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Archive for the ‘Blogging News’ Category

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

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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.

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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

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Posterous Makes Group Blogs Fun Again For Android, iPhone

The Posterous team have recently updated their iPhone and Android apps, which now allow users to create private groups without having to power up the notebook.

With today’s iPhone and Android releases, friends, family members and colleagues can now create and participate in a Posterous Group from their phone, the Web or via email without limitations.

And because every group deserves a home, each Posterous Group gets its own beautiful private web site. In other words, you can communicate with members entirely by mobile and email but your group’s memories are permanently archived and viewable on your group site. (Official Posterous Blog)

Posterous fans can add friends directly from their contact list, although unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a way to add new members later on from within the app.

Users can also comment upon group blogs as well as like individual posts within the apps as well (two features which are sadly unavailable for regular Posterous blogs).

The only major bug that I discovered in iOS was when adding images from ones album, as Posterous does not show any images (note: is anyone else experiencing this?).

The latest update is available to Android and iPhone fans, and for those of you sporting a Blackberry device you may have to resort to email until Posterous launches an official app.

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Turkey Blocking Blogger Over 1 BlogSpot Blog?

Turkey is apparently about to deny its citizens the right to access Blogger.com in the near future.

However unlike last time when they banned YouTube, Turkey is denying access to the service over what appears to be a copyright dispute.

Serhat Özeren, chairman of the Telecommunications and Energy Services Consumer Rights and Industry Research Association (TEDER) and head of the Internet Council at the Ministry of Transportation, said a Diyarbakır court has issued an order to block blogspot.com after Digiturk filed a complaint against the website on the grounds that it violated the company’s broadcasting rights of Turkey’s top football division. (World Bulletin)

Although copyright infringement is a serious issue (one that even bloggers have to deal with), restricting everyone else’s access due to one offender is a bit extreme in my honest opinion.

There is no word on how long this ban will last (or whether Google will appeal the decision), but hopefully this censorship will be short lived.

According to World Bulletin, the Turkish Parliament is considering a bill that would prevent heavy handed measures like this in the future, and allow the government to block the offending website at the sub domain instead.

Note: Since BlogSpot blogs can simply change domains at a whim, it would be wiser for the company (as well as the Turkish government) to simply send Google a cease and desist order in the future instead of issuing multiple bans against a single offender.

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Tumblr Theme Designers Making Thousands Per Month?

Although Tumblr has not officially revealed the revenue split between the company and theme designers, the micro blogging site did reveal some interesting facts regarding how much theme designers are generating every month.

Tumblr does charge for things like being featured in its directory or $9 themes users can buy to spruce up their Tumblog. Karp notes that some theme designers are making tens of thousands of dollars month. (via TechCrunch)

In the interview (seen below), Tumblr CEO and found David Karp revealed that the company actually thought about launching premium features for Tumblr, but decided to opt instead for features that enhanced the community (like premium themes) instead. Read More

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Tumblr Courting Tags Over Blog Directory?

It looks like Tumblr is slowly giving up on the idea of a classifying blogs into hard categories (i.e. fashion, technology, science, etc.) and instead is embracing tags as a superior way to sort through the tumblverse.

It’s hard to organize Tumblr blogs by topic. A single one of your blogs may include your personal updates, your art, your opinions, and a YouTube video of a cat speaking Japanese, all in a single day. This has been a real limitation of the current Tumblr Directory. So, for the last few weeks we’ve been experimenting with some brand new tools for exploring Tumblr.

The new Explore page organizes and filters posts by tag. This means that every tagged post has a chance to show up in front of an audience of millions that might not otherwise see it. Think Tumblr Radar by topic. (Tumblr Staff Blog)

Another advantage tags has over Tumblr’s blog directory is the fact that users will come across fresh content which will make it easier for users to discover relevant content as well as interesting blogs.

The Tumblr explore page also gives blogging pro’s choosing to host their blogs upon Tumblr (or use the platform as “a companion site“) another way to reach new users beyond the traditional social networks.

Although Tumblr will probably keep their  blog directory alive (as it’s one of the few ways the company makes money), we will probably see less emphasis upon it in the future from the company.

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Google Reader: Did You Update Your Android App Today?

The boys and girls from the Google Reader team have announced some recent changes to their official Android app that should help make it much easier to use for news junkies on the go.

News ticker widget – if you prefer a bit more information, you can add a larger size widget that cycles through items on any stream you want in Reader. Clicking any headline will take you to the article, while clicking the folder will take you to that stream.

Mark previous as read – if you’ve used the mobile version of Reader before and missed this feature, it’s now back! As you scroll down your reading list, hit “Mark previous as read” at any time to only mark things above the screen as read. (Official Google Reader Blog)

The app also includes an unread count widget which was surprisingly left out during the app’s premier launch.

Unfortunately for iPhone fans, Google has no plans on launching an official iOS app in the future and thus far seems dedicated to only supporting the Android platform (although iOS has plenty of third party apps to help fill in the gap).

Google Reader fans can download the app for free from the Android Market, and for those of you who sport an Android device do you prefer the official app over the numerous third party rivals? If so, why?

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Posterous Mimics Tumblr, Adds Long Overdue Feature

Taking a cue from their frenemy Tumblr, Posterous has introduced the “like” button for their users (which is similar to Facebook’s like button).

Now it’s a lot easier for your readers to “like” your posts on Posterous.  A simple click on the heart button is all that’s needed to show some love.

The new “like” feature is available on all themes and replaces favorites.  When someone likes your post, a comment will be added making it easier  for everyone to see your latest fan. (Official Posterous Blog)

Unlike WP.com who tried to differentiate themselves by using a star, Posterous opted for using the heart icon instead which is a smarter move as they don’t have to put the word “like” next to the icon (which both WP.com and Facebook do).

Surprisingly Posterous did not opt to include one’s avatar when a post is liked, choosing to link to the readers profile instead. (hopefully the Posterous team will reconsider as avatars would help make the site feel much more personal).

With Posterous jumping aboard the “like” revolution, Blogger (aka BlogSpot) is the only major platform with no official like button of their own (although users can create one via Blogger’s reactions feature).

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Did India Block Blogger?

There are reports coming in that Blogger (aka BlogSpot) is unavailable for numerous India users without the assistance of a proxy.

Users are already sounding off upon the official Blogger forums, although one user is suspecting that the block is not due to technical difficulties (which is my first assumption) but rather due to “big brother.”

Blogspot Blogs are increasingly becoming non-accessible in India. Surprisingly, if a person uses a proxy, she can have access to her blog. This logically means that Indian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are blocking access to Blogspot Blogs in India.

Why this step has been taken is still not known. Even at Google’s Help Forum this question has been put for further discussion and diagnosis of the problem. But even at the Forum the possibility of Blogspot being Blocked/Censored has not been ruled out. (CJNEWS India)

This isn’t the first time India has blocked Blogger, although right now neither the Indian government or Google have issued any public statements regarding why numerous users can not log into Blogger or  view their blogs online.

While the optimist in me is hoping that this is nothing but a technical difficulty with an ISP, hopefully this isn’t yet another attempt at government censorship.

Note: For those of you in India, can you confirm or deny this report?

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