1. door Ernst-Jan Pfauth
  2. 7 januari 2009

Your little slice of digital heaven

Animations student Joscha van Deijk knows how to draw an ubercool cartoon. This king of cult is a walking library of modern entertainment who can translate his passion to the drawing boards.

By daylight, Sander Ritman helps the elderly. When the sun sets, Sander roams the bar of Amsterdam with his guitar and poems. Students of the University of Amsterdam recently awarded the gifted storyteller as most popular poet.

They’re two of my most creative friends. Guess what I asked them to do?

I love to surround myself with persons who have creative minds and an entrepreneurial spirit. People who do stuff, who want to share stuff. Almost everybody loves some attention for his work, let alone feedback. So I tell those hip folks a blog is a perfect platform for that.

This article will function as a personal standard piece on your blog as a platform. From now on, whenever a friend or foe starts a blog – I’ll send him this post to get started. It’s a work in progress, so your suggestions are more than welcome.

Maybe you’re a more advanced blogger and this post tells you nothing new. In that case, see it as a holy duty to share your knowledge in the comments.

First question: WHY would you want to publish on the web?

I could go on forever telling you why you should want to publish on the web, but let’s sum it up in two points.

A blog as a platform

One of the best-known personal branding experts in geek country is Chris Brogan. He recently wrote a post titled “If I started today“. You’ve guessed it right, he describes what he would do when today was his first day on the social web. One of the most important remarks in Brogan’s piece is his determined advice to use a blog as the platform for all your online activities. Based on that assumption, I wrote this post.

Amsterdam blogs, do you? (Photo by Boris, cartoon by Hugh)

Why a social network doesn’t suffice

I know a girl who makes beautiful drawings, she publishes them on Flickr.
A curly acquaintance is an aspiring film maker, I regularly watch his work on Vimeo.

Though the decision to publish their work on a dedicated network is a smart one, they’d get more from aggregating it on a blog. Here’s why:

What belongs where

My sister is currently shooting a documentary in Nepal. Every once in a while, she writes a lengthy blog post and enriches it with photos from her Flickr account.

Here are some other tips on how you can aggregate your online creations at your personal platform, your blog.

I tweet so I exist
Resist the temptation of posting short updates on your blog. That’s microblogging, so save it for Twitter. Only post articles that really define you and contain your unique knowledge. Telling folks you had lunch with your best friend isn’t gonna get you any RSS subscribers. Put it up on Twitter and aggregate those messages in your sidebar with Twitter Tools. This plugin also automatically notifies your followers whenever you’ve posted a new article.

Sacha Post
My friend Sacha Post making photos in a church in Monselice

Shooting life?
Upload your photographs on Flickr. If you want to include just one picture, browse to the photo page and click on “All Sizes”. There’s the code you’ll need. You can also make a cool slideshow and embed it in your posts. Share Flickr photos in your sidebar with the specially designed badge.

Place your videos on either YouTube or Vimeo. The first one can be considered to be the international standard, the second is the more artsy alternative. Use Viper’s Video Quicktags to publish them on your blog.

The list is rather long…

Aggregate and add value with articles

Aggregate all your digital publications in your little slice of digital heaven. Then add value by writing thoughtful blog posts in which you share specific knowledge about your work or passion. And most of all, don’t hesitate to contact me when you’ve any questions. I’m always looking forward to meeting new people who have a passion for what they do.