Thursday, 17 January 2013

Now You Can Make Free Phone Calls Through Facebook's Messenger App

By Dylan Love at Business Insider:
Facebook has begun rolling out a feature to its Messenger app letting users call each other over WiFi or cellular data.

The Verge was the first to notice the update and confirm with Facebook.

It had previously been testing this in Canada and is now appearing for U.S. users. You don't even need to update your app in the app store.

You call someone by selecting that person's name in Messenger, tap the "i" button, and then press "Make free call." That person gets a push notification and you can then begin a phone conversation with you entirely for free.

UPDATE: We just tested the feature and the call quality was amazing over WiFi. This is a great move by Facebook.

Read more:

5 Social Media Habits to Make in 2013

By  John Brandon at
Over the past year, I've experimented with social media in a number of ways. I wrote about Sprout Social, an app for tracking Twitter and Facebook success. (My goal was to hit 800 followers on Twitter--I'm now at well over 3,000.) I wrote about promoting your brand on Pinterest, and how to raise your Klout score. Along the way, I learned some key lessons about keeping the social media fires burning.

1. Target the influencers.

You've probably heard this one before, but it bears repeating. Targeting 100 major influencers can be exponentially more effective than than getting 5,000 less influential followers. The reason? When an influencer retweets what you say or comments on a link, you can reach hundreds of thousands of Twitter or Facebook users in an instant. But having 5,000 (or even 50,000) followers who are not really that interested in what you have to say is a dead end. If you make a mobile app, try to get the attention of a pundit who covers that space. If you do real estate consulting, see if an expert in your area will follow your tweets.

2. Put a face to a name.

I developed a habit of always looking up the details for new followers or those who retweet my posts. Social media is supposed to be social, so get to know those who are following you. This helps in several ways. Our brains are wired for visual cues. When you see that Joe Smith lives in Texas and likes Red Bull, you'll form a mental connection. When you develop a rapport with someone (say, you joke with them about Red Bull) that encourages more retweeting and a more social connection. (The same is true in real life, by the way.) A tighter bond with people goes both way--you'll also retweet what they say. One tool to help you see the real person behind a post is called Rapportive.

3. Always respond.

I used to avoid this one. When someone didn't like one of my tweets, I'd ignore it. But in reality, creating a dialogue helps further the social connection, even if it seems like a negative topic. One example: I've seen people post about how they hated one of my articles. Instead of ignoring the criticism, I'll try to interact with them and discuss what they didn't like. Maybe it helps me improve as a writer. But it also means everyone else is seeing that I care enough to respond--I'm not just an AI bot. (That said, it's still okay to ignore trolls who are only stirring up dissension, or automated responses from those bots.)

4. Schedule yourself.

I have not always followed this dictum, but it does work. Like any blog or news site, the more active you appear on Twitter or Facebook the better. Scheduling posts with a tool like HootSuite, where you can set a post to go live at a later date and time, means you are making sure you have an active presence. It's also a good idea to target "prime time" on the social graph, such as just after the workday starts or right before people leave for the day. And, don't forget to do this for multiple time zones.

5. Venture beyond Twitter and Facebook.The two most popular social networking sites get all of the attention, but that also makes them easier to ignore for people who have been using those services for a while. Newer sites like Pinterest might be a better place to develop a following, depending on your subject matter, because they have a critical mass of people clicking around and checking them out. And while I've been critical of Google Plus, there is a loyal base of tech pundits there. Keep an eye out for emerging social hotspots.

John Brandon is a contributing editor at Inc. magazine and writes the Tech Trends column in every issue. He also writes the Tech Report column for @jmbrandonbb

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

New Myspace Opens to Public, How to Get Started?

By Brian Anthony Hernandez at Mashable:
New Myspace — with its drastically different redesign — has left invite-only mode, opening up the revamped social network to the public.

The landing page for shows a dapper Justin Timberlake and promotes his new "Suit and Tie" single that he released late Sunday night.

Timberlake, who took an ownership stake in the company in 2011, had given the world a sneak peek of New Myspace in September, but now anyone can use the refurbished network.

The modern design features horizontal navigation, and like Pinterest, is heavy on visuals. But Myspace wouldn't be Myspace without a focus on music

The New Myspace: How to Get Started

Read the full story here

SEO In 2013

SEO is constantly changing and 2012 was anything but the exception. New algorithm introductions and updates from Google brought about chaos within the SEO community as websites had to scramble to comply with the latest demands. Many professionals called it an SEO zoo with Panda and Penguin updates lurking around the corner and turning the SEO world upside down. Read on for some tips for 2013.

Many of the tricks that SEO experts relied on to beam their sites to the top of a search engine were all of a sudden on a Do Not list for SEO in 2012. Over usage of keywords became a big no-no and sneaky back linking would be no more. The aftermath was so stormy that many sites were accidentally delisted from searches altogether until another update was executed. Panda, first released in 2011, sought to hold back websites with poor and copied content from appearing at the head of search results. Penguin followed in 2012 to penalize websites with overstuffed keywords and force complacency with Google’s Webmaster guidelines.

So what does all of this mean for 2013? It means that SEO managers and website content writers are better off writing and planning with the reader in mind, instead of with Google in mind. A novel concept, no? How do you go about this you ask? Well, we’re glad you did.

The title to your post should tell the reader exactly what they will be reading about. No need to fluff it up or make it sound fancy. Sure, you can stick a keyword in there but make sure it’s relevant. Google will be onto you otherwise and your website won’t have a chance in those coveted top ranked search results.

No matter what your website niche is, your content should be interesting and valuable to your readers. What are your readers looking for? What can they expect to find on your website versus another website on this topic? Contemplate posts that you believe will be share-worthy, therefore spreading the word about your site even further. This means no fluff posts. Do your research and think of something helpful to your readers.

Good back links are an essential part to SEO but too many will draw red flags from the Google referees. Think you’re being sneaky by creating a second site and linking back to your first one? Penguin and its entourage of 12 updates, is on to you. You’ll only make your situation worse. Ask friends in your industry to write reviews about your site and have them link to you.

The name of the game that Google is playing is “quality.” Write quality posts with short, descriptive titles about your topic and remember that there are algorithms and algorithm updates around every corner. If you think you have a new trick to try, keep in mind that Google is probably one or two steps ahead of you.

Article via Infolinks blog

Must Have Apps for Bloggers

Working remotely is one of the biggest benefits of bloggers. You have the freedom and control of setting up a mobile office with your laptop wherever you please. The increased popularity of mobile devices and the plethora of new apps available allow even more freedom than before. Manage your blog and your business from the comfort of your tablet or smartphone. Read on to learn our top 10 apps for bloggers.

1. Dropbox

Keep your mobile blogging lifestyle by accessing your files no matter where you are. Dropbox allows you to access all of your files from any registered device.

2. WordPress & Blogger

If you happen to host your blog one of these popular blogging platforms, you can conveniently update your site while out and about, read postings & comments, edit postings, manage comments and perform other tasks.

3. PayPal

Many Infolinks bloggers monetize their sites via PayPal. This mobile app allows you to completely manage your Paypal account with a wireless connection.

4. Evernote

Quickly access for easy organization of all your videos, images and other items saved on your phone with Evernote, the archive app.

5. Adobe PhotoShop Express

Easily use the professional photo editing capabilities of Adobe Photoshop to touch up or edit photos and graphics from your mobile device.

6. Hootsuite

Manage all of your top social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare from this easy to manage mobile app. Hootesuite is a great way for you to update all of your social media platforms and monitor what is going on while on the move.

7. SkypeFor important business meetings and phone calls, Skype is the only way to go. Stay in touch with your partners, guest bloggers or anyone else for free with an internet connection and your mobile device.

8. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a must! Discover who is reading your blog posts, where they are coming from and how many site visits and page views your blog is receiving. Effectively analyzing this data will reveal which blog posts are the most popular to help you optimally tailor your content for the future.

9. Byline

Reading other blogs and articles on the regular is crucial for good bloggers to get even better. With byline, you can read the latest news from your favorite sites and blogs, even when you’re offline. It easily syncs with your Google reader account. Overcome your writing block with this useful app

10. Infolinks Real-Time

Infolinks mobile app, delivers real-time reports so you can always know exactly how your Infolinks ads are performing on your blog. Check on your payments and have a fast connect to our blog and other info as well.

This entry was posted in Blogger Tips