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robinev
09-20-2005, 08:45 PM
There are a few Statcounter users who do blogs either in addition to their main website or as their primary web offering. So it might be worthwhile to share some of the blog resources we've found.

My initial suggestions:

There are a number of blog-specific search engines. Google now has one (http://blogsearch.google.com/) and the other big SEs are expected to follow. In my experience, the most important of the independent blog searchers is Technorati (http://www.technorati.com/), which offers two kinds of searches.

The standard Technorati search works pretty much like the standard search engines matching text within a blog entry. A big difference, however, is that Technorati's search arranges results in chronological order rather than applying the kinds of ranking algorithms used by the big SEs.

Technorati also allows you to search by "tags" (http://www.technorati.com/tags/). These are topic links applied to a post by its creator using a specific format which is explained in the linked page. Again, results are arranged chronologically.

Those using self-hosted blogging software can usually configure the software package to send a "ping" to selected index sites, including Technorati. A ping is a message that tells the recieving site that your blog has been updated and requests a visit from the pinged site's indexer. But even if you use a service like Blogger that doesn't support automatic pings, you can send them using the services of pingomatic.com (http://pingomatic.com/). This service will send pings to a number of different sites. The choices can be saved in your bookmarks/favorites to make the process nearly automatic.

A great resource that everyone should seriously consider is Feedburner.com (http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/home). This service can make it easier for users to subscibe to your blog's RSS or Atom feed. When someone subscribes to your blog's feed, their feed-reader software must send out a ping to your site to find out if it's been updated. If your blog becomes very popular, there could be many such pings per hour. With feedburner properly configured on your blog, those pings will be sent instead to feedburner's servers.

Even if your blog isn't popular enough for pings to become a bandwidth problem, Feedburner offers you statistics that can be helpful in figuring out how many folks are looking at your feed. (Statcounter can tell you who visits your site, but can't record feed viewers who don't click through to the site itself.)

They also offer some useful utilities like the little "headline animator" at the bottom of this post.

All of the things I've mentioned offer free basic services.

What else? Discuss.

http://feeds.feedburner.com/QueenCityCruiseNewsTackyTouristClubs.gif (http://www.ttca.org/cruisenews/)

jonra01
09-20-2005, 09:00 PM
This looks like a very helpful post. I'll have to look into some of these resources. It's of special interest to me because of something that just happened within the last half-hour.

After I wrote that comment about prayers in the Rita thread I decided to add it to my blog. I rewrote it a little and posted it at 3:30. As usual, the blog software I use pinged technorati.com. An hour later I received an email telling me that someone had left a comment on that post.

It turned out to be a comment by an editor for a Texas newspaper. He posted the entire contents of his latest post about Rita on his own blog. It was a good post and entirely relevant, so I didn't mind at all. I went to his blog to see if he had given me a mention and when I saw he hadn't I posted my Rita comments in the comments for his post. I figured that turnabout was fair play. We both acquired another external link for our blogs and added content to each others blog. Not a bad exchange. All because of technorati.

I doubt I'll need to worry about pings eating bandwidth for quite a while, but that animated headliner is very interesting. I could put that on my other sites to promote my blog. I never thought about using rss to link to my blog on my own sites.

robinev
09-20-2005, 09:09 PM
Another feature they have is a more customizable javascript that allows parts or all of a blog's posts to be added to another page.

Although I have to format it better than it is now, I'm using it at the bottom of my site's homepage (http://www.ttca.org/) to encourage a few more folks who scroll down that far to look at the blog entries.

jonra01
09-21-2005, 01:46 AM
I've obviously added the animated headliner to my sig. Now I'm going to add it to my gaming/coloring book site and my css site. I think this will be much more effective than a simple link to the blog.

RockyB
09-25-2005, 09:30 PM
Pingalot seems to be down lately. Luckily however http://www.pingoat.com is around now ;)

Pretty good site actually, certianly more services to ping.

robinev
09-26-2005, 05:25 PM
Thanks for that, Rocky. I hadn't seen pingoat.com before. Very helpful.

On this or any other similar service, I try to be careful to send pings only to sites that are likely to care.

Many of them don't care because they're specialized services available only to blogs that meet some specified criteria. Sometimes, the criteria is as simple as registering, but at other times, the site is looking only for blogs that address a specific topic.

That means that it's worth doing a bit of research before filling out the ping form.

Just one example: Feedburner is of value only to those who have their RSS/Atom feeds hosted through that service. Otherwise, they'd ignore the ping and might even begin to ignore all pings coming from a service like this if it were sending too many useless pings.