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Orange Peels and Map Projections


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#1
Casey Greene

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I was just thinking to myself yesterday "why is no one with a small map business publishing blogs or articles to their website?"

What started it off was a conversation I was having with a good friend who owns a web-design company. He was telling me about potential clients not wanting to pay the price he was asking, and going to someone else who will charge less, but NOT use "web-standards." So when a new web browser - such as IE8 or Firefox3 - comes out, the client who went the cheap route might find their site does not work. I told my friend, "Why don't you write a layman's article on web-standards, call it 'why your website might not work in 6 months,' and publish it on your website."

I love blogs and articles written on subjects that I know nothing about. When done right, the blog gives me intimate access to knowledge the expert (ie..blogger) possess. I hate to say this, but I think the success of blogging is that it makes the web seem more human and what web business doesn't want to seem more human?

Think about it, if a potential customer is trying to decide between 2 different map companies that have the same prices, and equal work, but the customer has always wondered why Russia is different sizes on different maps, and read an article on your website called "Orange Peels and Map Projections," who do you think is going to get the job?

Just some thoughts from a non-expert.
Casey Greene - Cartographer - Adventure Cycling Association
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#2
ELeFevre

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Casey,
Yeah, it's definitely a good idea. I can think of at least three cartotalk members that have blogs (Nick, Nate, Derek..more?). I've been planning on adding a link-list of geospatial related blogs to the Resources section of cartotalk. It's coming soon.



#3
Hans van der Maarel

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I've been trying to use a blog to facilitate the 'news' section of my website, but it never really took off and I've decided to just go back to plain web pages.

Another thing I've been contemplating is setting up a blog totally aside from my business website, about my views on and experiences with the geo-world. But I'm not sure whether I have something worthwile to say.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#4
Nick Springer

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CartoBlog is not really my personal blog, it was meant to be an adjunct site to CartoTalk. It never really took off and has had nothing new posted since last May - almost a year! I had started it with the idea that there would be a half dozen regular contributors that would keep it going, but we all (including myself) never found the time or the will to follow through.

I would like to revive it if there are new folks that would like to contribute (Hans? Casey?). It could certainly be linked to from any one's site and you can add some promotional links from CartoBlog, which would serve the purposes Casey mentioned.

Nick Springer

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Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC


#5
François Goulet

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A blog section on Cartotalk could do the trick (it's easy to say when you're not the one who will have to do it... and Cartotalk isn't my creation neither so it founders may think different ;) )

Members could post longer articles or point of view instead of short posts and questions and it could benefit for all others.

At least, I'd like it... :P

#6
Hans van der Maarel

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A blog section on Cartotalk could do the trick (it's easy to say when you're not the one who will have to do it... and Cartotalk isn't my creation neither so it founders may think different ;) )

Members could post longer articles or point of view instead of short posts and questions and it could benefit for all others.

At least, I'd like it... :P


The current structure of Cartotalk allows for longer posts already (just ask Derek... :P ). True, so far it's been mostly a question-answer thing, but I don't see a reason why it would have to remain like that.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#7
Hans van der Maarel

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Well...

I took the plunge

Nothing much there yet :rolleyes:
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#8
Casey Greene

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Nice blog Hans (I've got it bookmarked)! - and happy birthday :)

Just a side note, you might want to put the blog on your business' website. I know you said you've already tried this, but here are some advantages to putting it on your business' site:
1)More travel on your business site
2)Shows potential clients visiting your site, that your company is helpful, knowledgeable, and accessible
3)Google's search engine loves blogs and will usually rate a site that has one higher (ie...more people find you when they google cartographic related key words)

Here is an example of what I was originally trying to get at with my initial post: This is David Airey's site, a graphic designer who built a successful design business by blogging (some of his articles are even quite good instruction and advice on blogging).

Having said that about personal blogs, I think CartoBlog would be great if it would take-off. It reminds me of my all-time-favorite blog that I check everyday: DesignObserver.
Casey Greene - Cartographer - Adventure Cycling Association
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#9
Hans van der Maarel

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Nice blog Hans (I've got it bookmarked)! - and happy birthday :)

Just a side note, you might want to put the blog on your business' website. I know you said you've already tried this, but here are some advantages to putting it on your business' site:
1)More travel on your business site
2)Shows potential clients visiting your site, that your company is helpful, knowledgeable, and accessible
3)Google's search engine loves blogs and will usually rate a site that has one higher (ie...more people find you when they google cartographic related key words)


The problem is that integrating a blog into my existing website structure is something I'm not really keen on doing (fearing it might cause all kinds of broken links / search engine issues). I'm kind of a Web 2.0 luddite :)
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#10
François Goulet

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The current structure of Cartotalk allows for longer posts already (just ask Derek... :P ). True, so far it's been mostly a question-answer thing, but I don't see a reason why it would have to remain like that.


You're absolutely right Hans, but I know I wouldn't do it in a section not specifically meant to it... like it would be "lost" in all the questions. It may be just me, but I could not be the only one (but who am I to know what others think ;) .

Cartotalk is my primary cartography resource, but it's not, for me, the place where I would seek opinions. I'd be happy to read blog-like post on Cartotalk though. For me, Cartotalk is for exchange thing, a place where you can share your knowledge and ask others and even though you can post comments on blogs, they're not mean for that IMHO...

It don't take anything from Cartotalk though... I'm addicted, no matter what! :P

#11
Nick Springer

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OK... I jumped in here too. I added a personal blog to my website as well: http://springercartographics.com/blog/

I have done many WordPress installs so I was able to integrate it into my site pretty cleanly I think.

I still want to revive CartoBlog if there is anyone out there that would like to contribute.

Nick Springer

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#12
Casey Greene

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Nick,

I'm going to send a couple articles for Cartoblog your way to see what you think. I'll have them to you by tonight.
Casey Greene - Cartographer - Adventure Cycling Association
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#13
François Goulet

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I still want to revive CartoBlog if there is anyone out there that would like to contribute.


For that, you'll have to allow articles in other language... I don't think my English is good enough ;)

#14
David T

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The only draw back to blogging on your business site - you run the risk of polarizing your customers. If you decide to write on a subject that's potentially derisive, your customers may not want to do business with you.
David Toney, GISP
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#15
Nick Springer

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Nick,

I'm going to send a couple articles for Cartoblog your way to see what you think. I'll have them to you by tonight.

-Casey Greene
(cbgreene17@yahoo)



Please do!

Nick Springer

Director of Design and Web Applications: ALK Technologies Inc.
Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC





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