July 31, 2010

Should Probloggers Use Hellotxt For iPhone?

When it comes to updating multiple social networks and blog platforms simultaneously, many blogging pros choose either HootSuite (which supports Twitter, Facebook, and Ping.fm), or Seesmic (who owns Ping.fm).

While both of these apps have their strengths, blogging pros may want to consider a third alternative called Hellotxt that combines some of the best features of HootSuite and Seesmic at the affordable price of free.

For Probloggers wondering why they should even bother hitting the download button on yet another “global status app,” here are 3 reasons why they should consider adding Hellotxt upon their iDevice. read more

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Did Twitter Just Kill Off Follow Fridays?

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Considered by many to be an ancient tradition of the twitterverse, “follow Fridays” (symbolized by the #followfriday or #ff hash tags) has been one of the primary ways at finding new friends on Twitter.

Taking a cue from its users, Twitter has created a feature that will help fans find friends with similar tastes without spamming their tweet streams with hash tags and usernames.

With more than a hundred million users on Twitter, there are sure to be at least dozens of accounts out there that will reflect your interests. The trouble is finding all of them. Today we’re beginning to roll out a simple, but powerful new feature to help address that — “Suggestions for You”. The algorithms in this feature, built by our user relevance team, suggest people you don’t currently follow that you may find interesting. The suggestions are based on several factors, including people you follow and the people they follow. You’ll see these suggestions on Twitter.com and the Find People section. If you like a suggestion, click “follow”; if you don’t, click “hide,” and we’ll try not to suggest that user again. (Official Twitter Blog) read more

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July 30, 2010

WordPress Embraces Private Domains

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In their never ending quest to thwart spammers online, Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com) has announced that bloggers on custom domains can purchase private registration in order to prevent spammers, trolls and (God forbid) stalkers from contacting you with unwanted messages.

Starting today you can add the private registration upgrade when you buy a domain, or if you have an existing domain registered on WordPress.com you can make it private at any time. If your domain expires in less than six months in the current year you’ll get the rest of the year free but you will have to renew the domain and cover the cost of the privacy upgrade for the remainder of the domain’s lifetime. [...]

The private domain registrations upgrade costs $8 a year and you must purchase the upgrade for the length of time your domain is registered for. (Official WordPress Blog)

Private registration is probably a good idea for any blogger (regardless of platform), as the last thing you want is an angry commenter filling up your voice mail or email with silly statements at 2 AM in the morning.

While private registration will not prevent law enforcement from contacting you, it may help bloggers retain some semblance of privacy, as well as help pen bloggers keep their identity secret.

Update: Changed image. Image Credit: Norebbo

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ExpressionEngine Bloggers Take Note: Your iPhone (And iPad) App Has Arrived!

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Unlike their TextPattern friends who are still waiting to embrace the iVerse, lovers of ExpressionEngine (a premium blog service for “elite bloggers”) can now blog from their iDevices thanks in part to a third party company.

We have just released iExpression for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. iExpression does not require any add-ons other than those shipped with every copy of ExpressionEngine and supports all 1.X and 2.X versions.

iExpression enables posting and post management for multiple sites, but is also the perfect tool for developers to supply to their customers to enable them to easily post to the sites you build for them.

Supporting image uploads (directly from the camera, or from the image library) iExpression uses a simple user interface to enable you and your customers to get their content up on their sites wherever they are. (ExpressionEngine forums).

Created by Red When Excited (who are based in the UK), iExpression allows EE fans to create and edit content on their blogs, as well as upload images to their respective servers. read more

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July 29, 2010

YouTube Increases Video Limit To 15 Minutes

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YouTube Video - 15 minute increaseNon-Partner content developers uploading videos to YouTube can now provide multimedia up to 15 minutes in length. The company announced today that they have extended their 10-minute time limit effective immediately.

YouTube has announced that the extension is being given since they now have more copyright controls available for content providers, which means it is less likely that users will upload copies of TV series, movies and other copyrighted materials without being censored. read more

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Good News: White House Wants Access To Internet Records Minus The Warrants

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In their ever vigilant quest to protect Americans from terrorism, the US government is now requesting Congress to relieve them of the need to seek a judges permission before obtaining information from a web master.

The Obama administration is seeking to make it easier for the FBI to compel companies to turn over records of an individual’s Internet activity without a court order if agents deem the information relevant to a terrorism or intelligence investigation.

The administration wants to add just four words — “electronic communication transactional records” — to a list of items that the law says the FBI may demand without a judge’s approval. (The Washington Post)

Although not as bad in some ways as the Disclose Act (which was thankfully defeated after reason entered the room), this requested measure may cause bloggers to become uneasy despite the fact that this proposed measure would only seek contact information (like email addresses you send and receive to) and not the content itself.

While it is understandable that the government’s interest here is security (especially in dealing with “ticking bomb” scenarios), having a judge authorize access helps ensure transparency within the legal system as well as protect privacy rights.

Hopefully Congress and the White House can find an alternative solution to this dilemma (note: perhaps have judges on standby 24/7?) without sacrificing the rights of users online.

(Hat Tip: @JohnMHoyt)

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LiveJournal Resurrects iPhone App

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After remaining in a dormant state for almost a year in a half, the LiveJournal team has resurrected the iPhone app previously created by CosySoftware and have adopted it as their own.

We’re pleased to announce that the new LiveJournal iPhone app is available for free in the Apple store! Be sure to download the application labeled “LiveJournal Inc.” (Official LiveJournal News)

As far as creating content goes, the LiveJournal app is the most advanced mobile blogging app in the app store, one that rivals (if not exceeds) WordPress and Squarespace, as well as a host of third party apps. read more

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July 28, 2010

Finally! WordPress’s Elder Sister Launches 4.0 Alpha (b2evolution)

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After delaying their 4.0 alpha release to the masses, it looks like the boys and girls behind b2evolution are ready to display their platform for the technical masses (i.e. hard core geeks).

We are happy to annonce that b2evolution version 4.0.0-alpha has been released.

Finally! you may say… but we’re pretty confident the new features were worth the wait ;-) There is really a lot under the hood! [...]

However, please do keep in mind this is alpha software and that it’s a major new release. Despite extensive testing, there will be issues and you may need to dig into the PHP code to fix them quickly. At this point we only recommend that you upgrade if you don’t mind a little bit of experimentation (Official b2evolution Blog)

Note: Emphasis theirs.

The b2evolution crew have already mentioned the various features they have baked into the CMS/blog software which range from widgets enhancements, multiblog cross posting and support for Gravatars (to the delight of bloggers everywhere).

While non-techies sporting b2evolution should stick to using version 3.3.3 (at least upon their main sites), geeks who do not mind living on the edge may want to dabble with 4.0 in order to help benefit a sibling of WP.

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Need To Make Your WordPress Blog iPad Friendly? There’s A Plugin For That!

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Despite the fact that millions of iPads have been sold to consumers, very few bloggers have tailored their sites to that niche group (aside from making their blogs HTML5 friendly).

While the iPad’s large screen may make an iPad friendly layout unnecessary for most users, blogging pros may want to exercise more control over the appearance of their site without going bankrupt hiring a theme developer.

Fortunately for WordPress fans, there is now a plugin by Jason Baptiste that makes your blog iPad friendly without having you touch a single line of code.

PadPressed is a WordPress plug-in built to deliver the best browsing experience for your readers on an iPad. When a reader visits your blog from their iPad it is automatically formatted to be tablet ready with swipe to advance gestures, accelerometer aware column formatting, touch navigation, and more. PadPressed makes your blog function like a native iPad app. (PadPressed)

Unlike many of the free mobile plugins bloggers use to make their sites viewable upon various smartphones, PadPressed is a premium app that will set back publishers $50 (a price some bloggers may balk at).

Despite the cost, PadPressed looks impressive overall, although it will be interesting to see if other mobile plugin developers follow the lead of PadPressed by releasing similar plugins.

(via TechCrunch)

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July 27, 2010

The Complete Visual Guide to SEO

Search Engine Optimisation is by many considered necessary, others say that it’s all about the content and other will even go as far as to call SEO a way to trick out Google. The truth is that it’s a mi9x of all these elements and then some: great content is required to receive links and go viral on social media networks, ‘SEO tricks’ will improve how your site ranks. The team of BloggingPro sat down and created the ultimate basic guide to SEO, in the form of an infographic.

View the complete graphic over at BloggingPro

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