April 26, 2010

Gizmodo Police Raid May Determine If Bloggers Are Journalists

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After receiving a “lost” iPhone 4G prototype and publishing details about it to the world, it looks as if the Silicon Valley police (of California) have raided the home of Jason Chen of Gizmodo fame, confiscating computers, servers and a few phones.

Last Friday night, California’s Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team entered editor Jason Chen’s home without him present, seizing four computers and two servers. They did so using a warrant by Judge of Superior Court of San Mateo. According to Gaby Darbyshire, COO of Gawker Media LLC, the search warrant to remove these computers was invalid under section 1524(g) of the California Penal Code (via Gizmodo)

Before the blogosphere (and twittersphere) freak out about whether the police have violated any rights (after all, bloggers are considered journalists–right?), the police probably seized the computers in order to find out who sold Gizmodo the iPhone 4G as apart of their investigation (so let us all calm down on how evil the boys in blue are–at least in the US).

iPhone 4G leakage aside, the raid does bring up a good question of whether bloggers are considered journalists in the US, and if so, whether they are protected by California law. read more

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3 Twitter Apps That Will Survive Tweetageddon (aka Post Tweetie Acquisition)

Now that the anguish and developer drama around Twitter’s buyout of Tweetie (plus the launch of  an “official” Blackberry app) is behind us, some are probably wondering which Twitter apps will survive in the world of mobile.

While an official app does not mean the end of third party developers (as BlogPress has survived despite the launch of an official WordPress and Typepad app), most twitter apps will probably become extinct by the end of the year–unless they can find a way to “out innovate” Twitter.

Although there are dozens (if not hundreds) of Twitter apps upon the iPhone, Blackberry and Android devices (the latter which Twitter also plans on invading), here are four twitter apps that will probably survive Tweetageddon. read more

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April 23, 2010

Not Good: Human Spam And Dumb Bloggers Are Killing Comments And Trackbacks?

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While bloggers may have won the war against spam bots via plugins like Akismet, WP-SpamFree and Sabre (not to mention a whole list of Movabletype plugins), it looks like these evil “promotional” companies have switched tactics by hiring desperate humans to promote their silly products (via Read Write Web).

(Official Akismet Blog) Human-posted spam has been on the rise for some time. Low-paid workers are hired by “SEO” firms to post comments on blogs and forums, advertising their clients’ web sites (typically small local businesses). The workers generally operate out of internet cafes and universities, particularly in India, South-East Asia, and Turkey. The quality of comments varies, with the best written spam usually coming from SE Asia. There are now sophisticated marketplaces set up specifically for hiring manual workers to do this kind of spam.

When it comes thwarting spammers, human spam is the most difficult to block, due to the fact that half the time their comments will be on topic. read more

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April 22, 2010

Odd: Typepad Receives Facebook Like Button Love, WordPress Left Out In The Cold? UPDATE: A WordPress Plugin Is Now Available

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Update: WordPress plugin now available. See below for more details.

Yesterday at Facebook’s developer conference (aka f8 conference), CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg revealed to the world the glorious “like button.”

Zuckerberg claims that by the end of today, users will serve over 1 billion likes across the world wide web, making the Facebook like button a “must have” social button for serious bloggers.

To my surprise Facebook chose to launch this new feature upon Typepad, all the while ignoring one of the world’s most popular blogging platform, WordPress.

Today Facebook announced their new Social Plugins and we’re excited to be a showcase launch partner. In fact, TypePad bloggers are the only bloggers to have access to these features at launch. Woot! […]

Facebook is a great way to introduce new audiences to your blog. Last year we added the ability for you to automatically share posts with your friends on Facebook. Now with Facebook’s new Like button, any visitor to your blog can show their appreciation for your blog. [via]

read more

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April 21, 2010

The Rise Of Tumblr (And Why Typepad Should Be Scared)

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Sometimes viewed as the half-breed of blogging platforms, Tumblr is probably considered by most blogging experts as a cross between micro blogging and a full featured service (like Blogger, WordPress, etc.).

Despite the odd spelling and a semi decent commenting feature, Tumblr has somehow surpassed Typepad globally (at least according to Quantcast and Google Trends, the latter pictured to the right), which may explain why Typepad launched their own micro blogging service last year.

Tumblr still trails Typepad in the US according to Compete.com , although it may only be a matter of time before Tumblr displaces Typepad as the preferred blogging platform in America as well. read more

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April 20, 2010

Howto: The Complete Guide to WordPress Security

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by

WordPress SecurityKeeping your WordPress installation is usually not something a lot of people spend a lot of time on. However, I believe WordPress security, tightening up the place should be your first priority every single time you install WordPress. No exceptions.

With the recent Pharma hack, more info about it plus a solution on Chris Pearson’s blog, going around I thought it was time to focus on WordPress security today. There are a lot of things you can do build extra layers of security for your WordPress installation.

There are a few different layers involved to secure your WordPress installation. I shall list them grouped together as much as possible.

Server-side & .htaccess

WordPress security starts of course by using a proper hosting company. If a server setup is not secure by default then no amount of security measures is going to keep unwanted visitors out. Please look around before you decide which hosting partner will work best for you. read more

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April 19, 2010

Another Day, Another WordPress iPhone App: Blog.NET Makes Its Debut

The fact that WordPress has already created an official iPhone app upon Steve Jobs playground has not deterred developers from launching premium WP apps, the latest being Blog.NET (which was created by TSWC).

Priced at $1.99 USD, Blog.NET offers support for not only WordPress fans, but also dasBlog, Umbraco, Orchard and BlogEngine.net (which technically makes it a multi-blogging client similar to iBlogger, BlogWriter and BlogPress).

Although spending a 199 pennies may not be that expensive for the average blogging app (especially then there are iPhone apps selling for $10!), WordPress geeks may want to check out the brief review below to see if Blog.NET is right for them. read more

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April 16, 2010

Tweetageddon Has Begun: Tweeterena Sells Assets On Ebay

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Despite the “positive spin” that some twitter developers are trying to make about the Tweetie acquisition and Twitter partnering with RIM, it looks like the first casualty of Tweetageddon has appeared, as Andrew Weekes is putting his twitter app Tweeterena up for sale (hat tip: GigaOm)

Tweeterena currently has a rapidly increasing user base with almost 50,000 users worldwide.

You will be acquiring this brand at an exciting time, – 1 week after the Tweeterena 2 for iPad launch! You will also be acquiring the source code project and marketing materials to Tweeterena 2 for iPhone/iPod touch, which is an unreleased, almost complete application that is already being awaited by thousands of users thanks to our recent marketing campaign for Tweeterena 2 for iPad. [Via]

Andrew Weekes also mentions that the Tweeterena iPad app had been purchased by over 1,500 customers, and (thus far) seems to be doing fairly well on the iPad app store (underneath the social networking category).

Fortunately Weekes has a decent day job, so this loss will not hurt him financially, although we may see other companies begin to shut down as Twitter begins to implement official apps across other devices like Palm, Nokia and Android.

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SeededBuzz.com helps bloggers grow their traffic and popularity

SeededBuzz

SeededBuzz is a site that promises to help bloggers promote themselves.

Blog posts are promoted using what are called Seeds, which are summaries of a blog post that has been written on a topic that you think other bloggers may want to also write about. The idea is other bloggers read these Seeds, get inspired and write about the same topic, and link to the Seed owners post in doing so.

The blogger that has then written about the Seed can then submit their post on the same page as the Seed that inspired them, under what is called Buzz. The idea is both Seeds and Buzz attract visitors and link.

As a way of discovering new topics to write about this looks like a great idea. Seeds that have attracted Buzz and valuable backlinks should also find that their search engine rankings get a welcome boost. Quality links are never easy to come by.

Other community features I like include the ability to receive and offer Guest Posts, and the tagging of Seeds that inspired you for a later date. read more

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No more free ride. Ning says Pay Up or GTFO

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Ning dumps free social networks

Ning just dropped a deuce on the people who built free social networks on their service: If you want to stay, you have to pay.

After Ning Co-founder and CEO Gina Bianchini was ousted in March, new helmsman Jason Rosenthal has apparently been brought on board to cut the dead weight and steer the company in a more profitable direction. In an internal memo to employees, Rosenthal wrote:

“So, we are going to change our strategy to devote 100% of our resources to building the winning product to capture this big opportunity. We will phase out our free service. Existing free networks will have the opportunity to either convert to paying for premium services, or transition off of Ning. We will judge ourselves by our ability to enable and power Premium Ning Networks at huge scale. And all of our product development capability will be devoted to making paying Network Creators extremely happy.”

Not only have they decided to shut down the free aspect of their service, the company will also be dumping about 70 employees. read more

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