I comment on Articles I Read. You Agree, Disagree, Comment, or move on
Author: Matt Cromwell
I'm Head of Support and Community Outreach at GiveWP.com and Impress.org. I'm the author of several popular free plugins and Lead Admin of the Advanced WordPress Facebook group (which boasts over 30K members). I blog often at mattcromwell.com, givewp.com, wordimpress.com, and mediatemple.net.
My presentation on Scaling your WordPress Support for growth is live on WordPress.tv now. It covers the importance of reliable and consistent data collection, reporting, and my own custom formula for calculating our team’s support capacity.
You might have noticed something different around these parts, after over a decade at matt.wordpress.com this blog has now switched to matt.blog. Automattic is rolling out this new TLD (top-level domain) over the next few months and I’m lucky to have one of the first ones live on the internet. The namespace is wide open, and if you’re interested in reserving or bidding on your favorite name you can go to get.blog.
Jeff Chandler raises an important “insider” issue within the WordPress community. I’ve not only heard the same types of comments, but felt similar at times. But just like any other “Us vs Them” type scenario, it only improves with people willing to do the brave thing and break through it with experience.
Anyone who feels threatened, or intimidated by the WordPress Core team simply needs to speak up, contribute, learn about how to contribute, and do it regularly.
I’ve challenged myself to contribute to each new default theme each year, and I’ve been active in contributing in Plugin Directory Meetings. I can say that the more I contribute with quality input and feedback and code the more accustom the team is to me and my personality and the more I grow as a contributor.
Embedded content overall is a great way to encourage more engagement. When my content is shared on another person’s site, I’m more likely to share it. But how will I know that it was embedded there? Embedly doesn’t currently send notifications like that, but if you are on the Medium platform already, I can imagine getting something like “Embed Alerts” could really be beneficial.
That’s part of the power of a hosted publishing platform like Medium. WordPress.com could easily implement something like that. This is different from the “reblog” tool. WordPress.com has a powerful notification area already, and notifying users of embeds of your article on other blogs would be a great feature.
The self-hosted WordPress platform would have to implement something like that as a plugin, but I’m not sure how that would work except that embeds would ping your local API when a post is published.
As the internet gets more and more complex and there are more and more ways to publish content and share content across platforms, these kinds of data notification tools will become more and more necessary and common place. That’s also why an “Open Web” is vital. But I’m getting clearly off topic now… for another post!
A friend of mine shared this article asking for input from her friends, many of which happen to be educated in philosophy, ethics, theology, and/or social science. It’s a valuable read in this political climate.
This was my response:
The first ethicist, Jason Brennan, sets up a premise before making his ethical claim. We’d have to agree on that premise before agreeing to the claim. His premise is that “the purpose of voting is to produce outcomes”. I’ve had some interesting conversations with California Republicans who feel their presidential vote absolutely has no OUTCOME whatsoever. So, I have problems with that premise.
Ilya Somin provides a formula for deciding the most ethical voting practice. I think it’s laden with subjectivity so not overly useful, though it’s an interesting exercise I don’t find it valuable to actual ethical decision making or behavior.
I like Michael LaBossiere approach because he basically says there’s two camps: Utilitarianism (do what works) versus Deontological (do what’s right).
I believe the national conversation for Bernie voters comes down to that fight between the Utilitarians and the Deontologists. Is voting for Hillary because she is the only one who can beat Trump the “moral” thing to do; or am I betraying my own values by the very act of voting for Hillary.
In the end, I think there’s room for both types of ethical decision making. But the consequences of each have serious ramifications. Let no one think for a second that choosing the lesser of two evils is OK for a presidential race. In the long term is just opens things up to get worse and worse. On the other hand, let no one think that if we “stick to our guns” and vote our conscious — risking the chance of a Trump win — that we would have a “good” outcome.
Then on the other hand, if by voting our conscious we signal that we won’t put up with crappy sold-out options, we might have short-term pain, but start a long-term revolution.