Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Dead Links & Feedburner RSS & Borders Books

Ok, as you can see, or investigate from my last post, I managed to make a few errors. One, I found a picture of the book Trumpnation on Amazon. I right-clicked, and copied the URL into my Blogger post. I didn't do "preview". I hit "post" and voila, a blank box. The place where the image should have been was blank. Did not have the mojo to figure out how to fix it. Also, one of my links was dead. It was a www spelled out link to the site itself, so I don't know why. Anyway, I did not take the time to figure that out yet. I'm suspecting that hitting the "edit posts" function will help me with that, but that's for another day.

What I did sleuth down in the meantime? Well, if you recall, I tried to get listed in www.blawg.org. They asked me for a "feed url". I typed in the address to this blog and hoped for the best. Since my blog has been up for ages (several days) and I have no hits, no visitors, no comments and not even any spam, I figured that I did something wrong.

My suspicions were correct. There is something called RSS. This stands for really simple syndication. I couldn't figure out what this meant from searching the web, so I bought another book by Biz Stone called Blogging at Borders bookstore on Lower Broadway. They had the Stone Blogging book and another title called something like Blogging for Teens.

The Biz Stone chapter on RSS was completely unhelpful, since it discussed Blogger Pro, a service that no longer exists. There are two ways of making this work for you, each of which I somehow figured out. First, you can install an RSS reader on your own computer. I chose WINRSS. You download it, then it installs an icon on your computer. You then subscribe to various blogs by going to the blogs and clicking on what's usually a colorful little icon.

The other way to use RSS is to "syndicate" your blog. I had my "aha" moment (all this time I have been waiting for something NOT to be free). When going through Blogger, trying to figure out RSS, it will refer you to FeedBurner Feedburner will make up to three blogs attractive to blog search engines (in some way I haven't figured out). I subscribed my two blogs and received feed URLS in return. It will also help to publicize your blog. Let's see if any readers pour in! The cost is $4.99 per month, after a 15 day free trial.

I will try resubmitting my blogs to www.blawg.org and see what happens. They named it Really Simple Syndication just to baffle people like me.

PS While I was trying to figure feedburner out, I sent an email that a real human being responded to intelligently within 5 minutes. WOW!

PPS I also figured out how to put a very cool button on my blogs so that people can subscribe. I will explain and talk about pinging.

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