Tag Archives: Wordpress

Wagging your Long Tail with Just for You

What if you could ask each reader that came to your blog what they were interested in and show them a list of posts from your archives that matched those interests? I’ve been blogging for over five years and as posts roll off the front page they fade into the archives to be mostly forgotten,.

Today MyBlogLog published a WordPress plug-in that grew out of a concept that I’ve been playing around with for the past year. Forget contextual matching for relevance and targeting, what if you could match against someone’s stated interests? Blow past trying to parse out meaning from the other text floating around on the current page and reach through the glass and query against the tags that people attach to their MyBlogLog profile. Target the Reader, not the Page. It’s a vision of programming that says, “OK, now that you’re here on this site, did you know there was a series of articles this author wrote about your passion for Harley Davidson motorcycles last year?”

Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWriteWeb writes,

There are countless companies that have raised millions in venture capital to offer publishers recommendation systems for their readers – commercial publishers pay big money for this functionality. Now bloggers can have the same type of thing for free

The Just for You plug-in works with hosted WordPress and, once installed, looks at each visitor to your site to see if they are a MyBlogLog user. If they are, the plug-in looks up the tags on that user’s profile and searches through your blog’s archives and presents a list of headlines pointing to posts that match those tags in a widget that runs in your blog’s sidebar. For more details and sample screenshots, see my post on the MyBlogLog Blog.

If you look to the right, the Just for You widget is right there, five headlines fresh from my Archives for your reading pleasure. If you’re a MyBlogLog user, let me know in the comments if they match the tags on your profile. If you’re not a MyBlogLog member, what you see is a collection of headlines based on the the tags of the most recent MyBlogLog visitors to the site so hopefully there’s some connection to why you’re there as well. Either way, I’m interested in your thoughts.

Doh! Comments Deleted

Chalk this one up to user error.

You should never try and de-spam your blog after a night out on the town. I was a bit frisky on the controls and the AJAX-y WordPress UI flipped from showing comments awaiting moderation to comments approved before I could stop myself from clicking, Delete All. I think I lost about 14 comments

I tried to get a back up but it’s turning to be more of a pain than it’s worth and I need to move on. To those that got wiped – Sorry!

A picture is worth a thousand words – Yahoo! Shortcuts for WordPress

Yahoo ShortcutsWhen I write a blog post I make heavy use of the tabs in my browser so that I can switch back and forth between the blog compose screen and other screens where I do my research. I usually have my trusty image editor running as well so I can crop an edit any images that I use in my posts.

For the past few weeks I’ve been playing around with a new WordPress plug-in (Yahoo Shortcuts) that will cut back on the copy-paste, rightclick-save, and other context switching by bringing content and references directly into the WordPress compose area. With this plug-in running, it scans your post for potential annotations that can turn a drab bit of hypertexed links into a gloriously illustrated work of art.

For example, if I wanted to do a story about my hotel in where I recently stayed, all I need to do is include the address (3000 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, NV 89109) and Shortcuts will look for suitable information such as the map you see on this post and add it complete with text wrapping. All it took was a single click. Not only will Shortcuts search across shopping for product information, it can also pull in stock charts for companies, and Creative Commons images from flickr. The embeded graphics are beautiful so the temptation is to go overboard and embed the Shortcut “badges” willy-nilly. An alternative is to chose the “link” option which is a great way to add context to your post while keeping your viewers on your site.

Some other examples where Shortcuts does the right thing. Hover over the link to view the contextual badge:

  • A chart for Dow Jones or (AAPL).
  • Shopping preview for the Nintendo Wii
  • A search preview for Barak Obama

Once you’re done with your post, click the Review this Post button and you get a preview window where you can choose which links you want to embed, which you want to just enable with a popup, and which ones you want to ignore. This is key. Other products that automatically provide contextual links are an all or nothing affair. It’s vital to retain editorial control so you can choose which words or phrases you want to recognize. Yahoo Shortcuts does this. To get a sense of the how the plug-in works, check out the screencast.

No more tabbing over to another window or fiddling around with HTML or CSS code, Yahoo Shortcuts just brings it all in so you can work with it right there and then, all on one page.

Yahoo! Shortcuts plug-in for WordPress