A new offering from Google Apps: Google Sites

Google Sites

The following announcement landed in my in-box today:

Today, we’re excited to announce the introduction of Google Sites as part of Google Apps.

Google Sites makes creating a team web site as easy as editing a document. You can quickly gather a variety of information in one place — including videos, calendars, presentations, attachments, and gadgets — and easily share it for viewing or editing with a small group, your entire organization, or the world.

* Anyone can do it — Building a site is as simple as editing a document, and you don’t need anyone’s help to get started.
* Share from one place — Create a single place to bring together all the information your team needs to share, including docs, videos, photos, calendars and attachments.
* Work together — Invite co-workers, classmates, or your entire organization to edit your site with you to keep it fresh and up-to-date. And let as many or few people view your site as you want.

There are a few pre-made examples:

Take a look at some example sites to see how you might use Google Sites:
* Company intranet
* Team project
* Employee profile
* Classroom
* Student club

So far I’m rather apathetic towards it, but only because I can do everything it offers by hand. If I couldn’t, I’d be all ooh ahh.

I heavily promote the WP and Google Apps combo to my clients, so I’ll very interested to see how this project takes on Microsoft’s Sharepoint.

My WordPress feed is being scraped.

Oh yay…yippee…It seems that lately most everything that I post — especially posts about WordPress — are being auto-scraped and ending up displayed in “feed-reader” websites that are just the next generation of splogs. So what am I doing about it to protect my WordPress blog? Simple. I’m adding more links to my past posts.

The sites claim that they aren’t doing anything wrong, and I do have to give their arguments credit, so here is the catch: if they remove the links, then they are modifying my content and aren’t “just another feedreader”, so I can report them, if they leave them in, I can get a little more traffic and “google juice” — although the later is falling in importance and relevancy —, or if they notice this post and remove my site from their list, I get what I really want. It is basically a win-tie-win scenario here.

I apologize if they are irritating to normal readers, but they are always pseudo-relevant links, so I’m not spamming you guys in response to being spammed.

P.S. Not all seem to be scraped, so I’m wondering how many times I need to say WordPress in a post about WordPress to get the WordPress “web reader” to borrow the content from my WordPress site?

Chomp Chomp… Ack. My sidebar was eaten.

It seems something with the blogrush widget was eating my left-hand sidebar in IE, so I’ve removed it until I can scour through the code to find the bug. The worst part is that I don’t know how long it has been doing it because I don’t usually open my website in IE unless I am changing the styling.

Sorry for any confusion or weirdness. It just goes to show that you can’t trust random widgets you find on the web.

Luckily though, it made me revalidate my website and it seems that three different plugins were causing validation errors ranging from adding the “border=0″ attribute to images all the way up to invalidating my entire sidebar. I can understand minor errors like adding the border=”0″ attribute to images, but when the latter half of the page is invalidated, something is seriously wrong. The offending plugin has been removed and probably won’t be reactivated.

While I do understand that it can be difficult to test every possible combination of settings — INAP caused a lot of trouble for a long time for me, many plugin designers need to be more careful when their plugins are going to be on the front page of websites. A few extra minutes can save one a lot of bad reputation.

Finally upgraded to WP 2.3

I knew I wasn’t going to have time on Monday to upgrade to the official version of WordPress, so I did the next best thing and upgraded to the latest release candidate. Yes, it is risky, but I see the word BETA and think “mostly stable” instead of “partially unstable and likely to cause lots of headaches in the next few days.”

If you find any bugs on the site, please let me know by emailing me. Especially if these bugs have to do with INAP.

Where’s INAP 3.0

INAP 3.0 has been delayed. The project itself is mostly finished, but I am not ready yet to release it because I don’t have the time to support it, and I’d rather not release it than have it languish with bugs.

I apologize for the delays, but there is nothing I can do about it.