Tag Archives: Blogging

WordPress 3.2 Beta 1 Review – Features, Screenshot Walkthrough

The WordPress team started planning for WordPress 3.2 back in March and released WordPress 3.2 beta last week. I spend some time playing around with the next generation of WordPress to see what is new with it.

Here is a review of WordPress 3.2 and a list of the new features that you will be using when the final version comes out. Please note that WordPress 3.2 will require PHP 5.2.4 and  MySQL 5.0, so you might have to upgrade your server software or ask your hosting provider to do it for you.

Important Note: This is a beta version of WordPress, don’t install it on a production server.

New Admin Interface

WordPress 3.2 Admin Interface

WordPress 3.2 has a refreshed admin interface which does away with the curved corners and cuts down on the space used between the menus.

WordPress 3.1.1 Released, Update Now; Fixes Security Bugs and XSS Flaw

The WordPress team has released a new update to which contains several security fixes in the code. WordPress 3.1.1 fixes almost thirty issues in WordPress 3.1.

WordPress

The new security patches were discovered by WordPress core developers and hardens CSRF prevention in the media uploader. It also adds a patch to avoid a PHP crash in certain environments because of links in comments. The third big patch fixes an XSS flaw in the code.

There are also several other performance improvements and fixes for IIS6 support, fixes for taxonomy and PATHINFO permalinks and fixes for various other query and taxonomy issues caused by plugin compatibility.

I highly recommend that you update your WordPress installation to WordPress 3.1.1 to avoid being affected by these security loopholes.

Apache Roller A Java Based Blogging Software

I will keep this short and sweet. While answering a question on Quora (find me here), I came across something which I wasn’t aware of for a while. That something is Apache Roller. Roller is basically a full featured, multi blog and group blog based on Java.

However, it’s usage is not reported as highly as say WordPress, because most webhosts provide users with LAMP (Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP) installs. We internally use a LNMP install (Linux-Nginx-MySQL-PHP-CGI). However, for Apache Roller you will have to use a Java based server like Apache’s own Tomcat.

Though this project is not widely used, it is definitely recommended for people who are not blogging because they use Java based servers. At this point of time I am downloading this software and will review it. Being a Java guy myself, I am pretty much excited that a blogging solution exists for this purpose.

Aha, the hidden gems you get when you are on Quora. If you don’t know what Quora is, may I oblige you with this reading where I tried to explain What is Quora?

Have you ever heard of Apache Roller? Used It? Do give me some scoops on your thoughts about it then.

WordPress.com Sees A Massive Growth In 2010

According to latest statistics, WordPress.com now accounts for more than half of the WordPress blogs around the world including self-hosted blogs. This is an impressive rise and the massive increase in the number of WordPress.com blogs has happened only over the last year.

WordPress.com claim that pageviews for WordPress blogs were up 53% from 2009, which accounted for a total of 23 billion visits. Media uploads and individual blog posts were both doubled from 2009. However, the numbers to watch out for are mobile bloggers who have septupled at 1.4 million. With new and improved media capable cellphone coming out fast, this figure is on a definitive rise.

WordPress had 9 million blogs in 2009 and the figure has increased to 16 million now. That is an impressive 7 million new blogs in a year and an increase of nearly 78%. All these stats came in just when people were claiming that the end of blogging as a public platform is nearing. Blogging might have some metamorphosis but it is here to stay for a long time.

In language, English Spanish and Portuguese were the dominant languages popular amongst WordPress blog readers. With 500,000 posts made every day on an average, WordPress can be seen on any popular blog, be it TechCrunch, The NY Times or here on Techie Buzz and it is expected to grow this year too. For a comparison of WordPress and other blogging platforms, here is a comparative chart. The blue line is WordPress.com whereas the red line is the Blogger service from Google.

wordpress-vs-blogger

(Stats Via: TNW and WordPress)

Windows Live Spaces To Shut Down, Move 30 Million Users To WordPress.Com

Windows Live Spaces, the blogging platform from Microsoft will shortly shut shop and move 30 million users to the WordPress platform.

Windows Live Spaces to WordPress

Microsoft today announced the closure of Windows Live Spaces and migration of over 30 millions users will be migrated over to WordPress.com at TechCrunch Disrupt. Users data will be migrated through a process that preserves all the content to WordPress.com, all Windows Live Spaces blogs will also be redirected to the new WordPress.com domain.

Users will also have an option to download the information from their blogs and store or or delete it entirely. Windows Live Spaces will shut down within the next 6 months, giving users ample amount of time to make a decision before forced migration or deletion of data could take place.

WordPress is currently one of the best blogging solution for hosted as well as free blogging, and the 30 million additional users for the site will take their total blog tally to well over 50 million. WordPress currently powers over 8.5% sites across the internet.

Update: More at the official WordPress.com blog.

Bloglines Shuts Down, Cites Twitter and Facebook as Reason

A few years back Bloglines was one of the most popular feed reader around, however, over the years it has been surpassed by several alternatives including .

Bloglines Logo

In early days Bloglines was one of the biggest contributor towards a websites feed count, and it still is for many. However, sadly users who used Bloglines will not be able to do so after October 1, 2010. Older websites feed count may also decline, specially for publishers who have been around for 4-5 years or more. However, the users are bound to move to other providers, so the count may jump back again.

Ask.com, who had bought Bloglines for $10 million in 2005 have decided to close it down because the RSS market has constantly been shrinking due to social networking sites like and . To be frank, I agree with that, because I have hardly visited my Google Reader account since past 4 months and instead rely on several twitter lists to follow feeds.

I remember having an argument with Robert Scoble on one of his posts about Twitter replacing Google Reader, and back then I did think that I would stick with Google Reader. However, as time has passed, I have realized how much more easier it is to actually follow news on Twitter, specially more after Twitter Lists were introduced.

Do you use Feed Readers or have you shifted to Twitter or any other similar service? Let me know your thoughts about using RSS feeds vs Twitter or Facebook to catch up on news.

(Source: TechCrunch)

Joomla To WordPress Migration

Joomla is a very popular CMS platform, however, it is too advanced if you are using it only for blogging purposes. I remember using Joomla initially before shifting to WordPress and back then it was a bit of a painful process.

Joomla to WordPress Migration

However, if you are a Joomla user and are looking to move to WordPress, you can easily do it using using a Import Wizard or Migration wizard which are available as free downloads. You can download the import wizard for Joomla to WordPress from the links given below.

If you have trouble migrating, feel free to leave your comments. Since I have already migrated once from Joomla to WordPress I might be able to answer your questions.

Indiatimes Launches HiBuddy – Voice Based Social Mobile Web!

Social Media on the Web is booming and People Connect is the new mantra. And given the fact that Mobile Web consumption is on a rise these days, Indiatimes.com has just done an apt thing by launching a voice-based social networking and blogging platform called ‘HiBuddy’ (http://hibuddy.in) for mobile phone users.

HiBuddy will enables mobile phone users to create their own profile and network of friends, send voice messages and also record their voice posts or clippings to be shared with or accessed by other members. For creating a profile users need to call a number (58888199) and follow the interactive voice response (IVR) system. After this users can add friends and record voice clips.Users will receive SMS notifications for any new updates.

Initially, the platform will be made available only to users of Reliance Mobile. Later, it will be accessible with other mobile service providers as well. The downside of this service from Indiatimes is that it is not free. Users have to pay Rs 15 every month as subscription fee and Re 1 per minute as voice charges for accessing HiBuddy.

Automattic Acquires Plinky To Get Rid of Bloggers Block

Automattic the company which creates the popular blogging platform WordPress have acquired Plinky, a service which provides a prompt like a question or a challenge and asks users to type in an answer.

plinky

Plinky has been integrated into WordPress.com and will allow users to post answers to the questions or challenges to their blog along with offering integration with other social networking services like and .

Blogger’s Block basically happens when someone gets stuck for ideas and cannot write for a small period of time. With the help of Plinky users can continue to answer small questions or challenges which in turn will help them recover from a Blogger’s Block. More information on the acquisition can be found here.

(Source)

How to Disable the “Read more: http://xyz.com/” When Copy Pasting Content From Websites

For the past few days, I am seeing an annoying link appear next to the text content I copy and paste while writing a blog. Being a blogger, I often copy text like references and quotes because they are to be presented in their original form. However, many popular blogs in the blogosphere have signed up for a service called Tynt which is totally tainting the image of these blogs.

Tynt appends an attribution link to the source at the end of the copied content. This content when pasted, appears as a “Read more: http://www.example.com/#tracer”. This manipulation is done with the help of JavaScript and the #tracer is used to track down the copy content.

Not only is this a huge annoyance, it also scales in behavior depending on the size of the copied text. This polymorphism was baffling me and I could not take it anymore.

The obvious solution of simply deleting the link helps, but I wanted something full proof and automated. Some googling came to my rescue. John Gruber at The Daring Fireball has come up with an excellent method. He has blocked the Tynt server from his hosts file and you should do the same too.

In Windows, go to “C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts” and add

127.0.0.1   tcr.tynt.com

In Linux, do the same at /etc/hosts. This will block the Tynt server and will put your clipboard back at you control again. Try if it works by visiting TechCrunch and copy-pasting some content.

(Source)

WordPress Celebrates 7th Birthday

WordPress the popular blogging platform used by millions of users, both on wordpress.com and self-hosted WordPress installation has completed 7 years today.

WordPress 7th Birthday

WordPress in itself has grown over to become one of the best blogging and CMS platforms today with several improvements over the years, and with WordPress 3.0 slated to release shortly, it would definitely grow even more.

I have been personally using WordPress for over 5 years now, and have found the platform to be easy to use and adapt. I bet that several of you might have the same thinking.

If you want to be a little nostalgic, you can visit this blog post on the WordPress blog announcing the release of the first ever public WordPress version.

Guest Bloggers And Contributors For Techie Buzz

Of late we have been getting a lot of requests from guest bloggers who want to contribute and write permanently for Techie Buzz, however, we often have to reject those offers due to several reasons.

We don’t like to deject users, so we are starting out with a new way to have your posts published on Techie Buzz through permanent contributor accounts at Techie Buzz. Contributor accounts will be able to write posts for Techie Buzz and get them published to a wide audience of readers.

Contributors on Techie Buzz can write any number of posts for the site which is related to our niche. However the posts they write will be credited to them instead of us having to publish guest blogger posts.

In addition to getting credited for the posts you write, you will also get to work with our editorial team and improve upon your mistakes (if any), and also get help to write posts in a better way.

author_profile

Contributing editors will also get to add a Bio and link to their own websites on the posts they write for Techie Buzz as pictured in the screenshot above. The best part is that you will join the Techie Buzz team and be part of the community.

Interested? Oh yea I hear you, send out an email to keith [@] techie-buzz.com with a brief profile on where you write currently and why you want to become a contributing editor for Techie Buzz.

Please add “Contributor Application” to the email you send out so that I can easily find out for what the emails are being sent for.

Note: This is not a paid gig and will not involve any revenue sharing, any posts you contribute to Techie Buzz will become the property of Techie Buzz and cannot be republished elsewhere. We also reserve the rights to not publish the articles you contribute, however, unpublished articles can be used on any other site.

Blogger Introduces Pages for BlogSpot Blogs

WordPress has a feature to add pages to blogs, the pages are basically static HTML content which does not need to change very often and serves certain purpose for the site. For example, we have an About page, a Contact us and an Advertise Page. WordPress has always had this feature, however, today the Blogger platform has introduced Pages for Blogspot blogs too.

Add Pages to Blogger/Blogspot

Blogspot users can now start adding static pages to their own blogs just like WordPress blogs. To add or edit a page on your Blogspot blog, go to Posting and click on the Edit pages tab. However, unlike WordPress, Blogger has a limit of 10 pages. Blogger has also provided users with a template to display all the pages on your blog. Users can customize the widget to select which pages appear on the widget, along with the option to automatically add future pages to the widget.

So it looks like Blogger is finally looking at adding some much wanted feature to their platform as they lag way behind on features with WordPress. Do you have a Blogspot blog? Do you find this feature useful? Let us know through your comments.

After The Deadline is a Spell Checker With Brains

After the Deadline Spell Checker Natural Languages are complex. Depending upon the context, a single word can have multiple meanings. Although spell checkers can easily spot misspelled words, most of them can’t distinguish ‘knew’ from ‘new’.

After the Deadline is a Spell Checker with a difference. It is designed to improve your writing by utilising artificial intelligence and natural language processing technology. Some of the features which sets it apart from other spell checkers are:

  • Detection of Misused Words: AtD claims that their database includes more than 1,500 commonly misused words and they can automatically detect and correct common contextual errors.
  • Checks Style: AtD attempts to improve your writing by automatically identifying usage of passive voice, clichés, redundant phrases, unnecessarily complex words etc.
  • Checks Grammar: AtD also includes a sophisticated grammar checker for spotting common grammatical mistakes like determiner agreement errors and agreement of the verb with the subject errors.

After the Deadline for WordPress So does it work? We tested After the Deadline for a couple of days. We found the Context Checker to be a bit of a hit and miss. It was able to distinguish ‘knew’ from ‘new’ but failed to spot incorrect usage of ‘now’ (instead of ‘know’) and ‘hour’ (instead of ‘our’). The grammar checker worked better and was quickly able to spot incorrect usage of ‘its’ (instead of it’s) as well agreement of verb with the subject errors. Not only does AtD identify potential errors in your writing, it also offers detailed explanation so that you can learn from your mistakes.

After the Deadline is available as a plugin for WordPress (Visual Editor only), RoundCube, TinyMCE and PHPList. The plugin is free for personal use. If you want to get can idea about their service before installing the plugin you may do so at polishmywriting.com.

TweetMeme’s Competitor ReTweet.com Launches

With the growth of Twitter, a lot of services related to it also experienced the glory. TweetMeme is one such service that, due to its excellent service saw a phenomenal growth in popularity. Almost every other technology blog has a TweetMeme button installed that users use to retweet an article.

Today though, a competitor has launched with full vigor and force. ReTweet is a new service that is trying to compete with TweetMeme in retweeting links. The major advantage that ReTweet has is their domain name ReTweet.com

Their website and functionality appears to be very similar, infact just like a clone of TweetMeme. However, unlike TweetMeme they only offer one way to add their button to your website, that is by copying the Javascript. Thats’s right! No plugins yet for WordPress but they are promised to be coming soon.

To strengthen themselves, ReTweet has launched a $10,000 lucky draw in which all the bloggers who swith to ReTweet can participate.