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Archive for April, 2008

WordPress Plugin Competition 2.5

Weblog Tools Collection has announced another WordPress Plugin Competition, this time for the new WordPress 2.5 release, as many important plugins haven’t been updated for this new version.

Some important details for those looking at entering.

All code must be GPL and should be available for download through the Competition Blog and preferably through WordPress Extend. The plugins can be modified and tweaked till the last day of the competition or until the author sends us an email with the final version of the code. In essence, the Plugin Competition Blog is the preferred vehicle of communication for all contestants.

Some relevant details:

  • Running time for competition = 2 months starting the 10th of May till the 10th of July.
  • True WordPress plugins only. No manual modifications can be required of users.
  • You cannot submit plugins that have been released already. New code only please.
  • Plugins can only be submitted via email. We will make that email address public later on in the competition.
  • Plugins cannot have opt-out links back to the authors’ pages (from the main blog pages, admin pages are fine). If you have links or donation forms, please make them opt-in.
  • All plugins require documentation as in the WordPress Extend pages. Documentation will be one of the judging criteria.
  • Preliminary support for the plugin has to be provided to the public.
  • We are looking for innovation, documentation and elegant code.
  • Any and all prizes/controversies/issues will be judged and decided at our sole discretion.

I think these competitions are a great way to show off what WordPress can do, so I am very hopeful that this competition will bring out a new group of “must have” plugins for WordPress 2.5.

Categories: WordPress News, WordPress Plugins

What Colour Is Your Flip

Jim Kukral is a great guy, and a huge fan of the Flip video camera. Today, he uses the Flickr video service to ask “what color is your Flip?”

If you want to participate in his experiment, add a video or photo to flickr and tag it “myflipcamera”.

I love it when bloggers try to interact with people on a different level. This is also a great time to blog about the camera and attach it to the event. I have yet to purchase a Flip video camera, but it is definitely getting more and more attention every day as the Flickr or WordPress of video recording devices.

Categories: Interesting

WordPress: Destroyer of CPU’s?

So a very interesting article has popped up on Coding Horror that paints the WordPress software in a bad light. A friend of mine Mark from 45n5.com posted about it on Twitter, using it as another jab against all the WordPress “fanboys” in the world.

This is an incredibly scary result; blog.stackoverflow.com is getting, at best, a moderate trickle of incoming traffic. It’s barely linked anywhere! With that kind of CPU load level, this site would fall over instantaneously if it got remotely popular, or God forbid, anywhere near the front page of a social bookmarking website.

For a bare-bones blog which is doing approximately nothing, this is a completely unacceptable result. It’s appalling.

I looked over the article, and didn’t see anything wrong with it. I think it tells the truth and is just a fact when working with WordPress. I have heard from numerous people that WordPress doesn’t scale very well, but I would also like to add that Automattic and all of the WordPress developers are doing better and better with each release at addressing that issue.

I also want to say that I have never seen WordPress cause such high CPU usage in any of my dealings with the software.

Some people have made fun of the article, saying that WordPress is a PHP application and the Windows server that the author is using isn’t a good platform to run WordPress on, but I don’t know enough about the Windows Server environment to agree or disagree with them, though commenters have been quick to point out that the operating system shouldn’t matter “that” much.

One thing I will point out is that WordPress does need some form of caching to work effectively at higher levels of traffic, and that many plugins are not optimized well, and can cause excess database calls and thus more load on the server.

People always ask why certain advanced features are not part of WordPress’ core and why certain things are defaulted in what they consider “odd” ways, and I think the answer is fairly obvious: some WordPress users are unable to do simple computer/server related things.

Setting up caching and dealing with any errors that arise can sometimes be more difficult than just turning on one of the plugins that have been created for WordPress. I have heard of many people how they tried one caching plugin and it didn’t work correctly for them while another did. These features are not in the core as they would make WordPress too complex for the average user. WordPress is designed in such a way to work on as many different environments as possible, as quickly and easily as possible.

People are suggesting things like Drupal which is a pain to install and configure. It absolutely blows my mind. I think that the issue of CPU usage was blown out of proportion and that ninety percent of the people that blog would be better off on WordPress, Movable Type or something comparable rather than moving to a full blown, complex CMS.

Categories: WordPress News

WordPress Weekly with Lorelle

Jeff of Jeffro2pt0, recently put up another episode of WordPress Weekly, the informal podcast he runs to talk about WordPress, and this week the show ran two hours thanks to the interview with Lorelle, a strong presence to be sure.

From the show notes:

we covered everything from WordCamp Dallas to tips on using WordPress and then dove into some of the concepts of using WordPress to make money as well as general blogging issues.

The interview was less like an interview and more of a discussion between like minded friends with questions bouncing back from interviewee to interviewer from time to time.

All in all, its a great listen, and I highly suggest you check it out.

Categories: Podcasting News, WordPress News

Six Apart – Software, Services and Advertising?

Yesterday, the web was buzzing due to Six Apart’s mention of a new advertising service and blog management service they are building. The advertising part of their business will be managed by Adify, the same service that so many companies are using to roll their own advertising network out these days, including Forbes, and others.

The blog service will include management of the back end, SEO, and blog design as well as consulting. This could mean huge issues for other companies that have built up services supporting Six Apart’s user base.

Darren Rowse has all sorts of details pertaining to the deal and what kind of things we can expect.

Read More

Categories: Movable Type News

Running a WordCamp

Charles Stricklin, Mr. WordPress Podcast, has been putting up some amazing posts with regard to running a WordCamp. Unlike most Barcamps, WordCamp was set up very much like a traditional conference, but Charles didn’t have hundreds of thousands in free money floating around.

His posts are very informative, and have tips, tricks and thoughts that could help conference organizers from small to super large. Thus far he has only put up two sections of his series, but they are both amazing and deserve your time and attention.

Here’s a rather long, but mind blowing sample from one of the posts:

Suppose you expect 500 people to register for and attend your WordCamp. You ask the hotel for a meeting room or auditorium capable of seating 500 people. They tell you they’ll let you use The Fluer De Lies Ballroom, which accommodates 500 people nicely, for free if you agree to a 250 room block. They explain that their normal rate for rooms during the dates you’ve chosen for your WordCamp normally run USD$150/night, but your attendees will be able to rent rooms at a rate of USD$110/night. They then tell you the percentage of rooms rented is 75%. You agree to their terms, and you sign the contract.

Here’s what that all means: You’ve just agreed to ensure that 75% of 250 (or 188 rooms) will be rented for 2 nights at a rate of USD$110/night. You’ve just agreed to ensure that the hotel will receive $41, 630.00 when then contract comes due. “So what?”, you ask, “Probably half the people who’ll attend will be from out of town. Maybe so, maybe not, but how many people will blanch at paying USD$110/night and go on Priceline.com or some other service and find a cheaper hotel and stay there? There are even reports of other hotels advertising on Google, making it appear to be the official hotel for the conference when they’re really not.

Using the previous example, let’s say 100 people stay at the official hotel the first night and 50 of them check out, choosing not to stay the 2nd night. That’s 150 room nights. You’d agreed to 376 room nights. You’re liable for the remainder: 226 room nights at USD$110 = USD$24,860.00, and they’ll charge you fees and taxes on top of that.

How to organize a WordCamp – Part 1
How to organize a WordCamp – Part 2

Categories: General, WordPress News

Yahoo and Automattic: Perfect Match?

ReviewSaurus has put up a post outlining just some of the many ways that Yahoo and Automattic would be able to compliment each other if they worked together or if Yahoo acquired Automattic. The one point that really interested me was the idea that the Yahoo Publishers network could be used to feed ads on WordPress.com, thus creating a system where publishers could monetize their blogs.

We all know that Yahoo’s been struggling hard and that sometimes Microsoft or a joint effort of Microsoft and News corp tries to take over it. However, Yahoo has been showing negative signs of selling itself to either of the company.

Even though, it’s been in this position, Yahoo has been making quite bold steps and that includes from acquisitions of the companies to making changes in the YPN.

Well, I was thinking that what will happen if Yahoo takes over or some how partners with Automattic, the company behind WordPress?

The discussion could go much further. What are your thoughts on the idea of a Yahoo/Automattic collaboration?

Categories: WordPress News

Technorati: Upgrade or Stop Being Indexed

It looks like so many older WordPress blogs are being heavily spammed through issues that have been fixed for over a year now. Why is this? Because we are all too lazy to upgrade our blogs.

Now Technorati, and most likely other services like it are taking a hard look at older WordPress run blogs and are saying “upgrade or we will stop indexing your site”.

From Technorati’s blog:

Blogs that have been compromised by this security vulnerability are typified by having links to spam destinations inserted onto the blog page. These link insertions may be invisible to casual observations; the links are often obscured by style attributes that render them invisible. These links are still seen by crawlers such as Technorati’s, Google’s and Yahoo’s. You can find these links by viewing the source of the blog pages or, when using Firefox, looking under “Tools” -> “Page Info” -> “Links”. Blogs hosted on wordpress.com are not affected by this issue; only blogs hosted on their own installations of WordPress from wordpress.org require concern.

Because of this ongoing problem, we’re discontinuing processing crawls of blogs that exhibit common symptoms of being compromised. We strongly recommend upgrading your WordPress installation. Even if you haven’t been afflicted by a compromise, by the time you are aware that you have been a number of negative consequences may have already occurred (for instance, flagged spam by Technorati, Google or Yahoo!) — this has been reported by many WordPress users.

I guess that means that now is the time to upgrade, as the effects of not upgrading and thus being spammed are very far reaching. Splashpress Media had a problem with this once and one of our sites was put on StopBadware.org’s list, making sure that everyone that found us through Google’s search results was warned that we were an unsafe site to browse. This made traffic and revenue plummet and it took a long time to get off that list, even once the issue was resolved.

It isn’t that hard to upgrade, so what are you waiting for? Upgrade to WordPress 2.3.3 or WordPress 2.5 today!

Categories: WordPress Tips

WordPress Plugins: Calais Auto Tagger

On most of the blogs I write for, I usually forget about adding tags. I have always been a category user, not adding all of the tagging plugins that are currently out in the marketplace, and really not taking up tagging, even though it is now in the core of WordPress, but some new plugins by Calais might just rectify that issue for me by helping give tag suggestions automatically.

Found thanks to ReadWriteWeb:

Grossman’s plugins, which are available as an auto tagger and an archive tagger (to go back and tag old posts), received over 500 downloads in the first two days. The plugins work by sending post text to Calais and retrieving a list of suggested tags. The plugins rely on an Open Calais PHP class, also written by Grossman. Eventually, the plugins will be released under a Creative Commons license. Grossman tells us he’s waiting until the next Calais feature update, scheduled for May 1st, before adding any more features to his plugins.

Not only can you install the WP Calais Auto Tagger to help you tag your posts from now on, but they have also developed the WP Calais Archive Tagger which will go back through your posts and tag them based on a semantic examination of your posts.

For those worried about tags they have already added, the Archive Tagger will not overwrite those tags, but instead add to them.

The plugins require PHP 5, and the cURL library which many hosts have, but not all, and so check with your host before installing these plugins.

Read more about them on the WordPress Plugins library under WP Calais Auto Tagger and WP Calais Archive Tagger.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

WordPress.com’s New Search

With millions of blogs on WordPress.com, it can be hard to find exactly what you are looking for, but Joseph Scott has put up a post announcing the launch of the new WordPress.com search that allows you to quickly and easily search all of the blogs on WordPress.com.

Search results can be ordered by relevancy, our magic secret sauce algorithm that’s the default, or by most recent, so you can see the latest and greatest on any given subject. International communities are very important to us, so from day uno we have language-specific engines for every language we support. For example, Spanish search is at es.search.wordpress.com.

To assist in your exploration we analyze related tags based on your search terms, with the most popular related tag at the top.

For those who want to keep up to date with changes to the search results, just subscribe to the RSS feed of the results (at the bottom of the related tags section).

It looks like it could become a very efficient and effect search tool for WordPress.com blogs, and makes me wish, once again that there was some way of the WordPress.org community could be included.

The new search is powered by the open source application Hounder from Flaptor and you can read more about it on WordPress.com’s blog.

Categories: WordPress News

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