*Before continuing, make sure to check out the 'Follow MuslimMatters' line directly underneath the Google ads on the top of this page

Recently, I wrote a review for Groundswell. Today, I want to show how we are trying to utilize some of these technologies with 2 goals in mind,

  1. Make it easier for you to follow MuslimMatters through our various avenues (blog, podcast, newsfeed, etc.)
  2. Get some ideas for utilizing these technologies in your own projects.

rss

RSS – If you are reading this blog article and still don't know what RSS is, you need to get with the program :)

Basically it generates messages that you can subscribe to in a blog reader (like Google Reader). This allows you to follow all the sites you read without having to continuously visit them. Think of it like getting a whole bunch of email updates for every article from all your favorite sites. This may sound overwhelming to some, but its an easy way to follow what interests you. Personally, I have over 100 websites in my Google Reader, however, I usually do not spend more than 15 minutes going through it. Not every article will interest you, so it's a quick way to sift through and find what you like – without really missing anything.

We wrote a tutorial on using RSS that you can access here.

MuslimMatters RSS feed

RSS Feed for all Comments posted on MM

Or if you want to skip all that geeky mumbo-jumbo, go here to just get a simple daily email update on the new posts at MuslimMatters.

podcast-capture-64

Podcast – This is the easiest way to stay tuned into all the latest MM audio and video. Oftentimes lectures are mixed in with other content, or the best resources are often collections only. This podcast gives Muslims an easy way to follow original content primarily focused around our on-board Shuyukh. This is one facet of MM that I am personally the most passionate about. We may feature other content now and then, but it is also our aim to keep the content original (such as the Beard Interview) and free. So plug in your iPod or mp3 player (or just subscribe and download the files to your PC). If you need a refresher on podcasts, visit our launch post.

Subscribe DIRECTLY in iTunes by clicking here

Regular subscription to podcast (you can also use any RSS reader)

One other benefit of subscribing in iTunes is that it helps push the MM podcast higher up in the rankings in iTunes.

As an aside, if you are hosting any of our on-board Shuyukh for any programs, please try to record the khutbahs or other talks they give and email them to us. We will gladly post them on our site and podcast, and also give your organization credit insha'Allah. 

facebook

Facebook – This is pretty much self explanatory. The MM Facebook group can be found here and has over 1300 members. Join the group and profess your love as a die-hard MuslimMatters fan. Post on the wall and let us know how you just can't get enough of reading MM everyday. Or let us know how you think MM is the most evil fitnah to ever face the Internet, and is the primary source of misguidance for the masses of ignorant Muslims online (but you also still can't stop reading it every day). Either way, the social media is available to facilitate your feedback.

twitter

Twitter – This is perhaps the newest and one of the more innovative integrations MM has made into the social media scene. The MuslimMatters Twitter feed is the perfect complement to the MuslimMatters blog. It is, by definition, a microblog. The twitter feed allows MM to share all kinds of news and updates that we otherwise may not have had a chance to make into a formal post replete with editorial and grammatical errors. The primary function for now is to post news stories relevant to Muslims, or simply other items people involved with MM find interesting.

If you can't be bothered to learn a new technology and figure it out, don't worry. You can see the latest 'postings' on the right side of the main page, or the right side of any article on MuslimMatters. If you are on twitter, follow us and say hi.

technorati

Technorati is a blog ranking service. Basically, it lets you know how 'influential' a blog is. It does this by seeing how other blogs link to it. For example, HuffingtonPost may publish an article. After that, 100 blogs may write an article referencing that HuffingtonPost piece. This means, that the HuffingtonPost is obviously gaining influence if 100 other blogs are linking back to them. This increases their ranking and influence. Influence matters because if HuffingtonPost now writes an article, and links to … say … MuslimMatters, MM will now receive a boost because such an influential site linked to it.

If you're on Technorati, please stop by and add us to your favorites. Alhamdulillah, MuslimMatters currently has a ranking of about #17,600 out of all the millions of blogs on the Internet (including non-religious blogs).

email_64

Email List – Finally something traditional. Our e-mail list is used to send out recaps and highlights of what is going on at MM. Our goal is to not send out more than 2 emails a month, so if you are a more casual reader of MM, this is definitely worth signing up for. If you are a regular reader, it's an easy way of making sure you didn't miss anything really important. Go ahead and sign up for our email list here.

15 Responses

  1. Abuhafsa

    MashaAllah this is good, it’s time Muslim organizations got upto speed with latest online technologies.
    Personally I’ve started helping out business and non profit organzations to help them use such services. Especially Twitter and facebook, together they are a powerful medium to get just about anything done. Advertising, marketing, announcements, promotional news and ofcourse socializing. The above are just a small sample of what can be acheived.

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  2. ihafidh

    You guys are great by keeping up with the technology. I follow this blog through RSS by using Bloglines. I find Bloglines cleaner and easier to read than Google Reader.
    It’s funny that now Email Lists are considered traditional!

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    • Amad

      mb this is a good post to open some discussion on the pros/cons of full RSS feed. One of the issues with full RSS is the lack of people actually coming to the site, which reduces hits of course (for advertising purposes) and also potential for comments. On the flip-side, ppl with RSS want full-feeds… The way I see it, if you see an except in the RSS, and you really want to read the post, then you click on it. Alternatively, if there is a way to advertise in the RSS, that would help, though we haven’t found an effective means yet.

      Since we started full feeds in March, our readers have gone up marginally, but hits SEEM to have gone down quite a bit.

      Thoughts? From our RSS folks? Would you
      honestly

      consider cutting feed if it wasn’t full? What if your visits were helping a site that you like monetize better? Do you even agree that it hurts hits? Etc, etc.

      P.S. ihafidh— so are you like an internet hafidh?? :)

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  3. ihafidh

    @Amad Can you please clarify what is a full RSS? Most RSS readers I have used have a title and summary of the article which you then click on to get the full article. Are you saying that you can read the entire article on your RSS reader? If so, then personally it would take me a long time to go through all my feeds. I like to think of RSS as food in a cafeteria conveyor belt – pick whatever looks nice.

    I do see advertising in some of my feeds – here is one: http://feeds.ziffdavis.com/ziffdavis/extremetech
    Is that what you’re talking about when you say advertising? I find ads in my feeds a tad bit annoying as i like my feeds to be clean.

    By the way, I don’t see the Google ads at the top of this article. I use FireFox and block all ads. Do you get profit out of displaying the ads? If so, I can change that to support this blog.

    P.S. no, it’s just my name – Ibrahim Hafidh :)

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    • Amad

      Full feed is when you get the entire article/post in your bloglines/reader, etc. Otherwise you’ll see an exerpt and have to click through for the rest.

      Currently, google ads have to be clicked on in order for the site to earn money, this is standard clickthrough advertisement. We want to move to sponsor ads that will be based on monthly rates, indirectly based on the number of visits/month.

      Hope that clarifies it for you… though I still think ihafidh is cool, ehafidh may be even cooler :)

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  4. Abuhafsa

    I can understand the hits going down due to full content being available in the feed. Take my example, since the entire article is in the feed I hardly visit the site. It usually just to search for an archived post or comment. But mostly i read them in my reader.

    so that may be one of the reasons to lower hits. Just my thought.

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  5. ibnabeeomar

    abuhafsa, if only half the article was there, would you click and go to the site to read the whole thing, or would you probably just skip and go to the next article in your reader?

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  6. SaqibSaab

    Wow, you guys dont play around.

    We are teh 1337!

    I follow this blog through RSS by using Bloglines.

    I’m more of a Firefox RSS kinda guy, but that limits to me to when I’m on my own computer. I gotta give Google Reader a try again (didn’t feel it way back when and now it’s much different) and maybe will try Bloglines, too like ihafidh mentioned.

    P.S. no, it’s just my name – Ibrahim Hafidh :)

    Haha.

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  7. AbuHafsa

    @ibnabeeomar

    Yes, I think that will increase the likeness of hitting the website. If the first couple of lines are interesting then you can count on me to visit the site. Although I am sure the, entire article in the feed, is a convenience for others. However most news outlets and professional blogs only provide small snippets of the article, sort of like a teaser. If the reader likes what he/she is reading, then they are most likely to visit that site.

    Just like you said, I have more than 1000 articles almost everyday that are aggregated across various sites in my reader. I usually spend less than 3 seconds on an article. The headline and first paragraph make the most impression. RSS technology helps websites to make their visit trackings meaningful. If your users comes in through the rss url, its a good indicator that the person is there for that particular news item and by grouping such visits you figure out trends. As opposed to pre RSS days, when website owners didn’t know if the visitors were looking for something specific or just visiting the sites. Co-relating visits and interests of people was much harder.

    Sorry for getting too technical here. I’m sure you knew, it’s just extra info for our readers. ;)

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  8. Sadaf Farooqi

    Just as an F.Y.I — I find Page Rank and Alexa Site Traffic Ranking helpful in judging which sites and blogs to link to, comment on, or write for. The example of Huffington Post in this article is a good one, but if any reader is wondering how to figure out which websites or blogs are the most popular or most influential in the web world, you can find out using Google’s page rank for that site, which is based on how many other sites link to it. Alexa is a good tool for finding out which site has the highest traffic, according to country.

    Based on this knowledge, Muslims can aspire to establish their presence on the Internet by linking to and commenting on the more widely read websites. Just try not to fight too much in the comments sections, please.

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  9. halalbuzz

    assalam alaikum

    Do you think people should only consume MM contents using one way?

    If someone subscribed using multiple ways, isn’t that too much?

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  10. ibnabeeomar

    halalbuzz – honestly it just depends on your interests. twitter and podcasts all give different complements to just the regular content. also, subscribing to the podcast saves you from having to always download the talks as they’ll download automatically.

    twitter is just a complement to the main articles by sharing links to additional material.

    but if you’re already subscribed to the regular feed, then i would say the email list would be redundant.

    it just depends what interests you most and also what you want to keep up with. i hope that enough options are there to make it easy for different types of readers, and people who favor different social media to all have an easy way to keep up with the site if they so choose :)

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