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Archive for March, 2011

What Will Google’s Blogger Reveal In 2011?

After boasting a perfect uptime record and announcing plans to court mobile devices (starting with Android), Blogger is intent upon maintain their postion as the leading blogging service online by the revelation a few upcoming features.

To start, we’re kicking things off at SXSW by giving folks a sneak peek at our next-generation user interface. The new design is not only cleaner and more modern, but it also uses Google Web Toolkit, delivering the latest in web technology.

We’ll also be showcasing our new content discovery feature that lets you uncover interesting and related content based on the topics of the blog you’re currently reading.  (Blogger Buzz)

The Blogger team also hinted a few upcoming features they can not yet mention (which they tease in the promo video below), although here are a few educated guesses on what Blogger may unveil later on in 2011. Read More

Categories: Blogging News
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Blog Commenting Systems: Which One Should You Choose?

When it comes to blogging, one decision that many users have to face is whether they should outsource their comments to a third party client or stick with using their de facto commenting system instead.

Bloggers who decide to choose a third party client often have to test out numerous services (both good and bad) before settling upon a quality client that compliments their site.

Although everyone’s choice will vary depending upon the platform that they are using, here are a few basic tips you should consider before installing a commenting client upon your blog. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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The Only 3 Methods of Making Money Blogging You Ever Need To Know

So many people are looking for ways to make money blogging. People who are new to the blogging world seem to make it more complicated than it really is. The truth is, making money blogging can be broken down into 3 simple methods. You can do just one, two, or all three.

The basic methods are:

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Product Creation
  • Selling Advertising Space

These three methods are the basis of what all money making methods are derived from. If you can master one of these, you’re well on your way to earning some nice income blogging. Let’s break them down. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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Disqus Comments Receives A “Minor” Real Time Upgrade

From an analytical standpoint, Disqus latest update to their blog commenting system seems trivial, especially with competition heating up now that the 8oo lbs gorilla (i.e. Facebook comments) has entered the arena.

However once tried upon your site, bloggers may fall in love with this new feature (not to mention their readers as well).

With this new feature, Disqus generates preview thumbnails of any image URLs you’ve referenced in your comment. To view the original image, just click the preview thumbnail. We hope this will enhance the commenting experience by allowing commenters to express themselves visually.

Now,  old-school Disqus users might recognize that we’ve always done this. The difference is we now download and present these images to you as you’re typing your comment. This means you can preview your images before submitting, or remove them if they prove too embarrassing or career-ending. (Official Disqus Blog)

Currently the feature (known as Disqus Images) only supports .png, .gif, .jpg/.jpeg images under 2 mb, and the company is thinking about adding support for video platforms (like YouTube) in the future.

In order to activate this feature bloggers will need to select the Houdini theme within their Disqus admin panel.

While Disqus Images may not appeal to everyone (especially bloggers who loathe readers pasting images within comment), it may help the startup survive against rivals like Facebook, as well as IntenseDebate.

Categories: Blogging News
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Does Your WordPress Blog Need Jetpack? Answer: Yes!

Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com) has released a plugin for self hosted WordPress fans that will make it easier for them to receive some of the features from WP.com without having to scour the WP directory for a plugin.

Today we’re launching the first version of what’s been a dream of mine for several years now, really since my State of the Word presentation in 2009: a way to provide feature parity between WordPress.com and WordPress.org for everybody. [...]

For launch we’ve brought eight of the most-requested features into Jetpack as one easy bundle: Hovercards, Stats, After the Deadline, Twitter widget, shortcodes, shortlinks, easy Facebook/Twitter/WordPress sharing buttons (Sharedaddy), and for our fellow math nerds, \LaTeX. We’re excited about this initial set of features, but we’re even more excited for what’s coming down the road. (Jetpack News)

Automattic is partnering with a number of hosts (including GoDaddy and DreamHost) in order to have Jetpack pre-installed with new WordPress users. Current WordPress fans can install the Jetpack plugin manually from the directory.

Read More

Categories: WordPress News
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Blogging Pitfalls: Chasing Trends

Fashion DummiesThe Internet has made our society the trendiest in the history of the world. New companies, ideas and ways of communicating rise and fall within months, if not weeks or days. Even our cultural linchpins, memes, are best-known for their short-lived nature.

This is a dangerous trend for bloggers and a nearly impossible environment to work in. If you’re trying to establish a blog that will be here in five to ten years, the trendy nature of the Web is a maze of dead ends that you can not afford to get lost in.

Unfortunately though, many bloggers do just that and they pay for it dearly. They hitch their sites to services that go nowhere, put their blogs on hosts that close down and generally run their sites into walls while trying to catch waves.

If you’re trying to build a blog that lasts longer than your average fad, this is not a pitfall you can ignore and one you have work very hard to try and avoid.

Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips, Marketing
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WordPress Mocks “Blogs Are Dead” Myth, Now 18 Million Strong

The team at Automattic (the company behind WP.com) have reached another milestone, as they are now hosting over 18 million WordPress.com blogs upon their servers.

Last month in February the NY Times wrote an article detailing how blog platforms were some how being canibilized by Facebook and Twitter, with only Tumblr showing healthy signs of growth (at least among the youth).

While no one can dispute the fact that social networks are claiming their fare share of online content (at least upon Twitter and Facebook), their presence has yet to starve blogging as a whole and (not surprisingly) they are often used by bloggers themselves to promote their content.

Other blogging platforms are also boasting healthy signs of growth, with Tumblr approaching 15 million blogs, with smaller players like OnSugar (which is a fork of Drupal 4.7) gaining influence as well.

Note: Although there are probably as many self hosted WordPress blogs as there are WordPress.com blogs, there is currently no way to track them all as not everyone installs WP.com stats or Google Analytics within their blog.

According to Network World’s research (who analyzed the top 1 million sites online), WordPress’s total market share is between 6.9% (according to Quantcast) and 12.9% (according to Alexa), respectively.

Categories: WordPress News
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Should Bloggers Use Facebook’s Commenting System?

As many of you are well aware of, Facebook has launched their own commenting system which enables readers to comment upon your post without having to sign up for yet another user account or retype their name to identify themselves.

With major blogs like TechCrunch and GigaOm embracing Facebook (wholely if not partially), many bloggers are wondering whether outsourcing their comment section to the social network is a good idea or not.

While I’m personally in favor of not outsourcing one’s comment section to the social giant, here are a few reasons why you should (as well as should not) power your discussion threads via Facebook. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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The Best Free Screen-Grab Tools Available

As far back as 1998 when the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) took effect, individuals and companies have been fighting to protect their images online and have been known to sue if they believe copyright infringement has taken place. Whether or not there is a real liable risk to the everyday blogger looking to promote their blog using images from other sites in their posts, this is not for me to say. However, I think there is a real fear amongst bloggers and webmaster who would rather err on the side of caution than risk being taken to court. One way of ensuring that you remain on the right side of the law, whilst at the same time providing stimulating images in your blog posts, is to use screen shots/screen grabs instead. FYI – don’t think you can just take a screen shot of another image to claim it as your own, this is still copyright infringement.

As the use of screen shots in blog posts continues to increase, a number of software developers have released free tools that offer more functionality than the simple “Prt Scr” button on your keyword, allowing you to produce blog-quality images. Here is a breakdown of 5 popular free screen-grab tools and a suggestion of who they might suit best. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips, Blogging Tools
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Movable Type’s Daughter Melody Exits Beta

After many months in beta, the team behind Melody (a fork of Movable Type 4.34) have unveiled their first release candidate to the world.

We are excited to announce that Melody 1.0′s first release candidate it ready for download and use by the general community and outside world. A number of us have been using Melody for quite sometime with nary a hiccup, and this latest build is without a doubt the most stable build of Melody, and arguably Movable Type 4 to date. It has lots of bug fixes and even some minor features here and there, all of which are well documented in our release notes. (Official Melody Blog) Read More

Categories: Blogging News
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