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Archive for April, 2011

WordPress To JetPack Users: Prepare To Be Amazed!

After celebrating over 100,000 downloads of their JetPack plugin, Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com) is teasing WordPress bloggers with hints regarding a future update that may “wow” self hosted fans.

Beyond the recent bug fix releases, we’re investigating WordPress.com’s most popular features and how to engineer them to work inside Jetpack. I can’t say more, but it’s fair to say version 1.2 is likely to contain something impressive – something  no ordinary plugin can currently do. (Official JetPack Blog)

Note: Emphasis mine.

While Automattic isn’t providing many hints regarding their update, they are open to suggestions about which WP.com features they should include along side their surprise.

Unfortunately their comment section isn’t open for suggestions (note: perhaps it was accidently turned off?), although here are a few suggestions from yours truly. Read More

Categories: WordPress News
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Can All Bloggers Learn From Mommy Moguls?

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, mommy bloggers are the undisputed queens of the blogosphere. Their ability to network, market, monetize, and gain an enormous following is almost baffling. While many mommy blogs have turned into shameless, content-lacking promotional tools, there is no disputing the fact that they must be doing something right to get where some of them are now. Even if you find yourself slightly nauseated by the ubiquity of this particular blogging niche, you may be well-advised to put away your repugnance for a just a little bit and think about how we can all take a leaf out of their book. Here are a few considerations… Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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Love Tumblr Themes? 3 Questions To Ask Before Installing One

Regardless of whether you use Tumblr for professional or personal reasons (or even to compliment your existing blog), choosing a Tumblr theme can determine whether or not anyone reads your blog beyond the dashboard.

Tumblr currently boasts over 700 themes, with thousands more existing outside of Tumblr’s theme garden.

Regardless of whether you purchase a premium theme or install a free Tumblr layout, here are a few tips you should follow before selecting a Tumblr theme. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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WordPress: Got Writers Block? Try Writing Helper!

In a bid to help WordPress users get beyond the blank screen and inspire them to create content, Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com) has released a new tool to help bloggers combat writers block.

Dubbed Writing Helper, WP.com’s new tool seeks to use the power of man and machine in order to help bloggers create spectacular posts. Read More

Categories: WordPress News
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Blogging Pitfalls: Going Down With Your (Hosting) Ship

If there is one thing that the recent outages at Amazon Cloud and even the PlayStation Network can show us, it’s that even the best, most reliable companies can have serious problems with their hosting infrstructure and can go down.

Unfortunately, as a blogger, you’re just a passenger on someone else’s ship on the Web. Whether it’s a free hosting service like Blogger or WordPress.com, or you have your own server, most likely, some other company is providing the hosting and the access to you. But as reliable as they might have been in the past or as great as they are now, there’s always a possibility that things could change.

Simply put, hardware breaks, companies get sold and people change jobs. What was great service and support one day could be catastrophic downtime tomorrow and it’s important to be prepared for that possibility at all times. Sadly, this has nothing to do with avoiding unlimited hosting or using a bad host as even the best, most honest hosts can have a problem.

Instead, this is an issue about being prepared for the inevitable, that something will go wrong eventually, and that you don’t want to be the one who goes down with the ship. It’s a grim situation to prepare for, but one that every blogger has to.

After all, just a few moments of preparation can, literally, save you many hours or even days of headache down the road.

Read More

Categories: Blogging Sense
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LiveJournal Sneaks Out Android App

It looks like LiveJournal (a popular blog platform in Russia) is expanding beyond iOS and has quietly launched an app upon Android.

Get the official LiveJournal app and access LiveJournal wherever you roam. LiveJournal is a vibrant, social journaling platform that allows users around the world to find each other based on common passions and pursuits. Users share thoughts, experiences, guidance, artwork, fiction, and more by posting to journals and interest-based communities. (Official Android Market)

The Android app seems to be very similar to its iPhone sibling, as both allow users to upload images, create polls and edit previous entries. LiveJournal also seems to have mimicked their iOS app’s elegant layout upon Android (which is a rarity upon Google’s mobile OS).

Unfortunately the Android app lacks the ability to upload videos directly to ones LiveJournal blog (just like its iOS sibling), although hopefully they will consider adding this feature in the not so distant future.

LiveJournal has yet to announce their Android app upon their official blog (or even reference it upon their mobile page), although users can download the app from Google’s official Android Market.

Categories: Blogging News
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What Bloggers Need to Know About Trademark Law

There are three major types of intellectual property law: Copyright, Patent and Trademark.

The distinction between the three can often be confusing and gray, but in general copyright protects artistic expressions (literature, movies, photos, music, etc.), patents protect ideas and inventions and trademark protects any “mark” associated with a business.

However, trademark is very different from other areas of intellectual property. You don’t run afoul of the law simply by copying the mark itself but, as a tradeoff, trademarks can protect a much wider variety of things that would not fall under any other area of protection.

Yet, at the same time, trademark often overlaps with copyright, especially when dealing with some logos, and there is a great deal of confusion between copyright and trademark in discussions online.

All in all, trademark is a thorny and often misunderstood area of intellectual property law that demands a closer look, especially if you routinely write about companies or use trademarks in your post.

So what do you need to know about trademarks? Read the basics about trademarks in the entry over at The Blog Herald.

Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips

Google: Have You Tried Our WordPress Plugin Today?

For those of you obsessed with all things SEO (at least from Google’s vantage point), the search engine giant has released a new plugin to help make it easier to verify your self hosted WordPress blog with Webmaster Tools.

For webmasters with self-hosted Wordpress [sic] blogs, there’s now a Webmaster Tools site verifcation plugin for WordPress [sic] that completely automates our verification process! [...]

With verified ownership of your site in Webmaster Tools, you can receive specific statistics and information (e.g. relevant search queries, malware notices) about your site directly from Google. (Google Webmaster Central Blog) Read More

Categories: WordPress News
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Blog Co-Writing With a Stranger: Stressful Yet Exhilarating

When seeking to build a name for yourself as a blogger you’ll entertain all kinds of ideas. Should you go the extreme shock jock route to grab attention or be true to your inner voice and build an audience slow and steadily? Should you seek publicity through a media stunt or play the waiting game that comes from writing quality material?

These were questions I asked myself when I first sat down to write my blog. I was prepared to look every which way for opportunities as I wanted to build an identity and carve myself an audience from the noise. What I was not prepared for was the thrill, excitement, anger and downright abuse which came my way when I hit upon the idea of co-writing with a prolific blogger and complete stranger. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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Quantcast: Tumblr Is Greater Than AT&T

It looks like Tumblr has achieved another milestone as of late, as the micro blogging site is now a top 40 player according to Quantcast, just one spot above the US telecom giant known as AT&T.

In November of 2009, Tumblr stumbled past the top 100 sites and approximately 8 months later they broke through the top 50 sites (and as a bonus stealing the bronze away from Typepad).

Although Tumblr’s unique visitors pale in comparison to rivals like WordPress.com and Blogger, respectively, Tumblr’s users seem far more engaged on the site when one looks at their page views (note: since Blogger isn’t quantified, Quantcast can only estimate their size).

Currently Tumblr hosts over17.2 million blogs, which is incredible considering that the service only boasted 15 million sites in March (which is about 2 million additional blogs in less than 40 days).

With the micro blogging site showing no signs of slowing down, it will be interesting to see if Tumblr is able to catch up WP.com, the latter who currently hosts about 19.4 million blogs (up from 18 million last March).

Categories: Blogging News
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