General

Firefox 2.0 Released – Why should you care?

I am bit late with this post. The much-heralded v2.0 of Mozilla Firefox has been hyped in the press non-stop for the last few days. Most Windows users got started with Internet Explorer ’cause it came with their Windows Operating System. The latest version, IE7, has added tab browsing, phishing filter, and some other cool features. Installation, however, is quite lengthy requiring at least one reboot. If you were using a beta version, you need to uninstall it first. Firefox 2.0 is a single 5.5 MB download. It will install over an existing Firefox installation. Bookmarks and extensions are kept intact. Version 2.0 includes a new interface theme and more security protection such as built-in phishing protection. It also has session memory, which upon reopening the browser, brings back the set of Web pages that were in use when it was last closed*. Changes have also been made in the…

Google

Auto-pinging Google from WordPress

Surely you heard about Google’s new Blog Ping Service (see my previous post). Yes, Google made it very clear how to do a manual ping. The auto-pinging instructions, however, make confusing reading. If you are a [tag]WordPress[/tag] user it’s a snap! Just add this URL to your WordPress Update Services (Options -> Writing): http://blogsearch.google.com/ping/RPC2 Does it work? Yes it does. I have tested it and new posts appear in Google’s Blog Search listing in a few minutes.

Google

Google Cuddles Up to Bloggers

Blogging is moving more and more mainstream nicely pushed along by Google [[GOOG]]. Three recent moves by [tag]Google[/tag] demonstrate their interest in this medium. First is the addition of Blog Search to the Google News page. This change was first noticed by Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion. Since then, Google has gone one step further and added Blog Search to the top of the related links shown at the end of search results.

WordPress

Using the WordPress ‘Digg This’ Plugin in Individual Posts

Aviran’s ‘Digg This‘ Plugin for WordPress is a masterful piece of code in use by thousands of bloggers. The plugin requires that you put a line of code in your template. [Not always an easy process to find the right spot.] In theory, this is a great idea as the ‘[tag]Digg[/tag] It’ button doesn’t show up until your post gets Dugg. The plugin even sends you an email when the button first shows up in your post. Cool! However, as John Chow pointed out recently, you get an ugly red error splotch if your post is Dugg from upcoming stories instead of the story post itself. What can be done? It would be nice to control which posts get the button. However, the ‘Digg This’ plugin does not give you that choice. Normally, you cannot run PHP code from a post. Or, can you? Thanks to another superb plugin by…

WordPress

WordPress 2.05 Release – A Big Yawn?

I am huge fan of [tag]WordPress[/tag]. Don’t get wrong. It is simply the best piece of blogging code is existence. The Famous 5-Minute Install is near bullet-proof! And, 1,273,296 downloads speak for themselves. The iminent release of v2.05, however, looks to be ‘much ado about nothing’. Here are the highlights of the changes. Don’t ask about the rest! Improved security for the WordPress database backup plugin. Plugins sorted by plugin name not filename. User descriptions will be preserved going into the database. Instead of these minor enhancements, how about fixing the atrociously bad WYSIWYG editor? Is it bad or what? I think any serious WordPress user has it disabled.

General

Ruminations on Performancing Partners Ad Network

[tag]Performancing[/tag] Partners new blog ad network is in pre-launch with a sign-up push prior to going live. The model is direct advertising for a monthly flat fee basis based on recommended CPM for category type, and CPA (cost per acquisition). Most participating blogs are displaying the sign-up medallion (see below left) while a few beta testers are actually running ads. Peformancing members are mostly low and medium traffic blogs. Initial pricing looks more favorable to publishers than advertisers. The deliverable is 125px square ad placed above or near the fold of the blog. Publishers get an image ad for a lower price than they would pay for a Text Link Ad. Advertisers get, well, in many cases not very much.

Google

Integrating AdSense Deluxe and AdSense Beautifier WordPress Plugins

Why does one need a plugin at all? That is the first question. Yes, you can paste Google AdSense code directly into your [tag]Wordpress[/tag] [tag]blog[/tag] template files. If you only want AdSense in your header, siderbar, or footer – you are all set! However, you cannot paste [tag]AdSense[/tag] code into a post or page. Well, it’ll kind of work in Firefox but not all in Internet Explorer. I don’t know about other browsers. That is why you need the AdSense Deluxe plugin. AdSense text ads are not known for their beauty! Yes, you can change fonts colors and borders. However, adding photos has always been a bit of a headache. That is why you need the AdSense Beautifier plugin. It is claimed that besides the aesthetics, images adjacent to ads can help increase click through rate (CTR).