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April 30, 2008

Some WordPress Plugins and Services I Recommend

Over the past few months I’ve added some new plugins and services to my blog at Webomatica that are solid and useful enough to recommend. All are working great with WordPress 2.5.

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April 23, 2008

Are Video Comments The Wave Of The Future?

Michael Arrington, owner of TechCrunch has recently allowed readers to post video comments upon all of the blogs apart of the “TechCrunch empire.”

The feature is powered by Seesmic, a service that Michael has invested in previously.

While video comments will probably help enhance the discussion (as you will have the opportunity to see just how ugly some readers truly are, especially if they have not shaved in a while), it could potentially compound the blog trolling problem, as individuals could simply shout out their annoyances at you instead of typing IN ALL CAPS.

Even though other types of abuses could be discussed (ranging from shameless promotional video comments to hard core porn), video comments may a feature bloggers should seriously consider adding to their sites–just as long as they are up to the challenge of moderating video comments posted to their site.

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April 22, 2008

New Version of Woopra Released

Example of Woopra geographical map to track visitors liveThe web analytics program, , that generated massive enthusiasm when John Pozadzides presented it at WordCamp Dallas, will release a new beta version on Friday along with thousands of requests for access granted.

“We are excited to be able to extend the Woopra Real Time Analytics service to an additional 10,000 users beginning Friday April 25,” said Jad Younan, CTO of iFusion Labs. “The infrastructure has been holding up well for the roughly 4,000 users who have been on the system the last few weeks, and this is the next step in our phased approach as we scale the business.”

Elie Khoury, iFusion Labs’ CIO, added, “In addition to the mass approvals for Webmasters who have been waiting patiently, we will be releasing a new version of the Woopra client application with bug fixes and a number of new features.”

Layered Technologies and 3Tera are providing 100 grid-servers to Woopra to handle the sudden demand from the early release of the beta version at WordCamp Dallas, and by this weekend, the numerous requests for Woopra invitations will be granted on a first come, first serve basis along with the release of the latest version.
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April 2, 2008

Twitter Will Fail

Those are not my words, but the words of The Industry Standard, ranking 10 online services that will succeed and fail. Among the losers is Twitter, Joost, Squidoo, and Second Life, while winners include Hulu, Fav.or.it, and SceneCaster.

Can Twitter fail, with all its evangelists, and the fact that 10 Downing Street is on it? In my opinion, only complete negligence and total idiocy can make it fail. Via.

PS. Don’t forget to follow The Blog Herald on Twitter!

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March 27, 2008

Zemanta For Bloggers? Good Idea, Bad Idea, Or Great Idea?

Previously reviewed by TechCrunch, Zemanta offers itself as a useful tool to help make blogger’s post “more vibrant.”

Currently available only in Firefox and Internet Exploer (the latter still in beta testing), Zemanta’s main goal is to provide to help bloggers find relevant links to their articles by suggesting related content through words and images on the side (after you install it).

One of the great things about Zemanta is that it actually scans the web for Creative Commons content, so bloggers will be able to post useful images without the fear of being sued by an angry photographer/artist (provided they link back that is).
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March 18, 2008

MoFuse, And Why Every (Non Geek) Blogger Should Use It

If there is one thing most bloggers do not mind getting its traffic. Whether they post for attention or money (and sometimes both), bloggers are usually willing to pay any price (whether time or cash) to ensure their sites are optimized for their audience.

Even though most serious bloggers will make sure that their site is displayed properly in both Firefox (version 2 and the beta 3) and Internet Explorer (version 6, the dreaded 7 and beta 8), many however do not even consider making sure their blog can be displayed on a simple mobile phone.

Having a mobile version of your blog is important, especially if your site is receiving traffic from the eastern world (as the phones there are usually more advanced, as well as more affordable than a PC is in the west).

While most affluent bloggers and/or geeks have the spare change and time to optimize their weblogs, many bloggers do not.

Fortunately for the rest of the population (this author included), you do not have to worry about making your site mobile friendly, as a new startup called MoFuse will do the heavy lifting for you for free.
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March 12, 2008

Tech Bloggers Are Joining FriendFeed: Give It A Try

It seems this year the technology blogosphere is latching onto “lifestreaming” or “social network aggregation” as a new web service to explore. In plain English, this means pulling in your activity on selected social sites into one website or feed. So instead of checking in on ten different websites to see what people are up to, you can visit just one.

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March 5, 2008

Does Your Blog Look Great In Internet Explorer 8?

The future is clear. The future is here. But is it something that bloggers need to fear?

The new Internet Explorer browser is out, after being highlighted at the Microsoft Mix Keynote event over in Las Vegas.

While the beta browser is not recommended for the masses, geeks and bloggers (or both) will probably want to install it on their machine in order to see if their site passes the “beauty test” (translation: does IE8 make my blog look fat ugly?).

After downloading the browser (which is only for Vista and Windows XP users) I noticed that the beta browser had different effects on different blogs.
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January 19, 2008

Google Becomes OpenID Provider Via Blogger (Now Non-Geeks Can Join The Fun)

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After previously rolling out OpenID for Blog*spot blogs, Google seems to have stumbled upon the perfect formula to encourage its users to embrace OpenID.

Instead of making users register with third party sites (such as MyOpenID.com), Google instead will become the “host of the party” by enabling Blogger to become an OpenID provider.
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January 8, 2008

RSS in the living room: Samsung plasma TVs offers one touch access to USA Today

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One of the interesting trends being magnified at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is that of Internet connectivity for home entertainment devices.

In particular, Samsung has announced that two of its fairly high-end plasma TV series will feature “one touch” access to USA Today‘s RSS news feeds.

Assuming their Series 6 / Series 7 TV is connected to the Internet (via the built-in Ethernet port), a viewer simply has to press the “RSS” button on their remote control unit to bring up a semi-transparent menu overlay featuring selectable newsfeeds covering a variety of customisable topics. The main TV picture remains unaffected.

I understand that Samsung is looking to do deals with other content providers, including Reuters, to expand the feeds available.

It’s an interesting move. Given that a lot of general consumers don’t really know what RSS is yet, and currently don’t have any “point-and-click” way of getting news and information from the Internet on their home TV, this could either be the start of something big for Samsung and other manufacturers, or a complete flop.

Putting “RSS” on the remote control may itself lead to confusion (because we all know that no-one reads the manual unless they really have to, either)

If this concept flies, it also has implications for bloggers. Should Samsung and other TV manufacturers not “do a Kindle” and restrict the scope of RSS feeds (and, heaven forbid, charge for reading them), then all the world’s blogs could soon be appearing on HDTV.

Oh yes, and so could the millions of splogs.

Perhaps Samsung is right to limit the offering to selected blogs, particularly as their first TVs only have one gigabyte of on-board memory to store information. In which case, how do you get on to their list?

Such a service is unlikely to appeal to heavy bloggers or seasoned blog readers (I tend to just have my laptop in the living room and keep the TV separate), but as blogging becomes more mainstream, and TVs serve up more than broadcast TV channels, your blog’s content could end up in all sorts of new places, and in front of many more eyeballs.

RSS is definitely coming to the living room.

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