Tag Archives | Blogging

WordPress for iOS Gets a Big Update; Basics Still Missing

In the past, I’ve said some nasty things about the WordPress iPad app. For the tasks I needed to do here and on other blogs — add and resize images, format text and link like crazy — the app’s barebones approach was simply inadequate. The app was also pretty buggy.

Today, WordPress released a big update to the app for all iOS devices. Most of the bugs are apparently gone, and there are some new features, including a quick photo button for camera-equipped devices, access to stats and support for 10 new languages.

Unfortunately, WordPress’ latest app update is still missing major features that no blogging tool should be without. That means I can’t use it for anything but rough drafts.
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More Spaces/WordPress Numbers

A couple of months ago, Microsoft and WordPress parent Automattic announced a deal to migrate users of Microsoft’s Spaces blogging service onto WordPress. At the time, there was a fair amount of confusion about how many Spaces users there were, and how many were likely to make the move. Now Microsoft is reporting that a half-million former Spaces blogs are now WordPress blogs, and another half-million Windows Live customers have created new WordPress blogs. That still leaves millions of Spaces blogs unaccounted for, but Spaces users have until March to figure out an exit strategy, so they may just be taking their own sweet time.


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Darren Murph, Record-Setting Blogger

I’m not sure how many blog posts I’ve written–or how many discrete items of prose counting magazine articles, book chapters, and other random stuff. But I’m quite positive the total count would be far less than 17,212, the number that got Engadget’s Darren Murph into the Guinness Book of World Records. (I assume that speedbloggers such as Instapundit have blogged even more, but Murph’s award says it’s for “contracted” blog posts–which I suppose means items that he received individual payment for.)


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WordPress iOS Update Brings Video, Still Flubs the Basics

Months ago, I gave up on the idea that Apple’s iPad could stand in for my laptop and get work done. My primary trade is blogging–oh yes, it sounds as strange to me as it does to you–and the iPad is not up for the job.

This was largely due to inadequacies with WordPress, the blogging platform we use at Technologizer. I’m a big fan of the platform on PC Web browsers, but the iPad app needs more features, and the Web site can’t access the iPad’s photo album. The release of WordPress 2.6 for iOS adds video and swats bugs, among other things, so I decided to revisit iPad blogging with renewed enthusiasm.

A few minutes playing around with the app was all it took for me to give up once again.

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How Many Spaces Users Are There, Anyhow?

One of the bigger pieces of news at this week’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco was Microsoft’s announcement that it would be winding down its Windows Live Spaces blogging platform and helping Spaces users move to WordPress.com. BetaNews’s Joe Wilcox has an interesting bit of followup: an internal Microsoft e-mail in which the (unidentified) authors say that they don’t expect all that many Spaces users to make the transition, and express angst over the fact that WordPress.com runs on Linux rather than Microsoft technologies.

In an earlier post, Joe had thought that Microsoft was saying that there are thirty million Spaces bloggers who will be affected by the shutdown and WordPress.com opportunity. It was a logical assumption, and one made by plenty of other folks–on the Windows Live blog, Microsoft honcho Darmesh Mehta had referred to thirty million Spaces “customers” and said they were “eagerly awaiting the next set of new blogging features.” But he didn’t define what a customer was.

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Microsoft: Goodbye Spaces, Hello WordPress.com

Interesting news at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference this morning: Microsoft is shutting down its Windows Live Spaces blogging service and helping its seven million bloggers migrate over to Automattic’s WordPress.com. Spaces bloggers will be able to recreate their blogs on WordPress or download their data so they can make other arrangements, and they have a reasonably generous six months to make a decision before Microsoft shutters Spaces. And a new integration feature will let WordPress.com users ping their Windows Live buddies whenever they’ve published a new post.

I suppose that there are some Spaces users who considered using WordPress.com and opted for Microsoft’s service instead, but I suspect they’re far outnumbered by newbies who chose Spaces simply because it’s been the default Windows Live blogging service until now. Overall, it sounds like a good move for everyone involved: Spaces bloggers get an outstanding blog platform that’s evolving rapidly (rather than Spaces, which wasn’t), Microsoft doesn’t have to try and compete in a field that’s not core to its success, and WordPress.com gets lots of new members.

(I cheerfully admit to a bias here, since Technologizer is on WordPress.com–using the VIP version of the service–and I wouldn’t swap it for Spaces or any other blogging platform on the planet.)


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The Commenting Question: Is it Really Blogging Without It?

There’s an ever increasingly spirited debate going on in the blogosphere among the technorati (starting with Joe Wilcox and John Gruber) around the subject of comments in blogs. In the simplest terms, the argument centers around whether the reader has a right to participate in the discussion that the blogger puts forth.

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TypePad Takes on Tumblr With Free Microblogging Feature

Six Apart’s TypePad blogging service has long been aimed at bloggers who were serious enough about what they were doing to fork over money for a blogging platform. But today Six Apart is announcing TypePad Micro, a new level of TypePad service that’s meant for extremely casual blogging–and which is the first version of the service that’s free.

Six Apart CEO Chris Alden told me that TypePad Micro is meant for quick, brief, informal blogging and photoblogging–the kind of stuff that feels like a cross between traditional blogging and status updates a la Twitter. It’s a hybrid that’s associated with Tumblr, the service that popularized microblogging, and TypePad Micro’s most obvious rival. Alden said that he thinks Micro will appeal both to paying TypePad customers who’d like a home for a microblog, and to people who are currently part of TypePad blog communities but who don’t blog themselves.

Micro is a reduced-feature version of TypePad Pro: For instance, it currently offers only one theme, called Chroma (you can customize its colors). Alden said that Six Apart might add more themes later, and that it doesn’t plan to place ads on Micro blogs. But it does see the new service as a good stepping stone to full, paid TypePad Pro accounts.

TypePad supports the concept of Twitter-like followers, and any followers a Micro blogger has are prominently displayed in the Chroma theme. So a Micro blog does, indeed, feel like a richer, semi-standalone version of a Twitter account.

A few TypePad Micro blogs:

•      Microdogging
•      Cute Funny Sexy Awful
•      Dollarshort (this one’s by Six Apart cofounder Mena Trott)
•      Awesome

And here’s Chris Alden’s own Micro blog. And Alden’s post about TypePad Micro on the official TypePad blog.

If you give the new service a try, let us know what you think…


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Posterous: A Cool Web Repository

Steve Bass's TechBiteI get e-mails with PowerPoint and other types of files attached. Some are entertaining, but it takes more skill than I have to embed them in my newsletter in such a way that everyone can see them. (Scores of you wrote and said that you couldn’t play the YouTube videos I tried embedding months ago.)

But I’ve just discovered Posterous, a handy site for displaying practically any type of file: PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, Flash games, images, MP3s, documents, and videos in a variety of formats. The beauty of Posterous is that PowerPoint files display as they would if you had a PowerPoint viewer and image collections are automatically available as slide shows.

So far, here’s what I’ve posted to Posterous:

* Two PowerPoint presentations, one with images of unusual aircraft and the other showing a trip on Bolivia’s “Road of Death.”
* Two videos–Darwin Awards Reject numbers one and two.
* A PDF of the Monthly Computer Chronicle newsletter.
* A stack of images that show why our car insurance rates are so high.

I really like Posterous because it’s a free service with no signup to worry about. And there’s no muss or fuss: I just send them an e-mail and attach the file I want you to view. There are other features, such as making a blog private and password protecting it. Read the FAQ for more info.

[This post is excerpted from Steve's TechBite newsletter. If you liked it, head here to sign up--it's delivered on Wednesdays to your inbox, and it's free.]


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