Performancing Metrics

Archive for October, 2007

Sponsored Theme Link FUD

Ahmed has written a great post over on Tech Soapbox about the recent Google PageRank shuffle, and how Matt has written:

I’m glad the WordPress community took such a strong stand against them in themes. Countless blogs could have been penalized just for the theme they were using, not related to anything they did or did not do on their blog.

Ahmed disputes that point on his blog, and has some decent evidence to back it up. Is Matt spreading more of Google’s fear, uncertainty and doubt to his advantage, or are sponsored themes something to worry about when it comes to PageRank updates?

My own opinion on all this is mixed, but check out Tech Soapbox for more on the mater.

Categories: Blogging News, WordPress Themes

WordPress 2.3.1 Released

In case you hadn’t already heard, the quickly released update to WordPress has been released. If you have been holding out for a point release of the new WordPress 2.3 for them to solve some bugs, this is your chance.

They have fixed over twenty bugs, including some security issues.

Here are some of the key fixes:

  • Tagging support for Windows Live Writer
  • Fixes for a login bug that affected those with a Blog Address different than their WordPress Address
  • Faster taxonomy database queries, especially tag intersection queries
  • Link importer fixes

I really wish this wasn’t also a security release, but that’s how it is sometimes, so please, if you are using WordPress 2.2 or 2.3, it is time to upgrade again.

Categories: WordPress News

Hidden in Plain Sight: Best Keyword Research Source

Over on Tech Soapbox, Ahmed has a short post up about the best keyword research source that no one talks about. The site is Delicious, and it is useful for more than just bookmarking your sites.

Example: iBegin Source. I can immediately see what people associate the site with. Notice how no one mentions ‘yellow’ for localeze, but mentioned multiple times for Amacai.

So – thats my little secret of the day. Doing keyword research? See how your competitors are being tagged. And the tag cloud sums it up nicely for you.

Check out his full post for links in his example, and good luck with your research.

Categories: Blogging Tips

Automattic Acquires Gravatar

I have always wondered if Gravatar was going to take off, and with its updated release a few months back, it seemed like while it gained some great new features, its paid options took away from the original open feeling of Gravatar.

Out comes news that Automattic, the people behind WordPress, have purchased Gravatar, and they have made all the features free, and have made it even better. This could mean a huge resurgence in popularity for the service, and has already meant the addition of Gravatars to WordPress.com.

Here is a bit from the post on Gravatar.com:

Here’s what we’ve done so far over the past few days:

  • We transferred the Rails application and most of the avatar serving to our WordPress.com infrastructure and servers.
  • Avatar serving is now more than three times as fast, and works every time.
  • We moved this blog from Mephisto to WordPress.

Basically, we did the bare minimum required to stabilize and accelerate the Gravatar service, focusing a lot on making the gravatars highly available and fast. However our plans are much bigger than that. Here’s some of the things we’re looking to add and improve on the service:

  • We’re going to make all of the Premium features free, and refund anyone who bought them in the last 60 days.
  • Move the gravatar serving to a Content Delivery Network so not only will they be fast, it’ll be low latency and not slow down a page load.
  • Take the million or so avatars we have on WordPress.com and make them available through the Gravatar API, to compliment the 115k already here.
  • From Gravatar, integrate them into all WordPress.com templates and bring features like multiple avatars over.
  • From WordPress.com, bring the bigger sizes (128px) over and make that available for any Gravatar. Currently Gravatars are only available up to 80px.
  • Allow Gravatar profile pages with Microformat support for things like XFN rel=”me” and hCard.
  • Develop a new API that has cleaner URLs and allows Gravatars to be addressed by things like URL in addition to (or instead of) email addresses.
  • Rewrite the application itself (site.gravatar.com) to fit directly into our WordPress.com grid, for internet-scale performance and reliability.

Categories: General, WordPress News

WordPress Theme – Gossip City

If you are looking for an amazing theme for your celebrity or gossip blog, then look no further than Gossip City, a three column, widget ready theme that includes many great features.

Gossip City

It includes a PSD to edit the logo, as well as instructions on how to change it. It also supports two plugins:
1. flickrrss
2. wp_gravatar

This theme is thanks to an amazing design by Design Disease.

Check out the demo and download it from Celebrific.

Categories: WordPress Themes

WordPress Plugin: Nusuni Technorati Links

Did you notice that Automattic changed the incoming links tracking from Technorati to Google Blog Search? If you did, and are annoyed, there is now a plugin that will allow you to change it back to Technorati if you are so inclined.

Simply put:

When WordPress 2.3 was released a lot of people complained about the WordPress developers’ decision to switch from Technorati links to Google Blog Search links on the Dashboard. This plugin replaces Google Blog Search with Technorati.

Check out Nusuni Technorati Links.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

WordPress.com AnswerLinks

A new feature has been added to WordPress.com, and it comes from a plugin made by Alex King. This isn’t something I am interested in, as if I want to give people information, I like to link to Wikipedia, rather than through Answers.com, but AnswerLinks are still an interesting idea.

AnswerLinks will find words in your post that might benefit from a definition and ask you if you’d like to turn them into links like Artie Shaw and Turmeric. Easy as that!

Answers.com gets their definition data from places like Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Britannica, and the American Heritage Dictionary. They are the default definition link that shows up whenever you do a Google search. There’s a little more information about this feature on Answers.com’s site.

Check out the full post at WordPress.com for more details.

Categories: WordPress News

WordPress Theme: Smashing Theme

This really shows how busy I have been with other projects. My friend, and the designer of this site, Elena of Design Disease released a WordPress theme a month ago, and I didn’t even cover it. I am here to rectify that mistake because it is definitely worthy of being talked about. Smashing Theme was created for Smashing Magazine, a popular website to which Elena credits some of her design skill.

Smashing Theme

It is a three column theme, brightly colored, and very detailed, but still very easy to use, and is widget ready.

Check it out over on Design Disease.

Categories: WordPress Themes

WordPress.com: Category to Tag Converter

Over on WordPress.com, Matt has announced a new feature to get people using the new tagging system more: Category to Tag converter.

Here’s why from the WordPress.com blog:

Since launching tags the other week we’ve had a fair number of people who wanted to redo their categories as tags, probably because you have a bunch of categories you’ve only used once or twice.

This totally makes sense to me, and something I hope to see in an upcoming version of WordPress, as I have many categories I have only used here or there that would make better tags than being another category in the list.

I can’t wait to see how categories and tags are used by WordPress bloggers now that it is part of the core. Before when you had to add a plugin to get the feature, there was a barrier for entry, but no longer. The only issue now is making sure everyone adds tag display to their WordPress.org themes.

Categories: WordPress News

Exciting Dates for WordPress Users

If you have been using WordPress for some time now, there are two sets of dates that might get you excited: releases and conferences.

On the releases side, you will see some updates to WordPress 2.0, 2.3, and a full 2.4 release by the end of this year, or early in the new year.

Releases
WordPress 2.0.12 is listed as three weeks late according to WordPress’ trac system, meaning it should be out any time now. I would guess that it will be released at the same time as WordPress 2.3.1 which is due November 15th.

WordPress 2.4, which should see some very visible changes to the WordPress administration panel is currently set to be released December 12th of this year, but The Blog Herald has it listed as being released January 15th of 2008, which I think is much more realistic to their development cycle. Either way, it should be interesting.

Then for all those keeping track, we will see a WordPress 2.5 in May, 2008.

Conferences
There will be some interesting conferences to end this year, and throughout the next year for WordPress and WordPress related events. The one I am most excited about is WordCamp Dallas, as my friend, Charles from the WordPress Podcast, is organizing the event. WordCamp Dallas will be held March 29-30, 2008.

Here are a few others:

Now if only there was a WordCamp up here in Canada? Why hasn’t anyone put together one in Toronto?

Categories: WordPress News