Articles by John

Using The Power Of A Blog To Promote Your Work

A few days ago Dan shared some of his insights for gaining an audience via Twitter. Twitter is an excellent tool and can be harnessed to participate in that particular community to build an audience, but you can also use a more familiar and pervasive method: blogging. In addition to drawing an audience, blogging can be a great way to build your brand online.

Blogs are certainly nothing new. They started to gain traction around 2003-2004, and have been increasing in popularity ever since. Corporations, marketing professionals, journalists, and writers of all stripes use them on a daily basis as a marketing tool, so why shouldn’t you? Blogs can be one of the most effect methods of creating an audience, and can help get the word out about the book you’ve spent the past several months, or even years, working on.

A New & Improved Lulu Search Engine

We are happy to announce a new feature to Lulu’s Marketplace which will dramatically improve your ability to search, browse for and find content relevant to you.

The new Lulu 2008.4 release brought the usual amount of bug fixes, but the new feature released was a new search engine based on Solr. You don’t have to know what Solr is or why it’s important, but what you will notice is a new search box in the results displayed from your query that looks like this:

search ui screenshot

Lulu's New Google Gadget

John from the web development team here. Do you use iGoogle? If you haven’t used it yet, iGoogle is a customizable start page similar to Netvibes, Pageflakes, and My Yahoo. It allows you to customize your own home page with news and information from a variety of sources and it’s updated in real time. It’s a great way to keep up with your favorite blogs (such as this one!) and news.

Here’s a screenshot of one of my iGoogle tabs set up with Lulu news and information:

So what does this have to do with Lulu?

We have a new gadget on iGoogle to use! It has tabs displaying the following:

  • Official Lulu blog
  • Featured content from the blog
  • Newly published fiction
  • Top sellers this week
  • Lulu in the news

And here’s a screenshot of it in action:

Like what you see? Add it to your iGoogle home page.

We are currently looking at other ways to use Google Gadgets to help our creator and buyer community. We’d like to do things such as offer our Mini-Storefronts there, too.

Do you use iGoogle or any of the other personal start pages? Have something you’d like to see? Please let us know by commenting on this post.

-John