Google has released official Buzz Share Button

Google has release official Buzz share button with share count support. The new button was announced on official Google Blog on 13th April. You can go directly to Buzz Stuff page to configure the button and get the code for your site. If you are a wordpress user you can use my WPBuzzer plugin to add official Google Share button to your blog. Official Google Share button allows you to configure many different aspects of your button which includes:

  1. Show or not show count.
  2. Button size.
  3. Button type.
  4. Button language.

The WPBuzzer plugin also allows you to configure most of the options via your plugin settings page. You can see the plugin and button in action on this blog. And don’t forget to share this post on Google Buzz to actually see the button working 🙂

6 Google Buzz tips to use Buzz as a pro

Google Buzz, a name that has been a buzz word since the launch. It looks like sooner or later people are going to embrace Buzz, those who will embrace it sooner will have an upper edge. Anyway, I am the Buzz admirer and hence I decided to share few cool Buzz tips with everyone, whether you are a Buzz fan or not these tips will be useful for you.

1. Find someone’s comments

Getting to know on what buzz posts your friends have commented allows you to take part in conversations that might interest you, or you might find something useful. You can even find the posts where you have commented for follow up. So lets see how to actually search for the buzz posts commented by someone. You need to use the special operator “commenter:” followed by the username, email or name of the user. Like for example if you know someone’s email address you can use commenter:username@gmail.com or just commenter:username. If you don’t know the uemail address then you can specify name too. Like if you want to search the posts where I have commented you can search for “commenter: Hameedullah Khan”

2. Filter Google Buzz

If you like me don’t want to see Buzz updates in your inbox and keep your inbox and Buzz separated you will definitely love this tip which I first read on LifeHacker. Just create a filter with “label:Buzz” and select “Skip Inbox”. For more detailed step by step tutorial read Hide/Remove Google Buzz Updates from Your Gmail Inbox on lifehacker.

3. Access amazing Buzz for Mobile from your PC

Buzz for mobile not only supports collapsing comments and Buzz but it also allows you to view Buzz updates from the nearby user. By viewing updates from nearby user the opportunities to connect with other people are endless. Try Buzz for mobile here.

4. Search Buzz from specific sources.

While searching Buzz you can specify source of the updates you want to see, for example if you want to see Buzz updates that are posted from Twitter only use “source:twitter” operation in your search query. You can prefix the source operator with hyphen to filter out the Buzz that were posted from Twitter, example: “-source:twitter”

5. Post your Buzz on Twitter

Post your Buzz updates to Twitter in real time, just follow the steps below to setup posting buzz updates to twitter.

  1. Visit http://profiles.google.com/me, which will redirect to your profile
  2. Copy your profile URL (e.g. “http://www.google.com/profiles/dclinton“)
  3. Visit http://feedburner.google.com/ and sign in with your Gmail account
  4. Paste your profile URL under Burn a feed right this instant
  5. Click next and then click Skip directly to feed management
  6. Click the Publicize tab on the top
  7. Click the Socialize tab on the left
  8. Click Add a Twitter Account
  9. Sign in to Twitter and click Allow to allow Feedburner to post
  10. Change Post Content to “Body Only” (important!)
  11. Click Activate

reproduced from work shared by DeWitt Clinton

6. Follow Google Buzz team on Buzz

Follow the Google Buzz team, to stay updated on release of new Buzz features and tips and tricks from the Buzz team.

7. Bonus TIP: Follow me 🙂

You should follow me on Google Buzz, if you want to stay updated on Google Buzz developments and want to learn such new tricks every now and then.

What do you think about these tips? Are they useful? Do you have any tricks to share?

Buzz getting more privacy updates this week

Google Buzz, the new social kid in town is very adorable and people are finding it useful. There was much of the hype created when Google first announced it that will go away and no one needs another social network. But looks like the Gmail users have proved this other wise. Not only they do use Google Buzz but they are also getting addicted to. Google Buzz which is still new and learning its way from user’s feedback to grown into a fully use social network.

No more Auto Follow

After the launch Google has announced second update to Google Buzz. The biggest cry of Buzz users was that their was an auto follow setup for them, as soon as they signed up for Buzz they used to see that they are already following few people from their contact list. I myself didn’t like this feature but thanks fully Google has listened to the feedback and have stopped Auto Follow. Now the new Buzz user gets to see a list of Suggested Contacts, which the user can review and make changes to the selection to the list of people the user will follow.

Auto Suggest

No more Auto Connected Sites

Until now if you had a Google Reader or Picasa account and you signed up for Buzz, Google automatically adds those two sites to your connected sites and hence share your public shares and photos on Buzz. But users don’t like most of the auto stuff and eventually Google has to stop this auto connect feature too. Now if you want to connect your reader you can do it, but it won’t be auto connected on signup.

The new Buzz Tab

The most important update in mew opinion is the new Buzz Tab under Gmail Settings. The first time I signed up I went to the settings page to see what configuration options are available for me but I was very disappointed to see no Buzz configuration options under Gmail Settings. But once again Google have responded to the Feedback and this time very quickly and have added Buzz Settings Tab under Gmail.

new Buzz settings

What’s next?

The new features are still not rolled out to everyone yet and will be rolled out this week. There are still many basic features missing in Google Buzz, but Google Buzz time seems to be working very hard to make every required feature available ASAP to make the Buzz experience more Buzzier. Have you signed up for Buzz yet? How was your experience? What are the new features you would like to see in Buzz?

Stop Google Buzz from displaying your contacts to everyone

Google Buzz is the new buzz out there, but it comes with its privacy flaw. Imagine everyone out there able to see your contacts, by simply visiting your Google Profile. Its a nightmare for many of us, I don’t want everyone to get to know about my contacts and I am sure you don’t want this either. Let me show you how can stop Google Buzz from displaying your contacts to everyone.

If you goto your Google profile, you will find out that anyone can see your contacts by clicking on the “People you are following” or “People following you” links.
Hameedullah-following

To stop Google Buzz from display your contacts click on the “Edit Profile”.
Edit Profile

Then uncheck the checkbox saying “Display the list of people I’m following and people following me”.
Edit Google Profile

Then click “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the page. You should now see the links but with the text that only visible to you.
Followers not visible

Congratulations you have just stopped Google Buzz from displaying your contacts to everyone. Do you think it was a privacy flaw? Or it was a feature of Google Buzz? Will you disable display of your contacts?

How to track adsense clicks on your wordpress blog

Stats, stats, stats!!! Every blogger love their stats, specially if the graph is moving up. You might already be using Google Analytics to track visitors on your blog. From where they are coming, what articles they are reading. But won’t it be great if you knew what user clicked on adsense ad? On what page a visitor clicked on adsense ad? How they came to your site? With the tracking information in front of you, you can optimize your web site for your visitors to increase conversions. I won’t be teaching Analytics here in detail, but if you have any issues or don’t understand anything you should ask.

To better integrate Google Analytics with your wordpress blog, I would recommend you use a plugin because adding tracking manually in your template is prone to errors and you might mess up your theme. I personally use Google Analytics for WordPress and you can get it from here.

Once you have installed Google Analytics for WordPress, goto Google Analytics configuration page and enable “Track Adsense clicks“.

Enable adsense click in Analytics plugin

Save your settings and then login to your Google Analytics. We will be creating new Goal on Google Analytics, if you are wondering what is a Goal? it lets you track conversion rate. You can evaluate your traffic in terms of money and much more. When you are logged into your Google Analytics account, goto your Website Profiles and click Edit in front of your website profile.

Edit analytics profile

Now you are on Profile Settings page and you should now be seeing a section Goals. By default there are 4 sets of Goals available for every profile and you can add upto 5 Goals in every set.

Analytics Profile Settings Goal

Click on “Add goal” to add new Goal. Once you are on Goal Setting page to add new Goal. Enter your Goal Name we will use “Adsense Clicks” for this example and select URL Destination as Goal Type.

Goal Add Settings

As soon as you will select URL Destination as your Goal Type, the Goal Details panel will be shown. Enter “/outbound/asclick” as the Goal URL, you can also enter your optional Goal Value.

Analytics Goal Details

Click Save Goal and you will see the new Goal listed under Goals on your Profile settings.

New goal  adsense click listed

From now on Google analytics will track your adsense clicks. You can track your conversion rates under Goals while viewing reports of your site.

This is how I have setup my adsense tracking, do you have suggestions to improve it? Do you know how else can those adsense clicks can be tracked?

Google just can’t replace twitterfeed for now.

Though I am a fan of Google services but the way it is moving towards establishing its monopoly on the Internet gives me shivers. Many of you might already know about twitterfeed, it is a service that posts your blog updates or feed updates to twitter, not only to Twitter but few more services which includes Facebook too. As of writing this post twitterfeed claims to be feeding 712988 feeds to other services. But that number will decrease sooner or later as Google has released a new feature for their Feedburner service known as Socialize. According to Google,

Connect your feed to the real-time social web! With Socialize, FeedBurner will automatically post updates from your feed to your social media account.

Configuration Limitations

The socialize feature comes with many limitations. It does not allow me to configure the post frequency. It does not allow me use my favorite URL shortner, yes you guessed it, you have to use the Google’s URL shortner goo.gl. It does not allow me add text to the begining and end at the same time.

Have a look at twitterfeed’s configuration options in the screenshot below, you can clearly see the number of URL shortners twitterfeed allows you to use. I can use separate URL shortners for separate feeds, this is awesome:

Twitter Feed Configuration Step 1

Have a look at Feedburner’s configuration options in the screenshot below:

Feedburner Confiuration Options

Posting Limitations

Feedburner can only post to Twitter but twitterfeed can post to other services too which includes Laconica, Hellotxt, Ping.fm and Facebook.

TwitterFeed Configuration Step 2

Users will use whatever they feel comfortable with, there are other services too which post your updates to Twitter which includes FriendFeed too, I myself use FriendFeed. I only wrote this twitterfeed and Feedburner socialize comparison because I read a post from Amit Agarwal who is very senior blogger about switching from twitterfeed to Google, so I decided to write comparing both the services. Now its up to you to decide what service will you use? If you have never used twitterfeed then you may start using Google’s Socialize feature of Feedburner and if you have been using twitterfeed you may want to stay with it.

What service do you use to publish your blog posts to twitter? Do you find it useful to automate the process of publishing blog posts to twitter? Best of luck publishing your blog posts to twitter, no matter what service you use keep posting good stuff to twitter because this is what makes it useful.

P.S: If I am not following you on twitter yet let me know your twitter username in the comments and I will surely follow you.

5 wordpress plugins that will increase your traffic exponentially

Do you dream like every other blogger out there to get more traffic on your blog? Are you a new blogger that has just setup a blog and now looking to get some traffic? Are you wondering that even you are continuously writing good content but still search engines do not send the traffic like they should, why? Are you sure you are using the right plugins? Here is the list of few wordpress plugins that can get you more traffic.

All In One Seo Pack

This plugin is out of the box SEO tool for your wordpress blog. It allows you to set every aspect of your blog including meta description, meta keywords, title for home page, posts and pages. Not only that but it also allows you to control how the tag and category links are generated. It allows you to have site wide settings and as well as per post settings which makes it even more powerful. This is the must have plugin to help you get your content indexed correctly to rank better in search engines. The better you rank in search engines the more organic traffic you will get.

Google XML Sitemaps

To get traffic from search engines we also need to tell search engines how to find the content on our blog. To tell search engines we need to have an xml sitemap of our blog. All three search engine giants provide a way to manage how they index your site. You can submit your blog sitemap to the search engines so they can discover and index possibly hidden parts of your blog.

Tweetmeme button

As we all know that Twitter is getting more and more popular everyday and everyone is using to find good content, so if you have good content on your site then you should make it easy for your readers to tell their followers about it. Not only will that help your readers have good reputation among their followers for tweeting good stuff but it will get you more traffic. Tweetmeme button very nicely integrates with the blog and tracks how many times your blog post has been re-tweeted. A must have plugin if you are looking to get traffic from Twitter.

Social Bookmarking RELOADED

This plugin add a list of social bookmarking buttons below your posts and/or pages to allow your visitors to easily bookmark your posts and share them with their friends. You can enable/disable bookmarking buttons through the admin interface. The more your readers bookmark your posts the more traffic from those social bookmarking sites will come to your site.

WP-Email

WP-Email allows you to add a link to your posts and pages to allow your readers to recommend your posts to their friends. The more easy you make for your readers to recommend an article to a friend the more your readers will tell their friends and the more traffic will come to your site.

In the next post I will share how can you convert the traffic into loyal readers? What plugins can help you to get the people coming back to your blog? What plugins can help you to get your readers involve in conversation.

Currently I am curious to know that are you already using any of the plugins? How much traffic you get from twitter as compare to other social networking sites? Do not forget to share your experience in the comments.

Access your mails via IMAP while Gmail is down

Are you banging your head on the keyboard because Gmail is not accessible? Your mail are not available to you? Actually they are. I was able to access my emails during the Gmail down time, when everyone was complaining I was able to access my emails over IMAP. The only difference was that I wasn’t accessing them via Gmail web interface but but by using the third party email client. All you need to do is install a third party client on your computer and enable IMAP in your Gmail settings.

If you are using windows the chances are you already have Outlook installed. Check instructions on how to configure your Outlook,Apple or any other mail client to access your gmail. The Google has yet to release why the user has to face this downtime.

I hope no one out there had any business losses due to this downtime, and if you did I feel really sorry for you. Configure your mail clients now and enable IMAP in your Gmail settings, so in case if  again situation like this happens you can easily get to your mail by firing up your email client. The only exception will then be Google IMAP servers going down too in that case all you can do is take a day off, go read a book, or something else which ever looks appropriate at that time. Were you effected by the Gmail downtime? What did you do during the Gmail downtime?

How to add Google Friend Connect Member Gadget to your site in 10 steps

Do you have a wordpress blog? Have you ever tried to add Google Friend Connect? If you have already add the Google Friend Connect to your wordpress blog kindly read on and let me know if I did it the right way? If you haven’t yet added then you must read on and add the Google Friend Connect Members Widget to your wordpress blog. Now, you must be thinking what is Google Friend Connect and why do you need Google Friend Connect for your blog?

The social activity on web is increasing every day, now all websites have been converted to social networks where people interace and share what they are doing? Whether it is bookmarking like on delicious.com or whether it is sharing items on your Google Reader or uploading videos to youtube, everything has got those social functions which you can use to interact and connect with your friends or other people on those sites. Why not you connect your blog readers? Or why not allow your blog readers to tell their friends what they are reading on?  What blogs they are subscribe too? Why not show to the world what people have subscribed to your blog? This is where Google Friend Connect comes in. The readers on your blog can connect with each other, they can review your blog, they can share cool posts on your blog and they can flow your blog this is unlike traditional RSS where you don’t know who is the Subscriber. With Google Friend Connect you see the pictures and profile information of your subscribers. I think this is enough introduction of Google Friend Connect, lets just see how can you  add Google Friend Connect to the wordpress blog.

1. Goto Google Friend Connect and hit the “Get Started” button.

Google Friend Connect Welcome Page

2. Click the “Setup New Site” to add your site in Google Friend Connect.

Google Friend Connect - Setup New Site

3. Click Continue on the Overview Page to actually start adding your site details.

Google Friend Connect - Continue

4. Enter your Site Name and Home URL (the site url) and click Continue.

GoogleFriendConnect - Site Name and URL

5. Download “rpc_relay.html” & “canvas.html” and upload both files to the root of your web site.

GoogleFriendConnect - Connectors for your site

6. Click “Test to Finalize Setup” to setup the site in Google Friend Connect.

GoogleFriendConnect - Test and Finalize

7. Click the “Get Code for Members Gadget”.

GoogleFriendConnect - Get Member Gadget Code

8. Configure your Gadget as per your site’s look & feel or just hit the Generate Code to get the gadget with default colors.

GoogleFriendConnect - Generate Code

9. Goto your WordPress blog admin interface and then to the widgets under Appearance. Add a new text widget and paste the generated code from step 8 as the content of the new Text widget.

10. Click Save and you are done.

Below is the screen shot of Google Friend Connect Sidebar Member Gadget from FreelanceStartup as I took the Screen shot as soon as I added the gadget so you can see I am the only member. If this post help you or you find it useful, please don’t hesitate in joining the FreelanceStartup Site as I share the things that I find useful in my Freelancing Journey.

 

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Google App Engine: Do not let your engine stop

As you all might have noticed that I was not posting for a while now, actually had been taken overy by few projects. But today I thought to post about the updates from Google App Engine. Google App Engine have released the Cookbook where you can submit your recipies or can benefit from other people’s snippets of code.

One more thing that Google App Engine team has done which is really useful, they have included the documentation with SDK, so if you are offline you will still have access to SDK. This will not let your engine stops even if you are not connected to internet.