Do What Works for You

fishbowlTonight, I found myself in a strange spot. I left a comment on a microblogging site called Plurk where I said that I didn’t much like the service for me. I don’t. The user interface doesn’t work well for me. It’s a little too slow, too disjointed, and doesn’t scale well. It works great if you have a hundred or two hundred people to follow, but beyond that, it gets messy fast.

People responded back that they were upset that I didn’t like it, or that I hadn’t given it much time, etc, etc, etc. All of their thoughts were valid. Except it didn’t matter to me. I’m not saying they shouldn’t like it. I’m not saying it’s not a good platform. All I said was that it wasn’t for me.

Do What Works for You

Welcome to the fishbowl. In here, we get a little bit too excited sometimes. We get zealous about the bleeding edge. We sometimes get tired of things before most of the rest of the Internet has even found it. And we often crave connections and meaning and value out of these shiny objects.

But don’t let people tell you that you’re wrong for not liking something. Not into blogging? Swell. Don’t like Twitter? Fine. Hate podcasts? Perfect. It’s okay not to need/want/love the whole landscape. There are lots of services that people love that don’t fit my personal needs. I appreciate the services, but I’m not using them much.

If you’re here for business, for entertainment, to meet new friends, great. Do what works for you. Don’t let everyone else call you wrong for not liking MySpace, or for liking MySpace. If you’re excited about Second Life, don’t let me tell you that you’re silly just because I’m not a big fan.

Learn what works. Try out lots of things. And then go with what you end up liking. No harm. No foul.

I’ll be over here trying out new things still, but also going with what works for me.

You?

Photo credit, lbonnett

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  • http://lyndonology.com/ Lyndon

    You didn’t say anything wrong, you were just being honest. If someone doesn’t like something, why would they keep using or doing it? Keep being honest Chris, there’s enough phonies on the internet.

  • http://www.lyndonology.com Lyndon

    You didn’t say anything wrong, you were just being honest. If someone doesn’t like something, why would they keep using or doing it? Keep being honest Chris, there’s enough phonies on the internet.

  • http://writerdad.com Writer Dad

    I couldn’t agree more. Twenty people in a room, all with the exact same interests is usually pretty boring. And going along with something just because you’re supposed to is just ridiculous.

  • http://writerdad.com Writer Dad

    I couldn’t agree more. Twenty people in a room, all with the exact same interests is usually pretty boring. And going along with something just because you’re supposed to is just ridiculous.

  • http://annieandersonblog.com Annie Anderson

    Hi Chris,

    I absolutely agree with you as well. Not everything works for everybody.

    And you know what? I don’t much like plurk, either. The concept is great and I like that people can comment on your plurks, but I don’t like the format. I use it now and then but right now, it won’t see as much use a Twitter and FriendFeed.

    Keep it real, Chris. That’s what I admire most about you. ;-)

    ~ Annie

  • http://annieandersonblog.com Annie

    Hi Chris,

    I absolutely agree with you as well. Not everything works for everybody.

    And you know what? I don’t much like plurk, either. The concept is great and I like that people can comment on your plurks, but I don’t like the format. I use it now and then but right now, it won’t see as much use a Twitter and FriendFeed.

    Keep it real, Chris. That’s what I admire most about you. ;-)

    ~ Annie

  • http://www.camprunapup.com Katybeth

    Thank you. I was feeling bad because Batchbook really did not work for
    me and you liked it and the people at Batchbook are So Nice. But now I am leaving guilt behind and doing what does work for ME. And who knows what doesn’t work now, may in the future.

  • http://www.camprunapup.com Katybeth

    Thank you. I was feeling bad because Batchbook really did not work for
    me and you liked it and the people at Batchbook are So Nice. But now I am leaving guilt behind and doing what does work for ME. And who knows what doesn’t work now, may in the future.

  • http://rickweiss.ca Rick Weiss

    Hey Chris,
    I love Plurk, I really do. It’s cool, it’s Canadian, it’s shiney. But it doesn’t do much for me, and I hardly use it. All the things you said are true. I particularly see it’s scalability as limiting, and the amount of attention it requires as compared to Twitter and other services make it harder to use during the day. It’s not something I can log into at work and check every so often.

    That said, it’s more personal than Twitter by default. Not that Twitter can’t be very personal, but it doesn’t attempt to force personal conversations to the same extent as Plurk.

    I hope that makes sense. :)

  • http://rickweiss.ca Rick Weiss

    Hey Chris,
    I love Plurk, I really do. It’s cool, it’s Canadian, it’s shiney. But it doesn’t do much for me, and I hardly use it. All the things you said are true. I particularly see it’s scalability as limiting, and the amount of attention it requires as compared to Twitter and other services make it harder to use during the day. It’s not something I can log into at work and check every so often.

    That said, it’s more personal than Twitter by default. Not that Twitter can’t be very personal, but it doesn’t attempt to force personal conversations to the same extent as Plurk.

    I hope that makes sense. :)

  • http://www.greensmithconsulting.com Paul Smith

    Amen brother. If only more people thought this way, in so many other arenas – political, religious, diet, you name it.

  • http://www.greensmithconsulting.com Paul Smith

    Amen brother. If only more people thought this way, in so many other arenas – political, religious, diet, you name it.

  • http://sheenonline.biz Rahsheen

    If we don’t make it clear what does NOT work for us, we will have a heck of a time trying to figure out what does.

    I gave Plurk a fair shake and ran into the same things you did, Chris. Trying is all you can do. Everything is not one-size-fits-all.

  • http://sheenonline.biz Rahsheen

    If we don’t make it clear what does NOT work for us, we will have a heck of a time trying to figure out what does.

    I gave Plurk a fair shake and ran into the same things you did, Chris. Trying is all you can do. Everything is not one-size-fits-all.

  • http://www.ribeezie.com Ribeezie

    You said it Chris!

    When we start talking about social media and all of the various social media marketing tools out there (and there are more & more every day), it’s all about finding “the right tools for the job.” And that’s going to vary from person to person. Not everything works for everybody.

  • http://www.ribeezie.com Ribeezie

    You said it Chris!

    When we start talking about social media and all of the various social media marketing tools out there (and there are more & more every day), it’s all about finding “the right tools for the job.” And that’s going to vary from person to person. Not everything works for everybody.

  • http://www.maxgladwell.com Max Gladwell

    OK, I’ll play contrarian. It’s easy to say everything is subjective and relative. But is anything universally good on the social web? I mean, we’re not talking about Luddites who don’t do email. These are people on the social web already. You can’t compare a social media devotee who likes Plurk over Twitter to someone who thinks blogs are useless. These are two different types of people.

    When it comes to social media types, we can easily disagree about Plurk vs. Twitter and Facebook vs. MySpace. But a few of the platforms and tools just nail it in an objective sense. RSS is beautiful. What’s the alternative? What’s not to like? And StumbleUpon is one of a kind.

    To each their own and live and let live, for sure. But it’s possible that social media truths exist beyond our whimsical opinions.

  • http://www.maxgladwell.com Max Gladwell

    OK, I’ll play contrarian. It’s easy to say everything is subjective and relative. But is anything universally good on the social web? I mean, we’re not talking about Luddites who don’t do email. These are people on the social web already. You can’t compare a social media devotee who likes Plurk over Twitter to someone who thinks blogs are useless. These are two different types of people.

    When it comes to social media types, we can easily disagree about Plurk vs. Twitter and Facebook vs. MySpace. But a few of the platforms and tools just nail it in an objective sense. RSS is beautiful. What’s the alternative? What’s not to like? And StumbleUpon is one of a kind.

    To each their own and live and let live, for sure. But it’s possible that social media truths exist beyond our whimsical opinions.

  • http://www.ariwriter.com Ari Herzog

    Some of my friends love eating tomatoes and dislike ketchup. Others enjoy ketchup but not the tomatoes.

    For the longest time, I swore by Yahoo Mail and Internet Explorer; before that, Hotmail and Netscape. Now, it’s GMail and Firefox.

    Be thankful, Chris, you’re not exposed to the internet behind an iron curtain of governmental control. You’re allowed to make your own decisions and display your thoughts. Everyone won’t agree with you but that’s their right, too.

    I tried Plurk and didn’t like it, either. Maybe I’ll like it in the future. Or not. Time, as cliche as it is, will tell.

  • http://www.ariwriter.com Ari Herzog

    Some of my friends love eating tomatoes and dislike ketchup. Others enjoy ketchup but not the tomatoes.

    For the longest time, I swore by Yahoo Mail and Internet Explorer; before that, Hotmail and Netscape. Now, it’s GMail and Firefox.

    Be thankful, Chris, you’re not exposed to the internet behind an iron curtain of governmental control. You’re allowed to make your own decisions and display your thoughts. Everyone won’t agree with you but that’s their right, too.

    I tried Plurk and didn’t like it, either. Maybe I’ll like it in the future. Or not. Time, as cliche as it is, will tell.

  • http://shannonehlers.com Shannon Ehlers

    God Bless You for writing this. It’s how I approach my own little piece of real estate on the web.

    What you describe – individuals fawning over internet tools – I equate this to being overly enthused with airplanes. That may be OK if you are Wilbur Wright, but maybe not so much if you are Al Gore. You know, “Let’s move on, folks”.

    On my own blog, I don’t claim to have big answers to pithy questions, nor do I have lots of instructions for how to make your life better, how to quit smoking, how to find true love, blah blah. I’m not trying to get your business, I can’t consult you on anything, and I have no Ginsu Knives to sell you.

    No, I just like writing on my blog occasionally and sharing whatever happens to be on my mind. I don’t usually follow anyone’s “doing it right” formula. If someone is reading, more power to them. If not, still, more power to them.

    But for heaven’s sake, don’t ask me to “optimize” my blog for search engines, and don’t expect me to tailor my posts to generate more WOM traffic anytime soon.

    I’ve got a few tools I like to use which make communicating easier for me and for the seven people who read my stuff. I didn’t ask anyone’s approval before deploying these tools. If the widgets that I’ve added or the content discovery tools that I use don’t really make me look all “with it” and trendy, oh well.

    Regarding social media, I am working IN this space, but I am not OF this space. Do I really need the latest, greatest statistical tracking program? Do I really need better avatars? Are there ten reasons why my site doesn’t get the big traffic? Could I improve my market penetration by publicizing my feed on Facebook? God, did I just type that??

    I’m sure after reading this, none of the cool kids will play with me. Oops. Despite my apparent ‘devil may care’ attitude toward social media innovation, I do always find several useful nuggets each time I visit ChrisBrogan.com and I try to credit you when I use your stuff. So far the best of all have been the people I’ve met through these comments (two in particular: Mari Adkins and Becky McCray).

    Thanks again for the good and timely post.

  • http://shannonehlers.com Shannon Ehlers

    God Bless You for writing this. It’s how I approach my own little piece of real estate on the web.

    What you describe – individuals fawning over internet tools – I equate this to being overly enthused with airplanes. That may be OK if you are Wilbur Wright, but maybe not so much if you are Al Gore. You know, “Let’s move on, folks”.

    On my own blog, I don’t claim to have big answers to pithy questions, nor do I have lots of instructions for how to make your life better, how to quit smoking, how to find true love, blah blah. I’m not trying to get your business, I can’t consult you on anything, and I have no Ginsu Knives to sell you.

    No, I just like writing on my blog occasionally and sharing whatever happens to be on my mind. I don’t usually follow anyone’s “doing it right” formula. If someone is reading, more power to them. If not, still, more power to them.

    But for heaven’s sake, don’t ask me to “optimize” my blog for search engines, and don’t expect me to tailor my posts to generate more WOM traffic anytime soon.

    I’ve got a few tools I like to use which make communicating easier for me and for the seven people who read my stuff. I didn’t ask anyone’s approval before deploying these tools. If the widgets that I’ve added or the content discovery tools that I use don’t really make me look all “with it” and trendy, oh well.

    Regarding social media, I am working IN this space, but I am not OF this space. Do I really need the latest, greatest statistical tracking program? Do I really need better avatars? Are there ten reasons why my site doesn’t get the big traffic? Could I improve my market penetration by publicizing my feed on Facebook? God, did I just type that??

    I’m sure after reading this, none of the cool kids will play with me. Oops. Despite my apparent ‘devil may care’ attitude toward social media innovation, I do always find several useful nuggets each time I visit ChrisBrogan.com and I try to credit you when I use your stuff. So far the best of all have been the people I’ve met through these comments (two in particular: Mari Adkins and Becky McCray).

    Thanks again for the good and timely post.

  • http://ullahennig.wordpress.com Ulla

    Chris,
    I must admit I haven’t even tried Plurk. I am with Twitter, and Twitter works for me, so why should I spent time on Plurk? People may say “how can you judge the value of Plurk without having tried it” – well I take that risk.

  • http://ullahennig.wordpress.com Ulla

    Chris,
    I must admit I haven’t even tried Plurk. I am with Twitter, and Twitter works for me, so why should I spent time on Plurk? People may say “how can you judge the value of Plurk without having tried it” – well I take that risk.

  • http://suzemuse.wordpress.com Sue Murphy

    I have a couple of thoughts on this. First, I find that I don’t really make a conscious decision whether I’m going to keep using a tool or not. I check it out, and I either keep going back or I don’t. I learn from my own behaviour in this case – if I find myself not using a tool, I tend to analyze it – what is keeping me away? Why am I not finding value in this? What is the value that other people see?

    Second, some of the tools are winning because of marketing and awareness, not because they are the best. It’s the VHS/Betamax thing all over again. VHS won out even thought Betamax technically was a better quality format. Why? Users adopted the VHS format more readily. The players were marketed better.

    Twitter is not the most technically sound tool out there, as we all know. It is not even the most functional, from a user interface standpoint. Neither is Facebook. Don’t even get me started about all the things that are wrong with MySpace. But they win because they have won over their user base. Just shows you don’t always have to be the best to win.

  • http://suzemuse.wordpress.com Sue Murphy

    I have a couple of thoughts on this. First, I find that I don’t really make a conscious decision whether I’m going to keep using a tool or not. I check it out, and I either keep going back or I don’t. I learn from my own behaviour in this case – if I find myself not using a tool, I tend to analyze it – what is keeping me away? Why am I not finding value in this? What is the value that other people see?

    Second, some of the tools are winning because of marketing and awareness, not because they are the best. It’s the VHS/Betamax thing all over again. VHS won out even thought Betamax technically was a better quality format. Why? Users adopted the VHS format more readily. The players were marketed better.

    Twitter is not the most technically sound tool out there, as we all know. It is not even the most functional, from a user interface standpoint. Neither is Facebook. Don’t even get me started about all the things that are wrong with MySpace. But they win because they have won over their user base. Just shows you don’t always have to be the best to win.

  • http://www.contestformoms.com Amanda Petite Mommy

    I’m glad you wrote this. I like Twitter but so far I don’t like any other twitter-like tools. I do what works for me.

    The internet is such a big place. There’s room for all of us to do what we like.

  • http://www.contestformoms.com Amanda Petite Mommy

    I’m glad you wrote this. I like Twitter but so far I don’t like any other twitter-like tools. I do what works for me.

    The internet is such a big place. There’s room for all of us to do what we like.

  • John Lusher

    Great points Chris. People have been getting swept up in the new/social media and they think they have to do it all! Good grief, those of us that are in it can’t do it all and we don’t want to! Plus the more you try, the more you get involved with, the less time you have to spend on each one.

    Just like in business and in life, do what works for you, leave the rest to everyone else.

  • John Lusher

    Great points Chris. People have been getting swept up in the new/social media and they think they have to do it all! Good grief, those of us that are in it can’t do it all and we don’t want to! Plus the more you try, the more you get involved with, the less time you have to spend on each one.

    Just like in business and in life, do what works for you, leave the rest to everyone else.

  • http://www.stickyfigure.com Steve Woodruff

    Glad you wrote this post. The various tools enable us to network (which is the point) in the ways we feel are optimal – for us. I’m not satisfied with any of the tools – it’s still early days, after all, and these things are in rapid evolution mode – but I use them the way that fits me. Gravitating toward one or another tool/approach is hardly a moral issue, it’s just pragmatism based on our styles. Networking is too broad to be narrowly defined by one style of conversing.

  • http://www.stickyfigure.com Steve Woodruff

    Glad you wrote this post. The various tools enable us to network (which is the point) in the ways we feel are optimal – for us. I’m not satisfied with any of the tools – it’s still early days, after all, and these things are in rapid evolution mode – but I use them the way that fits me. Gravitating toward one or another tool/approach is hardly a moral issue, it’s just pragmatism based on our styles. Networking is too broad to be narrowly defined by one style of conversing.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mikebender Mike Bender

    One hundred percent with you. While I love trying new social media tools, as the other commenters have stated, it’s impossible to effectively utilize every tool there is, especially when many are virtually redundant.

    Additionally, I love that there are a few of us who aren’t on the plurk bandwagon. I tried it, felt that some features had real value, but overall I didn’t care for total package. Karma?

  • http://www.twitter.com/mikebender Mike Bender

    One hundred percent with you. While I love trying new social media tools, as the other commenters have stated, it’s impossible to effectively utilize every tool there is, especially when many are virtually redundant.

    Additionally, I love that there are a few of us who aren’t on the plurk bandwagon. I tried it, felt that some features had real value, but overall I didn’t care for total package. Karma?

  • http://www.internet-bard.com KatFrench

    I’ll be the first to admit that I signed up for Identica, another microblogging platform, simply to claim my name/ID, with no intentions of ever actually using the site.

    I have “plurk” moments, when I like to jump in there and peek at all the conversations (and the conversations ARE easier to follow there), but as you said, they would get impossible past a certain scale. But I think that’s the intent.

    It wasn’t really designed for the “1000+ follower” crowd, I think. It was designed for the “couple hundred actual friends and acquaintances” crowd–and I think it actually works quite well for that. (Although I still despise the karma thing.)

    I think that in addition to knowing what platforms just aren’t for you, period, it’s good to know what ones you’re just going to be a casual, occasional participant in.

  • http://www.internet-bard.com KatFrench

    I’ll be the first to admit that I signed up for Identica, another microblogging platform, simply to claim my name/ID, with no intentions of ever actually using the site.

    I have “plurk” moments, when I like to jump in there and peek at all the conversations (and the conversations ARE easier to follow there), but as you said, they would get impossible past a certain scale. But I think that’s the intent.

    It wasn’t really designed for the “1000+ follower” crowd, I think. It was designed for the “couple hundred actual friends and acquaintances” crowd–and I think it actually works quite well for that. (Although I still despise the karma thing.)

    I think that in addition to knowing what platforms just aren’t for you, period, it’s good to know what ones you’re just going to be a casual, occasional participant in.

  • http://gregrollett.blogspot.com Greg Rollett

    This article is my exact sales pitch to clients. Find what works for you, what makes you the most efficient and get the best results.

    With that said, you should always be open minded to new/different things, but really, only stick around if you like it and it makes sense.

    I feel the same way about Plurk, but have friends in the Social Media world who feel they get better click throughs and better conversation on the service. Good for them. Didn’t happen for me.

    Talk to ya soon!

  • http://gregrollett.blogspot.com Greg Rollett

    This article is my exact sales pitch to clients. Find what works for you, what makes you the most efficient and get the best results.

    With that said, you should always be open minded to new/different things, but really, only stick around if you like it and it makes sense.

    I feel the same way about Plurk, but have friends in the Social Media world who feel they get better click throughs and better conversation on the service. Good for them. Didn’t happen for me.

    Talk to ya soon!

  • http://www.whitneyhoffman.com Whitney

    I think we are all searching for the perfect new tool. The fact is we are all wired a bit differently, and some tools work great for some people, and not others.

    Yet, in social media, the power is in the adopters- the more people and friends that are there, the more fun it is, so if some of your friends don’t join, you miss them and the interaction.

    I honestly think there is no perfect social media tool, or social media space- it’s all about the company you keep when you’re there, just like going out to dinner with friends. The restaurant sets the atmosphere and occasion to get together, but you provide the fun and the conversation that makes the experience more meaningful than the food itself.

  • http://www.whitneyhoffman.com Whitney

    I think we are all searching for the perfect new tool. The fact is we are all wired a bit differently, and some tools work great for some people, and not others.

    Yet, in social media, the power is in the adopters- the more people and friends that are there, the more fun it is, so if some of your friends don’t join, you miss them and the interaction.

    I honestly think there is no perfect social media tool, or social media space- it’s all about the company you keep when you’re there, just like going out to dinner with friends. The restaurant sets the atmosphere and occasion to get together, but you provide the fun and the conversation that makes the experience more meaningful than the food itself.

  • http://www.wrightplacetv.com Dr Wright

    Glad its not just me. There is so much on the social networking sites, people are forgetting to limit themselves.
    They are so worried about being left out, they forget that there are only 25 hours in a day. If you are on for business, you have to limit yourself to the sites that work. I have dumped some sites that do not produce.

    I track what is going on so I do not waste time. During the summer some sites are slower.

    Do what work=do what makes money!

    Dr. Wright
    The Wright Place TV Show
    http://www.wrightplacetv.com
    http://www.twitter.com/drwright1

  • http://www.wrightplacetv.com Dr Wright

    Glad its not just me. There is so much on the social networking sites, people are forgetting to limit themselves.
    They are so worried about being left out, they forget that there are only 25 hours in a day. If you are on for business, you have to limit yourself to the sites that work. I have dumped some sites that do not produce.

    I track what is going on so I do not waste time. During the summer some sites are slower.

    Do what work=do what makes money!

    Dr. Wright
    The Wright Place TV Show
    http://www.wrightplacetv.com
    http://www.twitter.com/drwright1

  • kat brogan

    you also hold more weight because you are known
    when you say that X isn’t so keen-o
    some folks might not even bother trying it out

    if i was part of X i’d maybe get a little defensive as well
    knowing that i didn’t lose just you
    but all those other people who won’t even bother now

    ?

  • kat brogan

    you also hold more weight because you are known
    when you say that X isn’t so keen-o
    some folks might not even bother trying it out

    if i was part of X i’d maybe get a little defensive as well
    knowing that i didn’t lose just you
    but all those other people who won’t even bother now

    ?

  • http://www.mediabadger.com Webconomist

    Plurk = Unnecessary Karmatic Stress Manipulation.

    I’d prefer Plurk without all the Karma Krap personally.

    I like FriendFeed and RSS and Ping for monitoring and broadcasting. Twitter has become a place to engage and converse linearly.

    As with any business tools/applications there will be those of the Early Adopters (some will die there too), innovators etc., and thus we’ll always have choice. The beauty of Capitalism and a free market economy.

    Change is Brilliant!

  • http://www.mediabadger.com Webconomist

    Plurk = Unnecessary Karmatic Stress Manipulation.

    I’d prefer Plurk without all the Karma Krap personally.

    I like FriendFeed and RSS and Ping for monitoring and broadcasting. Twitter has become a place to engage and converse linearly.

    As with any business tools/applications there will be those of the Early Adopters (some will die there too), innovators etc., and thus we’ll always have choice. The beauty of Capitalism and a free market economy.

    Change is Brilliant!

  • http://thebrandbox.blogspot.com Amber Naslund

    Hey Chris! I actually find some of the “either or” talk funny. It’s like debating the merits of one car model over another. We all like what we like, they’re all different, they all have their uses. And to your point, we all take to things differently for different reasons. I use Plurk, Twitter, LinkedIn. Not crazy about FriendFeed, even though I know it’s gaining traction. I try ‘em all, kinda like sampling bites on a buffet. But I’ll settle into what’s comfortable to me, and hope you do the same. In any case, I’m glad I can connect with you right here, wherever else you may be. It’s sure a big pond, and our we’re liable to swim into each other eventually! Cheers.

  • http://thebrandbox.blogspot.com Amber Naslund

    Hey Chris! I actually find some of the “either or” talk funny. It’s like debating the merits of one car model over another. We all like what we like, they’re all different, they all have their uses. And to your point, we all take to things differently for different reasons. I use Plurk, Twitter, LinkedIn. Not crazy about FriendFeed, even though I know it’s gaining traction. I try ‘em all, kinda like sampling bites on a buffet. But I’ll settle into what’s comfortable to me, and hope you do the same. In any case, I’m glad I can connect with you right here, wherever else you may be. It’s sure a big pond, and our we’re liable to swim into each other eventually! Cheers.

  • http://www.thesleepygeek.com Marcus Hamaker

    I tend to agree with you. The tool that your using has to work for you to benefit you. If you can not gain what it is you need from it then it’s not the site/tool for you. I find myself in the same boat with Plurk. As of now all I do is allow my WordPress plugin auto post that I have made a new blog entry.

  • http://www.thesleepygeek.com Marcus Hamaker

    I tend to agree with you. The tool that your using has to work for you to benefit you. If you can not gain what it is you need from it then it’s not the site/tool for you. I find myself in the same boat with Plurk. As of now all I do is allow my WordPress plugin auto post that I have made a new blog entry.