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Archive for the ‘Blog Software’ Category

WordPress 2.9.1 Released

After the festive season the dev crew has released an update for WordPress 2.9. WordPress 2.9.1 is a bugfix release and contains no new features. If you have waited updating to 2.9, now is the time to upgrade as most issues have been resolved.

Issues with scheduled posts should be resolved and the same applies to feed parsing errors in the admin dashboard. Update your blogs now via the build-in updater or download the latest WordPress update now.

Categories: Blog Software, WordPress News
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Expression Engine 2.0 Public Beta Released and There’s No Core Version

Expression EngineThe wait is finally over and Expression Engine 2.0 has finally been released by EllisLab more than 18 months after being introduced at SXSW 2008.

I personally have not had time yet to extensively test the new release but expectations are very high. In the past I have called Expression Engine the best self-hosted blogging platform on this site and am certainly looking forward to compare the new version to WordPress which I have come to love enough to use daily and customise for almost all projects, but often I have preferred the ease of EE 1.6.x when tailoring sites.

But First Things First.

The newly released EE2.0 PB (Public Beta) comes with a price and a new pricing structure:

  • Freelancer: $99.95
  • Non-commercial License: $149.95
  • Commercial License: $299.95

Although Expression Engine 1.6.8 Core still available is, there is no free Core version for EE2.0, instead EllisLab offers a 30-day free demo download. It certainly is a daring move and although many labour has gone in the release (more than 2 years), one can only wonder if EllisLab is cutting of the ever shrinking community and pricing itself out of the market. In a sector with as main competitors the free and open source platforms WordPress and Movable Type, this bald move must be admired. When Six Apart announced a change in licensing structure in 2004 WordPress almost single-handedly won the market and some years later SA announced a new opensource version of MT, which was released end 2007 but MT had already lost its position as market leader. Is EE headed for a similar obscurity?

It must also be said that the standard license fee has increased with $50 for normal users. To make the platform more appealing for developers and designers there is a new Freelancer license at $99.95. One of the biggest differences when comparing EE to WordPress is the availability of plugins and the new license structure is not bound to help the Expression Engine community.

That said, I am looking forward to play with EE2.0 over the next 30 days before I decide whether I want to invest in a license for something I can have freely somewhere else. A license I mainly need to continue playing with the platform and promote EE as a viable and (hopefully still) better alternative.
It will be sad if the license structure will seal the future of EE as I would love to see more choice and more viable alternatives to WordPress. I secretly hoped that EE2.0 would become open source like other platforms but who am I. Now I must play with EE, I only have 30 days!

Can you imagine replacing WordPress with EE? What impact would it have on your business, especially when running several blogs?

Update: Expression Engine 2.0.0 PB released (yes version 2.0.0).

Categories: Blog Software, Blogging News
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I Love Squarespace! But I Love Their iPhone App Even More

Squarespace has done a phenominal job in creating an official iPhone app for their users, one which may make Blogger guru’s and WordPress disciples jealous.

While it supports the basics of iBlogging (photo uploading, categories & tags, drafts, editing previous posts, etc.), the Squarespace app also boasts a few extra notable features that make it shine against it’s rival blogging apps. Read More

Categories: Blog Software, Reviews
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Market your blog efficiently with Tweet Whistle

You can do all of the hard work researching topics and writing content for your blog but all of your hard work is worthless if no one will actually visit your blog and read your well thought out posts.

All blog owners should not only improve their writing and research skills, they should also develop their internet marketing skills. They should learn how to market their blogs so that they can entice people to visit their blog and continue reading the posts they make. A properly marketed blog is also a great source of income. Imagine getting more money from the ads that you put in your blog? That’s a benefit I’d love to get from my blogs.

The problem is that internet marketing is a subject that intimidates a lot of people. Personally, I don’t think that this should be a source of fear. Internet marketing is not really that hard especially if you have the tools to help make things easier for you. For example, Twitter is quite easy to use. The popular microblogging platform is now widely used as an internet marketing tool. Its popularity makes it an obvious choice to implement marketing efforts because of the number of people that can be reached by the marketing message. Because of its effectiveness as a marketing tool, it’s also a natural progression that independent tools are developed to further mine the capabilities of Twitter.

Tweet Whistle | Twitter Marketing Solution | FAQ_1254239014763Tweet Whistle is one of these tools that have unleashed the power of Twitter. Tweet Whistle is a marketing tool that allows you to market your blog in Twitter more easily by automating Twitter’s functions. With this application you can automatically target followers and even automate your Twitter posts. What’s more, Tweet Whistle is the most affordable Twitter marketing application you will find on the net. You can see for yourself how useful Tweet Whistle is by trying the trial demo, which you can download at http://www.tweetwhistle.com/.

But if you want the opportunity of using the full version of Tweet Whistle for free, you can join Tweet Whistle’s contest, wherein the winner will get a licensed copy of Tweet Whistle and a $25 cash prize to be paid through PayPal. To join the contest just do the following:
1.    Follow @thetoolsmith on Twitter

2.    Just tweet the message below:

Just enter to win $25.00 and a free copy of “Tweet Whistle” Just follow @thetoolsmith and Retweet http://tweetwhistle.com

Categories: Blog Software, Blogging Tools, Microblogging
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Writing Your Own Blog Software: Anyone Still Do That?

I have been playing around with CodeIgniter lately, and re-learning PHP. For those that are interested in picking up what I am learning, please check out Devlounge.

It has me thinking though about blogging platforms. There are so many great options out there that I wonder how often people create their own anymore? Have we come to the point where one platform or another fulfills nearly every need, and those that program their own blog software do so only to prove that they can or are people still programming their own blogging platform because there is something missing from a feature or workflow standpoint?

I have thought about programming my own blogging software, but that is only because I don’t need something very complex, and so it would be easy to write, and would allow me to learn more about programming, and not because I am necessarily missing anything by using WordPress.

If you’ve thought about, or taken on the task of making your own blogging software, let me know why in the comments below.

Categories: Blog Software

Which Applications Do You Use?

Recently, the subject of applications relating to blogging, development, and more have come across my desk more than once.

The first was my own attempt at writing a free college software guide on College Crunch which then was noticed by Online College which built upon the list, adding more things that students (but really anyone) could and should use.

Then, I found another great post, on noupe, one of the blogs I frequent, relating to Mac Applications for Web Designers, and so the question then is, what do you all use as a blogger? I don’t just mean blogging software, but Twitter applications, day to day software. What is installed on your computer that you rarely go a day without launching? Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to mention which operating system you use, and please no OS snobs.

Categories: Blog Software, Interesting

Six Apart launches TypePad Connect Beta

Six Apart has launched the beta version of TypePad Connect, a Disqus-style commenting service that includes MyBlogLog-like profiles. The new comment service has a sleek new interface and great features like threading, easy pagination, OpenID sign in, email notifications of replies and the ability to reply via email. The comments are protected by TypePad AntiSpam.

TypePad Connect lets you style your comments so that it will look the same way with the rest of your blog. It also features a Gravatar-like profile picture system. Apparently TypePad Connect is a way for Six Apart to create a service that helps bloggers connect with their readers and other bloggers, in a more open, more powerful, and more meaningful fashion.

Typepad Connect is also integrated with the new TypePad Profiles. TypePad Profiles takes advantage of things you’re already doing and automatically updates itself, to keep your profile up to date and interesting. So if you have your Twitter synced to your profile, your status will be updated to reflect your current Twitter update. And finally, feeds, Microformats, and Open ID is also supported by TypePad Profiles.

These new profiles and comments are not just available for TypePad bloggers but for ANY blogger or web site for free. TypePad Connect is available for all of the major blog platforms. That means if you’re on TypePad, Moveable Type, WordPress, Tumblr, or Blogger, you would be able to use this new service without paying a thing.

What do you think about this new service? Drop your thoughts in the comments.

Categories: Blog Software

Journalists Get Free TypePad Pro Accounts

Newly laid-off journalists can get a free TypePad Pro account from Six Apart, thanks to their TypePad Journalist Bailout Program. With the mantra “Because your Tumblr and Tweets, while clever, will not pay your bills”, SixApart aims to support online journalism. According to SixApart, “During a time when so many great journalists are worried about losing their jobs, we want to do what we can to help.”

Of course, a blog can’t replace a full-time writing gig, but it’s a start. A pretty good start, if you ask me, because those who try this program out get the following:

  • A free TypePad Pro account worth $14.95 per month. This is the service that powers big-name media blogs. Professional technical support is even included.
  • Enrollment in the Six Apart Media advertising program, ads “that pay a lot more than simple Google text ads.”
  • Promotion on Blogs.com, to jumpstart traffic, and a very effective way for those in the Journalist Bailout Program to cross-promote their sites.

The only thing journalists need to do to avail of this program is to send Six Apart the link to their last piece for a newspaper, magazine or broadcast journalism venue to [email protected]. They say that this program might end soon, but there’s no word yet on a definite date, and response to the program has been overwhelming.

 If they do want to get journalists to start blogging, this is a great start. Offering not only a free blogging platform, but also an advertising program to be able to profit from the blog is a brilliant PR move.

Categories: Blog Software

State of the word

Matt Mullenweg, WordPress founder announced impressive milestones and growth figures marking the state of WordPress during WordCamp 2008.  His keynote speech emphasized the dominating strength of WordPress.org and WordPress.com over its closest rival TypePad. In the USA alone, it was noted that there are over 20.9 million WordPress.com unique visitors vs. TypePad.com’s 7.2 million uniques. Internationally the numbers are further apart with WordPress.com at 97.8M vs. TypePad.com’s 16.8M.  

For WordPress.org Mullenweg reports that as of today there are over 2.6 million active user-installed blogs “out there”.  

Matt Asay of CNet.com aptly puts “a better word” out… open source is and will be good business.  Unique page impressions are critical data for a lot of industries.  You’ve got a site/service you’d want advertised online (?) the first thing you ask is “How many unique page visitors does your site attract?” 

Here’s a quick run-thru of WordPress milestones:

  • Page views grew from 1.5 billion to 6.5 billion/month
  • 1/3 of the page views come from VIPs like CNN and LOLCats
  • 120-160 million global unique visitors per month
  • Two million new blogs created for the year
  • 35 million new blog posts (up from 20 million)

Now regarding how the minor versions run-up to the big 2.7 version?  Mullenweg says that it will be a slow yet steady work on releasing easier update/upgrade paths.  

Mullenweg mentioned Microsoft, OSX, iPhone, Facebook platform as examples, and believes that good platforms need good self-updating systems. Automattic has a three-prong strategy for better updates: better community awareness, working with webhosts, and adding automatic upgrades functionality to WordPress. Mullenweg envisions the upgrade process to work just like Firefox: one-click, with a list of plugin and theme incompatibilities generated. 

 

Categories: Blog Software, WordPress News

LiveJournal Removes Ad-Free Account Option

One semi-unique feature that LiveJournal had was its advertising free account option, but as of today it seems that option will no longer be around.

Details from ReadWriteWeb say:

SUP, the Russian company that recently acquired LiveJournal, angered a substantial number of its users last week by instituting the policy before discussing it publicly and going against the advice of at least two members of the company’s new high profile advisory committee.

LJ’s pricing structure has long been unique among major social networks; none of its competitors allow users to avoid ads or pay for an ad-free and feature-rich account. It appears that the company has given up on that unique approach and chosen the ubiquitous ad-centric path to monetization, itself of questionable effectiveness in monetizing some social networking platforms.

Am I surprised that they had to go this route? Not really, as blogging software like LiveJournal is expensive to maintain, service, and update, and the staff deserves decent compensation for their work. I think they would have been better off taking a page from TypePad and WordPress.com by instituting more paid options rather than taking in more ad-supported methods to generating revenue.

What will happen to LiveJournal as it heads down this road? Will accounts already using the free with no ads version be grandfathered, or will they be exposed to ads?

If you are a LiveJournal user, please chime in, as I’d love to hear what you think of these recent developments.

Categories: Blog Software