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WordPress Website’s Search Engine Spam

WordPress have been coming under a little scrutiny in the past 24 hours by Waxy.org who have questioned their hosting of 120,000 articles on their site on a variety of topics provided by a third party on some high paying keywords. You can check out some examples of these pages here and here. I’d noticed a few of these articles a few weeks back and wondered what WordPress was doing with them – not it all becomes clear! Waxy.org writes:

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Interview with Michael Moncur

Moncur
Michael Moncur is one of those web entrepreneurs that you talk to and realize that you’re just a baby when it comes to making money online.

A few months ago Michael left a comment on one of my posts and I knew instantly that this was a guy with some real wisdom when it comes to this career that many of us are in. I asked him a few questions about his experience and an email came back that got me really excited. In it Michael outlined his history of creating profitable websites over the past 10 years. Since then I’ve been an avid reader of his blog Figby.com and quite often go to him for advice and to bounce ideas around. He’s not only wise but he’s also willing to help out a newbie like myself and I’m really grateful for the time he’s put aside to be interviewed here. I hope you enjoy what he has to say.

ProBlogger – Michael thanks so much for your time – can you briefly tell us a little about yourself – give us a quick sketch of your life.

Michael – I started out working in IT and technical support for a couple of local firms in the early 90s. At some point I was recruited to write a book about Novell NetWare 3.x. I had always enjoyed writing and since then I’ve written books on the MCSE program, JavaScript, DHTML, and MySQL. In 1998 I quit my last “real” job to work on freelance writing full time.

Meanwhile, I started a web site in 1994, and ten years later my web sites have started to take more of my time, and make more money, than books. Recently I’ve been happily converging these two careers by doing most of my writing online.

I’m an old-timer by Internet standards, which means over 30. I’ve watched the Web grow from a wacky, obscure geek thing (I told everyone it would never work) to the world-crushing phenomenon it is today, and it blows my mind to think about that.

I live in Salt Lake City, Utah with my wife, a dog, and two cats.

ProBlogger – You’ve been writing your website ‘The Quotations Page‘ since 1994 – can you tell us a little about how you started it? How has it evolved? When did you start monetizing the site? What are the main methods of generating an income from it that you use?

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Thoughts on The Future of WordPress and MovableType

Jeremy Zawodny writes on the Future of WordPress and MovableType and writes:

WordPress will come to be the de-facto choice in the world of self-hosted personal weblogs and low-end webhosting “value added” package. MovableType will be the blogware of choice in the corporate blogging world, both for internal weblogs and those that face the outside world.’

I can’t say I’d made that distinction – I use both on very similar blogs and find they each have their own advantages. I’m probably leaning more towards WP at the moment – but could go either way.

WordPress 1.5 – Latest Stable Release

World Press users might like to upgrade to the latest stable release of WP 1.5.

WordPress 1.5 Gamma – Review

Weblog Tools Collection has a good review of the soon to be released (I hope) WordPress version 1.5. The review is glowing and leaves me hanging to see what it is like for myself. I’ve recently moved a number of my blogs (including this one) to WordPress (1.2) and found it to be a highly effective tool and am hoping version 1.5 launches soon.

You can also read an interview with the guys behind Word Press at The Inside Scoop.

What is a Blog?

So what is a Blog anyway? I am asked every week via emails, conversation and Instant Messaging chats to define: ‘what is a blog’. If you’re reading this you may well be asking the same question.

There are a number of ways I could answer this question ranging from the broad to the highly technical.

Before I define the ‘what is a blog’ question – here are a few definitions from other much wiser people to get us started:

‘A weblog is a hierarchy of text, images, media objects and data, arranged chronologically, that can be viewed in an HTML browser.’ Source

‘A frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and Web links.’ Source

‘From “Web log.” A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is “blogging” and someone who keeps a blog is a “blogger.”‘ Source

‘A weblog is kind of a continual tour, with a human guide who you get to know. There are many guides to choose from, each develops an audience, and there’s also comraderie and politics between the people who run weblogs, they point to each other, in all kinds of structures, graphs, loops, etc.’ Source

‘A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is “blogging” and someone who keeps a blog is a “blogger.” Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog. Postings on a blog are almost always arranged in cronological order with the most recent additions featured most prominantly.’ Source

‘A blog is a website in which items are posted on a regular basis and displayed in reverse chronological order. The term blog is a shortened form of weblog or web log. Authoring a blog, maintaining a blog or adding an article to an existing blog is called “blogging”. Individual articles on a blog are called “blog posts,” “posts” or “entries”. A person who posts these entries is called a “blogger”. A blog comprises text, hypertext, images, and links (to other web pages and to video, audio and other files). Blogs use a conversational style of documentation. Often blogs focus on a particular “area of interest”, such as Washington, D.C.’s political goings-on. Some blogs discuss personal experiences.’ Source.

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Weighing Up the “nofollow” Attack on Comment Spam

Is Google’s latest attack on Comment Spam going to hurt Bloggers as much or even more than the Spammers themselves?

As I mentioned a few days ago, Google have announced a strategy for eliminating comment spam on blogs by implementing a ‘rel=”nofollow”’ tag which would cause links using the attribute to not be given any credit in their rankings.

Google already have the support of some pretty major bloggers and blogging tools including.

– Brad Fitzpatrick – LiveJournal

Dave WinerScripting News

Anil DashSix Apart

– Steve Jenson – Blogger

– Matt Mullenweg – WordPress

– Stewart Butterfield – Flickr

– Anthony Batt – Buzznet

David Czarneckiblojsom

– Rael Dornfest – Blosxom

MSN and Yahoo have also agreed to the system making it a pretty big deal.

A number of people have asked for my opinion of this new development. I’ve written some initial reaction here previously before it was announced and have similar feelings now.

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Depression News Blog Launched

I’m really pleased to announce a new blogging project that I’ve been working on for the past few days – Depression News – a blog that will report the latest news and information about the symptoms and treatment of Depression. It is still in beta but is at a stage where I’m happy for people to start to use it.

Over the past 10 years in my work I have encountered many people who suffer from depression and have always had an interest in seeing them reach their potential in terms of health. In more recent years I have had more personal confrontations with depression and have always kept an eye on the latest news on treatment and studies into it. I am also passionate about advocating on behalf of those who suffer from depression or mental illness.

It seemed natural to extend this personal interest in the topic into a blog where others could benefit from my own research.

I have felt a growing urge within me in recent months to look for ways to extend my blogging in a direction where it not only is about making me money or satisfying the consumeristic urges of my readers to have the latest gadget – Depression News is one of the responses that I’m making and is an project that I hope to repeat many times over in the future as I develop my blogging.

Depression News is being hosted with the Breaking News Blog collective and uses Word Press as its backbone. I am funding it (and hoping to raise a few dollars for a local mental health charity) using Google’s Adsense and Amazon Affiliateship at present but am also open to other forms of sponsorship. The design is based upon one from Cre8d design but tweaked quite a bit in CSS by me.

I hope that you or someone that you know finds it a helpful resource. I’m open to it becoming a group blog if others wish to join in with some posting. Just let me know. Your comments suggestions on design and features are also welcome in comments below or via email.

Word Press – Web Application of the Year

ars tecnica has just announced its awards for 2004 and has named WordPress as Web application of the year.

Let’s face it. Blogs are in fashion, and why not? Vanity knows no bounds, and there are some people who actually do something productive with theirs. From the influence of blogs on the coverage of the US presidential elections to every random teenager who has problems with their partner/parent/teacher/cat, blogs are out there allowing your most intimate feelings to be shared with random people at wifi hotspots. WordPress is the most prominent rising star of weblog software, completely free and with a large and active community. Styles, plugins and hacks are readily available, with problems such as comment spamming being addressed far more rapidly than competing applications.



I have to agree – WP is moving forward very quickly and is a highly useable application for blogging. I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops in 2005.