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Are any Google Reader alternatives providing details and statistics? 

As a social media manager, the ‘details and statistics’ information in Google Reader has been incredibly useful for identifying when the feed has moved, how many posts per week, how many subscribers (my only tool for benchmarking readership), and when last updated (is this blog going to die?). I can’t see any alternatives offering that. Have you seen any?

Has anyone else experienced Feedburner problems in the last 24 hours?

Subscriber numbers being cut in one fifth for example.


Book-Themed Pinterest Boards I’d Like to See

I’m resisting signing up for Pinterest because I realized I reached my social media account limit (my brain simply can’t cope with anything else at the moment). So I thought the best course of action would be to have other people do the work for me. 

  1. Book Fashion
  2. Book Home Décor
  3. Book Food
  4. Books & Cats
  5. Books & Dogs
  6. Books & Other Pets
  7. Books in Famous Places
  8. Book Shelves
  9. Book Cases
  10. Beautiful Libraries
  11. Beautiful Bookstores
  12. Library Cats
  13. Bookstore Cats
  14. Library Dogs
  15. Bookstore Dogs
  16. Library Other Pets
  17. Bookstore Other Pets
  18. Famous People’s Libraries
  19. Writers in Famous Places
  20. Writers & Cats
  21. Writers & Dogs
  22. Writers & Other Pets
  23. Publisher Colophons / Logos
  24. Publisher Offices
  25. Same Book, Multiple Covers (languages, editions)
  26. Fun with Fonts
  27. Notable internal book designs
  28. Famous people reading
  29. Famous art depicting people reading
  30. Words in Fashion
  31. Words in Home Décor
  32. Words in Food
  33. Etymology of a word
  34. Book posters
  35. Classic Books
  36. Classic Books of ___
  37. Reading List for ___
  38. Books v. Movie/TV/Play Adapatations
  39. Movies/TV Shows v. Book Adaptations
  40. Different Visions of a Famous Literary Character (eg. Sherlock Holmes)
  41. Book Trailers for {genre}

What’d I miss?


Publishers on Google Plus

In my endless attempts at list-making/organizing entire life, it’s time to Plus or +. (Anyone else have issues with search because they use the symbol?)

Trade Publishers

  1. Alfred A. Knopf
  2. Beacon Press
  3. Chronicle Books
  4. Doubleday
  5. Hyperion Voice
  6. Pantheon Books
  7. Pearson North America
  8. Penguin Books USA
  9. Random House Books
  10. Simon & Schuster
  11. Tor Books
  12. Vintage Books & Anchor Books

University Presses

  1. Cambridge University Press 
  2.      (a) Education
  3.      (b) ELT
  4.      (c) Library Marketing Group
  5. Princeton University Press
  6. Wilfred Laurier University Press

Children’s Books Publishers

  1. Candlewick Press
  2. HarperCollins Children’s
  3. Penguin Teen
  4. Tundra Books

Specialty Publishers

  1. AMACOM Books
  2. Damselfly Publishers
  3. Gibbs Smith Publishing
  4. Ibex Publishers
  5. TiLu Press
  6. O’Reilly


  1. Random House Books AU

Publishing Media

  1. The Book Report
  2. GalleyCat
  3. The New York Review of Books
  4. Publishing Perspectives


  2. Barnes & Noble College
  3. Kobo
  5. NOOK Tablet | Barnes & Noble
  6. Village Books


  1. New York Public Library


  1. Book Country
  2. F+W Media
  3. Sonnet Media

This list clearly got away from the “publishers” remit. Still, who did I miss? (And I look forward to your disagreements with my classifications.)

"Using off-the-shelf facial recognition software, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University were recently able to identify about a third of college students who had volunteered to be photographed for a study — just by comparing photos of those anonymous students to images publicly available on Facebook. By using other public information, the researchers also identified the interests and predicted partial Social Security numbers of some students."

Natasha Singer. “Face Recognition Makes the Leap From Sci-Fi.” New York Times.


Have you checked your broadcast settings?

I’ve become quite adept at blocking people who connect their Twitter feed to their LinkedIn feed and fail to realize one doesn’t necessarily play well with the other. (Your irrelevant, non-professional noise is drowning out important updates of my network.) Nevertheless, I was interested to see a rather careless update pop-up in my feed. Professional Contact A had favorited a video on YouTube.

Clearly, this contact had connected YouTube and his Twitter account, which in turn fed into his LinkedIn account. Now, how exactly is that one scene from Scarface important to people who view you as manager, colleague, or client?

If you link accounts, everything is set to share automatically so you need to comb through your settings to switch off the barrage of information.

If you don’t switch off that barrage, others “block,” “hide,” or “unfriend” you. Those who don’t know how to do that, just get really annoyed at you.

When you broadcast everything, you share nothing of value to others. So why do social networks and other social media have it set up for you to share so easily and incessantly? Because marketers use every scrap of public (and even things you think are private) information on you to sell to you. Remember: You’re the product that’s being sold in social media. So while you’re valuable to that advertiser, how much are you worth to the people you really know?


Are You Paying Attention to Your Website Metadata?

One of the by-products of taking classes in CSS, XHTML, and digital marketing is you beginning learning crucial things to which you never paid attention before. Metadata on websites is one of them. There are many complex facets of metadata, but I’d like to focus on something simple and tangible—the title and the description of webpages.

If you Google your website, are you happy with that search engine result listing  title and the description that rests underneath it? If you have a blog, is your blog name included in your individual post page titles? Why should you care? 

Because people are lazy.

Now that social sharing is essential to driving traffic, you need to make certain that traffic coming in realizes the content is yours—not whoever chose to share it. Your website or blog name should be reinforced and recognizable.

For example, I use the Hootsuite Hootlet plug-in for Firefox so I can easy share and schedule any interesting articles I find in my Twitter feed (or on Facebook or LinkedIn). The Hootlet automatically populates the message field with the webpage title and generates a shortened url to follow it. 

However, an enormous number of blogs and websites to which I link don’t include their website or blog name on the individual article or post pages. Websites and blogs like AllFacebook, Search Engine Land, Ragan’s PR Daily, and Hubspot. That absence means I need to type in the source name every time because I don’t wish to claim their content as my own and I think including the media source increases my credibility.

But how long before I get too lazy to type in that name? Why aren’t they making it easier for me? Why aren’t they reinforcing their “brand name”?

Maybe something you should check. If you want to view the code behind a webpage, go to the page, right click, and select “View Page Source.”


QR Code mania.

I took a walk down the High Line a few weeks ago and was intrigued to see these QR codes posted along side. Most of the QR codes I’ve seen have been ineffective—too large to take a picture of given their placement or placed in an area without signal or wifi. Often they send you to a homepage, not a product or purchase page. But these are placed in a specific area (with signal access), with a specific purpose.

Any interesting use of QR codes you’ve seen?


LinkedIn Etiquette

I’m finding a lack of LinkedIn etiquette an increasing source of frustration. Ignoring the constant inappropriate Twitter-linked account updates, my main annoyance is ‘Invitations to Connect’ from people I actually know. (I can excuse bad behavior from people I don’t know.)

- Authors claim me as a colleague (you’ve done business with me; you don’t work at the publisher)
- Co-workers claim me as a friend (you’re not my friend; we’ve never gone for drinks after work)
- Recruiters or human resources professionals claim me a someone they’ve done business with or know me from a group (I haven’t and you’re not in any of my groups)

All of these people I know or would consider a valuable connection, yet they can’t even check off a bullet point properly, or personalize their message.

The majority of invitations have the cut-and-paste basic message, which is fine when you spoke to that person that day, but not if it’s a message out of the blue. And I like to have that message for future reference when someone in my network pops up and I have no idea how we met each other in the first place.

What’s your experience? How do you deal with bad etiquette?