Delicious: Preserving a big piece of social web history

Bookmarking interesting content you encounter on your travels around the web is very much a second-nature act these days. See and save it now, read or share it later. It wasn’t always as easy as that until Delicious came on the scene in 2003 in the early days of the modern social web. It offered not only an easy way to bookmark websites and other content and save those bookmarks to your account on the Delicious website, but also organize the bookmarks via user-assigned tags and enable other Delicious users to find your bookmarks. Delicious also made it very easy to share your content via RSS, an automated content sharing system that emerged at about that time. I started using […]

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How to make your blog a secure and trusted place

If you run a self-hosted blog – like WordPress, for instance – now’s the time to enhance your confidence and that of your visitors and community in its security and trust. While this is mostly about data security, it’s also about search engine optimization and search results ranking by Google. I’m talking about enabling https, the secure form of http (hence the ‘s’) that offers important benefits: In its popular deployment on the internet, HTTPS provides authentication of the website and associated web server with which one is communicating, which protects against man-in-the-middle attacks. Additionally, it provides bidirectional encryption of communications between a client and server, which protects against eavesdropping and tampering with or forging the contents of the communication. Authentication of and confidence […]

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Open Live Writer: a successor to Windows Live Writer

Open Live Writer

One of the most useful software programs to come out of Microsoft in the past decade is Windows Live Writer, what I consider to be the best offline blogging editor for Windows. WLW first appeared in 2006, but since the last version was released in 2012, with an update in April 2014, it has languished in the no-longer-supported and -developed bucket. I continue to use it, though, as I have still seen no other blog editor for Windows as good as this. Now, though, there’s great news for anyone who’s as wedded to this editor as I am – WLW has been open sourced and is being maintained by a group of volunteers at Microsoft. And the group has now […]

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Developing peace of mind with WordPress plugins

Whenever a new release of the WordPress content management system comes out, I’m usually on it immediately, updating all my sites running WordPress to that latest version. But not this time. Not yet. Version 4.4 of WordPress was released on December 8, but I’m still on WordPress 4.3.1, the immediately preceding version. The reason? It’s about plugins, the eminently useful add-on software you install that adds additional or improved functionality in many different ways to the core of WordPress itself. The screenshot above shows the problem for me – eight already-installed plugins that have updated versions available but cannot show whether they’re compatible with the new version of WordPress: all I see is ‘Unknown.’ I’d usually go ahead and update […]

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Facebook blogging could be great…

Facebook announced some updates to its Notes tool last week designed to make it appeal more to users of the social network than has been the case so far. Notes lets you write longer-form content exceeding the brevity a status update gives you, and post it to your Facebook timeline to share with your friends. Think of it as ‘blogging lite’ within Facebook – the update brings some new features including adding a cover image to your post, adding images including captions in the post body, and some simple formatting attributes such as headings and bulleted lists. It could be a useful tool, a great way to publish a post to Facebook that might be more appropriate there than, say, publishing […]

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