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.
Glad to see Automattic entering the TLD space. It makes sense for them. Definitely tempted by a .blog domain.
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.
Can Zuckerberg’s Internet.org really raise 1 in 10 people out of poverty in India?
India has become a battleground over the right to unrestricted Internet access, with local tech start-ups joining the front line against Facebook Inc founder Mark Zuckerberg and his plan to roll out free Internet to the country’s masses.
This is a big story worth watching. A large US-based internet company is trying to provide free internet to countries which have a very low connection rate per their population.
It’s being debated in India at the moment. There are really generous and “BIG” ideas about how powerful this could be for marginalized people in countries like India. But there are also very loud and intelligent skeptics who see Facebook’s strategy as a corporate grab for market-share rather than a benevolent act of charity.
The crux of the matter is whether or not Facebook can provide, via it’s service Internet.org, a free and unfettered Internet access, or whether — by it’s very nature — it would bias or provide benefits to internet sites with bigger pockets. The word used to describe a “free and unfettered Internet access” is called “Net Neutrality”.
Historically, Facebook is a very significant proponent of Net Neutrality. It’s in their best interest for as many people as possible to not only be able to access Facebook.com, but also any and all services and articles that are linked to Facebook. Nevertheless, here’s the summary of concerns that some in India (and other places) are voicing:
It is our belief that Facebook is improperly defining net neutrality in public statements and building a walled garden in which the world’s poorest people will only be able to access a limited set of insecure websites and services. Further, we are deeply concerned that Internet.org has been misleadingly marketed as providing access to the full Internet, when in fact it only provides access to a limited number of Internet-connected services that are approved by Facebook and local ISPs. In its present conception, Internet.org thereby violates the principles of net neutrality, threatening freedom of expression, equality of opportunity, security, privacy and innovation.
Read their whole Open Letter here (ironically posted on Facebook).
To these concerns, Mark Zuckerberg has his own post on his platform:
Internet.org doesn’t block or throttle any other services or create fast lanes — and it never will. We’re open for all mobile operators and we’re not stopping anyone from joining. We want as many internet providers to join so as many people as possible can be connected.
Arguments about net neutrality shouldn’t be used to prevent the most disadvantaged people in society from gaining access or to deprive people of opportunity. Eliminating programs that bring more people online won’t increase social inclusion or close the digital divide. It will only deprive all of us of the ideas and contributions of the two thirds of the world who are not connected.
It’s also a bit interesting that the ruckus over Internet.org in India comes on the coattails of seeing it abruptly shut-down in Egypt just weeks ago.
My bottom line is that the aims of Internet.org are praise-worthy. And what they were providing in Egypt and would like to provide in India also seems praise-worthy. But — as we say in the U.S. — the “proof is in the pudding”. There’s no real way to know whether this initiative really can lift 1 in 10 people out of poverty (as Zuckerberg claims in Reuters article) until it has a long-lasting and well-tested trial in a country where it’s impact could be significant.
That could be India. There is no shortage of tech-saavy users and advanced developers in India. But there is a shortage of Internet availability. Here’s to hoping for the best.
This article is a commentary on the article of the same title on Reuters.com
GOOD.IS: Instead of Snacks, This Vending Machine Spits Out Short Stories
The vending machine—what better symbol is there of Western civilization’s culture of convenience and unhealthy snacks? But what if one could instead feast on words, stories, and ideas?
This is an amazing idea. Grab a short-story or haiku print out while walking around town, maybe between meetings or your daily commute. Pick a 1, 3, or 5 minute read from some of the best modern literature.
My only suggestion would be that after it picks up steam I’d hope that they could suggest or require a payment of some sort. This could be applied in a couple ways
- A small portion would go directly to the author
- A small portion to the maintenance of the machines
- Everything else could be donated to literacy programs or charities that focus on the advancement of literature in general.
Check out the coverage on Reuters about it too:
The first plasma in the machine had a duration of one tenth of a second and achieved a temperature of around one million degrees. “We’re very satisfied”, concludes Dr. Hans-Stephan Bosch, whose division is responsible for the operation of the Wendelstein 7-X, at the end of the first day of experimentation. “Everything went according to plan.”
This announcement from Germany is BIG news. They successfully triggered a plasma reaction at roughly 1million degrees. As this machine and this facility continues to develop they will eventually be able to produce nuclear fusion — the power of the sun! Clean and perpetual energy.
This machine is only 52 feet long. It will probably have to be half that size to start being commercially available, but this means that potentially my grandchildren might be able to have all the energy they need and there will be no power lines, or gas combustion machines necessary at all.
Color me excited!
“…the very tools we use to manage the overwhelming amount of data to be found online are, instead, causing us to become less receptive to differing political opinions.”
I love newsfeeds and aggregators. In fact, I’m experimenting with WordPress’s new Calypso app this second to serve as an aggregator for me to share thoughts on the fascinating stuff I’m reading.
This article strikes a nerve though because I’m all about having a well-rounded perspective on things. I want to be aware of various perspectives and entertain new thoughts and ideas. If my tech is actually limiting me, then I need new tech.
The thing is, there is passive tech and active tech. This article speak primarily to the way in which Facebook, Twitter, Amazaon and Google purposely serve you up things that they think you will “like”. Which means they want to serve you up things you already agree with.
But services like Feedly or FlipBoard (my two go-to aggregators) don’t automatically serve you anything except what you put directly into them. So if you only put left-wing fanatic stuff into them… they spit out left-wing fanatic stuff.
The bottom line is that all of these things are mediums — not ends. Even Facebook can be configured to bring in alternate views. Maybe you’ve purposely muted that crazy neighbor who spews right-wing theories because “you just can’t”. But maybe you just need to. Just to be able to challenge your own biases and prejudices… because you’re human. We’re all biased, prejudiced, scared, defensive. It’s in our genes to be so.