Personalize your free blog, website URL

If you’re using a free web or blog service like MySpace or Friendster, you’d have a long domain name like username. blogs. friendster.com /your blog name or www. MySpace.com/your username and some number.

This is fine when you’re just interacting in the Web, when all users have to do is click on a link to get to your blog. But when someone asks you for your blog address, can you just say it to him or her or do you have to write it down? Chances are, you’d need to write it down because of the length of the URL.

You can shorten your free blog or website URL by using redirection services. I’ve tried several redirection services in the past, when I was still using free website hosting. The problem with these services was that they’d put pop-up or pop-under ads or even a landing page. Enter URLdoctor.

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Anti-spam plugin Akismet updated

Akismet, the anti-spam plugin created by WordPress founding developer Matthew Mullenweg, has been updated to version 1.15. The new version now tells you, via a tooltip, on which blog article or page a suspected spam comment or trackback has been posted.

When your mouse cursor hovers over the View Post link in the Akismet moderation panel, a tool tip will appear with the title of the post.

Ive been waiting for the download link to be updated until early this morning. Hours after the blog article announcing the 1.15 update was posted, the download link still pointed to version 1.14.

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WordPress.com opens signups to everyone

Anyone can now sign up for a free WordPress.com hosted blog. Previously, you either had to have an invitation or download and use the Flock browser.

WordPress founding developer Matt Mullenweg said they opened the invitations because “the service has been scaling very well.”

If you’re still looking for a free hosted service for your blog, WordPress.com would be a good choice. It may not offer much design customization yet but it makes up for this with its great blog administration capabilities and interface.

Because it’s there and it’s so darned pretty

I signed up for a WordPress.com blog the other day. Why open another blog? Three reasons: 1. Because its there and I always try to test web services or software as part of my work. I also needed the API key for Akismet, an anti-spam plugin I just installed; 2. Ive long wanted a WordPress.com account and in fact checked daily for my Golden Ticket to this service for more than a month; and 3. I want to separate my very personal stuff from my main blog. In short, Ill be blogging for my family and friends there. After using it for more than a day, I can say that the WordPress.com interface (using WordPress MU) is the best one around. Most of the features will be included in the coming WordPress release.

Still with Friendster, Multiply or Blogger? Get an i.ph blog

I’ve been offering to help officemates who wanted to start their own personal websites. A couple are already blogging using either Friendster or Multiply. While Friendster is backed by an excellent blogging platform – TypePad from MoveableType – the address it offers its users is so long you can’t recite it in one breath.

Superbalita reporter Joseph Tubilan was the first to approach me for help. I helped him open an account with Blogsome but he wanted more customization with the WordPress theme and I couldn’t find a way to FTP theme files to his Blogsome account.

I told him to open a PHP/MySQL account with www.100webspace.com. He opened one and I installed WordPress for him. 100Webspace, however, displays its banner ads on top of your pages and it sometimes gets in the way of the blog design.

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