Saturday, December 25, 2010

Writer's Digest moves away from free content, but has some good end-year advice for bloggers: entering the privacy debate

I see that “Writer’s Digest” itself has migrated away from the free content model, charging for digital downloads of its content (purchase link here.)

I did get mailed to my business box a hard copy of the Nov-Dec. 2010 issue, “Your Guide to Success on the WEB”, and I wanted to recommend a couple of articles.

One of them is “How to Lose Blog Traffic and Alienate Readers” by Monica Bhide (p. 39). She talks about posting too often, and not posting often enough (becoming a “delinquent blogger”), or becoming “snarky” (which can result on Twitter Wars). There is some advice not to use photos at all unless they are thematic for the post. (I went ahead and put a Christmas shot of 17th Street in Washington here.)  Generally, it is a good idea to space out blog posts (so that readers get a chance to see the "Next Blog" event separately for each one) and to post them when the likely readers are actually online (it matters sometimes whether it is busness-related or legally interesting; but movie reviews often do better on weekends).

Tim Beyers has a timely piece called “The Price of Privacy” on p. 42. This certainly fits into the recent debate about “do not track”, and the way the Internet has changed old business models (and depends so much on visitors' interest in "commerce"). But the thrust of the article isn’t so much about personal privacy (as it has evolved in the debate over Facebook) as how much free content to post when you want trade publishers to pay you and give you advances. That is something that matters.

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