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It’s Friday, and I’m adding another great freebie to my “Free and Easy Friday Finds”(FEFF)

Last week I found a new plugin called “Random Posts”. It’s quite slick.

Via the use of a plugin (link to follow), you can display posts from the past. What this plugin does is extract random posts which will change each time your page is loaded. So what you see now, will be replaced with new random posts on the next click.

To see it in action, I’ve installed it in my left sidebar below “What Others Are Reading”.

What I like about this plugin is that old posts are now revived without having to manually link to them. Granted, some may not be your best work, but it may get them some attention. (The plugin has options where you can block posts you don’t want displayed)

To use this plugin, it requires downloading TWO plugins.

The first one is called “Post-Plugin Library”

And the second one is obviously called “Random Posts”

Just follow the instructions and you’re set to go.

The plugin author is Rob Marsh. Let’s all give him a round of applause for these great plugins. ///clap, clap, clap\\\\ 🙂 Also, please note, Rob offers several other plugins on his site, as well.

By the way, next Friday is the Fourth of July holiday here in the States, so I won’t be posting, BUT, on Thursday, I’m publishing my second Monthly Mini Meme (MMM), so start thinking about that one random thing about yourself you would like to share with the BWAB community. I have mine picked out, and it’s rather funny.

Mark you calenders, and have a great weekend.


Photo Credit: Robbie1’s photostream

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Look Who's Talking
  1. You know, as a blogger continues to blog, sometimes their writing improves. This is particularly true if they are new to the craft.

    That being the case, I’d like your opinion, Barbara. Do you think a blogger should ever go back to old posts and improve them in some way as their writing skills develop?

    Bamboo Forests last blog post..Being Happy for Others Makes You Happy

  2. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Bamboo,

    Yes, our writing does change. But do I think we should go back and rewrite our old posts? I would say, MAYBE in moderation.

    If you’re happy with the message, but unhappy with a word or two, I say change it. But if it’s acceptable, let it be. Readers may notice the date on the post and realize it was an early work of yours.

    Personally, I’ve thought of going back and rereading old posts, but now I have too many. Unless an obvious error is pointed out, I leave them alone.

  3. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks Barbara, I have a similar plug-in installed on my blog already. I can’t say I have gotten many comments from older posts, but then again, I don’t track, but they are not being commented on, but might be getting read.

    This is a great plug-in though for those who don’t have it. Thanks Barbara and have a good July 4th. Look forward to the next FEFF

    Naturals last blog post..If I Only Had A Brain

  4. That’s a very cool plugin idea, Barbara. One of these years I’ll get around to adding this stuff!

    Mark – Creative Journey Cafes last blog post..Did You Hear About Tim Russert’s Rainbow?

  5. KathyNo Gravatar says:

    There are SO many plug ins, it’s nice to get a recommendation on those that do what they promise to do AND actually make a difference when activated on your blog.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    Kathys last blog post..Blogs…Credibility…Trust

  6. SarahNo Gravatar says:

    I like! Thank you! 🙂 I’m kinda getting addicted to your blog. 😀

  7. Avani-MehtaNo Gravatar says:

    I added random post plugin last week to my site. And it does get some traffic to old posts.

    @Natural try google analytics to find out which links are getting clicked and read.

    Avani-Mehtas last blog post..11 Refreshing Ways to Find Your Own Sanctuary

  8. I know that a lot of people like to go to Wikipedia and click the “random article” link. I guess it’s like a box of chocolates…you never know what you’re going to get. With this plugin though, it’s less risky because you can see your choices before clicking.

  9. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    What a great idea. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Debbie Yosts last blog post..Bang Bang

  10. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    I too am not sure I want some of my old posts going back up again but this is a great tip! Why not use some of the content and update it?

    Lindas last blog post..Some Everyday Hints

  11. Ian DennyNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    Sorry I’ve not commented for a while – been checking in occasionally, but been ridiculously busy.

    This is timely advice. I realise I need to start learning WordPress behind the scenes far more. And I love the idea of a random posts section.

    I’m considering a major over-haul of my site, and stuff like this is useful. I’ll put some time aside to dig through your blog to catch up.

    Ian Dennys last blog post..How To Make A Tidy Business Saving (For The Lazy)

  12. I like this plugin. We all work so hard to creating good content and I hate to see it get buried and lost. I love websites that are dynamic and change when you visit them next.

    It looks like it would work well with the “Related Posts” plugin as well.

    Ok, to share another freebie, I mentioned this one once on your blog but I think it’s worth mentioning again.

    I like the plugin, Bad Behavior. It’s a firewall, so to speak, before spam even reaches Askiment. Before Bad Behavior, I’d get dozens of spam comments caught in Askiment that I’d have to sift through and delete and now I get maybe 2 or 3 a month.

    On another note, Barbara, if you don’t mind a little feedback, your sidebars are getting a little crowded. There’s a lot of “stuff” over there. I doubt many people read through all that because it’s a lot to take in.

    Maybe consider an expandable archives plugin to help save some space. Also, do you need to display the Admin login? And with a Recent Post and Random Posts plugin, I think you can probably lower the amount of articles displayed on your “What others are reading” to maybe 5 or so.

    Just some thoughts. I wonder what other usual commentators on your site might add and if they agree with me or not?

  13. sterlingNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, thanks for the heads-up on those plug-ins. I love that there are some many different plugins out there for WordPress.

    I’ve often thought about @BambooForrest’s questions. But, I guess that would be a neverending job, because I would be constantly rewriting and revisiting evertyhing. 🙂

  14. MarelisaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara: Last weekend I installed the “Easy Gravatar” plug-in using your instructions from a couple of weeks before, and the I also added a favicon (again, using your instructions). Who knows, maybe in a couple of weeks I’ll come back to this post and add a random comments plug-in. 🙂

    Marelisas last blog post..Sleep Extravaganza – 40 Tools, Tidbits, & Resources to Help You Conquer Sleep

  15. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – Thank you. I’ll definitely be trying this plugin – it sounds great. I was just thinking this morning – you’ve given a heap of great advice this week and I still haven’t put it into practice. Will do it this weekend or I’ll forget.

  16. Barbara –

    Great minds think alike. I was going go to look for a similar plug-in for a simple reason. When we start blogging, we try to write with utmost consciousness to share best of our thoughts. Problem is that there’s no one to read. Later on when we have readers, these excellent articles hardly ever get noticed as they are too old by then. With this plug-in we can make old new again. 🙂

    Shilpan | successsoul.coms last blog post..14 Simple Ways to Super Charge Your Brain

  17. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Natural,

    I’m sure there are others out there that produce similar results. I like this one as it’s quite easy to use and modify.

    Hi Mark,

    That’s one thing about blogging, we can proceed forward at our own pace.

    Hi Kathy,

    Welcome to the BWAB community.

    Yes, there are A LOT of plugins available. It’s tough to choose which ones to use.

    Hi Sarah with an “h”,

    You’re welcome. It’s good to see you here again.

    Hi Avani,

    That’s good to know it’s bringing traffic to your old posts. I’ve checked my stats and am seeing a few more hits as well.

    Hi Hunter,

    That’s a great analogy.

    You did remind me of how important titles are (when using this plugin).

    Hi Debbie,

    You’re welcome.

    Hi Linda,

    One thing great about this plugin is that you can block the posts you don’t want randomized.

    Hi Ian,

    Hey, it great to see you again. 🙂

    If you’re looking for something specific for your overhaul, just let me know.

    Hi John,

    I’ve heard of Bad Behavior several times before. Thanks for the recommendation. 🙂

    Yes, my sidebars are getting VERY crowded. I was looking at them when I added this and keep thinking of what I can do to “clean it up”. I am in the process of transitioning to a new theme (it’s SO time consuming), but until then, will take some of your advice and reduce the number of things I have displayed. Sounds like a great weekend project.

    Hi Sterling,

    Great to see you here again. Like Ian, I’m sure you’ve been extremely busy with your “real life”. 🙂

    Yes, rewriting or updating old posts could get mighty daunting.

    Hi Marelisa,

    That’s so great to know your being helped by my recommendation and instructions. Hopefully I make them easy enough to understand.

    Hi Catherine,

    It sounds like we’ll both be working behind the scenes on our blogs this weekend. Have fun! 🙂

    Hi Shilpan,

    It is sad when our posts get buried, often never to be seen again. This plugin is a great way to bring them back up to the surface.

  18. Hi Barbara,
    I know I can’t install plug-ins on my blog at wordpress.com, but can you clarify the difference between a widget and a plug-in? Thank you!!

    Ann at One Bag Nations last blog post..I’m not Disorganized, I’m Messy!

  19. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Ann,

    I didn’t want to mess up the definition so I went to Automattic.com’s website and here’s how they define a widget

    “Widgets” is just a silly buzzword we’ve chosen for this sidebar-chopping plug-in we have developed. They could have been called Gadgets or Gizmos or Wizbangs or Whatevers. On the surface, they’re just things you can use to personalize your WordPress site without knowing HTML.

    A plugin often requires a user to place HTML code into their site/blog.

    That’s the way I understand it, but if I’m wrong, please (anyone) feel free to correct me.

  20. What a great idea. I hate the idea of my old blog posts not being shown, and maby never being read again

    Robert Kennedys last blog post..Niche Sites Using WordPress

  21. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    This is terrific! Thanks for sharing. Of course not yet right for my blog and my… ahem… 2 posts 🙂

  22. GavinNo Gravatar says:

    This is an awesome plug-in for larger blogs, as old relevant posts can wither into obscurity without been present through some sort of randomiser

    Gavins last blog post..Top 20 football misses of all time

  23. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Robert,

    Welcome to the BWAB community!

    This plugin works great to bring them to the surface again. I love it.

    Hi Davina,

    You’re welcome.

    Have no fear, soon you’ll have so many posts you’ll want to install this. 🙂

    Hi Gavin,

    The BWAB community welcomes you!

    Yes it is awesome. Short of linking to our old posts, or visitors spending a lot of time digging through our archives, they so get lost.

  24. Let me know, Barbara if I can help with anything with the new template.

  25. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks John!

  26. veredNo Gravatar says:

    I installed a “related posts” plugin – seems to work fairly well.

    Can’t wait to read your random thing!

    vereds last blog post..Are Bloggers Allowed To Have A Life?

  27. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Vered,

    Both of these plugins work great to draw more attention to our previous writings. I think you’ll like the random post plugin, as well.

  28. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I think this is a great idea – I might hold out, though, till I find one that puts the random posts at the end of comments fields, like Natural has (like your ‘related posts from the past’). It’s not the moment to email her to ask her what it is because her internet is broken at the moment!

    Cheers – Robin

    Robins last blog post..How I found immortality

  29. chrisNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve always wondered how I could introduce my old posts to my new readers or visitors. Problem solved!

    chriss last blog post..Compass Points

  30. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Robin,

    Actually you could put your random posts at the end of your articles. The plugin has a line of code you insert wherever you want it to appear. It is pretty easy.

    If you need help, let me know.

    Hi Chris,

    This is an easy plugin to use. Once you have it activated, we can all see what we have missed. I will be watching your site for it. 🙂

  31. Ellen WilsonNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    Thanks for your latest research into new plugins. I think this plugin probably wouldn’t work well with my blog, though, since it’s only on column wide and it will drag down the side bar. I will consider it for my next template, though.

    It’s funny, I collect all these plugins I think are interesting and keep them in a file. Some of them I do wind up using.

    There a quite a few plugins out there that are very difficult to download and activate. Of course, my CSS and HTML knowledge is nonexistent. I would love it if WP people make it easier and easier for us non techie people. Like converting to the newest version of WP. That sounds like a total nightmare! I probably could do it if I had a few weeks to spare.

    Ellen Wilsons last blog post..Archetypes and Symbols are for Everyone

  32. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Ellen,

    Yes, there are a lot of plugins out there. Some are easier than others, and some work in Firefox, but don’t work in IE.

    Re: upgrading to the newer versions of WordPress. I’m with BlueHost and they offer a service called Fantastico and it’s a one click upgrade.

    If you’re looking for a new webhost, John Hoff has a webhosting company and will take care of installing WordPress for you. That’s pretty cool. (He’s one of the loyal commenter here at BWAB and I also have a link to his site in the right sidebar – under eVentureBiz.)

  33. SolRekaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara
    Great post, I also love the clean, crisp layout of your blog. I admit to having a blog design fetish ;-). I loath blogs with too much information and clutter.

    My favourite plugin which I use is tag cloud – Awesome. It adds depth to tags and gives a 3d effect as they rotate.

    I already have recent posts installed, will give random posts a go – no harm no foul

    Regards
    SolReka

    SolRekas last blog post..Listening to your inner voices in readiness for Dec 21 2012

  34. SolRekaNo Gravatar says:

    PS Also loving the avatar for each comment
    Just had to sign up. Ref gravatar.com.
    Cheers again for the helpful tips and tricks

    SolRekas last blog post..Listening to your inner voices in readiness for Dec 21 2012

  35. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi SolReka,

    Welcome to the BWAB community, and thank you for your kind words.

    The tag cloud plugin that rotates sounds fascinating. I’ll come over to your site and check it out. 🙂

  36. AxeCityNo Gravatar says:

    Another effective way is publishing a post that links to older posts, it makes the site link-balanced for search engines since internal links count for most of search engines.

    Thanks Barbara for the great tip!

    AxeCitys last blog post..Manage your artwork online

  37. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi AxeCity,

    Yes, that is correct. Search engines like internal linking.

    Unfortunately, too often, I forget to do it.

  38. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Ooops Solreka,

    I missed your comment about the avatars. I love how they work in the comment section. If your friends are commenting, a quick glance at the avatar will highlight their comment.

    See you again soon!

  39. dianiNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for sharing the info. I really like it. Thanks.

    dianis last blog post..Get Paid to Blog Programs

  40. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Diani,

    Welcome to the BWAB community!

    And….you’re welcome. Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

  41. Sunil PathakNo Gravatar says:

    I think deep linking your older post in new one works better then any plugin and SEO benefits are added bonus

    and periodic list of your old popular post is another good option

    Sunil Pathaks last blog post..5 Tips For Creating An Engaging Community Around Your Blog

  42. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Sunil,

    Welcome to the BWAB community!

    Deep linking is the best, but for those who are in a hurry or can’t figure out how to link to some of their old posts, this plugin is a great answer.

    I agree, listing favorite posts is another great way to draw attention to those archived articles.

  43. […] lesson from Barbara Swafford when I 1st found her blog on Blogcatalog last week. I left comment on Random Post Plugin article and she responded at once with nice welcoming message (Which was very unusual for me no one ever […]

  44. charlesNo Gravatar says:

    HI!

    I think that before starting that random posts plugin. One should check his previous posts and modify it so that they can be able to check flaws and semantic errors.

    This is just to add something to the post.

    Thank you.
    Charles
    http://www.resourcesandmoney.blogspot.com