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WordPress Comment Reply via Email

Do you often get tired of replying to comments in wordpress blogs once you have subscribed to it? Well I often do, because once I get a comment I need to log back in to my site and then reply to that comment. So if say you are getting an average of 10 comments per post, it may be a hard task for you.

But today Heather at WordPress WebBlog says – Not Anymore, as closed beta testing for comment reply by email is currently undergoing. Check out this video to see how it works, and to hear about another upcoming goody of WordPress:

Comment reply by email makes replying to comments easy. Once you enable e-mail notifications for comments as you normally would under Settings > Discussion. Then, instead of clicking back to your dashboard, with this new feature you can reply to the comment straight from inbox. When you click reply, a special WordPress e-mail address will appear in the “To” box, matching your reply to the proper comment thread. Send it off, and your reply is up on your blog in seconds! Isn’t that amazing?

However you can’t check it out now unless you’re part of the closed beta, so be sure to sign up if you want to check this cool feature!

In order to sign up for this closed beta, you will have to leave a comment in Heather’s post here.

For your information Signups for the closed beta will close at 6 p.m. PST (UTC-8) tomorrow, Friday, October 24.


Google Adwords Search Ads Now Showing Images

Today Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Land reported that Google is now showing images in Google’s online advertising platform adwords.

For instance, if you search for bluenile in Google Search, most of the time it returns a search ad for Blue Nile on the top of the SERP.

However This is not a regular search ad that you see every day, Do you notice a small “+” sign just before the Ad that says “Show products from Blue Nile for bluenile.”? If you click on that link, it opens up three product results directly from Blue Nile. Check out the screen shoot below:

Whats most interesting is the amount of space it takes once the user presses the expand button. Barry measured one ad to be 370 pixel tall.

My Two Cents
Well I like Google because they are always trying out new things rather than sticking with a conventional way of advertising. They are the first to come up with “contextual advertising” and now they are just implementing different features to give users a better experience and also to make “more money”.


Gmail Emoticons

Just now I was emailing a friend and I noticed a smiley face in the formatting menu of Gmail.

gmail emoticons

So Finally Gmail has Emoticon Images! If you notice carefully you’ll find two different types of icons (static round ones and square animations), with symbols ranging from laughter to sadness to a cake or a broken heart. But the Emoticons are a bit small in size in my opinion.

But nice work Google! :)


WordPress Upload Problem

After I upgraded to WordPress 2.5+, my old wordpress upload feature replaced by a new fancy Flash based Image Uploader. Even though the new feature looked really cool at first, after the very first use, I wished to go back to my old Upload feature. Anyway Long story short, From day one I was having issues with WordPress 2.5 Image Upload Feature. Whenever I wanted to upload any image of any type/size, I got a “HTTP Error”.

Wordpress Image Upload Problem

Initially I thought its my firewall that is probably not letting the ‘flash uploader’ to make a connection to the internet. But later I figured that the problem was with wordpress itself and apparently many other users were facing it. So anyway I did a quick search on Google and found a fix that works 100%. So if you have the same problem follow the steps below and you will be uploading images again in your WordPress 2.5+ in no time!

Fix WordPress 2.5 Image Upload Problem

Step 1: Using a FTP client, login to your server (where wordpress is installed) and navigate to the root of your WP folders.

Step 2: Now, Download a filed called .htaccess and open it with any text editor. (If you don’t see a .htaaccess file simply create one blank text file and name it .htaccess)

Step 3: Insert the following code at the end of your .htaccess file:

    <IfModule mod_security.c>
    <Files async-upload.php>
    SecFilterEngine Off
    SecFilterScanPOST Off
    </Files>
    </IfModule>

Step 4: Save the file, and upload to replace your current .htaccess. Now go to your WordPress admin panel and the wordpress 2.5 upload feature should be working for you!

Very easy fix, Isn’t it? But frankly, even though the new image upload feature was working for me, I felt that the old uploader was much better. It was more faster, and gave me more freedom in terms of image location, thumbnails and so on. So I did another search and found a very cool plugin that can give you the old wordpress Image Upload feature in the New WordPress 2.5+. And don’t worry after you install this plugin, you will still be able to use the new Image uploader whenever you want. But in case if that doesn’t work for you well, you can always upload images using the traditional way.

Download the Old WordPress Upload Plugin (Works 100% with all the New WordPress versions)


Google AdWords Launches Display Advertising

Google Adwords Display Advertisement Google Adwords has announced today that they have stepped into the growing market of online display advertising.

They have released the AdWords display ad builder, that lets advertisers like you create very professional looking display advertisements in AdWords without needing to hire a graphics designer or start from scratch. If you always wanted to expand your horizon of online advertisement from the conventional text ad campaigns, or if you’ve been looking for an easier way to make display ads, this tool can really help.

So how difficult is it to build a display ad using Google’s New Tool? Just like any other Google product, they’ve done their level best to make it as simple as clicking few buttons. Just a few clicks here and there and you too will be on the path of becoming the creative director of your own online advertising company. Google Adwords team has put together a short video demonstrating how to create your first ad:

We’ve also put together a short video demonstrating how to create your first ad:

And if this doesn’t satisfy you, you can have a ore detailed look by watching a much longer version of the tutorial.

To start creating your display advertisements right away, simply click Display Ad Builder on the Create an ad page within a new or existing campaign in your Google AdWords account. If you want to learn more about creating, optimizing and running display advertisements, check out the new Display Ads 101 tutorial.

My Two Cents

Well its seems like Display Ads are back in Business! Just few days back I have Myspace MyAds was launched which lets advertisers to create display advertisements for Myspace. Google seem to have picked up the trend of Display ads quickly, as many marketing analysts has said that display ads are “back with a vengeance.”

Is contextual Ads dying off slowly? What do you think? Reply in comments!

What others Think about Google Adwords Display Ads:

Everything Old Is New Again: Google AdWords Launches Display Ads: ReadWriteWeb

Google launched Banner Ad Builder: John Nousis.com


WordPress No-follow Links

wordpress-logoThere are often times when you want to cite a website (that you don’t really trust) or you are just hesitant to give link love to that ‘slightly shady’ or new site. Adding a No-Follow attribute (rel=”nofollow”) to that particular link is a good way of letting the engines know that you don’t really ‘trust’ the site and thus you don’t want any of your link juice to be passed on to him.

Even though adding nofollow to links is very easy, but sometimes people are just lazy to edit a link manually. So someone just came up with this WordPress “NoFollow Plugin” that adds automatically adds a checkbox to the “Insert Link” dialog box. If you want to “nofollow” the link, just check the box, and you are done!

Installation Instruction of WordPress No Follow Plugin

Step 1: Download WordPress No Follow Plugin
Step 2: Un-zip the archive and upload it in your wordpress “plugins” directory.
Step 3: Activate the plugin from your WP Dashboard
Step 4: Since most browsers cache javascript files, you will probably need to flush your cache for the changes to show up in your wordpress editor.

Plug-in Compatibility: Works well with WordPress 2.5+

So how do you find this plugin? Share your comments & feedback here for the author


Find and Compare Cheap Gas Price

Gas price is going up every year which makes the gas buyers so frustrated that they even drive across the city just to find cheap gas. Yahoo! Search has recently realized this problem and came up with a yahoo shortcut that will help users to find the cheapest gas in their area directly from their search engine!

How To Find the Cheapest Gas Price using Yahoo?

Simply type in the the words “gas prices” or “cheap gas” followed by a ZIP code or city name in Yahoo Search, and you’ll get back a map with prices mapped for your. Danny found that using only the word “gas” with a ZIP or city name also works in Yahoo.

My Two Cents

This is certainly a very cool feature of Yahoo Search that is going to benefit a lot of users. I would like to see Google & Live to come up with something similar :). Do you know about any other cool Yahoo Shortcuts?… Share in the comments!


Google News in New Vertical Format

Google News is now testing a new vertical format interface which seems very mobile device friendly format rather than the usual Newspaper style.

Honestly, I still prefer the old Google News and if they keep this new vertical format, I might as well move to the New Yahoo News for a change.

If you notice closely, you will see that the whole right side is filled up with Featured Stories and a Featured Photo which makes the Popular and Interesting Stories listed in a Blogroll type setting very down the right side of the new Google News.

The new layout of Google News is very mobile friendly as it has everything listed in the “top-down” manner. But Its really irritating for people who are browsing from PC as it forces the user to scroll way down the page to view the interesting news of the day.

So what do you think about this new Google News? Share in comments…


Google Adwords Editor 6.5 – Keyword Opportunity Tool

google-adwordsGoogle has recently announced the release of their new version of Google Adwords Editor 6.5.  This brand new version introduces a cool new tool called Keyword Opportunities which will help you generate ideas for search keywords to target.

 

What is Adwords Editor?

AdWords Editor is simply a FREE downloadable software from Google that you can use to manage your AdWords campaigns instead of going to the adwords website to make your changes. Its biggest advantage over the Web based version adwords page is that it’s a lot faster. That’s a must have software for people who needs to manage large campaigns with a ton of keywords and lots of ads, landing pages, etc.

If you’re an existing Adwords editor user, you will be prompted to with an auto-update (all your campaigns, ad groups, settings, etc will be retained). If you are user of Google AdWords but never used AdWords Editor before, you can download the AdWords Editor 6.5 here (17 Mb).

Major Highlight of The Adwords Editor 6.5 – Keyword Opportunities tool

Keyword Opportunities tool basically helps you generate ideas for search keywords that you can target in your PPC campaign.

 

adwords-editor-keyword-opportunities-tool

 

You can use the simply use expansion feature to generate keyword ideas.You’ll get a list of potentially related keywords with a 0-5 score for search volume and advertiser competition. You can also use the multiplier feature to combine 2-3 sets of lists to create new key phrases.

My Two Cents

I personally use Google Adwords Editor and find it pretty useful. However there so called new feature “Keyword Opportunities” isn’t really something new. It works exactly like the Google Keyword Tool (Web based), and in fact the web based tool is more detailed and should be used for extensive research. The only thing new in keyword opportunities tool is probably the multiplier feature; currently they don’t have it in the web based version. But overall i think its a good software to have, so if you haven’t tried it yet – Download Google Adwords Editor 6.5 now! Remember, its a 100% Free software from Google to manage your Adwords Account. Let me know how you find the software in the comments.


Google Maps Providing High Resolution Images

Google has always tried to bring the world closer to people. For instance because of services like Google Maps, Google Street View, people now get help with any address, street directions and even traffic information.

Thats not all! ….People now even use Google Maps to find the best route that is faster to reach and has moderately less traffic.

ReadWriteWeb today blogged about Google Maps being able to providing very high resolution images using their GeoEye-1 satellite. Wired Writes:

The 4,300-pound satellite collected the image at noon EDT on October 7 while moving from the north pole to the south pole in a 423-mile-high orbit at 17,000 miles per hour, or 4.5 miles per second. The spacecraft can take photos at a resolution of up to 41 centimeters — close enough to zoom in on the home plate of a baseball diamond, according to Mark Brender, GeoEye’s vice president of communications and marketing.

And I must say, I am very surprised to see the image quality that Google maps has produced using this new toy. The pictures are very high resolution and extremely crisp.

Here’s a comparison between the new satellite image and the current resolution (Photo Credit: ReadWriteWeb & Wired):

google-map-high-quality-comparison

Google can now begin providing images for Google Maps and Google Earth which will will boast a resolution of 50 cm.

If you are looking for even higher resolution than what is being provided you will need to get a security clearance because the US Federal Government restricts distribution of higher-resolution imagery.


Google to provide RSS Feed for Search Results

So finally its happening – Google has decided that its going to provide RSS feed of it’s search results! When it happens, the RSS feeds will be an additional feature of Google Alerts, which currently only allow notification by email.

Matt McGee at Search Engine Land has pointed out that Google is the only major search provider that is not offering their search results via RSS.

Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWriteWeb wrote that once this feature is implemented Google web search feeds should include “site:” searches for new mentions of keywords inside particular domains so that they can deliver nice clean direct URLs – which Live.com feed is already doing well.

My Two Cents

I think its an excellent addition to Google Alerts. I personally use it to keep track of my blog – like who is linking to me, where my name gets mentioned etc. But currently I only can receive the alerts via email which sometimes gets really hectic because I have many such ‘alerts’ in place (in both Google + Yahoo) and my inbox often gets jam packed. So if google provides a RSS feed of their results page, it would be very easier to just subscribe to the feed and track it on a daily basis.


Yahoo Web Analytics Beta Launched

Yahoo Web AnalyticsYahoo has just announced that they have launched their Yahoo Web Analytics (Beta) on Limited Basis starting from this week. The tool is currently offered as a limited beta to customers of Yahoo Small Business, select Yahoo advertisers and some third-party application developers.

Last year back in April, Yahoo acquired IndexTools, who was a major provider of analytics software based in Hungary. So basically Yahoo has bought over the business and technology that IndexTools had and repackaged it with Yahoo’s own technology as – Yahoo Web Analytics.

Yahoo! Web Analytics (beta) will provide powerful data and insights reporting that will help webmasters to evaluate their marketing performance and tweak their website designs. They’ll get custom real-time reports and graphs that will help them to slice and dice metrics like sales, page views, and sources of traffic and ultimately identify ways to boost up their visitor’s satisfaction.

And as you might expect, Yahoo Web Analytics also includes full integration with other Yahoo products. For instance, you can easily analyze the effectiveness of Yahoo search marketing campaigns and track how well each of your products within your e-commerce shop are selling. This analytics product can easily be compared to Google Analytics, the free analytics service from Google that has similar integration with its own products such as – Google AdWords.

Some Screen shots of Yahoo Web Analytics: (Credit: Visual Revenue)

Yahoo! Web Analytics – Dashboard

Yahoo Web Analytics Dashboard

A Look at Yahoo Web Analytics Sales Summary Page

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Aweber to Add Twitter

Darren just blogged about Aweber adding Twitter updates for their publishers. So this service will automatically send an update to Publisher’s Twitter account when they send a new broadcast or newsletter. The tweet will then link to an online version of the newsletter (hosted by aweber) so that your twitter followers will get to see what you’re sending out to newsletter subscribers.

aweber

How to Activate Twitter in Aweber

In order to activate this option you will need go to the ‘Syndicate’ section in the admin area of sending out new newsletters. This is cool little feature that will definitely help publishers to extend their audiereach.


Google AdSense for Games Launched

Google Adsense for GamesMid of Last year, Andy Beal reported that Google plans to bring AdWords to video games via “AdSense for Games.”

That plan has turned into a reality as Google today announced the official launch of Google Adsense for Games via Google Adsense Blog.

Google has already partnered with some of the major game developers and publishers including Konami, Playfish, Zynga, Demand Media and Mochi Media. They have also got a hand full of on beta advertisers to test their system such as Esurance, Sprint, and Sony Pictures. Basically this new program – Adsense for Games will allow social games and flash-based web games to integrate video, text and image ads into the games.

Official Google Blog writes:

As a beta user of AdSense for Games, you can display video ads, image ads, or text ads within your online games to earn revenue. You’ll be able to show these ads in placements you define, such as interstitial frames before a game, after a level change, or when a game is over.

Here’s a quick video that will give everyone a good idea of what kind of games are part of the adsense network and how advertisers can use this medium to reach their target audience:

Publisher’s Eligibility for Google Adsense for Games

  • must have a minimum of 500,000 game plays
  • 80% of site’s traffic must be from the U.S. or the U.K
  • Only Web-Based Flash Games are allowed
  • The Publisher must be technically capable of SDK integration
  • The Content of the publisher’s site has to be family safe and targeted at users age 13 and up
  • Must be able to report embed destination and have control over where games are distributed

Apply for AdSense for Games Beta Publisher

To apply for Google Adsense for Games, simply make sure you meet the above requirements and then submit an online application. You can also find more information on Google games Ad site.

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gAttach Gmail Application for Windows

If you are heavy desktop email client user (e.g. Outlook or Thunderbird), you must love the convince of the built email function in many windows applications like Microsoft Word, Windows Explorer, etc to attach files with ease. Sadly this functions doesn’t work for web-based email clients like Gmail. (Which I use as my Primary Email Client). Even though you make Gmail as your default email client inside your browser (e.g. Firefox), your Windows desktop applications still considers your desktop email clients (e.g. Outlook) as the default.

But recently I stumbled upon this cool Windows Application for Gmail called – gAttach which solves this problem!

What is gAttach?

gAttach is a tiny Windows application that lets you email using Gmail with or without attachments from almost any Windows application. Below are a list of gAttach features:

  • gAttach Handles email – mailto links from all browsers and not just Firefox
  • gAttach can send email from any Windows application via Gmail
  • It works like a charm with Google Apps
  • It uses HTTPS for added security
  • gAttach can remember your Gmail username/password for convenience or you can just login yourself anytime
  • Choose to launch Gmail after creating a draft message
  • Availablity of both basic HTML version and Rich Text version
  • Option Load Gmail when you click on an email link
  • You can setup proxy server details inside gAttach
  • Absolutely Free for personal use

Once you have installed gAttach, you can simply use the Send to ‘Mail recipient’ function in your Windows Explorer right-click menu to attach files. Just keep in mind that Gmail current only allows 20MB of attachment.

Let me know if you run into any problem with gAttach via the comments.