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Archive for May, 2009

Comment Search for WordPress.com

Looks like WordPress.com got some more new feature love yesterday, as they added support for searching comments.

From the WordPress.com blog

And have you ever had one of those blog posts that was good, but the real action was in the comments? The blog post is only half the story, it’s the feedback from everyone else that fills in the rest. To make it easier to find the second half of these stories we’ve added comment search to WordPress.com search.

It sounds like a tiny little feature, but there are times when the comments of a blog post are the best part, or at least really interesting. It’s nice to see small features put in place that have to such a big impact and how people can find what they are looking for. Though I wouldn’t suggest running a search for “lol”, “rofl”, or “lame” on more large blogs. You might still be sifting through quite a few search results.

Categories: WordPress News

Publish Your Blog on the Kindle

Up until now, there have been very few blogs available for the Amazon Kindle. Those days are over now though, thanks to the “Kindle Publishing for Blogs BETA

It sounds pretty cool actually. You get to make your blog available to a bazillion (give or take a few) potential new readers, and even get 70/30 split revenue sharing(the 70% going to Amazon). It seems like Amazon is doing the pricing, and it tends to average around $2 a month, but without knowing how they are making that decision, it’s hard to say if that is likely to change or not.

I’m not sure how fast this will spread, but it will be pretty nice to have access to a lot more blogs on the Kindle, and is a very good sign of things to come.

What do you think, should BloggingPro spread into the world of the Kindle? I’m not sure, but it’s interesting to ponder just how this will change blogging in the semi-near future.

Categories: Blogging News

WordCamp Toronto Breakdown

So, WordCamp Toronto 2009 is officially over, and what ended up happening? If you’ve listened to my first day summary on WordPress Weekly, you might have thought that I disliked the event, but my critiques were really only for other organizers, not an overall “look” at the event, and I have to admit, the organizers quickly fixed many of the issues surrounding the conference. By Sunday, many of the issues I had first complained about were fixed.

All in all, it turned out to be a great event. I really enjoyed speaking, despite a few problems, I am happy to say that it was a very successful WordCamp. I can’t wait to see the next incarnation in Toronto, as Brendan did a great job in fixing anything that people critiqued. The only sticking point from the event was the lack of video recording, something I held to be a “must have” at every WordCamp, just didn’t happen.

So there isn’t any video or audio of my session, and not much of any other one, which is a shame because there were some great presentations, as well as some poor ones, and I think both are needed for people to see the vast variety of what a WordCamp can bring, as well as give insights on who to invite to speak (me, pick me!).

I am now even more excited about the upcoming WordCamp Chicago, despite not being a speaker (they have an all-star line-up), I think it will shape up to be the best in the history of the WordCamps held on the eastern side of North America.

If you are looking at making a WordCamp event, please listen to the recent WordPress Weekly podcast, where I harshly critique WordCamp Toronto, as there are some things that every organizer should think about.

I want to thank Brendan and PicApp for letting me speak at the event, as without both of them, I wouldn’t have been able to attend.

If you want to see photos from the event, check out the WordCamp Toronto Flickr Pool.

Categories: WordPress News
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Should I Add a Donation Button to My Blog?

This is a question a lot of bloggers ask themselves at some point, and ProBlogger.net just published a great post about it.

From the ProBlogger post

When I first started blogging 7 years back it was not uncommon to see bloggers attempting to add an income stream to their blog with some kind of a donation button or invitation on their blog. Often these buttons were tied to a PayPal account that enabled the readers of the blog to send the blogger a little money as a thank you and/or as an encouragement to keep blogging.

Many bloggers tried the reader donation model as a way to make money from blogging but few made it work.

They go into some serious detail about the pros and cons of donation based monetization model, and outline some tips on how to successfully pull it off.

It’s pretty interesting stuff, especially for new bloggers, and bloggers that have not yet monetized their blog.

Categories: Blogging Tips

WordPress Custom Field Tricks and Tips

Smashing Magazine has put up a list of different things that you can do to extend your WordPress blog, and how it functions through custom fields. I’ve heard that this is going to get easier to use in future versions of WordPress, but for now, this should inspire some great additions to your blog.

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of 10 useful things that you can do with custom fields in WordPress. Among them are setting expiration time for posts, defining how blog posts are displayed on the front page, displaying your mood or music, embedding custom CSS styles, disabling search engine indexing for individual posts, inserting a “Digg this” button only when you need it and, of course, displaying thumbnails next to your posts

I can’t really think of anything that’d require expiring blog posts, but the others are very helpful. Check out the whole article on Smashing Magazine, and let me know what you think was most helpful.

Categories: WordPress Hacks

VideoPress adds HD Video Support

There’s finally HD video support for WordPress.com sites with VideoPress. A lot of the WordPress.tv videos have gone HD, and it’s spreading like wildfire.

Here’s what the WordPress.com blog there has to say about it.

With the video upgrade (available on your upgrades page, bottom left of dashboard navigation) when you upload a video of almost any format we’ll crunch it into several different formats just right for streaming on the web, DVD quality, HD quality, and even optimized for iTunes and Miro.

Videos can be streamed and embedded here on WordPress.com or on any site around the world, even in full HD.

The HD features (along with custom stats and a host of other video related features) will run you $5/month, but for people making and posting their own videos, it could well be worth it for the added quality and speed of using a WordPress based service instead of YouTube or the other HD capable video hosts.

Here’s a sample from the post about the upgrade on the WordPress.com blog. Go to full-screen in HD mode for the full effect.

Categories: Blogging News, WordPress News

Weblog Tools Collection WordPress Plugin Contest

The weblogtoolscollection.com wordpress plugin contest for ’09 is well underway, with just about 2 weeks into the 3 month long contest.

Here are some details from the site…

# All code must be GPL compatible
# All Plugins must be compatible with WordPress 2.7 and above
# All Plugins have to be secure and use secure coding methods. This is very important.
# Running time for competition = 3 months starting the 1st of May till the 31st of July
# True WordPress plugins only. No manual modifications can be required of users. No editing of core files allowed.

For a full list of rules and guidelines head over here to the original post.

Last year’s grand prize winner went to the creator of the WP Comment Remix plugin, and the list of winners includes a lot of great plugins over the last few years. This is a great contest for plugin developers, and even greater for WordPress users that benefit from the plugins that come out of it. Can’t wait to see what sorts of interesting new plugins we get this time around, and if the prizes are anything like last year ($2000, Dedicated server for a year, and more), it’ll be a nice perk for some plugin developers too.

Categories: WordPress News

Word Camp Toronto 2009

Word Camp Toronto starts in about 15 minutes, goes until the 10th, and it should be a good one.

From the Site

BackSpaceStudios and PHUG – Open Source Culture, will be hosting WordCamp Toronto 2009! We want to explore WordPress to a higher degree and we’re looking for a bigger venue, sponsorships and more! In 2009, we would like to expand the conference to include all walks of WordPress life, from commercial to non-profit, from amateur to professional bloggers, designers and developers, and explore other ways in which WordPress is being used outside the blogging community.

Speakers will include Nick La, Peter Flaschner, the makers of the FlashPress plugin, Dan Zen, David Peralty (oh look, that’s ME!), and whole boatload of other great presenters.

I’ll be sure to post some of the presentations once they pop online, as most inevitably will.

Categories: WordPress News
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WordPress.com New Commenting Features

Looks like WordPress.com is testing out some interesting, and potentially very spammer friendly, commenting features. Namely, the ability to embed Youtube videos and Polldaddy polls directly in comments.

It’s as easy as adding the url for the video or poll on a separate line in any comment, which makes it really easy, for legitimate commenters and spammers alike. I’m really hoping this doesn’t lead to a spamfest of video based spam and a poll every 3 comments, but if we look at the history of sites like Myspace, Facebook, and other like them, it’s pretty much guaranteed to get real ugly, real fast.

From the WordPress.com blog

Of course if someone leaves a video or poll you don’t like it’s just like them leaving something else you don’t like, you can always delete it or edit it to remove the offending link.

As you and your audience start to play with this it should spice up comments a bit, and based on your feedback we may expand this to encompass other shortcodes and embeds in the future.

I’m really not sure what to think about this. On the one hand, it could be interesting to see the occasional video in the comment section. After all, Seesmic’s video comment plugin is pretty popular, there must be a market for that stuff. I fear it will lead to serious cases of video-spam bombing and such though. Am I crazy to think that?

Categories: WordPress News

Evidens WordPress Theme

A great friend of mine, Elena of DesignDisease has released another free WordPress theme called Evidens. It comes in both a white version and a striking black version.

evedens-dark-1

Evidens is a new 3 column, full width theme from Design Disease. Featuring both White and Dark variations, this modern/industrial theme is both elegant and edgy at the same time. The three column layout is perfect for adsense and text link integration. The design features ample space for your blog content, making sure you have room for the latest widescreen web video, as well as bright, beautiful images. Advanced options like Flickr Photostream and Twitter integration allow you to keep up with the latest social networking trends, and update your site’s content anywhere, anytime.

The modern/industrial look of the theme gives it almost infinite versatility, making it a perfect fit for blog topics ranging from technology, men’s interests, and even fashion design. Also be sure to check out PremiumThemes.com, a new project from Design Disease.

Released in the middle of last month, the Evidens theme already has many fans using it, and it is easy to see why. As the designer of many amazing blogs, including this one, Elena has a style that is very recognizable, and modern. Check out the Evidens theme today.

Categories: WordPress Themes