This is Part 3 of a series.  Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here.

In Part 1, I mentioned RSS feed readers and linked to resources to help you find one.  In Part 2 I talked about blog platforms.  Now we put together a simple social network.

Feed Readers

RSS Feed Readers:  These are the backbone of  your new web social network.  Blogs create RSS feeds. WordPress creates RSS feeds for both Posts and Comments.  When you subscribe to a RSS feed with your feed reader you will start getting updates for new posts (or comments) on subscribed feeds.  You can read the original post and you can read comments if you want.  You can go to the original post on your own and comment.  In short you have a conversation going just like Facebook.

It may seem cumbersome at first but you will quickly figure out shortcuts like letting your browser remember your name and email address.

The RSS Feed Reader lets you customize your timeline in ways Facebook and Twitter would never let you do.  You have control of your timeline – and you set the priorities.

If you are leaving Facebook or Twitter, get your friends to sign up for or download a good feed reader and subscribe to your feed and the feeds of others in your group of friends who might also be establishing their own blogs.

Steps

  1. Get your own feed reader.
  2. Get your friends to get a feed reader.
  3. Subscribe to each others’ feeds.
  4. Read and comment freely.
  5. As you discover other blogs you like outside of your circle, subscribe, read and comment freely.

WordPress Reader:  WordPress.com has it’s own feed reader called, wait for it, WordPress Reader!  It’s a very attractive feed reader that automatically comes with every WordPress.com account whether you establish a blog or not.  This is a very user friendly feed reader and blog discovery/recommendation engine and worth exploring as a feed reader option.

Crossposting

Crossposting:  I also recommend you crosspost to at least Twitter.  Twitter can act as a feed reader for those friends that for whatever reason can’t make the transition to using a feed reader.  And they can comment there too.  Twitter also lets new people discover you and your writing.  Your original posts remain on your blog so you still control your archives.

It does not hurt to crosspost to as many social networks as is appropriate.

Having Multiple Blogs?

You can have multiple blogs.  You may have a dormant specialized blog that you want to revive, plus start a generalist, personal, everything blog.  I would find having one single topic blog too limiting.

If you are new to this I strongly recommend starting with a generalist blog and write about whatever is on your mind.

Me? I have 3 blogs:

  1. Micro blog on Micro.blog.  I use this for short posts to both the Micro.blog and Twitter social networks because it’s so slick and fast.
  2. My Web Presence (you are here) on self hosted WordPress.
  3. A specialized self hosted WP blog.

Remember, networks and networking, are human creations for humans.  If you engage your readers and more importantly engage yourself, that is all that matters.  I think blogging is a less toxic environment to do that from.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Web as Social Network: Creating the Blog Network

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