That’s right, the Pope tweets. Although Vatican staff have tried to take advantage of social media in the past, only recently have the tweets been addressed directly from the Pope. In what I consider a brilliant move, he has directly answered individually tweeters who have posted questions marked with #askpontifex. If you’re one of those people who spends a lot of their day online and on social media you can probably understand why this is a good idea. There has never been a clearer example of why even the most revered clergyman in the world can take advantage of what bloggers, marketers and social media experts around the world have learned in the last few years.
Don’t worry, nobody is saying that thousands of years of organized religion should be distilled into 140 characters. But when you’re only one man in Rome with millions upon millions of followers, it’s likely that a few of them are falling between the cracks and so simplifying things may not be a bad idea. Any social media campaign first involves connecting people to your network and only then giving them more information about your organization, product or idea.
Benedict XVI’s (or his social media manager’s) decision to respond to specific individuals is also something that those of us using social media can remember. Whether you’re trying to teach someone about godliness or your new blog about shuffleboard, giving out information isn’t enough. Instead, react to your followers. Hear what they’re saying and make sure they feel they’re being listened to. People are much more likely to take in what you have to say if they feel that it’s relevant to them. And even if it isn’t particularly, human nature makes us generally more likely to give attention in places where we’ve gotten attention in the past.
So while I’m sure that the Pope has a lot of great lessons about morality and prayer and whatnot on his Twitter feed, there are also a couple of good lessons about using social media. Can’t hurt to learn those lessons too.
I know, I know- it’s just what you were missing: Apps to let you blog from your smartphone. But with content being updated so fast all over the web, it’s important to keep moving if you want to keep your readers’ interest. Especially if you have a blog that includes media other than text, there’s no reason you should be limited to blogging when you’re sitting at a desk. So here are some of the top apps to help you keep your blog up-to-date while you’re on-the-go.
1.Wordpress- Although it didn’t start out very helpful, most bloggers now find this usable. The UI makes posting pictures and videos quickly very easy and doesn’t ignore the smaller screen.
2.Blogger- With a simple easy-to-use interface, this app allows you to do most of the same actions as you could on the computer, minus most of the actual text formatting.
3.Blogsy-This app gives you almost all of the editing tools you might need and then integrates with Blogger and WordPress.
4.Analytics Pro- Allows you to easily access and use Google Analytics from an iPhone with a well-designed user interface.
5.Avid Studio- A good interface for movie editing, helping if you’re a video-blogger on the go.
6.Tumblr- One of the best blogging software for microblogging and photoblogs, but now on a smartphone or tablet.
Of course, whether these are the best apps for you depend on which blogging platform you’re already using. Although these are the most popular, most blogging platforms will have their own apps even if they don’t provide all the functionality of the desktop version. But as we’ve shown here, don’t just settle for the mobile version of the platform you’re already using. There are plenty of great apps out there that work alongside your blogging platform so you can really give your readers something special!
If you’re reading this article, I suspect that you’re seriously considering using Drupal as the open source content management system for your new website, or, at the very least, you haven’t ruled it out yet. My goal with this post isn’t to make the decision for you, but to explain what Drupal is so that you can make an independent, informed decision. I hope you find the information useful.
Even a cursory glance at Drupal’s content management platform, and you’ll see that it is slightly more complex than other systems such as WordPress. But don’t let that deter you. For one thing, Drupal offers extremely comprehensive tutorials, support forums and cutely named Drupal Cookbook (for beginners). Although such useful support isn’t unique to Drupal, it is comforting to know that it’s there if you need extra assistance.
One thing that makes Drupal more complex than its competitors is that you’ll need to download multiple files in order to begin, as compared with WordPress which is compressed into one file. The good news is that by the time you complete the installation process, you’ll probably have a taste for how Drupal functional, so you should have a bit of an easier time moving forward. And I’ve got more good news – Drupal has impressive e-commerce capabilities, which sets it apart from its competitors and makes it a great option for anyone looking to sell products on their website.
Here’s a video clip that explains a bit more about what Drupal is:
Still, despite what Drupal lovers will have you believe, there are some additional disadvantages worth pointing out. For starters, Drupal uses a database to store all of its data, which can be confusing for users without database experience or those not familiar with this system (as most new users aren’t). Some users also complain that upgrading to a new version of Drupal can cause bugs and templates to break which is time consuming and difficult to fix. That being said, I’ve had similar experiences with WordPress, and I’m sure many other content management systems have similar quirks. Sadly, there are few (if any) programs that work without any technical glitches.
In the final analysis, Drupal can be a worthwhile option for you if you’ve excluded other CMS options and are willing to undertake a steep learning curve. The results are likely to be worthwhile after an initial time investment.
If you’ve seen the Joomla add-on on the side of your web hosting control but aren’t quite sure what it is, you’ve come to the right place. Joomla is an award-winning content management system (CMS) that enables users to manage content, photos, videos and any other type of web content imaginable. Joomla may sound a bit less serious than WordPress but the word is actually derived from the Swahili ‘Jumla’, meaning ‘all together’. A quick look into Joomla’s offerings, and you’ll see that this phrase truly encompasses exactly what Joomla is.
The advantages of Joomla may not be obvious to new users, but they are worth reviewing.
- Joomla is free and works well with shared web hosting packages, and this combination makes it possible to build powerhouse websites with an extremely reasonable operating budget.
- Joomla is ideal for businesses, non-profits and multi-media sites. This content management system is especially suited to sites hosting forums, newsrooms and other user-generated content.
- With over 6,000 extensions to choose from, Joomla makes it possible for websites to perform nearly any web-based action.
- Joomla is an open design platform that can be used by any design company, so if you use Joomla you won’t be obligated to stay with your web designer if the relationship sours or your budget changes over time.
- URLs created using Joomla don’t have any query strings, which makes them SEO friendly.
- Once installed, Joomla is relatively easy to maintain.
- It is easy to modify Joomla’s core system to reflect your specific needs and preferences.
On the other hand, the disadvantages of Joomla are often touted by nay-sayers are reasons to choose an alternate CMS. If you’re considering Joomla, you should be aware of the disadvantages so that you can make an informed decision on your own.
- Joomla is slightly more difficult to install and setup than other content management systems (such as WordPress), and may require professional assistance.
- Users looking for a straightforward blog site may still prefer the simplicity of WordPress over the more complex offerings of Joomla.
- Many users complain that Joomla has difficulty accommodating sites that receive more than 50,000 users per day.
- Users often complain that Joomla sites run more slowly than sites built with other content management systems.
Although it may be impossible to find a CMS that is entirely perfect, Joomla seems to come pretty close. If you’re starting a blog, you may still be better off with WordPress, but if you have your sites set on popular site or a multimedia presentation, Joomla may very well be a good option for you. Just make sure that you’re familiar enough with the technical aspects of building a website so that you’ll be able to maximize the building process. If not, you may want to hire someone to help and to teach you how to proceed independently. With a bit of technical know-how, you should have no trouble maintaining a successful Joomla website.
If starting a new blog was one of your New Year’s resolutions for 2010, you’d better get a move on it because the year is nearly over. And if you’re planning to start a new blog in 2011, you’ll probably want to know your options before the ball drops. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Over the next few weeks we’ll be featuring different blogging CMSes (content management systems) to give you a glimpse of what each one offers and to help you determine which one is best for you. This week’s featured blog CMS will be WordPress, which has long been the most popular blogging software available. But if you’re a conscientious consumer, you wouldn’t want to choose WordPress just because everybody else is doing it. Instead, you’d want to know what it is that makes WordPress so great. So without further ado, here are my favorite 8 reasons why WordPress is so fantastic (and I’m not just saying that because we use WordPress to power this blog).
- It’s easy enough for newbie bloggers. Believe me when I tell you that setting up a simple WordPress blog is easy. It may not be as snazzy as a professionally-designed WordPress blog, but it’ll still be nice and functional. Many (but not all) customizations are easy to do, and most plugins are easy to configure (more on that later).
- It’s great for professional web developers, designers and techies. There are some seriously high-profile blogs that are powered by WordPress. TechCrunch and gigaom are just two examples. Believe me when I tell you that hundreds (or thousands) of big businesses aren’t using WordPress just because it’s free. There are endless ways to personalize or configure a WordPress blog if you have technical know-how.
- Search engines love WordPress. Although there’s no documented reason why this is, there’s no question that Google (and other search engines) seem to take notice of WordPress blogs over other blogs and sites. Perhaps it’s the intuitive navigation, the easy-to-create page tags or the general popularity of the CMS. But whatever the reason, if you want your site to get noticed, building it with WordPress might help.
- The spam-filter rocks. WordPress uses the widely recognized Akismet spam filter to keep junk posts as far away from your blog as possible.
- You can privatize your blog. If you blog for business, you’ll probably want as many people as possible to access your blog. But if you’re starting a family blog you may not want strangers stumbling upon your posts. WordPress makes it possible to privatize your blog so that you can make sure it reaches your target audience – and nobody else.
- Entries are autosaved. This may sound obvious, but other CMSes like Joomla require a download in order to have them autosaved. WordPress just saves automatically so that your entries are never lost.
- Thousands of plugins are available. Need your blog to do something that isn’t automatic? Chances are great that you can find a free plugin that can help you customize your blog. From SEO plugins and social media plugins to graphic design plugins and advertising plugins, someone’s probably already created the plugin for you.
- Free backups. WordPress keeps an automatic backup of your blog so that you don’t have to (though you may choose to do so anyway).
It’s fairly common knowledge that Google’s search bots love WordPress blogs. Whether or not you actually implement any SEO (search engine optimization)strategies for your blog, using a WordPress blog will most likely get you more natural traffic than the other platforms such as Blogger and Typepad. If you do use WordPress, there are lots of great plugins that can help optimize your pages and give your SEO standing a boost. In this post I list 2 specific SEO plugins, although I hope to follow up regularly with other valuable plugins in the future.
All in One SEO Pack – This super popular plugin is streamlined for some of the best SEO practices on WordPress. It helps you optimize your titles, descriptions and keywords, as well as avoid duplicate content issues.
SEO Tag Cloud Widget – If you have a tag cloud, which for SEO purposes I suggest you do, this plugin will display the tag cloud in a SEO-friendly way, using html markup.
Getting your blog ranked on the search engines can be a long process, but small changes like these can help you get “Google Love” faster.