Blog Syndication Refresher

With the impending demise of Google Reader, I decided it was time to check my personal blog syndication setup to make sure my posts were being pushed to my favorite social media outlets.

I use Networked Blogs for syndication.  Networked Blogs is a Facebook application that allows you to publish your blog feed right into your timeline.  A few weeks ago I accidentally screwed up the RSS feed for my blog when I changed the permalink formatting.  I fixed that problem quickly in WordPress, but the little hiccup caused Network Blogs to stop seeing my feed.  A quick click of a button pulled the feed and my latest post was immediately published to Facebook and Twitter.

PullNow_NetworkBlogs

Network Blogs will push your posts to Facebook in a format like this (there is an optional thumbnail display that I have disabled).

FB_NetworkedBlogs

Their Twitter summaries are much more abbreviated to fit the 120 character limit.

TW_NetworkedBlogs

You’ll notice the shortened URL in the Twitter post is a Networked Blogs URL.  That’s because Networked Blogs uses iFrame to deliver your blog content.  This means that visitors reading your blog through Networked Blogs will not be recorded in your site’s analytics.  Now I don’t monitor my traffic very closely on my personal blog, but if these metrics are important to you, Networked Blogs’ free service may not be the right service to use.

They do offer a Plus program (currently $19.99/mo or $39.89/yr) that lets you integrate Google Analytics to your Networked Blogs dashboard.  I’m not willing to fork over that cash, but I may consider trying one of these two other free syndication services, dlvr.it and RSS Graffiti (another Facebook app).  You know, just to scratch my geeky “how does it work” itch.  If I try them out I’ll let you know how it goes.

For the Big Big Design blog posts, we use a plugin called WP to Twitter, which requires a bit of set up, and — you guessed it — cross-posts to Twitter on publish.  We’ve not yet found a good WP plugin for posting to Twitter, but I’m looking at IFTTT for a solution.  I’ll write these up for you in a future post as well.