(By- Ray Grieselhuber) – A couple of months ago, I came across Danny Dover’s excellent Web Developer’s Cheatsheet for SEO. It was great for web developers whether or not they had experience with SEO because there is inevitably something that you end up Googling if you don’t use it on a daily basis.
After spending a little time with Danny’s cheatsheet, I realized that I wanted something interactive so that I could play with the different snippets it offered. So, I decided to build an interactive cheatsheet that lets you enter in the values for the page title, keyword, URLs for links, etc. and would automatically populate the relevant tags for your HTML document.
The finished product is the Web Developer’s Interactive Cheatsheet for SEO and the Open Graph. (Finished may be too strong of a word because there is more that I’d like to do with it. :-) ).
In addition to the traditional metadata recommendations included in pretty much every SEO guide, I wanted to also make sure people had an easy way to start including Open Graph tags on their pages. Ensuring that these tags are set up and structured correctly has a big impact on the shareability of your content across social networks, especially Facebook. This, in turn, has an impact on SEO. So, in the cheatsheet, I also automatically generate correctly formatted Open Graph tags.
So, the way it works is this: you specify the desired values in the form at the top of the page. Some of the fields, such as title and meta description have a character counter that automatically decrements as you enter your text. This gives you a simple way to ensure that you’re exceeding the recommended characters for each one of those fields.
I’ve also been using this tool to explain to beginners how to set up metadata and the importance of optimizing for search engine crawlers and social sharing.
Once you’ve set up your fields, just scroll down and copy-paste the metadata you want into your own HTML document.
Here is an example of the HTML tags that are generated:
And some sample Open Graph tags:
There are few things that didn’t make it into this original release, but things that I plan to add soon. These include:
- More explanation on each of the fields / tags
- Ability to download a boilerplate HTML5 document populated with your data
- More explanation around other related topics such as setting up redirects, etc.
I’d love to hear from people with suggestions for improving this tool. Thanks for checking it out!
With Facebook’s ever-changing layout, and the fact that other social sites are encroaching on its real-time update strangle-hold, it’s easy to forget that there are some pretty nifty tricks you can pull using your humble Facebook status.
We’ve pulled together 10 great how-to tips that will help you get the most out of your status update, from official features to apps, Easter eggs, jokes and more.
Perfect for newer Facebook users, or anyone who is looking for a refresher, read on and let us know the ones you like in the comments below.
1. HOW TO: Add a Dislike Option to Your Status Update
“Like” buttons are everywhere on Facebook, and they’re everywhere on the web. But what if you want to update your status or share something that your friends can “dislike?” We know, your friends can choose to “comment” on your post, but where’s the fun in that?
The clever Status Magic Facebook app can add a dislike button to any status updates posted via the app. And if you wanted to really mix it up you can actually customize the second emotion to anything, such as “love,” “hate,” “disagree” or even “LOLs.”
2. HOW TO: Hide Status Updates From Certain People
Using Facebook’s general privacy settings (find these by hitting “account” on the top right of a Facebook page) you can select whether everyone, just friends or friends of friends can see your status updates. However, there is a way to narrow those options down even further.
You can select specific friend lists to see your status (relevant for work, special interest groups, etc.) or even individual people by name, which is useful for anyone organizing a surprise party.
To take advantage of these options, click the padlock icon just below your “what’s on your mind” box on your wall and a drop down menu should appear. Selecting “customize” will bring up more options such as “make this visible to” and “hide from” with the option to make your selection a default.
3. HOW TO: Pre-Schedule Status Updates
While SocialOomph, Sendible and HootSuite offer the same kind of service, the simplest way to schedule Facebook status updates is by using the easy, free Later Bro service.
Just sign in with Facebook Connect, select your time zone, type in what it is you’d like to say, set the calendar and clock to when you’d like to say it, and presto!
4. HOW TO: Tag People in Your Status Updates
This was quite a big deal when it was announced this past September, but from the amount of searches on the topic “how can I make someone’s name go blue in a Facebook status?” it seems it’s not universally known.
To mention someone in a status update just type “@” (a la Twitter) in the status bar and start typing their name as it appears on Facebook. An auto-generated list will then come up with people in your social circle whose name starts with the letters you’ve typed. The feature also works with pages, brands, events and companies.
Hit the name you want, complete the update, click share and the name will become a hyperlink (you won’t see the @ symbol) and will appear in blue text.
5. HOW TO: Add Symbols to Your Facebook Status
Although there are plenty of emoticons that work with Facebook Chat, typing “:)” into Facebook’s status bar will not magically transform into a smiley yellow face. In fact, the only symbol you can create in a Facebook status update through the shortcut keys is a ♥, by typing “<3.”
While this won’t bother many Facebook users, others more used to punctuating their missives can copy and paste web-happy, universal symbols into the box, as you can see in the screengrab above.
PC users can also access some symbols by hitting “alt” + various number combinations (on a numerical keypad). So, while smileys are yet to hit Facebook statuses, you can annoy or amuse your buddies with symbols right now.
6. HOW TO: Turn Your Status Updates Into a Word Cloud
There’s a really fun way to visualize anyone’s status updates (even an entire country’s) as a word cloud. The Status Analyzer 3D app will look at what it is you’ve been chatting about lately and generate a list, and then a pretty, colorful, animated cloud as pictured above.
You can share the results with others on the social networking site by posting it to your friends’ walls or by adding it to your profile.
7. HOW TO: Have Fun With Facebook’s Humorous Language Options
While you can always change your setting into more sensible alternative languages, the site offers a couple of fun linguistic Easter eggs.
You can chose to have Facebook display upside down English, or, for anyone feeling a little salty, in “pirate.” Pirate essentially turns your status into your “plank,” your attachments into “loot” and instead of “share” it offers the option to “blabber t’ yer mates.”
Sadly, anything you type in the status bar won’t be upside down, or pirate-y. But with the use of some external sites you can achieve the same effect.
TypeUpsideDown.com and UpsideDownText.com are just two examples of sites that can flip your text, while the Talk Like a Pirate Day site can help you with your pirate translations.
8. HOW TO: See Status Updates From Around the World
If you want to get a glimpse of the thoughts of Facebook users from around the world’s, head over to OpenBook.
Created by three San Fran web developers with a serious privacy message in mind, the site aggregates the status updates of everyone whose privacy levels are set to “everyone.”
You can narrow your searchable results down by gender and keywords to find out what people are saying about a certain topic. Or you can just browse the recent searches.
9. HOW TO: See Your Status Update Stats
Have you ever wondered how many times you have updated your status on Facebook? The Facebook app Status Statistics, can tell you this and more.
The app analyzes your updates and gives you a tidy list of how many you’ve written, the average word count and how many times a day you post. In addition, it generates a graph that shows you what time of day or what days of the week you normally update.
Old statuses are also searchable via the app, so you can find that witty retort you made back in November 2009 without having to scroll back through your history.
10. HOW TO: Play a Trick On Your Friends in Your Status Update
We have a funny one to end on — a way to play an amusing trick on your Facebook buddies.
This clever link “http://facebook.com/profile.php?=73322363″ looks like it could be a URL for anyone’s Facebook profile, actually takes anyone logged into Facebook to their own profile page.
If you try it out, be sure to remove the link preview that Facebook auto-ads. Have fun, and don’t be too mean…
“Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one.” So began the “letter from the founders” penned by Sergey Brin and Larry Page in the company’s securities registration form in 2004. Despite ever-increasing commercial success since that date, Brin and Page have kept to their word.
Google is an unconventional company with a huge stake in our online lives. It is a source of fascination for many, including us, but what really happens in the Googleplex? And what cool factoids and stats exist from the company’s relatively short past?
Here we bring you 10 fun facts about Google to quench our own thirst for Google knowledge as well as hopefully offer you a distracting diversion from your daily life.
1. The First Google Doodle
Google’s famous homepage “Doodles” (the changing Google logo graphics) are well known and enjoyed by millions around the world as a way to mark an event or anniversary. But did you know that the very first Google Doodle was designed as a kind of “out of office” message?
In 1998 Brin and Page took the weekend off to go the Burning Man festival in Nevada. The Burning Man doodle (shown above), was designed by the Google guys and added to the homepage to let their users know they were out of office and couldn’t fix technical issues like a server crash.
2. Interesting Figures from the Google IPO
While the initial price for Google’s stock at its Initial Public Offering in August 2004 is an interesting stat in itself, there’s more to the story. The opening price for Google’s stock was $85 per share. At the time of writing, the stock price was $483 but has soared as high as $600 in the past year, making GOOG a rather nice investment for many.
A bonus factoid from Google’s IPO process is the value Google stated it hoped to raise on its S-1 form — as much as $2,718,281,828. It may just look like a string of numbers to non-mathletes, but 2,718,281,828 is actually the first ten digits of the mathematical constant ““e”,” showing that even as their company was planning to go public, the Google guys could still geek out with a bit of numerical humor.
3. The First Google Storage Was Made From LEGO
As proud hosts to Google back when it was still a research project, and known as “BackRub,” here Stanford now showcases the original Google storage from way back in 1996. It’s made up of a whopping 40 GB (less than a modern iPod) and it’s made from, as fans of the building bricks will be delighted to see, LEGO. It even hash funny mini-figures on the top.
Legend has it that the reason for the LEGO construction was that the Google guys needed an easily expandable, and cheap way to house 10 4 GB hard drives, and LEGO fit the bill. Whether the primary colors of the bricks used were the hues that went on to inspire the Google logo’s design is up for debate, but we’d guess it wasn’t just a coincidence.
4. Google’s First Ever Tweet
Google’s first ever Twitter post was as satisfyingly geeky as you could hope for. The message, sent in February 2009, reads “I’m 01100110 01100101 01100101 01101100 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01101100 01110101 01100011 01101011 01111001 00001010.”
For anyone not fluent in binary, here’s a hint — it’s a well known phrase from the company’s homepage. Got it? Yep, it reads: “I’m feeling lucky.”
5. Google Rents Goats
This one isn’t actually one of Google’s infamous April Fools’ Day jokes: Google rents out goats. Yes you read that right. It rents goats from a company called California Grazing to help cut down the amount of weeds and brush at Google HQ.
The operation of 200 goats (plus herder and a border collie) is kind to the environment, and as Google puts it: “A lot cuter to watch than lawn mowers.”
6. Google’s Impact on Language
While you’d think the news that the Merriam-Webster and Oxford English Dictionary adding “google” as a verb to their lexicons in 2006 would thrill the search engine, Google was actually none too pleased with the development.
“We’d like to make clear that you should please only use ‘Google’ when you’re actually referring to Google Inc. and our services,” the company wrote in a blog post at the time.
The rationale behind the semantic displeasure was that Google had “a brand to protect,” and feared Google would “slip from trademarked status into common usage.” Now, four years later, we have to say Google was fighting a losing battle — just ‘google it.’
However, we’ve found some other Google-themed linguistic delights for you — a Google staffer is commonly referred to as a “Googler,” while a new team member joins as a “Noogler.” Nooglers also used to wear a colorful hat with a spinner on top. According to a former employee, those hats are now pretty scarce in some offices, instead: “Every Noogler gets a yellow smiley balloon and a nameplate.”
7. Google Is Dog-Friendly
Google is a super dog-friendly company. It proudly names “company dogs,” like Yoshka (described as a “free-range Leonberger”) pictured above. Yoshka accompanies Urs Holzle, senior VP operations and Google Fellow to the Googleplex. Less senior staff are also allowed to bring their dogs to the office.
According to Google’s “Dog Policy”, one indiscretion too many on the Google carpets, or aggressive behavior, means Lassie will have to stay at home in the future. Strong bladdered and friendly canines are more than welcome across the campus.
Unfortunately, cats are not quite as welcome. Here’s an excerpt taken directly from Google’s Code of Conduct: “Google’s affection for our canine friends is an integral facet of our corporate culture. We like cats, but we’re a dog company, so as a general rule we feel cats visiting our offices would be fairly stressed out.”
8. Google’s First Ever “Company Snack” Was Swedish Fish
Back in February, 1999, the chewy candy known as “Swedish Fish” became the first ever company snack (not counting beverages) that was ordered into the Google office.
Although a relatively small event, it has led to big things. Google is infamous in the industry for treating its employees to not just free drinks and snacks on tap, but full-on gourmet meals, three times a day at a plethora of on-site cafes and eateries, as well as regular BBQs during the summer.
Brin and Page have been quoted in the past as saying no Googler should have to go more than 100 feet for food, leading to snack-filled “microkitchens” that are liberally dotted around the Google offices.
In fact, the free food is said to be so tempting that Googlers risk the “Google 15,” similar to the “Freshman 15,” where they pile on weight soon after joining the company. Good thing they also have a Google gym.
Backing this up, here’s a stat from Google — “Bay Area Googlers consumed approximately 5,500 pounds of handmade chocolates from the snack bins in the microkitchens in 2007.” Wow.
9. The Google Logo Was Not Centered Until 2001
Google’s famously sparse homepage is considered a classic design in the online world. The Google logo, however, wasn’t actually centered on the page until March 31, 2001. As early users will remember, the homepage had a bias to the left-hand side, and even earlier — back in 1998 — Google sported a Yahoo-style exclamation mark.
10. Google Has a Company Dinosaur
By all accounts, there are many wondrous sights to be seen at the Googleplex, but one of the most arresting is surely the gigantic T-Rex skeleton — nicknamed “Stan” after a “real” dino found nearby — that looms menacingly at Googlers in Mountain View.
Joining Stan in the unique campus decorations is a scale replica of the SpaceShipOne, enormous Android -themed models, pink flamingos, a large LEGO man, Google-colored phone boxes and grown-up size ball pits. One thing seems for sure — just like the company itself — life at the Googleplex must be far from dull.
For the most part, Twitter and Facebook users were underwhelmed by U.S. President Barack Obama’s speech last night with regard to April 20’s massive oil spill on the Gulf Coast.
Opinion analytics company Crimson Hexagon analyzed approximately 83,000 tweets and public Facebook comments from 8 p.m. EST Tuesday though around 5 a.m. EST Wednesday that included mention of President Obama, the Oval Office speech or the oil spill, which occurred after a BP oil rig exploded. As people have been getting more and more dissatisfied with the way the spill has been handled (see: @BPGlobalPR and the veritable storm of reactive parodies it has spawned), the fact that most commenters had a bad case of the grumbles is not surprising.
Here’s a breakdown of public opinion, courtesy of social media:
- 27% of viewers were not content with the plan that the president outlined during the speech.
- 11% of people thought that Obama’s public speaking skills were lacking: i.e. he used too many hand gestures, he looked like he was reading from a tele-prompter, and — oddly — he had graying hair (heyo, trolls).
- 15% of folks were mad that they were missing their programs: So You Think You Can Dance, etc.
- 14% of comments came from people who just generally don’t like the president as a president.
- Compared with the 13% who expressed support for him…
- …and the 15% who agreed with the president’s main points: That BP should pay for the damage it has caused (7%), and that clean energy technologies should be implemented (8%).
- Finally, 5% of users chastized others for not caring enough, and for being more concerned with basketball (another facet of entertainment that was being delayed due to the broadcast) than the environment.
Social media outlets are increasingly becoming a gauge for public opinion, with sites like Facebook and Twitter serving as a kind of town square or water cooler, and others like YouTube as a channel by which to reach the public, and vice versa. Last night White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs answered citizens’ questions via the video-sharing site, and earlier this year the president addressed inquires via YouTube after the State of the Union.
Granted, the above numbers are based solely on what people chose to say on Facebook and Twitter — one might be more apt to gripe about missing a ball game via social media than during an official poll — but public opinion with regard to the speech has largely complained about lack of details. So while we suspect that more than 7% of viewers are ticked off with BP, and more than 8% dig clean energy, the stats seem telling.
What do you think of these findings? If you missed the speech, we’re embedding it below. Check it out and let us know in the comments: What would your Facebook status or Twitter feed read after seeing what the president has to say?
Facebook has released a refreshed Insights dashboard that provides deeper analytics on user demographics, “Likes,” shares and reshares. The dashboard is designed for page owners, publishers using the new social plugins and application developers.
The aggregate data covered in the new dashboard essentially highlights Facebook users’ sharing behavior related to both content on and off the site with better data, graphs and charts.
Users can visualize top level info, as well as drill down to look at specific metrics around individual stories and comments “Liked” on the page. Graphs in the Insights dashboard can even be saved, printed, or upsized and viewed in full screen mode.
Domain administrators who associate their domain with a user ID, page or application can view detailed — yet anonymous — demographic data for each domain. These demographic visualizations cover gender, age, country, city and language breakdowns for a comprehensive look at audience makeup.
Application developers can get information about referral traffic to their applications, feedback on stream stories and other significant data on user engagement with the application.
The refreshed Insights dashboard appears to be designed to prove to publishers and application developers that sharing and the new Instant Personalization feature are being heavily adopted by users. It’s a smart upgrade that will better help business-oriented Facebook users measure progress within the social network and on their own pages.
Nielsen has released a new mobile application report and its findings showcase not only the increase in smartphone usage, but also what applications are most popular. For its report, Nielsen surveyed more than 4,200 people who had downloaded a mobile application in the last 30 days.
The survey really highlights just how much smartphone ownership trails traditional feature phone ownership, at least in the U.S. Nielsen’s study shows that 21% of American wireless subscribers have smartphones.
Still, even non-smartphone users have heavily embraced mobile apps. Nielsen’s survey indicates that the average number of apps that a feature phone user has on his or her device is 10, while the average number of apps a smartphone user has is 22.
Broken down even further, the average number of installed apps based on smartphone OS looks like this:
- BlackBerry: 10
- iPhone: 37
- Android: 22
- Palm: 14
- Windows Mobile: 13
Most Popular Smartphone Apps
While the specific applications vary from platform to platform, the most popular apps across smartphones were pretty consistent in this report: Maps, weather, Facebook and music all had strong showings.
Check out this chart which breaks down the five most popular apps by smartphone OS:
It’s interesting to see just how much Facebook dominates the mobile app space; it’s one of the top five apps on each of the platforms highlighted. Still, Nielsen notes that broken down by demographic, MySpace is still very popular among teens and that LinkedIn is strong in the 25-44 demographic.
Do any of these findings surprise you or does this align with your own mobile app usage? Let us know.
Source from : http://mashable.com/
Google Making Moves to Make Buzz More Useful
Google is starting to make some significant moves that may give Google Buzz a significant boost. For example, this week, a “Reshare” button was announced. This is essentially Google’s version of the retweet. If you follow a Buzz user who posts an interesting update, you can hit the “reshare” button (down with the comment, like, and email buttons) to repost that post to your own Buzz stream.
Will new features fuel Buzz growth?
Reshare only works for public posts. Private posts will not have the reshare link. However, you can reshare posts yourself publicly or privately. If a lot of people you follow reshare the same post, the similar posts will be collapsed.
“You’ll notice that resharing creates a new post, effectively forking the conversation. To fork or not fork was a decision we debated for a while,” Say Buzz software engineer Sam Goto. “Ultimately, we think forked conversations help create more varied, intimate discussions around a single item. We realize people may want a non-forking version too, so we’re thinking about how to do that as well.”
“When there is a chain of reshares, the names of all of the people who publicly reshare the post appear on the original item, even if they’re not directly connected to the original author,” Goto explains. “If you share something that ends up getting passed around by lots of other people, it’s pretty cool to see that.”
It’s also worth noting that you can “like” a reshare, and that will not translate to a “like” for the original post. This means you can like a comment without liking what the comment is about.
Google also announced that it’s releasing an XHTML version of the Buzz website which can be accessed from many mobile devices like those running Android pre-2.0, Blackberry, Nokia S60, and Windows Mobile. This could go a long way for getting Buzz used by mobile users across a broader range of devices.
Google Buzz launched earlier this year to a great deal of hype – and why not – a potential Facebook/Twitter competitor from the giant that is Google – but much of the “buzz” about Buzz has faded in the months since. In fact, most of the discussion in the media about Buzz has been centered around privacy issues (though that has become considerably less rampant…Facebook has filled that role nicely).
As we’ve been saying since long before Buzz was announced, the key to a Google social network offering is in the integration with its other products. This made launching Buzz within Gmail seem like a smart move, but there is still much work to be done if Buzz is to become a real player in the space.
Adding features, such as the reshare feature is a start, but what may have a more significant impact was an announcement that came last week.
During Google I/O, I attended a session in which Google quietly announced the launch of the Buzz API. The news was generally overshadowed by other Google announcements, such as the unveilings of Google TV and FroYo, but with developers getting access to the Buzz API, there is room for much to be done around the service in terms of third-party apps, which should ultimately make Buzz much more useful. That’s what happened with Twitter. Developers like TweetDeck, Boxee, Buzzzy, Klout, Meebo, Seesmic, Vinehub, Shareaholic, and other have already taken advantage of the Buzz API.
It’s hard to say if the general public will find a real need for Buzz alongside Facebook, Twitter and other services, but as Google grows its presence in mobile via Android, and soon into television via Google TV, there will be more potential gateways for Buzz adoption, as well as integration.
Is Buzz headed in the right direction? Do you think Buzz use will explode? Share your thoughts.
Source : http://www.webpronews.com