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  1. Related Posts — This plugin helps improve your search engine optimization by allowing search engines to index older blog content more easily. It automatically searches through your blog post database, identifies posts with similar subject matter and keywords, and inserts a link to them.
  2. Comment Relish — Once you have a WordPress blog set up, make sure that you are listening to what your bloggers have to say. Not only is replying to blog posts important for SEO but it can also be a useful tool for gathering feedback for user interface web design practices. The comment relish plugin automatically sends an email to bloggers who posted on your blog for the first time thanking them and filling them in about your current events. This is a great way to keep site visitors engaged without being time-consuming.
  3. WordTwit — Microblogging is the best way to reach a wide audience of people who share relevant interests. Since Twitter has blown up, it’s become a great marketing platform—people are constantly engaging with it. The WordTwit WordPress plugin uses the twitter API to send out a link to your published blog post in an automatic tweet. This can attract a lot of twitter-ers to your new post.
  4. SEO Friendly Images — By the time you have written detailed descriptions for your WordPress site’s title tags, metatags, and keyword tags, you may not have the time or the energy to enter image alt tags. SEO Friendly Images is a plugin that can automatically add alt and title tags to images alt and title tag. This will optimize your images without much effort.
  5. Robots Meta — This plugin will prevent search engines from indexing your search results pages, login, register, admin pages, etc by inserting a nofollow tag. Doing so will let your more relevant pages receive more “link juice” from search engine crawlers.
  6. SEO Slug —To further optimize your blog post titles for search engine optimization; install the SEO Slug plugin. This plugin automatically improves your keyword strings by removing words that are conjunctions in sentences like “as” and “if” to allow crawlers to more readily read the main contentkeywords as a fluid string.
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    1. Do you have Campaigns and strategies?
      This isn’t a number, some may say not even tangible, but you won’t get anywhere unless you’ve actually defined some processes that can be measured. A lot of people are just going on these sites, putting up a profile and waiting for something to happen. Having an outline and plan of action is a sign of success, it shows that you have at least a basic understanding of social media and some of its components. This is your first benchmark. It is also important to realize that these plans are not static and require constant appraisal for effectiveness.
    2. Getting heard?
      At this point, response means any response at all. Some traffic followers or comments should be coming in. The quality of the response doesn’t matter at this point, you are just checking to see that the ‘broadcast equipment’ is working.
    3. Getting response?
      Once the ‘broadcast equipment’ is up and people can hear you, it’s time to draw them in. This is where feedback matters, if people are just stopping by and not commenting. Your media isn’t being very social and you won’t be able to obtain as many viral references as you’d like.
    4. Getting useful response?
      Getting ‘thanks’ and ‘very informative’ feels good and will confirm that your efforts are on the right track, but it’s better to get comments that add to the conversation and help point out in which direction(s) you should be heading next. Ask for comments, ask questions and encourage further discussion.
    5. Is there is growth trend in followers/readers?
      You should be gaining more interest in your niche via effective targeting, i f not your are shooting in the wrong direction and need to adjust. Coupled with this is that the followers must be the ones you want, not random individuals
    6. Is the scope of your followership spreading?
      There is no reason what you are talking about isn’t compelling to other groups. You may have to present it differently in a different context, but there are thousands of other people in interest groups that parallel yours. They are reachable via the change of a few key words and can result in a wider audience.
    7. Are others referring to you?
      In any social network, there are people to talk to about a given subject. They are known as experts in that circle of friends or associates. You should be able to count the number of people that name you as a resource, that number should be going up every week.
    8. What kind of negative feedback are you getting?
      You will get negative feedback, that’s just how it goes. What is measurable is how you categorize this negative feedback and rate it according to the use it has toward your online efforts. If people are referring to you as a spammer, con or some other such negative association, it it obviously time to rethink a message. There may be other comments as to lack of clarity, completeness or that your are a ‘me too’. Negative feedback that is good to hear it the kind that disagrees politely and intelligently with what you have to say. That is a proper conversation and will bring out a productive discussion.
    9. Are click through rates going up?
      If you are running ads, it is essential that you monitor them for how they pull in visitors. When people click on ads it represents interest and can provide you with valuable information as to what you yourself should be providing. The ads may make little money, but they can provide great marketing info.
    10. What is the quality of the network around you?
      The individuals connecting to you and following you should be of an increasing caliber:
    • They should have a healthy network of their own.
    • They should be people who are actively participating
    • They should be in a niche related to yours
    1. They should be comminicative
      Having these kind of friends is growable and measurable.

    This is no doubt an incomplete list, since other measurable criteria will emerge as the science and technology evolve. Please feel free to comment with your own ideas. I’d love to hear your experiences.

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    I have lots of friends, followers and connections on various Social Networking sites. Too many? Well, I’ll let the Social Media gurus tell me that. I like keeping up with people. Seeing where they have been, what they done, seen, etc. I like hearing what people have learned, tried and failed at. To me, Social Media is a way to extend a group of friends/acquaintances far beyond my town, business or vacation trip locations, etc. I value my Twitter, Facebook and other peeps, except for “those people”. #fb

    “Which people?” you ask.

    Oh, you know, “those people”. The people that post that one topic, over and over again. It may be a great topic, like their business, political or religious beliefs, famous quotes from famous people, etc. One topic, posted by “those people,” over and over again.

    We’ve all met “those people,” in real life, too. The person who only talks about 1 topic the entire time. You try to change the subject, but somehow, they find a way to bend the subject change back to the topic they were on, and it continues, for all time. Being passionate about something is great. It drives us to better ourselves, our families, and sometimes our planet. However, there is balance.

    Balance. Not too far “this way,” or too far “that way”. Balance.

    Getting back to my Social Networking connections. I can give people a few infractions of “Buy my stuff!” “Listen to my show!” or “Never sit with your back to the door. Abraham Lincoln”. I use Social Networking sites to promote my projects, as well as my friend’s projects, so I know I toe and cross the line at times, but I try to keep it balanced. Be yourself first, then express your passion, second.

    I love to catch up with friends. They tell me how they are doing; their job, family, pets, almost winning the lottery, etc, etc, then they mention a new venture they are involved in. That’s great. A full picture approach. I’m always interested in the person. Sometimes mundane information about the child that put raisins up their nose, the dog that barks the Love Boat theme, the long overtime hours someone is working. I like it. That helps me connect with the person. I know them better now. A person sharing their life (even mundane) information, helps me connect on an emotional level. I care at that point. When I care, I let my guard down to listen completely to more. That “more” is their passion.

    When someone walks up and asks you for money, you normally pull back. “I don’t know this person,” “What will they do with the money,” etc, are the things that cause us to be wary. Becoming emotionally connected (even reconnecting) makes us more interested in someone’s passion. When we emotionally connect, we now trust, then we listen and care, too.

    I have blocked some Social Networking folks for the business posts, over and over again. Perhaps they don’t feel that their life (even the small segment they feel comfortable sharing with the Social Networking group) isn’t interesting. I have news for them – it is.

    Your life matters, and is important and is interesting to me and others.

    You, are not just your beliefs, business, or political thoughts. You are the day to day events in your life. The grumbling at traffic. The wandering to find where your car was parked. The dinner you created from “what’s in the cupboard”. The laughing so hard it hurt, after you realized that singing the songs from the commercials with your children might bother the neighbors. The good, the bad, and the ordinary, because what’s ordinary to you, may be a dream for someone else.

    Blog You. Post You. Tweet You. You will see people start to connect with you on deeper levels that aren’t just about your business or beliefs, but about you.

    Once they know you, they will gladly hear what else you have to say.

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    Social media has become somewhat of a buzzword nowadays.  From corporate marketing strategies to presidential election, the awesomeness of social media power seems to have spread to every corner of our society.   However, there is one thing that most social media users might have neglected, which is to use social media to do social good.  Here I will list seven tips of how I use social media for the purpose of social good.

    1. Tweeting/blogging for news.

    Twitter is the new breed of social media which exists as a micro-blogging tool. Twitter has the potential to broadcast news fast, on time, and in a mass scale.  One recent example was related to the Iranian election.  Twitter users are even faster than CNN journalists to deliver timely news.  The hashtag #CNNfail has been adopted by Twitter users to indicate a lack of news coverage from the mainstream news media.

    Another example is the 7.8 earthquake in China back in May, 2008.  Twitter was very fast in delivering the news.  If you had tried to search for the word “Earthquake” in Twitter Search, you could literally see hundreds of updates within minutes.

    In addition, some bloggers have been actively blogging about the earthquake and therefore raised tons of awareness.  According to a post from ReadWriteWeb, Forrester Analyst Jeremiah Owyang used his blog as a platform to inspire people to donate money to the Red Cross.  He took a trip to China personally, and then posted all the photos he took about the earthquake in China on his blogs.  This has allowed his audience to see how badly some people were affected by the earthquake.  His initiative through social media has significantly made a difference.

    2. Building tribes.

    Seth Godin’s book “Tribes” illustrates how important it is to leverage modern technology, namely social media and Internet, to build your own followers. It has come to my realization that this type of network not only can provide religious, social, and spiritual supports for the “tribe” members, it will also become the fundamental bonding power for our entire society.

    For example, if you had a Facebook group or a fan page that attracts environmental fans, it would be easy to assemble a global army of like-minded people in this particular field, without concerns of geographical barriers.  The bigger the group gets, the more advocates there are, and the more it will benefit the society.  In essence, this “tribe” mentality now has spread to every corner of the society.  Instead of resisting and fighting it, we ought to all embrace this hugely powerful tool to do social good.

    3. Empowering others.

    Personally, I like to transform my inner beliefs into quotes and then distribute them in my community.  Besides being able to influence and inspire others, this kind of behavior reinforces my own faith by simply sharing something I deem as valuable and useful.  After all, social media is all about “Sharing.”  Instead of saying something trivial that others don’t even care, why not transform your beliefs into something tangible that others can benefit from?

    Now granted, not everyone will understand your initial attempt and appreciate your good deeds.  This happens in almost every situation of life.  But it’s important to stay consistent in what you do so you can influence those who do want to be helped.  So be patient.  One post at a time.  Eventually, consistency and commitment will make a difference.  I like to call this “Personal Development Training Made Easier.”

    4.  Facebook “Cause” Application

    As I am writing this post, the Facebook “Cause” application has about 24 ½ million monthly active users. Causes is one of the most popular Facebook apps.  The official definition, according to Facebook, goes like this – Causes empowers anyone with a good idea or passion for change to impact the world. Using our platform, individuals mobilize their network of friends to grow lasting social and political movements. It includes categories such as Animals, Education, Environment, and more.

    This app allows Facebook users to create a cause and link it to a registered non-profit organization in the US or Canada.  In general, this app has been a very useful fundraising tool for a lot of charities.  It also has drastically raised people’s awareness about some pressing issues in the world.

    5.  Blogging for a Cause

    This summer (6/1 through 8/28), Mashable launched the first large scale online charitable campaign called “Summer of Social Good.”  The goal was to raise funds strictly online through the power of Social Media and the Internet.  Throughout the previous weeks, this program had made some major progress by featuring inspiring tales from real people, encouraging people to participate in this program by offering incentives.  Mashable also listed examples on how some charities use social media to raise money.

    Another example involves a site called “Make The Difference Network”  founded by Actress Jessica Biel and her family.  As social media continues to evolve, more and more websites and blogs will feature this type of content.

    6.  Social Bookmarking for Better Efficiency

    Social bookmarking sites allow Internet users to organize and manage bookmarks of web pages by tags.  Sites like DiggStumbleUpon, and Delicious have become more and more popular because it allows better user efficiency.  Take Digg for example, the Digg voting system allows people to vote for submitted stories.  The functions are called digging and burying .

    With social bookmarking websites, I could simply browse through the category I am interested in, and sort stories by popularity.  Now, I am not saying that those popular stories are exactly the ones you are looking for.  But social bookmarking sites do provide a viable reference point.  In general, this type of service can save tremendous amount of time for its users.  Therefore, it fulfills our “social good” purpose.

    7.  The revolution continues….

    Social media is taking on a major role of leading the trend of our society. Facebook was launched by Mark Zuckerberg in his college dorm on February 4th, 2004.  Then there is Twitter, which was publicly launched into a full version in July 2006.  What’s next?

    For every trend, there are early adopters, the majority and the laggards.  Luckily, social media has the awesome power to lead our thinking as human beings.  This, in a large scale, is good for our society, because the society is jumping curves.  Instead of evolving on the same curve, the society revolutionizes with the most popular social media trends.   Eventually, this phenomenon can lead to frequent update of newer technology that allows for better effectiveness/efficiency and change the world.

    So how do you use social media for social good in your daily life?  You can let us know by commenting this post.

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    Twitter lists eh? Setting those up is going to take hours isn’t it? Should I be that bothered?

    194 twitter list.jpg

    Yes you should be bothered. This is Twitter’s biggest update since the damn site launched and it should make the whole experience a lot better. A whole lot better.

    How much better?

    You may have noticed that there’s a lot of stuff going on Twitter and even the site’s biggest fans will admit that not all tweets are useful. And even if lots of them are useful, sometimes they get lost in the rapid fast-flowing torrent that you get if you follow more than 50 people. So, the Twitter reasoning goes, split the stream up into useful little lists and it all gets more manageable.

    Of course if the respected technology journalist you put on your Technology Journalist list tweets about their lunch, you will still hear what they had for lunch, but you won’t see Stephen Fry’s lunch updates mixed in there. He’ll be on your Celebs list. You see. So: Twitter lists won’t make Twitter the perfect source for targeted up to date information but they will make it a better place.

    In theory your Twitter feed could already be a carefully selected list, but in practise with so many interesting people – why the hell would you limit yourself to following 20 people. Not the point of Twitter.

    So how many lists can I have?
    Each account can create up to 20 lists, and each list can include up to 500 users. You can make your list public – in which case other people can use it as a useful resource or make it private, in which case you are less likely to risk upsetting people with your defintions of them.

    You can of course group the people you follow in any combination you want and give it any name you want. You don’t even have to follow people to put them on your lists.

    Twitter list faux-pas?

    The obvious… be a little careful with the public lists. You know, ideally don’t make: “Annoying People I follow only out of sheer politeness” a public list. Even the “funny people” list could get a little contentious as friends and acquaintances start to wonder why you don’t find them funny.

    Listiquette questions are already buzzing around the twittersphere:
    Is anyone going to be upset if I add them to my twitter list “Things I would sleep on?” from rumorator
    Oh. I see. I’m not on your “Funny” Twitter List. No, I’m not hurt. Do I look hurt? Am I holding this gun right? from angryczeck

    So it makes the tweet stream easier to manage – any other uses?

    Yes!
    1. Other people’s lists are great for browsing and finding out new people you are interested in
    2. Embed a Twitter list into your website and provide a flow of focussed real-time information into your website. Use the Lists API: the Huffington Post already are.
    3. You can keep tabs on a much greater number of people than you could previously handle

    How do I go about setting up a list?

    1. Log onto web Twitter.
    2. Go to the Lists option on the home page and click Create New List
    3. Name your new list and set it to public or private
    4. Add people to your list, either by going to their profile and adding them to your list or by bulk adding from other people’s Following Lists.

    If you want to use Twitter lists professionally consider a service like TLists (recommended on Twitter’s blog).

    The problem is that most people use Twitter in multiple clients – say Tweetdeck or Hootsuite on their computer, and a whole range of different apps on their phones. To date only Seesmic has adopted lists, of course the others will follow, but the full usefulness of lists won’t be felt till you can get them across all the platforms you use Twitter on.

    Wait till your Twitter client of preference adopts them: Tweetdeck, according to their blog are masterminding some update to incorporate lists. Surely smartphone twitter apps will follow too. Be sure to check your phone’s app updates.

    How do I find good lists?

    Look at the lists of the people on your lists (if that doesn’t make your head explode). Or check Listorious a directory of good twitter lists.

    Parting tip: remember to take regular breaks and drink plenty of water. Twitter lists make Twitter easier in some ways – they also just pave the way to making Twitter even more vast and complicated than it already is…

    “Exploring lists is dangerous. Now have dozens more people to follow and around 50 Twitter windows open. Oh oh.” Mikewhills http://bit.ly/3hZWAR

    Okay, time to tweet this story. We’ll release a few Shiny lists shortly.

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    I have consistently encouraged all of my clients to have a newsletter sign up, but recently, with the advent of social media/marketing, I have had a lot of people ask me about whether a newsletter or ‘e-blasts’ are still necessary.

    YES!

    A newsletter sign up, even if you don’t use it, gives you a solid database of people who are interested enough in your projects and what you’re doing to ASK for information. It’s classic push/pull marketing at it’s best. If you randomly send emails or information to people who haven’t requested it, you’re pushing your information to people who don’t care. On the other hand, if you’ve had people reach out to you, you’re pulling them in and sending them information that THEY have requested. Don’t undervalue that!

    Here are a few tips for keeping your newsletters relevant:

    Don’t become spam! People have a tendency to abuse these lists and send out far too many email blasts. They fill their readers’ inboxes way too often and begin to be tuned out as spam. This is a sure way to lose readers. Make sure that as you send out your newsletters or email blasts that your information is important to their day. Don’t fatigue your readers by sending out emails just to do so. You’ll lose them!

    Conversely, a well thought out relevant email blast can build your readership quickly. If you include valuable resources and information that can better their day or their current situation, they will pass the newsletters along and your database will grow. Keep this in mind as you’re pulling together what to include!

    Schedule wisely. Make sure that you send out your emails at targeted times. If you have a program set up that will send out emails ‘anytime’ and you let it send them out in the wee hours of the morning, then they’ll be waiting in someone’s inbox buried in mounds of spam! Even if people are interested in what you have to say, they’re more likely to hit that ‘delete’ button when they’re clearing their inbox than they would be if the mail arrived during their day. This works for Friday (clearing the inbox before leaving for the day – or sometimes taking the day off for a long weekend) and Monday morning clear outs from several days out of the office. The best times to send out email newsletters and blasts are Tuesday – Thursday.

    Content is vital! When you put together your newsletter, make sure it’s not too copy heavy. People see lots of lines of text and tend to skim quickly and sometimes, skip completely! Don’t overwhelm them with columns and columns of text. Break up the copy with tastefully chosen graphics or pictures.

    Your newsletter IS you. Every time you send out a newsletter, it’s a new chance for people to get to know you and your business better. Share current events or information that they may not find on your company’s website. Give people a reason to sign up for your newsletter. Send out tips, hints, or strategies that your readers can use. They’ll begin to rely on you more and more as a resource and that will create a solid following for all of your future projects.

    If your business IS you (such as an actor or author) share more about yourself than they would learn from another venue (such as a magazine or amazon.com) and open yourself up so that people can invest more in following you. (Aka, I really like this person!) As you do this, it’s a razor’s edge. Be cautious with your security and how much you share. Keep the information ‘out there’ to your professional appearances and don’t ever share more than what makes you feel comfortable. It’s a razor’s edge to keep your personal life personal while putting yourself out there publicly.

    Successful newsletters and email blasts are invaluable additions to your overall marketing plan. Use them wisely.

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    14 geek small.pngDoes opening your gmail inbox turn you into a Monkey of Madness? Or the Elephant of Overshare? Perhaps as my reader you’re more of a Geek Girl of Glory.

    Confused? no, be delighted. Illustrator and poet Giles Andraes, better known as Edward Monkton has created five little captioned illustrations to show the Five Types of Gmail User. Let me summarize them:

    The Madness Monkey, a hidden genius and artistic type
    The Random Rabbit, full of random nonsense and happy chaos
    The Butterfly of Love, the social butterfly that always keeps in touch
    The Elephant of Emotional Overload who (over)shares everything
    The Geek of Glory, gadget-head supreme and personal tech support

    It’s all part of Google’s cute and friendly initiatives, little clever ways products like Gmail can be customized. Cunningly each character type links up to a Gmail function or application: Gmail Labs for Geeks, Video chat for Elephants etc.

    Apparently, the categories reflect the way Gmail actually considers its users.

    “Giles Andreae has very creatively captured five prominent email personas — the same kind of characters that we keep in mind when we build new features,” said Christian Miccio, Product Manager for Google Mail.

    And Giles? Well he thought that the “drawings are a great way to add some more personality and left-field fun to the digital space”.
    Send an Edward Monkton to your favourite elephant/rabbit here

    For all those free spirits who like using…. googlemail inbox themes, because they’re very creative. I guess this is for people who send wacky emails, I know a few. Me? Yeah, I’ve sent a few several lots.

    the Madness Monkey

    Aw those little rabbits, always sending weird random emails. Full of energy and delightful scattiness. Aw.

    the Random Rabbit

    This is for those darlings who always start chatting to you on gchat and send you little friendly emails about nothing in particular. “The friend we love for never failing to keep in touch” as Mr Monkton puts it.

    the Butterfly of Love

    “And secretly the Geek shall DREAM / That digiblurb consume the world / And geek and screen are ONE!!” – OMG how did he know? I do object to the way that geeks are portrayed as hairless baby-onesie wearers, but his words strike truth.

    Geek of Glory

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