MSP WordPress User Group #4

This past Thursday (2/4) I attended my first MSP WordPress (WP) user group meeting at The Nerdery. There were four panel sessions but I could only go to two.  The four to choose from were:

  1. Intro to HTML
  2. Intro to CSS
  3. WP Widgets
  4. WP 3.0

WP Widgets

The WP Widgets coding demonstration was instructed by Ray Champagne (@raychampage) who did an awesome job “dumbing it down”, at least for me.  Ray showed us some professional examples of how WP can be used in lieu of traditional print media but how to transform that print media into an online web presence.  He broke the presentation down into smaller parts:

  • What are widgets?
  • What does the code look like?
  • Coding a simple widget.
  • Implementing your widget.

WP 3.0

The WP 3.0 presentation was very enlightening in that I didn’t even know there was a new version of WP coming out and that some of the features will be changing, hopefully for the better :).

In short, this presentation was more about what changes are going to happen with WP 3.0 but also how anyone can help contribute to the development.  Here are some useful links and insight that Mitchell Hislop (@mitchellhislop) provided:

  • WordPress Foundation.org -”…founded by Matt Mullenweg to further the mission of the WordPress open source project: to democratize publishing through Open Source, GPL software.” – Also debuting the 2010 WP theme.
  • Example of the P2 Theme – A theme for threaded discussion instead of using the standard WP blogging or email.
  • The single user version WP and WPμ will be merged.  Within the WP settings you will now see a “network” section.  This will be the multi-user part of WP.
  • WP Mailing lists – Use these mailing lists if you want to stay informed or help out with the various functions of WP.
  • Mitchell’s Ultimate WP Starter Pack

In Conclusion…I’m super excited to go to the next one to meet even more people and to learn more about WP!

MPS User Group Info:

Google Group
Twitter

URL Shortners Simplified

There has been some discussion on URL Shorteners at work and some individuals just don’t get it… So, I decided to create a list of the ones that I’ve used or have been exposed to and a brief explanation to what they are.

Q: What is a URL shortener?
A: A URL shortener is an application/service that will take a long URL (Example: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/17/oprahs-first-words-on-twitter-hi-twitters/ ) and will shorten it (Example: http://tinyurl.com/ca2q2p ).

Q: Why should I use a URL shortener?
A: To keep your URLs short and neat when posting to blogs, twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc.  Some applications, such as twitter, only allow a certain number of characters to be typed.  A standard URL might be too long.

Q: How long are the shortened URLs good for?
A: Some services will redirect the shortened URL to the longer one forever and some services will not.  Depending on what you’re using the shortened URL for I would double-check with the service to verify the longevity of the URL.

Examples:

To streamline your use of shortened URLs most of the above examples have browser plugins for Firefox or even a drag and drop feature to create shortened URLs.  You might even notice that some applications have a URL shortener bulit in.

Play around, have fun, and I hope this helped.