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Re: LEGO Blogging

Postby eilonwy77 » Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:25 am

Thanks Andrew. That link-juice stuff is actually pretty fascinating, and I'd never thought about it before. I have been wondering lately about RSS feeds. I read my LEGO blogs through some sort of RSS feed reader, but sometimes wonder if it takes away from the perceived viewership of the blog. Does my reading of a RSS feed count as a "visit" to a blog? And is it bad if it doesn't, if that blog is trying to make money off of advertising? I suppose I could google it; it just re-occurred to me now.
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Re: LEGO Blogging

Postby DanLMOTD » Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:29 pm

Bruce N H wrote:Katie, I didn't respond to your question on advertising. I mostly got the word out on my blogs via involvement in forums like this.

I seem to recall that Technorati tags were an option when Bruce and I were starting out. I'm not sure how much that helped, but I miss being able to get decent results from them.

Bruce N H wrote: Also, when you see a great MOC, either in a forum or on Flickr or MOCpages, leave a comment saying that you blogged it, linking back to your blog post. For one the original builder will appreciate that their work is getting attention, and others will see the link back to your blog.

It's actually very surprising to see how flattered people get when they realize that something of theirs has been blogged. A little unexpected recognition goes a long way.

Bruce N H wrote: Another thing, when you see something via another person's blog, always include a link back to them. Most people will reciprocate the favor and, when they post on a MOC they first saw on your blog, will link back to you.*

Usually a good idea, but this can get complicated if you have a ton of LEGO news coming in via RSS feeds. It's not unusual to see something in ten different places, and just pick one source at random as the one to actually read. Most of the time, I read the same sources the other bloggers use anyway, so I'll skim the blogs and only star the original to be blogged later.

Additionally, there's the issue of whether or not you want to endorse a given site. If I get a good LEGO tip from a site that includes a ton of obscenity or profanity, I don't want my readers to think I'm encouraging them to visit that site. If you're as puritanical about being kid-friendly as I am, you'll quickly find yourself worrying about links to YouTube and flickr (crude commenters can really ruin someone's impression of the hobby) and almost never including via links. That's before we get into the times when you got the tip from a non-LEGO site and can't easily trace back the source, and don't want to give credit to a site that's just ripping off someone's MOC.

Which brings up some more good advice: you probably shouldn't aim for being a truly all-ages blog. You end up worrying about things to the point where they almost certainly get silly. Before long, you stop linking to the Brothers Brick because of how often they (rightly) blog Rocko's (awesome) Castles...

Bruce N H wrote:Also, if you have a list of links to others' LEGO blogs on your site, many of them will return the favor and link back to you.**
**I know, I know, my blog roll is sadly out of date. New blogs are created (and abandoned) every day, and several people have asked me to add theirs to my list. I really will get to it soon, including the newer blogs posted in this thread.

This is something I've struggled with. I know you, TBB, LAML, and BrickBuildr all maintain lists of blogs, but I'm not sure if it's really possible to get to the point where we have a reliable set to recommend. I've been thinking of trying to put together some Google Reader bundles to get people started, with the bundles being grouped by what audience I'd recommend them to. That way we could show people more of what's out there, while recommending one group for all ages, another for adults, and another for AFOLs more specifically.

Of course, with everything running in RSS format, what should count as a blog to cite is an issue as well. My RSS feed of the LEGO Techniques Pool on flickr is easily as essential as most of the LEGO blogs I read.
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Re: LEGO Blogging

Postby DanLMOTD » Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:47 pm

eilonwy77 wrote:Thanks Andrew. That link-juice stuff is actually pretty fascinating, and I'd never thought about it before.

In my experience, it's actually better not to think about it. Periodically, Google will tweak their algorithm a bit to try to keep SEO junkies at bay. Links, contests, giveaways, and other such things draw attention cleanly. Writing good content brings the search engines. Anything else is cheating.

eilonwy77 wrote: I have been wondering lately about RSS feeds. I read my LEGO blogs through some sort of RSS feed reader, but sometimes wonder if it takes away from the perceived viewership of the blog. Does my reading of a RSS feed count as a "visit" to a blog? And is it bad if it doesn't, if that blog is trying to make money off of advertising? I suppose I could google it; it just re-occurred to me now.

That depends on how you handle ads and stats code. In LMOTD's case, there's a banner ad that only appears at the bottom of each post in the RSS feed. LinkShare's ad data on that banner takes the place of a proper counter for that. Additionally, Feedburner stats are incorporated into Google Reader to show us how many people have subscribed.
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Re: LEGO Blogging

Postby Traveler » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:14 pm

Sorry I'm late to this party, but I don't check the Publishing Forum every day.

1) What is your blog?
Dan's Lego Castle Blog
2) What is the general theme of your blog, or do you have a general philosophy that drives your blogging?
The theme of my blog is specifically LEGO Castle, in all of it's glorious permutations!
3) Why did you start or join this blog?
I started the blog largely to fill a niche that wasn't filled yet by any other LEGO Blogs. I read several of them, but there were none specifically tailored to Castle fans.
4) How do you go about blogging?
Well, I'm fairly new to bogging, so I'm doing it fairly haphazardly at the moment. I've been more or less posting my thoughts on LEGO Castle and MOCs that I've seen. I hope to go further into doing things like interviewing builders and such like, as I get more experienced with blogging. I'd also like to try to be a source for LEGO Castle news (such as it is).
5) What is your biggest challenge with regards to blogging?
Right now, I'd say building up a reputation as a good source of information and LEGO inspiration. It's certainly slow going at first!
6) Do you have any advice for others who are considering starting a LEGO themed blog?
Not yet, being fairly new to it myself!
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Re: LEGO Blogging

Postby Brickd » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:37 pm

Dunechaser, thanks for all of the great feedback. i definitely only blog because I love to blog, and i only blog about what i love. i'm certainly not looking for any revenue, and so raw traffic isn't a goal. i really am trying to be a design-inspiration blog, in the spirit of something like http://www.dribbble.com. what is challenging about this is that conversation via comments isn't really the objective. instead, i just want to help people know this resource and showcase is out there.

i've been participating in several forums just to get a better understanding of how the community is organized, and am hoping to attend some events. does anyone know of any in Southern California?
my Lego design blog: http://www.brickd.com | my twitter: http://www.twitter.com/brickd
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Re: LEGO Blogging

Postby Forestboy » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:10 pm

Well, here goes nothing...

1) What is your blog?
MosaicBricks. Only about a little over a week old! :wink:
2) What is the general theme of your blog, or do you have a general philosophy that drives your blogging?
The general theme of the blog is, as the name implies, Mosaics (go figure). I focus on every type, so it's not like I only do studs up all the time. There is no "philosophy" that drives the blog, although I do want the to highlight awesome mosaics to the Lego community and possibly inspire them to make some.
3) Why did you start or join this blog?
A couple months ago I was listening to Lamlradio - August 18th – Eric Harshbarger, which is a great interview by-the-way, and he was big into sculptures and mosaics when he was doing commissions. Quickly after listening to that, I was really inspired to try my hands at a mosaic. I've made three since then (2 published, 1 done and needs to be posted) and really discovered this really neat "genre", if you will. So for a while I've really been interested in Mosaics. I noticed that there was no central blog that focuses on mosaics. This thread came out and I thought it was a perfect time to make such a blog! Around July 10th, I snagged the mosaicbricks.blogspot.com domain and I started working on the web layout and such. The first post came out on July 14th and I've been daily blogging since the 16th.
4) How do you go about blogging?
I haven't been doing this long, but I've bookmarked the flickr group of Lego mosaics, the mosaic group on mocpages, the mosaic section on mocpages, and the results of searching 'mosaic' on brickshelf. So I peruse the different places and choose one that sparks my interest. If it's on Brickshelf I embed the image in the post, right up a little something on the creation, and have a link to the creator's place. If on Flickr, I do the same thing except leaving a comment letting the builder know I think they're doing something good and that it's been blogged. Haven't done one on Mocpages yet, but I'll tell you when I do. :wink:

Bruce N H, said we could throw in out our own questions, so I'm going to throw in one of mine... :eyebrows:

4.5) How often do you blog?
Once a day. Right now, and that seems to work being summer and all. The places that I visit to find mosaics have tons of content, so I can always go backwards and find older ones too. Works well for me. :wink:
5) What is your biggest challenge with regards to blogging?
Choosing a creation and then writing about. It may sound extremely easy right there, but I'm not good a picking between different things, and if I do pick something, it takes a while for me to right up a small thing about. I probably just weird, aren't I? :)
6) Do you have any advice for others who are considering starting a LEGO themed blog?
Being a very new blog, I don't have much to offer, except to tell you look at what other members have answered about this question and to listen to LAMLradio - Episode 18 - LEGO and the Blogosphere. It has Dunechaser a.k.a. Andrew Becraft (who has posted in this thread) and is a great episode.

~FB~
Last edited by Forestboy on Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LEGO Blogging

Postby Bruce N H » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:07 am

Hey FB,

Cool new blog. Also, it's pretty dead these days, but Lugnet has a mosaic section that has a lot of great older content.

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Re: LEGO Blogging

Postby Forestboy » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:22 am

Bruce N H wrote:Hey FB,

Cool new blog. Also, it's pretty dead these days, but Lugnet has a mosaic section that has a lot of great older content.

Bruce


Thanks for the link. I blogged welshielegos' smurf as the first real post, so it's funny to find that it was posted on the Mosaics section on Lugnet. I'll be sure to post some of these old ones. :wink:

~FB~
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Re: LEGO Blogging

Postby DanLMOTD » Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:38 am

Traveler wrote:Sorry I'm late to this party, but I don't check the Publishing Forum every day.

1) What is your blog?
Dan's Lego Castle Blog


Can you check that link? It's not working for me.

Edit - I fixed it. -Bruce
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Re: LEGO Blogging

Postby DanLMOTD » Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:42 am

Forestboy wrote:4.5) How often do you blog?
Once a day. Right now, and that seems to work being summer and all. The places that I visit to find mosaics have tons of content, so I can always go backwards and find older ones too. Works well for me. :wink:


You might want to loosen that up to avoid driving yourself insane.

Also, I find it eerie that we both picked a LEGO logo on a 32x32 baseplate as our first mosaic. How many people have built those now? I think yours makes 4 that I've seen - and surprisingly, they're all just a little different...
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Re: LEGO Blogging

Postby Forestboy » Thu Jul 22, 2010 5:08 am

DanLMOTD wrote:
Forestboy wrote:4.5) How often do you blog?
Once a day. Right now, and that seems to work being summer and all. The places that I visit to find mosaics have tons of content, so I can always go backwards and find older ones too. Works well for me. :wink:


You might want to loosen that up to avoid driving yourself insane.


:lol: Well, luckily, I haven't promised that to anyone on the blog, so that's good. :)

DanLMOTD wrote:Also, I find it eerie that we both picked a LEGO logo on a 32x32 baseplate as our first mosaic. How many people have built those now? I think yours makes 4 that I've seen - and surprisingly, they're all just a little different...


Yeah, it's the strangest thing. It's like some thing built in you as a Lego builder to first do a 32x32 Lego logo. I've seen a whole bunch (probably 8+ or so) now. I bet there's a hundred or so out there - and like you said, they're all just a little different.

Maybe I'll have that be one of the blog posts down the road... :D

~FB~
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Re: LEGO Blogging

Postby eilonwy77 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:59 am

This has been a fascinating thread; thanks to everybody for sharing! Something else I've thought about with LEGO blogs is with the comments that they receive. Usually if I am going to comment on a MOC, I will click through to the images of the MOC and leave the comment for the creator of the MOC, at least if they are on flickr where I can leave comments. But then I wonder if the author of the blog feels like no one is reading the entry, and could that be demoralizing? But if the comments are on the blog entry, then I think that it's like talking behind the creator's back.... UNLESS, of course, you alert the creator of the MOC that they've been blogged. A lot of blogs do this, but some do not. I think that's only polite... if you're going to feature someone's work, and potentially benefit from it, it's nice to not only give them credit, but to let them know that you've done it.

Sorry, I've just got a lot of wonderings about the whole blogging world. ;-)
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Re: LEGO Blogging

Postby Ye Olde Republic » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:51 am

1) What is your blog?
An Angry LEGO Nerd **warning** this blog is probably pg-13 for language.

2) What is the general theme of your blog, or do you have a general philosophy that drives your blogging?
Being the cranky guy that I am, I use my blog mostly to vent frustrations or comment on the AFOL community as a whole. Or 'hole, whatever your take is. I do blog MOCs if I see one that I really enjoy for some reason or another. I will also complain about TLG there too. I haven't yet (I don't think) but I probably will and will give them kudos if I feel they deserve it.

3) Why did you start or join this blog?
I started the blog so I could vent my pet peeves in my own sandbox and avoid flamewars on some of the forums I visit. "Never poop in the sandbox."....as it were. I like that I don't have to employ the same brain to finger filter on my blog as I would, say, here.

4) How do you go about blogging?
I don't write in my blog often but when I do, I really MEAN it.

5) What is your biggest challenge with regards to blogging?
Doing it more often. Sometimes I completely forget that I even have the darn thing.

6) Do you have any advice for others who are considering starting a LEGO themed blog?
Do what you want and don't try to please others.
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Re: LEGO Blogging

Postby WhiteFang » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:43 am

Hello everyone,

I read this topic discussion a few days ago and I find it very useful and interesting to read many other fellow bloggers' insights. Here are some of my views for the sharing,

1) What is your blog?
Classic-Town.net

2) What is the general theme of your blog, or do you have a general philosophy that drives your blogging?
The general theme of Classic-Town.net is primarily revolved Town and City. Town and City take many different shapes and forms such as modular, structures, modes of transportation, history of 1900s to modern times, realistic buildings and architectures, landscaping, and many more. As long you think it's related to Town or City, it belongs there.

3) Why did you start or join this blog?
I was invited by Hinckley the founder of Classic-Town.net, back in midst 2008 along with a few other pioneer bloggers such as TheBrickster and Shadows who have a strong interest of LEGO Classic Town (1980s). Together, we start to plan the blog layout and content together by writing about articles, reviews and MOCs. Classic Town was actually my first LEGO theme and it's probably the best way to deviate myself from the Dark Ages.

4) How do you go about blogging?
I generally looks for City/Town MOCs from Brickshelf, Eurobricks, Flickr, MOCpages, etc, on a daily or weekly basis. Looking around for interesting discussions, articles and reviews as well in terms of its relevance.

5) What is your biggest challenge with regards to blogging?
Time commitment. To blog effectively, you need to commit your personal time to dedicate a write up of the MOC (for example) to be featured onto the blog. It can be time consuming and tedious on an everyday basis to search and write when you have work and personal commitments pulling you down.

6) Do you have any advice for others who are considering starting a LEGO themed blog?
Set yourself time for blogging and commit into it in the long run. Start a blog for the sole purpose of sharing the interest with the LEGO Community.
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Re: LEGO Blogging

Postby Dr Kilroy » Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:08 am

Hello!

I wasn't posting for a long time, I saw a post about this topic on VignetteBricks and decided to post. :wink:

1) What is your blog?
Bricks in suit

2) What is the general theme of your blog, or do you have a general philosophy that drives your blogging?
The main philosophy is - publish only elegant MOCs, sets, etc., thus the most of them are Town themed. My co-blogger, Krzysztof, is interested in Exclusive sets, so the most of his posts are Exclusive-related. I also have posted some articles about rare parts, and recently an off-topic post about elegant clothing (the second one is in progress).

3) Why did you start or join this blog?
It was started on September 2009. I noticed then that a lot of MOCs published on blogs are related to mechs, trucks, robots and other unelegant stuff, which doesn't fit my British gentleman's temperament. At the beginning I had no idea what should I write about. That was solved very simply - I wrote about things I'm recently interested in.

4) How do you go about blogging?
Well, this is rather unusual. I seek for MOCs mainly on Brickshelf, but I find subjects for writing in very random places... :wink:

5) What is your biggest challenge with regards to blogging?
My blog is Polish and it have English version, so I not only must write, but also translate. It isn't a big problem, because I'm not bad at English, but it takes a lot of time. Finding elegant works (which aren't modular houses :) ) is also hard, but when I find one, writing about it isn't complicated for me.

6) Do you have any advice for others who are considering starting a LEGO themed blog?
Remember that if you'll start a blog, it's a shame to stop writing on it! :wink: Also write exactly about what you are interested in - then you won't get bored. :)

Best regards, Dr
~~Dr Kilroy~~

Just another LOTR fan...
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