WordPress News

Why WordPress.com for education (and portfolios, restaurants & musicians) is a big fat fail

Talking of big fat things, I’ll start with a hefty disclaimer, I’m the founder and CEO of Edublogs – the largest education blog provider (and also based on WordPress) on the web.

So, having got that out of the way let me tell you why I’m profoundly unconcerned by the announcement today that WordPress.com is venturing into the ‘education vertical’ and why I don’t think it should scare of any other niche site builders out there.

tl;dr – it’s shallow, insincere, cynical, lacking in focus and flimsy.

Here’s why…
Almost too shallow for words

It's got an apple on it, thus it must be for teachers

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Sneak Peek At The New Twenty Thirteen WordPress Theme

The first draft of the new Twenty Thirteen WordPress theme was made public this week. Mark Jaquith introduced the new theme on make.wordpress.org. The goals for the Twenty Thirteen theme are to provide a focus on blogging as well as great support for post formats.

Here’s a quick peek at what the design team has been up to:

Check out a live demo.

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WordPress 3.5 Elvin Is Ready For Download

It’s a happy day in the world of WordPress. The 3.5 “Elvin” release is now ready for download. Yes, that’s right, the 3.5 release has been dubbed “Elvin” – not as in elves but rather named for jazz drummer Elvin Jones. Curious about what’s new? Here’s a quick summary:

WordPress Media Completely Re-Envisioned

This release includes massive changes to the WordPress media library. You’re simply going to love how easy it is to add new media to WordPress. It provides a totally new experience for uploading photos and creating galleries.

New Twenty Twelve Default Theme

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WPMU’s Best in WordPress: Dec. 3rd – 9th

We’re down to only a few weeks left in 2012, and the last one gone by has been a great source for some fantastic WordPress goodies.

This week on WPMU’s Best in WordPress, we bring you information on the new WP 3.5, web analytics and SEO, some responsive CSS, and tips on how to get more involved in the WordPress community. Enjoy!

1. How to Become a Top WordPress Professional: SmashingMagazine

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WPMU’s Best in WordPress Nov. 26 – Dec. 2, 2012

In this week’s episode of Best in WordPress, we bring you a variety of posts, including a tutorial on theme creation, turning RSS feeds into content, official WordPress news, and a cool new way to add pull-quotes in your articles.

So let’s get started, shall we…
1. A Quick Method for Creating WordPress Themes (WPhub.com)
This post from WPHub gives you a great checklist for the required items of creating a new WordPress theme – including all the files you need to create, and the ones you don’t.
2. Turn Your RSS Into Content (SpeckyBoy)

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Commons in a Box: A Free, Easy-To-Install Community Based On WordPress and BuddyPress

The City University of New York has been offering its CUNY Academic Commons since 2009, providing faculty and staff with a way to share insights, ideas and passions with their peers. Since its inception, this platform has grown into a vibrant community of members who use blogs, groups, member profiles, discussion forums and wiki pages to contribute to an active community over 3,000 strong.

Now, the wiz kids behind the inception and development of this project have harnessed its power and released it in a new, extremely well-documented and packaged project, Commons in a Box, aka CBOX.

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New In bbPress 2.2: Dynamic User Roles, Improved Profiles and Better BuddyPress and Multisite Support

bbPress 2.2 is now available. This the third major release for the bbPress project and it’s awesome. Your forums will not be left hanging when you upgrade to WordPress 3.5 and BuddyPress 1.7. The good news is that bbPress is already one step ahead and fully compatible with upcoming releases.

You may have noticed everyone raving about the latest bbPress release on Twitter. That’s because 2.2 is packed full of all kinds of goodness:

Added What’s New and Credits pages
WordPress 3.5 and BuddyPress 1.7 ready
Improved user roles and capabilities
Improved theme compatibility
Improved BuddyPress Group Forums integration
Improved forums convertion tool

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WordPress Cities: The New Government Web Standard

City, town, and other municipality websites have long been in need of usability updates. Systems made decades ago were static and hard to update, rarely interact with any kind of social media, and see visitors often complaining about not being able to find the information they need.

Put simply, most governments are online in domain name only – with no meaningful interaction. And that’s certainly not reflective of today’s growing “community” on the web, nor its more recent advances in online technology.

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