Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tools for Linking Blogger and Social Network sites

Previously I've described the approaches for linking your blog and the social networks.   This article is about specific tools that can be used for each approach.


Inviting readers to connect your account to theirs on ...
  • LinkedIn:  There must be a way - not found it yet.

"Look at This"

Giving readers a tool to talk about or recommend your blog-post in their account in:
  • Email-this-post:
    Turn this on using Design > Page Elements > Blog Posts - tick the Show Email Post Links button.  You have some options deciding where in the post it goes.  


    Showing content from your blog on ...
    • Facebook:  Automatically updating Facebook every time you publish your Blog (coming soon)
      • LinkedIn  Automatically updating LinkedIn every time you publish your Blog (coming soon)

      "Look what I said over there"

      This options is about updating your blog with content from your social media site(s), and has a few possible approaches.

      1 Use an RSS feed:

      Burn (or just get the address of) a feed from your Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn etc account, than then:
      • Display it in an RSS Gadget in your blog, or
      • Use a service like to convert the feed into Javascript, and put the resulting Javascript into the post.

      2 For Facebook, use a page badge:

      Make a badge for your Facebook Page choosing to show the stream but hide the Faces and Header - this will show what was posted in the Page on your blog.    It's especially useful if you can put it in a place (eg a post or page) where the badge can be quite wide.

      3 Manual update:

      This won't be a popular approach.

      But personally I've found that different networking tools respond best to different messages, so generally I try to do cross-platform promotion (ie from Blogs to Social Networks ad back again) in a way that customises the message for the platform - and manual is the only realistic way to do this at the moment.

      A Word about Third Party Tools:

      Untill recently, a common approach has been to use a 3rd party tool, eg AddThis.

      But there have been some less than well-behaved tools which are effectively hackerware (eg the TweetMe widget) - so it's been hard to work out what to trust.

      Personally, I almost jumped out of my skin the day I first used an AddThis button on a newspaper site to put a link to an article about me onto my Google blog:  half-an-hour later I suddenly realised that I'd just given my main google account password to a 3rd party that I knew nothing about.  I couldn't get to a computer to change it fast enough!.

      So for a long time, I didn't recommend installing any 3rd party tools.  

      Now, as the tools have matured, I recommend that you only use 3rd part tool that direct visitors to the social networking site (ie Twitter, Facebook etc) to enter their password, that is, which don't have any chance of collecting the passwords themselves.

      Related Articles:

      Approaches for linking your blog and the social networks

      Using the Post 2 Profile gadget,

      Making a Facebook personal account badge

      Making a Facebook Page badge 

      Putting the tweet button into your blog.

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