“If the folks at Yahoo really think Tumblr is going to make them cool again, they’re high. In fact, chances are good that users will leave Tumblr in droves.”
“We would like to look at them and understand how we could introduce ads, in a very light ad load, where the impact is really created, because the ads really fit the users’ expectations and follow the form and function of the dashboard.”
Wordpress is the world’s most popular blogging platform, and according to CEO Matt Mullenweg, Yahoo’s acquisition of Tumblr was already made it more so.
Trying to make it big on social media? Want more followers? Here are10 Tips From Boing Boing On Making Online Content Sing
At the dawn of blogging in 1995, Mark Frauenfelder moved his ‘zine Boing Boing online. Boing Boing—whose mission was to explore “the coolest, wackiest stuff”—became and remains one of the Internet’s most popular blogs.
“The recipe for an excellent blog is to be so deeply obsessed with something that you need to communicate it to others,” says Frauenfelder. “If BoingBoing stopped making money tomorrow, I’d still need to do it.”
Excerpted from The Art of Doing: How Superachievers Do What They Do and How They Do It so Well, here are Frauenfelder’s 10 tips for building a addictive, compelling website—and a big following:
1. Tap into the Zeitgeist.
If you can tap into the right cultural moment you’ll have a lot of fans.
2. Be original.
If you try to emulate a successful blog, you’ll just be a second-rate version of something already out there, and who needs that?
3. Make the connection.
Instead of obsessing on digital marketing the mission of the blog should be to share information with like-minded people.
4. Get an attitude.
Without a point of view, your blog is unfiltered mush. Whether you love or hate a blog, you still want it to have a unique perspective.
5. Don’t waste people’s time.
If you’ve developed a trust with your readers that they’ll get good value for the time they invest in visiting your site, they’ll be back.
6. Mix it up.
You have to have an editor’s gut feeling to get the mix right. We’re as likely to have a post about a chilling political development as something on the frothiest bit of pop culture.
7. Appeal to the novelty gene.
They say that there is a novelty-seeking gene. It causes people (like me!) to crave excitement, and to want constant hits of surprising things that don’t fit the conventional model of the way the world works.
8. Let feedback change you.
The community feedback has made me more aware of my insensitivities and the blog has evolved because of it.
9. Think of a friend.
So to get over blog stage fright, when I post something I’ll often have a friend in mind who has the same sense of humor as me.
10. Keep it real.
People love to hear about real life, as if they’re sitting there with you, experiencing it.
What other tips do you have? What makes your blog special?
Here are some ways to get your idea muscle stronger from blogger James Altucher’s post How To Become An Idea Machine.
You do this by developing the idea muscle:
A) Every day, read/skim, chapters from books on at least four different topics.
B) Write down ten ideas. About anything. It doesn’t matter if they are business ideas, book ideas, ideas for surprising your spouse in bed, ideas for what you should do if you are arrested for shoplifting, ideas for how to make a better tennis racquet, anything you want. The key is that it has to be ten or more.
You want your brain to sweat.
To hurt to come up with more and more ideas. One possibility right now is to list ten ideas that are “too big for me” and what the next steps might be. For instance, one idea might be “launch solar panels into outerspace to more efficiently generate solar power”. Another idea might be, “genetically engineer a microbe that sucks the salt out of water”. I have no idea if that’s even possible. Another idea might be, “within one year I am going to write a book and give away a million copies for free”.
You don’t ever have to look at these ideas again. The purpose is not to come up with a good idea. The purpose is to have 1000s of ideas over time. To develop the idea muscle and turn it into a machine.
C) Be a transmitter. Two farmers live side by side and drink their water from wells they’ve each built on their property. One farmer’s well runs out of water and he needs rain to come quickly or he will die of thirst. The other farmer did the work and dug his well so an underground stream ran right into it. So his well was always filled with water and he never had to worry.
How do you create this underground stream?
By making sure the other parts of your life are in balance: you have no bad emotional situations/relationships happening or you are doing your best to stay disengaged from them. You are keeping physically healthy, no drinking, eating well, sleeping well. And spiritually (a word I hate because of 200 years of meaningless connotations that have been applied to it but I can’t think of a better word), you realize that you can’t control everything in your life, cultivating a sense of surrender to the present moment as opposed to time traveling to your regrets of the past and your fears of the future.
D) Activate another part of your brain. I write every day. So sometimes I am drawing too much water from the well, from that underground stream. Just like I wrote you need to diversify all aspects of your life, you also need to diversify your brain. The other day Claudia and I took a watercolor class. I haven’t watercolored in my life. We got there and the next thing I knew it was three hours later. My brain didn’t even notice the time passing. What did I have to show for it? The worst excuse for a sunset, some mountains, some clouds, ever watercolored. But my brain felt good.
E) No pressure. This is similar to the “burnout” question that came up in my last post. Sometimes you plant seeds and not every seed works out and grows into a beautiful plant. In fact, very few do. If you pressure yourself that every seed will be the most amazingly beautiful plant in the world then you are going to set yourself up for burnout and disappointment. Sometimes I have to work on something and it’s enough to just jot down some ideas, or look at what I’ve done so far, and then set it down again. Get my subconscious working on it. (see below)
F) An exercise to get you get your subconscious working on an idea: I have a very strict routine every day. I wake up, read, write, exercise, eat, meetings (phone or live), then reverse the process: eat, write, read, sleep.
But sometimes when I need to rejuvenate a little bit I have to shake things up. Do something different.
Maybe take a walk at 5 in the morning instead of read. Maybe sleep in four hour shifts one day instead of eight hours straight. Maybe spend a day writing handwritten letters instead of going on the computer. Shaking things up makes the brain say, “what the hell just happened?” And while the conscious brain is confused the subconscious slips in and drops off what it’s been working on while your conscious brain has been too busy. Write down your routine. Make it as detailed a possible. What can you change today?
H) List your childhood passions. When I was six years old I was passionately interested in both comic books and Greek mythology. In high school and college I took five years of French and spent some time in France (even had an office there with my first business). Right now I can’t remember a single word of French except for maybe “oui”. But I remember vividly almost every comic and book I read about Greek myths from when I was six. From the very first comic (the “legion of superheroes” had to come back in time and stay with Clark’s parents in Smallville) to every comic afterwards.
We only ever remember the things we are passionate about. Ultimately, these become the fields where ideas bloom and are harvested. Everything else dries up inside and dies.
Try to think back and think of all the things you ever were passionate about from the age of five on. You’ll be surprised how many things there were. And how many ways these passions can now be cross-fertilized and mate with each other to provide your next set of passions and ideas.
I) Surf the Internet. I just saw an “infographic” (Infographics are quickly becoming the new blog posts) on how to be creative. It said “turn off the computer”. Sometimes this is true. Sometimes not. With the entire world of knowledge at our fingertips it sometimes is fun to get sucked down the rabbit hole like Alice and drift around in Wonderland. Some good places to start are braindroppings, thebrowser.com, and (not safe for work), extragoodshit.phlap.net. I might not get any ideas from what I see but seeds might be planted. I find that I get a similar feeling to when I go into the book store at a museum, pick out a bunch of books and sit down and skim through them. It tickles the brain and lights things up that may have been dormant.
Collections can be open to everyone, or closed to only a few authors. “Lots of services have successfully lowered the bar for sharing information, but there’s been less progress toward raising the quality of what’s produced,” Williams writes in a blog post introducing the service. Yet he also says that Medium is built so that lots of people can easily contribute, and it’s unclear what kind of controls the curator of each section has over what appears in their collection.