Introducing evoSkins

b2evolution 0.8 will come with blog skins (evoSkins).

What are blog skins?

Well basically if you've used any skin-enabled software (like WinAMP) you probably have an idea. ;)

Bloggers using b2evo will be able to select a complete look & feel for their blog by just clicking on the "skin" they like the most.

b2evo will come with a few selected blog skins from cool people who already allowed their design to be included in the release package. B) Hopefully, new skins will be made available in the community so bloggers not knowing or willing to design their own will have a great choice available... :D

The other benefit of evoSkins is that your readers can also choose, from a selection of skins you provide, which one they like the most! :D

(Of course, this is optional... in case you don't like the idea! ;) )

What about my current blog template? :?:

If you already have a b2 blog template and just want to upgrade, you can just reuse it without worrying about skins.

Alternatively, you can turn your existing template into an evoSkin (instructions provided) and take full advantage of the evoSkins skinning system.

What's the difference between evoSkins and a CSS style switcher? :?:

Good question! Why do we need evoSkins when we already have CSS? :)

As a matter of fact, a blog skin can be as simple as a custom CSS design. But evoSkins can also provide more variations than what you can do with CSS. Here are a few examples:

  • Some evoSkins may have popups for comments while others display them inline
  • Some evoSkins may have a very light HTML footprint for use on Palm and mobile devices and others may have a full-featured output
  • Somes evoSkins may use plain standard HTML/XHTML, others XML, others WML, others cHTML, and others even FLASH! (=> BTW, if you are a Flash designer and want to work on accessibility compliant Flash Blogging, please contact me! :) )

I'll put up a demo as soon as I have a minute. I'm a little overloaded by the upcomming week-end right now... :roll:

Unsubscribring from spam *NOT*

Cédric [site gone] posted some interesting thoughts about whether or not to unsubscribe from spam.

Cédric advocates that unsubscribing has become less a trap than it used to be, basically because spammers are better off collecting new masses of addresses than preventing their mailers to automatically unsubsribe people who'll never buy from them anyway. And also, because there are legal risks in spamming twice someone who asked to be removed.

Cédric also says:

Another thing I can see coming in the near future is that these "do not spam" lists will one day be forced to be shared among spammers. In other words, any "do not spam" list you are a member of right now might end up in having your email address removed from others as well.

=> Well actually... this is precisely the point: some day spammers will have to share their "do not spam" lists...

Oh... actually they do it already! It's just that they do not share, they resell... and they donto not call them "do not spam" addresses, they call them "qualified" addresses!

The buyer can spam you without worrying too much... after all you haven't yet asked to be removed from this one!

The problem with spammers is that they are dumb and smart at the same time!

Google & BlogNoise: an advertiser's perspective

Ray Ozzie writes [link gone]:

Scoble says [link gone] Google is getting a lot of pressure from its advertisers to push down weblogs, who might lower their search result rankings. This seems counterintuitive to me. By diluting the commercial effectiveness of the first N search results, don't blogs actually increase the value of Sponsored Links?

=>I guess advertisers don't believe in color boxed sponsored links themselves! :>>

By the way, Robert Scoble [link gone] mentions this about advertisers:

The fact that when you search for "NEC Tablet" and you find me, for instance, might really piss off NEC. Since NEC advertises on Google, [...]

=> It seems to me that Microsoft are the ones playing this one the smartest way again: they send info, demo, invitations, etc. to bloggers in order to try and get positive "independant" press on high-visibility blogs! Evil but smart! :>

Google & BlogNoise: the blogger's responsiblity

We have talked about the annoying BlogNoise problem before. And most bloggers have agreed that Google would probably be smart enough to fix the problem shortly in order to provide a better service to their users.

A great part of the BlogNoise is generated by the fact alone that we - bloggers - have so many unrelated posts/subjects on the same web page. And when we - bloggers - link to each other, we let the indexing robots follow these links and then index a lot of crap at the other end. This is because, most of the time, the permalinks we refer to, just point right into the middle of a monthly archive page with so many different subjects!

I have suggested a technical google-side solution using RSS, but the more I think about it, the more I am getting convinced that it is not Google's job to fix this! It is rather our bloggers' duty to fix this!

We have created crap on the Internet; now we just have to clean up!

The blogger-side solution is actually quite simple: all we need to do is stop using permalinks pointing right into the middle of monthly archives! We need to make the permalinks point to single posts (possibly with comments and trackback). This way, when someone refers to the post, and later the indexing robot follows the link, it will only index a single post. And all the keywords being indexed will actually be related to that post! No more indexing soup mixing hundreds of unrelated keywords from dozens of unrelated posts!

Still, some questions remain:

  • What happens with the old permalinked posts?
  • How do we exclude navigation from indexing? (this is actually a general question about indexing the web)
  • And last but not least: Do bloggers actually want clean indexing? Or rather, do they prefer to continue flattering themselves with all those illegitimate search-result-hits that so easily rocket up their monthly hit counts? And it's even better when you consider unique visitors!

    Let me add that this is very contradictory with another typical blogger trend stating, in the name of interoperability and public's interest, that the only valid markup is the latest XHTML DTD!

PS: I like interop. I like standards. I am doing my best to support them. And I AM working on cleaning up my permalinks. I'll get less google hits... but hits don't matter! What you want from now on is increasing your google-hit satisfaction ratio! You want no more visitors coming to your blog by mistake! :P

Who said we didn't need wireless? (Reloaded)

Who said we didn't need wireless? (Reloaded)

At first this looks plain stupid.

However, one would hope there was actually careful planing in building the new road AND in moving the pylons but that they were just not executed in the right order... and it was probably better for the road contractor de build the road anyways, letting the electric people deal with removing the pylon later and leaving only -- maybe -- a small pothole in the road... And fixing the "pothole" later is only a small job/problem compared to building the whole road later.