Archives for January 2008
WordCamp Hamburg a success. Rumors are true. Automatic upgrades coming to WordPress 2.5. $5,000 bounty for tag Plugin offered. Twitter-style Prologue WordPress Theme released. WordPress wins best CMS. WordPress MU updated. And some hot WordPress Plugins have been released and updated!
WordCamp Hamburg: According to attendees and organizers, WordCamp Hamburg was a success. There is an English report by Ian of Letters From Home, with photographs, on day one of the two day event. Done “unconference style”, the conference featured topics on SEO, design, new Plugins, blogs in classrooms, usability, mobile blogging, blog publishing, and more. It also claims to have held the very first ever blog readings where bloggers read stories from their blogs. Congrats to all on a successful WordCamp! You can see photographs of the conference from Merlix’s flickr images and other flickr photos.
Automatic WordPress Upgrade The issue of making WordPress easier to upgrade is back on the front burner again with the discussion, Integrate Automatic Upgrade, on the WordPress trac list. The developers are working hard to get the automatic upgrade feature into the core by WordPress 2.5, though it might be delayed until the next release, and to make it as secure and easy-to-use as possible.
There’s no question that an economic slowdown in 2008 is a real possibility (otherwise, why would the Fed have cut rates for the second time in under two weeks?) Anyhow, even if you’re personally unaffected by a foreclosure a layoff, it doesn’t hurt to put the rose-colored glasses aside and just ponder how a recession would impact your blog.
One of the toughest parts of helping people blog for me is when people come to me feeling despondent with their under performing blogs. I know in many cases they bring them to me as a last ditch attempt. Next step would be for them to call it a day.
Of course I try to help them where I can and I like to think I do a good job :) Thing is if you are feeling this way then all it might take to get back on track is a small change of perspective.
Google’s Blogger service, familiar to a myriad of bloggers around the world, has just launched support for the Arabic language.
“We’re really excited to be launching Blogger in Arabic,” said Siobhan Quinn, Product Manager at Google. “Blogger’s always been about allowing people to communicate, connect with each other, and share ideas in an easily accessible way; it’s great to bring this platform to this community.”
Promises of the service improving throughout the coming year.
Not much else to say, except that it’s good to see Western companies continuing to expand their services beyond the standard English defaults.
I’ve been in “secret talks” with a friend of mine for the past few months about blogging anonymously. She wants to be a whistle-blower, speaking out about the atrocities and abuse she sees within her industry. But she doesn’t want the consequences of being a “public” whistle-blower.
In other words, she wants to keep her job within that atrocious industry.
I’m so thrilled. I really respect people who want to work from within the industry to change it for the better. But our discussions have been really difficult because I believe you should speak out publicly, not hiding behind a blog. I understand her position, though, and the risk she is taking.
Matt and team at Automattic have released The Prologue Theme for WordPress, a WordPress theme designed to be a localized version of a simple messaging service like Twitter. Seems to be a lot of talk about it over on TechMeme. I’m thinking this could be very useful for teams and internal communications within companies where you don’t want people to publishing stuff to the general public but need to collaborate on internal communications in a creative Zen like fashion.
In Israel, I had a Hebrew teacher who was a doll. Sweet, friendly, a charming lady. I faced her delightful smiling self three times a week for Hebrew class.
I hated it. She couldn’t teach for nothing.
Honestly. At first, I thought it was me. I didn’t want to be one of those twits who always blame the bad teacher and not be responsible for being a bad, clueless student. I hate that excuse. Yet, here I was faced with this delightful woman who couldn’t teach me anything.
Yet, she was an elementary school teacher who taught Hebrew as a second (or eighth) language at night. She had all the teaching credentials, and years of experience, and I was totally ignorance in the language of the country I was living in. I was at her mercy.
Grand Text Auto, a group blog about computer narrative, games, poetry and art, has recently launched an interesting blogging experiment that may take blogging and publishing to the next level. Noah Wardrip-Fruin is putting the manuscript of his upcoming book Expressive Processing, about digital fictions and computer games, online so that the Grand Text Auto community may participate in an open, blog-based peer review. The community is invited to give feedback on the work in the form of comments and/or trackbacks which in its turn may be picked up by the author.
It is the beginning of a more social and networked book.
Normally, someone getting advertisements on their blog isn’t a big deal. People add advertisements to their blogs every day, and the fact that it is Robert Scoble changing over to the “dark side” isn’t all that interesting to me either.
If his new employers want to re-design his blog and put advertisements on it, who am I to complain?
What is interesting to me is that the Scobleizer blog is hosted by the WordPress.com service, which usually abhors any type of advertising on their blogs.
Are VIP members able to break the “no-advertising” rule set forth by Automattic? Yes, they can! Do they deserve to break such rules just because of who they are? Is Scoble more deserving of putting FastCompany advertisements on his blog than you putting a banner from your favourite web host on yours?
While I think advertising has to be strictly controlled and moderated on WordPress.com, so as to not become like Blogger’s spam filled archives, I don’t think that people like Scoble are more deserving than anyone else to display advertising on their hosted blog.
Maybe I am jumping the gun here, and Scobleizer will be moved off the WordPress.com platform? Well, I think that is highly doubtful, as GigaOM has advertisements on it, and is a WordPress.com hosted blog.
The fact is that I am an idealist, and I believe that the same rules should apply for everyone, at least as much as possible. Sure, Automattic might be earning a fair bit of cash on some of these VIP blogs, but I highly doubt it.
I am not questioning Automattic’s decision to let Scoble add advertisements on his blog, but instead I am wondering why they don’t make member blog advertising a higher priority? Would you be willing to give up 20% of whatever revenue your blog could make through an advertising system managed by WordPress.com? I am pretty sure I would be willing to take such a deal.
I would love to know what you all think of WordPress.com’s no advertising policy and what effect it has for you as a blogger? Truth be told, if it wasn’t for WordPress.com’s no advertising policy, I would probably push to have all of the Splashpress’ blogs moved over to their system.