Do You Verify For MyBlogLog

Verify MyBlogLog

This is what happens when you don’t have your feed reader open every day. Some things end up slipping by. At any rate, MyBlogLog looks to be starting a Verification process. This verification process will be visually displayed by a green checkmark. This checkmark signifies a “seal of approval” that let’s the reader know, that specific MyBlogUser has spent a few minutes verifying to MyBlogLog that they have write access to the blog in question.

As it stands, this seal is nothing more than a visual indicator, but MyBlogLog plans on using similar methods to provide various levels of “trustworthiness“.

To verify your site, check out your MyBlogLog community page and click on the “Verify my site” link.

After you verify your site, it will look a little something like this:


How it works

When a site owner begins the verification process, we give them a bit of code to put onto their site that only someone with edit rights to the site can put into the page. Verification happens by putting the code on your site, re-publishing, and clicking the “Authenticate” button on the verification page. MyBlogLog then goes out to the site to check for the code. If it finds it, verification is complete!

Once you complete verification, you can remove the code from your site.

What it means

The verified checkmark on a community page is an indicator that the community owner has completed the verification process. Verification can only be done by authors and co-authors of a MyBlogLog community. Community pages that have been verified will flagged as such in our database and this flag will be used in the future to provide more visability and other special mojo powers.

MyBlogLog Fixes Image Issue

MyBlogLog Logo

The MyBlogLog image and widget loading issues that have plagued the blogosphere the past 2-3 days are soon to be resolved. According to the MBL Blog:

We had a hiccup with our image serving system that displays your userpic in the Recent Reader widget. We’ve identified the problem and are running a script that is fixing this. Afterwards, we’ll be making some modifications to prevent this from happening again.

As it turns out, the CIVRF server must of been one of the servers that went down due to a power outage in a Rackspace data center facility located in Dallas, Texas. A truck smashed into a utility pole, causing the transformer to blow up. The generators weren’t enough to power the HVAC system so in order to keep the data center temperatures under control, they brought in 6-10 100KW generators to power the HVAC system.

This outage affected numerous sites such as LaughingSquid, 37Signals and RKNet.

MyBlogLog Avatars Failing To Display

MyBlogLog LogoFrom the looks of it, some of the avatars on MyBlogLog that are being hosted on are not displaying. I don’t know if CIVRF is one of many of the Yahoo servers but apparently, the darn thing is offline taking anyone’s avatar that is hosted on the machine with it.

I’ve been browsing around the MyBlogLog Blog and the MBL community and no one seems to have mentioned it or at least, no one seems to be talking about it. The images began disappearing starting yesterday. Is this happening to anyone else?

IE And Stack Overflow Errors

Special thanks to Steven Hodson, I was able to discover what exactly was causing the stack overflow errors to occur when browsing this site within IE. As it turns out, the MyAvatars 0.2 plugin is the culprit. I’ve managed to locate block of code that has something to do with the error. If anyone out their in Internet land knows what could be causing the stack overflow errors in this code, PLEASE let me know what I could do to keep the plugin functional yet, prevent those errors from happening.

Code that needs to be edited

That’s the code. Any help would be appreciated!

Gravatar Has A New Home – WordPress

Gravatar Acquired By AutomatticI’m pretty happy to see that Gravatar has been picked up by the WordPress guys. Gravatar is a neat concept in that when you upload an avatar to their service, any website or forum that supports Gravatar would be able to display your image. It was a concept that if it would of taken off like it was supposed to, chances are, we would of had the ability to use one service for avatar management instead of relying on individual sites and forums.

Within the past three days, Automattic has moved the Gravatar Rails application into their own WordPress infrastructure. This has allowed Gravatars to display three times faster as well as making the site load each time you browse to it. This was a problem I was experiencing with Gravatar a week ago where the damn site wouldn’t load. Glad to see thats fixed. Last but not least, Gravatar was running on the Mephisto CMS and has since been moved over to WordPress. Imagine that!

The most exciting portion of this acquisition are the plans that Matt and company have for the service:

  • All of the Premium features will be free, and refund anyone who bought them in the last 60 days.
  • Move the gravatar serving to a Content Delivery Network so not only will they be fast, it’ll be low latency and not slow down a page load.
  • Take the million or so avatars we have on and make them available through the Gravatar API, to compliment the 115k already here.
  • From Gravatar, integrate them into all templates and bring features like multiple avatars over.
  • From, bring the bigger sizes (128px) over and make that available for any Gravatar. Currently Gravatars are only available up to 80px.
  • Allow Gravatar profile pages with Microformat support for things like XFN rel="me" and hCard.
  • Develop a new API that has cleaner URLs and allows Gravatars to be addressed by things like URL in addition to (or instead of) email addresses.
  • Rewrite the application itself ( to fit directly into our grid, for internet-scale performance and reliability.

I’m pretty excited to see the implementation of Gravatar into WordPress as a whole. The two services compliment each other and it’s only natural that they become ONE. I’ve used Gravatar for a few years now but it’s been awhile since I’ve messed with my account. Looks like I should blow the dust off as I’ll be using it again in the near future.

What do you think of this acquisition? Do you use Gravatar? Go ahead and leave some feedback.

Why Are Web 2.0 Sites Compressing Avatars?

I have a bone to pick with these web 2.0 sites and services. It may not be a huge bone but it’s an annoying one at the very least. Many of these sites and services allow members to customize their profile by uploading an image also known as an avatar. These images are usually .PNG, .GIF, or .JPG files. There is often a maximum dimensions rule as well as a maximum file size rule in place.

I don’t understand why these sites and services have to turn my images into pieces of crap. Most of my avatars that I have created in photoshop look great, until they are uploaded to one of these sites such as MyBlogLog or Technorati. Let’s go through a few Before And After pictures to try and illustrate my point. The first image will be the image as it should be seen, straight out of photoshop saved at maximum quality. The second image is what is seen after uploading the file to the service in question.

First up, Technorati avatars in JPG format.

Before Technorati Before Uploading To Technorati After Technorati After Uploading To Technorati

Now lets take a look at MyBlogLog avatars in .GIF format.

Before MyBlogLog Before Uploading To MyBlogLog After MyBlogLog After Uploading To MyBlogLog

In case you can’t see the differences notice how the second image always looks worst after it’s uploaded to the service in question. The image goes through some sort of compression and the end result is a crappy looking avatar. I have tried changing the images to .PNG and .GIF formats, saving them at the maximum quality level but the compression just rips these images apart.

Why do these sites and services have to compress these tiny images? Why can’t I as a user have a nice looking avatar without compression? I mean, take a look at that example for MyBlogLog, it looks like total crap. I urge you companies to turn that compression crap off. I think the file size limit along with the dimension limit is enough to restrain insane avatars from overtaking your hard drive space. There is no need to compress.

I wonder if I am the only one who has noticed this? Please let me know what you think.

Jaiku Fixes Annoying Problem

http://www.jaiku.comFinally, Jaiku has fixed an annoying problem which I have been giving them hell about for quite some time. Twit actually has a channel on Jaku that I joined awhile back. Twit or (This Week In Tech) is administered by Leo Laporte and as you can imagine the channel became very popular very fast.

On the right hand side of the channel area is anumber which represents the amount of users who have joined that channel. Underneath that number, every user who is part of the channel also has their avatar displayed.

Once the channel member count reached about 1,000 it became apparent that something was wrong. The text that a member would type into the text area box would appear slowly while the images on the right hand side would load. All 1,000 images. I’m not sure if the amount of user avatars being displayed had something to do with the Ajax part of the page but it slowed everything to a crawl which became very annoying.

Only A Few Avatars Are Displayed

I am happy to say that Jaiku has fixed this problem. Now if you look at the right hand side of the Twit channel, you should see a list of member Avatars and then a MORE link which will provide you a page with even more avatars. Thank you Jaiku for fixing this annoying issue. Browsing and posting in popular channels has become fun again!