Finger On The Web Vol. 1

Welcome to the first edition of Finger On The Web Wednesday, a weekly look at what’s happening in the blogosphere.

Shaggy Blog Stories launches

Shaggy Blog Stories, a collection of funny stories from 100 British bloggers has gone on sale.

100 bloggers have published a book to raise funds of the BBC’s Comic Relief appeal on Friday 16th March.

‘Shaggy Blog Stories’ features hilarious contributions from Richard Herring of ‘Fist of Fun’ fame, BBC 6Music presenter Andrew Collins, comedian Emma Kennedy, and James Henry, scriptwriter from Channel Four’s ‘The Green Wing’.

Authors Abby Lee, David Belbin, Catherine Sanderson and The Guardian’s Anna Pickard have also contributed pieces to the book.

The vast majority of contributions, however, are the work of many of the lesser known and unfamiliar heroes of British blogging; going under pen names such as Diamond Geezer, Scaryduck, Pandemian and Unreliable Witness.

The book is the idea of blogger Mike Atkinson who writes the ‘Troubled Diva’ weblog. ‘Shaggy Blog Stories’ features comic writing from not only the cream of British blogging, but also the best up-and-coming and undiscovered writers publishing their work on their own websites.

Giving himself a “ridiculously short” seven days from idea to finished product, Atkinson admitted that he was overwhelmed with the response, which gleaned over 300 submissions for publication.

With a pool of talented writers, and the latest publishing-on-demand technology, Shaggy Blog Stories bypasses the usual snail-paced publishing industry, and offers a mail order service to customers who will receive their finished copy within days of placing their order, and only a couple of weeks after the original idea.

“Blogging creates complex, worldwide networks of friendship and contacts on the internet”, says journalist Alistair Coleman, one of Shaggy Blog Stories’ contributors. “By creating a buzz about this book, we can reach out to hundreds, thousands of readers who’d be willing to part with a few quid for this very good cause. Mike’s got some excellent writers on board here whose work deserves a wider audience. Everybody wins.”

For details of how to order the book, visit

For the background story on the creation of Shaggy Blog Stories, take a look at

The fabulous thing about this project is that about 50% of the book’s cover price is going as a donation to Comic Relief. Comic Relief is a non-profit charity that raises money to combat poverty. If you can’t remember who this group is think of Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal. Got it now? Good.

Click here to read the full story…

SOBCon2007; Are you hip to it?

Liz Strauss of and creator of Successful and Outstanding Bloggers program has put together what looks to be a fantastic conference for bloggers. The event will be held in Chicago, IL on May 12, 2007 from 8am-4pm and will host speakers such as Terry Starbucker, David Armano, Phil Gerbyshak and Liz Strauss herself speaking on diverse subjects such as presentation through design, building relationships and using thee myriad of tools available to make your blog stand out.

The cost is $350 before Apr. 1 ($450 after) plus air fare if you are coming from out of town. I’m seriously debating on going mainly because I’ve never gone to a conference before and it’ll be awesome meeting other bloggers face to face. Plus I’ve only been in Georgia for a few days and already I’m going nuts. Any for more information, visit SOBEvent.

The One Million Dollar Race

The One Million Dollar Race is a cross between an initiative and a competition to see who can make one million dollars first as an internet entrepreneur (or intrapreneur). The idea was dreamed up by Broc Copeland of Existential Ventures as a way to encourage the blogging community to become better about making money online and as a way of connecting people in a common goal. If you wish to participate in the contest, email Broc to be added to the list.

As a side note, Broc also has a MyBlogLog giveaway going on in which you can win a Canon Photo Printer and a Prixma IP 1700. All you have to do is sign up to his MBL community and comment on this post. As a bonus, if you write about the contest on your own blog, such as I am doing now, your name will entered 10 additional times. So if you are really hurting for a printer and want one for free, spend the few minutes you would have used begging your parents for money to enter this contest.

Support Topless Women?

The Thinking Blog is a blog that I enjoy reading as Ilker offers up a variety of content designed to get you to use your noggin for more than looking up porn. (You know who you are.) Anyway, he has an interesting post on his blog about the inequality of the sexes and more specifically about the fact that men can parade around topless whereas a woman who were to do so would quickly find herself dragging a tin coffee cup across iron bars while belting out Amazing Grace. In fact according to blurb on Ilker’s post the state of New York is the only place where it is legal for a woman to walk around topless.

Now I’m not quite sure what to think of this. On the one hand, I think women should be allowed to walk around topless without fear of being slapped with an indecent exposure arrest. Or that it should be illegal for men to go around topless because in our current fast food lifestyle that’s just nasty. On the other hand, I’m a little old fashioned and think that women’s private bits should be just that. Private.

Anyway, share your opinion on The Thinking Blog.

As a side note, Ilker has a design contest going on. Review his blog and earn a chance to win a free website design (or redesign). More information available here.

Good Advice From Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak from Entrepreneur’s Journey has a great post on what it really takes to be outstanding in, well, anything you do. In his article Why Ongoing Education is The Key in Business and Blogging, he points out something I’ve always believed from the start of this roller coaster ride called blogging.

I read many bloggers with great ideas. In particular I come across plenty who think a lot about building traffic to blogs or making money from blogs and write some great dot point list articles, with their ideas presented as tips. This is definitely sound blogging and I’d never argue against it – it’s a proven pillar article formula – but lately I’ve noticed a lot of repetition and regurgitation.

The same can be said about other industries, but perhaps they are not quite as saturated as the “blogging tips” area, but certainly have similar repeating ideas circulating over and over again.

It’s similar in the business world. Good ideas are everywhere, but if you don’t have some form of leadership or perceived leadership in your market, you can’t break away from all the other people doing the same or similar things.

A lot of these blogging tips and tricks websites merely reuse and recycle the same information over and over again. Instead of standing out with a fresh look at an ongoing issue, they instead blend into the bland landscape with the same information that could be found on hundreds of other websites. Some even go so far as to syndicate content from reprint article sites in order to fill up their website with content.

Now I’m not knocking reprint article sites. I’ve used them in the past and they are great for when you are in a content crunch or do not have a lot of knowledge about a particular subject. However, I feel that if you really want to be a success you must become what Yaro calls a Thought Leader. You must make the effort to educate yourself about your topic and then take that information to come up with something better whether that be and idea, a technique or a better solution to an old problem. Yes it will take more time and effort but in the end it will be worth it because as is often the case, Thought Leaders are able to command more money than Thought Followers.

And that’s what’s going on folks. Until next week, good night and happy blogging.