October 31, 2008

Election Day 2008: The Best Blogs and Social Media Resources

barack-obama-talking-with-john-mccainUpdate 1 Nov 2008: We’ve added several links. Thanks to Jackie Sheeler for making the first suggestion. Feel free to add more in the comments!

The 2008 US presidential election will be over in about 100 hours (unless Florida can’t make up its mind again).

There are, in fact, other elections as well next Tuesday. But of course we all know the real battle is Obama vs. Palin – er, McCain.

Without further ado (and before the comment firestorm begins below), The Blog Herald presents the best blogosphere and social media destinations to track Election Day 2008, in no particular order:

1. CNN Political TickerYes, it’s a mainstream media site. But it’s also a blog. The differences are so blurry now in 2008 anyway. :) It’s common to see hundreds of comments on a post here as Election Day approaches. You can subscribe to twice-daily email alerts if you don’t want the barrage of zero-hour coverage to disturb your day off from work. Bias: Obama. read more

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Blogs Influence Buyers More Than Social Networks Do, BuzzLogic Study Finds

Buzzlogic LogoReaching for your wallet? You might just have read a blog article.

On Tuesday, BuzzLogic released a report called Harnessing the Power of Blogs which concludes that the blogosphere has more power than online social networks when it comes to shaping consumer buying decisions.

The report analyzes the results of a survey, conducted by JupiterResearch and sponsored by BuzzLogic, that asked 2,210 online consumers in the US about the ways in which different kinds of websites influenced their purchasing choices.

One conclusion of the survey: “Frequent” blog readers – that is, those who read blogs once or more each month – actually depend more on blogs to find other blog content than on any search engine.

Another interesting find: the number of people who read at least one blog a month has quadrupled since 2004. read more

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Call Out or Communicate?

A friend is going through an issue that I believe is becoming more common. He wrote on a forum that we both frequent that someone he actually knows is trying to “call him out” on something using blog posts and comments rather than going direct.

Is this something you have seen before? I have, and more often recently. read more

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Blogger.com Dominates U.K. Blogosphere

A ComScore study shows that Google’s hosted blog servicer, Blogger.com, is dominating the blogosphere in the U.K. The study anticipates that there were 14,456,000 unique visitors to blogs in August, with Blogger.com getting 9,019,000 of them. That’s more than half of all blog readers in the U.K. WordPress is a distant second with 4,807,000, with Six Apart’s services at about half of that.

Another interesting note is that Engadget is the largest individual blog in the U.K.

Read the press release for more.

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Premium WordPress Theme Store Round-up

Recently launched Spyre Mag, a design blog edited by Freelance Folder founder Jon Phillips, has an interesting post up. It’s a round-up featuring 17 websites that sell premium WordPress themes. That would be themes that you buy a license to use. Might be a good start if you want something original for your blog, but aren’t willing to cash up a grand or three to designers like yours truly.

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October 30, 2008

MSN/Endemol launch first online interactive Sci-Fi show: Kirill

Filed as News with 4 comments

MSN and Endemol have partnered to bring to the UK what they claim is the first ever online interactive sci-fi show.

Kirill takes a linear series of ten three-minute episodes and layers them with blogs, images, video and audio files online, as well as “secret websites”. The aim? “To tell an intricate story of a man on a quest to make contact with a young woman who holds the key to the future of humanity.”

Happily for Microsoft, it’ll push a range of the company’s services too, with the storyline taking place across Vista, Live Search, Live Messenger, Live Spaces and MSN. read more

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RIP BlogRush (2007 – 2008)

Filed as News with 7 comments

I’ve been toying with the idea of removing the BlogRush widget from my blog for months. It always takes a bit too long to load and produces minimum traffic. Now my hand has been forced. The company has announced that it is closing shop and that all bloggers should remove the code ASAP.

Here’s the official e-mail: read more

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October 29, 2008

Brian Gardner Launches Revolution Two Open-Source WordPress Theme

Filed as News with 5 comments

brian-gardner-revolution-wordpress-themeProminent WordPress theme designer Brian Gardner has released a new open-source theme set called Revolution Two to essentially replace his highly popular Revolution WordPress theme. The new theme set includes 10 themes for free downloading.

The release comes two days earlier than previously anticipated, with Gardner saying in his most recent blog post announcing the launch of the new Revolution theme, “I figure I owed you all an early release.”

That, or he really just wanted to be able to nurse his post-Halloween sugar hangover on Friday night. :)

Starting November 1, the original Revolution theme will no longer be available for purchase (although existing Revolution buyers will still receive support “for life”), except for necessary updates for 12 months to maintain compatibility with WordPress. Instead, Gardner has opted to go the open-source route for monetization, with plans to sell premium support for the free Revolution Two themes on an annual ($99.95) or lifetime ($149.95) basis.

Follow the Revolution Two project on Twitter for project updates.

Have you ever used the Revolution theme for WordPress? What do you think of the new Revolution Two themes? Do you agree with Brian Gardner’s decision to make the Revolution Two themes open-source?

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Automatic Discount Codes – Nice Affiliate Solution for Product Blogs

Filed as Guides with 2 comments

Do you run a product focused blog? Gadgets, wine, DVDs? Have you noticed how it always seems to be the discount code sites who grab the affiliate cookies and therefore get the commissions, after you have done all the hard work of reviewing, recommending and announcing products?

Well there is a service that is in development and beta that might just be the solution for you … read more

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WordPress Wednesday News: WordPress 2.7 Soon, Security Upgrade, PodCamp-WordCamp Hawaii, PollDaddy, and More

Work on WordPress 2.7 is rocking, but a security upgrade also announced for WordPress 2.6.3. Podcamp/WordCamp Hawaii success! Hot WordCamps coming up in Israel, DC, Charlotte, Australia, and more. PollDaddy WordPress Plugin and now on WordPress.com. Akismet gets stats. Gravatars required. And more WordPress news.

WordPress News

Security Upgrade Announced: WordPress 2.6.3 has been released covering a Snoopy class vulnerability. This is a mandatory security upgrade and involves replacing two files. Download WordPress 2.6.3 now to protect your blog.

WordPress 2.7 Development: The WordPress 2.7 development team is working overtime to help educate and prepare the WordPress Community for WordPress 2.7 and its new interface. They have been testing the final version with some users and getting input from all over the world on how the program is working for them. The official release is due November 10, and testing will continue right up until the release. Your feedback and input is critical, so be sure and report in to the Alpha/Beta sections on the and the mailing lists. So far, the reaction from most has been exceptionally positive and most are eager for the new version. Articles are coming out with news and information on the new version all around the web and include: read more

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