At WordCamp SF 2010

I had the pleasure of attending WordCamp SF 2010 with over 770 WordPeeps at the new Mission Bay Campus in San Francisco yesterday as I’m working on a WordPress plugin for Kachingle that will be available (very) soon (Tweets, Flickrs, more Flickrs).

Photo of Rinat Tuhvatshin of Kloop by Eva Blue Photo of Beau Lebens by tellyworth
Overall a good day:

  • My pal Beau Lebens gave a good lightning talk on Gravatar.
  • Matt Mullenweg, who is a terrific speaker, gave us an overview of the nearly-ready WP 3.0 (which this site already runs on) and the State of the Wordiverse.
  • Rinat Tuhvatshin, co-founder and executive director of the WPMU-based portal (English), the largest blog hosting platform in Kyrgyzstan, gave an inspirational talk about how Kloop was the only serious news organization in the country to report on the initial actions in the recent uprising that overthrew the national government.
  • Richard Stallman is a passionate and thoughtful man but why he was given a major speaking slot at this event is a bit beyond me. Dude should get past the whole GNU ‘plus’ Linux thing already.
  • Niall Kennedy (VideoPress lead) and Joseph Scott gave separate but terrific presentations on WordPress plugins.

Quibbles: The lunch was kind of blah. I mean, no salad, just some nasty barbecued squash, no fruit and no tables to sit at while eating? And the parking was supposed to be $5 but I got charged $24–and getting out of the garage took over 10 minutes.

Question I did not get answered, though: When will get better search?

Gone to WordPress

For more than nine years, beginning with Stones to be rolled into Sopranos and continuing for over 4,000 more posts, I’ve been an active user and frequent evangelist for Google’s Blogger. Heck, my use predates Google’s acquisition of Blogger by quite a margin. But today I cut over the new version of BillSaysThis and it uses WordPress.

I wasn’t looking to make this switch and I’m not happy at having to do it. But Google has forced my hand. The company has never put all that much in the way of resources to the Blogger team, as best I can tell from the outside, but as they’ll be removing a key feature, one on which I’ve always depended, on May 1 I have no choice.

The feature is Publish via FTP. That means after you click the Publish button on the Blogger post writing page, any new or changed pages are generated and transferred to a remote host. This feature allowed us to use Blogger but host the blog on our own sites. The published reasoning for the change is that the feature takes too much effort given how few blogs use it but this seems to be putting the best face they could think of on it rather than the real reason.

Fortunately for me, WordPress 3.0 is out as a beta and works well enough to use already. WordPress has a decent import tool so, with a bit help from my friend/inside connection Beau, I was able to get all the posts into the new system. Color advice from Garret helped too.

One of the best new features in 3.0 that made this a much easier choice and solution is support for multiple blogs from one install of WordPress. Previously you had to install separate copies for each blog and do maintenance, plugin installs, design and so on separately for each. I already had two WP 2.x blogs, bill:politics and Bill’s Movie Reviews, so I created new blogs for each in the 3.0 install and with a few clicks imported the old content.

Some of my old pages depend on custom PHP code and so either will take a bit more time to port or stay in the old format. C’est la vie.

Looking forward to nine years (at least) with WordPress.

And, oh yeah, one last thing: Comments are open, at least for newer posts.