The process is fairly straightforward.

Google Takeout

Click Download and save the zip file on your computer.

Google Takeout

Voilà. Saved the data for future use. Who knew! I’ve got 6.5 MB of shared Google Reader articles.

WordPress.com offers an RSS reader. I don’t know if I’ll make WordPress.com my RSS Reader, but there’s one advantage. I already have a login for WordPress.com. And it’s easy to try out. This is what I did to add my RSS subscriptions (not my past shared articles!) to WordPress.com:

Wordpress Reader

Click Import your subscriptions.

Wordpress Reader

I used the special service: Import your Google Reader sunscriptions directly.

I allowed WordPress.com to access Google Reader.

That’s it. Done.

Wordpress Reader

The challenge: so far WordPress.com isn’t in my regular flow of news sites that I visit. I use it for special photo projects, Akismet and Jetpack.

Upgraded to WordPress 3.5

grüezi

Heh, i’ve upgraded to WordPress 3.5. All is well. WordPress is getting old. So far without any major hassles.

Unlike Twitter. I learnt this week that I can no longer follow new people cos i crossed the magic threshold of 2000 on my work account.

I read somewhere that 2013 will be the year of the blog. Heard that one before?

Some of us old-skool-folks are seeing quite a few déjà-vues. For example, the changes to the Instagram Terms of Service are no surprise. I remember the uproar when Facebook introduced similar TOS changes.

I like this article by Anil Dash: Rebuilding the web we lost.

Links i still need to read in more detail:

I found this article intriguing:

Any comments or reading recommendations you’d like to share with me?

Building websites with Jekyll, Github Pages

This post has made me very curious. They use a different stack:

Jekyll for page templates and static file generation
HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files
GitHub Pages static HTTP server
Supplemented with external APIs where necessary

I guess, you can convert WordPress to static HTML. I found this description.

Looking a little further, there’s this setup using Really Static.

Why static HTML? HTML is secure and faster.

Speed: Any web server, will serve html files a lot faster than PHP generated files.
Security: If you are serving just static files, there is no way to hack your site.

Here’s a thread on the same at Quora

And using the WordPress static output plugin

Nice to know I could offer a flat static HTML version of this site.

I will have a longer look at Jekyll.

BTW, one year ago I tweeted about something similar:

Any experience? Opinions? Further resources to look at?

A Sunday evening in mid-November

Instead of watching Tatort, I went for a short jog combined with lots of walking. I am still not back in my jogging routine. Yet.

But I am enjoying being outside. It was so beautifully warm today.

And. It is a good way to reflect.

Time for mind blogging.

I like being outdoors.

I really like living in Switzerland. I think it is great that people take such meticulous care of their houses and gardens.

This afternoon I went to see “Wien 1900 – Klimt, Schiele und ihre Zeit” at the Beyeler Museum. I liked the architecture and poster designs. And Klimt’s landscapes.

I didn’t like the additional shopping area they added for Wien 1900 merchandise. One shop is enough.

A couple of Wikipedia links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egon_Schiele
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_Klimt

You’ve probably heard of poetry slams. But there are also science slams: 10 mins to present your research project. There is one in Freiburg im Br. on 29th November and 17th January. I would love to go and see one.

The incredibly influential a. of Handmade 2.0 invited me to a new web app called Pinterest. We have been blogging since January 2003. And it has been an incredible journey…. Thank you a. for the billions of emails, links and ideas. I am truly amazed at the amount of data we have collected.

I am still trying to figure out how to use Facebook as can be seen occasionally in my tweets. I worry that a platform like Facebook could replace the web. That would be the end of HTML pages, simplicity, transparency and diversity.

That’s why it’s important to support and use other platforms and tools. Try out WordPress and Drupal. Learn HTML. Write your own articles. Voice your opinion. Become involved. Think before you click re-tweet, like or comment.

It is my belief that after the fragmentation of the media scene and citizen journalism and the removal of the gatekeepers, we will see consolidation and the rise of new media giants with new gatekeepers.

Auto upgrade from WP 3.0 to 3.0.1

For some reason I couldn’t auto upgrade from WordPress 3.0 to 3.0.1.

I kept getting an error message.

I decided to deactivate all plugins before starting the auto upgrade. È voilà. The install went thru.

I still had the auto upgrade plugin installed from 2.7 installed. Maybe that was the problem? Or another plugin clashes with the upgrade process?

Twitter for the masses

I saw this retweet pointing to Jeremy Toeman’s article Will normal folks ever use Twitter?”. (By default that makes me un-normal….)

never

He makes an excellent point which matches my own experience. Most people don’t see the added benefit of using Twitter. The uses are difficult to grasp. Especially since Twitter turned off the SMS service for the rest of the world, which is the single feature that got me started on Twitter. Connecting the mobile world with the web world – at no extra cost – was a killer app in 2007. Unfortunately it didn’t last. Read this 2008 article, What Twitter’s global failure means for Africa by @whiteafrican.

In addition to not understanding Twitter uses, many people don’t like reading online. Reading deadwood media is more relaxing for the eyes, still more portable, less battery-dependent.

My suggested uses
Listed below are some of my Twitter use cases.

Search
Twitter Search is great for non-mainstream, niche topics. Many bloggers have added Twitter to their publishing toolset. Un-normal people everywhere in the world that are at the scene, on the ground have access to mobile phones and send out tweets. The data is raw, not confirmed, and unfiltered, but it gives a voice to the unheard and a different opinion from mainstream media outlets that dominate western opinion (commonly known as the gatekeepers). Google now searches Twitter and displays recent tweets:

google-search-for-twitter

The use:
In addition to all the mainstream media I hear and read, I read tweets on currents affairs as a supplement.

Traffic
Twitter generates traffic for your website, photo stream, blog, online shop. If you want to be noticed by the early adopter market segment, Twitter is the place to be. I would compare it with blogging in 2004 to 2005, when it was easy to google bomb yourself into the top 10 search results. One thing is certain, web traffic streams are constantly changing. Maybe Twitter will be discarded. The key is good content. Regurgitating or copying content that is not your own will not help you in the long run. Writing yet another review on an over-hyped topic is destined for oblivion. A good example how to build a web audience in a consistent way is Handmade 2.0.

The use:
Since generating traffic for websites is part of my day job, hanging out on Twitter helps me to figure out the changing traffic streams.

Tech help
I use Twitter to get feedback and help on technical topics. I share my knowledge and experience.

The use:
Share knowledge, learn!

Connect
Still fascinating after 14 years on the Internetz: connecting with others. Discussing. Reviewing.

For example, every Sunday evening on German TV there is a murder mystery called Tatort. It’s an institution for some. A distraction for others, ironing clothes for the work week ahead. With Twitter you can review the latest Tatort in real-time.

The use:
As in the C.S. Lewis quote: We read to know, we are not alone.

Auto-upgrading WordPress and the .htaccess file

A pattern I have observed in the past months:
A couple of days after auto-upgrading WordPress, access to the WordPress blog is blocked.

My non-programmer’s workaround is:

  • Rename the .htaccess file on the WP level. The WordPress blog displays.
  • Login and go to Settings > Permalinks and re-save settings, or copy old .htaccess file content and upload by FTP to the server.

I would like to understand why this happens. Immediately after upgrading the WP install, there are no visible problems… but 2 -3 days later I come home to see that my site is down.

WordPress Woes

I am having some problems with the .htaccess file on the WordPress level. I tried regenerating the permalinks. Hope that will help for a while.

A couple of days ago there was a lonely s at the end of the file. Amakhala scared.

And:
I am seeing a lot of “MySQL server has gone away” error messages in different context,
e.g. when I updated the WP install, when I try to access the website, in the right-hand area displaying categories.

I asked the hosting company and they pointed me to this link (which I haven’t tried yet).

If you have any hints please let me know.

Chiperoni goes Mobile (kind of)

As part of my ongoing research regarding internet access via low bandwidth connections, I saw App+frica displaying a mobile version at http://appfrica.net/blog/.

I installed the same MobilePress plugin and activated it a few minutes ago. Based on the plugin description, it should detect if you’re accessing the website with a mobile device and display a version optimized for iPhone and Barackberrys and others.

A couple of Mobilepress URL hooks to remember:

  • ?mobile – display mobile version
  • ?nomobile – render the standard WordPress theme / normal blog.
  • ?killsession – kill any session data stored and render the correct version of a blog, based on browser / device type

In addition I just downloaded the latest WordPress app for my low and humble iPod Touch. According to @whiteafrican it is much improved compared to the last version.

UTF-8, Charsets and WordPress

It seems charset and UTF-8 issues are following me around.

At the day job and here.

I moved my blog from one install to the other. After importing the MySQL db, several characters were no longer displaying correctly.

There are a number of plug-ins and descriptions:

I tried a combination of UTF-8 Sanitize and Search and Replace for broken Umlauts and accents.

UTF8 Sanitize ‹ chiperoni.ch — WordPress

Any suggestions or further recommendations? Any other strange characters to fix?

Social Media News Room

Twitter / Home

Cyberwiter posted the above tweet on using social media to enhance your company’s online news room.

The article lists ways how to aggregate text, images, audio and video to make it useful for corporations and their target audience.

Ein gutgemachter Social Media Newsroom ist essentiell für die Online-PR: Er …

1. eröffnet einen schnellen Zugang zu den wichtigsten Unternehmensinhalten
2. lebt von aktuellen und vielfältigen Inhalten, die möglichst täglich erneuert werden
3. ist komplett per RSS abonnierbar und individualisierbar
4. basiert auf Pull-Elementen und nicht auf Push
5. spricht Journalisten wie andere Influencer gleichermaàŸen an
6. verweist nicht nur auf die eigenen, sondern auch auf fremde Quellen (Verlinkung)
7. öffnet seinen Pressespiegel für alle (Social Bookmarking erleichtert das)
8. ermöglicht den schnellen Kontakt für einen Dialog (Twitter, Facebook, Skype, etc.)
9. nutzt Real-Time-Elemente (Livestreaming auf Basis von Twitter oder Friendfeed)
10. erleichtert die Vernetzung mit den Ansprechpartnern im Unternehmen
11. bietet reichhaltiges lizenzfreies Video- und Bild-Material (gerne auch Pod- oder Vodcasts)
12. fordert alle Besucher zu Copy & Paste auf
13. regt Online-Diskussionen auf anderen Plattformen (Facebook, Twitter, Blogs etc.) an
14. Integriert eigene Corporate Blogs und Microblogs
15. bringt die News des Unternehmens zum Laufen

The article lists a number of corporate examples.

The web consultant hiding here at Chiperoni headquarters (errr… me!) believes this is one way corporations can profit from new media technologies.

  • Build a better online newsroom using these new distribution channels. Instead of sitting on the sidelines commenting on the quality of content. While I don’t know which services will survive the next couple of years, I do know that the real-time web is here to stay. Unless we run out off electricity to power all of the server farms.
  • Start small. Grow incrementally. Bring lots of endurance and patience. Remember that most people stop blogging after 3 months. A large percentage of Twitter is dormant.
  • Avoid PR speak. Press releases no longer target journalists alone. Publish useful content that supports the buying process. Read David Meerman Scott’s book.
  • Aggregate useful content. Become a subject matter expert on the web.
  • Offer a quality filter for your company’s specific area of expertise. Don’t try to copy private bloggers or twitterers. Be authentic and personable. But don’t swamp us with blog posts and tweets from your coffee break. And please do check for spelling mistakes. I expect a newsroom to have a higher quality.

And I’m not only talking. I have been using blogging technology and RSS feeds within a company context for over four years.

My experience… some traditional PR distribution services still don’t understand that it’s important to be included in Google News.

It is. Whether you like Google or not.

A newsroom is more than just collecting and archiving press releases…

To build a community around Twitter or Facebook or similar, you will need a concept and a company policy regarding behavior in your communities. And before you quote me wrongly. I am not saying your company should start a Twitter or Facebook channel. Think about your time resources and goals beforehand. Ultimately you will want to draw people to your site or sub-sites. And there may be a different way that is better suited for your corporate environment. And most importantly, read the TOS before you start posting your content on third party sites.

See my simple WordPress prototype here – a quick test install to demonstrate how WordPress can be used for a simple corporate newsroom.

I need to run and finish my MBA assignments for today…

Broken WordPress Plugin Woes

Message from the admin:

For a couple of days, the WordPress installation at Chiperoni was broken. The framework of the website was displaying but all content within a blog post or page had disappeared. I could see the content in the admin view.

markdown plugin caused blog post content to disappear

I finally found the culprit: version 1.01 of a plugin called Markdown from early WordPress installs was causing this display error:

Manage Plugins ‹ chiperoni.ch — WordPress

Interestingly the site worked fine directly after installing 2.8. This error only displayed a couple of days later. And at first I didn’t link it to the upgrade.

Unfortunately I did not get much of a response at WordPress.org. Thank you to Esmi for responding. I appreciate your help. Let me just add: the lack of response is very different from the pioneer days in 2003 and 2004 when I first started evaluating and using WordPress. There are a huge number of queries and an individual – and dumb – question like mine doesn’t get any notice any more. The downside of going mainstream…

Apologies to all regular Chiperoni visitors for the recent downtimes and techie problems. There are plans to move to a new server…

Hope this post will help other WordPress users.

Hiding in Full Public View

In January my stats dropped to an all time low. There are a number of reasons, I guess.

One reason is that I haven’t been writing much lately. Just an occasional link. Short cross-references to my Flickr stream. That’s it.

Another reason is my retro-style homepage, which points to my other life stream options (Twitter, Flickr, Google Reader, Delicious) and probably diverts (or puts off) a lot of people.

Maybe another reason is the second WordPress installation I’ve added to showcase an idea. Maybe the Google bot doesn’t like this kind of setup. I’m not sure. It’s not duplicate content.

Although I think I am still listed.

It is surprising because I have over 4 years of content here.

Fact is I could start a confessional style blog and publish details galore. And only five people would read it.

Because the amount of information floating around the Internet has exploded. Gone are the times where a blog post on a specialized topic would get hits.

Somehow I find this strangely comforting. I can hide in full public view. Hide on the Internet.

And the other message hidden in there is that building communities is hard work.

As enterprises try to follow their customers and consider integrating Facebook and Twitter into their marketing programs, I think it’s important to hold up some warning signs.

IMG_3782

There are no quick wins in this.

You’ll need Scoble-like marketing resources. Using a video-only communication strategy is not the answer. People are different. Some like screencasts. Some like text.

Scoble says:

Truth is that if you want to build an audience on the web you must use EVERY tool available.

You’ll need to walk the fine line in your choice of communication (no marketing glib, no sales talk, no PR gobbeldygook, a real personal voice, useful and good content at frequent intervals). I read somewhere that the first Flickr team greeted every new sign-up personally.

You’ll need to have a clear community policy.

And above all you need to be aware that you’re giving your data to a third party.

Twitter / Home

Everything you publish on the Internet is up for grabs. Everything.

I’m not saying that enterprises should not invest in social media. I’m saying enterprises should carefully consider the costs. Maybe that’s a possible business model for Twitter… corporations pay for the ability to export their data and contacts at all times. A service agreement for data?

What happens if Yahoo sells Flickr to a stock photo agency?

As I watch the demise of Technorati and Xing, I keep getting reminded of Adam Greenfield’s talk on “Everyware”.

As we used to say in Blantyre: Amakhala scared.

If you’re here and reading this. Thank you. I’m not here for the stats. I’m here to learn. So far the positive effects outweigh the negative bits by far. And I believe everybody needs to become aware of this ocean of data that surrounds us and become a social media expert of sorts.