Well, it might just be me, but in the days prior of getting my invite to test Flock, I was desperate to get a wp.com invite, so I used about 3 different emails to get the invite, and guess what: last week I got a ‘Golden Ticket’ for each of the emails I entered in the wp.com homepage.
Since I don’t need them anymore they just lay there unused in my inbox.
But this made me think how easy it is becoming to get a wp.com invite, and I think you are pretty much going to get one if you write your email address in the little invite box in the homepage.
I’d love to get some stats on new blogs/day and such, but I don’t think Matt will even read this post, so…
I have written a (p)review of WordPress 1.6, kinda like my WP.COM review, but focused on the normal WordPress downloadable version you get from wordpress.org:
I have just upgraded the site to WordPress 1.6 Alpha-Still-Don’t-Use (get the idea?). Some people might think I’s risky, but I just couldn’t wait for the final release. Of couse, with the install of fresh software, a review is a must, so here it goes: After updating all the files, I though my WordPress install was messed up, as i got some errors while trying to get into the admin area, so I just went to the upgrade.php file, and upgraded (duh!).
You can read the complete review in my regular WordPress blog: Tech News Online.
There are a couple of nice features that have been implemented in WordPress.com:
The wp.com dashboard feeds are now back, here’s a screenshot:
As you can see, the planet WordPress feeds are now gone, replaced by the top wp.com blogs and the latest wp.com posts.
Some other bugs have also been fixed now, including one that in my opinion could have gotten wp.com in real trouble.
Not that I’m going to tell you what it was.
Hopefully the ability to edit templates will be available soon, if not wp.com might just loose a good bunch of customers.
That’s about it for this week.
I’ve been a lucky wp.com (alpha?) user for a few days, and so far this has been my experience with WordPress.com:
The registration process went smoothly, specially because I didn’t even need an invite (thanks Flock).
Logging in is as simple as doing it in any WordPress Blog, and the remember me checkbox is really cool, because I now can choose either to have a sesion cookie, or a permanent one (great if you aren’t home and don’t want to waste a minute of your life deleting cookies after posting to your blog, you don’t even have to logout).
After logging in, you are redirected to the usual dashboard, and the first thing you will notice is that the same structure is being used, but now with more friendly colors, and the Feedback button (in it’s AJAXy goodness ) let’s you tell Matt and Donncha everything you want, ranging from support questions (of course wp.com related), to telling them how much you love wp.com, or how much you hate it?(highly unlikely).
In the Dashboard you can see the usual WordPress development blog’s feed, as well as the developers feed, and in my fisrt day of testing, a cool ‘recent wp.com posts’ section with links to the most recent posted entries in wp.com (duh!), the usual ‘What Blogs link here’ link is also available, but as expected, it depends highly on technorati’s server availability, which in the last time has becomed very unreliable, which makes the link not show most of the times.
[EDIT] Technorati’s servers seems to behave the way they should right now, the link is showing.
Another of the new features is this WYSIWYG editor (I’m using it to post all my entries). It lets you choose the text alignment, add smilies, pictures, and a lot more.
The ‘Write Post’ area has had a major redesign, and now you can move all the toolbars (categories, post status, password, post slug, etc) to anywhere you want, and the text box for writing posts is resizeable, so now you can set it to whatever height you want without the pain of digging through the code.
Posting pictures has also become easier, thanks to the WYSIWYG editor, which let’s you add a picture, it’s description and the alignment without knowing a bit of HTML or CSS.
Some of the 1.5 features remain virtually untouched, like the Links section.
Since WordPress.com is powered by WordPress MU, there are of course some limitations:
A user can’t edit the templates, though this has a very logical explanation: security, letting unknown people add code that your server executes can cause havoc on any site, and could even bring the whole service down, though I’m sure that wp.com uses various servers and many databases.
All wp.com users get a 100 MB share (for images, mp3s and movies), more than enough if you only plan to upload a picture or two per post, but if you are looking for more space to host files, the 100MB (and the 1MB/file limit) just won’t do. If you need more space and control over the blog, you might want to go for the regular WordPress, which you can install by yourself and host it whereever you want, so posibilities are unlimited.
About the plugins: well there aren’t many, but some really needed ones are already being use, amongst them are (not sure if all of them are actually there, just guessing) Wp-Hashcash, Recent Referrers, Paginate, and some others, but still, some very useful plugins are missing:
subscribe to comments, recent comments, extended live archives, a contact form (maybe Intouch?), a grammar checking tool, a subscribe to blog plugin and some other that could help wp.com really become a blogs community, maybe a recent posts from other wp.com, a la dashboard but without the bugs (just kidding Donncha, I know you’ll fix them really soon ), and other community things like ‘other wp.com blogs that link here’.
After all, only time can show if wp.com is really going to make serious competition for Typepad, but if the wp.com development team (Matt and Donncha i guess..) continue doing things like now, updating the service and adding new features everyday, as well as answering support and feedback emails on a record time for people that I’m sure have a lot of other things to do, wp.com can easily beat Typepad.
Oh, and there’s the fact that it’s invite-only (remember Gmail.. ), and FREE (at least right now, and I think i read it will remain free, at least a ‘basic package’).
Since I have an invite, and no urgent need of cash (eBay anyone?), I’d like to give it to anyone interested.
But since I feel a lot of people are interested in it, I will make a little contest:
The invite will be given to the most shameless beggar, meaning you will have to post a comment with some decent reasonsoning on why you want the invite (and what for), and if I like your comment, I will give you the invite.
This is a little bit like the contest held by Matt last week, however, I won’t make any specific requirements, it’s really simple:
If I like the comment, I give you the invite.
The contest ends saturday 12pm GMT.
Thanks to Geoffrey Arone, I am now a proud Flock beta tester, and with that comes the cool thing of being able to make wp.com accounts and blogs.
This new blog will be all WordPress related, I will use it to post new themes as I create them, and also some Flock-related posts, though a review and screenshots won’t be availible till the public beta starting next week.
All I can say is that I’m posting this using Flock’s Blog Manager, and I love it!