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Though my blog doesn’t qualify as an “A-list” blog, only gets about 1000 hits a day when I post 2-3 entries, I get a bit disappointed when I see a newbie blogger arrive, ask people to visit his blog and there is no way for her to gather stats on the visit.
While blogging isn’t about garnering high stats, but rather about developing a comfortable routine that involves learning, reflecting and sharing, it’s still fun to see how many other folks may have benefit from your blogging. You’ll have to decide whether it’s quantity or quality of conversations that gets “makes your day.” So, it’s with that in mind that I offer these 3 unsolicited tips to a new blogger from Israel, Aviva.
#1 – Add Feedburner-powered RSS Subscribe Buttons
Although edublogs.org offers subscription features that you have to pay for (yuck), you can add your own RSS subscribe buttons at no charge.
The benefit of this is that you can create Feedburner-powered RSS buttons that allow you to view statistics for blog subscribers. I haven’t looked at my Feedburner stats in a long time (wow, over a year), so here is what it looks like:
You can get TONS more information from Feedburner and it’s fun to see that info when you’re a new blogger. What’s really funny is I have 47 people subscribed to my blog via email! How did that happen? Well, I set that up early on with Feedburner, had it up there for a few years and then forgot about it when I switched to Blogger as my blog platform. . .but my blog by email subscribers are still there.
Even if you’re working on Edublogs.org–where, as I recall, you have to pay for Feedburner–you can add your own buttons at the top and/or bottom of every entry, just like I have below.
Of course, if Aviva decided to dump Edublogs.org, she could use Blogger as her blog platform and get even better stats from his blog stats page…you can see there’s more to the report than what appears in this image below:
|Around the Corner–MGuhlin.org blog stats|
#2 – Add a hit counter to your site.
Although hit counters are a bit old-fashioned, you can easily include the code for a Statcounter.com counter and get some nice results. Usually, you can embed this somewhere in a sidebar and then sit back, enjoy the results.
You can also add Clustr map–red dots on a map of the world–to your site, which makes it easy to see where folks are coming from. There are a lot of new ways to accomplish this and I’d love to read from other bloggers out there what you’re using to get the same effect. It’s sad to think I haven’t taken a hard look at this aspect.
If you click on Visitor Stats in my sidebar, you can see how many visitors StatCounter.com (or BlogPatrol.com as an alternative) is tracking for you. Although, if you have a busy blog, it’s more difficult to see which page is most popular. Blogger Stats eliminates the need for purchasing StatCounter, though.
Adding hit counters and stuff to your blog is pretty straightforward, a matter of copy-n-paste…just don’t paste over anything important and be willing to play with the placement. In a WordPress blog, it’s pretty hard to goof it up (unless it’s locked down).
#3 – Get Your Chiclets – Embracing Social Networks
Embrace social media tools like Plurk, Twitter, and others to make it easy to connect with folks. In the old days, folks would find you via your blog and then connect via social network tools. Now, it’s often the other way around.
FriendFeed.com is also a nice component to add to your blog sidebar.
Often, folks are afraid to sign up for social networks. I’m afraid NOT to because it’s so easy for people to “steal your claim,” just like folks would “jump a claim” when the owner went to town for supplies. Consider Dr. Scott McLeod–I liked the “old” design of his blog, Dangerously Irrelevant, a lot better when it didn’t have advertising–and how he’s made it easy for you to see what social networks he is a part of.
Here are a few and I hope others will share what they are using:
What other tips would you suggest to Aviva as she embarks on his blogging career? Some ideas that come to mind include:
Although I hate to say goodbye to FriendFeed, what was driving me nuts was not able to post to Plurk directly. In fact, I want to just say something ONCE and have it go to all my favorite networks without duplication. You know…one social media network to rule them all. Unfortunately, no one tool does it all in terms of publishing content. I have to rely on 1) Ping.fm and then 2) either Friendfeed.com or Twitterfeed.com (read more about RSS to Ping.fm publishing)
Friendfeed.com will allow you to post your RSS feed for your blog, and then post it to Twitter. For me, this falls short since I want it to go to Ping.fm and then to everything else indicated in the image above.
Twitterfeed.com will post RSS feed content–such as from your blog–straight to Ping.fm and once that happens, my content will go to all the networks indicated in the image above. I was hoping this would be THE solution, but apparently, not so…I keep getting an error (Update 05/23/2010 – Twitterfeed acknowledged the problem via a tweet to me earlier and shared they are working to resolve it!):
My desire is to set this up and then forget about it. . .you know, once it is setup, just forget about it. I like the fact I can use PingDroid on my Android Phone (pictured in the image above, although you should see what PingDroid looks like on a G1 to the right) to push out updates that go everywhere. I can use a web browser to access Ping.fm or PingDroid when mobile. Of course, I’m still stuck having to read updates from others via Plurk, Twitter, Buzz, Facebook in their own apps, but sharing ideas/information has never been easier!
I’d looked at Ping.FM as a way to accomplish this a few months ago and had decided to stick with FriendFeed.com. In the intervening time, though, Ping.FM has added all my favorite networks, including:
A few months ago, Tim Holt pointed out that keeping track of all your social networks can be very difficult. Ping.FM makes it easy to post something ONCE and then have it appear everywhere. Of course, you have to be careful of what you post!
From a social media perspective, this can certainly make it easier for a business/school district to get information out without having to juggle the networks and post to more than one at a time.
Here is what my Ping.fm dashboard looks like:
and you can track your updates from multiple locations via Ping.fm:
Some of the clients I’m using include:
This afternoon, I found myself somewhere I couldn’t access twitter or plurk. Ohmygosh, how can we practice “connectivism” as educators if the network is inaccessible?
I tried a variety of options to connect to Twitter/Plurk, but then remembered the ubiquitous Ping.FM, which allows you to post to various networks. It reminds me a bit of Friendfeed in the way it enables one to post to various networks. However, once I was using Ping.FM, I wondered what would happen if the web site was blocked? How would I get to it from where I was at?
Some quick research:
I suppose, I’m looking for something like Tweetdeck. I thought Nambu might do it but no. For now, I’ll have to figure out some combination. However, I may replace Friendfeed with Ping.fm as a way to get information and ideas out there.
Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure