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Archive for November, 2007

No Akismet for a Day?

I am wondering if a proposed idea is any good or not, as an announcement on JustAddWater.dk has been growing in power on the web. The idea: turn off Akismet for a day. The idea is to be reminded about how much work anti-spam software does for our blogs, and how much time it saves us each day, by taking a day off, without such protections.

They have decided that this day for them will be December 15th, and many others are joining on board, with even more people questioning the idea.

Even on the Akismet blog, the endeavor was mentioned, making me wonder if spammers are going to be setting their scripts to go full force on the 15th, as you can be sure they won’t let the day go by if they can really hit unprotected sites.

More commentary on the whole idea can be found on Lorelle’s blog as well.

Categories: WordPress News

nextMEDIA: Measuring Success in the Digital Space

This is continuing coverage of the nextMEDIA conference in Toronto. To find all the posts related to nextMEDIA, check out Splashpress’ Blog

The third session of the first day was by Robert Jenkyn, the VP of On Demand Media. They consider themselves media experts, and have customers like Telus, WestJet, Best Buy and Futureshop.

Robert was quick to point out that with advertising online, most companies are beyond the point of asking themselves “if” they should enter the space, but instead are saying “how much?”

They want to know how much time, money and resources they should be investing into the ever growing market of web users in the world.

In Canada alone, eighty-two percent of adults have Internet access, and out of an audience of nearly fourty million, half use the Internet, every single day. Canadians spend more time online than reading books, magazines, watching television or listening to the radio.

And what’s great about all this is that it is highly measurable with things like impressions, clicks, sales, rich media interactions, and brand awareness.

Robert said that what web publishers and content producers need to deliver to get advertisers interested is information like their audience composition, niche, ad inventory, and create valued editorial environments.

He brings up two studies in his talk, and the more compelling one to me was their Telus example. Telus is a cellular service provider in Canada and is one of the top three companies in its niche.

Recently, there was a shift in the legal requirements of cell phone companies to allow consumers to bring their number from one carrier to another, rather than having to sign up for a new number with each carrier.

On this day, Telus made it a point to advertise all over every Google property, including YouTube, targeting Canadian consumers, welcoming them to Telus with the telephone number they valued so much.

They used multiple advertisement formats, on every site they could afford, and tracked the awareness, web traffic and reach of their message.

Once bloggers noticed that Telus was buying up all the advertising spaces on Google owned sites, they began to write their own reports about Telus, and what it was doing, further expanding the reach of their idea.

Over the course of twenty-four hours, Telus received fifteen million unique visitors, which accounted for over 64% of all Canadians online during that day.

They continued to receive traffic that ballooned to a 250% increase for the month, and they found their visitors were much more likely than regular search traffic to view multiple pages on their website.

Telus concluded that this advertising was much more effective and cost effective than either a television roadblock or full page ad on all major daily newspapers.

Robert definitely made it look like companies are waking up to the value, cost effectiveness, and reach of the web.

Categories: Advertising, Interesting

Matt Mullenweg on Random Bits Podcast

Is it just me, or is Matt getting better at being interviewed in podcasts? This latest one with him on the Random Bits Podcast is amazing. Some great questions and a very candid Matt made the experience great. I highly recommend listening in.

Here is some text from the site:

This episode with Matt is a great one whether you are a developer, blogger, or both! But before I get started, let me first apologize for the break in episodes. We had some technical difficulties and one of our interviews didn’t record…twice! Yes, that’s right. Neil Patel talked to me on two separate occasions, and BOTH conversations failed to record. They were great talks so I hope that one day, I have the nerve to ask Neil to do it again!!

Back to my talk with Matt. I got to talk to him after some pretty big events: Blog World Expo, the announcement of the WordPress Theme MarketPlace, and the infamous PR update. Matt also tells us about the future of WordPress! This conversation really does speak for itself; have a listen now!

Very well done, and I am glad to see Matt continuing to be so approachable.

Categories: WordPress News

WordPress.com Theme: The Journalist

It has been over two weeks since the last theme was added to WordPress.com, and it seems that people wanted something a bit brighter, and so WordPress.com users can rejoice as The Journalist is added.

The Journalist features a fixed-width, two-column layout, elegant typography for post text and block quotes, and supports widgets in the right-hand sidebar. Look for it on page 4 of your Presentation / Themes tab (under “T” for “The”).

Seems like many comments so far think the theme is boring, and with the limited customization options I can see how they would think that is the case. Does that mean themes that lean more towards frameworks won’t work on WordPress.com? I guess we will have to wait and see. I, for one, think The Journalist looks nice and clean.

Check out all the details on the WordPress.com blog.

Categories: WordPress News

WordPress Plugin: GigPress

I have done WordPress sites for bands before, and have always been annoyed at how there was no good way for them to easily show off upcoming gigs, but that issue has since been resolved with GigPress.

GigPress is a WordPress plugin built specifically for touring bands. As a website developer who was often building websites for independent bands — and always using WordPress as CMS of choice — I was constantly frustrated by the lack of a simple, viable method of incorporating live shows and tours into these websites. So I figured I’d brush up on some PHP and build my own.

GigPress incorporates all the common requests you might have for a plugin of its ilk, including:

  • Ability to list both upcoming shows and past shows, chronologically rolled-over as tour dates pass
  • Grouping of shows into nameable tours
  • hCalendar-rigged
  • Auto-linking to Google Maps for venues with a street address
  • Fields for venue and ticket-buy URLs, age restrictions, ticket price, and notes
  • Built-in functions to display upcoming shows, past shows, and a sidebar listing
  • Widget support
  • Outputs XHTML-compliant, semantic markup

I am very impressed with this plugin. If you want to see a sample of what it outputs, check out the shows page on GigPress.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

WordPress Theme: Crystal

I have always been a fan of buying themes that really impress me in the marketplace, tweaking them, and releasing them for free to the WordPress community, and Crystal is no different.

WordPress Theme: Crystal

I found the design, purchased it, worked on its code, and seems like it is good enough for a more general release.

Crystal is a two column, widget ready, WordPress 2.3 compatible theme that I am releasing under GPL, and so you are free to do with it as you please.

I have set it up to work well with the WP-PageNavi plugin, a plugin I highly recommend.

If you find any bugs and are able to fix them, please let me know, as increasing the quality of this, and any further themes I release, is always greatly appreciated. Also, please let me know if you decide to use Crystal, as I would love to highlight some of the blogs putting this design to good use.

Check out the release post.

Categories: WordPress Themes

WordPress News: Is There Enough? Too Much?

Is there enough news on what is happening in the WordPress community? I don’t just mean on this blog, but all blogs.

In the WordPress Dashboard, there are a fair number of sites, some of high quality WordPress related content, others with development information and then a few other blogs thrown in there as well. The oldest post on my dashboard is from seven days ago. There are twenty items displayed on my dashboard.

Are we getting enough WordPress related news on the dashboard? Some days, I find there are too many irrelevant posts pushed in my direction, but lately there have been many great stories, links and tidbits of information on there. Though interestingly enough, I have removed the WordPress Dashboard on many of my blogs, and others I have set to go right to the Write screen.

Back to the original question though, do you think there is enough WordPress related news currently? Are there enough blogs covering it? Is there too much WordPress related news out there currently?

I have to ask this question as I write about WordPress on a few different blogs, and a week ago, pretty much every post I did on those blogs was WordPress related, and it got me thinking that there might be too much WordPress news in Splashpress Media sites, but they are only responding to a lack of news in the blogosphere as a whole. The WordPress Podcast doesn’t always have two episodes a month, but when it does release, everyone is clamoring to listen to it.

Every tip I have released in regards to WordPress over on Devlounge, has been met with much applause. So does that mean there are a lack of quality tips related to WordPress?

I’d love to hear your opinions. Have you found it easy to find WordPress related news? Is there enough coverage? Is one WordPress related podcast enough? Please let me know in the comments below.

Categories: WordPress News

WordPress Theme: Christmas Days

Design Disease has decided to release another free theme, and it will allow you to gear up for the holiday season. The theme is called Christmas Days.

From Design Disease’s own blog:

I wanted to make a gift to all bloggers around the world. The theme has been tested on WordPress 2.3.1 with Firefox , Opera, Safari and IE6/7. It validates as XHTML 1.0 Transitional.

Christmas Days WordPress Theme

I find it absolutely stunning to look at. It is a two column design, with blue, white, red and green being the focus colors. It makes use of the flickrrss plugin, and is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

I highly recommend checking it out, and downloading it if you are already in the holiday spirit.

Categories: WordPress Themes

Analysis of Bloggers

There is a great post up on Read/WriteWeb about bloggers, the types that are currently out there, and where the blogosphere may be heading. It is a bit long, but very enjoyable, especially if you are interested in blogging for a variety of reasons.

Here is a snippet from the article:

It was a good conference and we had several interesting conversations, but I walked away with a strange feeling. Somehow it seemed that blogging just isn’t that hot anymore. The feeling has been exacerbated by the latest slow down in news. My feeds just do not update that often these days. Can it be that the digestion phase applies to blogs just as it applies to startups? In this post we’ll investigate whether the blogosphere is going through a digestion phase.

Definitely worth a read though I hope we are not in a digestion phase. I still like the crazy unbridled growth we’ve seen over the past two or three years.

Categories: Blog Statistics

WordPress 2.4 – January 24th

With so much going on in the WordPress world, I have to admit, I wondered if they would be done WordPress 2.4 early. Such a strong team of developers and a good list of things being completed, it wouldn’t have surprised me if we saw the next version of WordPress before the end of the year, but with the holidays quickly approaching, and baby Boren only a month away, they have wisely decided to push the release to January 24th.

From Ryan Boren’s blog:

With the holidays upon us, a new baby Boren coming next month, and a new admin design to implement, we’ve decided to push the release of WordPress 2.4 out to January 24th of next year. I updated the roadmap with the new date.

Huge congrats to Ryan, on the upcoming fatherhood. I hope all goes well with the new baby, and of course WordPress.

WordPress 2.4 was originally scheduled for release on December 12th.

Categories: WordPress News