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Connecting WordPress with Social Media II
more ways to make your blog totally social, with a list of 25 plugins for WP
Previously, Linda wrote about how to get started with connecting your WordPress (WP) blog with social media. In this article, she provides even more ways to make your blog totally social, with a list of 25 plugins for WP and more.
Beyond the Avatar
In the previous article, I showed you how to use Gravatar and your avatar to connect your WordPress (WP) blog on a very basic level to different social media outlets. But, you may want to be even more connected, especially if you have a business or product or service you want to promote. In this article, I'll provide you with a plethora of choices, ranging from plugins to templates and beyond...you can make the choice as to which tools to use to create your own social media environment.
One word of warning here – if you choose to connect with plugins, remember that these tools often degrade when WP upgrades their code. Stay on top of your dashboard to make sure that you can upgrade your plugins when WP offers a new upgrade. If not, you may reconsider new choices in how you connect with your social media choices. Nothing, ever, is written in stone that you need to stay with a particular plugin, template or even format when you progress along your blogging journey.
Consistency lies in your own efforts to upkeep your blog, your blog entries and your outreach to your market. I'll cover that outreach in the next article. For now, take a look at this candy-store filled with social media conduits...
25 Plugins to Push Your Blog Across the Web
The following plugins are open for you to use on your WP blog. I will note if I've ever used them or not, but I cannot address their efficiency, as I usually don't have time to take stock of all the results. You may recognize many of them, as they are used on many blog sites across the blogosphere...the links below are listed alphabetically to show that I do not endorse one plugin over another.
Before you use any plugin, be sure to read your template guidelines to understand your template's limitations. In some cases, you may need to inform the template designer that a certain plugin does or does not work (and it's a great thing to inform the designer or programmer who developed any given template on whether or not a plugin works, as that programmer or designer cannot be everywhere at once...your information may prove valuable in that it may reveal a shortcoming in the template design or code).
Additionally, be sure to read all the plugin information, as the programmers who design these plugins usually know most of the shortcomings in their plugins...if not, it may help to inform the designer. Make sure you read all documentation first and try everything before you complain or report problems to that plugin programmer. If a plugin offers the answers to your prayers, you might think about donating some cash to the person/company that created that free plugin as well (all plugins mentioned below are free).
Finally, don't feel the need to install ALL these plugins. One or two to start, perhaps, then add or remove according to changes in your social networking goals. Too many plugins can cause headaches down the road as they may begin to deprecate, and they may slow down the download of your site as well.
1.AddToAny: Help readers share, save, bookmark, and email your posts and pages using any service, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Buzz and over 100 more social bookmarking and sharing sites. The E-mail tab makes it easy to share via Google Mail, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, AOL, and any other web-based e-mailer or desktop program. The "Add to Favorites" button (or Bookmark tab) helps users bookmark using any browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, etc.).
2.Antisocial: This is a hacked version of the Sociable plugin noted below. However, this option includes nofollow on all links. Since all filenames and folders are identical to the original plugin, this plugin and the Sociable plugin probably cannot co-exist on the same site.
3.DandyID Services: This plugin offers support for about 330 social networks, making it one of the most extensive plugins available. No, I haven't tried it, but may see how this plugin can eliminate some other tools I have on my site. You need to create a free account before you configure the widget for your sidebar. You can display favicons, text links or a combination.
4.Digg This: Digg potentially has the power o send more traffic in a short period of time than any other social media site. You can make it easy for your readers to "Digg" your posts by placing the button directly on your pages with this plugin.
5.Fotobook: Use this plugin if you want to share your Facebook photos with your blog readers. This plugin creates an interface with your Facebook API and displays photo albums in a WP page. This tool also creates a sidebar widget to display random or recent photos and albums.
6.FriendFeed Activity Widget: Very simple widget that allows you to pull your FriendFeed stream into your blog.
7.FriendFeed Comments WordPress Plugin: Mashable uses this plugin, which displays the number of times an article has been marked as "Favorite" and can display the actual comments from your FF discussion on your site.
9.I Love Social Bookmarking: This plugin allows users to vote for your blog posts by using a drop-down menu to select a social media stie at which to vote. This plugin could help you keep less icons on your blog. I have not tried it, but the site claims that it tries to keep things "as simple as possible." Currently supported: Blinklist, Blogmarks, Digg, Delicious, NewsVine, Reddit, StumbleUpon, and Technorati.
10.Meet Your Commenters: This plugin may help you realize how important it is to integrate your social networks. When you make a comment on someone's blog, and they're using this plugin, you're leaving behind a footprint that shows your links to your social networking sites. Of course, it works the other way around as well.
11.Retaggr: According to the plugin page, this tool allows you to create a vitual and interactive business card that you can customize. When you install this plugin, you open the door to allow comments that may also include retaggr cards from commenters who use this plugin...which means that you can use your card when you comment on other sites. Hmmm...I'm sure there are implications here, but I'm not sure what they are, since I have not used this plugin.
12.Share This: You can choose which sites you want to target for others to plug your blog entry or your whole site. This plugin also allows you to change colours to match your Web site, and it also provide tracking reports (although not very in-depth).
13.Smart Youtube: Insert Youtube videos/playlists into your post, comments and in your RSS feed. This plugin also works on iPhone, produces xHTML valid code (unlike YouTube embed code), allows you to view videos in fullscreen and most recently has support for YouTube playlists.
14.Sociable: This plugin allows readers to save, catalogue and share interesting pages or blog entries. It also offers you the ability to choose from 99 different social bookmarking sites.
15.Social Media Page: This plugin will add a list of links to your social media profiles on a page or post of your choice through the use of a simple tag. A widget is also added so that you can display this list of links in the side menu of the site. I haven't tried this one yet, but may give it a shot to see if it helps to eliminate my text widgets that hold code to lead people to some of those social media sites.
16.Social Profilr: This plugin creates a sidebar widget that displays all the icons for your social networking sites. All icons have a rel=nofollow, which ensures that your Web page is "not leaking essential PR juice."
17.SphinnIt Button: If your market focuses on Internet marketing and search-related topics, then you need to become familiar with Sphinn. That said, this plugin is specific to that market, which means that readers who are not into that "Sphinn" will not use it.
18.Stumble Reviews: If you installed stumble toolbar in your browser, you can see a white bubble button. It is called a "Stumble review button." When you browse a Web site URLl, if you press this bubble, you can see the reviews regarding that Web site by different Stumbleupon users. Take your WP blog posts and click on stumble review bubble, you can see others reviews about each of your blog post.
19.TweetMeme Button: Like the Digg button mentioned above, this button allows readers to retweet your post. It appears that a lot of reputable sites use this plugin, so if you're a big Twitter user, you might think about this one.
20.Twitter Tools: This plugin integrates with Twitter to provide you with the ability to archive your Twitter tweets, create a blog post from each of your tweets, create a daily or weekly digest post of your tweets and more. You also can post a tweet from your sidebar, from your WP Admin screen or by passing your tweets through an API hook (for developers or for certain templates).
21.Twitter Widget Pro – WordPress Widget: Displays your Twitter feed in your sidebar and can turn "@username" and other info into links, while also displaying user avatars.
22.Viper's Video Quicktags: You already can create easy embeds with WP 2.9 and above. This plugin offers customization of those embed commands. This plugin supports YouTube, Google Video, Vimeo and more, including Flickr videos.
23.Workbook: This plugin allows you to cross post your Facebook account directly from your WP blog. See the examples on this page to understand the implications. If you want to keep your FB account private, this is not the plugin you want to use on your blog. If your FB account is open to any reader through your FB security allowances, then this may be an ideal plugin for your blog.
24.WP Lifestream: This plugin is built specifically to use on top of the WP platform. It allows you to integrate your social networking activity from across the Web with your blog. Basically, Lifestream is all about streams in RSS/Atom feeds, but it really is quite flexible. Add as many feeds and extensions as you desire. I haven't tried this one yet, but you can bet I will. This is interesting...and it reminds me of FriendFeed.
25.WP Super Cache: If you feel a post will travel far across the blogosphere through your networking, you may want to use this plugin to lower the possibility of site crashes. This plug in creates a static page that is served directly by Apache without processing heavy PHP scripts – in other words, you bypass your database, making this page easy to serve up without undue stress on your database or on your server. If, however, you have a great server that offers buffers against traffic spikes, then no worries.
Linda Goin carries an A.A. in graphic design, a B.F.A. in visual communications with a minor in business and marketing and an M.A. in American History with a minor in the Reformation. While the latter degree doesn't seem to fit with the first two educational experiences, Linda used her 25-year design expertise on archaeological digs and in the study of material culture. Now she uses her education and experiences in social media experiments.
Accolades for her work include fifteen first-place Colorado Press Association awards, numerous fine art and graphic design awards, and interviews about content development with The Wall St. Journal, Chicago Tribune, Psychology Today, and L.A. Times.
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