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technology - Blondish.net

Social Bookmarking and Its Importance

Before reading the rest of this entry, please try my poll as it relates somewhat to the blog:

Do you use social bookmarking sites often?

View Results

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Social bookmarking is defined as:

Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to store, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web pages on the Internet with the help of metadata.

taken from Wikipedia

The idea of Social bookmarking is to share plugworthy material with the public whether is it links to pages, links to pictures, links to music and more. Social bookmarking sites like Digg, and StumbleUpon allow internet users to receive the traffic they need by submitting their sites to the proper categories related to their post and seek out others with similar interests.

Benefits of social bookmarking:

  • More traffic
  • More links directing to the site/ post/ page
  • Ability to find out more on same subject
  • Ability to actively bookmark other websites you enjoy

In using social bookmarking, it is somewhat like a super link exchange that you can automatically add to. Think about it, the more you bookmark a link, the easier it can be found.

However, do not abuse the system and submit a link one too many times. For your friends, you would be able to use it as a way to share your favorite sites. You blog, then bookmark the post, and the site allows others to be able to find your entry. You can bookmark other sites, which is great!

I recommend that if you bookmark the site, then do not forget to tell the blogger that you did and why you did it. It is always nice to know a reader’s feedback on anything within their site! Try it! There are tools for blog content management systems like WordPress and even regular code (whether javascript or php) you can place on your site to allow people to bookmark your content. :)

Do you use social bookmark sites? What sites are your favorite?

The Art of Blogging Series

I have decided to do a little series called The Art of Blogging. This is series of articles on what I have noticed in trends over the past decade on blogging and engagement whether through blog tools (plug-ins) or online resources. As I said, the articles will over mainly my experience, but I hope to get feedback, so I am also including a poll with this particular blog as I want to get the gist of how people have progressed online in their techniques to acquire blog comments, as well as other things they have learned throughout their experience. In the end this blog is to help those who have been searching for the right crowd for their niche.

I had been told at a WordCamp (WordPress conference) that I spoke and by several others that I should write an ebook on my experience, but I thought a blog series might be pretty cool. I can go back from time to time. Maybe I might put it into an ebook too? Who knows.

Please journey with me on this experience and like a new student in a Japanese school, I plead, “Please take care of me.”

The Art of Blogging

Blogging is an art in itself. It use to be just be typing and submitting to some simple site, or perhaps fiddling with some HTML before publishing a post. A lot of people wanted to start a blog much in the way anyone can start a diary, telling your experiences. With diaries, unless you are famous, those are often private, but when published online, they could be found by others.

The Internet in itself is amazing because this allows people to connect with each other all over the world. Blogging allowed people to find out with similar interests, and even become friends before even chatting via web cameras, voice chatting, or actually visiting in real person.

Blogging in itself has definitely evolved as not just something done on a personal level, but on many other levels. Businesses blog, teachers blog, teens blog… many different people blog. It really is a beautiful thing, especially with the serendipity that search engines can produce to any individual looking to find information on any subject. On the same level, the people doing the blogging are often inspiring their peers to try it too.

Really, blogging has become social networking in itself, especially with the ability to communicate by leaving feedback. No longer do people just have to socialize in forums or message boards. They can build a community within their own website.

Hopefully in this art of blogging series, it will be entertaining, informative, and overall, something that may inspire you in your own journey into blogging.

Kind Regards,
Nile Flores

The Art of Blogging: What is Your Site’s Focus?

Your blog is usually something you write that comes from your experience and interests. Blogs can be written to any number of subjects from medical to sports, and even art to technology. There is always a rumor that a blog with a wide variety of subjects is not worth the time to read. This is of course, only a rumor. A blog can be about anything as long as it is somehow relatable to your readers.

Your Content HereWho are your readers? Well, when you made a site, you had to have thought of who you wanted to connect with online to share your interests and experiences. Of course, with many subjects, you have to do more work in spreading your word, especially if you want to have some traffic. However, for those who are just wanting to have a blog or already have one, but really do not know what to do in order to make a focus on their blog, try to answer these questions for yourself:

  • 1. Who do you want to read your blog? What type of people and what age group do you want your blog to be available to?
  • 2. What are your interests? Are they relatable? Can you research and give more information on the subject for your reads to find out more? Are you wanting to just have a special interest blog that only focuses on one thing? Do you want to provide a blog that elaborates on many subjects? In general, what type of site do you want to have?
  • 3. How much traffic do you want to your site? Are you wanting to make money? Do you want to give away things for free?

quote Your content is one of the most important things that attract people to keep coming to your site, even if it is just for you to make friends in your targeted age group. The best ways to help your visitors know what to expect are several things:

  • Make a navigation that is clear and concise on what to expect in the site. This gives them a way to navigate the site so make sure it can be reached from any part of your website.
  • Make categories that your readers can click on or look through a drop down and go to those areas they are interested in reading.
  • Put a search attribute on your site for your readers to be able to search for things within your site’s content.
  • Tag clouds are an iffy matter as some can have over 100 words and look a bit cluttered, but if you have a site that have under 50 tags, then you place one. It works like the search and your categories in allowing your readers to click on the tag of interest they want.
  • Try to post related links within your site or to other sites that will allow you to give more information to your readers. Your readers will thank you for being resourceful.

Pingbacks And Trackbacks: Using Them Successfully

A lot of times when I go to my WordPress administrator panel, I look at the trackbacks. Sometimes it may be someone referenced a post in twitter, or another person’s blog.

According to Wikipedia,

A trackback is one of three types of linkbacks, methods for Web authors to request notification when somebody links to one of their documents.

Same can be said of pingbacks. Pingbacks are more of a request to alert sites that you linked to them. It is different at the trackback is not what you send like a pingback, but what you received- an acknowledgement of sorts. In pingbacks there is no content sent, but only an alert. For a better understanding, you can read about it in the Managing Comments section at the WordPress Codex.

This can be great SEO for you and other bloggers who bounce ideas back and forth over similar topics. While you could definitely use the person’s comment system, in blogging about the conversation and sharing your point while including a reference to the original source will allow your visitors to not just respond to you, but also possibly respond to another.

I find that a lot of times when I have written articles filled with opinion based on another’s article, that I often receive feedback. It is in no way an underhanded tactic. As said, it is a way to share the conversation with other people and encourage more interaction on a topic. This is one way to use trackbacks successfully.

However, it can also backfire and seem like an underhanded and obvious search engine optimization tactic if I were to just blab out a bunch of related subject links without tying them together with valuable thoughts. I would just have to make my site some type of robot that published random stories within a certain niche.

Although posting frequently can create more possible pingbacks, it could prove tiresome and also look to be a desperate SEO tactic. The point is to try to entice quality trackbacks. Those will be sites that have people who are looking to give more feedback on a particular subject if the original article only says so much.

Above all, make sure to give appropriate anchor links when credit original sources. Sometimes listing the article’s full name or specific keywords will do, but if those keywords are quite vague. For example, when I blog about Google webmaster tools, I put ‘Google’ in front, instead of just ‘webmaster tools’. Webmaster tools can be quite vague as there are plenty of sites – in fact millons listed in Google when searching for webmaster tools. Although the link it listed at the top, with ‘webmaster tools’ only the first 2 listings on the first page list what I am exactly looking for while the other lists more relevant links.

Do you like to use pingbacks and trackbacks? How do you use this linking method successfully? Got any pointers?

The Death of Uninformed Shopping

I love polls, but not every poll taken is going to exactly reflect the whole of a target audience. Every opinion has its nook and cranny to observe. TechCrunch wrote on The Death Of The Impulse Shopper saying that more shoppers are prepared when shopping these days due to technology allowing the consumer to find out information quickly from tools like smartphones and in general, the Internet.

The problem is impulse shopping is different from informed shopping. This is where you still are aware of a products information, but make a last minute choice to actually purchase it. For example, my son loves Pac Man and even though it is not his birthday yet, I saw an offbrand Pac Man snuggie. I have seen it online, but never planned to get it at first. It was not based on price or the product’s general information. When I was in the store, on impulse, I snatched it up from the shelf and paid for it.

My son’s surprise and happiness was the fuel for getting the item on impulse, not the Internet.

I think the best way to title such a post is to “The Death of Uninformed Shopping.” The Internet has been an awesome wealth of information for consumers. You can really get just about anything online, including groceries and medication delivered to your door.

However, the products are inserted by real people, just like the real people that price and stock the shelves or racks at any type of store. If I want a Pepsi right this second, I will go get one, not consult the information and price on a smartphone or on my computer.

TechCrunch, please be a little more conscientious of how you title your articles.

Klout’s New Algorithm Not A Winner With Fans

Klout, an Izea property that measures how much reach and influence a person has over several social network platforms recently rolled out a new algorithm. Along with this, an influx of angry users due to their major drops in their Klout scores.

According to Klout, they score individuals based on three areas: True Reach, Amplification, and Network Impact.

Together these mean that Klout measures how many people you really are reaching, and if you are influencing them to actually do something. For example, doing something could mean retweeting a link or your words, or even talking with you.

According to Klout’s post A More Accurate, Transparent Klout Score they added subscores to allow you to see how your score has changed. They also mention that there may be people that do have drops, but significant ones are rare.

A lot of people use Klout for advertising, whether for their own website, or even monetizing their Facebook or Twitter Streams. Izea definitely uses this in consideration with working with advertisers for SponsoredTweets and some of their other properties.

As for this new algorithm, for those who experienced that “rare” significant drop in score, is it just the new Klout system trying to catch up, or how flawed is Klout.

Here are some of the reactions in the community.

Facebook (from Klouts fan page)

From Twitter:

Oh, and do not forget about Yoda!

What are your thoughts on Klout, either before or after this new algorithm implementation?

Adbrite.com Still Not Monitoring Who Advertises Through Them

The past few years I have tried out Adbrite on some of my fanfiction community sites. Why? Because their rates on paying were a little more attractive and getting payout was a little faster than Google Adsense. Sometimes it still is depending on placement of the ad, or if a site own is using a full page ad. However no matter if it is a text link, banner or full page, Adbrite has not been monitoring their advertisers as closely as they should.

Case in point – Fanfiction.net, the largest collection of fanfiction online uses Adbrite. They are infamous for using an occasional full page loading advertisement. For those who are a little confused on what a full page advertisement is, it is where you click to go on a page, and instead of it going there, the advertisement loads. You have the option of clicking to go back to the original page.

The problem is that more often than not the page loads to a site that alerts you that you may be visiting and untrusted or harmful site. Sometimes it is malware. This is also possible in some of the text links as I had this issue with my own fanfiction community. Some of the regular members were kind enough to send me word that the text link they clicked on put malware.

This is not a most recent development. This has happened for the past few years and has not been corrected. Is Adbrite not monitoring their advertisers as closely as they should?

While the site owner can set their settings to manually approve advertisements, I would think Adbrite would at least be a little more pro-active about making sure malware sites are not in their system.

Though the pay is good, I am hesitant to even put Adbrite on Blondish.net. This would not look good if someone clicks on an ad and it goes to a malware site. I am sure Adbrite has been informed many times throughout the years about this issue. Why is it not being caught?

Have you used Adbrite? How has that worked for you?

Why Are You Still Using Blogger?

I know, I know – I love WordPress enough that I am really hardcore about persuading people to using WordPress.org self-hosting, especially for those investing in a domain and hosting. I even recommend it for the free hosting on WordPress.com.

I want to ask those using Blogger – why are you still using it?

Once you get a your own domain, it would be much easier to maintain your website. Matt Cutts even uses WordPress. Yeah, blogger is free, but for business owners, you always want more control over your site.

What? More control?

Yep, that is the number one thing I hear from business owners. While a business owner might not use everything on the site’s backend, they still like that luxury of freedom. WordPress offers that freedom to do what you want. That is the beauty of Open Source software.

WordPress is a CMS (content management system), not blog software alone like it was notoriously known for in its early days. While it might seem intimidating, it really is not. This just means that you can do a lot more things than just having a blog.

Coding a theme is not difficult. WordPress.org provides detailed documentation and the community itself has loads of resource sites fill with tutorials and code snippet tricks.

I have even worked with clients who have used other CMS like Joomla and Drupal, and it was hands down, far more user-friendly and easier to run a WordPress powered site. WordPress even allows Blogger users to import their posts when they want to convert. How nifty, right?

What I want do is open the floor and allow Blogger users to ask questions or place their concerns on why they have not taken that step to choose WordPress for self-hosting? What is it that you think WordPress cannot do for you? Are you afraid of losing SEO value or even traffic? Are you uncertain about learning WordPress, which in the long run will save you time? Why are you still using Blogger?