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I haven’t posted in a while, I’ve been a busy, busy girl, but recently I’ve seen quite a few people in my travels around the interwebs asking about pinging, what is it, and how do you do it?

That really kinda surprised me, because I guess I just assumed everyone knows what pinging is. It’s sort of blogging 101, really, but since there are a lot of people who don’t know, I’m doing this post and a quick tutorial about pinging and what you need to do.



Ignore me talking to Daisy in the middle of the video..LOL


What is Pinging?

If you have a blog, or even a website, Hubpage or Squidoo lens, and you want to bring traffic to it so people actually see it and read all your awesome content, you have to have some sort of way to let the world know about it. You need the search engines to crawl it and index it, and you need as many people as possible shouting out to the world “Hey! Look, I’ve got some great stuff over here!” That’s what pinging is all about. There are blog directories, like Technorati, that will index your posts and services, like Pingomatic and Pingoat that will notify a few different sites, as well as Google and the other search engines that you have just posted something new to your blog so they will come crawl it and people will then be able to find it.

How does pinging happen? 

WordPress, by default, comes with a link to pingomatic, a site that will ping many different directories and the search engines all at once every time you post. You don’t have to do anything to make this happen but hit the Publish button. The problem is, it  will ping the service every time you hit the publish button, even if you’re just editing or updating a post, and  over pinging is bad. Unfortunately, nobody is really sure how much pinging is too much. To stop WordPress from pinging too often, you should have a plugin installed on your blog called Cb net ping optimizer.  It’s a free plugin that lets you control how often WordPress will send out a ping.

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I got some awesome news today from Headway Themes that they have FINALLY announced the official release date for Headway 3.0! On November 25, 2011, the day after Thanksgiving here in the States, Headway 3.0 will be released to the public. I can't wait to until it's released and I get to get in there and check out all the great new features. The announcement is fantastic news for those of us already using Headway who are grandfathered in to the original pricing structure. Once Headway 3.0 is finally released, if you want to buy it you have to pay either a 6-month or 12-month renewal fee. If you buy it right now, you can get the current pricing of $87.00 for a single license and $164.00 for the Headway developer's office, which will let you use it on all of your sites and/or the sites of your clients for sites you build for others. If you are grandfathered in to the current Headway pricing structure, you will get lifetime support and free updates.

So, if you’ve been thinking about purchasing Headway now’s the time. Hurry, you only have a few weeks left to get it at the current price!

Here is the video with a sneak peek at Headway 3.0.

Headway 3.0 Preview from Headway Themes on Vimeo.



Headway Themes — The Drag & Drop WordPress Theme

(The links in this post are my affiliate links…but I’d recommend buying Headway even if I wasn’t an affiliate. I use it)


What’s Hot on Google Plus

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It seems that every week Google unleashes more and more really nifty features for Google Plus, and they did not disappoint this week. They actually introduced 3 cool new toys this week..What's Hot, Google Ripples, and a photo enhancement suite called Creative Kit for Photos.


What's Hot


Google Plus now has it's own version of Twitter's trending topics. What's Hot shows the hottest posts across the entire Google Plus network, not just in your circles. Whatever is being shared and talked about the most can be found under the What's Hot link on the left side of your screen, under Sparks, as well as underneath new posts inside the main stream.


Google Plus Ripples


It's always fun to check and see how posts travel and how things get shared.  With Google + Ripples you can check a post to see just who shared it and visually follow the conversation.  To see the post's ripples, just click the dropdown options in the upper right hand corner of any post (where you would usually mute or block a post, etc) and click on “View Ripples”.  From there you can see how much it has been shared and by mousing over the individual circles in the diagram can see who it was who shared it. Each circle represents another share, and the arrows show a share's direction. A larger circle with circles inside indicates more resharing. It shows when someone shares a post and multiple people reshare that post from that person. There is also a draggable timeline slide bar at the bottom of the ripples diagram page to let you see the spread of the share by day.  The “View Ripples” choice only shows up once a post has been shared for the 1st time.  It even includes some metrics.  This could be a really useful tool for tracking what your followers are interested in and what gets the most engagement on G+.  There is also a scrollable list of shares on the right that updates as you zoom in and out of the Ripples, which makes it easy to find influential people.




Creative Kit for Photos


Along with the usual options for editing photos in Google Plus, like crop, edit, turn, etc, there is now the option to add Instagram-like effects, like Polaroid, sepia, sharpen and airbrush.  You can even add some text.  These new features will let you make your pictures much more fun, and without having to fire up Picasa or Picnik or Photoshop. Unfortunately, there is no red eye option, so if you have photos that need to have red eye removed, you still have to use an external software, but most other basic fixes can now be done after you upload your photos to Google Plus.  There is also a special Halloween effects option that lets you add spiders, grave stones, vampire teeth, ghosts, and all kinds of fun effects.  Here is a picture of a spider web I took in my backyard a while back.  In the 2nd picture, I used the sepia feature and added a spider for Halloween.





On a side note, Google also FINALLY added the ability for Google Apps users to join G+.  They have been, not so patiently, waiting for it to happen since the start of Google Plus, and Google has finally answered their pleas.
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Image via Wikipedia


As awesome as Google Plus is, there are many features needed to be able to really enjoy your G+ experience that are not natively available in Google Plus just yet.  Google has been very good about updating features and adding functionality for things that are widely requested, but they haven't got them all covered as of yet.  This is a list of Chrome G+ extensions that will make using G+ a whole lot easier.  I use a lot of these and have been pretty much since I started on G+. They are definitely must-have Google Plus chrome extensions, I couldn't imagine being without them now.  LOL

1. Extended Share

Note: Cross posted from GPlusZine.


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What I’m up to On G+