Wow, it’s been a millennium in blogging terms since I last posted here. That’s not to say I haven’t been blogging. I’ve just found my interests have been elsewhere.
I’ve been working on a few initiatives, now that family life is a little less demanding. Now that the twins have passed the one year mark, we’ve managed to catch our breath a little more often.
Blogging on parish life after losing pastor
In April, a few days before Palm Sunday, my pastor was granted leave by the bishop. My response to this shocker was to set up a blog to try and keep people informed as to what is going on and also to spark conversation. I see blogging as a voice for the people in the pews, who sadly often don’t have much say or influence over the affairs of their own parish. So far, the responses have been mostly positive, it’s affecting what happens in the parish in a good way (I think) but most people are afraid to post comments. I’m hopeful that fear will fade over time.
Building local sustainable living network
One of my passions is the environment and sustainable living. My inner fabric pushes me to make healthy, positive choices in all that I say and do, choices that benefit me, those around me and creation. Here in the Sault, the envrionmental movement is small and not welll connected, especially for individuals. I want to help build a network that can support and encourage people, business and local government to make sustainable choices. I’ve started a local mailing list called Rocks and Trees (lots of that around here) to connect people, and we get together on a monthly basis for good eats and conversation. Each month more people are signing up, which is encouraging. On Earth Day I launched a blog at greenmeans.ca. It’s a pitiful start to a bigger project I’ve wanted to do for a while, but hey, it’s a start.
Organizing the home-based remote worker scene
Working from home is great, but I do miss the personal interactions from an office environment. In January I started yet another mailing list for people working from home, in particular people working remotely for an employer. We also do the monthly lunch thing as we’re all happy to escape from our tower or dungeon every once in a while. There has even been some talk of sharing some office space for a social working experience every now and again. I think it will happen eventually.
So there you have it. I do need to get back to this blog, and there are plenty of blog posts waiting to emerge. I’ll have to set aside some work time I guess.
I noticed that a few Plone bloggers registered their blog at Technorati, having read Mr. Topf’s recommendation to do so. I agree wholeheartedly. Technorati is the largest directory of blogs, and offers increased exposure to your blog through its directory, tag and search features. And hey, it’s free, so why not take 10 minutes to claim your blog?
In addition, here are 5 free things worth doing to promote your blog that I’ve done:
Provide a site feed on your blog. Ok, so you’ve done that, but do you know how many subscribers you have, and whether that is going up or down? Register your feed at Feedburner and take advantage of the free feed stats and ways to publicize your feed. We really need a way to integrate Feedburner feeds into Plone easily, and something I commented on this PLIP. Add your voice if you think this is a good (or not) idea.
Offer email subscription to your blog for people who aren’t comfortable with site feeds (yet). Feedburner has such a feature that takes minutes to set up. Just copy / paste the html form code, or use a subscription link instead.
Gather statistics using Google Analytics. If you aren’t monitoring and measuring traffic, how will you know what interests people the most? Discover most popular posts and what external links people are clicking on.
Promote your online presence by adding a link to your LinkedIn and / or Facebook profile (you do have one, don’t you?). Give people a chance to find and learn more about you via other social networks. Conversely, you can promote your blog through your profiles. Add your site address to your profiles. In Facebook, auto-import your blog feed via the Notes application.
Point to your blog by building a Squidoo lens. A lens is an organized directory that makes it easy for people to find your good stuff. It’s free and you should have one… it will bring you credibility and traffic. You could list your top postings, as well as a bio of yourself and your blog feed. I don’t have one on my blog (yet), but you can learn from me about all about ultimate frisbee!
There are lots more ways to promote your blog, but those are 5 you can do easily and costs you only your time.