Saturday, January 7, 2012

Lions, Tigers, Widgets, and Buttons, Oh My!





Help, what are all those buttons on the side of this blog?


There are so many different ways you can follow your favorite blogs so that you don’t have to type in their web address each and every day. Which one is best? I would say whatever is most convenient for you. As an example, I like to either receive an email or a Facebook update because I look at each of these on a daily basis, several times a day. But recently, I discovered RSS feeds through my Yahoo! page and to reduce the amount of emails I receive, I started receiving RSS feeds of my favorite blogs and I love it!

In case you’re still not sure, I will further explain all those buttons on the side of my blog.

Followers

Google Friend Connect is a service that helps site owners easily provide social features for their visitors. Users gain the ability to sign in to, make friends on, and interact with your site, making it more social and more dynamic. It is a really cool way to add another dimension of “community” to your blog or website. This is slightly different than just following a blog and receiving post updates.

Follow Me Buttons:

Pinterest is a place to organize and share online images that you find interesting or inspiring. Once uploaded or shared on Pinterest, these images become known as Pins, which the user can place on customized, themed Boards. You can create Boards for any topic imaginable, from DIY projects and crafts to cute puppy pictures. The possibilities are endless. By clicking on the “Follow Me On Pinterest” button, you can see the boards I have pinned.

Twitter – by clicking on this button, you can follow my tweets on Twitter.

Bloglovin – a way to follow your favorite blogs. Once signed up, you will get notified every time your favorite blogs have written something new! Bloglovin logs fresh posts in sequential order sort of like a facebook feed. You can keep up with all of your favorite blogs by visiting one website instead of bookmarking one by one.

Bloggers.com – another way to follow your favorite blogs, similar to Bloglovin. What is the difference between Bloglovin and Bloggers.com? Not much. Think about how you search for information on the web. Do you use Yahoo or Google? It’s just a matter of preference.

Subscribe to:

RSS Posts or RSS Comments:

An RSS feed is a summary of web content that is updated on a regular basis. It allows users to be updated on content changes to a web site. You don’t want to waste your time going to your favorite blogs each day with no new content. Don’t go to them, let them come to you! I like RSS feeds, although I will admit that I didn’t know much about them before I started blogging. Now that I have educated myself, I think they are great.

There are only two things you need to do to be able to subscribe to RSS Feeds:

1. Sign up for a reader (popular ones are Google Reader, Bloglines, Newsgator, My Yahoo!)

2. Click on the RSS icon and subscribe.

If you want additional information, there is a great video and transcript on RSS Feeds at http://www.commoncraft.com/video/rss

Follow Me By Email

Finally, if you just like getting emails, you can just sign up the old fashioned way and Follow By Email to receive an email each time the blog is updated. Nothing wrong with this, this had been my first choice for a very long time – old habits are hard to break!




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