MyBlogLog Improves Contact Manager

MyBlogLog Logo

MyBlogLog recently announced that they have improved the way in which users manage their contacts. When you click on the add/manage link that appears below your contacts, you’ll see the new screens. One thing I noticed immediately when checking out my own MyBlogLog profile is the large number of pending contacts. I had no idea that a large number of users added me as a contact. I wonder what the heck happened there. At any rate, you now have the ability to view pending contacts, contacts, and something called followers. Depending on the tab you select, you can add a contact, keep as a follower, block contacts and remove contacts.

New Options To Manage MyBlogLog Contacts

As a side note, MBL has also lifted the 15 contact requests/day limit due to the new contact management features.

By the way, this blog and myself are on MyBlogLog and have been for quite a while. I use MBL to create and manage a community of user’s interested in the content of this site. If you would like to be a part of my MyBlogLog community, click on the link that says “Add Me To This Sites Community” within the recent readers section of this website. Or, click here and click on the Join Community link.

Time To Go Old School

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been thinking about how great it was when this blog covered everything of interest to me. Sure, WordPress is fun to write about but when I considered the fact that I get paid to write about WordPress for WeblogToolscollection.com and I have guest blog accounts on HackWordPress.com, WPCandy.com, RAProject.com and on top of all that, I have tried to turn this blog into a WordPress only domain, I am starting to run out of steam.

I’m not running out of blogging steam, but I hate being in this blogging cycle where there is so much to write about yet, I’m not sure whether to publish the post on my own blog, one of the other blogs, or for WLTC. It’s become a constant battle within myself as to who to write for. I also hate the fact that as I monitor Twitter and the RSS feed, I constantly get this feeling of OMFG I have to write about that, I have to write about this, OMG I can’t miss any of this. At the end of the day, I end up not writing anything. The constant weight on my shoulders of trying to play catchup sucks! If you have no idea what I mean, please read this excellent post written by the NYTimes which goes into some detail as to what it’s like to be part of the blogging Elite. It’s become increasingly apparent that blogging is a game of FIRSTIES. As the NYTimes article points out:

Speed can be of the essence. If a blogger is beaten by a millisecond, someone else’s post on the subject will bring in the audience, the links and the bigger share of the ad revenue.

But before I go on any more of a rant considering the state of blogging for big bucks, I want to get back on topic. I have decided that I am no longer going to continue to make this blog a WordPress centric site. I will continue to write about WordPress on occasion. However, I plan on getting back to my roots where I published opinions, share things I discovered, shared my personal experiences, or write up reviews or articles of things that I find interesting. The writing, discovery and the entire aspect of blogging just seemed to be better for me when that was my method of getting through the day. So then, I’m going back to what made this blog successful.

If you enjoyed what I have written on this blog concerning WordPress, I highly suggest you subscribe to my WordPress tag feed so that if I post something about WordPress in the future, you’ll be notified in your favorite RSS reader.

Jeffro2pt0 Now On WP 2.5

Better late than never! I have upgraded the blog from 2.3.3 to 2.5. The upgrade went very smooth with the exception of one plugin, that being the Berri Technorati Incoming Links plugin which modified the admin panel in 2.3. The plugin caused things to break in the new admin panel. After deleting that plugin, everything is back to normal and appears to be functioning just fine. I’m really digging the new look and I can’t wait to get into the back end and widgitize the hell out of my dashboard.

While I have your attention, let’s take a look at last months Poll results. I asked the question, When Would You Upgrade To WordPress 2.5? The results are listed below:

Poll Results For March 2008

Surprisingly, a large number of you chose the option to upgrade as soon as possible. While ASAP might of been too soon, the rest of the majority decided to upgrade at least a week within it’s release.

Now that 2.5 is here and available for the world to digest, this months poll question is: What Do You Think Of WP 2.5? Be sure to leave your mark and vote for one of the options given to you. I’ve noticed that more and more of you are participating in the poll. Thank you very much!

Jeffro2pt0 Featured On WP-Premiums

Jeffro2pt0 Image

A few days ago, PJ notified me that this blog design was featured on WP-Premiums.com. So far, the design has a total of 8 votes with an average rating of 4 out of 5. According to PJ the reason this design was chosen to be included in the WP-Premiums gallery is as follows:

I was so impressed by your great customization of the Shifter theme that I’ve featured it on WP-Premiums.com. I’m sure that your design will be an inspiration for others who are planning to design or customize their own WordPress-powered websites.

Thanks goes out to PJ for adding this site design to the gallery. Thanks also goes out to anyone who has rated this design on WP-Premiums, I really appreciate it. A last round of thanks goes out to those individuals who worked with me on their own time to provides suggestions and critiques to enhance the design. If you haven’t checked out WP-Premiums before, I highly suggest doing so as it’s a showcase of what people have been able to do to their premium themes outside of the norm. For example, my favorite design right now in the showcase is the blog of Robin Malau.

This showcase would make for a good place to get inspiration from if you are looking at designing a WordPress theme.

Two New Pages Added

IconSetDescription

I just wanted to let everyone know that I have updated the icon set in the top right hand corner of the site. The navigational area now includes two new icons. The I or information icon links to an About Jeffro2pt0 page that I have put together which gives you a bit of background history of the site. I’ve also included information about me because after all, I’m a human being, not a bot.

I’ve also included a dedicated page for WordPress Weekly. This is represented by the Ipod icon. Keep in mind, you don’t need an actual Ipod to listen to the podcast. I used the icon because it was the closest thing to a Podcast that I could find within the icon pack. This page will house all of the detailed information regarding how to participate, what the show is about, and how to listen/subscribe to the show.

As a side note, I have also installed WP-Cache over the weekend. Let me know if this has helped to decrease the loading time of the site.

At any rate, this was just a FYI for those out their that visit the actual website, not the feed.

Last Updates Of 2007

Year 2008

This will officially be the last post of 2007. What a year it’s been for this particular blog. Jeffro2pt0 started in May 2007 and since then, has continued to grow by leaps and bounds. I wanted to take a moment and thank each and every one of you for making 2007 a hell of a year for the blog. All of you who have subscribed to the RSS feed, commented on the blog, participated in the discussions and helped me out along the way have really helped to make this blog a success. I couldn’t of done it without you and I look forward to what 2008 may bring.

To illustrate the kind of year this blog had, I’ve taken the following screenshot of my AWStats page for the year 2007.

Blog Stats

There are currently 401 posts and 820 comments, contained within 15 categories and 1,872 tags.

Spam

Akismet has protected your site from 6,547 spam comments.

Stats In Total For 2007:

Stats Totals

New Year Means New Design:

As you may have noticed, the blog now sports a new design. It’s not really a major redesign, it’s more like a reshuffling/reorganization of content. I’ve removed one of the sidebars and have opted for one, large sidebar. I’ve also installed an Archive plugin and have turned the Archives into it’s own seperate page so that I could free up more space within the sidebar. I’ve made the shoutbox wider, moved the MyBlogLog reader widget to the bottom left part of the site, replaced the Recent Forum Posts module at the top left corner of the site with the Last 5 Blog Posts module and in 2008, I will add in a tag cloud. I will be condensing all of the categories into tags and from now on, blog posts will be organized by tags instead of seperate categories. Last but not least, I have widened the content area of the site by about 30 or 40 more pixels.

I also realize that the blog looks horrible in IE7, again. I will work on this during the month of January but until then, please browse my blog using FireFox.

On the backend of things, I have uninstalled numerous plugins. Most notable is the SideBlog plugin. I’ll stick to Twitter for those types of posts. You might also be surprised that I have removed the SezWho comment rating system as well as the Cliqin widget. It’s not that I don’t believe in these services, its that they weren’t being used to their fullest extent on the blog. So instead of keeping the blog polluted with stuff thats not being used, I opted to get rid of those features completely.

If you are one of the bloggers that joined Cliq or displays the Cliqin widget because of me, you now have the option to keep it published or take it off your own blog.

One other thing worth mentioning. A loyal RSS Feed Subscriber notified me today that the HeaderEntry plugin which adds copyright information to the beginning of a post when it’s being scraped or read through a FeedReader was actually keeping him from seeing what any of my posts were about. My guess is, he has his FeedReader setup to display this blog’s feed as a summary and that summary was nothing more than a copyright spiel. So, I have removed the plugin. Please let me know if the Feed returns to normal for you and thanks Lee also known as LGR for pointing this out to me.

The Forum Is No More:

The forum which is powered by Vbulletin and cost me $85.00 has been taken offline. The forum simply has not worked out as well as I thought it would. It’s actually had a negative effect on the blog. The forum has separated the forum users, from the blog users. I’m running out of time trying to update the forum to keep content fresh and there hasent’t been too many new members signing up as late. Therefor, I am going to go back to using the blog as a forum and not worry about having a seperate entity for the forum until I become uber popular. I don’t see that happening anytime soon. All of the forum posts and user data will be backed up and saved onto my hard drive so nothing will be lost. If I have a change of heart, we’ll start right back where we left off.

In Closing:

Thank you for your support throughout the year of 2007. I hope you and yours truly have a successful and happy New Year. Only four more to go until 2012!

I Need Your Feedback

Jeffro2pt0 Dark Banner

Its that time again where I have to ask you, the readers, what is it you would like me to write about on this blog? So far, it looks like the majority of you enjoy posts that highlight new icon packs. Even the posts that deal with vector based graphics or logos appear to be a hit. I’ve also noticed that you folks seem to enjoy WordPress related material as well.

What would you like me to write about? Do you want more WordPress news? How about more WordPress plugin or theme reviews? Do you think I should not change anything and keep writing about the stuff I already cover? Should I continue to review web 2.0 sites and services, or should I review other things such as actual software? Do you enjoy the short articles, or the in depth longer ones? If I started a WordPress based podcast, would you tune in and listen? Do you enjoy the interviews I have posted and would like to continue to see me publish interviews?

These are just some of the questions that are on the top of my mind right now. I know this is a blog about stuff, but I’d really like to know what you 150 or so RSS subscribers and regular visitors would like to see more of on this blog. As the year comes to a close, I’d like to start off the new year with at least a little more of a focus on what I should be blogging about. Of course, I’ll still blog about personal experiences, the jokes, comics, and what have you, but I’m interested in what sort of content you’re interested in.

Your feedback is incredibly valuable to me.

Forum2pt0 Launches And More

Forum2pt0 Header

First off, how was your Thanksgiving? Mine turned out great if you take out the dangerous driving conditions that developed. Some lake effect snow formed over Lake Erie and as I was traveling through the snow belt on the turnpike, things became dicey at times but I managed to bring everyone home including myself, in one piece.

As for the blog. Sorry I haven’t been doing my regular rounds of postings. This holiday week has screwed me up in terms of getting things done. I am hoping that starting Monday, I can get back on track and start delivering the content you guys want. However, I did manage to get one thing done, that being the forum.

As mentioned in a previous post, I have made the switch from PHPBB to VBulletin forum software. VBulletin in my eyes, is worth every dollar. It’s a powerhouse of forum software that I hope you guys will enjoy as much as I will. At any rate, I managed to find a somewhat related forum theme that looked good called RedandBlack developed by GFXStyles.com. I’ve also installed a few plugins such as the Top 5 Stats plugin which highlights Top Statistical areas of the forum near the top to help keep us all abreast as to what’s happening on the forum. I’ve also installed a GIVE THANKS plugin. If you have any forum experience what so ever, you’ll know that people make forum posts all the time that only contain the text THANKS or THANK YOU. Instead of creating a post or replying with a thank you, you can click the Thanks button which will thank the user for you. This will help keep the forum posts on topic and should aid in keeping the discussion clean.

Screenshot Of The Forums

Other features of this forum include the Subscription options. As a registered member of Forum2pt0, you’ll have the ability to subscribe via email in a multitude of ways. For instance, you can subscribe to a particular post, to a particular thread, to a particular forum topic, or to the entire forum. Alternatively, if you want to subscribe to the entire forum via RSS to keep tabs on new posts, click on the following link and add it to your FeedReader.

I’m also working on installing a mod that let’s you add your own blog’s RSS feed as a part of your profile. This will display a link to your last blog post that is shown to the public on every post you make. If I can successfully install this mod, I’ll be sure to remove the “NoFollow” attribute.

The forum currently covers the broad topics of Blogging, Technology, Jeffro2pt0.com and general Chit Chat.

Over time, I’ll be adding bits and pieces to the forum such as an arcade. What’s a forum without an arcade? Overall, the browsing and posting user experience on this forum is leaps ahead of my previous PHPBB forum. I hope you’ll agree as you check out Forum2pt0 – A Forum About Stuff and register your own account. Be sure to stop by the Feedback Section of the forums and let me know what you think.

Stack Overflows Under Control

While listening to the Browns game today, I tried my hand at figuring out the stack overflow errors that were being generated by the MyAvatars plugin. No matter what I tried, the damn thing kept spitting out those errors. I tried deleting bits and pieces of the code, but each time I did so, the Gravatar function didn’t work or some part of the plugin would ruin the page.

So I opted to try out a few other Gravatar based plugins. The ones I tried are as follows:

The first one is more of a programmer’s type plugin. Unless you know how the code works with the various ARRAYS and configurable strings, you’ll have a hard time getting the block of code correct. The next two didn’t work out exactly as I wanted either. I also tried Doug’s EasyGravatars plugin. EasyGravatars worked well, except that it was hard to place it where I wanted in conjunction with everything else I have in comments.php. So after tinkering all day with this crap, I finally settled on something called MBLA.

MBLA stands for MyBlogLogAvatars. This is a newer version of the MyAvatars code base which hasn’t been updatd for over a year.

Use avatars from services like Gravatar and MyBlogLog in your posts, comments and pingbacks. Remember to change options at Options -> MBLA. By Jan Olsen.

After a bit of configuring, I’ve finally managed to display the Gravatar for anyone that has one. If you don’t have a Gravatar assigned to your email address you use to comment on the blog, head to http://www.gravatar.com and make one. It’s quick, easy and free. I’m gonna support Gravatars at the very least. Not sure about MyBlogLog avatars.