July 31, 2008

Google Redundancy: Google Reader Resubscibes To Blogs I Already Read?

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It looks as if the Google Reader team has launched a new feature within their feed reader that basically informs you about blogs you have already subscribed to (at least those powered by blogger aka blog*spot).

New (Annoying) gReader Feature

New (Annoying) gReader Feature

Google basically created a folder/label titled “Blogs I’m following,” which appears near the top of the list (thanks in part to them listing the feeds in alphabetical order).

Update: It appears as if the Google Reader team has removed this feature (after a few complaints in their forum and in the blogospere).

That was fast! read more

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July 30, 2008

WordPress Wednesday News: WordPress iPhone Upgraded, WordCamp San Francisco Registration, Simon Dickson Rocked the UK, WordPress Theme Directory, and 201,000 Blogs Using WordPress 2.6

WordPress iPhone has already been updated. Over 201,000 blogs using WordPress 2.6. More than 300 WordPress Themes uploaded to the new WordPress Theme Directory. Simon Dickson rocked WordCamp UK with great info on WordPress as a CMS for businesses. WordCamp San Francisco opens registration. Need help tracking changes in WordPress versions? There is now a Plugin that will help your WordPress Themes and Plugins make the transition. WordPress 2.5 is dead. WordPressMU 2.6 is alive. And Mark Jaquith writes a one line WordPress Plugin.

WordPress News


WordPress iPhone: The WordPress iPhone is now at version 1.1 with a lot of improvements and a couple bug fixes. You can learn more about it on the WordPress iPhone Development Blog and study the source code on the WordPress iPhone SVN.

WordPress 2.6 Released: WordPress 2.6 was released last week and appears to be a fairly stable release. It is a mandatory release with security patches and you should Download WordPress 2.6 now. Over 194 bugs were fixed, too. I’ve included a lot of the new features in past issues of the . For those with WordPress Themes that have not been updated to handle the new image placement, see Hack WordPress and WP Lover for technical help.

WordPress 2.6 Stats: Matt Mullenweg released some numbers on WordPress 2.6. Within the first 10 days, there are 201,000 blogs using 2.6. The English version had been downloaded on average 23,000 a day. According to the WordPress Development blog, there have been 34 issues fixed so far for the upcoming release of 2.6.1.
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Network Blogging Thoughts

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With recent events around blogging for networks, you could be forgiven for thinking this kind of deal is souring. How bad are these signs for the future of network blogging? read more

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PSDTuts Expands, Adds Wiki

We’ve written about Collis Ta’eed’s ambitious Tuts network before, and now one of their heavier titles are expanding. PSDTuts, focusing on Photoshop tutorials, have added a Photoshop Wiki, which is a sound addition to the core PSDTuts blog, I think. They’re promoting it with a launch contest, so if you know anything about Photoshop then you might want to check this out.

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A List Apart Web Design Survey 2008

This is slightly off topic perhaps, but still important, I think, being a designer and all. Design community sweethearts A List Apart is conducting a survey aimed at people making websites this year, and the result will be made available later this year. If you think you’re the target audience, do take the survey, it just takes a few minutes so don’t be daunted by the fact that it is 18 pages long, most of them are really short.

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July 29, 2008

WTF Blog Design Elements: Twitter, Tumbler, and Microblog Babble

As we explore our blogs and clean out the clutter in this ongoing series on WTF Blog Design Clutter, we’ve looked at the pros and cons of blog clutter with too many “friend” pictures and badges, calendar archives, and most recent comments and shout boxes. Remember that clutter is in the eye of the beholder – the visiting user – not necessarily the blogger. What we see when we visit and use our blogs is not necessarily what the visitor and return reader see or experience. We need to explore our blog’s design through their eyes to help them use and read our blogs.

The usability factor in web design is critical. We often add design elements (widgets and gadgets specifically) to our blog for fun or novelty. We’re flush with the excitement of the latest and hottest whizzbang goodie and we want to share the fun on our blogs. If your blog is getting cluttered with a lot of WordPress Plugins, Widgets, Gadgets, Scripts, and whizzbangs, maybe it’s time to analyze these design elements to find out which ones are most important to your blog and its users – and which one are just clutter.

Today, I want to explore the pros and cons of microblog clutter on your blogs. Are you microblogging?
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MyBlogLog Redesigns

MyBlogLog have redesigned, something dedicated users will probably have seen by now. You should check it out for yourself.

The launch post suggest that there are more things to come:

We went and completely upgraded the featured blogs by scrolling through the top 20 sites (based on number of members), and displaying a more straightforward message about what we offer; Discover, Broadcast, and Connect. You’re going to hear these three words more often from us, I’d love to hear if this description it resonates with you.

It certainly looks better, but I can’t say I’m that impressed really. How about you?

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WordPress MU 2.6, Finally the Versions Makes Sense

WordPress MU is out in 2.6, finally syncing their version history with WordPress, who recently launched 2.6 as well. Donncha O Caoimh’s got the full story as usual, so if you’re even remotely interested in using the WordPress version that powers WordPress.com, his post is for you.

Download WordPress MU 2.6 here.

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July 28, 2008

WTF Blog Design Elements: Most Recent Comments and Shout Boxes

In this ongoing series on WTF Blog Design Clutter, we’ve talked about blog clutter with too many “friend” pictures and badges and calendar archives, two of the many elements many use to clog up their blog’s sidebar. “Clutter” is a matter of perspective. If these added design elements really work for your blog, serve your blog’s purpose, and enhance the reader’s experience, leave them. In fact, put them at the top where they are the first thing people will see next to your post title and content beginnings. Promote them. If they are that important, let them stand out.

If they are not important, then they do become clutter.

One of the most popular blog clutters are the Most Recent Comments and Shout Boxes that many feel are important elements to a blog’s design.

The web is now social. People are experimenting with all types of methods to bring the social to their blogs and emphasize how social their blogs are – or at least appear to be. Among the most popular and easy to do are most recent comment widgets and chatting shout boxes. read more

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CellSpin announces iPhone mobile blogging application

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CellSpin has announced that its software will now support Apple’s iPhone, allowing users to capture audio, photos, and text, and publish to blogs on a number of popular platforms including Blogger, Live Journal, Live Spaces, and TypePad, as well as other popular sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Pownce, Picasa, Flickr, and eBay.

Various types of media are supported, including voice blogging, photo blogging, and standard text blogging.

A more dubious use, according to the press release, is the ability to “record candid audio conversations and embarrass friends” (they will kill you when they find out), as well as — more seriously — being able to securely send media to eBay auctions, set up podcasts, send voice meeting minutes to a blog, and take part in CellSpin’s community blogs (“clogs”).

CellSpin CEO and co-founder Bobby Gurvinder Singh said, “The iPhone is the mobile platform CellSpin was created for. This perfect blend of our elegant application and Apple’s sophisticated hardware produces a combination that is intuitive to the user, yet also a tour de force of technical capabilities. CellSpin is the coolest app for the hottest handset in the market today.”

CellSpin is already available for a variety of other mobile phone operating systems, including Symbian, Windows Mobile 5.0 and 6.0, Palm OS and BlackBerry.

CellSpin

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