|By Fuat Kircaali||
|September 14, 2009 10:30 PM EDT||
I live 11 minutes away from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. Friday evening I took a Cessna Caravan for a short 45-minute flight to Martha's Vineyard. This was my first trip to the island. I didn't do any research and had false expectations based on my long-time love affair with the island of Cat Cay in the Bahamas. I found out that Martha's Vineyard was huge. Upon landing on the island, my pilot called a cab for me to take me to my hotel. According to the cab driver the island's population was around 30,000 off-season and well over 100,000 during its peak summer season. These numbers change drastically from driver to driver or whomever you ask, of course. As compared to a maximum three to six neighbors any time I go home to Cat Cay, this was an instant shock to me.
I had a relaxing two-day weekend in Martha's Vineyard. As long as I have my BlackBerry and my iPhone, I can pretty much do most of my work anywhere I happen to be. I use my bb for email and iPhone for the rest of my Web-related work. I can't type on the iPhone simply because of I've been a spoiled BlackBerry user for more than 10 years.
I like to send live video emails to my friends and colleagues. They all received a fair share of my video updates over the weekend.
Jeremy suggested that I should leave my BlackBerry in the hotel for a couple of hours rest. I did that on Saturday.
Sunday morning I did catch up with my inbox though. One email I read from a prior Web 2.0 company CEO, who also happens to be a long-time SYS-CON author, turned an enthusiastic Ulitzer blogger over the weekend.
"Ok, so, here are my thoughts on Ulitzer and why I (and probably other bloggers) might miss-understand its true value.
As a blogger, I focus on traffic and I spend quite of time to optimize my SEO. If I am being short minded (as I was yesterday), I could see Ulitzer/SYS-CON stealing my traffic with my content.
However, this cannot be further from the truth since my articles' target audience is much greater than my blog reach, and Ulitzer is actually helping me increase my content reach. Moreover, Ulitzer do it in a very fair way since links back to my posts or other locations are without the evil "no-follow" providing a nice SEO boost. It also gives me some good metrics that are very useful data point on the effectiveness of my blog article. And last, but not least, it allows my article to appear in a broader distribution, which is a very nice channel extension.
So, all of these to say that while Ulitzer might be seen as a competing channel to some bloggers, I think that bloggers should realize the tremendous value it could bring to their blog.
I think to materialize this value to bloggers, some sort of WordPress plugin would be very useful. As I sent you in the previous email, I think that allowing the bloggers to show and combine Ulitzer/SYS-CON stats, comments, Tweets/Re-Tweets with their blog posts would be a killer feature.
Another approach would be to expose a simple REST API (just HTTP JSON gets) and do a sample WordPress plugin showing developers how to integrate WordPress with Ulitzer.
Anyway, just some random thoughts.
Have a great remaining weekend,"
Hudson River after take off from Teterboro Airport
Monday morning at the office the first email I received was from my Martha's Vineyard cab driver, who had taken me around the island for the past two days, including the farm where the Obamas stayed.
"Subject: Vineyard, Ulitzer
This is Drew, the taxi driver from Martha's Vineyard. I just wanted to drop you a line so you have my email address and we can keep in touch.
I've been settling into a new apartment and my classes here at UMass Amherst, and one of the classes is about Journalism and Internet Entrepreneurism. It gave me a chance to talk about Ulitzer, and we may incorporate it into the course. Just wanted you to know I'm trying to do my part to help spread the word!
I hope the rest of your trip was enjoyable and I look forward to hearing from you soon. Keep me posted in case you have an internship opening or anything like that sometime soon; I think you do great work and I'd love an opportunity to learn more about it from someone who is trustworthy and professional like yourself.
I just came out of the weekly SYS-CON Events staff meeting and would love to prematurely share the news on a new event the company decided to put together - "Ulitzer Live! New Media Conference & Expo" - with details to be made available later in the month.
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