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Archive for May, 2011

Transform Yourself Into a Successful Internet Entrepreneur

Starting a business online is a fairly easy task. Anybody can do it. Yet on the other hand, maintaining and growing a company to become successful is a completely different story. You need dedication, hard work, long hours, and plenty of contacts. Take a look at Neil Patel. Because of his hard work and dedication during high school, he was hired as a consultant before he even graduated. He is now the founder of two companies, Crazy Egg and KISSMetrics, both of which focus on promotion and search engine optimization for websites, and owns a blog, Online Poker Lowdown, which is focused on helping everyday people learn about online poker strategy. Technorati has since named him one of the Top 100 influential bloggers and the Wall Street Journal has tagged him as one of the most impactful people online.

You’re probably wondering how you can integrate yourself into this community of successful and wealthy online entrepreneurs. Before you jump into starting up this business, there are several steps to take to make sure you are ready. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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WordPress For iOS Makes Photo Blogging Fun Again

After many months of waiting, WordPress has finally blessed iOS fans with features that have long been enjoyed by Android, Nokia and Blackberry fans.

While the inclusion of WP.com stats will please data geeks (which requires JetPack or the WP.com Stats plugin), photo bloggers will love quick photo which is even easier than Tumblr’s iPhone app.

As you launch the app, you’ll notice there’s now a button in the bottom of your blogs list. Tap it to launch the camera and take a picture, when you’re satisfied you can add a title or a description (if you want, both are optional), and boom — you’re done! (WordPress for iOS)

It takes only 4 quick taps (from launch to publish) to send a photo to your blog compared to Tumblr’s 6 taps (7 if you start within the dashboard).

For those of you with WordPress Tumblogs, you will be glad to hear that the team is also planning on supporting post formats in the future, although there is no time table as when that will appear (as WordPress has to implement a core patch in order correctly assign the image post format).

Hopefully WordPress will consider other media formats such as video, quotes and audio files (note: perhaps changing between them by sliding the “quick photo” button to the side?), as their mobile apps could help WordPress regain some lost ground against Tumblr.

Categories: WordPress News
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Flat World Knowledge: Learning with Cheap Customized Textbooks

This post brought to you by Flat World Knowledge. All opinions are 100% mine.

Flat World Knowledge, a new entrant in the educational text book scene, brings a new platform and setup to both professors and students. With their “MIYO” setup, professors and students get access to the complete Flat World Knowledge library and can easily customize, publish even, their own textbooks.

The Make It Your Own (MIYO) book editor, allows the user to handpick elements from the entire open books library and render the combined selection in the form of a new book. All expert authored and professionally published, textbooks in the library of Flat World Knowledge are published under Creative Commons License, making textbook customization of books by reuse of content possible. Additionally to the easy ‘click and drag’ setup of Flat World Knowledge’s platform, professors can easily insert rich media to the textbooks, which are rendered upon click.
 
Books are published in different formats, optimized for digital platforms. Every customized publication is available in the form of a PDF for printing, a HTML ebook with search functionality and option to add notes, and even as .mobi and .epub files, which can be read on mobile platforms such as the iPhone, iPad and Kindle, as well as in Android. Textbooks are also published as audiobooks and are available in Braille in order to exclude nobody and make the whole, fully available library, totally accessible to everyone.
 
Thanks to the possibility to customize books and tailor the textbooks 100% to the learning program, Flat World Knowledge, who has raised over $27 million over the last 2 years in venture capital from investors including Bessemer and BDMI, is able to offer the books in different pricing schedules as well, even free and make education much more affordable.
  • Online edition: free to use
  • Print version: $35
  • Other formats: $25

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Categories: Interesting
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Facebook Comments Vs Disqus: Which Is Better?

In one corner, weighing in at 600 million plus users is the social behemoth known as Facebook, a Jedi Master when it comes to all things social, but a novice when it comes to the commenting arena.

In the other corner is Disqus, weighing in at 35 million active users, and who currently sits as king of third party commenting systems.

Although there are other commenting systems such as Echo and IntenseDebate (the latter which is owned by Automattic), I’m coming across more sites and blogs adopting either Disqus or Facebook comments so for now I’ll focus on these two titans.

Since both services have advantages as well as disadvantages against each other, we’ve decided to put each through 7 rounds to see which service is more suitable for your site. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tools
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Blogging Pitfalls: 7 Ways Your Blog May Impose On Your Visitors

Road ClosedImagine, for a moment, that you were invited over to a friends house to watch a movie or catch up on their news. However, instead of giving you what you went for, they bombarded you with advertisements you didn’t want, practically shoving them in your voice and begging you to read them.

Then, when you get past the ads, they start annoying you with irritating sounds and distracting movement, anything to get your attention away from whatever it is you visited for. Then, when you finally turn to leave, your friend does everything they can to prevent you from going. This includes locking doors, rearranging the furniture and everything short of handcuffing you to a wall.

This person, almost certainly, would not be your friend much longer and it is even more unlikely you’d ever go back to their house. At the very least you’d consider this a bad experience and, at worst, it would feel like a form of kidnapping.

However, as extreme as this example sounds, it’s exactly how many websites treat their visitors. Sadly, many webmasters don’t see their visitors as guests in their virtual home, but rather, like sheep meant to be shorn and exploited as much as possible.

But while we can all recount the terrible experiences that we’ve had with sites that have tried to trap and bombard us, there are other, more subtle ways a webmaster can impose on a visitor and they can be just as deadly to earning trust.

Unfortunately, many webmasters fail to realize that they are doing it and some are left wondering as to why so few of their visitors ever come back. Read More

Categories: General
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WordPress.com Leaps Past 20 Million Blogs

WordPress.com has recently passed 20 million blogs, a notable milestone which will hopefully kill off rumors that regarding the death of blogs (due to the popularity of social networks like Facebook and Twitter).

WordPress.com has also jumped a spot upon Quantcast top million rankings as the blog service has overtaken AOL.com for the 18th spot.

Surprisingly WP.com seems to be within striking distance of Bing.com (who currently occupies the 17th spot), although WordPress.com has a long ways to go before they can catch up to Blogger (who proudly sits at 13).

Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com) has continued to release a slew of new features in order to attract new users (such as Writer Helper and premium themes) and it will be interesting to see how long it takes for WP.com to reach 40 million hosted blogs.

Note: With competition heating up from services like Tumblr, what features or services do you think WP.com should add in order to effectively compete in the micro blogging craze that has swept the web?

Categories: WordPress News
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3 Things BlogSpot Fans Need To Do When Blogger Goes Down

Blogger has been down for over 24 hours (rivaling Tumblr’s outage earlier), giving the service a black eye after previously boasting a perfect uptime record.

While BlogSpot blogs are still online, users logging into Blogger are greeted with this screen below:

Google is in the process of restoring posts and comments, although instead of fretting and cussing on Twitter (as that will only stress you out even more) here are a few things you can do until Google grants you access to your Blogger Blog. Read More

Categories: Blogging News
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Web-Based Blog Publishing With Squarespace

I’ve been a Squarespace fan since 2007.  And before you jump on me and start singing the praises of that other Web-based blog platform, all I’m asking for is a chance.  I want to show you how I built a successful blog with Squarespace, and that sometimes, paying a few dollars is worth the convenience.

What got me started was the no-risk trial that allowed me to set up a blog without shelling out a single penny – not even a credit card number.  It’s a great business strategy, because after tweaking your blog to look the way you’d like, why bother going elsewhere? Well done, Squarespace! But all kidding aside, any company that allows you take a product for a full test drive without any commitment, clearly believes in its goods.

What sets Squarespace apart is that it’s so simple, that even your grandmother can start that crocheting website she’s always talking about!  And if you feel so inclined, you can dive into the CSS and customize as many elements as you like.  That’s the beauty of Squarespace, it’s the perfect solution for people at all tech levels. Read More

Categories: General
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Why I Stopped Using Traffic Exchange Programs to Get Traffic to My Blog

The temptation is too big. When you look at your stats and see that traffic is not at the levels you desire or think you deserve you start looking at every possible alternative out there. You spend hours on the internet hoping that some traffic alchemist gives you the magic recipe to boost your traffic overnight and feel drown when you realize you’ve already tried it or after you try it you find out that it’s not converting visits into gold.

And this is what autosurf and traffic exchange programs like Smiley Traffic, AutoSurfPro or FreeMillionAuto have to offer. Loads of free daily traffic. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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WordPress 3.2 Enters Beta With Promises Of Simplicity

The first beta of WordPress 3.2 is out, which promises to not only speed things for your blog (provided that you’re not using IE6), but also a slight redesign of the admin area.

However one of the biggest changes (at least for non-geeks) is the fact that WordPress is finally embracing a simpler posting interface.

Distraction-free Writing. The visual editor’s full-screen composing experience has gotten a major overhaul, and is now available from HTML mode, too. More than ever, WordPress allows you to focus on what matters most — your content. (WordPress News)

Note: Emphasis theirs.

Along with Writing Helper, the new interface should help reduce the friction when it comes to creating a post, as well as appease fans of rival services (like Posterous and Tumblr) who desire simplicity without sacrificing on power.

Fans can test the beta by installing the WordPress Beta Tester plugin, although make sure you use a test blog or site (lest your break a few plugins or your theme in front of your readers).

Note: If you come across any bugs while beta testing WordPress 3.2, feel free to report it in the alpha/beta forum.

Categories: WordPress News
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