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Posted by Cockney Robin | This is my first Thursday 13, even though it's BN-Politics' 13th. Be merciful to me, an amateur! Because the administrators are Occupied Elsewhere, I am presenting some suggestions for getting even MORE value out of T13!
1. U Comment/I Follow. Tooling round the blogosphere, I see a bloody cartload of badges, widgets, "blog bling," and bells and whistles, most of which leave me feeling mildly out of the loop, since I don't know what most of them mean and don't have a lot of time (I have my own blogging to do plus a missus who doesn't like for me to do my own blogging) to find out.
But there's one badge that we here at BN-Politics look for and love to see and it looks like this:
When we see this badge, we know that the blog owner has switched off the "no follow" function for his or her blogging platform, and if we take time out of our own busy blogging schedules to give a comment, the blog owner will recognize us by giving a real link back to our blog which ordinary comment links don't do. While ordinary comment links "redirect" to the blog---and therefore don't register as links on Google and Technorati---"do follow" links are the real thing. And while we aren't in this meme for the links alone, we like getting them. "I follow" is definitely an attractive feature in a blog and an incentive not to feel quite so shy about leaving a comment... After all, give a comment, get back a valuable link....
If you already use Mr. Linkies, jump down to #6 before you decide to stop reading....
2. Instant link love. If you're like me, you probably assumed all along that your comment links are like any other links. Unfortunately, the "no follow" feature precludes this. Users of Blogger, Word Press, and Moveable Type can simply switch off the no-follow feature. Here are some Thursday Thirteeners whose blogs are part of the "Do follow" movement:
4. Plug-ins for Word Press and Blogger
- Word press: there's a plug-in here.
- Blogger: a plug-in here.
- Moveable Type: a workaround here.
- Badges: in a variety of colours, are here. Bonus: "I Follow" blogs can get themselves listed in some of the new directories (here and here) limited to "I Follow" blogs! Get in on the ground floor of the movement!
5. Typepad Users (like us). Unless you (1) are paying for Pro level or above, and (2) are comfortable using advanced templates, it appears you are pretty much SOL re: "I Follow."
- Pro-Level Typepad users who don't mind advanced templates can find code here that will make your comments "do follow" links.
- Other Typepad users: Write typepad and tell them you want a widget or a plug-in that disables "no follow"/redirect. In the meantime, you'll have to make do with one of the other options.
* If you're a Typepad user and you've found an easier workaround, please leave us a note.
6. "Mr. Linkies." As I understand it, you can create permanent links with Mr. Linky's magical linking widgets---just be sure that you create "Permalinkies" when your T13 is done by copying the HTML into your own blog. Instructions for Perma-Linkies are here. If you don't convert the links to Perma-linkies, your commenters' links don't register as actual links. Some Mr Linky users seem to create Perma-linkies (cheers, mates!); others don't.
7. Manually Listing Commenters at the end of T13 posts. It's also how BN-Politics (a Typepad blog) deals with the no-no-follow problem, as you can see here. Though it's a bit more time-consuming if you get a lot of comments, it ensures that commenters get the recognition they deserve.
8. Refreshing your links. Even if you've blogrolled other Thirteeners, getting fresh links for comments is important, because some search engines/directories drop links that are more than six months old. (e.g., Technorati authority only gives you credit for the last six months' worth of links). After that, the links don't count in ranking the blog's authority.
9. Use "Social Bookmarking." Social bookmarking greatly increases the chances that others with similar interests will find the posts you like and can be a tremendous boon to a blog that's struggling to attract readers. We use the following for T13:
There's a learning curve for each of these systems (and all of them are quite different from one another). Learning how to "optimise" them can take a little time. On the plus side, each is an excellent resource for blog material (and for networking). And each helps you to promote content you think others should see.
10. Other social bookmarking options. There are many, many other social bookmarking sites; those are just the ones we've learned to maneuver. To make it easy for others to bookmark your post, consider getting a bookmarking widget of your own. We currently use the sidebar widget from Widgetbox because it doesn't clutter up our posts, but there are other options. Here are customizable shout list icons and the "ultimate social bookmark."
11. Make your comment links easy for Thirteeners to find! Some of the comment links have extremely creative nicknames (e.g., "Kisses for Tiffani, " a made-up name). While those of us who are more prosaic (or are jealous because our blogging platforms don't provide the option) enjoy these amusing variations when we can find them, sometimes it's difficult to find them. Unless your comments are right at the bottom of the post, you might want to include a link to them or at least a direction for finding them.
12. Enable comments from bloggers who use platforms other than yours! If you want Thirteeners who use platforms other than yours to comment, set your comment defaults to allow them to link back to their blogs! Blogger/blogspot blogs apparently have to be set to permit commenters from outside blogger/blogspot to link back to their blog. LiveJournal is another platform that outsiders might find confusing. First, check to see if there's a way to make your comments easily accessible; if not, consider providing instructions. After all: so many Thirteeners, so little time...
13. Join /Update Your T13 blogroll! If you're not on the T13 blogroll, consider joining. If you are, and you've been on it for awhile, note that it was updated as of March 14, 2007 and so you need to redo it or new additions (such as BN-Politics) won't be a part of it! Joining the blogroll means that you install it at your own blog (see our link in the sidebar), thereby giving other T13-ers instant links. (Just remember everyone's need for fresh new links, which is why comment love still matters!)
Cheers, Your host, Cockney Robin
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