Millions of people around the world use Skype to talk to each other, and since blogs are all about helping people communicate better, we're glad to see a number of new efforts making it easier to plug into Skype right from your Movable Type-powered blog.
Skype Journal, the most popular independent blog about the Skype community, has shared an overview called "Skype Tags and Your Blog". In his post, Stuart Henshall says,
Skype Tags for MT - Movable Type. How to add Chat tags, VM - voice messaging, and "info" tags. Add the code below to your MT templates and you will have active icons. There are a whole range of icons you can activate all using the same basic structure.
Using Skype's APIs, it's easy to add icons to your blog for any common action, such as initiating a call, leaving a voice message, discovering a person's online status, or just finding out a user's information.
One of the best parts of the new functionality is that it shows off the clever ways that open APIs can be extended, adding new features that a platform's creators might never have anticipated. Judging by the enthusiastic post on Skype's official blog, the Skype team is just as excited as we are.
Of course, since both Skype Journal and the official Skype Share blog are both powered by Movable Type, we expect that their teams will find even better ways to make blogs and voice chat work together in the future.
It’s been a great week for TrackBack: First, PRWeb, one of the most popular sources for news releases on the web, has just announced that they’ve added support for TrackBack to all the press releases on the site. This shows one of the very practical benefits of TrackBack even for non-blog content, hopefully leading towards corporate communication being more open and community-driven.
We’re also delighted to note that there’s been a very positive initial reception to our announcement of an effort to standardize TrackBack. It is great to see so many people in participating in the provisional TrackBack Working Group.
Some of the key players in community standards and recent documentation efforts have already weighed in on the announcement:
Dave Winer notes the effort without much comment, but his links are often a precursor to more full comments later. As Dave has pointed out himself, correctly, his own past implementations of TrackBack were compatible because breaking backwards compatibility even in the pursuit of technical improvements is not a path to be chosen lightly. Though there are sometimes instances when creating a new, incompatible path can be necessary in order to enable new benefits for users, it ought to be a considered decision, and Dave’s point is well taken as the conversation around standardization begins.
Sam Ruby adds his link as well, again without extensive comment, but (judging by past experience) with the promise of some contributions of understated genius. If a TrackBack validator someday springs forth, it’ll no doubt be because of Sam doing a lot of the not-very-glamorous heavy lifting behind the scenes.
Of course, any new effort has some bumps. As Phil Ringnalda noted, we were having some glitches with our mailing list software, but it seems like everything’s cleared up now. Others pointed out that they were unable to access the newly revised TrackBack specification without first authenticating via Open ID. That too was an oversight on our part, and is now resolved.
So if you had experienced a problem in the past few days trying to join the standardization effort, try again, and you should be able to get through without a hitch. Even better, greater real-world adoption of the protocol means that the efforts of the group will someday be able to provide benefits to actual users, and not just to those of us who are interested in the technology.
Before TED was an airline, it was a conference dedicated to exploring the intersection of Technology, Entertainment, and Design. In fact, TED's history goes all the way back to the unveiling of the original Macintosh computer in 1984. Every year, philosophers, musicians, scientists, business leaders, environmentalists, and an eclectic roster of invitees and attendees convene in Monterey, California, to learn from each other and inspire each other. This year, we're not only proud to have our co-founder, Mena Trott, speaking at the event, but we're excited that TED is blogging. Check out their TypePad-powered blog for daily reports, continuously updated photos, and links to other blogs covering the event. The conference runs through Saturday and this year's theme is "The Future We Will Create..."
I've been looking for new ways to customize my personal TypePad site. Laura from TypePad Technical support recently posted a great how-to for creating your own favorite icon, or favicon, in TypePad. Then, one of my favorite TypePad bloggers, swissmiss, linked to the Favicon Generator, where you can upload any image and it's changed into a favicon, making it even easier to personalize your TypePad blog.
In 2002, Ben and Mena Trott had an idea for how blogging systems could communicate with one another more effectively about the plethora of content being created. They dubbed the idea "TrackBack" and they implemented it in Movable Type. What followed surprised everyone, the idea and technology they created spread like wildfire. Now, several years later, TrackBack is in use by over 50 million blogs and news sites across the Internet.
As many familiar with the protocol will attest, TrackBack, despite its wide market adoption, is far from perfect -- largely due to the fact that TrackBack was invented for a blogosphere that was much different in size and makeup. Today, blogging has exploded in popularity, presenting TrackBack with a whole new set of challenges to address. Specifically, those challenges include the need for:
- Protocol Extensibility
- Better documentation
We've been fans of the Amazon Web Services blog since it launched on TypePad last year, but it's not just because we love the technology and APIs that the site shows off. It's because of its cute, fuzzy nose.
In addition to the usual promotion of web services that you'd expect, the AWS blog does a great job of introducing the more human side of the team behind the tech. Need proof? Just take a look at the recent post introducing Rufus, the preeminent four-legged member of the AWS team. Often times discussions of technology and related topics can seem a bit dry; A team blog offers a great way to show that there's some personality on the other side of a website.
Just like similar TypePad-powered tech blogs by the teams behind web services such as PayPal, Salesforce.com, Flickr, and del.icio.us, the Amazon Web Services blog does a great job of telling the story of both an interesting set of web technologies and the even more interesting people (and dogs!) who build them.
Here's a big Valentine's bouquet from LiveJournal, which just unveiled a shiny new home page. Not only do visitors (those who have yet to sign up or log in) get to see a great introduction to the LiveJournal service, but they'll also enjoy glimpses into LiveJournal communities, with features that offer intriguing LJ groups and popular LJ areas of interest. If you've never taken the time to introduce yourself to LiveJournal, this might be the perfect opportunity to go have a look!
Six Apart’s Anil Dash will be speaking at the upcoming Blog Business Summit seminar series to be held in Los Angeles on March 16, 2006. This is a full day event on the “Essentials of Business Blogging” and will cover the basics about blogs and why they're becoming important for businesses. For the uninitiated, there will be a session providing step-by-step instructions on how to start a blog. This conference will be an excellent opportunity for businesses that are curious about blogging, interested in starting a blog, or want insights about effectively using blogs they already publish.
This is Six Apart's second time working with the Blog Business Summit and we're excited to remain involved with an organization that reaches out to businesses and addresses their specific concerns. At Six Apart, we’ve been very focused on creating great blogging tools, yet we realize there is a parallel need for great customer education, especially about how businesses can benefit from the tools and practices of blogging. Participating in this summit is just one step along what we hope will become a continuous path towards answering that need.
To complement the Blog Business Summit’s focus on the "how’s" and "why’s," Anil, the VP of our Professional Products Group, will talk about important trends and technologies that are coming next. Having been with Six Apart since its inception, and now working on tailoring our products for enterprise use, Anil is a recognized expert on the blogging industry. His advice on navigating overwhelming information and adjusting to radical change will help you understand what you need to do to achieve your business goals, whether your work for a Fortune 500 company or as an independent professional.
If you do decide to attend, make sure to stop by our table, ask questions, and let us know what you’re thinking. To receive a discount on conference registration, register here and use the promotional code "TRT06" (that's a "zero-six" at the end).
With the Winter Olympics following hot on the heels of this year's Super Bowl, we've got sports on the brain here at Six Apart, and we'd be remiss not to mention the wonderful TypePad blog, The Journey, which has been chronicling the thoughts and experiences of six American Olympians (and an "Olympic Insider") as they prepare for the games. Since tomorrow brings the opening ceremonies, it looks like the first part of their journey is at an end. While Olympic rules prevent athletes from blogging during the games, the site's editor has reassured readers: "We will continue to have news and stories from the Games, as well as contributions from our Olympic Insider. So look for on-the-ground reports from Torino, and a flavor of what's going on in and around the Games." In any case, good luck to Emily, Cammi, Julia, Johnny, Marco, Seth, and all the rest of the competitors. Bring home the gold!
The Super Bowl -- the great American spectacle -- is over for another year. There were controversial calls. There were costly commercial messages. And, ultimately, there was a champion. For 2006, that champion is the Pittsburgh Steelers, led by Ben Roethlisberger and Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward. Our congratulations go out to the Steelers and all their fans, and our sympathies to the Seahawks and the Seattle faithful.
Every football fan knows that Ben Roethlisberger is leading the Pittsburgh Steelers into Detroit this weekend to play the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl. What most people don't know is how this 24-year-old from Findlay, Ohio, managed to reach the pinnacle of athletic achievement so quickly.
Was it his stellar quarterback rating of 98.6? Maybe. Was it his 17 touchdown passes? That didn't hurt. Was it his TypePad blog? Well, let's go to the videotape: Having started his blog at the end of last season, Ben blogged throughout 2005, bringing his devoted fans stories and images from on the field and off.
Even now, in the thick of final preparations for the biggest game of his career, Ben is using TypePad to share his experiences, day by day. Of course, Ben's secret may be getting out. His divisional rival, Cincinnati's Carson Palmer, started a TypePad blog this past season. The result? Cincinnati's best season since 1988, when they went to the Super Bowl. Our advice to the rest of the NFL: Sign up for a TypePad blog. If you don't, you just might be looking at an AFC North dynasty for years to come. And hey, Shaun Alexander, we can't make any promises, but it only takes a couple of minutes to get your blog started...