Update 3 - Updated Kindle Blog Publishing info, corrected blog's feed to be full text feed.
Update 2 - Forgot to mention BWIA Magazine, and made various editorial tweaks.
Update 1 - original post (was titled Update...)
I've been making some incremental moves to restart writing about Broadband Wireless Internet Access / WiMAX and I've made some... encouraging enough... progress that a(n) brief update is appropriate.
Tweeting - "@bwianews"
Twitter has grown on me, both as a "follower" and a "tweeter". My original take on Twitter and tweeting was that it's just another way to stay connected with your circle of friends, acquaintances, colleagues, and influencers, on a par with IM, blogs, mailing lists, email, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Twitter just another communications tool. To those that despise Twitter as a silly waste of time just to be able to know what a celebrity had for lunch... yeah, it can be merely that if that's the content you choose to subscribe to. But Twitter is entirely, individually customized, so you can make it into an effective tool by being highly selective about who you "follow". And periodically pruning what/who you "follow".
One of the things that has really grown on me about Twitter is the 140 character limit of each tweet. It's a (fun) challenge to condense content you want to share into 140 characters, but that 140 character limit of each tweet is a joy to read and scan. If it's important for it to be said, you can say it in 140 characters. But better than the challenge of composing content in 140 characters is reading content in 140 character chunks, and that's what ultimately swung me over to considering Twitter as an effective communications tool.
Another effective way to use Twitter is to establish multiple Twitter accounts for your various interests. What makes this an effective strategy is that better Twitter clients allow you to monitor more than one Twitter accounts. Thus, I created Twitter ID bwianews and moved all the Twitter users that I follow because of some relation to Broadband Wireless Internet Access and WiMAX to that account. More importantly, I will use "@bwianews" to Twitter "microblog posts" (that phrase will take some time to get used to) about BWIA / WiMAX that I consider significant, including (relatively rare) "re-Tweets". A number of colleagues from when I wrote a lot about BWIA / WiMAX had found me on Twitter, but probably aren't that interested in my impressions of life and general, and with creating "@bwianews", they don't have to.
This may well be controversial, but I'm seriously considering the possibility of offering sponsorships for "@bwianews". That is, in return for a sponsorship fee, I'll post several Tweets per day on behalf of the sponsor. Don't like the idea of ads? Don't follow @bwianews - Twitter is 100% opt-in.
Broadband Wireless Internet Access / WiMAX Blog on Amazon Kindle
The Kindle, and now the Kindle 2 and Kindle DX are impressive little devices, and I'm sure that I'll have one within a year. A logical, but savvy, nonetheless, move on Amazon's part to broaden the overall appeal of the Kindle(s) was to offer subscriptions to magazines in addition to ebooks. But it caught nearly everyone by surprise that Amazon also began to offer "subscriptions" to individual blogs. Not just "megablogs" like, say, Boing Boing and Slashdot, but individual blogs written by... individuals, like Tom Evslin's excellent blog Fractals of Change. $0.99 or $1.99 / month gets a Kindle reader a once-per-day delivery of postings from an individual blog, reformatted (from the basic text of the blog's RSS feed) for comfortable viewing on the Kindle.
For individual blog publishers like Tom and I, it's found money, so I signed up. It's pretty painless. BWIA News isn't quite ready for Kindle as I haven't uploaded two required graphics, but I'll do so soon. BWIA News is now ready for Kindle subscriptions.
One change that posting with Kindle in mind that I'll explain up front* is that I'll now be publishing full article text in the RSS feed. To publish blogs on the Kindle, Amazon's servers simply subscribe to a blog's RSS feed, reformat it, and distribute it to Kindle subscribers. So if your blog's feed is set up to publish an excerpt, rather than the full text of the post, in the RSS feed, paying Kindle readers won't get to see the full text of your blog's articles.
* (Mostly for my good friend Bill V. who, without this explanation, would soon let me know that he's glad to see content on this blog again... but he strongly prefers to see an excerpt rather than full article text in the RSS feed.)
Giving Up On AdSense, Will Consider Individual Advertisements
Google AdWords / AdSense was nice, in its time, and I made a little bit of money from it for a while, but it's no longer generating enough income to make it worth the screen real estate that was devoted to it, so I've stopped displaying AdSense ads.
It was past time to do that. Google keeps foisting more and more administrative overhead onto casual AdSense publishers like me... pfah! But mostly Google never addressed or even acknowledged my major issue with AdSense - that I couldn't specify the advertisers that I wanted to specifically display. Instead of readers seeing a relevant AdWords ad for, say, Redline Communications WiMAX, they would see four ads for cut-rate cellular voice resellers. That's nice... but hardly interesting (let alone worth clicking-through) to the typical reader of BWIA / WiMAX News. While AdSense enabled me to prohibit specific ads from being displayed (by URL), I couldn't keep adding to the exclusion list indefinitely. I tried - but there were always more marginal ads in the queue as fast as I excluded the worst offenders. What AdSense really needs, in my opinion, is an opt-in option; then it would be a lot more useful. And yes, I'm sure Google's engineers are smart enough to work out some protection for the scammers / spammers that would feature only high-revenue clickthroughs for real estate, investment, jewelry, etc.and then "click-farm" the resulting ads.
Another interesting factor is that I've been periodically contacted about advertising, even though the content has grown somewhat static. Apparently advertising on blogs is becoming more mainstream. So, instead of AdSense ads, I'm willing to consider individual ads, either banner ads or small "AdWords-like" size and location (such as the current location in the upper-right corner of the blog). If you're interested, contact me via that link.
(excerpted from www.bwiamagazine.com)
BWIA is Broadband Wireless Internet Access and BWIA Magazine is a new publication about BWIA that will debut in Summer, 2009. BWIA Magazine will encompass cellular broadband technology (HSxPA, 1xEV-DO, LTE, etc.) used to deliver Broadband Internet Access, Broadband Internet Access via satellite, WiMAX technology (Mobile and fixed), Wi-Fi, Municipal Wi-Fi, microwave point-to-point networks, proprietary systems, and many other technologies.
BWIA Magazine will initially publish on a bimonthly schedule. BWIA Magazine will utilize a hybrid print/online publishing model through the use of print-on-demand services such as MagCloud. BWIA Magazine will be available at no cost online; print subscriptions (and individual issues) will be available upon payment of a subscription or individual issue fee. BWIA Magazine will include advertisements, and we feel that this will be a strong draw for readers. Just as there is a dearth of quality content on the subject of BWIA, there's no one good place to find out who the vendors of BWIA-related products are.
Consolidating Down To Just A Few BWIA-related Blogs
I tried an interesting experiment - "self-franchising" a number of narrowly-focused blogs - Independent Clearwire Blog is one example. While I think the idea could have worked, I ran out of time and funding to be able to devote enough time to generate content for all of them. In the coming months, I'll be consolidating all the content from those "splinter" blogs to this one, and then redirect the domain names to the relevant Category.
So the upshot of all of this is that, with the option of "micro-blogging" via Twitter, some possibility of at least modest revenue via multiple streams, and really interesting things continuing to happen in the Broadband Wireless Internet Access / WiMAX industry...
Yes, I'll be gradually resuming writing about BWIA / WiMAX.
Writing about BWIA will remain a part-time endeavor for me for the foreseeable future. Between
health, job, and home life, things have stabilized enough for me to resume writing about BWIA.
This post was composed and posted mostly via Broadband
Wireless Internet Access / WiMAX - Verizon Wireless 1xEV-DO and 1xRTT
via a Novatel MiFi, In transit from Portland to
Seaside, OR. I'll write more of my impressions of the MiFi soon... it's
far from perfect, but it's mostly usable. Completed using in-house Wi-Fi at the very nice Rivertide Suites in Seaside, OR.
By Steve Stroh
This article is Copyright © 2009 by Steve Stroh, except for specifically-marked excerpts. Excerpts and links are expressly permitted (and encouraged).