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WordPress.com Now Lets (Some) Bloggers Monetize Their Sites with Ads

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Automattic’s WordPress.com just announced that some of its users will now be able to run display ads on their sites. WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms around today. Including the hosted WordPress.com site and its self-hosted cousin WordPress, more than 50,000 new blogs running this software come online every day. Until now, however, users of the hosted service didn’t really have an option to monetize their ads. Now, thanks to a partnership with online advertising company Federated Media, WordPress.com bloggers will be able to run ads on their sites.

It’s worth noting that this just applies to a very specific subset of sites for now, though. Bloggers will have to apply to be part of this program and own a custom domain for their blogs. WordPress will select sites based on “level of traffic and engagement, type of content, and language used on a blog.” What exactly the benchmarks for inclusion are, however, isn’t clear. Federated Media generally only works with larger sites written in English, but is clearly making some exceptions for WordPress.com.

WordPress.com’s announcement doesn’t mention any financial details, besides rightly noting that bloggers “deserve better than [Google’s] AdSense.”

WordPress.com still explicitly prohibits the use of other advertising services on its site, though, including Adsense, Yahoo, Chitika, TextLinkAds, as well as sponsored posts through PayPerPost, ReviewMe, and Smorty.



4:32 pm



Jetpack: WordPress Wants to Bring the Best of WordPress.com to Self-Hosted Blogs

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WordPress professionals want to bring the worlds of WordPress.com and WordPress.org closer together. Automattic’s WordPress.com, the popular blog hosting service, is also the company behind the open-source WordPress software for hosting blogs on your own server. While most of the features Automattic introduces to WordPress.com eventually make it to the self-hosted version, some rely on being hosted on the WordPress.com servers and are never released as plugins and don’t make it into the WordPress.org distribution.

Today, however, Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg announced Jetpack, a new plugin for self-hosted WordPress blog that brings features like WordPress stats, Twitter widgets, support for shortcodes and \LaTeX, Automattic’s own Sharedaddy sharing buttons and wp.me shortlinks to self-hosted blogs with just one click.

Currently, all of Jetpack’s plugins are available for free, though Automattic notes that some future features “may require payment.”

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WordPress has partnered with a number of popular hosting companies, including Bluehost, DreamHost, Go Daddy, HostGator, Media Temple and Network Solutions, to bring Jetpack to their one-click WordPress installs.

As of now, the choice of services included in Jetpack is not that exciting. Virtually all serious bloggers already use a third-party stats package and sharing buttons, for example. None of the current features really seem that exciting and worth installing Jetpack for if you already have a blog up and running. To get started, though, Jetpack looks like a great way to get access to these features quickly.



11:13 am


WPtouch Now Also Makes Your WordPress Blogs Look Great on the iPad

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If you run a WordPress site, chances are you are using some kind of plugin to reformat your design for mobile devices. One of the most popular plugins for doing so is WPtouch from BraveNewCode. The tool is available in a somewhat limited free version and a paid pro version ($39). Until now, though, WPtouch only supported mobile phones like the iPhone and Android devices, but starting today, it will also support iPads.

The new iPad theme gives users access to all the typical WordPress features (comments, search, menus, pages etc.) and allows more advanced users to easily customize their themes. The new version also allows the iPad users among your readers to create a web app that they can save on their home screens and use to launch your site in full-screen mode without the browser chrome.

Missing in the iPad design, though, is support for mobile ads. As BraveNewCode’s “design guru” Dale Mugford notes, “both AdSense and AdMob currently don’t work on the iPad,” but the company plans add support for custom ads in a forthcoming update.

As we noted earlier today, tablet sales are going to increase rapidly over the next few years, so getting your site ready for this is imperative.



11:14 am


What Should the Next Generation of Tech Blogs Look (and Feel) Like?

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As I’m thinking about the sale of TechCrunch to AOL and Jason Calacanis’s ideas for how to take tech reporting to the next level (in the form of an email newsletter), I can’t help but think about what the next generation of tech blogs will look like. Since the early days of tech blogging, the field has become more professionalized and the major blogs now have plenty of full- and half-time staffers who ensure that no nuance of the tech world goes uncovered. While Twitter and Facebook have changed the way these publications find readers for their stories (in the early days, RSS feeds used to be a huge source of traffic), the blogs themselves all still look pretty much the same (one exception – at least with regards to their homepage – is the rapidly expanding The Next Web).  (more…)



6:26 pm