Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park on Tour, on SNL, and on WP.com VIP

Many of you I’m sure caught the two performances this past weekend by Linkin Park on Saturday Night Live. The band is also on tour throughout North America right now.

But what you may not have known, is that Mike Shinoda has been blogging some really high quality content for a while now on our WordPress.com VIP platform:
http://mikeshinoda.com

Check out his blog at mikeshinoda.com for really good insights, and special behind the scenes video footage using the VideoPress HD video service.

[ Visit mikeshinoda.com ]

Cheezburger Network Open Sources Their WordPress Administration Panel

WordPress.com VIP Cheezburger Network, where you get your daily LOLz from one of their 50 popular sites like I Can Haz Cheezburger? and FAIL Blog, have shared the code of their WordPress theme administration panels.

Called CheezCap, it’s a simple library for easily creating custom admin panels.

Screenshot of CheezCap

Cheezburger Network uses a single shared theme across all their sites. In order to avoid having to create conditionals and other per-blog modifications in their theme, they developed CheezCap. Any of the administrators can update the options controlling the layout, design, colors, etc, without having to dig into the theme code.

When asked what motivates his engineering team to participate in the WordPress community, CTO Scott Porad replied:

I can say without hesitation that WordPress has had a hand in the success of Cheezburger. So, to the extent that we can help other people be successful with WordPress, we’re on board!

What I meant to say is… All aboard the WordPress Express! Choo Choo!

Dan Ariely Joins WordPress.com VIP

Delighted to have the insightful and eye-opening author and professor, Dan Ariely, now hosting his relaunched site in our WordPress.com VIP program.
http://danariely.com

Dan is the author of Predictably Irrational, and the recently released The Upside of Irrationality which he talks about in this short video:

[ Visit danariely.com ]

Rosetta Stone Joins WordPress.com VIP

Rosette Stone, the technology-based language learning company, has launched their new blog RVOICE on WordPress.com VIP:
http://blog.rosettastone.com/2010/05/11/welcome/

The new blog, RVoice, will focus on:

… [a] discussion on the role of technology and pedagogy in changing how people learn languages. And we also wanted to provide an opportunity for you to get to know us better and for us to get to know you.

Our intention is not to have a blog just for the sake of being current – no technology for technology’s sake, we like to say. This is about opening up the conversation and providing a focused forum for debate on new ideas and practices in the field of language learning. Clearly, there is lots of soul searching going on out there about tech-enabled language learning – what’s lacking is the participation of leading practitioners and a framework for the debate. We hope to change that.

[ Visit RVOICE ]

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 ]

The Carter Center Joins WordPress.com VIP Hosting

Exciting to see that former US President Jimmy Carter’s organization, The Carter Center, has just launched their blog, which is part of the WordPress.com VIP Hosting program:

The site will focus on covering:

…updates on the Center’s peace and health efforts around the world. Our blog will feature news and video from the field, photo essays, articles authored by our experts, and more.

[ Visit The Carter Center Blog ]

TNT’s Mike Fratello Joins WordPress.com VIP Hosting

Very excited to welcome Mike Fratello to the WordPress.com VIP Hosting program. As many NBA fans know, Mike is the “Czar of the Telestrator” – and works alongside Marv Albert covering TNT’s NBA games. Mike was also previously a top coach in the league:

The site integrates PollDaddy for user polls, as well as Facebook and Twitter in the sidebar.

[ Visit MikeFratello.com ]

UPS Joins WordPress.com VIP Hosting

UPS has announced the launch of their new blog, Upside, which is running on WordPress.com VIP Hosting:

The Upside blog, designed and built by T3 is a “blog created by UPS to share personal insights and perspective about the largest transportation company in the world.”

Some really interesting content posted so far including a video of how UPS and Zappos are working together.

[ Visit blog.ups.com ]

SEC Launches Investor.gov on WordPress.com VIP

The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) announced the launch today of Investor.gov – a site focused on helping and educating investors:
sec-investor-gov-vip

Investor.gov is hosted in the WordPress.com VIP program, and uses a custom theme based on the GPL licensed Vibrant CMS theme.

Be sure to check out the video welcome message from Chairman Mary Schapiro for more details.

[ Visit Investor.gov ]