As I mentioned in my last post, I added three WordPress plugins to this blog recently. Two of those plugins are visible to you folks reading the blog.

Popularity Contest

The first plugin is Popularity Contest developed by Alex King. This plugin generates a list of your most popular posts. It looks at things like links, comments and views to determine the post that’s getting the most attention.

Providing a list of your most popular posts is a great way to give newcomers an introduction to your blog. It’s like your blog’s “Greatest Hits” section.

I like the fact that the software is constantly monitoring the activity on your site and changing the ranking based on the data. Another favorite feature is that the equation for determining popularity is adjustable. Do you think that having comments is a sure sign of popularity? Then adjust the plugin settings to give comments more weight. Eight different factors combine to create the rankings. You can adjust the weight of any and all of them.

You can see it in action on this site on the right. The section is titled “Most Popular Posts”.

Share This

The second plugin I’d like to talk about is also developed by Alex King. (What can I say? He’s one talented developer!) Share This enables people to email the link of a post to a friend as well as promoting social bookmarking.

Digg and StumbleUpon are examples of social bookmarking sites. The idea is that members share sites that they find interesting. Becoming popular on a social bookmarking site is a great way to drive traffic to your blog.

I like the fact that this one plugin does so much. It links to loads of social bookmarking sites. Even the “send to a friend” feature has extra bells and whistles. You can send the link to your Facebook or MySpace friends list.

You can see it in action toward the bottom of every post. Just click on the visible, but not gaudy, green boomerang icon to see all that the plugin has to offer.

As I said, there are over 1,500WordPress plugins listed in the official directory. If your blog needs some added functionality be sure to check them out. Someone may have developed the perfect plugin for your situation.

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