Archive for March, 2011
Apparently bloggers implementing Facebook comments upon their blog may be hurting their site’s SEO (at least as far as Google is concerned).
Facebook Comments are served in an iframe.
This means that the comments areÂ not going to be attributed to that page or site nor seen by search engines. In short,Â Facebook Comments reside in the walled garden. All your comments are belong to Facebook.
This differs from implementations likeÂ Disqus orÂ IntenseDebate where the comments are â€˜on the pageâ€™ or â€˜in-lineâ€™. (Blind Five Year Old)
Note: Emphasis theirs.
Many bloggers hope that one day one of their stories will get a big ‘thumbs up’ on Stumbleupon and spread like the plague. Â I recently had the good fortune of posting an infographic that lit up the charts. Â I watched my traffic grow by the hour, barely able to tear myself away from the computer.
At the time I was thrilled, after all, I’ve been in this blogging game for quite some time and realize that these occurrences are the exception, not the rule. Â But now that I’ve had some time to digest the results, I see a glaring problem… Read More
Core developers are gearing up for the next release of WordPress, with promises that version 3.2 will arrive to the public without a lengthy delay (although truth be toldÂ version 3.1 was worth the wait).
While WordPress will also be working on optimizing the software in order to improve loading speeds,Â it will also boast an interesting feature that may make it easier for bloggers to write posts as well.
Distraction Free Writing. This is our headline â€œooh, shinyâ€ user feature. Replace our current fullscreen implementation with something more beautiful, more useful (in terms of line-length and font size), and simpler (only limited RTE functionality). Look at WriteRoom, OmmWriter,Â http://www.quietwrite.com/ for inspiration. Koop is investigating this, and may crank out a quick plugin to jump-start development efforts (WordPress Development Updates)
Simplifying the interface could make it easier for new bloggers to create posts within WordPress without being distracted by all the bells and whistles of the software.
The upcoming version of WordPress will require PHP 5.2.4 as well as MySQL 5 (note: make sure your web host is aware of these changes), and will also be transitioning away from IE6.
WordPress has not yet released a time frame for when they expect version 3.2 to be available to the public, although those of you on the bleeding edge can install the Beta Tester plugin to experiment with 3.2 (preferably upon a test site).
People often come to me asking, “How can I come up with a new and original idea?” The truth is, if you are looking for an idea to write about, there is no need to look for something new and exciting. It may sound crazy to say that boring is the new exciting. But, just as a magnificent lotus flower must first grow from a seed that germinates in mud and water, your most compelling idea is likely to be the one that grows out of the boring, most mundane aspects of life.
For example, consider the growing trend of writing blog posts about lifehacks (a term made popular by the website, Lifehacker). People are fascinated by lifehacks, but the ideas for lifehacks come from attempts to solve problems or to use an ordinary tool in a not-so-ordinary way, often to accomplish an ordinary end. I recently read a lifehack post on the topic, “10 Foods You Can Allegedly Make in a Coffee Maker.” What could be more boring than food? Or a coffeemaker? But put the two together and what owner of a coffeemaker (and what college student) isn’t going to want to read your post? Read More
WordPress has released a new update to their universal iOS app which sports not only a slicker layout, but also seems to have resolved most of the bugs from the previous version.
Simply select the icons along the bottom of the post editor to edit post settings, view attachments and add media. You can also now upload multiple media objects at once!
â€˜Pull to refreshâ€™ has been added to the list views of the app. To refresh the list, simply pull down until the arrow flips around and then release[.] (WordPress for iOS)
One of my favorite features is the ability to email commenters from within the app, which makes it easier to reply to readers privately without having to log into your blog via mobile Safari.
As a bonus WordPress has “magically” (to borrow a phrase from Steve Jobs) reduced the amount of time uploading videos to a blog, and has even made it easy to cancel videos uploading midway by tapping upon the clip.
Note: Bug resolved. See update below.
The only “critical” bug I discovered while using the app was the fact that WordPress seems to enjoy silencing my music (even upon third party apps like Pandora) whenever I launch WordPress for iOS.
Music silencing aside, the latest update should resolve most of the issues for WordPress fans (especially those using “unlimited hosting” plans), and is available for free upon the app store.
Update: Apparently the bug (which was also replicated within other apps ironically) dissappeared after syncing my iPhone with iTunes.
Despite it’s meteoric rise and growing business importance, blogging, to many employers, is still (incorrectly) considered the basement of the writing world. I’m consistently amazed at how little people expect to pay bloggers.
Of course it’s ultimately the blogger’s choice to determine what the value of their service is. Ninety-nine percent of bloggers do not expect to get rich from their work, but most, will gladly take a few dollars off the table for their work. And while making money blogging is awesome, sometimes it makes sense to do some pro bono work. Here are the advantages of writing for other blogs for free.
BUILD CREDIBILITY. Attaching yourself with an established brand improves your trust quotient and helps position you as an expert. And if you ever want to make REAL money blogging, you will need to be an expert.
NEW AUDIENCE. A longer reach means you are getting your goods in front of people who might not have found you otherwise. That can mean additional subscribers, more page views, and additional clicks on external links. Read More
Every year again, on March 17th the whole world turns green, celebrating St. patrick’s days. But did you know that St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just limited to drinking Guinness from 08.00AM? Our friends over at Recipe Finder compiled a list of recipe ideas for St. Patrick’s Day.
Read the St. Patrick’s Day Recipe Ideas over at Recipe-Finder.
Tumblr has crossed the 15 million blog mark and is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
According to bothÂ Compete.com andÂ Quantcast, Tumblr has witnessedÂ explosiveÂ growth (as far as page views are concerned), and while the site does boast far fewer unique visitors than WP.com or Blogger, Tumblr’s community apparently is far more active.
While the site is popular amongst the youth (especially teenage girls), Tumblr is quickly gaining credibility as a professional tool as more businesses, celebrities,Â newspapers, and bloggers use Tumblr to either compliment their site or replace it entirely.
Tumblr’s growth has not come without pain however, as the site previously experienced over 24 hours of down time due to server issues, which hurt the companies uptime ratings when compared against rival services.
Currently Tumblr is the third largest blogging service online, with only WordPress.com (who recently passed 18 million blogs) and Blogger.com holding onto the silver and gold medals, respectively.
Over the course of this column, I’ve talked a great deal about the various pitfalls bloggers may encounter over the course of running their sites. This has included everything from hosting disasters to libel lawsuits and more. Blogging can be a scary place and I’ve done more than almost anyone to point out the reasons to be afraid and worried.
However, Franklin D. Roosevelt perhaps said it best when, during his first inaugural address in 1932, he told a suffering nation, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. He was right.
Fear is a paralyzing force. It causes us to freeze or seek safety, it pushes us to avoid risks, shirk the spotlight and to take the much safer path. For a blogger, this can be a death blow. Blogging can be a risky activity but fear of those risks can often be greater than the risk itself. Fear prevents you from blogging, it prevents you from creating your best content and, most importantly, it prevents you from truly growing your site.
Learning to address and deal with fear, whether fear of success, fear of failure or something else entirely, is crucial for every blogger. Unfortunately though, this is one of those pitfalls that isn’t easily avoided, especially if you have a very fear-prone personality.
The business side of blogging can be tedious. Lately, online and smartphone apps have stepped up to take the chore out of business planning tasks like bookkeeping and invoicing. Shoeboxed aims to move physical shoeboxes full of receipts from the bottom of the office drawer to an easy-to-use online app. We used their site for a month and found many positives that warrant writers to stop and take a look.
The site organizes and stores receipts, business cards and documents and provides money management tracking and smartphone interaction. There are several plans available for use, ranging from free to $49.95 a month. Online. The â€˜most popularâ€™ $29.99 option was reviewed for a month. This plan gives users:
- 150 items scanned by the company
- 500 catch up scans
- 2-3 turnaround time for mailed in items
- Access to the Shoeboxed.com mobile app for smartphones
- Unlimited self-scan
- Pre-paid envelopes and hard copy return
- Personalized Shoeboxed email address for receipt forwarding