Making your Site Work Globally

The best way to make your site international is to have access to a translation application visible. I don’t do this myself because I keep a translator from Google in my Chrome web browser. A simple solution. People who only know one or few languages should be prepared to encounter other languages. It is then their choice to translate, run away or ignore them. Of course, it depends on how interesting and well put together the site looks, that first impression.

Trying to cater to multiculturalism, global protocols, and international readers is a good thing, in moderation. But, you can’t possibly include everyone.

Instead, identify your own location. Show where you are from and who you are. Some of your readers will be happy to find they have something in common with you (at least geographically) and others will be interested to know more about your culture, history, traditions and point of view.

The advice given with this post (link below) is mainly cosmetic. Design and colours can make your site have more international or global appeal but I don’t think keeping it neutral is really in your best interest. Boldness, drama and colour will do more for your site than becoming neutral or bland.

Source: Think Global: 3 Tips to make your websites Internationalized • Inspired Magazine

Letting Go of Domains

I’ve only done this once. I think about it for other domains I’m not using but, it’s hard to make the decision and actually not revew them. What if… I want another domain for some great idea I get? I could have sold my domain?

However, I don’t miss the domain I let go. I don’t even miss the one which was hijacked years ago. I’d like to let go of more domains and have less pressure on myself to do something with them all. But, so far, I’m still keeping them and trying to find purpose and function for them all. Silly me. (Really, it is silly).

Capture

That liberating feeling when you let a domain expire for that project you never quite got around to.

Source: That liberating feeling when you let a domain expi… : alexking.org

Why Have a Membership Site?

I’ve been thinking of ways to keep my domains active, other than using them as blogs. Keeping a blog is time consuming, every day. I’d like to have a few sites active as blogs (those I can sustain reasonably) and find some other use for the rest. A complimentary use would be smarter than spinning off in another direction.

So, membership sites came up as an idea. Not only could I find another way to use the domains/ sites but they could manage to pull in some money which would make the whole thing a little self sufficient.

However, what sort of membership content would work for me and what would people find useful? This is where I am in my planning. I did find a post which had me thinking…

I’m going to share two different ideas for members only content. The first, value content, appeals to your audience from a learning and business perspective, while the second, insider content, appeals to your audience from a more curious angle. Either approach can be effective. Ideally you find a way to use them both.

Value content is content that will help your readers make money or do something they’re really interested in. It’s especially useful and relevant to your readers.

Insider content gives your audience some insight into you and your work routine or life. Humans are naturally curious and interested in people we admire. Entire TV shows and magazines are dedicated to documenting celebrity life.

Source: 3 membership site ideas

I’m not sold on Members only content. Yes, it likely works for many people. But, it also makes more to keep track of and organize for the site owner. I’d need to schedule more content. Content in addition to my regular posts. Likely, longer posts which would take more time to write. Considering I want to work my way back to daily posting, this type of content is not sustainable for me.

Instead a membership could be for use of a discussion forum which the site owner moderates or live content/ chats. The live chat, podcasts and etc. could be kept available as archives (when the content is a month old, not so fresh that a membership has no real value) for your site readers. But, members get the time spent with you to ask questions, get feedback, etc.

There is also the ebook or newsletter. I’d consider an ebook, but keeping it fairly short. I’m not at all keen on the newsletter idea. I really don’t think anyone still reads those. I don’t.

Of these ideas the discussion forum seems the most sustainable for me. But, is it useful enough for people to want a membership?

Do Modern Photographers Need Ethics?

During this year’s World Press photo contest, about 20 percent of the entrants that reached the second-to-last round of judging were disqualified for significantly altering images in post processing and Giovanni Troilo was stripped of a first prize in the face of charges of misrepresentation and posing images (the photographer said he had “made a mistake,” but had not intended to deceive). In the vigorous debate that followed, some ridiculed the concept of “objective photojournalism” as philosophically tenuous in a postmodern world.

Source: Posing Questions of Photographic Ethics – The New York Times

Posing versus factual photography. Where is the line drawn between getting a good looking photo and showing the truth in images?

People take photos of everything these days. A photograph used to be something to illustrate the truth, the situation as it is but that changes as people get tempted to get a photo that sells, that makes the story look more interesting. Photographs can lie, or at least trick people into believing things which are not true.

LiveJournal Wants to Get Noticed Again

livejournal1Do you know LiveJournal? Do you remember the early years, before weblogs (blogs), when they were called online journals or diaries? LiveJournal started out then. It wasn’t the only one. Not much is left from the online journal days. Not many of the sites are still around, few of the networks lasted this long. Blogs became the new thing and online journals just didn’t endure as it became popular to splog rather than write something personal.

Ironic that the splogging has devolved and the personal touch is now considered marketable.

There are still WordPress plugins for LiveJournal crossposting and importing within WordPress. But, there are only three, not a lot of selection but they have all been updated in 2014. Not a lot of dust collecting on them so far.

I like LiveJournal. Not just because we have a history together, though I’ve been forgetting to check in very much. LiveJournal has staying power. LiveJournal has new features and wants to pick up and grow again. Instead of falling into the easy path of marketing to users of their site they want to get inventive, try something new, a different approach to making money while providing a web service people will actually come back to use.

Not many people online now will remember the days of sending virtual gifts. You can do that on LiveJournal, inside the community there. Sure you can easily send anyone an image file through email, but there is something nice about a gift you picked out, paid a bit for and then sent along. A gift with intentions rather than just a gift out of impulse. I think we are lacking that now that things are all so fast and easy online.

But, that is a small thing at LiveJournal. What I especially like this the LiveJournal bookmarketlet. It’s the LiveJournal version of WordPress PressThis. Just as you can use PressThis to post to your blog from your web browser and now add links, images and commentary – you can do the same with LiveJournal. Better than Blogger which has not been updated in too long. LiveJournal has all the features I look for in a bookmarklet for content curating. It is a really good option for posting content from other sites, as a content curator.

ljbookmarklet ljbookmarklet1

Make Widgets Cater to Bloggers

A widget should provide something I want. Why would I want to give these buttons from Bloglovin space on my blog? They serve no purpose for me. I can already use WordPress functions to get email sign ups and followers (and keep the information on my own database). Unless I have a huge following on Bloglovin, I don’t need to show those numbers.

This widget really only advertisers Bloglovin. That’s fine but… my space is worth something to me. I like Bloglovin but I don’t like them enough to give them free advertising on my site.

If you design a widget you want bloggers to add to their sites – think about it from their perspective. What can you offer them? Why would they want to post your widget? What can your widget do with will give value to the blog/ blogger over time? (Why should they keep your widget?)

bloglovin widgets

Source: Widgets – Bloglovin

A Better Display of Categories

I often get ideas from seeing things on other sites. This time I had two great ideas from How to Write it Better.

First, this idea for showcasing my categories. Instead of the standard flat intdex… why not promote them to the reader this way? On this site it’s posted as an image file and not linking to the categories. But, it could be done with HTML and links. Not difficult and yet very smart. I’m adding it to my to-do list!

howtowritebetter1

The other thing I like is the post for her email list. Fairly standard really but reading it sparked an idea for me. I content curate offsite, for Scoop.it mainly. But, I don’t really do much with that feed beyond adding a widget in my footer. Instead I could promote it as a source for fresh, daily information. I don’t want to get into newsletters and email lists again. Email seems to be a dead horse. However… why not push my curated feeds this way? I keep them active (if not daily, at least a few times a week). howtowritebetter2

Source: HowToWriteBetter.net | how to write better | Everything you need for great results, whatever you write

So today I found two great ideas from one blog I happened to read a post from today. Pretty nice.

Humans TXT: We Are People, Not Machines.

humanstxt

We are always saying that, but the only file we generate is one full of additional information for the searchbots: robots.txt. Then why not doing one for ourselves?

via – Humans TXT: We Are People, Not Machines..

I used the WordPress plugin to make adding the humans.txt file even simpler than it already is. With the plugin you just need to type in what you want and then save the information to WordPress.

You can use the code provided with the plugin to have your last published date, your list of plugins, your WordPress theme and assorted other things automatically updated. This was really nice because I know I won’t be thinking to update this file next time I manage the plugins I’m using. Some site automation is a great thing!

humanstxt

I added ASCII art (my artist stick figure) to the humans.txt file too. Being plain text it worked fine!

Free Keyword Help from Ubersuggest

Get keyword ideas with Übersuggest the free keyword suggestion tool that makes good use of different suggest services.

How it works?

Write a term in the box.

Choose a language and a source. Übersuggest can get suggestions either from regular Web search or from search verticals like Shopping, News or Video (more to come).

Übersuggest takes your base term, add a letter or a digit in front of it, and extracts suggestions for it.

Click on each word to get further suggestions based on that term.

Add each keyword to your basket clicking on the plus sign on its left.

Add all visible keywords to your basket clicking on the large grey button.

With this free keyword tool you can instantly get thousands of keyword ideas from real user queries! Use the keywords to get inspiration for your next blog post, or to optimize your PPC campaigns.

via Keyword suggestion tool — Google suggest scraper — Übersuggest.

I tried it for a few topics. It brings up a lot of suggestions and sorts them alphabetically. Many suggestions are similar, of course, that’s not a bad thing when it comes to deciding on keywords to use in tags, titles and so on. It also gave me some new ideas to write about in future posts.

Google Marketing and Dear Webmaster Letters

Have you had an email asking you to remove a link? There are various reasons someone might ask you to remove a link, some are practical and make sense. Often it’s about a copyrights issue. The new trend I’ve noticed is the request to remove a link for Google.

You get a Dear Webmaster letter, not so unlike a Dear John letter about a century ago during the World Wars. Don’t take offense, it’s just marketers trying to please (or scare) their clients. They don’t really know what they are doing.

A Dear Webmaster letter:removelinksforGoogleThis is the second email (this year) which I have had asking me to remove my link to a site. Not for the reason you would expect. It’s not about how I mentioned the link, or that I linked in a bad way at all. Actually, the link was just an additional resource when I had written about a relevant topic.

Long ago I was asked to remove a link to Starbucks. But, this was back in the very early days. Starbuck’s concern was about their privacy online. That was so long ago everything was still new and no one knew what to make of the Internet and the very earliest websites, networks and web logs. (Yes, bloggers was not even an accepted word yet).

This time, I was asked to remove a link because the company was concerned about Google’s algorithm.  They are not interested in being part of a post, relevant to their content. Their focus is Google, not readers.

To me it is ironic that Google made their latest changes in order to get online content to change from spam created to please Google into writing created to please readers. But, some people do not quite make that connection. Instead they are just trying to turn things around to be what will please Google.

Today I read something where they decided the biggest problem for brands now is to create content people will want to share on social media.

They still don’t get it either.

Google and social media are software, basically. Software does not have a lot of buying power all on it’s own. It needs people with credit cards, online banking or some other method of making payment for goods and services.

Why don’t businesses/ companies still understand they need to attract people – not software?

Each time I think they’ve got it… it just passes them by… like a ship in the night fog.

Anyway, I did remove the link, as requested. It was actually listed once on a blog I moved to a new domain (in one post but showed up on several links with indexing). If any of the people who did this research on what Google likes actually understood how links and blogs work, they would have known that. But, that would be a waste of time when they can do so much automatically with software and then send out a form letter, with more software.

If they had actually checked any of the links, manually, they would have found them all 404. Still on Google, but not actually on the web. I wonder what kind of automatic form letter they will send Google’s bot?

I’m sure there are some marketers who will just never, ever get it.

PS- I was irritated that they want me to respond when I have accommodated them so they can take me off their list rather than nagging at me again. Just in case you wondered… removing a link for this reason (for Google marketing) is not something you are obligated to do. The link is public knowledge and my post was almost ten years old (from 2005). So, if you don’t feel very accommodating when you get a note like this… just ignore it. I just think it’s silly because the first note I got (for a different site) was from a company which had paid me for the link. See how backwards it all is?

I will likely continue to remove links when requested. Why not? It takes me a half minute to edit the post and I don’t mind not giving another site the promotion if they don’t want it when it’s free. Maybe later they can pay me for another link.