RAQ – Related Posts

In the comments about my post on Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, Peggy Hoffman asks:

Question (and yes great book) can you share with us how-tos on the related post widget you are using here that produces automatically generated material.

It’s really easy. In your WordPress dashboard (and I’m glad I’ve waited until WordPress 2.7 was released before I did my overview of the dashboard for Blogging 111; that’s coming soon), you click on the Appearance link on the left side:


And then choose Extras:


At which point you will see a set of options like this:


All you need to do is make sure the last option, “Hide related links on this blog, which means this blog won’t show up on other blogs or get traffic that way” is unchecked.

So, on WordPress.com, having the automatically related links is the default option, I believe. You can decide you don’t want to have it, but as Peggy points out, it can be really helpful to your readers.

They are automatically generated, so they aren’t guaranteed to be related, but on balance I think this is a good option. I’m sure some SMUGgles found their way to our University originally because of a possibly related link on someone else’s WordPress.com blog.

If that’s your story, I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Please let us know if the automatically related links helped you discover SMUG. That will help our fellow SMUGgles see the value of this feature as well.

While I was doing this post I saw another feature that has no useful point, but I’m turning it on just for effect. Let me know what you think of the falling snow. Only available on WordPress.com, and only until 1/4/09.

RAQ – Posting Friendfeed to Facebook News Feed

Here’s another Recently Asked Question:


As Ashok asked, here is how you can use the Friendfeed application to import updates from Twitter, your blog, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr and dozens of other services into your Facebook profile.

First, you need to sign up for FriendFeed.

Then, pull in feeds from you various social networking services. Here’s a snapshot of mine:


Then, install the Friendfeed application on your Facebook profile.

After that, it’s pretty straightforward to have your updates that are fed into Friendfeed also be posted to Facebook.

I like Friendfeed in that it has the ability to aggregate information from various social sites. I’m sure I don’t get nearly as much out of it as I could, but even so, it’s been useful.

If other SMUGgles have stories or examples of how you’re using Friendfeed effectively, I hope you’ll share them in the comments below.

RAQ: How Do You Generate Related Links?

Steve ask this question about a recent post:

How did you generate the “Possible related posts”?

It’s really simple. Automatic even.

In your WordPress.com dashboard, choose “Design” and then “Extras”

Then you will see two boxes you can check, or not:

By making sure you have the second box unchecked, you automatically generate possibly related links. And your posts are eligible to be included in the possibly related links in other WordPress.com blogs.

It’s that easy.

RAQ: Adding a Twitter Badge on WordPress.com

This wasn’t so much a question as it was an expression of dismay from a Twitterbud I met at the Ragan/SAS conference last week. Dave tweeted thusly:

The only significant disadvantage of hosting a blog on WordPress.com is that javascript-based widgets that you can easily insert in Blogger or Typepad don’t work. The Automattic guys only allow HTML, not java, in widgets because they don’t want to take the risk of malicious code being used to hack their 4.4 million-blog fortress.

So when Dave lamented this feature, I Tweeted back that he could work around it as I had in my sidebar widget.

Then I took a look at my sidebar and realized that I had just a plain old text link that said:

Follow Lee Aase on Twitter

And I resolved to fix it so Dave and other SMUGgles could do likewise, and have something more like this, that people can click and go to my Twitter profile:

Follow Lee Aase on Twitter

So how do you do it?

Go to your WordPress.com blog’s dashboard. Choose “Design” and then “Widgets”

Then, from the column of available widgets on the left, click “Add” next to the Text widget:

When the widget is added to the bottom of the right-hand column, click the Edit link:

And then paste the following text into the body of the widget (substituting your name and your Twitter profile URL for mine, of course):

<a href=”http://twitter.com/LeeAase“><img src=”http://assets1.twitter.com/images/twitter_logo_s.png” alt=”Follow Lee Aase on Twitter” /></a>

Then click the “Change” button

And “Save Changes”…

And when you go to the front page of your blog, you should see the sidebar look something like this (I combined Technorati and Twitter into one widget):

Updated 12/22/08: In response to a comment below, go here to see how you can have your latest Tweets show up in your sidebar.

RAQ – Photos from a Flip Camera?

I’ve gotten something of a reputation as a Flip video camera booster (you might even say it’s the official video blogging camera of SMUG), and today a friend copied me on an e-mail about an offer for a free Flip that included a question for me and led to some others. In keeping with our Recently Asked Questions feature, I’m sharing both the link to the free Flip offer and the subsequent dialogue.

Continue reading “RAQ – Photos from a Flip Camera?”