Archive for April, 2011
After spending many months in beta, Melody (a fork from Movable Type) has finally shed its Release Candidate skin with the unveiling of its first professional version.
Although the team behind Melody boasts about the platform’s stability and security (which everyone usually says about theirÂ preferredÂ CMS), the blog software might have one advantage when compared against rivals. Read More
If you don’t run a sex blog, don’t feature nudity on your site or generally don’t have anything that might be seen as offensive or risque, you might think the issue of adult content or content blocking doesn’t apply to you. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Simply put, the Web is a big place and the content that’s on it doesn’t get passed through any centralized ratings board like the MPAA or the ESRB (both of which have problems of their own). However, countless companies, groups, countries and even individuals have made attempts at trying to make sure that content is appropriate for whoever is visiting it and, unfortunately, they often make mistakes or, in worst case scenarios, abuse the process to silence speech they don’t like.
The issues of adult content, content rating, site filtering and so forth are ones that every blogger needs to be aware of and at least mindful of simply because the rules are so subjective and it is far too easy for innocent sites to get caught in the crossfire of a war against certain types of content.
Android lovers will be pleased to hear that their beloved WordPress app has finally added features long enjoyed by your iOS and Blackberry brethren.
You can now easily set the publish date and time in the app when creating a post or page. The date can be set to the future which will set the post status to â€˜Scheduledâ€™ and publish on your blog when the time arrives. [...]
At the bottom of the post editor weâ€™ve added a Post Password field to help protect your content. Simply enter a password here and the post will require that the password be entered for viewing on the blog when published. (WordPress for Android)
The Android app also supportsÂ HTTP Authentication for self hosted blogs, which means WordPress fans no longer have to choose between mobile blogging an tighter security via select plugins.
Unfortunately for those of you who have installed the app from Amazon’s App store, this update is not yet available (it’s awaiting approval from Amazon’s app tribunal).
However fans of Amazon’s app store can always install a fresh copy from Android Market (which might be wiser in the future, especially if WordPress releases a security update).
It looks like Google is once again getting tired of supporting legacy accounts, although this time the fight appears to be on Blogger (aka BlogSpot).
For a number of technical and operational reasons, weâ€™ve decided to finally end our support for all legacy accounts and blogs after June 25th, 2011. So if you have a Blogger account and havenâ€™t logged in since 2007, you will lose access to the account and associated content permanently unless you update to the Google Account system before June 25th. (Blogger Buzz)
Unless someone is totally paranoid about Google Accounts, it’s puzzling why anyone would not upgrade (especially with Blogger offering features like Layout Views and Theme Creator).
Google hasn’t indicated whether they will also delete BlogSpot blogs refusing to upgrade, although I would not be surprised if Google did take them down eventually (especially those that have remained inactive for a period of time).
For those of you still using the archaic login system, you can avoid losing access to your blog by clicking upon the legacy claimer which will associate your BlogSpot blog with a Google account.
Note: For those of you who migrated away from Blogger to another platform, you might want to claim your content (especially if you have links pointing back to yourblog.blogspot.com on your site).
Have you ever been curious how some blogs are able to get 300-400 comments on a single post?
Well, I intend to illustrate how one blog just recently caused a big scene getting reactions from all over the blogosphere, and then follow that with some suggestions on what you can do to perhaps approach it in a more controlled manner.
Here’s the 10 things that I saw as being part of the fuel behind what made Fred Wilson’s post get his audience fired up.Â Fred’s thoughts on marketing struck a chord by saying only crappy products need marketing.
You can see from the volume of comments, and the reaction posts like this great post from SEOmoz’s Rand Fishkin that people were fired up.Â Let us see if we can’t identify the top 10 things that caused what seemed at the time, a blogging riot. Read More
After watching rivals platforms receive official apps upon various smartphones, fans of Textpattern (which is a blog/CMS software similar to WordPress)Â have been demanding an app to use while on the go. 
Now it appears a company has created an app for the Textpattern tribe, although fans might beÂ disappointedÂ over which platform was chosen.
Mobile Textpattern is your Textpattern client app. Create new articles, edit existing ones and store them on your device as draft. Ideal if you want to save your ideas for new articles or extend existing articles with more informations. (Mobile Textpattern for webOS)
Although webOS isn’t as popular as iOS or Android, the mobile platform has been neglected by most blog platforms (although that might change once WordPress releases their webOS app).
Mobile Textpattern is priced at $0.99 and seems to be limited to basic blog functions only (i.e. create and edit posts), with no mention of additional features such as uploading videos as well as images.
Hopefully Mobile Textpattern’s entrance will inspire developers to create third party apps upon other platforms in the near future, although for now webOS fans can acquire a taste of mobile blogging without logging in from their Palm Pre’s.
There’s a saying on the Web that tells us good content can survive an ugly site. This means that, if you put up great content or otherwise provide a valuable service to your visitors, they will continue to come by even if your site is a bit of an eyesore.
To that end, the Internet is filled with examples of sites that do just that. Craigslist has thrived despite its minimalist layout, as has Drudge Report. It seems to many that site design is of no importance at all.
The problem though, is that it is not nearly that simple.
While content is certainly more important than your site’s design, your look, feel and presentation are all key parts of your site’s image and that, like it or not, is very important to your site’s potential success.
Simply put, though great content can survive a bad site, there’s no reason it should have to. Fortunately, this is a pitfall that can be easily avoided and, when done so, can even help your site grow faster than ever.
Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com) was unfortunately targeted by hackers recently and suffered a breach upon their servers.
Tough note to communicate today: Automattic had a low-level (root) break-in to several of our servers, and potentially anything on those servers could have been revealed.
We have been diligently reviewing logs and records about the break-in to determine the extent of the information exposed, and re-securing avenues used to gain access. We presume our source code was exposed and copied. While much of our code is Open Source, there are sensitive bits of our and our partnersâ€™ code. Beyond that, however, it appears information disclosed was limited. (Official WordPress Blog)
To their credit Automattic alerted the community regarding the breach, a habit I wish was emulated within other industries (who often inform users days if not weeks later).
Automattic is still investigating the hack although there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of any passwords compromised, however the company is recommending that users change their passwords.
It’s also a good idea for self hosted blogs using WordPress.com services (like VaultPress) to change their WP.com passwords as well.
Note: For those of you who are extra paranoid, you can also change your username as well by visiting your Global Dashboard, then clicking on “Personal Settings” in the sidebar, then scrolling down to the “Account Details” section and clicking on the “Change” link next to your user name.
Although this breach indirectly affects self hosted WordPress fans, it might be wise to verify your hosting companies security defenses, as well as install a few plugins (like Login Lockdown) upon your site.
After receiving criticism over their commenting system, Facebook has refreshed their commenting system in a bid to appeal to bloggers resistant toÂ outsourcingÂ their communities.
Aside from adding permalinks (via the timestamps) and making comments SEO friendly, Facebook is also launching one feature that may appeal to bloggers.
We are introducing a modified Comments Box News Feed story to feature more social context. Simply include theÂ
og:site_name in theÂ Open Graph meta tags on your site to generate the following larger story:
Optimizing the News Feed story increases the click-through-rate (CTR) back to your site and encourages people on Facebook to contribute to the discussion. To verify the image, title, and description Open Graph meta tags, visit theÂ URL Linter. (Facebook Developers Blog)
As an additional bonus, Facebook is now allows bloggers to export their comment via the Facebook Graph API, which should help ease fears of having blog communities “locked in” without an exit strategy.
With Facebook comments boasting Â social analytics and troll unfriendly technology, we may see even more bloggers and web domains outsource their communities to Facebook now that they have addressed most (if not all) of the objections.
Self hosting WordPress fans can install Facebook comments via a plugin while BlogSpot fans will need to dive into the code (or ask a geek to implement if for you).
For those of you who allow users to comment upon your sites, will you now consider outsourcing your comment section to Facebook? If not, why?
If you look at the top 3 blog service platforms, you’ll notice that Tumblr is a distant third to WordPress.com and Blogger, the latter two who occupy second and first place, respectively.
However if you notice the stats between the platforms, you’ll realize that while Blogger and WordPress.com are growing at a healthy clip (especially WP.com who just passed 19 million blogs), Tumblr is growing much faster than its rivals.
BoastingÂ approximately 16.5 million blogs (up from 15 million about a month ago), Tumblr is obviously doing something right, which might explain why every major blog service except Blogger.com has copied them.
Although Tumblr’s keep it simple approach might explain the site’s popularity (as Joshua Strebel of Page.ly fame explains upon WP Candy), there might be several other reasons why Tumblr is growing faster than their rivals. Read More