Asides from having one of the simplest looking websites on the net, Yougler is a newly launched service which aims to provide bloggers the ability to establish a professional looking profile along with other perks. Using Yougler which is pronounced (Yoo-Guh-Ler) users can create profiles that bloggers can link to for spam free contact information. One of the long standing problems that bloggers have faced is the way in which end user’s can communicate with the blog author. Usually, this would consist of typing out your email address as so ( blabla at blabla.com). Replacing @ with at was a very inexpensive way of defeating the spam bots which would scrape the content of websites looking for printed email addresses but this method creates a few caveats. The first, user’s need to manually type out your email address which is far less convenient than clicking a link. The second, the look of the email address doesn’t look very professional.
Creating A Profile
There are two types of profiles you can create. The White Pages Profile is for those who want a presence on the Internet, more or less to be found within search results. The other is the Blog or Blogger Profile which is tailored specifically for blogs or bloggers. This is the profile you would want to use if you want an easy way for your readers to contact you which I’ll explain in a minute.
For the purpose of this article, we’ll focus on the blogger profile.
After typing in your information, you’ll be greeted with a CAPTCHA image which is used to prevent automated bots from creating Yougler accounts. I’m sure those profiles would be rather interesting to see. After the CAPTCHA process is complete, Yougler sends you a confirmation email which you’ll have to confirm in order to activate your account. Once your account is activated, it’s time to download and then install the Yougler WordPress Plugin.
The WordPress Plugin
The plugin provides an easy way to provide a contact link which is attached to the top of a post and then at the bottom of the post. The link forwards people to your Yougler Profile Page where readers can get a gist as to who you are via your profile and then, send mail-forwarded mail. Providing a means of communication in this way is supposed to keep communication between the blog author and his or her readers easy while at the same time, blocking unwanted spam.
Installing the plugin:
- Download the Yougler plugin to your desktop. Upload the entire Yougler plugin folder to your WordPress plugins directory under wp-content/plugins/.
- Activate your plugin under the WordPress Plugins tab.
- Click options, click Yougler, set “add signature and Yougler link at end of post to yes.” Enter whatever signature you would like to add to the end of your posts in the box provided or you may leave this blank. Click update and you are done.
- The Yougler Plugin will now create a link to your Yougler Profile page at the end of all your posts. The link name will be your “Display name publicly as:” setting under the User’s tab in WordPress. Yougler will display the author’s name and url on each post so if a blog has multiple bloggers this should not be an issue.Your Yougler page will provide a form mail page for your readers to contact you. On your Yougler page you can also tell your readers a little about yourself or your blog. You can also add a picture (and maybe some more things in the future).
Here is a screenshot that showcases a Yougler configured plugin in WordPress. Click the image to see the full size.
After the plugin is configured, each post will contain a link to your Yougler Profile page at the end of your posts. The link name will be your “Publicly displayed as name” which is configured under the User’s tab in WordPress. Your Yougler page contains an avatar, a small bio section and a form for people to contact you. Aside from that, readers can insert their own Yougler Profile URLS in their comments so others can contact them as well without worrying about spam.
Yougler is free at the moment and it looks like it will continue to be free. The site/service is still in it’s early stages of development which is why Pete is taking comments and suggestions via his own profile link Yougler.com/pete.
Overall, I think what Yougler is doing is a novel idea. However, as far as the spam communication goes, I think the same affect could be accomplished by publishing your email address in the form of a picture that when clicked on, opens up your preferred email client. Also worthy of noting is that, if you were to browse someones About Me page on their blog and that page had a contact me button or form on that page, would there then be any reason for you to use this service?
I think the true strength of this service is for multi author blogs where the about me section is usually limited to the information about the blogging network or the domain and not the actual blogging authors.
If you happen to use this service, I’d be very interested in knowing what your experience is like. I’d also like to know how you have implemented this service into your blog/blogs.