Performancing Metrics

Archive for March, 2007

Redesigning the ExpressionEngine Site

An amazing article over on Digital Web Magazine caught my eye, as most of their articles do, called Redesigning the ExpressionEngine Site. If you hadn’t noticed, their site got a big overhaul in design, and this article gives you a complete rundown of how it came to be. I love these types of articles as it shows the creative process, as well as gives some great design tips.

I started the project with the ExpressionEngine home page, because this is arguably their most important presence on the web. I also knew that if I could get the layout for ExpressionEngine to work, I could apply it to the other sites relatively easily, as their content wasn’t as challenging to organize and design.

Check out the full article, and please let me know if you have any other links to design process overviews.

Categories: Blog Design

Twitter: Useful or Not?

I just joined Twitter about an hour or two ago (my twitter), and my second impression is that it’s slow moving. I can get a whole blog post or two done before Twitter updates a preference or posts a message. My first impression, before I even signed up was “this is rediculous!”

I really don’t get Twitter. To me, it is like updating my instant messenger status information on Google Talk and whatnot, something I forget to do regularly, leaving my friends to wonder, “why has David been sleeping for four days now?”

Setting up my account was easy enough, and adding a friend or two was easy as well, but just as I went to change how my Twitter page looks, I was greeted with “Twitter: down for maintenance—be back shortly!” How disappointing. Being a new user, this leads me to wonder about how often outages happen.

I haven’t heard much about Twitter yet, but I have been getting more and more people pressuring me to try it out. John Wiseman (his twitter), a fellow blogger, was finally the breaking point for me, and I signed up. This is pretty much the same reason I have signed up for any service. If all my friends are using it, I might as well be on there to so that I can see what all the fuss is about. A silly reason to join anything, and it only proves that I am a sheep, rather than an early adopter, but I don’t mind.

Will this give me status updates on my friends that really matter? More than half of the messages that have been created by my friends so far are at best silly, and at the worst, useless. The other half of the messages are more in line with what Twitter intended to be, with status reports on where people are, and sometimes tidbits on a link they liked, or a product that they bought.

With the more serious additions, I can get an idea of how a person is doing, what they are doing, and things they have found interesting. The question that I still have though is how useful this is. Will I check Twitter every day? Will my friends continue to update it? Or is all of this twittering just a waste of time?

My friends used to come online and actually start a dialog with me. They would ask me what I have been up to, and I would in turn do the same. With Twitter will they just say, “hi, check my Twitter page?” I really think the last thing the world needs is one way communication, and that is probably why many people are already foreseeing the demise of Twitter.

Some people compare Twitter to microblogging, but without comments, there is no feedback, and thus for me, no connection. Will Twitter survive for a long time? It probably will because of the attention starved people that add new messages to the service and the short attention spans of those who read those messages.

If you like or dislike Twitter, please let me know, and your reason either way would be very helpful in either supporting or maybe even changing my point of view.

Categories: Blogging News

WordPress Theme: Nightlife

Performancing has released a WordPress theme and while it doesn’t knock my socks off, I can see how this theme could be very popular, especially in multiple color sets. It is a two column theme currently set up with dark grays, black and white. It looks like Performancing is going to be continuing to develop this, and most likely other themes.

From their blog:

It’s a custom creation by Brian Gardner our in house design guru here at Performancing.

This site is your how-to guide for Performancing themes for WordPress, all rolled into one stylish package! By taking advantage of the information offered here, you’ll be able to maximize the potential of this amazing and unique theme.

We want you to enjoy Nightlife as much as we do, which is why we’ve created this site to support the growth and maturation of the themes. Think of this place as a living, breathing set of instructions for Nightlife and other Performancing Themes.

So if you need a dark two column theme with attention to detail, Nightlife might suit your needs.

Categories: WordPress Themes

WordPress Plugin: Comment Relish

Justin Shattuck has created a new plugin that was made to help create communication between a commenter and the post author.

Here are the details from his site:

Visitors love interaction, especially a personable approach at gaining their attention and spiking their interests. Increasing the overall readership of your blog revolves primarily around content, accessibility and presentation. In an attempt to gain return readers and possibly subscribers, I present Comment Relish.

What is it

Comment relish is a WordPress plugin developed to send an e-mail message to users who comment on your website who have never commented before. The message dispatched to the user is defined within the plugin’s preferences. Numerous tags have been integrated to allow for information to be included in the message easily (I.E.: timestamp, author name, comment, ETC.).

So if you are looking to thank first time commenters on your site, check out Comment Relish.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

Posting Blog Posts in Multiple Places – Good or Bad?

A question many people have had is “can they post the same content on more than one blog?” Well, Darren Rowse finally takes a stab at answering that question and it comes down to the neither black or white answer of “maybe, sometimes”. He lists some reasons why cross posting can be helpful for a piece of news or content and why you shouldn’t post the same news on multiple blogs.

Here is what he put for why cross posting can be a good thing:

I think you’ve already discovered the main positive of cross posting (or posting the same thing on two sites) – that it exposes your post/article to more potential readers which can have the flow on effects of others then linking up to it. If getting your message out and building your own reputation as a writer is your main priority then allowing your posts to be republished in this way is something you will want to consider.

This is why some authors publish books online for free and some artists allow their music or art to be freely downloaded by web users – because it’s great for their profile and puts their message in the hands of as many as possible. This has numerous flow on effects for their future work.

Check out his story on when he allowed Problogger posts to be republished on WebProNews and you’ll understand one of the main drawbacks of having multiple blogs with the same news.

Categories: Blogging Tips

WordPress Podcast: Episode 20

Well, Charles and I have made it to the big episode twenty of the WordPress Podcast. While I have only been around for about half as long, I am still really excited for what this means for the podcast as many podcasts never make it to the double digits, and the WordPress podcast is still going strong. We plan to record another episode this weekend.

As for what we cover, well, it had been a while since our previous episode so there was almost too much to cover.

  • Mindless Banter: Charles’ hard disk failed and yet he managed to launch Podcast Planning on the Podango Podcast Mastery Network. David returned from Northern Voice, having met bloggers Robert Scoble and Lloyd Budd.
  • News: WordPress 2.0.9 and 2.1.1 released.
  • News: WordPress 2.1.1 compromised, update to 2.1.2 ASAP!
  • News: WordPress.com is now an OpenID provider.

I want to take a quick second to thank all the listeners of the WordPress podcast, and please if you have feedback, we’d love to hear from you.

Categories: WordPress News

LAist: Matt Mullenweg Interview

Over on LAist, there is a short video interview with Matt Mullenweg. While it doesn’t reveal any new information, it is nice to see such an impromptu interview with Matt, which includes the history of WordPress, his involvement, and of course WordPress.com.

Matthew Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress is one of those young people that your parents like to point to when they ask you what the hell you’re doing with your life.

Last week PC World named him the 16th most-important person on the web (two slots above the of the founders of Yahoo!), which isn’t bad for a 23-year-old who gives it away for free.

But what we find most impressive is if you ever want to check in on his site all you have to do is type “Matt” into Google and he comes up at the #1 return, above Mr. Drudge.

Last night we got to spend a few minutes with him at the Ginger Man in Austin just as last call was being announced.

If you are new to WordPress, its definitely worth checking out.

Categories: Interview, WordPress News

WordPress.org News: Plugin Directory

If you have been wanting a plugin directory for WordPress, but aren’t happy with the options currently out there, the folks over at WordPress.org have gone ahead and created a plugin directory for us all to use.

From the WordPress.org blog:

having all these plugins isn’t that useful if you’ve got no place to find them. Even though we have provided development hosting at wp-plugins.org for years, we hadn’t had a user interface to the plugins hosted there, which I think was a travesty.

No longer! Our ever-expanding “extend” section now has a brand-spanking new plugins directory where you can browse, download, rate, and comment on all your favorite plugins. I highly encourage you to go check it out.

For users, this means:

  • There is now a central place to find and download WordPress plugins.
  • You can get a much better idea about plugin quality and compatibility from the site.
  • In the future you’ll be able to get notification inside of WordPress about plugins you use that have updates.

Check it out at WordPress.org.

Categories: WordPress News

WordPress Theme: Furry Palms

It is very rare now that I see a theme design that makes me raise an eyebrow, but Furry Palms does that. It is a simple design, but very attractive to look at and definitely one I’d love to see in various colors. It is a two column design.

From the creator:

My first WP theme (or really the second one) is free for download and mash-up. It is based on lots of other themes, mainly structural from Kubrick. Use it if you like. Please leave a comment if you do.

Check it out on Ovander.se/blog/.

Categories: WordPress Themes

BloggingPro Design Shift

No, you aren’t going crazy, we have made some major tweaks to the design once again, though not as major as last time, this new design should improve readability among other things. I want to again thank Elena of DesignDisease, and hope you’ll all join me in welcoming the new design.

I don’t know about all of you, but I love the new comments button.

Categories: BloggingPro News

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