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Lee Odden

FeedBlitz Ups Its Game and Creates a FeedBurner Alternative

Lee Odden on Apr 2nd, 2009     Blogging

FeedBlitz LogoFor years, the only way to get a good understanding of how many people are reading and interacting with your blog feed was to run your feed though FeedBurner.  Now, FeedBlitz has a service to compete.

FeedBlitz RSS claims to offer better branding, more social media integration by integrating Twitter and other social networks, a mobile optimized version of your feed, better SEO, filtering, and additional feed stats.  I was hoping for some screenshots on FeedBlitz’s site, but they don’t currently offer any.

FeedBlitz PricingUnlike FeedBurner that is free, FeedBlitz RSS is paid.  The price minimum is $1.49 per month and goes up from there based on the number unique active email subscribers in your account.  This is where it gets a little confusing.

Lee Odden

Add a Footer to Your Feed with Better Feed

Lee Odden on Jan 28th, 2009     Blogging

Better Feed LogoBetter Feed is a WordPress plugin that allows the blog owner to add a custom footer to the end of each post in their feed.  This a great way to customize what your readers see when they only read your feed, and don’t click through to your site.

Here are a few things you can do with Better Feed:

  • Add a copyright line.
  • Add text and links back to your site or blog.
  • Add announcements.
  • Add an advertisement, promotion or other call to action (CTA).
  • Add in tags, categories, comments, author and other post specific items.
  • Design it as you want.
  • Do pretty much anything.
Lee Odden

Have you validated your feed lately?

Lee Odden on Sep 7th, 2007     Blogging

When is the last time you stopped to think about the health of your feed? Maybe it’s time to head over to the Feed Validator and ensure it’s in peek performance.

While checking a sites feed the other day I ran across a validation error. It seems that Firefox’s built in feed reader couldn’t render the feed. Google Reader got around the issue, but I wasn’t sure about other readers. One way or another, the feed was in need of a fix.

Feed Error

A quick run though the Feed Validator and it spit out the problem; a blank line before the XML declaration.

Feed Error Fix

The nice thing about the Feed Validator tool is that it gives you helpful hits on what to look into. It said:

Lee Odden

Feed Overload – How To Catch Up?

Lee Odden on Apr 10th, 2007     Blogging

Feed OverloadWell I was out all last week on vacation. It was very nice and I didn’t use a computer once; except for a slot machine. But now I’m back and my feed reader is overloaded with hundreds of unread posts. How does one catch up?

My thoughts are this:

  1. Spend a couple hours reading though them.
  2. Spend an hour quickly scanning them and not really reading anything.
  3. Mark all as read and just start fresh.
  4. Spend the next week or two catching up on a few feeds at a time.
  5. Multi Task by reading feeds and watching American Idol at the same time. (ha ha)

Now I love the information in each feed, but when someone misses a few days, the unread count can be overwhelming. So much that I avoided them all together yesterday.

Lee Odden

Enable Subscribe to Comments to Keep Visitors.

Lee Odden on Nov 20th, 2006     Blogging

Feed EmailI just got done posting a comment on David Naylor’s blog and I’d like to stay involved with the conversation, however there is no ability to say connected via email or feed. This then disconnects the commenter’s from the discussion unless they remember to come back.

A quick fix would be to enable comment notifications. WordPress has a great plugin called Subscribe to Comments which will allow all readers to subscribe to any post. If you subscribe to a post’s comments, you’ll get notified via email when a new response has been added. This is great if you asked a question or made a comment that someone else responds to. It also brings the visitor back to your blog to where they might participate in more discussions.

Lee Odden

Firefox 2 Brings Nicer Feed Integration

Lee Odden on Oct 25th, 2006     Blogging

With the launch of Firefox 2 yesterday, one of the nice improvements came with how the browser interacts with feeds. Instead of the default source code view that Firefox 1 showed, Firefox 2 how gives users a nicer layout and the ability to add the feed to their favorite feed reader.

Firefox's Feed Display

No longer is a raw feed seen as ‘scary’ by the average user and, with feed reader integration, it might help more people get into reading feeds without really knowing it. I think Firefox 2 will help people figure out feeds & feed readers on their own rather than try and understand how they work first.

Apple’s Safari has been doing this for over a year now and I think that IE7 also handles feeds better. This is just one step in helping the general public understand feeds & feed readers.

Lee Odden

Feedblitz Gets a Makeover

Lee Odden on Oct 19th, 2006     Blogging

Feedblitz, one of the most popular feed to email services got quite a make over today as Feedblitz 2 launched.

Feedblitz 2

Along with the new look and feel comes a wealth of new features including an upgraded API, monetization, publishing, tags, stats, subscribe to comments, diagnostics, speed and more.

I haven’t had much time to play with the new Feedblitz, but it’s looking quite nice. If you’ve dug around, share your thoughts on the upgraded service.

[tags]feedblitz, email, feed, rss[/tags]

Lee Odden

7 Usability WordPress Plugins

Lee Odden on Aug 17th, 2006     Blogging

Blogs sure are great, and owners are doing everything they can to optimize them for search engines, but what about people? There are a few usability plugins that make it easier for visitors to interact with your site.

Optimal Title / SEO Title : Good title tags are not just for search engines. They also appear in the users history and possibly bookmarks. Title tags should be specific -> generic. So, don’t start all your tittle tags with your blog name please.

Subscribe to Comments : Getting comments is one trick, keeping the people up to date on the comment discussion is important. I can’t think of how many times I’ve posted and then I couldn’t remember where I made my comments. Email notifications is a great way to get updates on comments and keep your visitors connected.

TopRank Online Marketing

10 Creative Traffic Building Ideas

TopRank Online Marketing on Mar 21st, 2006     Blog Marketing, Blogging, Link Building, Online Marketing, RSS, SEO, Social Bookmarking

Traffic, everyone wants it and is trying really hard to get more people to their site. Good news, there are creative ways to bring people in without doing a lot of work.

1) Social Bookmarking. It’s been around long enough that some people know all about it and have a tendency to just search del.icio.us or Furl for what they want. Social sites are basically like a user defined search engine. Are you listed? Make sure to bookmark yourself every now and then and add social bookmark links to your blog posts and/or web pages so others can bookmark you too.

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