Firewall’s Weekly WordPress, Twitter and Web News

Some recent news from around the web….

Kevin Rose, aka Mr. (which has been valued at anywhere between $0 and several hundred milion dollars), offers, in a guest post at TechCrunch, 10 tips for increasing your Twitter followers. Besides the fact that I’ve never seen Rose write a guest post, and that he left off the most important tip: be Kevin Rose, it’s a good read. But since only he can be Kevin Rose, you’ll have to make do with his 10 tips and hope you’ll get even a fraction of his nearly 90K Twitter followers. Oh by the way, he’s apparently an investor in Twitter. Did this happen before or after he sold his Twitter competitor, Pownce, to Six Apart?

If you’re just starting out with Twitter, it’s also worth checking out David Pogue’s article in the NY Times. He makes several interesting observations about the positive and negative behaviors on Twitter. He has also found that when he speaks at tech and edu conferences, he’s finding maybe 1 in 500 people are on Twitter.

It must depend on what circles you run in because, despite David Pogue’s experience, there are certainly enough Twitter users that there are plans for Twestivals (Twitter festivals) to raise money for charity. We’re not talking a few cities, we’re talking Twitter users from over 100 cities participating for 24 hours on Feb 12, 2009 in various fundraising events. If you want to hold an event, visit the Twestival website for details. All funds raised will go to Charity: water projects].

As a web worker, your web browser is one of your most important tools. It’s performance affects your entire day. If you’re using the Firefox browser and it’s acting sluggish, check out these speed-doubling tweaking tips from Boy Genius Report.

Another item in your web worker/ blogmaster toolkit is probably an HTML editor (especially if you’re blogging, too). When you get used to one editor for your blogging, it’s easy to think it’s your only option. Six Revisions lists nine source code/ WYSIWYG editors in their recent list of 30 useful open source apps for web designers. Of course, many of the apps in the list are great for bloggers and blogmasters too.

Not everyone agrees, but some types of websites need to be visually attractive to be impactful (though others get along just fine looking less so). Blog themes might be fine for, well, blogs, but if you have a newsy site with lots of content, you need something different. Everson News [via Blog Perfume] is a free magazine-y WP theme that is well-suited to sites with a high volume of fresh conent. The emphasis is on headlines, but there’s also a feature article image area, a video, and even a prominent banner ad area. It’s easy for readers to see what’s new, without having to scroll or scan through a lot of text to decide.

Whether you’re running a news site or not, if you want to have multiple authors each with their own blog(s) on your site, you need WPMU (WordPress Multi-User). It gives you the publishing framework you need, allowing for multiple blogs per author. Each blog within a single WPMU installation can have its own subdomain. E.g., Note that some web hosts have a restriction on how many subdomains your hosting account allows. Fortunately, subdomains in WPMU can be managed virtually, to circumvent any such restriction.

Now if you’re still in the beginning stages of building your first blog, check out this list of 29 tips, tutorials and resources from Problogger.