I’m super excited to be testing a new blogging platform that will be unveiled publicly at BlogWorld & New Media Expo in New York next month. Overblog (client) is one of the top blogging platforms in Europe. Until now, they haven’t had a U.S.-focused product. That all changes with not just an English version of the France-based company’s platform, but a whole new platform.
No, I’m not testing Overblog here on Social Media Explorer. I’m running my personal blog, Falls, Off The Rocker, with it. In fact, Overblog’s new platform is actually focused on the personal blogger. The appeal for me was the fact they’ve built the new platform with life streaming in mind. I’ve connected my Instagram and Facebook accounts so that my blog is updated with the pictures and original Facebook posts I share. You can connect Twitter, YouTube, Foursquare and more (Google+ and LinkedIn are in the works), but I found those connections to make the blog rather noisy, so I’ve chosen not to use them.
The concept of life streaming isn’t new. FriendFeed and similar platforms like Louisville-based Profilactic popularized the idea in the 2007-2008 time frame. As Twitter and Facebook grew more popular and most services build pass-through functionality to the larger social networks, the life streaming concept faded a bit. But those concepts weren’t centric around someone’s blog. They were focused on their social activity. Overblog’s new platform gives you that blog-centric focus where the platform that you use to share your stories and ideas can also share your chosen social activity in a compelling way.
I’m also excited about the concept of pulling your social content on to your own blog so that you can archive and own it more confidently. Yes, I still advocate for use of services like Backupify (I’m a stakeholder there), but this is a nice way to own your content, or at least a version of it.
The theme I’m currently using on Falls, Off The Rocker mirrors the Facebook timeline design a bit. For what I’m doing with the blog — sharing personal stories and observations as well as social updates and pictures with my personal friends and family members — it works very well.
But what I’m betting you’d really like is a chance to kick the tires yourself, right? Okay! I have 50 private BETA invite codes to give away. What I need you to do to get them is be one of the first 100 individuals (you can manage more than one blog with your account, so no need to fight for more than one invite) to comment below and ask for an invite. But you’d better ask for an invite in a kick-ass, cool way. Like, “Bring The Heat, Clemmons!” or “Daddy Wants a New Blog, Fat Man!” Have fun, but keep it clean.
And then I’d like you to share this post on LinkedIn (you’re welcome to share it elsewhere, too, but there’s a reason for the LinkedIn thing … I’m testing something). Share it on LinkedIn with a note like this: “Jason Falls is giving away BETA invites to Overblog’s new platform. If you’re a blogger, you should check this out!” Be sure to link back here. No need to do it with any specific URL shortener. In fact, I’d appreciate it if you just used the LinkedIn button here or copy-pasted the URL directly. I’ll fill you in on the LinkedIn test later.
That’s it! Fun comment and a LinkedIn share!
Be sure to drop your email (won’t be shared) in the comment field requiring it below, too. I need to email you the code, right?
And please – Once you start testing Overblog, use their feedback and support links at the bottom corner of your browser window. They want this platform to sing. It only will if you help them with feedback!
Let’s dive in gang!