10 Mar

What Should A New WordPress Blogger Do?

This question is sparked within me for two reasons, two new bloggers entered the world. One, the company that I work for has a blog that is relatively new (blog.accade.com), and my g/f is working on launching a blog.

  1. Find a really good domain name and keep it. If you don’t have a domain name that you like and one that you can remember, spell, and write easily, there is no point in it. We may live in the Google century but you will still need to communicate your blog to other people. Both in the form of providing links to all your social networks and for other people to link to and visit your site.
  2. Find a great theme and then customize it to how you want it to look. If you want tag pages, make it have tag pages, if you want author pages, build out author pages, same thing goes for just simple things as making the title look exactly the way you want it to look. Plus side here if you want to learn about basic web technologies, customizing a WordPress theme is a pretty easy way to learn about basic web languages (HTML, PHP, JavaScript and CSS) without much harm.
  3. Sign up for Feedburner and use it to burn your feeds. Trust me on this, yes Feedburner has had some issues lately, but the ability to have Google host your feeds without worrying about what happens if you change domains or you want to edit your RSS feeds and such makes it a great resource. Also Feedburner provides you essentially a Google Analytics service for your RSS feeds including: # of people subscribed, what RSS reader they use, how many clicked through on your RSS feed. Finally Feedburner provides one service that makes it impossible to beat, the ability to subscribe to updates in a variety of formats. Want a feed delivered to your email, done, a Google Reader, Yahoo, or Mail.app customized format, done.
  4. Change your theme from using the standard WordPress RSS feeds to using the one that you created with Feedburner.
  5. Create a Google Analytics account. Analytics will let you track your site’s vistors and give all kinds of information on them that you never would think you would want until you have it.
  6. Add some plugins. I recommend the All in One SEO Pack, Disqus Commenting System, Login LockDown, Simple Google Sitemap, Simple Trackback Validation, WordPress Database Backup, WordPress Mobile, and WP Super Cache.
  7. Write a ton of articles and keep writing.
19 Jan

Anonymous Comments and Comments with Meaningless Names are the Same Thing

I recently had a friend recommend an artist (who is someone that they personally know). No problem, that’s the whole point of friends, doing stuff and letting other people know about it. However going to the CDBaby site of the artist, and taking a look at the reviews of the music I get this:

AnoymousCommenters by jtyost2, on Flickr

AnoymousCommenters by jtyost2, on Flickr

Even though you have to log in to CDBaby, all the reviews are just random meaningless words. “A Fan”, “Fan”, even going so far as just flat out “anonymous”. Grrr really bothers me seeing reviews or commentary from people that won’t sign their own name. The log in value there isn’t even worth it, if you use a meaningless username.

I don’t know if the artist or someone that she knows did these reviews, but that is what it makes me think. I no longer trust the reviews and the reviews become meaningless to me, because I have no trust for them.

Just sign your name and I will at least trust the review a little bit more than I currently do, even though I probably don’t even know you. At least someone who I don’t know I trust more than someone who appears to be blatantly spamming the reviews.

All that being said the music really wasn’t all that bad, I just hope the artist can find some fans who will attach a name to the review.

24 Dec

Disqus Now Includes Facebook

Disqus now has the ability to log in to leave comments via Facebook. So now down where there is that comment section, just sign in using your Facebook account and comment away. I have really enjoyed using Disqus as it lets me see where else have people commented and creates an easy way to have my comments follow me around the web.

Facebook is stepping closer and closer towards creating a single sign on for the web.

Even though I personally prefer OpenID, I feel that Facebook or Google’s implemention of a single sign on will be the real winner. Very few people that are active on the internet do not have a Facebook or Google account.