Category: Blogging

20+ WordPress Plugins I Use And Recommend

I may have inspired Andy Beal to start using TweetMeme plugin on Marketing Piligrim, but he certainly inspired me more. Every time I come across a great plugin I promise myself to give credit to the plugin’s author as well as share with my readers how a particular plugin helped. Of course day passes by, then another and after a few days my desire to write about particular plugin slowly withers out. “It just a plugin”, I tell myself -“some one has already written about it anyway.” The truth is however that many of the plugins I use on my blogs make my life so much easier.

So here are some 20+ plugins that help this blog tick….
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Let Dane Morgan Write Your Next Blog Post!

Have you ever considered inviting a guest blogger to write a post for you? If you have considered it, but never got around to actually do it, I have a wonderful news fro you. Dane Morgan, a blogger and freelance writer, is offering to write a post for your blog.

Dane is trying to build up his freelance portfolio and you can help him by inviting him to write a blog post for you. Just head over to his blog an post the topic you would like him to write about.

I have known Dane for several years now, mostly through online interaction. Dane along with Andy Beard have influenced and educated me quiet a bit about “nofollow” attributes. I only wish I could have followed in their footsteps – as of today I have only one blog that keeps the links in the comment area “noffolow” free, unfortunately it is not Go Beyond MLS.

The reason I recommend Dane is that I always marvel at people like him. Dane has profound understanding of online marketing. While in his offer Dane would like to stay clear of all “the blogging, social media, entrepreneurial fields” his recent interest in tax related matters can probably offer a unique prospective to any finance related blog.

Besides subscribing to his blog, which I highly recommend, you can also follow Dane on twitter.

What’s Up With Feedburner Subscription Numbers?

If, over the period of last few days, you noticed a sudden increase in the number of subscribers to your blog reported by Feedburner, there is a simple explanation – now Feedburner includes the number of subscribers to your Friendfeed:

Feedburner Shows FriendFeed Subsribers

For many bloggers, especially the ones that are active on FriendFeed, this can translate into a significant increase of readership.

For many blogs out there, the number of subscribers is an important factor in determining the price for advertising and the value of the blog. Needless to say the Feedburners decision to include FriendFeed subscribers may help to diminish the value of readership on blogs.

For example two days ago the number of subscribers shown for Go Beyond MLS was in 90s – today that number is 326 which includes the subscriptions to my FriendFeed.

I would have been pleased with such increase of the number of subscribers if Go Beyond MLS was the only blog I author. Unfortunately majority of FriendFeed subscribers tend to gravitate around as well as my other blogs. But for the most part the interaction remains within FriendFeed itself.

Id don’t find the new numbers to be accurate nor helpful. Do you?

The State Of Top 100 List: Say Hello To New Blogs.

Since relaunching the list of real estate blogs las week, there were number of new blogs submitted. I will take time every week to introduce the blogs. This week we welcome ten new blogs to the list:

If you don’t see the blog on the list yet, it is most likely because I added your blog while the script was going through a scheduled update. The above mentioned blogs are now in the database and will be included in the list with the next update. Please follow GoBeyondMLS on Twitter to be notified about updates to the list.

Facebook Connect Solution For Your Blog

Ever since I saw the implementation of Facebook Connect on TechCrunch, I wanted to look into implementing it on my blogs as well. However since I was not very active on Facebook, I did not start digging into it until a few days ago. There are are number of solutions available for bloggers today should they decide to take advantage of Facebook Connect.

For now I have settled with the Facebook Connect WordPress plugin by Sociable. The Sociable plugin requires Facebook API so before you start using it, make sure to create new application in Facebook developer section of your account. You may also want to hack this plugin- see in the bottom of the post where described how I did it.

Once installed and configured the Facebook Connect plugin will allow your visitors to logging into your blog using their Facebook credentials. They choose to allow the Facebook Connect application (your blog), to post the comments they leave on your blog to their Facebook account as well.

The Facebook Connect plugin by sociable has a widged that you can place in the sidebar of your blog where the visitors can login as Facebook users. Once logged in, they will also have an option to invite their friends to visit your website without actually leaving your blog.

Another unique feature the plugin provides is the community page, which is hosted right on your blog.

There is however one huge downside wit the plugin. It does not word that well with WP Super Cache plugin. Unless of course you can hack WP Super Cache plugin in such a way that it would serve dynamic pages to Facebook users once they’ve logged in on your blog. If you come across such a hack, please let me know.

Hacking the plugin to display the facebook login button somewhere around your comment box.- do this at your own risk.

Another shortcoming of the Facebook Connect plugin by Sociable is that the sidebar widget is the only place where the login button is displayed. Unfortunately the sidebar is not exactly the first place your visitors might examine when visiting your blog. They many leave a comment without realizing they could have shared it on Facebook. Placing the Facebook Connect login button in vicinity of the comment box can serve as a reminder that they could use their Facebook ID to comment on your blog. Unfortunately I had to come up with my own hack to accomplish that- copy and paste to code below into your comments.php file:

<?php echo "<fb:login-button length=\"".$loginbutton."\" onlogin=\"window.location = ‘".$uri."';\"></fb:login-button>\n"; ?>

This is how my comment box looks now with the code above inserted:

It is probably my worst ever attempt to hack anything. Hopefully some one can come up with a better hack. With the above hack, after successful login, the page if refreshed on the very top. Bringing the visitor back down to the comment box would be so much better- but as I said, I suck at coding.

For the list of other Facebook Connect plugins and solutions for other blogging and content management platforms make sure to visit Facebook Connect Plugin Directory.

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