Happy Monday, folks! If you’ve ever struggled to install Movable Type, you may have a new option soon: Six Apart has announced that MT will soon be available under the Parallels Application Packaging Standard. This will allow hosting companies to offer a simple install to their customers. If you have a Plesk control panel you’ll be able to install MT with the click of a button. MTers have always been envious of other open source projects that could be installed through things like APS. Hopefully this means we’ll see MT on other hosting platforms as well. [Read more…]
Happy Monday, folks! Let’s start this week off with an installation tutorial. Gregory Tomlinson explains how to install Movable Type 4.23 on Mac OS X 10.5 It’s a short tutorial, but it gives you the information you need to get up and running.
Selective Export — Mike T. released this plugin, which adds an option to export one or more selected blog posts. I can see several uses for this, like spinning off a set of posts as a separate blog.
Russian Action Streams — Written by Andrey Serebryakov, this adds 24 Russian services to the Action Streams plugin. I don’t know Russian, so if anyone does and has tried this, please let us know about it in the comments.
Share — I mentioned Share — a plugin for adding an “email this” function to your entries — a few weeks ago. Since then, Dan Wolfgang has had an official launch and created Share Lite, a free version with many features from the original.
MT-Notifier 3.5.2 — Chad Everett released a small update to the 3.5.x version of MT-Notifier. I have to hand it to Chad — maintaining one version of a plugin is hard enough, but he’s consistently releasing updates for both the 3.5.x and 4.2.x versions of MT-Notifier. Thanks, Chad!
What have you done with Movable Type lately? Let us know in the comments.
Yesterday, a friend of mine on Twitter sent me a DM to alert me about a what she said “looks like aTwitter scraping tool”. I clicked the link expecting to find a social aggregator gone awry or a spam blog. However, instead, the link instead pointed to Joost de Valk’s new Tweetback plugin.
The plugin, as well as Dan Zarella’s plugin by the same name, searches Twitter to for tweets that link back to posts on the blog and displays those tweets on the site under their respective entries, much like a trackback, but with Twitter (hence the name).
These plugins do, by their very nature, copy and paste tweets, displaying them on the user’s Web site, all without the explicit permission to of the author. Where trackbacks are sent from the linking site and comments are left intentionally by the visitor, these plugins are different in that they activelhy go out in search of these “tweetbacks” (including parsing URL shortening services), even though the creator has taken no steps to ensure they appear on the site.
This, in turn, raises serious issues about copyright, scraping and more that have to be at least looked at. Is it legal to copy and publish tweets from others without permission, simply because they link back to your site? The answers are not as simple as one might initially think. [Read more…]
Happy Monday, folks! First off, I’m sorry there was no Movable Type Monday last week. Seemed like most of the community had taken off for the holidays, so I decided to hold what I had for an extra week. But now it’s a new year and there’s lots of new stuff to talk about.
Custom Header — Byrne Reese put out a new plugin for uploading and customizing the header image on your blog. Custom Header handles the whole process of uploading, cropping, and positioning your banner image. This will be great for personalizing template sets, and it modifying an existing template set to use this plugin looks very straightforward.
Share — This plugin lets you add an “email to a friend” form to your blog posts. Created by Dan Wolfgang, Share is customizable and works with MT’s junk filters. Thanks, Dan!
Tips & Tutorials
Besides his Share plugin, Dan also recently wrote instructions for using his Poll Position plugin with jQuery. Poll Position lets you add polls to your blog. I’m a huge jQuery fan, so I’m glad to see Dan write this up.
Beau Smith wrote improved installation instructions for the Action Streams plugin. Looking at Beau’s method, it seems odd Action Streams isn’t set up this way to begin with. Glad somebody explained the right way to do it.
Writer Susan McNerney posted instructions on changing your banner image. It’s clear that Susan was frustrated by how much trouble it was to change her banner. Sounds like she needed Byrne’s Custom Header plugin.
Over at TMCnet, Tom Keating out does himself, writing a tutorial that offers several things one can do with MT assets. He starts with listing recent image assets linked to entries, then creates a related entries widget that includes images, and finally shows how to add images to the FastSearch plugin. Thanks, Tom!
Finally, John Walker describes how to install Image::Magick on CentOS 5.2 for your Movable Type blog. His instructions may not be limited to MT, but since ImageMagick is one of the most difficult things I’ve had to install for any blog platform, I wanted to share his instructions.
What have you done with MT this week? Let us know in the comments.
A few hours ago, Six Apart announced a new social networking application: Motion. Built on top of Movable Type, Motion is billed as a DIY social network, as well as an aggregator for content from around the web. Motion allows you to create your own microblogging community with a simple posting interface for quickly blogging images, video, links, and more. It uses the Action Streams plugin to aggregate your users’ content from other social networks onto their profile page. And it supports Google Friend Connect, Facebook Connect and OpenID for signing in to comment.
I had an opportunity to try out a private beta of Motion. I have not installed the public beta that was released yesterday, so I can’t say what, if anything, has changed from what I tried. It was definitely a beta, so I wouldn’t advise putting it into production. I would suggest playing with it, though — this product has a lot of potential. [Read more…]
Happy Monday, folks! Since it is a Monday, let’s start things off with some complaints about Movable Type. Phil Gyford wrote a detailed piece on some of the annoying things he’s dealt with in MT. The great thing about Phil’s post is that he doesn’t just complain about MT, he explains how he worked around its issues. Hopefully this post will help others that have dealt with the same things, and inspire new enhancements to MT.
Now, let’s see what else is new in the MT community.
Assetylene — Written by Brad Choate, Assetylene lets you customize the markup used to insert an asset into a post. If that sounds familiar to you, it should: Jay Allen wrote a similar plugin. Great minds think alike. If anybody’s tried both, let us know which you prefer and why. [Read more…]
Happy Monday, folks! I’m sure by now you’ve heard the big news: Six Apart bought Pownce. The Pownce team will join 6A, and the Pownce service will shut down. It’s a shame they’re closing the site — it had some really nice features. Hopefully, we’ll see some of those social networking and microblogging features show up in a future version of Movable Type.
Speaking of MT versions, MT 4.23 — the security fix that I told you was coming over a month ago — has finally been released. This is just a security fix, so it should be an easy upgrade. If you’re using the community templates, though, you will need to update those. [Read more…]
Happy Monday, folks! Before I get into this week’s news, I wanted to mention a blog post written by Chris Alden, Chairman and CEO of Six Apart, a little over a week ago. In it, Chris discusses the effects a US recession will have on blogging. His theory is that a down economy will encourage people to “invest in themselves,” which will mean spending more time blogging.
Whether or not Chris is right remains to be seen, but if he is, it should affect more than just blogging. Most blog theme and plugin creators are independent developers. Investing in themselves means creating more designs and writing more code. If Chris’s theory holds we should see a lot of new blog tools in the coming months.
Speaking of which…
Archive Uploader — ToI Planning released ArchiveUploader, which allows you to upload a zip, gzip, or tar archive of files to load into the Asset Manager. This is a great tool when you’ve got several pictures to upload to your blog. [Read more…]
Happy Monday, folks! The biggest Movable Type-related news this week was the release of TypePad Connect, a service from Six Apart that combines a Disqus-style comment system with MyBlogLog-like profiles. TypePad profiles extend the existing TypeKey service and allow you to connect it with your other social networking sites, turning it into a lifestream of sorts. TypePad comments supports OpenID login and has TypePad anti-spam built in. TypePad Connect will integrate with any MT blog, and it works with other blogging systems as well. More features are on the way, including the ability to import comments into your existing comment system.
I’ll admit, I’ve never personally seen a need for a hosted commenting system like this, but Disqus has become quite popular, and now 6A is entering the market. Have you had any experience with one of these systems? Let us know in the comments.
vpod.tv — Six Apart Europe announced the release of a plugin that integrates vpod.tv into your MT blog. With this plugin you can upload video to your site and have it published on vpod.tv. The press release makes it sound like it should be available now, but I haven’t found it available for download anywhere. [Read more…]
Let’s get the bad news out of the way: In an effort to reorganize and cut their expenses, Six Apart is laying off 8% of their employees. Hopefully, those affected will get back on their feet quickly. The thing to watch is whether this slows development of Movable Type and how it impacts community involvement and documentation efforts.
Speaking of our community, let’s see what folks have been up to this week:
ToI Planning released several plugins last week. Their descriptions in the Plugins directory are lacking in details, but from ToI Planning’s website and trying the plugins myself, I think I’ve figured them out. [Read more…]