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August 6, 2009

Confirmed: Shiny Media To Make A Comeback

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shiny-media-logoStraight from the Unconfirmed Department comes the news Managing Director and Co-Founder Chris Price confirmed to us that Shiny Media will make a return to the blogging stage. Shiny Media went spectacularly in to administration little more than 2 weeks ago and the blogosphere quickly filled with good old fashioned blog drama.

Today Sheldon Daniels announced on Tech Digest that normal service will be resumed tomorrow morning. No announcement has been made so far on the Shiny Media news page at the moment of writing and we could not reach anyone at Shiny Media. A trustworthy little bird told us that Managing Director and Co-founder Chris Price back at the office is. read more

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From 55 Blogs to 4 Local Websites: An Interview with John Evans

John Evans’ blog network Syntagma Media always stood out a bit from the blog networks of the early days. First it was because of the hacked Kubrick blog template with the rainbow headers (which I remedied in one of my first design gigs in the blogosphere), and then because of Evans leaving the term blog behind, rebranding as a network of sites, web magazines, and other ideas aimed to make them more accessible and easy to understand.

Earlier this week Syntagma Media launched its most recent venture, the first in a series of “hyper-local” websites. So how do you go from blog network to local websites? That’s what this interview is about. read more

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July 29, 2009

Twitter Gets a New Front Page

newtwittercomsplash.jpgTwitter just rolled out their new front page, which was known to come. I’m a bit ambivalent about it, mainly because it seems to follow all of the design trends out there at the moment.

Anyway, the new front page features search from the front as well as a selection of trending topics, which is good. The reason for this is, well, I’ll let Biz Stone tell it himself:

However, demonstrating the power of Twitter as a discovery engine for what is happening right now through our Search and Trends often awakens a sense of wonder which inevitably leads to a much more compelling question, “How do I get involved?”

So what’s the verdict? read more

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July 28, 2009

The GPL and Your Work

HeckertThis is final part of the Blog Herald’s Guide to the GPL License series. You can read part one, part two and part three here.

Over the course of this series, we’ve taken a look at what the GPL is, why using GPLed blogging software is important and how the GPL impacts some of the more common peripherals and add-ons to most blogging software. However, one of the most critical aspects of the GPL remains to be looked at, what is one’s own requirements under the GPL when they use such licensed code.

Of all the elements of the GPL, this is perhaps the most important. The idea of free software means little is users are unable to use GPLed code or build upon it. However, with those rights does come responsibilities that must be addressed.

An understanding of this is especially vita with blogging software as changes are more easily made, even by novice programmers, and the desire to customize and improve ones blogging platform is almost ubiquitous among those managing their sites. This combination leads to a large amount of tinkering, but by those often unaware of their obligations under the GPL.

However, in this post we’re going to talk about what your obligations are under the GPL and, make it simple to follow both the letter and the spirit of the license. read more

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Jeremy Wright Steps Down, Elaine Kunda New CEO of b5media

Jeremy Wright is stepping down as CEO of blog network b5media, effective immediately, according to a press release. The new CEO is Elaine Kunda, presented as an “experienced entrepreneur”.

“Elaine is exactly the right leader for b5media, with her strong leadership and proven ability to lead top performing teams,” said John Albright, managing partner of JLA Ventures.

Kunda herself said this in the press release:

“I believe there is an extraordinary opportunity to create additional value and new possibilities for our customers, partners and employees. The Company has accomplished a great deal in its relatively short history and I look forward to working together to take it to the next level.

Wright will stay on the board of directors, but why do this now, and make it effective immediately? read more

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July 24, 2009

Where Twitter Wants to Be

From the official Twitter blog:

A small business like a bakery will send out a tweet that the cookies just came out of the oven and a few dozen local followers will rush over and buy warm cookies. The customers like it and the small businesses owners love it. Big companies are using Twitter in interesting ways too.

You’d love that, wouldn’t you, Biz? If Twitter was used that way, it would be hyperlocal and worth ten times more than any guesstimate out there today.

The featured Best Buy mashup Twelpforce thing is pretty far from what you’re dreaming of above, Biz, but at least it is a step in the right direction.

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July 22, 2009

The James Farmer Interview: Part 2 of 2

This is the second part of my interview with James Farmer, of Incsub and Edublogs.org fame. Read the first part here before getting down and dirty with this one, please.

Blogs.mu lets anyone host their own WordPress MU powered site. What’s the idea behind the service? Who should use it?

That people should be able to run a WPMU based blog network without having to find their way around a server.

Anyone who wants a WPMU site but can’t bring themselves to brave the install process!

Although we do offer some very simple and easy guides opn how to use and install WordPress MU at wpmu.org – heck, if I could do it back in the day I reckon most people could do it now.

read more

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July 21, 2009

The James Farmer Interview: Part 1 of 2

James Farmer is one of the big names in the WordPress MU sphere. He’s one of the guys behind the WordPress MU focused agency Incsub, and also the founder of the poster site of poster sites for the blog hosting platform: Edublogs.org. Sure, I guess wordpress.com is both bigger and probably better technically than Edublogs.org, but this is the mother of all WordPress MU installs, the one that proved that this software can be used for real. If anyone doubted that, that is.

So what are his thoughts on the platform, all the new projects that Incsub has rolled out, and so on? I certainly got them in this mammoth interview, split into two parts. This is Part 1.

First of all, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and your company, Incsub?

Incsub is about my 4th professional incarnation, before that I was an editor at theage.com.au, lecturer at deakin.edu.au and teacher at stacks of different places.

Essentially, while I was in the lecturer mode, I started Edublogs.org to fill a need that I had – providing blogs for people – and it grew (really quick) so people started asking me about making similar sites for them.

Luckily I had also got to know Andrew Billits via the WPMU community by that time, he’s a damn great WPMU coder, and hence Incsub was born.

read more

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The GPL and Themes/Plugins

HeckertThis is a continuation of the Blog Herald’s Guide to the GPL License series. You can read part one and part two here.

One of the more common misconceptions about the GPL is that it is “viral” in nature and can “infect” any software that touches it.

While it is true that the GPL does have a viral component, it is only to ensure that derivative works based upon GPLed code are also released to the GPL. It is possible, and even common, for GPL applications and proprietary ones to co-exist side by side. For example, there are many proprietary programs, including Skype and MyDropBox, that run on Linux, which is GPLed.

However, when one delves into plugins and and themes, something of a gray area begins to emerge. Though a WordPress theme, for example, might not be based upon a GPL theme, it relies upon a GPL application to function. As such, it has been widely held that they are GPL-licensed, even if they haven’t been explicitly licensed as such. read more

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July 17, 2009

Beware of Those Shortened URLs

The rise of Twitter and the 140 character cap it brings (which in turn comes from texting, but that’s a different story) has forced URL shortening upon us. Let’s face it, most URLs won’t leave much room for actual content in a tweet, and that’s why we use services like TinyURL and bit.ly. However, they offer risks as well, since someone can claim that an URL is for a certain thing, while it in fact is something completely different. If you’re lucky, it is just a hidden affiliate ad, but you might just as well end up at a site containing malicious code. read more

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