Some Joy in Seesmic Ping Land

Wednesday, Seesmic sent all Ping.fm users an email with “important information”. Dated May 31 (Seesmic’s timezone is well ahead of mine), the letter included some basic information that we all pretty much knew. But one sentence actually made me happy: To further support development and upcoming features, we will offer Seesmic Ping as both a free and paid service. (emphasis added). Back in February, I wrote , a post expressing my dismay at the shutdown of Ping.fm and the apparent paid-only nature of Seesmic Ping. I begged the company to consider a “freemium” model and not make all users pay…

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Full Circle: WordPress.com Adopts Windows Live Spaces

Four and a half years ago (give or take a few days), I started blogging on what was then known as MSN Spaces. My first post—just a few sentences about Wi-Fi issues I had with my Pocket PC—went up on March 27, 2006. Since then I’ve gone from writing a few dozen words to writing a few hundred words (and occasionally a few thousand) and transitioned to two different platforms. I because Spaces was far too clunky. Blogger served me well until I between late October 2009 and mid-January 2010. I kept a curious eye on Spaces, observing the transition…

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“Houdini” plugin for WordPress is no magician

I’ve seen some pretty absurd WordPress plugins show up in the Plugins dashboard widget on this site, but the recently-released “Houdini” takes the cake so far. It claims to prevent spammers from copying the contents of any post or page upon which the [houdini] shortcode is placed. The fact is the internet is open can lead to theft especially to content stealing and plagiarism. Until now, there was very little to discourage and deter this serious crime. Yes content theft and plagarism is a crime in some jurisdictions. You cannot rely on others or the authorities to continue to police…

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My First WordPress Plugin Patch: Wibiya Toolbar

The beauty of using WordPress instead of Blogger is, in a nutshell, the freedom that comes with using an open system instead of a closed one. Under Blogger, I had very little freedom to extend the platform. Everything I could do had to be added by someone from Google, with the exception of a few JavaScript- and Flash-based sidebar widgets. Under WordPress, I have access to literally thousands of open-source plugins to modify, extend, and replace the functionality of the site. The beauty of using this open system is that if something doesn’t work the way I want it to,…

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Bringing Back Skribit

A while back, I tried out a service called Skribit on my Blogger site. Skribit’s purpose is to help bloggers overcome writer’s block. It places a suggestion form on the site where visitors can leave ideas for the blogger to use when he or she is out of his or her own ideas. It never got much use by readers of the old site, so I initially didn’t bother transferring it here; but now that Skribit has launched and (I see) done a lot of work on the experience users leaving suggestions have, I figured I might as well install…

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How I Beat Blogger and Redirected to WordPress

Yes, I really and truly have from Blogger. I know there are a lot of guides out there, but I think the method I used was different enough to warrant a new post. (I won’t duplicate the steps of setting up the new WordPress site and importing the content from Blogger; that’s pretty obvious, and it’s well covered elsewhere. Redirecting is the art form that’s been changing every few months.) Obligatory Rant Getting away from Blogger is really much harder than it should be. There should be a process to verify with Google that one is not a spammer trying…

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Migrated to WordPress!

I did it. I finally did it. I ditched Blogger! You know, there’s a certain satisfaction to this. I’ve been wanting to ditch Blogger for years, ever since I discovered WordPress. And I finally did. I’ll consider the completion of this migration to be the fulfillment of my unstated New Year’s resolution. 🙂 Thanks to the generosity of one of my Twitter contacts, @Navarr, I now have a self-hosted (er, friend-hosted) WordPress blog. He offered to host my blog after seeing me complain a lot about things I couldn’t do under Blogger. Eventually I bit the bullet and bought a…

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FriendFeed Improves in Leaps and Bounds

Since last month, FriendFeed has made numerous advances in functionality and service support. In March alone, there have been six posts on the FriendFeed blog, some containing news of multiple enhancements and/or additions to the service. Here’s a run-down of all the improvements FriendFeed’s made in just one month. The first thing to happen was a speeding-up of the service. Bret Taylor posted “FriendFeed is now a lot faster” on March 11, and indeed the site was blazingly fast from then on. It still is. The joke at the time was that a new Ethernet cable sped it up (FriendFeed…

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WordPress’ Impressive Import Functions

This post has to do with an experiment I conducted last night with the WordPress installation at CodingExperiments.com, one of the other sites I write for. In the true spirit of that site, which is experimenting with code and all things computer-related, one or two visitors (who viewed the site or requested the feed in a window of about two minutes) may have noticed six extra posts briefly appear in the archives. That was my doing. (I did not, however, have anything to do with today’s outage; that was possible248. 😀 ) See, possible248 (that site’s owner) granted myself and…

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