Get More Traffic with Su.pr!

For the past few days, I’ve been trying out Su.pr – the new URL shortener from StumbleUpon.  When I first heard StumbleUpon released a link shortener, I couldn’t care less.  Honestly.  I’m really, really happy with bit.ly – why change?

This is why:

supr

Now, the click counts aren’t all that impressive – I generally get between 20-40 clicks per link I post to Twitter.  The important number is what’s in the little blue box.  This, my friend, is the number of people who viewed your link through StumbleUpon.  See, when you shorten a URL using Su.pr, you have the option to “Thumbs Up” your link by reviewing, categorizing, and ensuring that it’s family friendly.  Once that’s done, it’s ready to be stumbled and is made available to other StumbleUpon users.

So the obvious reason for using su.pr is more traffic.  In the past 3 days alone I’ve received a few hundred StumbleUpon views from the few links I’ve posted.  For a small, part-time blogger, this is a big deal.

Apart from that, Su.pr offers some other great tools for link management.

Thumbnail Previews

Sure, it’s not all that useful, but I like it.  It let’s me know at a glance whether or not my link has been reviewed and it lets me know what I’m clicking on without reading the title.  This sounds incredibly lazy, but…well…yeah, it’s lazy.  But I like it.

Statistics

Su.pr offers a variety of statistics – retweets, reviews, stumbles and clicks.  They also offer the option to download your link statistics in CSV form.

Post to Twitter, Facebook

Like bit.ly, Su.pr offers the option of posting your link to Twitter, along with your message.  However, Su.pr also allows you to post to Facebook – or both!  On top of that, it allows for scheduled updates (like HootSuite).

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Promoted Websites

Once you add your domains to your Su.pr settings, you will start to see click report graphs in your sidebar.  This is useful because it shows your most popular websites and posting times at a glance.

Suggested Posting Times

Su.pr analyzes your updates and link counts to provide you with a nice visual graph of the best times to post.  For me, I tend to drive more traffic in the early morning.

2009-10-13_2331

Upgrade Your WordPress Plugins

If you’re like me, you probably don’t check your plugin page very often.  Aside from activating something new you’ve uploaded, there’s really no reason.  The problem, however, is that your forget to update your plugins.  After taking a look at my page the other day, I found several notifications like this:

upgrad_wordpress_plugins

Yikes. That sounds urgent. Just like upgrading your WordPress installation, upgrading plugins is very important. New versions often fix security issues, known bugs, usability, etc. Be sure to backup your installation and deactivate the selected plugin before performing major upgrades – the last thing you want is a PHP error that makes your blog inaccessible.

If you’ll be spending a few minutes upgrading multiple plugins, you might want to install Maintenance Mode – a cool little plugin that shows a message to visitors that your blog is being worked on and will be up shortly.

Spotlight at NecessaryCool

If you follow on Twitter or Facebook, chances are you’ve already heard about this.  Sorry for the excitement, but it’s a big deal for me.  🙂

rybo stops by

Jef from NecessaryCool contacted me a few days ago and asked if I would like to be spotlighted on their blog.  NecessaryCool is a daily blog that features…well, “cool” stuff.  That’s really the best way to describe it. From t-shirts to comic books to cars, it doesn’t matter what it is as long as it’s cool.

I’m really honored by this invitation and it was neat getting to summarize all the things going on right now for another audience. I talked a bit about my two main projects at the moment – The Graff Blog and Joupes.

Check out the spotlight and some of NC’s other posts – including this one written by a friend of mine a few months ago.

New Music Store Comes to BlackBerry

7digital_logo

BlackBerry users have cause for some serious excitement – a new UK mp3 store called 7digital has come out with a BlackBerry music store to rival the popular iTunes mp3 store for the iPhone and Amazon mp3 for the Palm Pre. Finally.

What’s more, 7digital boasts cheaper (and DRM-free) songs – many of which are only $.77, as compared to the many new $1.29 price increases iTunes has seen. For some time now, it seems as if the only option for BB users was to transfer music with desktop software or through a removable media card. No longer.

For me, the immediate problem with this was slow 3G speeds. I love my Curve, but sometimes even keeping an ESPN game tracker open could take forever. 7digital has an answer for this. When you choose to download a song over a slow connection, you will be downloading a lower-quality track. The next time you’re in an area that can handle more data transfer (or in a WiFi spot if your BB supports it), the song will re-download in high quality and replace the old version. Pretty cool, right?

After browsing the available songs in their store, I’m impressed. There’s even a “Future Releases” section to showcase upcoming music – though this is mostly EP’s and lesser known Indie bands. 7digital reports that it currently has over 7 million songs for download.

It seems like the number one thing I get attacked about when comparing the BlackBerry to the iPhone is the lack of music playability. While 7digital currently does not offer a compatible app for the Curve 8320, I’m still excited about the possibility.  Take that iPhone users – and I can listen to my music without squealing in delight at the word “Apple”. Sure, the BB’s storage isn’t comparable to that of the godPhone, but it’s a step in the right direction – and we’ve been able to picture message for years.

(via PCWorld)

Text to Joupes

joupes

Yep, I’m doing it. Joupes is my baby and I’m going to do everything I can do advertise it. It’s my blog. Get over it.

Hopefully you’re already a user, and hopefully you’re subscribed to the Joupes blog. If so, you can ignore this post. Right now, we’re still only accepting users by invitation. However, in the next week or two, we will be removing this and making it open registration. Until then, request an invite and we’ll get you an account!

On October 3rd we were happy to announce the new text-to-Joupes feature. We know that you might not have time to always log into your Joupes account just to add a task or goal. Thanks to TTJ, you can simply text-message or email us your tasks and we’ll add it for you! Below is a re-post from the official release explaining how TTJ works (from the Joupes Blog).

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Here is the list of the letter combinations you’ll want to remember when you text Joupes. As of right this second, we’re offering 3 options for remotely handling your account.

Send a text to 88147. While this is certainly the easiest option, there are a few things you need to know. First off, this is a shared shortcode. Since we’re poor college kids and don’t have $30,000+ to drop on our own shortcode, we’re experimenting with Zeep Mobile. So, if you decide to use this method, you will need to start each text with “joupes”. So to add a task, you would send “joupes nt pick up the milk”. Also, you will get a short advertisement on the confirmation text. To use the shortcode, click here to confirm your phone and get started (sorry for the bad formatting :-/).

Send an SMS (text-message) to joupes@joupes.com. This is exactly like using the shortcode, but you won’t have to deal with advertisements or appending ‘joupes’ to the beginning of your texts. If your service provider does not allow texting to email addresses, you can sometimes find SMS gateways to get around this.

Send an email to joupes@joupes.com. This option is great for people at work who don’t have time to keep checking online accounts. You can easily manage your lists and add tasks/goals without ever visiting the site.

Your confidence is important to us. Every time you add a goal or task, we’ll send you a confirmation message letting you know it’s been added to your account.

confirmation

Use the letter combinations below to start Jouping remotely:

  • nt : adds a new task – eg. “nt pick up the milk”
  • ng : adds a new goal – eg. “ng retire by the age of 40”
  • due : sets the time this task is due – eg. “nt pick up the milk due today 3pm”
  • lt : lists all tasks – eg. “lt” (returns a list of all tasks)
  • lg : lists all goals – eg. “lg” (returns a list of all goals)
  • help : returns a list of all letter combinations in case you forget
  • rmdr : sets the time that you will receive a text reminder – eg. “nt pick up the milk due today 3pm rmdr 5 minutes”* rmdr has not been released yet – however it is almost completed and should be out in the next week

That’s it! We hope this makes Joupes even easier to use and helps you get stuff done. As always, we hope you follow us on Twitter and let us know what you think of the site. If you don’t have an account, register here and we’ll send you an invitation. If you’d like to get in touch with me, find me on Twitter or send an email to ryan@joupes.com.

Enjoy!

The Unofficial Color Reference Pt. 2

This is the second installment of the Color-Reference collection.  You can see the first post here.

This reference was somewhat popular, possibly more due to the neat looking graphic than actual usefulness.  However, I’ve decided to do another one.  This collection lists the main colors for Digg, Technorati, Reddit, and Joupes.

colors2

* Please note that these may not be the “official” colors of the respective sites. I have done my best to double and triple check all of these on their actual sites.

Poster Giveaway from Digital Room

UPDATE – The contest is over. Congratulations Daniel Farmer!

digital room

Thanks to the great guys at DigitalRoom, I have been permitted to give away one custom 18×24” rolled poster print. You can see more details by checking out poster printing. The contest is open to anyone in the United States, and the winner will get their poster delivered UPS Ground for free.

Since DigitalRoom is so cool, they have given me a free poster print simply for hosting this contest. I’m ecstatic. The only problem is, I’m also a horrible decision maker. While I am tempted to go with the classy and sweet choice of enlarging a family picture for my poster, I’m feeling a little more selfish and a lot more ghetto. I love graffiti. LOVE IT. Anyone who follows me on Twitter will already know this, as I am constantly TwitPic-ing my work, linking to Facebook albums, and so on. The obvious choice, then, is to put together some work (I’m thinking somethings from COPE2, SEEN, maybe some old Dondi pieces) and have it printed up and framed!

DigitalRoom specializes in high quality digital printing, so the quality reviews are fantastic – my graffiti should look great!  But that’s just me. And now that you’re a bit turned off, here’s how to enter the contest for your chance to print whatever you want.

    To be entered, all you need to do is leave a comment below explaining what you would like to have printed. Please be sure to use a real email address, since I will need to contact you for your information if you win.

For extra entries, you can:

    Tweet the giveaway:

    @rybo is hosting a custom printed poster #giveaway from @uprinting and DigitalRoom.com! http://j.mp/IAQU8

    Write a post on your own blog that links to this post and DigitalRoom.com – due to time restraints, go ahead and send me a link on Twitter @rybo or ryan at rybomedia.com.
    Subscribe to my blog – I’ll be going by the honor system, so just let me know in your comment.
    Follow me on Twitter – Leave your Twitter username in your comment below.

This contest will close September 28rd at 2pm. At this time, I will use random.org to generate a winner. For each of the 4 things you do for an extra entry, I will add your name once.

So that’s it! Good luck everybody – I look forward to reading what you want printed!

UPDATE: In an attempt to get a few more entries before the winner is selected next week, I’m adding “refer a friend”. If you refer someone and they mention your name in their comment, you will get 2 extra entries, and the person who referred you will get 1 extra entry.

j.mp

About a week ago, the popular URL shortening service announced that they are releasing a new shortener site. Why would arguably the most popular URL shortener release a brand new site? Simple – j.mp is 2 characters shorter than bit.ly. Really, that’s all.

jmp

For those who are currently bit.ly account holders, don’t worry – just login to j.mp using your bit.ly information and your links and statistics will carry over. Now, saving 2 characters isn’t a huge deal to me, but if you are constantly trying to shave letters off of your tweets, making the switch to j.mp might be a good idea.

ConvergeSC Video Footage

The ConvergeSC speaker videos were just posted today. Watching clips from them, I am reminded how much fun it was, how much I learned, and how much I have forgotten already! The speakers were EXCELLENT, and I am so glad there is video footage so I can go back and watch these presentations again.

If you weren’t there, consider this a free web conference – fantastic tips, fun presentations, and maybe a little humor too. Here are a few of my favorite design talks from the conference, though it is honestly hard to name favorites as each presentation was excellent. To see the rest of the videos, go to the Vimeo page. Enjoy!

Strange But Awesome: Google Maps Monopoly

Starting tomorrow, Monopoly will expand its vast collection of game variations to its biggest “board” yet – Google Maps. That’s right, as of September 9th, you can play Monopoly on Google Maps.

google_maps_monopoly

While all the details are still fuzzy, as of this post the game is set to release around 1pm EST. What we do know is that this will be a full out Monopoly game – except that you could, in theory, purchase the street you actually live on! If my understanding is correct, almost all streets and places on Google Maps will be “playable” in the game. You can build houses, charge rent, and even test your luck with the famous Chance cards.

Be sure to check out the official blog for more details and game rules, and definitely keep checking the website tomorrow for the official release.  Another fine move by Google to think out of the box, uniting a classic game with the web service we have grown dependant upon.