An Early Look at WP.com?

Back in April 2009, we wrote about Automattic purchasing WP.com. At the time there was a lot of speculation about what the role of this incredible new domain would be.  It has now been a few months since they took over possession and it looks like we finally have some hints about what the role of this domain may be.

As of the publishing of this post, it looks like WP.com still redirects to WordPress.com, but if you visit their Get WordPress subdomain, you can see the following splash page promoting their hosted service, as well as a quick comparison to WordPress.org:

get-wp

It will be interesting to see what they decide to do with the root of the domain.   I can’t help but wonder if it would be a good idea to move WordPress.com to a shorter domain like WP.com, giving their bloggers a smaller URL for their hosted blogs. In the age of Twitter it would be nice to have a domain like xxxx.wp.com instead of xxxx.wordpress.com.

What would you like to see WP.com ultimately used for?

  • Leave a Comment
  • Where to Find WordPress News

    I’ve received a few inquiries this weekend expressing their concern over the lack of posts published here the past few weeks.   To those who noticed, I appreciate the concern!   Unfortunately, I do not draw my entire income online at this point in my life and my day job has required me to work 60+ hour weeks for the last few months.   It appears this trend will be continuing over the next few weeks at least, so it may be a bit before I am able to resume my regular posting schedule that our long time readers have enjoyed for the past couple years.

    I’ve also noticed that I’m not the only one who hasn’t posted much lately, as it seems most of the WordPress blogs that were active a year ago are rarely updated these days.   I think this shows just how hard it is to maintain a blog over several years with regular updates.   That said, a next generation of WordPress bloggers have really stepped up to fill this void.   If you are looking to get your fill of WordPress related content, here are a few WordPress websites or blogs which are updated regularly:

    1. Weblog Tools Collection (I know this one isn’t new, but is still updated regularly)
    2. WordPress Tavern (WordPress blog and active forums)
    3. WordPress Recipes (Regularly posted WordPress code snippets)

    If you aren’t already, make sure you are tracking these three websites!

  • Leave a Comment
  • WordPress Launches WordPress.tv

    Over the weekend I noticed that WordPress has launched a sweet new visual resource for their blogging software, which can be found at WordPress.tv.   As you would probably guess by the domain extension, WordPress.tv will provide video tutorials for both WordPress.org and WordPress.com installations.

    If you look at it now, you’ll find a lot of extremely basic tutorials for people new to WordPress, but one cool thing is you can submit requests to see future WordPress video tutorials.  I would imagine over time you’ll start to find a lot more advanced WordPress tutorials.

    Some other cool things about WordPress.tv:

    WordPress.tv is also now the place to find all that awesome WordCamp footage that was floating around the web without a home. See the presentations you missed and get a peek at behind-the-scenes action. We call it WordCampTV.

    You’ll also find slideshows of presentations made by Automattic employees and other WordPress gurus, plus interviews I’ve done with the media and fellow bloggers.

    I hope you’ll consider WordPress.tv not just a support resource, but also a place to hang out and keep up with all the geeky goodness going on in the WordPress community. Tune in regularly for fresh content and updates to the WordPress.tv blog. Lots more is on the way.

  • Leave a Comment
  • 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?

  • Leave a Comment
  • Revolution Themes is Going Open Source!

    Earlier today I posted about the big WordPress Hacks theme giveaway contest.  Only a few hours later Brian Gardner and Jason made a MAJOR announcement, so I decided to clarify a few things with Brian and get this post up for people to discuss.

    For those that don’t follow Revolution closely, Brian has been teasing a major project for several weeks now, but I doubt any of us realized just how major it was until today when he announced that Revolution is going open source.   For the few of you that are wondering what open source is, this basically means that all future Revolution source code will be made available for free, making all future Revolution themes completely free.  Also keep in mind that not every detail has been worked out already, so some of the minor details may change a little as the new Revolution gets ready to launch.

    According to Brian:

    As of 12:00 midnight, Friday October 31st, the themes that are currently available at the Revolution theme site will no longer be available. Ever. This was a decision that I made in order to protect the integrity of the current themes and the conditions under which they were released. Over the past year I have built a community of Revolution users, and to freely offer up those themes would be completely unfair to them. My community matters to me, and this is how I have chosen to handle current themes.

    So what does this mean? It means that as of Saturday November 1st, a completely new Revolution site will launch – call it the second coming, or what you will. There will be a new set of themes on that website, which like I said will be made available under the GPL license. There will be an option to purchase packages which include support, tutorials, access to customization and a few other things.

    I have to admit that this news shocked me at first, but as I’ve pondered it throughout the day today, the whole business concept seems to be a smart move.   The idea of premium WordPress themes is okay, but I’ve never been 100% convinced that this business model will survive for more than a few years.

    Just like ebooks, premium themes can be distributed illegally and the whole concept kind of goes against the spirit of open source and WordPress.  Under this new business model, a bare version of the theme will be available for free to everyone, but services such as theme customizations, support, and tutorials will require either a one-time fee or a monthly/quarterly membership (attempting to get clarification on this still).   This way there is no theft worries, the theme is available for anyone to use for free, and the new business model will likely earn a recurring income instead of the income gained with a one-time purchase, making for a better long term solution.

    So, what does this mean for current owners of the Revolution theme?

    As you can see from Brian’s quote above, not much will change for existing members of the Revolution community.  All existing themes will NOT be made open source so buyers will still have their unique theme they purchased.   The current Revolution URL will redirect to the new website on November 1st, 2008, and the forums and other support tools will have a home on the new website for anyone to use.

    As a side note, if you have been eyeing one of the existing Revolution themes, but you’ve been waiting to commit to purchasing one, then you only have until the end of this month.  At that time they will be taken down and no longer available to be purchased.

  • Leave a Comment
  • WordPress Distancing Themselves From The Competition?

    I think it is safe to say that most (if not all) of our readers are big fans of WordPress.  The flexbility of WordPress is just incredible and still manages to impress me at times. What I didn’t realize is that many major corporations are starting to use WordPress to manage their blogs.

    A recent post over at BloggingPro caught my attention because they cite a number of examples of WordPress being used by many online corporations, including:

    That is quite the impressive list in my opinion and I think it goes to show just how easily WordPress can be integrated into all sorts of existing websites.  WordPress.org is definitely the most popular blogging software these days, but I think it is also competing well against CMS software like Joomla, Drupal, etc.

    For those of you that have tried other software like Joomla or Drupal, how does WordPress stack up?

  • Leave a Comment
  • Automattic Secures Another Round of Financing

    Yesterday I was excited to see a post pop up in my WordPress dashboard over on Mark Jaquith’s website announcing that WordPress has secured $29.5 million dollars in their second round of financing.   Congratulations to Automattic!  The investor this time is the New York Times so I think it is safe to say that they are doing something right.

    While it may not seem like $29.5 million will go very far in today’s world, when you consider that they’ve gotten by on only $1.1 million since 2006, it somehow seems like a much bigger number.  

    So what does this mean for WordPress?  It looks like Automattic currently has 17 employees.   If I was a betting man, I would bet the house that they will be hiring soon.   These employees can be used not only towards improving the WordPress software, but can also be applied towards improving the WordPress Codex, forums, or improving their efforts against fighting spam. 

    Want to know more?  You can get more directly from Matt.

  • Leave a Comment
  • Automattic Purchases Gravatar

    It wasn’t so long ago that Gravatar was all the rage around the blogosphere. Who wouldn’t want a globally recognized avatar? But problems with the service, combined with the emergence of the popular MyBlogLog avatar, seemed to have spelled the doom of Gravatar.

    Now it looks like the service has been revived with Automattic’s recent acquisition of Gravatar. If anyone can turn this service into a success, it is the makers of WordPress. So what does this mean for Gravatar? And will the MyBlogLog avatar lose its popularity? Here is what Automattic has to say about their plans for the new service:

    • We’re going to make all of the Premium features free, and refund anyone who bought them in the last 60 days.
    • Move the gravatar serving to a Content Delivery Network so not only will they be fast, it’ll be low latency and not slow down a page load.
    • Take the million or so avatars we have on WordPress.com and make them available through the Gravatar API, to compliment the 115k already here.
    • From Gravatar, integrate them into all WordPress.com templates and bring features like multiple avatars over.
    • From WordPress.com, bring the bigger sizes (128px) over and make that available for any Gravatar. Currently Gravatars are only available up to 80px.
    • Allow Gravatar profile pages with Microformat support for things like XFN rel="me" and hCard.
    • Develop a new API that has cleaner URLs and allows Gravatars to be addressed by things like URL in addition to (or instead of) email addresses.
    • Rewrite the application itself (site.gravatar.com) to fit directly into our WordPress.com grid, for internet-scale performance and reliability.

    It looks like the main beneficiaries of this plugin will be WordPress.com users, but I would expect to see the revival of Gravatar plugins appearing on WordPress.org blogs around the blogosphere once everything gets implemented.

  • Leave a Comment