#Hashtags – Tint vs Tagboard vs Twubs vs Postano vs Rebel Mouse

#Hashtag #Aggregators.

I call myself an “IT” guy…an “SEO” guy, yet somehow I almost completely missed this..

#Hashtags digitally connect us. When you include a #hashtag in a Twitter post, facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and a few others, the #hashtag serves as a subject matter identifier.  Searches can be made using #hashtags to give you results from others who have also used that particular #hashtag in their posts.

Red PaintAs an example, when you do a google search for “red paint”, you get Behr, Sherman-Williams, Home Depot and others that sell red paint.

If you do a #hashtag search on Twitter, instagram, facebook, etc., the results you receive are from the social media accounts of people who have used that particular #hashtag in their post, comment, whatever. So open up your Twitter account, go to “Discover” and search some #hashtags like; #tomhanks, #frozenmargaritas, #rosebowl, and see what happens.

What each of these #hashtag aggregators do is search for a specific #hashtag from several social media services and then feed the posts, comments, pictures and videos onto a webpage dynamically for you to see, often in real time.  

So I was hired to produce the live social media feed at the BCS tailgate party at the Rose Bowl on January 6th, 2014.  Since I was barely familiar with how cool #hashtags are, I launched my own research campaign on five different companies that aggregate and curate #hashtags.

Postano

I had heard about Postano, but didn’t realize there were so many others.  My first criteria was the ability to monitor the posts that come in, because we can’t have “Debbie does Dallas” on the screens.  Second was presentation. The look of the feed itself has to be classy, cool and engaging. Postano calls the presentation of their feeds “visualizations”.

Third, but extremely important was price.  Our approach was that this would be a onetime thing, it’s an amenity, meaning we’re not getting any money for it, so it has to be affordable.

Postano Visualization

Multiple visualizations for multiple screens

I talked to Postano first. I spoke to Cooper who walked me through a powerpoint presentation.  Great guy, great product, the “visualizations” as they call them, are great looking and they have the ability to create multiple visualizations for multiple screens at your event.  

However, I don’t need multiple visualizations and they were a bit more expensive then our budget allowed, plus they want you to buy into a year contract and that’s just not for us.

Twubs

Twubs is a totally free service that gives you the power to moderate. It also pulls #hashtags from the entire internet and posts them on a wall they create for you when you register a #hashtag. I love the totally Free and the control they give you, but I didn’t like the interface (see below).

twubs screenshot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next are Tagboard, Rebel Mouse and Tint.

 I put these three together because they all offer free options and the opportunity to upgrade for varying levels of functionality and control.

For each, the free option allows you to pull #hashtags from your own social media accounts and they are displayed on a dynamic webpage on their host under a subdomain that is created for you when you sign up.

I’m a WordPress fan and programmer. Rebel Mouse and Tint both have WordPress plugins, which is a major plus for me. They can be used in widgets, posts and pages.  So for my purposes, since I wasn’t exactly sure how I would be presenting the live social media feed, having the option to present on a WordPress blog took Tagboard off my list since there was no WordPress option.

The Two Finalists

Similarities exist between Tint and Rebel Mouse, however the clear winner for me was Tint. The presentation from Rebel Mouse is fine, however it’s very commercial and self-promoting. Besides that, it’s a little more expensive then Tint, and I’m always looking for a deal.

I knew immediately when viewing the wall that Tint produced, that it was perfect for what we were trying to accomplish. It fills up the entire screen real estate in a classy, engaging manner and there are no ads.

The Tint Interface

The Tint Interface

Additionally, Tint offers special promotions for bloggers. I’m not a whore. I won’t promote something or someone unless I believe in it.

Tint met all my criteria, period.

It really is a cool thing.

Cheers

  
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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is it VooDoo or Brain Surgery?

My Vote Is VooDoo

SEO - VooDooHere’s the deal…  SEO is the practice of increasing visibility and traffic to your website or domain. You increase traffic by creating original, high quality content and by putting a link to your website on other websites.

You put your link on other websites by creating countless profiles to said websites (blogs, forums, directories, etc.) and then being inundated by millions of emails for further promotions.  Which is an annoyance.  The choice is to pay someone like me to do it for you, or to spend 1-2 hours a day promoting yourself.

It’s not “brain surgery”, it’s just a commitment of time. And if you’re like me, you’re too cheap to pay someone like me to do something you can do yourself.

Domains:

My domain is flatheadenterprises.com. That string of letters is the human recognizable name of my website. Computers read that name differently. Computers read it as a url and an IP address.

The internet is like a Thomas Brothers map with over 630 million streets (as of December 2012). Your website resides on one of those streets. Your website has an address, just like your house does. It’s called a url.  The url of this website is http://www.flatheadenterprises.com. Your website address also has an IP address.

IP addresses are a set of 4 numbers. IP addresses route web traffic to the server that your website resides on, and often multiple websites reside on one server and/or resolve to one IP address. The subject of IP addresses can get really boring, and I’d like to keep you interested, so to illustrate, click on this IP address:

67.203.4.197

Staying with the house analogy, your house has a parcel number just like your website has an IP address.  It’s a number few can readily recite, but it exists and it’s the number that other computers use to locate your website.

That’s enough of that for now.

 So how do you “proliferate” your website?

The basic premise is this; the more traffic a website gets the more important the link is.  So having a link on facebook (the second most popular website in the world), is better than having a link on flatheadenterprises.com. Right?

Yeah, sort of.

There are two kinds of links; DoFollow and NoFollow.

SEO CurrencyIn the world of SEO currency, DoFollow links are Benjamin Franklins, and NoFollow are scratched up pennies you find in the street.

How do you know the difference?

Some sites will tell you that any links added will not be followed, or NoFollow, but most the time you don’t know until your link is added. But let’s not worry about that just yet.

The focus here is to add your website link to as many good sites as possible. What are good sites?

Popular websites, websites that get a lot of traffic, or websites that have a lot of value. (To find out more see this)

Hopefully you’re starting to get the gist.

As a jumpstart, you want to add your link to these online directories and social media sites:

DMOZ

YAHOO LOCAL LISTINGS

BING

GOOGLE

YELP

FOURSQUARE

WHITEPAGES

SUPERPAGES

CITYSEARCH

MAPQUEST

MERCHANTCIRCLE

You also want a facebook fan or business page and accounts on Twitter and LinkedIn.

That’s a great starting point.

NOW WHAT?

You want to continue proliferating links to your website. Strategies abound, but here are a few:

Cheapos like me: Do It All Yourself

Hunt down every web directory you can find and add your website/company.

Find online forums and blogs and make comments. Why? because again, you set up profiles on countless websites, but in many of them you can add a signature to your profile that includes a link back to your website. You can also try to sneak adding a link to your website into the comment. Doesn’t always work, but worth a try.

Build profiles on Bookmarking sites like Delicious, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, Digg, etc. and interact. (pretty good list here)

 BUILD A SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOWING

Facebook ‘Likes’, Twitter ‘Follows’ and LinkedIn ‘Connections’. The more of those you have the better. And better still is interacting and building relationships with your likes/follows/connections. People are looking for authentic relationships, not marketing BS.

Facebook:

Build a “Welcome Page” that requires new visitors to “Like” the page before they can go to the main page. Create “Special Offers” that are only available on your fan or business page to attract new likes. For instance, “For A Chance To Win $1,000, Like Us On Facebook!!”

Search out prospective clients by aligning similar interests.

LinkedIn:

A LinkedIn profile allows you to add all kinds of information about your business and add links. Get involved with groups and build your connections by identifying prospective clients. Search through your connections “connections” and try to connect with them (really redundant right?, that’s just the LinkedIn lingo.)

Twitter:

Try to get as many “followers” as you can. Again, in your profile you can add a link to your website.

Sounds daunting right?

It can be, but there are also services that you can purchase that will automate some of this for you.

Yext

For a monthly fee Yext will add your information or profile to over a hundred directories, depending on the package you buy.

FollowerWonk

FollwerWonk is a service where you can filter your searches for Twitter followers. For instance, in the search parameters type in “Los Angeles Real Estate”. The results will be anyone in L.A. who has real estate in their profile. Then you follow any who look promising.

 HootSuite

You can manage all your social media accounts in one place! So instead of having to login in to each and every site (facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, etc), you can interact with all of them in one spot.

Finally!

In Closing, the idea is to spend a little time every day playing on the internet. Seriously. I haven’t touched on Website Optimization at all because that’s not for your average Joe (no offense Joe).

The stuff above are things anyone can do, and the more you do it, the more the search engines like it. The more the search engines like it, the more traffic your website gets.

Hope this was helpful.

 

  
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Send Gmail From A Different Email Address

How Many email addresses do you have?

Personal email, work email, facebook email…

If you’ve started your own business, or many businesses, then you most likely have an email for each venture.  It’s a pain to have so many, but if you want to look pro it’s a necessary evil.  You must be able to respond to potential clients or customers with an email address from the same domain as your business website.

You will have to set up each individual email account, but it doesn’t mean you have to check each account individually.  You can pull them all into one place.

When you set up a Gmail account you can send and receive emails from each of those accounts all through Gmail.

Below are the steps necessary to send email from a different email address in Gmail.

Obviously first you’ll need to create a Gmail account if you don’t have one already.  After that, make sure all your individual email addresses forward to your Gmail account.  There is an option to receive emails from different email addresses also.  I may add that at a later time, but for now let’s start with this:

1. Log Into Gmail, click on the gear icon in the upper right corner and select “Settings”

google-01

2. Click on the “Accounts and Import” tab

google-02

3. Click on “Add another email address you own”

Send Gmail with different email address

4. Type in the Name and Email Address, then click “Next”

Send Gmail with different email address

5. You have two choices here, but sending through Gmail is by far the easiest.  Select “Send through Gmail”, then click “Next Step”

Send Gmail with different email address

6. Gmail needs to send a verification email to the address you’re trying to use.  Click “Send Verification”, then login to that email address and there should be an email from Gmail with a verification link. Click on the link and it will be set up.

Send Gmail with different email address

7. Now, when you send an email through Gmail, you will be able to choose which email address to use.

Send Gmail with different email address

Let me know if this was helpful!

  
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WordPress iPhone Android App

Just downloaded this WordPress app for the iPhone, and it’s seriously cool.

(WordPress for Android, Blackberry and Nokia Also Available)

I had the ability work on my WordPress blogs through iPhone’s Safari browser before, but there was a lot of window resizing, and repositioning. Plus having to login every time was a drag.
With this app, you register each blog and it offers the essentials; posts, pages, comments and stats. But you also have an option to add code:
This is a link

You also have the ability to add photos and videos in an easy to use interface. Location mapping allows you to share your whereabouts as you compose your masterpiece blog post.

Wordpress for iPhone

So far, I’m really digging it! Originally the apps worked only with WordPress.com sites, but later versions include the ability to register self-hosted WordPress sites as well.

The WordPress App for the iPhone, very cool. Oh, and of course it’s FREE!

Below are all the WordPress Smart Phone Apps:

Here’s a link to the official site for the iPhone: IOS for WordPress

The Android App for WordPress is here: WordPress for Android

WordPress on your Blackberry: WordPress for Blackberry

Your Nokia Phone as well: WordPress for Nokia

Cheers

David Kelsen  - aka - reeljerc

  
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Fix Your Damaged CD’s – Recovery Toolbox

Is Your Favorite CD or DVD Scratched? Recovery Toolbox Can Help

This one surprised me. A very good friend had a CD with literally hundreds of photos from Sept. 11, 2001.

She is a Fire Captain herself, and was totally distressed because she couldn’t access the data. The CD itself was almost 10 years old, which brings me to the first point:

CD’S ARE NOT DESIGNED TO LAST 10 YEARS!

With regular play, a CD can wear out in less than five years, which doesn’t account for it getting scratched in car visors and glove boxes.

I figured it was history, but after searching a little and trying 3 or 4 products out, I came across this one which totally rocks.

Recovery Toolbox for CD FREE

Yes, FREE!

You know I love that, and it couldn’t be easier. Just download and install the program, put in your damaged CD and choose the drive to fix.

Recovery Toolbox for CD - FREE

If you have data that you feel is important, please copy it onto more than one disk and onto a folder on your hard drive or on a thumb drive.

You should have at least 3 copies of important information.

That’s all folks, download it here:

Recovery Toolbox for CD FREE

  
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