How To: Setup Native Tagging Support in WordPress 2.3

By StrangeWork.com: I recently upgraded my blog to WordPress 2.3 and made the decision to switch my tagging system over to WordPress Native Tagging. Prior to my blog update I used Ultimate Tag Warrior for tagging. WordPress 2.3 makes the switch from Ultimate Tag Warrior to Native Tagging extremely easy! Just follow the instructions below:

STEP 1: Import existing Ultimate Tag Warrior tags into WordPress 2.3 database

1. Login to your WordPress Dashboard and navigate to Manage > Import.

2. Select Ultimate Tag Warrior and follow the instructions to import your tags. WordPress does all of the work for you.

Simple as that! Now let’s integrate our WordPress tags in to our existing theme.

There are two different ways to integrate tags into your theme. The first is a Tag Cloud:

STEP 2: Add a Tag Cloud to your existing themeTag Cloud Example

A tag cloud is a simple widget that displays your most popular tags. The more topics under each tag the bigger the font is in your cloud. An example image is shown.

1. Open up the page you would like to include a Tag Cloud on. Typically this is added to your sidebar.php file.

2. Add the below code:

<?php if ( function_exists('wp_tag_cloud') ) : ?>
<li>
<h2>Popular Tags</h2>
<ul>
<?php wp_tag_cloud('smallest=8&largest=22'); ?>
</ul>
</li>
<?php endif; ?>

There are many different ways you can customize your tag cloud. WordPress has compiled a nice list of available actions that you can use. View Tag Cloud Doc

STEP 3: Add related Tags to each blog postRelated Tags Example

Another commonly used method is to list the tags for each post directly below the post.

1. Open up the file you would like to add your tags list to. Typically this is added after each post so you would need to edit single.php and index.php

2. Add the following code:

<p><?php the_tags(); ?></p>

There are many different ways you can customize your related tags. WordPress has compiled a nice list of available actions that you can use. View Related Tags Doc

Tags are a crucial part of any blog. If your not currently using tags take some time this weekend and get them setup. You’ll thank me later!

Halo 3.0 meets Web 2.0

By StrangeWork.com: Halo 3 was released this past Tuesday to record sales as most predicted it would be. One of the major improvements for Halo 3 is the player/game data available to the public to view on Bungie.net. Bungie records absolutely every stat imaginable and makes those stats available on their gamer portal.

My XBox Live GamerTag

view my profile



Bungie.net tracks every in game stat in real time including total kills by weapon, detailed game history, ranked medal chest awards, and more! Halo 3 ScreenshotOne of the coolest features is the new File Share system. Using the file share system you can easily upload snapshots and videos from your past games to share with the public. Click the thumbnail to view the full size screenshot of me shooting down a banshee last night.

Not only is this fun for the gamer, but a great marketing tool for Halo 3 and Bungie. Gamers are scattering videos and snapshots across the web to show off their Halo abilities. Bungie has done an amazing job expanding Halo 3 to the Web and we can only hope that other game developers take notice.

TryMango.com: Free Online Language Learning

By StrangeWork.com: Looking for an easy free online way to learn a foreign language? TryMango.com is the site you’ve been looking for!
TryMango.com Logo
I decided to give “Spanish for English Speakers” a shot. TryMango.com uses a flash based teaching tool with a massive library of lessons.

Spanish for English Speakers has 103 lessons with 50-80 slides in each. Each slide has an audible reading of the words to learn as well as written form. Once you are comfortable with your pronunciation simply move to the next slide.

Overall TryMango.com is a great site for picking up a second language. Free never hurts either!

Upgraded Blog to WordPress 2.3

By StrangeWork.com: After reading Jeff’s WordPress upgrade post I decided to take the plunge and upgrade my blog to WordPress 2.3. As always WordPress has made this process extremely easy. Simply follow their online instructions and you shouldn’t have a problem.

One small annoyance, which was changed a few versions ago, is the removal of the Post Preview Pane located at the bottom of the posts form. WordPress 2.3 does include a Preview >> link, but I hate opening new windows just to preview a post. Here is a quick hack to get the Post Preview Pane back:

Open up your post.php file from your wp-admin directory.
Navigate to approximately line 72 and find the following line of code:
include(‘edit-form-advanced.php’);

Directly underneath that line, add the following code:

?>
<div id=’preview’ class=’wrap’>
<h2 id=”preview-post”><?php _e(‘Post Preview (updated when post is saved)’); ?></h2>
<iframe src=”<?php echo clean_url(apply_filters(‘preview_post_link’, add_query_arg(‘preview’, ‘true’, get_permalink($post->ID)))); ?>” width=”100%” height=”600″ ></iframe>
</div>
<?php

Save your changes to post.php and upload. Easy as that!

WordPress 2.3 has added some really slick new features including native tag support, plugin update notifications, and a few new SEO URL updates. It appears all of my plugins ported over without issue, but be sure to check your plugins before upgrading.

I also have the dashboard bug that Jeff posted here. Apparently it has something to do with using Google Blogsearch rather than Technorati. I’ll see if I can find a hack to switch it back to Technorati, because that is a feature I’ve always enjoyed.

* UPDATE
I found the hack for incoming links.

If you want to get Technorati results back change:
“http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch_feeds?hl=en&scoring=d&ie=utf-8&num=10&output=rss&partner=wordpress&q=link:”

on lines 11 and 12 in index-extra.php to
“http://feeds.technorati.com/cosmos/rss/?url=”
and
“http://www.technorati.com/search/”

I recommend everyone take the plunge and get upgraded!

Halo 3: My Addiction!

So everyone digital knows Halo 3 launches tomorrow. I am one of the million or more gamers out there that has a reserved copy with my name on it in a big box in the back of Best Buy with all his other little buddies.
Halo 3 logo
This Halo short movie popped up on Digg today and if you haven’t seen it watch it right now!

Watch Halo Short Movie

Just a small taste of what a Halo movie could be! I’ll be gaming it up on Halo 3 for the next few days (gamertag: JohnnyMongoloid)

Game on Master Chief, Game on!

StartupWeekend.com: Live from New York

By StrangeWork.com: StartupWeekend.com is back at it again, this time in New York City. If you read my previous post on Startup Weekend then you already familiar with them. The concept is simple, get as many professionals as you can in a room for a weekend and create a startup!

This weekend they have decided on a site dedicated to finding the best burger in NYC, called favoreats.com. As pointed out by Andrew, the User Experience Group has the best job of the weekend. They have to FIND the best burger in NYC. Stay up to date with their progress on their official New York blog.

I’m signed up for the West Lafayette weekend and am really looking forward to the challenge! If your in the Indiana area come out for the weekend and let’s get it on!

How To: Remove nofollow from WordPress Comments

By StrangeWork.com: I decided to remove the nofollow code from my blog comments. Nofollow is an attribute that can be added to links to discourage comment spam. I use Akismet to block spam comments, which works about 98% of the time, so why penalize good comments from reaping the SEO benefits of outbound links on my blog?

I used the dofollow WordPress plugin. You can download the plugin here:
http://www.semiologic.com/software/wp-fixes/dofollow/

To install upload the dofollow plugin folder into your plugins directory and activate the plugin through your WordPress Plugins admin panel. Easy as that! Now readers of my blog who post comments will receive a good inbound link to their site. I wonder if this counts for good karma points?

How to Get More Blog Traffic: BlogRush.com

By StrangeWork.com: After reading Jeff’s post about BlogRush.com, I decided to give it a shot. To be honest this is the first I’ve heard of BlogRush.

BlogRush.com LogoBlogRush is basically a widget for your blog that shows related blog posts from the blogosphere. So what’s the benefit? BlogRush will display your new blog post links inside their widget on other related blogs. In theory this should send a surge of traffic to your blog whenever you publish a new blog post.

It seems most smaller blogs aren’t seeing as much of a surge in traffic as they would like. BlogRush launched to the public about a week ago, so this really doesn’t surprise me. This type of widget takes time to build a strong user base. I’m sure MyBlogLog faced the same scepticism when they launched, but look how mainstream they are now.

I’m going to give BlogRush some real estate on my sidebar. I’ll be sure to post a follow-up with my BlogRush stats once I have some solid numbers to share.

Talk Like a Pirate Spreads Quickly in Web 2.0

By StrangeWork.com: Yesterday was International Talk Like a Pirate Day and boy was it big in the Web 2.0 world this year. It seemed everywhere you looked there was a Pirate themed logo, Pirate jokes, and more ARRRS than you wanted to read. Flickr changed their logo for the day and Meebo introduced new pirate buddy icons. Flickr.comSo why the change? Just a few short years ago Talk Like a Pirate Day was only followed by your local uber geeks in between games of D&D and reruns of Dragon Ball Z.

In this Web 2.0 connected world, trends like Pirate Day grow at a tremendous rate. I have serious doubts that most people on Twitter posting ARRR this and ARRR that (myself included) were walking around their office calling their boss a LANDLUBBER! The internet has always allowed people to be more open and the social networking aspect of Web 2.0 helps further that even more.

Pirate Day Logo
I did have a fun time reading the countless ARR Twitter updates throughout the day, and even posted a few of my own. I would not be surprised if next year we are receiving invites to a Pirate only social network! Quick, someone register ARRRRspace.com. You never know!

On a side note I would love to see some traffic stats on TalkLikeAPirate.com for yesterday. Knowing the site was bombarded with traffic yesterday and not seeing one AdSense ad makes my stomach hurt.

Mint.com: Manage Your Money Online

By StrangeWork.com: Looking for a web 2.0 way to organize your finances? Look no further than Mint.com. Mint takes the effort out of money managing with their unique online tools.
Mint.com Logo
The biggest draw to Mint.com is the simplicity of it. After creating a user account simply enter your banks online login information. Mint.com then connects to your bank account and imports all of your financial information. Scary right? A little, but Mint is quick to make you feel at ease about their security measures in place.

Mint.com also automatically categorizes your transaction history using their patent-pending technology. This is extremely valuable in tracking where you are needlessly spending money. Mint.com isn’t perfect and will on occassion miss-categorize a transaction. No problem, just click the category icon and select the appropriate category for that transaction.

Mint.com recently won the TechCrunch40 Top Company Award with a nice $50,000 prize!

Mint.com is a great FREE alternative to Microsoft Money and Quicken. With the ability to access your finances anywhere, look for Mint.com to quickly gain popularity among seasoned internet veterans and newbies alike!