Insurance industry changes for startups, blogging about technical topics and more

A quick reader’s guide: Technical Blogging by Antonio Cagiano

If you’re used to warm fuzzy books about the benefits of blogging, Technical Blogging may come as a shock. It’s written for a technical audience from the ground up, going into the details of actually setting up a blog that many other blogging books cloud over with the suggestion to hire someone with technical skills. Few others offer the option of static site generators, for instance, or offer up code you can copy for bookmarklets to speed up your workflow.

Cagiano also includes extensive information for promoting and organizing your content, particularly if you’re going to be writing about a technical topic. I don’t agree with all of his advice, especially with regards to SEO — but in both cases, we’re operating on anecdotal evidence, so I’d be open to trying things his way. There are also a few sections that are a little outdated, at least in terms of the tools he suggests, but the underlying advice in solid.

There are two sections in particular you need to read for yourself. Cagiano devotes a section to techniques for actually getting your but in the chair and writing posts for your blog. He also has some very sage advice for handling criticism and trolling — something particularly worthwhile in my opinion.

Development: Useful JavaScript libraries and jQuery plugins
Why reinvent the wheel? Smashing Magazine put together a two-part post listing organizing a wide variety of plugins and libraries that can help you work that much faster. You can find part two here.

Funding: Internet funding boom ends as fast as it began
The title for this Wall Street Journal piece isn’t the full message you should take away from reading it. Rather, the startup founders interviewed from this article are generally still getting access to funding — but are needing to put a heavier emphasis on how they plan to make money in their pitches to investors. That might not be a bad thing when you get down to it.

Operations: Have every new employee do customer support for two weeks
When you’re first starting out, everyone at your company will probably need to to take a turn at customer service. But that may be a practice that you want to keep once you’re growing, at least as part of your hiring process, according to Brad Feld.

Marketing: A crash course in landing page conversion
A landing page will likely be the first experience a prospective customer has with your app. Even if you’re hiring help to put together a polished page, read through this guide from Duct Tape Marketing so you have a clear idea of what needs to happen.

Beyond Tech: Grey areas in peer rental insurance begin to clarify
For sites that allow owners to share their cars, homes and other belongings, insurance is a major question — but there are changes in the way insurance companies are approaching the issue.

Our most popular link this week: Building a software business on the weekend

About Thursday Bram

Thursday Bram has been fascinated with technology and business since she was recruited to work with a startup focused on launching rockets into space in high school. She has started her own business, written for sites like CNET and GigaOm, and thought a lot about whether space flight or the web are going to wind up having a bigger impact on the human race.

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