How to get the most out of your unlimited cell phone texting plan

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These instructions will be for Verizon wireless users.

Ok, so most of us have unlimited texting plans. If you do not, this post should convince you to do so. Your normal Verizon texting plan does not include data usage, or internet usage... I'm here to tell you that you do not need it, so don't buy a data plan. Here is why.

Enter text to emailing capabilities. Every Verizon customer has an email address associated with their texting plan. For every number you have an email address: your-10-digitnumber@vtext.com This is your texting email address. Also, your account associates a picture messaging account built the same way: your-10-digit-number@vzwpix.com. This vzwpix email address is your ticket to data package freedom! Any email address in the world can send a message to you by using one of these addresses. (use the vzwpix address, it works better) Again, the only charge here is for a texting plan, which in my case is unlimited.

You can do a lot of interesting things over email without a web connection or data plan– you can read any webpages over email, maintain your task list, convert documents, upload photo and videos, get dictionary meanings of words and more.

Just make sure that you have added the following 10 addresses to your email address contacts, and phone address book: (I found this top 10 list here) The key to using these services, is to send an email as a picture message to each of the following servces.

10. pdf@koolwire.com – You have an Office document or a picture on your computer or mobile phone that you wish to convert into a PDF file. Just email that file an email attachment to the above address and it will soon return to your Inbox as a PDF file. [koolwire review]

9. ..@photos.flickr.com – Flickr provides a unique email upload address here – you can send your photographs to this email address as attachments and they’ll show up in Flick Photo gallery almost instantly. The subject line of email becomes the photo’s title while the body of the email becomes the photo’s description.

8. e@xpenser.com – This is like filling data in a travel spreadsheet through email. You can use this address to gather and record your travel expenses while on the road. [xpenser review]

mobile blogger

7. go@blogger.com – You can use this address to post pictures on any Blogger hosted blog. Any picture that you send to this email address will appear as a new blog post in your mobile blog. You can also use this service to post regular text entries to your Blogspot blog. In that case, the “Send to Blogger” email address is available under Blogger Dashboard.

6. upload@upload.slideshare.net – If you have (one or more) PowerPoint Presentations and PDF documents that you quickly want to share with friends, just email the files to Slideshare and they’ll instantly turn them into a web slideshow. [Slideshare upload options]

5. …@mms.youtube.com – YouTube member can create an MMS profile here – if you have a video clip on your mobile phone or comptuer but no access to YouTube website, you can easily upload that video file to YouTube through that email address. [Details on Youtube Email upload]

4. pdf2txt@adobe.com – Send a PDF document to this email address as an attachment and it will come back as a plain text file. Handy when your don’t have a PDF viewer to open the PDF document. Alternatively, you can send the PDF file to pdf2html@adobe.com for conversion to HTML format. [Extract Text from PDF]

3. ..@prod.writely.com – Google Docs provides a unique email address here – you can upload your documents, spreadsheets and presentations to Google Docs through this address and read them on your mobile phone using the just launched Google Docs mobile at docs.google.com/m. [Google Docs Upload]

remember-the-milk 2. …@rmilk.com – When you signup for Remember The Milk, you are assigned a unique email address. Emails sent to this special address are automatically converted into tasks and appear in your Inbox. Click on Settings -> Info -> Inbox Email Address. Very handy for keeping a track of your unfinished tasks and getting things done while on the move.

1. wsmith@wordsmith.org – Get the dictionary definition and synonyms of any word by sending a blank email to this email address. Make the subject line as: define myword

And now the most useful email address that will help you read webpages through email without requiring a web connection:

0. www@web2mail.com – Send an email with the URL of the web page in the Subject field (e.g. www.cnn.com) and you’ll soon find a copy of that web page in your Inbox. A perfect option when there’s no Internet access in the area or access is restricted (for instance, you want to read the BBC homepage in China).

Another similar service is www4mail@wm.ictp.trieste.it – it will also fetch websites for you through email though in this case, the site address should go in the body of the email message.

These web-to-email services will come extremely handy for receiving on-demand Stock quotes (for the current Google stock price, type finance.yahoo.com/q?s=GOOG), weather updates, currency exchange rates (for USD to INR, type finance.yahoo.com/q?s=USDINR=X) and more.

how to add twitter to facebook

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Combine all your Twitter and Facebook messages together when you add http://www.twitter.com/ to http://www.facebook.com/ . Why? The New Facebook has stopped allowing you to export yout facebook status updates. If you use twitter, you can send tweets to facebook, blogger, and anywhere else that accepts an RSS feed. This means you can 1 txt from your phone, and immediatly post it all over the place simultaneously...

This is an incredibly easy thing, that will take you 2 minutes to set up, and will save you a ton of time in the long haul

Here's How:
1.Type in "Twitter" in the search box on facebook.
2.Go to the Add Twitter to Facebook app.
3.Click "Go to Application".
4.Click "Allow".
5.You'll now be asked to log into Twitter. Log in to add Twitter to Facebook.
6.If you want your Twitter messages to feed right along with your Facebook messages, click on "Allow Twitter to Update Your Facebook Status". Then you can see all your messages at once.
7.That's it! You'll now be able to se your Twitter posts on Facebook. Tips:

Tip: Don't do step number 6 if you're not prepared to have all your Twitter messages flooding onto your Facebook page.

How to upload a mobile photo / video / note to my Facebook profile

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I have been fighting with Facebook to accept my mobile pictures. After a while I found it worked beautifully to send them in as atxt message to an email address. Maybe there is something you need help with as well? I pulled all of this info from the Facebook mobile help page. The questions may be easier to find answers to on their site, but sometimes seeing it in a different location is helpful. Good Luck! Feel free to ask me additional questions. I will do my best to respond in a reasonable ammount of time. - Milo

How do I start?
Anyone can start just by sending a photo from your phone to mobile@facebook.com or a note to notes@facebook.com. We'll send you back a code to confirm your phone. Enter this code on the site once, and you're confirmed to continue uploading from your phone. To start, go to the Mobile Uploads tab of the Mobile page.

Which carriers support Facebook Mobile Uploads?
In the United States, Facebook Mobile Uploads are supported by AT&T, Boost, Nextel, Sprint, Verizon, Helio, and Virgin USA. In Canada, this functionality is supported by Bell Mobility, Aliant, Solo, Fido, Rogers, TELUS, SaskTel, and MTS. In the UK, this functionality is supported by O2. If you have another carrier, it should still work, but we cannot guarantee that it will.

Will uploading work from my phone?
Sending messages is a little different on every phone. If you have an iPhone, simply use the Facebook for iPhone application available for free from the iTunes App Store. To send a photo from the Facebook for iPhone application, click the camera icon on the home page.To upload to Facebook from any other phone, your phone needs to be able to send multimedia messages (MMS) to an email address. Most new phones can do this, but not all phones support this feature. Check with your carrier and/or device manufacturer to find out how to send multimedia messages from your phone.

Do I need Facebook Mobile Texts to use this?
No. Mobile Uploads and Mobile Texts are both a part of Facebook Mobile, but you can use either one by itself.

How do I upload photos from my phone?
To upload photos to Facebook Photos, follow these steps:
Go to the Mobile Uploads tab of the Mobile page.
Send photos from your camera phone as a multimedia message to mobile@facebook.com. To add a photo caption, just include it as the subject line in your message.

How do I upload notes from my phone?
To upload notes from your phone, follow these steps:
Go to the Mobile Uploads tab of the Mobile page.
Send photos, text, or both as multimedia messages to notes@facebook.com. To add a note title, just include it as the subject line in your message.

How do I upload videos from my phone?
To upload videos from your phone, follow these steps:
Check to makes sure the Video application has been added to your account. If it hasn’t, you can find this application here.
Send videos as multimedia messages to mobile@facebook.com. To add a title, include it as the subject line of your message. To add a description, include it in the body of your message.

Can I text message a note instead?
Yes, just text "note" followed by the body of your note to FBOOK (32665). You must have Facebook Mobile Texts in order to do this.

Does Mobile Uploads cost money?
Facebook does not charge for Mobile Uploads. However, your carrier's normal messaging and picture messaging charges will apply. Check with your carrier to find out what plans are available and how much they cost.

Mobile photo/video will not upload.
For iPhone users, simply use the Facebook for iPhone application available for free from the iTunes App Store. For all other phones, please make sure you are sending an MMS (not email) to mobile@facebook.com and that MMS is included in your service plan. Please click here if none of the above information resolves your issue.

My carrier is not supported.
Which mobile feature are you trying to use?

Uploads
It is possible to upload photos even though your carrier is not supported, though we cannot guarantee it will work. To begin uploading photos from your mobile phone, just send a photo in a multimedia message (MMS) to the email address mobile@facebook.com. You will then receive a text message containing your Mobile Uploads confirmation code. You can enter this code in the Mobile Uploads section of the Mobile application when logged in from a computer. You will not need a code for subsequent uploads.

Verification
You should be able to verify your account via your mobile phone even though your carrier is unsupported. Simply select the "Verify" link found below the "word in the box" (i.e., the captcha) that you see when poking, messaging, or sending friend requests. Then select your country code and enter your mobile number.

Texts
Thanks for your interest in Facebook Mobile. We encourage you to talk to your carrier to let them know that you are interested in this service. If enough people contact them, it may convince them to support our texts. For now, please note that you can use our Mobile Uploads feature to upload photos, videos and notes directly from your phone. You should also be able to access your account via Mobile Web at m.facebook.com or iphone.facebook.com for iPhones.

My question is not listed above.
Find more questions and answers here.

how to turn any phone into a PDA using your texting plan

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OK, so I have spent the last week in the hospital with my son. This means I have to spend some time away from my computer, but I wanted to be able to update www.milowilson.blogspot.com www.thewilsonheart.com www.twitter.com/milowilson and www.twitter.com/thewilsonheart with my phone.

Enter text to emailing capabilities. These instructions will be for Verizon wireless users.
Every Verizon customer has an email address associated with their texting plan. For every number you have an email address: your-10-digitnumber@vtext.com This is your texting email address. Also, your account associates a picture messaging account built the same way: your-10-digit-number@vzwpix.com Any email address in the world can send a message to you by using one of these addresses. Again, the only charge here is for a texting plan, which in my case is unlimited.

Now, I have a gmail account, which includes a free email forwarding service. So, in my settings, I tell gmail to forward my emails to my10digitphonenumber@vzwpix.com (I have found that the vzwpix email address works better than the vtext. I think it has to do with the size of the files going through their server) Once this is completed, all of your emails should get forwarded to your phone. (Still no data plan, just a texting plan)

From here, I can type email addresses into the "send" field on a text message rather than just phone numbers. The recipient will receive the email from my10digitphonenumber@vzwpix.com so I generally start an email by reminding the recipient of who I am.

Then, I set all my blogs to have the option to post via email. In blogger, this is an easy tab to find on the dashboard under the settings. This is also handy, because I can post to my blogs fro any email address anywhere, as long as I know the keyword to do so. this is done by emailing myusername.mysecretkeyword@blogger.com and the posts immediately appears, whether it is a video, or picture, or a text file.

Similarly, I set up my twitter accounts to post via www.twittermail.com Why? Twitter only allows each phone to post to one twitter account. In this case I want to have two twitter accounts. So, by using mysecretkeyword@twittermail.com I can send tweets to multiple accounts. and, by the way my twitter feed then gets forwarded on to my Facebook updates...

One final thing my wife Erin figured out this week... If you want to send emails to people over 160 characters, tell your phone that you want to send a picture message, but just don't attach the picture. For some reason, picture messages are allowed up to 1000 characters, to the much smaller 160 characters in a standard text message.

OK, are you confused yet? Interested in learning more? I will try to answer your questions, but again I am using a Verizon phone, gmail, blogger, facebook, and twitter. While some of these things should transfer to other phone companies or social networks, I can't be sure until you have tried it.

Good Luck!

Converting youtube videos to MP3 MP4 MPEG and more!

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http://www.catchvideo.net/ is a tool I have really started using regularly to download music or videos I have found on youtube, and convert them to a usable format. Here is a review I found from http://www.killerstartups.com/

A visit to this website will definitely not go amiss for those who have an active liking for online videos, and are tired of dealing with countless formats that tend to cause trouble with their preferred players. As the title of the review puts it, this young startup will empower you to pick any video file you can find on the WWW and proceed to covert it and download it in a simple fashion. All you have to do is paste the respective URL in the provided box and then choose the desired output format. This way, you will be able to procure videos from popular services like YouTube, DailyMotion, MySpace, Sevenload, Metacafe, Kewego and save them into formats such as MP4 for iPod, iPhone, PsP and AVI for Windows. The site has a very clear layout, and both a blog and a series of support forums are provided should you need additional guidance. All in all, this is a service which is bound to be greatly appreciated by all the many video adepts out there. Consider giving the site a try if you fall into that category.

How to update Facebook with your cell phone texting plan

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I pulled all of this info from the Facebook mobile help page. The questions may be easier to find answers to on their site, but sometimes seeing it in a different location is helpful. Good Luck! Feel free to ask me additional questions. I will do my best to respond in a reasonable ammount of time. - Milo







How do I use Mobile Texts?

To search for someone: Text the word "search" followed by the person's name to FBOOK (32665) to get profile info.To perform an action: Text the action command followed by the person's name to FBOOK (32665). Use "p" to poke, "m" to message, "w" to write on someone's Wall, "a" to add friend, or "stat" to check status. For a list of common mobile commands, please go to the Mobile Cheat Sheet.



How can I stop getting texts from other Facebook Platform applications?

You can opt out of receiving texts from an application by clicking "Edit" next to Applications from the left navigation column. From the following page, click "Edit Settings" next to the desired application and uncheck the box titled "Send and receive text messages to and from this application." You can also update this information by deselecting the application on your Edit Mobile Settings page.



I can get texts, but I can’t send any to 32665.

Please make sure that your phone does not include a signature at the end of your text messages. This can interfere with Facebook Mobile correspondence. Also be sure that outgoing texts are still included in your service plan.Please click here if none of the above information resolves your issue.



How do I activate Mobile Texts?

Just enter your mobile info and we'll text you a special code to confirm that it's your phone. Start by going to the Mobile Texts page.



How much does it cost?

Facebook does not charge you for using Mobile Texts. However, your mobile provider's standard rates for sending and receiving text messages still apply.



I didn’t receive a confirmation code to activate Mobile Texts.

First, check the Mobile section for more information about whether your carrier is supported. If your carrier is not supported, we encourage you to contact your carrier to let them know that you are interested in this service. If enough people show interest, it may convince them to support our texts. For now, please note that you can use our Mobile Uploads feature to upload photos, videos, and notes directly from your phone. You should also be able to access your account via Mobile Web at m.facebook.com or iphone.facebook.com for iPhones.If your carrier is supported, please read the following guidelines to troubleshoot your problem:

Have you requested five codes? If not, request more from the Mobile application.

Have you recently ported your number from a different carrier? If so, this is a problem that we are aware of and hope to resolve it as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience.

You can also try sending "On" (without quotes) to 32665 to receive your code. If none of the above information resolves your issue, please click here.



Will Mobile Texts work on my phone?

Mobile Texts should work on any mobile device as long as it can send and receive text messages. However, the only carriers that support Mobile Texts are:In the US: AT&T, Boost, Nextel, Sprint, Virgin USA, Helio, and Verizon.In Canada: Bell Mobility, Aliant, Solo, Fido, Rogers, TELUS, Virgin Mobile Canada, SaskTel, and MTS. In the UK: O2.



Which providers does Facebook Mobile Texts support?

Mobile Texts work with:In the US: AT&T, Boost, Nextel, Sprint, Virgin USA, Helio, and Verizon.In Canada: Bell Mobility, Aliant, Solo, Fido, Rogers, TELUS, SaskTel, Virgin Mobile Canada, and MTS.In the UK: O2.



Do Mobile Texts work everywhere?

Currently, Mobile Texts work only in the US, Canada, and the UK.



My carrier is not supported.

Which mobile feature are you trying to use?UploadsIt is possible to upload photos even though your carrier is not supported, though we cannot guarantee it will work. To begin uploading photos from your mobile phone, just send a photo in a multimedia message (MMS) to the email address mobile@facebook.com. You will then receive a text message containing your Mobile Uploads confirmation code. You can enter this code in the Mobile Uploads section of the Mobile application when logged in from a computer. You will not need a code for subsequent uploads.VerificationYou should be able to verify your account via your mobile phone even though your carrier is unsupported. Simply select the "Verify" link found below the "word in the box" (i.e., the captcha) that you see when poking, messaging, or sending friend requests. Then select your country code and enter your mobile number.TextsThanks for your interest in Facebook Mobile. We encourage you to talk to your carrier to let them know that you are interested in this service. If enough people contact them, it may convince them to support our texts. For now, please note that you can use our Mobile Uploads feature to upload photos, videos and notes directly from your phone. You should also be able to access your account via Mobile Web at m.facebook.com or iphone.facebook.com for iPhones.



Will Facebook ever spam my phone?

No, Facebook will never send you any unsolicited texts.



How can I stop/start getting Facebook texts?

Set Facebook texts to "on" or "off" by following the "Edit Preferences" link on the Mobile page. Alternatively, just text "on" or "off" to FBOOK (32665).



I am receiving unwanted charges on my cell phone bill after taking an action on Facebook.

Some advertisements that run on third-party applications link to services that ask for your cell phone number and subsequently send text messages to your phone. While Facebook is not responsible for these advertisements, we recommend that you send a text message containing the word "STOP" (without the quotation marks) to the number from which you're receiving the messages in order to cancel the service. You may report an application containing these advertisements to its developer(s) and to Facebook by clicking on the "Report" link that appears in the lower left corner of any page within the application. Unfortunately, we have no control over your mobile service. We suggest you contact your mobile provider and explain the situation to them.



How can I select what kind of Mobile Texts I receive?

Select which actions should be sent to your phone by following the "Edit Preferences" link on the Mobile page.



Can I still send texts to FBOOK (32665) if I turn Facebook texts off?

Yes, you can always send texts to FBOOK (32665). Facebook texts on/off refers only to the automatic texts you receive when someone pokes, messages, writes on your Wall, or adds you as a friend. You can always text to FBOOK (32665) to look up info or perform an action.



How do I limit the number of Facebook texts I receive each day?

You can set a daily limit by following the "Edit Preferences" link on the Mobile page.



How can I receive more Facebook texts after I have reached my daily limit?

Facebook will send you a text when you have reached your daily limit. Reply to this text with "reset" to reset your limit for that day.



How can I choose when I receive a Mobile Text?

Select what time texts should be sent to your phone by following the "Edit Preferences" link on the Mobile page. You can also specify that Facebook texts not be sent when you are logged into the website. These settings will apply to all applications that send you texts from FBOOK (32665). (Note: All actions will always appear on the website.)



How do I know if my text worked?

Facebook will send you a confirmation text whenever you add or confirm a friend from your phone. You may also opt to receive a confirmation text when you poke, message, or write on someone's Wall from your phone. To do this, select the "Edit Preferences" link on the Mobile page.



How do I know that my message will be sent to the right person?

When someone sends you a poke, message, Wall post or friend request, it comes from a unique Facebook number that interacts with that person only. For example, if John Smith pokes you, replying "p" to this text will poke John back. Basically, to respond to someone, you must reply to a Facebook text that came from that person.In order to look up info or initiate an action (i.e., poke John when he hasn't poked you first), you must send a new text to FBOOK (32665).



When I get a long message, it says "N" for next. What does that mean?

To read the rest of your message, just reply to the text message you received with the letter "n" (without quotes). You should also make sure that your phone does not include a signature at the end of your text messages.



How do I search for someone from my phone?

Text the word "search" followed by the person's name or email to FBOOK (32665) to get profile info.



How long does it take for Facebook to respond?

Facebook will usually text you back within a minute or faster, but sometimes messages may be delayed for up to one hour.



Why did Facebook respond with a list of results?

You received an ordered list of results because the name you specified matches more than one person. Reply to this list with the # of the person you are looking for. If you do not see this person, reply "n" to get the next results.



How do I add someone as a friend from my phone?

There are three ways to add someone as a friend from your phone:

Text "a" followed by the person's name or email and send it to FBOOK (32665) (i.e., 'a john smith').

From a person's profile: reply "a."

From a results list: reply "a" followed by the # of the person you want to add.



How do I poke someone from my phone?

There are four ways to poke someone from your phone:

Text "p" followed by the person's name to FBOOK (32665) (i.e., "p john smith").

From a Facebook text: reply "p."

From a person's profile: reply "p."

From a results list: reply "p" followed by the number of the person you want to poke.



How do I message someone from my phone?

There are four ways to message someone from your phone:

Text "m" followed by the person's name and your message to FBOOK (32665) (i.e., "m john smith whats up?").

From a Facebook text: just reply to message back.

From a person's profile: reply "m" followed by your message.

From a results list: reply "m" followed by the number of the person and your message.



How do I post on someone's Wall from my phone?

There are four ways to post on someone’s Wall from your phone:

Text "w" followed by the person's name and your Wall post to FBOOK (32665) (i.e., "w john smith happy bday").

From a Facebook text: reply "w" followed by your Wall post.

From a person's profile: reply "w" followed by your Wall post.

From a results list: reply "w" followed by the number of the person and your Wall post.



How do I set my Status from my phone?

Text "i am" followed by what you are doing to FBOOK (32665) (i.e., i am at the library).



How do I check other people's Status from my phone?

You can easily check your friends' recent Statuses by texting "stat friends" to FBOOK (32665).



What does FBOOK (32665) stand for?

FBOOK corresponds to 32665, the 5-digit US shortcode for Facebook. All texts sent to and from Facebook begin with 32665.



How do I get texts from other Facebook Platform applications?

The process for activating texts varies from application to application. Please consult the desired application’s page to determine how to do this. If you cannot find the directions you're looking for, please contact the application's developer directly using their form on the Help page.



What options are available?

Facebook Mobile offers multiple Facebook features for your phone, such as:

Facebook Mobile Web (designed especially for your phone's browser, at m.facebook.com)

Facebook Mobile Texts (with texts to FBOOK)

Facebook Mobile Uploads (MMS or email mobile@facebook.com). For more information, visit Facebook Mobile or browse the information below.



How can I get help from my phone?

Just text "help" to FBOOK (32665) and we'll text you back with basic instructions.



My question is not listed above.

Find more questions and answers here.

How to Consolidate RSS Feeds and Bring them into Facebook

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I have been looking for a way to link multiple RSS feeds into my twitter feed, which I am sending over to facebook, as a facebook status update. I stumbled across this video, which explains in great detail how to make this possible. I was already a big fan of Google Reader, and this really helps me out!

Have Fun!

Google Analytics - New Bloggers, You Need To Read This!

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I recently began using Google Analytics to the list of things I use from the Google Dynasty. I have had the account set up for months now, but didn't realize how efficient it really is. After reading a post by Tony Morgan I decided to check out what stats I had been missing.


In a 24 hour window, here is what Google can tell me.









I can tell, even with this tiny snapshot, that my primary reading audience is finding their way to my site via Facebook. (Another good reason to import your blog into a facebook account.)


If you are serious about blogging, you must focus on your visitors. This is an incredible tool to see who those visitors are, and how they are arriving at your site.


Quick Guide to Google Analytics

I found these directions at MamaBlogga while there are many sources for info on the subject, her approach is very helpful, without all the technical jargon. Enjoy!



Before you say: “Oh, numbers; I can’t deal with numbers!” or “Oh, coding; I can’t deal with coding!”, let me tell you that these numbers are good to know—and very useful in growing your blog readership. And let me tell you that these numbers are easy to find, use and understand with a free web analytics package (software installed on your site that tracks what visitors do on your site)—no coding, just cut and paste.



There are many free web analytics packages out there. In my opinion, Google Analytics offers the most comprehensive solution. It may be a little overwhelming for someone just starting out, but it’s really not hard to find the most important numbers you need to be keeping track of. Click on the picture at right to enlarge it to see a sample of some of the important, but easy to read, reports that Google Analytics generates.



Setting Up Google Analytics



Google Analytics is easy to set up. If you’re signed up with GMail, Google Talk or Blogger (or any other Google application), you already have a Google account. (If you don’t, you can sign up for one pretty quickly.) To sign up for Google Analytics, you’ll have to enter your information (URL, location, your name, etc.) and agree to the user agreement.
Once you enter this information, Google Analytics gives you some crazy-looking tracking code that you must put on your website.

This should go in your template somewhere in the footer. If you’re on Blogger, you can go to Layout, and click on “Add a Page Element” at the bottom of the sample page. Select HTML/JavaScript. Make sure you are not in “Rich Text” mode, then paste your tracking code here. No need for a title, just save it to your blog. Go back to Google Analytics and verify that it’s running by clicking the “Check Status” button.

Customizing the Dashboard
Once you’re collecting data from your site, Google Analytics can be even more useful to you if you customize the “dashboard” to include the most important reports to you. The dashboard is the first screen you see when you login, and you can choose which reports are displayed there so you see them first thing.



In the above screen shot (actual numbers obscured), you can see that I have the basic reports (this is all below the visitor graph displayed at the top of the dashboard), and have added a keywords report so I can see what words people are using on search engines to find my site and the Top Content by Title report so I can see at a glance which pages on my site are getting the most visitors. I recommend these two reports, since they’re easy to use and understand (not to mention their usefulness!).
The Keywords report is under Traffic Sources>Keywords. To add it to the dashboard, click the “Add to Dashboard” button under the large title “Keywords” near the top of the page. The Top Content by Title report is available under Content>Content by Title. You can add it to the dashboard in the same way. You can delete and drag-and-drop the boxes in the lower part of the dashboard to how you like it.
Also useful (but already included on the dashboard): Average time on site (are people popping in quickly or sticking around at least long enough to read something?), pages per visit (do people look at more than one page while at your site?), bounce rate (how many people leave your site after viewing only one page?) and the traffic sources pie graph. I also like to look at my top referrers (under Traffic Sources>Referring Sites) to know where my visitors are coming from.
Using the Information
Well, now what? You can see the words that people use in search engines to find your site; you can see how long they spend there; you can see how many pages they view. What can you do with this information?
First of all, you can see what pages of your site are most popular. From this, you may be able to tell what topics and style your readers like best—of, if you did something special to promote your most popular posts, you can see what you need to do again.
Secondly, you can see how many of your visitors turn around and leave. In and of itself, bounce rate isn’t necessarily bad. Unlike many websites, it’s entirely possible for visitors to your blog to visit your site and read everything new in a single visit, then navigate away (possibly to subscribe to your feed). But do your popular pages have a higher than average bounce rate?
If your popular posts have a higher than average bounce rate, what can you do to improve that? Make sure that your most popular posts also highlight similar posts on your site. For more information on lowering your bounce rate and increasing your blog’s stickiness, download the free guide Get Your Visitors to Stick!
Another important use of your analytics is to see what sites and keywords people are using to find your site. You may never know what people are searching for when they find your site. However, if you see large trends that are central to the theme of your blog (like many people coming to your photography site for some variation of “baby portrait”), you could try to “target” this keyword more by:
Making it a label, tag or category on your blog
Making it part of the navigation, like your About or Contact page
Including it in the Title or Description of your blog
Writing a post that sums up (and links to) all your tips (if you do this, be sure to go back through the old posts and link to the new one, as well).
Finally, try not to worry too much about your blog stats. It’s so easy to become obsessed with your blog’s stats, and to tie your blog’s worth or even your own self-worth to the number of page views you generated yesterday. It’s not worth that much—really.
Download this Quick Guide to Google Analytics for Bloggers, complete with helpful pictures, as a free PDF!

How to send an RSS Feed to your email inbox

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Tommy, our senior pastor at Ridgeview Church, asked me recently how I got all my favorite blogs sent to my email. I told him (again) that I don't get them in my email, but with a feed-reader called Google Reader. Through his question however, I came across a really cool service you might be interested in. Here is what I found at a site Web Worker Daily


For those folks who haven’t jumped on the RSS bandwagon, their subscription options can be a bit limited. The problem is that while a lot of sites offer an alternate option to subscribe via email, many do not.

Enter Feed My Inbox - a very cool service that lets you subscribe to any RSS feed and receive it at your preferred email address.

Feed My Inbox really couldn’t be more simple. Enter in the website address of the site you wish to subscribe to, enter in your email address and click submit. You’ll receive an email with a confirmation link you must click and then, well - that’s it.

Feed My Inbox sends out a daily email with all of the posts made since their last mailing. It’s not quite as instantaneous as subscribing via RSS but it’s a good compromise for those who would have no other subscription options.

I mentioned that Feed My Inbox was simple, and for the user it is. Behind the scenes though it is smart enough to deal with any number of feed formats and can even recognize multiple feeds and allow the user to choose which the ones they wish to subscribe to.

I’m not going to ditch my Google Reader any time soon, but I’ve already recommended Feed My Inbox for some clients and family who are running a bit behind the technology curve.

Feed My Inbox is currently free with no apparent restrictions.

Blog/Website Development

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I have spent my off time over the last few days working on "designing" a new blog for someone. I have no idea what I am doing. I love the way blogger allows me to build things as I go. If you are a person who actually went to school to do this type of thing, or have spent many years learning how to write html and such you might not be as excited about all the options available.

Do "create your own design" type of sites/blogs help or hurt overall creativity around the web? Does it limit those of you with actual talent from getting paid to do what you are good at? Or, does the access to limitless possibilities help everyone?