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Twitter Announces Custom Timelines

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In an interesting move, Twitter this week announced the launch of Custom timelines, via Tweetdeck. It looks like this is Twitter taking a swipe at Storify’s functionality in archiving conversations around events and hashtags. Here’s more info:

Introducing custom timelines: create timelines of Tweets for everyone || Twitter.com

Custom timelines are an entirely new type of timeline –– one that you create. You name it, and choose the Tweets you want to add to it, either by hand or programmatically using the API (more on that below). This means that when the conversation around an event or topic takes off on Twitter, you have the opportunity to create a timeline that surfaces what you believe to be the most noteworthy, relevant Tweets.

Each timeline is public and has its own page on twitter.com, making it easy to share so others can follow along in real time as you add more Tweets. And since custom timelines are part of our Twitter for Websites toolkit, you can embed these timelines on your website.

Twitter Announces Custom Timelines For Hashtags Or Topics On Tweetdeck, Launching API Too || Techcrunch

This will allow people to create powerful streams of information out of Twitter’s public firehose, effectively allowing anyone to curate individual streams of data tailored to a topic. The topics could be literally anything that’s contained in a tweet, including hashtags, a phrase like ‘drinking coffee’ or event-specific keywords like ‘Superbowl’ or ‘TC Disrupt’.

Twitter Challenges Storify With New Custom Timelines || PC Mag

The feature, housed within TweetDeck, sounds very similar to Storify, which lets users pull in tweets and other content from around the Web to create stories about certain events. On Twitter, users can create custom timelines by adding tweets by hand or programming tweets to automatically pop up using the company’s API.

Twitter announces ‘Custom Timelines’, lets users curate collections of tweets on any subject || The Next Web

Custom timelines will have their own links and can also be embedded on other sites. Twitter says the feature will roll out over the next few days to TweetDeck on the Web, Chrome and PC, while an updated Mac app is “coming soon.”

I haven’t tested the functionality yet. Have you? If you have, shared it with us.

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Suggested tool: LightZone, free photo editor

Need a professional-grade photo editor? I am a fan of Photoshop; I have friends who love Lightroom.These are great tools, but they can be costly. Lifehacker recommends LightZone as a Lightroom alternative. “The program lets you quickly manipulate a batch of photos, with great effects and styles and finely adjustable tools.” The best part? It’s free!

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SOURCE: LightZone Is a Free, Awesome Photo Editor and Alternative to Lightroom || Lifehacker

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Community Manager Tools

google-256-blackPR Daily pulled together a great list of tools every Community Manager needs to make it through the day. More than a few of my favorites are on that list:

  • Feedly. I hated having to move from Google Reader to something else, but I’ve been very happy with Feedly.
  • HootSuite. They have a free version, but completely worth the monthly fee for those of us who need the professional accounts.
  • Flipboard. I use this every day to keep up with the streams and news updates from my networks and my chosen news sources.
  • Facebook Pages Manager. A great way to manage your Facebook pages from your mobile device.
  • WordPress. The article links to the WordPress.com site, but I’d recommend a self-hosted blog. And I use the IOS app for iPad almost every day.
  • Google Analytics. A must-have to keep track of what is, and is not, generating traffic on your site and/or blog.

What would you add?

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Source: A dozen tools every community manager needs | PR Daily

 

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Average Facebook Page Reaches 12.6%

FacebookEdgerank Checker has a great post where they explain how they arrive at the statement “Average Facebook Page Reaches 12.6%.” It’s hard to identify what normal means when addressing Facebook stats. With the continued changes in Facebook’s algorithms, our results change just as frequently.

For one page I admin I saw Reach go from 18% down to 3% in a matter of months after last year’s changes. This year I have slowly worked my way up to 10%. And I keep working on how we post, what we post and how we engage our customers so the effectiveness continues to improve.

What’s your average Facebook Reach?

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A day troubleshooting Feedly, Pinterest & Rebelmouse

Beginning yesterday I have had trouble accessing Feedly, Pinterest and Rebelmouse on my Portable Firefox app. The sites let me log in (eventually) and even give me some ability to view, but most of the functionality isn’t loading.

pinterest-128-blackThe Pinterest site won’t load pins. I see the “header” where it shows the Pinterest logo and my name, but the drop down menu doesn’t work and the pins are all absent. And the bookmarklet lets me make it all the way up to the final “pin it” screen. But then I get an error message that I need to either:

  • turn on Javascript — which I’ve confirmed is on.
  • clear my cache and cookies — which I’ve done
  • make sure I’m up to date — which I am
  • try a different browser — when I switch to Google Chrome, my Pinterest experience is just fine.

Of course, the above “errors” depend on being able to log in. Which I’ve only been successful at doing less than half the times I’ve attempted.

Feedly won’t show me anything. There’s just a blank page. When I switch to Google Chrome, I can “see” my content just fine.

Rebelmouse is doing something similar to Pinterest. I can see the header, but none of the content in the board. The drop down menu works and lets me navigate between sites, but none of the content is showing up. Ironically, if clear my cache, which signs me out of everything, I can visit the Rebelmouse page in question and see all the content. Once I log in, all of that content disappears.

Any suggestions on what might be wrong?

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UPDATE — I gave up on troubleshooting and just uninstalled the application, then reinstalled it. That resolved my issues.

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Hootsuite’s Bulk Uploader

If you use Hootsuite, then you may have noticed the “Bulk Message Uploader” link in the scheduling pop-up. I never looked into how it works. However, Lightspan Digital posted a great step-by-step instruction on how to use it. It even includes a list of errors to avoid.

A great post to check out if you have a Hootsuite account.

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Source: Scheduling Tweets: How to Use Hootsuite’s Bulk Uploader

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Using RebelMouse as a blog aggregate board #txsocial

2013.10 TXSocial Blogs RebelMouse-smChallenge: a way to spotlight all the blog posts from the bloggers in a private Facebook group without having to create a list that’s updated manually.

Result: RebelMouse site that aggregates new posts via the blog’s RSS feeds.

Check out the #TXSocial Blogs RebelMouse site: www.rebelmouse.com/TXSocialBlogs. I visit this almost every day to see what the new content is from my fellow bloggers from the Texas Social Media Network’s Facebook group. It’s an easy way to find the new content, like and share.

This was surprisingly easy to set up. Simply open an account with RebelMouse. Create a new site (which take a few clicks and decisions on name and the URL for the site). Then go to the Content & Feeds tab in the Dashboard for your site. Then just add one RSS feed after another (in the RSS feed box). Give it a few hours to scour the sites and populate the RebelMouse landing page.

A few things to note:

  • Do you want RebelMouse to publish updates that don’t have photos attached? You need to go to “Edit Site” and choose that option. Otherwise, they go to the “Drafts” page, where you have to publish them  manually.
  • You can only add up to 25 feeds of any kind (which we’ve hit). After that, you are directed to using a feed mixer of some sort. We’re playing with Yahoo Pipes, but that’s another post for another day.

Are you using RebelMouse in a new an interesting way? Let us know!

UPDATE: I’ve duplicated this board for another group: Houston Latina Bloggers (www.rebelmouse.com/HoustonLatinaBloggers).

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My Flipboard magazine

Flipboard is one of those tools that started out just for tablets. The app pulls in your social media channels and creates a magazine/Pinterest-like interface, making long lists of articles and updates very visual. I loved it immediately.

When Flipboard started offering the opportunity for regular users to create their own magazines, and to designate and share content both from the mobile Flipboard app and from a bookmarklet, I created one just to try it out. I wanted to see how it works.

Every once in a while I remembered to share the magazine address: flip.it/hTHCA. But other than that, I just “flipped” content when I saw something interesting.

My magazine now has 23 readers and 321 articles. Even better, I am getting notifications that my content is being “re-flipped.” And, sometimes, it’s even links to stuff that I wrote myself. Not bad for an experiment.

I’m wondering what I might be able to achieve if I approach it with more strategy…

Have you played with Flipboard magazines yet? Have any best practices to share?

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Blogging and WordPress Roundup

Some articles and posts to read/bookmark. Includes more on authorship and author rank (from last week).

50+ Best WordPress Slider Plugin Collection – Feature Content With Style!” || Tripwire Magazine

10 Responsive Slider Plugins for WordPress” || WPMU.org

7 Ways to Manage Comments on Your Site (Without Losing Your Mind)” || Copyblogger. Includes:

  1. Moderate your comments.
  2.  Use a strong spam filter.
  3. Have a comment policy.
  4. Do your best to respond to questions from your audience.
  5.  Have limits on what advice you’re willing to give away for free.
  6. Don’t put up with trolls, bullies, abusive language or threats.
  7. Take care of your guest authors.

Warning: Don’t Accept Guest Posts Until You’ve Done these 5 Steps” || ProBlogger. Includes:

  1. Always check the posts for Plagiarism.
  2. Proofread and Format the Guest Posts.
  3. Interlink the Guest Posts with Previously Published Content.
  4. Optimise Guest Post URLs and Meta Tags.
  5. Add Intriguing Images to draw your Readers’ Attention.

3 Ways to Get More Subscribers for Your Blog” || ProBlogger.

Add an Author Information Box to Your WordPress Theme” || Make Tech Easier

How to Add an Author Info Box in WordPress Posts” || WP Beginner

How To Add Author Avatar and Bio to Posts on WordPress and WPMU” || WPMU.org

Author information in search results” || Webmaster Tools Help

Google Continues To Experiment & Expand Authorship” || Search Engine Land

Google Authorship Markup: How to get your picture in search results.” || KISSMetrics

 

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A Multimedia Roundup: Youtube, Instagram, Vine, and Audio

Just a few posts and articles about multimedia tools.

Learn “How to Add a YouTube Subscribe Button to Your Site” from this post in Mashable. The ability to add a subscription button directly on your site is something that’s relatively new. Doing this should help improve your subscription rates.

Learn “How to make killer Vine and Instagram videos” from this CNN article. Then learn “How To Embed Instagram Photos And Videos” from Idea Girl Media, also “HOW TO embed Instagram Videos in your blog” from Sarah Evans.

David Lee King gives us “12 Tips on Making Better Vine Videos.” This includes:

  • Plan, practice, reshoot.
  • Good lighting is important.
  • Audio is HUGE.
  • Use another lens.
  • Shoot through something else.
  • Use hashtags.

Moving onto audio, I found “5 Services for Creating & Sharing Audio Recordings Online” from Free Technology for Teachers. Recommend are Vocaroo, SoundCloud, Audioboo, Audio Pal, and Record MP3.