April 26, 2007

Recognized disability spokesperson joins Disaboom

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Disaboom, Inc., the first interactive online community for Americans living with disabilities, announced that Marianna Muffy Davis has joined the Company as Director of Market Development.

Davis will identify and develop sponsorships, partnerships and alliances designed to drive awareness of Disaboom.com within the disability community, and grow its user base. She will also serve as a key spokesperson for the company with certain constituencies and organizations.

She joins Disaboom from the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics Rehabilitation Services, where she served as a Development Officer. Prior to that, she was a public spokesperson for a Johnson & Johnson company where she was featured at various public events, in both television and print media, and through numerous conferences and expos. She was a member of the United States Disabled Ski Team from 1997 to 2002, during which she won numerous medals at the Paralympics and World Cup. Ms. Davis holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University.

“I am extremely passionate about the disability community and that community having a voice and being empowered to live full and rewarding lives. I am very excited to join a company dedicated to doing just that and look forward to being an integral part of Disaboom,” Davis said.

Disaboom is set to launch this August.

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BlogHerald Update: Upgrading Our Spam Killing Powers

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Hi folks,

Just wanted to let you all know that we have installed Bad Behaviour 2 to enhance the BlogHerald’s comment and trackback spam killing powers. The BlogHerald gets a lot of spam, and most of it is caught by Akismet and Spam Karma 2 — but these two agents together aren’t perfect.

We are loathe to get in the way of a perfectly good conversation, so we are not installing (nor hopefully ever) captcha’s, human testing elements, closing down old comments, or any combination of the above at the moment.

But if you happen to notice your comments now being flagged as spam — or, your comments mysteriously disappearing, its only because the BlogHerald’s spam killing powers have increased, and may flag a few comments that are genuinely not spam.

In that case, please email us at editor [at] blogherald [dot] com and let us know that something is amiss and we’ll try and remedy it pronto.

Alternatively, if you happen to notice a comment that is clearly spam comment spam / trackback spam before *we* do, we’d love to know about it as well; again, please use the same email address to let us know.

Thanks again,

Tony Hung, ed.

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Twitter on the New York Times

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You know something is getting better recognized by the mainstream when it’s featured on the mainstream media. Twitter has recently been featured on the New York Times, in an article which focuses on how much growth and attention the microblogging service (if you would call it that) has had in the past few months.

Twitter was created by Obvious, founded by Evan Williams, also the person behind Pyra Labs (creator of Blogger, since acquired by Google) and the recently sold-off Odeo. Evan thinks it’s not so much the way Twitter lets people micro-blog that’s important. Rather, it’s in how Twitter gives its users different options in communicating and networking with each other.

“It’s understandable that you would look at someone’s twitter that you don’t know and wonder why it would be interesting,” he says. “And celebrity twitterers are really outliers, even though they get a lot of attention.”

Instead, Mr. Williams says, Twitter is best understood as a highly flexible messaging system that swiftly routes messages, composed on a variety of devices, to the people who have elected to receive them in the medium the recipients prefer. It is a technology that encourages a new mode of communication, he contends.

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Are You Looking in the Right Direction?

When my son was 5 years old, as I put him to bed, we talked about the business trip I was taking the next day to one of the Western states. I described the city and people I’d meet. I promised to bring a post card for the collection he kept in an album beside his bed.

Then I gently tucked him, and said “Sweet Dreams.”

As I went to the door, he said, “Mom, there are mountains in that state.”

I said, “Yes, you’re right. There sure are.”

I heard my little boy say, “Don’t look that way,” as he pointed left, “and walk that way,” as he pointed right.

He was telling me to be looking in the right direction to navigate the mountain.

I promised not to, gave him a kiss for his concern, all of the while wondering what exactly he had in mind. . . .

What’s looking in the right direction when we’re blogging?

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April 25, 2007

WordPress Wednesday News: 4 Million Themes Downloaded, WordPress 2.2 Delayed, and Tons of New Fun on WordPress.com

WordPress 2.2 has been slightly delayed but for really great reasons which will benefit all. WordPress.com has a lot of exciting new features and news for the free blog hosting service. The official WordPress Theme Viewer will turn over 4 million downloads any moment. Want to contribute to WordPress? Get your vote in on what new features you’d like to see with WordPress Ideas. And more WordPress news.

WordPress News

WordPress 2.2: As was announced last week, the release of WordPress 2.2 has been slightly delayed. While WordPress 2.2 has been slightly delayed, there is still some exciting news. Dougal Campbell reports a new feature that allows one step click to deactivate all your WordPress Plugins, making it easier to upgrade.

WordCamp 2007 – July 21-22: will be July 21-22 in San Fransisco and there is now a Meetup page for the event, with no information. If you are interested in attending, why not sign up. That will help give the planners an idea of attendance.

VOTE NOW! The Best Ideas for WordPress Development: is a place where you can post your suggestion for improving WordPress, and rate the suggestions of others. I’m actually rather shocked at how few votes have been cast. I haven’t found a single item that has more than 500 votes. With millions of WordPress users, and thousands who want their say in how WordPress works and grows, I would have thought more people would be voting. Have you voted on your favorite things on the want or do not want list?

The most popular WordPress ideas right now are:

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CollegeGrad.com, InterviewStream inks partnership

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As the class of 2007 finalizes their post-graduation plans, CollegeGrad.com, an entry level job site, and InterviewStream, an online interviewing site for college campuses, announced an exclusive partnership to deliver online video for college students and recent grads to assist in their job search.

This new joint platform will provide online video capabilities for video resumes, online interviewing and online virtual environments, such as virtual career fairs.

“We are excited about our new partnership with InterviewStream, which provides the most technologically advanced platform for online interviewing available today on the Web,” said Brian Krueger, President of CollegeGrad.com. “Any job board can host video clips produced and edited by job seekers. However our new platform integration will fundamentally change the way job search is conducted over the Internet and enable employers to see & hear recorded responses to certain interview questions online.”

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BT launches Tradespace package including blogging and podcasts

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With yesterday’s news that UK small businesses are taking up blogging to promote themselves and interact with customers, British Telecom are jumping on the bandwagon with the launch of their Tradespace service.

Hoping to appeal to 90% of UK businesses with less than 50 employees, the service offers unlimited blogging, two podcasts, five photos, and a single community hub. There’s also a paid option which, for £15 (about US$30) per month, offers more features including Click to Call and SMS capabilities. As this is a new service, other details are a bit sparse at present.

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April 24, 2007

Is Your Self Worth Wrapped Up in Your Blog?

Recently, a series of personal problems have been testing my self esteem. I lost myself in my writing and blogging, hoping to find some some esteem. When an article I felt really good about was published recently, my heart broke when the first comment on the blog was a nasty slap in the face.

I found tears running down my face. How dare they say those things? They’re not even close to true. It’s not what I said, intended to say, or even thought of saying! I felt slammed down and stomped on.

Screaming inside and pissed off at the mean world, I went for a walk, stomping my feet against the gravel road to work out my frustration. When I got back, I took another look and realized that what they said wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was pretty harmless.

I had let my self worth become wrapped up in my blog. Surrounded by personal pain, I’d let my perspective become distorted. I felt everyone was out to get me, and the universe proved me right.

Does this happen to you?

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The Perils of Doing Interviews With A-Bloggers

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There’s a dustup going on on the technosphere side of things; Jason Calacanis, previously of Weblogs and Netscape, was recently asked by a journalist at Wired to do an interview. Like Dave Winer, one of the pioneers of RSS technology, and one of the earliest evangelists for blogging, Jason Calacanis refused to do the interview unless it was through email only.

Wired’s journalist, in turn, refused these conditions, and the interview has been scrapped..

While we can debate over how self-important some bloggers feel, or, how journalists “routinely” mangle interviews and put quotes out of context, there’s one thing this piece makes clear, and that is doing an interview with a blogger — and one with a significant audience — isn’t without its perils.

To wit, Jason Calacanis blithely puts it: “Besides I have 10,000 people come to my blog every day — i don’t need wired to talk to the tech industry.”

And I think that makes all the difference.

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UK small businesses adopt blogging, RSS, and DIY marketing

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1&1 Internet, a UK Internet hosting company, has released figures suggesting that British small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are turning to DIY-style online marketing techniques, including blogging, RSS, and search engine marketing.

Considering just 1&1’s business customers, over 1,300 new business blogs have been created each month since December 2006.

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