Category Archives: Twitter

My Favorite Chrome Extensions

This is a guest post from Sharon Hurley Hall. She’s a writing consultant and professional blogger. Find more of her work on Get Paid To Write Online, Blogging Tips and the Location Independent network of sites. Follow Sharon on Twitter.

Sharon Hurley Hall

Sharon Hurley Hall

[tweetmeme source=”Ileane”]
I love Google Chrome which became my browser of choice once the Firefox bloat became too much to bear.  Once Chrome got extension support, my happiness was complete, and I’d like to share with you the extensions that make my life much easier.

Feedly

Top of the list of extensions I use every day is Feedly, which was the extension I missed most when I transitioned from Firefox to Chrome. Feedly puts a magazine like interface on your Google Reader subscriptions and once you sign in with your Google Account, it needs very little customization. I only ever use the native Google Reader interface for adding subscriptions; otherwise I just use Feedly.

Among it’s useful features are:

  • an unread notification in the browser bar
  • the ability to share  items on Buzz with one click
  • the ability to share with comments quickly on Twitter and Facebook
  • in-line post reading

There’s a lot more, too, such as seeing how your tweets have been shared.

IE Tab

Next on my list is IE Tab.  I really don’t like Internet Explorer, but some sites still run better in it, so I use IETab to avoid having to load IE separately. It works pretty well and it’s an extension I use a couple of times a week. It’s also useful for when you need to have two instances of the same site open, though a Chrome incognito window works just as well.

Rapportive

Rapportive is a CRM extension that puts social networking information about my contacts right in my Gmail window. I love the fact that I can easily see if my contacts have Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn accounts, as well as their most recent tweets. While Gist for Google Apps offers similar functionality, Rapportive doesn’t slow down my email load times and gives only the most relevant information.

Nested Twitter Replies

Nested Twitter Replies is a Greasemonkey script which improves Twitter by giving you an easy view of Twitter conversations. Of course, there are plenty of Twitter tools that do this too, but it’s useful for the times when you are using the main Twitter interface and need to track what’s being said. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help you with replying to the tweets that originated the conversation. You will still have to click on that separately; but it works well as a viewing tool.

View Thru

View Thru also works with Twitter and other sites and allows you to see the full URL instead of shortened URLs.

Wise Stamp

I love WiseStamp because it provides an easy way to insert HTML signatures in Gmail and Google Apps. It has a number of built in options, making it simple to link to your key social media and social networking accounts. I now have a synced signature for all my email and can change it with a single click.

StumbleUpon

Last but not least is the StumbleUpon extension which has restored my beloved StumbleUpon toolbar. There’s not much more to say about this, other than that I can stumble and share content simply by clicking a button.

Other Extensions

Those are 7 of the 12 extensions I have installed. I also occasionally use FastestChrome (a FasterFox port, I believe), though the only feature that interests me is the endless scrolling;  Clip to Evernote, for storing pages that interest me; Readability, to make pages easier to read; Chrome SEO, for an easy way to find SEO data for any page; and Readness, which keeps track of the news sources I read. I’m testing Readness, and am not sure yet if I will keep it.

So that’s my grab bag of Chrome extensions; what’s in yours?

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Fun Twitter Promotions for Your Blog

Vote on Blog Engage[tweetmeme source=”ileane” style=”compact”]Using social media to promote your blog is a must. If Twitter is your social media outlet of choice, it pays to keep up with the latest Twitter tools and applications. Some are better than others, and not to long ago I talked about using Buzzom to manage your following. Here are a couple of tools that I think are fun to try.

Twitter Meets Screenr

The Screenr Website

Check out this short podcast I created and find out how to quickly send video tweets with Screenr, a web-based video recording application from Articulate.  Screenr is surprisingly easy, fast and convenient to use.  You can create an introduction video for your newest blog post, a quick tutorial, or share a slide show featuring scenes from your vacation. Be creative, video is a great way to personalize your blog and add something unique and memorable to your twitter stream.

For more information, check out the review of Screenr that I did over at Shvoong.

Continue reading

Posterous – Lifestreaming or Not?

Vote on Blog Engage[tweetmeme source=”Ileane”]I recently created another blog on Posterous but I wasn’t really sure why I would need it. To fill you in on what Posterous is, the tagline from the homepage: “is the dead simple place to post everything. just email us.” And after all, my tagline and the purpose of this blog states:

I’m here to learn, to teach and to connect!

Therefore, I consider adding another blogging platform to my social media arsenal, as a golden opportunity to share the experience with my readers.

Continue reading

Searching For The Perfect Tweet

Vote on Blog Engage

Let’s explore how to build the ultimate “Perfect Tweet” together; shall we?[tweetmeme source=”ileane”]

In order to be “the greatest” and go viral this tweet should:

  1. Go out at the best time of day
  2. Reach the perfect audience
  3. Get a high number of retweets for a blog link
  4. Gain new followers

Continue reading

Do Twitter Backgrounds Attract New Followers?

Vote on Blog Engage[tweetmeme source=”Ileane”]On the Website Babble Forum someone mentioned custom Twitter backgrounds and it sparked an interesting exchange amongst us babblers. Here’s some insight on the topic.

Why is Twitter so hot?

Twitter is a great way to increase blog traffic, stay in touch with friends, meet new people, and build popularity for a brand. Usage of Twitter has skyrocketed and currently it is reported that there are over 6 million registered users which might double by 2010. And with literally hundreds of Twitter 3rd party services and applications that can accessed via the web or your cell phone it seems there’s always a new tool being introduced to enhance your Twitter experience.

How Do You Line It Up?

Twitter backgrounds are regarded as your introduction to what I like to call Twitterville. You want to make a positive “first impression” and possibly influence people to follow you.

If you use PhotoShop, RC Concepcion of Layers Magazine has an excellent tutorial on PhotoShop User TV episode #205. Don’t have PhotoShop? Then take a look at this article I came across on from Smashing Magazine called Effective Twitter Backgrounds: Examples and Current Practices. This article demonstrates the basic layout and pixel width of the Twitter home page and ways to avoid overlapping the background design with your tweet stream. I actually followed the layout rules in the article to create my Twitter background. It took me about an hour because I keep going back and tweaking it so it would be just right. I was all excited and ready to pat myself on the back.

I asked my friend to and take a look at my shiny new background. She really rained on my parade when she said – “I’m using Tweetdeck – I never see anyone’s background…”

So I rushed to open Brizzly and then over to Seesmic and sure enough, no backgrounds. I guess I never thought about it before then. Just, take a look at your twitter stream to see where the tweets are coming from. You’ll only find about 2 or 3 that are from the web (and I bet one of them is from me).

Twitter Backgrounds are for the birds!

I truly hope you didn’t spend money on a Twitter background before you read this post, and I hope you didn’t spend an hour (or more) creating a stellar background in PhotoShop like I did. Look at the bright side of things. Having a perfectly aligned twitter background does not make people follow you.  Here are some examples of very popular Tweeples and how their Twitter backgrounds appear on a standard 15-inch monitor. Continue reading

Maximizing 2 New WordPress.com Features

Two features were recently introduced for WordPress.com users. For those of you that don’t know the difference, I’ll just call it FREE WordPress.

The Image Widget

The first feature I’ll talk about is the Image Widget. This widget lets you add a static image to the side bar of your blog. When I looked into this I found out that the image needs to be one found on the web and needs an extention that you typically find for images like .jpeg, .gif, .png etc.  I was rather disappointed because I wanted to post an image from my computer, not from the web.

So I gave it some thought and then it dawned on me – I can put this widget to use by adding a Twitter icon which links to my Twitter account.

Follow Ileane on Twitter

Follow Ileane on Twitter

Check it out over on the right. Might not look as great as some of the others I’ve seen on PAID WordPress blogs, but it gets the job done. The link has been clicked 5 times since yesterday which is more than the link I’ve had on my Contact Page for over a month. Don’t miss the second tip!

Twitter meets Buzzom

Vote on Blog EngageSomeone posted a seemingly endless list of Twitter apps on their blog, yet there is a new one to add the list and its called Buzzom. Take a look at part 1 on my introduction to Buzzom.

In part 2 of Twitter Meets Buzzom I preview a few of the features that I find most useful.

Please share your comments with me. Remember, Ms. Ileane Speaks, but I listen too!

Smooches!

UPDATE: Buzzom was updated in November of 2009 with new features including scheduled tweets. Visit the Buzz In Social Media Blog for details.

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