December 18, 2010

Blogger Becomes iPhone Friendly (Android Too)

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In a move that will bring them up to par with their WP.com rival, Blogger (aka blog*spot) is beta testing mobile layouts which should help the platform appeal more to those sporting a smartphone.

[W]e are excited to announce our first launch of mobile templates! Initially available as opt-in functionality on Blogger in Draft, mobile templates will re-format your blogs for smartphones to enhance your readers’ viewing experience. In order to activate mobile templates, simply go to Dashboard > Settings > Email & Mobile tab, enable the mobile template option and then save settings. […]

We are initially supporting 6 variants of the Simple template and 6 variants of the Awesome template. If you have used one of these 12 templates through our Template Designer, your mobile view will be rendered in the same style as your desktop view (other template variants will be rendered as Simple). (Blogger In Draft Blog) read more

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Tumblr Catching Up To WordPress.com

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After dethroning Typepad in order to secure the bronze, it looks like Tumblr rise continues unabated as the company has revealed just how large the Tumblr universe is.

This has been an incredible year for Tumblr. What started as a fun experiment has grown into one of the largest networks on the web, serving billions of views across more than 11 million blogs.

It’s an unparalleled privilege to spend every single day building a product used by so many extraordinarily talented people. We are constantly in awe of your creations and projects, your communities and thoughtfulness. Every person on our team has been moved by this community in one way or another.

Nonetheless, all of this new attention has led to some serious growing pains over the last few months. (Tumblr Staff Blog)

Tumblr’s fast growth has come at a painful price, as the site was previously down for over 24 hours after the team attempted to update their servers in order to deal with the extraordinary growth of the site.

Tumblr’s 11 million blogs puts them within striking distance of WordPress.com, who currently boasts over 15 million blogs (although if include self hosted blogs that number balloons to over 32 million).

As far as traffic goes, WordPress.com is destroying Tumblr according to Compete.com and Quantcast, which may indicate that WP.com is much better at SEO than its micro-blogging rival.

While Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com) assimilation of Windows Live Spaces should help put some distance between the two platforms, 2011 could be the year in which Tumblr jolts ahead of WP.com (at least as far as the number of blogs go).

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December 17, 2010

Who Will Buy Delicious From Yahoo?

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After causing a brief firestorm amongst the blogosphere, Yahoo! is claiming that they never intended to shut down Delicious and were instead attempting to sell it off to another company.

Is Delicious being shut down? And should I be worried about my data?

– No, we are not shutting down Delicious. While we have determined that there is not a strategic fit at Yahoo!, we believe there is a ideal home for Delicious outside of the company where it can be resourced to the level where it can be competitive.

What is Yahoo! going to do with Delicious?

– We’re actively thinking about the future of Delicious and we believe there is a home outside the company that would make more sense for the service and our users. We’re in the process of exploring a variety of options and talking to companies right now. And we’ll share our plans with you as soon as we can. (Official Delicious Blog)

Note: As of this writing their blog is down, although fortunately for us there is a Google cache available.

Although Delicious was a force of its own years ago (perhaps second only to Digg at the time), it has declined in prominence recently as many users have moved on towards other book marking services like Evernote and Instapaper.

While the domain itself is valuable (especially if one wants to start a food blog), it’s unclear who would want to own Delicious, especially after the service became stagnate under Yahoo!’s watch.

Hopefully Yahoo! is able to find a buyer (especially one with talented engineers to keep it going) as shutting down Delicious would be a tragedy for many users still using the service.

(Hat Tip: TechCrunch)

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Twitter Telling Touiteur To Change Their Name?

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Apparently Twitter is talking tough to a third party app on Android who apparently is violating Twitter’s trademarked name.

At first glance it may seem a little overboard for Twitter to be going after Touiteur (as the spellings are completely different last I checked), but upon closer examination it looks like Twitter may actually have legal grounds regarding this case.

Touiteur (pronounced as “Twitter” but with a french accent), is a new Twitter client for the Android platform. Developed by LevelUp Studio, responsible of the top application Beautiful Widgets and the Android Developer Challenge 2 winner FoxyRing, Touiteur will revolutionize the twitter usage on your mobile. (Touiteur Product Page).

Ironically this isn’t the first mobile app with a name to offend Twitter, as there has been at least three iOS apps sporting the Twitter name in the past (all who either became extinct or changed their name).

While this author appreciates the humor of LevelUp Stuido (the company behind Touiteur) naming of the app, Twitter apparently is not laughing about the matter which probably explains why  is asking fans for suggestions on a new name.

Thus far Plume (which means feather) is winning the vote, although hopefully Touiteur is able to secure the tweet account of the winning name (as thus far @plume is already taken).

(Hat Tip: Android Central)

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“Twitter Savvy” Users Sought Out By Mercedes For Super Bowl Ad

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2010 MercedesMercedes is seeking a few top-notch Twitter users who would be willing to race across the country in their cars for a 60-second Super Bowl TV spot to air during this February’s big NFL game.

Mercedes has partnered with GotCast to find four teams of two-people each, for their efforts the winning team will take home one Mercedes Benz 2010 C-Class Coupe each.

Teams will start in various cities across the country including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Tampa and the team that finishes the contest with the most Tweets and Facebook likes will win the competition.

Semifinalists will be chosen on December 24 and they will need to create a short video for consideration to be a finalist team. The 8 lucky people who will make up the four final teams will be announced on January 5. read more

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Quick Turnaround Logo Design With LogoBee

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You need a logo and you need it fast. Rather than hand a box of crayons to your baby cousin, you need an image that looks professional and conveys your target message. It should be polished, relevant, and oh yeah, you needed it like yesterday!

With several awards under their belt, the experienced gang at LogoBee can get a brand spankin’ new logo in your sweaty little hands in only two business days. That’s right – 48 hours! (must order “Express” package)

With over a decade of logo design experience, LogoBee stings you with a money-back guarantee and buzzes in with a lifetime logo design support. All designers work in the same hive, which means your job won’t get shipped off to be produced in another colony.

Enough bee puns!

LogoBee has created over 10,000 company logos. And they never want a client to approve a logo unless they are 100% satisfied with the work provided. read more

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December 16, 2010

Yahoo! Killing Off Delicious, Buzz And MyBlogLog?

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The blogosphere is a buzz (pun not intended) over the rumored shut down of Delicious, as well as other services such as MyBlogLog and Yahoo! Buzz.

Upon Twitter Andy Baio (@waxpancake) was able to obtain a corporate slide highlighting what appears to be Yahoo!’s intentions of shutting down various services while merging others.

According to Daring Fireball the entire Delicious team was fired, although it is unknown as to whether engineers of MyBlogLog or Yahoo! Buzz have met a similar fate.

Yahoo! apparently is removing services that the company sees as a drain (financially speaking) and is instead focusing efforts upon services based upon how much revenue they are generating for the company.

Believe it or not Yahoo! use to be the center of attention in the blogosphere years ago, with only Google’s search engine taking a more prominent role (do to the latter’s dominance).

Thankfully Flickr (a service this author uses) didn’t make the chopping block, although hopefully someone will consider buying the photo social network before Yahoo! decides to shut them down too.

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Inspired By Twitter, Disqus Rolls Out Follow Feature

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Taking a cue from Twitter, Disqus is finally rolling out a feature to the masses which may not only help increase user engagement, but help the startup edge out rivals like IntenseDebate.

We’ve come across so many comments in Disqus that are hilarious, insightful, or just fascinating to read. Now you can follow the comedians, experts, and storytellers on Disqus. After you choose to follow someone, his or her activity will show up in your dashboard activity stream. (Use the “Context” button to get the full conversation!)

Like many people, we enjoy following people on Twitter. Twitter lets you stay current with the thoughts and actions of people you find interesting. Similarly, following people on Disqus means that you’re subscribed to their conversations and recommendations as they read and discuss topics online. (Official Disqus Blog)

Truth be told IntenseDebate (a service by Automattic, the company behind WP.com) already had the “follow feature” months (if not years) ago, although as far as I can tell it does not seem to be a heavily utilized feature.

Disqus on the other hand seems to have a far more active community who may use Disqus’s follow feature as a way to gage which individuals have the most influence within the Disqus universe.

The startup is also planning on rolling out a recommended users list which is based off of your Twitter friends, and plans on rolling out support for Facebook as well (provided the social networking giant is cool with it that is).

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December 15, 2010

Posterous Embraces Android (But Only Upon Select Phones?)

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Fans of Google’s green robot can now rejoice as the long awaited official Posterous Android app is now live upon Android Market.

Posterous for Android makes posting and sharing your life as simple as a few taps. Now you can send in photos, a video or a couple of paragraphs directly from your Android device. […]

Android 1.0 is a big step for Posterous, but it’s only our first. We’ll continue to add to our supported device list over time.  Stay tuned for new releases that leverage the full power of the Android platform including Taskbar notifications and Android Live Folders.  We’ll also be adding additional file type support, an improved reading experience and full commenting. (Official Posterous Blog)

Believe it or not this is Posterous’s third mobile app, as the company has previously created two official iPhone apps (PicPosterous and Posterous, the latter which is similar to its Android brother).

The company is also planning on releasing a Blackberry app as well in order to compete against WordPress and Tumblr (who both have apps across all three major mobile OS’s).

While it’s great to see Posterous embracing Android, unfortunately the app only officially supports nine Android smartphones which means that a few of my friends and family will (in theory) be unable to use the device (although I’m sure they’ll figure away around the issue).

There is no word on whether the startup will consider embracing Nokia or Windows Phone 7 in the future, although Androids embrace does place the startup ahead of rivals like Typepad and Squarespace (the latter who is still working on their Android app).

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WordPress: All The Smartphones Now Belong To Us (Windows Phone 7)

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After quietly unveiling their Windows Phone website, WordPress has just announced that their official Windows Phone 7 app is now live for the masses to download.

In this, the first version of WordPress for Windows Phone 7, you will find most of what you’ve come to expect from WordPress apps. It’s easy to write and edit posts and pages on the move, you can upload photos, as well as check stats and moderate comments. It’s all easily accessible from an Actions dashboard. In future versions of the app we’re also hoping to implement video uploading – let us know what else you’d like to see!

To navigate through the app a Panorama view is used, something unique to the Windows Phone 7 platform that works really well for managing a blog or a website. (Official WordPress Blog)

For those wondering why video uploading was excluded, it has more to do with the Windows Phone 7 platform than a lack of foresight from WordPress (an issue Ad Astra Consulting ran into when creating WPTumblr). read more

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