December 20, 2007

Think Secret settles lawsuit with Apple by shutting down

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Apple and Think Secret have settled their lawsuit, reaching an agreement that results in a positive solution for both sides. As part of the confidential settlement, no sources were revealed and Think Secret will no longer be published.

“I’m pleased to have reached this amicable settlement, and will now be able to move forward with my college studies and broader journalistic pursuits,” Nick Ciarelli, Think Secret’s publisher, said.

Apple had claimed that the blog revealed Apple’s trade secrets.

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December 19, 2007

Blogging Continues To Grow Amongst Teens, With Girls Leading The Way

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A recent Pew Internet Internet Poll (pdf) conducted via interviews amongst over 900 parent-child pairs in the United States had some interesting findings when it comes to social media usage and content generation.  One of them was an extension of previously known data, as in 2004 19% of teens were engaged in blogging, whereas now that number is up to 28%.

But there is a split in terms of the sexes.  35% of all online teenage girls were blogging compared to 20% of online teenage boys.  Furthermore, nearly all of the growth since 2004 in blogging amongst teenager has really been due to interest amongst girls: older girls blog more than boys of the same age (38% vs 18%), but younger girls are also blogging more than older boys as well (32% vs. 18%).

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WordPress Wednesday News: Akismet Day, Two Million Bloggers, Plugin Security Warnings, And WordPress is the Best CMS

Akismet Day results in lessons learned and possible improvements for Akismet, in time for a new version of Akismet to be released. WordPress.com has two million bloggers. WordPress Plugins found with security vulnerabilities and warnings. WordPress.com gets new features for feeds and stats. And ZDNet says WordPress is a better CMS than most CMS programs out there.

WordPress News

Akismet Day Lessons Learned: When Jesper Rønn-Jensen announced he was turning off Akismet for the day, many thought it was an outrageous thing to do, but now the results are in and Jepser shares the lessons learned about being Akismet free and then cleaning up comment spam manually and with Akismet. I agree with many of his points, and hopefully, the lessons learned from the experiment will be included in future versions.

Akismet Updated: Akismet has been updated to version 2.1.2 and has several new features including filtering by comment type and the addition of Plugin hooks.
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Warning About Pre-Posting Blog Content

As previously mentioned, I am making full use of the WordPress timestamp feature to pre-post blog articles for the holiday season so I can spend time with my family rather than irradiating my face with my computer screen as usual.

While I was putting together my blog editorial calendar in Excel I realized an aspect of pre-posting, a danger that rarely gets mentioned. read more

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December 18, 2007

Blog Writing: Are You Writing With Grit?

Every piece of writing . . . starts from what I call a grit . . . a sight or sound, a sentence or happening that does not pass away . . . but quite inexplicably lodges in the mind.
Rumer Godden

Pebble Beach, California, photograph copyright Brent and Lorelle VanFossenAlong the Pacific Coast of California is Pebble Beach. While a beach of rounded stones, it also hosts some of the most amazing stone structures and creatures created by the interaction of the sand, rocks, and stones.

A bit of grit would catch into a crevice in the soft stone along the beach’s edge. Waves come up and swirl around in the crevice, sweeping the grit round and round with it. In time, with the coming and the going of the tide, the swirling grit acts like a drill bit, grinding a circle into the stone. In time, more grit, sand, and small rocks are swept into the hole with the tidal and storm waves, strengthening the grind.

Pebble Beach, California, shape like an owl or Darth Vader, photograph copyright Lorelle and Brent VanFossenThe holes carved into the beach edge create ghostly figures, one like an owl, though some claim it’s Darth Vader, others like birds, monsters, and other creatures and structures our mind struggles to identify along the unusual beach.

A good piece of writing does much the same thing. It crawls into the cracks in your mind and spins around as you consider its meaning. In time, it carves out a hole into which new thoughts and ideas, and even changes in perception, flow, changing the way you think.
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Regaining Your Focus After the Holidays

So everyone I know is preparing to step away from the blogosphere as they celebrate one holiday or another, and with New Years at the tail end of all the fun and relaxation, some of you might not be thinking about how you will get back on track once it is all over. I mean, who cares, right?

Well, if there is one thing I have learned over the last few years, it is that routine and consistency can go a long way to making or breaking a blog. If you don’t plan ahead, then you might not be able to get back into any sort of routine that you may have set up.

For me, I am hoping to spend some extra time before I take time away, to get some posts done for my absence, nothing major, as I am sure traffic will be at an all time low, but for those readers that check their RSS feeds in front of the fireplace as their children open their presents, I want to make sure they have something to read.

Not only that, but I am setting some extra time aside after this whole mess is over to regroup, reorganize and revitalize my blogging efforts. I want to make sure I find ways to hold myself accountable for my blogging, and to make sure that I get a good pace going, I have told my wife that I will be spending a little extra time on the computer in January, and her stipulation was that I have to drink more water. (This is a weight loss technique, and part of her New Years resolution for me.)

So, if you are gearing up for some time away, make sure you have things in place when you come back. Sit down and write down dozens of things you would like to cover in the new year. Check over your archives, and see if any topic could use another post, or an update. Beef up or trim down your daily RSS feed reading list. And hold yourself accountable in your blogging. It can mean the difference between success and failure in 2008.

Please be safe, as I would like to see all of you back reading The Blog Herald in 2008.

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Performancing Announces Blog Awards

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Performancing Blog AwardsPerformancing’s Ryan Caldwell has recently announced the 2007 Performancing Blog Awards, which aims to highlight the very best that the blogosphere has to offer. Starting December 17th, bloggers are encouraged to nominate blogs and/or bloggers for various fields and categories.

Official Categories For The 2007 Performancing Blog Awards:

  1. The Best Overall Blog
  2. The Most Influential Blogger
  3. The Best Blog Design
  4. The Best Blog Typography
  5. The Best Blog Name
  6. The Best New Blog
  7. The Best Blog Community
  8. The Most Improved Blog of 2007
  9. The Best Blogs You’ve Never Heard Of
  10. The Best Blog Podcast
  11. The Best Use of a Corporate Blog
  12. The Best Video Blog
  13. The Best Writing/Blogging Blog
  14. The Best Science/Technology Blog
  15. The Most Controversial Blog
  16. The Best SEO Blog
  17. The Best Celeb/Style Blog
  18. The Best Business/Money Blogs
  19. The Best Photo Blog
  20. The Best Sports Blog
  21. The Best Blog WebHost
  22. The Best Family and Parenting Blog
  23. The Best Political Blog
  24. The Best Food/Health Blog
  25. The Funniest Blog
  26. It’s the people’s awards afterall…

  27. The Best Travel Blog
  28. The Best Education Blog

Performancing has also asked the blogging community for any help or tips in deciding which among the nominees are deserving enough to be awarded in each category, whether as the winner, runners-up or honorable mentions.

If you would like to make a nomination, please leave a comment at the Performancing 2007 Blog Awards page. You may also use the Award badge (direct hotlinking permitted) if you would like to help spread the word.

Disclosure: Performancing is owned by Splashpress Media, the parent company of the Blog Herald.

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The Holiday Strategy

Do you have a Holiday Strategy, as in how do you handle it when you’re away? With Christmas and New Year’s coming up, lots of us bloggers have things to do, places to attend, and family to meet. This means that we might not want to blog.

So you should plan for Holidays of course, just like you should plan your blogging overall.

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New Year’s Blog Resolutions

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Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? I usually don’t because I find them so difficult to keep. But, as I we get close to 2008, I’ve been thinking about them as they relate to blogging. Here are some blog resolutions that should be easy to keep and that will go a long way towards ensuring a successful year:

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Happy 10th Birthday, Blogging! (Or, is it … ?)

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Around 10 years ago today, one of the first blogs was authored by a gentleman named Jorn Barger, called Robot Wisdom.  In the beginning, he wrote content that consisted of short commentaries and links, but in 2000 he began to experiment with a timeline-based format which blogs are known for today (that is, the reverse chronological format today).

But was it The First? 

Well, it wasn’t.

And therein lies the debate we may always end up having, as Jorn Barger may have coined the term “blog”, but in fact was not the very first individual posting to what is currently known as a blog.

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