WordPress.com Sites Add Reblogging Feature

wordpress.com

If you have logged into your wordpress.com account lately, you’ll notice a couple new buttons at the top menu when you view posts and pages of other wordpress.com sites. That’s because the feature that Tumblr made popular called Reblogging has been added this week.

So What is Reblogging?

The idea behind reblogging is very similar to the Twitter retweet – when someone posts or says something that you like, you share a snippet of the post on your personal blog. The web has been fascinated with the idea of sharing content, so just like you would share a funny picture on Facebook or Pinterest, in the push of a button you can reblog the picture to share with your blog’s audience.

If you haven’t checked it out yet or don’t have a wordpress.com account (and why not?!) here is what the tool looks like:

wordpress-reblogging

But won’t this result in mass duplicate content?

Automattic setup the system so only a snippet from the intro is copied to other blogs, and it will link back to the full post on the original authors site. Looking to grow your audience and ind more readers? This makes linkbait and writing epic stuff even more important, as your work (and backlinks) can now spread at lightening speed by way of these simple reblogs.

I like to think of them as the easiest guest posts you will ever write, since you can now write a great piece of content on your own blog, and you will get readers from a whole spectrum of blogs following these reblogs to read the full piece.

There is the added benefit to reblogging someone else’s work besides finding great things for your audience, and that is a comment that gets added to the original post showing who liked it. This is pretty close to the trackback system of allowing readers to find other places where the conversation is being carried on.

Overall, the reblogging feature adds a solid social media element to the trusty veteran blog platform.

GPL Themes Get Some Love, Plugins Suffer?

Matt Mullenweg asked the Software Freedom Law Center whether WordPress Themes are GPL too. One sentence summary: PHP in WordPress themes must be GPL, artwork and CSS may be but are not necessarily covered under the same licensing requirements.

For more information on and to find out where can I buy a kindle you can check out the link.

WordPress 2.8 Brings Back Drag and Drop Widget Management

The next version of WordPress is due out soon (probably in early May), and one of the most exciting new things in WordPress 2.8 is the re-worked widgets admin. The vast majority of the complaints I received about the WordPress 2.5 admin redesign, were about the widget admin page. First, you could no longer add widgets using drag and drop. Instead they added the ever annoying “add” link, which would instantly add the widget to the bottom of the current sidebar. The other thing was that if you had a widget configured just how you wanted, and you needed to remove it for even a couple minutes, you would lose all the settings and have to re-do them all. Unfortunately, this seemingly backwards progress held on through versions 2.6 and 2.7 of WordPress as well. However, this page has undergone a complete redesign for 2.8. The real question is, does it make up for lost time? In order to try to answer this, I set up WordPress 2.8 on a development version of Xavisys.com.

A widget being added via the new drag & drop in WordPress 2.8

First, the ability to add widgets to a sidebar by simply dragging them to where you want is back! While I really am excited to see it, I’ll be the first to say that this should really have never left. As web-based applications become more and more common, people expect to see the same kind of functionality on the web that they find on their local system. I know that my mom would never be able to move things around on her computer if she were expected to open the proper window to the right, then click a link to move a file. She has grown so accustom to drag and drop (and rightfully so, it’s everywhere) that it’s what she has come to expect. If WordPress is really going to be the blogging platform for your average Joe, they can’t take steps backward like that. Thankfully it’s back now.

Additionally, like the rest of the admin section in WordPress 2.7+, the widgets page has been modified to take advantage of nearly any screen size. As you can see, in a browser that’s 1024 pixels wide, there is one column of available widgets and another column for active widgets.

WordPress Widgets Admin Page on a 1024px Wide Browser

However, on my screen, which is 1920 pixels wide, I get four columns of available widgets along with the column of active widgets. As a person that uses a high-resolution widescreen monitor almost everywhere, I really appreciate this new layout. I know it won’t benefit everyone, but as you can see it degrades nicely and should work well for pretty much everyone.

WordPress Widgets Admin Page on a 1920px Wide Browser

If you look at the screenshots above, you’ll notice a couple of other new features as well. First, you will see the inactive widgets box.

WordPress 2.8 Inactive Widgets

You can drop fully configured widgets here to store them, rather than lose them altogether, when you remove them from a sidebar. As you can see, the WordPress Twitter Widget Pro widget is fully configured and ready to be dropped back into any one of the widget-ready spots on the theme. This will be really handy for people who change their widgets on a regular basis. However, one of the reasons people wanted this so bad, to move widgets between sidebars, is no longer needed. Instead, you can now simply drag from one sidebar to the next. If the sidebar is currently empty, it will be closed by default. Simply click the name of the sidebar to open it first. You will see it expand vertically, giving you a place to drop a widget.

WordPress 2.8 Widget Settings

The widget settings still work in much the same way as they have for the last few versions. Each WordPress, when the mouse hovers over it, shows a little arrow on the right side. If you click the arrow the widget expands to show all the settings. As you can see, the settings for the WordPress Twitter Widget Pro widget are exactly what you expect, looking just like they have for a while. The settings will show if you click the arrow on any active or inactive widget. Each of the available widgets has the same arrow, but expands to show a description of the widget rather than settings. This actually makes for an extremely intuitive user interface, which is quite refreshing after what we’ve been working with for the last few versions.

So, does the new widgets admin page make up for lost time? I think it does! I was really afraid that the new updates would do nothing but restore what was lost in WordPress 2.5. Instead, the new features in 2.8 give us that and more. The refined user experience of the widgets admin page will go a long way toward truly making WordPress the blogging platform for everyone.

Why BuddyPress

WordPress is one of the most popular sites in the world for bloggers and business owners, mainly because of the many apps and plugins that allow people to make the most out of their blog without having to have too much knowledge about web design. BuddyPress is one of the most powerful platforms that works with WordPress, and it’s also one of the most popular. Not sure why it’s so popular? This article will tell you why so many internet marketers are going gaga for BuddyPress.

What Does BuddyPress Do?

If you want the very simple and short answer to why this platform is so powerful, it’s because it turns your WordPress blog site into a social networking site.

BuddyPress is the perfect choice for internet marketers who want to get people involved in their marketing campaign, because everyone loves to be active on social media sites. It gives people the option of contributing to activity streams, to discuss the latest product news on your own forum, and even lets your customers network with one another through your site. This means that you will not only get information about the people who are interested in what you have to say – it means that they will likely tell you what they want to see happen with your company’s direction.

Since it gives people the opportunity to say what they want to say about your products, their hobbies, their views on life, and more, it is the ultimate way to get people involved with your campaign. You will not only learn about your customers when you use BuddyPress – you will also get your best customers to spread the word about your company when they talk about their membership on your social networking site. This might just be the easiest way to make your site – or your business – go viral.

Use BuddyPress to Create Niche Networks

For niche groups, having a social networking site completely devoted to your subculture, goals, or lifestyles can be what you need in order to develop a very tight-knit community. BuddyPress also gives people the ability to private message one another, which means that it will feel just like any other social networking site, but it can be devoted completely to your cause. Since BuddyPress gives you the opportunity to make much of the social networking site that you run private (if you want it to be private), it’s a great way to provide your groups with a less public way of networking with one another. This is especially handy if the group that you are devoting your WordPress site to wants to stay unnoticed.

Making the most of your WordPress site starts with an incredibly powerful platform, and the most powerful platform that there is happens to be BuddyPress. If you want your site to be very interactive, very lively, and frequently visited, you need to install BuddyPress. This is the only way to harness the power of WordPress and social networking at the same time, and it’s also the best way to get people interested in what you have to say without having to say it all. A couple of years ago, a page with the exact same amount of features would have been way too expensive for most people to afford. Now that BuddyPress has come into existence, there is no reason that ambitious website owners shouldn’t have all the amazing features that comes with a social media site. In other words, instead of asking “Why BuddyPress?”, you should be wondering, “Why not?”

WordPress Widget

The WordPress widget has evolved over the years from simple recent posts, texts, and tags to now being able to add many different features to your sidebar like your latest Twitter feed, social sharing buttons, and blog feed subscription boxes forms.

This page will serve as a collection of innovative and useful widgets for your consideration, so bookmark it and stay tuned for updates!