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Blog Idol.ca Header Image

A member of the judging panel for ComputerWorld Canada’s annual blogging contest “Blogging Idol” this year is Maggie Fox, CEO and founder of Toronto-based Social Media Group.

Fox, who has been blogging for the past six years, shares some valuable advice for those new to blogging or who are intimidated by it.

1. Keep it short

Given that bloggers often have to keep up with a content production schedule that might mean two to three blog entries per week, it helps to keep blog posts nice and short. “You don’t need to blog more than a couple of hundred words to get your point across,” said Fox.

2. The open-ended question

If a topic is of interest, then summarize it in a blog entry and pose a question about it to readers. “It’s a great way to encourage discussion and engagement with the content,” said Fox.

3. Lists

A blogger may come across five to 10 things of interest, in the course of a week, that can be shared in a blog entry. It’s very acceptable to post a series of links accompanied by a few words about what the blogger thinks. “You don’t have to write a novel every time you write a blog post. And, in fact, it’s best if you don’t,” said Fox.

4. Rich media.

Images and videos are a great way to spice up a blog entry, said Fox, especially because readers find that sort of content very engaging and it increases the stickiness of the site.

excerpts from: http://www.itworldcanada.com/news/bloggin-idol-returns/142898

WordPress Logo

Website Magazine article

WordPress, one of the Web’s most popular blogging platforms is about to get another update. And this one is significant. The update, version 3.0, is due in early May and pushes the platform closer to a full-blown CMS. Here are some of the most important new features for Web professionals:

The merging of WordPress MU (MultiUser) is perhaps the most significant upgrade and will play a major role in several industries. In its most basic form, WordPress MU (or WPMU) allows publishers to install and manage WordPress on multiple domains all at once. This means that updates to WordPress (including plugins) can be executed across multiple sites at the same time. That’s an enormous time-saver, particularly for those managers running tens or hundreds of WordPress blogs at the same time. What’s more, MU allows multiple themes to be available and activated to any one (or two or three) of your blogs with a click.

It also allows a blog manager to enable admin privileges for individual users for individual portions of each website. For example, one user can have access to a subdomain for blogging about products, while another can be given access to a section about services. WPMU is ideal for community-style blogs and websites. It’s never been easier for multiple authors to post and for admins to manage. Combine this with a plug-in like BuddyPress and you’re getting into full-blown social media territory.

WPMU integration is going to save time which, in turn, will give the ability to spawn new websites as fast as you can dream them up. This could be a powerful tool for developers, agencies, marketers (creating branded microsites) and even domainers looking to build a little content and traffic, then resell. Here are some details about using WPMU.

Custom Post Types lets users create any kind of content they want, then assign its attributes for easy management. So, you could create a custom post type ‘video,’ then use its own admin section to get a head-start on formatting of those posts, categorization, etc. This will be a great help to multiple-author blogs so that one user can get very comfortable with a specific type of content and not need to worry about site-wide tweaks formats.

Custom Menus lets you quickly and easily add pages and categories, then manage them through a drag and drop functionality – even to add or remove posts.

Custom Taxonomies have been improved and more easily allows the grouping of items across categories, according to how they are defined. Useful, say for an e-commerce WordPress site that wants the ability to sort items by size, price, color, etc.

In all, many of the features and functions of WordPress 3.0 have been in the works (and actively tested) for a while now. What’s changed is that (hopefully) the bugs have been worked out and the process will be much more user-friendly. This should help WordPress spread even farther across the Web and help businesses increase visibility and production using a fraction of the time.


Posted Apr 22 2010, 11:30 AM by Mike Phillips

Image of WordPress Branding Materials

Installing a new WordPress blog is relatively easy but choosing a great WordPress theme and good plug-ins for your new blog can be time consuming. Many users say that adding WordPress plug-ins to the new blog is the most important part. It may decide long term the life or death success of that blog.

If the blog has certain ‘cool’ plug-ins installed it will even run faster and have less or no “spam comments”  among, other benefits..

These are suggested as “the 30 Best WordPress plug-ins” with a brief description of what they do.

1. Akismet
Akismet will check your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. This plugin is automatic add to the blog when we install. You need a WordPress.com API key to use it. It has the ability prop and help our blogs prevent the most professional software spammers on the internet.

2. All in One SEO Pack
Its really the best SEO plugin for WordPress Blog with the features as: Add Titles, Descriptions, Keywords and Avoid Duplicate Content for your WordPress Blog. I’m sure it will help your blog to have rank well on Google and many other search engines.

3. Contact Form 7
You can very easy to create a contact form on your blog to the readers can contact your for aksing or advertising.

4. Executable PHP widget
If you want to add a PHP code but don’t know about PHP code and wordpress template, it will help you do this

5. CommentLuv
Plugin to show a link to the last post from the commenters blog by parsing the feed at their given URL when they leave a comment. Rewards your readers and encourage more comments.

6. Do Follow
Will remove nofollow tag in comments to help your blog get more comments. After add this plugin, you blog will be a Dofollow Blog.

7. FD Feedburner Plugin
Redirects the main feed and optionally the comments feed to Feedburner.com. It does this seamlessly without the need to modify templates, setup new hidden feeds, modify .htaccess files, or asking users to migrate to a new feed. All existing feeds simply become Feedburner feeds seamlessly and transparently for all users. Just tell the plugin what your Feedburner feed URL is and you’re done.

8. Google Analyticator
Adds the necessary JavaScript code to enable Google’s Analytics. After enabling this plugin visit the settings page and enter your Google Analytics’ UID and enable logging. Then you can checkyour blog analytic in Dashboard.

9. Google XML Sitemaps
This plugin will generate a Sitemap.XML for your blog to help your blog get faster index on Google, Yahoo, Ask and MSN.

10. KB Robots.txt
Manage your robots.txt file from within WordPress and of course it will also help you have rank well on Google.

11. MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer
It will inform the ping services to help your blog quickly in the front page of search engine.

12. Nofollow Tag Cloud
Inserts rel=’nofollow’ in tag links to limit the number of links on a page if you add tag cloud on your blog.

13. Permalinks Moved Permanently
When permalink isn’t found, this checks if a post with the requested slug exists somewhere else on your blog.

14. Redirection
Manage all your 301 redirects and monitor 404 errors. Help improve SEO.

15. RSS Feed Signature
Add a customised signature or tag-line to your RSS feed(s).

16. SEO Friendly Images
Automatically adds alt and title attributes to all your images. Improves traffic from search results and makes them W3C/xHTML valid as well.

17. SEO Title Tag
This plugin is very powerful with Google that was recommended by Matt Cutts. Create a customized title tag for any post, static page, category page, UltimateTagWarrior tag page – indeed, any URL!

18. SexyBookmarks
Add social web 2.0 buttons to your single post pages to help readers very easy to submit your posts to social bookmarkings.

19. Simple Archive Generator
A plugin which simply lists all posts by category. For example : http://www.cooone.com/archives/

20. Subscribe To Comments
Allows readers to receive notifications of new comments that are posted to an entry. Its very well in increasing your RSS Subscribers.

21. Thank Me Later
Sends a customizable “Thank You” message after (a few hours, few days, weeks) a comment has been posted.

22. Top Commentators Widget
Adds a sidebar widget to show the top commentators in your WP site to help your blog receive more comments.

23. WordPress Database Backup
Help backup your database. You can use the feature Scheduled Backup to automate database backup to your email everyday for protection your data.

24. WordPress Related Posts
Generate a related posts list via tags of WordPress. You can add Related Posts for RSS Feed to help your subscriber very easy to find related posts on your blog.

25. WordPress Thread Comment
It allows user can reply comment and same comment on comment form.

26. WP-Ban
Ban users by IP, IP Range, host name, user agent and referer url from visiting your WordPress’s blog to prevent spammers.

27. WP-Optimize
This plugin helps you to keep your database clean by removing post revisions and spams in a blaze. allows you to rename your admin name also. Additionally it allows you to run optimize command on your wordpress core tables (use with caution).

28. WP-Polls
Help you add poll on your blog or posts. You can use to open a survey on your blog to get idea for writing content.

29. WP Super Cache
Very fast caching plugin for WordPress. It will make your blog loads faster and optimize files on your blog for search engines to help your blog have better google ranking.

30. MaxBlogPress Favicon
Vey easy to add favicon to your blog for building a personal brand.

YouTube Logo

Smart Youtube is a WordPress Youtube plugin that allows you to easily insert Youtube videos/playlists into your post, comments and in your RSS feed. The plugin is designed to be small and fast and not use any external resources.

From version 2.0 Smart youtube also supports playback of high quality videos, works on iPhone, produces xHTML valid code (unlike YouTube embed code), allows you to view videos in fullscreen and most recently has support for YouTube playlists.

The videos will be embedded in your RSS feed as well, and if this is not support by the reader you can choose to have video link and/or video preview screenshot displayed instead.

Main Features

  • Embed YouTube videos with ease
  • Embed YouTube playlists
  • Supports latest high quality video protocols (360p and HD quality 720p)
  • Allows full YouTube customization (colors, border, full screen…)
  • Supports video deep linking (starting at desired point with &start=time parameter, use &start=num parameter)
  • Works on iPod and iPhone
  • Provides a sidebar widget for videos as well
  • Produces xHTML valid code
  • Very fast and light, no extra scripts needed

http://www.prelovac.com/vladimir/wordpress-plugins/smart-youtube

Installation & Usage

  1. Upload the whole plugin folder to your /wp-content/plugins/ folder.
  2. Go to the Plugins page and activate the plugin.
  3. Use the Options page to change RSS feed options
  4. When you want to display Youtube video in your post, paste the video link with httpv:// (notice the ‘v’)

Example: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00000000

0000000 part is your video REF#

The video will be automatically embedded to your post in the proper way.

If you want want to display a high quality video then just use httpvh:// instead.

If you want to post a HD (DVD quality, 720p) quality video you would use httpvhd:// (‘vhd’ for video high definition)

To embed a playlist use extension ‘vp’ (eg. httpvp://http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=528026B4F7B34094)

To use video deep linking just add &start=time parameter at the end of url. For example httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWfksMD4PAg&start=30 will start the video 30 seconds in.

Additionally, you can set how do you want the video to be displayed in your RSS feed. Smart Youtube can show the preview image of the video (automatically grabbed from Youtube), the link to the video, or both. I recommend enabling only the preview image.

MyVimeo

Download MyVimeo 1.1.3 (MyVimeo_1.1.3.zip)

A fast and customisable plugin to display your latest Vimeo activity on your WordPress blog.

Description

MyVimeo is a WordPress widget which allows you to display your latest activity on Vimeo in the sidebar of your blog; activities include:

  • Channels you have created
  • Channels you have joined
  • Videos that you have liked
  • Videos that you have tagged
  • Your latest uploaded videos
  • Your latest video comments

MyVimeo also allows you to specify how many activities you wish to display and allows you to customise the title of the plugin in the sidebar to whatever you want.

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