Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Thoughts for the Day, Blog Promotion (Entrecard, Fuelmyblog, Blogcatalog)

Today, I walked down to my local library in my neighborhood. It is nice being in a neighborhood, living in a house, not a giant an apartment building. Houses are much more livable than giant apartment buildings. Like many neighborhoods, my home neighborhood has a library, but not a bookstore. I am not sure if there ever was a neighborhood bookstore. If there was, it was here long before my time. If you want to go to a bookstore, you have to get in your car or take a bus a decent distance to the local mall. There is a Barnes & Noble there but no independent bookstore.

I have to go into Manhattan to go to the big bookstores. I rather like going to the Strand. I also like going to Housing Works Used Book Cafe. The store is very beautiful with tall ceilings and a wooden balustrade. All of the proceeds go to help keep homeless people with AIDS off the streets. Some of the local publishing houses donate their review copies to be sold there. Their selection is very good. http://www.housingworks.org/usedbookcafe/

If I am going to the Strand in Manhattan, I will also stop off at Forbidden Planet to look at the science fiction, fantasy, and comic art books. I haven't been in a while. If I have time after that, I might wander down to Roger's Time Tunnel, a very old school comic book shop. I like looking at the movie stills in Roger's shop, not just the old paperbacks and old comic books.

I could also go online and order a book from Amazon or Powell's but it still wouldn't be my local bookstore. I miss the small neighborhood bookstores. There are still small neighborhood libraries which I am glad exist. Some people claim that the neighborhood library is not necessary, but if there are no longer neighborhood bookstores in many small American communities where are community members going to go to read or get books if there is neither a library or a bookstore. Are they going to go online and order a book from one of the giant commodity bookstores?

Anyways, I first went in the morning, the library was closed before one o'clock so I dropped my books in the book slot and peered through the window. Sometimes if the book cart is positioned wrong, the books slide off the cart onto the floor. Most of the time this doesn't happen. My books were on top of the cart.

Later in the day, I came back and went inside. I looked around and asked for the seven books on the Mythopoeic awards list. They did not have a single one of them. It was a slight disappointment. I'll get some of them tomorrow.

Everything these days is merchandised in todays library. They break portions of the collection into little shelving units, humor, biography, graphic novels, new books, new travel books, and many different categories. The main advantage of this is that it becomes easier for patrons to find categories of books they want. The disadvantage is the people shelving the books have a dozen different places to put the books and it is much easier to misshelve items.

I had today off because of Martin Luther King's Birthday, I usually get Monday off when I work on Saturdays, but Monday we were closed so I got Tuesday off as well. This is one of the benefits of being a government worker. I know Wall Street was open on Martin Luther King's birthday. In a way, it would be better if it was a national holiday for everyone because of what it represents, but the United States still holds to a certain views that don't match with how many people are acting.

On Wednesday of last week, someone asked for the speech, "I Have A Dream," by Martin Luther King on tape or video. We had the audiocasette of the speech, but it was part of a nine hour long collection of audiotapes, none of the tapes were labelled with what was on each tape. So, searching for a one and a half minute speech would not have been practical. It was rather odd.

A lot of audiocasette and cd companies that make nonfiction audios don't label what is on each individual tape. Imagine if you would, that you were listening to the unabridge bible on audiocasette, there were 66 tapes, and you wanted to find a specific passage or book of the bible. It would be incredibly hard. I imagine with nonfiction MP3s, it would be much easier, because you can check each track of the MP3.

We pulled the speech off of Youtube. The teacher was going to play the audio of the "I Have A Dream" speech over the loudspeakers at the local schools in the morning.

There really wasn't anything which I wanted to pick up to read at my local library today. I am pretty picky about what I want to read. This is why I place so many books on reserve and wait for things.

I still am taking some time to read selections from Rumi. I have been flipping back and forth in the book, reading a poem or two every day.

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I focus on three sites for blog promotion, Entrecard, Blogcatalog, and Fuelmyblog. I am going to make a few suggestions and thoughts about each one.

Entrecard is basically a business card network, where you display a small picture on your blog for advertising purposes. I try and focus on specific categories in entrecard. This means, I focus on relevant categories in the ad network for my blog; books. writing and literature, and the environment mostly.

My Entrecard page: http://entrecard.com/user/922/

With entrecard, one of the first things I do is make sure my ads are going to be running. I cancel any advertisers who don't choose to run my ad within three days. This keeps my ad list clean. I also check each blog which is going to advertise on my blog for objectionable content. I feel it is best to click each day on the blogs which are going to advertise on my blog, as well as the blogs who have visited my blog. I generally advertise in the Books Category and Writing and Literature Categories first. I spend all of my points on these two categories.

My page on blog catalog: http://www.blogcatalog.com/user/wehireu

With blogcatalog, I join groups focused on my interests, I am a member of 10 groups, Writers and Writing, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Popular Science, Book Readers, English Literature, Eco Friends, Dialogue Raises Consciousness, Comics and Graphic Novels, Anime and Manga, and Entrecard Group. These are not general groups, they are groups focused on what my blog is writing about. They are not generic groups designed to ask for reviews.

Every day I check to see who is reading my blog. I don't just randomly add websites to my friends list. I also checked the directory in my categories, Art & Entertainment-- Books, Art & Entertainment-- Comics, and Writing. I added many of the blogs which were the top blogs in their categories to my friends list. If I find a blog which I like in the directory, I will look to see who is friends on their blog and add the blogs which I like from their list.

Fuelmyblog:

I don't get as much traffic from fuelmyblog. But, one of the first thing I do everyday is check to see who has recommended my blog, then give them a positive recommendation in turn. This has let me build up a recommendation list of 31 blogs. It has also put me in the top category position. Once again, I focus on checking three categories, Books/Writers, Entertainment, Art/Design. I try to look through a blog category each day and make a recommendation for one blog. This adds up quickly.

4 comments:

Devonia said...

Re: Entrecard Promotion/and your comment "I spend all my points on these two categories".

Because the Home & Garden Genre is so under-represented on Entrecard, I've been forced to broaden my ads and those ads on my site to include additional genres. I've discovered, pleasantly, that this broadened focus has generated more response than the narrow focus within my own genre. I shouldn't be surprised.

Intelligent folks are open to new ideas as well as old ones -such as reading.

Before I began offering my paintings on eBay, my niche was RARE books. My first sale was for a Civil War book, signed,purchased at a garage sale for 25 cents; and it sold for over 600.00

Which is more important to me? Books or Paintings? I've sold a lot of paintings, many in the same price range as the rare book. I like to think about my paintings being enjoyed all over the world. I wish I had that book back.

Angela said...

Thanks for your nice comment...love this site! I think librarians are superheroes. I LOVE books, they are my passion...I'm fortunate to have a small local bookstore (even though local here means a 30 minute drive!)which has a lot of author signings, special classes, fun days for kids and several book clubs which I adore. It makes it so much more fun to discuss them with people, and I read things I certainly would not have otherwise. Thanks for your excellent work here. You can be sure I will be back for references!

Daniel said...

Glad to hear you've been able to put BlogCatalog to use for you. Thanks for your support!

daniel / blogcatalog.com

Mark Hattan said...

thanks for your views.