Category Archives: WPMU

PRblogs.org Now Offers Personalized Widgets

For some time, users of PRblogs.org have desired the ability to personalize their sidebars. Now, that is possible.

…making your blog look the way you want it makes sense and will help us gain users

Widgets have arrived at PRblogs.org. This will add significant functionality and likely please existing and new users.

Fiddling with plugins, I’ve been able to get Widgets to work on PRblogs.org.

Pretty cool. Visit the example blog at widgets.prblogs.org to see how they look.

In the sidebar, you will see – from the topwidget interface

Pretty nice, huh. Currently widgets only work on two themes – default and classic – but we’ll fix that over the coming week.

I’ll be going through and identifying themes that will work with widgets. All don’t, by the way, and it will likely take awhile for “all” to be made widget friendly. But, I’ll come back and identify the ones I find that work both with widgets and WordPress MU, the versions of WordPress we are running at PRblogs.org.

I’ll consider adding other widgets, if you wish to suggest them. I’m thinking that I’ll not put the PHP execute widget in as that is a security issue. But, there are others out there and I’m open to considering them, if you wish.

Update: Themes that work with widgets on PRblogs.org are now these…

  • WordPress Classic
  • WordPress Default
  • whiteasmilk
  • and more to come…
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Upgrade to WordPress 2.0

Took the plunge. As part of the redesign effort for this blog, I was hoping to upgrade to WordPress 2.0. Thankfully the developer team met their deadlines and did release the new version. Aren’t they great? You bet! Congratulations to all WordPress Developers.

The majority of differences between 2.0 and previous 1.5.x versions are in the user interface (admin area) and casual users won’t see them. There is the new “Roles and Capabilities” determination for blog subscribers/authors. A good run-down of all the changes, with an explanation, comes from Asymptomatic. Also, with the upgrade of the platform, WordPress has redesigned their main site and provided an improved, and organized, documentation section. That is especially good to see.

Upgrading to WordPress 2.0 on this heavily modified blog took only 45 minutes to get it back up and working. Not bad when you consider that counts backing up the database, deactivating over 20 plugins, deletion of all files, FTP of all new files, unrelated phone call interruptions, and the final re-activation of select plugins to get the blog running. There was a bit more to it, but that covers the major tasks.

…WordPress simply the best blog platform available anywhere…

Comments and posting are working. The new theme, Exquisite, is functioning. I will enable it later as the sidebar still needs some work.

As for WordPress 2.0, I admit that there are some quirks I’m discovering and I’ll probably spend a few hours fixing and tweaking things. However, that is because this blog had been modified a great deal with numerous plugins/hacks over the past several months. If this were a new installation, I am certain that the famous WordPress 5-minute (or less) install is still a safe and honest promise from the developers.

This version looks just like WordPress Multiuser in the administration area. It is very clean, easy to use and navigate, and quite powerful. All of that from free software. Can’t beat it.

So, for what it is worth, I now declare WordPress the King/Queen of the personal/business blogging platforms – opensource or commercial. Alright, to be fair – I’ll have to caveat that with my trusty-dusty “of the platforms I have tried” qualifier. As a yardstick on what I have tried, I have downloaded and installed (or tried to install) almost all of the blogs, portals, wikis (and several other CMS platforms) at Opensourcecms.com. I’ve even installed Movable Type and have/had Typepad, Blogger, LiveJournal accounts. For me, WordPress is the clear winner. It is not even close.

In fact, the new version of WordPress – out of the box – allows for the easy importing of posts from a Movable Type blog. “The importer is smart enough not to import duplicates, so you can run this multiple times without worry if—for whatever reason—it doesn’t finish. If you get an out of memory error try splitting up the import file into pieces.”

But, the new platform doesn’t stop there. You may also import from these accounts and processes, too. “Blogger – Import posts and comments from a Blogger account; Textpattern – Import posts from a Textpattern Blog; and, RSS – Import posts from an RSS feed”

What’s the point here? The level of user knowledge required to launch a WordPress blog is much lower than a Movable Type blog, for instance. Yet, you get the same power of Movable Type. I think you actually get more, but that is still being debated. Either way, more people can use the WordPress platform – easier and faster, out of the box – than any other platform you might choose to host yourself, or acquire hosting to launch.
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PRblogs.org Reaches Out :: Gets Buzz

I’ll be doing a bit of blogging over at PRBlogs.org as we start that project.

Please check out the site.

It is a free blog hosting service aimed at PR practitioners, educators and students. Free blogs. Non-profit. Ad free. Very niche.

This project now allows anyone to sign up with ease. Just fill in three simple boxes and click one button. Automatic blog. It uses WordPress Multiuser 1.6 (version 1.6-ALPHA-2). That is, by the way, the same platform that powers the recently launched WordPress.com.

Share the link with friends and colleagues. Come join us.

http://prblogs.org

WP.com :: WordPress.com – Follow Up

UPDATE: Amazing. Just as I hit post on this, I received a comment on the previous post from Lorelle. Follow that link and see what a WordPress.com blog looks like. Thank you, Lorelle. First, for confirming that it is WPMU. Second, for being on the prowl for links and helping ease the frustration level. You’ve got to see her blog. It is a perfect example of WordPress evangelism. That kind of information should be on all the empty links I describe below.

Another UPDATE: The links have been fixed. (Read the post below.) Seems someone did the wise thing and put redirects in their .htaccess for those URLs to the WordPress.com mainpage. Great going WP! Only took a half of a day. Perhaps someone actually reads this blog after all.

Now, on to my hopes for WordPress.com….

Another learning experience. I fear WordPress has erred in some of their tactics in this startup of WordPress.com.

When you are doing a launch of a new initiative, you must think through all the possibilities. I fear (in fact, am about to show you evidence) that WordPress did not think this thing through. They need representation. I imagine many are now in a scrammble to give it to them.

This isn’t intended to be harsh criticism. Just helpful thoughts for how to catch up, now that the errors are painfully evident. Remember. I am a fan. I want WordPress to succeed. 😀

WordPress wants to be a leader. They want this latest initiative to give them greater buzz and strengthen their brand in the online world – particularly for business. So, they should have crossed the T’s and dotted the I’s. They haven’t. It will cause angst among people wishing to find out about this new offering.
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WordPress.com :: Wish I had an invite

In case you haven’t guessed it from my rantings and evangelical fervor towards WordPress, I love the blogging platform.

Well, there is news! Matthew Mullenweg and all the WordPress developers have something new for you – hosted blogging at WordPress.com.

I believe that WordPress.org is now trying to pump up interest in WordPress MultiUser. A great tool for creating a blogging community. I’m betting that is what they are using to provide this new offer at WordPress.com.

Update: It may also be that WordPress is offering something more akin to what many hosting providers are offering: a .gzipped version of WordPress that may be launched immediately by a simple script. Darn. I want to find out more. 🙂 WordPress needs to win in this race for the business world’s fav blogging platform. Read Bucks for blogs: Businesses, bloggers look to score deals, forge links at S. F. summit (Mercury News)

Another Update: I now find this rather old comment thread at WordPress Suport Forums and it led me to this recent post in WordPress.com (Wednesday, July 20th, 2005) that makes me feel WordPress.com is using MultiUser. We’ll see.

I’m excited for WordPress. This could be the boost they need to start gaining wider MSM / Trade Press coverage.

WordPress.com is an easy and powerful way to start blogging.
Why Blog?

* Connect with an audience of dozens to millions.
* Stop sending mass emails to everyone.
* Archive your thoughts.
* Why the heck not? (WordPress.com)

and, from Qumana we find two features:

* WYSIWYG editor
* Side-panel features like categories can be moved around to better suit the order you prefer.

The WYSIWYG has already been available as a plugin. The drag-n-drop tools is in the 1.6-ALPHA-2 version and is used in the MultiUser version.

Thanks to PR meets the WWW – Constantin Basturea, Nevon – Neville Hobson, and DL Byron for the tip off to this new offering.

We are using MultiUser for PRblogs.org to give free blogs to PR practitioners, educators and students. That project is in conjunction with James Farmer of BlogSavvy. Many thanks to James. He is offering new blogs to educators at edublogs.org, too. James thinks way ahead of the curve.

Best wishes to WordPress with their new offering. After people start to see this blogging platform (on an even larger scale – building communities) I believe the others may have some very worried expressions on their faces. It is that good.

Related links:
Matt on his WordPress presentation at the BBS05
Donncha O’Caoimh’s blog
Reference to James Farmer’s work in the Multiuser blog