My Experiences with FeedBurner, StumbleUpon, Surveys and Comments

Part of the Kenno's Blog series.
By Ken Brown
Editor, You Can Learn Series
Updated:
November 17, 2007

It has been a busy week for me. Unfortunately, I haven't spent much time writing. What have I been doing? I have been checking out social networks like StumbleUpon. I am learning about FeedBurner. I added a Survey plugin to the site and I have added a comments section to the blog.

FeedBurner

One of the things I added a long time ago was an RSSFeed. This is a tool that allows users to utilize pull technology to get their information. Instead of a webmaster sending you an email once a week or once a month, there are feed readers available that goes to a website and pulls down the latest articles. Then you can read the article at your convenience.

FeedBurner allows you to subscribe to an RSSFeed using your favorite RSSFeed reader. It also allows the webmaster to track the number of readers who are subscribing to the website RSSFeed. Before, visitors would click on the orange RSSFeed button at the top right hand corner of each page and I wouldn't know if one person or a million people were subscribing to my feeds. For the webmaster, FeedBurner gives us that information.

As of November 17, 2007, I officially have one subscriber. (A big Homer Simpson WooHoo) And if I don't write more articles soon I might be down to zero subscribers. I suspect over the next year that number will jump up as I write more relevant articles to my target market. So for dedicated bloggers at this point in time I say give FeedBurner a try. If you are a webmaster or blogger that has tried FeedBurner, I would love to hear your comments.

StumbleUpon

The next hot thing I tried this week is StumbleUpon. The concept is pretty cool. You sign up with StumbleUpon and then download the plugin / toolbar for your favorite browser. Then when you are ready you begin to stumble.

Stumbling is not a bad thing. When you signed up you clicked on the areas of interest you have about many topics. There must be at least 50 major categories. Then when you click on the Stumble button in your toolbar a random website comes up that is relevant to one of your areas of interest. It is definitely a cool way to find out about other websites. One of the areas of interest I had checked was astronomy. The first astronomy website I stumbled upon was outstanding. Photographs of galaxies. You could see all the different types of galaxies. Wow.

This is totally off topic. I remember years ago when I was at the University of Illinois in Champaign. I was taking an astronomy class. One night we were given the opportunity to use the University telescope. I thought, this is gonna be fantastic. I am going to get a really close up view of the planets. Jupiter, Saturn and maybe even Venus. Well, I was totally blown away. We didn't see any planets. We were shown galaxies and nebulas. It truly opened my mind to the vast universe.

Back to StumbleUpon. If you like a website when you stumble upon it, then you can vote for it. In fact, if you don't like a website you can give it a thumbs down. The toolbar you added to your browser has these little thumbs that allow you to vote a site up or down. These thumbs are important. As you browse and vote for these websites the back end search engine at StumbleUpon is evaluating your votes. If a lot of people voted your site up, then it will be shown more often. If people are voting a site more thumbs down, meaning they don't like it, then when you stumble the site will be shown less often. It is up to the people to decide what they like and what they don't like.

Surveys

You might have noticed on the right hand side of this page a survey is occurring. I signed up with a company called Vizu to run the survey on my website. Currently this process is free. But, I think sometime next year they will want to charge for the survey on my website.

Why do I put the survey on my pages? Honestly, I am hoping enough people take the surveys and I can earn a little money. Companies are paying Vizu to place the surveys on relevant websites and then Vizu will pay the websites that show the surveys when people click on paid surveys.

I Like the Surveys and I Hate the Surveys

Truthfully, I like the surveys and I hate the surveys. What I don't like about the surveys. The first thing Vizu needs is demographic information on my readers. So, as you read this article you are seeing really offensive demographic surveys on the right hand side. The survey is asking you for your income level, your marriage status, how many people are in your household, education level, gender, and your age.

When I first saw these questions I almost pulled the survey down immediately. I am offended by these questions, I can't expose my readers to these questions. They are all going to run away. But, after I thought about it, these questions make sense from a marketing perspective. Vizu is asking companies to give them money to run surveys on websites. Well to run a good survey and to know which websites to run the survey on, you need to know the general demographics on that website.

You Might be Offended by the Questions

You might be offended by the questions, but from a marketing view they are important. Now, Vizu will allow each of these offensive questions to be shown 6 times to the visitor without any survey question being clicked. After a visitor has been exposed to each of those surveys the requisite 6 times, then they are shown other more fun questions. If a visitor clicks the demographic surveys then the demographic surveys go away.

Well, here is where the problem for my website comes into play. None of my visitors will actually see 30 pages. Most of my visitors come from organic search. They have been looking for information on landscaping, flowers, perennials, weightlifting, or programming. They find their information and then leave. Few will wander around my website. Which is okay by me. I built the website to provide information. But, they are all going to miss the beauty of the surveys.

The part about the surveys I like. Once you get past the demographic surveys, then Vizu begins to deliver some really cool surveys. They ask questions like what can you least do without, chocolate or pizza. There are fun questions like that and then there are serious questions. A couple about politics, some surveys about relevant issues from today, like Barry Bonds and Googles foray into the phone industry. To me the surveys are really fun to take. But, you gotta get past those pesky demographics.

Comments

I have spent a lot of time this week getting my comments section up and running. So much time that I haven't written a lot. I apologize for that. But, the comments are up. You can comment on any article. Right now I have implemented them only for my blog. If they work okay there then over time I will roll them out to the rest of the website.

The comments section is at the bottom of the page. I ask for your screen name, email address, website URL if you have one and then your comments. It is a very simple process. Long term I will actually capture your email address and allow you to signup for my newsletter. I have not implemented that functionality at this time.

Get a Little Link Love

I will also use the email address to capture the number of comments you have left on my site. Then for the top 10 commenters of each week there will be a little section on the right nav bar where your name and a link to your URL will be posted. So you will get a little link love if you comment regularly. I haven't hooked this into a backend database system yet, so it will probably be a week or two before that is fully loaded.

I know some people don't read comments, some people only read the comments and some people read the article and the comments. For myself, I will always read the article and depending on the website sometimes I read the comments. I have found that sometimes the comments section has more value than the original article.

I suggest you make your comments more valuable than the original article. Read the article. Then answer some of these questions. How did the article make you feel? What did you like about the article? Where did the author go wrong? What did he leave out of the article? What can you add to the article that helps complete it or keeps readers from getting wrong information? If your comments contain information that relates to some of these questions then the comments section will be really cool. But, I want you to know I will read any comment you leave, good or bad.

I have written the comment section in such a way that your name is tied to your URL with an anchor tag and a rel=nofollow link. So, if your comment makes sense and my readers see value in what you say then you can drive traffic to your website. I am also actively looking for spammers and spam techniques and will squash them at every opportunity. If this all becomes too much for me to manage alone then I will pull the comments. But, I think we will be okay.

Thank you for coming to my website and reading. I appreciate it. I hope this article gives you some ideas and maybe helps you monetize your website. Good luck and have a great day!

Success is Achieved by doing the fundamentals - Are you happy with the results. Did we get the number of visitors we wished for? Did our visitors click on revenue producing links and ads? Were our page views up for the year or down? Did users visit more than one page? Did they make it to the order form and then abandon or did they continue and purchase our products?

Latest You Can Learn Series Blog Articles:

We Arrive in Santiago de Compestela Spain

We walked for Thirty Three days straight

We have arrived in Santiago. We walked for 33 straight days. Some days were 12 milers and as many as 18 miles or more in one day. We reached our destination. We decided not to rush to reach the city. Mary had accidentally banged her knee on the table at the restaurant the night before and it was a little tender.


Day 31 Palas de Rei to Ribadiso

We have walked 31 days to Santiago de Compostela

Today we started early because we had reserved a room at an albergue and we had to get there by 2pm or we lost the reservation. Mary set a blistering pace in the dark morning mist. Sunrise is at 8 am but this morning we had clouds and fog so it was darker than yesterday. The path through the city was okay but then leaving the city it became more difficult.


Three days of walking left in our Camino

We only have 66 kilometers to Santiago

We have walked for 30 days with only 3 days till we reach our destination of Santiago de Compostela. It has been an amazing journey. We are in the Galicia region of Spain known for the rain it receives. Well we are extremely lucky because the weather has been beautiful for walking. It starts out cool in the high 40s but then warms up to the low to mid 70s. With plenty of sunshine.


We arrived in Sarria

Five walking days to Santiago

Today we started late at 8 am. We were almost the last people out of Triacastela walking the Camino.


Ocebreiro to Triacastela

Only 6 days remaining on the Camino de Santiago

We are sitting in a restaurant in the little village of Triacastela on day 27 having tapas. It was a short 12 miles that were mostly down. Tomorrow we hope to go to Sarria.


Views from Astorga Spain

From Leon to Astorga on the Camino de Santiago

We visited Leon, Spain yesterday and then we walked 35Km today. Leon was wonderful. Today we walked in rain for the first time. We went 35 KM yesterday for no other reason than we could.


Walked 17 Miles Today

Today we walked 17 miles on the Camino

Today we are sitting at the albergue in Terradillos de las Templarios. We are at the halfway point in our journey. We have walked over 250 miles or 400 kilometers. I truly didn't think we would be able to do this. Mary has been a real trouper walking through bad knees and the pain of shin splints.


Finished a Third of our Camino Experience

We have walked a Third of the way to Santiago

Today finds us in Ages, Spain only 14 miles from Burgos. We are quite excited that we have managed this distance. We hoped we could but we had doubts especially those first few days where we hurt so much.


The Path to Najera Spain

Eight Days of Walking

We have been walking for 8 days now. It has been interesting, tiring, painful, fun and a real learning experience.


Walking Through the Pyrenees

Walking Through the Pyrenees

Mary and I started our journey to Santiago Spain. The first day we started in Saint Jean Pied de Port in France. The goal was to arrive in Roncevalle, Spain before nightfall.




Home| About Us | NewsLetters | Contact Us |

Copyright © 2004-2014 You Can Learn Series

You Can Learn Series Home Page You Can Learn Series
You Can Learn Series Home Page Home            About the creators of YouCanLearnSeriesAbout Us      Contact YouCanLearnSeriesContact Us      Site map of YouCanLearnSeriesSite Map      Privacy Policy of You Can Learn SeriesPrivacy Policy       Terms of Use of You Can Learn Series web siteTerms of Use       YouCanLearnSeries RSS feed for Kenno's Blog     
C# and ASP.Net Programming TipsC# and ASP.Net     SQL Tutorial, tips and tricks for DBA'sSQL      Landscaping Tips for Home GardenersLandscaping      WeightLifting Tips for the Young and OldWeightLifting      Ken Speaks OutBlog      Good health TipsGoodHealth      Learn about Great Travel DestinationsTravel      Web Business TipsWeb Business          Great Items from You Can Learn SeriesStore


You Can Learn C# and ASP.Net Series C# and ASP.Net
You Can Learn SQL Series Learn SQL
You Can Learn Landscaping and Gardening Series Landscape Tips
You Can Learn WeightLifting Series WeightLift Tips

Kenno's Blog PageBlog
  Articles 2014 Blog Articles 2014 Blog
  Articles 2012 Blog Articles 2012 Blog
  Articles 2011 Blog Articles 2011 Blog
  January 2008 Blog January 2008 Blog
  February 2008 Blog February 2008 Blog
  March 2008 Blog March 2008 Blog
  April 2008 Blog April 2008 Blog
  July 2008 Blog July 2008 Blog
  Bluff Spring Fen an Illinois Nature Preserve is a wonderful place of quiet, trees, flowers, underground springs, creek and birds. Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve
  Set your goals for 2008. Seven Steps to Reaching Your 2008 Goals
  Win 10,000 Entrecard Credits from AdToll. Save On Advertising With AdToll
  Learning the fundamentals will take you to success in Internet blogging. Success Is Achieved By Doing The Fundamentals
  Traffic numbers for the You Can Learn Series for 2007. Over 470,000 Page Views in 2007
  A Christmas poem for bloggers, SEO specialists and internet junkies. Twas The Night Before Christmas For Bloggers
  Thoughts on commenting on other blogs to drive traffic to your web site. Drive By Commenting is for Manipulators
  A commentary on banner ads, surveys and flashing gifs. There is So Much Noise I Can't Hear You
  A way for you to get additional traffic to your website. Free Advertising And More Traffic
  Some tips on gaining greater productivity with your writing. Writing Secrets For Greater Productivity
  How Often Should You Blog How Often Should You Blog
  Page Rank Paid Links Smack Down Update PageRank Paid Links Smack Down Update
  Protecting Your Copyrighted Articles Protecting Your CopyRighted Articles
  Strategies of a Great Email Newsletter Strategies of a Good Email Newsletter
  Four things that will help make your blog excellent Four Things You Must Do to Make Your Blog Excellent
  Identify Your Customer and Build a Web Page Just for Her Know Your Customer - Make a Lot of Money
  A way to maximize your Adsense RevenuesDo You Use Adsense Channel Settings Profitably?
  Interesting article on these popular pluginsFeedBurner, StumbleUpon, Surveys and Comments
  Making your email campaign generate revenueMake Your Email Campaign Profitable
  How to succeed in a business of your ownDon't Quit Your Day Job
  Converting images for your websiteConverting Images
  How to drive traffic to your website or blogDriving Traffic to Your Website or Blog
  Spanked by Google over Paid text link adsSpanked by Google
  Weapons of InfluenceInfluence

You Can Learn Good Health Series Good Health Tips
You Can Learn Series Newsletters Newsletters
Learn about Great Travel DestinationsTravel
You Can Learn Series Web Business TipsWeb Business Tips

Bill Welter - The Prepared Mind of a Leader




Americas Public Schools