Some of you in the crowd may remember the file-sharing site, Megaupload. They used to be the go-to option for cloud storage and easy access, yeah? As many of you know, that site hasn’t been around in ages, 1 year to be exact, but as the saying goes, ‘when one door closes, another one opens.’ From the ashes of Megaupload’s destruction rises MEGA, founded by Kim Dotcom.
What is MEGA?
Mega stands for Mega-Encrypted-Global-Access, and it may or may not put you at ease considering where you stood this time last year when Megaupload bit the dust. The site is geared for brilliance no matter which way you look at it, though:
3 low-cost plans, 1 free plan
Awesome traffic ranking thanks to some massive back-linking efforts
More files than you can shake a stick at, 50M and going strong
Privacy and Protection, as only 1 user has ever been fined for piracy
This certainly is not the Megaupload of yore, folks. They have a 10 Gigabit throughput and that delivers you some of the best speed from any file-sharing or cloud storage site. Ever.
Over two years ago, the Blog Herald held a small contest with a $200 USD cash prize for the winning blog. Given the gloom and doom around blogosphere today owing to the economic crisis, we feel that there could be no more appropriate time to repeat this contest and once more offer $200 USD for the most deserving blog.
The criteria for a blog to be able to enter is purely that it “should be helping to make the world a better place”:
This can be achieved in many different ways, from increasing our awareness as a society, being a symbol of hope through example or more obvious ways- such as fundraising or research.
As you’ve probably seen, The Blog Herald doesn’t look they way it used to. This is intentional, luckily, and part of our efforts to get better at everything. That’s the goal after all, so let’s be frank about it.
I mentioned the relaunch with a new design when I took over as the editor a few months back. I would’ve wanted to do it sooner, but you can’t get everything you want, and besides, the poor designer’s schedule was really full. Being my schedule, I did the design, and I hope you like it.
So let’s talk a little bit about the relaunch, shall we? read more
As you might have noticed, The Blog Herald haven’t been feeling well lately. Database errors, too much load on the server, things like that have been plaguing us. Yesterday, a lot of work was put in by the tech staff, and hopefully things will run more smoothly from now on. There are still some kinks we’re looking at though, so bear with us.
Another step to further improve the site will be taken shortly. We’re working on the new design, giving better focus on the content, and in other ways make your stay with us here better. More on that later.
For now, we apologize for the inconvenience our technical issues might have caused you, and thank you for your patience.
Folks, for some time now, the Blog Herald has been running on autopilot. When our former full-time editor Tony Hung left, there were various people who took on the task of being editor in the interim. But what did that actually mean? It mostly involves making sure posting schedules are met, comments were moderated, and that everyone was happy.
It’s probably not so obvious as with a single-author blog. We have an excellent team of contributors and columnists, after all. And pretty much like the Orpheus, we can liken ourselves to an orchestra that can play even without a conductor. But still, even a conductor-less orchestra needs the concertmaster. Simply put, a team needs a leader. And in terms of blogging we need an editorial voice. Sure, we can continue writing about our own interests and various news items that come up here and there. But an editor’s job is to give us the creative direction and focus we need to truly make an exciting blog about blogging.
It’s been under wraps for a short while now, and we are proud to announce our new editor here at the Blog Herald: Thord Daniel Hedengren.
Thord is a designer, a writer and a blogger from Sweden. He co-owns his own design and publishing company, and has been involved in several startups in his home country. He does work in a global environment, though, given the nature of the design and new media industry. And did you know Thord is into creative writing?
It feels great stepping into the front seat of The Blog Herald. To me, it is something of coming full circle, since my first international freelance gig was for this excellent site. I’ve got a ton of ideas, plans, and suggestions that we’re talking about internally right now, and among those is of course a new design, so expect more on that in the coming weeks.
I’m stepping in briefly on an interim basis to fill Tony’s shoes. One of the stories that has touched my heart of late is the crisis that bloggers face overseas a freedom we take for granted here in the United States. Freedom of Press. However as one Egyptian blogger notes in a recent post there is a movement going on.
In the first decade of the third millennium a new kind of artistic movement has emerged – a movement that wasn’t known before – and it’s now known as blogging. The writings in this movement took different shapes on the various blogging sites available on the web.
The movement has evolved quickly with the help of the first generation of bloggers, till the year 2008 when big publishing houses started to transform blogs into books.
It brightens my day to know that folks overseas are bold enough to record events online and share them with the world and some publishers are brave enough to publish them. This week we saw tragedy strike as a fellow blogger/citizen journalist was slain in China. I see an ever pressing need to spread tools of social engagement and communication even more so than even last year or in years prior.
I’ve elected to step down as the Editor of the BlogHerald today after some professional differences in opinion about how this blog ought to be run. Sometimes there are differences that you just have to agree to disagree about, and I believe that this is one of those circumstances.
I’ve had a tremendous time taking on this role, and its given me a fantastic opportunity to meet people and learn a few things about growing a flagship blog. I’d like to thank Mark Saunders for giving me the opportunity, and I’d like to thank every blogger that works here personally for all of their efforts and hard work. It has been an honour and pleasure to work with all of you.
Lastly, I’d like to thank all of the old readers who stuck around after the transition to a Splashpress ownership, and I’d like extend an outgoing hand to all of our new readers. I hope that under my stewardship we gained your trust, and I’d like to thank you for your ongoing patronage.
Thanks to everyone for all the memories, as the past year with the BlogHerald is one that I will never forget.
We here at the Blog Herald always look for ways to reach out to more people. Last March we launched the Blog Herald Japan. Considering that English may not exactly be the most prevalent language in the blogosphere today, I think it was a good move. According to Technorati, Japanese language blogs account for 37% of posts, while English comes at a close second at 36%.
Our sister site, 901am, also launched its own Japanese edition based on the same premise. What’s great is that both Japanese versions are humanly translated, so the context is not lost in machine-translation, which tends to be too literal.
But what about the other 27%? We thought it was worth our while to expand into even more markets. Third biggest in terms of language is Chinese, at about 8% (I think the Chinese market is potentially bigger than the 8% estimated by Technorati, though). So the next logical move would be to open an edition in Chinese.
Similar to Blog Herald Japan, the China edition is humanly translated into Mandarin. We hand-picked featured columns for translation to be sure we reach the intended market with content that is relevant to them, and that is timeless. These include tips and tutorials on better blogging, blog monetization, and taking advantage of social media, among others.
We started translated our archives dating back to Splashpress Media’s acquisition of the Blog Herald, and translation into Mandarin by our in-house translator is an ongoing activity. The China edition uses the same theme as the English, but modified a bit given the difference how Chinese characters appear onscreen. We are still doing some tweaks and optimizations and are yet uploading some of the more recent articles, so please bear with us. We target to catch up with current posting soon.
With this development, we are also considering creating original content in Mandarin. We have already started posting China-specific articles, care of a contributor based in mainland China, and we intend to keep this up, perhaps taking in other contributors to help out.
StrongMail Systems, Inc. announced that Fotolog, a photo-blogging community with growth rate of one million new members every six weeks, has selected StrongMail to further enhance its member experience and accommodate explosive growth with a reliable platform for marketing and transactional email.
Fotolog generates a high volume of transactional email from member registrations and automatic notifications of blog posts, photo uploads and other community-building tools. Extremely popular in Latin America and Europe, Fotolog’s members have posted more than 200 million photos and 2 billion guestbook comments. Fotolog’s sharing and collaborative environment depends heavily on the reliable and prompt delivery of email to its 8 million members across 200 countries.
“As Fotolog drives explosive growth around the world, we are continuing to update our member experience in order to further build and realize the full value of our large and engaged member base,” said John Borthwick, CEO of Fotolog, Inc. “As we build one of the world’s largest social media networks at the intersection of digital photography, blogging and social networking, we need an email platform that can scale reliably, and StrongMail will play a pivotal role in keeping our community informed of new user-generated content and updated account information.”
Colby Buzzell‘s memoir about his year of fighting in Iraq has won the Blooker Prize for the best book of the year based on a blog.
The former US machine gunner’s book “My War: Killing Time in Iraq” was awarded the £5000 ($A12,000) prize, beating out 110 entries from 15 countries. “It was just a way for me to deal with what I was going through,” Buzzell said, explaining his pure intention in writing the book.
Arianna Huffington, one of the Blooker judges, referred to the book as “an unfiltered, often ferocious expression of his boots-on-the-ground view of the Iraq war.”
The prize is sponsored by Lulu.com, an on-demand printing company.