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WordCamp Raleigh 2010, Liveblogging, Day 2

Once more, I’m live blogging from WordPress WordCamp Raleigh (#wcraleigh) here at the Sheraton in Downtown Raleigh. I’ll be posting notes from sessions on managing events in WordPress and how powerusers can get the most out of multimedia via WordPress. Stay-tuned, I’ll be posting often all morning.

8:42 AM Arrival

WordCamp Raleigh 2010I didn’t read the schedule close enough, today’s events start at 9:30 AM rather than 9:00 … so I’m here early.

Makes me all the gladder that I didn’t speed to get here as NC64/I40 East from exit 293 to 298 are crawling with Raleigh Police issuing speeding citations. Me, I had the cruise control set as I listened to some Pentecost chants and plainsongs being played on the local classical music station.

As I get here, no surprise, a 17 year old attendee is up bright and early, while some others are lightly snoring on the mezzanine couches & chairs outside the meeting rooms. From what I glean from last night’s #WCRaleigh Tweets – there were several folks up very late having a good time.

Anyway, I’ll be live blogging from two sessions today, one for programmers on organizing events … the other for power users on podcasting, streaming, multi-media and fun like that.

Stay tuned!

9:30 AM
Blogs for Business

Listening to Dan Milward,of Instinct, authors of WordPress e-Commerce Shopping Cart Plugin – http://ow.ly/1OJVQ#wpraleigh

From TwentyTen blog … evolved to:
Examples:

  • wordpress shop
  • wordcamp san francisco
  • michaelgrecco photos (naked ambition)

Get Shopped
http://getshopped.com/

Sucks: Blue Buddha Boutique

Good example for music shoppe
Vorn’s Modern Classics – good example of e-commerce for WP e-Commerce
Even has preview media files people can listen to and buy

Good example for good:
Children f Gace (recurrring billing function & subscription model to have people contribute for sponsorships of starving children).

Dan encouraging others to do what he did – making a living with an open source plugin for wordpress.

What do you do when you want a sucessful plugin

Talking about an iTunes like experience for their website:

jPlayer
Creating a decent digital download tool:
http://happyworm.com/jquery/player

The philosophy was:
“Screw you ‘right click and save as…’ I wonder if HTML 5 can … (oh, and AMazon S3)”

The AMazon S3 approach resovled time-out and file issues:

The visual user experience they wanted was select multiple concurrent downloads with progress bars that look and feel like the iTunes experience for downloading iTUnes and podcasts.

Levering PayPal Live handles the payment end of the e-commerce model.

Created a transaction results page that shows an aggregation/queue of music files purchased … and are saved to desktop automatically w/out right click saves, right click save, right click, … etc save for each …

Now … and finally for 1st time at conference … someone loading and showing how their plugin works live.

Q&A, some questions about why premium is better than their free version, etc …

My question was: Do you support EDI? wp-commerce does integrate with the SaaS invoicing product: https://www.xero.com/.

10:55 second session
Tony Zeoli – WordPress Multimedia

Learning photo, video & podcasting by Tony Zeoli of Digital Strategy Works… I love his north eastern the accent!

Overview:
wordpress capabilities _ media libraries ‘out-of-the-box’
plugins: video players, audio podcasts and image galleries

out-of-the-box

  • upload – jpg, gif, png,pdf, audio, video
  • create and embed links
Images
single photos AND galleries, the latter will show up if you load 8 or more images (vs. nextgen gallery).
Edit MEdia
A good fast way to display media on your page, which also allows you to crop, scale and/or establish custom meta & URL for your media
Upload / Insert
Clients don’t really see a call to action in the media tab, so they don’t realize it can be used for PDFs, mp3s and other media … as well as .jpg, .gif, .png.
Insert Gallery
with multiple images, you can embed it as a gallery into a post or page where each image links to the actual image (vs. a more traditional gallery framework)
Make Quick Changes
YOu can edit images, thumbnails, links, descriptions and other fun presentation stuff for the image … you can also do some additional customization by setting CSS classes &/or styles for the selected media object

Code tip when you attempt to load multiple images (multi-select on file upload option) and hit a memory limit error:

/* if you get the WP_MEMORY_LIMIT message ... tweak to perfection: */
define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '64M');
/* increase to: */
define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '96M');

If possible, you can also manage your php.ini file in root/public_html as memory_limit=8M, 12M, etc …

TO solve the 500 internal server error on legacy/php4 sites

.htaccess
options all -indexes
addtype x-mapp-php5 .php
addhandler -x-mapp-php5 .php

NextGen Gallery
Strongest Gallery Plug-in for WordPress available” – Tony Z.

NexGen Upload
can upload a .zip file, folder or files 1-by-1
Mnaage Galleries
Shows nice lists you can drill into
Manage & SEO
manage gallery and photo narratives and attributions
Insert Gallery
A tool to embed galleries into posts (or pages) with nothing more than the short code: [ nggalery id=1 ]
Album Panel
Create an album of galleries … and post it similary as you post a gallery. So the hierarchy is albums->galleries->images which can be displayed as a list, image coursel, image list.
Effects
Lightbox2, Highslide, Thickbox & Shutterbox to create that AJAX-like image experience
Other Effects
MOnoSlideShow and Next Gen IMage Flow for an Apple like cover image browser effect
Flash
There are some flash tools people can employ
Sell Photos
NExtGen Gallery can be monetized with eCOmmerce

examples:
* Love of Learning Montessori
* Photocrati
* National Museum of hip hop (NMoH)

time saver:
* Snipi – aplugin/service w/an interface with the WP so you can drag-n-drop into your WP media library

Flash v. HTML 5

  • Issue: Adobe Flash FLV files will not play on the iPhone/iPad
  • Resolution: Render HTML5 degrades Audio & Video to Flash via Degradeable HTML5 Audio Plugin

Video Approaches for WP

The problem has been hosting your video files … big rendering or CDN services cost big $$
Plugins:

  • Kaltura (open source competitor to brightcove
    • Fremium (up to 10gb free, paid thereafter)
    • wordpress plugin
  • WordTube (w/JW player &/or flow player) – open soure
  • Vipers Video Quick Tags w/WP Video Plugin
  • Degradable HTML5 Audio & Video Plugin
Kaltura
‘Rocking WP Video Pack” – an all-in-one plugin for WordPRess to leverage Kaltura’s online video services. Has quite a few pro features.
WordTube
open source, plugin,jw player, free, can stream from server, can bring in YouTUbe videos as well. Adequate stats & a ‘post like’ panel to manage media files
Vipers Video Quick Tags
Simple ebeds, degradable HTML5 player – works with popular services like youtube, google video, daily motion, vimeo, veoh, viddler, metacafe, blip.tv, flickr videos, spike.com/ifilm, myspacetv

Audio

Yahoo Media Player
Yahoo Media Player Tools for WordPress
A nice way to add and play multiple audio files (gallery like)
Sound Cloud
Visual Sound … uses SHort Codes to upload audio and gives you a time-lined view audio player .. rate them .. and source them via a ‘sound cloud’
… a nice player that people can link up via sound cloud player … soundcloud free for first so many hours … but then $25/year for more
Podcasting &/or PodPress plug-ins
Leveraging FeedBurner to potcast

Feedburner gives you good metrics … and can podcast simply by making sure your mp3 gets into a consumable RSS for FeedBurner

NetMix on iTunes will give you the ability to pipe podcasts via iTunes
12:20 PM
Panel on issues w/Open Source

Nathan Rice enumerates some of the issues with I’ve experienced when releasing a plug-in into the wild.

Seems to be unrealistic expectations by some members of such a large open source community whom don’t understand the limitations of supporting a free plugin.

Other panelists concur … and bring up issue with infrastructure issue on how to support such a large open source endeavour.

THat said, scaleability doesn’t seem to be an issue at this time.

WordPress 3.0

Dan Milward describes issues all software producers run into … client expectation and delivering over what’s actually urgent over what’s percieved as must have.

Other panelists talk about dealing with separting signals from the noise as the community grows.

For example, what is good enough for a high-quality release versus trying to evolve towards a perfect product … when no 1 product will ever achieve perfection?

Much of what I’m hearing are what I hear from technical product managers in other software products/ventures.

One question that comes to mind as Brad Williams talks about the development group/feeds I’d like to ask is “who owns the backlog?”

Scope ‘increep’
Lisa Sabin Wilson raises the question “… does WP suffer scope increase issues.

Brad W. doesn’t think so … using the recent WP 3.0 effort as an example.

Nathan Rice concurs, especially over the past couple years citing 2.7 through 3.0 and the merge of MU into WP at WCSanFran’09 as examples.

One issue raised are some whom feel their part of the development community, when in fact they are just power users.

Again, what I’m hearing, I’ve read in software development process books and magazines since 1986.

Especialy so as so many more individuals are getting involved at the codebase level.

MY QUESTIONis there a need for process evangelist whom can effectively communicate to the WP community the complexities in:

  • developing the core
  • developing plugins
  • developing themes

Viability for a Premium Model in WordPress?
Assertion is made that the emergence of a Premium Market has not only helped grow the Open Source elements of WordPress … but w/out the Premium Market, there’d be no one to pay for WordPress.org and all that goes behind it.

Redhat & Ubuntu are cited as examples of successful open source businesses that have helped grow a large project.

Fact is, money is a motivator.

Freemium Model
A good way to give people a taste.

Fact is, money is not just a motivator, it is essential to keep open source projects like WordPress alive.

After all, we all have families to feed.

1:00 PM – Automattic
WordPress 3 Annoucements by AutoMattic

Jane “master of suggestion” and “cat herder” from Automattic talks about exciting new stuff with WordPress 3.0.

When will 3.0 drop?
Hopefully RC 1 will field early this week, with another release candidate to follow a bit later as the merge is such a big deal. Sounds like early July is when 3.0 will be completely cooked and ready to consume bo J.Q.Public.
The Merge
  • codebase
    More for developers and server administrators. Menaing the codebase of WordPress & WordPress MU (multi-user) are coming together. NOTHING much with screens so the general user experience isn’t bewildered with big changes at the admin panel level. In other words, alot of the wiring.
  • Site Admin
    Becomes super admin. So there is a new role. Use the term network instead of ‘sites’ …
  • PluginsNot sure, but it sounds like there won’t be two different levels of plugin amnagement
  • Domain Mappingwill still need to be a plugin … mainly because like wp-cache, it has much to do with the server configuration
New Default Theme 2010
  • San Francisco 2010 is actually a ‘child theme’ of the new default 2010 theme – sounds like a framework is emerging
  • Kubric gone which is a good thing
  • New defualt thems will be provided periodically on an ongoing basis, perhaps with each release
  • Custom Post Typescustom post types, so you can manage content within a nichce/industry (custom object/content types) .. for example … “products” on an ecommerce site or “real-estate” for a catalog of listings (the key word in all this being catalog)
  • Custom Menuswhich will be demo’d in detail at WordCamp Chicago in a couple of weeks. Currently, theme defines your menus … now you can manage menus from the admin panel instead of a plethora of plugins (e.g. mypageorder …).
    Think the convenience of drag-n-drop widgets for menus … a big boon to places like church and charity websites.

For more details, I blogged about upcoming changes with WordPress 3.0 and how you’ll be able to leverage it with your church and/or charity website.

BBPress will likely go the path of a plugin.

A question from the audience … there is no official Ning-to-WordPress product … there are several emerging plug-ins and import scripts that will help port your Ning community over to BuddyPress.

Changes to WordCamp? Most are awesome, some aren’t. Some abuse the WordPress brand to talk about their next MLM scheme. So efforts are being made to build trust in presenters and 80% content specific to WordPress. In other words, WordCamps need to answer “how do you do xyz with wordpress.” Also, must be exclusive to WordPress and not part of a more generalized BarCamp or BloggerCamp.

Oh, and GPL2 requirements – derivative works such as plugins, themes and other publicly distributed works need to follow this license. You can charge, you just can’t put restrictions on how the user employs your solution, but when you derive a plugin or theme … you inherit the GPL2 license.

Products and providers presented/presenting at WordCamps … needs to adhere to the GPL2 model.

BTW, is WordPress a democracy? No! It is a meritocracy – you get a voice in the process when you show your committment in terms of contributing code, tutorials, teaching, development, etc …

Keep in mind, Automattic is the foundation that owns – and is the guardian – of the WP Trademark … so if you want to use said brand, you need to play by the brand’s guidelines. This is not to close doors, but to keep the brand from being exploited and/or diluted and/or co-opted in a negative way. These are not regulations.

And that’s a wrap …