June 1, 2011

Google wants me to put Google +1 buttons on my blogs

Chris AbrahamI just popped into AdSense, as I do as obsessively as anyone online, and something new popped up:

Google +1 on Your Website

Recommendations
Add the +1 button to your pages
Adding the +1 button to your pages allows users to recommend your content to friends and contacts on Google search. As a result, you could get more and better qualified traffic.

How exciting!  It has all begun today! I clicked on “Get the code snippet” and here’s what I saw:

Google +1on Your Website Code Snippet

I am probably going to wait the week or so until someone releases an easy-to-use and easy-to-implement plugin for my WordPress and Drupal installs so that I don’t have to hack the template.

Any recommendations for Drupal, WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, and WordPress.com solutions for those of us who want to add Google +1 ASAP to all of our fun sites and blogs?

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November 29, 2010

Have you made your site mobile-ready?

Socialmedia.biz on a mobile device

How Socialmedia.biz looks on an iPhone 4 without WPtouch Pro, left, and with it.

WPtouch Pro plug-in: Better than creating your own app

JD LasicaThe other day my partner Christopher S. Rollyson asked, Why haven’t we optimized Socialmedia.biz for mobile users?

Truth be told, we have so many balls in the air that I hadn’t heard of WP-Touch or WPtouch Pro — WordPress plug-ins that make your site really nice-looking on a handheld device. With use of smartphones exploding, this is now a must-have in today’s marketplace. Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker predicts that within the next five years “more users will connect to the Internet over mobile devices than desktop PCs.”

So let’s get geeky for a minute here and do mobile visitors to your site a huge favor. Because you definitely don’t want your site to appear like the BEFORE image at the top of this post.

A couple of months ago, we paid to have Appmakr create an app for Socialmedia.biz. You can download the Socialmedia.biz app to your iPhone — just search and install “Socialmedia.biz” in the App Store. Since we’re an editorial site, the app doesn’t do anything beyond nicely displaying headlines and text summaries sucked in via RSS feeds. Behold:

Screenshot of Socialmedia.biz app in App Store

Screenshot of the Socialmedia.biz app in the App Store

Now, the big drawback here is that very few people are likely to install an app just to read a single website. What you really want is for your site to be mobile-enabled across a wide range of devices — with no download required on the user’s part. Here’s how to do that.

WPtouch Pro: Buy a license for up to 5 sites

I quickly discovered that WPtouch Pro from Canada-based BraveNewCode was my answer. If you run a business, nonprofit or personal site using WordPress and you haven’t mobile-enabled your website or blog, you really need to spend the few bucks and 5 minutes it takes to make it happen.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Go to the BraveNewCode site and buy a license. Need it for just one site? $39 Canadian ($38.16 US). Need it for two to five sites? $69 CAN ($67.52 US). It was $10 cheaper when I bought the 5-pack about two months ago.

2. Download and install the plug-in the same way you install all your WordPress plug-ins. Activate it.

For most online publishers, that’s it! Now go to your favorite browser on your mobile device — say, Safari or Firefox — and you’ll see your website reincarnated and mobile-ready. Your latest blog posts will look something like this:

SMbiz-twitter post

Your site will be mobile-ready for 90% of the marketplace

What devices does this support? iPhone, iPod touch, Android, Palm Pre/Pixi and BlackBerry Storm. Or, as the BraveNewCode folks put it: “Over 90% (and growing!) of the mobile-web surfing world will see your incredible mobile website with WPtouch.”

One coding caveat: If you use WP Super Cache, you’ll need to go to your plug-in’s settings and click the checkbox to enable “Mobile device support.” If you use W3 Total Cache, you may see some caching issue. Originally none of our posts from the past 10 days were appearing, but now it’s working fine.

Another bonus: WPtouch Pro will display not just your most recent blog posts. Users can call up other pages or sections of your site, and they can email friends with a link to the post, tweet it out, add a social bookmark, add and read comments and scale images (although in my experience I haven’t been able to enlarge the text, though it’s sufficiently readable).

If you’d like to see a video of how this all works, take a look at the YouTube video WPtouch WordPress Plugin Demo for the Lifestream Blog. My understanding is that the free version of WPtouch is still available but is no longer supported, and you won’t get the free updates that come with the paid 2.0 version.

How to grab screenshots off your iPhone

By the way, some of you may be wondering: How do you take a screenshot on the iPhone without using a special screenshot app? Simple. Apple changed this process during the summer, so here’s how it now works:

1. Call up the page you want to capture.

2. Simultaneously hold down the “Home” button at middle bottom of the iPhone’s front AND the “Sleep” button on top right of the iPhone. Press them for just a second or two. The iPhone screen will flash white for a moment as the image is added to the phone’s Photos.

3. Navigate over to Photos or Camera Roll on the phone and email or text (MMS) the picture to yourself. It comes as a .png or .jpg attachment. (Or, go wild and use it as your wallpaper.)

Does all this make sense? Have you mobile-enabled your blog or website? Continue reading

August 12, 2010

Easily turn your blog into an ebook

anthologizeChris AbrahamMy friend Effie Kapsalis helped make something very, very cool. Something brilliant, actually. Something you need to check out: Anthologize.

A brilliant idea is defined by how hard you slap yourself in the forehead, saying, “gee, that’s awesome — but so obvious, why didn’t I think of that?” Anthologize is that simple, elegant, “it never occurred to me” idea that I have been waiting for forever: a WYSIWYG way of drag-and-dropping together a linear narrative out of what is often an amalgam of reverse-chronological, jumbled-together, blog posts. Export it into an online, web-accessible “book” or even a proper ebook in the PDF, ePUB or TEI formats that can be exported and popped into your favorite ebook reader like the Amazon Kindle or Sony eReader.

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August 5, 2009

Survival Guide Chapter 4: Building a WordPress-powered website

survival-guide-toDeltina Hay Here is part 4 of the series I will post over the next few months based on chapters from my new book, A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization.

This book is meant to be a guide to building an optimized foundation in the Social Web for beginners and advanced users alike.

Chapter 4 of the book is about building a Website using WordPress as a Content Management System (CMS). (As an immediate example, SocialMedia.biz is a site powered by WordPress.).

The following excerpts are from A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization:

Chapter 4: Building a WordPress Powered Website

The Anatomy Of A WordPress Site

Let’s look at the main elements of a WordPress site. Each of the examples in this chapter has these general areas, just represented a little differently. …
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May 31, 2009

Tim Ferriss: Tips on what works in a blog

Tim Ferriss

JD LasicaYesterday was my first WordCamp, held all day at the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco. I’ve been caught up by WordPress fever since early this year when I switched from TypePad.

Some 730 people turned out at WordCamp, about double last year’s number. Here’s a Flickr set of WordCamp photos I took.

The biggest learnings came right at the outset, when Tim Ferriss (pictured above), author of The Four-Hour Workweek, gave a deep dive into what has worked and not worked on his well-trafficked blog. (I finally got to meet Tim and invited him to attend a future Traveling Geeks trip abroad.)

Learnings: What works in a blog post

Ferriss’s suggestions were useful not just for beginning bloggers but also for veterans who like to pick up a trick or two.

• He uses CrazyEgg (which has plans at $9, $19, $49 and $99 per month) and Google Analytics for all his blog metrics and checks them religiously.

• For archived blog posts, just a simple change in the title wording from the default “Categories” to “Topics” increased click-throughs significantly. (I did this on my blog years ago.)

• Tim uses Slinkset as a polling mechanism to ask his readers questions, and they in turn vote options up or down. He calls it “a personal Digg.”

• He finds RSS “less and less valuable” because it reduces traffic (and thus, presumably, the potential for advertising income) and gives uers an easy excuse for staying away from his site.

Continue reading

May 25, 2009

How to blog on WordPress.com video tutorial

Chris AbrahamI recorded a video back in November 2006 titled WordPress.com – Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Blog that has garnered 145,036 views. However, WordPress.com has gone through a number of look-and-feel updates in the last three years, so I thought I would update the video.

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