Oscar arrives: WordPress 3.6 is released

wp3.6jWordPress version 3.6 has been released after a lengthy delay but it looks like the wait has been worth it.

Highlights of the new version, which is called Oscar after great jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, include a new blog-centric theme, bullet-proof autosave and post locking, revamped revision browser, native support for audio and video embeds and improved integration with Spotify, Rdio, and SoundCloud.

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Domain dangers of moving to new website address

Theguardian.com ranking at nearly three million.

Theguardian.com ranking at nearly three million.

The perils of changing your domain name are illustrated by The Guardian’s move this week from its well established www.guardian.co.uk domain to www.theguardian.com.

Guardian.co.uk had an Alexa global rank of 205 and ranked 180 in the US. Its visitors comprised 26.6% from the US, 26.6% UK, 8.2% from India, Australia 3.7% and Canada 2.9%. It had a massive 237,509 links while bounce rate on the site was 61.7%.

Related links included other major media organisations such as telegraph.co.uk, reuters.com, independent.co.uk, ft.com and itn.co.uk.
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Blogs and ebooks take a leading role

ebook2Blogs and ebooks can help businesses connect with customers, build brand loyalty and drive sales.

“Ebooks are an evolution of the old white paper but they’re more user-friendly and not weighed down with lots of data,” says Rachel Christianson, director of fulfillment at social media marketing company HipLogiq.

Christianson works with customers on content and manages a team that produces over 250 blogs and ebooks a month for clients.
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Beta testers wanted as WordPress 3.6 gets close to release

betatesting1WordPress 3.6 is undergoing final testing and is due for release within the next few weeks.

The new version of WordPress 3.6 has suffered some delays after it was decided close to launch to pull out a new post format user interface but WordPress.org reports the silver lining is the “slick new revisions browser has had some time to develop”.

WordPress.org are asking for beta testers to check for bugs, although you probably wouldn’t want to install it on a live site yet.

The beta is at WordPress.org and there’s a link to download the version at WordPress.org.

How blogs give businesses a big advantage

Blogs give companies a massive boost, with b2b firms with blogs generating 97% more leads than non-blogging businesses, according to an infographic compiled by fatjoe. Creating original content is the biggest challenge for marketers and nearly two-thirds of consumers say they are more likely to buy from a company that creates original content.

Content marketing business fatjoe found that nine out of 10 consumers say custom content is useful and 70% prefer to learn about a company through a series of articles rather than through advertising. Here’s the infographic with the firm’s full findings.

Get a sense of an ending to succeed with a blog

Blogging pioneer and best-selling author Chris Brogan says bloggers should beware of giving their opinions rather than information and many are failing to offer any resolution at the end of a post.

He blogs about social media, business and marketing at www.chrisbrogan.com, which is an elegantly designed WordPress site running on the Genesis framework theme from StudioPress, and has written Trust Agents and The Impact Equation, both with Julien Smith, as well as Google+ For Business and It’s Not About The Tights, An Owner’s Manual on Bravery.

In a great interview with Blog Herald, Mr Brogan, who started blogging way back in 1998, says most bloggers make the mistake of thinking people want to read their opinion rather than useful information. He adds that most posts end badly, without resolution or call to action.

But he thinks the most important aspect of a blog now is to have responsive design and says if your site isn’t flawlessly beautiful on a smartphone and a tablet, stop blogging.

Mr Brogan makes a lot more fascinating points about type of content, monetisation, writing 4,000 words a day and coping with depression. Read the interview at Blog Herald.

How to build a blogging brand

The original Brownstoner property blog has proved popular with its local take on the market.

The original Brownstoner property blog has proved popular with its local take on the market.

Jonathan Butler set up the Brownstoner property blog in 2004 to cover Brooklyn and has since widened his business interests to establishing the Brooklyn Flea outdoor market and the Smorgasburg food market and he’s sticking to his branding as he extends his blogging reach.

Brownstoner claims to be the leading site about Brooklyn real estate and renovation and has a marketplace with over 3,000 real estate listings and 250 local businesses. It has more than 200,000 unique visitors and almost two million page views per month. The site features a Building/House/Condo/Rental of the Day which often includes fascinating historical facts complete with maps as well as details about the area as it is today. It really is a blog that’s got to grips with its market and succeeded with an individual approach.

Now Mr Butler has started a new property website covering the Queens borough of New York and is keeping the Brownstoner branding for Queens Brownstoner.
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WordPress makes mobile move with Poster buy

Tom Witkin's Poster app was highly regarded.

Tom Witkin’s Poster app was highly regarded.

Automattic, the company that runs WordPress.com, has made an interesting mobile move by buying Poster, a widely acclaimed app which enables users to post to their WordPress blog from mobile devices.

Tom Witkin, the one-man band behind Poster, is joining the WP mobile team and the app has been removed from Apple’s App Store. Witkin says: “I’m elated that I, along with Poster, will be joining Automattic. I’ll be working with the mobile team where I’ll be designing and coding. Poster will no longer be available for purchase but if you’ve already bought the app you’ll always be able to re-download it. I’m continuing to support it.

“I get to keep doing what I love: creating apps and experiences that enable and delight. The only difference is that I get new opportunities to continue to learn and develop personally and now get to work with some amazing people. I truly believe that something great will come from devoting my time and attention to Automattic.”
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The Beat goes on with the Ghost of Kerouac

Scroll on: the Ghost blogging platform is inspired by Jack Kerouac's example in writing On The Road.

Scroll on: the Ghost blogging platform is inspired by Jack Kerouac’s example in writing On The Road.

A new blogging system which aims to put the emphasis on writing has had a great funding success on Kickstarter, raising an amazing £196,000 after setting a goal of just £25,000.

Ghost raised almost eight times its original cash target on Kickstarter.

Ghost raised almost eight times its original cash target on Kickstarter.

Ghost, which was featured recently on this blog, is the idea of former WordPress developer John O’Nolan who wants to set up a streamlined blogging platform. O’Nolan says his inspiration was Jack Kerouac, who wrote the Beat Generation bible On The Road on rolls of paper in his typewriter, which he taped together in a 120ft-long scroll.
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