Ready to learn more about blogging? If so, it’s time to tag, digg and get del.icio.us.
Last week’s article looked at some key blogging terms and concepts. This week, we’ll discuss the more advanced terms in the blogger’s dictionary.
A list of the blog sites that you respect posted on your blog.
TrackBacks allow your readers to see a list of sites that relate to your post. They can also be used to post messages from other bloggers or for quoting other blog posts. For example, if you post information about how to conduct a short sale, another blogger might use the TrackBack function to add a link to a different article on short sales. A mortgage broker might comment on alternatives to using a short sale. When a blog posts new information, the system sends a ping notifying the other blog. Also, you can ping your own TrackBack link if you find an article, link or resource that you would like to add to your original post. TrackBacks can also be used to manage your link lists easily.
Rather than using the folders on your computer to keep track of your favorite blog posts or Web sites, social bookmarking provides an excellent alternative that uses “tags.” The most popular site for this is del.icio.us, aka delicious.com. Del.icio.us allows you to keep links to your favorite articles, blogs, music, reviews, etc., as well as sharing them with others. Because these are stored on the Web, you can access them from any computer. You can keep your bookmarks completely private or you can share them with others. You are in complete control.
Social bookmarking relies on tags. You determine how you would like to tag your posts or any articles you may write. According to the folks at del.icio.us, tags are “one-word descriptors that you can assign to your bookmarks on del.icio.us. They’re a little bit like keywords but nonhierarchical. You can assign as many tags to a bookmark as you like and easily rename or delete them later. Tagging can be a lot easier and more flexible than fitting your information into preconceived categories or folders.” Furthermore, you can make up tags in whatever way makes the most sense to you. You’re not stuck using someone else’s organizational system.
What’s really cool about tags, however, is how they allow you to share with others who have similar interests. For example, if you tag an article or a post on a blog, del.icio.us links you to the public posts others have made on the same topic. Tags not only allow you to organize and find personal data, they also allow you to build “a collaborative repository or related information, driven by personal interests and creative organization.” Del.icio.us suggests visiting http://del.icio.us/tag/sweets to see how different people have tagged recipes for sweets. To see the most popular bookmarked items tagged as sweets, visit http://del.icio.us/popular/sweets. For real estate, check out http://del.icio.us/search/?fr=del_icio_us&p=real+estate&type=all. While tagging may take time to learn, once you master it, you have a powerful tool for navigating the Web and for finding the resources that you need.
Do you digg it?
Web 2.0 is all about user-generated content. If you read an article or a post that you like, you can use www.digg.com to let others know that “I dig this story.” Digg works by putting upcoming stories or blog posts into a holding area for 12 to 24 hours. During this time, users can determine whether they want to “digg” the story or bury it. If enough people like your post or article, you earn a position on the first page of the Digg Web site. Although there is very little on Digg right now in terms of real estate, look for this tool to become more widespread as the real estate and business blogging trend grows. Reddit works much the same way as Digg. If you like an article or a post, Reddit allows you to essentially “high five” the blogger for their work.
Remember the warning from your teachers? “If you copy someone else’s work, that’s plagiarism and it will earn you an ‘F.’ If you copy someone else’s work and acknowledge the source, that’s scholarship and it will earn you an ‘A.'” The same is true when it comes to blogging. To obtain the results you want, you must have fresh content that has never appeared anywhere else. The search engines catalogue content and if they have already catalogued what you post, you get what is jokingly known as “Google Justice.” Your post simply disappears from the blogosphere. The correct way to use other people’s content in your blog is to link to them and then follow up by pinging them when you reference their content. When you become active in the community and share, you will build your presence. Ripping off others will only hurt you.
This word shows up all over the blogosphere. The original definition meant snotty or arrogant. As used in blogs, however, it is a compliment. According to the Maven’s “word of the day” from Random House, “snarky” means “witty or cheeky.” According to LA Magazine, “snarky” describes a “witty mannerism, personality, or behavior that is a combination of sarcasm and cynicism.”
Want to know how to start a successful blog? Watch for next week’s article.
Bernice Ross, national speaker and CEO of Realestatecoach.com, is the author of “Waging War on Real Estate’s Discounters” and “Who’s the Best Person to Sell My House?” Both are available online. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her blog at www.LuxuryClues.com.