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Programming for Halloween 2008

To get into the 2008 Halloween programming spirit, I would like to share an email my co-worker, Russell, sent me this morning. Here is what was in the email:

One of my friends down in LA likes to put on a “light show” every Halloween… of course light and sound synchronized. He’s a bit of an Oingo Boingo fan (so sound’s required, sorry).

Sound is played quietly for pedestrians (until 9pm), and he broadcasts the music on 99.1 … not sure the FCC likes that, but… oh well.

And yeah… as a day job, he’s a Disney Imagineer — and one of the loony folks that went to Japan with us a few years back (yes, primarily just to ride roller coasters).

I wish I had the technical expertise to do something this grand at my house. Oh well, at least there is Halloween 2009. Lots of time for me to study up until then. Happy programming!

Ways to Increase Visitor Activity on Your Blog

The goal of this post is to help you increase visitor activity on your blog.  First let me define the term “activity” as anything your visitor does to interact with your blog.  An activity can be a variety of things, but the ones I want to focus on (which are also the most important ones) are: clicking on advertisements, donating to your cause, subscribing to your blog, sharing/voting for your blog posts, commenting, and navigating deeper into your blog.  To increase these activities, I to use the following 3 guidelines:

  1. Make it easy (and obvious) to interact.
  2. Ask them to interact.
  3. Do not nag.

So without further ado, here are some strategies on increasing visitor activity on your blog.

Read on…

3 Web Design Mistakes That You May Need to Fix NOW

In this post I will discuss some of the web design mistakes that I have done on this blog, and what I did to fix them.

A few months ago, I was fortunate enough to get free advice from a friend of mine, Emily Luong, who happens to be a professional graphics designer.  Aside from being a graphics design geek, she’s put in good work on nice sites like Edelbio Skin Care Blog so I do not take her advice lightly.  I asked her to review my blog and what do you know?  It needs improving!

Read on…

Released WP Greet Box version 3.0

I’ve been quiet for the past week for many reasons, but the most important reason is that I’ve been working on WP Greet Box version 3.0.  It turned out that there we so many positive responses (and feature requests) on the WP Greet Box plugin that all I could do is work on it whenever I get the chance (at coffee shops, during lunch breaks, before sleeping, etc).  It sounds tiring, but it was all worth it!

What happened to version 2.0?

I silently released version 2.0 after adding the ability to add your own custom greeting messages per referrer URL.

What’s new in this release?

This release has cookies support so now we do not keep showing the same message to returning visitors.  I also added a configurable default message to show when no referrer match is found.

Where do I download, file bugs, make feature requests, comments, and suggestions?

Please visit the original plugin post.

Weekend Links #3

Weekend Links for the week ending on 07-25-08

  • Enhanced Sidebars with Dynamic Content: Visitors tend to ignore the sidebar because most of sidebar content do not change. I’ve been experimenting with this myself and I was planning to write a similar post but Vandelay Design says it better (for now at least).
  • WordPress Tips + Things You Can Do After Installing WordPress: It is more like “Things You *Should* Do After Installing WordPress” both for security purposes and usability.
  • How to write a solid and stable WordPress plugin: Mark Jaquith tells us [WordPress plugin developers] how to develop solid and stable WordPress plugins.
  • The Deceptively Simple Steps to Persuasive Writing That Works: This technique requires no actual writing ability, but it does work! It’s so simple I can’t believe I never did it until recently.
  • Read on…

WP Greet Box WordPress Plugin

Today I would like to announce the release of ‘WP Greet Box’ WordPress Plugin, a plugin that can help you increase your blog exposure and build loyal readership.

Description

Smashing Magazine with WP Greet Box This plugin lets you show a different greeting message to your new visitors depending on their referrer url. For example, when a Digg user clicks through from Digg, they will see a message reminding them to digg your post if they like it. Another example, when a visitor clicks through from Twitter, they will see a message suggesting them to twit the post and follow you on Twitter. You can also set a default greeting message for new visitors (not matching any referrer URLs) suggesting them to subscribe to your RSS feed. Professional bloggers know that having these targeted suggestions on their blog increases their blog exposure and loyal readership. Best of all, this plugin is compatible with various WordPress cache plugins so you do not have to sacrifice speed.  Even Smashing Magazine is using this plugin.  Take it from the pros and download it! Read on…

Weekend Links #2

Weekend Links for the week ending on 07-18-08

Upgraded to WordPress 2.6

WordPress 2.6 was officially released yesterday so I upgraded this blog immediately. Here are some things you need to know about WordPress 2.6:

  1. New features in WordPress 2.6
  2. Plugin authors should read over PlanetOzh’s quick tutorial on how to make your WordPress plugins WordPress 2.6 compliant and upgrade their plugins. This shouldn’t take too long at all. I have already updated and released NowThen Photo Display and AJAX Force Comment Preview. As always, please notify me of any bugs that you run into via the comment form on these plugin pages.
  3. Read on…

Weekend Links #1

Weekend Links for the week ending on 07-11-08

  • WordPress Template Tags Reference Guide: This is the best consolidated WordPress functions reference guide I’ve ever seen. Not only does it have a slick interface, the page shows available functions, its parameters descriptions, and example usage. This is a golden bookmark for anybody who works on WordPress, WordPress Themes, or WordPress plugins.
  • How to Stop Being Invisible: Writing is a difficult task for most, but getting readers for your articles is even more difficult. This post gives insight on why readers read blogs and gives advice on how to make your content more noticeable.
  • 7 Ways To Stay Informed And Up-To-Date Online: Do you ever run out of things to talk about on your blog? I’ve found that I get a lot of blogging inspirations from staying informed. These are a list of tools that you can use to help you stay informed of the latest happenings in your niche.
  • PHP Speedy Turns WordPress Into Speed Demon: Looking for another way to uberize (read as optimize) your WordPress blog? This post talks about the benefits of PHP Speedy and also links you to other how-to-optimize-WordPress posts.
  • Read on…

To Follow or Not To Follow, That is the Question

If you are a regular visitor or commenter of this site, you wouldn’t have to worry about this post at all. I hope it didn’t have to come to this, but alas the day has come to post the all-mighty comment policy.
OMNINOGGIN is a do-follow comment blog. That being said, the do-follow is meant to reward only those people who contribute to the conversation. As this blog grows I’ve been getting a lot more comments that do not contribute to the conversation. Here are some examples of do-follow abuses I’ve seen on this blog:

  1. I’ve seen comments from are people that go around to every WordPress plugin author’s page and comments something along the lines of:

    hi. great idea. Thank you for plugin, perfect…

    The person does not use these plugins and does not even know what they do. Other times, I get these comments on posts I’ve written as a review for a plugin that I did not develop myself.

  2. Read on…