Q&A: How should small businesses and others reach out to local bloggers?

This question came to the Pittsburgh Bloggers inbox:

Hi there! I am a local jewelry artist and I am looking for some help. I know that I need to get more information about what I do out there through social media, but can never seem to find the time. Is there any way for Pittsburgh Bloggers to help me, even if I do not have my own blogg? My website is www.audraazoury.com and my facebook page is Audra Azoury Jewelry. Thanks in advance for any info. you can provide!

We often get questions along these lines. Pittsburgh bloggers, how would you answer this? Please offer your thoughts in the comments.

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Pittsburgh Blogfest 21: Festier than ever

Come meet your fellow bloggers and social media types in a friendly, unstructured setting. Blogfest is an informal and friendly gathering of local bloggers, vloggers, podcasters, and anyone who enjoys life on the Internet.

It’s more happy hour than meeting: No talks will be given, no credentials required.

WHAT: Pittsburgh Blogfest 21
WHEN: Saturday, July 14, 2010, 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM and beyond
WHERE: Finnegan’s Wake (near PNC Park, 20 General Robinson St., North Shore, 412-325-2601), in the Pub Room
WHO: All local bloggers, podcasters, and social media folk of all stripes (and their friends… feel free to bring some even if they don’t blog!)

Food and beverages will be available for purchase from Finnegan’s Wake. Arrive when you like, leave when you must.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP on the event page or send an e-mail to blogfest AT pghbloggers.org.

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New on Pittsburgh Bloggers: Blogger Opportunities

People often contact me to ask how to get the word out to the Pittsburgh blogging community about some event, offer, or happening. So I’ve added a new feature: Blogger Opportunities. 

We don’t want this to turn into a general-purpose announcement list, so it’s restricted to offers and events that are specifically for bloggers or that particularly apply to blogging. Some examples:

  • Free or discounted tickets to an event or performance, in exchange for blogging on the blogger’s own site or on yours
  • Invitation to blog on your site or to cross-publish a post on your site and the blogger’s own site
  • Press pass to an event

Opportunities are listed on the Blogger Opportunities page (though there aren’t any there … yet), and you can send in information about an opportunity online. We’ll review each submission to make sure it fits our criteria and publish as quickly as we can; it’ll be announced on the Pittsburgh Bloggers Twitter account too.

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Pittsburgh Bloggers on Twitter

Pittsburgh Bloggers has a new Twitter account: https://twitter.com/pghbloggers

Follow us on Twitter for announcements of new & updated blog listings, events, and blogger-centric opportunities.

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Fashion Blogger opportunity: Maniac Magazine sneak peak, February 2

via April Hubal, Publisher of Maniac Magazine

Maniac Magazine is having a special event exclusively for Pittsburgh bloggers.  Are you blogging about fashion or entertainment?  Do you pride yourself in giving your readers first hand news?  If so – you are the blogger we are looking for. 

Maniac Magazine is inviting you to a get a sneak peak at our February/March issue BEFORE it hits newsstands – all our exclusive content and photos will be available for you to not only look at but blog about! Continue reading

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Generating Preview….

We’re experimenting with a new feature here on Pittsburgh Bloggers: preview screenshots of the blogs. 

We’re using a feature of WordPress.com for this, a function that one is permitted to use even when not hosted on WordPress.com. It works nicely, but slowly, and some sites seem to take much longer than others to load and save.

If your blog is one of these slow sites, try viewing the listing for your site and waiting a while (even minutes), then reloading the page to make the image appear.

In the meantime, we’re still researching other ways to generate screenshots more quickly. Ideas welcome: Share any thumbnail-generation services or similar in the comments.

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Improved blog submission form — now with faster listings

If you’ve submitted your blog to be included in Pittsburgh Bloggers and have been patiently waiting for it to appear, I’m really sorry for the wait. The form we had set up for new listings made the process very clunky and slow.

We’ve revised the blog listing form entirely, so now the approval process is a snap — we just check your listing and click Publish. So much better!

We’re still going through the backlog of existing requests, but if you would like to just resubmit with the new form, you’ll probably get your site listed faster.

Go forth and list, friend.

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The Big Link Cleanup

Hey all, Fox here! I’m new to the Pittsburgh Bloggers community, but I’ve been blogging for years (although way back in the early 2000s we were still calling it ‘online journaling’), and I’m here to tell you about some upcoming improvements to PghBloggers.org.

As the site has been up since 2004, there are obviously some blog links hanging around for pages that are no longer being updated by their authors. So, I’m here to help clean up these links and delete the non-functioning ones.

With that said, you’ll be seeing some changes coming to the directory as things are updated and removed. We’re only removing blogs that don’t exist, blogs that are no longer related to Pittsburgh in any way (in topic or location), and blogs that are basically ‘inactive’, meaning they haven’t been updated at all in the past 18 months. I am doing my best to try to find new addresses if blogs have moved, but if you’re a blogger with a new address, letting us know via an email or the update form is the best thing to do. Also, if your blog is removed for inactivity and you decide to start updating it again, please just resubmit it and we’ll be happy to update the link.

Finally, we are really trying to improve the effectiveness of the tag cloud on the main page, so if your blog is listed in the directory but doesn’t have any tags, please submit some as an update. This is one of the easiest ways for readers (and other like-minded bloggers) to find your blog, so the more specific and accurate your tags are, the more people who will be able to read your page.

The blog directory is lengthy, but I’m hoping to have the Big Link Cleanup complete before our upcoming Blogfest event. The details of that will be coming soon, so keep checking back! And again, keep the corrections and updates (and new submissions) coming!

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Welcome to the new and improved (and still improving) PghBloggers.org

At last, at last, we have relaunched the Pittsburgh Bloggers website.

In this new site, we’re focusing primarily on being an easily searchable blog directory — a way to discover Pittsburgh-area blogs easily.

Note that the listings we brought over from the old site are often very old indeed. Some point to blogs are no longer exist, others include outdated links and descriptions. We need your help in identifying which listings should be updated. When you find an out-of-date listing, please let us know what changes to make to bring it up-to-date.

We will also be adding a new feature to help organizations and businesses connect with bloggers for blogger-specific promotions. And if you have ideas for other ways to make this site more useful to you, whether you’re a blogger or a reader, please let us know (especially if you can help us make it happen).

One feature we haven’t brought over from the old site is the RSS feed aggregator. Combining the RSS feeds of hundreds of blogs overwhelmed our systems, and so for the time being we’re going to leave that out and focus on the directory. We’ll revisit the aggregator in the future if technology and resources make it possible.

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