Archive for October, 2006
Incase for some reason you did not know, Firefox 2.0 has been officially released. While up on their FTP a little early, their Get Firefox page was not updated until a day or two ago.
As is the usual case, people who like Firefox say it is the best, and people that don’t know any better are now using IE7 as their browser of choice.
Some changes that happened in Firefox 2.0 might confuse some people, but I think it is just a slight evolution of what I have in Firefox 1.5 with a few plugins.
Integrated into the default install now are things like Improved Tabbed Browsing (with a close tab X on each tab) and Session Restore.
If you are a big Skype fan, or just loving moo printing, you have a chance to get a free 10 pack of Skype related mini-cards to give out.
You have to move quickly though as they are only giving away 10,000 free 10 packs, and when they did it last time with Flickr, they ran out pretty quickly.
You can customize the front and back of the card, with the front having one of five colors and various text, emoticons and whatnot. It is pretty slick, and sure to be noticed by those you hand them out to. On the back, you can put in your custom Skype information. Have a Skype-In number? Put it there, and pass it out at parties or whatever.
The best part is that if you can get in on the 10 card freebie deal, its, well…FREE!
Folksonomy has a short interview up with Dick Costolo, co-founder and CEO of FeedBurner.
The most interesting question for me was the one about blogging of course.
You have a unique advantage of having one foot in the world of blogging, and one foot in the world of Web 2.0. What advice would you give to a blogger, and what advice would you give to an entrepreneur?
My advice to bloggers is to write frequently. Bloggers who write frequently seem to find their voice more readily and establish an audience who come back expecting to engage in conversation frequently. My advice to entrepreneurs? Goodness, my advice to entrepreneurs is not to listen to other people’s advice. There are fifty reasons not to start a company, and when you start it, there are fifty reasons not to continue to pursue it when you run into the first spot of trouble (which will be the first of many spots of trouble, even if you’re the next Google). You have to focus solely on what you want to accomplish and ignore everything else. [emphasis mine]
Not surprising he advocates posting more often. It just works. More posts means more chances to get things right, more content to read, more writing practice, more things for a search engine to index, and unless you are going too crazy with the number of posts, it means a constant reason for people to come back often to check out the new things you have written.
Check out the full interview at Folksonomy.
For all of you looking to be part of the 9rules blog collective, they have opened up another round of submissions. Don’t think though just because you submit your greatest blog, you will get in though, as they had over 100 submissions just in the first fifteen minutes and have beaten their old record of 700 submissions in under twelve hours of having the submit box up and running.
Feel free to try anyways though at their Submit page.
*Note: The Submit page will only work until around midnight EST.
Well, if you thought their previous post title didn’t let you know what they were up to, their latest one definetly will as WordPress.com adds domain registration and mapping for your blog.
Hate being guywriting.wordpress.com, register coolguywriting.com through their interface under Options -> Domains.
Itâ€™s here: you can now use your own custom domain with your WordPress.com blog. For example, if your blog was currently at example.wordpress.com you could buy example.com from us and we would automatically move your blog over and redirect all your links and readers to the new domain.
How does this work? Well to get started go to Options > Domains. You can enter the domain you want in the box at the top. Enter the domain you want.
If the domain isnâ€™t registered, it will ask you for some information and then register it for you, and add domain mapping, for $15/yr.
If you already own a domain you registered somewhere else, you can map it for $10/yr.
Domain mapping service is a bit more expensive than I had hoped, but still reasonable enough that just about any of us can use one of our Godaddy domains sitting doing nothing and use them for our WordPress.com blogs. I know many people have been waiting for this functionality, and if you consider the fact that they give you the domain registration and the domain mapping for $15 a year that’s a pretty good bargain in my mind.
I think many of users will be willing to fork that over. Hopefully the WordPress.com crew will use any small profit they make off the deal to continue to add new improvements to the growing service.
Automattic has made their strong suggestion known for some time now, don’t use WordPress in your domain name, as it is a registered trademark. Well, it seems Andy Wibbels has an interesting story and opinion on the whole thing, starting with an e-mail an anonymous reader received from Automattic.
I work for Automattic Inc. We run wordpress.com and we own the WordPress trademark. We have noticed that you are using the WordPress name in your [domainname.com] domain and product without our permission. We are asking you to stop using our trademark to market your [services]. Please let us know how long it will take you to change the name of your site and product.
Honestly, I don’t see the major problem here. You have to defend your trademark or you can lose it. But Andy goes a whole different direction, saying that WordPress should allow use of the name as long as it is done with respect to the original trademark, and I see that as a great compromise.
They could offer a request to put â€œWordPress is a registered trademark of Automattic, Inc.â€ or some other notice so that consumers will realize that the domain owner are not representatives of Automattic, Inc. Sort of like what is on WordPressPodcast.org:
WordPress is a trademark of Automattic, Inc., used with permission. The WordPress Community is an informal userâ€™s group dedicated to WordPress evangelism and is not officially affiliated with Automattic, Inc. or the WordPress Open Source project.
If you work for Automattic and know more about what is going on with this whole trademark deal, leave a comment with your e-mail address, and we can talk. I think people would love to know the full scoop and have a better understanding on what we can and can’t do with the WordPress name.
Liz Strauss realized something in her recent accidental click on an advertisement: it’s not such a bad thing.
Her first reaction though was somewhat different.
The second the ad came up, I automatically looked away. NO! Iâ€™m not an ad clicker. No, no no! I needed out of there right away!
I looked around for a witness to my reckless clicking. No one here saw. Still I knew Some place, somewhere, in some stats, someone already had tracked me there.
Then I had an epiphany. Okay, I woke up.
What Was I Thinking?
What was this self-imposed ad rule about? It doesnâ€™t cost me to click an ad, and yet for some reason, I think itâ€™s smarter to check the website and go there direct. Talk about taking the long way home.
She then lists the reasons why she (and pretty much all of us) avoid advertisements like the plague, from thinking all ads are just deception (anyone get a free xbox 360 just by hitting three cows?), to trying to dodge strategically placed ads so that we don’t feel “caught”.
The best part of the article though is where Liz says that we should all be upfront with our visitors in where advertisements fit on our site. I know for a fact that I could not afford to spend the time blogging that I have if advertisements hadn’t taken some of the financial burden off my back, and that is thanks to viewers feeling that the ads shown were worthy to be clicked on.
A very impressive article from Successful Blog, and something to add to your must-read list.
Over at Web Design from Scratch there is a great article on his ideal web design process. It asks many questions that people should think about when designing a site, and I think for us bloggers, there are things we should be thinking about even when we are just picking a theme.
He goes through in great detail tackling each step of the process which includes:
1. Know what you’re doing
2. Know what the site needs to do
3. Know what the site’s visitors want
4. Get a good picture of the personality and style of the web site
5. Sketch out highly successful scenarios
6. Organise views into a site map
7. Sketch the essential features & look
8. Map your visitors’ attention
9. Arrange the visual elements to work together
A great read for those looking to design their blog, or even just select a theme that will work with the type of blog they want to create.
If you are getting ready to launch a blog, you might want to take a second to go over some tips from Aviva Directory as their post 21 Surefire Tips for a Successful Blog Launch got them over 500 diggs on Digg.com, which considering its the first time I have heard of them, I am guessing this was a pretty successful launch for them.
One of the better tips in the article is right near the top is this:
2. Donâ€™t get seen naked: Never launch a blog with fewer than 5 posts. In the blogosphere you typically get just one shot at impressing a visitor or fellow blogger. Too many new bloggers throw up two posts and then start working on promotion. In the world of blogging, you are selling yourself and your writing. If you canâ€™t give people a fully dressed picture of what your blog is all about and what type of writing will be on it, then why should they throw a link your way, or subscribe to your RSS feed? When someone links to you or subscribes theyâ€™re giving a vote of confidence that your site is worthwhile, so give them something to grab on to, and let them know your space wonâ€™t be â€œjust another abandoned blog.â€
I have even gone ahead and jumped on trying to get everyone to check out my new blog long before there is a reasonable amount of content on it, partially I think because I want to show off all the work I did in customizing the blog, getting the right domain and having everything set up correctly for people to see. But the lack of content will only turn away people that could have potentially been readers or even advertisers if I had only waited.
Another episode of the WordPress Podcast is out, but I am sure most of you already knew that as it has been added to the WordPress Dashboard.
In episode eight you can expect to hear about some plugins making waves in WordPress, and things including:
- WordPress 2.0.5. goes Release Candidate 1.
- Business Week (Blogspotting, Byte of the Apple and many great podcasts) names WordPress as the best blogging tool of 2006.
- Google announced that they will begin accepting pings to their blog search service. Ping-O-Matic already has you covered.
- StopBitacle.org leads the fight against Bitacle.
- What to do if a splog steals your content.
- Performacing Parters is a new affiliate ad network, offering you 70% of the revenue share and a very high 5% lifetime revenue share of any bloggers that you refer.
Not a bad list of the WordPress related news happening over the last little while, so check it out.