Advice for Those Entering the WordPress Community

My name is Jeff Chandler and I’ve written about and have covered the open source WordPress project for 7-8 years. There is little difference between myself and those who have just entered the WordPress community. Just like any community of people, there are unwritten rules, things you must do to become well-known throughout the rest of the community. That’s just the way it is.

Unlike a lot of other people you may meet, I’m forgiving and willing to listen to your pitch and discover why it is you’ve chosen this path. However, if you decide to enter the WordPress community with guns blazing, be prepared to suffer the consequences. Like many other communities, there’s an inner, middle, and outer circle of influential people. Those who are closest to the WordPress project I feel are most influential.

If you enter the WordPress community these days with guns blazing, chances are that you’ll fail. The recipe for success is pretty simple. Sit outside the ring and observe how the WordPress community interacts for at least a year. There are nuances that people will have to understand and abide by, that’s just the way it is.

If you think you’re going to enter the world of WordPress and change the rules, you’re mistaken. Kudos if you think you’ll be able to radically change the direction things are heading, but it doesn’t work that way.

Learn how the WordPress community speaks, acts, views various opinions, and observe as well as follow the rules put into place before you enter the WordPress community.

It might sound like I don’t like those who show up unannounced and expect the world to change around them. How can anyone appreciate someone like that? If you enter the WordPress community, do your research, don’t act like you’re god.

Respect the decisions and guidelines that have been set forth before your time. If you disagree with them, use the appropriate channels but try not to fuck up things for everyone else.

Last Update For WPTavern On Jeffro2pt0

Hell again, it’s me! Just wanted to publish one last update on this blog regarding WPTavern as after this week, I should be in a position to start utilizing the WPTavern website to publish content.

All of last week was generally spent on the forum. I went through a wacky series of events to get where I am today with regards to the forum. To read these events in detail to see what I’ve learned thus far, I’ve shared my experiences in a blog post on Performancing. For those not in the loop, I ended up choosing to purchase a $180.00 owned license of VBulletin. I’ve been wanting one of these for a long time but don’t get me wrong. I did try some open source alternatives. It’s just that in the end, VBulletin came out the winner.

So during these past seven days, I’ve worked my tail off styling the forum to match the main website, set the forum up (which was a boring, but required process), created a series of guidelines for new users as well as staff members, tinkered with usergroups and permissions, fixed styling issues, fixed weird anomalies, had a ton of help from community members such as Itsananderson and much more.

I must admit, I am shocked to see the forum doing so well so early. I honestly did not think the forum would take off the way it has until about 3 months into the new project. After I opened up registration, I sent the word out on Twitter and guess what? About 26-40 people visited the forum and those who have been following the news at least through Twitter ended up registering their accounts. Thanks to a couple retweets, even more people registered. So far, we’re at 34 Threads, 287 Posts, 37 Members, 37 Active Members. The forum is rocking and it has been a blast to interact with you guys and gals on a one-to-one level. You people make this fun and this is exactly one of the things I was hoping to achieve with the forum. Just wait until I actually launch this sucker to the public!

Speaking of the forum, all of the Moderator positions have been filled. They are in no particular order by real name: Larry Monte, Ryan Hellyer, JD Hartley, and Kit (as in Kit the person, not the computer in KnightRider). I personally extend a huge thank you to these individuals for volunteering their time to helping make the WPTavern forum community a success and to also make sure everything is in line. We really don’t want to throw people out of the Tavern through the double doors but if it’s called for, we’ll do it.

So what’s next? This week, I’ll be spending my time and energy on the actual WPTavern website. I admit though, after seeing the forum take off the way it has, I’ve since questioned whether I should actually have a blog/website for WPTavern. I want to be everywhere on the site contributing where I can but I feel that if I have to spend all of my time cranking out content for the website, I won’t have time to be active in the forum. However, I’ve decided that it would be best to do so as a means of keeping everyone updated on the community as whole, plus I have a thing or two to say about things going on within the world of WordPress as a whole. I originally wanted WPTavern to be the TechCrunch of WordPress information but if I really wanted to do that, I would have to sit in front of my PC night and day publishing articles on WordPress. There are plenty of things going on but not THAT many. Plus, I want to participate and interact with those who choose to spend time in the WPTavern community.

I plan on producing screencasts, written content, audio content, contributing in the forum and so much more. There is only so much Jeffro to go around! I have to be careful though with how I do things. Despite WordPress and the surrounding community being part of my passion, I don’t want to burn myself out.

Only a few people have asked, what will happen to the Jeffro2pt0 domain? My plan is to turn it into my personal blog. Cut back on the WordPress coverage and the various other things I used to write about and takes things to a more personal level. Sharing news articles that peak my interest or have an impact on me, sharing thoughts and perhaps even using that damn Flickr Pro account I always end up buying but never using to its fullest potential.

That should sum things up and bring everyone up to date with regards to the WPTavern project. I’m still on track to do a public beta launch on February first. Again, I extend a huge thanks to everyone who has signed up to the forum already, contacted me through email or other means to offer your help, and for your support and backing on this project. Not to get mushy but seriously, what the community has done thus far has resonated with me. Warm, fuzzy, feeling!

New Look In Store For Jeffro2pt0

After traversing the realm of WordPress themes the past few days, I’ve come across one which is an oldie but a goody. It’s called WP-Magazine. More specifically, the 2-column layout. I enjoy the featured post block as well as the layout in general. The Jeffro2pt0.com homepage will end up having some similarities with what used to be called a portal page. I’m not a big fan of the gray color scheme which is why I will be porting my current color scheme into this new theme. I’ve hacked my current theme (Shifter) to death and now it’s time for me to start over with a fresh code base and go from their.

The new site design will focus on the content as well as the community. Since most of the interaction on the blog takes place through the comments, you can rest assure that I will be taking special care of that section in the redesign. I plan on keeping a similar look and feel as I currently have within the comments section, but I’ll be adding a WYSIWYG text editor for the comments, larger text sizes, CommentLuv support, the ability to quickly reply or quote a specific comment, comment editing, the ability to subscribe to comments and more.

I don’t plan on having the new design ready any time soon, but I think I’ll have it online somewhere between the week of August 10th or sooner. As for Jeffc.me, I’ve been having some Addon Domain issues as of late and until I can export my personal posts from this site, into the personal blog, I won’t be doing much of anything.

MyBlogLog Improves Contact Manager

MyBlogLog Logo

MyBlogLog recently announced that they have improved the way in which users manage their contacts. When you click on the add/manage link that appears below your contacts, you’ll see the new screens. One thing I noticed immediately when checking out my own MyBlogLog profile is the large number of pending contacts. I had no idea that a large number of users added me as a contact. I wonder what the heck happened there. At any rate, you now have the ability to view pending contacts, contacts, and something called followers. Depending on the tab you select, you can add a contact, keep as a follower, block contacts and remove contacts.

New Options To Manage MyBlogLog Contacts

As a side note, MBL has also lifted the 15 contact requests/day limit due to the new contact management features.

By the way, this blog and myself are on MyBlogLog and have been for quite a while. I use MBL to create and manage a community of user’s interested in the content of this site. If you would like to be a part of my MyBlogLog community, click on the link that says “Add Me To This Sites Community” within the recent readers section of this website. Or, click here and click on the Join Community link.

Where We Do What We Do

I don’t know what it is about work spaces that intrigue me so much but I find them to be visually entertaining. Every work space that I have seen is unique in it’s own right. It’s where people end up creating, working, communicating ect. I strongly believe that the workspace can be a good indication into the makeup of a person. Then again, I might be crazy. I have an idea as to what my ideal work space would be like, but because of the constraints of not owning my own home, I really can’t create my ideal workspace and have to deal with the cards that have been dealt.

As I was monitoring my Twitter stream the other day, Steve Rubel passed along a link to WhereWeDoWhatWeDo.com This is a site dedicated to workspaces that have been submitted by user’s across the globe. WWDWWD is a project created by the Subata Corporation which is worked on within their spare time. Honestly, I really like the site’s design as I feel it places plenty of emphasis on the photos located on the front page. Upon clicking on one of the photos, the left hand sidebar gives you photo information with a link to digg the article. Below the photo information box is the comment section, followed by the comment form.

Workspace of Stefan Didak

I thought it was a bit goofy that you have to approve an email that is sent to you before your comment can be displayed on the website, but I suppose that is a good way to deal with spam, considering if the emails are not confirmed, the comment will never make it to the site.

I love checking out every one else’s workspaces. I posted mine back in an archived article entitield What Is Your Blogging WorkSpace? My layout has slightly changed as I now have a new tower for my desktop PC as well as a black HP all in one printer, that sits in the bottom drawer of the notebook desk. Other than that, the workspace has remained the same.

Personally, I think the best workspace showcased on WWDWWD is THIS ONE. What work spaces have you come across that you wish you had? Link to them in the comments section and let’s talk it over.

Some Forum Changes

ChangesToTheForum

I’ve recently made some changes to the forum. I decided to hide a majority of the forums and stick with the WordPress section for now. I admit, I’ve been lackluster in posting to the forum because there is only one Jeffro2pt0 but about 200 things and places I need to be. If you haven’t yet checked out the forums, please register an account and participate within the community.

Forum2pt0 Is Back

Forum2pt0

I’ve been giving the forum idea some second thoughts and have decided to bring them back online, right were we left off. With my new interest in WordPress, I have created an entire section in the forums dedicated to various aspects of the open source project hoping that this will help build an awesome community of WordPress users. I’ve since replaced the link to the forum to the top navigation bar of the blog. If you don’t feel like moving your mouse that much, you can check out the forums here.

I’ve also created a child forum for WordPress weekly so be sure to check out the forums again and lets see if we can’t make this forum rock the house.

PHPBB3 Goes Gold – Released

PHPBB Logo

After 5 long and sometimes painful years, the day has finally arrived where PHPBB 3 has reached gold status. PHPBB3 can now be downloaded from here and will be the official supported version of PHPBB. PHPBB 3 also known as “Olypmus” contains over 200,000 new and altered lines of code. When you take into consideration the recent security audit that the PHPBB 3 code undertook, PHPBB3 looks to be one of of the most secure open source projects to date.

phpBB has changed considerably since work on its second major release began. People have come and gone but this day would not have been reached without the hard work and dedication of all our group members, past and present. The phpBB community, all of you, also deserve a large pat on the back for continuing to support this project. Whether it be through writing mods, creating new themes, spreading the word or simply using phpBB to build new communities, our thanks to you too.

So again we say with great pride and many thanks to all those who’ve helped us reach this point – enjoy phpBB3.

Thank you.

For discussions about this announcement, please refer to: Discuss: phpBB3 Gold Released

So for those of you waiting and waiting for this moment to arrive, your Christmas present has arrived :). By the way, I still think Vbulletin is better but you can’t beat the price of PHPBB. (FREE)

Forum2pt0 Launches And More

Forum2pt0 Header

First off, how was your Thanksgiving? Mine turned out great if you take out the dangerous driving conditions that developed. Some lake effect snow formed over Lake Erie and as I was traveling through the snow belt on the turnpike, things became dicey at times but I managed to bring everyone home including myself, in one piece.

As for the blog. Sorry I haven’t been doing my regular rounds of postings. This holiday week has screwed me up in terms of getting things done. I am hoping that starting Monday, I can get back on track and start delivering the content you guys want. However, I did manage to get one thing done, that being the forum.

As mentioned in a previous post, I have made the switch from PHPBB to VBulletin forum software. VBulletin in my eyes, is worth every dollar. It’s a powerhouse of forum software that I hope you guys will enjoy as much as I will. At any rate, I managed to find a somewhat related forum theme that looked good called RedandBlack developed by GFXStyles.com. I’ve also installed a few plugins such as the Top 5 Stats plugin which highlights Top Statistical areas of the forum near the top to help keep us all abreast as to what’s happening on the forum. I’ve also installed a GIVE THANKS plugin. If you have any forum experience what so ever, you’ll know that people make forum posts all the time that only contain the text THANKS or THANK YOU. Instead of creating a post or replying with a thank you, you can click the Thanks button which will thank the user for you. This will help keep the forum posts on topic and should aid in keeping the discussion clean.

Screenshot Of The Forums

Other features of this forum include the Subscription options. As a registered member of Forum2pt0, you’ll have the ability to subscribe via email in a multitude of ways. For instance, you can subscribe to a particular post, to a particular thread, to a particular forum topic, or to the entire forum. Alternatively, if you want to subscribe to the entire forum via RSS to keep tabs on new posts, click on the following link and add it to your FeedReader.

I’m also working on installing a mod that let’s you add your own blog’s RSS feed as a part of your profile. This will display a link to your last blog post that is shown to the public on every post you make. If I can successfully install this mod, I’ll be sure to remove the “NoFollow” attribute.

The forum currently covers the broad topics of Blogging, Technology, Jeffro2pt0.com and general Chit Chat.

Over time, I’ll be adding bits and pieces to the forum such as an arcade. What’s a forum without an arcade? Overall, the browsing and posting user experience on this forum is leaps ahead of my previous PHPBB forum. I hope you’ll agree as you check out Forum2pt0 – A Forum About Stuff and register your own account. Be sure to stop by the Feedback Section of the forums and let me know what you think.