Scoble learns what Kennedy’s been telling us for years

That is, Design matters, but not nearly as much as you’d think IF your content is strong.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a slam on Robert, it just is.

What is “it”?

Content, but not just *any* content. Relevant content.

If you have it, the rest is a bonus. If you don’t, the rest is lipstick on a pig (hey, I promise this is a swine flu free blog).

Read more about Scoble’s design discoveries after he “VGA’d” his blog in today’s guest post.

If you don’t provide value, little else matters.

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Creative Commons License photo credit: rick

What if you threw a party and no one came?

Perhaps more accurately, what if you threw a party and 500,000+ people showed up – and then left within moments of arriving?

Fake Steve Jobs knows how that feels, or something like it. In his case, 500,000+ people came to his website and spent $1039 between them.

In a month. A little disheartening, wouldn’t you think?

To his credit, when he heard that Steve had health problems, he decided to stop blogging as Fake Steve Jobs.

The timing apparently couldn’t have been better, at least for Fake Steve. He hung up his keyboard earlier this week, lamenting that people  just can’t make any money by blogging. 

His blog poked fun at plenty of things and had a good time – but it was missing one important thing for a blog intended to replace his day job.

Value. 

And that’s the reason why he couldn’t make a good income from it. Blogging isn’t a spectator sport. It isn’t something to do just so you can occasionally vent. 

Blogging for small business owners is about providing value to your prospects and your clientele. It doesn’t necessarily relate directly to the bottom line in one step. There are plenty of reasons to bring people to your blog and provide value to them. 

What happens next is kinda important.

Fake Steve Jobs doesn’t appear to understand that, or at least, started something without really planning it with a mind for turning it into a substantial income stream.  That’s ok.

The world needs humor, parody and so forth these days – or any days for that matter. Whether people willing to pay for it or not is another story – and that should be part of a blogging strategy from the gitgo. 

Still, if you plan to use your blog as a way to promote your business, or simply as an income stream, don’t ever let yourself forget to provide value for your readers. 

The real Steve Jobs gets that. So should you.

Trying to read Business is Personal by phone?

I haven’t had much success reading RSS feeds by cell phone. Most of the time it isn’t important, but there are times when there’s a reason I just have to be there.

When it comes to Business is Personal, I figure you might need some airport brain food so I’ve set it up so that you can easily read it on your cell phone – even if it isn’t an Apple iPhone – by going to http://BusinessIsPersonal.mofuse.mobi, courtesy of MoFuse.com, a new mobile blogging startup.

We dont need no stinking batches

Apologies to fans of the movie The Treasure of Sierra Madre, but Darren set me up so well, I just couldn’t resist.

Note: The embedded YouTube viewer is annoying the often-annoying Internet Explorer, so you can see the video here instead.

You see, Darren Rowse of Problogger, and Digital Photography School would argue that you do need those “stinking batches”.

In today’s guest post, Darren describes how batching his work allows him to get more done.

It’s Tyme to say “sayonara” to ShareThis

Since this blog popped up out of the ground, I’ve been using a plugin called “ShareThis” to simplify the look of this place and make it easy for you to share posts on social networks no matter what bookmarketing, social network doohickey you use.

Last night, I was previewing today’s iPhone post and noticed that it was taking F-O-R-E-V-E-R for the post to be displayed.

And then it hit me. Tyme told me privately a few weeks ago that my blog was really slow when she viewed it – something I hadn’t seen before. I have looked and looked for the problem and kept coming up dry.

Until tonight.

The culprit was the new ShareThis that calls home to figure out whatever it figures out. So it is out of here like you know what through a goose.

I’ll add some buttons at the bottom shortly so you can mark posts that are important to you – without the overhead of ShareThis. Sometimes easy isn’t always best.

And a big shout out to Tyme for giving me a heads up in the first place. I owe you one.

Business is Personal blog featured at marketing.alltop.com

I’m pleased to announce that Guy Kawasaki‘s Alltop.com project has chosen to feature Business is Personal in the marketing area of Alltop, specifically at marketing.alltop.com.

Yoda's Playlist
photo credit: Orange_Beard

Pretty exciting, considering the company: Seth Godin, Duct Tape Marketing, Church of the Customer and Brian Clark’s Copyblogger are also included in a great group of marketing blogs at http://marketing.alltop.com

Marketing.Alltop.com is part of Guy’s Alltop.com project. I encourage you to slide over there and read the top content Guy’s team has assembled.

PS: If you aren’t familiar with him, I suggest you read this to learn about Guy. (Thanks again, Guy)

One last thing: This is a direct result of participating on Twitter, one of the social media sites I’ve been discussing with you lately.

Your blog can show your clients “How to”

Today’s guest post is from The Brain. No, not your brain, The Brain.


photo credit: moujemouje

The Brain is a software product that allows you to organize, relate and search info to other info. Typically, we’re talking about things that don’t make this easy – especially across media and thought processes.

Showing your clients how to get more value out of your products is a very good use for a blog. I got several ideas from this post, even though I’ve used the Brain for years.

How can you use this technique in your blog, for your products?

Best Seat in the House shows why you should be blogging

It may not be clear from the things I talk about here, but I enjoy photography. I shoot some scenic stuff, like the photo at the top of this page and I shoot a lot of sports and community stuff.

columbiafallsfootball.jpg

When it comes to sports, I’ll shoot baseball, soccer, tennis, basketball, swimming, football, etc – and I don’t really mind how young or old the participants are. I’ve been on the field to shoot major college football and basketball, and I’ve been on the field to shoot the Columbia Falls 6th grade football team.

As a result of the photography thing, one of my favorite blogs is Best Seat in the House by Seattle Times sports (mostly) photographer Rod Mar.

This post about golf, Caddyshack and the Dalai Lama’s visit to Seattle was typical of Mar’s fun and informative (to photographers) posts. I suspect that if you asked Rod, he’d say that he isn’t a writer – and that’s my point.

In order to blog, you don’t have to be an expert writer with 12 books under your belt (that’d be uncomfortable, much less unsightly).

Instead, you just have to have a conversation with your readers.

When you educate, annoy, incite and entertain your readers, you develop a personal relationship with them (more accurately, they develop one with you).

Isn’t that what you want your customers to have with your business and your staff?

WordPress 2.5 – A big time breath of fresh air for bloggers

If you’ve blogged for a while, sliding over to the announcement page for WordPress 2.5 will bring a smile to your face.

WordPress has been a really strong app all along, but the stuff in 2.5 is just perfect for the short list of “Man, I sure wish WordPress did ….”

For me, the big ticket items in WordPress 2.5 are:

  • Easier ( in most cases – 1 click ) plugin upgrades.
  • A much better WYSIWYG post editor that doesn’t chomp on your HTML code.
  • Built-in photo galleries (goes to WordPress big cheese Matt Mullenweg’s galleries) which includes EXIF extraction and a vastly better upload tool.
  • Full-screen editing for the wordy among us:)

I’ll be moving to 2.5 here at Business is Personal as part of a refurb that’s I’ve been working on sporadically. I spent too many years in the software business to just upload it and employ the strategy of hope on an existing site that I can’t afford to have down for a week. Since I use WP as a content management system (CMS), I’m testing 2.5 for some new sites, so as I find interesting discoveries, I’ll note them here.

Why do I mention this?

Because small business owners should be blogging and your blog should be on your small business’ website – NOT at the group blog hosting sites WordPress.com or Blogger.com, etc. Positioning, positioning, positioning.