Tim Yang’s Weblog


Tell me about your blog

Filed under: Blogging — Tim Yang @ 4:58 pm

If you read my blog and if you have a blog, tell me about it. I already have a short list of other bloggers who read my blog, but I got them mostly from comments and from blog-search tools like Technorati. I have a list called “Readers” in my RSS feed reader, but it’s still very thin and I’d like to boost it. So leave me a comment or write me an email. Thanks!


Lifehacker.com went from Nice! to Sucks!

Filed under: Blogging — Tim Yang @ 3:57 pm

This is probably news of no importance, but I’ve decided to unsubscribe from Lifehacker.com’s RSS feed. It just got too intrusive for me with its “link optimisation”. I can’t stand that:

  1. It has a del.icio.us-type link post every day, not for one topic but for several. There’s “News”, “Ask Metafilter” and now “Ask Slashdot”. Listen, I’m here for lifehacks. Hello, that’s what your site is called. If I wanted that other stuff, I’d subscribe to their feeds. I don’t need it from you too.
  2. On top of those link posts, Lifehacker.com also does a link post on its own posts! What am I, a five year old child? I need to be reminded twice about everything?
  3. It’s even doing a weekly post about its advertisers. Talk about intrusive advertising! I don’t mind if they link to their advertisers within their own posts, especially if the advertisers have relevant products or services. But blatantly making a “Sponsor” post is just too much.
  4. I think it all started with a directive to cross-sell the other blogs in the Gawker Media empire. I can’t stand that either. If I was interested in cars or celebrities, don’t you think I’m smart enough to subscribe to those feeds. I mean, those blogs are popular and prominent enough that they’re all topic leaders in their fields. But the point is: they’re not relevant to lifehacks so why are they on Lifehacker.com?.
  5. I get ten posts from you and only five are actual lifehacks. What happened? I got bait-and-switched, that’s what happened.

It’s gotten to the point where nearly none of the posts on Lifehacker.com interests me. Half of them aren’t real posts — they’re meta-posts. In any case, if it does turn out that any of Lifehacker.com’s posts are of any real value, they end up on popu.li.cious and I still get to see them anyway. So long, Lifehacker.com!


40-60% of Blogspot content is spam

Filed under: Blogging, Spam — Tim Yang @ 1:45 pm

I knew it was bad, but this is an indication of just how bad. Philipp Lenssen did a random survey using Blogspot’s random blog url generator and he catalogued 50 blogs hosted on blogspot. 30 of them were spam blogs. If you are a student fishing for ideas on a paper, I think this is really worth an academic paper with a larger sample.


New definition of a weblog

Filed under: Blogging — Tim Yang @ 7:46 am

Apparently, the Mac’s new built in dictionary defines a weblog as “Blogs run by twenty-something Americans with at least an unhealthy interest in computers“.

Blog broker agent?

Filed under: Blogging — Tim Yang @ 12:00 am

I wonder if there’s a blog broker agent out there yet? Someone who sources blogs with sales potential and matches them with buyers and vice versa. It wouldn’t be a difficult kind of business. It’s already fairly simple to judge the sales potential of a blog — based on the blog’s cache of loyal readers (RSS readers), blogosphere credibility (link-ins), current and projected traffic, current and projected Adsense earnings, size of archive and likeability of the blog. The seller would have to sign an exclusive contract with the agent. And the agent makes a sales commission from one party or both. Might be worth looking into now with so many marketers trying to break into blogs and so many bloggers wanting to make money.


Been blogging long?

Filed under: Blogging — Tim Yang @ 10:23 am

You’ve all heard the current numbers of the blogs and the amount of growth per day. But from the blogger perspective, has it been that long? Well it has when people start sticking “blogging since” labels on their blogs.


A Comparison of How Some Blog Aggregation and RSS Search Tools Work

Filed under: Blogging, RSS, Search Engines — Tim Yang @ 2:32 am

Mary Hodder of Napsterization.org has produced an analysis of five popular blog content search services (Bloglines, Feedster, Technorati, Blogpulse, Pubsub). She examines what each of them searches, how they search, what sort of links they count and how long they keep those links counted. It gives us some idea of why the results from each of the search engines differs so greatly from the others. For example, Bloglines keeps all data on inbound links from Day One whereas Technorati keeps link data as long as it is on the front page of a blog, so their link count is much lower but much fresher.

Hodder has put her research into a table on a PDF file for easy reference. I’m sure many people will be using her table to produce more insights into the way each of these search engines work. I hope she’ll include Icerocket.com in that table when it becomes more popular.


Measuring the effectiveness of a corporate blog

Filed under: Blogging — Tim Yang @ 12:18 am

If blogs are going to be an important part of the marketing and communications mix, then there must be some way of evaluating their returns. Heidi Cohen, a professor of Direct and Interactive Marketing at NYU has written some ideas on how to evaluate corporate blogs. The first step in the blog evaluation process must first of all be determining what the blog is expected to do. Cohen has a list of communication objectives for a corporate blog:

  1. Establish expertise - Blogs can be used to raise credibility of a company in its field.
  2. Create alternative media - Blogs can be established as a media outlet in their own right as a value-added corporate service or a product by itself.
  3. Extend corporate communications - Blogs enable companies to present a human face and voice to the public.
  4. Build community - Blogs can grow groups around a technology or issue related to the company’s product.

What Cohen leaves out at this point is the crucial part of first establishing the target of the blog communication. Without knowing that in clear terms, the objectives and their measurements lack meaning. Because blogs communicate on a personal level, they must show some return in terms of increase in brand awareness, brand prestige or credibility, likeability of the brand or understanding of the message. Cohen’s idea of return on investments revolves mostly around mainstream media effects.



Reference guide of Wordpress template tags

Filed under: Blogging, Wordpress — Tim Yang @ 12:49 pm

A few months ago, Kafkaesquí found that like myself the Wordpress Codex was missing a major section — a reference guide to template tags, like the ones in the addendum of most programming manuals. Luckily Kafkaesquí made the effort to rectify that mistake and published his list for everyone. Thanks, Kafkaesquí!

WordPress Template Tags (1.5) reference


Diaweblog.com - re-post to a weblog from IRC

Filed under: Blogging — Tim Yang @ 12:09 pm

Diaweblog.com allows people to create blogs from selected IRC channel logs. An IRC bot is activated to scan the logs and to re-post to a weblog whatever message follows a simple b, or b:. Right now, Diaweblog is in beta so it isn’t ready to open new weblogs, but you can partipate in the ten active weblogs that are open right now.


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