November 23, 2010

Need To Tumble On Windows Phone 7? There’s An App For That!

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It looks like Tumblr fans upon Windows Phone 7 have another reason to rejoice as a third party company has created an unofficial app for Microsoft’s latest smartphone.

Simply titled WPTumblr, the app was created by Ad Astra Consulting which allows users to reblog, like and catch up on Tumblr blogs that you subscribe to (aka follow).

Thus far the Windows Phone 7 app supports all 7 Tumblr formats and allows users to upload images, although unlike the official Android, iPhone and Blackberry brethren, Ad Astra’s app does suffer from one critical flaw.

New Post Page screen capture.  WPTumblr supports all seven native post types.  Currently you can only submit music/videos via URL since the WP7 framework doesn’t allow direct access to your music or video libraries. (Official WPTumblr Blog)

Ironically this limitation may convince Tumblr (the company) to wait until Windows Phone 7 matures a little bit before creating an official app (as all of Tumblr’s official mobile apps support video uploading).

Currently Ad Astra Consulting is selling WPTumblr for $0.99 within the Windows Phone Marketplace, and as far as I can tell they are the first company to launch a blogging platform for WP7 (note: WordPress is rumored to be working on an app for the platform as well).

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Blogger’s Secret Weapon Against WordPress: Google Apps

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When Microsoft announced that it was transitioning 30 million active users to WordPress, it looked like Automattic (the company behind WP.com) would finally be able to surpass Blogger after years of maintaining a distant second to Google’s favorite publishing platform.

Apparently it seems that Blogger’s embrace of Google Apps could help the platform maintain its enormous lead by tapping into an audience just as large.

Google Apps users have been asking for Blogger and now, with out recently launched infrastructure improvement, they can use Blogger for free with their Google Apps accounts. We’re excited to provide Apps users with this great tool to have their voices heard on the web.

Google Apps is Google’s suite of cloud-based messaging and collaboration web apps use by more than 30 million users in small businesses, large enterprises, educational institutions, government agencies, and non-profit organizations around the world. (Blogger Buzz)

Note: Emphasis mine. read more

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Squarespace Confirms Android App

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After posting corporate details involving their upcoming iPad app, Squarespace has confirmed that they are working on an official Android app which should please a few fans who were threatening to defect elsewhere.

I’m excited to see the autosave and media management features, but without an Android app or the ability post via mobile site, I won’t be renewing when my subscription is up. (Miriam) […]

@Miriam – Android is on the way. Just don’t have solid dates to share just yet. :) (Mark Burstiner on Official Squarespace Blog)

This news should please the millions of Android lovers who have been jealous of their iPhone friends who have been able to blog from their iOS device thanks to the official Squarespace app.

Squarespace has not indicated what extra features they will be adding to the upcoming Android app, although hopefully the company will consider supporting video uploading (which would help them compete against rivals like Posterous, Tumblr, and WordPress).

There is still no word on whether Squarespace will consider supporting other platforms (i.e. Palm, Windows Phone 7 or even Blackberry), although for now its great to see the company expand beyond iOS (a strategy which is helping WordPress dominate the mobile arena).

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Facebook Pushes Hard Against Lamebook, Blocks Sites Facebook Activity

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Lamebook Website with Legal Funds request

The Facebook battle against parody site Lamebook.com has heated up, with the world’s largest social network blocking all outgoing links to the site, while also removing the Lamebook fan page and preventing users from “liking” posts from the site.

Indyposted points out from Facebook reps that the Lamebook block was reportedly a mistake:

“In the process of dealing with a routine trademark violation issue regarding some links posted to Facebook, we blocked all mentions of the phrase “Lamebook” on Facebook,” adding, “We are committed to promoting free expression on Facebook.”

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November 22, 2010

WordPress To Group Bloggers: Here’s Another Reason To Use WP

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Automattic (the company behind WordPress) has launched a new feature for WP.com users that will appeal to sites blogging with multiple authors.

Today we’re introducing a new panel to your stats page, Top Authors.

Here’s how it works: all the posts that were visited during the day are counted up, divided by who wrote them. The author with the most visits across all his or her posts of the day, gets the top spot. Interestingly, the top spot is not about who wrote the most posts, it’s about which author wrote the posts that got the most visits.

To see each author’s posts, you can click the little plus icon to expand and reveal just what stories earned them their points of the day. (Official WordPress Blog)

Note: Emphasis theirs.

Combined with Email Post Changes, Automattic’s new feature should help WordPress maintain its edge as the leading blog platform for group blogs.

While not everyone will enjoy this feature (at least as far as the non-competitive types go), it should help provide more analytics for stat geeks, as well as help group bloggers determine which authors bring in the most eyeballs.

The feature is already live for WP.com users, although Automattic is planning on releasing this feature within the pending WP Stats plugin update (which should appear in the “not-so-distant future” according to Automattic).

Image Credit: Norebbo

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Squarespace To Launch iPad App, Court Facebook Places?!

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Over the weekend, Anthony Casalena (the founder of  Squarespace) published a post upon the corporate blog announcing that the long awaited iPad app would make its debut over the next few weeks.

Unfortunately after publishing the post, someone in the company placed the article behind a “password wall,” although a Google Cache reveals some rather interesting details regarding Facebook Places (not to mention a few other social location networks).

Foursquare/Gowalla/Facebook Places Integration – We’re expanding our social widgets lineup with a brand new addition over the next 2 weeks. Geolocation widgets will take your feeds from Facebook Places, Foursquare, or Gowalla and display them in typical Squarespace fashion. Fully integrated, customizable, beautiful.

iPad App – You’ve been asking for it since before the iPad came out. Well, we’re happy to say we’re almost done with it. It’s gorgeous, and we think you’re going to love it. For you road warriors, we think this’ll really help in keeping your post frequency up. Look for this within the next 3 weeks as we deal with app store approval. (Official Squarespace Blog | Google Cache)

While the founder also revealed a few other upcoming features (Autosave, redesigning photo galleries, etc.) the inclusion of social location networks is interesting, especially regarding Facebook Places.

After previously rolling out price changes, Squarespace’s embrace of more social networks could help the company create a greater appeal to the masses (although truth be told I know very few bloggers who are comfortable posting their location to the public).

As far as mobile platforms go, there is still no word on whether Squarespace will embrace Android, Blackberry (or even the new Windows Phone 7), although hopefully the company will consider a platform beyond iOS in the not so distant future.

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Checking In From A Warzone? Airforce Warns To Avoid Foursquare, Other Services

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Afghanistan Military Base Check-in

While it’s true Foursquare has check-in points for camps in Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. Air Force is warning their troops that doing so could endanger Foursquare users and their fellow troops.

The U.S. Air Force released a statement on their website telling troops to avoid the use of Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, Facebook Places and other location based services.

The statement says:

“careless use of these services by airmen can have devastating operations security and privacy implications.”

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7 Tips to Attract Guest Bloggers to Your Site

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Guest bloggers can be a godsend to your site. Not only can they take the burden off of writing the content for your site, but they are also a powerful way to attract inbound links to your site as your guests link to their posts from their sites.

However, attracting guest bloggers can be very difficult. Since virtually every site would love a little help and there are only so many with the time and interest to provide free content, the market for guest bloggers can be a competitive one, especially for high-quality bloggers.

So how can you attract guest bloggers to your site? Here are seven tips that can help you keep a steady stream of willing bloggers at your door.

1. Use SEO

Most people seeking to do guest blog posts will research who to ask the same way most people research any topic on the Web, by using Google. Make sure that your site scores well in your field for the term “guest blogger” or “guest blogging” to ensure that those who are interested find you first.

For example, if your site is about monitors, you want to ensure you rank at the top for “Monitor Guest Blogging” and related keywords. For this you would need to do the right on-page optimization and have some external links with the right anchor text. read more

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November 19, 2010

Deja Vu: WordPress Defeats Joomla, Drupal Again In CMS Wars

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The results for the 2010 Open Source Awards are in and it looks like WordPress has once again defeated both Joomla and Drupal as the preferred CMS among the masses (at least those who voted).

Perhaps Joomla isn’t better than WordPress after all?

I was just informed that WordPress, in head-to-head voting against Joomla and Drupal, has won this year’s Open Source CMS Hall of Fame award.

We have to be careful because if this trend continues people might think WordPress is a real CMS, useful for more than just a blog. This would ruin our stealth campaign and might bring dozens of new users to the WordPress community. If you could keep this on the DL we’d appreciate it.

We don’t want WordPress to develop a reputation. (WordPress News)

Truth be told I am not surprised by the results, despite the fact that WordPress was never initially designed as a CMS while both Joomla and Drupal are (the latter which is about to release version 7.o). read more

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WordPress Beta Testing GTD Features Upon WP.com

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Automattic (the company behind WordPress) has just rolled out several major features for WP fans that will make a GTD guru (or “Get Things Done”) heart swoon.

You’re writing a post (or a page) in WordPress. You mention something you’ve written about before, and think to yourself, “I’m going to link to that last post!” What do you do? You might open a new tab and search for the older content in your dashboard’s list of posts, or you might go to your live blog and find it. Either way, you have to find that content and get the URL, so that when you click on the link button in the post editor, you’ll have it ready. Right? What’s that, 5-8 steps, depending on which way you do it? No more!

With our sexy new internal linking feature, you can now enter any URL to create a link just like you used to, OR you can search your existing posts and pages right there in the link popup. A combination of pre-loading, autocomplete, and some ajaxy goodness make the new link creation tool a joy to use (and man, that popup is so much faster!). We hope this addition spurs you to make more connections between pieces of content on your site, which will make it easier for your visitors to find more related content from you. One more time, all together now: Yay! (Right?) (Official WordPress Blog)

Along with the upcoming Tumblr-like features, the internal linking and page features will be making their way to version 3.1 which will hopefully be arriving by Christmas of this year. read more

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