All posts tagged ‘blogs’

File Under: Blog Publishing

WordPress Adds Turbo Button Using Google Gears

Wednesday is WordPress’ five year anniversary since its original 0.7 release, and the online content management system prepared for it by going “turbo.” The online version of WordPress added a link which turns on Gears and makes your administrative dashboard faster.

Google’s recently open-sourced Gears is an add-on for Firefox 2 and 3 and Internet Explorer 6 and 7 browsers used primarily for downloading, or synchronizing, files for use locally and/or offline. When you click on the turbo link, WordPress uses Gears to download up to 200 files which speed up WordPress functions. The effect combines WordPress’ online capabilities with desktop application power by running JavaScript in the background and utilizing a local database of synchronized data.

Gears is increasingly growing more common since MySpace demonstrated Gears’ ability to speed up search and sort functions on its messaging system. MySpace and WordPress show Gears can be used for more than just offline web storage. Gears is also similar to advancements promised in web standards such as HTML 5.0, which is slowly being tuned into modern browser features. Both Gears and HTML 5.0 are a good indication of where rich internet applications of web 2.0 (3.0?) are headed.

WordPress’ new feature is a nod to the “turbo” buttons once found on the faces of x86 computers. The practically useless buttons would speed-up the processing power nominally, giving you a false sense of pride and, at least for the first few times, a feeling much like the one Bo and Luke Duke must have felt when they jumped over that river every week on Dukes of Hazzard. At the time when turbo buttons existed, I don’t know anyone who would ever turn it off, but the feature allowed you a basic feeling of interactivity and a little finger exercise.

While WordPress’ turbo functionality is much more exciting in terms of technology than its namesake, the company has even more plans for their five year anniversary. The company is hosting a party at a local club in San Francisco. Invitation details are available at

File Under: Blog Publishing

Twitter Asks for Scalability Help From Community


If you’re a Twitter user, chances are you’ve probably noticed — or even Twittered about — your favorite microblogging platform’s inconsistent stability.

Turns out, the speed at which Twitter has been growing has caused a frustrating amount of downtime for the beleaguered service. Twitter’s developer’s blog opened the door Thursday to community discussion in a blog post outlining the formidable scaling challenge it faces.

Twitter engineer Alex Payne poses the problem as such: “Twitter is, fundamentally, a messaging system. Twitter was not architected as a messaging system, however. For expediency’s sake, Twitter was built with technologies and practices that are more appropriate to a content management system.”

Sounds messy. Payne alludes to an architectural problem you can’t solve by just “(throwing) more machines at it.”

The post goes on to claim that the Twitter team has hacked its system to behave like a messaging service. It describes the task ahead as a component-by-component rewrite of the service — in other words, a ground-up redesign.

This begs the question from commenters over Twitter’s use of Ruby on Rails, a web development platform known for fast development. Ruby’s relative newfangledness cause many to believe it lends itself to poor scalability.

Members of the tech community feel for Twitter. TechCrunch has spent some time on the matter, and have responded by condemning the problem but highlighting its frequency among social networks, pointing at MySpace for evidence.

A lengthy post by Eran Hammer-Lahav, who blogs about Twitter and other microblogging topics at, brings some perspective to the discussion by dividing scalability issues between delivery and retrieval. Hammer-Lahav suggests delivery is easier to scale than retrieval and calls for caching and mirroring methods akin to e-mail. The trade-off would be a mammoth amount of disk space.

The basis for concern lays firmly in a problem of convenience: the service has gotten too popular. Of course, any start-up would kill to have this problem. Twitter has taken a different tack than usual by engaging the community for advice. So let’s hear it. How would you fix Twitter?

File Under: Blog Publishing

Six Apart Expands to Include Ad Network and More

sixapart.jpgSix Apart, the blogging software company behind Movable Type, Typepad and more, has decided to get into the advertising game by acquiring Apperceptive, a creative agency based in New York.

The goal is to move Six Apart from a software company to a full service, one-stop-shop for bloggers. Along the way the company plans to create an targeted advertising network similar to what Federated Media, the Deck and others offer. However, while the other advertising players have focused on top-tier blogs, Six Apart is taking a democratized approach and plans to offer the new network to any blog.

If fact you don’t even need to use Six Apart software to join the network since the advertising isn’t tied directly to the publishing software. For more info, check out the new Six Apart advertising page.

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Turn Your WordPress Blog into a Forum

Much of WordPress’ popularity stems from its extendability — the user community has created just about every plugin, add-on and feature extension you could possibly want, including turning your WordPress installation from a blog to a public forum.

Granted there are plenty of dedicated forum software packages out there, but most of them lack the user friendliness and familiarity of WordPress.

The idea comes from a WordPress user who goes by the name of the_dead_one (TDO). If you’d like to test out the theme in action, there’s a demo site available. If you like what you see, you can grab a copy of the theme at TDO’s blog. At the moment the theme is still an experiment and has few known bugs, but nothing too major.

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Test Drive the Coming WordPress 2.5

wordpress.jpgWordPress 2.5 is slate for release in March and promises a host of new features and changes. If you’d like to get a taste of the revamped WordPress, head over to the new WordPress 2.5 demo site.

Blogger Chris Johnston has put up a public demo site using the latest development snapshot of WordPress. The site offers an easy way to preview the coming changes without the hassle of manually installing. You can log in with the username “admin” and the password is “demo.”

Feel free to play around with the demo, create entries and change whatever you’d like, the database controlling the demo site is reset every hour so your changes won’t mess anything up.

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