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Archive for July, 2006

TypePad Integrates Technorati Tags

TypePad, a Six Apart product (the same people that make Movable Type), have added Technorati tag integration into their blogging software.

They have also redesigned their TypePad site just like Technorati and how they changed theirs recently.

Finally, we threw another “most wanted” feature into the release as well. You can now easily add Technorati Tags to your blog posts. While Technorati has always treated TypePad’s categories as tags in their tag search, you can now go beyond categories and add additional labels to your posts. So, for example, you might file your review of Miami Vice in the “Movies” category, but tag it with the additional labels Miami Vice, Michael Mann and genius. Check out our Knowledge Base article “Using Technorati with TypePad” for details on how you can customize the display of your Compose page to add Technorati tags to your posts.

Sounds like this should be great for TypePad users, and also it is something that WordPress should support out of the box in my opinion.

Categories: Movable Type News

Why Blog Readers Should Be Able to Contact You

Darren Rowse, on Problogger.net, put up a great post today about the lack of open contact on many blogs these days. He spent a bit of time trying to contact a writer on CNET’s Alpha Blog and was unable to.

He lists why comments are not really enough in the way of opening a dialogue.

  • Firstly it gives your readers a way to privately contact you
  • It gives readers a sense of power
  • It’s about accountability
  • It identifies problems
  • It opens opportunities

I really think it is a great read, and something I have noticed that I personally don’t do enough about, partially because any attempt I make at opening ways to contact me, leads to an increase in spam.

Categories: Blogging Tips

WordPress Guest Registration Security Concern

I was reading through my RSS Feeds today, and Darren Rowse mentioned that there was a security concern pointed out to him from Dr Dave regarding a feature of WordPress that allows guests to the site to register as users on the site.

Some people have made it so you have to register on their blog before you can comment, and while it is not used often, if you have left the “Allow anyone to register” checkbox in, you could find yourself with a security problem.

“Leaving it open and letting people sign-up for guest accounts on your WordPress blog could lead to incredibly nasty stuff happening if anybody so desired. And trust me I am not exaggerating this. So don’t wait a second to disable this option and please relay the message.”

So far the word on the street is that 2.0.4 which is going to be released soon should fix this completely, but it is mostly those using 2.0.2 and under that are at risk.

I really wish that WordPress could do updates via the Admin interface, rather than me downloading, deleting, uploading, upgrading, hoping… But that is a rant for another time.

Categories: WordPress News

Official Everything You Need WordPress Version?

My post on if there should be a lighter weight version of WordPress where more features are stripped away to make a core version that people add modules and plugins onto got some great responses, and many think WordPress is already too light in features and whatnot, and so that made me think about the versions that people have released with plugins and themes already in the proper places, and if there would be much of a market for an official WordPress download with a few dozen themes, and plugins?

I think the first problem would be figuring out which plugins and themes would be most important, as well as how best to impliment them, as some plugins require editing of the theme code to make them work. The second problem would be that most people only use probably around three to five plugins and really only need one theme at a time (other than those with theme switchers).

I think that giving the most basic users more options, much like WordPress.com does, might be a great market that private groups are taking advantage of, and WordPress.org is not. I would love for Matt Mullenweg and group to pick their top ten plugins and have them put into WordPress. I think it could actually get people motivated to produce new plugins and themes for WordPress, especially ones that provide a real value to the community, and the returns on such a contribution would be of course popularity thanks to being added to an official WordPress download.

In the Should WordPress Release a Lite Version, Matt Mullenweg himself came to have his say:

Everyone has different “killer” features. Most projects approach this problem by modularizing core functionality, but that usually creates more framework bloat which cancels out any benefits the modularization gave. (Think PostNuke.) WordPress is measurably faster than it used to be, and will continue to evolve that way until it’s not possible to do so.

I have to agree with him that everyone has a different “killer” feature, but I think the majority could agree on a few that would make an excellent “Super Bundle” for WordPress. Proper tagging comes to mind for me, better image handling (i.e. a gallery), and podcast handling are all things that could be included in the special download.

Would you rather download a larger package that had all the best stuff right at your finger tips or a lite version with only the most used features, and everything else you had to add yourself? Is there a big enough market for both even?

Categories: WordPress News

Should WordPress Release a Lite Version?

As we get closer to a WordPress 2.1 release, I sometimes go on an older blog I have still running WordPress 1.5 and while its publishing speed does not seem to be as fast as the newer version, it just seems so much nicer to use. Yes, I know uploading a picture is in a weird place, but on this one site, I don’t upload many, if any images.

It makes me wonder if WordPress needs a Lite version. A version that strips WordPress down to just what you needs, and makes everything else an extension you can add if you need it or use it. Currently, WordPress creators are trying to appeal to the widest audience while also adding in new features to sway people from using other publishing plaforms, but what I find is that WordPress is adding things I don’t want.

The visual rich editor does nothing but annoy me. The first thing I do is turn it off once I have WordPress installed. I have never once used the import feature that I hear works so well. I can think of lots of reasons to have it for most common users, but I have never needed it, and if I did, it would be a one time thing, and then I would not need it anymore. The dashboard annoys me. Knowing when a new version of WordPress is out is all I really need or want, and that would work well in the footer of the Write Post page.

I have always been curious to know how many people actually use the page feature in WordPress, beyond making an about page. On most of my blogs that I work on, there are no pages, only blog posts. I don’t know anyone that uses the post by e-mail ability that WordPress has, so that could probably go. Remove all the standard plugins that come with the current download, and that could save a fair bit of bandwidth and downloading time for some people.

How much code could be removed from WordPress in order to make a Matt Mullenweg approved, WordPress Lite? Would anyone else even be interested in such an initiative? What other features do you think could be removed from WordPress to create a Lite version?

Categories: WordPress News

WordCamp 2006 Update

With it getting closer and closer to WordCamp 2006, things are starting to get organized. The event is scheduled for August 5th, 2006, and while on the official website there is no location selected as of yet, Blog Herald says that they have the scoop on where WordCamp 2006 will be held.

The word on the street, for those of you planning on attending WordCamp 2006 (see you there), that it will be held at the Swedish American Hall (map) on Market St. Though this has yet to be officially confirmed, I’ve got it through a very reliable Automattic lead developer source that it’s almost a sure deal.

With almost 400 people listed on the main page for the event, it is sure to be a blast.

Categories: WordPress News
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Blogathon Tips and Help

Lorelle lays out some tips and tricks to help those signed up for this years (and really any years) Blogathon.

It is also exhausting, frustrating, and a bit overwhelming. Having done similar things in the past, here are a few tips and resources to help you get through the long haul.

1. The only competition is with yourself, not others.
2. While you have to blog “non-stop”, you don’t have to post great doctoral dissertations. Think short and sweet.
6. Prepare an outline of topics to blog about in advance. Make it more than a list but a sentence or two or combinations of keywords to trigger your brain even during the latest, tiredest hous.
7. Write about something you are passionate about.
9. Monitor feeds related to your blogging topic for new information and ideas.

There are many other great tips, so check out Lorelle’s full article “Blogathon Tips and Help“.

Categories: Blogging Tips

Rentacoder: Helping Customize Your Blog

Brendon Connelly of Slacker Manager recently needed to get a thing or two programmed in PHP as well as some CSS editing, and instead of taking his time and energy to do it himself, he outsourced it to Rentacoder.com.

I set up an account, had my PayPal account verfied and submitted a project for bid.

I began getting project bids within about an hour and eventually racked up about a dozen or so bids, ranging from $8 to $50 (I know!). The first coder that responded was the one that I ended up using–devdive was super responsive and easy to work with. I ended up paying $25 via PayPal for a few modifications to a stylesheet and a php file. Easily worth the time savings for me.

While this idea might not be the best way for people to get things done on their blog, it is very much the way the market seems to be heading. I love that he did not go with the “cheapest” option, thus being a smart shopper. Brendon also mentions that people on Rentacoder and various other sites, not only are great with coding, but also whitepapers, ebooks and whatever else you can come up with. So if you are going away on a short holiday, maybe getting someone to write a thing or two while you are gone could be easy to find with a site like Rentacoder.

This could also be a great place to find someone willing to help customize your blog, so check out other things that are being bid on, and maybe you will either find yourself some work, or think of some things you would like done for yourself.

via Micro Persuasion

Categories: Blogging Tools

WordPress Plugin: Extended Comment Options

Comment control is an ongoing issue for many bloggers using WordPress and other tools, but now there is a plugin that will help to solve this problem, atleast for controlling opening and closing comments and trackbacks called Extended Comment Options.

Advanced Options
This section gives you more control over discussion options. You can choose whether you want to open/close comments or pings, or both. You can also choose whether you want to change the default setting for new posts.

In the “Which posts?” section, you can choose which groups of posts you want to affect. The first two are for new posts and existing posts respectively. The third option allows you to open/close discussion on posts made before or after a specific date. The fourth option allows you to, for example, open discussion on the last five posts, or on posts made in the last month, or the last 2 years. It then closes discussion on the remaining posts.

Check out all the details and get the plugin at Being Mr Kenny.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

WordPress Plugin: Add Signature

Dragon Design has a new plugin out for WordPress that allows you to add information on articles posted on the blog. This could be a great plugin for those that have multi-author blogs, or just want to end with a preset tagline on every post.

This plugin lets you display a custom signature at the bottom of your posts. Simply type the text you want in the options page and configure it to display on every post, or manually display it by adding the trigger text wherever you like. You can also add in author information using the included variables – login name, first name, last name, nickname, email address, website, and description/bio. It get this information from the author’s account settings.

Grab it from Dragon Design’s website.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

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