Back on WordPress.com

If you’re seeing this, then my blog is back to being hosted on WordPress.com.

The primary reason for this? I want to blog more often. The writing interface in WordPress.com is now much, much better than what you get in a standard WordPress install. Plus, there’s also something to be said about not having the mental overhead of site management every time you go to write a blog post.

This domain’s history: switched from 1&1 to WebFaction in June 2009, to Slicehost in May 2010, back to WebFaction in September 2010, to WordPress.com in November 2011to Digital Ocean in March 2014, and back to Webfaction in January 2015.

Notify when logged out

Occasionally, WordPress will log you out while you’re creating content. If you’re using P2, the AJAX polling code will give you a popup indicating that you’ve been logged out (and locks your ability to post a form).

Within the admin however, you can hit “Save Draft” and WordPress will redirect you to the login. This means you’ve lost all of your content. If you’ve been logged out for a while too, WordPress hasn’t been autosaving.

It would be nice to bring that P2-style notification to the admin.

Dave Winer on what it means to have Tumblr hiring reporters

The function of a newsroom in the future is to coordinate the voices of the world to produce a coherent news product. That job will be done in very much the model that Tumblr is doing it. You could have started with a blogging community or you could have started with a news organization, but they’re both heading to the same place.

The Times of course has the best newsroom. So why don’t they evolve a blogging platform like Tumblr’s? They should have. I’ve been begging them to do it since the mid-90s. There’s still time to gather some of the leftover energy in the web, and to be prepared to catch some of the deserters when Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter et al stumble at growing into the space formerly occupied exclusively by the Times, Wash Post, etc.

But less time remains all the time.

Dave Winer — NYT growing the wrong way.

WordPress.com idea: Guided signups

Problem statement: Some users arrive at WordPress.com with intentions to launch a specific type of website. They know what type of site they want (e.g. photography portfolio) but don’t know how to use WordPress to achieve their goals. Although there’s lots of documentation available on features, we offer very little instructive, illustrated guidance on setting up different types of websites.

Each guide could have:

  • Links to example sites
  • Suggested WordPress.com upgrades
  • Suggested WordPress.com themes
  • Steps you need to take to configure your site
  • Frequently asked questions about setting up this type of site

This idea has been around the block a lot, and I recently rediscovered it in a notes folder. I think guided signups would be super useful for photo blogs, small to medium size business sites, mommy bloggers, etc.

WordPress.com idea: Nothing but custom CSS page template

For those who have the custom design upgrade enabled on WordPress.com, it would be neat if we offered a bare, stripped to the basics page template you could style to your hearts delight. For instance, if I do a year in review post, it might be nice to prepare a unique design for that. Dustin Curtis is notable for producing custom layouts for each post.

Obviously you can do this now, but you first need to reset a lot of design first. If you switch themes, there’s no guarantee your resets will still work.

“Phone” is to the iPhone as “RSS reader” is to ?

It’s time to iterate on the product formerly known as the RSS reader. Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr are going in a direction that emphasizes usability and ephemerality over durable value and utility. I want someone to do to the RSS reader what Apple has done to the iPhone. The iPhone is a phone — but it’s also a completely different paradigm.

Continue reading ““Phone” is to the iPhone as “RSS reader” is to ?”

WordPress.com idea: Tweets as comments

Often, when a post is publicized to Twitter (or Facebook), the ensuing conversation then happens on the other platform. The challenge with this is two-fold: the conversation happens out of context of the original piece, and isn’t as accessible as time goes on.

It would be neat to pull in responses to or retweets of a publicize action back into the context of the original post. Furthermore, those external reactions should be ingested in a structured manner, and the comments iA should reflect the nature of type of reaction.

This isn’t a new idea as it’s been done before but it’s still something to be vastly improved.

WordPress feature request: sharing links

I wish sharing links with WordPress from mobile wasn’t so darn complex. It’s be nice to make it a one- or two-step action, instead of: write a title, choose tags, choose category, find the link, prepare body post with the link, think of something interesting to say about the link, and hit publish. Half of the time, all I want to do is reblog what was already written (while obviously fitting it within the aesthetic of my site).

One way we could get there with the mobile app is by offering a bookmarklet to auto-fill a new post, a la Tweetie.