Registering this blog with Technorati

In order for Technorati to note you as author of a blog, you have to go to their site and make a request to be registered as the blog author. Technorati then send you a claim token which you put into a post on your site.

In my case here is the token : J7CDZWYNXKZ4.

Now you go to http://technorati.com/account/ , login, go to your account and click on the Check Claim option. Technorati will then crawl the blog and respond by email confirming that they have found the token and will review the claim.

Building a website yourself

I have not blogged recently because I have been very busy building a new website for the AIB (Association for International Broadcasting) alongside defining and starting to implement an associated social media campaign. But I realise that I have a lot to say about my experiences of with website and social media tools.

The new website, www.theaibs.tv, is designed to highlight the AIB’s international media excellence awards – The 2010 AIBs. The awards are for those in the broadcasting industry : content producers, broadcasting companies, transmission companies, technology providers and others in associated fields.

The idea for a separate website came about only just over a month ago and it needed to be in place for the launch of entries for the awards on the 12th April, so tools that allowed rapid development were vital. There were also limited resources and budget so it seemed an ideal opportunity to try out the seeemingly rich possibilities available with open source software.

I decided to use WordPress for the website, having played around with it a little beforehand. It may seem ironic to use WordPress which is a rival to Blogger, where this blog (currently) resides but WordPress has a few real advantages : firstly, althought it is a blogging platform by origin, it allows you to create a whole series of linked pages, including those without any comments (static pages), so that you can set up a proper website structure; secondly, it has a vibrant community of developers who offer thousands of plugins, widgets and other tools which add to the basic features a vast range of simple and sophisticated add-ons (including different visual appearances, SEO optimisation, links to social media to name just a few); and thirdly, WordPress can be run on your own website and is supported as standard by many hosting companies.

It took a lot of effort, but the site was up and running on time and is being constantly updated. Now I am reasonably technical (I used to do programming 30 years ago) but I think anyone with a modest technical capability could manage the same as I did. To start with, I bought the book WordPress for Dummies by Lisa Sabin-Wilson. I did not read it all but as I started using WordPress, I dipped into it to understand particular concepts or for tips on how to make the best use of certain features. I still do use it and can recommend it.

A basic WordPress site is easily recognised by the format of the pages (top title block, right or left hand column with list of entries, categories, favourite blogs, links etc). But there are thousands of “themes” available, which provide different visual identities that you can apply to your site. I chose the Sliding Doors theme by Wayne Connor because I really like the way the images expand to show the menu option chosen. Since installing it, I have found that I will need to do some more work to show sub-menu options in an attractive way. That is on my to-do list.

The last add-on that I want to talk about at the moment, is cForms II which is a powerful plugin that allows you to design forms for site visitors to fill in. It is very powerful but be aware that it takes some time to master. Currently I have a simple form on the website homepage for visitors to register for further news. But I plan to have more complicated forms for registration particularly for the People’s Choice award and to gather feedback.

The People’s Choice award will be decided by votes from those viewing online shortlisted programmes on the subject of Climate Change. Between now and September, the challenge is to build up an audience of tens of thousands who are interested and will vote. This is where the social media campaign is planned and starting to take effect. I will talk more about other WordPress tools and the social media ones in future posts.