Embedded Stream Threads

Ray

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The ability to embed a stream post or thread into a post or page would be pretty cool. 

Using content from other MD sites would be a great way to add value for the end user and provide exposure and backlinks for the content creator. And it would obviously be a nice way to keep readers engaged on your own site if its an embed from your own stream.

 
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Alex

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The ability to embed a stream post or thread into a post or page would be pretty cool. 
I definitely have this item in the todo list! Will definitely make a shortcode and editor Block, maybe even a widget to do it as well!

Using content from other MD sites would be a great way to add value for the end user and provide exposure and backlinks for the content creator
This is a dope idea too that I hadn't thought of and it is possible believe it or not. Anything that can make the stream more interactive is something I'm for and this will be worthy to create I think.

Great suggestions!

 
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Some French Dude

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I don't want to create new thread about The Stream , so I am adding my questions here. 

To be honest, I am not sure I understand the value of the Stream. We are always under time-pressure today. What clear benefit would we get as web site owners from The Stream? 

In a way, I see The Stream it as competition in some ways to:

  1. Social Media status: A few words/lines or even paragraphs to give news about you/your project...
  2. Comments at the bottom of posts.
  3. Short posts, that can be added to the Article section of your web site.
If comparing the Stream to each option above, with the Stream:

  1. You don't get the value of reaching other people as you can with the status  on your social media profiles (facebook, twitter, etc.)
  2. Same for the Comments when they are integrated with Facebook and Twitter.
  3. I am not sure if your Stream "posts" would get as much attention as regular posts from visitors and SEO as well.
I am asking this for I have a feeling I don't see the value I can get from The Stream. How can I leverage it without adding another daily task to my already overwhelmed agenda? 

If anyone can present me a clear case study/example about how to exploit The Stream with a very competitive advantage over other themes not having the stream and clear cut benefits, please share. I am interested in testing this, again, if not stealing time from other, critical tasks.

Thanks for the feedback.

 
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Ray

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Hey MasterHealer,

I hear you, but I don't view The Stream as competition to Social Media status, comments, or short posts. I see it as an extension of your publishing strategy. 

Here's how I see it.

 With Social Media, the concept of “my page or my feed” is a little tricky because you don’t actually own or control it. Twitter and Facebook change algorithms all the time to suit their advertising needs and don’t consider (for one minute) how it will affect your business.

We are always under time-pressure today. What clear benefit would we get as web site owners from The Stream? 
The amount of time-pressure we face is almost always a function of needing better time management. The idea of adding another task to your already loaded to-do list is the last thing anyone should do, but weighing the long-term value might be something to consider as well.

More time today might mean much-less time going forward.

To me - the clear benefit we get from using The Stream is the ability to maximize the one platform we have complete control over - our website(s).

There's a great article on MD about how someone can use The Stream to bring their site to life, but here are few ideas I'd like to throw in there as well...

  • For the website owner that doesn’t want or need a blog. SEO optimization isn't a big concern.  Therefore, they can use The Stream to publish updates about their company or product.
  • For a blogger that wants to use his/her blog for niche specific content - The Stream can be used for every other topic he/she wants to discuss.
  • For a consultant who works with clients by phone, chat, or in-person, The Stream can be a password protected area where clients access private links that isn’t intended for public consumption. Again, if they don’t have a blog, and want a quick way to publish content to their audience ONLY - this would be a great option.
  • If you have a membership site or want to offer exclusive content to your paying readers you can put it in the stream and then password protect it from the general public.
  • You could use the stream as your ‘ABOUT page’. Just think about it. The Streams is a perfect way to present the growth and evolution of your site over time.
  • If you create a personal website to share pictures with Family and Friends only - the Stream (instead of Instagram) might be a better option. I’ve worked with social media companies that use their users pictures and posts in ad-campaigns. For example: A certain social media company routinely uses posts and pics of their users in television and online campaigns in foreign markets. So theoretically, I can post a picture of myself on their platform and they can decide to use “my” picture in a campaign in Brazil. Maybe they'll add a caption under the picture that's contrary to my beliefs…or maybe they'll simply use my picture in an ad-campaign and not tell me about it or compensate me for it - and guess what - they don't have to, because once it's posted on their site - it's their picture.
Personally, I find most social media as a time-suck and don’t use it for my business, yet I have a successful consulting and publishing company. My company is small, but it’s been my full-time source of income for 3+ years, and in that time I have closed my company FB page, removed business posts from IG, and rarely post on Twitter.

As for SEO , The Stream is not going to provide major SEO juice…today.  But no one knows what Google is going to do tomorrow.

Google may not offer much in terms of SEO but their indexing Stream Posts so if you optimize your title and the body of your content properly….you will show up in Google search results, and perhaps you'll be able to rank for low-completion terms. 

If you Google something like "Font Icons Marketers Delight" you will see one of Alexs' Stream posts as the first result.

I know it isn't something anyone else is trying to rank for, but I know for a fact that someone has found MD using that very search...because I once instructed a client to "Google it" when he asked which Font Icons are available with MD.

If you have something to say on Twitter, why not say it on your own platform. If you’re worried about having to post it twice, then why not post it in your stream and then click the twitter share button, and share it directly in your Twitter Stream? I know it may add another task but if done correctly, the extra time is incremental at best.

But here’s a really big reason (for me) to use The Stream - Alex!

He’s always updating and iterating his baby (MD) and if we have feature requests or suggestions he’s all ears. Best of all, with MD, you’re basically customizing how you want to present your website or company to your customers.

If you want The Stream to be more useful to you and your business, throw a few suggestions at Alex - maybe you can help him (and all of us) maximize this feature in ways he hadn't thought of.

Anyway, sorry for the long response.

 
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Some French Dude

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Dear @Ray, will you believe me if I am telling you I knew you would reply to my post? 

A few things:

  • It's been about a year since I had noticed you as being one of those few genuine, active and encouraging user in this MD community. Yes, take this as a compliment :)
  • Alex  seems to be away since a few days and I knew you would have even more emotion with respect to The Stream than Alex. 
  • I am honestly trying to find ways to integrate and test the Stream. You provided at least 1 (may be 2) ideas (private exclusive content + twitter) that should fit my plans. It is enough for me to be 110% satisfied with your replies. Thanks a lot for that. Hope we could get to know each other better in the future.
  • One question about The Stream: It allows Likes but does not seem to allow Comments form your visitors, right? What's your view on this @Ray: Don't you think we're missing opportunities to capture genuine visitors' feedback here?
FYI, I am about to launch my web site (in French) about natural health and The Stream might be an ideal way to provide exclusive content to my members. I am yet to select how to create my membership area. I have ZERO revenues and I would want a FREE solution at least till I prove myself I can earn enough money to break even. Should you have any idea, they are welcome. I was thinking about the free version of https://fr.wordpress.org/plugins/wp-members/  

 
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Ray

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Hey man, thanks for the kind words, and I'm always happy to contribute (and help) in any way that I can. The more active we are in the forums, the better MD will be for all of us.

  • Alex  seems to be away since a few days and I knew you would have even more emotion with respect to The Stream than Alex. 
Ha! Alex is super passionate about 'The Stream' (this is his baby) so I'm sure he'll offer his insight as soon as time permits. Like I always say, he's a one-man-band, so just give him a minute (figuratively speaking) he won't disappoint.

  • One question about The Stream: It allows Likes but does not seem to allow Comments form your visitors, right? What's your view on this @Ray: Don't you think we're missing opportunities to capture genuine visitors' feedback here?
I don't know. I think adding comments to The Stream would take-away from its fluidity. 

FYI, I am about to launch my web site (in French) about natural health and The Stream might be an ideal way to provide exclusive content to my members. I am yet to select how to create my membership area. I have ZERO revenues and I would want a FREE solution at least till I prove myself I can earn enough money to break even. Should you have any idea, they are welcome. I was thinking about the free version of https://fr.wordpress.org/plugins/wp-members/  
Wow, Congrats man! This is going to be a big undertaking but you will learn so much about your business and your users. I'm not familiar with 'WP-Members Membership Plugin' so I can't really speak to how affective it is.

Give it a try, test it, and keep it if it works - disable it if it doest. When it comes to plugins, its often a crapshoot - especially with the free ones.

I used Memberful (which is a great plugin) but for some reason my  Canadian and Australian members had a hard time logging in, so I had to stop using it. I was using their premium version but the free version should be good. 

Ha! If I were you, I'd ask Alex to add membership functionality and comments to The Stream.  He may not do it, but if he does, it would be clean and lightweight, and it would work!

Once your site is up and running - post it in the forums, I would love to check it out, and feel free to reach out through the forum or use the email address I have on my contact page.

 
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Some French Dude

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If I were you, I'd ask Alex to add membership functionality and comments to The Stream.  He may not do it, but if he does, it would be clean and lightweight, and it would work!
Well, that's what I had in mind too.  @Alex , I think we hold something very interesting here. What's your view?

Also, what's your view on the exchange about about The Stream?

Regarding the options of having visitors' comments, I think the option should be provided. It would be very beneficial when using the Stream on a private page. I also share @Ray 's point of view about the fluidity we might also want in some contexts in not having comments available. The real need is to be able to take the temperature about how your subscribers/visitors react to the content you offer in The Stream other than by just watching a few Likes. You want to know WHAT THEY THINK: What they are missing, the ideas they get in reading your Stream, what they are ready to do or not to...

 

 
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Alex

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To be honest, I am not sure I understand the value of the Stream. We are always under time-pressure today. What clear benefit would we get as web site owners from The Stream? 
I'll add onto Ray's great answer: The Stream was made because of the time-pressure so many of us have these days! A hard reality to face about a website, and why social media platforms are so popular, is that they are hard to write content to. Taking the time to write an article or release something new is time-consuming, and the Stream is made to be the few avenues on your website that you can go to to write, publish, and go without a second thought.

To write a post takes a lot of mental energy to create ideas, write, and edit, and even formatting takes careful consideration. The Stream requires no such extra thought and allows you to create a section on your site that is fun for you to update and fun for your visitors to come back to during those lull moments when your site isn't updating with new content.

This doesn't directly create income, subscribers, or SEO benefits but it does add something that so many websites focused on these things lack: connection and community. I think the best uses of the Stream I have seen is from @etd, who's site I check regularly because of the interesting content he posts, and @Luuk's Beste Bank site.

 With Social Media, the concept of “my page or my feed” is a little tricky because you don’t actually own or control it. Twitter and Facebook change algorithms all the time to suit their advertising needs and don’t consider (for one minute) how it will affect your business.
I am very much betting on the idea that owning personal websites it the "next" place people will go once social media either starts to lose value, goes bust, or from people simply want to do something else with the audience they've created. To bring a format to your own website that offers a similar look, navigation, and fast content producing abilities sounds like a winning formula to me and the traffic and results I've seen have been worth it so far.

The Stream is not "proven" and I never built it with any data in mind, but the curiosity to see what combining these different aspects would create. I have been in the web business long enough to not rely on data and follow my intuition on what is worth building. In the Stream's case, we are creating the data and use cases for a feature like this across the entire website landscape!

If you Google something like "Font Icons Marketers Delight" you will see one of Alexs' Stream posts as the first result.
That's amazing! I don't see it come up in my browser but it's that maybe at one point it was. You are right that the Stream doesn't classically fit as an SEO tool, but I'll share an observation that we can all easily make about Google' modern search results:

Google seems to take a liking to shorter, cut and dry content it can scrape and show on its own search results pages. One trend I am following is the creation of "glossary" sections on websites, where webmasters are creating Q&A like pages and writing a few paragraphs to answer questions—and that is all there is to the page!

The content on all of these pages, to my delight, are all short form, but seem to fit the mold in what Google is looking to display in their search results.

As for SEO , The Stream is not going to provide major SEO juice…today.  But no one knows what Google is going to do tomorrow.
With all of that being said, are you sure you don't have some insider information you'd like to share with us here? ;)

It's been about a year since I had noticed you as being one of those few genuine, active and encouraging user in this MD community. Yes, take this as a compliment :)
Ray is someone I consider a mentor and I've learned a lot from. Over the years when I felt like I didn't deserve any support, he's been there, and will be a valuable contact for you to have. I am loving reading your guys' exchanges here!

One question about The Stream: It allows Likes but does not seem to allow Comments form your visitors, right?
No comments yet, but there was also no Likes in the first version of the Stream either. MD is iterative, one of the few themes on the market that is without making you start over, so expect to see that in a future version.

Ha! If I were you, I'd ask Alex to add membership functionality and comments to The Stream.  He may not do it, but if he does, it would be clean and lightweight, and it would work!
Here's an answer to you @MasterHealer through Ray's point: the biggest feature in a membership site is being able to restrict pages based on a membership level. At its core, that's all you are doing and for simplicity sake should only focus on that until your content is done.

My advice to you is to sell the course through WooCommerce, which is a great plugin supported by MD, and is a good product to bet your future growth on. Couple that with a content restriction plugin that connects to WooCommerce, like this (I haven't tested, but is one of a few solutions that works with Woo), and you can restrict pages based on membership levels.

 
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Some French Dude

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@Alex, how can I make the Stream private and allow my customers to access only based on their subscription plan.

Say they decide to go for a one-month subscription, I would want them to be disconnected from the Stream 30 days after their payment.

Say another one has paid for 2 months, his access to The Stream should be deactivated after 60 days. Etc.

So:

  1. What payment systems can I use and plug to the Stream?
  2. How to automate the activation/deactivation access rights?
In terms of contents, do you confirm I can embed any type of media to the stream: Video, audio...?

I would need that feature in The Stream, not sure how hard/long it is to implement: I would like my visitors to be able to comment on the Stream while having their comments being only visible to me and becoming kind of Skype, Messenger or What's App discussion/thread with me. So, My Stream would be public to all of my subscribers and would generate side private discussions. Basically, kind of a public/private messenger built around The Stream. Hope you like the idea.

 
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Alex

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Great idea and I am glad you are seeing the value (literally) in using the Stream!

What payment systems can I use and plug to the Stream?
You won't connect the Stream to a payment system, but you will connect an access level to a user's payment status. To your next point:

How to automate the activation/deactivation access rights?
I found a great looking free plugin that integrates with WooCommerce called Restrict User Access:

https://wordpress.org/plugins/restrict-user-access/

You setup the user access levels with that plugin and set which pages to show/hide based on permissions. Then, as per the plugin instructions, you can tie WooCommerce to it which handles payments and updating a user's payment status. WooCommerce will monitor and update the payment status which the Restrict user access plugin will then receive, and give/restrict access from there.

I hope that is a clear enough explanation to show you how these plugins interact with each other.

 
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Some French Dude

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  1. Does WooCommerce manage VAT on sales?
  2. Should I work with Paypal to sell my infoproducts (and not WooCommerce), how could I make sure only my customers who have paid their monthly subscriptions can access my "private Stream"? Is there a way to automate that easily or a special process to put in place?
  3. Can I add/embed video and audio files in the Stream just like I would do it in a post, or are there any limitations?
  4. What do you think about my ideas about public/private discussions generated around the Stream? Is it the real of possibility.

 
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Alex

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Does WooCommerce manage VAT on sales?
I believe so, but do your research more into the plugins features.

Should I work with Paypal to sell my infoproducts (and not WooCommerce), how could I make sure only my customers who have paid their monthly subscriptions can access my "private Stream"? Is there a way to automate that easily or a special process to put in place?
PayPal is a possible payment option with WooCommerce. Second question - see my last post

Can I add/embed video and audio files in the Stream just like I would do it in a post, or are there any limitations?
Yes you can embed video and audio

What do you think about my ideas about public/private discussions generated around the Stream? Is it the real of possibility.
Again, see my last post for my thoughts and instructions.

 
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Some French Dude

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When I first discovered The Stream, I have to say that I was more than doubtful about its interest.

As of today, I have thought about it so much that I see it as a REAL VALUE. I really think it is missing quite a bunch of features today but it could become a real killer asset for MD and any marketer.

Here is the type of capacities/features I would need on my side for The Stream to be so much powerful (the ones in bold would be the most urgent one for me to be able to really test en exploit the Stream in real business contexts):

  1.  Let people who subscribed to it ONLY see the content from the day they subscribed. They should not have access to the previous content, or at least, the site owner should have an ON/OFF button to let them see it or not. Ideally, we could also select the exact date range to which each visitor can have acess.
  2. Enable (ON/OFF) comments in a discussion kind of way for each Stream "post".
  3. Have a checkbox next to each comment and a "publish" button" that would compile all the checked comments into a single document (PDF or alike) .
  4. A bookmark so that each visitor knows exactly what was the last thing he read when he visited The Stream.
  5. The capacity to connect it with a What'sApp or Telegram alert every time there is new content.
  6. A tagging systems to quickly describe the content of Audio and Video files.
  7. Stats on the comments: Who is the most frequent commenter, most liked posts...
  8. A stat system giving orientation about content trends (most successful content...)
  9. A flag system to notify what post is REALLY MORE important than the other ones.
  10. Being able to know which persons are interested in a specific topic based on content analysis and their interaction with it (comments, likes, shares....).
  11. A "gaming" system to reward most active reader and contributor.
@Alex, please don't blame me. :)

 
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Alex

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Stream embeds coming in Marketers Delight 5.2. :D
 
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