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Archive for February, 2007

WordPress 2.1 Rap

This is a little old, but Devin Reams has gone and created a new WordPress related song, and this time he goes a little hip hop. I think his voice lends himself better to country, but that’s just my personal opinion. Still a great listen if you are a super big WordPress fan. Good on him for being so creative.

So, I got a little bit of free time and decided to make a quick song dedicated to the new version of WordPress. Colin had the brilliant idea of using Nelly’s song “Air Force Ones’.

Download the zip file of the Mp3 on his site Devin Reams.com.

Categories: WordPress News

Quick Habari Update

There is a few new things to talk about in regards to Habari, a piece of blogging software that hasn’t even seen a developer release yet, but is getting tons of attention. It recently was given a nod from Scoble in his blog.

It’s a new group that’s building new blog software. Why do I care? Because it’ll be interesting to see what a new group comes up with and because I saw several blogs (especially on Chris Davis‘ blog) mention it today.

I’ve seen this happen several times and new companies almost always result out of the effort.

Interesting that at least some people feel that Automattic’s and Six Apart’s things aren’t good enough and want to run in a new direction. I wish them luck and will be watching them.

This of course prompted a reply from Chris J Davis who let it be known that the people working on Habari have no ill will when it comes to other publishing platforms, and that they’d rather work together on some things.

Some other interesting news includes Habari getting its own website. Rather than just using Google Code, Habari will slowly start to reside on HabariProject.org.

The last important announcement I wanted to mention is the first Habari only theme, Galileo. Having its own theme, and not a ported theme, means that things are really moving along in my mind.

I hope to see more movement on Habari soon, and I will try to keep up with all that is going on.

Categories: Habari News

Creating Confusion: Changing Symbols

I don’t know if you have seen the new international symbol for radiation yet, but it was supposed to make it easier to understand that an object tagged with the symbol is dangerous.

Radiation Symbol

The funniest thing I read about the new radiation symbol comes from Aurum3 NewTech which wrote:

My guess is that the new symbol warn anyone near radiation material is to first turn in a skull before you run away…or is it run away otherwise you will turn into a skull.

By changing this symbol, which was widely understood, it can only create a bit of confusion. Unlike the old symbol, the new symbol requires more time and thought to deduce what message it is trying to get across.

This is because they have added a more complicated structure to the symbol, oddly enough including the “old” symbol as a starting reference point, and adding in waves, a skull and crossbones and a person running.

How does this relate to blogging? Well, if you are blogging, you should remember that adding more words, images, symbols, and ideas into a post can confuse your primary message, and make it harder for those reading your site to understand what it was that you wanted to convey.

I know I have been guilty of this a few times, but hopefully not as badly as the new radiation symbol.

Categories: Blogging Tips

WordPress Plugin: Flexible Upload

The way that WordPress 2.0.x and 2.1 manages image uploads got you down? Well, there might be a plug-in that can help you. It is called Flexible Upload, and it does just as its name says.

It provides features such as:

  • Resize pictures at upload to the size you specify
  • Let you decide whether or not to create a thumbnail and specify its size
  • Optionally incrust a watermark signature in all pictures you upload
  • Enhanced link insertion into your posts: specify picture alignment (left, right, center) – optional
  • Insert a caption for each picture (not supported for WP2.1 with Wysiwyg editor)
  • Optional support for Lightbox2 links

If you are interested, check out Ma Tasse de Thé.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

Microsoft’s New Enthusiast Evangelist

Since Scoble left Microsoft’s rank, I am sure they have been looking for a person to replace him in the blogosphere. Someone that could get people on board with all the things Microsoft is doing. Someone that could tell it like it is, and still have people swaying towards a pro-Microsoft attitude.

They think they have found that person in Michael Gartenberg.

Who is that?
From his blog:

Prior to Microsoft, Michael was Vice President & Research Director at JupiterResearch where led Jupiter’s research team on emerging consumer technologies as well as directed Jupiter’s custom research group. At Jupiter, he also launched Jupiter’s analyst weblogs and podcasts which made JupiterResearch the first analyst firm to embrace this new medium.

While he seems excited about this whole idea, I have to say he has a long way to go before he becomes a trusted person by bloggers and “enthusiasts”. Some of the first comments on his post about the change of careers were that he has instantly lost credibility.

What do you think? Does talking about the company you work for make you less credible? Will he ever be able to replace Scoble? I am interested to see what initiatives he takes and how approachable he is.

Categories: General

A Closer Look at SimpleLog

Over on GarrettDimon.com there is a great post up about SimpleLog a Ruby on Rails based blogging application. With version 2.0 already out the door, it might be one to use if you are looking for an alternative to WordPress or Movable Type.

My first impression of the screenshots is that it is very minimalistic and shiney. You might like that, you might not.

SimpleLog is great, but it is intentionally missing some of the features common to blogging tools. So, before we get in too deep, I figured it’s only fair to address those ahead of time. SimpleLog is doesn’t allow for multiple blogs, formalized publishing workflow, or different privileges for different users. It simply focuses on writing and managing content.
A screenshot of the theme drop down in the SimpleLog preferences.Figure 2 Changing themes in SimpleLog is done by simply changing a value in a drop down.

One major aspect worth addressing is that SimpleLog doesn’t have a built-in templating system. To some, this is great because SimpleLog doesn’t reinvent the wheel. Instead, assuming that you’re comfortable with Ruby and Rails, you can create a theme by simply editing a small set of rhtml files. If you’re not comfortable with Rails, the files are still very editable and extremely readable and well-documented. However, having a good understanding of Ruby and Rails enables you to go much farther in customizing the code.

If you’re not interested in getting into the code, SimpleLog employs a fantastically simple system for themes. (Figure 2) Given it’s relative youth, you won’t find a plethora of themes out there, but once they exist, it’s a matter of copying a theme directory into the themes folder, and changing a drop down in the preferences setting.

If you are into Rails, and have a host that supports it, then check out SimpleLog, and of course Garrett’s article on the software.

Categories: Blog Software

Podcasting to Generate $400 Mil. in Ads by 2011

Well, if you haven’t started podcasting for fears that you will be unable to monetize all your hard work, you might want to reconsider as an article appearing pretty much everywhere has said that podcasting will generate around $400 million in advertising revenue by 2011. To put that in perspective, that is only four years from now, and so not the far distant future that 2011 feels like in my brain.

That’s according to a report to be released by eMarketer this week, which finds that spending on podcasting advertising will quintuple over the next five years, from a paltry $80 million base in 2006 to a $400 million market in 2011. (Granted, this is still on the small side, considering the $20 billion interactive ad market expected this year.)

eMarketer analyst James Belcher is betting that a familiar Web power player will spark much of that growth: Google.

Belcher expects that by 2008, the 800-pound algorithm gorilla will develop a version of AdSense that can be easily adapted to podcasts, theoretically allowing any Joe Schmoe podcaster to implement advertising. “That should help grow the market,” he said.

Who is up for starting a podcast/podcast network worth a million dollars a year in advertising? I know I would be.

Source: Mediaweek

Categories: Advertising, Podcasting News

Better Blog Branding: What’s In a Name?

One of the things that many blogs really don’t give enough time to is branding. It is something that comes fairly naturally to some people, and others really have to brainstorm to produce. Chris Garrett has put up a post on his personal blog about blog branding, talking specifically about the name of the site and domain and how that reflects on the overall site in the mind of the readers.

One critical consideration when launching a blog is what you are going to call it. Why did I choose to use my old chrisg.com domain rather than create a new one?

Branding was part of the reason. OK, now I said the ‘B’ word some people will have clenched. Please relax. It is a much talked about, much derided and even more misunderstood topic. My personal take on branding is that it is what people think about you, your product or service. It’s about giving the right impression. I don’t know about you but I think a good impression is worth working on.

It is a great article, and definitely worth a read. Chris knows what he is talking about. How did you chose your blog’s name?

Categories: Blogging Tips

Cameron Moll’s Freelancing Lessons

Cameron Moll, a designer I respect has given up freelancing to take a job with the LDS Church as Principal Interaction Designer, but before he forgets about the last year and a half of his life, he has summed up his thoughts on being a freelancer and given a few tips that cross the boundaries of the design world, and is great advice for all freelancers.

  • You’re a business. Act like one.
  • Don’t wait for great ideas to auto-execute.
  • Secure office space within 6-12 months.
  • You’re not a bank. Remind clients of that.
  • Smooth out revenue flow with residual income.
  • There’s more to life than business.

Check out his thoughts behind each tip on his blog at CameronMoll.com.

Categories: Blogging Tips, General

False Positives of Spam Management

We here at Blogging Pro try to use a variety of different Anti-comment spam tools, but the most effective one thus far has been manually taking a look at everything, and Abe Olandres of the Blog Herald, has recently poured through his Akismet flagged list, and found some false positives.

He also gives some tips to the Akismet team in new additions he’d like to the tool for dealing with going through flagged comments. I have to agree with him on most of his recommendations, and so I figured I’d post them here.

Are you listening Automattic?

  • Ability to delete all spam entries on a “per page” basis. Right now, all you can do is delete ALL spam and that could include the legit ones.
  • Categorize all flagged entries as either spam comments or spam trackbacks. The trackbacks will be fewer so you’ll easily spot the real ones from the fake ones.
  • Ability to filter spam by the ff. parameters – number of links per entry, type of language/characters used, originating IP addresses, email, or even the length of comments.
  • … and maybe even a spam intensity rating filter: smells like spam, spammy, spammier, spammiest.

Check out his full post at the Blog Herald, which includes tips on how to find false postives in your flagged list.

Categories: WordPress Tips