I know we are all enamored with widgets, social networks and alike, but it can become just a bunch of WORK! So I spent the weekend overhauling my tools, blog and networks to make it just a little easier. So to save YOU time, I’ve put together some insights I received from the let’s say – at least the last 7 days of work.
The right tools for the right job, not just relevant to carpenters, appears to be good for bloggers as well. I’ve been watching folks use tools on twitter, like [tag]twitterific[/tag], I’ve been playing with my bookmarking sites and just seeing how it might best be coordinated. My previous content management strategy very much had a herding cats feel to it. Here are some of the tools which I’ve centered on based on input from other folks:
- Shareaholic – a single firefox plug-in which manages all of my go forward social networks. No more crazy toolbars or additional buttons – a single drop down! Needless to say, Firefox is a must have tool.
- Feedburner – Yes, I know everyone knows about [tag]Feedburner[/tag], but did you know the Pro tools are FREE now? Each tab now has new cool stuff you can use, not just for optimizing your feed, but also your site. There are a whole bunch a goodies in there for you – Feedburner, not just for RSS – a single interface to Optimize, Publicize and Monetize (I’m not monetizing, but I guess I could go for the $.04/mo I might get) and Troubleshootize.
- FeedFlare – I know, it’s part of feedburner, but it’s so cool because it replaced my previous WordPress plug-in for bookmarking and I think my site is faster, just because of this.
Your Friends and Your Networks – Your TIME
Managing networks, bookmarks and actively participating is a bunch of work. So I QUIT! Sorta anyhow – I’ve centered on only a handful Facebook, del.icio.us, Digg and StumbleUpon (I only kept stumble since it’s a lightweight commitment). Last but not least – Twitter, I’m not sure why I like this so much, it is just fun – I think because it is [tag]iPhone[/tag] friendly and not that much of a commitment – getting the theme here? Social Media-Life Balance
Since I’m fundamentally a lazy cat, I really needed to step back and think about how I wanted my online experience to evolve. So I found myself just getting way into the constructs of understanding relationships, what smart folks do online, (this requires a bunch of reading) and what I really want to do with my spare time and why. So I mapped out goals, systems, tools and traffic patterns to understand where I should focus on delivering reasonably meaningful content to the marketplace and I realized I had an accidental architecture. I had bits of mediocre content flying all over this Arpanet.
So what did I do? I decided to literally diagram where I am, where my readers are spatially on the web compared to where I am and weighted “objects” on benefit, effort and a totally subjective cool factor. Yes, I think everything can be put into model. Once I did that I figured out my haphazard hairball or spaghetti online existence just wasn’t what I wanted. So where did I start? My blog and worked out from the brand nucleus.
- Usability: Your stuff has to easily navigated to be read! That’s right, I didn’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about what goes where and why is something is on my blog until now. Guess what – there’s less clutter and in just the short time I’ve been re-designed, I’ve had more subscribers than any other single day! Clean is good.
- Consistency: This is as much about content, as it is about the frequency, so I automated a few things with behind the scenes posting automation/replication. I still need to clean things up a little, but Twitterfeed and the WordPress plug-in Postalicious will be making my life just a little easier and establishing a reliable flow of content, I would like to read. I think I still have a little recursive content, but I’ll have that fixed by Wednesday.
- Necessity – Only use things that add value. If a widget doesn’t derive benefits which you can PROVE in your analytics, then its got to go. You know what there’s an interesting side benefit- less widgets = faster site.
This is what I have for now, I’ll keep thinking about it and if you have ideas or recommendations let me and my readers know.
Increasingly I think mobile apps that allow you to post via your mobile device like Jott and Utterz will be very popular and increase the productivity level of bloggers.
I think those whose gifts are in speech more than writing should opt for videoblogging and podcasting to compliment their strengths.