Posted by: Mike A. | September 28, 2007

Baby steps…

While I’m hugely optimistic about Boma blogging to the rest of the world, this test platform hasn’t been totally free of kinks.

This version of WordPress is hosted by WordPress itself, so that means three things: 1) certain web applications are blocked; 2) we can’t install widgets; 3) we can’t customize the blog template itself as much as we’d like. These setbacks bug me more than you know.

  1. Certain web applications are blocked. As this WordPress FAQ explains, certain tags are blocked for security reasons. To its credit, the free-hosted WordPress offers workarounds that let you plug in content from Google Video, Youtube, DailyMotion, Grouper, Odeo, and SplashCast. (You can see this post as an example of a DailyMotion video embedded in the post.) This blockage won’t be a problem if we host WordPress ourselves, on our own web servers. This will also give us more functionality.
  2. We can’t install widgets. This frustrates the hell out of me. I love WordPress mainly for the simplicity of its widgets; since we’re using the free-hosted version, our  widgets page has less functionality than I’d like. I wanted to install Sideblog, a quote rotator (nothing says “good morning” better than a random quote from the Simpsons, in my opinion!), maybe a LibraryThing widget. (I put our newest books on LibraryThing, just for kicks.) Anyway, widgets make a blog more human, and enriches our content. We’re a lesser blog for lack of widgets!
  3. We can’t customize the blog template. If we hosted our own blog, anybody who knows a bit of CSS can rework the current blog template to something more Boma-like. (The sheer number of WordPress blog templates out there simply leaves one spoiled for choice.)  Already, the current blog template pleasantly resembles our BomaConnect layout; we could make the similarity even closer if we could customize the template ourselves; alas, since WordPress is hosting our blog’s current incarnation, our hands are tied.

However, there’s a silver lining to every cloud. I’m optimistic about using this blog as our major point of contact with clients (present and future ones), associates (ditto), and employees (ditto again). Having this blog is necessary for all these guys (if I had my advertising hat on I’d say “target audiences”, blergh) to know that a) we know what we’re talking about, and b) we’re interested in a conversation that might benefit all parties involved, or at the least provide an interesting exchange of views.

In time, I hope, our ideas, as expressed here, will be compelling enough for the Internet grapevine to pick us up on their own, through sites like Digg, Reddit, Metafilter, etc. 

Thing is, we have to be several things if we want to get to that point soon.

  • We have to have attitude. Let’s not be afraid to share our opinions. Your ideas count. Don’t be afraid of confrontation, there’s going to be a lot of that on the blogosphere.
  • We have to be current. A weekend is an eternity on the blogosphere – you don’t want to be commenting on shit that people have already done to death last Tuesday.
  • We have to be honest. We have to bend over backwards to ensure we’re not perceived as fake or two-faced. We also have to admit when we’re wrong (this is a big problem with 1.0 companies.)
  • We have to have personality. What personality? Simple: Boma360’s personality is the sum total of our contributors’ personalities. There’ll be a “Ted” side, a “Quinnie” side, a “Claud” side, a “Jehan” side… but this only works if none of us hide behind a generic corporate bland non-personality. Not sure if you have a personality? Develop one. Preferably an opinionated one, which is easier on the Internet because nobody gets to throw rotten tomatoes at you in the blogosphere.
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