I’ve Got a Problem and The Solution Isn’t More Cowbell

I’m struggling with my day job. I recently completed a week of vacation in which I discovered that I want to write about WordPress when I’m not required to write about it. Go figure! Returning from staycation, I’ve had a difficult time finding things that inspire me to write about WordPress. More often than not, my FeedReader is filled with items that make me go Meh at best.

Since my job is to write about WordPress on a daily basis, this is not good. My FeedReader is filled with tutorials, questions, crap, and other things dealing with WordPress that don’t create that spark of creative writing.

When I initially applied for the job, I said that all I wanted was for someone to pay me to sit on my ass all day and write about WordPress. I have what I wanted but I’m not happy. Things have changed and no matter how hard I try to replicate the environment which generated success 4 years ago, it doesn’t seem to show up.

With WordPress powering over 23% of the web, you’d think it would be easy to find something to write about. Well, it’s not as easy as you might think. A lot has to do with my interests and whether I see something that readers may find interesting or helpful. For the most part, it has to interest me first before I start writing about it.

There’s a part of me that feels like WordPress has passed me up. It’s like everyone is using or developing WordPress in ways that go way over my head. I have no interest in learning what Sass or Less is yet, there is definitely a crowd yearning for that knowledge.

After nearly a decade of writing about WordPress, I’ve almost reached a point where I don’t want to be a journalist anymore and instead, just want to mingle in the community. I’ve thought about this a lot and if I could start over with a WordPress centric site, I’d make the whole thing a forum. Forums are a great way to archive things and have discussions about sites or articles that don’t need a front page mention.

A forum is a great way to establish a community and an identify. It’s a way to feel like you belong somewhere. I’m passionate, enthusiastic, and have a knack of connecting the dots for people. This is why I think I’d be able to successfully build and maintain a rocking WordPress forum. I’m a down to earth, no bullshit kind of guy that is able to listen to people, no matter what their status is in the community.

That’s not to say every now and then, I wouldn’t want to write a long, thoughtful post on a particular subject. But doing it everyday even when paid is a pain in the ass, especially when you can’t find anything to write about. Funny how when I’m put into a position I thought I’d be happy in, the opposite is true.

I think a lot of people would love to be in the position I’m in and yes, I do realize the position I’m in. It’s just that, the things you think would make you happy sometimes don’t and you don’t realize it until you’re in the thick of things. I’m working towards putting myself into a work environment and situation that makes me happy but until then, I’ll need to buckle down, trudge through the tough creative times, and gitter done.

WordPress Group Projects

WordPress Group Projects

Thanks to Utahcon who sort of started the train, I’ve decided to create a forum for WordPress based group projects. As you can see from the image above, we have already started working on developing a way for the Codex to be printer friendly or at least provide a PRINT link on Codex articles. We have also begun to work on creating a Recent Posts hack that displays posts that are not on the front page. For example, my recent posts plugin shows the last 5 posts I’ve published on this blog. However, this is a moot point as those 5 blog posts can be seen by scrolling down the front page. The plugin hack we are working on would display posts that were on the second page of WordPress, not the first. So far, we are making progress, but we are still short of having a working solution.

I thought this would be an awesome idea. Instead of one person putting together a plugin or coming up with a solution, we can have multiple people participate until the project is completed. I consider a project completed as being one that has a working, tested solution.

I do have a few guidelines setup in the forum which describe how I want the group projects section to be managed:

The Group Projects Section of the forums will house all of the various group projects that are created by you and myself. If you are going to start a group project, please use a very descriptive thread title so that we can understand at a glance what the group project is.

Each forum thread within this section of the forums will be a single group project. Anyone and everyone is encouraged to participate in the project until that project has been completed.

Do not post anything in this forum that will not be a group project, if you do, the thread will either be moved or deleted.

Please register an account on the forums and participate in the various projects and also, let me know what you think of the idea.

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)

Similarities Between A Blog And Forum

During the month of September, I started a poll that asked the question, “Should I add forums to this site?” 9 of you voted NO while 6 of you voted YES. Which means that I will not be adding forums to this site anytime soon. However, after giving it some thought, I began to realize that perhaps, the differences between a forum and this site are minimal. Let me explain.

Those of you who are familiar with the way forums work, you have Threads or Posts, Replies, Subscriptions, Ongoing discussions across multiple topics,Moderators, ect. Let’s see if I can graphically display how both a forum and my blog are alike.

One thing that really separates forums from a blog is that a blog is somewhat defined by one person’s voice. A forum gives users the ability to create ongoing discussions about various topics. I think I may have found a solution to this problem through a plugin called TDO Mini Forms This plugin creates a SUBMIT A POST page and provides me with a wealth of options such as controlling who sees the form and who doesn’t, it’s own administration area to confirm or deny submissions, Ajax widgets to organize how the form looks, and much more.

This plugin solves the problem of only myself being the one to create new conversations. This is an ongoing experiment and I want to see if any of our readers out their would like to contribute to this site by writing a post that deals with the topics we already cover. Keep in mind though, I’m the one and only administrator for this site and if the post is beyond the subject matter that this site covers, I will have to reject it.

I’d love to hear some feedback regarding this topic and the ability to submit a post to the site to be put on public display. Is it a good idea or is it a bad one? Perhaps I have lost my mind?

My WordPress 2.3 Upgrade Experience

I’m writing this post within the new fancy WYSIWYG editor which is nothing more than the same editor with the exception of a new button. The new button shows me quite a few new formatting features but my favorite one is the UNDO button.

So far, my WordPress upgrade experience has been pretty good. I did encounter an upload problem in which a few folders were uploaded into other folders. In other words, some folders were not overwritten like they were supposed to be. I fixed this and re-uploaded the files which allowed the WordPress upgrade script to properly update my database.

I believe there is a bug that was created after my WordPress installation was upgraded. As you can see below, the area of my dashboard which would normally show incoming links to my site from outside sources, is now showing my own blog posts from my front page. I’m pretty sure this is not supposed to happen. This never occurred during any other WP upgrade I have performed. I have since created a forum post about it on the official WP forums to see if it’s a bug or not.

WordPRess 2.3 Bug

I knew about the tag importers being added to WordPress 2.3 but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out where they were. I eventually located them within the MANAGE-IMPORT area of my WordPress admin panel. After clicking on the importer for my Ultimate Tagging Warrior plugin, all of my tags were imported into the native tagging features implemented into WP 2.3 I also experienced numerous wordpress.wp_post2cat does not exist errors which were being generated by the UTW plugin, so be sure to disable it once you complete your upgrade.

I want to give a very big thank you to everyone responsible for the automatic update notification feature. This is an invaluable time saver. After my upgrade was complete, I discovered 5 plugins which had an update available for download. The notification window provides a direct link to the plugin on the wordpress.org site where additional information along with the plugin files can be located.

Last but not least, if you are experiencing trouble with WordPress, the best place to find help is the WordPress.org forums. However, before creating a new post, be sure to perform a search to see if your question was already answered. There is nothing more annoying on a forum than seeing 50 different forum threads on the same topic which has already been answered.

You’ve read my experience, now it’s time to share yours by leaving a comment below.

New Month Means New Poll

Jeffro2pt0 Banner For Site Updates

During the month of August, I asked readers if they would like me to produce a podcast based on the content that has been featured on this site. The results are in:

Should I Produce A Podcast For This Site?

  • Yes (57%, 13 Votes)
  • No (43%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 23

It was close, but it looks like I better put my podcast hat on. So with that in mind, I’d like to present to you my idea for the podcast. I was thinking of calling the podcast, AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE. The podcast would be produced LIVE every Friday Evening at 9PM EST on Talkshoe and would last anywhere from a half hour to 60 minutes. The interviews will be open to discussion on various topics such as what the blog author covers on his or her own blog, blogging in general, their thoughts and opinions on various subjects, tips and tricks for other bloggers, discussion of topics in the news, and anything else that comes to mind. It won’t be a tightly arranged format. I want guests who appear on the show to feel like they are entering a relaxed environment without all of the stress or expectations that may accompany other shows.

If you are a blog author and want to appear on the show, please contact me and tell me which Friday you would be available. As it stands, all slots are empty, but I’d love to fill them up. I’m looking to produce the first show on Friday September 21st, 2007. Who is going to be the first guest on the show?

With that out of the way, it’s time for a new poll question. I’ve been thinking about adding forums to this site, but I’m still not sure if they would be productive or counter productive to the web site. The decision is now in your hands. Vote yes if you would like to see forums attached to this site, or vote no if you could care less.