Archive for the 'Google' Category

Google Buzz button for WordPress.com

Google Buzz: a hybrid between the Facebook share feature and Twitter.

Take two cups of Facebook share, add a spoonful of twitter and two quarts of no respect for peoples privacy and you’ll get Google Buzz.

How to Generate a Google Buzz Button for WordPress.com?
I’ve added a new feature to GetSocial Live: you can now use it to generate Google Buzz buttons for your WordPress.com blog!

Try It (It’s alpha transparent and will work on all types of backgrounds):

Add to Google Buzz

The button is routed through Google Reader. it’s a temporary solution until a better API for Google Buzz becomes available. Get yours now!

For the best results, you should use your permalink (instead of shortlink) when you generate Google Buzz buttons. The reason for this is that the source of the link is extracted from your post URL. If you’ll use the shortlink GetSocial will not be able to extract the name of your blog. Instead, it will assign WordPress.com as the source for your link (the link itself will work fine, and correctly connect to your post though).

For regular updates and status reports follow GetSocial Live on Twitter.

What is Google Buzz?
Google Buzz is a new service from Google. it was launched a few days ago, and is probably intended to compete with twitter. You can post text and images there, comment, ‘like’ and follow/unfollow people. It’s a hybrid between the Facebook share feature (which automatically fetches images and other information from your posted links) and Twitter (excluding its famous 140 characters limitation).

What’s Wrong With Google Buzz?
Google Buzz was integrated into Gmail, so it’s already got a huge user base. That’s also one of my problems with it – I think that Google Buzz is imposing itself on Gmail users, and that’s just ain’t right. Also, many Gmail users found themselves ‘following’ (and being ‘followed’ by) random people who Google Buzz have automatically selected from their email contacts. This was done without them even using the new service! That’s bad for privacy, and also not particularly fun – do you really want to find out that you’ve been “following” your ex?

But wait, it gets even worse: since you can click through to other people’s profiles and see who they follow and who follows them, you can (at least in this early stage) deduce who they’ve been exchanging emails with – and again, that’s without them even using the service! I’ve personally found out the secret identity of an anonymous blogger using this method.

The thing that really amazes me about Google Buzz though, is its name. What’s going on here? Doesn’t Yahoo already have a service called Yahoo Buzz? Am I the only one to notice that? ‘Like’? ‘Follow’? I think we’ve seen all this stuff somewhere else already…

In my opinion Google Buzz, like GTalk and Google Wave before it, was designed to keep you connected to your Google account for as much as possible so that Google could phish (and keep, forever) even more personal information about your browsing habits and use it for targeting ads. But hey, that’s just me.

PERMALINK / SHORTLINK

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Free Google AdWords promotional code coupons 2010

Montage!I’ve just received some more promotional coupon codes for Google AdWords. Each coupon is worth about 50 USD, and to celebrate this new decade of endless possibilities, I’m giving them all up for nothing more than the right price: Totally Free!

The coupons are good for new users, and will only work with AdWords accounts that are less than 14 days old.

UPDATE (May 01, 2010): All coupons have been handed out. Sorry I didn’t have enough for everyone, see you next time! :)

To get your free code you’ll need to do two things:

1. Link to this post from your blog (it must be a legitimate blog, e.g. not spam!).

2. Go here and fill in your name, email address, and a link to your blog.

I will send you the coupon via email within a 24 hours time, come and get it!

Please note:
1. In order to use the coupon you must be new to Google AdWords. This means that your account must be 14 days old or less!
2. You must use the coupon you get. You can’t pass it to someone else, keep it unused, publish it online, etc. If you don’t use it, tell me and I will give it to someone else!
3. After you’ve used up the coupon, you must manually stop your AdWords campaign if you wish to discontinue it.
4. The marked value of the coupon is 200 NIS, actual value in USD may vary.
5. Coupon giveaway will only continue while supplies last – hurry up!
6. All invalid requests will be ignored.

PERMALINK / SHORTLINK

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GetSocial Live Status Updates @ Twitter

Follow GetSocial Live @ Twitter
GetSocial Live users might have noticed some new updates recently (better tooltips, interactive previews). Since it’s much easier to update a website than it is to update an application, GSL users can expect a much more rapid rate of new developments! So if you think of some new features you’d like to see in GSL, do tell :)

Some updates (on the domain side) require scheduled downtime, and that’s why I’ve recently created this Twitter account as an independent source for updates about GSL upgrades, new versions and maintenance downtime. Needless to say, it’s a 100% spam free twitter account – so go ahead, start following GetSocial Live now!

If we’re already talking about downtime, some of you may have noticed that GetSocial Live was unavailable at times during the last few weeks. The reason for this, is that GetSocial Live was hosted (for free) on Google Pages. When the service suddenly shut down, GetSocial Live became unavailable. Migrating to Google Sites (the successor of Google Pages) was impractical because you can’t run HTML files directly from Google Sites, and that’s why GSL went down. Currently, GSL is temporarily hosted on a paid host, but will soon migrate to a permanent location (still paid though). I apologize in advance for any resulting downtime, and will try to provide alternative links via the GSL Twitter as needed.

PERMALINK / SHORTLINK

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Google Wave: most overrated technology since Twitter

Morton Rhue's new book: 'The Google Wave'

Google Wave seems like an overly complex solution to a non-existing problem. Nowadays the issue is not how to communicate with your friends and colleagues, the real challenge is to get some actual work done between answering your email and watching viral videos online.

A few months ago, when it was released, I actually sat down and watched the entire 80 minutes or so of the Google Wave presentation in YouTube (please note that this atrocity, which I bet almost no one watched in full, currently have a 5.0 star rating!).

I’ll skip the part where I rant about the well fed and self satisfied Google lecturers, who seem to stretch every bit of information that could have been thoroughly explained within seconds into minutes upon minutes of arrogant and graceless presentation. I don’t bear a grudge against them for wasting my time with the video though, after all Google Wave is designed for that very purpose – wasting valuable time.

Last Thursday 100,000 “lucky” users got a chance to test what is hyped as the future of the internet (and then blog about it I guess). What truly amazes me right now is that everywhere you look (okay, everywhere within the constraints of your monitor) people are raving about the mythical powers and neon bright economic future of Google Wave (whose actual nature and/or use seems to elude even its own developers).

This reminds me of two things: the thousands of blog posts and “articles” about why your business must be in Twitter right now (the short answer is ‘because’) and the educational book “The Wave” (no pun intended) by Morton Rhue (Todd Strasser), where a US high school is caught in an experiment of mass brainwashing, dictatorship and let’s face it: hype.

I just don’t get all those people who rain praise and positive reviews about what seems to be at best a half baked idea just because it comes from Google. I might be proved wrong somewhere along the line, but in my opinion Google is too big and too clumsy for its own good. I think that right now, in the shadow of the economic crisis they’re just shooting in all directions.

Specifically, Google Wave seems to me like an overly complex solution to a non-existing problem. Nowadays the issue is not how to communicate with your friends and colleagues, the real challenge is to get some actual work done between answering your email and watching viral videos online.

Because Google Wave is a real time service, and because it’s about conversations and not about posting, I predict that every ‘wave’ will soon turn into a huge tsunami requiring literally hours to follow. Consider the level of commitment required to use this service, especially if you’re not stuck near the computer the entire duration of your day, and need to catch up with what went down with your 643 friends. It’s like trying to read all the comments in a popular YouTube movie – long, repetitive and rarely rewarding.

In the bottom line, if Google Wave was named ‘Whatever Wave’ (or even worse: ‘Microsoft Wave’) no one would care about it. At best.

PERMALINK / SHORTLINK

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Free Google AdWords promotional code coupon

It’s Freebie Tuesday @ hillelstoler.com again, and I’m giving away five 200 NIS (that’s about 50 USD) worth Google AdWords coupons for free! All I ask in return is a link from your blog.

UPDATE (January 03, 2009): There are some new coupons here!

UPDATE (August 02, 2009): The coupon giveaway has ended. Thanks ya’ll!

To get your free promotional code Click Here and request a coupon – I will email it to you within 24h time!

[Hillel & Google] Relationship status: It's complicated.

You can use these coupons to start up your Google advertising campaign and to pay the Google AdWords registration fees (at least at google.co.il where such fees apply). Please note that the promotional code is intended for NEW AdWords accounts only and needs to be applied when you create your account (or a short time afterwards).

How to get the free Google AdWords Coupun?

Step 1: Make sure that you’re new to Google AdWords, or that your account is only a few days old.

Step 2: Do at least one of the following: Put hillelstoler.wordpress.com in your blogroll or link to this post from your blog and help me spread the word about the free coupons.

Step 3: Just ask for it!
I will send your promotional code ASAP (usually within less than 24h).

A note for Wiz clients & GetSocial users
If you’re an active Wiz client or if you’ve ever made a donation for GetSocial (prior to September 22, 2009) you are invited to contact me and receive your free coupon without the need to link here.

A blank Google AdWords coupon with YOUR name on it!

(Some of) the fine print:
1. You must be new to Google AdWords. This means that your account must be 14 days old or less (and that’s the 3rd time I’ve said that already!).

2. You must use the coupon you get. You can’t pass it to someone else, keep it unused, publish it online, etc.

3. After you’ve used up the coupon, you must manually stop your AdWords campaign if you wish to discontinue it.

At this point I would like to make it clear that I receive no profit out of these coupons or from Google. It’s a strictly humanitarian act :)

PERMALINK / SHORTLINK

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Which social bookmarking network would you like to see in the next version of GetSocial?

Google <3 GetSocial!

First of all, get this: my very own GetSocial is now featured in Google’s auto-suggestions – yeah!

On a different note, I’m currently working on a new version of GetSocial, and I’ve decided to remove the Ma.gnolia button and make some room for one lucky social bookmarking network (as you may or may not know, Ma.gnolia isn’t doing very well lately).

Now I need your help: which social bookmarking network would you like to see in the next version?

I’m thinking either Twitter or Yahoo! Buzz but I’m open for suggestions…

UPDATE (February 26, 2009): GetSocial 1.03 is ready, Twitter is in da house!

PERMALINK / SHORTLINK

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Hillel’s Blogging Tips & Hacks

I've always wanted to make one of these!

If you’re here, then you’re probably searching for ways to make your blog better (and get some more traffic while you’re at it!). As you already know, the internet is packed with literally millions of blog posts about this subject – so in order to avoid wasting your time I’ll skip all the obvious and generalized advice that’s been copy-pasted around the blogosphere so many times already and focus only on the things I know from my own personal experience.

1. Place a PERMALINK in the bottom of every post

Okay, I’ll admit that this is a weird tip to start up my list, but I bet that it’s something you haven’t already read ten thousand times before. So why is it a good idea to place a permalink in the bottom of your post?

First let’s define ‘permalink’: a permalink is a static link that points to a specific post. The reason I use permalinks (which seems redundant at first, because the title of each post also serves as a permalink) is to protect my blog from content theft. There are many blogs out there that take your posts and republish them as their own (it’s called sploging). Why? So they could post a lot of new content in a very short time span and use it to promote their blogs in search engines (oh, and also monetize from advertisements and link exchange while they’re at it!).

If you have a permalink in your post, every time someone steals it you will be notified by a trackback/pingback. It may not prevent people from stealing your stuff but it will at least notify you when it happens. An additional benefit is the incoming links you’ll receive from your own permalink when your post is republished somewhere else. Such links will improve your page rank and in some cases will increase your Technorati authority as well. Sploging isn’t so bad afterall, isn’t it? :)

2. Make sure your blog is optimized for Google.co.uk

First of all let’s make sure that we’re on the same wavelength here: different Google’s (Google.com, Google.co.il, etc.) will bring up different search results for the same search queries – I hope you already knew that, but even if you didn’t – you do now. No matter which country you live in, and what language you speak, it’s absolutely essential that you promote your blog/website on Google.co.uk!

This includes monitoring your position in search results for your keywords, and also publishing your AdSense ads there (in addition to Google.com and your local Google).

The reason I’m saying this is not because I’m the co-founder of Google.co.uk, it’s because of a rather unpredicted reason: Microsoft! When you select a search provider for the built in search box in Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, the default Google search is not google.com – it’s google.co.uk! This means that whoever uses IE7 as their web browser and selected Google as their search provider (but didn’t manually set it to google.com) is searching through google.co.uk!

This advice alone would probably cost you hundreds of dollars if you’ve gotten it from so called SEO “experts”, and here you are, getting it for free at
hillelstoler.com, why not link here from your own blog and help spread the word?

3. Make sure you understand incoming links

I’ll do this one real quick: one of the most important things for any website or blog in terms of traffic and SEO is incoming links (links from other websites that points to your site). There are three things you must know about incoming links:

3.1 ‘nofollow’ links are links that might get traffic to your page (via people who click on them) but will not increase your page rank. This generally includes links in comments, forums and wiki pages. So there really is no really need to spam Wikipedia after all! :)

3.2 When you link to your website it’s best to use anchor words. For example, if you want your site to appear on search engines when someone searches “La Costa Lotta” – it will be best if you could get other websites to link this anchor term to you. For example, this link: read about La Costa Lotta is much better than this one: read about La Costa Lotta here.

3.3 Incoming links from other blogs can have different values for you. A blogroll link is the best because it appears on every page and regenerates itself every time a new post is published (important for your Technorati authority). Links from inside posts are good because they’re tracked by Technorati and others, and there is also a good chance people will see (and use) them when they read the post. Side bar links are good because they are always visible, however they don’t count on Technorati, and the chances of getting any click through traffic from them are slim. Last on my list are links from pages – which are nice to have but not very great.

4. Use GetSocial

GetSocial, that’s the only unoriginal advice here, but it works, and it’s my software – so what can I say? The way I see it, social bookmarking is a lot like playing the lottery – it wastes your time in most cases, but sometimes, rarely, you can hit the jackpot in terms of traffic, and I like those odds! According to my personal experience, StumbleUpon produces the most traffic, followed by del.icio.us but I guess it’s different from blog to blog. I’ve also noticed that when people write a description for the bookmark, it returns MUCH more traffic – so please: take the time to write a short description of this post when you bookmark it!

PERMALINK / SHORTLINK

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Taken with FLIR Systems InfraCAM SD

Chillin' @ Heat Transfer Lab
(May 2007)

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Hillel Stoler - הלל סטולר
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