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Archive for September, 2008

WordPress 2.7 : Play your part

 

Being a part of the WordPress community is such a privilege.  WordPress 2.7 is set to be released this November 2008 and so the cadence to that release has started.  Our first marching orders are to head on to help the development team code the the new Dashboard interface. 

From the picture above you’d quickly see that 2.7 is leading towards a left bar menu from their usual top-down displays.  This had a lot to do because of user surveys too. And so to preserve and maximize the use of the screen area.

The new survey will be about how “The menu function is based on sections with submenus, and you can collapse and expand menu sections without leaving your current screen. The image below shows all menu sections collapsed, while the image on the right shows the Content section expanded.

Navigation sections and labels are being decided now.  If you’d like your opinions to be heard, head off to the survey site right here. 

 

Categories: WordPress News

Gears in Safari

 

Last July 4 we’ve introduced you to Google Gears, that useful technology behind the “turbo” button located at the upper right corner of a WordPress admin dashboard at your WordPress.com blog.  Enabling turbo allows your blog to save little snippets of blog data on your local hard drive, the reason being to speedup your blogging experience at WordPress.com

We did tell you too that it was initially available for Internet Explorer and FireFox browsers.

Today, the Gears Blog announced that the Safari compatibility is rock solid.  

We’re really excited to announce the official release of Gears for Safari on OS X (minimum requirements are Leopard 10.5.3 or Tiger 10.4.11).

You can download it today from http://gears.google.com.

This means that you can now access all the Gears-enabled sites (such as Zoho office, WordPress, the new YouTube uploader and Google Docs offline) in Safari.

Unfortunately, no positive news yet of Gears availability for Opera Browser users.  Strangely too, Safari Browsers (windows version) is a thinker.  

Originally dubbed as “Google Gears”, the giant now dropped it’s name and settled with “Gears” as product name.  I haven’t seen any official statement about this branding move, but I’d speculate that public acceptability may be an issue? hmmm… not all are Google fans I’d agree.  Or maybe if you repeat saying “Google Gears” fast enough you’d sound like a grown up speaking to a baby. :)

 

Categories: WordPress News, WordPress Plugins

ShoZu: One iPhone App To Rule Them All? (Review)

If there was one company determined to dominate the mobile blogosphere, it would have to be ShoZu. Connecting with almost 350 different mobile devices, ShoZu is enabling bloggers (regardless of their phone type) to post from their phone (and away from their computer).

But what sets ShoZu apart is not how many mobile platforms one can blog from, but rather how many blog platforms one can blog to.

ShoZu connects to not only the traditional platforms (such as Blogger, TypePad, WordPress, LiveJournal, and Windows Live Spaces) but also the unfamiliar (like Netlog, freewebs, Multiply and even Six Apart’s Vox.com).

While ShoZu has always had an iPhone app for users to test out since the birth of the app store, I decided to give it a second look after hearing about the numerous improvements regarding this iPhone app (with most of them being positive). Read More

Categories: Blogging Tools
Tags: , ,

Are Bloggers Feeling the Crunch?

Stocks values are falling. Big investment banks are filing for bankruptcy. A colleague on the Blog Herald recently wrote a piece on how blogs are weathering the economic crunch that’s being felt worldwide today. Easton Ellsworth writes:

The key lesson for blog networks and solo blogs alike in this time of possible recession may be this: Develop quick reflexes or perish. As McCord says, “In every good business, there comes a time when pruning is necessary.”

What do you think? How can blog networks and professional bloggers succeed in a struggling economy?

For most people who don’t blog for profit or income, perhaps they don’t directly feel the effects of the crunch on their blogging activities. But for us who are in the business of blogging, we would inevitably feel some effect sooner or later. Blog networks, being business entities, would most likely face some decline in earnings. But how about individual bloggers?

For bloggers who earn directly from advertising revenue and sponsorships, the worry here is that advertisers would cut back on their online ad spending. So whether it’s for directly-sold sponsorship spots or revenue shares in ad networks, there could be a decline in earnings.

For bloggers who work for blog networks, meanwhile, the big worry is job security. With the fear of blog networks folding up, the future might be bleak. Or at least with some blog networks restructuring their pay schemes, the question is whether this would turn out to be beneficial or not. Bloggers who perform well might find this a better proposition, but those whose blogs aren’t exactly popular might not.

In my view, though, blogs and blog networks are better able to weather economic declines compared to other businesses. For one, the overhead is small. Unlike brick and mortar establishments, we don’t have to pay any lease or rent for office space, office utility bills, and costs for other administrative work. Yes, we do spend for hosting, domains, electricity, design and development, and even equipment. And of course, for the moneyed networks, acquisition of online properties. But that’s as far as overhead goes. I would say that much of our expenditure is on creative staff, and hopefully the good output is there!

But still, the effect remains to be seen. Will we feel the crunch? If not directly, then perhaps indirectly–with rising costs of living and such. So Easton’s advice to develop quick reflexes makes perfect sense.

New media is ever-changing. So bloggers’ and blog networks’ ability to change and shift focus quickly should be quick enough.

Image source

Categories: Opinion
Tags: , ,

Google’s second Blogger is Korean

 

What does placing “ninth in the highest internet users in the world “mean?  It means an undisclosed amount by Google purchasing Korean blogging company Tatter, that’s what it means.  Google is setting it’s eyes on Yahoo dominated Korea with this move to “Google-ize” the country’s popular blogging software “TextCube” by Tatter.  TextCube has been compared to Blogger.com rival WordPress.

 

“We are excited to welcome Tatter and Company’s engineering team to Google Korea”, announced a Google spokesperson in an e-mailed statement. “Acquiring Tatter and Company will allow us to enhance our online publishing tools in Korea, benefiting a large number of users who already depend on and enjoy Google and Tatter and Company’s products”.

An excited Tatter co-chief executive Chang-Won Kim confirmed the deal on his personal blog, noting that Tatter had been “Googled”.

In a country where it’s all high-speed internet access (mostly), it is no wonder that with this move by Google, all other big names in the “cloud” and the computer industry in general will take a definitive move towards connecting with the Korean market.

 

 

Categories: Blogging News, Interesting

Blogger new feature : The followers gadget

 

Honestly, this new feature reminded me a little bit of the Twitter environment. I say that because I first saw this type of feature at Twitter.com :)  BUT NOW, it’s Blogger.com’s new Followers gadget. This gadget allows you to see who’s following/reading your blog AND has become a fan of it by adding it to their list of favorite blogs to visit.  As you could see above, it uses their blogger.com avatar as part of the gadget display.

Take a peek at what you see as the blog owner in your blogger dashboard:

A neat summary of how many followers you have AND the ability to “pay-back” by following your followers blogs too.  Now isn’t that useful? :)  

At the dashboard you are given the ability to follow other blogs too, even if they’re not hosted at blogger.com.  Just head on to your dashboard and click “add”, then type in the blog address to quickly add it to your favorites.  If the blog you just followed is hosted at blogger.com your avatar will be included in that blog’s followers list.

Haven’t seen this added to WordPress 2.7 features yet.  I hope the widget developers can also make a WordPress version soon?

 

 

 

 

Categories: Blogger News, Blogger Tools

Happy 10th birthday Google!

 

September 5, 1998… Google was born,  co-founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were students at Stanford University .  To date, I believe Google is a stronger 10-year old than any other tech company, including Microsoft.  At 10 Google seems to be pushing very strong on its core competencies.  Now reports say their eyes are set in entering the mobile phone industry too, something to rival the iPhone?  Your guess is as good as mine.  But will there be a stronger 10-year old tech company in the future.  I would doubt that, maybe in the distant future.  Check out this table from CNet.com:

 

Today Google nearly has about 20,000 employees worldwide and  a $150 billion market value to redefine media, marketing and technology. Founders Page and Brin, both 35 now and worth US$19 billion each.  Not bad.  That’s about US$2 billion a year, a windfall compared to the $100,000 seed money a venture capitalist poured into the very young start-up Google of 1998.  Google CEO and Chairman Eric Schmidt is to be credited highly for the great leadership he provides on a daily basis.

Happy birthday Google! :)

 

 

Categories: General

Mandatory Upgrade: WordPress 2.6.2

2.6.1 hasn’t really warmed up its seat on our servers and now a mandatory upgrade to 2.6.2?  Hmmm… you’re as surprised as I am, dear readers.  Through the help of Stefan Esser the WordPress development team has addressed the dangers and vulnerabilities of SQL column truncation and the weakness of mt_rand().

Ryan Boren announced this mandatory security upgrade saying “if you ALLOW OPEN REGISTRATION in your blogs, you should definitely upgrade immediately”.  Check out the announcement page for more details.  And alongside the security upgrade are several bug fixes that will make WordPress work even better.

WordPress 2.6.2 is available right here.

 

Categories: WordPress News

Blogger.com And SixApart Take Note: BlogPress Is About To Steal Your iThunder

Despite providing powerful platforms for their users, both Blogger.com (owned by Google) and Six Apart seem to be rather slow when it comes to creating apps for the iPhone. 

While SixApart has provided an iPhone app for Typepad, they have yet to develop anything for MovableType, leaving the field wide open for third parties.

One company from China however is taking advantage of this opening, by creating a powerful iPhone app for not only the “big three” (Blogger, MovableType/Typepad, WordPress) but for MSN Live Spaces as well.

Called BlogPress (which was previously highlighted by Andy), this app was developed by CoolLittle Things, who ironically encountered some resistance (note: english translation over here) submitting their app to the iTunes store.

But with BlogPress costing a whopping 999 pennies (or about $10 USD), BlogSpot and MovableType fans may wonder whether purchasing this app is worth it.

So instead of spending potential gas money (or even lunch), you might want to check out the review below to see if this iPhone app is worth spending money on. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tools
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A Review : Digital Memo Software

If you’ve been looking for an effective way to communicate those company memos, look no further.  Let me introduce you to Digital Memo.  Imagine working in an office where the company bulletin board is the loneliest “tool”, the least used.  If you’ve got an important message to say, hey, that’s the last place you’d publish it, right?  Everyone just breezes by it!  Unless you’ve got a memo announcing a bonus, a party or a cook-out! :)

Now imagine your message as the first thing people see when they turn on their computers?  It’s a CEO’s dream.  Instant communication from the head down the line.

Digital Memo is a system based on the power and convenience of instant messaging that notifies users each time you add a new post to your blog.

 

 

By integrating the RSS feed that is published with your blog into the Digital Memo system, Digital Memo enables you to use your blog as a tool to automatically send memos digitally. Get set-up in 3 steps:

  • Administrate your blog RSS feed into Digital Memo
  • Install Digital Memo onto desired machines
  • Start sending your memos digitally!

This tool has successfully integrated the “user-friendliness” of a blog software and the “formality” of a corporate communication system.  Each computer belonging to the company network will surely receive every corporate memo, promptly alerting each user with the attention your memo deserves.

Digital Memo also has an online tutorial if you wish to see a demo.

Now, let’s see how the CEO “work flow” looks like:

Step 1:  You come in the office, turn on your PC and fire up (or open) your blog.

Step 2:  You compose a short memo informing everyone about something really important, or maybe inform them about their attendance to the company barbecue on Saturday perhaps. :)  Or maybe write everyone a “good job” note for a change.

Step 3:  You hit “publish”, and that’s it!

Your blog’s RSS feed will be monitored by Digital Memo and any new blog post you publish will automatically be fed into the Digital Memo system and distributed company-wide to everyone’s computer desktops.

Now I know what you’re thinking – Is this very secure?

Yes it is.  You and only you would know what your blog user name and passwords are.  Your blog can well reside in the company server, where presumably you’ve got that box all firewalled and tamper-proof.

Is it easy to install? Yes it is.  The Digital Memo reader can be installed on multiple systems by using the MSI installer. Full instructions are provided with your documentation on purchasing.

Will the staff really see these memos in a prominent way?  Yes they will.  Every new memo you post will automatically pop up on everyone’s computer desktops.  There’s literally no way people will miss reading your memo.  No way.

What if I send say a series of memos in a day, will the staff have access to every one of them?  Yes, they will. Digital Memo will appear only as one memo box (or a neatly tucked icon in the system tray) in everyone’s computer desktops with “next” and “previous” memos distinctly accessible with just a click of a button.

What are the other benefits of using Digital Memo?

  • It won’t clog everyone’s mailbox
  • It won’t trap any of your important messages/memos in crazy spam rules and folders
  • People can’t “loose” the memo.  There’s no excuse like “I didn’t see that memo” from now on.
  • It’s turn-key, you install it and use it immediately
  • Oh, and it saves the forest too.. we don’t need to cut down more trees to make paper!

 

The only sad news is that Digital Memo is only available for Windows XP or Vista.  Too bad for Mac users, but hey, if we can create enough demand maybe they can make a Mac version too!  

Oh, and another thing …  if your company’s communication structure is based on a strong policy that every memo should be “written on paper”… too bad.  Maybe it’s time to change the policy? :)

The Test

We’re only 5 PCs in the company network, I gave it a try, and found that it is very “snappy”.  There were no installation snags, the operation “CEO Workflow” (described above) was a 1-2-3 winning combination that even the most cyberphobic CEO would appreciate.  Messages were instantly received by every PC.

The Recommendation

I’d encourage you to go and download the trial software, there’s nothing to lose, really.  You may want to try it out on the IT department, to start with, and slowly add more departments in due time.

Digital Memo is made by Popuload Software.  A company, based in Montreal Canada, noted for their innovative range of software solutions that help change the way users interact with the “usual” operating systems.  A leader in providing RSS tools for communicating and tracking information, digitally.

The evaluation version is a fully functional and unlimited version of Digital Memo. The only difference this has from the purchased version is that each distributed post will contain a “trial warning message”.  Not bad if you want to see how this new memo distribution method performs in “the long run”.

The full version costs US$195.00, it is downloadable right now by purchasing it online thru your credit card or PayPal.

Program updates are distributed via the Popuload website as well.  

Check out the company website at www.popuload.com

Editor’s note: This review was written upon request by Pouload Software.

Categories: Feed Tools, Interesting

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