February 23, 2009

What Do You Use Twitter For?

That’s certainly a valid question, one that The Guardian asked and got a bunch of replies to. An interesting read, and a funny one to be sure.

You can follow both me and the Blog Herald on Twitter. Me, I communicate, and this very site you’re reading is mostly about syndicating content. For now…

Naturally, I’d like to know what you use Twitter for?

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UK government plan to recruit director of digital engagement ridiculed by opposition

Filed as News with no comments

The British government’s plan to appoint a director of digital engagement, with responsibility for overseeing a move to engage more with citizens through social media and other digital technology, has been ridiculed by the main opposition party.

The central government job has been created “in recognition of the huge increase in the use of the internet, digital communities and social media” and “will work across Government departments to encourage, support and challenge them in moving from communicating to citizens on the web to conversing and collaborating with them through digital technology.”

The circa £120,000 ($174,000) per year salary for this three-year contract is probably the most questionable aspect of the role, and warrants some accusation by the Tories of it being a “grotesque amount of public money”. However, to brand it a “pointless job” and to devalue it by suggesting it’s simply about “ministers… faffing around on Facebook and Twitter” misses the point. read more

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Defamer Takes the Valleywag Route

It appears as if Nick Denton wasn’t able to sell his celebrity gossip (aren’t they all?) blog Defamer. Instead, it is now becoming a part of Gawker.com – the entertainment column according to PaidContent. Said business site is quoting a blog post written by Denton which unfortunately is no longer available, it just redirects to the not so updated nickdenton.org blogit’s back up! Assuming PaidContent got it right, Denton said “the brand was worth more to us — as a section of the Gawker site”.

Free translation: The bids we got were too low, and we can use the 900,000 monthlies to strengthen our key brand.

The defamer.com site will show all Defamer posts from Gawker, but the team is leaving to do something else, yet to be announced.

You might remember Valleywag making a similar transition late last year.

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February 22, 2009

Sunday Morning SEO: A Little Known Tip That is Effective and Simple

Filed as Guides with 3 comments

Much of SEO can be hard to implement or time consuming. For example, link building is difficult for many bloggers and many webmasters find keyword research to be a tedious task. If you want a simple yet effective SEO tip that is easy to implement, you can’t go wrong with strategic internal links.

Internal linking is often overlooked by search marketers. Tactics like building links from other sites, keyword research, and anchor text usually take center stage when SEO is discussed. But don’t forget internal linking since it just plain works.

Now it’s not as effective as getting links from other sites, but it’s so easy to do.  Every blogger who wants better rankings should do it.

Here is an example to consider. read more

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How did you explain new media to your folks?

Before he retired, my father was a banker for more than ten years. But he devoted a lot of his spare time writing for a national broadsheet and a few magazines (he still continues to do so online). When he finally joined Facebook two weeks ago, it became easier to explain my work in this “new media” industry.

I guess I’m lucky. I don’t find the need to submit cringing stories to My Parents Joined Facebook — not that I have anything to hide from my dad, but I’m glad that he gets it, as a former journalist who found the need to catch up with the times. There aren’t too many people in their 60’s who bend over that way. For him, converting his column to an online medium allowed him the luxury of not having to go through an editor — he found the idea of not having a deadline attractive, and being able to get instant feedback almost immediately more enthralling. To him, it isn’t about “print being dead” — it’s about forcing the traditional industry to learn new tricks. You can only be senile up to some point.

How did you explain blogs, YouTube, Twitter and all that to your folks? More importantly, have they taken the plunge as well? Believe it or not, the main reason why my father joined Facebook was PEER PRESSURE from his old friends from high school and college who are now happily retired in their 60’s, and perhaps have nothing better to do than play Pet Society.

Happy weekend, blogosphere!

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February 20, 2009

WordPress News: Can You Spot a WordPress Blog? WordPress 2.8 News, Plugin Directory Searchable, iPhone App Tested, and More

Can you spot a WordPress blog? Are you sure? WordPress 2.7.1 released. Improvements on the WordPress Plugin Directory search functions. Help for those transferring from LiveJournal to WordPress.com, and WordPress in the future. WordPress 2.8 development on track. WordPress iPhone app in testing for next release. WordPress.com gets a new data center. More WordPress Tattoo news. WordCamps in Miami and India this weekend, Denver next. Singapore starts its first blogger meetup, including WordPress fans. WordPress jobs, and tips for WordPress Plugin and Theme authors.

WordPress News

WordPress 2.7.1 Released: WordPress 2.7.1, a maintenance release, is out. If you are using WordPress 2.7, take advantage of the automatic built-in upgrade. If you are not, then consider upgrading to WordPress 2.7. Sixty-five files were modified with 68 bug and feature fixes and improvements, and I covered more details about the release on my blog.

Improvements in the WordPress Plugin Directory: At long last, the WordPress Plugin Directory now has a new and improved search function using Sphinx open source SQL full-text search engine to help you find the Plugins you need in the directory from the site as well as the WordPress Plugins panel.

Improved LiveJournal Migration: For those looking to migrate from LiveJournal to , there is now an even easier LiveJournal migration process that the WordPress.com team has come up with to help the ever increasing number of people moving to WordPress.com from one of the oldest blogging platforms in the world. The new technique is a step by step approach that improves the importing from importing by the month without comments to now include comments, handle “friends only” posts, private posts, improvements in tagging, link back to LiveJournal blogs, and connection to the LiveJournal API to download all posts and comments in one pass. One LiveJournal users helped test the importer which handled over 3,700 posts and nearly 200,000 comments. The new importer will be included in the next major release of the full version of WordPress. read more

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NUJ “effing blogs” email link sparks comment furore

Filed as News with 3 comments

When I first read this on One Man And His Blog I just had to blog it, even though I couldn’t really claim it to be news. However, that was before I read the ensuing comments left on the post. It may still not be “news” but it’s pretty interesting reading.

What am I talking about? Well, Adam Tinworth wrote a blog post, presumably with the intent of being humorous, entitled NUJ: “effing blogs”. In it, he shows that he’s been linked to from an internal email from the UK’s National Union of Journalists entitled “effing blogs”. read more

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The Acceleration of Word of Mouth

Filed as Guides with 1 comment

In the past, “word of mouth” meant literally that. Now friends telling friends is as likely, or perhaps a little more likely, to involve the tap of keys and click of mouse. Because of this word spreads faster and wider than ever before, and this means you need to be more aware than ever before of the phenomenon and how it affects you. read more

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Google offers basic font options for AdSense

Filed as News with 3 comments

Google’s general philosophy surrounding AdSense ad placement is to make them blend with the rest of a site’s content, so it’s always struck me as a little strange that publishers have had no control over the fonts displayed.

That’s just changed, with Google announcing an update which allow ads to be rendered in a number of fonts. Don’t get too excited, though, because there’s a small selection — Arial, Times and Verdana.

You don’t get much control beyond that. Obviously, you can’t alter the size of the fonts because the ad blocks are specific sizes and you’d end up clipping ads (this often happens if a user manually increases the font size on their browser). It only works on ads displaying Latin-based characters, and it won’t affect image-based adverts. read more

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February 19, 2009

2008 ends with 177 million Internet domain names– Verisign

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The Internet added 24 million new domain names in 2008, according to the last quarter Domain Name Industry Brief published by VeriSign.

The year ended with a total of 177 million domain name registrations across all of the Top Level Domains (TLDs), representing 16 percent growth against 2007. In the fourth quarter of 2008 alone, more than 10.1 million new domain names were registered across all TLDs. The five largest TLDs in terms of base size were .com, .cn (China), .de (Germany), .net, and .org.

The overall base of .com and .net domain names grew to 90.4 million at the end of 2008. This represents a 12 percent increase over the previous year and a pathetic one percent increase over the third quarter of 2008.

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