Michael Gray has posted a good summary of the changes Facebook Page owners need to be aware of now that Facebook has switched over to the new Timeline style of pages/profiles.
Better Facebook looks pretty cool. It adds like a zillion features and tweaks to Facebook. Facebook has interface issues, to say the least, so it’s nice to see there’s a way to make it work better without having to wait for Zuckerberg and Co. to make the site work well on its own.
Have you tried Better Facebook out? Any raves or complaints? I’m just installing it now; I’ll report on it if I have any problems, or if it dramatically changes my life for the better. :-)
The Next Web has highlighted 5 things you didn’t know you could do with Twitter in a recent post. the 5 things are: plan your meals, track your packages, post to Evernote, add to Google Calendar, and track your weight loss. Pretty neat.Check out the post for details on how those work.
I didn’t necessarily know that you could do these specific things using Twitter, though I do know there are a lot of little bots and tools like these that can be accessed easily if you know about them. For example: try tweeting “(sp?)” after a word in one of your tweets, and just wait–the spelling bot will reply with the proper spelling of your word. (Of course it probably won’t work for you now that I’ve mentioned it, but it is out there; I’ve seen it.)
Know of other cool bots and tools like these? Let the readers know in the comments!
I’m all about learning, and not so much about school, which means that online education is good cheese by me. I seldom go so far as to absorb whole courses online, but I’ve been educating myself on the web for 15 years now. And I’m pretty brilliant. So there’s that.
A site called Bachelor’s Degree Online has been kind (and savvy) enough to compile 100 Free and Useful Open Courseware Classes for Web Workers–full-blown courses on a fairly comprehensive range of subjects, grouped into the various disciplines that a web worker might need to tackle.
About 75% of these courses are from MIT, which has been putting courses on the web for a while now. You may have heard of MIT. It purportedly does not suck.
So go get educated then already! And I don’t expect to hear “I’m bored” from you for at least a year.
Got more free education for our readers? Drop some knowledge in the comments!
Not much to be said here…Diana Adams at Ink Rebels has compiled a tremendous list of prompts to help you get unstuck if you ever don’t know what to blog about: 100 Sources of Blogging Inspiration
I’ve been planning on writing one of these “things to post about” posts myself, but it’s becoming increasingly unnecessary. Between Diana’s awesome list and the resources I linked to in this blog post here, the pool of potential content ideas is growing very wide and very deep. We may need to reclassify it as a pond soon.
Here’s a tip: bookmark this post, so you can find Diana’s list as well as my other post with three other lists on it. That should keep you busy for a while…unless you’re posting like 10 times a day or something (in which case you probably don’t need our help coming up with ideas anyway).
I hate to be a stickler here, but before I praise Heidi Cohen’s excellent list of affordable ways to pervasively promote your local business blog, I have to take issue with her title:
A reasonable person could think from reading that title that the “24 Ways” mentioned could be achieved with no budget, no time, and no resources. But that reasonable person would be getting deceived by hype. And upon discovering, after briefly suspending disbelief enough to think the title’s promise could be true, that in fact it is the exact sort of hyperbolic overstatement that the reasonable person quietly suspected it would end up being, the reasonable person would have his mass-media-cultivated shell of righteous cynicism hardened by at least one additional layer.
I’m the reasonable person in that scenario, by the way. As are you. And we shouldn’t be toyed with. That’s all I’m saying.
The reality of that title is as sad as it is obvious: there’s not a single one of those 24 things that can be done with NO budget, NO time, and NO resources. Each item on the list involves an action verb–which, as an editor, I applaud. But, as an amateur scientist, I can tell you that nothing which involves an action verb can be accomplished without using either time or resources, or both. “Make”, “Use”, “Work”, “Write”, “Offer to help”, “Place a computer”…these are not things that do themselves.
So I deduct major style points for the over-the-top hyperbolic title, and for reinforcing the cynicism of an already-cynical generation. It puts an unfortunate cloud over things–but I still think the list itself is worth checking out.
The true promise of the article is stated in the second paragraph, which has the more grounded and accurate heading “24 Low cost tips to promote your blog”:
“The most important step is to start looking for low cost/no cost promotional opportunities for your blog. It’s easy but it’s not always obvious. Here are twenty-four low cost ideas to help you get started.”
Low cost. Not zero time or money, which is impossible, but low cost, which is both possible and desirable. (But which does not make for as exciting a headline, unfortunately. Stupid boring reality!)
OK, good-natured (but serious) ribbing aside, Heidi’s article has some really great ways to up the ante on your blog promotion efforts. A lot of them involve putting a promo blurb about your blog in places you might not have thought of, some others involve local outreach and partnerships, and still others deal with squeezing more win-win juice from your existing customers and foot traffic. They are 24 solid suggestions…and while every single one takes time or resources, and most of them will cost at least a little money (unless you own your own print shop), they are all definitely in the low-to-no cost range. And some require as little as a pen and a piece of paper.
Pick a handful of those things to do now, and make sure all the print-material-related ones get worked into your next print shop order, and you’ll have a lot less to worry about when it comes to promoting your web site locally.
Have more low–or-no cost ways for local businesses to promote their blogs? Might as well post them in the comments at Heidi’s post, since I’m suggesting we all go check that out anyway.
If you want to comment here, you could chime in on article titles that overstate their promise. Do you think I’m being too hard on Heidi regarding her hyperbolic title?
As long as it conveys something useful, informative, entertaining, or otherwise engaging, a blog post doesn’t necessarily have to be a full-length article.
It’s OK to post a short blog post sometimes.
Just a quick post to mention two resources I bumped into recently: MoreofIt and SitesLike. Both sites do basically the same thing, which is suggesting sites that are similar to the one you provide. I first stumbled onto MoreofIt when looking for alternatives to ToonDoo, the online comic creator that I use to make my comic The Little Things. (Turns out that Toondoo appears to be as good as the others, as far as I can tell. If you have a favorite online comic creator tool, let me know what it is and why you like it, please.)
I lost track of MoreofIt later that week (and didn’t remember the name), so I did a Google search to try and find it again–and that’s how I found SitesLike, which does essentially the same thing. Come to think of it, you could presumably find more of similar-site finders by entering either of these sites into the other one. ;-)
Aside from finding sites with these tools, if you have a website, there is another action item you can take: SitesLike has an add site tool. (I couldn’t find one at MoreofIt; if you know of one for them, please let me know.) So you should probably take a second to add yours, if there’s a chance it might not be in there already.
David Garland at Small Business Trends has a nice succinct post about becoming a new kind of “celebrity” – the entrepreneurial niche celebrity (or “trusted resource”, which he suggests as a less hype-driven descriptor).
It’s funny – I’ve gotten so used to the list-style articles that are so popular these days, that when I discovered that David’s list ended after 3 items, I felt like it was abrupt or short. But when I looked back at the piece I realized he covers a lot of ground in his “short” list–each item has a lot of sub-points, especially the first two.
I read (or skim) so many articles these days that if I shared them all it would be overwhelming for both of us. So I’ve started using a rule of thumb that I’ll only post articles that taught me something, or moved me to action. David’s article gave me the final push to get my picture up on my site, and to work on infusing a little more Lance into things. (Stuff I tell all my clients to do of course, but you know, do as I say…) So maybe his quick run-through will give you a needed kick in the pants too…or provide you with a starting blueprint for your own rise to “celebrity” in your niche.
Jeff Bullas has created a nice simple guide to getting started advertising on Facebook:
I don’t have anything to add really, other than that it made me want to get started advertising on Facebook! :-)