Blog Peripherals: Borg Your Blog

Posted on Saturday, July 08, 2006 by Miguel Guhlin
external image locutus-of-borg.jpg
Updated: 07/11/2006 - Bloglines.com blogroll info added.

A quick note: This has become THE most popular blog entry on my blog (aside from the front page). Funny, no? Well, glad to have visitors. Leave a comment and share your blog URL, what country you're from, etc. And, be sure to check out other pages!
3 simple truths can help you enhance your blog...they are:
1) Resistance is futile. Don't resist the interactivity of the blog.
2) You will be assimilated. Your blog must be assimilated to be read.
3) Your distinctiveness will be added to the collective. Your unique contribution will become a part of the echo chamber.
Ok, there's more to this, but you get the idea. I'm working on an article but a piece at a time. More revisions later.
BACKGROUND:
In helping someone setup a Thingamablog, I was surprised to count all the free stuff that needed to be added for blogging to take place. Of course, I didn't add them all at once but over time. However, consider this list of blog peripherals that I consider essential (ok, gabbly is just fun):

PUBLICIZING YOUR BLOG
ICE Free Tag Generator - Add tags to each blog entry to increase exposure in Technorati (and other services), as well as tags that allow people to easily subscribe using Simpy, Delicious, and other tools (scroll to the bottom of this entry to see examples of the possibilities).
http://www.egmstrategy.com/ice/tag-generator.cfm
Add subscribe buttons - These subscription buttons will help visitors add your blog entry to visitors' Simpy, Delicious accounts .
http://www.edsupport.cc/mguhlin/blog/archives/2006/07/entry_1728.htm
Bloglines Subscribe Button - Get a bloglines account and then put subscribe buttons on your site for Bloglines:
http://bloglines.com/about/subscribe
iTunes Subscribe button - Save this graphic, insert it into your blog, then add this link (but customize the italicized part with your own RSS feed, of course).
Be sure to leave the ?format=pcast at the end:
//http://feeds.feedburner.com/mguhlin-podcasts//**?format=pcast**
Technorati Tags - Go to Technorati and get your own account, then follow directions to get the Technorati code to add to your blog page. It will look something like this:

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://embed.technorati.com/embed/q3gvitatm7.js"></script>
http://www.technorati.com/signup/


TRACKING BLOG SUBSCRIBERS AND HITS:
Feedburner.com - Lets you track who's subscribed to your RSS Feeds
http://feedburner.com
FeedBlitz - Allows people to subscribe to email versions of blog entries
http://www.feedblitz.com
BlogPatrol - Get a hit counter for your blog (tracks unique IP Addresses)
http://www.blogpatrol.com
StatCounter - Put this code on every page, and you can find out which of your blog entries are popular by counting the hits, etc.
http://www.statcounter.com
ClustrMaps - See visitors as red dots on your map of the world; works like a hit counter, too.
http://www.clustrmaps.com
GeoVisitors - Allows you to see who has visited your blog in the last 24 hours on a global map.
http://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/geovisitors/

COMMENTING AND CHAT
Haloscan - Enable commenting on your blog if it lacks that feature
http://www.haloscan.com
Gabbly.com - online chat
http://www.gabbly.com

BLOGROLLS, LINKROLLS, AND MORE
Blogrolling - lets you organize and easily share other blogs you read (this attracts traffic to your blog)
http://www.blogrolling.com/
OR,
Bloglines.com - if you are a a Bloglines.com user, you can turn your list of subscribed blogs into your blogroll. This prevents have to use a separate service (like Blogrolling previously mentioned) to show a list of subscriptions. I've now switched to this from Blogrolling (check the right sidebar on the FRONT page of this blog.
http://bloglines.com/help/share?tip=4
Simpy - let's you bookmark sites and then share the list with others. Alternatives include Del.icio.us and Blinklist. I like Simpy most of all, though.
http://www.simpy.com
http://del.icio.us
http://www.blinklist.com
Read this quick how-to to add buttons that let people add your blog/entries to their bookmarks. You can create linkroll in your blog by following these instructions.
WikiSpaces.com - get your own wiki for free. Tell them you're an educator and they remove all advertising
http://www.wikispaces.com
Library Thing - Lets you create and share your virtual booklist/reading with book covers, etc.
http://www.librarything.com/


MAKING A PODCAST
You can easily use free, web-based tools to create a podcast, as opposed to the more traditional use of Audacity, Acid, or Garageband.
Slapcast.com - Allows you to publish 3 audio files as podcasts, whether by uploading an MP3 file or calling a 1-888 number to record your podcast. After 3 podcasts, you have to pay $4.95 a month or subscribe to their service. Still, not a bad way to get started.
http://slapcast.com/
Clickcaster.com - Allows you to record/publish your podcasts, then sell them. Requires an account.
http://clickcaster.com
Odeo Studio - Allows you to create MP3 audio via a Web interface. You can also upload sound files, as well as record via phone. Includes syndication, etc.
http://studio.odeo.com/create/home
OurMedia - If you insist on using Audacity and/or other tools, then you should consider OurMedia and Internet Archive. I use both for publishing my audio.
http://www.ourmedia.org/help/publish-audio
Internet Archive - Very easy to contribute audio if you've created it already (that is, you have an MP3 saved on your computer). Follow instructions to create an account and then use the CC Publisher tool, or go to the web site below to contribute.
http://www.archive.org/contribute.php

PUBLICIZING YOUR PODCASTS
Use any one of the 13 services mentioned to publicize your podcasts, or, search them for podcasts to listen to