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Video: My first JumpCut Movie

It’s very frustrating working with camera movies… I have to convert the movie from QT format to work with my tools, then I have to convert the result to Flash format to post it anywhere. Worse, often the tools I have fail to do the work properly leaving me scratching around wondering what I did wrong, and why I bother.

Enter JumpCut. This website property is akin to Windows MovieMaker in many ways with a little less power. But for me the great advantage is I can upload my camera movies in QT format without any problems, edit the content, then post the result on my blog when it is published.

Here’s my first effort: The Rain In Taipei… It doesn’t stay on the plain at all! It seems a little jerky right now, I’m not sure why. It played fine when I uploaded it.

Give JumpCut a try. Login via your Yahoo! ID and password, upload via their upload tool and see what you can create today!

Get Started Blogging #3: Writing Content

We’re now into Lesson #3 in our Quick Guide to Blogging. In Lesson #1 we looked at how to get started blogging, and what it’s worth. In Lesson #2, we examined some of the different choices bloggers who want to get started blogging have.

In Lesson #3, we are going to have a look at writing that first post, what you can blog about, and so on…

Writing that first post

When you sit down to write your first post, no doubt your head fills with the countless blogs and examples of great articles that you have read in your excitement to get started. You sit down to draft your first blog post, and bam! all those thoughts and ideas that you have been collecting just evaporate leaving you staring at your monitor, and your fingers poised over the keyword. “What on earth am I going to write now?”

Step 1: Put your keyboard away and get out your pen and paper.

There are a lot of bloggers who fail at the first post. So let’s make it easy: you’ve probably got a simple idea of what your blog is supposed to be, but you may not be sure of what to write – try listing. That’s it: simply list all the ideas you have on a piece of paper for that first post. Spend five minutes simply listing the ideas. After you’ve reached the time limit. Stop.

Step 2: Examine your list.

You’re going to look through your list of ideas to see if you could find something you could blog about. The criteria should be simple, too: can you write 100 words about it? Do I feel comfortable to write about that? Once you’re done, see which of the topics you feel more strongly about.

Step 3: Choose your topic and write 100 words.

Your first post needn’t be long, the whole point of blogging is that you get into the habit of writing your ‘journal’ on a daily basis. So, write that 100 words or so. Don’t forget to hit ‘Save’ so that you can return to your post later. It’s amazing how many people forget to do that, then there’s a power cut, an accident, or you just close your window. Woops! It’s gone! – I know I had to rescue a post from somewhere else once!

Step 4: Edit it, esp. if your writing is weak – do pay attention to spelling and grammar.

It’s worth checking your spelling or grammar. If you’re intending to be serious about blogging, you will need to put more emphasis on this. Nothing is worse than a blog that is carelessly written. Really. But it’s crucial: you should only edit the text when you’re pretty satisfied with WHAT you want to say. If you try to edit as you write, you will find that you don’t write very much.

Step 5: Hit “Publish”.

Re-read your post once you’ve checked the grammar, spelling and so on. Then hit that button. Don’t dilly-dally. Hit it. Once you hit that “Publish” button often enough, you will stop feeling self-conscious such that pushing the ‘Publish’ gets easier. You’ve got no idea how many great writers have got novels stuffed inside their disk drives, in old parchments, in notebooks, … great writers who never had the confidence to publish their writings. Hiding your posts in your ‘Drafts’ section will ensure that you get NO recognition, NO traffic, NO comments, and NO readership!

Finding other content

Publishing content may not come easily at first, most likely you will want to stick to short posts until your comfortable with the technical side of things at the very least. In the meantime, you can post a wide range of intermediate posts, while you struggle over your longer postings. This is a short list of things you can post without much work. As you get more confident, you’ll find it easier to add extra comments.

  1. Picture of the Week from snaps that you have taken yourself.
  2. Video from YouTube on music, products, or whatever.
  3. Quotations from people you are interested in.
  4. Buzzes for sites and products you like.
  5. Good Reading for articles that you thought worth reading and sharing.

These are some samples for content. Of course, if you are interested, download my top 20 money making feeds and see how the top 20 bloggers deal with this, what they post, and what works.

Look out for lesson 4 soon, which looks at some ways to get traffic for your blog and which ways are a waste of time in this regard! I’ll be posting this shortly.