Archive for November, 2009
Happy Monday, folks! Good news if you’re in Japan: You’ve already got the official release of Movable Type 5. The rest of us have to wait till December 8. Apparently there was briefly a Release Candidate 3, but it and all the other RCs were pulled when MT5 went gold in Japan. The list of changes in RC3 is short, which bodes well for the final release.
While Japan enjoys MT5, everyone can try Asset Gallery 1.2 from Endevver. Asset Gallery lets you embed slideshows in entries, user profiles, or pages. And it includes lots of options for customizing the look of your slideshows. Better still, Endevver is releasing it as an open source project.
Finally, Dax from GuruLabs posted instructions for resetting MT passwords using SQL. Dax includes instructions for both MySQL and PostgreSQL. If you just need to reset one password, it’s probably easier to do it from the MT admin. But if you needed to update several users at once, this would be much faster.
What have you done with MT lately? Let us know in the comments.
I’ve spent so much time building links to my blog that I forgot how much post frequency can increase search traffic.
Typically, I write 2-3 posts per week on my blog. But in the last four weeks, I’ve had more motivation so I wrote four posts every week. This proved to be a good decision as my traffic from search engines has increased by 20% in the last thirty days. Read More
Regardless of whether you are a web designer, journalist or “Joe the Plumber” (note: I say that in love), your tools can define whether you succeed or not on your job.
The same is true for blogging, as having the proper software can help determine the difference between success and failure–or at least separate the pro bloggers from the rest of the noisy crowd.
But when it comes to the iPhone, there are a few apps that I have found that every serious iBlogging pro should have, regardless of what blogging platform you have (at least for the most part). Read More
Perhaps five years from now, the issue of typography would have been solved already– that is, web designers and blog template designers will be able to select any font of their liking and use it on the fly. (This is probably when the font-face property has received wide-spread support)
But that’s probably five years from now. Today, we have to be contented with a handful of fonts to use in blog and web designs.
There’s probably a dozen fonts out there and there are three that I think should be worth considering:
- Arial â€“ A can’t miss font that has good readability and people are already quite used to this. This is the same font that Google uses, and majority of computers carry this font.
- Georgia â€“ This seems to be the font of choice when it comes to serif typefaces. This is because the alternative is Times New Roman, which looks dated and has very little character
- Verdana â€“ Very similar to Arial, but I think this has better character width. This works well with bigger line heights and a good match for templates that utilize larger screen resolutions.
Your blog’s font can help your readers scan and read the content better. Better take a little time to find out which ones look good and help your readers.
Happy Monday, folks! This week, Six Apart put out the second release candidate for Movable Type 5. They mention a few highlights in the announcement, so let’s look at those here:
- A lot of work to get the dynamic publishing in sync with the static publishing.
- Updates to the Professional blog templates
- Unbundling of Motion and Action Streams
- The Entry/Page â€œpreviousâ€ and â€œnextâ€ container tags now account for entries/pages with the same date-time, rather than skipping them.
The item on that list that catches my eye is the “unbundling” of Motion and the Action Streams plugin. This is the first I’ve heard of this. If you download the release candidate you’ll see that, sure enough, the Motion template set and the Action Streams plugin are gone. One has to wonder if this is the end of Motion or if it will be back as a separate plugin. If anybody’s heard more about this, let us know in the comments. Read More
Squarespace has done a phenominal job in creating an official iPhone app for their users, one which may make Blogger guru’s and WordPress disciples jealous.
While it supports the basics of iBlogging (photo uploading, categories & tags, drafts, editing previous posts, etc.), the Squarespace app also boasts a few extra notable features that make it shine against it’s rival blogging apps. Read More
As you write a post, it only takes a couple minutes to optimize the title tag, post title, and URL. The benefits are well worth it because you’ll rank for more keywords,Â get more search traffic, and improve your click through rate on the search engine results pages (SERPs) and the RSS readers.
Here are some things to consider. Read More
Whenever I think of open sourced CMS (Content Management System), I often think of Drupal and Joomla which are used by web masters to make powerful websites without breaking the bank.
So you can imagine my surprise when WordPress–software created primarily for blogging–defeated Joomla and Drupal as the Overall Best Open Source CMS for 2009.
Update: Corrections made to article. See below for details.
Ask a marketer about social media and they will sing praises, especially with the attention blogs, micro-blogs, and user-generated content apps are getting in mainstream media. But ask a marketer what’s the one thing that they will make them pause about going forward with social media and they will probably say “There are no credible metrics readily available.”
Well, that type of reply is not unfounded. I’ve talked to a lot of marketing folks and they say that they would be more comfortable if there was a data source on the metrics of social media sites like blogs. This is perhaps borne from the orientation of the senior marketing executives’ reliance on Nielsen for media data on traditional media.
Why are these metrics important? These numbers are needed to justify the effectiveness of the campaign and determine the Return on Investment (ROI) of marketing activities. Of course, when it comes to ROI, the higher the better.
So, how do we answer the age old question of where to obtain readily available metrics for blogs?
These days, it’s not that hard because most blogs install analytics tools like Google Analytics to collect data on basic stats about the blog. If these analytics tools are not installed, it’s easy to install them. Things get iffy when it comes to industry-wide data because there’s still no universally accepted source of data. (Well, maybe Google will make something like this in the future.)
Just remember, metrics are important to measure performance with quantitative goals. But If you ask me, you can be a successful blogger without wrapping yourself around the numbers.
A few years ago, when someone asked the ideal length of a blog post, the common answer would sound like “between 400 to 600 words.” Now, when you ask someone the same question, the reply would fall between 200 to 300 words. This seems to be the case of “The Shrinking Blog Post.”
Now, why is this seemingly happening? I have a few theories:
- The Micro-blogging Effect – Twitter introduced a new level of brevity when it comes to writing interesting content.Â My guess is that since people want instant gratification in content, readers are now slowly expecting the same about blogs– say what you want to say in the least amount of words possible.
- “Sharability” over Stickiness – Slightly related to the first theory, my general observation is that people are more into sharing content. And I think sharing is really a “volume” activity in the sense that you gain credibility by sharing often, even if the quality is passable at best.
- Economics – For professional bloggers and writers, there are schemes where the author is paid based on the number of words in the article. Perhaps this is a response to the financial crisis that started a couple of years ago.
- The Public’s Trust in Experts – While I believe social media does open the gates for new experts, there are a few experts whom the general public trusts and these experts often have “The Word” on certain topics. This credibility gives them the privilege to post long, but rare articles. This situation leaves people to be often have to rely on high frequency of posting to elevate their reputation.
There may be other reasons, but the case of “The Shrinking Blog Post” may not be cracked soon.