November 18, 2009

Six Apart launches TypePad Micro and official AVATAR online community

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typepad-avatarThe company behind TypePad today announced the launch of an official AVATAR online community, in collaboration with Twentieth Century Fox, a month ahead of the release of James Cameron’s film on 18 December.

avatar.typepad.com offers fans a central place to read AVATAR-themed microblogs, other content from around the web, behind-the-scenes video, and integration with Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and other social sites.

Simulating Twitter and Facebook, but in an AVATAR themed environment, users can sign up and then follow other members, share notes, photos and videos. They can also create AVATAR blogs. read more

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November 17, 2009

Orange UK mobile customers get Twitter picture messaging

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twitter-orange-mmsAfter the disappointment surrounding the withdrawal of many international Twitter SMS services due to exorbitant costs, it seems that UK mobile operators are helping them to bounce back.

Both Vodafone and O2 have offered SMS-to-Twitter services to their UK users in the past year, and now Orange is introducing MMS-to-Twitter.

MMS, or picture messaging as it’s colloquially called, will allow Orange users to send images directly to the Twitter service, via the newly-created Snapshot web site. read more

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Tim Berners-Lee and W3C Announces New Projects

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photo_tbernerslee-118x150Of course you all know who we refer to as the father of the web, right? – The one and only Sir Tim Berners – Lee. Berners-Lee is set to go on a trip to Africa, particularly Kenya and Uganda, to meet with several government leaders, educators and development workers. Part of the discussions that will be held during the meetings will be on various local web initiatives relating to health and education.

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What Can Translation Services Do For Your Blog?

Google Translate, and several other online service, are getting really good at breaking down the language barrier online. You can direct translate web pages, or just words and phrases. As they get better, those Translate buttons on blog posts will be less of a novelty and more of a too, at least potentially. read more

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Paul Scrivens Takes Over as Splashpress Media Publisher

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An organization–including a new media network–is mostly driven by the efforts of all its members. But as with any team, individual members are diverse, each with his (or her) own expertise, personality and quirks. For any organization to reach it’s goals, it needs a capable leader. Sometimes, a leader needs to call the shots. Sometimes, the leader just needs to guide those under him towards the right direction. Always, the leader has to inspire and encourage.

A ship has its captain, an orchestra its conductor. In the case of a new media network, we have our publisher to look up to as our leader. For the past three years that Splashpress Media has existed, we’ve looked up to the capable leadership of our founding publisher Mark Saunders. A private person who preferred to let others shine, Mark has been a kingmaker in this industry and has worked with editors and bloggers who have found their careers and businesses thrive in this increasingly competitive environment. read more

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From Blog Comments to Social Engagement

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There’s an interesting post at Read Write Web with a rather ‘misleading” title. It goes like – How Blogging Has Changed Over the Last 3 Years.  The article was referencing a study made by PostRank about off-site engagement on blogs and other content publishing media.

Actually, what the article was saying is that reader engagement on blog has drastically changed, not so much blogging per se. read more

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November 16, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Gravatar, ooVoo, and Farsi

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Happy Monday, folks! This week, we’ve got some new Movable Type plugins in the Plugins Directory. First, though, for those of you that want to keep up with the MT community, check out the excellent Twitter list assembled by Ken Edwards. Follow that list for constant updates from the MT crowd.

Now, for this week’s new plugins:

ooVoo Web Video Chat Room — The ooVoo service lets you video chat with up to six people at a time. This plugin makes it easy to embed an ooVoo chat room into any page of your site. It includes some basic settings for controlling the size and look of the chat.

Gravatar for Movable Type — Most people are familiar with the universal avatar service Gravatar — we use it here, in fact. This plugin, from Makoto Kawasaki, adds Gravatars to the comments on your blog.

Movable Type Farsi — This one is for the Farsi-speaking bloggers. Created by Pouya Salimi, the plugin expands MT’s support for right-to-left writing. It also adds a Farsi Calendar, Farsi tags, and a Farsi version of the Professional Pack Template Set.

That’s it for this week. Got some MT news for us? Let us know in the comments.

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5 Copyright Hazards to Avoid

Most bloggers understand the importance and the value in creating original content. Most would be at least somewhat upset to their own writing used on other sites without permission or attribution and many actively track their work for misuse.

However, there is more to being a good copyright citizen than just writing your own content, quoting only what you need to in your entries and attributing your sources. Your blog is much more than just text and there are many copyright “hazards” that even well-intended bloggers can step in.

That’s why last year, almost to the day, I wrote an article about holiday copyright hazards for bloggers to avoid, But while the holidays are an especially dangerous time for copyright issues, they are a potential thorn in the side year around.

So with that in mind, here are five copyright hazards to avoid, regardless of the time of year. read more

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Interview: Tom Rusling, Text Link Ads

text-link-ads-logoHere, Thord interviews Tom Rusling at Text Link Ads.

Let’s start with you. Who are you and what do you do at Text Link Ads?

I am the Senior SEO Strategist. In that role, I offer resources to Text Link Ads clients that are looking to add a layer of strategy and/or on-page site optimization to their link building campaigns. TLA is by design a self serve network: clients can enter our system and find a huge array of links to choose from. However, often clients are looking for guidance around things like:

  • Which keywords should I be targeting?
  • How many links should I be buying?
  • How fast should I be purchasing links, and how much should I vary my anchor text?

And of course, many clients feel like the links they have acquired with us are not working effectively for them. Often my most important role is to help clients identify technical problems on their site which are impeding the benefit of their link building. Such examples could be incorrect use of redirects, duplicate content issues in all its many vast and wonderful forms, lack of page targeting and keyword dilution, etc. They always come into the conversation blaming the links, but invariably the client and I are able to analyze the problem and identify the source of the problem is something on-page.

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November 15, 2009

Blogging for Schwags and Maintaining Impartiality

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The LA Times is currently running a good and timely story that deals on one sensitive issue related to blogging and bloggers. Mommy bloggers getting woed by food firms with schwags and other freebies in exchange for some write-up and publicity buzz  for their products.

It’s a pretty interesting read especially since blogging in exchange for a “taste of company products” and other freebies that come with it is no different from tech bloggers receiving demo units of new gadgets for review. Tech bloggers would die to get those sample demo units and review them on their blogs ahead of rival bloggers.

So what are we now bloggers? Purveyor of truth or corporate pimps? read more

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