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Things are a’Changing.


Change is hard, but it’s usually for the best, right?  I’m obviously getting older as I resent change a lot of times and don’t want to learn new things!  But, I’m grabbing these changes by the horns and I’m bringing you along!  Ready to hear what they are?!

Rafflecopter

I am seriously in love with this easy, little Giveaway Widget.  Sure, there are things that I wish I could tweak, but all in all, the widget has made hosting giveaways {and especially entering them} a breeze!  As Rafflecopter has been in Private Beta, they’ve been working on certain issues that bloggers/enter-ers have brought up and are getting ready to release Version 2.0, as well as opening up the widget for everyone {no more need for invites!}  It’s much smaller and there’s no need for the Page Breaks on each blog post anymore {hallelujah!}.

The form will look a little different, but it’s pretty easy to understand.  I’m going to summarize the major changes {if you want to read Rafflecopter’s full blog post about them, go here} and I’ll show you an early picture of the new widget!

First, there will be two ways to sign in.  By your name and Email Address OR through Facebook.  There are definite advantages to both ways and I encourage you to try both when the time comes.  You’ll only have to enter your Sign-In information once {name and email or Facebook sign-in}, not with every entry!  Also, when you use the Facebook Sign-In feature, you can go back and edit your entries… in case you forgot something!

No more relying on Cookies to track what giveaways you’ve entered… you’ll simply stay signed in to Rafflecopter unless you sign out.  This will take away a lot of the issues that you may have had if you couldn’t remember whether you entered a giveaway or not.

Lastly, let’s look at the screenshots of the new version.  The main window will show you only the Mandatory Entry {if there is one or more}.  You must complete that entry before moving on to the rest {in this example there is 1 Mandatory and 4 Extra Entries}.  At the top of the widget, you see when the Giveaway Ends, How Many Entries are already in the Giveaway {Points Collected}, and How Many Points/Entries you have left that you can complete}.

This second screen capture is after I completed the 1 Mandatory.   The Extra Entries show up and you can do as many as you like, just as before.

Everything is pretty self-explanatory and I think the best way to actually understand it will be using it… so I’m very excited to do that soon!  {The update is supposed to be released sometime this week!}.  If you have any questions, I’d love to hear them!  The guys at Rafflecopter are working very hard to make their widget user-friendly and welcome critiques and questions!

GFC {Google Friend Connect}

Rafflecopter isn’t the only thing changing.  If you read many blogs at all, you’ve probably came across the post that I’m getting ready to write myself…

As of March 2012, Google will be taking away the GFC {Google Friend Connect} Widget for all non-Blogger blogs.  Since I switched from Blogger to WordPress, this means this change will definitely effect So Easy Being Green.

It’s kind of a big deal for a few reasons.  1.} I worked super hard on “up-ing” those numbers, simply because potential Sponsors look at this number to determine whether they would like to provide Giveaways for your blog readers.  2.} Some of you may use the widget as a way to read my new posts.  Although, I’ve actually never used it for it’s intended purpose, GFC is an easy way to get blog posts in real time, as they’re posted by your favorite bloggers.  {I subscribe to my favorite blogs by email as it’s just easier for them to come to me than me to go to them… yes, I’m lazy and busy!}  3.} Mom Blog Monday, the fabulous Mommy Blogger Blog Hop that I co-host on, you guessed it, Mondays! {shocker}, focuses on meeting new bloggers and following to help each other out.  We are currently working on a way to keep the hop alive, while changing up the format.  {If you have any grand ideas, I’d love to hear them!}

So, what does this mean for you?  If you keep up with SEBG through GFC, you’ll definitely want to think of another way of subscribing.  Luckily there are plenty of options, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ where we can interact and I always share new posts/giveaways.  You can also subscribe via email and read all posts on your own time.  Lastly, there’s subscribing through RSS.  I’ll be honest, I don’t use this method either as I much prefer email and connecting with my favorite bloggers through social media!

There have been a lot of questions coming up about Google+ and I’m hoping to write a few posts on it soon to share with you some of the best features {as I learn them} and how you can use it to blog yourself, or follow blogs!

In the mean time, what’s your favorite way to keep up with blogs!?

  1. I love Rafflecopter! I just started using it a few weeks ago for my giveaways.

    I’m sad GFC is going away…I had no idea! That’s how I keep up with my fave blogs…I’ll have to give another way a try. :/

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