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10

Automatic Youtube Video Posts Plugin – Review

June
5

This is a review of the Automatic Youtube video posts plugin.

Automatic-You-tube-Video-Posts

A useful plugin that you can get for free and install on your wordpress blog to import any and all videos from any channel or user on Youtube.

Easy to use and fast.

What does it do?

This plugin will allow you to automatically import your Youtube videos from your own channel or someone elses videos from a playlist or from a particular user.

It can import all existing videos (up to 1000) or it can make new posts on any category you currently have every time a new video appears or is published to Youtube for the playlists and channels you set.

Why you might want it

This is very useful if you like to cross post from youtube to your wordpress site or you have an entire site dedicated to a particular subject like car mechanics or sports or fashion

Having youtube videos on your blog helps to reduce bounce rate and keeps users on the page for longer so it’s a good idea to publish a video now and then within your content to keeps peoples eyes on your site.

What’s good

This plugin is completely free and is quite mature so any problems that you might see with free plugins have pretty much been discovered already.

It’s very easy to set up and once you have your channels and playlists entered, it’s a hands free experience.

Great for vlogging, you can just upload to Youtube and it’ll create your blog posts automagically.

What’s not so good

There isn’t an option to publish videos based on a keyword search or that are tagged.

How to install

This is an official WordPress repository plugin so it’s as easy as searching in the ‘add new’ section of the plugins page in your dashboard.

Just search for Youtube Video Posts in the search box and it’ll show up on page 1 (usually in position 1)

How to use it

The first thing you want to do after installing and activating it is to choose your channels or playlists that you want to make posts from.

Automatic youtube posts settings - choose your channels

Choose your Youtube channels

Once you have chosen your channels (you can choose more than one) you can choose to automatically publish the posts or you can set it to save them as drafts and choose later if they are to remain on your blog or not.

if you have a lot of videos to import from a particular channel like I did when I decided to publish my video blog here, I found the option quite easy to use and was pleasantly surprised to see that it imported with the date of the video matching the publish date of the post.

importing videos is easy

Import all videos (up to 1000 at a time)

You can also list all your video posts on the video posts page by clicking the link under the plugin settings

all video posts on one page

easily see all posts

Where to get it and how much

This plugin is easily available from the WordPress official repository and it costs nothing at all!

You can download it here [Automatic Youtube Video Posts Plugin] or search via your WordPress dashboard for Youtube Video Posts

Where to get help

This plugin has it’s own documentation page so you can find out how to do just about everything with the plugin here

Automatic YouTube Video Posts Documentation

Conclusion

Overall this is a very useful plugin for vloggers and I can see it being very useful for niche bloggers to automatically publish relevant content videos to their site.

The import function worked flawlessly for my 100+ videos when I decided to cross publish them here and the new videos I upload are imported seamlessly every 6 hours (you can set the time in the settings)

Blog News, Reviews


10

Easy 5K with Jeff Galloway review

June
29

Introduction

I got this app on my iPhone when it was on special offer over a holiday weekend while I was considering taking up running again because it promises to ease you gently up to running 5k with a run/walk/run system.

The Review

The app (iPhone only) allows you to use your own playlist or download a number of tracks for free and Jeff speaks over the music now and again to give you advice and encouragement as well as when to start walking or running.

It has a neat feature where it slows down and speeds up the music depending on which phase of the session you are in. It works well with the downloaded music and if you’re using your own playlists it can analyse the tracks and get their BPM and says it intelligently mixes them together.

You can set your own pace and ratio so for me who was just starting it was easy to set it to 1 minute run / 1 minute walk and as I got into the program for a couple of weeks I was able to go up to 2 minutes running vs 1 minute walking.

easy 5k with Jeff Galloway app screen

You can set it for running indoors and it’ll used timed sessions or you can set it to use the GPS and it’ll use distance.

In the beginning weeks it will use timed for the first couple of sessions in a week and use distance for your ‘long run’.

The display is pretty easy to read and you always know how far you’ve gone and how much time/distance you have left but to be honest, I have found I don’t need to look at it because Jeff always pops in my ear to tell me how much time I have left or when to start walking or running.

Pros

  • Free music downloads that can have their BPM easily changed
  • Can use your own playlists
  • Very easy for newbies who want to be eased in to running
  • Voiceover is good and makes the session easy to follow and maintain
  • Can be set for distance or timed sessions
  • Can share your progress on facebook
  • Uploads your run data after each session so you can see your history

Cons

  • Can only adjust playlists while you’re in a session
  • Cannot stop music unless you’re in a session
  • Can only analyse 50 tracks for BPM

Extras

Apparently, the run / walk / run method actually improves your time because you’re not slowing down at the end of the session due to fatigue and it prevents you from over exerting yourself and getting injured.

You can do the 8 weeks of training normally and once you’re up to 5k you can switch to the ‘improve 5k’ program where things get a little longer and a little harder.

My Opinion

Overall, I like this app a lot because it took me from nothing to running and did it in a way which meant I was able to stick to the program where all the other times I’ve tried to get into running I’ve failed because it was always too hard and I got exhausted after 5 minutes.

The main thing with this app is that you never feel completely wiped out and exhausted after a run. The regular walking sections recharge you and according to Jeff, “you should get back feeling like you could run another mile” and I’ve found that to be true.

It’s a shame about the minor bugs with the playlist and music controls only being available during an active session but I have been assured on their facebook page that this is fixed in the half marathon version and the fixes will roll down to this app soon. When it does it will get another star from me.

I’m using my own playlists of some running tracks and when the app knows the BPMs it can mix the tracks quite well and the way it speeds up and slows down the music is really good and helps a lot with keeping you in pace with what you should be doing.

Conclusion

I would recommend this app for anyone who wants to start running or return to running again. Maybe if you’ve failed before or not been able to stick with a program you’ve tried.

There are a number of ‘couch to 5k’ apps on the iphone but this one stands out as the only one that makes it actually easy to follow the program even for newbies. I am not aware of another app that follows the run / walk /run method so I choose this one over the others.

The method of run/walk/run that Jeff helps you with as well as taking you from couch to 5k over a period of 8 weeks and I can attest that it really does work! I am really pleased that I can go running now and I actually look forward to my 3 times a week sessions.

I never get too tired and I feel really excellent for the rest of the day knowing I’m doing my body good.

Resources

You can get the app from the AppStore here >> Easy 5k with Jeff Galloway

Reviews


33

Drown out the noise and get a quiet nights sleep

September
22

I finally got a good nights sleep!!

Nope, they’re not replacement day-glow nipples! they’re a set of comfortable silicone ear plugs that fit nice and deep in your ear to drown out external noise. I finally had a proper sleep without being woken up by the over sensitive car alarm or the too-fast drivers who scrape their under carriage when they speed over the speed bumps outside my window.

Cheap as chips (and better for your ears)

I got 10 pairs for less than a fiver and because they’re reusable, I think they’ll last a long time! (a lot longer than sticking chips in your ears anyway) :-)

They have a small plastic rod inside which help to insert them in your ear, which you have to do with two hands.. one hand that reaches around the back of your head to pull your lobe and the other inserts the plug. You can remove the rod if you want, I just pulled it out a bit and left it in while I slept.

It’s like being dead

Seriously, I thought I was dead it was so quiet! My missus has to stay up later than me some nights and normally ends up going into another room that’s cold just so she can do some accounts but no more! Once I have these little blighters in my ears, she can watch TV, count coins or talk on the phone and I’m fast asleep just a metre or so away.

I’m so much happier in the morning if I’ve had a good sleep.

Blog News, Reviews


7

WordPress MU 2.8 Beginners Guide Book Review

December
7

PacktPublishing sent me a shiny new publication called WordPress MU 2.8. It’s one of their “beginners guide” series which means it takes you step by step from noob to hero on the subject. I’ve read a few of their other books and they’ve always been a good read and source of new information.

WordPress Mu or WPMu is already familiar to me after creating ComLuv.com to run using it so I was looking forward to receiving this book to see if there were some things I had missed. Oh yeah, I missed a lot!

If you’re looking to build a WordPress based site that also has the option of allowing your own readers to create their own blogs then you need to look at WPMu. Not only is it the same platform that wordpress.com uses for their millions of blogs, it’s also expandable to be a social network in it’s own right. It does this with the buddypress and bbpress plugins. This book shows you how to use them all.

In the beginning

Like all beginner books, the first part deals with the introduction and installation chapters. In other books, this is just a page or two but with PacktPub books, you get the full deal. Step by step with pictures and alternative methods. Even right down to setting up Apache to work with subdomains which is going to save you a lot of trouble hunting around forums for answers.

Expansion

After you learn how to set up your site and modify it’s appearance, you’ll want to know what plugins and features can be added. The middle section of the book takes you through different options like buddypress, bbpress (forums) and other useful additions that will make your site stand out from the rest.

As with other beginners guide books, the author works with a case study site and as you progress through the chapters adding more things, you will be able to follow on with your own local install and compare results. This makes it a lot more interactive to learn and with the pop quizzes and “what just happened” reviews, you’ll really prepare yourself for your project.

More than words..

As well as covering the technical details for installing, maintaining and optimizing your site, the author also goes into the real life way of creating and running a blog/social network hub. Things like monetizing your site or ways to increase traffic are given a whole chapter and will really help the new webmaster get to grips with their site.

thinking Mu?

If you’re just considering looking into WPMu or you run more than one wordpress blog and want to consolidate them all to one site then you should buy yourself this book. It’ll give you enough information so that you can try it out without worrying about having to bring in outside help. You can view the books contents page and read more about it here :

WordPress MU 2.8 Beginners Guide

Reviews


32

BT can go suck eggs

April
25

There’s no video this week because BT who, in their gargantuan corporate way have managed to create a cluster f*** out of my moving house service. And there’s no broadband for another 2 weeks.

“yes Mr. Bailey, we’ll disconnect your old service on the 21st and connect your new service on the 22nd and let you know when you’re connected”

LIARS!

I phoned up on the 22nd hoping to hear the news that the new number and all is ready so I can go ahead and arrange the broadband with o2 but, oh noooo, not so. I got told that the connection got delayed. The disconnection, however, did not get delayed. That went right ahead, so now I have no connection.

BRITISH TELECOM CAN GO SUCK EGGS

Why do I get a well spoken Scottish lass when I arrange a new line but any problems get transferred to an Indian call center?

Reviews


8

Creative genius, where does it come from? I think she knows..

February
14

This is a wonderful talk by Elizabeth Gilbert of “Eat Pray Love” #1 best seller fame. She talks about genius and a different way of looking at it (or, an older way of looking at it). I can’t tell you how nice it was to hear someone else explain something I’ve felt myself. How you get your genius or how an idea/poem/story/invention et al come to you.

For me, it’s code. Or more accurately, algorithms. I’m not a coding genius, far from it! but, I can see a picture of what needs to be done for a particular idea. It’s just a case of finding the right syntax to fit the slots together.

My code comes to me and waits patiently in the corner. Sometimes for days, just poking me gently now and then until I get distracted by something. Then it seeps into my head. From then on, all time stands still and music is made. Sure, I can’t play all the instruments well and my composition may be basic but, a genie comes to play in my head and we always have painful fun learning enough new code so I can get it out of my head before I go crazy.

Watch the video, you’ll know what I’m talking about. All people that create things will understand what she goes on about. olé olé

plus, she sounds really clever, I like her much and I think we should have dinner one day.

Blog News, contests, Reviews


16

The monkeys are off my back (for now)

January
14

I’ve managed to get some major bookends done for some projects I have on the go and I’m really looking forward to being able to code for fun again now that I have stabbed the various work monkeys on my back!

commentluv for bloggerHowever, I can’t get my blogger commentluv sorted until js-kit get their script fully updated. Sometimes it works on js-kit and sometimes it don’t. Sorry to all you google bloggers out there using commentluv but until js-kit have settled into their final script, every change I make is only temporary. Please be patient until they have a final stable comments script and then I can make commentluv work on their system consistently.

***Update***
Apparently there was a minor bug in the blogger Commentluv script that didn’t close the </a> tag in the comment which prevented the comments from synchronizing. That has been fixed.

If you are having issues with commentluv not showing then please visit your js-kit settings page and enable the expand “leave a comment” so your page shows the form instead of the user having to click the link to show it.

commentluv for bloggerAnother company to update their comment system is Typepad. Their new comment system that allows you to track comments is unfortunately, incompatible with the typepad version of Commentluv. This is due to them not loading the comment form until after the rest of the page has loaded which means commentluv can’t see it when it loads.

I’ll have to figure out some way of pausing the script load until after the comment form appears.

Another monkey on my back was an old project that got canned because a company I was being outsourced from didn’t pay their bills! Luckily, the restaurant owner managed to contact me and I was able (after much hassle) to transfer their site to my own server and update the database to work properly.

Mazza Indian Restaurant & Lounge is located in Kettering, Northamptonshire and is a very fine Indian restaurant indeed! The décor is awesome, food is incredible and the service is quick. (not to mention they have a fantastic website) :-)

Click to visit Mazza Indian Restaurant in Kettering

I have updated the Newtown Santa Run 2009 site with some added oomph! and added a new domain name so it is up to date.
The Newtown Santa Run is going for the world record in 2009 and will be taking applications all year from people all over the planet to participate in the world record breaking attempt in Powys, Wales.

Visit the Newtown Santa Run 2009 website today and find out how to become part of history.

Blog News, Code, Making / Made Money, Reviews


32

WordPress for business bloggers book review

December
19

The nice folks at PacktPub sent me a pretty good book called “WordPress For Business Bloggers” by Paul Thewlis. I’ve been reading it for a couple of weeks and it turned out to be an excellent read.

Who is it for?

It makes it clear in the beginning of the book that you should at least be familiar with WordPress as a blogging platform. It doesn’t expect you to know any HTML or PHP skills, just a working knowledge of the WP interface for adding posts and pages, activating plugins and general use.

The book says it is aimed at anyone running or starting a business blog using WordPress. It can be for PR, marketing, profit or driving traffic. Whatever you use it for, if it’s for a business then this book is for you.

My own addition to this is that it will be perfect for someone who runs their own personal blog and is used to people asking them blogging questions. Why? because with this book, you could move from doing minor updates to personal blogs to heading up a business blog for your workplace or local businesses. You will see why below…

The Plan

One of the things that really impressed me with this book was how Paul gives good examples of specifics, what makes a great blog is the first question covered in the book. It doesn’t try to explain from the beginning what a blog is which would take a whole book but instead, it gives an example of different blogs that are aimed at;

  • Increasing sales
  • Adding value
  • A dialog with your customers
  • Raising awareness
  • Showing expertise
  • Customer Service
  • Public relations
  • Driving Traffic

The first chapter will give you an excellent summary of what you will learn from reading the rest of the book including, monetization, promotion and statistics.

The Case Study

This is where the real value of the book comes into play. So many “how to blog” books and blogs don’t go into specifics. They go on about how you should do this and that but not exactly how to go about doing this and that!.

The WordPress for business bloggers book has it’s own case study site to take you from planning (including strategic goals, tactical goals and implementation) all the way through from Chapter 3 – Designing your blog, how to install to your local machine so you can develop a blog before it goes live to blog design principles, layout, typography, colors.

Images, video and content are all covered in chapters 4 and 5. I was really impressed by the content of these chapters, every sub heading had a gold mine of information associated with it and was able to cover a large amount of the whole blogging for business idea without getting too wordy or cluttered with random information. It’s quite clear that Paul knows an awful lot about blogging and WordPress!

Through each chapter you get to work on the case study and see it grow as you complete each chapter and learn how each new bit of information gets applied to a real blog.

Why would you buy it?

Far from being just for business bloggers, I think this book would be an excellent resource for anyone wanting to know a bit more about blogging. All the information and guidelines would be applicable to any new blog.

You could even use this book as a self study course, work through each chapter and follow the case study and by the end, you will not only know how to make a full site but, you will know why you put headings here, how you should respond to comments, what to do with SEO and how to apply it and much more.

The case study site is quite simple and will give you a good ‘heads up’ on how to add and remove items from an existing theme so you could adapt a regular theme to word specifically for your business.
The code is available to download from the packtpub website.

If you’re working for your company and they don’t have a blog, just the information in Chapter 1 and 2 about mapping out a strategic plan and how to implement solutions would arm you with enough ‘know-how’ to talk your boss into getting your company into blogging. And wouldn’t it be nice if you knew just how to start? :-)

Click here for WordPress For Business Bloggers

Get ANY book from PacktPub for FREE

Being the nice folks that they are, Packtpub has offered up 2 books from their vast collection as ebook downloads. My first packtpub book was an ebook and from it, I learned all that I needed to know about wordpress design so I really recommend that you enter this contest!

Requirements

  1. Visit the PacktPub website and browse their collection and leave a comment here with what book you would like to win.
    (link to the books page at packtpub if you like)
  2. Write about this contest on your own blog and link to this post.
    (it doesn’t have to be a whole post, it can be included as part of a new post but mention “wordpress for business bloggers” or “packtpub” in the paragraph and link directly to this post)

Details
Contest will run until Jan 16th 2009.
Winners will be chosen by a magic script at Random.org
Please use an email address that you can be contacted on when you comment, this email address will be used to receive the ebook

Blog News, Reviews


40

A great book for wordpress theme design

November
15


WordPress Theme Design – Tessa Blakeley Silver
PacktPublishing
Price 35.99 USD (ebook $27.19)

I bought a book recently after seeing it mentioned in the WP dashboard news items, it’s called WordPress Theme Design by Tessa Blakeley Silver and although a lot of the information regarding the functions of wordpress can be found at the codex, the book gives you so much more like the process gone through to design a theme from scratch.

I do quite a lot of sites in wordpress now and find it much easier to provide a client with a website that can be updated so easily, a few plugins here and there and you can provide a website that does all and more that’s needed.

Usually I get a standard theme and cut it up a bit and change the css to give me my site, or create in photoshop and send off for wordpressing but lately due to some more custom design requests I’ve received and the always dependable mistakes that freelancers can make I have wanted to do the whole thing myself from scratch..

I’ve downloaded a tutorial before about WP theme design from small potato before it was taken over and that was pretty darn useful but was made a little while ago so it wasn’t 2.5 specific.

That’s why I like what Tessa has put her book, it takes you step by step through the process of creating a non-blog wordpress blog, from sketch to WP core code. It’s made a big difference to my initial prototyping of concept sites and has really opened my eyes to what you can do with a bit of manipulation of the wordpress template tags. I’m even working on a magazine style front page for here so I can have a featured post for contests that stays up while it’s open for entries as well as excerpts to the regular posts..

You can buy the book printed or get it as pdf for a bit cheaper (I printed mine out from pdf on someone elses printer lol!) at packet publishing

Packtpublishing is sending me a new book about WordPress For Business Bloggers , they’re offering a deal if you get both books together. Stay tuned for the review of the new book!

Audio, books, Reviews, VWD elottery, Wordpress


22

Google Chrome. Fast or just new car smell?

September
5

So I was checking out my performancing advert on Randa Clays’ post about Trying out Google Chrome and I thought I’d give it a go myself.

ummm, could it be any faster? I thought it was obviously taking the piss somewhere. How come my site can load this fast? For the past few months I have been getting quite frustrated with how my sites perform when I load them in Firefox, even so far as to break out IE and use that when I have a lot of posts to write!! :-o

That got me thinking read more… »

Blog Tools, Reviews