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Archive for February, 2007

Gravatar 2.0 Adding Paid Premium

Well, my excitement was quickly over when I clicked that I wanted to add another Gravatar to my account. I was met with a message saying that I needed to upgrade my account to their Premium model to take advantage of such features.

Upgrade to Gravatar Premium for only US $10/Year!

Here’s what Premium gets you:

  • Unlimited emails on your account (free accounts only get one)
  • Unlimited gravatars on your account (free accounts only get one)
  • Access to all future premium features for the duration of your subscription (and there will be plenty)!

Now before you get annoyed with me for complaining about $10 a year. I just really feel like everything online is starting to nickle and dime me to death. Micropayments on the Xbox 360, paying for “premium” this and “pro” that on every site, just to get a few more features. It can be a bit overwhelming. Last year I think I spent over $120 on “micropayment” style content and features, and I know I am not alone.

If anyone has already signed up for the Premium service, please let me know how “cool” it is.

Categories: Blogging Tools

Gravatar 2.0 to Launch Feb 15

Over on the Gravatar blog you might be surprised to find out that Gravatar is finally coming back, and it is only three days away.

That’s right, I’ve finally set a solid date. The semi-private beta will open (for anyone who has left a comment on this blog) sometime this weekend. That’ll give a few days for any last minute fixes and then it’s prime time! I know the wait has been long, but I think you’ll find it worthwhile, and it will allow me to grow Gravatar in new and exciting directions.

Even better, the “beta” is already up and running. I logged in with my old Gravatar 1.0 account and it worked. Finally, I can change my Gravatar!

Categories: Blogging News

Create Us A Plugin

That’s right, we here at Bloggy Network are looking for the creme of the crop in WordPress plugin makers to come and help us out with a plugin we need. It is a paid gig, and requires knowledge of Yahoo!’s search API.

If you are interested in the project, please leave a comment here with the e-mail address you can be contacted at. We know there is a guru out there with the skills we need. Go WordPress Plugin Power!

Categories: BloggingPro News

WordPress Plugin: WP-Amazon 2

Over at manalang.com there is a new release of the WP-Amazon plugin, and this one comes with a new Ajax based interface.

Have you ever wanted an easy way to link to a book, movie, or product that’s relevant to what you’re writing about? Typically, this is a pretty cumbersome task—open up a browser, go to Amazon.com, look for the product you’re interested in, copy the URL, then paste the link to your entry.

Not anymore. With WP-Amazon, the Amazon.com product catalog is available right from WordPress. This plugin will allow you to search Amazon as you compose your post or page entry.

This new version works with WordPress 2.1, so check out the video included with the post, and start adding Amazon products to your relevant posts.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

Translating WordPress Plugins

Lorelle talks about translation options on her blog, including some great plugins to translate your content, but all of them use machine translation, meaning the translated text is not very good, as it is translated word by word, and not in the context of the sentence, but if you need to translate your content, Lorelle covers the best plugins to do it.

Angsuman’s Translator Plugin Pro For WordPress Blogs is also popular for translating your WordPress Plugin. It provides provides automatic machine translation of your blog in thirteen different languages – German, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Dutch, Swedish, Greek, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean and Chinese.

Translated pages are cached, which means they are stored as “semi-static” pages to speed future loading and cut back on database demands. It is also available as a WordPress Widget. It works with curl (if available) or without curl support (uses fopen).

However, unlike many WordPress Plugins, Angsuman’s Translator Plugin Pro costs USD $30 to download. This includes six months free technical support and free lifetime upgrades. If you are serious about providing dedicated translation options, this is an inexpensive way to open your blog up to the world.

I have tried the Angsuman’s Translator Plugin Pro and can attest to it being easy to use, but providing content in other languages via machine translation, which of course isn’t perfect. A great post though, and a great start on translating your WordPress blog. Check out Lorelle’s post for more information.

Categories: WordPress Plugins, WordPress Tips

WordPress Theme: Akon

Akon

Terry Ng, better known to me as Kineda, has released a new theme called Akon, a simple theme that should be easy to modify for any need.

There’s a new theme in town and it goes by the name of Akon. Named after one of my favorite hip-hop and R&B singers, the design goal of Akon is to be clean, simple and functional. Akon’s professional design will set your blog apart and help you on your way to becoming a publishing powerhouse.

I think it looks a lot like Cutline by Chris Pearson, though that might not be a bad thing, as simple, and easy to use are features that more themes for WordPress should have.

Check out Akon.

Categories: WordPress Themes

Protect CSS Modifications for Any WordPress Theme

Chris Pearson is a designer I really respect, and recently he has given another tip out that while some keen web developers might know, most people playing around with editing themes, might not. It is that the changes you make could be put in a special custom file so you don’t have to re-change the included CSS file with a theme, each time it is updated.

Whenever one of your favorite theme frameworks is updated, you have to identify the new changes, re-implement your CSS mods, and then move ahead from there. That might not sound so bad, but I know there are tons of you out there who make hundreds of modifications. Suddenly, that molehill really is a mountain.

Are you sure you want to keep spinning your wheels every time a new version of your preferred framework is updated? What you need, my friend, is a futureproof, bulletproof means of protecting your CSS mods so that you can ride the wave of agile development without the associated headache from upgrading!

Check out Pearsonified for all the details.

Categories: Blog Design, WordPress Tips

Social Bookmarking Sites: Traffic Report

Blogger Whale has taken the time to look at thirty-one social bookmarking sites, and has listed them by estimated page views and Alexa ranking. He takes a look at many of the popular sites we have come to know and love like Digg, Reddit, Netscape and others.

Initially hesitant to submit links to social bookmarking sites, I submitted a link to my post on a bookmarking site just out of curiosity. Couple of days later while skimming around Google Analytics reports of my blog I was surprised to see a good amount of readers followed me from my link on that bookmarking site.

If you are looking to find social bookmarking sites that might work better with your content, or just other sites to add yourself onto, then check out his list at Blogger Whale.

Categories: Blogging Tips

WordPress Plugin: Top Posts by Category

Marc of Macalua.com has released an interesting plugin that allows you to show off your top posts by visits or by comments, sorted by category on a page.

One of the things your blog readers don’t have is time. That’s time to wade through your 500 or so posts to pick the golden posts that declare your blog “add to my feed reader” worthy. You need a way to present your top posts up front and you need an easy and automated way to do it. Lucky for you WordPress fanatics, help is definitely around the corner.

I present to you the Top Post by Category plugin. This baby allows WordPress bloggers to display their best posts, as determined by the number of visits to the post or number of comments.

Check out his example, and you will see why this is interesting.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

Lists of Your Favorite WordPress Plugins

Lorelle has made a list of links pointing to lists of favorite WordPress plug-ins. She points to lists created by the top bloggers using WordPress and lists created by the smallest unknown blogger. Both are equally important, and interesting as they tell you what people have decided are the most important plug-ins to have.

In anticipation of this month long WordPress Plugin event, I’ve been collecting lists of your favorite WordPress Plugins for more than a year. After all, how I can find out which WordPress Plugins I can’t live without unless you review them and tell me why I need them?

This isn’t a list of lists of WordPress Plugins. A “list” of favorite WordPress Plugins wasn’t enough for me. I looked for favorite WordPress Plugin lists that told me why you liked the WordPress Plugin, how you used it, and what were the resulting benefits. By reading about your experiences with the WordPress Plugin, I could better decide for myself if this was the right Plugin for me. I assume my reader’s want the same information to help them make their WordPress Plugin decisions.

Just from a quick look at the lists, I found that Akismet was the most listed, while Related Posts and WP-Contact form were high on the list of most commonly listed plug-ins. Check out Lorelle’s list of links for more.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

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