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Archive for January, 2010

Who Cares About SEO? SEO Is for Hacks and Egypt’s History Tells You Why.

Great Sphinx of Tanis

Among bloggers, especially those trying to make a buck with their sites there’s a myth. It helps them to improve their traffic and stats and ultimately should bring money and pay for their next cruise to Egypt, a marvellous country with an ancient history. A country we still speak about today and people travel in hordes to visit the pyramids, look at the Great Sphinx. Even Indiana Jones went to the Pyramids.

What the Egyptians never did though was this thing called SEO. Instead they created great content, a rich and bespoke culture and history. People still speak about their culture, visit the country and take pictures of the ruins.

First I’m going to tell you a secret: What the Egyptian Pharaohs did was perfect SEO. What the oil sheikhs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi do is the kind of SEO result most bloggers try to achieve. One country is still popular more than 2000 years later. The other… who will care about Dubai in 5 years? They even don’t have an Apple store there.

SEO Doesn’t Matter for Bloggers

  1. Setup a blog, start writing
  2. ???
  3. Profit!!!

Most of you will now want to click away and leave this page but hang in there for a second. I’m going to tell you all the SEO you’ll ever need. That’s right, after that you will not have to worry anymore about any ‘SEO’ at all.

If you think of the Egyptians you will understand that they would have been the ultimate bloggers, better than any SEO. Let’s have a look at how their great nation would have been the perfect blog. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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Blogger Gives Then Takes Away Pages (Blogger In Draft)

Yesterday Google (finally) launched pages for blogspot fans, enabling them to create a real about section without having to link to their Blogger profile (or an ancient post explaining who the author is).

This feature is currently available for Blogger in Draft (Google’s eternal beta for Blogger)–or at least it was until Google disabled it after experiencing various bugs.

(Blogger in Draft) Update (1/21 @ 8:54 PST): We’ve temporarily disabled creating & editing pages. You can still view the pages you’ve already created. We will re-enable ability to create and edit pages soon.

Despite the bugs (ranging from rendering issues to blank pages) this upcoming feature should help Blogger convince users to stay and blog upon their platform (instead of switching to WordPress.com and perhaps Squarespace as well).

Although Blogger is currently the world’s most popular blogging platform (WordPress comes in at a distant second) the service still has quite a ways to go in order to match against its smaller rivals (especially in the comment spam arena as CAPTCHA’s are dead).

Hopefully we will see Google continue to innovate this service, which has helped millions of users (this author included) embrace blogging as the norm instead of a hobby performed by geeks.

Categories: General

Blogging Success: You Don’t Have What It Takes

No really, you do

Odds are if you are reading this site you own a blog. Odds are even better that your blog doesn’t get as much traffic as you want. Odds are even betterer(?) that if you could make a living from your blog you would do it. Guess what? It isn’t going to happen. You don’t deserve the traffic or the money. You don’t deserve the fame and recognition that can come with a big blog. Do yourself a favor and stop pretending.

If you are still around after reading that and thinking to yourself that I need to go to hell because you definitely deserve those things, then maybe you can explain to me why you do. Do you understand how much work it takes to make a site big? I don’t think you do because if you did you probably wouldn’t be wasting your time reading this entry. You would be off working on your site and wondering where you are going to take your next cruise. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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Optimise Your WordPress Themes With Better Author Pages

Recently Ajay D’Souza asked how we made our author archive pages here on BloggingPro. I personally am a big fan of displaying content differently on different sections of blogs and also think that archives should be more informative than be just a collection of excerpts.

Because I personally believe that an ‘Author Information’ block below every entry overkill is, the author archive is the right spot to display more information about every author and also display the entries written by authors in a short and concise way.

Part 1: Adding The Author Description and Gravatar

Creating customised author pages is really simple. Other than some CSS customisation the code for the author description is entirely provided by known and documented WordPress template tags and information gathered from the author profile.

First we need of course a author.php template for this to work and you need to make sure that every author fills in their profile. The code used in following code samples is backwards compatible (to WP1.2!) and makes use of the $ curauth functions documented in the WordPress Codex Author Templates. The email address is protected from spam harvesters. Read More

Categories: WordPress Tips, WordPress Tutorials
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When Will iDrupal Hit The App Store? (iPhone)

Question: How many geeks does it take to create a Drupal iPhone App?

Answer: Not enough.

iDrupal, an iPhone blogging app under development by Steve McKenzie and Zaheeren (from India) has been in “geek purgatory” for almost a year now, with no sign it will enter Steve Jobs playground any time soon.

Originally started by McKenzie out of the kindness of his heart (and wallet), iDrupal was able to receive a sponsor last October which gave some Drupal geeks hope that this app would be out soon.

A few months later and an elegant Drupal app has yet to hit the app store.

Unless McKenzie can work out his mad coding skills (and I have no doubt that he can), it looks like those of the Drupal faith may have to wait until spring before the app see’s the light of day (on the app store at least).

While iLovers can currently access Drupal via BlogPress, they are unable to upload images upon their own servers (forcing them to rely upon either Flickr or Picasa Web Albums).

Hopefully McKenzie’s iPhone app will be able to change all of that as Drupal’s lack of iPresence doesn’t help their image as a superior rival to WordPress.

(Image: Early screenshot of the upcoming iDrupal UI, Credit: Steve McKenzie)

Categories: Blog Software
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Movable Type Monday: MT-Notifier, Unit Testing, Pubsubhubbub

Happy Monday, folks! Just a few things to tell you about this week. First, Chad Everett has released version 4.3.0 of MT-Notifier. Two big changes with this version: First, Chad’s upgraded the configuration to the new YAML style for plugins, which means if you’re upgrading you should delete the old version rather than copy over it. And, the standard version of MT-Notifier is now free. The free version has all the regular subscription options, while the premium version gives you a management interface and integrated search options.

Other changes, from the official announcement:

  • Added bypass setting for skipping old notifications to new subscribers.
  • Added checking of record count to queue sent message.
  • Added include/header.tmpl to plugin.
  • Changed subscription sort date to modified (from created).
  • Cleaned up carriage return/line feeds in plugin files.
  • Cleaned up code by removing unused callbacks.
  • Cleaned up history writing routines.
  • Converted Notifier->instance to MT->component.
  • Converted Notifier.pl to config.yaml.
  • Corrected problem with queue limit not working.
  • Corrected widget method names to be more consistent.
  • Moved subscription verification to CommentScript (from AdminScript).
  • Moved content from App.pm to Plugin.pm.
  • Updated translation file strings.
  • Updated object file definitions.

We’ve also got a couple of items from the Melody Project. First, Byrne Reese explains Pubsubhubbub and why it’s in Melody. Also, if you’re interested in unit testing and using Git with Melody, Jesse Gardner posted a screencast featuring Jay Allen and Byrne Reese.

What have you done with MT lately? Let us know in the comments.

Categories: Movable Type News
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The New Category, Tag, And Page Templates Introduced In WordPress 2.9

This is a guest entry by Mark Mc Williams. Mark is known in the WordPress scene as @wpkid. In this entry he discusses the new page template options in WordPress 2.9.


With the release of WordPress 2.9 it brought in many new features, but a couple in particular I quite liked, and think they’d be very useful when building client websites or working on your own. Not just that, but out of every other release post, I never saw this mentioned once.

Up First The category-slug.php Template

Before it was added, all you had available was the standard category.php template file which we’re all aware of, along with category-id.php which would have been used by some developers if they needed to show different layouts for each category archive. The trouble starts though if you’ve got 2 or 3 files like category-2.php, category-30.php and category-17.php then it get’s a little confusing if you forget what ID goes with which category! Read More

Categories: WordPress News, WordPress Tips
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Sunday Morning SEO: Blogroll Reciprocal Links

Reading BlogrollOne of the easiest things you can do to improve your reputation on Google is exchange blogroll links with other blogs. This strategy is not the most powerful strategy in the world, but it can give you a small boost in rankings. And if you’re targeting different keywords than your competitors, you might even get big ranking improvements.

About two years ago, I started a blog on a popular TV show. I didn’t have time to do a comprehensive link building campaign, but I still wanted to get search traffic. I exchanged blogroll links with other blogs and my traffic increased by a couple thousand visitors per month.

Reciprocal links still have value despite what many SEO specialists say, but you do have to be smart about it. Here are two principles to keep in mind.

Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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Drupal 7 Alpha 1 Released

When speaking about WordPress CMS often the Drupal platform is mentioned as the most viable and more powerful alternative to WordPress. After more than 2 years of development the Drupal community now received what it has been waiting for for a long time: the first Drupal 7 release.

Albeit still only an Alpha release, the bang in the community was big and I suppose for the Drupal users it was very welcome news to finally be able to look forward to certain features like Custom Fields which are standard since a really long time in the blogging community. Drupal 6 already brought an image uploader and tags to the software and Drupal 7 now brings more features WordPress and users of other blog software have known for a while already.

What’s new in Drupal 7? With Drupal 7 come image editing, integrated updater and custom fields. Read More

Categories: Blog Software
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Is Android 2.1 Polished Enough For A Squarespace App?

After surviving Apple’s draconian app approval process last year, Squarespace was finally able to launch an official iPhone app for their users.

While the company is already making plans on unleashing the next update for the iPhone app (which will include comment moderation–just like their rival WordPress), the company is currently taking a “wait and see” approach when it comes to Android–despite the demand.

(Jeff from Squarespace) To those asking: We do not have plans for an Android app at this time — we’re waiting until the platform is a bit more polished before we jump in. Perhaps a bit later in 2010.

Jeff made these comments in December before Google launched Android 2.1 within the Nexus One.

Hopefully the Squarespace team reconsiders embracing Android sooner, as “Droid lovers” currently have no way to natively blog upon their various Google phones–not even via third party apps.

Categories: General
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