Archive for January, 2008
Weblog Tools Collection has posted a great rundown of what WordCamp is including some details on what Dallas WordCamp attendees can expect. As WordPress continues to grow in popularity, I expect to see many more WordCamps being created around the world, so if you haven’t attended one already, maybe it is time for you to create one?
WordCamp is a spin off from the popular BarCamp which was a spin off of FooCamp. Each one of these events are smaller in nature when compared to your particular conference, but they are usually focused on a particular subject. So what can you expect when you attend a WordCamp event? Based on the numerous amounts of videos and photos taken from attendees, you can expect a whole lot of fun in an atmosphere that promotes social interaction.
The first WordCamp conference was held in July of 2006 in San Francisco. Matt Mullenweg pulled this event together in only three weeks time and ended up with about 300 people in the Swedish American Hall. The first international WordCamp event was held in Argentina on October 31, 2007 in Buenos Aires. Since then, there have been WordCamps all across the world including Hamburg, Israel, Melbourne and soon to be Dallas.
I really enjoy the BarCamp nature of these events, and hope they continue to experience continued growth. I also think that someone should organize a WordCamp Toronto, so that I can easily attend.
Darren Rowse recently wrote a post that I think every blogger writing in hopes of making huge money online should read. The post is a reality check of sorts, reminding people that it is long, hard work to make Darren Rowse type money online.
While itâ€™s true that I have built my blogging to a point where Iâ€™m able to earn good money blogging there are many things that an article like the one in the WSJ didnâ€™t (and couldnâ€™t) mention about how I was able to build my blogging up to this point.
The impact of this missing â€˜back storyâ€™ is that much of the reality of blogging for money goes unseen by those looking at blogging as a potential income stream – leading some to naively enter into blogging with false expectations.
Of course when these expectations are not met things can get ugly with disappointment and anger being a common reaction. What disappoints me as a blogger writing on this topic is that I regularly see other bloggers feeding their readers with hype and false hopes about how easy it is to make big money from blogging. This only adds to the distance between their readerâ€™s expectations and the reality of blogging for money.
I really enjoyed this post by Darren, and I highly recommend that everyone read it, if for nothing else than to understand why after two years, I am not a millionaire.
Tonight, I was a guest on the WordPress Weekly Podcast which is hosted by Jeffro from Jeffro2pt0 and Weblog Tools Collection. It was a lot of fun to join the festivities. I had intended to listen in, but Jeffro had me join in with his other great panelists.
It was a lot of fun. I highly recommend people listen live Friday nights at 9pm EST.
Here are some of the show notes:
This week there is a ton of stuff to talk about. We have the bombshell that was dropped the other day noting that Matt and Toni of Automattic secured a Series B round of funding for $29.5 million dollars. Then we have the improvements that have gone into the code for WordPress 2.5. We also dive into the conundrum of what makes a WordPress theme Premium. WordCamp Dallas is right around the corner and we give you the 411 about the event. Saving the best for last is our WordPress Tips of the week.
If you want to listen to the recordings of the episodes, check out the TalkShoe page for WordPress Weekly.
As you may have noticed, we have been having server issues here at Blogging Pro.
I want to apologize to everyone. It seems the new server we are on isn’t working out for us. Hopefully, we will have all of these issues resolved soon, and I am very sorry for any inconvenience or nuisance this has caused.
If I could stop these issues before they happen, I would. My server administrator assures me that he is working on it.
With Automattic’s recent funding, the Houston Chronicle’s TechBlog was able to get some details about Matt Mullenweg’s plans. One of the more interesting things noted in the article was TalkPress, based on the current bbPress forum system, TalkPress is supposed to realize Matt’s dream of good forum software.
From the article:
Mullenweg says he’ll use the new cash to fund more projects, including a new forums product. Called TalkPress, he said it will be “smaller, lighter, with fewer features but a richer customization API.”
In other words, it will work a lot like WordPress, which is a basic framework upon which users add the features they really need. Mullenweg some time ago created a forum program, BBPress, and the TalkPress service will be built on that.
“I spend a lot of time on forums, and they drive me crazy,” he said. “They haven’t changed in 10 years.”
While I don’t know if I really enjoy the new name, as it makes me think more of instant messaging or a voice over IP client, I am happy to see that Matt plans on re-inventing and revigorating the popular bbPress software.
Over on Maratz.com, I caught wind of two new WordPress themes. They are the same design, with the style sheet contrast flipped on its head. Balance White and Balance Black have a style about them that I really love, and while minimalist out of the box, they donâ€™t need to remain so.
I was more than happy to contribute in the development of these two beautiful WordPress themes, spiritually named Balance White and Balance Black. The White was deployed first on our companyâ€™s flagship projectâ€™s development blog in itâ€™s original setup and Dudikoff and Roseanne have been customized later on.
Check them out on Maratz.com.
With WordPress 2.5 still months away, and with it the new WordPress administration panel design, people continue to take it upon themselves to tweak the WordPress administration panel design to suit their needs. Over on Web Graphics, there is a new one for the minimalist called Deconstructed.
WordPress has been a helpful tool. Love it, hate it – itâ€™s free, flexible and approachable by average joe web developers who donâ€™t really write programs (me). Thereâ€™s much about it I donâ€™t love, but I use it often. One thing that bothers me each time I install it: the default admin theme. I like the look of the WP-Tiger theme better, but it feels less responsive to me (probably because of client-side layout redrawing?). What Iâ€™ve really wanted is something super quick to install (a plugin-based theme), something responsive and based on the initial layout, but much cleaner/simpler.
So Iâ€™ve made a new admin theme, like WP, itâ€™s free to use and repurpose. All Iâ€™ve done here is stripped out the hideous teal color, made all the fonts sans-serif, eliminated the tab-styling and excessive bordering/shadows. The navigation is still tab based, but uses a simple yellow-highlighter approach instead.
I have to admit to being fairly impressed with this administration theme, though I am not a fan of the yellow highlighting effect, otherwise, it has everything a blogger needs.
Movable Type is trying to take a bite out of one of their competitors markets by becoming a little more CMS-like with their new Universal Template set.
First off, before I dive deeper into what the Universal Template is, I want to say that when I saw the front end of the new Universal Template, I was very impressed. It is very stylish and could easily be the new platform that many blogs use when creating their brand.
From the Movable Type Blog:
For the last several weeks, Jim Ramsey has been developing a new web site design using Movable Type 4.1â€™s new template set and theming infrastructure. His goals were simple:
- make it easy for users to create not just a blog, but an entire web site
- create a web site that guides the user through customization right out of the box
- architect a set of templates that is more intuitive to customize
The result of his work is pretty incredible – so much so that we decided to include the new template set, called the â€œUniversal Template Set,â€ with the new Professional Pack. Users will be able to get a sneak preview of the feature next week when we release Movable Type 4.1 Release Candidate 2 announced yesterday.
It is definitely worth checking out the screencast they have set up to demonstrate the new template set.
To be honest, I am really surprised that Movable Type didnâ€™t get more coverage for this new release as these are the types of developments that are going to help Movable Type compete in the current blogging related market.
So news has broken about Automattic getting $29.5 million in their â€œseries Bâ€ round of funding from a group including the New York Times.
Everyone has been asking me how I feel about this influx of cash into Automattic, and my response has been simply to smile.
With WordPress.com doing very well, and growing by leaps and bounds, I really see no reason why investors wouldnâ€™t want to take part in the Automattic brand.
If you want to read more about the whoâ€™s and the whatâ€™s, you can check out the recent post from Matt and Toni.
This whole purchase really gets me asking many questions and wondering about the possible future for the company. WordPress.com has so much to offer, will Automattic open up some form of advertising model that users can use to monetize their blogs? Will Automattic acquire more services like they did with Gravatar? Will Automattic expand their hosted software offerings?
Matt Mullenweg has written on his blog:
Automattic is now positioned to execute on our vision of a better web not just in blogging, but expanding our investment in anti-spam, wikis, forums, and more â€” small, open source pieces, loosely joined with the same approach and philosophy that has brought us this far.
This nice piece of financing raises many questions that I am sure will be answered over time. One thing is for certain, with this influx of cash, Automattic has some breathing room, and can now take a few more risks. I wonder if they are hiring?
Matt Mullenweg recently posted on the WordPress.com blog about how Automattic does a fair bit of their work behind the scenes, on infrastructure and other improvements, and he has proved that today with an upload storage space on WordPress.com accounts increasing from 50 megabytes to 3 gigabytes, or an increase of sixty-fold.
From the post:
Today, one of those developments comes to fruition â€” everyoneâ€™s free upload space has been increased 60x from 50mb to 3,000mb. To get half that much space (1GB) at our nearest competitor, Typepad, youâ€™d pay at least $300 a year. Weâ€™re doing the same thing for free.
Our hope is that much in the same way Gmail transformed the way people think about email, weâ€™ll give people the freedom to blog rich media without having to worry about how many kilobytes are left in their upload space.
For those of you that have paid for the one gigabyte of space, you should now have five gigabytes of storage space, for all of your multimedia needs. I havenâ€™t even used up all my Gmail storage space, and wonâ€™t any time soon, so I doubt there will be too many people that will need five or more gigabytes of WordPress.com storage space.
This is a great move for the community, but an expensive one for Automatticâ€™s bottom line. With this kind of value being added to WordPress.com, it makes me wonder how long until we see full blog networks moving to WordPress.com to host and manage them? (I think monetization constraints would be the only thing holding sites back).