Monday, January 15, 2007

Multiplying Blogs

For a long time, I resisted the idea of having a blog focus exclusively on one topic--particularly this blog, my first.

It reminded me of those people who have six resumes, one for each kind of company for which they want to work. I've only ever had one resume. My thinking is, I don't want to distort myself to fit into a particular kind of company. I'd rather find a company that fits me.

That didn't (hasn't) happen(ed), so I've gone into business for myself. Yet, the pattern doesn't stop with resumes. A similar observation can be made about my business name, and how I have all of my services (Web development, political writing, photography) wrapped under one label.

Given that few if any read this blog, this strategy is faulty, especially for blogging. The assumption there is people will want to read a blog that is uniquely me. The thing is, people who have a personal interest in me will use email, the telephone, or myspace--not my blog--maybe my Xanga, but that seems unlikely, too.

The other problem is, this blog's address, blog.mtopgroup.com, should be the blog for my business and its services--not current events, videos and whatever else pops up. (This blog was also started before the delicious and Yahoo! Bookmarks days.)

Therefore, I have launched two new blogs. This means two things:
  1. Some of the content that I used to post here will now be exclusively posted on those two blogs instead.
  2. These new blogs are an outlet for a lot of other content that previously went unpublished, or went crammed into other venues.
The two new blogs are:
  1. Deeper Inside the Mountain
  2. Blog Your Days
The first is a supplement to my newly christened Inside the Mountain legislative updates. It won't always have 30 to 40 posts on a weekend! I just launched it Saturday and had a back log of content to publish. Hopefully posting will be more spread out between updates. That means this will probably be my last announcement of a new legislative update on this blog.

The second is a Web service and topical blog specifically for content opportunities to highlight the Number Your Days service. This one won't be as active, but it will be just as focused on its topic, unlike my past blogging.


Mad props to Google, too. I've read several other bloggers leaving Blogger recently. However, they recently went completely live with the new Google-integrated version of Blogger, and it's nice!

The best part would be their new Custom Domains feature. Some people, perhaps rightfully, thought that a subdomain.blogspot.com address was a huge design mistake. This new Blogger feature corrects that problem.

It's supremely easy to set up a blog now. Not wanting to use a domain, but rather a subdomain of one of my existing domains, I just had my hosting company add the prescribed CNAME record for the blog's new address on Google, told Blogger the address and I was off. (Note: It's a good idea to wait until the address is in the DNS before you tell your browser to look it up. Otherwise you'll have to live with 24 hours of the wildcard DNS entry instead, first.)

It's probably easier to set up a new blog on the system than it is to convert an old Blogger blog to the new system. The new templates that are hosted on Blogger's servers are impressive. And everything can be edited directly from the blog pages--another level of impressiveness you don't even notice until you start using it. The master template has its flaws, but hopefully that can be corrected in time.

This subdomain blog was set up before the CNAME days, so it's using FTP publishing. The new features of Blogger's new advanced templates do not support FTP publishing as they are database driven off of Blogger's servers. This is great for quick publishing times and those customizing features you notice once you start to use it.

It's not great for migrating a blog. Actually, the biggest problem would be the filename extension and the linkrot it would create. Blogger doesn't explain what happens to filename extensions on their servers (likely .html) and so all my .shtml posts would be dead. (This already happened once.) So, in order to prevent linkrot, as I should do, I'll probably end up handicapping how much I use this blog.


One other blog idea I've had is to create a blog just for ideas and commentary on the innovation coming from Web sites like Google, Yahoo!, Ask, Live, MSN, etc. Frequently I have ideas, comments, frustrations, etc. that go unresolved. Just like politicians pay more attention to letters to the editor in a public newspaper than they do to private communications, so Internet companies take special notice of blogger's public comments. Yes, they read private communications, but private communications do nothing to build external momentum for getting things done.

If I launch a blog like that, I'll announce it here, too. Maybe this blog will be my new blog announcement blog!

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