September VIP Roundup
Welcome to the September roundup! Even though this is October material, we’d be remiss not to start off with the big news coming out of the Gutenberg project this week, Matt Mullenweg’s Plan for 5.0 update and Gary Pendergast’s follow-up Proposed Scope and Schedule. We’ll keep you updated as 5.0 plans continue to come together.
Meanwhile, there’s lots to catch up on from September. The Online News Association’s annual event is always a highlight of the year and ONA 2018 in Austin was no exception. We came back energized and excited about all of the work going on across the digital journalism community. And thank you to Human Made and News UK for co-hosting our latest BigWP London, with great talks which will be available on YouTube shortly.
Read on for news and updates from across enterprise WordPress, including a new section called, “What We Read,” a carousel of articles (and podcasts) that inspired, informed, and influenced us this month.
Gutenberg News and Notes
The latest tools, demos, and updates around the block-based editor coming to WordPress 5.0.
- As mentioned above, plans for the WordPress 5.0 release are starting to take shape. Matt Mullenweg posted a plan and Automattician and core contributor Gary Pendergast gave further details in this proposed scope and schedule, identifying November 19 as the target release date.
- Earlier in September, Gutenberg version 3.9 shipped with a host of UX improvements within the editor, in addition to the ability to create reusable templates and import/export reusable blocks.
- The Gutenberg plug-in has surpassed 500,000 installs.
- Automattician and core contributor Riad Benguella released a helpful technical overview of Gutenberg integration into WordPress core.
- Yoast SEO 8.2 is making it easy to automatically add structured data with Gutenberg content blocks.
- Peek behind the scenes at the custom blocks powering Amnesty International‘s new platform developed by Big Bite, also embedded in the spotlight below.
News and Releases
Updates from around VIP, our clients, and our agency and technical partners.
- VIP teamed up with Human Made to host Big WP London, featuring talks from 10up, Big Bite, Inpsyde, and News UK. Video from the talks coming soon!
- Alley helped the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation answer the question, “Does where you live affect how long you live?” by building a life expectancy estimator using data from 73,000 U.S. Census tracts. They also redesigned the Online News Association’s VIP-hosted resource portal just in time for #ONA18.
- 10up CEO John Eckman shared slides from his talk at WordCamp NYC on rethinking his approach to GDPR and privacy.
- Jenny Wong of Human Made penned a comprehensive (read: 5,000 word) piece on the most useful features of GitHub.
- XWP released AMP plugin v1.0-beta4 and announced a new leadership team.
- If you haven’t checked out the VIP Dashboard for our VIP Go platform, take a look and open a ticket to let us know what you think. (Watch for the first major feature, which will be data sync, arriving over the next few weeks.)
- Jetpack was updated to 6.5 (Lobby post for VIP clients, announcement).
- VIP MU plugin updates include a new filter to prevent async post status event from being scheduled (documentation, props Ryan Kanner for the PR) and increasing the concurrency of async post status transition events in our Cron infrastructure (caveats documented here).
- Liveblog v1.9 introduced support for the AMP project, alongside the popular AMP for WordPress plugin. v1.9 also includes enhanced performance for high-traffic liveblogs and support for cross-domain updates (Lobby post).
Spotlight: Amnesty International
Take a video tour of the custom Gutenberg blocks powering Amnesty International’s new platform, built by Big Bite for the new WordPress editor. Their team is also working on one of the largest Gutenberg-built applications to date, with a global financial organization.
What We Read
Featured: Journalists Just Can’t Quit Microsoft Word. But Some Are Trying (Slate)
VIP take: “Still exchanging Microsoft Word documents with contributors to make edits? Apparently, some publications are still redlining their way to a final draft, while others have made the shift to Google Docs. If you’re happy with the collaborative editing features in Google Docs, try out this add-on to send your drafts straight to your WordPress site.” — @ryansholin
- When Organic Growth Goes Enterprise (a16z podcast)
- The New York Post plans paid membership program (Digiday)
- Spirited Media’s year of momentum: How being good for our word was good for our business (Medium)
- Famous Fortune 1000 WordPress Sites (Kevin Leary)
VIP was thrilled to be a part of ONA again in 2018, which went down in Austin, TX from September 13-15.
To kick things off, we and our partners at Alley co-hosted a pre-conference meal where we broke bread with clients and friends. At the conference itself, VIP’s very own Steph Yiu, Ryan Sholin, and Shannon Smith teamed up to present “The Future of Content Creation in WordPress” which gave an inside look at the intersection of publishing, WordPress, and Gutenberg. Ryan also joined a panel on “Remixing Content: Refining Your Workflow to Make Your Work Flow,” sharing tips to make workflows meet your newsroom’s distribution needs without bloating them.
Overall, the VIP team was inspired to see how journalists and newsrooms are using WordPress to create new frontiers in digital publishing. To learn more, visit the VIP-hosted journalists.org.
- WAN-IFRA is hosting the Digital Content Expo (DCX) and World Publishing Expo parallel to each other from October 9-11 in Berlin. While the World Expo focuses on print strategies, DCX examines digital trends for content production, distribution, management, and monetization.
- WordCamp US is coming to Nashville again on December 7-9. Organizers just announced the fifth round of speakers. November 1 is the deadline to get a printed badge (and share your preferred shirt size).
- NICAR is slated for March 7-10 in Newport Beach, California. Sign up for the NICAR mailing list to stay up to date with conference announcements.
- The first batches of tickets have dropped for WordCamp Europe! It goes down June 20-22, also in Berlin. While may seem like a long time from now, tickets always sell out, so grab yours fast.