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Archive for September, 2006

WPPlugins

I have to give a shout-out to Sean Hickey and Claes le Petit who are working on bringing us WordPress users a directory of plugins which you can find at WPPlugins.org. You can rate plugins, search for plugins, and review plugins, making it easier to find the best of what you need.

With WPPlugins.org, we’re trying to create a better plugin finding experience for bloggers, and provide more feedback to plugin authors. We want bloggers to know more about the plugins they’re downloading through user reviews and ratings. For plugin authors, we want to provide feedback on how many people are downloading the plugin, and enjoying it. We also want to give exposure to great plugins that are sometimes over looked by the blogging community, and give credit to the authors that go out of their way to create all the great plugins that we all use and enjoy.

Check out WPPlugins.org.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

Integrating a Forum with WordPress

Over on BlogHelper there is a great article that summarizes all the resources that someone would need to integrate various forum software with WordPress. They touch on Simple Machines Forum (SMF), Vanilla, bbPress, phpBB, and PunBB. This does not mean they have instructions on integrating each one, but they do have help, plugins and information towards that goal.

I suggest going with either SMF or Vanilla. On the one hand, backend integration on SMF is a breeze since there’s are two “bridge” plugins available, but guides on layout integration aren’t available. On the other hand, backend integration on Vanilla is more tedious, but documentation on integrating every aspect are available.

Check out the full post on Integrating a Forum with WordPress.

Categories: WordPress Tips

WordPress Podcast: Episode 6

Another great episode of the WordPress Podcast is out. I am four days late in mentioning it, but already it has had 348 downloads as I am writing this. Seems like the audience was definetly there.

So many things are covered in the latest episode, I am not even going to try to show off their show notes, but rest assured Charles covers all kinds of interesting news surrounding WordPress.

Podcast Episode 6 covers topic such as Akismet rumors, lots of new and updated plug-ins, and listener e-mails.

WordPress.com and WordPress.org fanatics will definetly want to check this episode out.

Categories: WordPress News

Blog Ads for Women

Blogher, a well know blog network has started their own advertising network aimed directly at women bloggers. Originally designed just for sites in the network, the new BlogherAds.com goes wider than that.

After successfully launching our premium BlogHer advertising network, featuring 30+ superb parenting bloggers, we are pleased to announce that we are opening our ad network to application by bloggers writing about every topic. We’ve launched a new site, BlogherAds.com…

BlogherAds is a contextual network founded by Elisa Camahort, Jory Des Jardins and Lisa Stone. I look forward to watching it grow.

via Blog Herald

Categories: Blogging Sense, General

Snook Given up on Movable Type

While we did not convert Jonathan Snook to WordPress, he did decide to drop Movable Type.

I’ve finally given up on Movable Type. It’s done well for me over the years but I was starting to see its limitations with page builds starting to give errors and taking longer and longer to build a new page.

With that, i’ve moved to a custom-built CakePHP backend. It’s nothing fancy at the moment, as I really just wanted to duplicate what I had before but now that its in place, it should give me much more flexibility to do what I want with this site.

His site looks much the same as it did before the transition. Great work Jonathan. I wonder if he will release an open source copy of what he has made at some point?

Categories: Movable Type News

Communication Skills for Bloggers

Darren Rowse on Problogger.net has put up a really great post, including a disturbing but representative image on being tongue tied.

I should clarify at this point that I’m not talking about communication skills in terms of how to write effectively (I’ve covered this elsewhere and would hope bloggers have a reasonable grasp of it already). Instead, for the purposes of this post, I’m referring to relational communication skills – something that I think that even the best bloggers struggle with.

I find it a little ironic that we as bloggers (who are in the communication business) struggle with miscommunication between us so often. One just has to cast their mind back to the last comment flame war that they observed (or participated in) to find an example of it. Most niches have these all in brawls from time to time.

While in some cases – the conflict can be over ideological differences of opinions, a lot of them come down to poor communication skills.

It is very true though, as I communicate with a variety of people through e-mail, instant messaging, and other means, but since much of communication comes through via inflections in voice and tone, I think that most of the emotion or meaning can be lost in my relational writing to these people. A very interesting and thought provoking article, reminding us all to take that extra step to make sure what we write, is what we actually mean, when sending correspondance.

Categories: Blogging Tips

WordPress Theme: Cutline

I don’t have an abundance of information on this new WordPress theme, except it was made by Chris Pearson, and looks really slick. It has some really nice features, including some great CSS image handling, pull quotes, among others.

Many WordPress themes get released out into the wild with nothing more than a few screenshots, a download link, and some words to encourage its use. Some of the really savvy theme developers out there will actually build a custom demo site for their theme as well, thus giving potential users a firsthand look at what they can expect when using the theme.

But what if users could not only view the theme but also interact with its designer to get answers to their questions? Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Yes. Yes it would.

Welcome to Cutline.

It is a two column theme, with a simple looking design, no graphics other than a header banner graphic that you choose.

If you want to know all about it, check it out at cutline.tubetorial.com.

Categories: WordPress Themes

Be Provocative – Competing for Attention

Creating Passionate Users has a post up that everyone needs to read, not just bloggers called “Be Provocative”.

If we want our users (members, guests, students, potential customers, kids, co-workers, etc.) to pay attention, we have to be provocative. We can moan all we want about how the responsible person should pay attention to what’s important rather than what’s compelling. But it’s not about responsibility or maturity. It’s not even about interest. It’s about the brain.

Much of what many professional bloggers have built up is from being atleast a little provacative. They do something so different, or interesting that you can’t help but pay attention to their every move, even if they are not really a thought-leader, or an expert in a field.

I find myself struggling with this, and if you look at the pie chart included on the Be Provacative post, you will understand why. So much of our lives is spent thinking about things other than advancing our life and career in exciting and interesting ways, and we really have to work hard to get our brain to do the things we want it to do, and do things in such a way that attracts the attention we want in life.

There are some great tips on how to achieve this in the post, so check out Be Provocative on Creating Passionate Users.

Categories: Blogging Tips

The 9 Most Important Words for Business Bloggers

Over on CopyBlogger there is a great post up by the same name, and it goes on about the type of posts people should be making when it comes to buisiness blogging.

Some people think it’s all about “how you say it.” Others think it’s all about how many times a week you post. Both groups are wrong. What you say matters more than how you say it or how many times.

Before you’ll succeed with a business blog, you need to truly understand a simple 9-word sentence offered by old-school copywriting genius Rosser Reeves (as channeled by Gary Bencivenga)

A gifted product is mightier than a gifted pen.

Your “product” is what you offer, whether goods or services, and the overall substance of that offer. Whether you want to call it your USP or your big story, it still needs to be solidly in place before you’ll ever have a truly effective business blog.

You can’t tell compelling small stories with your posts if your big story sucks.

I couldn’t agree more with this, as I work at trying to make the product that I have, my blog posts, better and better, so that audiences will actually be interested in what I have to say.

Categories: Blogging Tips

WordPress Themes: 31 August Themes

WordPress themes are a great way to make a site popular, and WordPress Diva has 31 available to download. From Pretty In Pink to Simple Grey Lily.

The month of August 2006 was spent creating 31 free WordPress themes. (This was no small task, and quite honestly, I’m ready for a nap.)

The completed themes are listed below along with a link to its individual entry where you can download it.

You will be expected to keep the links in the theme on the theme, but other than that, they are free to do with what you please, and some of them are quite nice.

Categories: WordPress Themes