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Friday, February 10, 2006

How do I easily add tags to my blog?



If you want to be "found" these days you need to be "tagged."

Growing up on a farm, we used to tag the cows with a little tag on their ear. It told us where the cow was from and ultimately that the cow belonged to us. You see, cows can be pretty dumb and they like to get out and mix in with other cows. Then you can't tell them apart!

To put it simply, the tags let us find the cows we were interested in -- ours!

Likewise, when you tag your post, people can easily find your blog information and you become a part of the "global web page" on your topic of interest.

For example, if you wanted to see Technorati's "global web page" on wiki education. (That's just one of my favorite tags.) So, you find the tags that are pertinent to your topic and you add them to your post.

The code is somewhat confusing, so here is how I simply add it to my blogger account. (I think there are other such plugins for wordpress and the other programs out there.)

1 - Use the firefox browser.

You can download it at http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/.
I personally use it because it is faster, easier, less prone to viruses and pop ups. I've been gradually installing it on my computers a school.

2 - Download the Greasemonkey plug in.

This is a little "helper program" that lets you install features that change the way Firefox works.
You can download it at https://addons.mozilla.org/extensions/moreinfo.php?id=748&application=firefox.

Close all firefox windows and restart. You'll see a cute little monkey in the bottom right corner.

3 - Install the Script

Read this first!
Go to http://userscripts.org/scripts/source/2182.user.js
At the top of the screen I see the words:
"Greetings fellow traveler. This is a GreaseMonkey user script. Click install to start using it."

If that doesn't appear, you are may also go to Tools and click Install this script.

4. Start tagging!
Now, when you go into blogger, you'll see a new box called "Tags." That is where you use your tags. Just be consistent so people know where to go to find your stuff!

Also, don't use a million tags and make sure they are related to your topic or you will be making that awful canned lunchmeat -- SPAM out of your tags. That is a big no no and a good way to fall into blog oblivion!

5. Remember to ping!
Finally, remember that you still need to ping the appropriate sites. What is a ping? This is a signal you send to the blog search engines that you have updated your blog and have a new post for them to look at. Once they've looked at you, people can find you. THat is how technorati can show this post minutes after I do it!

There is a way for the script we just downloaded to do this! OK! When you click post you'll be taken to your post screen. You'll see a ping-o-matic button! Just click it and you've pinged!

I have been going to technorati and have an account and ping it manually. I've also tried ping-o-matic out today but am not sure how fast it will go. There are some other services that will also work.


Help!
The following hyperlinks will help you troubleshoot any problems.
I know there are a million ways to do this! I'm such a newbie! I thought it would be helpful to blog about it while I'm a newbie and before I forget how hard it is to figure some of this stuff out!

Please experts out there! If I made a mistake or there's something better to do please post it here! (Just don't make me look too much like a newbie!)

It's like my first podcast! It took me four hours to figure it out and set it up! After that it takes me less that 10 minutes!

Keep going edubloggers! It is a good thing we do! Find ways like this to automate! Don't be afraid of it, do it! I want to see more folks showing up in technorati and in the searches so that we can share the "how to" and best practices!
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