The Word-Press Project

With this post I announce the creation of the Word-Press project, by which I mean an attempt to provide some education about all the following:

  • WordPress, the fabulous piece of software that I use each and every time I write a new post, or create a new page, on this blog;
  • WordPress.org, the community of developers who have created and are continually refining this software;
  • WordPress.com, the company that uses the WordPress software and provides it free of charge so anyone can use this site to create their own blog and share their words with the world, at no charge.

And since the WordPress software is meant to help you create, publish, manage and track the writings that constitute a blog, I will also try to provide some education on the following:

  • How to use WordPress effectively;
  • How to blog effectively;
  • How to use the WordPress Dashboard, the tool that makes each WordPress blogger their own “sysadmin;”

And since WordPress supports not just the one-way publication of press but also allows the receipt of comments from readers, I’ll try to provide some education on dealing with comments.

And since WordPress is a piece of software that is most effective not when used just to publish plain text, but with tools that can be used to make a blog more efective, I’ll also try to provide some education on these tools:

  • HTML, the language that can be used to specify how text is presented;
  • Other technologies such as XML and DHTML;
  • Categories, or tags;
  • deli.cio.us, a tagging site;
  • flickr.com, a means of publishing phographic images in a blog;
  • technorati.com, a way to track and share blog usage information;
  • other such tools I haven’t yet thought about but which I know readers will bring to my attention;

And since a WordPress blog is not just a way to publish text, but a web site, I’ll need to provide some education on creating and running a web site.

And since WordPress can be used not just to publish text, but distribute it as feeds, or in syndicated form, I’ll need to provide some education on these topics.

And since WordPress is open-source software I’ll try to provide some education on that as well. Indeed, I plan to run the word-press project as an open-source project, just as have committed to running this blog as an open-source project. And there’s yet another open-source project in play, the open-education project of which the word-press project is the first subproject. To be more precise, while I don’t think we’ll be writing code, I plan to use the same process, rules and ethos that is characteristic of open-source projects while providing this education.

And since I am writing this as a member of the WordPress “community” I know that as soon as members of the community hear about this project some of them will become part of it, and so I hope and expect we’ll receive contributions from these folks, and also from the people who are running the business WordPress.com which is so graciously providing the resources needed to create and publish these blogs for free.

And since almost half-a-million blogs have been created on WordPress.com, I’ll need to provide some education on what it means to run a business based on open-source, the associate business-models, and so forth.

And I’ll also need to go into building a network, creating a community, and so forth.

And there are even more topics to be covered, which means I have lots to write about. This is going to be a real challenge.

But because WordPress is open-source software I make the following predictions that I am confident will come to pass:

  • I know I’m going to need some help — and I know I am going to get it. Open-source folks are so helpful and many of them share my passion for WordPress. Some of them will become contributors to the project. It’s just a matter of time.
  • I know I’m going to have fun while trying to provide this education, because if you show you know the open-source rules and are willing to play by them, then fun is inevitable. Not having fun is a sign you’re doing something wrong, and I also know there’ll be open-source folks on hand ready, willing and able to tell me when they’re not having fun, and also willing to provide guidance on how to make things right.

Though the writings to follow will cover many topics, at varying levels of sophistication and complexity, I consider my primary audience to be non-programmers with an interest in writing, blogging, gaining some insight into how the internet works, and building communities. In particular I will aim to make writings accessible to high-school teachers of technology and writing, and especially some of their students with an interest in any of the above areas.

I will start new pages that you will soon find on the header line of this blog:

  • Word-press Posts. This will enumerate publish posts, in various orders. It will also describe posts in progress and forthcoming posts;
  • Word-press Syllabus, a description of the topics to be covered.

The order of the posts will be arbitrary. I’ll try to maintain some order, but the project will proceed as the situation dictates, and especially so when contributors show up, as we’ll then to jointly have to decide how to best proceed.

I plan to spend at least the rest of this November writing mainly on the project, though I’m now feeling it may go even longer.

I also am just starting to put the syllabus together. However, as I will relate in the next post, some magical happened in my WordPress experience in the last day, and just writing about that will I hope provide a good start to the project.

So let the fun — the wild rumpus — begin!

thanks,
dave

PS: Total Hits for the blog are just over 3400 as I post this in the early hours of 5 November 2006.

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