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Tips & Tricks

The Layout for a Perfect Facebook Post

May 3rd, 2013 | By

The perfect Facebook post layout

In short:

  1. Keep your copy text short, making it easier to read on a mobile
  2. Ensure your copy text is enticing and easy to read
  3. Include a “call-to-some-kind-of-action”: ask a question, opinion, comment
  4. Include a link, preferably shortened with bitly.
  5. Upload an image to make your post attractive. Best size for mobile viewing: 300 x 300 px
  6. Engage through comment moderation

Discovered via Jeff Bullas, Salesforce

Using social media at events: Are you missing opportunities?

Mar 25th, 2013 | By
The impact of social media on the outreach of an event - click for hi-res view

Two events: one with social media support and one without.
(Click for hi-res view)

Once upon a time, there was an organisation, that ran a single day event at RIO+20, the big sustainable development conference in June 2012.

The event was well attended (around 600 people), and had a good coverage in the “traditional media” (newspapers and magazines). Apart from publishing some post-event blogposts, pictures and videos, social media was not really used to its fullest potential at the event.

Consequently, the event’s impact on their web traffic (see left blob on the graph) was almost unnoticeable: They missed the opportunity of using the event as a way to attract more people onto their website, and “hook them as returning visitors“.

Social bookmarking buttons: are they worth it?

Oct 31st, 2011 | By
social bookmarking buttons

5 buttons, 10 lines of code = 700 additional visitors/week

On many of my blogs, I have the social bookmarking buttons beneath each blogpost. They allow visitors to easily publish a link to the post they are reading, onto Facebook, Twitter, and a variety of other social media sites.

As a user, I don’t use those buttons often, and I always wondered if other people actually used them. On some of my sites, I never implemented them.

I was wrong. Little did I know how much these buttons were used…


Inspiration for Social Media Policy and Strategy

May 12th, 2011 | By

social media strategy for nonprofits

I am preparing a set of trainings and workshops on social media for CGIAR. One of the topics covers is the social media strategy and policy for their different research centers and projects. So I asked my friends in the KM4Dev and Web2forDEV communities for examples and inspirational literature.


IFAD’s social media guidelines – A must read

Apr 28th, 2011 | By

While preparing for an upcoming training session, I have been scouting for good social media policy and strategy documents, used within nonprofit organisations.

Roxy, blogging at IFAD’s social reporting blog, came back with the excellent and brand new social media guidelines they are using at IFAD.


Got a lot of blog content? Try a magazine layout!

Apr 12th, 2011 | By
blog magazine layout

A magazine layout gives easy access to more content

Long gone are the times where blogs were just a mere sequential series of short posts. Some blogs have grown to thousands of content pieces. Keeping a large blog as just a serial row of posts will obscure content for your visitors, allowing only horizontal navigation: from post to post to post to post… Key “must-read” content will often disappear from the reader’s attention as soon as it slides off the front page.

Magazine themes allow you to present content vertically: arranged by categories or tags, as if you had sections in a newspaper or a magazine.


Shared hosting: Comparing GoDaddy with DreamHost

Apr 6th, 2011 | By
Dreamhost Godaddy

GoDaddy versus DreamHost: and the winner is...

After my debacle with GoDaddy, I moved most of my high volume blogs to a HostGator Virtual Private Server. I still had some test blogs on GoDaddy’s shared servers, but as the speed and uptime of GoDaddy went from bad to worse, I recently moved several of these blogs to a DreamHost shared server.

Here are my impressions of DreamHost versus GoDaddy shared servers:


Help! My server performance went down!

Apr 1st, 2011 | By

hour glass

A few months ago, I migrated 7 blogs with 350,000 blogposts from Tumblr to WordPress on my VPS server.

Together with some other blogs and websites, that server happily processed about 50,000 visitors per month, with a steady increase of about 10% per month. All sites and the SQLserver were properly tuned, and the server purred happily like a cat next to a stove.

Until this week. Help!


Should you upgrade to WordPress 3.1?

Mar 19th, 2011 | By

"Pending upgrades"... have the effect of a red cloth on a bull.

Recently WordPress 3.1 came out. While the (major) upgrade from WordPress 2.9 to 3.0 was in general seen as a success, 3.1 seems to be different.

There are a number of known problems with the WordPress 3.1 upgrade. Most of them have to do with incompatibilities with certain plugins and themes. There are also issues with custom post types and with plugins using jQuery functions (picture sliders for instance).

I upgraded two of my fifteen WordPress sites (including BlogTips) successfully, but got stuck with the last one. After upgrading, my admin screens would work well, but the site itself returned a blank screen.



Tumblr and WordPress: a crawler’s difference

Feb 10th, 2011 | By

search engine crawler WordPress

Mid January, I moved Aid News, one of my news aggregator sites from Tumblr to WordPress.

After the move I activated the Google XML sitemap plugin which submits the blog’s sitemap automatically to different search engines.


The difference between shared hosting and dedicated hosting

Feb 3rd, 2011 | By

blog speed

After a year running on Godaddy’s shared hosting, I moved BlogTips to its new HostGator VPS hosting end of October.

Look at the Google crawler statistics showing the average download speed for a page. See the difference? While on shared hosting, it took up to 25 seconds to load a page, the performance on the VPS hosting, drastically improved to an average of < 5 seconds for a page.

Same blog, same plugins, same caching.

And it is not like my VPS server doesn’t do much. It hosts about 15 sites, a total of 700,000 blogposts (!), serves about 40,000 to 50,000 visitors per month, transfers about 1 Gbyte of data per day. The Apache PHP server processes 90 requests per minute…

Conclusion: Shared hosting: pay peanuts, get monkeys !