Do partial RSS feeds equal more views on your blog?

Butterflies

A few blogs I read have recently moved from full RSS feeds to partial feeds. I’m not a partial feeds fan because if I start reading something in my RSS feed reader I want to read the whole lot in the feed reader.

I hate having to be forced to click over to the website to finish reading. If I want to comment I will click over and make that comment unless the comment system is Disqus – then often I won’t comment.

I asked a blogger whey they went from full to partial feeds and they said that they needed more page views as this is how online advertisers choose where to put their ads. They didn’t like to have to do it but as they write a lot of content they need to make money with the blog somehow.

I hardly click on ads on any website, do you? I know, I have ads on my website but am lucky to make any money out of them at all but then this website isn’t a business, but a hobby and my pageviews aren’t that great either.

Apparently I’m not alone. According to this Hubspot article, I’m more likely to birth twins than click on an online ad.

I guess people must click on online ads as some websites apparently earn the bulk of their living this way. I guess banner ads are an easy out for organisations in addition to sponsored content and so on, or instead of things like sponsored content. They might help with brand recognition as well?

I’ve been thinking of taking my ads off as they don’t add any real value for me or for the readers I do have.

But what’s your thoughts on partial RSS feeds?

 

Nine blogging years

Today is my nine-year blogging anniversary. I’m a veteran in the blogging world and this is how I’ve seen it change over those nine years.

I started because I came across the Bloggies awards who were then in their fourth year and noticed blogs like Loobylu and Dooce and thought it was a great way to write and share.

Blogging platform

The Windows 7 login screen. Day 199/366.

When I started this blog I chose the Typepad platform and informed everyone that I had some peace and quiet that day with my first ever post. It got two comments, which is more than I get on some of my more recent, much better written posts. But more about that a bit later.

I was happy with Typepad for a time but I wanted to tweak my templates more than Typepad would allow me on the plan I was on. WordPress seemed to be the blogging platform of choice even then, so I made the move.

It was a lot harder to install WordPress then than it is now. I had to use FTP to transfer files and updating WordPress was a bit of a nightmare, not the one click wonder we enjoy now.

Technology

For two years I maintained my blog using a DIALUP connection. I can’t believe I held out that long to get broadband. I’m about to move from ADSL to cable internet. I can’t remember my first download quota when I moved to broadband but I’m not on 30Gb per month. Previously I thought 5Gb was a lot.

I hadn’t heard of an RSS reader then. I merely linked to my favourite blogs on my blog and visited them faithfully nearly every day to see if they’d updated. When I did start using RSS to collect my blog reading all in one place, I also used it to create a blogroll. That is already one for the archives as it’s no longer supported, and Google Reader is being turned off on 1 July 2013.

Social media as we know it today was a few years away yet so I was able to concentrate more on blogging without getting sidetracked by checking my Tweets or Facebook newsfeed.

Social media also, for me, and I suspect many others, meant that the community within the blog platform itself has largely dwindled unless you’re a popular blogger I think. The amount of comments I now receive has diminished even as the stats show that I am getting more visitors.

Of course, social media, is another mechanism for getting visitors to this blog, and when I use it to publicise something then I do get some drop-ins. Some comments might be made via Twitter and not this blog however.

Parenting

Clean face

When  I started blogging my son was two years old. He’s nearly twelve now and I don’t write as much about him anymore. Mummy, or mommy, blogging wasn’t even a term then thank goodness. Even when it did get introduced, I never considered myself a mummy blogger.

When he was three, he was a pain in the ass, but he also showed me bright moments in drudgery that parenting can sometimes be.

There’s still some stories I share but they are much more general. They’re all in my parenting category.

Brands working with blogs

Flower phone

Blogging has changed a lot in the last nine years. Advertising on blogs hadn’t yet really begun that I was aware of, and brands working with bloggers was a mere twinkle in someone’s eye. People used to do top 50 or top 100 lists of bloggers and I made the Australian top 100 bloggers list which helped put on the PR radar.

In 2008 I was offered a mobile phone to trial. It was my first foray into product reviews. I could have kept the phone but decided not to as my Nokia was doing fine for the moment, so I decided to give it away.

I don’t do that many giveaways for a few reasons. The main one is that I don’t get that many offers for giveaways and don’t actively seek these opportunities. I think the brands working with bloggers thing has some way to go. I do switch off from reading blog posts from different bloggers that are offering the same giveaway unless it’s something I particularly want to win, then I’ve got a good chance of winning with multiple entries. I’ve recently won a couple of things.

I do know that my Lego reviews are still visited regularly so brands shouldn’t discount the long-term effect of blogs writing about their products and they shouldn’t discount blogs that don’t have as many page views as larger blogs, ie me.

I’ve been running ads on my blog for a few years now and barely make enough to cover the hosting costs of the site. I think a better way of making money via a website is to offer some sort of service or product. I haven’t done this but plenty has been written about it elsewhere.

Photography

Sunrise at Vivonne Bay

When I started blogging nine years ago I didn’t yet have a digital camera, my blog posts were all words, like my spinach and bean pasties one.

Back in 2007 I upgraded my mobile phone to a Nokia phone. It was a forced change because the phone network was shutting down CDMA. It would be another three years before I got my first smartphone and started my first photo project.

Now, all my posts  include at least one photo. This helps with sharing content on social media like Pinterest and Facebook which are both quite visual. But because I take a lot of photos I may as well share them.

I put the photos I want to use on Flickr, and share them here that way.

Last year I had my first photography exhibition. Don’t know if I’ll ever have another one but it was definitely a learning experience, and despite the anxiety it caused, I’m really happy I did it.

I’ve gone through a few point and shoot digital cameras and a few years ago bought a digital SLR which I still have. Although many of the photos I use here are taken with my phone as that’s the camera I have on me at nearly all times.

Where to from here?

I don’t have any plans to stop blogging. I enjoy the creative outlet, and unless I come up with some business plan to take it to the next level, then I think I will continue along my winding path. I see how the blogging ‘scene’ has really taken off first in the northern hemisphere and more recently here and I’m a bit like the tortoise in the race. The hares have taken off and racing ahead while I plod along slowly behind enjoying the scenery. But I don’t care if I win the race or not. I blog for the love of it.

But who doesn’t also love to be loved? Please leave me a comment. Tell me about your blogging experience – loves and/or hates. Or you just might want to ask me something – anything? I know a shit load about blogging and the technical stuff which you might not know from reading this blog, but I’ve never had anyone help me with the technical stuff here because I’ve always done it myself.

 

Why you shouldn’t automatically update Twitter from Facebook

Twitter and Facebook are two totally different social media platforms yet there’s one thing about people trying to integrate their social media updates on both these platforms that really gets up my nose.

Facebook has the ability to automatically post your status update to Twitter. That’s great right? You only have to do one update and it’s done on two of your platforms. No, it’s not great, and here’s why.

Facebook will allow longer status updates, and Twitter, as you probably know, only allows 140 characters. Therefore when you automatically send your Facebook update to Twitter, it truncates and adds a web address, like the below.

The clue that if you click on the link and you’ll be sent to Facebook is the fb.me part of the web address.

Many people do automatic posting to Twitter from Facebook for their brand page because the Facebook updates have to be public to allow Twitter users to be able to see them.

Because of the difference between how the platforms operate you’re really much better off posting separately. You have to monitor both platforms anyway right? Right? I hope you’re doing that. There’s nothing more frustrating for a follower engaging with you to be ignored.

But maybe you don’t know how to disconnect the two. It’s easy.

How to revoke access between Twitter and Facebook

Go to Twitter, select your profile’s Settings. Click on Apps and Revoke access to Facebook. It’s easy. You might want to check out what else is connected to Twitter and do a spring clean while you’re there.

Other platforms can work well when posting to Twitter, like FourSquare and Instagram, just not Facebook.

But that’s my opinion. What’s yours?

RSS subscription

He loves me. Well most of the time. Day 30/366.

I’ve updated my RSS feed’s footer which you will only see if you are subscribed to my RSS feed.

Fear not if you’re not subscribed via RSS. It has a request to please update your RSS subscription to Semantically driven using this address:

http://semanticallydriven.com/feed/

I’ve felt the need to do this because I have been using Feedburner to deliver my feeds, and while I have a redirect from the above-mentioned link, I don’t know how many readers are subscribed using the actual Feedburner link. Feedburner is getting rid of its API service, whatever that means, and I’m hopping on the bandwagon incase it is finished up altogether.

So if you could please check and resubscribe if necessary I would be forever grateful.

Do you still use Feedburner? Do you care about RSS subscriptions?

Problem with RSS feed being over 512k

One thing about being a blogger is having to rely on technology. It’s great when it works but when it doesn’t it can involve a bit of time to troubleshoot. Luckily I’m persistent and can work out most things myself.

I subscribe to my own RSS feed and noticed that it hadn’t updated since my Sensitive Tony post the other day. I was mucking around with embedding a Storify story and I think this made the feed too large and the technology that spits out my feed spat the dummy.

So I’ve found a solution on the WordPress.org help forums by “rcdiugun”:

If anyone is still having trouble with this thing, I finally solved it. It’s the strangest thing.

First, go to the setting of your syndication feed (under “Reading” options/settings) and make sure that it will only show one post.

Next, create a new post and publish it. Just a test post so that WordPress will generate a new feed. Once that is done, you can use feed URL with feedburner.

When feedburner has finally accepted your URL, go back to your wordpress install. Delete the test post. Set the syndication feed number to the value of your choice.

I hope this works. And if you are reading this you might also like the post I did yesterday with some ‘tell it like it is’ photos of my son.

5 small ways to easily improve your social media experience

My work desk

There’s some things that I repeatedly see on various social networks that really grate at me.

Sketchy Twitter updates

On Twitter when someone has obviously uploaded a photo to one of their favourite photo sharing sites and the link that’s automatically posted to Twitter just says: “I’ve just posted a photo on *insert latest social network here*.”

Because I have to click to see what this photo is a description about the photo might make me want to click it, not the fact that you’ve just uploaded a photo. It’s lazy. Next!

Automatic cross-posting from Facebook to Twitter

Again on Twitter, automatic posting from Facebook to Twitter and the link that’s posted just goes back to Facebook. I never get why people setup automatic tweets from their Facebook updates. If you’re using Facebook as your website and need somewhere to post a longer version of your tweet, at least mention that.

Twitter and Facebook are quite different and should be used separately. Unfortunately this automatic posting also means that they’re not really following what their fans are saying on Twitter therefore don’t engage with them. It’s very frustrating, and not a good look.

Same updates on Twitter and Facebook

I’ve been guilty of this once or twice because I have most different friends on both platforms but when there is a crossover of friends on both, and I see they’ve made the same update on both platforms, I feel like I may have missed out on some of the conversation because there’s now two places that the conversation is occurring. It’s just a little thing, but a tad annoying.

Jumping on a Facebook question bandwagon

I often see this question in Facebook: “I’m cleaning up my Facebook friends. Let me know if you want to stay.”

Surely it’s up to the individual who they want to keep as friends and they can add and remove friends at will. I’ve never responded to any of these and if I’ve been unfriended – oh well, too bad. I  don’t think I ever have been though.

Make it easy for me to subscribe to your blog

Lastly, if you’ve got a blog I presume you want people to read it? Do you? Well have you got an easy method for people to subscribe to your blog updates? SO many blogs I read don’t have this and it’s dead easy to do. And by this, I mean a RSS feed icon, or a ‘Subscribe here’ link.

All blogging software automatically has a feed built-in and usually it’s a matter of adding a widget or something to link this feed to an icon. I use Feedburner to redirect my WordPress feed. This way you can track your feed subscribers and you can also provide them with a way of subscribing via email if they don’t use or know what an RSS feed is.

 

Do any of these annoy you, or any other things?

Gaming

Choosing a game. Day 318/365.

Friday, 7 October 2011, Day 318/365.

I had a great time in Melbourne a month ago previewing a new game (Skylanders) but this new game doesn’t have a playstation 2 version which is the console we have so I bit the bullet and bought an XBOX360.

I found it hard to buy without the Kinect bit as this is bundled with the console in many shops and we just don’t have the room to play Kinect so it’s not worth it. I could have bought the console by itself but thought I may as well get some games with it but the two games that it came with were both rated MA15+, therefore no good for my ten year old son.

Luckily we were able to choose two other more suitable games from the two for $40 section, so nothing too fabulous but JJ picked a couple of games he will play.

I had a look around at the other XBOX games and they seem to cater for the older male, ie older than JJ. Where are the games for women? Am I missing something? Not that I will play on it heaps but if there’s something good then I will have a crack. I will play the new Skylanders game, and already have as we received it yesterday.