A handful of headshots

On my recent trip out to SF, I managed to catch a few fellow Automattic people on camera. Here are a few of the folks that bring you WordPress.com:

Beau Lebens

Beau

Niall

Niall

Ryan M

Ryan M

Noriyko

Noriyko

Terry

Terry

Rose

Rose

Raanan

Raanan

Being surrounded by all these photogenic people makes me glad I’m usually on the other side of a camera :)

For the photogeeks, I shot all of these with a 5D Mark II and my Canon 85mm F1.2L (wide open, bokeh-whore that I am).

Update: I’ll be posting these again at blog-optimized sizes. In the meantime click on the pics to see them in their fully saturated glory (seems like the auto-resized version have suffered a saturation/contrast hit)

WordPress.tv says Hello World!

I’m really quite excited to say that we’ve launched WordPress.tv, a new addition to the WordPress family focused on making it easy for people to both learn how to use WordPress (in its dot-com and dot-org flavours), and check out the presentations at the WordCamps sprouting up all over the globe. Here’s a video I put together to mark the occasion:

I’ve been a bit quiet here for some time, but behind the scenes, this is the pet project I’ve been working on, with the talented folks at Automattic (Noel Jackson rocking the house with design and implementation and some very late nights, Jane Wells helping to make things more user-focused, MT lending a watchful art-director eye, and Matt performing chief BBQ testing duties).

I joined Automattic back in August 2008, and it’s insane how fast the time has gone. But announcement videos and the hundred plus tutorials I’ve put together aside, WordPress.tv is kind of why I’m here, my raison d’etre at camp WordPress/Automattic. So this is a great day for me.

There’s a long way to go – like all WordPress projects WordPress.tv has been built with the philosophy that it’s better to get it out there and shape things up as we go than try to unleash perfection on day one. So at the moment you’ll find a whole lot of tutorials, but might not see the one you’re looking for. Ditto with WordCamp presentations.

That’s where you come in – if you have requests, ideas or know of WordCamp videos we’ve missed, screencasts or video tutorials that would feel at home on WordPress.tv, let me know via the WordPress.tv blog contact form, or even the spanking new WordPress.tv twitter account. I’ll be posting the latest releases there, too, alongside the WordPress.tv blog.

Hope to see you there – until then, enjoy the show!

2.7 Coltrane across the board

After a lot of hard work and some late nights, 2.7 and it’s WordPress.com sibling are now live and in use across the WordPress community.

I’ve been using 2.7 in it’s various builds for quite a while now, and assure you that if the huge change in UI initially shocks or confounds you, it won’t for long. Having been going back and forth to 2.6 for a few weeks, it gradually became harder and harder to give up the easy navigation, mighty pretty looks and new features that 2.7 has ushered in. Luckily, I won’t need to do that any more.

Thanks to the WordPress community, awesome developers and the good folks of Automattic (who really are an awesome bunch of people), it’s turned out to be a real beauty IMHO.

Hope you enjoy. Here’s the video I put together for the .org release. Most of what you see here applies to .com, but for the plugins and upgrades stuff.

For a full breakdown on what’s new check out Jane’s .com post, or Matt’s .org version.

Now, back to the zillion video tutorials you’ll be seeing around the place very, very soon :)

WordCamp Tokyo 2008

I returned from Tokyo yesterday after attending (and speaking at) the very first WordCamp in Japan, WordCamp Tokyo 2008. The event was booked out within a day of being announced, and I had the chance to meet a great cross section of Japanese bloggers, developers, business people and the awesome folks behind WordPress localization for Japan.

 

WordCamp Tokyo 2008 - Calm before the storm

WordCamp Tokyo 2008 - Calm before the storm

 

 

The event was smack in the middle of Tokyo’s Shibuya (this pic from my hotel room across the way):

 

Shibuya crossing, taken from my hotel window

Shibuya crossing, taken from my hotel window

 

 

In addition to some great presentations, on everything from Firefox + WordPress, to WordPress MU case studies, to the Sandbox theme, it was a really interesting opportunity to see the “state of the Word” Japan-side. I can’t thank the localization team enough for putting the event together, and I’m looking forward to the next meetup.

 

Naoko speaking at the after party

Naoko speaking at the after party

 

 

I particularly enjoyed speaking to the nice range of hardcore WordPress users in attendance – it was amazing to see the variety of applications people are finding for WordPress in Japan. These ranged from representatives of larger businesses (Adobe, Firefox, Paperboy & co. to name but three) through to web developers, students and freelancers. We had some food and drinks after the main event, and I was bowled over by the friendly atmosphere and hi-octane exchange of business cards.

 

Folks get stuck into the food and beer

Folks get stuck into the food and beer

 

 

This also gave me an excellent opportunity to gather feedback, ideas, criticisms and requests from Japanese WordPress users, which I’m now compiling and hope to share here, soon.

 

Japanese WordPress (& Firefox) books

Japanese WordPress (& Firefox) books

 

 

Thanks to everyone that made it, and particularly to Naoko McCracken & the localization team for making it happen! And thanks so much to the very kind Honda-San and Morita-San who walked me right to the door of my hotel (my Tokyo navigation skills aren’t what they were since I moved to Sapporo).

First 40 WordPress Screencasts in the Wild

I just announced over on the WordPress.com blog that we’ve put our first 40 or so screencasts into the wild.

These screencasts were developed with the New York Times folks, and hopefully answer some of the more pressing questions folks have about using WordPress. As such, you’ll now find videos for everything from  adding a gallery to embedding YouTube videos directly in the WordPress.com FAQ. For a full list, run a search for “screencast” in the FAQ.

I’d love to hear your feedback or ideas for future additions.

Future videos are likely to take the form of these small one minute, one-off FAQ nuggets, and more intensive step-by-step guides and workshops for newbs and veterans alike (broken down into delicious bite-sized morcels, naturally).

These screencasts are the first of many we’ll be launching as we gear up for a new video destination addition to the WordPress ranks. Expect to hear more about that between now and the launch, which should tie in nicely with the release of WordPress 2.7.

To give you a little taster – here’s a video aimed at people in their first few seconds of WordPressing:

WordPress Videos – What Would You Like To See Next?

As the new (and first) Lightbulb Engineer at Automattic, my job is essentially to turn people on to the cool things you can do with the platform, and to inspire those lightbulb-over-heads moments when things suddenly CLICK into place and just make sense. I’ll be trying to do that a fair bit with the help of interweb video content.

As a long-time WordPresser myself, I (hopefully) have some good ideas – but I’m hoping that you have some even better ones.

 

WordPress Users:

 

  • What bugged you or confused the hell out of you when you first started blogging with WordPress.com or on your own self-hosted WordPress blog?
  • What confuses you or doesn’t seem to quite add up even now that you’re a battle-hardened WordPress veteran with years in the field and medals across your chest?
  • Which quickfire video tutorials would you like to have seen back in the day, or would you like to send to your blogging newbie grandma or old high school chum?
  • What other cool stuff would be handy to have around or share in punchy, straight to the point video nuggets of goodness?

 

Curious Non-WordPressers

 

  • What sucks about WordPress compared to the blog or social media tools you use now?
  • What sucks about the WordPress documentation out there on the interweb to date?
  • How can I help you to get acquainted with WordPress and snuggle up with your very own blog?

 

If you can spare a minute, I’d love to hear in the comments, or you can ping your thoughts over directly to me at michaelp <at> automattic <dot> com. I promise to share the results, and some of the latest developments in Lightbulb Land very soon.

Screengrabs ala iPhone

I’m not sure if this is common knowledge or not, but I picked up a cool iPhone tip the other day from I forget where.

If you want to grab screenshots of anything on your iPhone, like stuff you’re browsing in safari or in one of the flickr apps, hold down the sleep/power button and press the home button twice.

The screen flashes and the image is saved to your library – ready for you to insert into your WordPress for iPhone post like this:

photo

WordPress For iPhone Test Shot

I’m writing this post as a quick test of the recent iPhone app for WordPress.

This a picture I snapped of Sapporo TV tower (with the iPhone camera), which we use as our clock. We can see it out of the window, so it seemed like a waste of time to buy a wall clock.

photo

Would love to hear how you’re using the app (or why you aren’t).

WordPress 2.6 Video Mayhem

Just a quick post to say thanks for everyone spreading the word about WordPress 2.6 by means of the short screencast I put together with the good folks as WordPress HQ.

Apparently it’s already done well over 600,000 views, which is somewhat awesome. If you haven’t seen it already, or need some convincing as to why you should upgrade your self hosted WordPress install, why not hit it up here. It’ll cost you a mere 3.5 minutes of your life.