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I started my blog in late 2008.  I didn’t really know what I was going to do with it.  Part of me wanted to write intelligent articles, another part of me wanted to write about random nerdy things I came across on the web, and the other part of me just wanted to keep an online notepad of different problems and solutions I came across while building and designing websites.

One of my big goals for 2009 was to explore and experiment with Social Media.  For the most part, I guess I failed.  Turns out the more I tried, the less I liked.  It seems to me like most interactive websites do more to steal your time than enrich your life.  When the dust settled, I still use Facebook, and I like Twitter, but the novelty is fading.  That’s about it.  Most the other new forms of Social Media I found to be pretty useless.

In the process of disliking new forms of Social Media, I ended up realizing what I like about some of the other forms.  As the manager of 3 online communities, I am a huge fan of phpBB3 forums.  They’re simple, but they work.  I also really enjoy the idea of blogging – though I don’t keep up on my blogs well enough.

2009 taught me that WordPress is an amazing way to build stable websites.  I love WordPress, and even more than that, I LOVE the Thesis Theme for WordPress.  2010 will bring several articles on both WordPress and Thesis.  I’ve been working with both a lot lately, and I have several tweaks and tricks for both that are worth writing about.  Stay tuned…

So what’s in store for 2010?

Who knows!

In 2009 I added a bunch of new websites to my ‘network’, and in 2010 I’d like to continue to add to the family.  Even more than that, though, I’d like to make my existing sites better.  Hopefully I’ll be able to write about what works – and what doesn’t – over the course of the year.  I have 2 communities that need a lot of love, and that should be interesting stuff.  I’m currently in the process of moving all my sites over to WordPress (running Thesis, of course).  I’ll have a lot to write about once that’s all wrapped up!

Anyways… thanks to anybody who’s ever taken the time to read what I’ve written.  I’ve basically made this blog my online notepad.  Generally if I had to track down informatin, I figure there must be somebody else who will care at some point!

Happy New Year.
–Jeremy

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twitter-birdsWith the recent excitement over “TweetBacks” and other similar Blog / Twitter integration, the question is raised… Should you turn on the auto-tweet function?  There are a couple of plugins for WordPress that give you the ability to automatically send a tweet about your new blog post to Twitter.  At first glance, this seems like a great idea.  Why not save yourself a couple of minutes and have the tweet made for you?  After some thought, I have decided that that’s not the way to go.

Why You Shouldn’t Auto-Tweet Your Blog Posts

Especially if you are a Twitter user who shares fun links with people all day, it’s painfully obvious when you are using an auto-tweeter to post about your blog links.  Usually the format is dry, and it just informs people that you’ve put out a new blog post.  Boring!  You’ve just put your time and energy into this article or blog post.  Why would you waste this chance to get people excited about it?  Nothing says boring like “New Blog Post:  http://www.xlkjweirjsdrs.”  Create a good headline that relates to the title or concept of your article.  Make it something your followers are going to want to click.

Another reason not to use the automatic tweet function is because it kills your opportunities for ReTweets.  Maybe somebody reads your article and really enjoys it.  They’d love a quick way to share it via a ReTweet, but who wants to tweet “New Blog Post:”  The better headline you give your article, the better your odds will be that people will want to share that fun headline with others.

A third reason is that nobody on Twitter wants to follow the guy who ONLY posts links from his or her own websites.  Sure if someone follows you that may mean they’d like to check out your work, but they don’t want to feel spammed either.  If your stream is “New Blog Post:” over and over, that makes you look like you’re just trying to use Twitter for self promotion.  Giving your articles interesting headlines will blend them in with the other fun articles you’re sharing with people.  If they appreciate your normal links, they’ll be glad to read the articles that happen to come from your site, too.

Think about these things before you get too excited about your new ability to have your blog posts automatically announced to Twitter.  Sure it’s easier, but is it really generating the highest amount of traffic to your site?

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