Sep 282010

New URL for OnlyOnce

New URL for OnlyOnce

A final reminder before I shut down the old Typepad site…this blog’s new URL is http://www.onlyonceblog.com.

Filed under: Weblogs

Tags: ,

Jul 082010

OnlyOnce, Part II

OnlyOnce, Part II

After more than six years, my blog starting looking like, well, a six-year old blog on an off-the-shelf template.  Thanks to my friends at Slice of Lime, OnlyOnce has a new design as of today as well as some new navigation and other features like a tag cloud and Twitter feed (and a new platform, WordPress rather than Typepad).  I know many people only read my posts via feed or email (those won’t change), but if you have a minute, feel free to take a look.  The site also has its own URL now – http://www.onlyonceblog.com.

With my shiny new template, I may add some other features or areas of content over time, as well.  There are still a couple things that are only 95% baked, but I love the new look and wanted to make if “official” today.  Thanks to Kevin, Jeff, Mike, Lindsay, and everyone at Slice of Lime for their excellent design work, and for my colleague Andrea for helping do the heavy lifting of porting everything over to the new platform.

May 102007

Blogiversary, Part III

Blogiversary, Part III

OnlyOnce turns three today.  While year 1 was exciting and year 2 was still a build, this year has been more about maintenance.  I don’t mean that in a bad way — I still enjoy writing it, but I am finding it a little tougher to make time for it (probably more a function of other things going on in life).  Also, I periodically catch myself starting some post or other and realizing that I wrote it, or something much like it, sometime in the past!

I think in honor of the third blogiversary, I’ll reinvigorate today by posting three times!

Filed under: Weblogs

Tags:

May 032007

Feeling Less Like a Luddite: Welcome, Lijit!

Feeling Less Like a Luddite:  Welcome, Lijit!

As I’ve written about a few times (here, here, and here), it’s easy to feel like a Luddite with the rapid pace of change of the web these days. Anyway, I’m feeling slightly less like one today with the addition of Lijit to my blog.

You’ll notice that I changed the search box from Google to Lijit on the right hand side of the page on OnlyOnce.  Lijit seems like it’s a better way to search a blog, and maybe other things as well.  Using Lijit, you can search not just the text of the blog itself (which is what Google allowed), but Lijit also goes out and searches a few other buckets of related content all in the same fell swoop.  So while it searches the blog, it also searches other sites that I run, other sites that are related to my site (e.g., blogs I subscribe to), other services where I might post content, like Flickr and Delicious and LinkedIn, and the open web.  Search results with four tabs — now that’s making good use of the web!

Jan 192007

Help Me, Help You, Part II

Help Me, Help You, Part II

Thanks to the nearly 100 readers who responded to my reader survey this past week.  While I’m not sure it’s a truly statistically significant base of OnlyOnce’s audience (I’ll have to ask my friends over at Authentic Response), I’ll treat it like it is.  Here’s what I learned.  First, the general results:

  • Satisfaction levels are good – 46% are regular readers and love it, 48% read occasionally and think it’s ok, and only 6% gave it an “eh – wouldn’t miss it if it went away”
  • Entrepreneurship is the most popular topic, with 86% interest, and Leadership/Management is a close second at 82%.  Online/Email Marketing came in at 61% and Book Reviews at 43%.  Current Affairs and Travel (which I almost never use) were 31% and 25%, respectively
  • 72% of people feel frequency at 1-2 posts a week is on target.  Only 4.5% want fewer posts, and 24% (those kind souls) want it more often
  • Most people other than Return Path staff found the site through a link on another blog rather than search

Next, the open-ended comments were interesting.  A summary snapshot:

  • Positive comments were generally about tone and candid approach, succinct posts, and topics.  One nice person noted his/her favorite thing was “the author” (thank you Mom/Dad/Grandma/Mariquita/Michael)
  • Constructive comments varied.  Some good ones are noted below:
  • “assumes a level of knowledge not everyone has”
  • “too heralding of the VC view of the world”
  • “too much focus on email/marketing,” “too local/American” (that’s who I am, though)
  • I would like to see more about what it takes to be a CEO in day to day operations. what skills do you find you need, what obstacles do you come across, issues with driving a company.”
  • “A little too much PRish in regards to Return Path”
  • “It seems like everything you write about is too positive. Or at least a negative story with a happy ending. Nothing about what sucks to run a company. I run one and a lot of it does suck.”
  • “Not enough personal stuff — who is the author?” (see the About Me link on the blog)
  • “The word vigilante is bandied around way too much by the author”
  • And of course someone noted as constructive feedback that I haven’t yet mentioned my mother’s name (sorry, Mom/Joyce!).  And one person suggested I shave.  Thanks, really.

Finally, the demographics of my audience:

  • 3 % are under 24, 45% are 25-34, 41% are 35-49, 11% are over 49
  • 80% male and 20% female (surprising)
  • Company data wasn’t so interesting, or I phrased the question poorly – but one takeaway is that about 1/2 of readers seem to be “in the industry” generally speaking, with lots of Return Path staff subscribing as well as lots of other entrepreneurs and a handful of VCs
  • Level/title was more interesting – nearly half the audience is SVP-level or above at their company

Thanks again, everyone, and I’ll take note of this feedback for future postings!

Filed under: Email

Tags:

Jan 152007

Help Me, Help You

Help Me, Help You

I’m conducting a really short reader survey about OnlyOnce.  There are about 10 questions, half about the blog, and half about reader demographics.  Please take 2 minutes to complete it for me so I know how I’m doing!  All responses are anonymous, as you’ll see.  Click here to go to the survey.

Filed under: Email

Tags:

Jan 112007

OnlyOnce is Ok

OnlyOnce is Ok

Fred and Brad from Union Square Ventures have a great post today about the kinds of entrepreneurs they like to back and why.  I particularly like it because almost half their portfolio is made up of companies led by first-time CEOs, which as you probably know, is one of the founding themes around this blog.

May 062005

Blogiversary

Blogiversary

Next week will mark the one year anniversary of my blog (and for that matter, Brad’s blog).  It’s been a lot of fun, so I think I’ll celebrate by taking two weeks off and going to Europe with Mariquita (well, ok, I was planning on doing that anyway).

Even if no one read OnlyOnce, I’d be happy I’m writing it for all of the reasons I expressed here back in June.  But lots of people do read it, more and more every day.  In fact, an executive at Yahoo! who I met earlier this week actually quoted it to me — as Bruno Kirby said in When Harry Met Sally, “the first time someone has ever quoted me back to me before.”

In my very first posting, which explains the blog’s title and mission, I said I’d try not to be too extraneous with the material I post.  So I took a look through some stats this morning about the last year of blogging:

- Including this, I’ve written 131 postings, about one every three days

- Typepad doesn’t keep stats on blog topics/categories, so this is an estimate (and postings can be associated with multiple categories), but it looks like I’ve posted 6 times about books, 10 times about current events, 4 times about travel, 7 times about blogs, 9 times about “business” (whatever that means), 52 times about email/web/tech, 40 times about entrepreneurship, and 38 times about leadership/management.  So at least I stayed more or less on point.

- I’ve received a total of 125 comments, or less than one per posting (this is NOT a truly interactive medium!)

- I have about 1,000 regular readers, roughly 70% via RSS feed, 20% via email subscription, and 10% via live alerts or just regular web visitors

- My Amazon Associates link has generated about 150 sales for a total of $2,700 and about $170 in affiliate fees to me, which basically covers the cost of my Typepad subscription

Thanks to everyone who reads and comments.  Feedback is always welcome for year two!

Sep 152004

Spam: Crisis, or Approaching Denoument?

Spam: Crisis, or Approaching Denoument?

A few interesting comments on this front today. Fred says the crisis is over, everyone should just calm down. Pamela says spam filtering technology is getting really good now. And I had lunch with Saul Hansell from The New York Times today, who thinks that authentication will make a monumental difference.

[For those of you who read OnlyOnce and aren't super technical, authentication is the newest trend that ISPs are starting to employ to snuff out spammers. In a nutshell, it's a technology like Caller ID that lets an ISP verify who's sending the mail so they can shut it down if the mailer is clearly a bad guy (or someone who blocks Caller ID).]

I’m not sure as Fred says the crisis is over — but I think it’s on the way to being minimized. And Pamela’s right — filters like Cloudmark are pretty darn effective. Things like that just need to be rolled out to broader audiences. And Pamela’s also right that mailers will have to work on managing their identity and reputation in order to cope with new technologies like authentication and beyond. That’s a posting for another day.

But before we declare victory, let’s remember two things:

- First, these things take a LONG time to trickle down to a broad enough audience to say “problem solved.” I mean YEARS.

- Second, the bad guys aren’t going to give up without a fight. This is war! They’ll be back and they’ll find us. They’ll get better at avoiding filters, and they’ll infiltrate things like authentication and exploit loopholes in CAN-SPAM and other legislation. Remember, spam’s economics still work.

So I’m happy to say Spam isn’t still in Crisis Mode, but it’s not resolved either — how about Approaching Denoument?

css.php