August 31, 2009

Movable Type Monday: GoogleAnalytics, User Export, DebugMode, and More

Happy Monday, folks! We’re going to start this week with some plugin news. First, Dan Wolfgang has released an update to Better File Uploader that takes advantage of the new Entry Asset Manager in Movable Type 4.3. Better File Uploader is exactly what it says it is — a file uploader for MT that provides more features and a better UI than the built-in one. Get it and see for yourself.

Also this week, Okayama has created a new Google Analytics plugin. This one pulls your data into your blog stats in your dashboard. This sounds very convenient for doing a quick check of your Google Analytics data.

Our last plugin for this week comes from, Byrne Reese. Have you ever wanted to analyze the data MT gathers about your users? Or generate a list of users you could use for a mailing? User Export can do those things. It will export all the data about selected users, including their custom data.

Finally, Beau Smith wrote a tutorial that shows how to use configuration directives — including ones you create yourself — to determine whether comments in your templates get written. This is a clever approach, and I can see it being useful for a variety of task.

What have you done with MT lately? Let us know in the comments.

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Oddcast launches AudioPal audio recording service

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audiopal-logoOddcast has announced the launch of its free audio recording service which it’s aiming at anyone who wants to include soundbites on their blogs, social network and web pages.

We’ve seen 12seconds for recording Twitteresque video clips. AudioPal allows five times the duration, with the ability to record one minute audio clips straight from the browser using the computer’s built-in microphone, via telephone, or using Oddcast’s text-to-speech converter.

You can say quite a lot in one minute. CEO of Oddcast, Adi Sideman, reckons that the software “is revolutionizing status updates” because it gives them a voice. read more

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Are You Ready for the E-book Readers?

sonyereaders.pngMy crystal ball tells me that e-book readers will be a strong possible source of income or quality blogs in the near future. Not as the subscription service that is available from the Kindle, mind you, because I’m having a hard time seeing it being successful. Think about it, more and more mobile devices have internet access and great screens. Why pay to read on the Kindle when you can get it for free on your iPhone, right there in Safari or using Instapaper? And if that won’t convince you, then add the fact that more and more websites actually have mobile editions.

Back to the e-readers. High quality blogs already produce great content, obviously, and the e-book spinoff isn’t far off for a lot of them. They publish reports, how to’s, and other things they can hawk for a couple of dollars (or a small bundle) to make more money. If they’re good, we’ll pay. If not, we won’t. Add some marketing and social media and you’ve got a pretty solid business model right there.

If you’ve got the necessary following, that is. read more

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August 30, 2009

Membership Services: Worth The Effort to Create and Develop?

Thinking of starting a membership website?

You know, to make a few extra bucks. (Or maybe just to make a difference in the world, I guess.)

As I’ve worked to develop and launch my own social media consulting service, I’ve seen and felt the good and bad of what goes into such a venture. Here are some of my ruminations – feel free to add yours below.

The Good: Membership Websites Can Make Mucho Dinero

That’s a lot of money, for you gringos out there. I have friends who earn a comfortable living through their own membership services, and in every case they either use a blog to drive member signups, watch the blogosphere closely for signs of changing trends and market interests, or both. read more

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August 28, 2009

Fourth annual Manchester Blog Awards open for nominations

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manchester-blog-awards-webBlogs may be a global affair but there’s plenty of room for recognizing local talent, as is the case with the upcoming Manchester Blog Awards.

Now in their fourth year, and held as part of the Manchester Literature Festival, the awards seek to honor the British city’s best bloggers.

Nominations can be made until September 18 in the categories Best New Blog, Best Personal Blog, Best Arts and Culture Blog, Best City and Neighborhood Blog, Best Writing on a Blog, and Blog of the Year. read more

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The Best $50 I Ever Spent on My Blog: Part 3

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best_50_applicantsWhen applying for a job, albeit a full-time gig or freelance stint, it is of critical importance to stand out form the crowd. Via electronic communication, your options are limited. That means you better have a kick ass subject line or opening line. It has to be relevant to the job post, well written, and unique.

Less than 10% of applicants did this successfully, making this tip even more important. If you are applying for a job, start out strong! Here are a few of my favorite opening lines… read more

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Music Blog Network MOG Raises More Money

California-based music blog network MOG has raised another $5 million says VentureBeat. MOG is one of those blog networks that focuses on selling ads on blogs in a certain niche, much like Glam and SB Nation.

“We’ve seen super-rapid growth,” said founder David Hyman in an interview. “We sell ads across the top 700 music blogs and signed up all of them over the last 11 months.”

More on VentureBeat, nothing on MOG yet.

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Single mom documents her 5 year old son’s battle against Cancer

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A single mother from Manila has put up a blog documenting her 5 year old son’s brave fight against cancer, specifically Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). The entries document conversations between her and her son Mio, and how he has been reacting to the treatments.

read more

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Facebook App Updated to Version 3.0

Facebook junkies rejoice, the new version 3.0 app for iPhone is out in the AppStore. The app is free and features an improved interface, but no push notification. It does, however, offer video uploads for iPhone 3GS owners, so let’s watch all those pesky little video snippets we’ll no doubt be getting in the coming days and months. Check out the app for yourself in the AppStore. Oh, and for now, don’t worry if it says version 2.5, you’ll get 3.0. Same goes for updates, if you don’t find it try uninstalling the app and install it again.

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August 27, 2009

My Mommy Reads My Blog

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I’m not embarrassed to admit that my mom reads my blog.

For some people, that could mean the ultimate in self-censorship. Luckily for me, I was blessed with progressive-thinking parents whom I am incredibly close with.

The reality is that even if my mom was NOT reading my blog, I would pretend that she did. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. read more

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