Articles Posted in Blogging

Blogging about Blogging

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My latest post on Justia’s Legal Marketing & Technology Blog just went live and it is all about Structured Data and the Semantic Web.  I talk and write quite a bit about the Semantic Web and decided it was high time I write a primer on just what it is and why it is important.  Be sure to check it out over on Justia’s blog.

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Many people have long lamented that unlike Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and many other services, Google+ does not let you use an API to post.  There is an API for posting to Google+ Pages, but Google is restricting this feature to approved services.  Apparently WordPress.com is one of those services, and in the latest 2.7 version of the Jetpack plugin for self-hosted WordPress blogs released yesterday, they are extending that service to your own self hosted WordPress blog.

It is interesting to note that the blog post on Jetpack’s blog indicates that this feature works both for Pages and individual profiles as well, which the Google+ Platform API documentation specifically says you cannot do.

This helps save time and energy when posting blog posts, and also helps if you schedule your blog posts for later.  With this feature you can now schedule your blog posts to post at a specified time and rest easy knowing that it will be shared to Google+ at the same time.  This is also a great feature for multi-author blogs.  You can add multiple Google+ Profiles and Pages to the feature and have your posts post both to your individual profile as an author and to a shared page for the blog as a whole.

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After my blog was hacked a few months ago, I’ve been understandably more security conscious on my blog.  One of the things I’ve done is install a few security plugins (most notably Wordfence Security).  Wordfence is an absolutely fantastic security plugin, it monitors the files in your site to make sure that they don’t change unexpectedly, and more importantly it monitors login attempts (and other page requests on your site) for potentially harmful login attempts.

Over the past few weeks a global brute force attack has been targeting wordpress installations.  I first found out about it because Wordfence started notifying me that there were more failed login attempts than usual.

Protect yourself and your blog with the following crucial steps:

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If you attempted to visit my blog on Friday using either Firefox or Chrome, you most likely received a warning that the site was compromised and dangerous.  While I’m still not sure how they got through, I can tell you that my blog was compromised.  Code was injected into the site in every place where javascript was being output that attempted to install malware on the computers of people who visited nick.pro.

No it was not because I was lazy and didn’t keep my blog up to date because I did.  The blog was already running the most up to date version of wordpress available.  The compromise most likely came through a vulnerability in one of the plugins or in the theme I was using.

My first inclination would be to pretend that such an embarrassing lapse of security never happened, but I thought that perhaps the tale of how I’ve brought things back up might help others who find their websites hacked as well.

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Since the very beginning, when met with an Atom or RSS feed, Google Chrome responds by rendering the XML as unformatted xml (unless your feed happens to have an XSL stylesheet like feedburner adds).  One of the earliest bugs reported to Google is that this should not be, that it would instead be more friendly to invite the user to subscribe to the feed in a feed reader (like Firefox does) or render the feed yourself (like Safari does).

In the recently released stable Chrome 19, one of the new features is that instead of displaying the XML as unformatted xml, it fires off a view web intent instead.  This may be a good first step towards making feeds friendlier to use.  Instead of seeing a page the average reader doesn’t understand, they could be shown their own apps that they’ve installed. Continue reading →

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I’ve been fighting with the PubSubHubbub protocol over the last few days.  I apologize for the test posts which have been causing annoyances to what few readers I actually have.  For those of you who have no idea what PubSubHubbub is, it is a method of allowing people to get updates about new blog posts in real time (or near real time).

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Even though my blog is self hosted, I like many wordpress users use wordpress.com stats from the Jetpack plugin.

This year, the great people at WordPress.com decided to create some really great looking Annual Reports for blogs using wordpress.com stats.

In 2011 I wrote only 12 posts, which is really pathetic, but nowhere near as bad as 2010 where I posted a whopping 3 posts. I resolve in 2012 to write more often.

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Over a year ago, I migrated nick.pro from WordPress over to Drupal.  I did this so that I could experiment with Drupal more, thinking I could make a more robust site if I did so.  Unfortunately, while Drupal is a fantastic, flexible platform for web development, it is simply not efficient as a blogging tool.

Drupal was so cumbersome to use as a blogging tool that I ended up stopping blogging altogether.  So for the first time in years of migrating this blog around and around, I’m reverting it back to a previous home on wordpress.

In the last year wordpress has come a long way, with lots of great new features that makes blogging even simpler then it was before.

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I revisit my blog after a busy May, 2011 including going to Google I/O 2011 and what do I see as the last post on my blog, a short stinger post about Google I/O 2010. This simply won’t do.

I’ve written other blog posts in the last year, they just haven’t been on my own blog. I’ve written a number of blog posts in the last year on Justia’s Law, Technology and Legal Marketing Blog. I’m well past due however writing blog posts for myself. I will make an effort to pick back up on this as it’s something I’ve always enjoyed.

I’ll begin with some general updates. Two blog posts ago (March, 2010) I was blogging about making a difficult decision regarding looking into adopting a child. While we did look into pursuing that angle, sadly the mother of the child in question changed her mind and decided to keep the child herself. We haven’t given up hope of having a child someday (hopefully not too far in the distant future) but sadly God has other plans for us right now it seems.

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I have successfully migrated the nick.pro site from the WordPress blog that it has been for ages, into Drupal. This is perhaps the most unusual migration of this blog (and I’ve moved this blog several times now), in that I don’t actually consider Drupal to be a better blogging software then WordPress, in fact, I find WordPress to be the absolute best blogging software available today. However I’ve long wanted nick.pro to be something more then just a blog, I’ve wanted it to be a whole site showcasing what I’m up to online and off, and Drupal is a far better CMS platform for a more robust site then just a blog.

While Drupal works fine as a blog, where it really shines is in it’s flexibility. There are Third Party Modules available to do almost anything you can imagine, and for those things you can’t imagine, it’s a robust php framework for coding my own modules to do even more incredible things.

For the moment, all I’ve accomplished is migrating my old blog content, making sure all of the URLs redirect correctly, and adding an activity stream to show my recent activity on various online sites (twitter, digg, youtube, and flickr to start, more to come).

This is far from the first time I have migrated my blog. Stay tuned after the break for a brief glimpse of how this site has progressed from “Cap’s Log” on Movable Type 2, to Nick.pro running on Drupal today.
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