November 25, 2009

WordPress.com Rolls Out Blog Subscription Widget

Filed as News with 18 comments

Screen shot 2009-11-25 at 7.48.34 PMKnow what? I’m starting to like WordPress.com as free blog hosting site. I mean at least, it continues to improve its services not unlike its rival – Google Blogger which seems to have stagnated for quite awhile now.

So aside from the recent geotagging feature that was rolled out recently, WordPress.com has also introduced another important feature – email subscriptions. Yes I know,  like me you are also wondering why WordPress.com took this long to have this feature. But hey, better late than never, right?

Anyway, to add email subscriptions to your WordPress.com blog, you need to add the blog subscription widget to your blogs. Fortunately, it’s just as easy as clicking a button once you logged on to your WordPress.com account. read more

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So You Want To Blog From Your iPhone? Here Are 7 Must Have Apps

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Regardless of whether you are a web designer, journalist or “Joe the Plumber” (note: I say that in love), your tools can define whether you succeed or not on your job.

The same is true for blogging, as having the proper software can help determine the difference between success and failure–or at least separate the pro bloggers from the rest of the noisy crowd.

But when it comes to the iPhone, there are a few apps that I have found that every serious iBlogging pro should have, regardless of what blogging platform you have (at least for the most part). read more

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November 24, 2009

Google turns to algorithms to create better-looking ads

Filed as News with 4 comments

The constant push to make ads more visually appealing — reducing the effects of ‘ad blindness’ and helping them to convert better for advertisers and pay more to publishers — continues, as Google announces a pending deal with the Californian startup company Teracent.

Teracent specialises in machine-learning algorithms which have been put to use on the image ads of Google and its partners.

The example given in the announcement shows a standard, human created ad (left) and a similar ad that’s been picked in real time from thousands of different creative elements by these algorithms.

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Pixazza is Like Google AdSense for Blog Images

Filed as News with 3 comments

pixazzaTo be honest while I was exploring this new income-generating scheme offered by Google-ventures back Pixazza, the first thing that came into my mind was those in-text advertising that pops-out whenever you hover onto link in a blog post. Only this time, Pixazza is doing it with blog images.

So what is Pixazza really?  In their own words:

Pixazza is a new platform that allows shoppers to buy products from photos seen on websites of our web publishing partners. Our unique capability allows these web publishers to generate  incremental revenues by “visual commerce enabling” the images that already exists on their websites.

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November 23, 2009

Movable Type Monday: MT5 RC2, Melody, StumbleUpon, and More

Filed as Features with 1 comment

Happy Monday, folks! This week, Six Apart put out the second release candidate for Movable Type 5. They mention a few highlights in the announcement, so let’s look at those here:

  • A lot of work to get the dynamic publishing in sync with the static publishing.
  • Updates to the Professional blog templates
  • Unbundling of Motion and Action Streams
  • The Entry/Page “previous” and “next” container tags now account for entries/pages with the same date-time, rather than skipping them.

The item on that list that catches my eye is the “unbundling” of Motion and the Action Streams plugin. This is the first I’ve heard of this. If you download the release candidate you’ll see that, sure enough, the Motion template set and the Action Streams plugin are gone. One has to wonder if this is the end of Motion or if it will be back as a separate plugin. If anybody’s heard more about this, let us know in the comments. read more

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Why Lowering the Barriers to Blogging is a Good Thing

During a recent conversation about WordPress with some fellow bloggers, the issue of WordPress’ 2.9 features came up.

Though I am a heavy WordPress user, running it on half a dozen blogs and writing for three other sites that use it, I wasn’t particularly blown away by the feature list. Though some things struck me as nice, such as post thumbnails and a “trash” can, and others seem to have great long term potential, such as comment metadata and custom post types, many of the much-touted features didn’t seem to be that useful to me.

Image editing is a nice idea, but I already have more image editors than I can count. Likewise, the easier media embedding seemed odd as I’ve never once felt it was too hard or too time-consuming to embed a clip into my site. Copying and pasting a few lines of code just is not that intimidating to me.

But my friends then pointed out something to me, these features weren’t intended for me. Old hats such as myself might grow to find these features convenient, but they certainly aren’t necessary.

They aren’t tools for the people who are blogging vets, but for those who want to start blogging, will be soon or just started. New blogging users, especially those without a lot of technical expertise, have different needs and they are changing the way CMSs, including WordPress, design and build their systems. These changes will affect all of us but, in the long run, will have a positive impact. read more

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Twitter finally ready to roll out pay-for business accounts

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It’s been a very long time coming, but Twitter could roll out a commercial service before the end of the year, according to founder Biz Stone.

Though precise details haven’t been announced yet, Stone’s interview with the BBC suggested that additional pay-for features could include advanced analytics and information about their accounts and who is visiting them. read more

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Twitter adds geotagging to its API

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Though a number of mobile Twitter clients have been able to add their own level of geographical information to tweets, Twitter has now officially added geotagging capability to its API (Application Programming Interface).

It doesn’t change how the web interface works, but given that many mobile users (where geotagging is most useful) will use third-party clients, this isn’t much of a problem. read more

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I Love Squarespace! But I Love Their iPhone App Even More

Squarespace has done a phenominal job in creating an official iPhone app for their users, one which may make Blogger guru’s and WordPress disciples jealous.

While it supports the basics of iBlogging (photo uploading, categories & tags, drafts, editing previous posts, etc.), the Squarespace app also boasts a few extra notable features that make it shine against it’s rival blogging apps. read more

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November 22, 2009

Are You Blogging Like a Puppy?

Filed as Guides with 5 comments

Two months ago my wife and I welcomed home a shiba inu puppy. Saying it’s been a life adjustment would be an understatement. He’s flipped everything we know on its head. Each day is a rollercoaster. Whether we are on an up or a down on this doggy ride, it’s evident that there are lessons to be learned. The first observation I’d like to share is that puppies would make awful bloggers. Here’s why… read more

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