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Archive for July, 2008

Prologue update: A WordPress theme for the iPhone

Ah, I’m not really sure why I missed this news regarding WordPress.com theme updates for the iPhone.   While I’m not an iPhone 3G user just yet (fearing all the wierd wierd user reports, thank God I’ve held off getting an iPhone 3G!), I follow developments closely… for my friend’s sake. :)

Here are the updates:

  1. A WordPress/iPhone friendlier log-in page, check it out at m.wordpress.com (using your iPhone, of course).  Tried opening it using my current laptop browser, and wadayaknow… i could!  Ah, simplicity is really good if you’re on 3G and have limited display area.
  2. An update on the Prologue theme to be much friendlier to posting and browsing.

Look at the pretty iPhone screen below…  beauty, ain’t it.

 

 

Well, as soon as I see a much happier iPhone 3G user I’d be holding-off on getting one myself.  I feel it would be a step-up to personal productivity once Apple irons out these kinks.  Ohhhh Stevie… could you hurry up, man the product hype is no match for the frowns I’m seeing.

At least for the sake of Veronica Belmont who had an aweful experience! :)  You gotta love her!

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: WordPress Themes

Hold-off on Tyner: If you’re using Podpress

Updating your WordPress version to 2.6 may break your podcast.

If you’re using Podpress (the popular free podcasting add-on for WordPress) PLEASE hold-off on upgrading to WordPress 2.6 (Tyner).  Read this article first, it may save your Podcast from the dreaded “off-air” state.

Today, I received a GoogleAlert saying that Tyner and Podpress isn’t fully compatible.  Once you successfully install WordPress 2.6, ALL your Podpress based podcasts will not work. 

Here’s a typical message from the PodPress Forum:

I installed WordPress 2.6 (the full version, not the Release Candidate) today but am having problems as soon as I activate Podpress. When I try to edit an existing post from the front page or from inside the Admin Panel, I get the error message “Internet Explorer can’t open the page [address of page] Operation cancelled.” but I see it only with IE. With FF it works like a charm. I thought it was out since longer already..that’s what you get for upgrading without informing yourself in advance.

Already last time I swore that I will never install a WordPress or Podpress update in the 1st month they are released..always have problems with upgrades.

and a similar thread from the WordPress Forum:

I’ve just uploaded my latest podcast and the pod press will not display it nor attach it to the post. Everything I uploaded yesterday is there and playing but after the update it’s not working.

At this time there isn’t an available patch from Podpress, but here’s a nifty tip from a user who may have stumbled upon a solution (WARNING:  PLEASE note that this solution was not tested by anyone from bloggingpro.com, observe caution and care, we will not be held liable for any damage to your data, your person, or business.)

FROM JERD (a forum user/member of the WordPress Forum)

After spending hours digging through the code and looking at the database, I discovered that this is being caused by the new revisions in 2.6. To disable them, just add:

define (‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, 0);

to your wp-config.php and the problem disappears.

Podpress patch will be released in 10 days, according to this page (Dan Kuykendall of MightySeek.com).

 

Categories: WordPress Hacks, WordPress Plugins

A revival : WordPress.org Theme Directory

I remember visiting one central resource for WordPress themes, the ThemeViewer. Since December 11, 2007 things literally stopped.  No new theme uploads… with the latest count being 1,618 themes and 4,190,494 themes downloaded.  Very impressive numbers and I guess it would have multiplied many hundreds of thousands over if it continued.  According to the latest post, that site was up for an upgrade… for its code backoffice, indexing, theme upload, theme integrity, seach and download processes.  Well, I’ve waited and waited… until finally this news from WordPress.org .

It’s been a long time since themes.wordpress.net stopped accepting new themes. Since then most theme authors have been distributing their themes from their own sites, without a good centralized place for people to browse, search, comment on, and rate themes. With the success of the plugins directory, we’ve wanted to have those same benefits in a theme directory. Today is the day we start making that happen, with the introduction of wordpress.org/extend/themes/.

Yeehaaa!  Now something for me to check where I know the code would be clean and right.  Love the new skin the site dresses up now,  actually it’s dressed like the WordPress plugins site.  Which I thought was cool and generally useful.  I visited the new page and saw that currently there are 3 themes uploaded… and check this out… 772 downloads so far.  I tried to see how downloads move, hey it jumped from 667 to 772 in 15 minutes.  Not bad at all.

So anyway, is this goodbye to my usual WordPress theme spots?  Maybe not as quickly as I’d like.  I’ll continue the old routes until I see a substantial amount of themes at WordPress.org.  Hoping that it will be sooner than I think.

 

Categories: Blogging Resources, WordPress News, WordPress Themes

Widgenie: Helping Bloggers Visualize Data

LogiXML has recently launched Widgenie, a web app that lets users upload data from spreadsheets, CSV files, or Google Docs (among other sources), play around with them on a GUI and then output the results thru by embedding on blogs and social media apps.

Widgenie empowers everyone, from bloggers to business people, to quickly visualize data and share it in many different ways. Now you can publish data in the places you already know and love, places like iGoogle, Facebook, WordPress, and even your own website. We combine all the power of an enterprise-level business intelligence platform and provide it in a convenient Web 2.0 widget.

While most bloggers won’t probably be needing to present any data visually, I think this would be useful for presenting survey results, traffic stats, trends, and the like. Business or corporate bloggers would perhaps find Widgenie a useful tool in sharing data with colleagues and/or readers in a visually appealing presentation.

Categories: Blogging Tools
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Google Now Indexes Flash. Should Bloggers Rejoice?

Word is out that Google is now able to index Flash content. This is probably good news to web developers out there who are into building sites with Flash. However, should bloggers rejoice at this news?

Probably not. Or at least there’s no compelling reason to be too happy because of this news, unless you run a video blog with a lot of flash-based videos. I would agree with our resident designer Ia that Google’s new Flash-indexing ability might be misused by designers who are fond of designing in Flash without much regard for usability and accessibility.

Google’s efforts to read Flash still seem to be in the premature stages. Typical Google, they always release their products in beta without being wary of the consequences.

By consequences I mean clients who are now running around telling their web designers to create animated intros and the extravagant interfaces for their websites. I can’t really shoot down this little achievement by Google—except that it’s getting scarily smarter everyday and should try to have more features than issues when they launch a product.

More importantly, I can only continue to condemn those who misuse Flash without any regard for accessibility, much less usability, whatsoever.

If you are serious about optimizing your blog for the search engines, then I think the first thing to do would make sure you have good content!

Categories: Blog Design, Blogging News, Blogging Sense
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How Much Money Should You Make from Blogging?

Lorelle VanFossen has started a problogging series on the Blog Herald and one of her recent posts is about whether blogger earnings are enough relative to national standards.

To make the average annual US income of $60,000, you need to make $34 an hour. If you are paid $5 a blog post, you would have to write 12,000 blog posts. At $25 a blog post, you would have to publish 2,400. For $50 per post, that’s 1200 posts. At $100 per blog post, you would have to generate 600 posts.

The overall sense I’m getting here is that blogging for money isn’t quite sustainable, considering that most bloggers (that I know of) are getting way below the ideal rate of $300+ per post–and that is for top-quality, well-researched output.

There are 52 weeks in a year. Most paid bloggers need to produce a minimum of 3 posts a week. That’s 156 posts a year. Divide the annual average income of $60,000 by 156 posts, that’s $385 per post. Anyone getting paid that much to blog? I doubt it. Notch this up to 5 posts a week and you’d need 260 blog posts at $230 per post. That’s better but most bloggers are paid $$25 or less per post.

At $25 a post, you’d need to write 2,400 blog posts to earn $60,000 a year. How long would that take you? Do you have 2,400 original blog posts within you?

Another factor not taken into consideration here, I would say, is those working in the blogging industry who are not in the US. So that means your cost of living (or the income you need in order to be happy, or at least to survive) may differ. It might be higher in some regions, say Western Europe, Tokyo or Singapore. But it would definitely be lower in other places where cost of living is low. So for instance some would be well off with a fraction of the $60,000 annual income that is cited as the target income.

Still, Lorelle comes up with some figures on how long it takes to research and write good-quality posts. She also touches on the per-post or per-hour argument.

So the question here is not about how much you are earning from blogging, which has probably been discussed in many many posts around the blogosphere. It’s how much you should be earning from blogging. Suffice to say that for me $60,000 per year would go a long, long way.

Categories: Blogging Sense
Tags: , , ,

Welcome Tyner… WordPress v2.6

Welcome “Tyner”, WordPress v2.6.  You have long been missed, we thought you’d come July 7, but alas, we didn’t hear from you since then.  Did you get caught in-between flights?  We’re you jet-lagged and had to sleep a week to get your body clock in shape?  Did you miss the route or you just had to take the tourist road and enjoyed a week of bliss?

Whatever it is, ah… welcome Tyner… we’ll all make you a comfy home.

 

The WordPress Development blog announced that they have released Tyner, WordPress 2.6.  Named after Jazz Pianist McCoy Tyner, WordPress 2.6 offers a number of new features that make WordPress a more powerful CMS: you can now track changes to every post and page and easily post from wherever you are on the web, plus there are dozens of incremental improvements to the features introduced in version 2.5.

Here are the biggest updates so far:

  1. Post Revisions: Wiki-like tracking of edits
  2. Press This!: Post from wherever you are on the web
  3. Shift Gears: Turbo-speed your blogging
  4. Theme Previews: See it before your audience does

And the minor updates/improvements as well:

  • Word count! Never guess how many words are in your post anymore.
  • Image captions, so you can add sweet captions like Political Ticker does under your images.
  • Bulk management of plugins.
  • A completely revamped image control to allow for easier inserting, floating, and resizing. It’s now fully integrated with the WYSIWYG.
  • Drag-and-drop reordering of Galleries.
    Plugin update notification bubble.
  • Customizable default avatars.
  • You can now upload media when in full-screen mode.
  • Remote publishing via XML-RPC and APP is now secure (off) by default, but you can turn it on easily through the options screen.
  • Full SSL support in the core, and the ability to force SSL for security.
  • You can now have many thousands of pages or categories with no interface issues.
  • Ability to move your wp-config file and wp-content directories to a custom location, for “clean” SVN checkouts.
  • Select a range of checkboxes with “shift-click.”
  • You can toggle between the Flash uploader and the classic one.
  • A number of proactive security enhancements, including cookies and database interactions.
  • Stronger better faster versions of TinyMCE, jQuery, and jQuery UI.
  • Version 2.6 fixes approximately 194 bugs.

 

Categories: WordPress News

Trying Out FriendFeed

I’ve once been a avid Twitter user, to the point of setting up my blog to automatically republish all my tweets for the day, everyday. But I eventually got tired of how Twitter tends to control one’s life–once you’re hooked, you find yourself Twitterring all day! So now I only check for my friends page a couple of times a day, and only post updates when I have something relevant to say (and my blog automatically posts updates, too).

And now I’m trying out a new kid in the lifestreaming block and it seems to be growing fast. FriendFeed serves more as an aggregator of various social apps, and this makes it attractive for people like me who have accounts all over. I especially like to monitor what my friends, colleagues, and other people in the new media industry are reading and talking about. FriendFeed helps out in this regard. With 41 external services that users can add, FriendFeed supposedly makes it easier for you to monitor your friends’ activities.

The same goes with your own–just add your blogs, social network, video sharing, photo sharing, and other accounts, and these will be summarized (and updated) on your FriendFed page.

FriendFeed allows for subscription via feeds (using Atom), so you can use your favorite RSS reader to monitor updates. What I particularly like is how you can use the discussion threads to post comments. So, will FriendFeed be the next big thing, or will it just be another fad? That’s something we’ll have to see. For now, it’s one of the services I’ll be trying out in my quest to find the easiest way to monitor updates in our network that is Splashpress Media.

Categories: General

WordPress Widget: Popularity Contest version

The AlexKing.org website has been a sought after site for WordPress fans just because simply put, the site is just too useful.  From WordPress theme designs to plugins… I’ve hit that site many times over.  Now a lot of you would agree that googling “WordPress plugin” would eventually result in the AlexKing.org site as part of the top ten list.  One plugin that I loved was the Alex King’s Popularity Contest WordPress plugin.

Recently, we at BloggingPro.com recieved a tip from plugin developer Jake Bohall of GrapeThinking regarding a version of Alex King’s Popularity Contest that he’s developed that displays the most popular post that’s RELATIVE to the post that’s currently displayed.  He ventured the term “smarter”, tough words … but it probably is.  I remember I once was looking for a widget that can do that.  If i’m in a section of the blog that talks about gardening, I would want the popular posts of gardening as well now would I? :)  I think this is an awesome addition for the general blogging public.  While Alex King’s version rocks… this one… well, err… hip-hops! :)

Jake Bohall’s version is compatible with WordPress 2.5 or higher.  Have a looksie and download to try it out.  Just don’t forget to tell us what you think too ayt! :)

Peace.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

WordPress for the iPhone

I’ve heard a few leaks (here and here) about WordPress setting to release it’s very own native application for the iPhone.  Glorious that they’re tweaking it to work with WordPress.com and the standard installations. And quite frankly, with the current trend of iPhone prices vis a vis its features, I think the addition of a “WordPress-able” feature will set the icing on that great cake. I really like the tag “WordPress and the iPhone… your blog everywhere”.

It’s bringing your blogging craves anywhere… anytime!  Got the urge to write about that sunset you’re viewing now, well just pop out your iPhone and write about it.  Publish it in seconds alongside that sunset picture too (!) no problemo.

I know, I know… pro-bloggers who blog like crazy may find the interface a little (ok, MUCH!) on the downside.  I’d imagine myself typing a 200-word blog post in say about 15-20 minutes VS. the 5-minute usual post publishing I do.  BUT STILL, you’d agree that the iPhone-WordPress merge does have it’s own sweet advantages.  I chuckle when I imagine popping out my notebook to blog about the sunset AND THEN running off to find a hotspot to publish it. Hee hee.

Oh, it’s not available yet, no release dates have been said, all I saw was the video below… check it out!

 

 

Just a few steps to create that blog post eh?

  1. Type in the blog details (the title)
  2. Type the actual post
  3. Add pictures from your iPhone or media library
  4. Type in blog settings like (categories, published date, password protection etc.)
  5. Preview your post… and PUBLISH pronto!

 

 

 

 

Categories: Blogger Tools, Interesting, WordPress News