Since there has been a lot of talk and controversy in the SEO communityÂ about guest blogging, and howÂ guest blogging is either dead orÂ not dead, a lot of people have been looking for other platforms where they can post their articles. Well, now there is a great new platform (site) where you can post article: LinkedIn.
I just posted a link to a particularly good blog post onÂ myÂ Facebook page and someone said that my permalink URLs, that are of the form â?p=39âł, are bad. Whatâs wrong with them and how do I fix it in WordPress?
I donât know if I agree that your permalinks are âbadâ, per se, but I will agree with them that the link is suboptimal.
Thatâs a smart and timely question because of two factors: first, as you likely known, Windows XP is dead. Microsoft is no longer supporting theÂ operating system, no longer releasing system patches, etc. Time to upgrade because of the second reason this is a good question:Â hackers have figured out an exploit in the Flash system within MicrosoftÂ Internet Explorer and itâs dangerous for all Windows users, but especially dangerous for people running WinXP.
Well, thereâs a little bit of HTML coding involved, but yes, you can definitely add a search box toÂ yourÂ site, though it wonât have all the fancy bells and whistles (read âsuggested searchesâ) that youâd see on theÂ home page of theÂ Etsy site, because thatâs a considerably more complicated coding task.
Thing is, most searchÂ systems onÂ sites are really easy to duplicate because they use the same âmethod=GETâ style ofÂ query, so you donât even need to look at theÂ sourceÂ code to the page to know how itâs done. You can tell because, as weâll see in a moment, the URL of the search results page includes your actual search pattern as one of the variables.
But letâs start at the beginning with the Etsy search box itself.
Go on the site and youâll see this along the top:
Type in a search term and press âSearchâ.
Now in theÂ addressÂ bar of your Web browser youâll see a URL like this one I got for a search for ânose ringâ:
Why ânose ringâ? Why not?Â
Looking closely at the URL and armed with the knowledge that everything after the â?â are name=value arguments, we can disassemble the search into:
Those are theÂ defaultÂ values, a gallery view and vendors that ship to the US.
With a tiny bit of experimentation, it becomes clear that the view_type and ship_to values are unneeded and that the URL below produces exactly the same search results:
This means that in the language of HTML, we have the followingÂ simple form:
<input type=âtextâ name=âqâ />
<input type=âsubmitâ value=âsearch Etsyâ />
Simple enough, and if you look, you can see how the âqâ shows up as the search variable name and the Etsy search URL shows up as the action in the form tag.
Hereâs how it looks:
Try it, though you might search for something other than nose rings.
So thatâs it. Simply copy and paste the above code and add it to your site. There are, of course, a zillion different ways you can tweak and tune the search box, particularly using CSS, but thatâs your functional starting point and Iâll let you experiment from this point.
I heard that LinkedIn is letting certain members post articles on their profiles through a blog tool called âPostâ. Cool. I want in. How do I get started?
I had read about the Post tool on LinkedIn a few weeks ago, but it took a while until one day when I went to check on my LinkedIn account status and got a notification that I was hooked up and ready to go, able to access the Post tools. If you donât get the notification, the way you can tell that LinkedIn blogging tool is available to you is by looking for the little pencil icon on the status update entry box.
But letâs back up a second. The system, formally called Publishing Power, started as âinfluencer postsâ and has actually been available for a while on LinkedIn, but only for a few hundred top executives and celebrities. So why open it up? I think itâs best answered from aÂ Mashable quote: LinkedIn staffer Ryan Roslansky explained thatÂ âthe more content we have, the more content thatâs going to be consumed.â Content. More content. BecauseÂ theÂ Internet needs more stuff.Â
The tool itself is fairly rudimentary, about the same level of sophistication as the built-in editing tools in WordPress.
To demonstrate, hereâs what my LinkedIn status box now looks like:
Youâre used to seeing the paperclip, but the pencil icon is new. If you have it, you have access to Publishing Power / Post.
Click on it instead of entering a status update, and a clean, uncluttered edit window appears:
With the magic of superfast typing, Iâll enter a title and a few paragraphs of text:
To add a graphic â always a good idea when youâre writing online! â move theÂ insert cursor to the desired spot (in this case, Iâll place it just before the first word in the prose) and click on the camera icon in the very right of the toolbar.
A windowÂ popsÂ up:
Pretty easy from here, click on âChoose Fileâ to pick anÂ imageÂ file on your computer, then click âSubmitâ to upload it.
Note that there are no image resize tools I could find in the Publishing Power system, so youâll probably want to resize the image on your computer before you upload it.
Once included, it looks like this:
The image is still a bit big for the piece, but Iâm going to ignore that problem and proceed.
LinkedIn recommends youÂ preview your article to ensure itâs ready to go, a good idea, so click on âPreviewâ to clean up any layout issues. Then click âPublishâ to proceed.
You sure about that?
Since the tiny Twitter box was checked in the edit window, the next thing that happens is that a tweet box appears, pre-filled with a shortened URL and all:
Looks good? Click on âTweetâ or just close the window if youâve decided you donât want to share this missive with your loyal Twitter following. Either way, done.
Now on your profile and for those who follow you, hereâs the snippet theyâll see:
Notice it did a niceÂ job scaling the image down and producing an attractive summary, etc. Nice.
Now letâs see if itâs worth the time to publish exclusively on LinkedInâŠ
This is crazy. I got an email from Google saying that people who have circled me on Google Plus can now send email to me even if they donât know my email address. Uh, no thanks. How do I turn this off?
Before you throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater, itâs useful to have a closer look at exactly what Googleâs talking about with thisÂ newÂ feature, and worth knowing that by default people cannot send you messages without your email address: itâs a feature you have to enable, not disable.
At some level, I also would say that this is something that people can already do through many other social media services. For example, if youâre on Twitter, people can â@-replyâ you or mention you, bringing attention to their tweets, regardless of if you follow them or not. OnÂ Facebook, you can even email people through the âotherâ feature whether they are friends with you or not. AndÂ LinkedIn has âInMailâ, offering you the ability to email people who you can find on their service but otherwise donât know.
Still, I completely understandÂ privacyÂ concerns, itâs one of the great challenges of our era.
So letâs start by seeing what it would look like if you were sending me an email via Google Plus without having my email address. Itâd look like this:
As you can see, Iâd show up as a âGoogle+ connectionâ.
On my end, when the message arrived, itâd be denoted inÂ Gmail thusly:
Notice that I now see Tedâs email address. Not sure it tells him that Iâm going to see that when he sends it, but if you are going to use this feature, itâs good to know.
And as for me, I can opt out if I want, or just enable this to see what happens. So far, my friend Tedâs doing just fine.
To opt in â or out â or otherwise see howÂ yourÂ account is configured, go to âSettingsâ in Gmail and look for this:
Since Iâm always interested in how things work and figure that Gmail already has splendid crowdsourced spam management, I want to see what options there are:
They donât really define things well, but I have mine set for âextended circlesâ which I assume means that people who are one hop away from me can also send me email with thisÂ facility. (My assumption: circles = people who I have circled, extended circles = people I have circled and the people they have circled, anyone on Google+ is, well, anyone on Google Plus).
So now you know and can make your own decision about privacy versus opening it up a bit to incoming messages. And Iâm curious: after reading through this, what did you decide to do?
Somehow, my home page changed to Ask. I’m running Firefox as my browser on my macbook & it used to come up with a tiled screen of the various sites last visited. I suspect one of my kids may have somehow changed the default. How do I get it back to the way it was? Thanks in advance for your help!