Archive for January, 2007
Well the folks at Automattic did it. They pushed WordPress 2.1 out the door and into the world. Named after famed jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, the new version includes some changes that people will be excited about.
- Autosave makes sure you never lose a post again.
- Our new tabbed editor allows you to switch between WYSIWYG and code editing instantly while writing a post.
- The lossless XML import and export makes it easy for you to move your content between WordPress blogs.
- Our completely redone visual editor also now includes spell checking.
- New search engine privacy option allows you take you to indicate your blog shouldn’t ping or be indexed by search engines like Google.
- You can set any “page” to be the front page of your site, and put the latest posts somewhere else, making it much easier to use WordPress as a content management system.
- Much more efficient database code, faster than previous versions. Domas Mituzas from MySQL went over all our queries with a fine-toothed comb.
- Links in your blogroll now support sub-categories and you can add categories on the fly.
- Redesigned login screen from the Shuttle project.
- More AJAX to make custom fields, moderation, deletions, and more all faster. My favorite is the comments page, which new lets you approve or unapprove things instantly.
- Pages can now be drafts, or private.
- Our admin has been refreshed to load faster and be more visually consistent.
- The dashboard now instantly and brings RSS feeds asynchronously in the background.
- Comment feeds now include all the comments, not just the last 10.
- Better internationalization and support for right-to-left languages.
- The upload manager lets you easily manage all your uploads pictures, video, and audio.
- A new version of the Akismet plugin is bundled.
Jump over to WordPress.org to download your copy now.
WordPress.com is making waves again. I had long wondered what people would do with all the space that WordPress.com provides them, and thought their space upgrades were silly, and useless because users could only upload images, but now you can add movies and music to that list, it all makes sense.
Here are some details from their recent blog posting on the matter:
A much requested feature has been the ability to host and play multimedia content on WordPress.com and Iâ€™m happy to say that with the space upgrade, you can now upload and play mp3 files. You can also upload ogg, wav, m4a, mov, wmv, avi, and mpg files too. We havenâ€™t got a movie player working just yet and simply embedding a large movie file would be unfair to people with slower connections but weâ€™re working on one.
There is a file size limit of 25MB on uploaded files. I hope that will satisfy most needs but if you need to upload larger files, please send us feedback.
Lorelle is taking it upon herself to take on thirty plug-ins over the month of February and while I think it will be easy to find thirty great plug-ins, I commend her for doing it, as it will take a fair bit of effort to rock out thirty posts about plug-ins, especially if she sticks to even half the length of her normal writing.
I love WordPress Plugins. And I love WordPress Plugin authors even more.
Their jobs arenâ€™t easy. They pull their hair out (and turn some parts gray) building their WordPress Plugins, then are assaulted by bug reports and users begging them to fix their Plugins because â€œwe love them and we need them and canâ€™t run our blogs without themâ€, all for no money nor return on their investment. Their days are spent responding to comments about the Plugin, often to users who canâ€™t follow the most basic instructions, and chasing down reports of problems in the WordPress Support Forums.
So, Iâ€™m dedicating February to WordPress Plugins and WordPress Plugin authors. Iâ€™ll be writing 30 posts about different WordPress Plugins and the art of the WordPress Plugin.
Good luck Lorelle, and I will be watching.
Veerle has created a tutorial on how to implement dynamic titles for your Expression Engine blog or site including common pitfalls, and example code. A very cool tutorial, and one worth checking out.
I think all blog software should make dynamic titles easier.
Jensense has put up a post that many site owners have been waiting a long time to see. Recently, Google has made some changes to their AdSense program that had some people rushing for the exit sign, but another set of changes might have them coming back.
Here is a quick quote to break down what the newest set of changes really means for AdSense publishers.
Using Yahoo Pubisher Network is still a no go, because the YPN terms still contain a clause (For any webpage or RSS feed that includes the Ad Code, you agree not to display or link to any other advertising (including but not limited to any listing) that is mapped to or responds to the content of the Ad Page) preventing publishers from using another contextual ad network on the same page as YPN ads. However, I am following up with Yahoo on this issue to find out if they will be loosening this clause now or in the future to permit AdSense and YPN to run on the same page. I will update you on this issue if I get information about whether or not YPN will decide to do this.
However IntelliTXT is one I get plenty of questions on, and publishers can definitely run IntelliTXT with AdSense, provided the pop-up does not either mimic AdSense ads or obscure any AdSense ad units running on the same page.
And any other contextual ads are now fine to run, provided their own terms do allow other contextual ads on the same page, and they do not mimic the AdSense ad units on the page you currently run.
So if you want to use Chitika and Adsense on the same page, you now can. This is great news for some people. I just hope others don’t get too carried away with this new freedom.
Ahmed, a close friend and a fellow Bloggy Network staff member has posted on TechSoapBox about how hot blog related resources seem to be currently. This isn’t very surprising to me because of the insane growth of the blogosphere and reports on how advertising continues to grow online. What does surprise me are some of his figures.
He discusses the recent sale of Blog Catalog, among other sites.
Within the first five hours we had two offers of â€˜if you lower BIN to $30k I will buy it immediately.â€™ Within 12 hours of the BIN reached, Jacob told me that seven other people had contacted him if the deal fell through, and two even offered us more to break the deal (some people have no ethics).
Our other two sites also flew away. The first one was Eatonweb, which hit the BIN in roughly 72 hours. The sale price was 100x revenue. Eatonweb was the first blog directory, so we were a bit sad to see it go.
The other one was 2RSS. This one went BIN in roughly 3 hours, also at 100x monthly revenue.
With the sites selling at between 24 – 100x monthly revenue, does this show a new valuation for blog resource sites that smashes the 10-12x revenue standard that seems to plague the market? Well, I don’t know about that, but Ahmed gives some tips on what you can do to make the most from your sale of blog resource sites.
Check out TechSoapBox for the details.
Aaron Brazell, one of the b5media members, and better known to me as Technosailor has put up a post about WordPress 2.1 that gives us some details we should know before its upcoming release. His write-up has already received more than 800 “diggs” from Digg.com and continues to grow.
While the day is not yet over, Aaron says that we can expect WordPress 2.1 to be out and making the rounds sometime today. Being how late it is in the afternoon, I am a bit skeptical, but I hope the Automattic team can pull it off. I have been using the alpha, and beta for quite some time, and while it is much better than the 2.0.x releases, it still doesn’t blow me away. I guess we will see how much the rest of the world fancies it soon enough.
So what is new for WordPress 2.1? Well, Aaron mentions many things, but the most important thing to me is the Auto-save of drafts.
Auto-save of Drafts – WordPress 2.1 adds an autosave function that is automatically implemented when writing new drafts. This functionality uses AJAX and operates without new pageloads. The title of the post must be filled out in order for autosaving to occur.
Check out the post on Technosailor, and give it a “digg” if you have an extra minute. It is definitely one of the best write-ups of the 2.1 changes I have seen yet.
Terry Ng has written up his thoughts on what every blogger should have, and while I agree with some of what he has written, I must admit that many things in the list are out of this problogger’s price range. He lists things like an Apple MacBook Pro, Two Apple 23â€³ LCD Screens, and a Nikon D200 Digital SLR as part of the “must have” blogger toolkit.
He does mention one of our favourite pieces of software though: WordPress.
WordPress – The ultimate open-source blogging platform is about to get better with the release of version 2.1. With hundreds of plug-ins available to expand the capability of WordPress, thereâ€™s nothing this beast canâ€™t do.
If you are looking at getting together a blogger toolkit, Terry’s post is a great start, or at least for some, something to strive for.
Check out Kineda.com for more details on what every blogger should have.
Our sister blog, TechSoapBox has put up a post regarding made for adsense sites, also known as just MFA sites, have started to be replaced by MFL sites, or made for linkbait.
A Google search for Made for Adsense incidentally has a Wikipedia entry on scraper sites as the #1 result. Definitely not a popular concept.
But MFAs are in the past. The problem is they require too much effort – sure people are still doing it and making money, but there is a better alternative now.
Made for Linkbait (MFL).
Iâ€™ve covered shortcomings of user-generated content sites like Digg before. Iâ€™ve pointed out how people quickly jump on a bandwagon without checking facts. It seems one of the first things to go with user-generated content is fact-checking.
And so we have sites that spring up overnight with some sensational headline, grab a ton of links, and then a few months later either have ads thrown all over them or are redirected to another site for SEO-benefits (after gaining a few hundred diverse links).
Reading all the sites out there on how to properly format headlines and whatnot. You would think that we would get smarter about writing, but unfortunately now it seems it is all about getting people to feel a strong emotion to get links, fame and eventually money. Definetly an interesting trend, but not one I hope to see continuing to gain ground in the world.
Finally, some word from Tom about Gravatars. It looks like the new service, Gravatar 2.0 should be out in early February.
The wait for Gravatar 2.0 is almost over. The new site will be released in early February with an all new interface and some great new functionality.
When the new site goes live, I’ll send a one time email notification to all account holders. If you don’t currently have an account, then leave a comment here (with your correct email address) and I will send you the notice as well.
Over the coming weeks I’ll be posting screenshots and other tidbits to keep you updated during the final phases of testing and deployment. Be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed to make sure you don’t miss anything!
Thanks for your patience, support, and enthusiasm. I look forward to a new and better Gravatar for everyone!
Some people are wondering if it might be too late, but I think Tom is smart enough to make it work, and since nothing has come out to really replace his service, I think Gravatar 2.0 will have a long and successful life.