Sunday, July 11, 2010

FeedBurner Delicious Links and CommentLuv

Image representing FeedBurner as depicted in C...
Image via CrunchBase

FeedBurner, which is wholly owned by Google, is a useful service that serves many purposes for bloggers as well as blog readers. Here's a really short list of the benefits of creating or burning a feed of your blog with FeedBurner.
  • Your readers can stay on top of updates to your blog or website via Google Reader and a long list of other feed readers
  • Your readers can sign up to receive email notifications each time your blog or site is updated which you can use for list building
  • You can create an account with CommentLuv and add your blog's feed to create a backlink on blogs with the CommentLuv plugin installed from your last 10 

Remember I said this is only a short list. There are many uses for FeedBurner, and in the past I have demonstrated other FeedBurner tools like how-to send your RSS feeds to Twitter and adding FeedFlare to FeedBurner which allows for easy sharing to social networks including, Google Buzz, Twitter, Digg, and Facebook. 

I am inspired to write this post based on a question that appear in a comment on this blog from my friend Gary of Lawmacs involving his feed for CommentLuv. It seems that the feed for Gary's CommentLuv account included his links from instead of his blog posts when he was leaving the comment here. I think others might find themselves in this same predicament so here's the fix. 

First let me say that there's so many features and options in FeedBurner that it's terribly easy to forget the options that we selected, how each one works, and how they will enhance our feeds. In the case of links appearing in your CommentLuv list, go to the Link Splicer setting options of your FeedBurner account (pictured below). 

Here's what to do step-by-step:

  1. Login to your FeedBurner account
  2. Go to the Optimize Tab at the top
  3. Scroll down to the Link Splicer settings from the list on the left
  4. Deactivate or any other service you previously added
The point of Link Splicer is to insert links from these other sources and "splice" them in among your traditional blogpost links. In the screenshot you will notice that Link Splicer is not activated for my blog's feed. When you have a CommentLuv account I suggest that you deactivate Link Splicer as well - UNLESS your use of CommentLuv is an exception to the rule and you have a very specific reason to promote your, Furl, Digg, etc. links on CommentLuv enabled sites. If you do, I would love to hear about it in the comments because it does sound like a very unique and creative use for CommentLuv.
Here's a list of recommended reading (another short one) that go into more detail about the benefits of having a CommentLuv account and installing the CommentLuv plugin for Blogger or WordPress:
Just like my friend Gary, if you ever have questions about anything about on this blog including FeedBurner, CommentLuv or blogging in general, please feel free to ask. 
Happy Blogging!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

CommentLuv Gives Your Blog Heart

CommentLuv can be used to promote your blog in many ways. Lucky for me, I can use CommentLuv here on this Blogspot blog thanks to a plugin from IntenseDebate.
Unfortunately, at this time CommentLuv is not available as part of the commenting system on my blog due to the limitations placed on all bloggers that exclude the use of scripts. If you're a blogger don't let that stop you from opening an account and registering your blogs for CommentLuv.
"There are 3,014 active ComLuv blogs (blogs with CommentLuv installed and working) and 24,821 registered ComLuv users (people who have registered with CommentLuv to be able to choose on of their last ten posts or use default links)."
My advice, regardless of  your blogging platform, register your blogs for a CommentLuv account today!
Right now there's a fabulous contest going on over at CommentLuv which is sponsored in conjunction with another one of my favorite blogs FamousBloggers (you can see the Grand Tour of FamousBloggers here). This contest is offering over $3,550 worth of cash prize awards that will be shared with at least 20 bloggers. I'm glad that I don't have to decide the winner of this contest because the quality of the posts is exceptional and there is no shortage of bloggers that can attest to the benefits of using CommentLuv. This #FBCL contest is bringing the best out of everyone involved and each submission is a classic example of what I mean when I say "CommentLuv Gives Your Blog Heart."
It's one of the most friendly, fun"luv"ing competitions I've seen with each blogger supporting each other's posts by commenting, retweeting and promoting them on every social network on the planet!
One of the contest submissions (I'm not going to say which one until the contest is over) inspired me to create this video. In the video I demonstrate how to add a default link to your CommentLuv account. You see, adding a default link will give you the flexibility to include links from your older blog posts in your CommentLuv signature. That way whenever you comment on a CommentLuv enabled blog (like this one for example) you have additional links to choose from including your favorite post, no matter how far back it is in your timeline! This also gives you added flexibility to include one of your links that's more closely related to the content of the post you're commenting on.
In the video I promised to tell you how you can get credits for your CommentLuv account. There are really four ways you can do this, but this one is my favorite:
"Write an awesome tutorial on your own CommentLuv enabled site about how to use the features of the ComLuv site or plugin. Especially if it has step by step images."
Give your blog some heart and sign up or add default links to your CommentLuv account today! I suggest you follow Andy Bailey, Gail Gardner from GrowMap and Hesham from FamousBloggers on Twitter. If you have questions, holla at your girl (that's me).

Now you can watch my CommentLuv Video Playlist containing every video tutorial I recorded on the topic  can be found in CommentLuv Video Tutorial Playlist on YouTube.

Smooches! ♥
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Monday, May 31, 2010

Google I/O 2010 For Dummies

For me watching the Google I/O 2010 developer conference live streaming on YouTube was very exciting. It's probably the geekiest thing I've ever watched and since I'm not a developer, I must admit that some parts of it were over my head. Thankfully, I'm not the only one that feels this way. I saw this question on Google Buzz from a fellow Buzzer
Question- Can someone help me understand exactly what a API is?...
Answer - API (Application Programming Interface) is something developers use to do behind-the-scenes stuff. This announcement means Google now provides official means for 3rd parties to develop, integrate and connect whatever they want with Buzz
Let me put it this way, if your 13 year old niece asks you, "What is Froyo?" and you know how to explain it to her, you might not need to read this posts (unless you want to laugh at the rest of us). For the rest of us I've come to realize that there's no such thing as a "dumb" question, especially when you're talkin ghi-tech and Google I/O!

Here's a few things I picked up and others that I needed to look up :)

I/O - initially this represented input and output, but it has since evolved to mean Innovation and Openess.

Froyo is the newest iteration of Google’s Android mobile operating system which was unleased during I/O 2010. In essence, Froyo = Android 2.2.
Don’t ask me why they didn’t have a name for Android 2.1 but I guess Google is trying to sound very “James Bondish” by giving this release the “code name” of Froyo. There’s speculation that the full version of Froyo is reserved to give-aways offered to press and conference attendees, yet the blogosphere is flooded with instructions for Nexus One users to upgrade manually.  
Tethering is the use of a mobile device such as a mobile phone to supply Internet access for another device which is otherwise unconnected...Now your Android phone becomes a portable hotspot to connect all of your devices to the web.

OTA - Over the air. Software updates like Froyo can be pushed to your mobile unit OTA

JITC - Just In Time Compiler - it’s what makes Google Chrome so fast and it’s part of Froyo.

Google TV - CEO’s of the following companies are featured in this round-table discussion in what Google CEO Eric Schmidt called “ecosystem of partnerships” and the tool they can contribute to help bring Google TV into your living room.
Sony - integration with other products, companion set-top box, controller with keyboard and remote control capabilities
Logitech - Harmony remote controls
Intel - microprocessors
Dish Network - delivery of a seamless DVR experience
Best Buy - product demonstrations for media consumption, and personalization
Adobe - Flash 10.1 (public beta is available on Android), for hardware acceleration, and gaming.

Attendees of the conference were given the Sprint HTC EVO phone that will available to the rest of us next week. If you missed Google I/O 2010, watch the event on the GoogleI/O 2010 YouTube Channel. Did you follow the events of Google I/O 2010? Do you have any "dummy" questions?

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Google Buzz Extension & Wibar Widget

Chrome Extension - TaggingBuzz
I am a huge fan of Google Chrome and all of the fabulous Chrome extensions. There's a new extension for Google Buzz called TaggingBuzz. This extension was announced on May 10th by the up and coming developer Nori Hamamoto  and it was created exclusively for Google's Chrome Browser.  TaggingBuzz allows you to add comma-separated tags to your buzzes in your stream to help you keep track of what matters to you most on Buzz. 
Wibiya Adds Buzz To Toolbar
At the foot of this blog you'll see the Wibiya toolbar. I demonstrated how to install the Wibiya toolbar before and I'm real excited to see that they have added toolbar options to include Google Buzz. This is the best Buzz sharing toolbar widget I've seen yet.  Your blog visitors can:
  1. See your latest Buzz posts
  2. View your Google Profile
  3. Follow you on Buzz
  4. Share your blog posts to Buzz
I've tried a few other toolbars, but with this new widget Wibiya has my vote. I know that some of you are looking for a good way to build up some interest and some momentum for your Buzz and this is a great way to engage your readers.  Here's a video to show you how these tools work.

Using the Wibiya toolbar is a great way reduce your bounce rate and keep your readers engaged with more of your "social" content without ever leaving your blog.  Showing your Buzz feed on the toolbar will help spread the word about Buzz, and after you build up your Buzz content, TaggingBuzz will help keep it organized and searchable. 

Are you going to start tagging your Buzz?

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Matt Mullenweg Discusses the Past, Present and Future of WordPress

Matt Mullenweg is the co-founder of WordPress. In this video, filmed at WordCamp San Francisco 2010, Matt talks about how and why he created WordPress. He also gives a thorough overview of what to expect in WordPress 3.0. The great thing about this talk is the Q & A session at the end and the way that Matt interacts with the audience. He spends quite a bit of time discussing the new feature on called "Surprise Me".

What do you think of WordPress and the changes coming in 3.0?