Posted in Uncategorized

Using Trello to Manage Blogging

I do enjoy blogging. Really I do. The problem seems to arise with having to blog on a schedule. As much as I would like to just write when the mood strikes me, to paraphrase Gurney Halleck from Dune, “Mood? What has mood to do with it? You blog when the necessity arises — no matter the mood! Mood’s a thing for cattle or making love or playing the baliset. It’s not for blogging.

In order to keep my newly invigorated writing on task, I’m applying my considerable business process background to the challenge and configuring a system to assist with the tracking and execution of blog articles on a consistent schedule.  Since I’m a “reformed project manager” (as I care to identify myself often) I turned to a style of tool with which I am quite familiar…the Kanban board.  One of the best implementations of a Kanban board I have found to date is the web application, Trello.
To begin, I created a board in Trello specifically for tracking my article ideas and acting upon them. This requires five lists for the cards on the board:
The five lists I use for publishing
The five lists cover article ideas, drafts, editing, publishing, and metrics tracking for follow up.  Any new idea is first created as a card on the New Ideas list.  When the new idea is captured, a label is applied to indicate where the article will be released.  Note this isn’t for social media sharing but rather the actual home of the article.  (I write for LinkedIn as well as The Idea Pump so it is important to put the right content in the right places.)
Assign a tag for tracking
When work begins on the draft of an article, I just drag the article card from the New Ideas list to the Drafts list.
Drag from New Ideas to Draft
Since one of the important parts of consistent content production is the adherence to an editorial calendar, I assign the due date for the next list to the article card for tracking purposes.
Adding a due date to a card
By following this process I should be able to move articles through on a timely manner and keep my content production schedule moving smoothly.  Only time will tell…
Posted in Uncategorized

Creating your own Pinterest

Pinterest has gained huge amount of popularity over the past few years.  Unfortunately one of the drawbacks is the lack of ability to share “boards” outside of Pinterest itself.  If you’re a blogger or site publisher and want to share these kinds of collections of bookmarks and images, Springpad is the way to go in my book.

Below you’ll see an example of an embedded Springpad notebook.  By doing this, you can share any content you put into the notebook, now or later, with your audience without them having to have a Springpad account.  It’s a great way to provide organized reference material with a minimum of muss and fuss.
The process of embedding a notebook is a simple one.  Create a notebook in Springpad, populate it with content, and then click on the Share Notebook button.  You’ll have the option to get a link to the notebook or in this case, copy and past the Javascript necessary to embed your notebook.  Now just paste the Javascript into your page and you’re all set.

Regardless of what or how many springs you have, this is a great way to create publicly shared content without having your users struggle to locate the information.  You can share the notebook in a collaborative mode, allowing others to post and edit the content, and still have the embedded notebook sharing all the contents in a clear visual format.  If  your reader is a Springpad user, they can follow your notebook or even reshare it for others to find.

This is just one of the many ways to put these notebooks into use.  There’s lots more where this came from.

Posted in Uncategorized

To G+ Blog or not to G+ Blog – a matter of balance

ant0720 / Foter / CC BY-NC

There’s an interesting debate going on about using Google+ as a primary blogging platform over systems such as Blogger and WordPress.  As is normally the case there are people on each side of the discussion, with some advocating complete migration to G+ while others claim there is no place for G+ when it comes to blogging.  My response is simple…I take the middle road.  Here are my reasons:

Commenting is better with G+

The ability to hook WordPress or Blogger into the commenting system for Google+ opens  a world of connection and response that honestly I never get through my normal blogging channels.  It’s a simple enough matter to make the connection and once it’s done G+ becomes the social connection for your posts.

Writing is more thoughtful (for me) in a blogging tool

I find that the stream of consciousness type of environment that G+ doesn’t put me in the right mindset to write and edit posts that take longer than top of mind.  While I do know I could do my writing in another tool then copy and paste but that seems to defeat the purpose.  Also the complexity of trying to do draft posts in G+ pushes me again back into a true blogging platform.

Sharing is better in G+

After spending time crafting a post I want the broadest audience possible to read it, but I also want the most engaged group to participate in it as well.  The posting of links not only to Communities but the Public as well through G+ gives me that reach.  Once they read the post they can learn more through the navigation structure I manage on my blog rather than counting on G+ to navigate a reader to my other posts.

Ownership of content is easier on a blogging platform

Writing takes effort and not ashamedly I want to be able to show what I have written and the expertise I have in various fields and that is easier to accomplish through a medium that can cross social networks and be used where it is best at that time.

The focus should be the audience and the message, not the medium

I want to be able to leverage every possible way to share and communicate with my readership base.  I’d rather keep my options open and leverage the platforms for their strengths as they grow and change.

Posted in Tools

Moving day again

It seems the short attention span I suffer from when it comes to blog hosting services has struck again.  In my on-going quest to find the one service providing me not only an effective tool but tight integration with my social networks I have returned to Blogger yet again.

There is a debate going on as to whether it is better to blog directly on Google+ or to blog outside and post your content for comment.  For the rest of the month I’ll do both and let the chips fall where they may.