Why the gdgt+AOL union is a rallying cry for the WordPress community

In my latest article on WP Daily, I talk about why the recent acquisition of tech site gdgt by AOL’s tech publishing arm might be bad news for WordPress in the enterprise:

I’m suggesting that old, tired, and unfair “WordPress is for traditionally-formatted blogs” trope may still be a factor when online media properties choose their technology platforms.

If that misconception is a factor when enterprises choose platforms, it can be particularly troubling as media companies (such as AOL, Vox, and Buzzfeed before them) choose and promote in-house platforms.

If it’s true – that WordPress is passed over, at least in part, because of the outdated and incorrect notion that it’s too generic and not customizable enough for enterprise – what can we do as developers?

Read the whole thing, and share your take in the comments! Thank you to WP Daily for publishing the article – check them out for all kinds of great news and commentary on WordPress.

 

MaineOpenGov.org is a revolutionary new website which creates some amazing opportunities for enterprising journalists, bloggers, and citizens to ask questions in public and among friends about our state government and back them up with facts.

How and why? The how is simple: Sponsored by the Maine Heritage Policy Center, the MaineOpenGov.org website provides a powerful, usable search engine which allows for thousands of public records to be searched on a variety of metrics. From state employee salaries to state payments to outside contractors, citizens can access a variety of information previously difficult to obtain, or unavailable altogether.

The why is equally simple: Transparency and accountability, two forces which are not only severely lacking in almost every government enterprise, but which can be powerful change agents for citizens to hold their elected (and non-elected) officials accountable.

Anybody with an internet connection (or access to a library) can search for patterns- or even single instances- of data, and use that information to tell their friends, publish it on a blog, or contact their representative(s).

This is big stuff, people of Maine- I hope to dive more into it in the coming weeks, and I encourage other Maine citizens to do the same. It’s at MaineOpenGov.org– give it a minute of your time today, even out of curiosity’s sake.

And on a side note, how have I not heard of the Maine Heritage Policy Center before? Judging by the MaineOpenGov site, as well as their organizational website, they are definitely an organization to watch, right in our own backyard.

Akismet will cure your comment spam blues

Yes, the time has come for me to publicly express my love for Akismet. It’s a relatively new plugin for WordPress that grabs comment spam and dumps it in a moderation queue.

Since I installed it, Akisment has blocked 100% of the droves of unprintable comment spam that streams into my site on a daily basis, effectively eliminating comment spam as a problem and hinderance to managing my blog.

Akisment is a production of Automattic labs, the newly-formed company behind WordPress. It’s a cinch to install and use on your WordPress blog- just grab the files, upload them to your /plugins/ folder inside your WordPress install, and then grab a free API key for the service by singing up for an account at WordPress.com (a free, hosted installation of the WordPress tool).

With Akismet activated on your blog, the service begins working right away. Each time a comment (or trackback) is submitted, the service reviews it according to a centralized list of spam parameters and then decides to pass it to you or hold it in your own queue. You can check your Akisment queue and remove false positives, or leave the service alone and let it delete the spam for you every 15 days.

I have a feeling that a big part of Akismet’s success rate is that it is powered by the collective experience of all its users. For example, when checking your particular blog for spam, it relies on an algorithm that is ehanced each time it is put into use. So the more people that use Akismet, the more it learns about blocking spam, and the more effective it becomes for all.

Akisment was built for WordPress, but the developers have released an API with the intent that anybody who accepts comments on their site- be it blog, news site, whatever- can take advantage of the service.

If comment spam has become an unmanageable task for you, I highly recommend you try Akismet today.