Thanks to the speed and brevity of social media, status updates and other forms of micro content have become the dominant style of communication on the web. But where has that left your website?
Your website, on the other hand, has always been an outsider to this new kind of format and for good reason — it’s just better suited for long forms of content.
The explosive effects of short status updates and the value derived from writing longer, more valuable kinds of content are at odds with one another. Let’s face it, this has been a thorn in your side for years!
While social media has created a new style of communication, all of the content you contribute to it will never truly belong to you; that’s why there’s always hesitancy to direct people away from your website to a platform that is not yours.
Whether you the lack the time to write as many blog posts as you used to or have been looking to make a new addition to your website, consider marrying the world of social media and the lifeblood of your website with the new Stream from Marketers Delight.
Publish Status Updates, Threaded News Stories, and Write Your Own Personal Feed With The Stream
The Stream is your new personal feed baked right into your website. With many similarities to your social media feed, with new features being developed, The Stream is a powerful way to create a curated news feeds on your website.
The key features of The Stream are:
- Organize streams into a timeline template with pagination
- Post status updates and share content from any post type on your site
- Display images in lightbox for quick viewing
- Add Threads to any status to create a long streams of thought
- Organize streams into categories and create unique stream content pages
- Simple interface that keeps everything out of your way so you can just publish
- …and more coming soon!
You can see my own Stream here, but even more interestingly, take a look at longtime MD user Kevin Levin’s stream at his own site, Civil War Memory.
As a way to breathe new life into his site and make it easier to still add new content while working on other projects, Kevin added the Stream to his site, stating:
I continue to publish blog posts on a fairly regular basis, but the frequency has certainly lessened in recent months, owing to my return to the classroom and work on other writing projects. Some of you follow me on twitter, where I post fairly regularly, but not solely on topics related to the subject of this blog.
The other thing that has always troubled me about social media sites is that I have no control over my own content. If twitter goes belly-up tomorrow my roughly 36,000 tweets will go up in smoke. With this new feature I will be able to publish short posts in a stream that functions a lot like twitter. The one difference is that there is no way to respond, which is probably best for this content.
He also brings up the elephant in the room: your social media content is NOT yours! While posting to social media can be a valuable business and promotion tool, never forget that simple fact and always build your own platform.
After all, social media woks the best when you have your own platform to direct people towards.
Kevin also hits on another point that gets lost in today’s web:
The last thing I want is a static website. This new feature will help to ensure that I am able to deliver the kind of content that over the years you have come to expect from Civil War Memory.
Every website has its own reason for existence, but no website is best left unchanged. Even if you don’t write like you used to, keep your site from losing its momentum by managing your own personal site feed.
Here’s 5 Simple Ways You Can Use The Stream to Breathe New Life into Your Website
If you use Marketers Delight, the Stream is ready for immediate use on your own site. See how to activate it here.
Once you’ve activated The Stream, you may be wondering how you can best use it on your site. A few things to know that make your Stream more powerful than your social media feed:
- You have an edit button!
- There’s no character limit to your statuses
- You can reshare content from any post type on your site
A Like Button is even coming soon, but your Stream is completely made on your own terms; don’t be shy!
Here are a few ways you can use it:
1. Create Your Own Personal Thoughts Stream
The simplest and most familiar way to use The Stream is to treat it like your own social media feed: vomit your thoughts all over the place!
Maybe because you finally own your own content, you will treat these posts with more care and creativity, which will only add to the overall quality of your website.
(…and did I mention you have a freakin’ Edit button!)
The reason writers love to write is for the brain dump effect—to get whatever is in the brain out into words as mindlessly as possible. The Stream finally gives you a chamber to post those thoughts in a raw way without the perfection blog posts secretly demand from you.
Nothing feels better than opening your site, writing a quick thought, pressing publish, and closing back out knowing you just made a valuable contribution to your message.
2. Track Goals and Update News Stories With Threads
One of the coolest more recent features of social media is the Threads feature that allow you to connect a stream of posts together, making longer forms of content accessible over social media.
The Stream also allows you to create Threads, instantly turning your status update into a full-blown page of content.
With Threads, the sky is the limit. You can use Threads to keep your readers up to date on any goals of yours and post updates to it seconds, hours, or months later.
The Stream keeps track of the date each update is published to a Thread and shows it in an easily digestible format (example: posted 2 hours ago), allowing yourself and readers to paint a timeframe of this status.
This is especially important for keeping news stories up to date, where knowing the timing of events can put an entire story into perspective.
3. Curate Custom Stream Pages With Categories
Just like blog posts, you can organize your Stream into different categories.
While The Stream works best as an all-purpose thoughts stream, sometimes you will want to curate certain topics into specific categories.
For example, maybe you post about history, relationships, mood swings, and some thoughts about entrepreneurship.
If you want to link to a page showing how deep of an entrepreneurial thinker you are but don’t want that embarrassing personal story you also posted about for some reason to show up, directly linking to your Entrepreneurship category would be your safest bet.
This also gives your readers a chance to subdue the chaos of the human mind by only browsing categories of their own interest.
4. Reshare Content From Around Your Site to Your Stream
One of the coolest features about The Stream is how directly tied into the rest of your site it is. Did you know that you can “retweet” your site’s own content onto your Stream page?
In the screenshot above, I shared a new post, a code snippet, and a changelog item from my website. Each of these types of content are called custom post types, and many Plugins register them to add their custom functionality into them.
You can embed content from ANY custom post type on your site (like Posts, and Pages), all you have to do is select the ID of the post from your admin panel and include it in your status update.
This feature alone makes the Stream powerful enough to replace your blog!
Think about it…
The traditional blog layout only lists your newest posts when you publish them. If you rarely update your blog, this page rarely updates, causing your readers to never check it.
If your Stream is constantly updating, and your readers are used to checking this new page, then you can finally maximize exposure your new blog posts get by publishing them to the Stream as they’re ready!
As a bonus, you can create your own custom embed templates with a simple hook and filter to plug your post type into The Stream. Want to know how? Ask me in the comments!
5. Keep Your Membership/Course Members in the Loop!
Selling and managing online courses has taken the web by wildfire. Anyone who’s created a course or has a private membership area on their site knows how much work it takes to create quality course content AND keep it all updated.
Plus, your members need a way to know when you add new modules and improve existing information, so what better way to keep them in the loop than with a private Stream?
Just like a personal feed, you use The Stream to post updates about the changes and new content you add to your course/membership so your members know where to go when something changes!
Bring Your Website Back to the Upstream
While The Stream is a brand new feature in Marketers Delight, it has the power to add an entirely new and lively dimension to your website by simply publishing to it in the most authentic way possible.
The Stream takes no time to setup, just install Marketers Delight and activate it from the Features Manager. From there you can go right ahead and publish your first status update—before you even write your own blog post if you wanted to!
You finally have no excuse to not start a blog, and The Stream is the easiest way to smash through that barrier and get your voice on your own platform.
New features are always being devised for The Stream, and MD as a whole, so what you see from here forth is only going to get better.
Get started with Marketers Delight and The Stream today, it’s the best platform in WordPress for owning your own content.