Why Lowering the Barriers to Blogging is a Good Thing

During a recent conversation about WordPress with some fellow bloggers, the issue of WordPress’ 2.9 features came up.

Though I am a heavy WordPress user, running it on half a dozen blogs and writing for three other sites that use it, I wasn’t particularly blown away by the feature list. Though some things struck me as nice, such as post thumbnails and a “trash” can, and others seem to have great long term potential, such as comment metadata and custom post types, many of the much-touted features didn’t seem to be that useful to me.

Image editing is a nice idea, but I already have more image editors than I can count. Likewise, the easier media embedding seemed odd as I’ve never once felt it was too hard or too time-consuming to embed a clip into my site. Copying and pasting a few lines of code just is not that intimidating to me.

But my friends then pointed out something to me, these features weren’t intended for me. Old hats such as myself might grow to find these features convenient, but they certainly aren’t necessary.

They aren’t tools for the people who are blogging vets, but for those who want to start blogging, will be soon or just started. New blogging users, especially those without a lot of technical expertise, have different needs and they are changing the way CMSs, including WordPress, design and build their systems. These changes will affect all of us but, in the long run, will have a positive impact. [Read more…]

Posterous chooses Rackspace Cloud for blog hosting


posterous_logoWhen you’re an up-and-coming free blog service like Posterous, with some big name users on your books, then you need to ensure your web hosting is up to scratch.

To that end, Posterous has chosen The Rackspace Cloud to handle its hosting requirements.

The move means that the multimedia files users send to the Posterous service, for publication and dissemination via a number of other online services, will be stored on Rackspace’s Cloud Files. [Read more…]

WordPress Rules the Technorati Top 100, TypePad Too

Pingdom took a look at the Technorati Top 100 blogs to see what blogging platform was the most widely used one. I can’t say I’m the least surprised to see that WordPress finished at the top. Looking at the self-hosted blogs, 27 (ie 27%) run WordPress, 12 rolls on Movable Type, 8 are custom made, and 4 use Drupal. Looking at hosted blog platform, TypePad finishes at the top with 16 blogs, Blogsmith rolls 14, WordPress.com only has 5, and 3 use Blogger. Worth noting is that Gawker Media blogs has their own platform, and it isn’t listed, whereas AOL Weblogs Inc, use Blogsmith.

For even more number crunching and graphs, check out the excellent run-through at the Royal Pingdom blog, including a full list.

JournalSpace blogging platform dies: why you must keep your own backups

It may not have been the largest free blogging platform available, but for anyone who used JournalSpace for their blog the events of the last week were catastrophically significant.

Three days ago, JournalSpace lost all of its data. Yes, all of it. The hardware itself was intact, which means that either the OS X Server suffered a major failure or someone with malicious intent wiped the hard drives. [Read more…]

Free Blog Platform for Beginners: Kontain

Blogging platforms WordPress and Blogger still rule the roost (though this blogger digs SquareSpace), but there is a newcomer on the scene. Meet Kontain.

If you are not technically inclined, and willing to sacrifice fashion over form, this could be the platform for you. In other words, this could be your daddy’s platform.

To get started you simply need to input your e-mail address (and verify it within 15 days).

Your blog URL with be Kontain/BlogNameHere.

Media upload limits:

50 items per entry
100MB maximum size per file
250MB total monthly upload

The folks at Kontain plan to introduce social networking options such as friend following some time next year. Read more here.

2009 is right around the corner. If one of your resolutions is to start blogging, Kontain gives you one less excuse. If you’re an experienced blogger, move on!

WordPress 2.6.3 Security Release

A new version of WordPress is available, version 2.6.3. It is a security release to fix a vulnerability reported in the Snoopy library, which WordPress uses to fetch the feeds you see in the Dashboard. It doesn’t seem to be very serious flaw, and you don’t have to download the full release if you’re running 2.6.4, you can just get the two files needed. Links in the dev blog post, and the full 2.6.3 release is available on the download page now.

Using WordPress or Movable Type as a CMS

Want to put either WordPress or Movable Type to good sue as a traditional CMS? There are two posts about this on Devlounge that you really should read:

Yes, the latter one is written by me, and a while back at that, but it is interesting in comparison with Billy’s more recent post.

Automattic buys IntenseDebate, roll on a better commenting system for WordPress

Automattic has announced that it has acquired IntenseDebate for an undisclosed sum. This should ensure that, in time, the free blog commenting service has the potential to find its way onto both hosted and self-managed WordPress blogs – over four million at present.

According to a CNet article, Automattic’s Matt Mullenweg has said that IntenseDebate software could become the default commenting option on both WordPress.org and WordPress.com, citing email replies and comment rating system as the two of the main reasons for taking on the service. [Read more…]