EVERYONE LIKES TO THINK that they're smart or, at the very least, clever. Me, too. But, let's be honest. We all do stoopid things. I don't care how smart we are (or think that we are). No, I'm not going to write about my first wife and the incredible stupidity of marrying her (although that would be an excellent example). And, no one can really screw things up like a computer user.
In my previous posting in this blog - “Do you moderate comments to your blog postings? Should you? - I mentioned that I had decided to alter my weblog settings and require approval before comments would be published. I mentioned some very good reasons for this.
Interestingly, I continued this dialog on another blog hosted by Bruce Sullan
where he argued...
“...a good comment system will eliminate most of the ca-ca [sic].”
He was responding to my original motivation for moderating comments on my blog; to eliminate comments that had no purpose other than to pirate my visitors to other websites/weblogs. He did not persuade me. Some of these pirates are very clever. They can inject their links into seemingly innocuous comments that no automated filter would exclude.
What then did I do that was so utterly stupid? I became the typical computer user. I utterly failed to approve legitimate comments and even went so far as to accidentally delete a few during my first attempt at being a moderator. I took a simple, intuitive system and mucked it up. I annoyed the technical support team at my web hosting service with repeated complaints that their system wasn't working properly. (You may note that I repeated that complaint publicly in my comment on Bruce's blog.)
Thus, I am making a public apology to iPage and their staff. (Incidentally, they followed up the experience with a survey asking if I would recommend them and why. Isn't it a bit coincidental that I should receive that request immediately following this experience?) Yes, I would and do, frequently.
At the very least the experience was educational, as well as humbling...
BLOGGING CAN BE time consuming. I used to post to my blog every day. It was a chore, but I enjoyed it until I realized that it was detracting too much from my other writing. So, I gave up the practice. Sure, my weblog traffic suffered. It's now about half of what it used to be. However, visitors are spending more time exploring past postings and commenting more.
Unfortunately, some “visitors” appear to be taking advantage of “open commenting”. That is, their comments are added automatically without my approval. Some are non-responsive to the blog posting content. For example, in response to a posting about my battle with survivor's guilt, the following comment appeared:
It was also claimed he could project his thoughts from several meters away, or without using the cylinder
Some appeared to be nonsensical machine-generated combinations of words.
Then there are those that a blatant attempts to attract visitors to other websites. For example:
This is the first time i hear about CDPH. What does CDPH stand for? Anyway, i hope someday we can find out a kind of vaccine which can prevent virus HIV and a cure for AIDS.
Some related comments seem to be encoded conversations (between terrorists?).
My website notifies me by email every time anyone posts a comment to my weblog and I attempt to respond to each, if for no other reason than to thank the person for visiting my weblog and taking an interest in it. However, the nonsensical ones have left me baffled and I haven't responded to them.
Recently, I received a notice from SiteLock that a link in one of my web pages was connected to a site that was blacklisted by Google and, therefore, my web page containing that link was also blacklisted. I removed the link and was once again blessed by Google. This caused me to rethink my policy on leaving my weblog open to any and all comments. Thus, I changed my policy to “moderated”. From this time forward, comments must be “blessed” by me before they appear to prevent anyone from taking advantage of my weblog whether it be for their own advertising, as a platform for terrorist communications, or malicious mischief.
If you too have a weblog, you may want to consider the lesson of my experience.
I USE EMBEDDED LINKS in my website/weblog as little as possible. They're a lot of trouble to maintain. You either have to check them out occasionally to make sure that they're still valid or wait for emails from your visitors complaining that they are broken. I don't have time for the first method, and I don't like annoying my visitors using the second.
The idea for this posting came from a novice blogger who visited my website recently and asked me to take a look at his. His website, The Bear's Den
, is full of links. Keep in mind that he hasn't yet committed to a content formula. He may have removed the links by the time you read this and visit his website to see for yourself. However, he inspired me to think about whether or not embedding links in a personal website/weblog is a good idea or not.
Let me pause to make clear what I am talking about. A curator is a person who collects things. Not randomly, but with a purpose. For example, a curator at a museum may present a collection of artifacts associated with a specific era and/or place. Without a purpose, a collection is disorganized. It doesn't make sense. The individual items may be interesting but not viewed together. A well-curated collection tells a story that appeals to the likes, needs, or interests of a clearly defined audience.
Links that we embed in Tweets aren't collections. They're merely pointers to something that caught our fancy, that we want to share with our followers. We don't have to worry about maintaining them. Whereas links embedded in content in a website/weblog is virtually permanent, links embedded in Tweets are extremely transitory, some lasting mere minutes. I realize that some people scan Twitter almost constantly, using it primarily as a medium for conversation. I doubt if they scan Tweets as far back as even a few minutes. Personally, I scan Tweets just a few times a day and never look back at any older than an hour. A lot of Tweets can accumulate in just an hour when you are following a few thousand Tweeple.
There are many links as well as photos, videos, etc. embedded in Facebook and Google+ pages. Again, I don't consider this curating and the links don't need to be maintained. Like Twitter, its content is transitory. Friends and family may scan their boards as far back as the beginning of the current day. I doubt if they go further. Thus, we can assume that the links you find there are still valid.
Pinterest is designed to create collections of links. It allows you to organize your collections on boards
. Like your website/weblog, the content is virtually permanent and links may become broken when the content they connect to is either moved or deleted. As I wrote this posting, I was inspired to scan my boards of accumulated pins.
All of the links there still seemed valid. Actually, this surprised me. Even though I have only been pinning
links for a few months, I thought for sure that some of my links might have been broken.
Online newspapers have become very popular in recent months for curating web content. The content in most that I have seen is collected to satisfy the interests or needs of a narrowly defined audience, and is generally current. I suppose that someone might be motivated to search past issues. So far I haven't. Thus, online newspapers are collections that are curated for the benefit of a very transitory audience, and there isn't any need to maintain the links.
When I responded to the host of The Bear's Den
, I mentioned two online newspapers: The Indie Trumpet
, published by Venture Galleries, and The Pop Junkie
, published by a fellow author. They represent two extremes in the amount of content probably occurring because the former is the work product of multiple editors and the latter, I believe, is one man's work. I chose them as examples for the selfish reason that both frequently feature links to content that I publish on my weblog. Aside from that, The Indie Trumpet
has a clearly defined editorial policy (it curates content of interest especially to independent and aspiring authors). The Pop Junkie
reflects the interests of its editor. Both are valid.
I may begin publishing an online newspaper of my own some day, just as soon as I figure out how to squeeze more than twenty-four hours in each one. Until then, I have more than enough to keep me busy writing blog postings and flash fiction, curating collections of short stories into books, and writing my next novel. That, plus a couple hours spent each day sorting through the social media to promote my website/weblog and being an attentive husband, father, and grandfather, doesn't leave much time.
And, yes, I'm sure that you noticed that there are six embedded links in this posting. I'm also sure that I'll be paying a price for them.
I WISH THAT I knew. I don't have a clue as to what sells books. I can guess. You need a good product, a book that's well written and edited. You need a potential audience. The book's genre greatly determines that. You need effective marketing, some way of announcing your product to your audience. That should just about cover the bases. I believe that I have covered two of the three bases.
Click to see reviews on Amazon
My novel, Rebels on the Mountain, seems to fit the first requirement. Every review that I've received has been excellent. Thirteen reviewers have given it 5 Stars and only one has given it four. Interestingly, the person who gave it 4 Stars wrote one of the more glowing reviews. All have been thoughtful and full of praise.
Its genre, historical fiction, is moderately popular. Historical romance is vastly more popular. However, even though romance is a component of Rebels on the Mountain, it is more of an action and adventure story. There are some who would dispute that it is technically historical fiction because its milieu in the late 1950s doesn't qualify as history. I argue that the period is historical inasmuch as its theme, the rise of Castro in Cuba, is historically significant. It was, after all, the prelude to a conflict that almost triggered global nuclear war.
Thus, I am tempted to lay fault for the poor sales of Rebels on the Mountain at the feet of its marketing. How do I define poor? How about only two dozen copies in nine months?
So, what have I done to market Rebels on the Mountain? I have a website with a weblog. Of course, you already know that, don't you? That's where you're browsing right now. The purpose of this website is to promote myself as an author and help establish my credentials as a historian. Most of my blog postings deal with historical incidents. Its ultimate purpose is to promote sales of my books.
I use FaceBook and Twitter as well as Triberr, PinIt, and StumbleUpon to drive traffic to my website/weblog. You and about 30,000 others stop by every month. In retail terms, that's a lot of foot traffic. Granted, most visitors are only browsing or window shopping. They stop by for a few seconds and pass on.
However (and here is the interesting part) the most popular page on this website is the one that specifically promotes Rebels on the Mountain. Every other page is designed to direct traffic there. Visitors to the Rebels on the Mountain webpage linger for an average of three minutes. That would indicate that many are viewing the book's video trailer (3 minutes and 38 seconds) or at least reading the synopsis. Nearly half who visit this webpage move on to another to read the excerpt from the novel, another popular webpage. Unfortunately, neither the server logs nor Google Analytics tell me how many click on the links to booksellers that I have embedded on these webpages. Even more critical, I have no way of knowing how many have downloaded free samples of the book. There could be thousands of potential readers hoarding it. It would be nice to know.
What do you think? Does my experience prove that blogging doesn't sell books or simply that my blogging hasn't sold my book? Probably the latter. It would be nice if other authors commented below and shared their experiences.
WE COULD MAKE A CAREER out of reading all of the analytics available to help us analyze traffic at our websites/weblogs. I suspect that you, like I, have far better things to do with our time. Thus, I am going to show you the key indicators that I follow. There are probably more that I should be paying attention to, and I'm sure someone will comment below to tell me about them. So, let's just say that I'm getting the conversation started.
A fascinating though apparently useless map provided by Google Analytics showing countries where visits to my website/weblog originated. The intensity of the shading reflects the number of requests. Point to a country and it displays the number. (Click to enlarge)
I don't know about your website/weblog hosting service. I use iPage. This is not an advertisement for them but I could easily write one. They provide me with full access to the server log entries relating to my website/weblog (my weblog is embedded in my website). I can request an updated report at any time and the server will compile the latest entries for all requests for webpages as well as XML feed from my website. Thus, I can see up-to-the-minute rankings: Which pages are popular and which are not. I use this information to help me decide what topics I should be emphasizing and which I should probably avoid.
However, there are some things that server logs don't tell me. How long are visitors reading the pages that they request. What is the bounce rate (the number of visitors who leave my website/weblog after requesting a page). Google Analytics provides me with these types of information and more.
Remember, there are some analytics that only the server can provide, for example, the number of requests received for blog feeds. A feed is not a webpage. It is an XML data document providing all of your blog postings (or a selected portion of the most recent ones) arranged in a structured format. A feed reader on the users computer workstation displays the data in a readable format. Since the XML data document is not an HTML webpage and does not contain the code required to send analytical data to the Google data processing center, Google Analytics has no visibility of this activity.
Likewise, there are some analytics that only Google can report, for example, how long does a webpage remain on the users computer workstation screen (from which we can assume whether the user merely glanced at it or read it in detail). Once the website/weblog host server returns a webpage in response to a request, it loses track of it and cannot report this information.
Key indicators and their sources. Remember, these reflect server logs available from iPage. Your website/weblog host may offer different ones. (Click to enlarge)
There are two ways to look at your analytics: (1) How well is your website/weblog performing compared to others, and (2) how well is your website/weblog performing compared to itself. I have no idea of how well other websites/weblogs are performing compared to mine. I'm certain that those hosted by major corporations and government agencies attract infinitely more visitors than mine. Likewise, I'm certain that best selling authors fare a lot better. But, what about websites/weblogs maintained by other undiscovered authors? I used to worry over how well I was doing compared to them until I realized that it didn't matter. I became more interested in tracking the effect of my content, especially blog postings, on visitor metrics: Which pages were most popular, not only on the basis of the number of pageviews, but also, the length of time they spent reading them. Furthermore, I became concerned with the bounce rate, that is, how many visitors stuck around to read more than one page. I assume that they must like what they are reading if it inspires them to read more. This is the kind of information that helps me fine tune my content and, hopefully, become more successful.
What does success mean to me? Becoming discovered as an author and selling books. How well is that working out for me? Tune in next week.
Check with your web hosting service to learn what analytics they offer. The chart above is based on those offered by iPage and may not be the same for you. Also, keep in mind that Google Analytics provides extensive help and training in applying analytics to better manage your website/weblog. You may want to check these out.
GOOGLE ANALYTICS PROVIDES a different point of view of your website/weblog traffic to help you create a better experience for your visitors and, thus, obtain a better return on your investment of time and money. It is not a mere replica of the same information that you get from your webserver logs. Those record activity at the computer that hosts your website/weblog. Google Analytics records activity as it occurs at the client workstations used by the people who visit your website/weblog.
Google Analytics report of Visitors Flow showing the pages where visitors from various nations enter the website & progress to other pages (click to enlarge)
Did you catch that difference? It's important. Server logs record activity on your website at the computer that hosts your website. Every request for one of your webpages, received at the hosting computer, is recorded. Google Analytics collects information sent by a computer workstation when it receives one of your webpages and renders it on the screen in the user's web browser.
There's another important difference. Web servers log every request as they are received. Google Analytics records only a sample of the information sent by client computers when they receive your webpages. I know. This one confused me at first, too. I wondered why the total number of visits reported by Google Analytics was only about ten percent of those reported on my server logs. I began to suspect that my hosting service was reporting inflated numbers. They weren't.
I suppose that the information that I've provided thus far begs a question: Do you need both? Well, yes. The server logs provide the raw data that you need to examine your website/weblog traffic in detail. Google Analytics provide you with information that the server couldn't possibly know. For example, how long did your webpage remain displayed on your visitor's screen. In other words, did they read it thoroughly or simply glance at it and move on to someone else's webpage. The server couldn't possibly provide this information. Once a webpage is returned in response to a user's request, the server loses track of it. Only the client computer can tell you and, since Google Analytics gets its information from the client computer, it provides this information.
There's more than one level of service with Google Analytics: The kind you pay for and the kind that's free. I like free. All you have to do is register so that they can assign a unique identification code for your website/weblog. Remember, thousands, possibly millions, of web clients will be sending data to the Google Analytics computers almost simultaneously every day. They need a method of sorting the data for your webpages from all of the rest.
You may need some help setting up Google Analytics. When you register you will be provided with a bit of computer code that must be embedded into every webpage on your site. This is the code that sends information to the Google Analytics computers. Fortunately for me, I have many years of experience writing code for websites, and architecting computer network systems and applications. Even more fortunately, my site is built using a simple drop-and-drag editor. It includes an Index page that is appended to the head of every webpage in my website/weblog. All I had to do was copy and paste the Google Analytics code into that page and I was done. I couldn't even begin to guess how your website is structured. (And, no, don't contact me for help. I retired from that business a couple of years ago and have conveniently forgotten everything I know.) However, you may have a child in the house who could help you.
Next week we'll talk about the data and reports that Google Analytics provides as well as the informational services available to help you understand them.
BLOGGERS ARE TRUSTING SOULS. We'll open the door to anyone. No charge. Come on in. We bare our souls and wait for the comments. More often than not, there aren't any. Visitors lurk in the shadows and we're left to wonder. Who's there? What are they thinking? Do they agree? Disagree? Maybe we scare them off with our perfect spelling and punctuation. They don't have my wife looking out for them.
There will NOT be a test (click to enlarge)
You don't need to know Internet technology to be a successful blogger. You don't need to know the difference between a modem
and a router
. You don't need to know that requests
are transmitted in packets
. All you really need to know is that clients
(the computers that people use to read your blog) send requests, and web servers
(computers that host your website) return responses. This knowledge will help you understand how to read logs so that you can tell the difference between what drives traffic to your website/weblog and what doesn't. Obviously you want to do more of that which works, and stop wasting your time and money on that which doesn't.
I watch my website/weblog traffic using the logs provided by my web hosting service, and Google Analytics. I see that nearly 30,000 people visit every month. They wander from page to page. Every hit
– that's a request from a client
(computer workstation) for a web page – is recorded. Every visit
– that's one or more hits from the same client – is recorded. Who referred
them – that's the website that provided the link to my website – is recorded. Or, did they request a page from my website – a direct request
– by typing its URL into their web browser or clicking on a bookmark that they saved during a previous visit.
How does the web server know all this? Well, every request that it receives comes with a header
that includes the identity of the client that requested it. How else is the web server going to know where to send the page that's been requested? No, that's not your name; it's the unique IP (Internet Protocol) Address of the computer where the request originated. Thus, if two or more people visit my website from the same computer, the web server will count them as two visits from the same visitor. If you visit my website from two different computers, the web server will count them as visits from two different visitors.
Just as every client has a unique IP Address, every website has a unique IP Address. How else would your client know where to send the request? (Yes, that means there are a lot of unique addresses on the Internet. Each one consists of four sets of three numbers: e.g. 999.999.999.999. That's a pretty big number and yet, we're running out of them. The new Internet Protocol provides for even more.) If you click on a link to my website that you find in someone else's website, the IP Address of that web site is included in the request header. That is how my web server knows who referred you to my website.
Not all requests are for webpages. One of my favorites is any request for a feed
from my website. Currently, my web server receives about 100 requests for feeds every day, and responds with an XML document containing all postings in my blog. (Don't go! I'll explain it.) Webpages are HTML documents – a document written in the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) describing all the words and images on a webpage. Your client browser (Microsoft Internet Explorer, Fire Fox, Google Chrome, etc.) reads this document and “renders” my webpage on your screen. An Extended Mark Up Language (XML) document contains data as well as a template describing how the data is organized (structured). A special app
in your computer can be configured to show you just the new postings or maybe, the four or five most recent ones. Some apps provide just a few lines as a summary, and a link to the blog so you can read more if you want. These readers are often referred to as news feeds
. Thus, requests for feeds indicate that someone is looking at my blog regularly.
I include feeds from other blogs on my website to help promote other bloggers who I feel have something worth reading. You can see them at Blogs to Follow
on my website.
Okay, take a deep breath. Yes, I trapped you into reading a lot of geeky
computer terminology. Forgive me. You need to know it if you're ever going to make sense of the reports that come out of your web server and services such as Google Analytics.
I'm going to introduce you to Google Analytics next week. If you don't already know about it, Google Analytics is a free service that samples the traffic at your website and provides simplified reports. including graphs and maps, to help you make sense of it.
Until then, check out your website hosting service and, if you haven't already, begin studying the reports they provide. If they don't provide logs or analytics for your website, it might be a good idea to switch to another hosting service. You cannot manage your website/weblog effectively without them. You're flying blind without any feedback to help you understand what you're doing and how you might become more successful at it.
I BIT THE BULLET and played guinea pig on this one. I received an email promoting free ads and checked it out. A link in the email connected me to miloAds.com
. I was skeptical, but there was a free plan. I couldn't resist.
Click to enlarge
Basically, you insert custom code into your website where you want people to visit when they click on your ad on another website. They place your ad – you design it – on websites hosted by other subscribers to their service. Their ads appear on your website.
Click to enlarge
There's a risk. You don't have control over the ads that appear on your website. I'm sure that some link to sites that may be somewhat scatological, but no one has complained... yet.
I've subscribed to their service about a month ago. Thus far I have received 433 hits that were referred by people clicking on my ad. That's about .32% of the total number of hits on my website during that month. It's not significant, but it's free. You'll note that one paid plan assures 1,500 hits per month (which would amount to about 1% of my website traffic). I'm not sure it's worth the cost... yet.
Click to enlarge
My ad appears in three different size options on subscriber websites, and my website traffic reflects the number of hits generated by each one.
I'm going to let this go a few more months before I do anything else with it. I'm already buried in deadlines and grandchildren. I'll keep you informed.
NOTHING PROMOTES TRAFFIC to your website like StumbleUpon. Nothing! I'm still surprised when I check my website traffic reports first thing in the morning and find that it's way up. Then I click on the most recent blog and check the number next to the StumbleUpon logo to the right of the text, just under the blog categories list. Yep, that's it. The StumbleUpon “crowd” has been here.
Click to enlarge
Take a careful look at this chart. 83.63% of all referrals to my website are generated by StumbleUpon. More importantly, almost 95% of them are new visitors. They've never visited JackDurish.com before. Some of them may become regulars, and my website traffic grows.
Last week I demonstrated how Triberr
helped me grow my website traffic from fewer than 2,000 per month to more than 12,000. That's a six-fold increase. Now StumbleUpon has merely doubled it. However, since the initial increase, Triberr has settled down into a more predictable pace – solid but no where near as spectacular as StumbleUpon. Whereas StumbleUpon is referring more than 1,000 new users every month, Triberr is referring less than 200. No, I wouldn't stop investing time and effort in Triberr, but I must admit that Triberr requires a far greater investment in time and effort every day. With Triberr, I have to visit each and every new blog posting for each and every member in my “Tribe” every day, comment where appropriate, and approve them for automatic Tweets with links to drive traffic to their website.
StumbleUpon only requires that I “like” my new blog posting once, and it will begin driving new traffic my way. If they “like” it too, StumbleUpon will promote my new posting more frequently. That's all there is to it. Let me give you an example.
Last Sunday, I posted a story about heroes and Walt Kelly
, one of mine. I posted it before going to bed Saturday night and found that more than 1,000 people had visited it by the time I woke up the next morning. 476 of them had “liked” it on StumbleUpon. (Go ahead and look
, you can still see the StumbleUpon "Like" count.)
One of the other great features of StumbleUpon is that its impact lingers. Usually, your efforts to promote you website don't last any longer than your endurance. You stop tweeting about it, and people stop coming. Triberr only repeats automated tweets for a day. However, StumbleUpon keeps on working long after you'd expect it to have quit. Let me give you another example.
JackDurish.com contains a set of pages that promote other blogs – my favorites. I was again surprised the other day to find that some of these are highly ranked in my website. Again, I looked to see what was going on, and StumbleUpon was the cause. One of them in particular - Michael Rivers
- was ranked fourth. [Note: Disregard the number of pageviews – it is only a sample of the total.] I don't remember having “liked” that page. I can only surmise that someone who also uses StumbleUpon found and “liked” it. I then “liked” the page for Claude Nougat
, and within a few days, her page had jumped to fifth.
Click to enlarge
If you've gotten this far, you must be asking yourself, “What the hell is StumbleUpon?” Well, it's a search engine that ranks pages by the number of “likes” that they receive. Thus, my humble website is equal to the most powerful so long as people “stumble upon it” and like it. Apparently, I've been providing content that they like. Think of it as a place you go to “Google” something when you don't have a clue what that “something” might be.
Sometimes, in the evening, when I've finished for the day but there's nothing good on television, I'll go to my StumbleUpon toolbar and click “Stumble.” I've already provided StumbleUpon with the categories of things in which I'm interested, and it will randomly take me to webpages that fit those categories, beginning with the ones that most other people “like” the most. Surprisingly I have accumulated more bookmarks this way than I had ever collected before. I frequently share these pages on the social media. They're always fascinating.
Now, there's a trick to using StumbleUpon, and I'm going to tell you what it is, for free. It's based on the simple fact that some categories appear to be more popular than others.
If you are the first person to “like” a page, you will be prompted to answer some questions about it:
- Is the content appropriate to be viewed publicly as in an office?
- In which category does it belong?
- Optionally, would you like to add subcategories?
- Optionally, would you like to describe it?
As I mentioned, I “like” my blog entries as soon as I post them so that I get to set these items. I am most careful in selecting the category. For example, I blog frequently about military matters and it seems a simple choice, but “military” does not appear to be a popular one. Thus, I consider this choice more carefully, looking for an aspect of my posting that would fit a more popular category such as “humor.”
Don't lie! Don't categorize your webpage as “humor” if it isn't humorous. That's a good way to upset people and they won't “like” it.
Now, get over to the StumbleUpon
homepage and register if you haven't already. Install the StumbleUpon toolbar in your browser. Then, begin “stumbling.”
LAST WEEK I provided an overview of the growth in the number of visitors to my website during a one year period. I attempted to show how I have used content and promotion
to build it into a media for advertising my writing. This week, I will focus on one of the tools that has helped promote traffic to my website most successfully: Triberr.
Click to enlarge
By way of background, let me point out that I hadn't promoted my website prior to December, 2011, because I didn't have a product ready for delivery. My first novel, Rebels on the Mountain
wasn't published until the end of that month. I knew from my experience as an ad man that teasing
a product too far in advance of its availability was a bad idea.
was published, I began promoting my website in earnest. Notice on the chart above that visits to my website jumped from less than 1,800 in December to more than 12,000 in January. The only change I made was to join Triberr.
Triberr is simple. It is an Internet application program that helps people form a tribe
and collaborate. Several times each day it examines all of the blogs that the members of the tribe maintain and places a link to each new posting into the tribal stream
Let's pause here and examine the terms I've used. They sound like standard English words with which you're familiar, but they're used in uncommon ways. Their meanings are slightly altered by the context.
- Tribe: bloggers who consent to participate in a collaborative effort.
- Collaborate: Work together and help each by promoting each other's blogs using social media.
- Social Media: Twitter, FaceBook, etc., used to communicate with friends and followers.
- Friends: People who share photos, videos, articles, links to webpages, and personal messages on FaceBook.
- Followers: People who voluntarily subscribe to short messages containing with links to photos, videos, and links to webpages as well as brief personal messages on Twitter.
- Tribal Stream: A list of articles built from the most recent blog postings of all members of the tribe.
Now, let's revisit that last idea. Triberr automatically builds a tribal stream
from the most recent postings in blogs of all members of a collaborative tribe. Members of the tribe can see all of the postings of their tribe mates without visiting all of their blogs. The tribal stream only provides a sample of the posting. Members can see the whole posting simply by clicking on the heading for the blog posting.
Triberr also provides automated commands to tweet and share each posting. The tweets will be repeated automatically several times each day. In effect, tribe members are multiplying their power to reach a far larger audience than they could do on their own.
For example, when I joined my tribe, I had less than one thousand followers on Twitter and maybe thirty friends on FaceBook. However, as a member of the tribe, potential tweets promoting my blog postings rose to more than ten thousand and shares with Facebook friends rose to several hundred. Today, I have more than three thousand followers on Twitter. However, as a member of a tribe, my potential audience now exceeds 336,000! The secret is that our tribe has grown as well as our individual followings.
Is it any wonder that traffic to my website has grown since I joined Triberr?
Incidentally, Triberr is free. It only requires an invitation from an existing member to join a tribe. Once established on Triberr, you can begin building your own tribes.
If there is a downside to Triberr, it is simply this: The tribe that you're invited to join may not reach the same audience you'd like to reach. For example, I belong to tribes of writers. Almost all of them blog about writing and would like to influence people to purchase their books. It's kind of like a tribe of Eskimos trying to sell blocks of ice to each other. I think it's time for me to build a tribe of my own. I won't quit the ones I already belong to. My tribe mates have become good friends and I owe them a lot for helping me build my website traffic. However, I think it's time for me to reach another audience.
I will complete my series of blog postings about my tour of duty in Vietnam in a few weeks and plan on launching another series relating to the coming election this November. I belong to that class of persons who believe that it will be pivotal in American history. Inasmuch as history is my favorite subject, I would like to influence it.
There are a vast number of people in the country who want to alter the course of the nation, reduce the size of government, return to fiscal responsibility, and reestablish Constitutional controls, rights, and liberties. Now, I recognize that statement has probably offended some. I also recognize that nothing I say or do will alter your opinion. My objective is to find those who agree with me, and collaborate with them, to make our voices one and participate more effectively in the political process.
I have already created the shell for this collaborative effort: The American Choice tribe. I'm looking to fill it with like-minded people. Please use the contact form in this website to reach me, and I'll send you an invitation.