Splashpress Media

‘Tis The Season

Dec 22, 2007

In the spirit of the Holiday Season and Christmas, Performancing’s latest theme release is all to do with the upcoming festivities!!

“We at Performancing love the holidays. And that’s the reason we’re launching this great holiday WordPress theme from Brian Gardner called ‘Tis The Season.

Are you in a festive mood? Then why not download ‘Tis The Season and show off your holiday spirit.

‘Tis the season is a two-columned theme featuring the warm glow of shining stars along with classic green and red holiday colors. The theme comes widget ready with a right-justified sidebar. Designed by Brian Gardner and brought to you by WordPress Philippines, this theme is sure to put everyone who comes across your blog in a cheerful mood.

Hey, do you want to impress your blog readers? Then decorate your blog with ‘Tis The Season and in less than five minutes you’ll have your holiday decorations done (now if only it could be that quick in real life!).”

You can download the theme here.

You can preview the theme here.

And finally, you can get support for the theme here.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays to ALL from Splashpress Media and WordPress Philippines.

Performancing Calling For Award Nominations

Dec 18, 2007

Performancing

Ryan Caldwell just announced some exciting news over at Performancing:

“Performancing is all about encouraging bloggers to make good blogs. And this year, we’re going to recognize the best blogs in the business with the first annual Performancing Blog Awards.

Starting today, we’re opening up nominations for the best best blogs or bloggers in each category. You are free to nominate your own blog, but we’d also encourage you to nominate others…blogs and bloggers that you truly believe in.

In addition, why not help spread the word about the Performancing Blog Awards by making a post on your own blog. You are free to hotlink the image and also include the following categories that are up for nomination.

Each category will have a single winner, two runners up, and possibly some honorable mentions. Our goal is to highlight the very best that the blogosphere has to offer, and we appreciate any tips/help that the Performancing community can provide to help us make our decisions:

Official Categories For The 2007 Performancing Blog Awards:

1. The Best Overall Blog
2. The Most Influential Blogger
3. The Best Blog Design
4. The Best Blog Typography
5. The Best Blog Name
6. The Best New Blog
7. The Best Blog Community
8. The Most Improved Blog of 2007
9. The Best Blogs You’ve Never Heard Of
10. The Best Blog Podcast
11. The Best Use of a Corporate Blog
12. The Best Video Blog
13. The Best Writing/Blogging Blog
14. The Best Science/Technology Blog
15. The Most Controversial Blog
16. The Best SEO Blog
17. The Best Celeb/Style Blog
18. The Best Business/Money Blogs
19. The Best Photo Blog
20. The Best Sports Blog
21. The Best Blog WebHost
22. The Best Family and Parenting Blog
23. The Best Political Blog
24. The Best Food/Health Blog
25. The Funniest Blog
26. The Best Travel Blog
27. The Best Education Blog

The awesome Performancing Blog Awards logos were designed by Randa Clay, the official graphic designer of Performancing Services.”

There are already a mass of submissions, so get your choices in now!

DevLounge Joins Wisdump

Dec 13, 2007

DevLounge

DevLounge has provided quality original content since 2006. Run by young, up-and-coming writers and designers, DevLounge had been for sale by its founder, AJ, for some time- both on Sitepoint and Mashable. Splashpress Media was very pleased to tie up a deal for this quality site.

As with Wisdump, the site will be run by Thord Daniel Hedengren. As Thord said in his announcement post at Devlounge-:

“As most of you probably know, AJ’s been wanting to sell Devlounge for some time now. That’s come to be, with the new owner being Splashpress Media, which I represent in this venture. So let’s start by congratulating AJ on the sale, and his outstanding work with Devlounge so far! And then let’s congratulate Splashpress on a great purchase, right?

So what does this mean for Devlounge?

Well, first of all, you’ll be seeing a lot of me, TDH aka Thord Daniel Hedengren, as well as a few other additions to the staff. We’ll want to keep on as many of the current staff writers as possible, including AJ of course, so expect to hear from me shortly, if you haven’t already.

I’d also like to point out that we’re happy with Devlounge and won’t be making any crazy changes. We’ll go on as it always has, and see where we can up the speed, as well as trying to figure out what’s the next step for the site. Naturally, we’ll involve our readers in all of this, so there’ll be no drastic changes all of the sudden. The readers are the most important part of a blog, and that goes for Devlounge as well. So let us know what you think, if you have any suggestions and so on. We want to know!

One thing we’ll do for sure is to continue the tradition of Friday Focus, which is celebrating one year today, with AJ at the helm as long as he likes. We’ll also try to release some new WordPress themes, joining the excellent ones available. Those will get a 2.3 update as well, with added tag support – most likely we’ll have two versions there, we’ll see. Also, a few other planned surprises in this area, all in line with what Devlounge’s done so far.

That’s enough rambling for one day. I’d like to hear from you guys what you want from Devlounge, and any suggestions you might have. Use the comments and speak up – we value your thoughts and input, so please take this opportunity to further improve Devlounge!”

What made Thord’s plans especially exciting with the takeover of DevLounge was how he wanted to tie up DevLounge in “symbiosis” with Wisdump, with one focusing its content “aboutWordPress design, while the other concentrates on “withinWordPress design (tips, tricks, etc). And to physically join these communities, Thord is planning a joint forum-: WisLounge.com.

Here was Thord‘s announcement over at the Blog Herald-:

“I’ve been running websites focusing on kick-ass content since 1996. Big stuff for their niches, mostly videogames but other things as well. I’ve sold my fair share, and bought a few, as well.

When taking over Wisdump, a blog that Paul “Scrivs” Scrivens started, and Devlounge – both owned by Splashpress Media – I started thinking on what I had to avoid doing to not alienate the readership.

I’ve done my fair share of mistakes on these things. One site takeover went horribly wrong, partly due to the fact that the readership was young and the community had a very harsh attitude, but also because I hadn’t anticipating the onrush of doubts and worries from the readership.

You see, loyal readers are very scared of change. And when you barge in, a knight in shining armor in your own mind, you’re looking like a devil from hell wanting to abuse their Sacred Shrine. Or whatever.

These are the things I’ve learned to always do when taking over a blog, or content-focused site overall really.

* Be transparent! Tell the readership what you have in mind, and ask them to come up with suggestions. If it’s possible it’s always best to involve the readers.
* Don’t change too much right away! You should always remember that the readers like the blog because it is what it is, so if you barge in and change stuff you’ll have a lot more to prove. Your changes might be for the better, even the readers might think that in the long run, but it’s a lot smarter to take it slow and involve the readers in the change. And yes, I’m talking both content and design here.
* Keep the staff! If possible, try to keep the staff around. Usually, bloggers sell their blogs due to lack of time, but maybe they can manage a weekly post? That’ll calm the readership, and bring familiarity to your blog takeover, which is always good. Also, it means that the change is more gradual as well, as pointed out below.
* Don’t over-monetize! This is another don’t change-thing, but I can’t stress it enough. A very loyal readership will go blind with rage if you litter their favorite blog with ads. You can monetize, but be subtle and smart, just cram it all in there. Better to hold off and do the necessary changes to the design so that the ads fit in, rather than start putting 125×125 pixel squares just ’cause TechCrunch does.
* Overachieve! Make sure you really bring something to the table, content-wise. It’ll be a lot easier to gain the readership’s trust if you do a bigger, better, faster, and cooler job than the previous owner. That might be hard, but you should never fall behind on the level that the blog had with updates previously, always overachieve in comparison.

The main thing that will deem or doom you running The Readership’s Favorite Blog, however, will be your content. You can make some mistakes, or you can do everything absolutely perfect, but you’re bound to lose some readers, and gain others. Transitions are hard, and you just can’t expect them to be without losses.

What you want to make sure is that when a reader that dropped off in anger and disgust of you having taken over one of his favorite blogs, is coming back after a week or two, he’ll be impressed by the way you’ve handled the blog. He won’t be won over that easily, but he’s back, and you have a shot. It’s pretty common that the hardcore readers and members of the community are very testy and stringent when it comes to owner changes.

That being said, sometimes you’ll be very positively surprised. Like Devlounge, the response from the readership there – both in comments and in my inbox – is heartwarming. They’re really giving us the benefit of a doubt, and the chance to prove ourselves.

Don’t expect that, but savor it when it actually happens.”

Long may the success of Wisdump and DevLounge continue!!

Redbook WordPress theme released

Dec 9, 2007

redbook

Another classic Performancing WordPress theme was released in November, this time designed by the hugely successful and renowned Brian Gardner.

“Redbook lives up to its name by incorporating what we think to be salient aspects of a physical book with the modern feel of a sophisticated website (hence “red book”). Viewing a blog powered by the Redbook WordPress theme, one would feel as if unfolding an actual hard-bound book, with the left and right sidebars “folding” out, and red and grey liners reminiscent of a book’s cover and leaves.”

Ryan Caldwell introduced the theme over at the Performancing blog-:

“Performancing is pleased to announce it’s latest monthly WordPress theme release entitled Redbook.

Designed by Brian Gardner, of Revolution fame, this theme uses a subtle mix of reds and greys to achieve a sleek, sophisticated and professional look. Redbook includes three columns, with the content column sandwiched between two equally sized sidebars. This layout maximizes your above-the-fold real estate and gives you three nicely-sized regions to capture the reader’s attention.

Redbook is perfect for professional websites but also has the simple flair necessary for edgier magazine style web publications.”

To preview the theme, click here.

And to download it, click here.

We hope you enjoy 🙂

The New Bloggy Award

Dec 2, 2007

Bloggy Award

Thanks to another great design by Thord Hedengren, Bloggy Award has been injected with a new lease of life after some months in the doldrums.

“Blogs have become very popular in the past couple of years because they gave individuals a voice on the Internet. You no longer have to be a hotshot publisher, an ace reporter or a sought-after columnist to get your thoughts read. You can have a free account with a blog host and post your thoughts online anytime you want.

However, having a great blog is not easy pickings. There are a few things that separate a great blog from a good blog, and also a good blog from one that?s downright rubbish. There are tens of millions of blogs out there, so it?s great to have an excellent blog that stands out!

It takes a good combination of content and design to make a good blog. Add to that a dash of personality and a good sprinkling of passion, and you might just have what it takes to have a great blog. And here, we reward well-written, well-designed blogs that are created and maintained with passion and personality with the Bloggy Award.”

Under the new criteria, sites can be awarded a “gold” or “silver” award, depending on if it is an outright winner or one that just ran close but didn’t quite make it.

We are planning a Hall of Fame for all past, present and future winners and adding incentives, including cash prizes of $250 per month, as well a whole host of freebies- such as free use of pMetrics’ premium service, a free blog reboot by the Performancing team and many others.

The archives are also now presented in a much more comprehensive manner with an A-Z page, making it easy to find the blog review you want to read and the date it was created on.

Bloggy Award has gone through quite a few ups and downs over the last two years with initially surprising success and popularity, followed by some rather mediocre and disappointing times. We have had trouble in getting the right blogger to review other blogs, as the nature of most of the blogs we review are “amateur” and not attempting to go down the “problogger” or path of monetization and profit. The blogs are usually pursuits of personal pleasure and passion. So we are very pleased Noemi Twigg, of Travelogger renown, agreed to come on board and many thanks to her for doing such a great job!

So what are you waiting for? Submit your blog for a free review now at the new Bloggy Award!