ReplyMe – a great WordPress plugin!

ReplyMe is a fantastic plugin, which I am very proud to announce that Technology Bloggers uses to notify users when their comment has a reply.

Why use ReplyMe over other subscribe to comment plugins?

Well with normal subscribe to comment plugins you get sent an email every time there is a new comment, even if it’s nothing to do with your comment. You also have to remember to tick the little box at the bottom of the comment box to say that you want to receive updates.

What is ReplyMe?

ReplyMe is a fantastic plugin which allows you to receive updates (without subscription) when your comment has been replied to. This means that you don’t need to sift through hundreds of irrelevant comments, you get your comment and the reply delivered directly to you by email – free of charge 🙂

In Technology Bloggers ReplyMe emails you get to see your comment and the reply to that, along with a link to the article, and the comment that replied to yours.

ReplyMe (Plugin) LogoIf the new comment needs no reply, you can read it in your email without even having to visit the blog. If you want to reply, just click the link and you are ready to continue the conversation!

A good blog has a community on-site and off. This can be through social media, but it can also be through using great plugins like ReplyMe to ‘continue the conversation’!

If you read Ari Herzog’s blog, Draggon Blogger, Christopher Roberts Philosophy Blog, Blogging Bookshelf or The Sales Lion, you will probably have seen ReplyMe in action before. Technology Bloggers has it’s own unique style of delivering the email, but the principle is the same 🙂

For details of how you can customise the plugin, check out Justin’s article on it.

If you want to see ReplyMe in action post a comment below, and I will gladly reply to show you.

If you are interested in using ReplyMe on your blog, check out it’s plugin page 🙂

Facebook is safe – isn’t it?

Hello, my name is Christopher Roberts. I am a trustworthy individual. I kindly request you to go to my websites contact page and send me a message which includes: your full name; your date of birth; a list of your best friends; your holiday snaps from last summer; your mobile number; what TV programs you like; where you work; and what you were doing on Tuesday morning.

Silly request, as nobody will do it (at least I hope they won’t) as I am asking for extremely sensitive, private information.

Let me put a different hat on.

Paul Bulcke here, chief exec of Nestlé. Same request as above, please send me your DOB, New Years party snaps, home address, a list of your favourite films etc.

Again, you probably wouldn’t do this, but stick with me, I am going somewhere…

Hi there, my name is Mark Zuckerberg and I am the founder of Facebook. What about now, what are you going to tell this massive multinational company? Everything?

Mark Zuckerberg founder of FacebookYes you can set your profile to private, but what does the company Facebook know about you? Pretty much everything – this obviously depends on what you tell it. Mobile phone numbers, holiday snaps, what you ate for dinner yesterday etc. are common things for people to tell Facebook and similar social networking sites, would you not agree?

This sort of data is used in targeting adverts on such sites, so that you are more likely to pay attention to them – is that not an exploitation of your rights?

Have you ever really though about what information you put into Facebook? Yes there are probably laws in most countries to stop Facebook disclosing any of your information, but what if it gets hacked? It’s happened before. Last Wednesdays breakfast may not be that useful, but your name, address and phone number could be very useful to help track you down or set up a bank account in your name.

Who says Facebook has to be hacked, if a rouge employee decides to steel half a million peoples emails, what can you do?

I urge you to seriously contemplate what you tell the internet, as you never know it may one day come back to haunt you.

So what do you think, am I extremely sceptical of social media, or do you believe that we give the internet far too much personal data?

How Google’s Panda Algorithm is changing the web

On April 11, 2011 Google announced on it’s Webmaster Central Blog sweeping changes to it’s search index. In an effort to promote high quality websites and eliminate websites that have poor content the algorithm was adjusted. This adjustment incorporated “feedback signals” which are expected to help Google users find better search results.

What started out as something small

What was described by Amit Singhal, Google fellow, as a “small” update, affected only 2% of US queries has turned out to radical. CNET describes the Google’s algorithm as “radical” and reports the websites that have been affected by reduced rankings.

Great websites drop in ranking

The British Medical Journal, the Cult of Mac, and WikiHow all dropped in visibility. Considered to be reputable sources, and not content farm, these reduction in rank show the algorithm still needs some fine tuning. Other websites that might be considered content farms have been dropped as well.

Facebook, Yelp & Twitter rise in rankings

Websites to increase in ranking are Facebook, Twitter and Yelp. These websites moving up begs a question though. Facebook already has over 500 million active users, of which, 50% log in each day. Does this website really not already appear “high” enough in the search engine. In addition, social media is changing Google search results with the adoption of the “Plus One” on Google and “Likes” on Bing.

Facebook increase in rankings and wikiHow decrease in rankings

Local Searches Soar

Despite the rise of social media websites and some news sources, many poor websites have fallen in ranking, as was expected from this Panda Algorithm shift.

Local searches have significantly improved, however, due to this shift in the algorithm. Websites of companies that are popular in the United States (David’s Bridal, Barnes and Nobles, Walgreens) all appear prominently in the US search index, but not in the UK index. This shift paves the way for a greater index in international search engine results. Improving international search results is a significant win for Google’s index.