The VIP Services team meets in London

The entire Automattic VIP Services team (minus Lloyd, who thankfully held down the support queue!) spent the past week in London to talk strategy, fraternize, and meet with existing and prospective VIP clients in the area.

We had a VIP meetup one night, and we were pleased by the turnout and the conversations that were flying between the guests, both VIP project owners and developers alike. We continue to expand our VIP Services offerings for both self-hosted and WordPress.com VIPs, and the response has been very, very positive. One thing to us is clear – demand for WordPress is increasing, and our clients are hungry to apply it to all their upcoming projects.

They’re even happier when we tell them, “Yes, WordPress can do that, too!” Here on the Publisher blog, we’ll continue to highlight some of those outside-of-the-blog uses of WordPress (yep, it’s a CMS, too) that are becoming the driving force behind new enterprise adoption of WordPress.

Thanks to everyone who came out for a drink & a chat – and we look forward to another VIP meetup closer to where you are!

If you’d like more information about VIP Services for your WordPress site, be sure to contact us!

MediaPost: “The winner will be WordPress”

Interesting post from Philip Leigh of MediaPost this week, titled “The Implications Of Blogging“:

…Similarly, it’s likely that the future of blogging — and the future spread of knowledge — will reflect the characteristics of whatever blog platform achieves dominance. Increasingly it appears that the winner will be WordPress. It first appeared seven years ago as a successor to software typically used for online diaries. Thus, it was originally text-based, but has since evolved to also encompass audio, video, and animation. It has even become a popular platform for entire websites as well as important components of prominent sites such as The New York Times.

(Emphasis mine).

Philip goes on to state:

In short, WordPress is not merely a blogging tool. It’s a platform that can lead to an explosion of new media properties capable of text, video, audio, music, animation, interactivity, online merchandising, podcasting, and even social networking. Successful innovations will rapidly take root and expand while unsuccessful ones will quickly perish or remain marginal.

[ Read the full article on MediaPost.com ]

WordPress Top Demanded Skill on Elance

Since last year when we wrote about “WordPress in Demand on Elance“, WordPress has surged into the top ten, and now is the sixth most in demand skill on Elance!

Elance Top Overall Skills in Demand Q2 2010

Online publishing dominates this list. It’s exciting that the ever evolving WordPress, built on it’s PHP, MySQL, and CSS stack, continues to be the web development platform in demand.

Elance’s 2010 Q2 Online Employment Report also includes a single profile, that of Ron Z Zvagelsky, highlighting his success as a WordPress Expert on Elance.  Represent!

Computer Courage On Why You Should Use WordPress

Great summary over on computercourage.com, on the “Top 10 Reasons To Use WordPress.org For Your Website”:

4. The Visual Editor and CMS are Outstanding

The intuitive, user-friendly backend of WordPress is probably what made it so famous in the first place. I’ll never remember the relief I felt when I first installed WordPress after a few Drupal experiences. I always tell my clients, “if you can do it in Word, you can do it in WordPress.” In fact, with the Paste From Word tool, that statement is more true than you would imagine (this article was written in Word). WordPress is continually improving its CMS, adding features such as threaded comments, galleries, revision histories, trash, custom post types, and more. If you haven’t maintained a WordPress site yet, give it a look.

[ Read the full post computercourage.com ]

Mike Pratt on BuddyPress – Social Networking in a Box

At a recent Dallas Fort Worth WordPress meetup, Mike Pratt gave a presentation on how he’s using WordPress and BuddyPress to build his very own social network:

… there are a ton of excellent needs and reasons to use BuddyPress to take your site and turn it into the community it is begging to become. That’s the killer point: there needs to be a community underlying all of this. Maybe your focused on gardeners in Texas or stamp collectors in Des Moines or people around the world dealing with Cystic Fibrosis – if you have a community in mind then BuddyPress is an amazing tool because you can shape the community according to you/its needs. Take that Facebook (or Ning)!

The slides and the full video from the presentation and more of his thoughts are available at mikepratt.tv

Upcoming WordCamps

Lots of WordCamps coming up, which are great events for publishers to learn more about WordPress and meet the WordPress community:
http://central.wordcamp.org/

This weekend, WordCamp Orange County will be held on Saturday April 24th on the UC Irvine campus.

The following weekend, WordCamp San Francisco will be held on Saturday May 1st, 2010 with a developer day on Sunday May 2nd. There will also be a party on Saturday night. If you haven’t registered yet and are interested in attending, please head over to the WordCamp SF site and register now, as these tickets tend to sell out pretty quickly.

The following weekend on May 8th, 2010 there are three amazing WordCamps happening all over the globe: WordCamp Paris, WordCamp Argentina, and WordCamp Chile.

For more information and a full listing of scheduled WordCamps, head over to WordCamp.org .

Celebrating Ada Lovelace Day

Today, March 24, is Ada Lovelace Day, an international day of blogging to celebrate the achievements of women in technology and science. As part of Ada Lovelace Day, we’d like to recognize the contributions of two amazing women who are part of the WordPress community, Jane Wells and Lisa Sabin-Wilson.

Jane Wells is a member of the WordPress core development team, with responsibility for user interface design. She has been a tireless advocate on behalf of users since joining the WordPress.org project as a contributor in 2008. Prior to working for Automattic, Jane ran a media research/usability lab in New York and served as director of user experience strategy at Schematic. She has also led the planning for WordCamps in New York and San Francisco, and has mobilized an open source design community in the run up to the release of WordPress 3.0.

Lisa Sabin-Wilson is a designer, business owner, and writer. Her design studio, E.Webscapes, provides design and development solutions for hundreds of bloggers and web site owners around the world, while her web hosting business, Blogs About Hosting, provides knowledgeable hosting for bloggers, with an emphasis on WordPress. Lisa is also the author of two editions of WordPress for Dummies, and the newly released BuddyPress for Dummies.

Thank you Jane and Lisa for all of your contributions to the WordPress community, and happy Ada Lovelace Day to you both.

WordPress Resources for Publishers

One of the biggest strengths of WordPress as a publishing platform is the depth of our community of consultants, developers, designers, and hosting providers. It can be tricky to figure out where to find pointers to awesome WordPress partners, so we’ve pulled together this mini-guide for publishers looking for help.

VIP Services: Hosting and Support
From the team that runs WordPress.com, at Automattic, we also offer VIP Services in the form of Hosting and Support. We’ve worked with more hosts than you can imagine, and in our opinion, the companies in our hosting directory represent some of the best and the brightest of the hosting world. If you’re a publisher with significant amounts of monthly traffic, VIP Hosting by WordPress.com is another option for your hosting needs. If you’d prefer to run WordPress on your own servers, but want some extra optimization, streamlining, or security help to future-proof your site for the traffic to come, you’ll want VIP Support.

CodePoet
CodePoet is a shortlist of WordPress consultants brought to you by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com. As the world’s largest operator of WordPress blogs (over 16 million and counting), we receive a steady stream of requests from people looking for WordPress savvy web design and software development firms. In response we’ve started CodePoet, a directory of consultants who specialize in building beautiful and efficient WordPress sites.

Relaunch of WordPress.com VIP Site and new VIP Support Options

As many of you know, the VIP program that we run provides two services. The first is exclusive bullet-proof hosting on our WordPress.com grid for high-profile and high-traffic sites. And the second is a program open to all where we provide developer-to-developer support on scaling and development projects for self-hosted WordPress sites.

Here’s a short video explaining the program:

We previously had separate sites for these two services, and recently decided to simplify the sites, and combine them into one, vip.wordpress.com .

For WordPress VIP Support, we also introduced new levels of support based on the feedback we’ve received this past year, including a top tier with a much requested on-site visit option.

What’s Next:
We have some exciting plans for the VIP program in 2010. First up, we will introduce a dedicated VIP Hosting portal for WordPress.com VIPs in the coming weeks, with documentation of all the special functions, lots of theme and system info, and best practice coding guidelines for WordPress.com. A bit further out we plan to streamline the support and ticketing system to provide a more complete 360 view of activity across multiple sites.

For VIP Support, expect new features and improvements to the private forum which will make finding answers more efficient and provide our team clearer information that will make the interactions better. And starting this year, we now include support for BuddyPress as part of VIP Support, and we are already seeing that become a bigger part of many of the larger WordPress powered sites.

[ For more information, please visit vip.wordpress.com ]

WordPress as a CMS Case Study: WNET.org

Back in July we posted about the remarkable project that WNET (PBS of NYC) put together with Tierra to launch 50 sites in ten months using one CMS, WordPress.

Dan Goldman and Jamie Trowbridge who headed up that project, were kind enough to present a case study of how it was all done, at the recent WordCamp NYC: