After looking all over the web on how to move the content of my blog, ProBlogger (Darren Rowse) made it easy – just a few simple steps, and it’s done. From now on, you can catch me on renareich.com. See you there…


I’ve been playing around with a number of themes on the new blog site – I want to have it up and ready before I do the big switch – and it seems like Thesis wins out. I’m one of the cheaper people out there, so for me to plunk down $87 for a theme is a big deal. There are so many free themes out there that it just seems silly to actually cough up money.

Why did I decide to use Thesis? The clincher for me was the SEO enhancements that have gone into the design. It’s the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) rule. The less clutter on the page, the better chance that Google has to indexing it. That’s key. Thesis does just that – it keeps the html code clean.  I could make the site as pretty as I want, but that won’t bring traffic.

There are plently of other bells and whistles that come with Thesis, like the ease of modifying the page layout and the ability to set font and font size from drop down menus. That’s cool. I’m still playing around with it to understand the full power of the theme. I’m sure that I’ll have more to say about it when I have more experience playing with it.


Moving my blog

22Jun09

I did it. I made the decision to move my blog to my own website instead of writing on WordPress’ site. It was a hard decision to make, but I knew that I had to do it eventually, and now is as good a time as ever.

I wasn’t able to get the domain name renalive.com – it’s not being used, but someone owns it. I tried to contact them to see if they’d be willing to sell it, but alas, no response. I’ll be using renareich.com. It’s not as cute as Rena Live (I always really liked that name,) but it’s all mine.

I’m using GoDaddy for hosting. I’ve been surprisingly pleased with the service. It was really easy to set up and install. So far, that’s all I’ve done with it. I’ll need to export the database from renalive.wordpress.com and import it into the new database that’s been set up.

I’ve been debating about what theme to use. I’ve heard such wonderful things about Thesis, that I’m pretty sure that’s the way that I’m going to go. I’m doing a bit more research on what I need to do, and I hope to be up and running soon. The reason that I’m at all hestitant to use Thesis is that I like the idea of being able to just install something that looks pretty and not think about it. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to have to come up with a design, which scares the heck out of me. It’s a learning process.


I thought that managing 2 Twitter accounts was a lot. I talked about that in an early post called “Managing Multiple Twitter Accounts.” I have recently been put in charge of my company’s corporate account (@AnswerDotCom.) This is a short term project for me. I just need to set things up and then I will pass it off to someone else to take care of. I have 1 month to get things ship shape.

The more that I do, the more I learn. This account is more corporate than @ThePetWiki or my personal, @RenaR account. I haven’t really engaged any of the followers. There is a ton of content that the site has. I have mostly been tweeting about things that have occurred on a specific date-stuff like birthdays and history items. It’s all information that we have on the main site, and I can add a link to each item.

I have been using HootSuite to post interesting and informative tweets throughout the day. I have them set up to go out every hour or so. I don’t want to overwhelm people with a ton at one time. I know when I see tweets like that, I am less likely to read or spend any time on them. They seem like another form of twitter spam. By sending them out the way I am, I am also able to cover a larger range of time zones.

The more that I use HootSuite, the more I like it. If you use HootSuite to shorten urls that you put in your tweets, they will track how many clicks those urls get. I know that other people use bit.ly, but ow.ly is so well integrated with HootSuite, I can’t imagine using anything else.

HootSuite also allows you to add multiple users to a twitter account. I have added editors to check the pending tweets before they go out. They can also add their own tweets. I tried using CoTweet, pre-posting tweets and sharing the account, but for some reason, my tweets never got out. It was annoying to put all that work into creating and scheduling the tweets and not seeing the fruits of my labor. HootSuite has been very dependable.

Since I am managing multiple accounts, I still run a client application to keep track of them all. Seesmic Desktop works well for me. That and the Flock browser have been life savers. While I’m writing this post in Flock, I see live updates of tweets that are coming from people that I follow. The stream of tweets is a bit distracting, but it helps me keep on top of information that is important to me.

It’s been a lot more work than I expected, but I think that it’s going well. When I took over the account, there were about 30 followers. It’s been about a week, and there are now more than 1,300. Not to shabby. I am also very happy with the number of click throughs to the site. As the number of followers grows, it will be nice to see that number go up as well.

I find the whole thing fascinating. It will be cool to see how far I can get it in that month. I’m hoping for 5,000 good followers. Wish me luck.


This is something that has been bothering me for a while. I wish that there was a booklet that explained Twitter etiquette. That would make my life a lot easier. I tweet a lot. I retweet (RT) a lot. I really appreciate when people RT what I have to say. It means that they found it useful or enjoyed it. I have never sent a “Thanks for the RT” tweet that I’ve seen so many other people do.

Why haven’t I? I have always believed that it is important to show gratitude. It’s nice to show people that you appreciate them sending your message on. Until now, I have been so concerned that I would be contributing to the twitter clutter, that I’ve refrained from anything that might be seen as superfluous.

I’ve been missing out. There is already so much clutter on twitter, that it’s hard to imagine people reading every tweet that flies past them. It’s just impossible. Most people run twitter clients or services that point out when a person replies to them. The tweets stick out more to the person that you are sending the reply to. You can build a lot of goodwill by sending a simple “thank you”. It’s wonderful. It’s polite, and besides, it’s just the right thing to do. The answers is yes, you should thank people.  From now on, I will thanks retweeters.

I guess that I’m on the beginning of my own Twitter etiquette guide.


Yikes. I never thought that managing multiple Twitter accounts would be so hectic. I have little boxes jumping all over my screen. It’s quite distracting. Jumping back and forth between different types of information is a bit intense, but it’s also been fun.

I’ve made myself a guinea pig and have started trying out different clients and services to make the whole thing go a lot easier. I’m sure that there are other tools out there that I haven’t discovered (or haven’t been created yet) to make the multi-account lifestyle more bearable. Those will need to wait for another blog post…

I’ve had more than one account for some time now. Before I was really into tweeting with both my @thepetwiki and @renar accounts, I would use two different client programs to keep track of each. I used TweetDeck for one and Twhirl for the other. If the little pop-up was black, it was @thepetwiki, green meant @renar. All was good with the world. Although I probably could have survived that way, I decided to look for more sophisticated tools to let me do the thing I do.

Enter Seesmic Desktop, HootSuite, Splitweet and TweetLater. Out of the four of these, Seesmic Desktop is the only client application. The others are all web-based applications. Out of the three web-based services, only HootSuite and Splitweet allow you to see the tweets as they are coming in.

The TweetLater service, does just what you’d expect it to do. You can set your tweets to tweet at a specific time, after you set them up. Isn’t it great when things have appropriate names? There is both a professional and free version. I’m a pretty simple girl. For my purposes, the free version does just fine. Besides sending tweets when you want, you can also get all your replies emailed to you. That’s a nice little feature.

Splitweet is pretty simple. It allows you to tweet from one or multiple accounts at the same time. That’s all it does. Before I knew about Hootsuite, it fulfilled what I needed to do and I was happy.

HootSuite takes what’s best about both TweetLater and Splitweet and combines them into one nice package. I can tweet from multiple accounts at the same time, and set when those tweets will go out. The one thing that is annoying about HootSuite is the fact that you can only view tweets from one account at a time. It’s a pain to move back and forth between accounts to see what people are saying. It’s an improvement over the other two, but there is room for improvement.

Seesmic Desktop, the only application out the bunch, is built for viewing and responding to tweets from multiple accounts. In Seesmic Desktop, little boxes in the corner of your screen pop up to let you know you have new tweets and from which account those tweets come. It has a multi-colum view that allows you to set everything up in a way that is clearly marked, so you know which tweets belong to which account. It is a lot like TweetDeck and is nicely done. You can only send one tweet from one account at a time. Perhaps in future releases, they will allow their user to choose multiple accounts. That would be nice.

I think that I find Seemic Desktop and HootSuite the best out of the bunch. Those are my weapons of choice for now. It will be fun to see what other people come up with.


In my escapades as chief tweeter for The Pet Wiki, I’ve had a pretty conservative view of who should be followed. I still think that it’s correct for small individuals not to follow everyone, but for larger companies, it’s important to have a wider view of whom to follow.

This past Thursday, Nutro cat food was recalled. Tweets were flying everywhere to let people know about the recall. As soon as I saw the first tweet about it, I immediately retweeted with a link to the story. Nutro found me. I was impressed. They tweeted the following message to me

@ThePetWiki Hi, I’m an Ambassador for Nutro. Pls let me know if you have ?s about our cat products. See http://www.nutroproducts.com/

A recall is a big thing that can break a company like this, and that was exactly what a company like them should have done. They should be looking on the web and through Twitter for customer so that they can dissuade their fears. So far, so good. The problem is that when I tried to DM (direct message) their ambassador, I was unable to do it. Although she wanted my feedback, she was not following me, so there was no way for me to contact her personally without letting everyone know about it. That’s bad business.

If all you do is give your customers a link to a page after something of this magnitude, that’s not good enough. You need to calm their fears, and the best way to do that is to listen to them. That’s the power of Twitter, connecting with your customers and putting a face to the company.

As an individual, it’s OK not to follow everyone, but a company doesn’t have that luxury. No one does that better than Scott Monty of Ford Motors. He gets it. He knows how to connect and make customers and potential customers feel good about themselves. That’s a gift.

Twitter is a gift for companies that want to listen to their customers. Use it well.




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