The Mac desktop blogging client Blogo was just updated to version 1.1, which includes Twitter support, as I’ve reported previously. Blogo supports WordPress, Blogger, Drupal, TypePad, Movable Type, and Typo. Drupal and Twitter are new since 1.0.
Blogo 1.1 is rolled out for free for paying users, so you don’t have to cry about those $25 you coughed up the other week.
A press release highlights the following:
New formatting options:
Text can now be formatted as quotes and lists, and can be aligned or justified.
Users can now post status updates and send direct messages from Blogo, as well as view friends’ and friends-of-friends’ status updates. Blogo can even be configured to send a new status update whenever a new article is published.
Blogo now supports Drupal, a popular content management system and the third most popular blog system after WordPress and Blogger.
The interface has undergone a complete revision, with a more streamlined look as well as a new black theme.
Custom thumbnail cropping:
Image thumbnails can now be cropped independently of the full-size image, giving the user a finer level of control over the post layout.
Expanded support for more file formats:
Blogo now accepts most raw image formats in addition to PDF, PSD, EPS, JPEG, GIF and PNG.
Integration with NetNewsWire and Safari:
Blogo responds to the “Post to Weblog” command in news readers, and comes with a bookmarklet which can be added to Safari to send the current web page to Blogo.
Growl is now used for all user notifications.
2a) Email Replies – Disqus emails every comment to the blogger. If the blogger wants to reply to the comment, he/she simply replies to the email and it is posted as a reply (with the indent described above). This feature, which I requested the day I met/saw Disqus for the first time, is the single best thing about Disqus and has transformed my blog comments because I can now participate in them in real time throughout the day as the conversation develops. This is a BIG DEAL.
It looks as Blog*spot users will soon be able to insert a ratings system in their Blogger blogs which will allow readers to rate an individual post from one star to five.
Unfortunately it seems as if they launched the feature prematurely, and the Google team has currently disabled the feature–at least for now.
(Blogger Status) Some users may be seeing star ratings on their posts without having opted in to this new feature. This is an experimental feature that was accidentally enabled on some users’ blogs. We’re currently working to remove star ratings on all affected blogs. In the future, you’ll be able to choose to opt-in to this feature; it won’t appear automatically.
Update: The Star Rating feature has been disabled for the moment.
Previously the only way Blogger users could insert star ratings (or something similar) was through OutBrain and Spotback, the former who previously raised $5 million in a financing round.
There is no word on whether a user will have to register for a Google account in order to rate, although if so, they will hopefully add OpenID users to the mix (since Blogger is an official provider now).
The new version of Blogo, a Mac desktop blogging application, have native support for Twitter, including a Microblog Viewer to read your tweets, as well as simple posting to your Twitter account. This version is in beta now, but I can attest that at least the Twitter functionality seems to be working as it should. The release is imminent.
Blogo isn’t the first piece of blogging software to support Twitter, but as far as I know others, like Ecto, require you to install addons, scripts, extensions, or whatever they support.
Trackback is one of the major blog features that has been declared dead over and overagain. This recently led Kyle Eslick from Hack WordPress to ask his readers “Does WordPress Need Trackbacks Any More?” Eslick’s own answer is straightforward: “In my opinion, blogging has outgrown the trackback and the pingback has made it irrelevant.”
The question is not so much if spam or the Pingback killed the Trackback but rather if the medium has rendered it obsolete. The medium and practice of blogging are entangled in the blog software and with the introduction of Pingback the inter-blog notification system became automatic instead of manual. When I described the difference between the manual Trackback and the automatic Pingback in On Using Manual and/or Automatic Link Notification Systems I also described how I mainly relied on Pingbacks.
Gathered from the discussion in the comments (and the slowly disappearing Trackback URI on blogs) it seems that especially the newer generation of bloggers, including myself, is not aware of the Trackback feature let alone use it. Does that mean that WordPress, or any other blog software for that matter, should remove the feature? If Trackback is only being used by spammers should we keep that little Trackback box that hardly anyone uses?
I am sure users would raise hell if WordPress would remove the Trackback feature because as Martin Emmerich comments: “Trackbacks and pingbacks are the threads of the blog web and part of the blogging culture.” Trackbacks play(ed) an important part in our blogging culture and they have helped to shape the blogosphere as we now know it.
So what should we do with the Trackback? Should we do anything at all? Anil Dash from Movable Type, who developed the trackback, replied to a first wave of “trackback is dead” declarations in 2005 that we should fix its problems:
Finally, the familiarity and utility of TrackBack, especially now that current-generation tools reduce the likelihood and reward value of spamming, means that there can be a base for a new generation of TrackBack, featuring necessities like authentication and richer content payloads. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater in regards to TrackBack would be as silly as throwing out email because it’s been abused.
Mend it, don’t end it! :)
Did Pingback fix TrackBack sufficiently to render it obsolete? Should we remove obsolete features from the already abundant options in the blog software interface? Troy Duncan shares my wish of further developing conversational techniques: “Instead of removing choices, I would like blogging platforms to develop more ways to extend the conversation.”
Open-source darling MySQL is facing a new uprising within its customer base over plans disclosed this week to reserve some key upcoming features, and their source code, for paying users of its namesake database.
Officials at Sun Microsystems Inc., which acquired MySQL in February, confirmed that new online backup capabilities now under development will be offered only to MySQL Enterprise customers — not to the much larger number of users of the free MySQL Community edition.
It will be interesting to see where this restriction on features heads in the long-term. MySQL is likely the most popular database system for dynamic blogs – including most WordPress sites and The Blog Herald.
CushyCMS is a hosted CMS solution that basically lets you edit parts of your sites by logging in to CushyCSM and alter the content. It’s a wysiwyg editor for anywhere on the web that you control, all you need to do is add a CSS class to the part of the site you want to edit, and give CushyCMS FTP access to your server. Then login and edit away.
That’s no blog.
It is, however, an easy way to manage a static site. And for all of those who uses blogging platforms such as WordPress and Movable Type to power more or less static sites, it might sound a bit more convenient, yeah?
Some enterprising hackers have put together a scheme whereby they hack a number of blogs, so that they can create their own network pages and links back to a few select blogs, to pages that are not easily visible. It takes advantage of the organic and real page rank of all of the sites in question, and probably makes some bucks for the hacker involved.
Tony has been able to use the “river of news” feature on memetracking site Tailrank to find a number of blogs that appear to have been hacked in this method.
I have seen something similar occur on my company’s website over at Bryghtpath LLC. We were contacted last month by Google informing us that links to spyware/malware were detected on our company blog – and then we were being delisted until we had notified them that it had been removed. We’d been hacked.
I’m sure this news will evolve throughout the day – I suggest that you ensure that your sites are clean and fully patched with the latest versions of your blogging software of choice.