Explaining Web 2.0 Features

One thing I have noticed in my first few months of blogging is that I receive a lot of feedback, in terms of commenting, bookmarking, and subscribing, from people who also blog. But not so much from people I know in real life who do not.

I came to the realization that, prior to my own entry into the blogging world, I never did much of these things on blogs I read either. I knew little about social bookmarking, with exception to my Stumble toolbar that I just used for random web surfing, and always found myself frustrated with having all my favorite links spread out on different computers at home and at work. And I never thought of using an online reader for RSS subscriptions, opting to locally bookmark every blog I read.

While reading blogging help sites, I came across the same tip over and over again: inform your readers about RSS. So I created a What is RSS page earlier this month, and since have seen my subscriptions double. It could be coincidence, but it could also be the fact that I gave a little explanation as to the benefits of subscribing. Readers who had never known what that meant were now informed and subsequently inspired to subscribe.

To further take advantage of this good blogging advice, I have created a FAQ page for my blog that explains some of the basic things to do around here, including commenting, subscribing, bookmarking, and supporting the site. I also added a What is Social Bookmarking link next to my Share This buttons to further explain the benefits of social bookmarking sites.

These additions highlight all of the interaction features of this site to visitors who are just beginning to delve into the world of blogging and Web 2.0. Hopefully, all of this information will be beneficial in enhancing your experience on this, and other blogs and websites.





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Comments

  1. says

    nice article.It’s curious.I too never bothered to use any of these features on other blogs while I wasn’t a blogger,because I didn’t know what it meant.
    thanks!
    *trudges along to create his own FAQ*

    varuns last blog post..Traffic Signal

  2. says

    Your FAQ idea is a nice addition to the “explain what RSS is” tip. I’ll add that to my to do list.

    For the bookmarks problem, try foxmarks, it’s a Firefox extension that synchronize your bookmarks with a FTP server. So if you add a bookmark at home, it will be available at work and all other computers that have the foxmarks extension with your account. =)

    mrmuggless last blog post..5 Geek Projects To Do In Your Spare Time

  3. says

    Great post Kristi. It’s definitely something I should set up on my own blog.

    It wasn’t until I started blogging myself that I discovered things like stumbleupon because I was occasionally getting a few hundred views from stumble links. Now I love stumble upon, it’s the perfect way to find random websites that are in your area of interest, a fantastic time waster!
    I’m still getting my head around the types of users on each of the different social bookmarking sites and which types of articles should be submitted to each.

    I discovered RSS before I started blogging but long after I started reading blogs, I found it so frustrating to go check all the blogs I had bookmarked everyday and see if there was anything new. I love RSS!

    It’s easy to forget that there are millions of people out there less proficient in the internet.

    Ms Constantines last blog post..Like a Gateway Drug

  4. says

    Good post Kristi. I sometime forget that the average blog reader does need some of the stuff we are around all the time broken down to them.
    Even my father, who is pretty good with technical stuff, needed to be taught and shown what RSS can do for him. I showed him how I have a ton of feeds and use them to skim for what I need.
    I don’t worry too much for my own blog though, since I am mostly blogging about really technical stuff, I can expect a certain level of knowledge is reading the blog.

    Patrick Sweeneys last blog post..I Still Hate ATI, or How To Enable Composite Rendering in Gnome

  5. says

    @varuun: I hope you get positive response for your future FAQ! :)

    @Kim: I figure it can’t hurt to have a little Web 2.0 blog information. I hope it helps readers, and maybe even other bloggers who have yet to implement these features on their own sites.

    @Ms Constantine: I don’t think of the people who know little about these features as less savvy. I just think that in the busy world that we live in, if someone isn’t given a need or a good reason/benefits to join social bookmarking networks, use RSS or make comments, they may just overlook it. RSS made a world of difference in my following other blogs as well! It just makes it so simple.

    @Patrick: I think that people can be really technologically savvy in one area, and not another. I knew a guy that could hack through computers, networks, websites, etc. but had never used an RSS feed before. I was happy to have an edge on knowing something he didn’t for once. :)

    @RunningWolf: Thanks for the Digg shout! And I hope you see good results with your RSS disclaimer.

    @Wayne: I’ll have to take a look at that video. Thanks!

  6. says

    @MrMuggles: The firefox extension would work for my work and home laptop, but I play around a lot on my fiancé’s Mac, and he only uses Safari, so I would still have to rely on my online bookmarking when I am on it. But thanks for the tip! :)

  7. says

    What a great idea to include a FAQ! Like you, I have a lot of readers who don’t understand that the blog post is just the beginning of what can be a very enlightening exchange. That’s just because they aren’t familiar with the tools. Thanks for all the excellent tips!

    Sandra Foyts last blog post..How Is Advocacy Changing With The Web?

  8. says

    @Madhur: I was the same way. I don’t think I could live without RSS now. Hopefully the explanation will get others addicted too!

    @Sandra: Aside from considering my own lack of knowledge with these features, I talked to someone the other day who didn’t know that several of the sites they liked were blogs. That was the catalyst to my full disclaimer of information.

    @Dennis: I have seen an increase in traffic from Stumble, and some more Diggs. :)

  9. says

    @Dennis: Not that I know of. But if my referrals by bookmarking start to rise after posting this, the “What is” link, and the FAQ, I have to assume that some of the boost is from that source. Or some people downloading the various toolbars. :)

  10. says

    I’m thinking that, at some point, a lot of us have written something about our RSS feeds and the like. Sometimes I think we’re only writing it for ourselves, because, as you said, people who don’t blog don’t seem to visit blogs either. Heck, there’s a lot of people who have blogs who don’t visit other blogs; what’s that about? Nice post, though.

    Mitchs last blog post..Gravatars, Images And Themes

  11. says

    @Mitch: I think some bloggers just don’t realize the benefit of visiting other blogs in terms of generating ideas and traffic on their own site. Others probably just do not have the time, which is a loss.

  12. says

    It’s a loss, and it’s also somewhat selfish. I visit and contribute, but I wrote on another blog that I’m also going to start trying to find the time to at least look at the ads on these sites, including Adsense, to see if there’s anything that interests me. After all, I can’t expect anyone to look at my ads if I don’t do the same here and there, right? And who knows what deals I may discover; this is Web 2.0 after all.

    Mitchs last blog post..What Will You Do To Get More Traffic?

  13. says

    ALL – A L L of my stats have gone up considerably since I started seriously reading/commenting on blogs. And by seriously i mean it is pretty much part of my daily (maybe every other day) routine, not just here and there.

    It also gets you noticed in more ways then one. I just replied to my second email asking how much I charge for advertising.

    I have not officially started charged for advertising. I have no official ad page, I’ve NEVER promoted my own advertising in any blog post, Never promoted traffic stats publicly…

    Nothing.

    Good content on your own blog (always important) and get yourself noticed. ;)

    Dennis Edells last blog post..7 Tips for Choosing a Business Name

  14. says

    I’ve experienced the same frustration so I appreciate learning from you. I know that many of my friends read my blog and never comment. Many of them don’t understand how I long to receive feedback. Offering some practical explanations may be helpful. I love your subscribe section and how it is located at the top of your blog sidebar so it won’t be missed. Thanks for this helpful post.

    Debbies last blog post..Joy on This Thankful Thursday

  15. says

    @Mitch: Some of the ads are really good. I also look at the ads on the top sites (like Problogger) to get a feel of which ones work, as they do make a lot of money off of them. The Adsense ones do have lots of useful sites though, and I try to click on them when I visit others as well, as you are never supposed to click on your own! :)

    @Dennis: I have found many websites based off of reading a great comment on another site. I think finding your comment says to people that you are knowledgeable about a subject and willing to offer good advice. Usually those that do work in a closely related business as well.

    @Debbie: I think those we know in real life weigh their telling us in person as more important than posting a message or bookmarking. They just don’t know the value of those things in the internet world, especially on a blog. Comments, stumbles, subscriptions are gold! Figuratively and literally.

  16. says

    Not only that, Kristi, but sometimes one can get a good inspiration from looking at other ads and things others have on their websites and write about them, which I do from time to time. Always adds to the fodder, so to speak.

    Mitchs last blog post..Johnny The Bagger

  17. says

    Great ideas.

    I know as a blogger for two years there is soooo much to remember and things always change so my advice on this topic….other than all of the great replies already given is this.

    Do you have a gazillion passwords (I never remember half of mine)

    Wouldn’t you love it if you could Automate Firefox. Record and replay repetitious work.

    And eliminate a heck of a lot of headaches?

    Me to, that’s why I love the Firefox iMacros extension.

    You can do all of the above and so much more.

    Here’s the link and it has walk through video’s also.

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3863

    Enjoy it and watch your life get so much easier.

    Peace

    Garret

    Feel free to subscribe to http://need-to-get-some.blogspot.com/ and sign up on the pink icon on the left with the diamond heart. Please, it will only take a minute.

  18. says

    It didn’t start blooging until two months ago and I was a bit lost and confused about what I was doing. I’m still getting my head wrapped around the types of users on each of the different social bookmarking sites and which types of articles should be submitted to each. Great Post! Thank you.

  19. says

    It is so true how when we start out there is such a huge learning curve.

    Thanks to blogs like this we “experienced” bloggers can help the newbies out, as long as they read and implement our ideas and suggestions.

    Great article my friend.

    As always :)

    Garrets last blog post..13 Things Every Net User Should Know

  20. says

    Sorry for the late replies everyone!

    @Dennis: Good comments on other site definitely brings in traffic. For some new readers, a comment on another site can be your first impression.

    @Mitch: Yes, it definitely helps in getting to know what topics are popular, and inspire us to write more of what readers want.

    @Abdulrehman: Exactly. It’s not always about finding out how to make something work to your benefit. It’s about showing to readers how it can work to theirs.

    @Exercise to lose weight: Yes. And after months of having this page, and reading other people’s reactions, it definitely does work.

    @FriendTek: Sometimes, I don’t know if it is because they don’t know how, or they don’t know why they should. Giving them reasons for the latter would make them more willing to do so.

    @Garret: I do have a ton of passwords. Most I have Firefox remember my password at home, but I should keep a key somewhere just in case I am elsewhere and need to log in.

    @Matt: Yes, while some sites are for a little bit of everything, there are other sites that cater to a specific subject. Some of those can be quite powerful, as everyone coming to those sites will be focused on your topic.

  21. says

    @Garret: Thanks! That’s why I like to share information as I go along. I figure there are others that have just started that could benefit, and even those who are experienced who might have missed something basic when they started out.

  22. says

    I have to admit web 2.0 is one of the best marketing strategies out there and I haven’t really been able to really grasp this particular form of marketing. I will have to start utilizing these methods as they can really help in my approach thanks for the great article.

    almirs last blog post..Vital Tips That Can Aid Any Blogger

    • says

      You’d be surprised. I was saying to a friend the other day that it’s crazy how it wasn’t that long ago that noone had heard of twitter, facebook, wikipedia, youtube… and now they’re three of the largest sites online.

      Things can change extremely quickly online.

  23. says

    I know this is a very old post, but I know that you now don’t have trouble with Web 2.0 because you learned so much on the way. You are doing fine networking with other bloggers and that is the point of Web 2.0!

    -Kai
    .-= New from Kai Lo@seo Keywords That Sell =-.



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