Carmen

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Carmen is here, and she’s the best WordPress yet. Grab the latest version from your Dashboard by going to Tools > Upgrade or download from WordPress.org. With features like easier video embeds, better image editing, post thumbnails and more, WordPress 2.9 is more powerful and speedier than its predecessors.

Post Thumbnails in RSS feeds

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the_post_thumbnail is one of my favorite additions to WordPress 2.9, but I recently ran into a problem… the images I had set as my post thumbnails weren’t being included in my RSS feed. Assuming you’ve already added support for thumbnails to your theme, you should be able to add this snippet to your theme’s functions.php file to display them along with the rest of your feed content:

function insertThumbnailRSS($content) {
    $content = '<p>' .the_post_thumbnail('medium'). '</p>' .$content;  
    return $content;  
}

add_filter('the_excerpt_rss', 'insertThumbnailRSS');  
add_filter('the_content_feed', 'insertThumbnailRSS');

Thanks to Dougal Campbell for pointing me in the right direction!


Thanks to Sébastien Méric here’s an event better approach:

function insertThumbnailRSS($content) {
   global $post;
   if ( has_post_thumbnail( $post->ID ) ){
       $content = '<p>' . get_the_post_thumbnail( $post->ID, 'medium' ) . '</p>' . $content;
   }
   return $content;
}

add_filter('the_excerpt_rss', 'insertThumbnailRSS');
add_filter('the_content_feed', 'insertThumbnailRSS');

Worthwhile

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So far, over 300 people have committed to participating in Project 52. It’s pretty safe to say that it’s exceeded everyone’s expectations. If ever there was a reason to write, Project 52’s quickly become one of them. If even a fraction of the participants stick with it, content on the web should see a marked improvement in 2010. I hope they’ll focus on quality and not just quantity. Committing to writing 52 posts is well and good, but if there’s little thought put into them, you might be better off not writing at all. After all, this is a personal challenge – one we should learn and grow from.

I know that by announcing my intentions with Project 52, I might be sabotaging myself, but my aim is to be as transparent as possible about what my plans are and what goals I hope to achieve through Project 52. And hopefully my transparency will help keep me more accountable. But transparency isn’t enough. I want my participation to mean something. That’s why I’d like to up the ante. For each post I write for Project 52, I’m going to be raising money for a charity. (Which one? Not sure yet, but I’ll announce between Christmas and New Years.)

If you like what I write, I’m hoping you’ll be encouraged to chip in something to help me reach a goal of raising $500. That breaks down to $9 a week. I know it can be done. And if my content’s good enough, it will be done.

What are your thoughts? Am I insane? If you dig the idea, got any charities you think would be worthy of support? (I’m thinking I might try to find a local charity to support, but would love any suggestions you might have.)

Best Bot Yet

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In its short history, Tapbots has released two incredibly well-designed utilities for the iPhone: Weightbot & Convertbot. Last night they launched their third – and in my opinion, it’s the best bot yet.

Pastebot is the ultimate clipboard manager for the iPhone or iPod touch. I’ve been lucky enough to use this app for a few months. When I first started using it I described it as “an app I didn’t know I needed, but can’t imagine not having it“.

It’s beautifully designed. It’s incredibly easy to use: simply copy an image or text string within any iPhone app, then launch Pastebot and – bickety bam! – it’s stored to Pastebot’s clipboard. Once you’re in the app, you can easily toggle between multiple clips. If you’re a neat freak, you can easily setup a series of folders. If you use Tapbots to store images, you’ll be able to crop and apply color effects to stored images.

I could go on and show you lots of screenshots and walk you through all of the apps features, but I won’t. Instead, I encourage you to visit http://tapbots.com/pastebot/ to learn more, or hop on over to iTunes and grab a copy. (It’s only $1.99 for now. The price will go up to $2.99 after the initial launch.) Oh, and did I mention it’ll sync to your Mac?

Want to win a copy of Pastebot?

In the comments below, tell me what you might use Pastebot for. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow – 12/16/09. Leave a comment before 12/16/09 at 9:00am EST to be included in the drawing.

Project 52

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Thanks to Anton’s suggestion of Project 52 – based on a tweet by Chris Wallace – I’m publicly committing to write more in 2010. Beginning the first week of January, I’ll post at least one new (substantial) article. Asides and portfolio entries won’t count. Why am I doing this? I want to become a better writer and I’m tired of this site being consistently stale.

My Approach

A year-long endeavor like this will require planning and perseverance. I’ll need to identify topics. I’ll need to come up with some sort of regular schedule (and stick with it). And I’ll need to force myself to be accountable through it all.