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3 Questions You Should Ask Before Starting an Online Community

3 Questions You Should Ask Before Starting an Online Community | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it
As I've pointed out before, with so many people urging every business and every brand to use social media channels to create their own online community, it's important to first stop and ask yourself why you should create an online community.

Via zapleahy, Crystal Coleman, Muse Seymour
Mike McCallister's insight:

Writers today need to build an audience online. It may be easy to set up groups on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, but do you always need "your own" community? Consider these questions before you launch one.

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Patrick D. Chappelle's comment, May 28, 2013 12:16 PM
More people should read this article (or like ones), and I wouldn't have to keep suggesting some of these same strategies to individuals who have already started their community, but have no idea what to do with them.
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Social Media Marketing Must Be Manageable | Digital Book World

Social Media Marketing Must Be Manageable | Digital Book World | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it
DBW blogger Chris Syme breaks down how an author can manage their social media marketing schedule.
Mike McCallister's insight:

Managing your platform-building time can be a real struggle. Chris Syme helps you figure it out. Really nice article, and one I can readily endorse.

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Escaping the new media cargo cult

Escaping the new media cargo cult | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it
Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Ignore the Metrics
Mike McCallister's insight:

Goodness, this is a marvelous piece! Fave quote (though there are many) emphasis added:


"Here's the thing: If you write, it can be very tempting to do as the big players do: follow the best practices, A/B test your headlines, and otherwise let metrics mutate your style until you've gone from being a writer to being a copywriter. But an eyeball isn't an eyeball. Not to you. You're a person, not a company. You can't re-brand, merge, or pivot. If you try to write like a corporation's social media generation team, you will burn out your voice faster than a coloratura soprano at the horse track."


David Moldawer agrees with the message of Build Your Author Platform: The New Rules: The most important thing about building a writer platform is to be yourself!

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Should You Be on Snapchat, Ello, or Vine? A Look at Social's Fringe

Should You Be on Snapchat, Ello, or Vine? A Look at Social's Fringe | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it
The latest research and tips on choosing which fringe social networks you might choose to join, including Snapchat, Ello, Vine, Tumblr, and more.
Mike McCallister's insight:

When Carole Jelen and I started writing Build Your Author Platform: The New Rules, we had a few discussions on what social networks to include. We settled on what we called the Big Four: Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. A year after our book came out, Kevan Lee adds two more to the "Big" mix: Instagram and Pinterest in this post.


More importantly, he offers advice in where to focus your social energies. His primary audience is social marketers, but platform builders can also learn from this post. He also throws in a few tools that I hadn't used before to look for your audience, so it's quite valuable.

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RSS Feed Aggregator Allows To Curate Content Inside WordPress: PressForward

RSS Feed Aggregator Allows To Curate Content Inside WordPress: PressForward | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it

Via Robin Good
Mike McCallister's insight:

Curating and sharing content is an important way of building your authority in your writing niche. If you really want to understand how to curate, follow Robin Good's "Content Curation World" on Scoop.it.


Robin shared this WordPress plugin that can help you find and post interesting content directly inside WordPress. I'll be testing this soon.

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Robin Good's curator insight, April 27, 3:43 AM



PressForward is a free open-source, WordPress plugin for curating most any type of content within the standard WordPress publishing workflow.

PressForward is in fact a full-fledged RSS feed reader and aggregator which can capture content coming from any site while allowing full editing and curation abilities. It is an ideal tool for news curators wanting to have a news gathering and discovery tool integrated into their standard publishing and editing environment.


PressForward is designed to be used by multiple users, like in a distributed newsroom, where several individuals or even a small community suggest and submit and others edit, approve and post selected content.

To gather content PressForward offers a standard bookmarklet to capture any content you find on the web, and can also import OPML files to allow you to aggregate and filter all of your favorite RSS feeds. 


Last but not least, PressForward keeps close tabs on the sources you utilise, by automatically creating attribution links for any content you curate and allowing you to have your posts optionally auto-redirect to the original source. 


Free to use. 




A project of Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media

N.B.: Of note the partnership initiative offered to any organisation interested in develop high-quality, collaboratively-sourced and edited publications, which offers up to $10,000 in funding and 



Stephen Dale's curator insight, April 28, 4:18 AM

Via Robin Good: "PressForward is a full-fledged RSS feed reader and aggregator which can capture content coming from any site while allowing full editing and curation abilities. It is an ideal tool for news curators wanting to have a news gathering and discovery tool integrated into their standard publishing and editing environment."


#curation

Janet Vasil's curator insight, May 14, 4:25 PM

Lots of paid content curation services are available online.  Here's a free open source wordpress plugin that's a good starting tool for a new content creator with full editing and curation capabilities.

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How to publish stories to Medium

How to publish stories to Medium | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it
A guide covering some of the blog-publishing platform's newer features, including the homepage editor, tagging, unlisted publishing and adding to 'Publications'
Mike McCallister's insight:

Medium is becoming an important site for writers seeking a broader audience. This guide by Abigail Edge of Journalism.co.uk to posting to Medium will help you get started.


Note that you can embed your Medium stories on your own site. See 'Sharing your story' near the end of this piece.

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My writing life: playing the long game

My writing life: playing the long game | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it
Beyond that, though, here’s something else that might be interesting to others pondering building a writing career: big chunks of my income are completely divorced from when I do the work. In 2014, I spent most of my time working on projects that generated absolutely none of my 2014 income. - See more at: http://lauravanderkam.com/2015/03/writing-life-playing-long-game/#sthash.M4vAgMEb.dpuf
Beyond that, though, here’s something else that might be interesting to others pondering building a writing career: big chunks of my income are completely divorced from when I do the work. In 2014, I spent most of my time working on projects that generated absolutely none of my 2014 income. - See more at: http://lauravanderkam.com/2015/03/writing-life-playing-long-game/#sthash.M4vAgMEb.dpuf
Mike McCallister's insight:

Discovered by way of Chris Gillebeau and  "The Art of Non-Conformity." This post by Laura Vanderkam  is partly about the weirdness of generating (and receiving) freelance income, but overall keeps a hopeful and confident tone. As I often say, "It will work out." Sometimes I even believe it!

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Six Ways for Authors to Engage on Medium

Six Ways for Authors to Engage on Medium - The Story - Medium
You’ve just spent a year, two years, five, writing your book. Now you’re releasing it out into the world, and you just w…
Mike McCallister's insight:

Medium is becoming a very interesting space to post content, especially for professional writers. While it should not become your social home base (This should ALWAYS be a space you have control over), it is definitely worth hanging out in.


Since this set of good ideas for engaging with this platform, Medium has also made it easier to contribute more "blog-like" content.

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Create Custom News Streams Based on Your Specific Sources and Filters

Create Custom News Streams Based on Your Specific Sources and Filters | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it
News defined by you.

Via Robin Good
Mike McCallister's insight:

If you're a nonfiction writer (or even a fiction writer who addresses real-world topics), you need to keep up with the latest news in your field of expertise. @Robin Goodtells us about Defcomb, a new curation tool that finds material on the web relevant to your oh-so-specific needs. I look forward to trying it.

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Stephen Dale's curator insight, February 10, 11:55 AM

Another excellent personal information management tool, HT to Robin Good for spotting.

Marta Torán's curator insight, February 11, 8:27 AM

Para leer las noticias que te interesan

Len Ferrara's curator insight, February 14, 12:31 AM

This looks great!

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Many Topics, One Blog

Many Topics, One Blog | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it
Focus, branding, search engine optimization... optimization schmoptimization, we say! Who says you can't blog on whatever tickles your fancy? The key is to find the focus in your lack of focus.
Mike McCallister's insight:

When I started blogging more than a decade ago, I really wanted to blog about anything that crossed my mind. The odd thing was that most of the things crossing my mind were about technology and software.


Now that I am conscious about using a blog to build my authority about topics I write about, I think hard before writing about other things that cross my mind, or just aren't about open source software or the Internet. As you build your platform with your blog, you may encounter that dread "I'm losing focus" feeling in your head. Michelle Weber at WordPress.com's The Daily Post reminds you that often, your audience follows you just because you're you!


To reconcile these contradictory urges, Michelle gives some great tips for allowing your readers to focus on the topics they want to -- and let everyone else enjoy everything you represent.

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Updating Your Website Without Destroying Your SEO

A Step-by-Step Guide to Updating Your Website Without Destroying Your SEO | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it

Posted by Richard_Foulkes
"Let’s say your site’s doing great. Rankings are strong, organic traffic is flowing and revenue is growing. Do you really want to undo all that hard work? I’m guessing not.

However, by thinking strategically, you can take the opportunity to improve a site’s performance after a redesign."

Mike McCallister's insight:

Written for professional 'search engine optimization' specialists, this post will help you think about how to redesign your site with an eye to serving more potential readers.


Some of this may be too hard for DIY writers to implement on their own, but is useful for every web professional.


Happy New Year everyone!

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Out of Ideas? 8 Great Places to Find Inspiration on the Internet

Out of Ideas? 8 Great Places to Find Inspiration on the Internet | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it
This post originally appeared on Agency Post. To read more content like this, subscribe to Agency Post.
Mike McCallister's insight:

When you are trying to build a platform, it's important to keep "feeding the content monster," in the words of Guy Kawasaki. Here are some places to look for links to share, or ideas for posting to your blog or other social media. The post is targeted to graphics pros, but writers will find good ideas here too.

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Want to learn how to give a great talk? Chris Anderson is writing the official TED guide to public speaking

Want to learn how to give a great talk? Chris Anderson is writing the official TED guide to public speaking | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it
Over and over, you keep asking us: What's the best way to give a TED Talk? It’s not just that you’re interested in sharing your ideas at a TED or local TEDx event. Short presentations have become a...
Mike McCallister's insight:

Something tells me this is going to be an important book. I've become a more confident speaker in the last few years, but I think I'm still intimidated by the quality of TED presentations.

 

I know that some folks think TED speakers paint a far too rosy prospect of our techno-powered future, but regardless of what you may think about the content of individual TED talks, the speakers nearly always seem pretty comfortable on the stage. If this book can help deliver that level of confidence and comfort, I want to read it!

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How Virtual Assistants Can Help Independent Authors

How Virtual Assistants Can Help Independent Authors | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it

Over the last two decades, the internet has really turned things around for the publishing business, making it possible for a small, unsigned author to get noticed without spending a fortune.

 

All an author needs to do is set-up a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter and maybe even an Instagram.

 

 

Mike McCallister's insight:

Interesting piece on virtual assistants and authors. You may not need a staff to successfully market your writing, but it's good to keep your focus on the writing.

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How Often Should You Publish? Moz and Hubspot's New Experiment Gives a Surprising Answer

How Often Should You Publish? Moz and Hubspot's New Experiment Gives a Surprising Answer | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it
Putting "quality, not quantity" to the test.
Mike McCallister's insight:

Interesting stuff. For the platform builder, though, one take-away could be that knowing your audience is even more important than treating the results of random surveys as gospel. Try your own test, and listen to your own results.

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On getting paid (or not) to write

On getting paid (or not) to write | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it
Danielle Lee writes the Urban Scientist blog for Scientific American. In 2013 she wrote a post about an ugly incident in which she was invited to write for Biology Online, asked about payment, decl...
Mike McCallister's insight:

Too many "social media experts" advise writers to spend hours upon hours writing content on platforms like Medium, Huffington Post, and WIRED.com "for the exposure." I often remind writers that people die from exposure.


As Jon Udell points out in this piece, "If there’s no market for something I want to write, I’ll put it here (on his blog) instead of on Medium or Facebook or some other site that earns in the currency of dollars but pays in the currency of (presumptive) attention."


Never put social media ahead of paying work. Always try to sell your expertise to someone who values the effort of writing for an audience.

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New Shorthand Social to help writers promote their work

New Shorthand Social to help writers promote their work | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it
The immersive storytelling platform now automatically writes tweets based on an article's chapter headings
Mike McCallister's insight:

Another outlet to create and promote your writing. Found it interesting that Shorthand's editor does not work in Firefox: "Sorry, Shorthand Social does not currently support editing in this browser. We recommend the latest version of Google Chrome."


From the CEO: "The feedback from them was they were trying to think through new ways of telling stories on social, rather than just putting up a WordPress blog, putting up a post and then hoping people know about it."

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Five simple ways to get more people to read your blog

Five simple ways to get more people to read your blog | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it
Over the last few weeks I have been asked many times about creating an audience for your blog, especially when you are just starting out. This is a vital topic and one that is covered extensively in the book Born to Blog, but here are a few ideas that helped me in the early stages.What is your approach?First let me say a word about how your goals as a blogger may relate to your approach to building an audience.Some bloggers may be seeking raw “traffic” for their blog. This does not necessarily b

Via Danielle M. Villegas
Mike McCallister's insight:

Simple but essential ways of thinking about building your audience through blogging. Thanks, Danielle Villegas (akaTechCommGeekMom)!

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Danielle M. Villegas's curator insight, April 21, 3:39 PM

Mark Schaefer, digital marketer extraordinaire and one of my Rutgers digital marketing instructors, wrote this great article. These five steps are pretty much the way I figured out how to start getting my content broadcast about--but I had to learn the hard way on my own. 

 

Read Mark's tips, follow them, and you'll be ahead!

Take a look....

--techcommgeekmom

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The mega guide to ideal image sizes for your social media posts

The mega guide to ideal image sizes for your social media posts | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it

This post originally appeared on Buffer’s blog. You’ve got all the great tools to create engaging images for social media. You know what the brain loves about visuals and how to build something beautiful to drive engagement.


Via Andy Bull
Mike McCallister's insight:

Always important to keep up with this type of material when using social media. Conventional wisdom now says that graphics in posts (even in Twitter) get more engagement.

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Social Media Images in 30 Seconds Flat: Meet Pablo by Buffer

Social Media Images in 30 Seconds Flat: Meet Pablo by Buffer | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it
Meet Pablo, the easiest way to create engaging social media images. Here are 10 ways to get started using Pablo today!
Mike McCallister's insight:

One of the keys to social media mastery is adding attractive images to your posts. But finding the right image and adding text to it can be difficult and time-consuming, especially if you don't create and edit graphics for a living! The folks at Buffer want to help you succeed with an image-and-text generator called Pablo.


My first attempt went pretty well, and should be appearing on Twitter and LinkedIn shortly (as I had Buffer schedule the posts, of course).


Choose from one of the background images, then add text (or edit the default). You can move the text block around if what you wrote doesn't fit on the image.


This post gives you more ideas for using Pablo.


I haven't tried Canva, a similar app backed by Guy Kawasaki, but Pablo is very easy to use. What do you think?

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Content Curation Takes Time

Content Curation Takes Time | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it

Via Robin Good
Mike McCallister's insight:

Building authority in your writing niche through social media is more than retweeting every headline that seems to apply to you. At the very least, read the article you're recommending to your audience.


In this piece, @Robin Good gives us a long list of tasks to become a trusted curator, then gives us the choice to pick at least three of them for every piece that comes across your transom.

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Filomena Gomes's curator insight, April 18, 9:52 AM
Robin Good's insight:

 

 

Notwithstanding the viral content-marketing tam-tam keeps selling the idea of content curation as a miracle-shortcut to work less, produce more content and get all of the benefits that an online publisher would want to have, reality has quite a different shade.

To gain reader's attention trust and interest, it is evidently not enough to pull together a few interesting titles while adding a few lines of introductory text.

 

Unless your readers are not very interested themselves into the topic you cover, why would they take recomendations from someone who has not even had the time to fully go through his suggested resources?

Superficially picking apparently interesting content from titles or even automatically selecting content for others to read is like recommending movies or music records based on how much you like their trailers or their cover layouts.

 

Can that be useful beyond attracting some initial extra visibility?

 

How can one become a trusted information source if one does not thoroughly look and understand at what he is about to recommend?

This is why selling or even thinking the idea of using content curation as a time and money-saver is really non-sense.

Again, for some, this type of light content curation may work in attracting some extra visibility in the short-term, but it will be deleterious in the long one, as serious readers discover gradually that content being suggested has not even been read, let alone being summarized, highlighted or contextualized.

Content curation takes serious time.

 

A lot more than the one needed to create normal original content.

To curate content you need to:

Find good content, resources and references. Even if you have good tools, the value is in searching where everyone else is not looking. That takes time.

Read, verify and vet each potential resource, by taking the time needed to do this thoroughly.

Make sense of what that resource communicates or represents / offers and be able to synthesize it for non-experts who will read about it.

Synthesize and highlight the value of the chosen resource within the context of your interest area.

Enrich the resource with relevant references, and related links for those that will want to find out more about it.

Credit and attribute sources and contributors.

 Preserve, classify and archive what you want to curate.

Share, distribute, promote the curated work you have produced. Creating it is not enough.


(While it is certainly possible to do a good curation job without doing exactly all of the tasks I have outlined above, I believe that it is ideal to try to do as many as these as possible, as each adds more value to the end result you will create.)

 

These are many more steps and activities than the ones required to create an original piece of content.

Curation is all about quality, insight and attention to details.

It is not about quantity, speed, saving time, producing more with less.

 
Robert Kisalama's curator insight, April 18, 11:37 AM

truly Curation should not be  merely aggregating different links without  taking off time to reflect indeed it is very to end up like some one buying clothes impulsively only to realise you could have done without some of them.

Nedko Aldev's curator insight, April 19, 2:24 PM

 

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How to Create a WordPress Social Feed

How to Create a WordPress Social Feed | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it
One thing I really love about the WordPress community is that its not always about commercial use cases. Just as often a plugin or theme is created because it serves to help WordPress users express themselves or share their thoughts easier–not just get more users/customers.
The topic of today’s...
Mike McCallister's insight:

Nathan B. Weller at Elegant Themes reviews four WordPress plugins that will slurp up your posts on other social networks and post them on your WordPress site.


As he notes: "If you’re the type of user who does not necessarily like creating standard WordPress blog posts but are actively providing quality status updates on Facebook, tweets on twitter, videos on youtube, pins on pinterest, photos on instagram, and quick blog posts on tumblr–then putting all of that content in one place where you control it (and own it) may be very worthwhile."


Of course, if you're a writer, these plugins can help you integrate all your posts, giving both you and your readers more creative time, since you won't have to copy everything to your site.


Now if only one of these plugins would pull from LinkedIn!

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Restart Your Writing by Rochelle Melander | Write Now Coach! Blog

Restart Your Writing by Rochelle Melander | Write Now Coach! Blog | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it

Instead of worrying over what you haven’t written yet, write now. Jot down a few words about the present moment, the story of your life, or wisdom to help another.

Mike McCallister's insight:

It's two weeks into the new year, and Rochelle Melander, the Write Now Coach, is concerned about how you're feeling about your writing resolutions. If you're already mad about your lack of progress, she says: Don't worry about what you haven't done -- focus on what's next.


Truer words were never spoken/written. Three great quotes here too.

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How to build a social ecosystem from scratch

How to build a social ecosystem from scratch | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it
Olga Steidl is the Growth manager at Inbot. How many meaningful connections have you built this week? How many old connections did you nurture?
Mike McCallister's insight:

In "Build Your Author Platform: The New Rules," we talk a lot about connecting with your audience online. This article from Olga Steidl is about growing a network of live human beings that you connect with In Real Life.

 

For the introverts among us (like me, and most other writers I know), these are useful ideas.

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Inside the Facebook News Feed: A List of Algorithm Factors

Inside the Facebook News Feed: A List of Algorithm Factors | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it
A newly-updated collection of all the factors that go into the Facebook News Feed algorithm to determine whether or not your content gets seen.

Via Andy Bull
Mike McCallister's insight:

Authors trying to build a platform on Facebook face a difficult task, but the obstacles can be overcome. The folks at Buffer perform a public service by collecting (and updating) all the rules for getting seen on Facebook. Bookmark this and check it regularly!

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The Art of Following a Blog

The Art of Following a Blog | Build Your Author Platform: New Rules | Scoop.it
There's nothing passive about being a good listener.
Mike McCallister's insight:

As authors and platform builders, we're often told to follow and comment on other blogs as a way of expanding our audience. Ben Huberman reminds us in this post that commenting is only one of the many responsibilities you have when you follow a blog.

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