WordPress–the platform that brings you Technologizer–now powers fifty million blogs.
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In the past, I’ve said some nasty things about the WordPress iPad app. For the tasks I needed to do here and on other blogs — add and resize images, format text and link like crazy — the app’s barebones approach was simply inadequate. The app was also pretty buggy.
Today, WordPress released a big update to the app for all iOS devices. Most of the bugs are apparently gone, and there are some new features, including a quick photo button for camera-equipped devices, access to stats and support for 10 new languages.
Unfortunately, WordPress’ latest app update is still missing major features that no blogging tool should be without. That means I can’t use it for anything but rough drafts.
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It’s been a rough go for WordPress. Its been the target of several attacks lately, including a denial-of-service attack last month that severely crippled its servers for several hours. This time, its potentially more embarrassing for the blogging service, as it apparently has been hacked.
Whoever did it pretty much has full access: founder Matt Mullenweg said in a post to the company blog that the hacker has “root” access. In plain English? The WordPress server is this hacker’s oyster, and he or she is free to do whatever they want because they have administrative privileges.
Mullenweg says the company isn’t clear on what exactly may have been revealed and is going over its logs. He guessed they took a look at the source code, parts of which he called “sensitive.” The company is busy securing the server to prevent a repeat, and wouldn’t share much more.
Until we know exactly what happened, its hard to judge the potential effects. If you have an account on the service, and especially a “VIP” account, it may just be a good idea to change your password.
Having trouble getting Technologizer to load this morning? Us too. Our hosting platform, WordPress.com, has been the subject of a massive DDoS attack by an unknown party.
A couple of months ago, Microsoft and WordPress parent Automattic announced a deal to migrate users of Microsoft’s Spaces blogging service onto WordPress. At the time, there was a fair amount of confusion about how many Spaces users there were, and how many were likely to make the move. Now Microsoft is reporting that a half-million former Spaces blogs are now WordPress blogs, and another half-million Windows Live customers have created new WordPress blogs. That still leaves millions of Spaces blogs unaccounted for, but Spaces users have until March to figure out an exit strategy, so they may just be taking their own sweet time.
Months ago, I gave up on the idea that Apple’s iPad could stand in for my laptop and get work done. My primary trade is blogging–oh yes, it sounds as strange to me as it does to you–and the iPad is not up for the job.
This was largely due to inadequacies with WordPress, the blogging platform we use at Technologizer. I’m a big fan of the platform on PC Web browsers, but the iPad app needs more features, and the Web site can’t access the iPad’s photo album. The release of WordPress 2.6 for iOS adds video and swats bugs, among other things, so I decided to revisit iPad blogging with renewed enthusiasm.
A few minutes playing around with the app was all it took for me to give up once again.
One of the bigger pieces of news at this week’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco was Microsoft’s announcement that it would be winding down its Windows Live Spaces blogging platform and helping Spaces users move to WordPress.com. BetaNews’s Joe Wilcox has an interesting bit of followup: an internal Microsoft e-mail in which the (unidentified) authors say that they don’t expect all that many Spaces users to make the transition, and express angst over the fact that WordPress.com runs on Linux rather than Microsoft technologies.
In an earlier post, Joe had thought that Microsoft was saying that there are thirty million Spaces bloggers who will be affected by the shutdown and WordPress.com opportunity. It was a logical assumption, and one made by plenty of other folks–on the Windows Live blog, Microsoft honcho Darmesh Mehta had referred to thirty million Spaces “customers” and said they were “eagerly awaiting the next set of new blogging features.” But he didn’t define what a customer was.
Interesting news at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference this morning: Microsoft is shutting down its Windows Live Spaces blogging service and helping its seven million bloggers migrate over to Automattic’s WordPress.com. Spaces bloggers will be able to recreate their blogs on WordPress or download their data so they can make other arrangements, and they have a reasonably generous six months to make a decision before Microsoft shutters Spaces. And a new integration feature will let WordPress.com users ping their Windows Live buddies whenever they’ve published a new post.
I suppose that there are some Spaces users who considered using WordPress.com and opted for Microsoft’s service instead, but I suspect they’re far outnumbered by newbies who chose Spaces simply because it’s been the default Windows Live blogging service until now. Overall, it sounds like a good move for everyone involved: Spaces bloggers get an outstanding blog platform that’s evolving rapidly (rather than Spaces, which wasn’t), Microsoft doesn’t have to try and compete in a field that’s not core to its success, and WordPress.com gets lots of new members.
(I cheerfully admit to a bias here, since Technologizer is on WordPress.com–using the VIP version of the service–and I wouldn’t swap it for Spaces or any other blogging platform on the planet.)
Earlier today, Technologizer was down for a little under two hours–as were millions of other blogs hosted by Automattic’s WordPress.com, including some that are a lot bigger than this one. WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg explains what happened here (it was by far the biggest disruption to WordPress.com in more than four years). My apologies to anyone who wandered by here and couldn’t get in.
As I’ve mentioned before, Technologizer runs on the wonderful WordPress blogging platform. One of the things that makes WordPress wonderful is WordCamp, a series of conferences in which WordPress users get together to share tips, opinions, and passion. I’m spending today at WordCamp in San Francisco; it would be a pretty spectacular conference at any price, but is downright amazing for the price they charge, which is…twenty bucks. Including a day of events, a cocktail party, a T-shirt, and–most of all–the collective wisdom of several hundred WordPress users.
Upcoming WordCamps are planned for Cape Town, Manila, Portland, Beijing, Honolulu, Sydney, and a lot of other places–and that’s just for the rest of 2008. If I had enough time and money, I’m sure I’d enjoy attending them all.
If you’re looking to start a blog with a minimum of fuss, I heartily recommend WordPress.com…and if you’re a WordPress user who lives anywhere near a WordCamp, please go. You’ll have a blast and come away smarter, if my experience is any evidence…