Last night Rafe wrote a post about ways to make money while in your underwear. It's a novel concept that likely wouldn't lose its luster until the winter months. One of the companies, called Brijit caught my interest, mostly because as a blogger, one of the required skills is summarizing large written items and shrinking them down into small, edible chunks. Brijit takes large stories from online and print publications and fits them into 100-word-or-so abstracts you can quickly give a once-over, and decide if it's worth it to delve deeper. The site is powered by freelance … Read more
There are countless blogs across the world, but you can't read them all, of course. With the screensaver application Twingly, however, you can at least see every new blog post as it gets published...sort of. While Twingly appears to be a fascinating application, you may soon be overwhelmed by the random collection of nonsense and trivia--the "Um ... what?" post referenced in my title is a good example.
Twingly, which runs as a Windows screensaver or a standalone application, displays a never-ending string of new blog posts mapped around the world on an interactive globe. Click on any of the scrolling posts on the left side, and a precis of the post and its geographical location (if mapped) are displayed in the main interface. Click on the link in the blog excerpt, and you'll be transported to that page in your default browser.… Read more
You hear it in the halls of the Web 2.0 conferences. You taste it in the sushi at launch events. You feel it when you see the entertainment, bands like Third Eye Blind, hired to play at industry parties. The bubble is back.
And now, The New York Times offers up yet another example of prospective dot-com madness--the rumored return of The Industry Standard.
I worked at The Industry Standard for two years before it sank in the wake of the sector's irrational exuberance in 2001, along with other former rising stars like Flooz.com and Kosmo.com. … Read more
Most desktop publishing types making posters, pamphlets, and newsletters will gravitate toward the largest, shiniest apple on the proverbial tree, most notably Adobe InDesign (there's a free trial of the $700 app for the curious).
However, the smaller, more muted Scribus (for Mac and Windows) or Portable Scribus (read review) could be a riper pick for you. Being able to tote a full program on a USB drive is especially beneficial for students, small businesses, and locale-shifters; amateur users will find more than enough features to create good-looking documents.… Read more
Soup is a microblogging service, very similar to Tumblr (review), which gives users a quick and easy blog to post all sorts of small bits of content to. It also lets you plug in any old RSS feed, or add your user name on popular services like Digg, Flickr, Delicious, YouTube, and Twitter to have your activity on any of the sites automatically republished to your Soup blog. The goal is to have an easy-to-use blog that doubles as a visual feed-hub of your content publishing habits on other services.
Like Tumblr, there's an integrated community. You can have … Read more
While the iPhone may not be ready for business, it doesn't mean you can't take advantage of its big screen and keyboard to get some blogging done. The folks at Movable Type have a new plug-in that makes the blogging tool's interface very finger-friendly, with tabs, and a touch-to-edit function that's a little bit like Facebook's iPhone app. You can create new blog entries and edit old ones, although keep in mind you're still short on copy and paste, so if you're trying to add links from one browser window to the other (… Read more
This fall, Google plans to start charging visitors to access full digital versions of books in its database in partnership with publishers, according to an article published Thursday by The New York Times (subscription required). Google currently lets people read only excerpts of books online, as part of its agreements with book publishers. The story cites unnamed sources familiar with the plans, and Google did not comment on the alleged plans.
We all have complaints about the people we love and live with, but typically they don't turn into book deals. But Zoe McCarthy (no relation to this reporter), a 44-year-old British woman who gained cult fame for operating a blog called "My Boyfriend is a Twat," has recently cashed in on her significant other's tics and quirks. McCarthy, according to the U.K.'s Observer, has received about a $10,000 advance from Web-to-print publisher The Friday Project to turn her blog into a book. Not quite a Harry Potter-worthy figure, but nothing to scoff at, … Read more
Movable Type, Six Apart's publishing system is releasing its fourth version today. Six Apart began its public beta of version four in early June, and has since moved through a handful of release candidates. The biggest change Movable Type users are going to notice is a new interface, which includes a WYSIWYG editor, and 30 new themes to skin and style your blog without having to know any CSS. There's also a new setup wizard that will help the technically bewildered install it without having to print out a how-to guide.
With MT4, Six Apart is merging the consumer and enterprise versions of Movable Type, and are now offering those features as "solution packs." On the enterprise end, this equates to support for and integration with corporate servers and sales teams. For consumers who are running their own blogs, the community pack lets them add features like user profiles and story recommendation. Six Apart has also added support for OpenID, so if visitors already have an OpenID, they'll be able to register with your site using those credentials.
Perhaps the biggest change is the option to administrate multiple blogs. Previously, MT users were relegated to just one at a time. The new system brings it up to spec with similar admin functionality of the likes of WordPress and Blogger. Speaking of which, MT4 has a new importer for WordPress users who want to migrate, as well as a backup and restore tool to let you save and restore your blog in case of catastrophe.
MT4 integrates over a dozen third party plug-ins. Some might sound familiar, like Box.net's file storage, Vizu Polls, and NewsGator RSS (who handles that nifty news bar on Webware). There's also a new plug-in directory to keep them sorted and accessible.
Open source nuts will be getting their hands on an open version of Movable Type in about two months. Chris Alden, EVP and GM of the Professional Division at Six Apart told me that MT is already about 90% open source, and the new one will be "the best open sourced solution out there."
Below are some screenshots of MT4. To see more, click the "read more" link below.… Read more
Internet users are spending more time looking at content and less time communicating with others, according to an index of Nielsen/Net Rating statistics released by the Online Publishers Association (OPA).
In 2003, Internet users spent about 46 percent of their time communicating and 34 percent reading online content. Those habits seemed to have reversed in the last four years. From January to May 2007, about 47 percent of users' time was spent looking at content and 33 percent spent on communicating.
The change in media habits can be attributed to changes in technology over the last four years, according … Read more