I still haven’t forgotten the sting that came when Valleywag was folded into Gawker, at which point it began a slow, pitiful death. I was a big fan of the blog, which had an amazing contributor base. To a certain extent, I learned the basics of blogging (and more) from them. Well, Nick Denton tells Business Insider that Valleywag is coming back, and I couldn’t be more psyched.
I’ve been using Twitter’s Blackbird Pie utility almost from the day it was released. Unfortunately, there aren’t many places where I can use it. It works on Gadling, Luxist and HuffPo, but not Business Insider. Until recently, it didn’t work on WordPress … but that just changed!
WordPress is actually making it incredibly easy to use Blackbird Pie (far easier than the original utility, which was pretty easy anyway.
So, what’s the implication of this … aside from my having a new social media tool to play with? Well, I have a lot more latitude in embedding tweets in my posts. So, I can start presenting Twitter users in their own words. This is particularly useful for me with people who don’t think before they tweet.
Okay, you’re not going to find out here. Instead, head over to the guest post I wrote on Scene by Laurie, exploring how travel bloggers can fall victim to niche audiences that generate plenty of social media chatter but never really click through. If you are over-reliant on Twitter or Facebook for traffic, this is the downside to which you’re exposed. And yes, I do anchor it with a real world travel example.
And, here’s the source story from the case study …
It’s pretty clear that this isn’t a road to riches. Traditional publications don’t pay hefty salaries, and it’s difficult to break into them. Freelance writing provides some opportunities for a solid living, if you know how to manage your personal business effectively, but you have to work at it. Starting your own business seems to be the only way to hit it big, but this isn’t exactly news. It’s one of the few ways one can generate real wealth. For writers, however, even this angle may be inherently constrained.
Two recent news stories got my attention and made me think about this.
As the date of a press trip approaches, itineraries are flying around, details are being finalized and media kits are assembled and distributed. Amid all of this, I’ve noticed over two and a half years of travel writing, there is no social media “kit” provided at the beginning of a trip … and it wouldn’t be hard to do. Look at the top of any itinerary: you see property and agency contact information. How hard would it be to include a Twitter account, too?
Hey, travel PR folks: in addition to thinking about the coverage you hope to secure in a magazine or on a blog after the trip has run its course, think about the incremental gains you could realize during the trip itself – especially for a group trip.
When you’re planning your next press trip, consider the following social media essentials:
Okay, these games can be fun. To see who I write like, I took the first three paragraphs of “Pre-nuptial last rites get fun, expensive,” which I wrote for Gadling, and fed it into the “I Write Like” tool. The results? Well, I apparently write like David Foster Wallace, but only when it comes to strippers at bachelor parties.
Social media analytics company Sysomos has found the answer to one of life’s burning questions: what does a blogger “look” like? The company scoured more than 100 million blog posts to determine that the average blogger is male or female (duh, but it was roughly equal), age 21 to 35 (guess my days are numbered) and living in California, New York or Ontario. Seriously, Ontario.
So, why is blogging concentrated in the 21-to-35 space? It’s actually pretty intuitive:
Not surprisingly, the most active bloggers are younger people who have grown up during the blogging “revolution”, which started about seven years ago. Bloggers in the 21-to-35 year-old demographic group account for 53.3% of the total blogging population. This group is followed by the generation just behind them – people 20-years-old or under are 20.2% of the blogging landscape. This group is closely followed by 36-to-50 year-olds (19.4%), while bloggers who are 51-years-old and older only account for 7.1%.
So, where would you look for bloggers?
Do you love yourself? A lot? Hey, anyone who’s blogging, microblogging or doing any other sort of “see me!” stuff on the web, is at least a little guilty of this (draw your own conclusions about me, then multiply by three). Twitter‘s now making it easier to feed this lust for self-exploration in the social media space.
Do you own your readers or rent them? If you want to turn the latter into the former, check out my latest for SocialTimes, “Four ways Corporate Bloggers Can Lure Readers Back.” I’ve been knee-deep in corporate blogging for a while now, and this reflects both the latest intel I’ve been able to pick up and a few years of accumulated knowledge.
I’m sure most of the other travel bloggers out there would cite some sort of hunger for adventure or yearning for excitement as essential to the trade. You need to be down for anything on a moment’s notice. That’s bullshit. You can actually be a fantastic travel blogger without those qualities (I would say, in many cases, those characteristics are actually impediments to kickass travel blogging). Instead, the key is to be able to see meaning in everything you do and turn it into a story.
When I walk through my apartment, I don’t see stuff – I see experiences. The painting hanging over my couch? That’s from the $1 auction stunt with artist Nelson Diaz. The Casey’s coffee mug? It kicks off memories of a consulting assignment I had outside Toronto back in 2002 and how we used to play “credit card roulette” to see who would pick up the tab at dinner (Casey’s is a restaurant where we used to have lunch). And each of these stories triggers a hundred more … which is probably why nobody visits my apartment.