It seems kind of counter-intuitive to use technology to build community – but then, we are talking about a community centered around a blog on the Internet, so maybe not.
Some of the suggestions I’ve got for you today are ones I’ve mentioned in other posts. That does you no good if you haven’t read the other posts, so I’m mentioning them again.
Other suggestions come from Michelle Shaeffer’s awesome list of WordPress plugins.
And in the interest of full disclosure: I haven’t actually used all of these. Some I’ve used and love. Others are on my list to try. So think of this as a “worth checking out” kind of list.
Also, don’t feed the plugins after dark. This ends the disclaimer section.
On to the technology o’ community-building:
In the not-a-plugin category, we have Bloglovin.com. It’s an RSS reader that takes you to the actual blog site. Last week, I talked about it from a reader’s perspective. This week, I want to mention one more consideration from a blog owner’s perspective: Bloglovin gives your readers an easy way to keep up with your blog posts. Some people just don’t want to sign up to a mailing list, but they do want to read what you have to say. Bloglovin gives them an option for that.
And then in the plugin category, we have:
What Would Seth Godin Do – I use this plugin. It pops up a welcome message the first few times someone visits your blog. You can edit the message to say anything you want. Invite people to sign up to your mailing list, comment on your posts, subscribe via RSS. Just say hi, for that matter. It goes away after someone’s visited your blog a set number of times so it’s not annoying.
An alternative is WP Greet Box. I haven’t used it, but I think it basically does the same thing as What Would Seth Godin Do.
Comment Redirect by Yoast – another one I don’t have but intend to install as soon as I have time to mess with it. I’ve seen it in action on other blogs and loved it. When someone comments, it takes them to a page where you can have a thank-you message to let them know how much their comment means to you.
And not so much with the community building but definitely a plus for trackback spam control, which does make your blog a more friendly place to be:
Simple Trackback Validation with Topsy Blocker – Someone asked me about Trackback spam. I haven’t used this plugin, but it’s supposed to stop spammy fake trackbacks.
Now it’s your turn – do you have any plugins or other tools that help with community building on your blog? Or have you tried any of the ones I’ve listed and have a comment about them? Share your thoughts in the comments.