A few days ago, I noticed a BlogMap in the righthand column of Robert Scoble’s blog – I don’t see it there now, so perhaps he was just experimenting with it. But, the Blogmap immediately appealed to me as a cool mashup concept, and a nice enhancement for locally-oriented blogs.
If you operate a blog that’s about a specific geographic location, I think addition of a Blog Map to your layout could be a great feature. The BlogMap shows a small map image which has your blog pinpointed on it, and a link to all the other local blogs in your area.
If you use this, I suggest you be careful about using your home address for theÂ map pinpoint, since this could introduce negative factors, personal security-wise. Instead, use a nearby address, or use your work address.
It took me about one minute to set up this BlogMap for Natural Search Blog:
If you operate a blog that is about your local area, I also suggest using the hCard Microformat in your site design in order to best optimize for local search engines, though blog search engines likely haven’t set up special algorithms for locality specification yet. I previously blogged about how to use microformats to optimize for local search.
Another option BlogMaps offers is to just display a button that displays the number of Bloggers nearby, hyperlinked to a list of them – something you could use if your were concerned about displaying your location. They also offer a button for “your local opml”.
The Blogmap interface is very elegantly done – simple, and easy-to-use. No surprise that this was developed by one of the primary Microsoft Virtual Earth developers, Chandu Thota. Chandu just recently left Microsoft, and I’d bet they’ll miss him.
One suggestion to Chandu: it’d be really cool if you offered the option for bloggers to display the larger map that pinpoints all the top bloggers in your mapped area. I know he may’ve avoided doing this because of the cost of the maps that would need to be delivered. The way around this might be to offer this add-on service for users who wish to pay a subscription fee.
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