Posts tagged blog

Odiogo

Transform your blog into podcast using autocasting

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Autocasting is the term used to refer either service or tool that would automatically convert the text on a blog into speech. Most of these tools / service would read the RSS feed and covert them into speech using their inbuilt Tex-to-Speech (TTS) technology.

Why Autocasting?

Autocasting can be used in conjunction with normal blog that would add more liveliness to users. Podcasting would allow readers to listen to your post while they are working in parallel. Thus it would help the author to convey their complete story to their reader rather than readers scanning the post text.

Here is the list of service I have tried in past months and my recommended service. Also you can subscribe to my podcast feeds if you’re interested in listening “TechCorner” via voice.

Recommended service

Odiogo
Odiogo

Odiogo is the latest in the list and is my favorite now. Odiogo embeds listen button into your blog post. The listen now button has a build in MP3 player that would play you the converted audio post. Odiogo monetize they podcasts using sponsored ads, it might be required for them run this service free of cost for blogger. Once you signup for Odiogo you may need to wait for 2-3 days to receive the installation information and the feed url. Installing Ogiogo’s Listen button is simple in WordPress.

Subscribe to TechCorner’s Odiogo feed

Talkr

TalkTalkr service was announced long time back in 2005. It faced a great downfall in entire 2006 and now they are getting better. Talkr is also very similar to Odiogo in the service spectrum. Talkr also lets user to embedded the MP3 with the blog feed and blog site. Talkr also lets the bloggers to monetize their voice feed using sponsored voice ads. Talkr also had statistics page, which gives you information on the audio feed usage. Odiogo lacks the stats part. Talkr also has WordPress plugin to embed Talkr feed into every post.

Subscribe to TechCorner’s Talkr feed

Other services – Try yourself

Also you can try out the below service but I’m not recommending them due to lack of few features / usability reason. The below listed are still in beta stage and hope they have room for their improvement.

BlueGrid

BlueGrid seems to be relatively new service with lot of bug in their interface. They allow you to listen to podcast using play list you can choose them from their list. You can either submit the content to BlueGrid as text or as blog itself. BlueGrid also has instructions to embed the content into your blog.

Check out TechCorner feed here.

Feed2Podcast

Feed2Podcast is simple service that will convert any Feed into postcast. You just need to provide the feed url. Feed2Podcast lacks option to embed the content directly into blog post; rather it provides option to user their player to listen your audio content.

Check out TechCorner in their player, here.

Autocasting Limitation

Text to Speech (TTS) technology is not evolved completely but it is improving. The pronunciations of English standard words have improved a lot. The auto-generated voice might not be the same for foreign names, acronym, emotion used and other non-standard English text.

Have you tried any of these services? Voice your thoughts.

blogging_platform.jpg

Quick overview of available Blogging Platforms

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blogging_platform.jpgBlogging has become a passion to lot of people these days (I can include myself). Technorati says a new blog appears every 2 seconds. And there are lot many novice blogger behind it. They will come across this question before they start a blog “which blogging platform to use?”

The options are wide open and choice is yours!

This article might not answer the question directly. However, I’d try to provide least information about most of blogging platforms that are available today either as a service or download.

WordPress.org
WordPress.org is the best and well-known open source Blogging platform. It is widely used commonly by popular self-hosted blogs around the blogosphere. It runs with minimal setup and it requires just PHP/ MySQL preferably in Apache. It rates high compared with other since it can be highly customized. In addition to this there are huge number of plugin authors and theme authors are there to help reduce bloggers effort. WordPress.org also has nice development community that ensures the WordPress core get better and better.

Blogger
Blogger is a free one-push blog publishing platform. Most of the novice bloggers starts Blogging with Google’s Blogger in first place. The new blogger comes in with Widget support that eradicated the use of HTML for templates. Setting up a blog in Blogger is painless and easiest of anything else. You can customize Blogger to certain extend only since they are not an open source solution. There are few popular blogs that still runs on Blogger.

WordPress.com
WordPress.com is a multi-user version variant of WordPress.org. WordPress.com have their own-hosted solution of newbie bloggers, who doesn’t have a hosting space. WordPress.com comes in with neat option for a newbie. WordPress.com comes with space restrictions; in addition to that you can monetize your blog.

Movable Type
Movable Type is a web blog publishing platform successfully developed by SixApart. It is the one who invented Trackback feature in the first hand that was later devised by other blogging systems as well and now it is more-or-less a standard. Movable Type is written in Perl and supports most of the Database as backend. Movable Type is best suited for business use.

Typepad
Typepad is a blogging service provided by SixApart and it is one of largest paid blogging service available now. Typepad is based on Movable Type and it shares most of its technical functions. Additionally, it also supports multi-user, mobile and photo blogging. Typepad is been successfully used by lot of professional writers.

LiveJournal
LiveJournal is a CMS that allows you to express your self by publishing your private journal, your blog or your forum or any of a social entity. It is the best in town for writing life journals.

Vox
Vox is a personal blogging service. It’s all about ease of use, privacy control, playing well with other web services, and staying connected to the people you care about. Vox is good platform when it comes to multimedia blogging.

Text Pattern
Text Patter is a flexible, elegant, easy-to-use content management system for all kinds of websites. Blogs works fine as well. Text Pattern also has its own list of plugins and templates.

Drupal
Drupal is a modular content management system and the blogging engine was initially indented for bulletin board system. Drupal is good for building online communities and those communities powers their blogging engine. It is written in PHP. It has a wide community support.

Joomla
Joomla is truly a content management system that forked from Mambo, a pretty good open source content management system. Joomla has won the best open source content management system of the year 2006. Joomla has a decent blogging engine and other extension.

Expression Engine
pMachine’s Expression Engine is not well know but it is a powerful and much extensible software that you may need to give a try. It is a complete content management system with much Blogging feature as well. In addition to Blogging module it comes with inbuilt gallery module. It is more suitable for heavy business blogs. Also the cost associated with it is high.

Nucleus
Nucleus is been around for sometime now and it is not much popular yet though. Nucleus is mature blogging software that comes with most of the required blogging features. Nucleus is also programmed in PHP and runs on MySQL backend.

b2evolution
b2evloution was developed from the same original code that spawned WordPress, b2Evolution is written in PHP and licensed under GPL so is always free to use. It comes with lot of features that you may need to check, which includes antispam, skins, multi-blogs, users, authors, integrated stats, its own plugin framework etc. etc.

TeraPad
TeraPad is hosted blogging solution which takes blogger beyond the blogging experience. TeraPad comes in with versatile blogging tools,  image gallery,  PayPal ready shopping cart, event calendar etc.  TeraPad places a its ad over the site which might annoy bloggers a little but may it is need for TeraPad to keep it service Free 🙂

This is not a comprehensive list, I might have left out few of them with or without my knowledge. You can very well indicate them by your comments.

Update (06/17) : Mayank has pointed out two more additional blogging service. I have added an overview of TeraPad; Thanks Mayank.

Blogger to WordPress

Migrating New Blogger to WordPress 2

Import your posts with comments from New Blogger to WordPress 2. New Blogger Import tool is ease and simple to use; no more manual pains.

My love with Blogger is over finally 🙂 I have been planning for move to WordPress for a long time. I have been stopped since I did’t want to carry the pain in my butt with all the manual stuff involved in it previously.

After the announcement of new blogger import feature in WordPress. I thought to give a try and which now made me to take the final move. Now I’m proudly powered by WordPress and themed by Qwil

Blogger to WordPress

The new blogger import plugin is out of beta and is been tested with the current version of WordPress. The final version is available here. From the new release of WordPress this plugin would be present as default.

Features :-

  • Imports all Blogger Posts
  • Imports all the Comments
  • Imports the Post Author and Comment Author information
  • Imports Categories (i.e. Labels) from Blogger

Other Useful Utils:-

1. While you’re testing the blogger import feature you can try out WordPress Suicide plugin; this plugin will help you clear all the posts in WordPress.

2. By itself it does not support to import the images hosted in blogger, but you can use the blogger image import plugin.

The plugin is compatible only with new blogger so i would suggest to migrate everyone to migrate to new blogger. Since the old blogger import utility will not import post comments along with posts.

Here I will provide you the steps required to Import the post from New Blogger to WordPress.

Limitation:-

The import plugin won’t work with the blogs that are using FTP publishing. So before trying this import feature make sure you switch to Blogspot publishing.

Steps:-

  1. Make sure you got the id of Blogger which your tring to import( say bloggerid.blogspot.com).
  2. Make sure your blogger publish full feeds, if not modify the option to publish full feeds. ( In Settings –> Site Feeds –> Blog Posts Feed –> FULL)
  3. Download the latest plugin from here.
  4. Upload the plugin to the WordPress plugin location and activate the plugin.
  5. Make sure your web-server supports url_fopen or should have curl enabled.
  6. In WordPress, goto Manage –> New Blogger Import to access the plugin.
  7. Provide your blogger id which you’re trying to import.
  8. Select the default category and author, where you want the post to be imported.
  9. Also you have option to create the category and author corresponding to the post.
  10. If you’re blog is too large and you’re facing time out error, reduce the import cycles and unpick the import every posts in single fly option.
  11. If you’re using Haloscan comment in blogger, then enable the option and use the plugin in conjunction with this.
  12. If you want to enable permalink structure same as used by blogger turn this on. I would not suggest it.
  13. Click on import, you will be all set and it ask to import the author information.
  14. Save those changes. Now all the post and comments are imported to WordPress
  15. Now it’s time to say good bye to Blogger forever. See the redirection below.

If you have published the Blogger using FTP previously, you got good luck. Since you will be able to do a Permanent direct 301 using .htaccess using the syntax below.

RedirectMatch permanent ^blog/2006/07/old-post-link.html$ http://www.sitename.org/newblog/2006/07/new-post-link/

The posts redirected with 301 redirect will not loose search engine ranking or penalized.

But if you’re using blogspot publishing, you will left with no other option that using <META> tag redirect. You can make the required changes in the template and republish the blog. So that the blogger will redirect all the request to the newly hosted wordpress domain. See below a sample syntax of blogger template should be to enable the blogger redirect.

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<title>My blog title</title>
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="5;
url=http://www.sitename.com/newblog" />
</head>
<body><p>
If your browser supports Refresh, you'll be transported to our <a href="http://www.sitename.com/newblog">New Blog</a> in 5 seconds, otherwise, select the link manually. Thank you </p>
</body>
</html>

Now you will preserve your traffic as well.

Have fun. Say good-bye to Blogger soon 🙂

Happily and Proudly powered by WordPress.

Update (04/26/07) : The above method doesn’t work anymore; since the plugin in broken as there was a change in Blogger’s feed. Better option would be upgrading to WordPress 2.2, which has inbuilt blogger import feature. Good Luck!

Tips to increase blog traffic

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“Write what your readers would like to read”.

— a mantra all bloggers should follow

Hmm.. it’s very very true. If you like to write something don’t write just for your shake make that readers like to read it too!! But how do you know what a reader likes to read? Besides different people have different tastes. What I have to say is that- whatever content you write, pay attention to your writing style.

 

Here are some more tips on increasing your blog traffic by improving your style on writing contents:

  1. Use Attractive Titles

    Using attractive titles is one way of getting readers to visit your blog from Search Engines and Feeds. Also, use keywords in your title that relate to the post. Use attractive title and description while you submit to blog directories.

     

    Use numbers / buzzwords in your title. Using titles like ‘‘10 best pratices’, ‘100 ways to’’, ‘Top 5’, etc can help you to grab readers attention and visit your blog.

  2. Be Unique

    Readers come to your blog to read something different. They will not come just to read what they have read on other blogs. Making your blog stand out from other blogs both in content and design is important if you want to have repeat visitors.

     

  3. Link to the source

    If you post about some interesting news that you just read on your favorite News site, link to it (the source). Chances are there for readers from that news blog will visit your blog from the pingback on the site. Also, it helps make your content look informative.

  4. Write your content using lists

    I’ve seen blogs that make up to the top place will use lists for this contents. Use appropriate list, ordered (numbered) or unordered (bullet) list dependingp upon the content structure. Using lists can make your post both visually appealing and interesting to read. It helps readers who are just scanning your text to see if your posts fits what they are looking for. The content must not bescattered; it should be in well organized and managed manner.

  5. Write Tutorials

    Write handy tutorials that will make your readers walk through a process that teaches them how to achieve a goal. Tutorials have more chance of getting bookmarked in Bookmarking sites or other blogs which will get you plenty of readers and links. Write down unique tutorial which are more specific which will get you top position in the search engine results.

  6. Don’’t change your blogs topic

    Once you choose what you blog about on your blog, don’’t change it. Your readers come to read posts on that topic. Writing posts on a different topic will not look good for your blog. And if done thfrustratedusturate the reader.

  7. Write on Technological stuff

    Write more about latest technological happening. Most of the readers are tech savy. Also chance of hits from search engine is high.

  8. Link to your older posts

    Don’’t expect your readers to have been reading your posts from the time you started your blog. So next time, when you write about things you have written previously, link to them.

Now your blog will start getting as much decent traffic 🙂

I’m not a techie!!!

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hey fellas… i was planning to put up a blog down here for quite a long time!!! I thought it would be nice if i start writing rather than waiting for something to happen. Even if that happens, most of the learning would have become obsolete by that time. I’ll be writing much technically here 🙂 that’s why I named it TechCorner. I would be writing about the issues i faced and how i over came those stuff etc.. and the latest technology updates, reviews, etc.

hmm! still I don’t any have clue whether I’m gonna continue writing. If so how long? anyway let’s see what happens. 🙂

I’m not a techie but I’m gonna write few techie stuff! hope you like and your comments and suggestion are welcomed mostly.

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