Get RSS Subscriber Count in Plain text

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Text subscriber count. When I reviewed the new Freelance Switch design, one thing I noted was how they display their subscriber count as plain text, not using the little FeedBurner chicklet.

This trick isn’t one that you usually see around the blogosphere, so I did a little investigating. The effect can be achieved using FeedBurner’s Awareness API.

Unfortunately, I’m yet to find a guide as to how exactly…

However, there is good news for WordPress users. Francesco Mapelli has put together a very easy to use plugin that does all the heavy lifting for you. Install the plugin like any other plugin, then fill in a few options, and you’ll end up with markup like this in your HTML:

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A Time For Action

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Nature Photo by Tonyelieh Today is Monday 15th October 2007, Blog Action Day. If you don’t know what that means right now, you will by the end of the day. Blog Action Day is one day a year when bloggers around the globe unite for a common goal.

This year, bloggers are dedicated to helping the environment. I’m not going to make a speech about our planet, what our shortcomings are doing to us, or what they will do to us. There are better, wiser bloggers who will do that much better than I.

I’m going to ask a single question; when it comes to our planet, have you done more harm than good, or more good than harm?

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Design Review: Blogging Bits

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Blogging BitsBlogging Bits is the blogging advice site run by Mohsin. What sets Blogging Bits apart from the hundreds of other meta blogs is the style he writes in.

You won’t find another site quite like it. If it suits your tastes, you may find his advice more interesting to read than some of the more dry alternatives.

The blog was redesigned not long ago, and his comments here have certainly earned him a review, so here goes.

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Why Post Images Should be on the Left

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lefty.jpgDepending on your blog’s topic, post images can encourage reading. But where do we place those images? On the left or the right?

A common response to this is to place the content on the left, because Westerners read from left to right. That is true, and it does play a role in the decision, but not always in the way you would expect.

The Left Logic

Images work because they draw attention. The visual interest draw the user’s eye towards the picture, and hence the post. However, once the eye has been drawn, where does it go from there?

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13 Tags to Delete From your Theme

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Snip the superflous. Free themes are designed to be as easy to install as possible. You simply upload your theme, activate it, and you’re done. It knows your blog’s name, description, feed URL and everything else.

In order to know all of this, the theme uses PHP tags to get the information. However, it has to use these tags every time a page is loaded.

As most of the information never changes, you can delete these tags from your theme, and replace them with normal text. That way, your server has less to process next time around.

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Design Review: Freelance Switch

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freelanceswitch.com design Freelance Switch is the blog that everyone wants to have. In just 6 months, Collis and his team have taken it from 0 to 15,000 subscribers. It began by giving advice to freelancers, but has quickly developed into a job board, a forum, a book, and more. It has become a one-stop shop for freelancers.

And what’s more? It has a stunning design! So naturally when it was redesigned this week, the candidate for the weekly blog review was obvious (Though it has added to that Year of the Redesign feeling!).

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5 Tips to Get the Best From Your Designer

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Communicate via phone. If you’re after the perfect theme for your blog, odds are that you’ll be hiring a custom theme designer. Unfortunately, footing the bill isn’t enough to get you that perfect dream. You need to be able to work well with the designer, or it’s all going to waste.

Getting the right information and goals to the designer is key to success. If the two of you aren’t on the same wavelength though, problems will arise. Fast. Who wants to fork out a good few hundred dollars and not get exactly what they needed in return?

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