All posts tagged ‘blogging’

File Under: Blog Publishing, Identity

Six Apart Shuts Down Vox

Six Apart is shutting down its Vox blogging service. Users have until Sept. 30 to export their data to other services, including Six Apart’s TypePad blogging service. After that, Vox will be gone.

If you’ve got a Vox blog, there are several export options — Six Apart has instructions for moving to TypePad, Posterous and WordPress. There’s also an option to move your photos and videos over to Flickr.

Of course none of those services quite combine the privacy and small social network features that endeared Vox to users, but at least you can retrieve your content in some form.

The export options also make no mention of the fact that Vox is an OpenID provider, which means that, presumably, when your Vox URL is gone, your OpenID is gone with it. That means any site you’ve signed into using your Vox account will no longer let you sign in. In some cases that could mean a total loss of access to the third-party site — exactly the sort of thing OpenID is supposed to help prevent.

UPDATE: Six Apart vice president Michael Sippey responds to this issue in the comments. We’ve added it here:

Quick note. Vox will continue to serve as an OpenID provider through September 30. If a Vox user chooses to migrate their blog to TypePad, OpenID requests at the original Vox address will delegate to TypePad for authentication.

We know that shuttering a service is never easy on users; We’ve invested a lot of time and effort in making sure that there are tools in place to migrate content off of Vox, and that if folks are using Vox as their OpenID provider that there’s a solution in place for them.

If there’s a moral to Vox shutting down, it’s pretty simple: choose your OpenID provider with care. It would seem that the bigger the provider, the safer you are. Alternately you could be your own OpenID provider, ensuring that you retain control over your identity.

Six Apart’s blog does not give any reason for the shutdown, and the company did not respond to requests to comment on this story. However, it seems likely that Vox was simply supplanted by Facebook, Twitter and other, more popular means of sharing content with your web friends.

The social network landscape has also changed considerably since Vox launched in 2006. Much of the initial appeal of Vox — namely, its tightly controlled privacy — is less of a concern for many of today’s users.

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Typekit Now Offering Custom Fonts For WordPress Blogs

Typekit, a web service that helps designers use elaborate typefaces in their web projects, has announced an easy way to use custom fonts on WordPress.com blogs. That means your WordPress.com hosted blogs can now take advantage of Typekit’s font library in just a few clicks.

Typekit is like a YouTube for fonts. Browse through Typekit’s library of available fonts, pick one you like and cut and paste some code into your site. As we noted when we first looked at Typekit earlier this year, the service is one of the easiest ways for web designers to use creative fonts without sacrificing web standards or violating font licenses.

With the new WordPress.com features, you don’t even need to know HTML or mess with any code to take advantage of Typekit.

To use the new Typekit features, just log in to your WordPress.com dashboard and click on the Appearance menu in the left-hand navigation menu. On the Appearance page you’ll find a new option, “Typekit Fonts,” with a place to add your Kit ID.

To get your Kit ID, you’ll need to create an account at Typekit.com and select the free option. From there, you can paste over the code and chose from any of Typekit’s fonts.

Not using WordPress.com? No problem, there are already two plugins that make it easy to integrate Typekit into a self-hosted WordPress blog. If you’re on another blogging platform or custom site you can still use Typekit — see our earlier hands-on review of Typekit for details on how to use Typekit on your site.

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File Under: Blog Publishing

WordPress 2.7 in 63 Seconds

The blogistas behind WordPress have created a short movie that quickly introduces the new interactive interface coming in with the next release of the blogging software. Embedded above, the movie shows the drag and drop dashboard and a post screen that can also have components rearranged.

Web developers and advanced bloggers may feel like a comic book fan dissecting the latest Spider-Man trailer, pausing and re-watching their favorite portions.

The dashboard is perhaps the biggest change. In early versions of WordPress the dashboard was mainly used to show the latest WordPress development news. Recently the team added a more modular dashboard and now it is completely customizable on-the-fly. With WordPress 2.7 you can even compose a post and reply to comments from the dashboard.

Want to see it in action on your own blog? It’s still in beta, but you can download the snazzy new version here.

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File Under: Blog Publishing

PollDaddy Switches Into Automattic

PollDaddy pollPollDaddy, the widget maker that lets bloggers add polls and surveys to their site, is now part of WordPress company Automattic. Founder Matt Mullenweg described looking around the web at similar products and compared PollDaddy to WordPress itself:

“Two guys in Ireland with a quirky company name were cleaning up with some of the largest and most respected websites using their service on a daily basis. They weren’t the biggest, but they had the high end of the market. It seemed to be the WordPress of the polling space.”

PollDaddy burst onto the scene over two years ago. We first covered the tool at Widgets Live in 2006.

Automattic wasted no time integrating PollDaddy. It added a PollDaddy plugin with the company as author. Even bigger, it added an option for polls on WordPress.com, the company’s hosted solution.

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File Under: Blog Publishing, Events

WordPress Presentations from WordCamPDX

Lorelle, the Fairy BlogmotherWordCamp wrapped up in Portland over the weekend and all signs point to it being a success. Apparently the #wordcampdx hash tag made the front page of Twitter, if that’s any indication. Perhaps a better measure is the huge list of presentation wrap-ups, including slides, notes, videos, and more.

Be sure to check out the 10+ proven plugins. Chris O’Rourke skims off the cream of the crop of WordPress plugins. You can even preview one of the recommended plugins right on the page. The slides are displayed with the Gallery Lightbox plugin.

Another one to check out is designing themes with free tools. You may have your development environment all figured out, but you might find something new in Eric Amundson’s talk.

Webmonkey was proud to be a sponsor and I enjoyed tracking its progress online. It looks like it was quite the event. Congrats to the organizers. Next year, we’ll have to go. Maybe you should, too.

[Photo by Rabbi David]

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