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Archive for October, 2008

Landing Sites 1.4.1

One typical blog visitor would be someone searching for a keyword using a search engine (google, yahoo or whatever).  If they find that keyword in your blog they’d naturally click to you and have a quick browse around on what you have written in relation to their search keyword. It would be great if you can keep that visitor as long as you can.  The only way to do it is to help him with his search now wouldn’t it?  Fortunately we have a plugin that could help you help them.

Landing Sites.

This is a plugin that will allow you to show related posts based on your visitors search keyword.  Kinda like “You looked for this, now here it is, and here are other things that maybe related to your search too”.  Here’s a sample screenshot:

 

Installations are a snap, you just download the files and upload it to your plugins directory.  After which, you need to insert a 5-line PHP code anywhere on your site, preferably on the top lot where the searchers could easily get it.

 

Categories: WordPress Plugins

The Flexi quote rotator

If you’ve got an active blog with posts and comments flying around, you may want to consider bringing your visitor’s eyes to those posts that you would like to focus on.  Fortunately there is a new plugin in town which helps you to do just that.

Imagine your blog filled with words and graphics, then a cute little box in a good page lot that gives a smart quotation from a post in focus or a great comment from one of your loyal followers.  Nice eh?  That’s The Flexi quote rotator.

It’s all just a few lines of PHP code and a handsome/professional pull-out quote  comes from your favorite posts.  You can apply your own CSS styles to better fit this in your blog.

You can download the plugin right here.  A demo is provided on the page too.

Let me stress how important it is to navigate your visitors eyes, showing him what may be valuable for him to read.  Don’t let them click away from your blog too fast.  Capture them with short yet attention grabbing information that will keep them in your blog reading, reading, reading.

 

Categories: WordPress Plugins

A call for icon designers

 

WordPress is currently looking for people who can help them design new sets of icons for the WordPress 2.7 version.  The 2.6.x versions are using icons from the Crystal Project, excellent because they are released under the LGPL agreement, but unforunately does not fit the general design requirements of version 2.7.

Sooooo…

If you’re an experienced icon designer, you just may want to give the people of WordPress a message of interest.  Send them to jane_at-sign_automattic_dot_com .  Okay?

Here from the WordPress blog are the requirements:

 

The icons:
We’ll need icons for each of the main navigation sections, plus a matching pair of list/excerpt view icons for the table screens like Edit Posts. That’s a total of 13, and for the navigation icons we’ll also need a larger size for use in the screen headers. Some of the sections have natural iconography, while others may be more challenging. The sections are: Dashboard, Posts, Media, Links, Pages, Comments, Appearance, Settings, Users, Plugins, Tools.

The style:
Icons should be subtle, with a classic/designed look, nothing cartoonish. Thin lines. Maybe a little old-fashioned looking. They’ll be grayscale by default, possibly with a color version for active menu items.

The timing:
Fast, fast, fast. 2.7 is due to release on November 10. That means icons need to be ready within two weeks, give or take.

The required experience:
To be taken seriously, you’ll need to show a background in icon design. It’s a different skill than web site or application design, and given that there’s not much time before the 2.7 launch, someone with experience (and possibly existing work they can leverage) is going to be the best candidate.

Now’s your chance for immortality (!) LOL.  Seriously, now’s your chance to “give back” to the WordPress community.  If you work fast and good… I’ll definitely go for it!

 

 

Categories: WordPress News

WordPress 2.6.3 : Addressing a low risk vulnerability

This is not a mandatory update and no major risk or vulnerability were reported.  But WordPress recently announced version 2.6.3 saying :

A vulnerability in the Snoopy library was announced today.  WordPress uses Snoopy to fetch the feeds shown in the Dashboard.   Although this seems to be a low risk vulnerability for WordPress users, we wanted to get an update out immediately.  2.6.3 is available for download right now.

While this is an issue outside of the WordPress general system, it is an important update nonetheless.  It only affect two files and an option is given to download them to upload to your WordPress directories.  Here are the link to those files:

  1. wp-includes/class-snoopy.php
  2. wp-includes/version.php

The two files will patch the library file as well as update the WordPress version.  Or if you prefer to update fully… here’s the entire version available for download right here. 

(Yes, like you I had a “huh?” moment.  I didn’t know what the Snoopy library was.  This link cleared some things up for me, I hope it helps)

 

Categories: WordPress News

Upgrades/Updates too frequent?

Are you noticing the frequency of updates from WordPress?  Since version 2.6, I believe we can list down all updates by month.  Check it out:

July 15 – version 2.6

August 15 – version 2.6.1

September 8 – version 2.6.2 

October 23 – version 2.6.3

I’m not complaining at all, all I’m just saying is that I’m noticing that the frequency is getting to be very close. In 2008 alone we had 3 updates in Feb 5, March 29, April 25 and July 15.  7 updates in all for 2008.  What’s the story behind this?  Is WordPress just all to careful, noticing that the last releases were major and minor security fixes.  Is WordPress tightening its fort making sure that their codes are rock solid for the build up for 2.7?  Good thing I guess.  Good thing that we’ve got a team to look after our blogs.

Anyway, do you upgrade/update your blogs as the versions are released?  Are you an early adopter or you wait a month or so until everyone else has upgraded AND THEN do it yourself?  Please tell me which are you and why you do it.

Let me go first:  For WordPress, I’m an early adopter.  WordPress doesn’t loose the grip, and they make sure everything’s nailed down before releasing an upgrade/update.  So because I trust them, I’m an early adopter. 

 

You?

 

 

Categories: General

Blog your heart out

Wired.com writer Paul Boutin recently wrote an article in the entertainment/web section about how blog writing is so 2004. He says that:

Writing a weblog today isn’t the bright idea it was four years ago. The blogosphere, once a freshwater oasis of folksy self-expression and clever thought, has been flooded by a tsunami of paid bilge. Cut-rate journalists and underground marketing campaigns now drown out the authentic voices of amateur wordsmiths. It’s almost impossible to get noticed, except by hecklers. And why bother? The time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook, or Twitter.

I found myself nodding a little because I too have seen too many blogs that are more inclined to echo the hype about something great, something awesome or something to buy.  There’s a place for that, I know.  But sometimes I sense it isn’t just right.  Like if I use something and I blog about it, i believe that’s pure.  But if I write something and say it’s great but haven’t tried it, well there’s the rub.  But in the same breath I’d say too that I’ve read blogs that are deep, well thought of, sharing true-blue useful stuff.

If you want to start blog writing, go ahead.  Easier to setup now than way back 2004.  Write for others or write for yourself or for your community, your choice.  Just be aware that readers sense what your stuff is really about. And are wise to dismiss you with a click.  We are all just a click away.

I like Twitter, Facebook and Flickr too by the way.  

Is blogging sooo 2004 for you?  Tell me, tell me, tell me… 

 

Categories: Opinion

WordPress is comScore’s #33

Jeff Chandler has made a great find today as he quickly has pointed to us info about WordPress making it to comScores 33rd rank for the world’s top 50 web property list. With just over 23 million unique site visits for September 2008.

This speaks really well of WordPress and the vibrant communities that have thrived around it. Those unique visits were comprised of total U.S. (home, work, and university locations). What is comScore:

comScore maintains massive proprietary databases that provide a continuous, real-time measurement of the myriad ways in which the Internet is used and the wide variety of activities that are occurring online.

Congratulations WordPress, and all who support this thriving community.

Categories: WordPress News

Moderator

If you have a very popular blog and popping in and out of the blog’s backoffice is getting to be a chore, here’s an application that will ease the process with a few tweaks of simplicity.  

The moderator sits in your system tray (there’s the clue, windows only guys), and advises you when your blog received a comment with a an icon animation and a audio alert.

Built using Adobe AIR, here are it’s features:

  • Viewing unmoderated comments.
  • Dock and system tray notifications of the number of unmoderated comments.
  • Accept, delete, and spam comments from within the desktop client.
  • Close application window, or minimize it to the system tray while running.
  • Shows the Gravatar icons for the user who posted the comment.
It’s an early release, so don’t expect everything locked in perfect.  The author, Daniel Dura, would be very happy to hear from you as he aims to improve on it with the community’s help.
Check out his page for download, installation, operation and bug reports right here.

Categories: WordPress Plugins

Akismet 2.2.1

If you think that Akismet is all just a “stop the spam” tool for our blogs, think again. Akismet has recently release version 2.2.1 that adds a few metrics/measurements to keep you informed of “stop stats” it has as it blocks unwanted comments from your blogs.

Spam and Ham measurements, that’s how Akismet’s blog calls it. It measures all the spam, false positives and the true blue comments that’s hitting your web property.

 

 

Check it out and see if it works for you.  If you’re in need of reports regarding your site’s comments, this is the tool to have.  

And as of this writing, Akismet has the following stats to share about all blogs that already have Akismet installed:

8,153,362,917 spams caught so far

1,987,758 so far today

86% of all comments are spam

 

Cool eh?

 

 

Categories: WordPress Tools

The basic advice before selling your blogs

John Chow has written something really helpful to those who are planning to offer their blog/s as an advertising venue for potential clients.  When you reach out to an advertising network it would help to have these few simple points nailed.  Let me summarize things for you and ad a little “tip” as well.

  1. Have a domain name – you need an easy recall and easy to type domain name.  It should be yours too.  While having your ISPs domain name works, having your own domain name makes you a little professional.  Domains are easy to acquire, install and use.  Go to godaddy.com and get one for less than $10.  You can try listening to GeekBrief.tv too, I know Cali Lewis gives GoDaddy.com codes thereby saving you a few extra bucks. Having a domain name and using it as your emails domain address proves ownership or affiliation to the domain too.  It’s a little tricky but believe you me, if you say own “mygadgets.com” and plan to sell ad space to bestbuy or circuit city… your email needs to be “[email protected]”… professional, shows ownership, and er… cool.
  2. Have a completed about page – the first page that the ad network jumps to is the About Page.  They’d like to know a little more about you.  After you hand in your ad proposal, and if they’re at all interested, they’d hit your page right away to find out more about you, your webpage/blog or your company.  So you gotta have a completed about page.
One thing I do is to put ad placeholders in the blog.  Try to go to a non-profit blog for say the “save the trees campaign” or “unleaded gas campaign” or the “breast cancer campaign”.  Get an ad medallion, a banner ad or a widget ad and place it at areas where the ads should appear.  You can say, while ads aren’t coming in we’re giving these worthwhile campaigns some visibility.  Works good for you in a lot of ways too.

Categories: Blogging Sense, Blogging Tips

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