Jetpack: Supercharge Your Self Hosted WordPress Site!

Ever notice how many features the standard installation of WordPress lacks? YouTube embedding, stats, and even a specialized Twitter widget? Well, if you have a self hosted blog at WordPress.com, these features are all given to you. In fact, many of these features are forced upon you by the sponsoring company, Automattic. Wanna learn how to get all of that “cloud-power” for your WordPress site?

If you are one of the people who would love to have these features at your disposal and already has a WordPress.com account, keep reading. Otherwise, you’re losing out on a great plugin for self-hosted WordPress sites!

Keep reading to find out more

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  • Some WordPress News from WordCamp San Francisco

    For all you fans of WordPress, this weekend has been a good one.   Although I personally wasn’t able to attend the WordCamp San Francisco event, many were able to go and we’ve been receiving a lot of great information.

    As a result, I wanted to do a quick post to bring to your attention a couple of the things we are hearing from the event, and in particular, from Matt Mullenweg’s “State of the Word” address, which he does at each WordCamp event:

    • WordPress 2.8 Coming VERY Soon!
    • There have been hints from the WordPress team about adding a section to their theme repository for GPL-compliant premium themes (paid themes which comply with GPL).  I haven’t gotten clarification yet if their will also be a similar site setup for premium plugins that comply with GPL.
    • WordPressMU and WordPress.org will be merging.

    To those of you that attended the event, let us know about anything we missed in the comments!

    Information Sources:

    • The WordCamp Report from the event.
    • Various tweets from a number of web desginers in attendance.
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  • Automattic Purchases WP.com

    Being a long time domainer, I’ve always understood the value of a strong domain name.   It can literally make or break a product before it even launches!     Automattic appears to understand domains as well, and wants to protect their brand.   In a brilliant move, it seems they recently completed the purchase of WP.com, the common abbreviation for WordPress, which was previously owned by Yahoo.

    Here is what Matt had to say about the acquisition of WP.com:

    Yes it’s true, Automattic is now the proud owner of WP.com, which we acquired from our buddies over at Yahoo! We’ve been using WP.com as internal shorthand for this site for years now, and ever since we figured out four or five years ago that Yahoo had that domain (as opposed to the Washington Post or something) we’ve been doing our best to get it, a journey that culminated in ultimate success a few days ago.

    WP.com seemed like a great fit: people’s attention spans are getting shorter every day.  Wow the weather is great in San Francisco today. Also it’s seven keystrokes shorter to type in, which multiplied by the hundreds of millions of times people visit the site every year will be a huge productivity boost to our troubled economy and prevent RSI in a large percentage of the population.

    Matt has also thrown a question out to the WordPress community.    What should they do with this outstanding domain name?   You can leave a comment on their post here with your suggestion!

    My recommendation?   People are going completely mobile these days for everything and that trend is only going to continue over time.   After seeing what is in store for the iPhone 3.0 and the BlackBerry Storm 2.0, I am as convinced of this as ever.   At the same time, people are also loving Twitter and sending Tweets from their phones.

    Why not take WP.com and build it into a mobile blogging platform, or a Twitter competitor of some sort that ties into your WordPress.com blog?     What other ideas do you guys have?

    Note: It appears Automattic has also acquired Blo.gs.  It will be interesting to see if they decide to try to improve or somehow integrate this service.

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  • Automattic Acquires PollDaddy

    With all the acquisitions lately by Automattic (the parent company responsible for WordPress), you almost have to wonder what is next.   Well, today that question was answered when Matt Mullenweg announced that Automattic has acquired PollDaddy

    Unlike the past few acquisitions, there is a good chance most of you are already familiar with PollDaddy, who is currently considered to be the leader in internet polling.   They are the polling service of choice by most bloggers because they are easy to build, can be integrated into your blog, and allow people to vote from most feed readers (increasing the number of votes you’ll receive). 

    Here is a quote from Matt’s post (linked above):

    As we started to look at building out our own service for this, it became more obvious that, while on the surface it’s a very simple problem, there’s a lot of hidden complexity and opportunities for some really powerful features under the hood. There are probably a dozen companies addressing this space right now, but as we started to survey the space I was struck by how often I’d see this “PollDaddy” thing pop up.

    Two guys in Ireland with a quirky company name were cleaning up with some of the largest and most respected websites using their service on a daily basis. They weren’t the biggest, but they had the high end of the market. It seemed to be the WordPress of the polling space.

    According to their announcement, it looks like WordPress.com blogs are now fully integrated with PollDaddy and a PollDaddy WordPress plugin is now available for WordPress.org users.  The PollDaddy plugin for us is similar in that it allows you to create and manage your PollDaddy.com polls from within your WordPress blog’s administration area!

    What do you guys think about this acquisition?

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  • Support WordPress by Displaying Gravatars On Your Blog

    Do you have a Gravatar (Globally Recognized Avatar)? As a loyal fan of the WordPress software that runs each of my weblogs, I feel that it is important to support WordPress in any way that I can. Because this blog focuses on WordPress, that is especially true here.

    You may remember that last October Automattic, the company behind WordPress, purchased Gravatar. In the time since then, they have revamped the infrastructure of Gravatar to drastically speed things up, integrated it into the WordPress.com platform, and then updated the Gravatar WordPress plugin to function better with self-hosted WordPress blogs.

    If you don’t already have a Gravatar, I recommend you first sign up with Gravatar for a free account using whatever e-mail address you normally use to leave comments. Once confirmed, it will then prompt you to upload the avatar you want to use. You’ll need to use the e-mail address used for your Gravatar in the e-mail address field of the comment form (all in lower case) when leaving a comment for the Gravatar to display properly next to each comment.

    Now that Automattic is backing it, and WordPress.com blogs have integrated them, I think that over time Gravatar will continue to grow and the service will continue to get better. It is with that belief that I decided to add individual Gravatars to the comments on this blog (I also revamped the comments section to better support it). I would also like to see other self-hosted WordPress blogs begin to support Gravatars as well (many currently either support MyBlogLog avatars, or no avatars at all), so what I decided to do is update this post with an outbound link to your blog if your blog supports Gravatars.

    Here is what you need to do to get an inbound link to your homepage:

    1. Update your blog to display the commentators Gravatar with their comment. This can easily be done by installing one of the many Gravatar plugins (including the official Gravatar WordPress plugin) and then calling the plugin somewhere in your comments.php file. Depending on the theme, it will usually go in the commentblock section. If your blog already supports Gravatars, skip to step 2!
    2. Leave a comment below with a link to your blog.

    It is really that easy! I will then confirm your blog displays Gravatars with the comments and update this post with a link to your blog’s homepage, giving you a quality inbound link and hopefully some additional traffic. I’d like to turn this post into a showcase of WordPress.org blogs that support Gravatar! [Continue Reading…]

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