Rob’s blog

Cavalier about the lavalier

If you've never delivered a speech, presentation or workshop with a lavalier microphone attached to you, then friend, you've missed out. The lav is a little microphone, about the size of a bumblebee, that clips to your lapel. A black wire runs from the mic to a little...

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Five ways to work on your blog when you aren’t online

Originally posted on BlogWorld Expo.
Flaky wireless connections are a fact of life for bloggers on the move. If it isn’t tortoise-slow downloads, it’s a password that never seems to “take”. If it isn’t a connection that keeps dropping, it’s…

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Can you resuscitate your dead blog?

It’s official – I’m the cartoon blogger for BlogWorld Expo, coming this October in Las Vegas. And as part of my duties, I’m running a weekly cartoon on their blog. This post originally accompanied one of them.
It can be hard to admit, but blogs have a …

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My entry in Fast Company’s Influence Project

The social media world has been chewing over Fast Company’s Influence Project lately. And the initiative has sustained heavy fire from critics who point out that their method for determining who in the online world has the most influence…

Create a u…

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Join us at OSCON – and catch the session on Open SoSi!

Later this month, we’re packing up the tents, band instruments and trapezes, and taking the show down south to Portland, Oregon for a week to attend OSCON 2010.
I’ll be cartoon-blogging the event – and Alex and I will be presenting a session on our Ope…

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Is it ambush marketing, or conversation?

Last week saw much gnashing of clothes and rending of teeth over the fact that Nike (which is not a World Cup sponsor) is outdoing Adidas (which is) in Twitter mentions, blog references and a few other social media metrics.
Nike isn’t alone. Coke is…

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New Twitter feature lets you embed tweets in your blog posts with original formatting

Updated: Thanks to Mitch Cohen for this comment pointing to a one-click bookmarklet – even easier!

Blackbird Pie (kind of a gruesome name, if you’ve grown attached to the Twitter icon) is a new Twitter service that lets you post individual tweets to your blog or web site – keeping that good ol’ Twitter formatting intact, while picking up elements of your site’s design (such as the typeface) as well.

Blackbird Pie screen capture

Now, because of certain style overrides we have on, the result isn’t quite as picturesque as we might like:

Finally! A tool for blogging tweets about the new tool for blogging tweets! than a minute ago via TweetDeckRob Cottingham

There’s a certain amount of overlap and such. But it’s still pretty sweet, especially since our workflow used to be:

  1. Load tweet in browser.
  2. Capture screen. (We use Skitch, so we don’t have to…)
  3. Crop screen capture image and save.
  4. Upload image file to our site.
  5. Paste a link to the image file in our blog editor.
  6. Add alt text with the contents of the tweet.

With Blackbird Pie, the workflow is:

  1. Copy tweet URL.
  2. Paste into Blackbird Pie, and copy resulting embed code.
  3. Paste embed code into blog editor.

So much easier. And now the text is selectable by others – not a minor issue from an SEO standpoint, either. And it preserves hyperlinks to the original tweet, the Twitter client and the originating Twitter profile.

I like that for a number of reasons, not the least of which is making it easy for people to see the larger context of a tweet: a conversation, for instance, or the user’s Twitter stream. And if you’re trying to blog about a longer Twitter conversation, citing several tweets, this could save you a whole lot of time.

There are plenty of caveats – among other things, it doesn’t work on Tumblr yet, and I keep having to fight the urge to call it “Blackberry Pie” – but it’s a handy tool to have.


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This is the age of miracles and wonders

It's a small thing, I know. But one of the fine little pleasures of this era is posting a cartoon, and then watching it get retweeted on Twitter. Especially as the evening goes on, and the North American tweeting dies down... and I start to see people in India pick it...

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Public speaking and speechwriting: the essential guides

(photo of books with text) Leadership communications: the essential guides

Looking for advice on public speaking, speechwriting and leadership communications? Here are some of my most comprehensive posts, on topics that people ask me about most often.

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