Boys’ Life Joins WordPress.com VIP

Boy’s Life earns a badge as a new WordPress.com VIP.

boyslifemagazine

Boys’ Life, the official publication of the Boy Scouts of America, is a monthly magazine read by nearly nine million readers between the ages of 6 and 17.

The site is used as an interactive extension of the print magazine. Readers are encouraged to submit jokes, ask questions about gear or gadgets, share hobby tips, and participate in other ways. The site provides valuable scouting information for boys, such as merit badge requirements and scout law.

The Boys’ Life theme has numerous category templates for different areas of the site and displays information about reader submissions by using custom fields. Ratings and related posts utilize the Outbrain WordPress plugin.

[ Visit Boy's Life ]

TIME’s Liveblog Election ’08

With all the great coverage today of the U.S. Election an informative and truly funny source can be found on TIME’s Liveblog Election ’08 site, powered by WordPress.com VIP.

Written by Michael Grunwald, James Poniewozik, and Karen Tumulty, the live blog includes gems like this:

7:21 p.m. – Michael Grunwald: Also hilarious on cnn: the constant scoreboard stuck at 8-3 for mccain. Ballsy of him to go for two so early in the game, don’t you think?

And this one too:

7:17 p.m. – Michael Grunwald: I haven’t even started drinking and wolf blitzer appears to be interviewing a hologram of princess leia.

[ Visit TIME's Liveblog Election '08 site ]

Sci-Fi Novelist John Scalzi Joins WordPress.com VIP

Science fiction writer John Scalzi has joined the ranks of WordPress.com VIPs.

Whatever Blog

John is the author of more than a dozen published titles. He has been nominated for five Hugo Awards, winning the 2008 Best Fan Writer Hugo. He also won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2006.

As he notes in a recent post, John made the switch because

This backend robustness and knowledge of the WordPress platform appeals to me, especially after a couple of months of banging my head against a wall trying to do things on my own.

[ Visit Whatever ]

WordPress.com Comments In Fox News’ Live Video of Tonight’s Debate

Tonight’s U.S. Presidential debate is being streamed live on foxnews.com.

In a very innovative and useful way, Fox News has integrated user comments from their WordPress.com VIP blog On The Scene seamlessly into the live video stream.

This allows for greater user engagement and interaction and provides a real real-time feedback loop on how viewers are reacting to the debate.

[ Visit Foxnews.com ]

NFL Selects WordPress.com VIP

We are very excited about our newest partner in the WordPress.com VIP program, the National Football League, with their launch of blogs.nfl.com.

The NFL has partnered with WordPress.com VIP for both a rapid-fire news blog at blogs.nfl.com, as well as an expert commentary / user feedback set of blogs which are incorporated into the NFL’s exciting new web video application Sunday Night Football Extra:

On blogs.nfl.com you’ll find news and commentary about the NFL as well as insights and reports from the great Adam Schefter.

Sunday Night Football Extra will feature NBC and NFL Network analysis from the likes of Jerome Bettis, who will be blogging in WordPress.com with his thoughts on the game.  To see this in action head over to nfl.com during the game.

[ Visit blogs.nfl.com and Sunday Night Football Extra ]

Real Dan Lyons Launches on WordPress.com VIP

Real Dan Lyons, aka Fake Steve Jobs, has relaunched his site on WordPress.com VIP:

Screenshot of RealDanLyons.com

The firm cnp Studio ( formerly profiled for their work with Sony ) did a tremendous job building the site and made great use of WordPress pages and widgets:

We created RealDanLyons.com for Dan to promote not only his blog, but his speaking engagements, books and articles. The site pulls inspiration from his new employer, Newsweek and in the interest of keeping things light and personal, Dan provided us images to use that were not the typical headshot (big thanks to Jeremy for those design skills).

Nick Gernert @ cnp discussed the benefits of WordPress.com VIP for a high-profile site such as this:

A first for us with this project was using WordPress.com’s VIP Hosting to host the site. This didn’t mean much difference for us in the development of the site except we know we don’t have to worry about high traffic days on the site, they do.  We still developed the site in a local staging environment running a standard install of WordPress. They assisted in taking things from staging to production and now future updates to the site are a matter of committing updates to a SVN repository

[ Visit RealDanLyons.com and cnp Studio case study ]

VIP in the News: BlogTalkRadio

BlogTalkRadio, a social radio network, just announced a new round of funding.

Alan Levy, the CEO, posted on the company blog ( which is hosted on WordPress.com VIP ) explaining on how they got to this point and the power of bloggers and other individuals to create audio shows:

We launched BlogTalkRadio almost two years ago as an idea that we thought had some legs. As has been well-documented in the past, our theory was quite simple: Would bloggers, or in fact anyone, be interested in creating audio content using a phone? Would it be possible to create a new distribution platform and medium, where anyone with a phone and something to say could establish and build an audience? If this is such a good idea, why is no one else doing it? We had many more questions than answers.

Levy offers details on where BlogTalkRadio is today:

Fast forward from the fall of 2006 and we have broadcast close to 100,000 shows. We have had Academy Award winners, Presidential candidates, best-selling authors and many other notables. We have thousands of active hosts talking about the things that interest them and their audience. Our content is listened to more than 3 million times a month and as new content is created and added to the long tail, the number of listeners continues to grow rapidly.

[ Read more on the BlogTalkRadio blog & today's New York Times article ]

Healthier Health.com

Yesterday, Health.com launched a complete site redesign, and I’m excited that WordPress.com VIP Hosting is part of it. Their main blog Poked and Prodded has been migrated from TypePad, and we are also hosting their two new blogs Healthy Living and Healthy Eating.

All of the old links to Poked and Prodded continue to work, and the newer articles now have the more readable and better search engine optimized WordPress style of permanent links.

One thing I really like about their themes is the use of avatars for each contributor both in the sidebar and on their individual author bios. It really personalizes the experience.

Health.com Editorial Director Scott Mowbray wrote in the article about the relaunch:

“… we do like to blog. We do like to present diverse voices talking about human issues”.

The the rest of the article continues to focus on their opportunity to use their expertise as journalists and editors to create a web site helping “make lives easier, healthier, and more interconnected”.

In my small role helping with the migration, and as a new parent, I found myself reading a lot of the articles and watching the videos. They are successful at “answering the questions you really want answered”.

The Health.com team chose WordPress.com VIP Hosting because WordPress provides the setting for people connecting, allowing Health.com to stay focused on their writing (using our intuitive interface), while we provide the flexible environment to integrate their blogs into the Health.com experience, and the performance, maintenance, and stability to give them the piece of mind that their audience and participants will always have a great experience.

VIP Interview: Ben Huh

A few of us had lunch with Ben Huh of the inimitable I Can Has Cheezburger (and others) today. Here’s the video:

LOLcats have remarkable staying power:

lolcats and funny pictures

Update: Looks like I put my hand over the microphone on the part where Ben says how much he likes WordPress.com. You’ll have to take our word for it. :)