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Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

Link from Matcor Blog

I saw an interesting referrer in my visitor’s log today coming from www.matcor.blogspot.com. The name leapt out – Matcor is a cathodic protection and corrosion engineering company. I’ve previously seen them visit my site from their Doylestown office.

I visited the site – and have a lot of questions. It’s hosted on Blogspot, a free blogging service. Not exactly an auspicious launching site for a company. The posts start on 9 March 2007, and there are eight so far. Eight contributors are listed, but only two have posted – Bill Schutt and Ted Huck. Not surprising, as two of the other listed contributors have closed profiles in Blogspot, and the remaining four are employees of Gregory FCA Communications. One of the closed profiles is named visualchutzpah.com. The listed contact resolves to a gregoryfca.com email address. Their headlining RSS feed link still points to a test site, with the sole post in Latin. My Latin is pretty rusty, but a quick search lead to a disappointing result – apparently, it’s a 400 year old sample typesetting text.

I’m going to try real hard here not to speculate about what’s going on, to editorialize, or to render a critical opinion. If anything, I should welcome any effort by corrosion engineers to start blogging. As far as I can tell through my searches, I am (correction: was) the only blogging corrosion engineer out there! A little competition would make things more interesting, and motivate me.

So I punched a bunch of links to make sure I’d get noticed in their Sitemeter log (I prefer Statcounter.) Maybe, after I finish this post, I’ll VPN back to Medina and punch a bunch more to freak them out; if they can, and bother to, trace the source of their visits. I also get real techie cred, because their logs will show that I was running Linux when I stumbled across this.

But I can’t resist covering the basics. If you want to start a blog, for less than a hundred bucks you can buy a unique name, shared hosting for a year, upload WordPress and get started. But then I started counting the hours that I’ve investing in just searching for distinctive WordPress themes and useful plugins, learning how to customize them, learning how to create and manipulate images, finding visitor logging services and monitoring them, and then – web site optimization. All those hours, to a corporation, would be a major investment. Hell, I’ve made a major investment.

I guess my only beef is that they linked to me. Well, not that they linked to me, but that they did it so haphazardly. Their link goes straight to an old, relatively uninteresting post. If they really want to link to me as a corrosion blog, they should point here:

http://www.gregrperry.com/blog/category/corrosion-control/

Hmmm. Maybe this counts as a reason to start a separate blog using my corrosionengineer.net url.

Posted by Greg in Corrosion Control

3 Comments »

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 28th, 2007 at 22:09 PST and is filed under Corrosion Control. You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Link from Matcor Blog”

  1. Ted Huck says:

    Greg,

    We were thrilled to see your post referencing our as-yet-unborn blog.

    You get the dubious distinction of being our first reader _and_ our

    first inbound link. 😉

    You posed a lot of questions in your post, and I’m here to answer them

    all. I’ll take them point by point.

    >>>

    I saw an interesting referrer in my visitor’s log today coming from

    http://www.matcor.blogspot.com. The name leapt out – Matcor is a cathodic

    protection and corrosion engineering company. I’ve previously seen them

    visit my site from their Doylestown office.

    >>

    I visited the site – and have a lot of questions. It’s hosted on

    Blogspot, a free blogging service. Not exactly an auspicious launching

    site for a company.

    >>

    The posts start on 9 March 2007, and there are eight so far.

    >>

    Eight contributors are listed, but only two have posted – Bill Schutt

    and Ted Huck. Not surprising, as two of the other listed contributors

    have closed profiles in Blogspot, and the remaining four are employees

    of Gregory FCA Communications. One of the closed profiles is named

    visualchutzpah.com. The listed contact resolves to a gregoryfca.com

    email address.

    >>

    Their headlining RSS feed link still points to a test site, with the

    sole post in Latin. My Latin is pretty rusty, but a quick search lead to

    a disappointing result – apparently, it’s a 400 year old sample

    typesetting text.

    >>

    I’m going to try real hard here not to speculate about what’s going on,

    to editorialize, or to render a critical opinion. If anything, I should

    welcome any effort by corrosion engineers to start blogging. As far as I

    can tell through my searches, I am (correction: was) the only blogging

    corrosion engineer out there! A little competition would make things

    more interesting, and motivate me.

    >>

    So I punched a bunch of links to make sure I’d get noticed in their

    Sitemeter log (I prefer Statcounter.) Maybe, after I finish this post,

    I’ll VPN back to Medina and punch a bunch more to freak them out; if

    they can, and bother to, trace the source of their visits. I also get

    real techie cred, because their logs will show that I was running Linux

    when I stumbled across this.

    >>

    But I can’t resist covering the basics. If you want to start a blog, for

    less than a hundred bucks you can buy a unique name, shared hosting for

    a year, upload WordPress and get started. But then I started counting

    the hours that I’ve investing in just searching for distinctive

    WordPress themes and useful plugins, learning how to customize them,

    learning how to create and manipulate images, finding visitor logging

    services and monitoring them, and then – web site optimization. All

    those hours, to a corporation, would be a major investment. Hell, I’ve

    made a major investment.

    >>

    I guess my only beef is that they linked to me. Well, not that they

    linked to me, but that they did it so haphazardly. Their link goes

    straight to an old, relatively uninteresting post. If they really want

    to link to me as a corrosion blog, they should point here:

    http://www.gregrperry.com/blog/category/corrosion-control/

    Hmmm. Maybe this counts as a reason to start a separate blog using my

    corrosionengineer.net url.

  2. Ted Huck says:

    Greg,

    Yep! A number of us read and enjoy your blog (obviously).

    Why Blogspot? Our view, FWIW, is that (A) Blogspot is Google, and (B) nobody has
    more capacity or scalability (it’s all Linux, so … ‘natch!).

    I know Blogger had some issues last year, mostly as a result of their beta upgrade, but we’ve been very happy with the software and the
    service so far.

    That said, we did also look at WordPress. You never know. If we find Blogger doesn’t meet our needs, WordPress claims to support a seamless
    import function.

    Lastly, the new Blogger does not yet support hosting on an external server. If you want to do that, you can’t use some of their new features. This didn’t drive our decision; I’m just noting it here.

    As for the posts, Ya’ gotta’ start somewhere! The site is not officially public yet (it’s technically public, but we haven’t formally launched it). We’ve set an internal goal to have at least 2 or more posts a week up. As you know, blogs have to be fresh -and- well written to attract and retain readers. We are working to accomplish both goals.

    The listed contributors are members of the writing and design team at Gregory FCA (http://www.GregoryFCA.com), our public
    relations firm. Both Gregory and Matcor are staunch believers in blog transparency.

    We are not operating a flog, and as such, want to make sure that it is crystal clear to our readers who is working with us to produce what we hope will be a very well-written, topical, interesting, and informative blog.

    Posts that are bylined by Bill Schutt and Ted Huck are written by Bill and Ted. But all the posts are run through the editorial team to make
    sure they’re strong, and understandable by a wide audience. When members of the writing team produce a post on their own, it will be bylined under their name.

    This is just the beginning. We plan to feature podcasts with industry experts (such as you, if you’re game!), video coverage of industry events, lots of technical discussions, interviews with engineers around the world … we have lots of fun and exciting ideas we hope to bring to the blog in coming months.

    Yep — it’s a test site. Again, we have not formally announced the blog. When we launch, everything should be buttoned up.

    Yes … you WERE editorializing. 😉 No matter how well or otherwise the Matcor blog ultimately fares, you will always be the first guy who blogged about this space. Another reason we’d like to feature an interview with you on
    our blog … at some point, if you’re game.

    We’ll check out Statcounter. Thanks for the suggestion!

    We’re certainly not doing our blog on the cheap. We’ve hired a writing and design team to make certain our blog reads well, and often. We built
    our own custom design; we’re not using a template.

    Again, we went with Blogger simply because we really do like it. As far as the domain name goes, again, the blog isn’t “launched” yet. We plan to use http://blog.matcor.com as the eventual destination URL.

    THANKS again for writing about our blog. We appreciate the crits, and the attention. And we sincerely hope to have a chance to meet you
    personally, and feature your thoughts, expertise, crits, comments, and wit in an interview on our blog — and drive some traffic to you in the process. 😉

    Regards, Ted

  3. Greg says:

    Actually, Ted, I didn’t post any of my questions. I just posted observations, but I see that you inferred certain questions from them. And the only editorializing was saying that Blogspot didn’t seem suitable for a corporate-sponsored blog.

    I do remember how, back when I first started exploring the idea of starting my own website, how much there was to learn and to choose from, so I’m certainly not condemning the Blogspot choice. I actually had a Blogger account long ago that went nowhere. And the technical choices turned out to be not nearly as important as some of the mistakes I’ve made and learned from (and are still making and learning from) regarding content – what is and is not appropriate to write about. So I certainly applaud your decision to hire consultants – as an individual, I can get away with making certain mistakes that a company would find to be more damaging.

    I’m honored that you would consider interviewing me, considering the access you would have to much more eminent professionals in our field. But as I’ve recently posted, I’m currently reviewing my entire blog for organization and content – and whether to separate out my personal and professional interests is a major decision that I have to make soon. Hopefully, I can make those choices and enact them within the same time frame as your official launch.