Why I Use Skribit
May 27th, 2009 by Babs

<div class=\"pavatar\">Why I Use Skribit</div>

I love to write, even though my ADD tends to make it a painful process. Blogging helps. Sometimes, though, I either don’t have anything to write a full post about (hence the Twitter Updates), or I don’t have the time when the idea hits me and when I do, I’ve forgotten what I wanted to write about.

Over on LiveJournal they have this thing called “Writer’s Block”. There is a constant supply of suggestions for blog fodder, made possible by the LJ community. Unfortunately, since it’s something that automatically appears on your LJ homepage, there’s no feed for me to drag back here. ;P

Skribit is the closest thing I could find that would work with WordPress. I feel a little bit odd that total strangers can come to my site and make suggestions for content. Then again, that’s pretty much how it’s done at LJ. I don’t have to write about every suggestion, either. And I can even “archive” my own, so I won’t forget them!

So yeah. I’m going to keep the Skribit box around for awhile and see what happens. I’ve also added one to Maxwell Pink Tells Stories, so Max can experience the joy of being inundated by plot bunnines. WEG

Because I’m Bored
May 19th, 2009 by Babs

<div class=\"pavatar\">Because I'm Bored</div>

Was checking out a theme today, which led me to the GNU GPL page. I decided to refresh my memory and found this useful nugget:

Does the GPL allow me to require that anyone who receives the software must pay me a fee and/or notify me?

No. In fact, a requirement like that would make the program non-free. If people have to pay when they get a copy of a program, or if they have to notify anyone in particular, then the program is not free. See the definition of free software.

The GPL is a free software license, and therefore it permits people to use and even redistribute the software without being required to pay anyone a fee for doing so.

So, this means I can legally say “no” to any attempts at free promotion by unscrupulous theme authors by removing unrelated business links from their themes, if they are GPL’d.

Pimp My Blog!
May 15th, 2009 by Babs

<div class=\"pavatar\">Pimp My Blog!</div>

This is the first of what will hopefully be many “How To” posts I make. While it’s technically less of a  “How Do You Do…?” and more of a “how I do”, you’ll be able to find this, and all other how tos under that category.

Anyway. Back in August of 2008 (after having much fun working on “Maxwell Pink Tells Stories“) I decided to breathe new life into “AWSCBB”, which had previously been a standalone, page by page, website. Converting it to a blog has been interesting as I figure out how each section will be represented. Thankfully, WordPress and the themes and plugins developed for it have given me many creative ideas.

Since Weblog Tools Collection has been blogging about plugins lately (they even have a contest going on — inspired by moi — to guess how many plugins they are using), I decided to make a list of all the bells and whistles I use on this site so that you, too, may be inspired.

First and foremost, this blog is powered by WordPress (of course) and is hosted by DrakNet. It is currently using the theme, “Hanging“. Then there are the plugins I use:

Active Plugins

Akismet   Akismet
» Automattic (url)
Used by millions, Akismet is quite possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from comment and trackback spam. It keeps your site protected from spam even while you sleep. To get started: 1) Click the “Activate” link to the left of this description, 2) Sign up for an Akismet API key, and 3) Go to your Akismet configuration page, and save your API key.

AntiVirus   AntiVirus
» Sergej Müller (url)
Security solution as a smart, effectively plugin to protect your blog against exploits and spam injections.

AVH Amazon   AVH Amazon
» Peter van der Does (url)
This plugin gives you the abillity to add multiple widgets which will display one or more random item(s) from your Amazon wishlist, baby registry and/or wedding registry. It also has the ability to show items, with their link, in posts and pages by use of shortcode.

Block Bad Queries (BBQ)   Block Bad Queries (BBQ)
» Jeff Starr (url)
Automatically protects WordPress against malicious URL requests.

Blog Metrics   Blog Metrics
» Joost de Valk (url)
Provides blog metrics based on the blog metrics Avinash Kaushik proposed in this post, now with a widget!

Buy Me a Beer   Buy Me a Beer
» Sherief Mursyidi (url)
Allow your blog visitors to buy you a beer by sending you money through PayPal. A special BlogClout plugin

Cookies for Comments   Cookies for Comments
» Donncha O Caoimh (url)
Sets a cookie that must exist for a comment to be allowed through for Wordpress for Wordpress
» Ricardo González (url)
Displays your recently listened links. Based on Pownce for Wordpress by Cavemonkey50.

FeedBurner FeedSmith   FeedBurner FeedSmith
» FeedBurner (url)
Originally authored by Steve Smith, this plugin detects all ways to access your original WordPress feeds and redirects them to your FeedBurner feed so you can track every possible subscriber.

Google Analytics by Yoast   Google Analytics by Yoast
» Team Yoast (url)
This plugin makes it simple to add Google Analytics to your WordPress blog, adding lots of features, eg. error page, search result and automatic clickout and download tracking.

Google XML Sitemaps   Google XML Sitemaps
» Arne Brachhold (url)
This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and to better index your blog.

Login LockDown   Login LockDown
» Michael VanDeMar (url)
Adds some extra security to WordPress by restricting the rate at which failed logins can be re-attempted from a given IP range. Distributed through Bad Neighborhood.

Ozh' Spam Magnet Checker   Ozh' Spam Magnet Checker
» Ozh (url)
Check if particular posts are magnets for spammers.

Ozh' Who Sees Ads   Ozh' Who Sees Ads
» Ozh (url)
Manage your Ads. Decide under when circumstances to display them. Make more money.

Post Avatar   Post Avatar
» Vicky Arulsingam (url)
Attach a picture to posts easily by selecting from a list of uploaded images. Similar to Livejournal Userpics.

Secure and Accessible PHP Contact Form   Secure and Accessible PHP Contact Form
» Mike Cherim and Mike Jolley (url)
This powerful yet easy-to-install contact form features exceptional accessibility and usability while still providing extensive anti-spam and anti-exploit security features. A marriage of communication and peace-of-mind.

Share Buttons by AddToAny   Share Buttons by AddToAny
» AddToAny (url)
Share buttons for your pages including AddToAny’s universal sharing button, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, WhatsApp and many more. [Settings]

Shorten2Ping   Shorten2Ping
» Samuel Aguilera (url)
Sends status updates to everytime you publish a post, using your own domain,,,, and others for shortened permalinks.

Sidebar Login   Sidebar Login
» Mike Jolley (url)
Allows you to easily add an ajax-enhanced login widget to the sidebar on your WordPress site.

Skribit   Skribit
» Calvin Yu (url)
Help cure writer’s block by getting suggestions from your readers with this plugin.

Subscribe To Comments   Subscribe To Comments
» Mark Jaquith (url)
Allows readers to receive notifications of new comments that are posted to an entry. Based on version 1 from Scriptygoddess

Template-Overide   Template-Overide
» Simon Prosser (url)
Use this little plugin to overide your templates css. This is useful when you use the wordpress theme update function.

Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC)   Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC)
» builtBackwards (url)
Theme Authenticity Checker scans all of your theme files for potentially malicious or unwanted code.

Top 10   Top 10
» Ajay D'Souza (url)
Count daily and total visits per post and display the most popular posts based on the number of views

Tweetbacks   Tweetbacks
» Joost de Valk (url)
Show the tweets about your posts and pages as comments on your blog!

Twitter Digest   Twitter Digest
» Tim Beck (url)
Create a daily or weekly post on your blog containing the tweets from your Twitter account.

Where did they go from here   Where did they go from here
» Ajay D'Souza (url)
Show “Readers who viewed this page, also viewed” links on your page. Much like’s product pages. Based on the plugin by Mark Ghosh. Stats Stats
» Automattic (url)
Future upgrades to Stats will only be available in Jetpack.

WordPress Database Backup   WordPress Database Backup
» Austin Matzko (url)
On-demand backup of your WordPress database. Navigate to Tools → Backup to get started.

WordPress File Monitor   WordPress File Monitor
» Matt Walters (url)
Monitor your website for added/changed/deleted files

WP-PluginsUsed   WP-PluginsUsed
» Lester 'GaMerZ' Chan (url)
Display WordPress plugins that you currently have (both active and inactive) onto a post/page.

WP Super Cache   WP Super Cache
» Automattic (url)
Very fast caching plugin for WordPress.

Inactive Plugins

Acunetix Secure WordPress   Acunetix Secure WordPress
» Acunetix (url)
The Acunetix Secure WordPress plugin is the ultimate must-have tool when it comes to WordPress security. The plugin is free and monitors your website for security weaknesses that hackers might exploit and tells you how to easily fix them.

Acunetix WP Security   Acunetix WP Security
» Acunetix (url)
The Acunetix WP Security plugin is the ultimate must-have tool when it comes to WordPress security. The plugin is free and monitors your website for security weaknesses that hackers might exploit and tells you how to easily fix them.

Configurable Tag Cloud   Configurable Tag Cloud
» Keith Solomon (url)
A tag cloud plugin for WordPress to give you more flexibility with the styling of your tag cloud.

Hello Dolly   Hello Dolly
» Matt Mullenweg (url)
This is not just a plugin, it symbolizes the hope and enthusiasm of an entire generation summed up in two words sung most famously by Louis Armstrong: Hello, Dolly. When activated you will randomly see a lyric from Hello, Dolly in the upper right of your admin screen on every page.

URL to Feed   URL to Feed
» Best Blogs Asia (url)
This bit of code adds your URL, added to each feed post. Helps for greater site promotion.

Wordpress Firewall   Wordpress Firewall
» SEO Egghead, Inc. (url)
Blocks suspicious-looking requests to WordPress.

WordPress Importer   WordPress Importer
» wordpressdotorg (url)
Import posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories, tags and more from a WordPress export file.

WP-PageNavi   WP-PageNavi
» Lester 'GaMerZ' Chan (url)
Adds a more advanced paging navigation to your WordPress blog

WP-UserOnline   WP-UserOnline
» Lester 'GaMerZ' Chan (url)
Enable you to display how many users are online on your Wordpress site

WP Greet Box   WP Greet Box
» Thaya Kareeson (url)
Show a different message to your visitor depending on which site they are coming from. For example, you can ask Digg visitors to Digg your post, Google visitors to subscribe to your RSS feed, and more! Best of all, this plugin is compatible with various WordPress cache plugins.

WP Render Blogroll Links   WP Render Blogroll Links
» Tanin Ehrami (url)
Outputs your Blogroll links to a Page or Post. Add [wp-blogroll] to a Page or Post and all your Wordpress links/Blogrolls will be rendered. This extremely simple plug-in enables you to create your own Links page without having to write a custom template.The output can easily be styled with CSS. Each category with its links is encapsulated in a DIV with a classname called “linkcat”. All the links are attributed with the class “brlink”.

WP to Twitter   WP to Twitter
» Joseph Dolson (url)
Posts a Tweet when you update your WordPress blog or post a link, using your URL shortening service. Rich in features for customizing and promoting your Tweets.

I’d love to hear about some of the plugins you use!

Gods I Hate Hypocrits
May 10th, 2009 by Babs

<div class=\"pavatar\">Gods I Hate Hypocrits</div>

About a week ago Weblog Tools Collection posted one of its lists of themes. There was one, Inksplash, that I was considering — until I discovered that, in addition to putting a link to their theme site in the theme’s footer, the author had also included a link to their unrelated, cosmetics business site.

Now, I have no problem promoting the work of a designer whose theme I’m using. It’s like a sign posted outside a house that’s just had some work done to it, promoting the company that did the work.  However I refuse to advertise their irrelevant endeavors for free. So I pointed out this link in the WTC post.

A few days later, the theme’s author puts in an appearance, insisting that the second footer link isn’t to a business site but to her cosmetics tips blog. Yeah. There is a link on that blog’s homepage, nestled within the other “Pages” links (which implies it is part of the blog), that takes you to a page where you can purchase cosmetics. Furthermore, the page shares the same domain as the blog (it isn’t a subdomain). So yeah, it’s a business with a blog front. She also offered to create link-free themes for those who, like me, didn’t like being taken for saps. For a fee, of course. Naturally, I called her on it.

She again replied, cleverly avoiding my allegations and instead discussed my lack of morals. Um, pot, meet kettle. I think a theme author slipping an unrelated site link into their theme, assuming its users will blindly promote that site, lying about the contents of said site, and then trying to divert attention from themselves by playing the morals card has a lot more to answer for than someone who suggested that users remove the second link before using the theme (me).

Needless to say, I won’t be using Inksplash or any other theme she creates — so long as she assumes people are that stupid.

Bitch! Where my money at?

For the IE Users
May 6th, 2009 by Babs

<div class=\"pavatar\">For the IE Users</div>

Just a quick note for those who use Internet Explorer (actually users of any browser other than Firefox may notice this). For some unknown reason the new theme’s sidebar breaks when pages are viewed in IE. I’m going to check both the CSS and the actual pages to see if there are any discrepancies. It looks like it might be something simple, like the width of the content section of the pages is a tad wider, and IE is freaking out over it.

Until I can fix it you might want to avoid the pages. Or you can download a copy of FF. *sheepish grin*

»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa
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