Recap: Editorial Tools Demo

Thanks to everyone who attended Friday’s VIP Editorial Tools demo!

Here’s an outline of the demo, and for anyone who missed it, you can watch a video of the presentation here:

I wanted to clarify a couple of things that came up during the demo.

First, a couple of you asked about distributing the post-by-email email address to your staff. This email address is specific to your user account, and all of your other blog users, no matter what their user role is, can create their own post-by-email secret address. Emailed posts by users in the Contributor user role will always be saved as pending rather than published.

Secondly, one of you asked if all users could see the post revisions. All administrators and editors can see all post revisions. Authors can see post revisions for any post they have authored (which are the only posts they’re able to view in the Dashboard). Contributors cannot see revisions.

Thanks for the great questions!

As a reminder, here are the links I shared during the demo and support documentation for each feature discussed:

  • VIP Training Days — upcoming training events in San Francisco in October 2013!
  • Copy a Post – Find yourself repeating the same post format frequently? Use an existing post as a template.
  • Request Feedback – Send a preview of your draft to folks who don’t have access to your site and collect their feedback before you publish.
  • Distraction Free Writing – Focus on your content with the cleaner, simpler full-screen editor.
  • Revisions – Want to recover some text in an earlier draft? Restore the earlier revision. Not familiar with the new 3.6 revisions format? We cover it!
  • Post by Email – Don’t have time to log into your Dashboard? Post to your blog directly from your email.
  • Zemanta Editorial Assistant – Meet the ultimate editorial assistant! Add related content and related images to your original content. Find out more at Zemanta.com!
  • Jetpack — Add tons of popular WordPress.com features to your self-hosted WordPress site with one plugin. Jetpack is supported by the team here at WordPress.com.
  • Edit Flow — Redefine your editorial workflow and empower your team with custom statuses, a calendar, editorial comments, and more.

We’ll be doing an online demo on editorial plugins in the near future, so watch this blog for that announcement. If you have feedback for us on the demo, or if there are topics you’d like to be covered in this way in future, let us know!

You’re Invited! Join Us for an Editorial Tools Demo

Attention all VIP editors and writers!

You’re invited to join us for a demo on Friday, September 6, 2013 at 11:00am EST. We’ll discuss how to speed up your composition with six handy WordPress.com editorial tools you might not know about, including:

  1. Copy a post: Find yourself repeating the same post format frequently? Use an existing post as a template!
  2. Request feedback: Send a preview of your draft to folks who don’t have access to your site and collect their feedback before you publish.
  3. Distraction free writing: Focus on your content with the cleaner, simpler full-screen editor.
  4. Revisions: Want to recover some text in an earlier draft? Restore the earlier revision. Not familiar with the new 3.6 revisions format? We’ll get you up to speed.
  5. Post by email: Don’t have time to log into your Dashboard? Post to your blog directly from your email.
  6. Zemanta Editorial Assistant: Meet the ultimate editorial assistant! Add related content and related images to your original content.

The demo will last for about 20 minutes, and we’ll have a question-and-answer session afterward.

Date: Friday, September 6, 2013
Time: 11:00am EST — See what time the demo is in your timezone.
Register: Click here to register!

Code For The People: How Media Explorer Was Made

With the new Media Explorer plugin, you can now search for tweets and videos on Twitter and YouTube directly from the Add Media screen in WordPress. Media Explorer is a joint project by WordPress.com VIP and Code For The People (a VIP Featured Partner). In this post, CFTP’s John Blackbourn shares the technical and user experience decisions that were made while developing the plugin. 

Embedding a YouTube video or a tweet into a WordPress post is powerfully easy.

There’s no HTML, no shortcode, no dialog box or Settings page – just the magic of oEmbed, baked right into WordPress core. But it’s so simple, and so unassuming, that many people just don’t know it’s there; and it’s not something they’d ever go looking for. With Media Explorer, we wanted to expose that magic within the user interface.

The end goal was to make retrieving externally-hosted content as easy as retrieving items from your own site’s Media Library, without even having to open another browser tab.

The initial plan concentrated purely on integration with Twitter with an architecture that would easily allow developers to add support for other web services like Flickr, YouTube, and Scribd.

Once the base of the plugin was completed with the Twitter search functionality, it was exciting to see YouTube support added in double-quick time, with no changes to the core plugin. It’s what WordPress development should be all about.

media-explorer-twitter-map

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Comcast Commemorates The March On Washington with New WordPress Site

To commemorate today’s 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a major milestone of the Civil Rights Movement where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech, new WordPress.com VIP client, Comcast has launched His Dream, Our Stories.

The site chronicles the history and impact of the civil rights movement and features more than 80 unique and personal interviews with civic leaders, elders, clergy, and activists.

Through commentary and archived footage, His Dream, Our Stories provides historic context for the March on Washington, the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement through interviews from influential leaders, including Rev. Billy Kyles, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, Ernest Green of the Little Rock Nine, political leaders like Rep. John Lewis and attendees of the March on Washington, the Detroit Walk to Freedom and the Selma-Montgomery March.

On this historic anniversary, please take a few minutes to check out the site and share it with your colleagues, friends and family.

His Dream Our Stories   Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

 

Interested in VIP Support for self-hosted enterprise and corporate sites? Get in touch

Introducing WordPress.com VIP Training Days

Update: Future dates for VIP Training Days will be posted on our Training Services page. 

203_6563_CH-677After the success of the VIP Workshop, our intensive developer conference for select VIP clients and partners, we consistently heard from our clients that they wanted more VIP training options, and more often.

We’re answering that call by launching WordPress.com VIP Training Days, our one-day intensive courses which will be held in-person and, in the future, also online. These courses will focus on small groups of students with hands-on material led by several Automattic and WordPress.com VIP Featured Partner instructors. The course will be very interactive and full of practical information & exercises, and students will have the opportunity to ask questions during the course as well.

Read on for more information about our two inaugural courses, which will take place in October in San Francisco.

VIP Training Days – San Francisco, October 2013

Special Note: These courses are suitable for both self-hosted and WordPress.com VIP sites/superusers/developers – the large majority of the material will focus on core WordPress functionality/features.

  • Superuser Training - October 14th – $600 course fee.
  • Developer Fundamentals I Training - October 15th, $850 course fee.

Note: All transportation, transfer, and lodging costs will be the responsibility of each student, as well as any other expenses not explicitly stated. Lunch will be provided. Payment is required to confirm registration. 

Register for the Developer Fundamentals I training, or the Superuser training in San Francisco in October, or read on for more information about each course’s curriculum and prerequisites.

If you’re interested in VIP training and can’t make it to the San Francisco dates, you can register your interest and let us know your location preferences (no commitment required). It’s possible we’ll add more dates or locations in the future.

Register now!

Developer Fundamentals I Training

Description

WordPress Fundamentals I is a day-long, intensive course meant to introduce PHP developers to programming for WordPress. Attendees should be familiar with WordPress as a tool, and have a working understanding of its general terminology. Proficiency with PHP is also a must, but no knowledge of the WordPress code itself is expected.

Prerequisites

  • Proficiency with basic PHP development.
  • Awareness of WordPress as a platform, including common terminology such as a post, a page, widgets, and sidebars.
  • A local development environment running WordPress Trunk. We will provide a virtual machine ahead of time for participants who don’t have their own development environments, but they will be responsible for setting it up ahead of time.

Course Materials & Requirements

Each student will provide their own computer (laptop) for the course, with working wifi functionality. A lunch break and light lunch will be provided by WordPress.com VIP. Students should have a local working copy of WordPress trunk installed and tested prior to the training. To download trunk: http://wordpress.org/download/svn/

Curriculum Overview

  • Intro to WordPress core, SVN, and Trac, history and culture
  • Developer environment and debugging tools
  • WordPress Development Best Practices
  • Introduction to Plugins
  • Actions and filters
  • Introduction to Themes
  • The Loop & WP_Query
  • More on themes
  • …and more!

Superuser Training

Description

In this course, you’ll learn how to manage and use the WordPress interface from a site owner’s point of view; as someone who will be managing multiple users, their permissions, and ultimately sharing knowledge with them about how to use WordPress to publish a great site with an active community and/or audience. We like to think of this course as our teachers teaching your teachers – those who will serve as the WordPress expert in an organization.

We’ll also do a deep dive into the publishing process so our superusers can teach their editors, authors, and contributors how to best use the WordPress interface. From creating and publishing posts to managing tags and categories, from mastering multimedia and images in articles, and bulk management of posts and pages, we’ll cover the entire publishing process from draft to done.

Prerequisites

Users should have a working (beyond basic) knowledge of the WordPress administration panel / backend. They should be managers, administrators, or editors of an existing or future WordPress site with multiple users.

Course Materials & Requirements

Each student will provide their own laptop computer (no tablets) for the course, with working wifi functionality. A lunch break and light lunch will be provided by WordPress.com VIP to all students. For the purposes of the course, students will be given access to a WordPress.com site. Users will be requested to create a WordPress.com username if they don’t have one, and this username will be submitted to the course instructor. To create a WordPress.com username: http://en.wordpress.com/signup/

Curriculum Overview

  • User Management: roles, permissions, and invitations
  • User Profiles: settings, preferences, and Gravatars
  • Comments: moderation, spam, and notifications
  • Creating & Publishing posts
  • Managing tags and categories
  • Mastering Media: images, galleries, and slideshows
  • Bulk management of Posts and Pages
  • …and more!

Register for the Developer Fundamentals I training, or the Superuser training in San Francisco in October!

Refunds

We’ll provide a full refund if the cancellation is requested within 30 days from the event date, and 50% thereafter. No refunds will be provided for cancellations 5 days before the event.

Register now!

Upcoming Demo: How Parade.com uses the WordPress Theme Customizer

Have you been curious about the WordPress Theme Customizer?

It’s used by many theme designers to allow users to quickly preview and customize themes from the admin interface, but many VIPs are using it as a way to give editors and content owners more control of the site’s appearance without having to delve into the code. The Theme Customizer can allow them to preview and publish significant personalizations or changes to a site’s home page (or other page) with just a few clicks, allowing for the editorial team to react quickly to the latest news stories.

Parade.com's Demo of the Theme Customizer

The WordPress.com VIP team is featuring a deeper look at the Theme Customizer with the help of the Parade.com team.

During the free 30-minute demo, we’ll take a deeper look at the Theme Customization API and why it’s interesting, how it works from a technical standpoint, and we’ll see some examples from Parade of what it can do, as well as how these customizations were enabled at the code level. The demo will be led by Parade.com’s Senior Developer, Taylor Buley (Twitter / Github), and he’ll cover both technical & non-technical information so all participants are welcome to attend. A brief Q&A will follow the demo.

Time & Date: Wednesday, August 28th, at 10am PT. Find what time the demo is in your timezone.

Want to attend this free demo? Register here

Check out the teaser video below to get a taste of what’s in store during the Theme Customizer demo.

Want more information about using WordPress for big brands and enterprises? Get in touch.

A Behind The Scenes Look at Atlantic Media’s Quartz

Quartz, the business news publication of Atlantic Media, launched in September 2012 on WordPress.com VIP Cloud Hosting.

The site had been in the works for about a year prior to that and development started in earnest over the summer, a rather short window. The Quartz team agreed pretty quickly that they didn’t want a custom-built CMS and the problems that come with it, and instead felt like WordPress was the best CMS that suited their needs.

We spoke with Josh Kadis, Web Applications Technologist at Quartz, about the site and its incarnation on WordPress.

Netflix’s “House of Cards” gets first major Emmy nominations for online-only show - Quartz

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Why The Washington Post Uses WordPress

Yuri Victor from The Washington Post gave this flash talk about “Why The Washington Post Uses WordPress” at the VIP Workshop in May 2013.

The main reasons he cites are :

  • Tests well with bloggers
  • Tests well with audience
  • Allows fast development
  • Allows us to ABC (Always Be Changing)

They started with just one blog and moved on to other Washington Post properties:

We did a test with Ezra Klein’s blog by converting it to WordPress. He loved it and the blog has seen such a massive increase in pageviews we’re now moving all our blogs to WordPress and we’re launching new blogs every week.

and are big proponents of iteration and prototyping, which they did with their mobile site:

When we wanted to redesign our mobile site we started doing rapid prototypes with foundation and WordPress. Rather than building a Washington Post mobile site with articles, we wanted to build a mobile site with a great reading experience that happened to be by The Washington Post. This was obviously going to be a radical departure from most mobile news sites so to get buy in we had to have real prototypes management could use and approve.

Click through his slides (below) to see the full presentation deck, and delve into their meaning further in this post on Yuri’s blog.

Want more information about WordPress for media or enterprise sites? Contact WordPress.com VIP Services.

Yuri also presented a version of this talk at the annual WordPress conference, WordCamp San Francisco:

How Maker Faire is using WordPress

Jake Spurlock from Maker Media gave the flash talk “How Maker Faire is using WordPress” to attendees at the VIP Workshop in May 2013.

Over the last few months, they built a fairly robust tool for generating applications, scheduling events, and managing all of the data for the Maker Faire app, all using WordPress.

Want more information about WordPress for community or enterprise sites? Contact WordPress.com VIP Services.