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Blogging for Bargains!

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I used to clip coupons from newspapers and magazines, but I don’t any more.  I don’t even take the newspaper, and haven’t for several years.  I still get a few magazines in the mail, but I’ll probably let the subscriptions lapse when they come due again.

That being said, I still use coupons every time I go to the grocery or drugstore, and I save tons of money every month.

I just don’t clip coupons any more.  Not these days.  Now, I just download them!

I download my coupons from several places, and more often than not, I am POINTED to those places by bloggers.

I’ve gotten great deals from coupons.com, and from Coupon Cabin, and from Coupon Mom, and from My Coupons, and from RetailMeNot.  Sometimes, I get coupon codes from blogs and websites and use them for online purchases.  I have discovered that quite often, a store will offer a “free shipping” code on top of a sale, and I’ve gotten some tremendous bargains with those.

Everything is so expensive these days, and a few cents off might not seem like much, but it adds up, especially when you’re feeding a family.

I loved reading a real newspaper, and I adore relaxing with a magazine, but again, everything is just so costly now, these things had to go.  Fortunately, I’ve got their equivalents, complete with coupons, on the amazing and wonderful internet.  Just read some blogs, and you’ll see.   Bloggers know where the bargains are, and they’re happy to point the way to YOU!

REAL Bloggers KNOW. We Just. . . KNOW.

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When I first started blogging back in 2004, a lot of others started right about the same time.  A lot of those people aren’t around any more, but those who are?  Most of them are my friends.  We’re friends for many reasons, and when I say that we are “friends,” what I am actually saying is that these people and I are. . . FRIENDS.  Yes, THAT kind of friend.  The real kind.

Why is that, you might ask, and well you might.  The answer is simple.

We are friends because we have something in common.  We KNOW what it is to be a blogger.

Real bloggers aren’t transients.  They don’t get all excited about starting to blog, write a couple of posts, get tired of it, and drop out.  REAL bloggers are here for the duration.  REAL bloggers love blogging so much, we’d rather sit at our computers and participate in blog-stuff than. . . well, than do almost anything else!  REAL bloggers have to watch the clock carefully, lest we ignore important real-life things.  However, REAL bloggers know how to do that!

Real bloggers go to conventions and meet each other.  Real bloggers sprinkle terms like “Twitter” and “Stumble” and “Jim Turner” in their casual conversations with each other.  Real bloggers shake their heads in pity when they encounter people who respond to perfectly legitimate questions like “What’s your Twit SN” with nothing but a blank stare.  I mean, what’s UP with those people?  Why don’t they KNOW?

Bloggers know that the Blogosphere is a real neighborhood; there’s nothing make-believe about it.  Bloggers know that the Blogosphere is inhabited by PEERS, and in the Blogosphere, peers don’t have to be the same age, or even the same generation.  If someone is a real blogger, he/she KNOWS.  Bloggers are peers.

Real bloggers don’t live in fantasy-land, online.  We have OTHER lives, too.  Usually, bloggers have very full and fulfilling lives both online and off.  It’s fantastic, really, the way real bloggers perceive the universe!

Bloggers’ children grow up in public.  The Blogosphere knows how everybody’s kids are doing in school, who won the spelling bee, who struck out in tee-ball, and who had a dental appointment yesterday afternoon.  Bloggers sympathize, and congratulate, and remember birthdays.  Bloggers are people who show up for school conferences, and pack wholesome lunches for their kids, and aren’t easily taken in by advertisements and scams.  Bloggers, on the whole, are definitely above-average people.

There are new bloggers every day, and I welcome them with open arms.  However, it’s the bloggers who are in it for the long haul, who will STILL be blogging five years from now, and ten years, and twenty, who interest me the most.  I have a lot of friends in the Blogosphere, and I want them to stay. 

Then again, those whose hearts aren’t really into blogging probably aren’t comfortable in the Blogosphere anyway.  Some of them claim that they’d really like to blog, but they just don’t have time.  Sorry, but real bloggers don’t buy that excuse.  Real bloggers MAKE time.  Take a good look at the time-clock on most blog posts.  Does the term “night owl” ring a bell?

That’s because real bloggers KNOW.  We know.  And we love it.

Sparkplugging Heads to BlogWorld

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This is a guest post by BlogWorld Speaker and rock star blogger Wendy Piersal:

Most people who know me, know that I am a conference junkie – I go to as many conferences as my schedule and budget will allow. Those of you headed to BlogWorld don’t need convincing of the benefits of being at conferences: the networking, the learning opportunities, the networking, the PR bump, and… the networking.

Most of the authors who write for my blog network don’t go to conferences – and this year, I decided I wanted to change that. I’ve given my team hours and hours of blogging and business training – but in the end, they are mostly just learning from one person – me. Bringing them to a conference would allow them to learn so much more from a completely diverse group of experts.

Choosing which conference to bring them to was pretty much a no-brainer. While other conferences like BlogHer and SOBCon are phenomenal events – whenever anyone asks me for a recommendation on which conference to attend, I tell them that BlogWorld is a must attend event. My team is very diverse in both topic coverage and skill sets. Some I’d call intermediate bloggers, some I’d call advanced bloggers. Some are new media experts, some are mommy blogging experts. BlogWorld is simply the ONE conference I could bring them to in which every single one of my authors would walk away from it with tremendous value.

The project isn’t just great training for my team – to have 12 people at the show live blogging and with Flip Video cameras is a huge opportunity for us. We’ll probably blog more in our three days in Vegas than we have in the last month. Plus having a brand-name sponsor like Epson opens a lot of doors for us, both now and in the future. We are a live case study on how a blogger can leverage everything you have into bigger successes.

We’ve even set up a brand new blog on our network and a new YouTube channel just for our BlogWorld coverage. We personally can’t wait until we get there. If you see any of us, please stop and introduce yourself – we’d love to talk to you!

Blogworld Expo Speaker Interview: Shama Hyder

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Q: In two sentences, highlight your background and professional experience to date. One bonus sentence: how’d you get started blogging?

I run a small online marketing firm based out of Dallas called After The Launch. We specialize in helping professional service firms market themselves online. I started blogging a year ago because I wanted a platform to share my expertise. What better way to do that than blog?

Shama Hyder, Principal, After the Launch

Shama Hyder, Principal, After the Launch

Q: How often do you blog?  What platform do you use?  Why?

About 3 times a week. I’d like to blog more, just need to find the time! We use WordPress. LOVE It! Wouldn’t use anything else. It’s constantly evolving, and you have so much flexibility to customize it how you want. Plus, it’s great for the search engines. Some of our posts get picked up within hours! We build ALL our client sites on Word Press.

Q: Point us to one or two recent postings on your blog that you think were superb, and tell us a bit about your writing process. How long did it take for you to come up with the topic?  How long to write?

Hmm. Good question! Okay, here is some shameless self promotion.

Top 7 Resources You Had No Idea Existed: I like finding cool hidden web secrets and sharing them with my readers. There are some amazing things out there!

Our most popular post has been: Top 10 Ways to Use Facebook to Promote Your Business For Free . I chose the topic (Facebook) because it’s something I am VERY comfortable with. I have been using it for over 3 years. Both posts took me about 30 minutes to write. Writing comes fairly easily to me.

Q: How often do you leave comments on other people’s blogs?  How do you find their entries in the first place?

I have blogs I frequent, and will comment anytime I feel really moved by a post-which is often when it comes to my favorite blogs. I find entries and new blogs through 1) Twitter and 2) Google Alerts. I follow the coolest people on Twitter-and they are always sharing great links! Then I have Google alerts set out for terms I think are key. Example: Social Media Marketing. So, I’ll follow such terms and the blogs they inevitably lead to.

Q: Tell us a bit about your talk at Blogworld Expo. Topic, key points you’ll cover, etc?

It’s going to be awesome. : ) Well- I am planning for it to go that way anyways. My talk will be on Facebook. How to strategically use Facebook to leverage your business, brand, and blog. I am going to be covering a few key case studies and hopefully leave the audience with an action plan for how they can make the most of Facebook for themselves.

Q: How do you recommend new folk best experience a major conference and expo like Blogworld Expo?

Sneak into the speaker’s lounge! Okay, kidding-but they have good food there. : ) I’d say spend time in sessions and the lounge. Don’t be shy-go up and say hi to people. Last year was the first time I went and I had JUST started the blog. I remember coming up to you Dave and being “star-struck!”-but I did manage to say hi. : )

Having something that’s a conversation starter also doesn’t hurt. Whether it’s a funny shirt or a cool piece of technology (NOT the Iphone). My laptop has a sticker with our company name (After The Launch) on it, and it ALWAYS gets people talking. I love that!

Q: Easy ones: Mac or PC?  Ipod or Zune?  Iphone or Blackberry?

Hehe. I am going to get into so much trouble for this I know. PC (gulp). Ipod or Zune- neither. I listen to stuff on my laptop which I take EVERYWHERE. Iphone or Blackberry? Yea… an old T-Mobile Samsung. My new(ish) Tmobile dash was chewed up by Snoopy the Puppy (err…office mascot). So, I am not big into gadgets. I am much more on the business applications and marketing side of technology.

Thanks so much for your contribution here, Shama!  I’m sure that your talk will be great and look forward to it in just a week!


This interview was done by Dave Taylor, who has been blogging and involved with the Internet since Heck was a Pup. You can find his early cave paintings on tech support and business blogging and you can, of course, follow his adventures on Twitter at @DaveTaylor.

Blogworld Expo Speaker Interview: Roxanne Darling

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Another in our series of Blogworld Expo speaker interviews: this is with Roxanne Darling, who blogs from the beautiful state of Hawai’i.

Q: In two sentences, highlight your background and professional experience to date. One bonus sentence: how’d you get started blogging?

I have had several careers ranging from marine biologist to motivational speaker to health coach and working the past 12 years as an internet developer and consultant.  Our company, Bare Feet Studios, thrives on the possibilities inherent in the internet, and we live out in the forward edge looking for and testing new trends. My first blog? Something on eWorld or that very early Apple community platform back
in 1995, long since gone.

Q: How often do you blog?  What platform do you use?  Why?

Roxanne Darling

Roxanne Darling

Daily across numerous platforms. I share a video blog, Beach Walks with Rox, with my Secret Cameraman, business partner, and boyfriend, Shane Robinson; I talk and he walks backwards capturing the beautiful scenery of Hawaii and our dog Lexi chasing her ball into the water. This is truly where my voice resides. I cover all sorts of topics, it is unscripted, and I love the freedom it affords me I love the power and impact that video conveys, and having the backdrop of this beauty is breathtaking even for me who sees it daily! I never knew what an impact we could have on people’s lives. The loyalty and appreciation of our viewers is
astounding, and the opportunities this show has created for us also amazing. We do our very best work here, technically, and allow our heart energy to be the director. It is a winning combination.

You can see some of our favorite episodes here: beachwalks.tv/favorite-episodes. This is a WordPress blog.

I also text/audio/video blog on our company site, www.barefeetstudios.com, about once a week.  I have way more ideas than time on this one! We do cross post our Beach Walks episodes here, as I often talk business and technology on that show. Our blog is not so much for the choir but for companies and entrepreneurs who want to learn how to use these social web tools smartly. We are big on testing and training, and we love sharing our experiences to help others be more efficient. It is also a WordPress blog.

If you consider Twitter a microblog, yes I am there, and post frequently since mid 2007. I’m @RoxanneDarling. I love Twitter for being able to have a real-time, energetic connection with people around the world. We are so geographically isolated here in Hawaii. And having said that? Twitter has enabled me to meet people in my own back yard who I love dearly and am doing deals with. (Try twitterlocal.net or Twinkle on the iPhone.)
Ditto for FriendFeed. When I am doing low intensity work, I like to keep a small window open on my desktop and drop into conversations there. I’m roxanne on friendfeed.

I have a personal blog, www.inthetransition.com, where I put things I want to get out but that don’t fit elsewhere. I do exploratory writing over there and it is very erratic.  It too is a WordPress blog. I have a Tumbler microblog account, roxannedarling, also for posting snippets of ideas, pics, links, etc.   I also have accounts at dozens of other services that cross-post for me.

Can you tell we love WordPress? Plug-ins we use religiously are  Akismet and Textile 2.

Q: Point us to one or two recent postings on your blog that you think were superb, and tell us a bit about your writing process. How long did it take for you to come up with the topic?  How long to write?

On Bare Feet Studios: Using Social Media to Promote Your Event: Step 2

We try to leverage as much as we can in terms of being aware of our process and work flow so we can share it with others. We continually discover that the things we do “automatically” do not come naturally to others. By taking the time to reflect in that way, we get to both fine tune and archive things for ourselves while sharing really useful information with others.  We are currently planning Podcamp Hawaii. Part of the agreement with the Podcamp Foundation is that no one gets paid = we are all volunteers. So I am using whatever I can to build value for ourselves and others out of our (extensive!) labors.

This is a series I am creating documenting how we are building the event, and then showing how others can use these tricks to build *any* event, not just a podcamp or unconference. Fortunately, I pretty much can’t help but think in step-by-step fashion, having been a formal trainer for much of my life. That skill comes in handy for this type of posting. This post took about 1.5 hours to write, grabbing the graphic and all the links (essential to a good post IMO).

On Beach Walks with Rox: Beach Walk 669 – Bikini Madness!

This is not one of our special episodes but one of our every day, typical episodes. I get an idea on the way to the beach (7-minute drive), we shoot it in one take, then edit, encode, and post it on the site. It’s an example of how I take an idea out there in the “group mind” and attempt to shoot some holes in it with the goal of creating less stress, more freedom and light-heartedness for us all. We rely on good equipment and skills, our beautiful scenery and adorable dog, and one of my quirky ideas with a little science thrown in, to deliver a short, 4-5 minute tonic to the stress of daily life.

Each episode takes us about 15 minutes to film; setting up the gear, shooting, and putting the gear away, so we can then go swimming! It takes about 45-60 minutes to import, edit, add effects, and encode. Then about 30 minutes to upload and create the post. The more complex the show, the longer all of this takes. An episode like Island Adventure was filmed over an hour and a half experience, and took nearly 6 hours to edit, as we had thre cameras on that shoot and lots of cuts.

Q: How often do you leave comments on other people’s blogs?  How do you find their entries in the first place?

I leave comments for others at least once or twice a week, in bulk. Meaning, I like to do my reading on spurts, and leave many comments at the same time. I subscribe to blogs, and if I am on the page, I will almost always leave a comment. I believe in supporting the work of others, and I understand that letting someone know you were there and appreciating their work is meaningful. I am not a huge fan of the piling on style of comments, so I do my best to add something relevant or meaningful, if not always agreeing.

The main obstacle I find is using my feed reader on my phone. I am often lazy about doing the typing on my phone…

Q: Tell us a bit about your talk at Blogworld Expo. Topic, key points you’ll cover, etc?

My title is “Finding Your New Media Voice.”  I will cover both the right brain and left brain aspects of answering this question.  I have found that there are actually relevant connections between your personality type and your preferred style of communication – writing, talking, or being on camera. There are also many options technically for using each of these methods, so we will look at out how to actually figure out which modality suits you best, and then what tools will make it easiest for you.  I love these type of talks because we can discus things that are usually isolated from each other in one place.

There are the gear heads right? and then there are the “communicators.”  I will attempt to merge wisdom from both sectors so people can leave here knowing what to do next – even if they have already been doing a form of communicating but not really loving it. They may just want to switch the tool they use, from keyboard to microphone to camera, to better suit their web DNA.

Of course I will address the pros and cons of each type of communication too, as that certainly weighs in to the discussion for a business considering how to use new media/social web communication

While at Blog World, I will also be announcing a new business  community site we are building, Know How Cafe. It will be the place where we take all of this stuff we have learned as web leaders, business consultants, and experimenters and share it with others. Most of the effective and engaging social media tools are free, but knowing how to use them is confusing for many.  It will be a fee-based membership site. Your readers can sign up for the early release and get a 30% discount by using coupon code “dave.” We are so excited about this! The site will let us walk our talk, and provide how to  information in many different forms – text, screen casts, videos, tele-seminars, discussion forums, etc. We will have multiple tracks based on topics. And unlike a lot of training/coaching sites, we will be home there, engaging with our members frequently while also enabling them to “self-service” at their own pace.

Q: How do you recommend new folk best experience a major conference and expo like Blogworld Expo?

Have a plan and then go with the flow.

One of my Twitter friends, Tawny Press,  just compiled a great post on
this topic: Getting Ready for Blogworld Expo in Vegas

I am often amazed at the number of people in a given industry who do not attend conferences…though they can be overwhelming and are virtually always done before I am even half started (!) they are one of the most efficient ways to ramp your personal brand to the next level and to make valuable personal and business connections. I video’d my odd take on my first SXSW conference last spring – in the end the best way to do a conference IMO is to start with a plan and then follow your instincts. The little monkey mind will always be pushing for more or different, but sometimes, it really is just one person who is going to make the big difference in your life. No need to get distracted trying to be everywhere.

Q: Easy ones: Mac or PC?  Ipod or Zune?  Iphone or Blackberry?

Mac. iPod. iPhone.

Awesome, thanks, Rox!  Hopefully you’ll bring some of that glorious Hawaiian weather to Vegas with you, so we don’t melt in the desert heat!


Interview by Blogworld Expo co-host Dave Taylor, who is connected to Rox on just about every network online. He can also be found on Twitter as @DaveTaylor and if you’re into film and the movie industry, you should also check out @FilmBuzz, an experimental news feed he’s building.

Hold All Your Posts Until Thursday @ 1 PM PST

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At least that’s according to a recent study conducted by Jake Luciani at AideRSS.

Luciani says if you want your post to be popular, get the most links, or votes on Digg then the best time to post is between 1pm and 3pm PST (after lunch) on Thursday’s. Between 5pm and 7pm PST (after work) is also a good time to post.  The worst time to post? Between 3 and 5 PM PST during the weekend.

Now I’m not smart enough to parse this study and tell you if it’s right or wrong but Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWriteWeb is (that’s why he was a speaker

at BlogWorld last year). If he says it’s Kosher then most likely it is.

I was tempted to hold this post until next Thursday but just couldn’t wait.

Blogosphere roundup 4.18.08

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Luis Gray says most bloggers don’t deserve to make any money through advertising.

If you aren’t a techy you might not know what Alexandar Van Elsas is talking about. You see techys (and tech bloggers) have a unique problem of information overload. You may think you are inundated with media from the internet, radio, bilboards, and all sorts of advertising that hits you from every angle but If you aren’t using Twitter, Pownce, Facebook, myspace, Bebo, FriendFeed, Friendster, Jaiku, Kaioo, LinkedIn, LiveJournal, Meetup, Upcoming, Plaxo, Magnolia, delicious, ning, flickr, youtube, and all the other social networks out there then you might not appreciate just how many ways you can end up talking to the same people and just how much worse your information overload could be.

Did Technorati try to by b5?

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