Tag Archives: Google Reader

Google Buzz Suggestions

I have been using Google Buzz and overall, I like it. It has some real potential.

The one thing I can not grasp is why Google is choosing to keep the control so tight. After all these years the one thing you could count on with Google was some options. And we all know, if it can be done, Google can do it.

Suggestions:

  • Google Buzz in the inbox. Give us some options. Start with, yes or no, and branch out from there. If yes, let us set the update interval to some extent. Buzz in Gmail is not the issue, just the inbox flow.
  • Google Buzz and Google Reader integration. Once again, yes or no would be nice. My Reader was just about perfect for me, now, it is a mess.
  • Bump interval. Why not let us set this to a number of comments before a post is bumped? Maybe a combination, either X number of comments, or an elapsed time will bump it.
  • Mute fade. I just don’t think the Web 2.0 feature is worth the delay. I know I muted it, just let it go. Of course, an option here would be nice for those who like it.
  • Contacts. Wow, what a mess this is. Google Buzz has made trash out of my contacts. I have not investigated this much, but I know I was shocked when I realized Buzz was doing a number on my nice clean list.
  • How about a favorites button or some mechanism to flag something for later review? You are the ones who got us used to this in Gmail and Reader!

Using Twitter to Follow a Topic

I seem to be using Twitter more these days, and Google Reader less. The trend is easy to understand from a useability standpoint. 

Using an RSS reader almost feels like old school technology now. Yes it is still necessary, and it is certainly one of best ways to follow someone, but Twitter is now letting me follow the topics I want in real time a lot easier.

Years ago I was part of several Forums. I would go to forums to get, and give, help on different topics, but it took more effort than I thought it should.

Now, just like having my news fed to me instead of having to go to my favorite news sites and see what has changed, I can sit back, watch the conversations on the topics I am interested in, and get involved at my choosing.

Here is one of my favorite pages to watch, using Twitter search, I search for the words “WordPress OR Cybercoder” and remove any occurence of wordpress.com. The reason for the removal is that I do not want to see Tweets just because someone has a link with wordpress.com in it, what I am really after is seeing all the conversations and help request for WordPress. And by adding my Twitter name, I will see any replies or comments directed at or about me.

Using Twitter Search in this manner is a lot more functional than just trying to watch the stream of conversations from everyone I am following, you should give it try!

And you can follow me on Twitter at Twitter / CyberCoder

Mobile Friendly Web Sites

If you use a mobile device to surf the web one thing you realize is that having a mobile version of any site can be very helpful, especially with the volume of mobile internet viewing increasing daily.

It is a little ironic that we have gone almost full circle on web design. We started with very text intensive low graphics back in the early 90′ to where the average viewer is now using a minimum of 1024×768 resolution with JavaScript capabilities and a wide range of Web 2.0 functions. And now we need a knocked down version for mobile users.

A lot of the new mobile devices can handle the high resolution sites, but with such a small screen it is still hard to navigate and read. This is where a mobile friendly web site can really open up your site for everyone regardless of their internet interface.

Here is a very simple solution.

While using Google Reader’s mobile version I realized any blog or web site can easily have a mobile version utilizing Google Reader. All that is required is to append your feed URL to the end of this URL from Google Reader.

http://www.google.com/reader/m/view/feed/[your feed]

Example :

http://www.google.com/reader/m/view/feed/http://www.cybercoder.net/feed/

To take this one step further you can use a sub domain from your site to create an independent mobile version.

Every hosting package is a little different and the setup for this depends on your hosting. I am using an htaccess file that handles the redirect. Check with your hosting system to find the best way to redirect your subdomain and you can instantly have separate mobile friendly web site.

Plan your Blog, Blog your Plan

Same theory, different words. For years I have listened to business consultants say “Plan your work, work your plan”. A blog is no different. You just have to decide what it is you want to accomplish. Some bloggers just want people reading their blog, others want to make money blogging. Whatever the goal, managing your resources is a valuable key.

I work with a few bloggers very closely, and I see and hear the same thing often. “I can’t keep up”. The interesting part is that this same statement comes from a variety of blogger types.

I work a full time job, 50-55 hours a week, I own at least 60 domain names, and have 10+ blogs and websites that I am working.If you have more than one site, you need to manage your time and resources. Here are a few things I do that help me keep it all rolling.

  • Delegate – I have a couple of people writing for me. They get paid from the blogs that they write on.
  • Trade – I have traded skills with others. Garry Conn is a good example. He did the header graphic on this site, and I did some PHP programming for him.
  • Layout – It starts with my browser, when I start up, I have 9 tabs loaded as my home page. My Yahoo, Google, Gmail, Adsense, Analytics, Google Reader, Pandora, Google Docs and Google Trends. From this point I can see what is going on with my sites, and what is going on with others.
  • Glance first – Each time I sit down to work I glance at each tab to get an overview. This means I spend maybe 1 or 2 minutes on a tab. I do not answer emails at this point, or dig through stats. From here I can go back and work on what looked to be the most critical items.
  • Scheduled posting – I use WordPress and the scheduling has saved me a lot of time. An added benefit to the scheduling is releasing a post to publish early in the morning so by the time traffic is rolling my posts are already in the Blogsearch and at least the home page has been Indexed.

With this plan of attack I have been able to keep my full time job and get my online income to go from $25 to $2000 a month. And don’t kid yourself, luck plays a part in all of this too. And I have been lucky at times over the last couple years. But if you want to take advantage of luck, you have to be prepared. Are you prepared?