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May 2012

Daria Musk to Perform at BlogWorld

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If you’re on Google+, and even if you aren’t, you know the name Daria Musk.  Daria is a musician, singer, songwriter and Google+ sensation.

Less than a year ago, Daria wasn’t very well known, but now her story is famous. Tired of lugging her amps through the rain to play small gigs in Upstate New York, Daria began giving concerts via hangout on Google+. Now, with over one  million international G+ fans, affectionately known to Daria as G+niuses, she’s also a case study for using social media in a fun, unique way.

We’re pleased to announce Daria will be a guest on New Media Live!, BlogWorld NY’s closing keynote talk show. Daria will perform and sit in on a discussion panel moderated by Mark Malkoff. Others in the discussion include Jenny “The Blogess” Lawson, Chad Vader and blogger/author David Thorne.  Comedian Jordan Cooper will once again warm up the crowd.

New Media Live! takes place Thursday, June 7th at 5:30 p.m.

Podcasting beyond borders

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If you are a podcaster and American, I am sure you have never considered launching a podcast in a different language.

Am I right?

  • Why on earth would you do that?
  • Why make a decision to bring yourself out of your comfort zone of speaking your mother tongue?
  • Why would you speak a language in your podcast that your own fellow countrymen are not familiar with?

Some podcasters, however, make that decision. Because they know that they will reach a much larger audience.  A  global audience.

Who ARE these people?

Maybe they are already part of a huge global community – like Father Roderick (Roderick
Vonhögen), who is Dutch and podcasting to the Catholic community.

Maybe they know that their topic has nothing to do with nationality, but with suffering from an eating disorder , like Anne-Sophie Reinhardt from Schwitzerland, who talks about fighting anorexia in her podcast and about beauty and her intercontinental life in her two other podcasts.

Maybe they already have the whole world as their playground like German photographer Chris Marquardt, whose Tips From The Top Floor podcast has given him international podcast awards.

Languages have never been a barrier for Scottish Mark Pentleton. On the contrary, he speaks five or six languages himself and he has decided to break down language barriers all over the world with his Radio Lingua Network.

I am sure you can learn a few things from these podcasters who are all panelists in the session I am chairing at BlogWorld NY. Choosing a global target audience from the very first episode takes planning, insight, good language skills, an international mindset  – and a heck of a lot of travelling.

You can get a feel of the Global Village in room 1A15 on Tuesday at 11:30am. Hope to see you there.

BlogWorld TV: 5 Questions with Mark Lassoff, Interview with Shane Ketterman

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mark Lassoff
mark Lassoff

Mark Lassoff

In this week’s BlogWorld TV, I sit down with Mark Lassoff. He is the co-founder of LearntoProgram.tv – a website that helps people understand different programming languages. If you are looking to learn HTML, AJAX, CSS and HTML5, then check out his site.

Mark talks about his reasons for going to BlogWorld & New Media Expo. He is a business owner who wants to make sure he’s doing things right with social media. Of course, there is also the hint of social media in programming.

Shane Ketterman

Shane Ketterman

I also talk about my newest purchase – the Cerevo Live Shell. I will be walking around BlogWorld & New Media Expo live streaming from the camera. It’s a great experiment in using a single camera stream.

Lastly, I sit down to talk with Shane Ketterman – the BlogWorld & New Media Expo conference director. Shane talks about all the people that put together the tracks, and how he helped coordinate the keynotes. He is really excited to see some of the speakers in this conference. It is definitely impressive.

Digital Hatfields and McCoys: America’s Need for Better Judges

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Every day, judges have to deal with cases involving technology they don’t understand. This is simply a fact of life. However, with the rise of cases involving the Internet, we absolutely need judges who better understand how this technology works.

The average age of our Supreme Court justices in the United States is 66, and this number is on the low side since two of the nine justices sitting on the court were appointed in the last three years. Supreme Court justices are appointed for life; they hold their position until they resign, retire, or die unless they are impeached.

And what of other courts? According to a 2010 study by ProPublica as reported here, “About 12 percent of the nation’s 1,200 sitting federal district and circuit judges are 80 years or older[…]Eleven federal judges over the age of 90 are hearing cases — compared with four just 20 years ago[…] The share of octogenarians and nonagenarians on the federal bench has doubled in the past 20 years. The demographics of the federal bench have no analogue on the state courts, where judges mostly occupy their office for a term of fixed years and generally have mandatory retirement ages, often in their 60s or 70s.”

Why is this important? As a blogger, podcaster, web TV producer, or other kind of digital content creator, why should you care about the age of judges in the United States?

Digital Hatfields and McCoys

If you’re like me, you’ve become engrossed in History‘s recent mini-series about the Hatfields and McCoys. This legendary feud between families started with a little bad blood about events happening during and after the Civil War, and the major incident causing the feud to escalate was a dispute over a pig in Hatfield possession that the McCoy family claimed belonged to them. From there, things really escalated, with the families continually fighting, suing one another, and even taking the law into their own hands. It got out of hand.

All because of a pig.

I mention this because the Internet seems to be a breeding ground for digital Hatfields and McCoys. Bloggers, podcasters, commenters, and others online are very concerned with their rights to say what they want to say. But just because you legally may have the right to say something doesn’t mean you should. Online arguments have a way of escalating very quickly, just likes the feud between the Hatfields and McCoys did in the 1800s. Too often, people on both sides resort to fighting dirty, even when the original argument was over something as stupid as a pig.

And beyond that, many Internet users do not understand laws regarding free speech. Just because you’re allowed to voice your opinions does not mean you’re allowed to threaten someone or insinuate that your opinions are facts. You can and probably will be sued if you make a habit of doing these things.

The problem is that you can also be sued and punished for writing posts that do fall under the protection of free speech, simply because the judge doesn’t understand how the Internet works.

Aaron “Worthing” Walker versus Brett Kimberlin

To see how this can easily effect digital content creators, one needs to look no further than the case of Aaron Walker (previously blogging under the pen name of Aaron Worthing, according to Popehat) and convicted Speedway Bomber Brett Kimberlin. Aaron wrote about what happened (supported with court documents, video evidence, and other facts) here, which I highly recommend checking out so you understand the background of the story.

The story is rather complicated but according to The Blaze and other sources, Kimberlin and his supporters have been attacking bloggers (like Walker) who write about him with lawsuits, threats, and more. He’s filed over 100 lawsuits to date. Walker and his wife both lost their jobs due to Kimberlin and his allies harassing their employers.  Another political  blogger “Patterico” was “swatted”.

(Edited to add: Patterico’s real name is Patrick Frey whose day job happens to be working as an assistant District Attorney in Los Angeles. – police were sent to his home after someone (allegedly from Kimberlin’s camp) placed a hoax phone call to the LA police department claiming to be Frey. Posing as Frey the caller confesses to shooting and killing his wife. This resulted in the SWAT team being dispatched to Frey’s home with guns drawn. Frey was handcuffed. His wife and children were woke by police officers to verify they were alive and safe. You can read Patterico’s account of this incident here. Did you ever think someone would send the SWAT team to your home over a blog post? – Rick)

Kimberlin was recently granted a “peace order” (which is similar to a restraining order) against Walker claiming his blog posts were harassment and that Walker had incited numerous individuals to make death threats against Kimberly via blog comments and tweets.

I’ll be honest: I personally couldn’t care less about the politics behind this all. Kimberlin’s liberal music, support of the Occupy movement, etc. in relation to his past convictions don’t bother me because, at the end of the day, he served his time. I get why many conservatives and even some liberals don’t like him. But that isn’t what my post is about.

This is about the fact that the judge in Walker’s most recent court appearance clearly does not understand the Internet. Walker was accused of violating this peace order because a blog post he wrote about it was considered “contact” with Kimberlin. Furthermore, the judge overseeing this case, insinuated that Walker is responsible for the death threats Kimberlin has been receiving. Walker was arrested for “inciting,” which is encouraging others to “act in a violent or unlawful way.”

The anti-Kimberlin camp isn’t totally innocent. According to eye witnesses, Walker did not represent himself well in court and the judge became increasingly agitated. Guys and gals, if you have to stand before a judge, get a lawyer.

In addition, those on Walker’s side who resort to anonymous threats to Kimberlin are no better than people on Kimberlin’s side who have threatened Walker or have had others “swatted.” But just like it’s not one Hatfield’s fault that another member of his family shot a McCoy, it’s not Walker’s fault that his supporters took matters into their own hands. They are the people who should be brought to trial, not Walker.

Yet Walker was arrested, simply because the judge did not understand how the Internet works. Kimberlin set up a Google alert so he knows when someone is writing about him. Walker’s post may have popped up, but this clearly does not constitute contact. Has the judge ever used Google alerts? My guess is no.

Walker’s story also inspired others to write about Kimberlin, some very negatively and even in a harassing way (imo), but inspiring action is not the same as encouraging action. If Walker had said, “Hey everyone, send this guy death threats,” that would have been another matter. He didn’t (as far as I can tell).

At the same time, I do think this has gone too far. I refer again to the idea that just because you are legally allowed to do or say something doesn’t mean you should. As deplorable as a person might be, no one, including Kimberlin, deserves to live in fear because they’re getting death threats. We have to be responsible for the things we post online, and if we’re aware that what we write or say is going to cause physical harm to another person (or death threats, which are just a step removed from physical harm), I do think we have the responsibility (morally, if not legally) to edit what we post.

Who has the Power?

Right now, I believe certain people have powerful responsibilities.

First and foremost, Kimberlin needs to stop attacking anyone who writes facts and even opinions about him online. When you do controversial things (both in the past and in the present), some people aren’t going to like you. They have a right and perhaps even a duty to stand up and say why they don’t like you, and suing these people is taking advantage of the legal system. Instead, Kimberlin should spend his time in court against people who actually send him death threats.

Second, if you’re a blogger in the anti-Kimberlin camp, you need to be fair, factual, and professional. Realize that some of your readers are not as mature as you. Do not encourage them to “take up the cause” on your behalf. They aren’t always going to represent you the way you want to be represented. Instead, encourage your readers to do their research and come to their own conclusions about Kimberlin or anyone you don’t like. Present your case and understand that there are two sides to every story.

Lastly, if you’re an America, use your vote to make the judicial system fairer for online content creators. This also applies to people living in other countries with the same  problem. Judges who admit to having no idea how the Internet works should not be involved in Internet-related cases. Term limits or forced retirement is necessary to protect younger generations from rulings by people who don’t understand the latest technology. We need to be a collective voice, demanding that the first amendment is upheld online and that bloggers and other content creators should be treated fairly.

Why No One Shares Your Blog Posts

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Ever write a blog post, hit publish, and feel like all you hear are crickets? If your content isn’t remarkable, it’s not shareable. Social sharing is the new link-building. It’s a Panda world and we’re just blogging in it, so that means social authority matters more to Google than garbage content.

People share content for a variety of reasons. We share content to define ourselves to others, earn respect and develop a sense of belonging. That definition of self can vary – it can be a professional or expertise definition. It can also mean sharing hipster things because you want to be a hipster.

Either way, when it comes to content marketing, you need to ask yourself if you are serving these needs of your readers and potential sharers. Are you filling your editorial calendar with content that is interesting and entertaining enough for people to want to associate their personal brands with it? If not, you better re-think your approach and consider these 7 tips.

Why No One Shares Your Blog Posts

1. Your Headline Sucks

Your headline is the most important part of your post because it’s your first impression. It’s what people see in big text when your blog post shows up in search engine results.

It’s also what they see when your content is tweeted and shared on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. So without a great headline, few people will get that initial intrigue that makes them want to click through and check out your post. Write great headlines that are descriptive, but also spark a sense of urgency. And don’t be afraid to try a funny or snarky one, too. Grab their attention with the headline, and hook them with the great content behind it.

2. You Write About Yourself

Your company is interesting to you and your mom. So she might subscribe to a blog full of company party photos and long essays written from your point of view. But is your mom your target audience?

When readers are visiting your blog for the first time, they don’t care about you yet. Make them care by addressing the topics they want to learn and talk about. How-to articles and lists of tips and resources are good formats to begin with.

3. … But You Don’t Write Like Yourself

Developing your own unique voice is a great way to build a community of regular readers who want to share your posts. One blog that I think does a particularly great job with this is Nerd Fitness. The blog’s author Steve Kamb is enthusiastic, descriptive and personable in every single post. And the posts have a similar format each time: YouTube videos, funky stock photos of Lego men. LOTS OF EXCLAMATION POINTS AND BOLD TEXT LIKE THIS!! Plus, there’s generally just a lot of positive messaging. This style isn’t for everyone, and it isn’t meant to be. It’s what fits this readership, and they love to share it. Develop your own style.

4. Your Posts Are All the Same

Ever listen to a band and every one of their songs sounds the same? Nickelback, I’m looking at you… Change up the format of the content with charts, infographics, videos, photos, and other visuals to keep people coming back for more. If you look at Social Media Examiner‘s posts, you’ll see how they break up the text with different visuals, headings, and bold text. Be sure to enforce this formatting through editorial guidelines.

5. There is No Clear Takeaway

If there isn’t a clear takeaway from your content, people don’t have a key point to share with their friends and followers. Long paragraphs full of allegory, symbolism, adjectives, and adverbs are best saved for English literature class. Cut to the chase, and make the lessons from your content loud and clear. I think this is particularly important for B2B content. If people wanted to make time for rambling, they’d read a magazine.

6. You Make it Difficult to Share

It’s surprising to me how many blogs either don’t have social sharing buttons or don’t have them properly formatted for sharing. It’s easy to get caught up in selecting the perfect design or theme and then forget about the obvious, functional elements likes social media buttons or “subscribe by email” widgets. Have at least a simple design that looks clean, but first get the basic features on your blog and get a content plan in line. Then go crazy with design.

What makes you want to share a blog post? How will you use these elements in your blogging? Let us know in the comments!

Why Small Businesses Need to Go Mobile [Video]

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Did you know that an astounding percentage of mobile searches are people looking for local information? It makes sense, right – someone is out and about, has the urge to stop for food, and wants to find the hours and location of nearby restaurants. Or they’re at the mall, decide to see a movie and need show times. Or their car breaks down and they need to find a nearby mechanic.

If you’re a small business without a mobile-optimized website, you’re missing out. This video explains further:

We’ll also be talking about video at BlogWorld New York next week! Check out our mobile track, as well as the Social Media Business Summit, which has even more great social information for small businesses. There’s still time to register and get tickets here!

Getting to ‘I Do:’ Increasing Engagement with Your Podcast Audience

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Image courtesy of Firemedic on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/50841708@N00/)

One challenge every blogger faces is increasing engagement with their readers. Some opt out of the issue altogether by closing comments on blog posts; others do all they can to get readers to tweet, “+1,” or Facebook “like” their content. But what about when your content is shared in a less tangible format – say, via the airwaves? How do you get your audience to engage, react, and connect with you and with each other?

My fellow panelists and I will be tackling this topic head-on in our BlogWorld session about building community around your podcast on June 7. But in case you want to get started now, here’s a short list of ways you can increase audience engagement NOW:

  1. Issue a clear call to action. Just as your blog post should have a clear call to action, so should your podcast. At the end of each episode, your listeners should know exactly what to do next: subscribe to your podcast, leave a comment, click through a link, etc. This means YOU need to know what you want them to do, and then make it crystal clear.
  2. Make it easy for them. Giving links to a podcast audience is much tougher than just creating a hotlink on your website. That’s why you have to make it as easy as possible for your listeners to track you down online, whether it’s to buy your latest book or to sign up for your email list. Remember, your listeners are likely NOT at their computer. They may be listening while driving, on the treadmill, or involved in some other task that keeps their hands busy. Use a tool like Pretty Links, a free WordPress plug-in, that lets you create memorable URLs. Much like a 1-800 number that spells out some memorable phrase, Pretty Links lets you create an easy-to-recall web address.You may also want to buy a memorable URL to use for referrals and resources (I use http://www.lainloves.com for all my referrals. Then I simply send people to “lainloves.com/bwe” for Blog World Expo, for instance. Easy for me to remember, and easy for my audience to remember, too.
  3. Be tweet-worthy. The best way to get your audience to talk about you is to be unique, interesting, unusual, or otherwise tweet-worthy. If you’re just issuing out the same old rehashed news or musings on your cat’s antics, don’t be surprised when no one rushes to “Like” you on Facebook. If you want people to talk about you, give them something to talk about.
  4. Return the favor. I have stopped reading more than one blog and ceased listening to more than one podcast because the producers seemed to want an audience of adoring fans who worshipped them from a distance, and they made no effort to interact with their audience. If someone retweets you on Twitter, thank them. If someone leaves a comment for you on your blog, answer. Visit their blog and leave a comment in return. If someone reaches out to you, reach back. Sure, as you grow you’ll have a tougher time answering every single message, but cross that bridge when you come to it. Right now, you probably don’t have an excuse.
  5. Share your passion. The more I share my strong, unvarnished opinions and talk about what matters to me, the more my audience responds. When I “get up on my soapbox,” I always worry I’ll alienate someone (and I probably do!), but playing it safe is no recipe for success. Find what you care about and talk about it. You’ll find that you resonate with some listeners and perhaps cause conflict with others, but at least you’re not blending. While I don’t advocate being intentionally provocative a la Howard Stern, there’s something to be said for stirring things up in an honest and considered way.

You can’t create a community overnight, but there are things you can do today to plant the seeds for greater engagement. Set aside just 15 minutes a day to try some of these techniques and, in a month, you’ll see a big difference. And if you want even more tips, come see us on Thursday afternoon at BlogWorld New York.

Got ideas or questions on this topic? Leave a comment. I promise I’ll answer. :)

How to Set Off Fireworks with your Content: 10 Tips for Writing Explosive Blog Posts

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Here in the United States, today is the Memorial Day holiday, and as with most summer holidays in this country, it’s an excuse to set off some fireworks. Fireworks are special. No matter how many shows you go to every summer, that first pop and burst of color leaves you ooo-ing and ahhh-ing. Want to see amazement in it’s purest form? Watch the face of a child seeing fireworks.

Wouldn’t it be great if those same feelings of wonder and amazement were felt by readers every time you wrote a blog post? We all talk about how “content is king,” but what does that really mean? How can you make your blog posts “explosive” so you build a community of people who can’t miss your posts? Doing this takes more than being helpful or even being personable. Here are the 10 tips you need to keep in mind when writing every blog post in order to make it truly awesome:

1. Write about things that matter.

So often we get caught up in the mundane, that we miss chances to start online conversations about topics that really matter. Of course, what “really matters’ is subjective, but if you have a social media blog and missed writing about how social media had a part in the Egyptian uprisings because you were too busy writing yet another post about how to write awesome headlines, you’re missing out on the big picture. It’s not that learning how to write a headline is unimportant. It’s that sometimes, we have to open our eyes to the world around us and prioritize topics, saving less important topics for another day. Bloggers have a chance to change the world, and I would even go as far as saying that we have a responsibility to help shape online content so it is more important and less trivial. Let’s not neglect our responsibilities.

2. Write about things you actually care about.

It’s pretty obvious when bloggers write something because they think they have to. That’s one of the great things about being a blogger, though – you don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to take every opportunity to rank well for a certain topic, be the first to report a news story, or weigh in on an issue that everyone is talking about. Write about topics that matter, but make sure they matter to you, not just everyone else. If you honestly believe a subject you don’t care about at all needs to be covered on your blog, have a guest blogger write a post, hire a ghostwriter, or create a link list of resources where others are talking about the topic. But doesn’t waste another second of your time writing when you don’t care about the subject matter. There are more important things to cover.

3. Give yourself blogging freedom.

Having consistent features on your blog makes sense. For example, here on the BlogWorld blog, I post the New Media News Break every Wednesday and Brilliant Bloggers every other Friday. However, some bloggers fall so deeply into a routine, that they don’t have any room for flexibility. Unchain yourself! You need freedom to write spontaneously and cover breaking news. This also relates back to my first to points. You don’t want your blog to be so structured that you feel responsible to spend your time working on your regular features and have no time to write about thing things that matter (and the thinks that matter to you).

4. Choose words artistically.

Language is a beautiful thing. Unfortunately, with today’s mindset that “anyone can blog,” language has been falling to the wayside. Sometimes, posts are total snooze-fests not because they have boring information but because the writing itself is boring. Think about the words you are typing. You don’t have to be Shakespeare, but take a little pride in your word and play with language in your blog posts. Remember, editing is key.

5. Tell interesting stories.

Storytelling is an important part of your online presence, as it can help build your brand and sell your products. I just created a huge list of resource where you can find people talking about the importance for storytelling and how to best tell your story. But storytelling isn’t just about manipulating the reader so they like you more or buy whatever you’re peddling this week. Sometimes, storytelling is just about being interesting and making it easier for people to understand your point. Not every story is in the form of “one time, this happened to me.” Here’s a really good example of a blog post/story from Elizabeth Potts Weinstein that breaks the traditional mold.

6. Clarify your message.

When readers reach the end of your post, can they answer the question, “So, what was the point?” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read blog posts that were written with beautiful language and great stories about topics that really matter…and then, I reach the end and have no idea what the thesis statement was. You don’t have to smack your readers in the face with the point, but you should definitely ensure that your message comes across in at least two places: your introduction and your closing.

7. Stop worrying about length.

If I see one more comment about how important it is to keep your post under X number of words, I might scream! If post length was so important, Glen over at ViperChill would have no readers, since he usually goes on and on and on waaaay past the recommended word count. He’s not the only long-winded blogger either. People will read your content if it is good. Period. Does that mean it always makes sense to write 2,000 words? Certainly not. For some bloggers, that might never make sense. But don’t stifle yourself because someone else says you have to cap posts at a certain length. Write the number of words you need for the topic, edit to take out unnecessary content and tighten the post, and hit publish even if your post is super long.

8. Close the show well.

The end of a fireworks show is typically marked with a bunch of blasts in quick succession. It’s a kick, a punch, a POW to the already great show you just saw. Your blog posts show have that same fire at the end. Often, I see bloggers just kind of…well…stop writing. But if you do that, there’s no call to action, no reason for readers to leave feeling excited about what they just read. So don’t skimp on the closing paragraph. Make every word count.

9. Know your weaknesses and work on them.

As you look over this list, you might be thinking, “I do that well….I do that well…I need work on that one…I do that well…” and that’s a good thing. You don’t have to be perfect; you simply have to know where your weaknesses are so you can work on them. Otherwise, you’re just sticking your head in the sand and ignoring problems. As I’m writing this post, even I know that I need to boost my efforts with some of these tips, while others are tips I have down pat, almost like they are second nature. Whenever you write a blog post, be aware of your habits, both good and bad.

10. Blog often.

Lastly, I can’t stress enough how important it is to blog often. This is an art form, a craft, a skill. You need to work at it to get better. This does not mean you have to commit to a daily schedule, but if you’re only blogging once a month (or even less often), you aren’t going to get better as a blogger. Don’t have time? Make time. You make time to sit on Pinterest or Facebook. You make time to check your email seventeen times a day. You make time to do other things you like to do. Make time to blog. Blog when you have something important to say, but if you don’t have something important to say regularly, I question whether or not you should be blogging at all. And there’s nothing wrong with saying this blogging thing isn’t for you. Just make sure to admit that, rather than popping in every three months to write, “Sorry, guys, I’ve been really busy.”

Blogging is not easy. Writing good content is a talent that not everyone has, and even those with natural talent need to work at it, the same way a talented singer has to work on her scales or a talented baseball player has to work on his batting. Writing explosive blog posts – yes, every single time you hit the publish button – is possible, and hopefully the above tips will help you, but it doesn’t just happy. You have to be willing to work for it.

If you liked these tips about creating content, I hope you’ll consider joining us at BlogWorld New York next week for even more fantastic content tips!

Original image credit (without text): Tsuacctnt at Flickr Creative Commens

The Many Different Ways to Brand Your Social Networking Pages

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When it comes to social networks, everyone has their favorites. MySpace was a huge hit back in the day simply because it was one of the first social networks, but mainly because of the many different ways you could customize your profile pages and make them look however you like. Facebook came along and quickly out grew MySpace, but it wasn’t til recently that Facebook allowed you to give your profile a new look and feel with the introduction of their Timeline setup. In the end, it’s all about online relationships and leaving a lasting impression for the people who visit your profile pages.

Let’s take a look at a few different ways social networks are allowing people to not only personalize their profile pages, but also brand their blogs, web sites, and businesses as well.

Facebook

It’s no secret that Facebook is one of the most active and legitimate places for individuals to create a powerhouse of connections and branding about themselves and their sites. In addition to creating your own personal profile page, you should also be creating Fan Pages for each and every one of your sites and blogs. With the Facebook Timeline now in play you can create your profile and fan pages to match the look and feel of your blog or identity.

You can see my Facebook screenshot below, which showcases the ZacJohnson.com name and toon which I have been branding over the past several years. Many other famous bloggers and online marketers are using Timeline for personal images and branding, check out how they are using it.

Twitter

As popular as Facebook is, Twitter is still extremely strong on the entertainment and television end. Celebrities are always talking about Twitter and how others can follow them, but they aren’t talking as much about Facebook. This is mainly because Facebook has a limit on personal friends that you are allowed to follow, which has greatly helped Twitter engage with users who have thousands or even millions of fans.

With that said, it would be ridiculous for anyone with a massive amount of followers to not be using Twitter backgrounds and profile images to their advantage. My Facebook Timeline image is actually a smaller version of my Twitter background that I had designed a couple years ago. Once again…branding is key, and showing your face, logo or identity over and over again will help with your establishment and authority in any niche.

Staree

As powerful as Twitter and Facebook are, there are hundreds if not thousands of smaller social networks and media sites out there. One of the most recent sites to launch lately is Staree.com, which is a mixture of blogging, Instagram and social networking. Through Staree you can create a custom profile page which allows you to upload your own updates and photo/video posts. Your Facebook and Twitter pages are also posted on your Staree page, which makes it one easy url for you to give to someone, which they can then use to find your other major social pages.

Once again, you will see the customization and branding in play with my Staree profile page below.

How to Benefit from Branding on Social Networks

Just think about how many people are browsing through social networks, blogs, and profiles every day. The majority of these people will visit a page once and never come back. In the end, you want to make a lasting impression and if you only have a couple seconds to do this, a custom logo design or something catchy is a great way to do this. Many people are going to visit my Twitter, Facebook and Staree pages and probably not come back again…but I did my best to make a lasting impression by using my cartoon logo and name on each. This might not seem like a lot right now, but over the course of a month or year, how many thousands or millions of people will have seen my logo and potentially remembered my brand, site, and name?

What you do with your branding and social network pages is key. Focus on long term growth, bringing in new followers and creating content for your blogs and web site that provide value to your followers. In the end, your brand identity is one of the most important things you have, and you will want to keep growing it and spreading it around as much as you can.

What can you do to your social networking pages to make them more brandable and work for you 24/7?

Evan White of Viddy Interview – Future of Publishing

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Why can’t I just upload the video I just shot to Facebook, like I can with my pictures? How come Android makes me upload them to Google+? Well, now you can upload them to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media by using Viddy, an app that lets people do just that and also make minor artistic edits to the videos.

Check out what Murray Newlands and Viddy CMO Evan White had to say at BlogWorld Los Angeles in this Future of Publishing episode:

Future of Publishing is sponsored by VigLink. If you enjoyed the show, be sure check Future of Publishing out online at FutureOfPublishing.tv!

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