*cough*cough*blog search*cough*

Posts, Tags, and Blogs (Oh My)While everyone else is boozing it up..err.. I mean getting ready to network and do some business at the SES conference, it is with great pride that I steal a bit of their thunder and give you a brief intro to some new features on the BOTW Blog Directory. And why shouldn’t I steal some thunder; I’m the one that put in the countless sleepless nights toiling away on it. Yes, dear friends, while everyone else is away at the Ball, I get to stay home and mind the shop/sweep the floor/do the dishes/make sure the sites are running and nothing is crashing etc.

In any case, if you load up the blog directory at http://blogs.botw.org you’ll notice that you’re now able to see and search through the majority of posts from the blogs listed in the directory. Not only that, but you can search for posts by “tag” (ie how the author chose to categorize their post) and you can also search by blog title. We also threw in the latest searches being done on the site and all of the hottest tags (ie what the majority of authors are tagging their posts as).

All this of course is beta and your mileage may vary, especially since we will be dedicating some equipment to the cause to boost performance instead of sharing it with other applications as is being done now. So there will be some growing pains in the near future, but I think it gives you a taste of what we’re doing and where we’re going. Yahmon!

Inaugural Post

The Director of Technology at Best of the Web is a daunting post to hold. Yes, you do get to play around with “the latest and greatest”, but that “latest and greatest” just happens to be something that thousands, hundreds of thousands — Nay, millions — of folks like yourself happen to be checking out, relying on, and possibly even paying money for. It’s downright scary. We’ve got editors plugging away entering sites and reviewing submissions. We’ve got people surfing the front-end sites at all hours of the day and night. We’ve got search engines crawling the content and storing it in their vast indexes. We’ve got CEO’s and Presidents and Heads of State demanding satisfaction. On top of all that, we stay on top of industry changes, research, evaluate, recommend, purchase, install, configure, upgrade, maintain, and explain it all, without a lot of mumbo jumbo, to all those Heads of State. Well, some of that we outsource ;) , but it’s true what they say: In cyberspace, nobody can hear you scream.

Oh wait, I did forget one other thing we do. We write posts in blogs like this one. Do we have time to do it? Of course not. But I think there’s something to be said for the Wizard of Oz stepping out from behind the curtain and saying Hi on occasion. (something positive, that is). So my pre-new year’s resolution is to spend a little time here and there providing some insight and witty banter, and just generally goofing off and not working. Wha? Huh? Did I just say that? Perhaps I need a Disclaimer like some of the other guys out there.

It does seem like a fine line between talking shop about various BOTW projects in the works and giving secrets away to the competition. If any slugworths out there would like an everlasting gobstopper, let’s do lunch and talk about it (your treat). However, you’ll have a hard time topping the extraordinary Wolfgang Puck cuisine which we feasted on at our last company outing, at Postrio, his fabulous restaurant in Las Vegas. Until then, mums the word methinks.

Well, without further ado, let’s all give me a hearty welcome to the Botw Blog! Yahmon!


Working the Queue

As I sit and watch the Jets/Patriots game (yawn), I will spend the next couple of hours pouring through the Blog Directory submission queue. As there has been a growing buzz regarding the new offering, and given that submissions are currently free of charge, there have been a steady flow of blogs being submitted all week. The queue is really beginning to get deep.

In an effort to speed the review process up a bit, we will soon require all submissions directly to categories – no more uncategorized submissions. Look for this change within the next few days. If you would like to help your chances of receiving a speedy review, take heed of the following tips:

  • Submit your site to the most relevant category – If a blog is not submitted to a category, during the review process, the editor needs to go pick the most relevant category, drastically increasing the time. The queue shows which submissions are categorized, so editors can quickly scan the queue to see which blogs will make for the easier edit.
  • Properly title your submission – your title should be the name of your blog. Short and sweet, with no marketing of superfluous information.
  • Descriptions matter – the description should let the user know what they can expect to find if they visit your site. A brief (one or two sentences) message highlighting what the user will find on the blog – a great idea is to incorporate your categories into a sentence. For example, for this blog an appropriate description might be: “Online media company provides information on company development, human resources, products and services, industry news, marketing, and promotions.”
  • No hype – don’t put any marketing hype into either you title or description. Nobody wants to hear that your blog is the “best blog about my industry”.
  • Check your grammar and spelling – you should care enough about your listing to take a moment to check the spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Following the above tips, as well as ensuring that your submission meets the minimum criteria guidelines, will make our job a bit more efficient. If you make it easier for us to approve your submission, you increase the chances that we will get to it quickly.

BOTW Blog Directory – submit blog

Blog Directory Buzz

There is a definite buzz in the air about the BOTW Blog Directory. From our initial launch at PubCon 10 where it received rave reviews, there have been numerous nods, posts, and articles with primarily positive feedback. We have gotten a few suggestions as well – some of the issues raised to date:

  • The six month rule – we have had more than a handful of people lament over this requirement, but we stand by our guns
  • English only – we will be addressing this in the near future
  • The most recent article, published today by Bill Hartzer at searchengineguide.com is a great read. Kudos to Bill, and some pretty good quotes from Greg. Read the article – Best of the Web Launches Blog Directory.

    Other notable mentions this week:

  • Link Building Blog : BOTW Blog Directory
  • SEOmoz : BOTW Blog Directory
  • BlogSEO : BOTW Directory – Could it be DMOZ for Blogs
  • Stay tuned for more news…

    BOTW Media

    I have been pretty fascinated with the concept of blogging since it was first suggested to me. We had seen an increase in the percentage of submissions in blog format beginning mid-2004. We got involved in the space, when a few of our staff members got personal blogs, and we launched our first collaborative blog on Dec 1, 2004 (happy first birthday to the Jurgle Search Blog !!!)

    So now, as the end of 2005 draws near, we are pleased to launch BOTW Media, which shall serve as the central hub of our blog network. Over the course of the last five months we have assembled a team of subject experts to author our blog network and provide commentary, analysis, reviews, opinion, and the occasional pearl of wisdom. There are currently 20+ blogs that are live and in production. All of the blogs will be converted over to a format similar to that of BOTW Media. We have been launching them at a pace of a few a month, and chances are that the pace will quicken.

    If you are interested in participating in the BOTW Media network of blogs, read more about it at the author’s page. I know that we are looking for active bloggers, and in keeping with BOTW tradition, the pay is God-awful :) So, if you are interested in blogging, not interested in making a ton of money for it, and can follow some basic guidelines, let us know.

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