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TitleBlogging for Dummies (ISBN - 0470230177)
TagsFor Dummies
File Size6.7 MB
Total Pages386
Table of Contents
                            Blogging For Dummies, 2nd Edition
	Contents at a Glance
	About the Authors
	Authors’ Acknowledgments
	Table of Contents
		About This Book
		Conventions Used in This Book
		What You’re Not to Read
		Foolish Assumptions
		How This Book Is Organized
		Icons Used in This Book
		Where to Go from Here
	Part I: Getting Started with Blogs
		Chapter 1: Discovering Blog Basics
			Making Yourself Comfortable with Blogs
			Getting a Blog Started
			Choosing What to Blog About
			Creating a Successful Blog
		Chapter 2: Starting a Blog
			Starting a Blog with Blogger
			Writing a Post
			Publishing Your Post
			Viewing Your Blog Post
			Setting the Dashboard Settings
			Customizing Your Template
		Chapter 3: Entering the Blogosphere
			Understanding What Happens When You Publish
			Blogging Ethically
			Blogging — and Keeping Your Job
			Blogging without Embarrassing Your Mother or Losing Friends
			Protecting Your Privacy and Reputation
	Part II: Setting Up Your Blog
		Chapter 4: Choosing Blog Software
			Deciding on the Right Blogging Software
			Understanding Hosted Blog Software
			Understanding Blog Software You Install on Your Own Server
		Chapter 5: Dropping Code into Your Skill Set
			Coding Your Blog with Style
			Featuring YouTube Videos
		Chapter 6: Hosting Your Blog
			Registering a Domain
			Finding Web hosting
			Installing Blog Software
		Chapter 7: Customizing Your Blog
			Designing Your Blog
			Tiptoeing Through Templates
			Putting a Web Designer to Work
	Part III: Fitting In and Feeling Good
		Chapter 8: Finding Your Niche
			Deciding What Belongs on Your Blog
			Learning from the Pros
			Reaching Out to Other Bloggers
		Chapter 9: Creating Great Content
			Knowing Your Audience
			Writing Well and Frequently
			Getting Interaction Going with Comments
			Linking to Serve the Reader
			Breaking Through a Blank Screen
		Chapter 10: Handling Spam and Comments
			Recognizing Unwanted Comments
			Moderating Comments
			Fighting Spam with Software
			Dealing with Coverage on Other Blogs
	Part IV: Adding Bells and Whistles
		Chapter 11: Reaching Out with RSS
			Getting the Goods on Web Feeds
			Subscribing to an RSS Feed
			Making the Most of RSS
			Bringing It All Together
		Chapter 12: Building the Sidebars
			Adding the Usual Suspects
			Creating Cameo Appearances
			Finding Goodies for Your Sidebars
			Surveying the Field
			E-Mailing Your Posts
		Chapter 13: Making the Most of Photos
			Getting Equipped
			Choosing Visuals for Your Blog
			Editing Photos
			Inserting Photos into Blog Posts with Flickr
		Chapter 14: Saying It Better with Podcasts
			Deciding to Podcast
			Planning Your Podcast
			Assessing the Tools
			Dressing Up Your Podcast
			Publishing Your Podcast
			Promoting Your Podcast
	Part V: Marketing and Promoting Your Blog
		Chapter 15: Measuring Blog Presence
			Finding Out About Statistics
			Getting Web Stats
			Finding Out What Others Are Saying
		Chapter 16: Making Mad Mad Money
			Finding Out How Advertising Works
			Getting Advertising Going
			Putting Ads on Your Blog
			Putting Ads in Your RSS Feeds
			Getting Paid to Post
			Tying in Affiliate Marketing
			Seeking Sponsorships
			Accepting Gifts, Not Obligations
			A Final Word of Warning
		Chapter 17: Blogging for Companies
			Putting Blogs to Work for Your Business
			Planning for Business Blog Success
			Delivering with Technology
			Advertising on Blogs
			Bringing It All Together
	Part VI: The Part of Tens
		Chapter 18: Ten Ways of Growing Community
			Visit and Participate
			Add Guest Bloggers
			Try E-Mail and Newsletters
			Track and Customize
			Develop Solutions
			Check Your Code and Software
			Have Contests
			Ask Your Readers
		Chapter 19: Ten Cool Tricks for Making Your Blog Shine
			Twittering Your News
			Sharing the Weather
			Polling the Masses
			Tying in Social Bookmarking
			Flying High with Tag Clouds
			Going Web 2.0 with Big Footers
			Digging It
			Dressing Up with Avatars
			Connecting with MyBlogLog
		Chapter 20: Ten Blogs You Should Know
			defective yeti
			Daily Kos
			A List Apart
			Copy Blogger
			Improv Everywhere
Document Text Contents
Page 1

by Susannah Gardner
Author of Buzz Marketing with Blogs For Dummies

and Shane Birley




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Giving your community the ability to vote on whether or not a comment
is appropriate is a great way to get your community involved. If your
community is large enough, voting might be the quickest way to make
them feel as if they have a say in the content of your blog.

There are a couple of draw backs to voting systems that you should
consider before opting to have the users vote.

• The number of votes: You have to pick the right number of votes
required before a comment is removed from the site. If you set the
number too low, comments will disappear too easily, and some
nonspam but nonetheless unpopular comments are likely to be
removed. If you set the number too high, the spam simply sticks
around for a long time with a low rating. The right number varies
for every site, so you might need to experiment to find the right
one for your blog and even change it as your audience grows.

• Unjustified or biased votes: Your audience might use the ratings to
express their opinions about the quality of the comment or their
disagreement or agreement with it, rather than simply using it to
mark spam. Basically, your idea of what is being rated might differ
from how your audience decides to actually use the functionality.
Watch carefully when you implement a system like this to see how
your readers use it, and ensure that users have access to your
terms of service or community guidelines. Be sure to tell them
what the ratings mean to you!

Fighting Spam with Software
Spam is a pain. But, think for a moment about how much you’re really getting:
Do you get three every few weeks, or are you getting 500 an hour? If you’re
receiving only a few every month, you might not need to install any software
because moderating the few problem comments yourself isn’t all that onerous.
For blogs that get dozens of comments, however, spam fighting can be time-
consuming. The following sections explore some of the many blog software
solutions available to make this task a little faster and easier.

Protecting your comment form
The tools described in this section are designed to make it harder for spammers
to fill out the comment form on your blog. The idea is to prevent the spam from
ever reaching your blog so that you don’t need to deal with reading and
deleting it.

175Chapter 10: Handling Spam and Comments

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These tools do that job fairly well, but they also present something of a barrier
to people who legitimately want to leave a comment; remember, the idea is to
cut down on spam, not real comments! Keep your audience’s needs and abilities
in mind when implementing.

A CAPTCHA (an acronym for something really long and boring) is a challenge-
response test. That is, it’s a question that your reader must answer correctly
in order to post a comment. On a blog, CAPTCHAs are most commonly
implemented in such a way that they can be completed by humans but not
by computers. A CAPTCHA on the World Hum travel site (
requires the would-be commenter to duplicate the letters and numbers shown
in an image in order to submit a comment, as shown in Figure 10-6.

CAPTCHAs were created to stop spammers from adding comments to blogs
by using automated scripts sent out to try filling out any Web form they find,
especially blog comment forms. But spammers are inventive: Some blog
comment scripts are now proving capable of recognizing letters and numbers
in an image, so many sites that use CAPTCHAs distort the text being displayed
by stretching it.

Other sites use CAPTCHA questions that are simple for humans to answer, like
trivia or mathematical questions. For example, “What color is a red balloon?”
These kinds of CAPTCHAs are a bit newer and have yet to prove their effective-
ness, but you might want to check into them and see for yourself how they work.

Your blog software may have CAPTCHA technology built in or you might be
able to add one using a plugin. Check your blog software’s documentation and
support tools for suggestions on installing and configuring a CAPTCHA system.

User registration
A popular option with larger communities, especially online forums, is one that
requests or even requires that users who want to leave comments sign up for a
user account. These accounts are free, but to complete the registration process,
you must provide a name and valid e-mail address, thereby cutting down on the
number of spam scripts that can use them. Sites that require registration actually
prevent anyone who isn’t registered from leaving a comment; sites that simply
request registration reward it by recognizing members or by marking that user’s
comments in some highlighted way.

One benefit to this setup is that you can keep a record of everything the
poster adds to the system, easily identifying your most frequent contributors
and visitors. Also, if a poster gets out of hand or if an automated spam system
is able to acquire an account and post under that user name, you can simply
close the account and stop the person from posting again using that account.

Registration is increasingly common in blog software, so be sure to check
your documentation. If it isn’t available, look for a plugin.

176 Part III: Fitting In and Feeling Good

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Page 385

Northern Voice blogging conference, 304
noticing links for, 150
Odeo podcast directory, 252
The Open Design Community, 129
Open Source Web Design, 128
Open Web Design, 129
Pay Per Post, 283
Performancing, 284
Pheedo feed advertising, 279–280
Photobucket, 221
Picasa photo-editing software, 218
Podcast Alley directory, 252
podcast directories, 252
Podcast Pickle directory, 252 directory, 252
Podnova podcast directory, 252
Podsafe Music Network, 243
PollDaddy, 212–213, 327
Revver video sharing, 106
Roget’s New Millennium Thesaurus, 156
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds,

RSS feed icons, 79
ryze social network, 305
Shutterfly, 221
Simpson’s character avatars, 334
Site Meter hosted statistics software, 263
SmugMug, 221
Snapfish, 221
Sound Forge audio software, 239
Sponsored Reviews, 282
StatCounter software, 256, 262–263
stock photography, 104
tag clouds, 330
Technorati search engine, 148–149
Text Link Ads, 278
Think Salmon, 173–174
Twitter social networking tool, 324
TypePad blogging platform, 86–87
Vacant Ready (Chris Clarke), 331–332
video sharing, 106
video-editing software for podcasts, 240
Webalizer installable statistics software,

Webshots, 221
Wikipedia, 304
WordPress blogging platform, 85, 91, 118

World Hum travel, 176–177
writing resources, 156
Yahoo! Publisher Network, 276
Yale Web Style Guide, 156
YouTube podcast storage, 247
YouTube videos, 104
ZoomClouds, 330
Zwinky avatars, 334

Web software packages, resource for
comparison of, 74

Web statistics
analyzing, 257–258
capabilities of, 256–257
errors, 261
hits, 258–259
hosted software for, 262–264
installable software for, 265–267
lack of standards for, 261
page views, 259
repeat visitors, 259
types of, 258
unique visitors, 259

Web stats tool, StatCounter, 256
Web Style Guide (Yale), 156
Web traffic, generating with RSS feeds,

Webalizer installable statistics software,

features of, 265–266
Webshots photo-sharing, 221
Wells Fargo’s blog, 294
whitelists, using with spam, 81, 178

adding, 203
customizing via LibraryThing, 207–208

width attribute, using with images, 103–104
Wikipedia resources

blogging history, 16
online identify issues, 69
Web site, 304

wikis, starting, 304
Windows Live Spaces, code of conduct for,

wireframe in Blogger

appearance in Page Elements tab, 49
features of, 49–50

word definitions, finding, 156
word verification setting, effect of, 45–46


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WordPress blogging platform
features of, 85–86, 91
Web site, 118

word-usage questions, finding answers to,

workplace, avoiding blogging about, 63–64
World Hum Web site, CAPTCHA on,

Woulda Coulda Shoulda blog (Miriam

Kamin), 135
writer’s block, overcoming, 160–163

improving via copyblogger, 345
resources for, 156

Writing Publishing Program of Simon
Fraser University blog, 321

writing styles of bloggers
first-person approach, 154
noticing, 151
reading posts aloud, 155
spelling and grammar concerns, 156
using humor and jokes, 155

• Y •
Yahoo! Publisher Network advertising

system, features of, 276
Yale Web Style Guide, 156
Yarn Harlot blog, 155, 158
Yarnageddon blog , 199
YouTube, uploading podcasts to, 247
YouTube videos

adding to blogs, 105–106
features of, 104–105

• Z •
ZoomClouds, 330
Zwinky avatars, 334

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