Here’s a great interview I had a chance to do with JT Chandler, one of the founders of Outpost-Earth. This is a very unique blogging directory.
Nettie: How did you decide to launch Outpost -Earth and how do you feel it’s different than other blog directories?
JT: Honestly, it didn’t start out as a blog directory at all. The original plan was to build a world city network with volunteer and hired contributors at each location writing about happenings in and around their locations. Early on in the planning however, I realized how difficult this model would be from a management perspective and scalability would be difficult. This realization shifted the focus and sent me looking at many different social networks, blog directories and aggregator news sites for inspiration. It quickly became apparent that blog directories are downright boring and no matter what their developers claim, don’t do much for their members in the way of traffic or relevant links. So, that set the stage to build something better with some real value for it’s members. Which I think we’ve done. Our main difference from other blog directories is this. They simply place your site in it’s assigned category and there you are getting dusty and ignored. Unless someone goes looking for you among the hundreds and sometime thousands you’ll never be found or visited. Outpost Earth solves that issue by bringing a member’s blog front and center with each new post by utilizing the blogs syndication feed. For added exposure, a member’s blog not only appears on the Outpost Earth front page but it also appears on the front pages of each location and topic it is registered at. That’s the “Dynamic” part! This dynamic feature also benefits members and visitors by continuously displaying the active blogs from the never updated or simply forgotten ones that litter most blog directories. Nobody wants to look at a blog that was last updated two years ago or click on a link to nowhere, right?
Nettie: You’ve got some very notable bloggers who’ve already joined – what is the long-term goal of the directory?
JT: Yes, we have had several top notch bloggers join as members, including yourself, and I can’t tell you how exciting and affirming that is. We’ve also received some fantastic feedback and love letters from our members too, so I feel we must be on the right track. As far as long term goals, we will stick to what we’ve started and develop more tools and features to increase exposure and drive traffic to our members blogs. Another major priority is to evolve with the times and not get complacent. I look at the internet as the wild west or gold rush redux where no one can sit back, relax and expect to survive for very long.
Nettie: Why should bloggers join and what benefits does a directory like this offer them?
JT: All blogs need readers or soon the author loses interest and the blog’s light goes out. It’s amazing what traffic and comments can do to stimulate an author into action and keep him or her up late writing their next post. Traffic brings comments and Outpost Earth is striving to bring the traffic to our member’s blogs. We’ve done our best to design Outpost Earth for easy navigation and with a huge selection of locations and topics. Everybody should be able to find their perfect outpost so interested readers can find them. We have also designed the system so new registrants and members can suggest new locations and topics in case they cannot find what they desire. These of course are moderated and normally approved within minutes. From my perspective, there is no downside to joining Outpost Earth especially considering it’s a free service. Plus it’s just plain fun to see all the updates and diversity among the members.