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Archive for the ‘Help with images and video’ Category

When you are adding a photo, video, diagram, cartoon etc. to your business website or company blog, you need to add text to the file. The main reason for this is simple: this text lets search engine algorithms assess what the image is, so you can use the photo to help increase your page ranking for specific search terms.

Also, some computing devices may have images disabled, and this text gives the user an idea of what the photo they cannot see is of. Lastly, a caption can make the image more interesting or fun, or even explain the meaning if it’s not easily identifiable within the article’s context.

Meta Title:

This is simply a name you give to the image as a whole. Meta titles for website pages come up at the top of the browser, but meta titles for images just let the search engine ‘spiders’ know exactly what the photo or video is about. You should use SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) keywords here if you can, but make sure you stick to explaining only what the image is.

Alternative Text:

People who for whatever reason have images disabled on their computer will still be able to see this text. People often disable specific types of media in order to keep their computer running as quickly as possible, or when they are on a notoriously slow broadband internet connection speed. Some very old computers also have trouble ‘seeing’ certain files.

Having ‘Alt Text’ ensures these users know what type of visual information they are missing out on. This is another chance to sew valuable SEO keywords into the back-end of your website, but again make sure you don’t stray from the truth when explaining the image.

Meta Keywords:

Here’s your first opportunity to list as many SEO keywords related to the image as you can. In this instance, it’s perfectly fine to go on tangents and add terms you know people are searching for in relation to your business, as well as the exact words describing the media file.

For example, you may have a photo of a small ladybeetle sitting on a green bush, but the reason you have chosen the photo is to express the importance of creating an identity that stands out online. Someone else may use a similar image to describe his or her gardening business. You would list keywords like ‘brand identity’ and ‘unique online presence’, and not just ‘ladybeetle’.

This little ladybeetle is showing the importance of standing out and making an impression online.

No matter how small your business is, you can stand out and make an impression online.

Caption:

This is usually the most enjoyable text to write for an uploaded image or video file. You can be creative, as often the meaning you wish to convey from the image is totally different from the normal context of the content. You are welcome to use keywords here too (as people can actually see this text), but the main idea is to make the caption interesting.

Meta Description:

Another form of text that readers cannot visually see, these terms and phrases are a great opportunity to use a wide range of related SEO keywords for the algorithms to crawl through. Write about what the image file is, what it means, how it relates to your business, and what your business does. Be very descriptive!

Remember, slapping an awesome photo or video onto your website or blog can excite viewers, but if there’s no text attached, the image will not affect your search engine page ranking at all. A picture speaks a thousand words…but not in terms of quantitative SEO keyword value.

Copyright MiContent.com.au

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Most probably you know TED…I’m often the last person to find out about something or someone new and/or cool, so I just spent my whole afternoon getting to know TED. For those of you who don’t know of TED already, first let me let you in on a little secret. TED isn’t a person. TED is a group of people…A group of people that changes every year; a group of people (extremely talented and intelligent people-Why not?) who get together and discuss any and all topics that humanity sees as being ‘fresh and important’.

TED stands for ‘Technology, Entertainment, and Design’, but as the ‘About TED’ page will tell you, no relevant subject evades these passionately focussed minds that are so keen to learn and share knowledge with one another. The Arts, Business, and the Sciences aren’t left out-you can read, listen to podcasts, and watch video talks from some of the most renown and scholarly individuals on the globe…plus they throw in a few healthy comedians to keep things light (as they should be).

The ‘Tedblog‘ keeps you up to date with all that’s being said, and normally I like to focus on the written word (as opposed to videoblogs and podcasts), but in this case I was completely captivated by the video links found on the ‘TED Talks’ web page (linked to from the main TED site). These are ‘talks’ or oral presentations, usually around 18 minutes in length, but which can be as short as 3 minutes, although the length definitely doesn’t limit the potential for impact. I haven’t witnessed a boring talk as of yet.

Check this little 3 minute talk about ‘Why people succeed’ by Richard St. John and you’ll know what I mean. I also watched an incredible 14-year-old concert pianist named Jennifer Lin whose skills will simply blow your mind. Wait until the end and watch her improvise with 5 random notes chosen from a member (You’ll probably recognise her too) of the crowd.

Closer to home and relating to some of my recent posts here at MiContent, this talk by Sasa Vucinic about venture capitalists helping to fund independent media in developing countries (where most media is controlled and censored) was quite inspirational. In my last post (‘Some ‘real’ journalists don’t think bloggers can write’ I discussed the opinions of some mainstream media (newspaper) journalists who felt that blogs were destroying some of the information sharing process. This video talk touched on some interesting points relating to the need for more independent newspapers in the world…at least blogs generally don’t seem to have much problem with outside interests filtering content. Or do they?

Another awesome, enlightening, and even humorous presentation I saw (a must see) was from a Swedish professor named Hans Rosling (founder of ‘Gap Minder‘), which was based on the changing health and wealth in our world. A while back I wrote about a book I read that discussed how humanity could change our behaviours to make the world into a better place (‘Can you change the world?’). Well, this fellow pretty much proves that our planet is now already much better off than it ever has been!

I also had a good couple of laughs with this comedian Ze Frank, and another quick 3 minute performance by the poet/spoken word specialist who calls himself Rives. Check out the Tedblog and some of the other talks and tell me about any that grabbed your attention and why. I think it’s about time we all got to know a bit about what TED is all about.

Jesse S. Somer may never be invited or be able to afford a ticket to see TED, but just watching TED’s work has been uplifting in itself.

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Hearing about Moblogs a fair way back, I just assumed they were another small-time fad where super-techno-geeks sent text messages as blog posts to their blogs online. Moblogs or mobile blogs (some call them ‘mob blogs’) when I think it about it further and after reading about their newfound popularity, seem like a pretty cool adaptation of modern technologies.

Picture yourself: You’re walking down the street and you happen across a street performer playing some amazing music. Ok, now pull out your mobile phone/PDA (Personal Digital Assistant)/Palm Computer/Smart Phone. Within seconds you’re taking photos and sending them to be posted on your blog. Hmmm, why not take a short video ala ‘Vlog’? You can also record the sound and call it in as a podcasting file. Then you could record your own voice afterwards describing in spontaneous detail how the music affected you. Or, you could be ‘old-fashioned’ (like I would be) and write about the experience…on the phone’s mini-keyboard or handwriting detector (using those little plastic pens on the touch-screen.

Wow, I’m starting to sound like a super-techno-nerd. Still, I think moblogging will come in really handy, especially when it comes to travel on public transport. Instead of thinking and writing notes in your diary about what you want to blog about when you get back to your computer (or carry your heavy laptop everywhere), you can write it and post it on the move. We’re talking about maximising efficiency, as time is often limited in our busy lifestyles. Why read a low-grade newspaper on the train home when you can stay productive?

At the moment however, the main use for this technology is based around the photo-sharing capability of Moblogs. ‘Buzznet‘ is an example of a new site dedicated to phone photography. As soon as anything happens, photos are streamed onto the site by passers-by standing at the ready with their camera phones.

In this LA Times article entitled ‘Phoning it in‘ there was some concern about freedom of privacy, as essentially anyone can now become a sneaky little paparazzi. However, they also emphasise the fact that this is just another way in which people are coming together to form small communities via social software. What do you think about it?

Check out Wikipedia’s page for Moblogs and its links at the end if you want to know more about the Moblog phenomenon.

One day soon I hope to be hi-tech enough to write my blog and post to the Internet while on the move. This train seems to fit the futuristic picture, but it’s not science fiction. This is modern reality.

Jesse S. Somer is slowly becoming ‘nerdier’, and admiring ‘geeky’ types with all those innovative ideas. Just keep your phone out of my bedroom.

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Still touring the ‘Bloggies‘ blogging awards website I came across a blog that has successfully won the ‘Best European Weblog’ category for both 2005 and 2006. This blog is humorously titled ‘My Boyfriend is a Twat’ (great titles are so important for attracting attention). For the conservatives out there, the final word in the title is definitely being used in a comical context as opposed to one of vulgarity, which might be found in some pornographic material. When you come to this blog there isn’t anything that immediately jumps out at you to inform of its quality. It seems as though it’s simply one of the tens of millions of personal journal-type blogs that make up the majority of the Blogosphere, and strangely enough, that’s what it is. However, after closer inspection you will see that this is a blog that sets itself apart from most of the wider blogging community (thus its popularity). What makes it special is very subtle, yet very effective.

What you will find at this blog is a very personalised approach to the basic blogging format. If you’ve done a lot of surfing around the Internet you will know that many of the blogs out there are created from cookie-cutter templates. People have their posts, their categories, their bookmarks, a small biography, a place to leave comments etc. It can become a bit tiresome and repetitive. You end up asking yourself, ‘who is this person whose life I’m reading about? What makes them individual?’ The writer of the ‘MBIAT’ blog has obviously spent a lot of time (intentionally?) creating a space that is totally and utterly reflecting their way of interacting with the world. This creates a succinct, developed identity that readers can relate to successfully.

Basically, the blog is about a 40+ years old woman who has a boyfriend, who she likes to poke fun at. What better way to do it than write a blog about him? She also takes the normal approach of telling us about her everyday life experience. Isn’t it often so compelling that we are now easily being able to see into another human being’s (a ‘stranger’s) perspective on existence? Let’s take a minute to go in some detail about why her blog is more interesting than most.

  1. At the top of the blog are 4 main categories: Weblog, All About Me, 52 Questions, Photographs. Have a look at her ‘All About Me’ page. It has a few cool little lists like ‘Things I love’ and ‘Things I hate’ (not just ‘I’m an accountant blah, blah, blah’), as well as an ‘Executive briefing’ about her life for those who are ‘too busy’ to read the whole section. She’s got a real sense of humour and is always integrating it into the writing. The bio’s been updated as well (something more of us should do in case things in our lives have changed since the inception of our blogs). Check out down the side columns as well. She’s put in a lot of effort to make each one different from the ones on her basic Weblog page (great initiative).
  2. Side columns: On the main blog page she has a photo of herself, a description on what the blog is about, links to her ‘blogring’ friends, as well as bookmarks categorised as ‘Non-Twats’, AWOL Bloggers’, and ‘Boring Politicians for the Twat’. See, we can even be original and creative with our bookmark category titles. She has the usual email, RSS Feeds, and search engine, but then she’s also got a Guestmap (shows where site readers come from around the globe visually), and even has a Shopping Centre where faithful readers can buy merchandise like T-shirts, hats, coffee cups, postcards, and mousepads all adorned with her witty blog name.
  3. Still in the side column, she has a ‘Gimme, Gimme, Gimme’ donation button (keeping her silly approach, lightening up an otherwise serious issue-not many people don’t take money seriously) for monetary help from her readers/subscribers (you can get updated posts emailed). However, this also comes accompanied by her ‘Wish List with a Twist’ giving a real personal touch to why she ‘needs’ the money. E.G. A Best of Simon and Garfunkel CD! (She hates when people use exclamation marks-From the ‘Things I Hate List’). The items on the list are cheekily crossed off as she purchases them, which to me is cute, but also shows the real, honest human reasons why she’s asking for money as well as seeming honest about what she spends the cash on. This breeds a sense of integrity.
  4. Among more categories on this initial page are the links to ‘Twattisms: Quotes made by the ‘Twat’’. Enough said.
  5. The ’52 Questions’ page is a list of questions collated from queries by her readers about her life. It’s quite an interesting and informative read, which adds even more depth to her blogging character.
  6. Photos page: All of the photos are funny or interesting, have meaning, and are accompanied by amusing titles and information. This is what also made her bookmarks more worthwhile than the usual lists. Each one has a small summary stating in detail exactly what kind of blog they are.
  7. Comments are called ‘People spitting’ on her blog. Why does it have be called ‘Comments’?

‘Who needs a man, when you’ve got Marmite?’ (English toast spread)…“You put the Shat in Shatter, Put the Pain in Spain, Your germs are splattered about, Your face is just a stain”John Cooper Clarke. These quotes as well as photos of the ‘Lazy Twat’, ‘Greedy Twat’, and ‘The Twat Gardening’ all help to give the blogging world a fuller picture of the blogger’s complete persona, thus making one feel as though you really know her. She states that the only men she could fall in love with have a sense of humor, and a great tongue-in-cheek, yet natural sense of humor is also what makes this blog extra-enjoyable.

Jesse S. Somer has come to realize that there are very few boundaries to creating a blog that is totally original, strongly and succinctly emphasizing one’s individual identity and personality (the key to becoming someone people want to ‘know’ in the Blogosphere).

Copyright MiContent.com.au

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