January 15, 2010

6 essential social media plug-ins for your blog

Welcome to the 31 Day Challenge To Optimize Your Blog With Social Media. Today we’ll talk about how to optimize your blog with mission-critical social media plug-ins.

plug-inJohn HaydonThe WordPress community consists of thousands of software developers who create free software for your blog, called plug-ins. There are hundreds of social media plug-ins, designed to display your Twitter friends, pull in your Delicious tags or even import comments on a Facebook Note back into the blog post.

Don’t go crazy with plug-ins

A word of caution with plug-ins. If you’re like me, you want to add the latest shiny plug-in to your blog. And before you know it, your blog looks like downtown Tokyo.

Two problems with adding too many plug-ins:

  • You could drive away visitors who get blinded by an abundance of shiny objects.
  • Too many plug-ins can cause performance issues on your site.

The good news about plug-ins is that you can try them out for free, and deactivate them if you run into any problems. The important thing is to focus on your blog strategy and not the latest cool gadget.

Mission-critical social media plug-ins for your blog

I used the term “mission critical” to point out several plug-ins that are important and why you should consider using them.

1TweetMeme – Guy Kawasaki loves this plug-in because it lets people easily “spread the word about your websites and blogs.” This plug-in also allows you to collect stats on how people are tweeting about your blog posts. Why mission critical? Because how people tweet about your content informs your content strategy.


2AddThis – This lets folks bookmark your post on pretty much any social media site. This plug-in is critical to help you see how people share your content (which sites they’re sharing on and which posts are shared the most). Social Bookmarks, Sociable (100+ different social bookmarking sites), ShareThis, SexyBookmarks are also great bookmarking plug-ins, but don’t have the reporting that AddThis does. Why mission critical? Because you need to be active on the sites where your content is being shared. Continue reading

September 30, 2009

8 ways to use social media in the newsroom

8 ways screenshot

JD LasicaFor the annual conference of the Online News Association this weekend, I’ve pulled together two new printable handouts: 8 ways to use social media in the newsroom, available at http://bit.ly/social-flyer, and 6 Twitter tools for journalists (PDF — and see the accompanying post). I’m speaking on the aptly named Social Media Mania panel on Saturday.

I think these are two of the nicer handouts I’ve produced, using Apple Pages, part of the iWork suite. These downloadable documents are part of the ongoing series of social media guides and tutorials that Socialbrite has been producing for social change organizations, nonprofits, journalists and anyone interested in effective use of social media.

While the PDFs are spiffy-looking, they’re less than optimal for search engines and for the disabled, so I’ll mirror the handouts here in html.

8 ways to use social media in the newsroom


1An uber-aggregator of your feeds, FriendFeed is like Twitter but easier to organize. You can post more than 140 characters, organize private or public rooms and get a feed of your friends as an e-mail. But FriendFeed is more than an aggregation tool: It’s a virtual watering hole where you can see what’s on the mind of your friends and colleagues.

Search the real-time Web

2Find out what people are talking about online right now — chances are you can turn a meme into a story. Tools include Twitter Search, Tweetmeme, OneRiot, Scoopler.

Flip out!

flip3We’re all multimedia journalists now, right? Never let another eye-catching moment or newsworthy subject slip by: A Flip cam ($199 for hi-def version) lets you easily add a visual element to a story. Users are more likely to jump into a conversation around a video on your site than a text-only article. Kodak’s Zi8 is also a good choice. Continue reading