Tag Archives: blogging

Like to blog? Get Blogsy.

It’s been a while since I reviewed any apps.

So today, I decided to take a look at the apps I have on deck and talk about one of them.

Checking out the apps on my iPad, the choices are many.

I’ve got them arranged (roughly) by category: productivity, social networking, entertainment, finance, etc.

Since I find myself opening up my social networking dash quite often, I figured I’d write about one of them.

I’ve got nine apps designated as social networking: AIM, Facebook, Blogsy, WordPress, Find Friends, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn and Hootsuite.

Now which to write about…

With the exception of Find Friends, each of these bad boys gets run.

And since I’ve already written about WordPress on at least one occasion, that brings us down to seven.

Hmmmm…

I guess I’ll do this scientifically.

Eenie, meenie, miney, mo…

Blogsy it is!

So Yoda put me up on Blogsy a minute ago.

If you’re not up on it, Blogsy is a blogger’s dream app.

In one spot, you can create blog posts, tag them, drag & drop photos and video, and post to virtually any blogging platform.

Sounds too good to be true right?

But it is!

Blogsy has a powerful dashboard that lets you access any of your supported accounts, including YouTube, Vevo, WordPress, Tumblr, Instagram, Picasa, Flickr, and Facebook, all from within the app.

You can configure all of your accounts in Settings, and access them in the handy drawer conveniently tucked away on the right side of Blogsy’s main window.

In addition, its got a built in browser, that lets you find and grab content from the Internet and drop it right into your post!

I initially started this post in WordPress (force of habit) before switching over to Blogsy to complete it.

What better way to demonstrate how something works?

So here is a shot of me launching Blogsy in the built in browser.

And here’s a preview of this post inside of Blgsy.

And here’s a video from YouTube.

In addition to being able to grab stuff from virtually anywhere, you can also publish directly from Blogsy to any of your blogs.

Case in point: I published this right from my iPad.

Or save your drafts locally or in your platform of choice.

It’s really a complete, well thought out and super convenient app, and I highly recommend it if you’re a power blogger like me (not really).

Not that there aren’t some glitches.

For example the drop and drag function is a bit wonky.

Placing an image or video exactly where you want it to go can be…challenging.

Your text goes all haywire and its hard to know where your image or video is going to end up.

If you’ve got multiple blogs, like I do, figuring out which one you’re in and making sure you’re posting to the right one is a chore.

And getting around the app take a bit of getting used to at first.

But I found that messing around a bit will help you to not freak out and figure out how things work.

Anyway, I dig Blogsy a lot.

And I think you will too.

So get out there and blog(sy)!

Note: I am not being paid by Blogsy to endorse their product. But if anyone from Blogsy wants to cut a brotha a check, I’d be much obliged.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under apps, iPad, technology

When it comes to blogging, be like Nike. Just do it.

Just do it. Blog!

Just do it. Blog!

I was talking to one of my peeps the other day, and the discussion turned to blogging.

Actually, I was chatting via IM…

And I most likely asked if they blogged…

There probably wasn’t a discussion prior…

But that’s besides the point.

The point is that blogging came up.

I was (as I do) extolling the virtues of blogging.

It builds your brand.

It establishes you as a thought leader or authority in your field.

It separates you from the undifferentiated (non-blogging) masses.

It builds credibility.

It helps you develop your voice as an author.

It generates traffic.

I could go on and on – and I’m pretty sure I did.

Invariably, after my diatribe on the virtues of blogging, they were like “I need to find the time to write.”

Time to write?

As I prepared to fire off a dismissive reponse, I realized that I’d heard it before.

In fact, I’ve heard loads of reasons for not blogging before.

I don’t have the time.

What would I write about?

My writing sucks.

No one would read it.

As I listened read, I had to give some credence to the fact that blogging legitimately challenges folks.

So today, I’m going to address the most common objections to blogging I’ve encountered, and hopefully provide some useful advice for overcoming them.

I don't want to hear it!

I don’t want to hear it!

Objection No. 1: I don’t have time to blog.

If I’ve heard this once, I’ve heard it a thousand times.

And I’m sure each person who has ever uttered these words hasn’t really thought about how much time they waste devote to other things, that could be devoted to blogging.

Blogging is like anything else you want to master.

You’ve got to set aside time for it.

It doesn’t have to be a lot of time – 30 minutes a day.

An hour a week.

Once a week.

Something.

Anything.

Just put it in your schedule.

And don’t make excuses not to.

If you can make time to wash your ass, you can make time to blog.

What to blog about? What to blog about?

What to blog about? What to blog about?

Objection No. 2: I don’t know what to blog about.

I think this is one of the more valid objections to blogging: what to write about.

It’s also one of the easiest to overcome.

There are tons of blogs out there about anything and everything.

From quarks to Jimmy Choos.

Yes “quarks.”

I had to come up with truly random shit to emphasize my point.

Write about what interests you.

There. It’s that simple.

To get your blog flowing, you should always write about what interests you.

You could give a shit if it interests other people.

Start off blogging about things you like, experiences you have, stories you’ve heard.

If you keep your blog “you” centric, you’ll never have writers block.

Unless you’re a boring dolt or shut-in.

But even then, you could write about your life as an agoraphobic.

And be the don of agoraphobics everywhere.

If Snoopy can do it, so can you!

If Snoopy can do it, so can you!

Objection No. 3: I am not a good writer.

Now this objection is tricky – and valid.

Blogging requires working knowledge of the English language (or whatever language is your native tongue).

And while I am a wordsmith, a human lexicon, one who gets busy with the vocab, not everyone is not similarly endowed.

But just because you haven’t mastered the Queen’s English, doesn’t mean that you can’t have a compelling blog.

There are plenty of blogs out there that are a hot mess!

Not because they are written poorly, but because they could give a shit about writing convention.

The good thing about blogging is that you don’t have to be a poet laureate.

Your blog can be linguistically challenged, ebonics laden with misspellings galore, and still have folks flock to it because it’s genuine.

But if you want to be a better writer, blogging will help you become one.

The more you blog, the better you’ll become.

Please read my blog. Please?

Please read my blog. Please?

Objection No. 4: No one will read my blog.

My response to this objection is universally: how the fuck do you know?

Once again, unless you’re some kind of anti-social shut in, you likely have folks who give a shit care about you.

And at least one of them would take the time to read your blog if you created one.

The truth is that that if you blog it, they will come.

They may not come immediately, or in droves, or regularly.

But they will come.

You can be assured though, you’ll never get any readers if you never blog.

So go the fuck on and blog already.

1 Comment

Filed under advocacy

Blogging builds traffic. 30 days and the stats to prove it.

The numbers don’t lie!

Last month, a friend of mine who blogs, issued a 30-day blogging challenge.

She had fallen off her blog game, and resolved to write a new post every day, for 30 days.

She invited other bloggers to join her on her quest.

When I read her blog, I was inspired.

I too, had fallen off my blogging game.

In fact, I’m constantly falling off my game.

Even though I routinely counsel my clients on the importance of providing a regular and steady stream of content on their websites and social media profiles, I don’t really practice what I preach.

And since I don’t blog regularly, I can’t really speak to the issues involved in maintaining a regular output schedule.

Nor can I (genuinely) speak of the real impact that regular output has on a brand’s metrics.

Sure, I preach that the more you put out, the more of a footprint you create, the more pages of content BOTs can crawl to, the more relevant you become.

But for me, that’s all been theoretical.

I mean, I do blog.

This year marks the fourth anniversary of my blog.

Since I started blogging, I’ve posted over 250 times.

That’s an average of 60 posts a year.

Or a little over once a week.

But I really blog in fits and starts.

So I can’t say, honestly, what the impact of regular blogging actually is.

And because of this, I realized that I needed to take Aliya up on her challenge.

On August 31, Aliya completed her 30 day challenge.

Two days ago, I finished mine (I didn’t actually start when Aliya issued her call to action).

Looking back, I’m glad I did.

Because I now have empirical proof from the experience that reinforces the things I’ve been saying about the significance of blogging.

First, blogging creates traffic.

Period.

Since the start of the year, my traffic is consistently higher than it has ever been.

Last month, there were 3,638 view of my blog.

That’s my highest month of traffic ever.

My next highest month of traffic was in June 2010, when I hit 3,458 views.

Back, when in one day, I had 686 views.

The previous month (July), there were 2,712.

The month before that, 2,421.

Second, blogging increases your online presence.

Search engines, like Google love regularly updated content.

Every time you post a blog post you put your site/blog further up in the search results.

Google re-indexes your blog every time you update with new content, giving your site higher search ranking.

And if you’re using well written, relevant keywords, that only makes it even better.

During my month of blogging, I was getting hits for everything from futsal, Katy Perry, the iPhone, Nicki Minaj on down to SoundHound and Shazam.

Try it.

Google “Shazam vs SoundHound” or “Morgan Freeman is not dead” or “Chris Anokute” and invariably, my little blog is returned on the first page.

Third, regular blogging generates backlinks.

I can’t tell you how many times other folks linked to my site.

Whether it was because of the subject matter, the context, the images, tagging or the keywords, something about my content seemed to resonate with other bloggers.

As a result, I generated quite a few backlinks

Fourth, writing every day keeps you relevant.

Whether it’s politics, fashion, technology, music, entertainment, social issues, if you’re writing about topics of the day, contemporaneously as they happen, your voice, and your opinions will resonate will some audience somewhere.

If I could give bloggers one tip, it would be to write about what you love.

The biggest impediment that folks report for not writing every day (or regularly) is that they don’t know what to write about.

I write about whats going on – in my life, around me, in technology, social media, sports – whatever.

The second biggest blocker is time.

I’ve taken to getting it in whenever and wherever I can.

Sometimes, I blog on the train to work.

Other times, when I’m sitting on the ‘throne’ (some of my best work has been on the throne).

Point is, you need to make time for it.

Because one thing is for certain, blogging is an invaluable tool to generating traffic to (and awareness about) your site.

But don’t take my word for it.

Blog for yourself and see!

2 Comments

Filed under branding, opinion

Blogging by iPhone (on the commode). Wordpress is the truth!

blogging_from_my_toilet.jpg

I’ve been blogging (on and off) for about five or six years now.

Sometimes more than others.

But now, I think I’ve hit my stride.

And it’s all because of WordPress.

I know this sounds über dramatic, but hear me out.

When I was first bitten by the blogging bug, I tried out Blogger, the blogging platform from Google.

Since I was already using Gmail, it was nothing but a chicken wing to start using Blogger.

But I found the interface flat and there were too few template options available for me to personalize my blog.

Even though it was customizable, I wasn’t terribly technical and coding HTML or CSS simply wasn’t in the cards.

I posted a few times and that was it.

Not long after, someone told me about Tumblr.

They were new to blogging, like me, and had a similar experience with Blogger (being flat and boring).

So (on their recommendation) I tried it out.

Tumblr was much easier to use, had several interesting templates, and before long, I had set up and posted my first blog.

I noticed, almost immediately, though, that my blog posts weren’t showing up in search engines in Tumblr as rapidly as they had with Blogger.

What Tumblr made up in overall ease of use and simplicity, it lost from an overall SEO perspective.

I was creating far more, but seeing far less traffic.

If a blog gets posted in cyberspace and no bots crawl to it, does it make a sound?

Demoralized, I abandoned Tumblr for another free blog platform contender, WordPress.

Cue the angelic music and blinding white light.

WordPress combined the SEO dominance of Blogger, with the ease of use, simplicity and design sensibility of Tumblr, and a few other smoking features to boot.

And with a clean UI and dashboard, WordPress soon became my go-to platform.

But what MADE WordPress for me, were the apps!

Ever since I got the WordPress iPhone and iPad apps, I’ve become a prolific blogger.

Prolific is a tad extreme, but I have authored over 250 post on WordPress, and at least half of them were on my iPhone or iPad.

Whenever an idea for a blog comes to mind, I simply whip out my iPhone, dial up the WordPress app and start typing.

Once I save it, it’s automatically uploaded to my WordPress account and synched whenever I pull up WordPress again from any of my devices.

So if I start it on my iPad, I can pick it up later from my desktop or iPhone.

I can tag, add pictures or video, select categories (or create new ones) all from within the app.

My girl Aliya King issued a 30 day blogging challenge to her blogging peeps, and the WordPress app has kept me on task for the past two weeks.

I’ve been able to post from virtually anywhere: trains, the office, the toilet (yes, I blog on the toilet), from the convenience of my iPhone.

I’ve been so impressed with WordPress that I’ve turned a butt load of my clients, friends and associates on to the platform.

At the end of the day, I’m really enamored with WordPress because it’s enabled me to find my voice AND get it out hassle-free.

So if you’re thinking about starting a blog (I’m an inexhaustible source of inspiration – I know), give WordPress a try!

And ‘no’ I am not a paid spokesperson for WordPress.

But if anyone over at WordPress wants to cut a bro a check….

1 Comment

Filed under apps, iPad, iPhone, mobile, opinion

I took a day off (from blogging) and now I feel…bad (not really).

I blog. Therefore, I blog.

So yesterday was the first day that I didn’t keep my 2012 blogging resolution of posting every day.

Yeah, I was running around between meetings…

And yeah, I had a class to teach at PAL Harlem Center…

And yeah, I was providing last minute tech support at the Red Rooster…

And I did spend several (valuable) hours (when I could have been blogging) driving around the city…

But there were at least two to three good hours yesterday, when I could have plopped myself down and banged out a post.

But I didn’t feel like it.

There.

I said it.

Yesterday, I simply didn’t feel like blogging.

And for no reason in particular.

I had loads of stuff I could have written about…

Like my meeting with Cheray Black and Q’tyashia Arrington, the founders of The Social Climb, a niche job search engine they’re launching this month…

Or even my meeting with Kembo Tom of GTM Central, the NYC/Atlanta/LA based creative agency that created the Smirnoff Master of the Mix

GTM+Je t'aime=GTM Central

I could even talk about my increasingly deep forays into Pinterest

This is my Pinterest page. I've started a few boards.

But I chose not to.

The hours whittled away and I didn’t make a single keystroke.

As midnight drew closer, I thought that perhaps I should throw something together just to keep on schedule.

The martial arts in this movie is incredible!

But then I started watching True Legend, and put it off.

Interesting movie. But too predictable and really poor casting.

And of course, since I had another movie I hadn’t seen in my Netflix Instant Queue, Knife Edge, I had to watch it.

That was a mistake – too predictable.

Anyway, as I sit here, reflecting on my active omission, I realize that this post is pure fluff.

I’m not really saying anything.

I’ve just got to blog.

1 Comment

Filed under Smack talking

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. But it will be on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

I just finished reading The Revolution Will Not Be Televised by Joe Trippi on the Nook app on my iPad.

Great read for 21st century political consultants.

It was a self-imposed homework assignment, for the work that I’ve been doing with Vincent Morgan, the Democratic candidate for Congress I’ve been working with for the past two years.

If you haven’t read it (why would you?) it’s a good read.

It was especially informative for me because in it, Joe talks about the various online and social media strategies Howard Dean’s campaign employed to build it’s base, push Dean’s message and raise money.

To make a long story short, the Dean campaign was really responsible for the both the use and proliferation of the web and social media by political candidates.

Without Howard Dean, there would have been no Obama. Period.

What Howard Dean’s campaign did with the internet and social media, completely bucked traditional notions of what online communities meant, how to galvanize supporters and raise money.

Trippi’s title, an homage to Gil Scott-Heron’s poem and song of the same title, refers to the fact that TV is no longer the dominant medium, especially as it relates to the manner and methods of running a political campaign.

Gil clearly didn't know about iReporting back in the day!

Where campaigns used to pour millions of dollars for television spots, in an effort to frame the issues and influence voters, Trippi posits that online forums, blogs, social media and the web generally, will have greater impact in future races.

As I sit here, thinking about how to apply Trippi’s strategies to Vince’s campaign, I’m brimming with excitement.

Last year, when Vince ran against Rangel, we knew out the gate, that we were in for an uphill battle.

For one, Vince was a relative unknown. Rangel’s name carried all the weight in the world – even in the middle of his ethics controversy.

Vince had no political experience, save a stint working with Rangel several years prior.

The M4C team was pretty inexperienced. It was the first political campaign for most of us.

He hadn’t raised a lot of money, which effectively meant that media buys (and virtually anything else that cost money) were out of the question. Even with Rangel’s ethical issues, he was still sitting on a (relative) war-chest.

This year, it’s a different story.

For one, Vince is no longer an unknown. While he may not evoke the same level of name recognition as Rangel, he is regularly featured in both local and national press.

He’s a frequent political commentator on CNBC, having most recently offered is perspective after the GOP Iowa caucus.

Although Vince still has no formal political experience, his previous run gave him political credibility and experience running a political campaign.

Even though he’s never held formal office, he is being discussed as a viable Democratic candidate, in the same breath as, and alongside other established politicians.

Team Morgan is staffed with experience. From his PR agency, Dash PR, to his finance manager, to his interim campaign manager, the team he’s assembled know their respective charges, and are ready, willing and able to execute accordingly.

But the most important thing, is the impact that social media and online, are having on the strategies we’re developing.

Unlike Charles Rangel, and the rest of the other candidates running (or planning on running) in the next election, Vince is truly technologically savvy.

While other candidates have third parties blogging, tweeting, FourSquaring, updating their Facebook status and generally leaving social media to someone else, Vince is actively engaged in the management of his online personae.

He actively posts articles, videos and pictures he finds to his website, personal and political profiles, and responds to comments he receives.

If you haven't 'Liked" the page, do so now!

And he makes it a point to ‘check-in’ with FourSquare, when he visits any of the restaurants, barbershops, cafes, stores and venues in his daily travels, staying engaged virtually with his growing constituency.

More importantly, he knows how important it is to get the formula, of online and offline activities, right.

As Joe Trippi noted in his book, virtually every political campaign, candidate and politician, has a website, Facebook page, etc. They would be remiss, in the post-Obama era, not to.

But having an online presence, and utilizing it effectively, are two drastically different things.

Our goal, in 2012, is to master the use of online and social media tools and put Vince in office.

That means we’ve got to raise his profile, raise money, get people off their butts and into voting booths on election day.

I’m confident that we’re going to do just that.

But don’t take my word for it.

Check in on the campaign from time to time and see how we’re doing.

2 Comments

Filed under branding, opinion, social media, Uncategorized

2012 Will Be a Blogging Year (and what I didn’t tell you about 2011)

I just looked at the end-of-year summary that WordPress sends to folks who use its blogging platform, showing me what 2011 looked like.

Sooooo….last year I authored exactly 14 posts.

14!

That’s abysmal.

I. Am. Ashamed.

I am constantly extolling the virtue of regular blogging to my clients, and in 2011 I was thoroughly remiss.

And unlike 2010, where I was a blogging superstar (relatively), in 2011, I was a friggin blogging hermit!

And it’s not like I didn’t have a lot going on to blog about.

So to make up for my total lack of posting, here is my 2011 in review.

December: Art Basel Miami

Hotness was all over..even on the walls.

I attended my first Art Basel Miami, which (if you didn’t know) is the largest international art festival in the United States. I spent four days hanging with some of the hottest contemporary fine and street artists in the game, partying at Miami’s most exclusive night clubs and meeting with clients in a whirlwind where days and nights seemed to blend together. Big ups to Sanford Biggers, Martin Luther, Rich Medina, Sapna Lal and all the good folks at Bardot, Townhouse, Gigi and Bond Street.

November: Jump N’ Funk After Experience at Red Rooster

The After Experience at Red Rooster was the bomb!

If you’ve never been to a Jump N Funk, then you’ve been missing one of the best parties ever. Literally. Jump N Funk is an afrobeat party, celebrating the life and music of Fela. The first time I attended a JNF, at WMC 2005, I left the event sweating like a slave. I was hooked. 2011 was the 10 year anniversary, and Rich Medina was in top form as he tore the roof off of the Red Rooster in Harlem, after the anniversary show at Harlem Stage.

October: The Digital Strategist

I was the guest of David Muhammed, the Digital Strategist, on his public access show on SoMa TV. In the renovated studio at Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey, I was interviewed about my experiences in the technology and mobile space. I posted a short piece about the interview, which lasted about 50 minutes, but felt like five, earlier, but if you missed it, here it is again.

September: Born To Shine

I spent some time with Rich Medina in September, who was fresh off of the show Master of the Mix (produced by GTM Central and presented by Smirnoff) on the set of Time Warner Cable’s new program, Born To Shine. Rich was the resident DJ for the show, which was recorded on the 106 & Park set, and provided his unique banter and musical je ne sais quoi to the show.

August: Q3030

I started consulting a tech start-up out of Atlanta, called Q3030. The brain-child of Marq Sears, a serial entrepreneur, Q3030 had developed an new technology, called The Cube, an interactive platform that enables brands to place interactive branded advertisements on a number of highly trafficked websites, like MediaTakeOut.com. I was brought in to help map out the strategic direction for the company, content acquisition, capitalization and branding. They’re actively seeking angel investment, but are moving forward.

July: Martha’s Vineyard

In what has become somewhat of an annual tradition, I took a working vacation and spent a week in Martha’s Vineyard with the family. We rented a quaint three bedroom house on a lake in Oaks Bluff.  Every day we hit the beach, the strip, the lake or some other outdoor destination. Now my kids are now hooked on the place, and it’s looking like this IS, in fact, going to be an actual annual tradition.

June: The Marksmen

I rejoined Marksmen Productions, a company I had worked with for several years, and immediately jumped back in the fray working on some really innovative projects. Several years ago, the Marksmen developed DOT.TUNES, a web-based application that gave users the ability to remotely access all the content of the iTunes library remotely over an internet-connected device. Since that time, they’ve developed several applications that run off of the DT platform, including HookUp (remote sharing over multiple DT instances), ReVenue and !mpulse. Stay tuned for the developments on this front in 2012!

May: Cannes Film Festival

Free Angela, the documentary film arrives in 2012.

I took my second trip to the South of France for the 64th Annual Cannes Film Festival, where I put to use everything I learned on my first trip. I attended a few premiers, ate frogs legs, partied in a castle…and…on the beach…and…on a yacht…and…well you get the picture. I also met with some of the hottest up-and-coming film-makers, directors and producers. I also started working with Free Angela, the documentary film on Angela Davis by Shola Lynch, in association with Canal Plus, De Films En Anguille, and BET (yes, BET).

April: The Today Show

I'm waxing eloquent about going grey!

The highlight for April (aside from my 41st birthday) was being invited to participate in a focus group that was being taped for the Today show on NBC. The focus group was assembled to talk about perceptions related to aging, and whether grey was sexy or not. The segment, which aired shortly after taping, can be seen here. Check me out in my 2 seconds of fame, when I say “I love her with the grey.”

March: Winter Music Conference

I attended my third (or was it fourth?) WMC in Miami at the Miami Convention Center. It was my first WMC off the strip and in the convention center, and the mood was noticeably muted. I sat on a panel discussing the future of mobile with some mobile industry luminaries and hung out with Benzino and Dave Mays (the former owners of The Source Magazine) at their posh recording studio in downtown Miami (out of which they also publish their new publication, Hip Hop Weekly). I also spent a few hours at the King of Diamonds, the…ahem…’gentlemen’s club’, but we can talk about that later.

February: Morgan 4 Congress 2012

The new look of the M4C website!

If you followed me in 2010, you know that I was working with Vincent Morgan, a Democratic Candidate for Congress, running against Charles Rangel in the 15th District of New York (what is commonly referred to as Harlem or Upper Manhattan). Although he lost, it was a learning experience, and in February of this year, he assembled his inner circle to strategize for his 2012 run. We relaunched his website, created new marketing materials, and put together a strong team for his next run. Look for his formal announcement soon and repeat after me: “Morgan for Congress 2012!”

January: KiwiTech

I joined KiwiTech, a Washington, D.C. based mobile application development firm, that was moving from developing apps for the publishing sector, into the media space. This small family owned and operated outfit has developed over 600 iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad apps to date, and shows no signs of slowing down.

If you’ve made it down this far, let me say that one of my resolutions is to blog at least once a week in 2012. Which means that if I actually do what I say I’m going to do, you can expect at least 52 posts from me this year!

Yaayyy!

Now lets see how long it takes me to fall off the blogging wagon this time!

1 Comment

Filed under branding, Smack talking, technology