Monday, June 21, 2010

Who's Who in NW Indiana Blogging

Oh my is that a controversial title! Who am I to even suggest an answer?

I tried a little experiment over the last 30 days. I stopped using my RSS reader for a whole month. And today opened my Northwest Indiana folder to see what I missed. An interesting tale of who's creating content, who's commenting, who's getting comments ... who's missing in action!

Some basic data points, and then I'll push out on social media and see who wants to join the convo, by the way these are the bloggers that posted in the last 30 days, I know of more than 150 others who did not post a single thing in the last 30 days ... hmmm

Jeff and Grace Saffrin posted 9 times about real estate in Northwest Indiana and I counted 33 comments during that period. Most posts are about a specific listing, with photos and reasons to buy now! I know that there are other active real estate bloggers in the region, and a few will be listed herein, and many use Active Rain merely for SEO. Thumbs up to Jeff and Grace for providing great content not just SEO. (9 posts, 33 comments) posted 11 times, and I'm still trying to figure out how many comments, not quite as comment rich as Saffrin's. But perhaps that's because many of you aren't following and engaging Dan? (11 posts, 10 comments) One more thought - Dan also occasionally writes on Drum Apprentice.

Adventures in Baby Wearing with 26 posts ranks up there with some of our top content creators in the region. Do you read Stephanie's blog? If not, check it out. She also gets a terrific amount of commenting although most is not regional, for now consider her site a homegrown national mommy site needing more local interaction. (26 posts, lots and lots of comments)

It's all about him, by Crown Point pastor Steve Dewitt at Bethel Church. (3 posts, 0 comments) hello #nwindiana tweeters, I know we all love twitter and using the hashtag but you are missing some great content and really should be engaging on some of these posts with comments too.

Around Crown Point has just one post, this one on the threat of a bug that may wipe out tree population in the area. Allyn, the big time blogger on this site, is a power house and writes on a few of the sites in this list. Do you know Allyn? (1 post, 0 comments) I was down in Indy over the weekend and had the chance to meet some of my favorite conservative bloggers face to face, if you haven't taken the time to meetup with one of your favorite bloggers ... choose Allyn he's well worth the cup of coffee.

ValpoLife Blogs come in with 28 posts and not a whole lot of commenting. Although ValpoLife is the rage of activity and both the Times and Post are trying to figure out how Chris and his team beat them so regularly to local news ... they really need more engagement. Have you logged in and set up a profile? Why not, it's free and the team actually wants your content. (28 outside blog posts, 12 comments) Valpo Life is one of our region aggregators, some of the information comes from other blogs. Business Page 42 posts - Community Page 88 posts - Entertainment Page 63 posts - Health Page 38 posts - Sports 33 posts. By far the most prolific of legitimate blogging platforms ... although I'm sure the newspapers are going to weigh in with disagreement!

Porter County Politics - now actually known as Northwest Indiana Politics and one of my own sites comes in with 28 posts by multiple authors, most is original content and 132 comments. I'm proud to say that the bulk of our commenting on this site are local peeps. Keep up the great work team, but you are getting beaten by a few blogs with more content. (28 posts, 132 comments)

The Sloan Group, one of the newest members of the region's growing online world, posted twice in the last 30 days. Chris, the owner and President, also buried his mother this month so I'm sure we'll see more content in less sad days ahead. (2 posts, 0 comments)

The Pinnacle Blog served up 5 posts, still working on a number for comments ... just a hint to many of you who are blogging, please make it easy to find your RSS for comments. I actually use it to keep track of conversations going on in the region. It's a royal pain on most sites to find! (5 posts, 2 comments)

Jana Caudill brings us 16 postlet powered posts, none all that fun or interesting since they are merely pushing SEO for real estate listings. I'm torn on this, do you care? Should a blogger try to do something more than just SEO? Maybe not, maybe I'm being too pushy. (16 posts, 0 comments) You'll find a bit more original content at Jana's office blog, but zero interaction so I'm guessing no traffic here. I understand the value of SEO and content that allows search engines to see you, but interaction is going to matter going forward.

Political blogger Kevin Tracy takes on Mitch Daniels ... what? He at least suggests that the Governor may have a tough time becoming President because he's short. Kevin has more traffic than many of us will get in a year. In the last 30 days he posted 28 times, which is no record for this prolific local blogger who gets comments similar to Stephanie of Baby Wearing from all over the country. (28 posts, 60 comments)

Buzz at Blue County Red State tends to tick off Democrats and Republicans alike. I saw him at the GOP convention over the weekend, but frankly some GOP types were staying away. He writes what he sees and tends to be controversial. (58 posts, 64 comments) Beating Kevin Tracy in comments is no small feat actually.

Building Indiana Blog is an aggregator of press releases and news in business from around the state, with a particular focus on NW Indiana. In 30 days there were 50 posts but very very few comments. Are you watching this site for breaking news, might be a good addition. (50 posts, 2 comments)

Miracle 21 only posted once in the last month, but he writes about a great project that I can't wait to see in the finished version. (1 post, 0 comments)

Jane McMullen, another local real estate blogger, only posted once as well with one commenter. (1 post, 1 comment) Is this really the best use of real estate professional marketing time? I really wonder if real estate agents should hire out their blogging, SEO, and online marketing.

The Cedar Lake Republicans blog is a newer one for me, mainly introduced by author American Vet who also writes on Northwest Indiana Politics. Only 6 posts on a political site in the midst of the big election year of 2010 is a worry, will they keep going on this blog or fade away like so many before them? (6 posts, 0 comments)

Our first "old media" commentary is the Chesterton Tribune. Can't say I recommend the website, very old school website and I was actually surprised they had an RSS feed last year when I found it. They write from a relatively liberal perspective, tending to be negative on business and favorable to environmentalism. Oh, and no commenting option. (121 stories, 0 comments) no twitter profile, no facebook page ...

Christ Lutheran in Valparaiso posted just 3 times, I think Grace Saffrin from FC Tucker showcased earlier in this post actually handles and edits this blog. (3 posts, 0 comments) are you catching the trend? Far too few comments for these smaller bloggers.

One of the earliest legitimate bloggers in the region is Chris Hedges. He's an attorney, blogger, and internet strategist. I've been reading his material and collaborating with Chris for three years now. Now he's way way off on his posting recently, only 3 posts in a month is crazy low. But due to his exceptional SEO and traffic comments are solid. (3 posts, 18 comments)

Stephanie Precourt from Babywearing mentioned above also writes on NWI Parent the Close to Home Blog. She only posted 3 times, so nowhere near the content she's generating on her other site. (3 posts, 17 comments)

For those wanting to really learn from transparency in blogging, check out NWI Tweetup Blog. Dave Woodson and Nate Findling work together to build tweetup and meetup events. This blog tends to be the most retweeted every month, but comments are way too low. (2 posts, 14 comments)

If one made a list of the top social media, new media, blogging networking in the region then Dave Woodson would be in the top five no matter how the list is measured. I know Dave is building and contributing to multiple sites, but I'd sure like to see more of his original form writing on (4 posts, 3 comments) Hey Daver, I need the comment RSS couldn't find it.

Don Asher cross posts to Valpo Life, and frankly you may get some comments on Valpo Life but there just isn't enough traffic on Don's original site for any activity. This does bring up an interesting question, why host your own blog when a site like ValpoLife or even NWI Times will host your blog for you? (4 posts, 0 comments)

Dr. Saqui has begun a series entitled "How to change any problematic pattern in one hour" great title from NW Indiana's own social media professional counselor and research analyst. (4 posts, 7 comments)

This is a test ... Golden Technologies is considered by some to be one of the technology leaders in the region (myself included) ... once I press publish I just wonder how long before they comment and retweet this? Should be a matter of minutes, lately Nate and Kristy have really been showing the way with their writing and giving to other sites. (24 posts, 59 comments) great balance of new material almost daily and multiple comments. They even comment back when I leave a thought .... hint hint to those of you that don't!

I have never met Glinda, from Glinda says, but she hosted one of the NW Indiana Blog carnivals earlier this year and is writing consistently. I don't always understand her posts (kinda like that Blues Blog of Nate's) but she does get solid commenting from repeat commenters. (4 posts, 24 comments) Now I'm feeling the pressure because my own blogs are showing too few commenting compared with Golden and Glinda.

Welcome Home NWI is a little bit canned copy from subscription sources (written by James Barath) and housing industry searchable market info for Benchmark Mortgage. I have nothing against sales pitch by the way, but the purchased content isn't getting the results that original content is getting for others like Dave Woodson. (9 posts, 15 comments) Oh by the way the comments are 90% twitter mentions funneled into comment stream. Looks like he does well on RT's.

Success Trak's Blog featured only 4 posts in the last month, I think Theresa gets a lot more activity on her Facebook and Linkedin efforts, but it's time to step up the activity in the longer form that blog and comment allows. (4 posts, 0 comments)

Fan Brew is tossing back the brews at a high rate ... 14 posts in a month and about twice that many comments. If you are only going to follow or add one RSS today, add this site. It features a little bit of fun mingling beer and sports. (14 posts, 32 comments)

Full Disclosure - this is my blog - Green Pointe Homes blog with only one post and one comment in the last 30 days. How's that for not stacking the statistics? (1 post, 1 comment) I also blog on Northwest Indiana Mortgage ... what's wrong with me these days, so few posts and so little interaction on my own blog.

Blogger Illustrated is another local phenom, like Kevin Tracy and Babywearing, where a local writer is well known all over the county. The comment counts are high, and content is king! The downside is that Allyn only posted once in the last month, once with 76 comments WOW. (1 post, 76 comments)

Shore Magazine was pretty quiet too, with Phil Potema's blog featuring only one post and a pingback that we won't count as a legit comment. Pat Colander posted four times, pretty good gossip type column on the comings and goings near the lake, I get the feeling though that no one really reads these columns. The hard copy printed magazine is probably still pretty solid, but online just not hitting so far. (5 posts, 0 comments)

This is totally personal, but I really like the format and layout of Redeeming Riches. The site could really use a personality, less hiding behind the format and more personality of the authors ... but with 12 posts on personal finance I think it is searching great with little or no competition in the entire region. (12 posts, 42 comments) and a whole lot of retweets. Note - the sites that feature the RT button like Golden and this site are doing well on retweets. Hmmm.

Have you used NWI Quotes for an insurance quote? Why not? Just a question not trying to tick anyone off. They do need to post more, and commenting is terrible, but this is an actual free service based right here in our community to get you quotes for insurance. (2 posts, 0 comments)

Here's a brain teaser, NWI Parent Magazine featured 86 posts in the last month and not a single comment. Where are people going to discuss these articles, anywhere? I can't say I remember them being on twitter, facebook, or any other platform. So does that mean this terrific content is just laying out there will few readers and even less interaction, sad. (86 posts, 0 comments)

Chris Buckley, new young aggressive attorney from right here in the region, posted the obvious question "Five Reasons to hire a young attorney" love it! But come on Chris you need to post more than once a month, you have followers who are loyal because you've spent time in an SEO group and attend tweetups. They want you to succeed. (1 post, 2 comments)

Irene Tron is probably the most prolific content blogger in real estate in NW Indiana. She writes on two sites, one Active Rain, and I have to assume little by little she's picking up a following of actual readers. Comments tend to be inside baseball from Active Rain members though. (3 posts, 16 comments)

I worked with Scott Swinford on an SEO project earlier this year, and frankly haven't seen him around much lately. Scott are you out there? (2 posts, 0 comments) The post I linked sends the reader to an affiliate credit program that Scott is involved in, I wonder how many bloggers in the area even know what affiliate marketing is? Another post another day.

Northwest Indiana Creative Blog - let me get this off my chest - I offered to write for them and got shot down last year! Why? No idea, I guess they didn't want content. OK, back to the point, some solid and original content but not nearly the amount of commenting you would expect from these designer guys. (4 posts, 14 comments) they did pull together a conference last month so maybe that took a lot of time, more comments soon?

Northwest Indiana and Beyond is the Times' news blog, and at times has featured some good original content and even links to some of us on our blogs. Lately nothing, it looks like this project is on the backburner. The Times does write a lot of content, and commenting can get very active, I cannot report the amount because they cannot supply an RSS for all comments. Many of us link to the Times, and it does tick me off that they never link back from the real newspaper site but only from this blog that very few people read. (5 posts, 2 comments)

Rashaan posted 15 times in the last month, a greater number than normal. He also wrote on NW Indiana Creative. Mr Taylor's Blog is a rambling series of thoughts and ideas, are you comfortable engaging with someone when they are being totally honest? (15 posts, 5 comments) Rashaan took part in the Golden 33 challenge along with some of our other local bloggers.

Not my kind of blog, but I bet lots of you do care a lot about photos and weddings. Region Weddings is pretty good at both. (8 posts, 0 comments)

Josh Walker, audio engineer, was also involved in an SEO project with us earlier this year. Again full disclosure, the best SEO is collaboration amongst local bloggers writing about each other. Give what costs you nearly nothing! (2 posts, 0 comments) Hint - see how I linked to Josh's name and career pursuit ... that helps him not me ... he wants to search for that title ... I gave what cost me nothing and never never never link to the word "the" or "link here" or "this blog". That does nothing for the recipient, or very little.

I'll be honest I don't quite get Jinked, but I know she has a following and writes a ton of content that is very ... very personal. (21 posts, 15 comments)

There are a few people in "old media" in our area that get it. Jerry Davich from the Post and Chris Keller from the Times jump out as guys that get it even though their companies don't. Jerry writes a regular column for the Post and gets quite a bit of commenting by email and phone and even snail mail. He then posts to his blog Jerry Davich: Observations from the Edge with follow up and more commentary. (15 posts, over 100 comments) see particularly his posts on the gay community about three weeks ago WOW! What's the difference between a blog post, great blogger, and newspaper journalist? For one a blog needs to be personal and allow easy commenting, these newspapers are making it too hard.

Indiana Grain Blog, built on a site designed I believe by the aforementioned Golden Technologies, is a little different ... no wordpress template here. Moving tickertape and commenting right on the front page. Remember Michael Essany, this is where he works and writes. (54 posts, can't find comment stream or RSS)

This is a weird one for me, the blog is called Increase Sales Blog, and the blogger was involved at the very beginning with James Barath at our local tweetups. Lately she took to teaching some classes on SEO with Kathy Sipple, our own Indiana Social Media Diva. Again I can't for the life of me find the comment stream or RSS. But she took her own SEO advice and posted 33 times. (33 posts, no idea on comments)

Book of Blues, NatFinn and writing with zeal. I made all that up, but this is one of my favorite reads. Nate writes for work, writes to promote the tweetups, and connects with pithy tweets all day ... but once in a while he writes in long form from a purely creative side. No, not very many readers, but you're missing something here. (3 posts, 0 comments)

Another home builder, GK Development, started blogging and tweeting this spring. Welcome to the community guys, keep up the great work. (2 posts, 0 comments)

Note - many of the bloggers I know are located near Valparaiso. I'm betting I'm missing lots of others. Who? I'd love to add some new ones. I know I missed a bunch, shoot me some ideas.

When was the last time you surfed 10 of your favorite local blogs and left a comment?
When have you taken the time to socially bookmark 10 local posts? Know how?
When you write, do you make sure and link using text words that matter to your recipient?
Have you added any local blog RSS to your reader, set up a folder?

Just ideas, love to hear more from you.