Written by:2010/12/03 07:45 AM
Guest post by: Devon Dudgeon (http://www.devoninspiration.com)
The tools available for bloggers to use continue to evolve. When I first started blogging in Feb. 2003, I had to learn how to hack HTML code just for simple changes to the blog templates available, such as including an image in the right-hand column. Now many blogging tools such as Blogger and TypePad offer drag and drop functionality in a WYSIWG back-end, and of course WordPress blogs are fully customizable for those with slightly more advanced technical skills.
Along the way, other sites and social media outlets have created ways that bloggers can incorporate elements of their site into their blogs. Facebook now offers an easy way to grab code for their social plugins. For example, you can integrate the Facebook “like” feature into your site – on the site as a whole and/or on individual posts.
YouTube very prominently displays an option to get the embed code to include videos on your site. Plus, with a few clicks you can customize the size and colors of the embedded object to best fit with your blog. Of course Google, Yahoo! and Bing offer search widgets that you can include on your blog as well.
There are also tools and widgets that are of interest to various blogger niches. One of them is the new FanTalkTV widget. FanTalkTV is a new site which gives TV viewers the ability to talk LIVE with each other as they are watching their favorite TV shows, sporting events and awards shows. These real-time “fan clubs” give viewers the forum to unite together in groups that are as intimate as their own living rooms. They’ve created a widget that will allow bloggers to host a live discussion on their site.
This is particularly useful for those who blog about TV shows or sporting events. Rather than having a thread of comments which may have a lag time and limit users’ ability to talk directly to each other, bloggers can now simply copy some embed code to include a fan discussion room in their post. This enhances the discussion on your blog during specific events by providing a tool for live, real-time discussion to complement the permanent, ongoing discussion in your comments thread. Plus, it could give you new material to blog about afterwards!
If you blog about a niche area, explore the new widgets and tools that are available to you. There’s so much available – and no HTML hacking required!
About the author:
Devon Dudgeon is a strategic digital marketing consultant, experienced in launching products, services, loyalty programs and other customer communications for global brands and entrepreneurial start-ups, including FanTalkTV. Her passion for communications extends outside the office with a semi-professional hobby as a writer, actor and humorist. She created and performed the first show based on a blog at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and London Comedy Festival in 2004. Follow Devon on Twitter @ddudgeon.
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