There are only so many blogs you can read before reaching critical mass and say, “Damn, this stuff is so easy to do, I’m gonna start one of my own.” And you’re right. You ought to start your own blog. But it’s not that easy to do, unless of course you know what you’re doing. And realizing that starting a blog has become a necessary evil for any business-minded individual, places you half-way towards attaining blogging success.

3Cs Of Blogging 

Today, an enterprise just cannot afford to setup a static company website and hope to tap into theBillboards vast business opportunities the Internet has to offer. This will be the equivalent of setting up a billboard, smack in the middle of downtown New York – vast amount of human traffic, but nary a care by those who zip by. That business might have as good a chance of getting the same result with running an ad in the Yellow Pages with half the cost.

It’s a basic principle of economics called marginality at work here; where people make decisions on the margin, choosing higher marginal utility over lower marginal utility. Translated to ‘business speak’, it means creating value worthy enough to grab the attention of the busy consumer. Slapping a static homepage detailing your company’s illustrious history into the world wide web is not going to cut it in a world where attention has joined the ranks of ‘common sense’ in my list of the TOP 10 THINGS GOING THE WAY OF THE DODO BIRD BY 2010 (an advertiser’s worst nightmare). Don’t get me wrong, having a website has its place in any business toolbox, but like most toolboxes, a variety of tools are needed to get the job done. Complement your website then, with a blog.

A blog completely  blows open the lines of communication between owner, and prospective buyers or clients, tearing down corporate walls, shifting the tectonic plates of ‘corporate speak’, to engaging in the conversation with the consumer who demands nothing less today. It doubles as a feedback system for your company; throwing open the floor to your buyers and clients, allowing them to clear lingering doubts and exorcise their frustrations on your blog, a far better option for them (and you), than taking up the issue with the Better Business Bureau. Richard Edelman, CEO of the world’s largest public relations firm, raises the point of the ‘paradox of transparency’:

“Business should embrace the “paradox of transparency” (term coined by Shell public affairs executives). Rather than hold back knowledge of a product’s benefits and risks, be open with your stakeholders, engage them in conversation and allow them to contribute to the solution. Sure, there is risk of competitive response but is that worse than the consumer outcry that can undermine the eventual acceptance of a product concept? The days of buying consumer approval simply through mass advertising are over. Today the runway for successful brand take off is effective public relations, which provides the strong base of credibility on which advertising can build. The average person like me is demanding a seat at the table, the true democratization of the purchasing process. Smart companies will recognize that ceding control is a central aspect in earning trust.”                       

(Co-Creating and the growing power of ‘average person like me’)

Blogs reel your customers in like fish on a hook because now, you’re actually viewed as more receptive to engaging in a conversation. Because it’s usually very difficult to walk away from a conversation, customers tend to develop a certain sense of loyalty and liking towards you, even if they had no previous inclination of ever doing business with you in the first place.

In ‘blink‘, Malcolm Gladwell sprung a rather surprising revelation about highly skilled doctors who got sued a lot for malpractice while doctors who made many mistakes were not. Upon further analysis into this puzzling data, it was discovered that patients never usually sue a doctor who had taken the time to talk and listen to the patients’ problems. But, patients will not hesitate to lay a lawsuit on a doctor who had treated them poorly and callously, however skilled he or she might be. Therefore, we can come to the understanding that, it was not really the surgery or medical treatment itself, but what occurred before that, which triggered the act of litigation.

From this, we can gather that treating your customers with the care and affection they feel they deserve, brings about a certain, profit windfall for your business. It might not really matter (to a certain extent), if your product was to their liking or not.

The implications of having a blog therefore cannot be understated. It’s a key strategy to building business success in a world where consumers are signing up in droves to declare themselves self-appointed evangelists for products that appeal to them. You can rest assured; the customers of today are a savvy bunch. Most of whom understand the concept of social networking, both offline and online, working the tools of communication like blogging, vlogging, instant messaging, moblogging, vidcasting, podcasting, to build web communities and networks. This makes it so easy to conduct their own research on products and share opinions amongst themselves in quick time. Consumer empowerment anyone? You better believe it!

David Gee, head of worldwide marketing for HP software, felt the brunt of this empowerment when he deleted a comment on a blog critical of HP. What happened next was probably something very few expected. Word got out so fast into the blogosphere, brewing a hot stew of criticism for this ‘rash’ act on the part of HP, that David had to reinstate the ‘comment’, publicly admit that HP had made a mistake in censorship and actually ‘lived’ to blog about it:

“This was a good learning experience for us and we strive to maintain honest and open communication with our customers. If we are going to use blogging as a legitimate connection between us and our customers, we need to choose either to be in all the way or out. We choose to be in. We want to hear from you.”       

This was headline news in the blogosphere last year and for what? A mere comment that was deleted by an unsuspecting HP exec (you can get the full story here). Facebook, the hugely popular social networking site for high school students, college students and beyond, got a taste of what the blogosphere could dish out as well when they failed to involve the community of Facebook users in the creation and launch of its new features. The blogosphere spoke. Wanna guess the outcome? A mea culpa was issued by Facebook’s creator, of course. 

Ripples Of Influence

Online communities are fast gaining notoriety for their collective influence on what they’re passionate about. It’s a clear sign of the shift of power and who wields it, and HP and Facebook have experienced this first hand. If more case studies and statistics are something that you might find useful in your business on the subject of the power of influence, you might want to try getting hold of, The Influentials: One American in Ten Tells the Other Nine How to Vote, Where to Eat, and What to Buy  by Jon Berry and Ed Keller.

If your budget has imposed restrictions on your expenditure, then let me help you out a little here. Findings from the book revealed that an average American has over 100 relevant marketing conversations per week and about 50 brands or more are discussed each week (another clear indication of the scope of communication attributed to products, companies and brands being exchanged between average Americans) . How then can businesses seize the opportunity to become part of this daily conversation? I think you know the answer to that…

Part 2 to follow soon.

Related Posts

Here is something that might interest you:

The Kauffman Foundation is launching EntrepreneurshipWeek USA — along with a group of sponsors including the New York Times and Inc. magazine – to ignite the nation’s consciousness around the importance of being entrepreneurial. The initiative will be designed to stimulate on-going interest from individuals and organizations serving as an educational kick-start for the uninitiated, and an inspiration for young people to begin a journey to fulfill their potential as self-starters and entrepreneurs.Traditionally “entrepreneurship” refers to starting a new business, and this indeed remains a critical dimension. But in today’s environment entrepreneurship permeates into very diverse areas of society, and entrepreneurial thinking people emerge through all sorts of routes and backgrounds. Entrepreneurial thinking is applied to non-business problems, and it is as relevant to public and volunteer organizations as it is to large corporations and small businesses. EntrepreneurshipWeek USA is designed to help kids actually see themselves as entrepreneurial thinkers – using creativity and innovation to start their adult lives.

Find out more here.

I thought I’d done a fairly thorough job of demonstrating the use of Bloglines. But Preetam Rai has gone the full monty on this one by teaching you how to keep track of blogs, news feeds, podcasts, Yahoo! Group messages, Flickr photos…yeah, all with Bloglines.

Check out his in-depth tutorial here.

 Related Posts

Euclid Proof

I was never fond of geometry. I have to thank my Math teacher for that. He made learning math utterly painful, ‘fingernails dragging across the board’ painful. Maybe it had to do with my father being a math wiz as well. Frustrated my dad constantly because of my inability to understand mathematical concepts and instantly applying them to solve complex problems. I was never ever going to be Charlie Eppes of NUMB3RS fame, so why not just rebel against gaining math intelligence at the peril of being tagged a mathematical imbecile?

Now as a self-aspiring entrepreneur, I may come to regret my early decisions in life. Especially when the world’s highest paid marketing consultant talks about geometry in business. You may know this guy. He goes by the name of Jay Abraham.

Smart fellow, this man. Knows a helluva lot about multiplying a business’s bottom line. His success rate as a marketing consultant is second to none. If you’re already planning to hire him, I suggest you stop reading my blog now, and I wish you the best for your early retirement and enjoy your sail for the Bahamas in your 25 million dollar yacht.

For the rest of us who can’t afford to hire Jay Abraham (for the moment at least), well, you’ve got me to dish out a few nuggets of business wisdom from the man himself.

You see, Jay Abraham is all about working on the geometry of a business, as opposed to growing a business incrementally. That’s how most businesses grow their business, incrementally, or in a linear fashion, which is burdensome.

The geometry of business speeds up growth as much as 90% (I’m not making that up) and here’s why. There are only three major ways to grow a business.

1.      Increase the number of clients or buyers 

2.      Increase the size of the transaction or the sale   

3.      Increase the frequency of the purchase or  repurchase

At this point, I’m going to let him do the talkin’: 

If you’d take a moment to get a piece of paper and a pencil or pen, put the paper the long way, horizontally, and draw four boxes across and four boxes down. On top of the first four boxes across, write above the first box “Number Of Clients (Or Buyers),” the next box to the right, “Size Of Sale (Or Transaction),” the next box, “Frequency Of Transaction,” and the last box, “Total Revenue.” Then fill the boxes in with a hypothetical example. Say you had a business that had 1,000 clients who were buying twice a year and spending $100 every time they bought. Then the revenue or the sales of that business would be 1,000 transactions, times two, times $100, or $200,000.    

Screenshot 1

(THE POWER PARTHENON STRATEGY of Geometric Business Growth)

Increasing those three numbers by a mere 10% is a piece of cake, because the odds are exceedingly low that anybody is using the very best selling/marketing activities, time or efforts to attract and close buyers. Now, underneath the 1,000, put a 10% increase, or 11,000. If you only got the $100 sale up a mere 10% to $110… You can do that by upgrading into a higher quality. You can do it by addingsome product or service. If you only increased the frequency that they came back — and if you have nothing else to sell them, you could acquire or joint venture things that were valuable extensions that you could easily acquire — or you got them to refer more people… If you increased all those numbers by 10%, the total would not be 10% more. It would be a full 33 1/3 % increase.

 Screenshot 2

(THE POWER PARTHENON STRATEGY of Geometric Business Growth)

If you increase those numbers across the board by 25%, — I don’t want to reallyboggle people’s minds, but — the impact would be almost a 400% growth in the business. If you doubled all those figures, it would be 800%. That’s how you really get powerful growth. 

Screenshot 3 

(THE POWER PARTHENON STRATEGY of Geometric Business Growth)

(Source: Mark Victor Hansen Interview featuring Jay Abraham, Jan 18 2006)

I told you the guy was smart. You can get hold of the interview here (it’s a pdf file so you will need the Acrobat Reader to open it).

That’s about it for today’s geometry lesson but I do have something else to share with you – Traffic, human traffic to be specific.

Human traffic is something that every business owner craves for and as mentioned earlier, this is one of three ways to grow a business. Each visitor to your business site is a potential buyer or client. You will have to convert your traffic into buyers or clients to grow your business. And to do this effectively, you must understand the importance of measuring these conversions.

I’ve seen too many businesses that setup shop online only to fall by the way side because they’d failed to keep tabs on measuring their web site metrics. Only by measuring your web metrics, can you explode your business growth geometrically, as how Jay Abraham described it.

Measuring metrics is more science than art and can be a real pain in the gluteus maximus if you’re not sure of what to keep track of. But it can be the difference between zero growth, or a 200 % growth in your business.

In a future post, I will reveal the most important metric you should probably be keeping your eye on right now. And don’t feel shy about sharing your thoughts and ideas about growing a business in the comments area below. We could all learn something from one another.

Now, to find that geometry book…

P.S. if you’re planning on switching to Microsoft Vista when it hits the shelves next year, you might wanna check your PC’s hardware compatibility. To do so, click on the logo.

Microsoft Vista Get Ready

There are very few companies on planet Earth that can truly say they deserve ‘a second’ of our dwindling attention span. Microsoft and Apple are two such companies that fall into this exclusive group. And when you find these two corporate giants going head-to-head for market-share, it’s time to sit-up and pay attention. Apple got a head start in this market with the launch of the iPod. Yes, MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3, known better as MP3, has changed the way we listen to music today and spawned an industry that has put you, the consumer, in charge.

 Apple's iPod

Listening to an MP3 file is as easy as switching on your radio or, clicking a file on your PC or Mac. It’s this ease that has made MP3 a very popular format for consumers like us. But what Apple realized was, humans are actually creatures in constant motion and would never settle for sitting in one spot listening to music or a motivational tape. Their ‘light bulb’ moment led to the launch of a portable MP3 device called the iPod (though, credit has to be given to Sony for introducing this concept with its release of the Walkman). Today, the iPod has become a fashion statement for the young and trendy. If you don’t find it hanging round their necks as an accessory, you know it’s probably stashed away in their pockets somewhere.

Microsoft, who bore witness to Apple’s great strides in this market, plotted covetously for a piece of this pie; like Gargamel preying on the Smurfs. Zune – the latest offering by Microsoft is its ‘in-your-face’ reply to Apple. Or is it?

You see, the purpose of the long-winded introduction is to bring your attention to a burgeoning trend, known more familiarly as podcasting. The Diffusion Group predicted that podcasting will reach an audience of more than 56 million by the year 2010; this, within the U.S. alone. That’s like shooting fish in a barrel for advertisers. Apple foresaw this and quickly cornered the market with the iPod, so much so that the term podcasting has become synonymous with the iPod (podcasting =  iPod + broadcasting). This has much to do with Apple’s astute foresight, as it has to do with its brilliant marketing.

 Microsoft's Zune

Microsoft’s Zune (to be launched tomorrow) on the other hand, seems only capable of playing catch-up.  Because I’m not the sort who is overly concerned with looks (hence my taste in most things audio), hardware design is rarely a point of contention for me. What piques my interest in technology-based products is the ability to sustain current and future trends. Zune does not even come close in this aspect. You’ll understand why if you read Robert Scoble’s take on it.

A podcast, usually in MP3 format, is audio content that you can listen to on your Mac or PC or any portable MP3 player at your convenience. I say convenience because unlike radio, you determine what you want to listen to, how you want to listen to it, and above all, when you want to listen to it. This is made possible with a little help from RSS (a terminology you should already be well familiar with). Like a blog, where an aggregator fetches blog content that you specifically requested for –  by placing individual RSS feeds into it –  hence giving you the ability to read the content at your leisure at one location, a podcast works in exactly the same way. The only difference – you’re now listening to content instead of reading it. Groovy!

So How Do I Subscribe To A Podcast? 

The easiest method is as simple as visiting the podcaster’s website and listening to it there ( most podcasters offer the option of downloading an MP3 file directly to your computer). Alternatively, and the best method of course is to get hold of an aggregator (also known as a podcatcher)  and start subscribing to your favorite podcasting feeds.

Where Can I Download A Podcatcher?

Well, it seems almost obvious for what I’m about to tell you, but anyway, Apple does have a podcatcher. It’s called iTunes and it’s a free download for PCs as well as for Macs (goes without saying). Visit the iTunes download page, download the software and read the tutorial for a better grasp of getting the best out of it.

You’re now ready to start subscribing to podcasts. There is a podcast about practically any topic you can think of (yes, people really do have that much time on their hands). But if you’re not one of those who has time to spare, then you’ll want to separate the wheat from the chaff. You do this by visiting the more popular podcast directories like Podcast Alley and performing searches for subjects of your choice on Odeo, PodFeeder and Yahoo! Podcasts. Or, why not try searching Web 2.0 style with Pluggd. Here’s how TechCrunch describes Plugged:

Here’s how this new search will work. When users decide they only want to hear a part of a file concerning a given topic, they enter a search term. Pluggd then searches for instances of that term and related terms being used in the file. Relevance is displayed on the file timeline with a heat map, sections of the file most related to your term appear in red, less related in green and unrelated in blue. Hover over any relevant point on the timeline and you’ll see the terms used there that Pluggd determined were related to your search term.

Users can click to listen to the file at that point, or select another option to tag, describe and share a particular section of the file. Castro says the company aims to set that data free, not keep it trapped in Pluggd. All of this is being done first with audio, but the company intends to implement the same technology with video as well. Podzinger already uses speech recognition with podcasts but doesn’t offer the semantic analysis of terms related to your search query. Blinkx does something similar for video, but Pluggd is building on speech recognition and adding even more value to search results.”

(Source: TechCrunch)

Other podcatchers that may entice you, well, there’s ‘Yahoo! Podcasts‘, which doubles as a directory of popular podcasts. Though not technically a podcatcher, as it still requires iTunes for subscription or Yahoo’s very own ‘Yahoo! Music Jukebox‘,  it does come in handy for a quick glance of what piques your listening pleasure.

Just one more podcatcher that you should know; Juice. An open-source software, Juice (formerly iPodder) is one of the more popular podcatchers around. You’ll still need your default MP3 player on your computer to listen to your subscribed podcasts. So, the choice of podcatchers is entirely up to you. Play around with them and choose the one you’re most comfortable with.

Hey, This Podcasting Thingy Is Still All Gobbledygook To Me

Alrighty then, how about watching a few short albeit excellent videos that could paint a clearer picture for you? It’s free and all you gotta do is click on the links below to watch them on your browser (nothing to download). These videos are courtesy of Andy Wibbels (hope you don’t mind me sharing these videos with my readers, Andy), who has created an intensive course on podcasting:

  1. How Podcasting Works
  2. The Big Deal About Podcasting
  3. Downloading and installing iPodder (now called Juice)
  4. Getting Started With iPodder (now called Juice)

I may be overdoing it here but, how about a short demo on subscribing to a podcast from a website? 

Ok, let’s suppose you’re a news junkie. Reading the newspaper ain’t enough of a fix for you. You need something stronger. Radio might not cut it because to get the information you want, you’re at the mercy of the station’s programming schedule, not forgetting the advertisements you’ve to sit through. Or the DJ/host/presenter/news anchor just talks too much! Same goes for television.

Here’s where podcasts can come in. Go to CNN, U.S. edition (just one of many news sites that offer podcasts). Look for the podcast subscription’s link or logo (scroll down a little and you’ll find it).

 Screenshot 1

For the International edition, you can find the subscription link right at the bottom right corner of the web site.

Screenshot 2

Browse through the content offered.

 Screenshot 3


When you find something you like, click on either the iTunes  logo,  (this launches the feed directly into your iTunes) or, the ‘subscribe pod’ logo .

 This link will send you to a page which looks like this:

Screenshot 4

The rest is as easy as finding your podcatcher logo, clicking on that logo and you’re done.

If the podcast happens to carry ads, try using the forward button on your iPod, or whatever player you’re using (that’s the beauty of podcasting. You’re in control).

Of course, we’ve got the whole other matter of subscribing to a videocast. But the steps are similar to that of podcasts. So now, instead of just listening – you can listen and watch at the same time (oh right, I’m sure you already knew that, with a television in your home and all…hmm).  

In future posts, I’ll be writing about applications for podcasting in your business. How you could be the ‘Howard Stern of business radio’ and be profitable at the same time. Like blogs, proper tactical applications of new media will lead to a massive boost in your business growth. So stay Zuned or iTuned (had to sneak that in)….

 Delivered with style and wit, FitzGerald’s lecture was a delicious summary of the mistakes he had seen directors, managers and employees make during his near 40-year career at one of the world’s biggest consumer-products companies. Some of the worst blunders, he identified through painful experience: he’d made them himself.

But he had also learned important lessons by watching colleagues and competitors crash through barriers marked, Don’t Go There.

As you might expect from a chatty Irishman, FitzGerald paid no attention to his own rules of engagement and comfortably exceeded his target of 10 tips for consigning a company to history. By the time he stopped speaking, I had counted at least 35.

So here, fleshed out a with a few comments from myself, is FitzGerald’s “formula for failure”.

Source: The Telegraph (Read the rest of the article here).

If I may just add one more to that list:

You own a sweatshop as a sideline business managed by illegal aliens and proudly brag about it to Martin Bashir (no pity applause, please).

This final installation of How To Subscribe To A Blog (Part 2) will add a few minor details that you might find useful.


Let’s start by taking you over to the newly acquired YouTube by Google. It’s a short tutorial on how to add a RSS feed in Bloglines. Yes, it’s different to the way I showed you in Part 1.


Once you’ve a few RSS feeds added to your feed reader (for this tutorial, Bloglines is used as an example again), you’ll want to know how to read your web feeds. Click here for your tutorial.


If you happen to like a blogpost that you’re reading on your feed reader, and would like to save that post in your feed reader, here’s how to do it in Bloglines. You should have a similar feature in your feed reader, if you’re not using Bloglines.


Get your feeds organized into folders. The fun in visiting your feed reader can fizzle out the moment you find your feeds piling up in all directions, and suddenly finding yourself spending more time finding your feeds, than reading them.

You can sort your feeds out at the stage of adding a feed itself, or after. Here’s how to do it after adding a feed, assuming many of you might have already added a feed without organizing them into folders:

  1. Click the feed you want to put into a folder.

  2. Now look at the right window pane of your Bloglines feed reader. Near the top-right hand corner, you’ll see something called ‘edit subscription’.

 Screenshot 1

  1. Click on ‘edit subscription’. You’ll see a pop-up like the one below. Look for the drop-down box with the title ‘Folder’.

 Screenshot 2

  1. Click on the drop-down box. Choose ‘New Folder’. A javascript prompt will ask you to type in the name you want, for your new folder. Type the name in and click ok.

 Screenshot 3

  1. Now click the ‘Update’ button at the bottom of your pop-up ‘edit subscription’ window and you’re done.

Up to this stage, you’re practically ready to add, organize and read blogs that you’ve subscribed to without worrying about anything else.

But if you’re the kind who gets a high from tinkering with added features, feel free to look all the way down the left pane of your Bloglines window.

 Screenshot 4

Click on each link to read and follow the instructions Bloglines gives. That is, if you so choose to use any of the added features. It’s there to make your Bloglines experience a little more pleasant.

Not to marginalize those who are not fond of Bloglines, allow me to take you to a great tutorial that guides users on subscribing to feeds, using other types of feed readers and browsers.

This should do it for subscribing to blogs. If you’re in doubt about anything that has been covered, feel free to post your comments or shoot me an e-mail.

 Related Posts

I’ve been told time and time again by my daddy, “not to make things harder than it already is.” That was during my hormonally-charged, incorrigible teenage years. Today, I find it difficult to ignore the significance of that statement.

I should not make things harder than it already is for you. You must be stretched for time. So if I’m able to help lighten your load a little, I’ll do it. I understand that some of you are still unfamiliar with the concept of syndication and subscribing to a blog. This post will walk you through the process, step-by-step.

If you’re ready to subscribe to a blog, I assume you’re already familiar with the term, RSS. If not, here’s a little refresher course for you.

Syndication, from an RSS point of view, is simply put, sending you the latest updates or changes from a website or blog. And how do you receive these updates? Through something called an aggregator or feed reader.

You’re going to need a feed reader if you’re going to subscribe to blogs. There are desktop feed readers, which you have to download to your Mac or PC, and the slightly more popular, web-based feed readers.

I shan’t go into detail about the features of each feed reader for obvious reasons, but I will point you to a resource that will (The feed readers reviewed there are only web-based).

For desktop-based feed readers, I would recommend the following:

·        FeedDemon – Windows based (it’s not free)

·        Pluck RSS Reader – Windows & Mac based (Free)

·        NetNewsWire – for Mac users. Integrates well with the Safari browser (it’s not free)

The choice of feed readers is entirely up to you. But for the sake of simplicity, I’m going to demonstrate with a feed reader of my choice, Bloglines (a FREE web-based reader). I will walk you through subscribing to a blog which, I believe to be worthy enough of sitting in your feed reader – Technopreneur (talk about shameless!). Alright, let’s get started!

Creating Your Account With Bloglines

1.      Go to Bloglines.

2.      Click on Register.

 Screenshot 1

3.      Fill out the short form to create your account. Click Register and follow Bloglines’ directions. It will send you an e-mail to verify if it was truly you who signed up or your mischievous computer-literate cat.

 Screenshot 2

4.      Check your e-mail account now and click on the confirmation link which Bloglines had sent you. Congratulations, you’re now an official Bloglines account holder.

5.      You should now be looking at Bloglines’ recommendations of feeds, nudging you towards adding them to your new feed reader. If it’s relevant to your interest, then add them. If not, don’t clog up your reader with unnecessary feeds.

6.      If somehow, you’re not already logged into your account yet, you can do so now.

 Screenshot 3

Subscribing To A Blog With Your Bloglines Feed Reader

7.      Now let’s try subscribing to Technopreneur.

8.      Upon logging in to Bloglines, you will see a page that looks like this.

 Screenshot 4

9.      Look at the left pane, with the three tabs. Notice that My Feeds is highlighted. You should also see a single default feed from Bloglines in your feed reader if you had not added any feeds yet.

 Screenshot 5

10.  Go to the Technopreneur blog now.

11.  On the left, you will see a column showing Subscribe Here with four orange buttons.

 Screenshot 6

12.  Click the top most button which looks like the one below.

 Screenshot 7

13.  The next page you will see, is this.

 Screenshot 8

14.  On the right side of this page, you’ll see a box that says, Subscribe Now!

 Screenshot 9

15.  Look for the button that says SUBBLOGLINES and click on it.

 Screenshot 10

16.  It will now take you to your Bloglines feed reader with a page that looks like this.

 Screenshot 11

17.  Scroll all the way down to the bottom of that page and click the Subscribe button. For the moment, don’t worry about setting your Bloglines preferences. You can play around with that at your own leisure. But, I would suggest placing your feeds in folders; for organizational purposes.

 Screenshot 12

Voila! You’ve just completed a subscription process. You will find your feed on the left panel of your Bloglines’ My Feeds page.

Part 2 of How To Subscribe To A Blog to follow.

Related Posts

“According to research from Nielsen/NetRatings, people are buying cutting-edge technology but often don’t understand the terms that describe what their device actually does.

Terms such as podcasting and wikis are still meaningless to many.”

Source: BBC News (Read the rest of the article here).

Now, aren’t you glad you have this blog?

 Memories of stained toilet seats and grimy kitchen cabinets come flooding back when I mention Ajax to friends.

 Ajax Cleaning Solutions

“I would have lost my sanity if it wasn’t for Ajax,” Sheila whimpered to my wife, struggling to hold back a tear. “No other cleaning solution worked for me. Ajax is all I think about when it’s time to clean.”

Goodness gracious, you’d think that there would be more to life than Ajax for some folks, but apparently not. At least not until it became the buzzword for today’s trendy Internet community. You see, the Ajax I tried telling my friends about, was about the hottest Web development technique right now. How hot is it? Well, let’s just say, it gets more buzz than Paris Hilton’s debut album (which I won’t even bother linking to).

Some pundits have attributed the Web’s Second Coming to the rising popularity of Ajax. Ajax type Web applications are blooming so fast all across the Internet that it has become far easier to sit through another moth-eaten episode of ‘Fear Factor( do I really need to know another recipe for a milkshake?) than trying to keep up with the latest Ajax app. Thank God for TechCrunch.

But isn’t such applications meant to make our lives a little more significant, you ask? Well, I don’t know about significant, but this new generation of Web apps are worth keeping a look out for. And one such app, is what may be termed as, personalized start pages or Ajax desktops. Does My Yahoo ring any bells? Let me explain.   

My Yahoo Homepage

You don’t hook up to the Internet today to send out an e-mail or two anymore. I’m sure of that. If you’re like most Internet users, you’re probably digesting dollops of information, sometimes frustrated by the fact that you can’t find what you’re looking for. It’s not because it’s not there, it’s just the niggling problems of having to sift through the digital ocean of content. Then comes the organization and management of files and content that litters your hard drive. That could explain why your PC keeps crashing. You may need to upgrade your hard drive to keep up with your burgeoning content, clear out the spam from your e-mail client, ensure your software are up-to-date with the latest patches, and to top it all off, your home PC suddenly forgets how to read your office files. Day in a life of an Internet user.   

But I am obliged to remind you, that on the Web, you’re boss. You dictate how to consume the content you prefer. A good example of this is iTunes. Hardly anyone visits iTunes to download an entire CD. It’s most likely a song they’d heard on radio and then downloading that particularly song from iTunes. It’s the same with blogs. No one has the time to read an entire blog of an inspired blogger. I’m sure you’re only prepared to allocate your time for a particular post, instead of an entire blog. It’s funny isn’t it; as the range of choices expands, the less attention it gets out of you. The economics of attention, you say?

But that’s where the Ajax desktop offers to help. Think your PC’s desktop, but its online and more efficient. Features of different Ajax desktops may vary, but Scott Vine does a fantastic job of detailing the most popular Ajax desktops that are attracting legions of fans ( I would recommend you hop on over there right now to see what’s on offer and come right back after)

Okay Kevin, Sounds Interesting, But Will It Really Get My Sanity Back?

Let me put it to you this way. Does having all your content and information packaged in one centralized location appeal to you? If it does, then yes. Think about it, dumping all your data in one place and having instant access to it from any location on earth with an Internet connection. I would sign up for that. It makes more sense if you are an avid traveler. You’ll enjoy an evolving platform, one which encourages add-ons for a more interactive user experience (not every Ajax desktop supports this though). You’re bound to witness more integration with Web 2.0 type applications from word processors to widgets, inevitably creating enhanced functionalities.

This process of choosing content that appeals to you and organizing it in one location is only a sample of what lies ahead in a shift towards microchunking (more on this in a future post).

Its early days yet though, in the world of Ajax desktops. Using one now could label you a pioneer. But I reckon once you’ve tried one, you’ll never look back.

Possibilities of using Ajax desktops for businesses? I don’t see why not and as I mentioned earlier, these personalized start pages have not hit the mainstream market as yet. Only time will tell how practical incorporating these start pages into your business model can be. But, with the proliferation of social networking sites like MySpace and judging by the popularity of Netvibes, a marriage of both models can fuse a profitable explosion. The BIG THREE (Windows Live, Google IG & My Yahoo) are already in the game. It’s obvious they’ve sniffed out a money pit.

Watch this space for updates.

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