There was a lot of WordPress news this week, including the release last week of WordPress 2.7, which has been heralded by many as one of the easiest upgrades and enthusiasm for the new interface. Applause for the whole WordPress development team and community that worked so hard to make WordPress 2.7 so awesome. A lot of WordPress Plugins have been updated, and some thought discontinued by incorporation of their features into WordPress 2.7 are back and better than ever. Lots of WordPress.com news, including crossing the 5 million blog mark. WordCamps and WordPress Meetups are starting to fill up the schedule for 2009. And a lot more WordPress news is crammed into this issue, so hang on.
Things You Need to Know About WordPress 2.7: Last week’s issue, WordPress News: WordPress 2.7 Released, covered a ton of information you needed to know about the latest version of WordPress.
Customize the WordPress Login Panel: WordPress 2.7 now features an easily customizable WordPress login screen and WPEngineer offers a tutorial on how to customize the WordPress login screen to your own design needs.
Admin Drop Down Menu Upgraded: With the major changes and easy-to-use interface of WordPress 2.7, many thought that Ozh of Planet Oz would discontinue support of his popular WordPress Plugin, Admin Drop Down Menu. Fortunately, the requests to continue and support an upgraded version were too much for him to resist, so it has been upgraded with some new features to better work with WordPress 2.7. It includes a horizontal menu to replace the left sidebar navigation, giving it a more “desktop application” feel. See below in the Plugins and Theme News for more WordPress Plugins making a comeback.
WordPress 2.7 Administration Panel Skin: While many are thrilled with the new look and feel of WordPress 2.7, some still like having the option to change and control it. The Fluency Admin WordPress Plugin has been updated with a total rewrite to cover the new underlying structure of WordPress 2.7 while allowing a lot of customization. This version features custom flyout menus, navigation click reduction, hot key access shortcuts, screen options, and some other color variations. Expect more Plugins to change the look of the new Administration Panels soon.
hCards in WordPress 2.7? Did you know that microformats are now a part of WordPress? Joost de Valk of Yoast was impressed with the new hCards feature of WordPress, so he’s written a WordPress Plugin to work with the new microformats feature to add name, website, email, and photo to your blog. He offers a a video to show how the Plugin works.
Great news for Linux users, Adobe AIR has gotten its first sharp release, as opposed to the previous beta. With AIR, you can run popular apps like Twhirl and TweetDeck, as well as a bunch of other stuff that lets you get internet stuff on your desktop. Yes, it’s that wide… Seriously, this is a good thing for especially microbloggers running Linux systems. Hopefully it works better than Flash under Linux, that one still sucks.
It looks as if Byline (a popular iPhone app for Google Reader) and BlogPress (the unofficial iPhone app for Blogger) are teaming up for the holidays by offering users the chance to download one of their respective apps for free after purchasing the other application on iTunes. read more
This is turning out to be a busy week in the Movable Type world. On Monday, Six Apart released Motion, their social networking application built on MT. Then on Tuesday, iThemes — maker of premium WordPress themes — announced the opening of their MT themes store. The availability of themes is one area where MT lags way behind WP. This is especially true when it comes to premium themes. That’s why it’s exciting to see vendors move into the MT themes market.
Yesterday I got in touch with Cory Miller, co-founder of iThemes, to ask him a couple of questions about the premium theme business and his company’s jump into the MT market. read more
Like most geeks, in person I am shy. You likely know someone close to you who is exactly the same. I am fortunate that I have loud friends who can make introductions for me! Most people who “meet” me online though wouldn’t know how quiet I am in social situations. Does social media make you more outgoing? read more
Yesterday in Exploring Social Media: The Power of the Link Needs Content, I introduced the most powerful social media tool in the world, the link, and explained that unless you have make the link direct people to valuable and useful content, you are shooting blanks. The link makes a lot of noise with nothing to show for it.
The impact of linking to yourself is magnified in value. When you email or publish a link to something you wrote, recommending it, you are telling the world:
I know that which I write about.
I am an expert in the subject.
I have the experience to back up what I’m writing.
This is the best I can do.
Do your links qualify?
When you contact a blogger or anyone to encourage them to link to you, do you keep these things in mind? Are you offering your best work? Does your blog or social media tool show the world you are an expert in this?
If you have the proof behind your link, then maybe your failure is in the presentation of that link, especially when directed towards bloggers, the most capable of spreading the word far and wide about you and your blog. read more
I will freely admit that I am not the best when it comes to spelling, grammar and all that good stuff. In fact I am one of those people who writes like I talk, which can often lead to peculiarities that perhaps are best scrubbed in the edit.
My approach has always been to aim to provide valuable content despite my English inadequacies, but it seems mistakes in spelling, syntax, structure or grammar annoy some people so much that they can not read any further. read more
Ozh’s got a nice tour of the WordPress interface designs, from the initial release of 0.7.1 in May 2003, to the recently released 2.7 version. Check it out for a walk down memory lane, or just to see how the interface have changed – and improved – over the years.
Swedish spam free blog search engine Twingly has announced the Twingly Blog Rank and Top 100. The former is a ranking system similar to Google PageRank, but for blogs, while the latter is a top 100 list for blogs, similar to Technorati. Or is it? Anton Johansson said this to me in an email this morning.
What’s the purpose of the Twingly BlogRank? Don’t you think that Technorati does a good enough job?
The purpose of Twingly BlogRank is to get a more valuable way to see if a blog has influence and importance. In many ways this is like Googles PageRank but only for blogs. Technorati is really good on what they’re doing but they have no international focus. If you’re from Sweden you want to be the no 1 in Sweden with BlogRank 10, not no 2612 international. BlogRank is based on language so the largest Swedish blogs get BlogRank 10 and the largest English blogs BlogRank 10, too. It’s quite easy to see at Twingly Top 100.
Technorati Authority is just a number that don’t say so much. Twingly BlogRank is trust.