Media Mall Blog by Jon Leland

New media & online communication insights, Web 2.0, podcasting, Mac & Apple stuff, and small business internet marketing and search engine advertising.

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12.13.2007

WordPress Has Become My "Standard" for Blog Websites (thanks in part to Google's Matt Cutts)


One of the most interesting moments at Webmaster World was the endorsement of WordPress by none other than Google's Matt Cutts. For those who may not know, Matt has become the wonderfully laid-back and articulate "voice" of Google at Webmaster World. (photo by Andy Beal used under Creative Commons license.) As detailed in the video interview linked below, Cutts unexpectedly told the PubCon audience that by designing and producing a website in WordPress you, in essence, make it defacto search engine friendly. Especially with the latest version 2.3.

I was very pleased to hear this because I've recently upgraded my golf blog, TheJoyofGolfing.com to WordPress 2.3; and then in the same week, ComBridges has also recently taken over site updates for a client who has a more static page (non-blog) website that was already produced in WordPress. Our company is also currently using it to add an integrated blog to a pre-existing design. These are options that, frankly, I didn't realize existed with a "blogging" platform previously.

Bottom line, I have become increasingly impressed with the WordPress website publishing platform. In addition to a well-thoughtout and feature rich back-end interface, there are options for everything from Google AdSense to static pages that make it more than just a blogging tool. And the real capper is the excellent array of third-party plug-in tools which have been written for the open source WordPress platform. For example, as a search engine marketer, I was thrilled to find out about the "all-in-one seo" plug-in for search engine optimization. I've gotta believe that WordPress is now the state-of-the-art website publishing platform. Personally, I feel empowered by its features, stability and extensibility.

And then today, I got word that Yahoo has written a very impressive plug-in of their own which helps website and blog authors to almost extemporaneously add links and pictures. Yahoo's is kind of a "smart" plug-in that has the capability to suggest links as well as pictures (via Yahoo-owned, Flickr). Click here to watch a video demo of the Yahoo Shortcuts for WordPress.

Below, you will find that interview with Matt Cutts. It includes similar comments about WordPress' search engine friendly "nature" as well as other sage search marketing advise. Note, this endorsement is particularly interesting (as one commenter to this video points out) given that Google owns a competing blog platform (which I am using here), Blogger.



Note, as mentioned, WordPress can also do "flat" pages so it isn't necessarily just a blogging platform. It's really a website development platform or even a lightweight CMS (content management system) as well as a blogging platform, or some combination of the above, depending on your needs.

The only trouble is that now I'm going to have to convert this blog over to WordPress. Fortunately, I don't think that's too tough...

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8.31.2007

WSJ Mossberg: Thumbs Up on Yahoo Mail

I use Yahoo Mail as a secondary address email address and I like the redesigned interface of Yahoo Mail's latest version. I'm even considering getting Yahoo Mail Plus for $20/year in order to get POP access via Yahoo Mail. I'm having issues with MS Entourage... Anyone know about getting an Entourage address book into Yahoo Mail?

Anyway, I was encouraged by this video and web review by one of the most authoritative tech reviewers in the world, Walt Mossberg of the Walt Street Journal:


In fact, I found his Personal Technology pages on the AllThingsDigital website to be quite excellent... a fun and useful resource... Although I totally disagee with him about Apple's iWork products (Pages, Keynote & Numbers). I love these programs and get things done with them not only with more style, but with more ease. I would never use Word or MS Office unless I have to.

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4.17.2007

Cool Convergence & Browsing Bonus: Great TechCrunch-NetVibes Mashup

For your browsing pleasure...

In announcing the new NetVibes roll-out of the ability to create public personalized pages, the marvelous Michael Arrington also offered his own personalized, customized TechCrunch NetVibes page "featuring many of my favorite news feeds and a few widgets."

I offer this to you because it is a cool convergence. From my limited experience, NetVibes is my favorite customizable "home page;" but more importantly TechCrunch is my favorite source of information about the bleeding edge of Web 2.0. Scroll down on this TechCruch/NetVibes page to see, for example, the Alexa Widget showing TechCrunch ahead of Business Week and CNet in online viewership; or enjoy the build-in video references; and on and on.

If you're reading this, you'll probably find things of interest on the Netvibes.com/TechCrunch page. If nothing else, it's a great demo of the plug-and-play nature of the ever-expanding Web 2.0 socially-networked Internet.

Enjoy!

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3.04.2007

Build Your Own Social Network, The Buzz Du Jour

I made a post re the build-your-own-social-network platform Ning below, so this is just a small follow up because I couldn't resist passing along TechCrunch's quote of the NYTimes quoting Ning's founder, Marc Andreesen regarding Cisco's buyout of social network-building company Tribe.

Andreesen said, "The idea that Cisco is going to be a force in social networking is about as plausible as Ning being a force in optical switches."

Be careful out there... ;)

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2.28.2007

Ning Me: Great Social Networking Website Building Platform

Yesterday, I started experimenting with Ning, and I was impressed. It's amazingly powerful for such an truly easy-to-use system. Now, (no kidding) virtually anyone with an ounce of web-savvy can create their own social networking website. This is Web 2.0 at it's best. (Oh, and I should mention this company is backed in large part by Marc Andreesen.)

But why take my word for it, when Ning's attractive and articulate CEO, Gina Bianchini is virtually right here to demo it for you:



Thanks to TechCrunch for their review and you may also gain further illumination from GigaOM's post.

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2.22.2007

Google Apps Offers New Lowcost Website, Email Strategy for Small Businesses


There are many ways to look at the launch of Google's new Apps platform, but for me, it looks like a pretty cool and very low cost ($50/year/user) way for a small business to do a web site without traditional hosting, and with a bunch of neat features.

Because it supports direct domain (as well as sub-domain) hosting and includes integrated e-mail as well as a bunch of features (from Google Page Creator for creating web pages to calendars and other forms of collaboration), it's quite powerful. More info here specifically for small businesses.

I think the biggest challenge will be having small businesses understand the scope of what's being offered.

On the other hand, the bigger business story for larger enterprises and the broader IT market is that Google is Challenging Microsoft (NYTimes) with a service that offers email and more for $50/user vs $225/user annually using Office and Exchange.

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1.21.2007

Easy, Low Cost Solutions for Creating Websites & Podcasts

Here are a couple of interesting Web 2.0 style online user-generated content creation services I've come across lately:

> Weebly.com has an impressive video demo that makes it look (to me, at least) like Weebly may well be about the easiest way available for almost anyone to create a website. The video demo shows a drag and drop, practically brain-dead simple interface... and that's a good thing!

> Likewise, BlogTalkRadio.com has it's own push-button interface that takes the audio studio work, or even the GarageBand software production out of producing a podcast talkshow via the phone, complete with RSS feed. And some people say Web 2.0 is just a concept...

In both cases, no fuss, no muss, no independent hosting account is required.

FYI, I've also posted my first WordPress website, which was also a reasonably straight forward process. It's a bit more feature-rich and blog-oriented as compared to Weebly, but I'm pleased with the results (which are viewable at: TheJoyofGolfing.com). Not bad for a rare solo effort (professionally, I'm more of a team player).

Any comments or anyone want to share their experience with any of the above services?

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