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Archive for February, 2008

What Do You Want from a Blogging Platform?

In talking with a good friend of mine, Chris Garrett, he and I have constantly argued about what we want to see from our perfect blogging platform. He wants something social, beautiful, standards compliant, and accessible. I want something simple, functional, fast, and expandable.

Over on WordPress Ideas, there are a great list of things that people want to see WordPress adopt. Matt Mullenweg mentioned at Northern Voice that they usually take the top one to three items from that list for every major revision, and so the Ideas list does matter for WordPress.

Currently, the top ideas include:

  • Easy Updating of WordPress
  • Thumbnail and image resizing
  • Default searching of both posts and pages
  • Open ID Integration
  • Make it faster

From what I know of the upcoming version of WordPress, version 2.5, half of these features will be in there, meaning some new ones will get into the upper ranks, and WordPress will continue to develop itself based on community needs.

The question I now have is, how much is too much? When should WordPress stop adding features? Some people think that WordPress is already getting a little too heavy in features and customization options. Is there a market for something between WordPress.com and the current release of the WordPress.org software?

What would be the features included in your perfect blogging platform?

Categories: General

Meeting Matt Mullenweg

Matt MullenwegOne of the most exciting parts of the recent Northern Voice conference was the opportunity to meet Matt Mullenweg. I hadn’t been able to attend any of the WordCamps as of yet and so I hadn’t had the honour.

On the first day of Northern Voice, called Moosecamp, Lloyd Budd, also of Automattic, let me know that Matt probably wouldn’t be around until the second day of the event.

I was helping Lloyd with his session on answering WordPress related questions, and after it was done, I was ready to hear how blog software could be used for more than just “cat blogs”, when from the corner of my eye I see Matt Mullenweg. I did a double take, and of course acted a bit like an idiot around him. It was almost like how people act when they meet a celebrity for the first time.

This is the guy that helped build the platform that my career is based on. Without WordPress, I doubt I would be a full time blogger today, and so while I have always been critical of certain moves WordPress has made, I was very excited to meet Matt in person.

When I went over to introduce myself, I told him who I was, and he already knew, like it was silly for me to even bring up who I was. I told him that while I expected most people to recognize him and know who he is, I didn’t think he would take the time to learn who everyone else was. It was an exciting moment for me.

Once I talked to Matt for a little while, my nerves, and excitement relaxed a little bit. I found that he has a very disarming personality, and is very down to earth.

Matt and Tim Bray

I watched as Matt Mullenweg and Tim Bray talked about photography. During the conversation, I had no idea who Tim Bray was, and just enjoyed their exchange. Tim was working on convincing Matt to use some photo editing software he enjoyed, and then had to head off as it was the end of the conference. Afterwards, Matt mentioned to me that Tim Bray is one of the people that invented XML.

The next day, Matt was scheduled to give the keynote speech. It was fairly early in the morning, and I was a bit groggy, so I didn’t know if he was going to be able to wake me up, but listening him talk about removing barriers between the publisher and getting their content into the world was very inspiring.

I am very happy to have met Matt. I now feel like I understand Automattic, WordPress, and Matt a lot better. I also owe a big thanks to Lloyd Budd for taking the time to answer my nagging WordPress questions. It was worth going to the conference just to listen to both of them.

Categories: Interesting, WordPress News

Habari 0.4 Released

Habari is continuing to evolve and mature, but it has been a long time since we mentioned it here on Blogging Pro, and there is a reason for that, its development has been slow.

This means that they aren’t pushing forward fast enough to continue to capture my attention, which could be losing them the audience they were hoping for. I am impressed at their continued work towards creating a blogging platform that breaks down barriers between publishers and getting their content out there.

There are many significant enhancements in this version, including the addition of exciting new media management functionality, the genesis of a working permissions system, and many useful UI enhancements. Of course, there are a lot of improvements under the hood, which you can review in the release notes or in the commit log, which describes all 230 code changes since our last release.

If you haven’t heard of Habari, and you are interested, definitely check out their site, HabariProject.org. Personally, I will be waiting until they get to version 1.0 before jumping both feet forward into their project once again.

Categories: Habari News

WordPress Podcast: Episode 35

Charles is getting into his podcasting stride, and keeping up with the new WordPress Weekly, as he pushes out his own show weekly. I am very impressed that he’s been able to retain the quality of the show during this faster production deadline.

In episode 35 he covers WordPress 2.5′s feature freeze, WordPress 2.5 demo blog, as well as a few other things. Lorelle’s continued addition of the WordPress.com news is great.

Check out the latest episode of the WordPress Podcast. Keep up the great work Charles.

Categories: WordPress News

WordPress Weekly: Episode 6

If you enjoyed listening to me in the WordPress Podcast with Charles, then you might be interested to hear me in WordPress Weekly, a fan created podcast run by Jeffro of Jeffro2pt0. I was recently in episode six, which discusses many interesting things relating to WordPress and the WordPress community.

This week on Episode 6, we finally see WordPress 2.5 feature froze which is a standard practice for all versions of WordPress. A live WP 2.5 demo site has been made available to the public in case you want to see what you have to look forward to, WP.com intros summarized stats for the stat junkies, Yahoo interviews Matt Mullenweg of WordPress.com and discusses a variety of topics. Movable Type does WordPress in a weird sort of way. Your WordPress Weekly Digest update and some tips on making sure that your WordPress plugin using Jquery does not conflict with other plugins using Jquery. Last but not least, some WordPress beginners lingo.

Definitely a must listen to podcast if you are interested in WordPress. Episode six runs the gamut with both beginner and advanced material. Some that was even over my head, though that’s not too hard to do.

Categories: Podcasting News, WordPress News

WordPress Podcast: Episode 34

Charles did it! After a little more than a week, he released a new episode, so he’s off to a great start with his weekly scheduled release of the WordPress podcast. As WordPress news heats up this year, it will be great to see a quick and consistent release schedule.

Some of the show notes include:

1. WordPress 2.3.3 released: This urgent security release fixes one security bug and several other minor bugs. The security bug affects only blogs that allow users to register: A flaw was found in the XML-RPC implementation a hacker could use to gain access to and edit posts of other users.
2. Several plugins have recently been found to have security vulnerabilities, such as WP-Footnotes v2.2 has cross-site scripting problems. register_globals must be turned on before array elements could execute unsanitized HTML to exploit the plugin. Other plugins with problems: WordsPew v3.x reported an “id” based SQL injection vulnerability, dmsguestbook 1.7.0, st_newsletter 2.x, WP-Cal, Adserve Plugin version 0.2, and WP-Forum 1.7.4
3. Is WordPress Insecure by Design?
4. Prologue is a Twitter-like theme released by Automattic, great for inter-organizational microblogging.

Check out WordPress Podcast: Episode 34. A huge thanks to Charles for getting on the weekly bandwagon. I look forward to Episode 35.

Categories: WordPress News

WordPress 2.5 Test Site

Itching for a chance to play with WordPress 2.5 but don’t want to deal with installing it yourself? Chris Johnston has put up a great demo install for people to mess around with. It gives you the latest version of WordPress to enjoy.

Many of the administration panel design elements are quickly coming together, which was very nice to see. I don’t agree with all their decisions, but it does look like there will be some user interface improvements.

This is a demo site for the most current development version of WordPress. Version 2.5 has a scheduled release in March/April of 2008. I will try to keep the code as up-to-date as I can so that you can always see the new features that have been added including the completely redesigned admin area. Since this is a beta version, things might not work like they are supposed to. Feel free to play around and visit the admin area.

The demo will be refreshed once every hour. The username is admin and the password is demo.

A huge thanks to Chris for putting this up, and putting up with us all trying to mess around with it. If you are interested in what WordPress 2.5 is going to offer you, it would definitely be a great idea to check out the demo site that Chris has put up.

For those wondering where you can find such great information, you should be subscribed to the WordPress newsletters like wp-hackers.

Categories: WordPress News

Blogging as a Job: Convincing Others

Darren Rowse recently wrote a great post which gives you an insight to the history of him becoming a Problogger or as he puts it, a Web Publisher. Darren, like myself, had to convince others that what he was doing was legitimate, but thankfully, again like myself, he was supported in his dreams and goals.

Actually they I’m surprised just how supportive they’ve been overall, but there was a time when I first started to talk about blogging as a potential job, business and career when I’m pretty sure that people thought that I might be having an early midlife crisis.

I totally understand their reaction because when I first began to realize the potential of blogging to become a money maker I had a lot of doubts and uncertainty myself. I almost pushed the ideas from my mind and got ‘real jobs’ on numerous occasions however for some reason I kept on track and managed to convince those around me that what I was doing had potential.

I could pretty much mimic everything he said in his post, and it really brought things home to me that Darren, the Problogger, had to deal with the same worries, problems, and issues as everyone else.

Check out the full post about Blogging as a Job, and make sure you read it to the very end.

Categories: Blogging Tips

Matt Mullenweg to Speak at Northern Voice

Last year was really my first year of attending events related to blogging, but thankfully, I get to do it again this year, and one of the conferences I am going to is Northern Voice, a two day event being held in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada that starts off with a Barcamp-like day called Moosecamp, with a second day being a more traditional conference event.

This year the keynote speaker is Matt Mullenweg. You might have heard of him, as he is Mr. WordPress. His keynote speech is entitled “Blogging & Social Media: Where do we go from here?” and it should be really interesting, as he’s always had a fairly strong, and optimistic point of view on the blogosphere.

If you haven’t already bought your ticket for Nothern Voice, you are out of luck, as they recently sold out, as they do every year they have the event.

For those WordPress fanboy’s out there, Lloyd Budd, the Canadian on the Automattic team, will also be in attendance for the event.

Categories: WordPress News

The FourFourNiner Podcast: Pilot Episode

Chris Garrett, a well known designer and friend of mine has gone ahead and tapped me to join him on his podcast, named the FourFourNiner, where we answer questions relating to blog design, search engine optimization, blogging professionally, WordPress and pretty much anything else related to our expertise that we are asked.

The first episode covers moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, as well as securing a blogging related job, CSS books and tutorial sites we enjoy, and a few other things.

I hope you will check it out, and if you have any questions, pop on over to the 449 blog, and leave your questions in the comments area. The first episode is around thirty minutes long, and will probably continue around that length as a weekly release. A huge thanks to Chris for having me on, and I hope to continue joining him as co-host as the show evolves and grows.

Categories: Podcasting News