Who wants to publish, must do so! No more excuses.

By Peter, April 7, 2010 22:03

Wherever we are, we have access to the web. We can see if in another part of the world the weather in the mountains is good enough to ski. We can watch the ships entering the harbour of Willemstad. We can watch our assets are doing on the Dow Jones stock market? But we are mainly lurking. We are downloading all kind of information from the net. Enriching our minds and broadening our knowledge or just enjoying the music, video’s or photos. But what about giving back?


There is no excuse anymore. The web is everywhere and that means that the internet connection you need is also there to use. But do you want to send only some nice tweets to your friends? No of course not! Everyone is a publisher today and it’s always nice to be heard. It’s great to spread your thoughts and ideas to everyone who wants to read it. But what is the most effective way to do so? What kind of hardware and software do we need? Let me tell you how I do it. How I use my spare time to share my thoughts with you all and what kind of tools I use to create my weblogs.


First of all there is the hardware component. A lot of people know that I am an enthusiastic Apple user, but for this purpose it was the software that made me decide to use a Windows machine. As we are talking about using the spare time to produce those weblogs, I prefer my small netbook I discussed earlier on this forum. I use my personal unlimited data subscription at T-Mobile. The dongle in the USB port helps me with my UMTS fast internet connection, as there are still only few places to connect through a free Wi-Fi connection.


The software I use on the client side is LiveWriter or Microsoft Word 2007. The first one has been made especially for writing weblogs and in MS Word 2007 you can choose to write a weblog. In both programs you can make your choice from a lot of server products, like Windows Live Spaces, SharePoint, WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, Moveable Type, Community Server and others. LiveWriter will even help you to setup a new account. And for most of these services you don´t even need own dedicated space at your own provider or on your own systems, but you can use the space and products available at Google and Microsoft.


I use WordPress as server software on my own dedicated pjvd2.nl space I hired at Hosting2Go. It´s not that I would not trust the availability or the professionalism of the earlier mentioned companies. At first I just used the built in editor of WordPress and was therefore working on the web, but after having discovered the easy way of working with LiveWriter I did not touch the web editor anymore. LiveWriter can even load existing weblogs and you can edit them locally on your machine. Of course you cannot write a weblog without using the web. Not only all of the photos are copied and pasted directly from the web to the weblog, but also the hyperlinks are transferred from their corresponding sites to the main text on the fly.

But finally: how do you generate traffic for your site / weblog? Of course you hope that you have many readers, who follow you and maybe have a RSS ticker set on your weblog, so that they receive automatically a notice that there has been a change on your weblog. I sometimes send people a mail, but maybe that is a little bit too much. But a tweet will be read by your followers. And of course – a plug in for WordPress is available – to send the actual data of your weblog to the Google search engines so anyone can find you (as long as you have the right words in your weblogs).


The last thing to do is to monitor your traffic. And then there is only one program that can perform this job best and that is Google Analytics. The only thing you need is an active Google account and that is free, just like the program Google Analytics. It’s like looking at the graphs of your favourite stocks at the stock exchange. And if you generate enough traffic you can even earn some money with it, by letting Google place some ads on your website. Maybe you can earn so much money that you can finance the newest gadget of Apple, the iPad. Maybe there will be a program on the iPad that you can use to create your weblog.

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