July 22, 2009

Blog Indiana 2009 conference announced

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blog-indiana-2009-logoThe second annual blogging conference for Indiana has been announced. It will run from 13th to 15th August 2009 and is designed to bring together bloggers, marketers and small business owners from across the state, encouraging and empowering them to make the most of online social media.

Speakers include Chris Brogan, Jason Falls, Chris Baggott, Brad Ward, Douglas Karr and Tom Britt, with discussions covering Twitter, Facebook, blogging for beginners, business blogging, monetization, political blogging, and other more advanced topics. read more

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The James Farmer Interview: Part 2 of 2

This is the second part of my interview with James Farmer, of Incsub and Edublogs.org fame. Read the first part here before getting down and dirty with this one, please.

Blogs.mu lets anyone host their own WordPress MU powered site. What’s the idea behind the service? Who should use it?

That people should be able to run a WPMU based blog network without having to find their way around a server.

Anyone who wants a WPMU site but can’t bring themselves to brave the install process!

Although we do offer some very simple and easy guides opn how to use and install WordPress MU at wpmu.org – heck, if I could do it back in the day I reckon most people could do it now.

read more

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The Guardian Sacks Paul Carr

Paul Carr used to write the Not Safe For Work column for The Guardian, but no more. The reason is a slashing of the freelance budget, says Carr on Twitter, and then goes on and tells us that he thought about doing the column for free but decided against it. That last part was on his blog though, which is a good thing because the reasoning would take up quite a few tweets… In the same blog post he writes a bit about leaving.

Having said all that, I will miss the outlet the Guardian gave me every week; to boast and swear and talk about things that were on my mind. I’m not sure there’s another UK paper that would give me such freedom – and for that reason I’ll be eternally grateful to my former paymasters. And I’ll miss them, like a sometimes-mental, socialist former girlfriend.

Michael Arrington over at TechCrunch isn’t sad about this. “Their loss our gain” he says, as he announces that Carr will be writing a weekly column for TechCrunch to run each Saturday morning. Good call, Carr’s Not Safe For Work Column over at The Guardian was a treat, and I’m thinking it was a huge mistake to cut it loose. But that’s the media industry for you right now. I’m just surprised Nick Denton didn’t snatch him up already.

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July 21, 2009

Exclusive: Shiny Media goes into administration

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I’ve just had word that UK new media/blogging network Shiny Media has gone into administration.

Despite this year’s cutbacks and new additions, it doesn’t seem to have been enough to save the company.

Bright Station Ventures ploughed $4.5m of funding into the company in 2007 (Update: apparently the self-reported news that Shiny Media received $4.5m in funding was incorrect but was never retracted.). There’s no official word yet on how the relationship between the two companies stands, but I’m sure you can speculate on that. read more

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The James Farmer Interview: Part 1 of 2

James Farmer is one of the big names in the WordPress MU sphere. He’s one of the guys behind the WordPress MU focused agency Incsub, and also the founder of the poster site of poster sites for the blog hosting platform: Edublogs.org. Sure, I guess wordpress.com is both bigger and probably better technically than Edublogs.org, but this is the mother of all WordPress MU installs, the one that proved that this software can be used for real. If anyone doubted that, that is.

So what are his thoughts on the platform, all the new projects that Incsub has rolled out, and so on? I certainly got them in this mammoth interview, split into two parts. This is Part 1.

First of all, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and your company, Incsub?

Incsub is about my 4th professional incarnation, before that I was an editor at theage.com.au, lecturer at deakin.edu.au and teacher at stacks of different places.

Essentially, while I was in the lecturer mode, I started Edublogs.org to fill a need that I had – providing blogs for people – and it grew (really quick) so people started asking me about making similar sites for them.

Luckily I had also got to know Andrew Billits via the WPMU community by that time, he’s a damn great WPMU coder, and hence Incsub was born.

read more

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WordPress Switches to Hourly Pinging, Tells No One

Blogger Christian Bolstad found a new feature in WordPress 2.8, undocumented and not among the release notes in the Codex. Basically, it changes the notification behavior of WordPress, from notifying ping services like Pingomatic and others you might use automatically when publishing a post or editing a previously published post, to doing a once an hour notification using the built-in pseudo cron.

So why is this a bad thing? [Note! Bullets updated below! See comments for more.]

  • It delays updates to the RSS feed to services relying on pinging.
  • Delaying pings delaying all services depending on pinging.
  • Delaying pinging to middle man services means that syndication of the links will be delayed.

My guess is that this feature was implemented to speed up the admin interface. After all, if you’ve got a bunch of services to ping, publishing or editing a published post would mean that you’d have to wait while the admin interface parsed through the pinging. read more

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WordPress MU Also Hits 2.8.2

The security release of WordPress 2.8.2 means that WordPress MU also needs to be upgraded, and the new release is available now. However, Donncha O Caoimh also notes that a couple of other bugs has been fixed, including the upgrade notice one.

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The GPL and Themes/Plugins

HeckertThis is a continuation of the Blog Herald’s Guide to the GPL License series. You can read part one and part two here.

One of the more common misconceptions about the GPL is that it is “viral” in nature and can “infect” any software that touches it.

While it is true that the GPL does have a viral component, it is only to ensure that derivative works based upon GPLed code are also released to the GPL. It is possible, and even common, for GPL applications and proprietary ones to co-exist side by side. For example, there are many proprietary programs, including Skype and MyDropBox, that run on Linux, which is GPLed.

However, when one delves into plugins and and themes, something of a gray area begins to emerge. Though a WordPress theme, for example, might not be based upon a GPL theme, it relies upon a GPL application to function. As such, it has been widely held that they are GPL-licensed, even if they haven’t been explicitly licensed as such. read more

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July 20, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Version Announcement, Twitter Comments, Custom Styles, and More

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Happy Monday, folks! Sorry for the lack of updates last week — I was out of town and didn’t make it back in time for Movable Type Monday. Which was a shame, since we got a couple of pieces of really exciting news. First, the beta for MT 4.3 has begun. A few of the new features include:

  • Entry Pagination via MT-Search
  • Clone a Blog’s Structure Without the Content
  • Comment Pagination
  • Per Entry Asset Management

Plus lots of bug fixes. The new asset management is what interests me the most — it means the end of the awful form tags currently used to associate an image with an entry. If you’re the beta type, download and try it today. read more

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WordPress 2.8.2 Released to Fix Possible Exploit

WordPress 2.8.2 is now available. It’s a security upgrade that fixes a possible exploit. Details in the wordpress.org blog, but in short, just upgrade already to make sure you don’t get exploited.

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