Entries Tagged as 'Blogging'

WordPress 2.6 is live!

wordpress.jpg It’s interesting that after I had announced that 2.6 was out when the WP dev team released it, and had upgraded the couple of blogs I manage over to 2.6, that there hasn’t been much talk about it, at least not in my circles.
And I also don’t see huge changes that are just super impressive. So far, there is group editing where it’s more like wikis in the fact that it keeps track of changes, and Google Gears support which allows some caching, and a bookmarklet that allows you to post from anywhere.
Kinda neat is the images addition where you can add captions, SSL support in the core, and just more in general moves towards better usability. And they invalidated my buddy, TD’s plugin, by rolling in word count! Sorry buddy.
All in all, it didn’t take but thirty seconds to upgrade since I have the WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin. The ease of use is definitely one of the key features of WP.


UPDATE (7/16): My bad. I checked out the word count integration in WP2.6, and all it is right now is a “word count”. TD’s plugin itself does an entire breakdown not only on posts, but all of the posts each author does, a ranking system, and a whole lot more.

WordPress Plugin: iFlickr

iFlickr is a nifty little plugin by Photopreneur, that allows you to scour the images on Flickr and look for Creative Commons licensed photographs.
From there, those photographs are then used in your blog post, but not without given rightful attribution underneath the picture and in accordance to the Creative Commons licensing. It basically removes a step from actually having to copy and paste links and thus making it pretty useful. As far as I can tell, this doesn’t allow you to choose between different types of CC licenses so if you’re looking for Commercial use, you might still be out of luck.

FastCGI with Movable Type

If you’re using Movable Type, and your blog seems to be going kind of slow in speed of load time, it might be good to take a look at changing it up with FastCGI. FastCGI allows your admin side of things to run a bit faster since it turns it into a persistent account.
If you happen to be running on Dreamhost? No sweat. A slightly different version of installation will work splendidly for you too.

NFReader

scr_nfreader.png
If you’re looking for a small footprint feed reader, then NFReader will fit the bill nicely. It supports RSS, Atom, and RDF feeds and can export opml files just like every other reader. Weighing in at only a third of a megabyte, it’s probably one of the few lightweights in feed readers that you’ll be able to find. Especially in Windows. Candidate for USB key and portable applications? You bet.

I don’t know why Fidgit by SciFi exists…

fidgit.jpg Just recently, SciFi put out Fidgit, another gaming news site. Here’s the rub. No one knows exactly why SciFi is doing this.
It’s very similar to the whole “ratings” game I suppose when they brought ECW into the mix. Had absolutely nothing to do with the core channel, but they were desperate for other people than the core group I suppose. Very similar to how G4 took a nosedive and still trying to reinvent itself.
Well, Fidgit is here to stay at least for a while, so here are the few issues with it right off the bat. First, the immediate reaction is that there’s no content there that I can’t get from Joystiq, IGN, or 1UP. It doesn’t specialize in anything (of which, specializing in science fiction based games would be one way to re-gain niche market control and then eventually your growth business could extend out into other genres.
But the biggest thing? It’s the CNAME. I can’t get past how super noob it is. The actual URL is http://fidgit.com and if you try to use the www CNAME, it does a forward to fidgit.com instead of actually also resolving to the same place. From a tech perspective, that’s just … non-professional. Everyone in the free world all use www. So not having it is just plain weird.
Maybe it’s just me, but it’s really not grabbing me and there’s no niche that it plays, so it’s not even worth throwing into my feed readers. Maybe the site will grow up a little later on and will be worth revisiting, but currently it’s just not my cup of tea.
Love SciFi. Hate Fidgit.

TypePad AntiSpam

typepadantispam.jpg There’s something to be said about antispam technologies. Especially on blogs. And so far, I’m liking the fact that Six Apart came out with their own.
Believe me. A lot of people have a love-hate relationship with Akismet. I’ve had my own issues dating with it on and off for the past couple years. So when there’s an option out of Akismet crappy false positives, I’ll take a look.
So far, TypePad AntiSpam has already caught a couple things since being installed on lux and 888 Society. The bad thing about this is that it’s still automated with no user interface. There should still be some way to set up a local whitelist and/or commit to a national blacklist. I don’t see why these services don’t set up something similar to Spamhaus but niche towards blogs.
In any case, TypePad AntiSpam is built into TypePad, and there are plugins for WordPress and Movable Type. Nothing like a little extra protection.

WordPress Plugin: CNN News

wordpress.jpg CNN actually has a bunch of RSS news feeds. And by their terms of service, you too can have it on your blog.
So in any case, all you have to do with WordPress is to install the CNN News plugin and go with the flow. If you want to make it prettier and such, you definitely can take it and skin it with css, and you can also call it as a widget. As of this post, it supports multiple CNN feeds, shortcodes, and uses the internal WordPress feed and caching systems.
Pretty impressive if you ask me. Definitely worth your while to take a looksie.

Tip to monetizing your blog: Use pictures

Another great way to pull readership?
Add pictures.
As they say, one picture is worth a thousand words. And truth be told, it also applies to blogging. Are you interested in boosting your numbers? Choose wisely and get some more pics in there.
How did I learn this? A friend told me to just try it out for a week. And I haven’t looked back. Depending on the type of blogging software you use, there are actually pretty good tools out there to help you pick pictures from different types of image storage sites if you really have an issue with storage and bandwidth. Don’t forget, unless it’s allowed, hotlinking is a bad and naughty thing to do.
So go ahead. Add a picture to that post of yours.
Photo Credit: (are you my rik?)

Tip to monetizing your blog: Post on time

Another thing that makes a big difference to any type of blogging, but especially ones that are chasing after some play money?
Regular posting. Yes, that means timing.
The point is, if your readers know you only post once a month, or once a week, then they’ll read it at that point. If you post daily, then don’t miss a day. The goal is to do it on regular time intervals instead of irregular times because… well, most people don’t like to read a barrage of posts and then have a lull. Schedule posts out if they’re not tied to current events or observations.
Not only will this be advantageous to your readers, but it’ll be good to give you some buffer when you hit that writer’s block at times.
Photo Credit: (ToniVC)

WordPress Plugin: File-based Caching

wordpress.jpg Back in the old days of WordPress 2.1 (yes, those days…. where you had to painstakingly do everything, not like these days where you youngsters get to just dictate and the post magically appears), Automattic had introduced file-based object caching. And the people were happy.
But then, when 2.5 rolled around, it was like the king forgot its people. The file-based object caching was nowhere to be found. So Neosmart fought for the people. And introduced File-based Caching. In all seriousness though, this basically is a different type of caching system than others and will effect the performance of your blog (for the better) differently than other caching systems. It’s all about what it does, and is it suited for your blog.