Issue #46
grey 2
MailPoet logo
yellow 1@2x
orange 2@2x

This week in WordPress

WordCamp Austin's VR event gets rave reviews

Just when we thought it might be months (years…?!) before we can enjoy the hallway track at WordCamps again, WordCamp Austin came through with the goods last week.

In case you missed the rave reviews on Twitter, we'll turn it over to WP Buffs Community Manager and speaker Allie Nimmons who does a good job summarising what folks thought of last week's WordCamp: "WHAT THE HELLLLL THIS IS SO COOL #WCATX".

The organising team used VR and Hubs Virtual Rooms by Mozilla to create an interactive and personalized experience for virtual attendees. Sarah Gooding has the story at WPTavern: WordCamp Austin 2020 Finds Success with VR Experience for Sessions and Networking.

"Here's a small taste of the experience at @WordCampATX today. #WordPress logos and no sponsor banners on any elevator doors. #WCATX" tweets freelance developer David Bisset. Meanwhile, the Gutenberg Times' Birgit Pauli-Haack tweets, "So cool - checking out the Virtual Space of WordCamp Austin - love the background noise of people talking, ran into @ChrisWiegman and @Josh412 #WCATX."

The VR event comes after WordCamp US organizers canceled their online-only event, originally planned for 27-29 October, due to overextended organizers and online event fatigue. It also follows the Community Team’s announcement in August that all In-person flagship events have been canceled until 2022.

It's worth noting that at the time, the Community Team encouraged flagship organizing teams to "be creative in their approach" to virtual WordCamps, a sentiment Sarah said would challenge organizers to proceed only if they could "knock it out of the park in terms of creativity."

Tip us off! 👀 Share your news tips with The Repository anonymously →

WordPress.com launched ability to blog tweetstorms

Earlier this year, WordPress.com introduced an "unroll" option for Twitter embeds that basically allows users to post Twitter threads to their blogs. This week, the company launched the reverse — users now have A New Way to Publish Your Blog Posts Simultaneously as Twitter Threads, as Automattic's Gary Pendergast explains.

TechCrunch reporter Sarah Perez says in WordPress can now turn blog posts into tweetstorms automatically the feature could help turn Twitter followers into blog subscribers, allowing bloggers to increase their overall reach. But as The Verge's Jon Porter points out in New WordPress tool automatically turns blog posts into tweetstorms, "Twitter threads are an objectively terrible way of reading medium—or long-form writing" which is why services like Thread Reader have become popular.

KnownHuman anonymously comments, "Dear god, what a bad idea," while timpera anonymously says, "That's a great idea!" Whatever the case may be, WordPress 5.6 Core Tech Lead and 10up Director of Open Source Initiatives Helen Hou-Sandí tweets, "Big thanks to @GaryPendergast for making my offhand feature requests into reality :)"

Yoast partners with SEMrush for built-in keyword search

Yoast has partnered with popular online visibility management platform SEMrush to offer keyword research within its plugin. As Yoast user Rob P tweets, "OMG. This is awesome. @semrush inside @yoast. It feels like when you get a wedding invite from two friends that you didn't even know were dating."

Yoast founder and CPO Joost de Valk says in Yoast and SEMrush working together the new feature is available to the SEO plugin's 11+ million free and premium users. He hints there may be more to the Yoast-SEMrush collaboration in future.

"I have one more suggestion why not get into an extramarital affair with @rankmathseo as well," tweets digital marketing initiative Digital Wire.

Local Gravatar offers locally-hosted avatars

Ari Stathopoulos has released a privacy-conscious plugin that caches and serves Gravatar images locally, reports Justin Tadlock for WPTavern.

Local Gravatar lets site owners take advantages of the benefits of Gravatar, a global avatar system, while mitigating privacy concerns by hosting images locally.

Ari, who's a Yoast-sponsored core contributor and Themes Team rep, tells WPTavern he built the plugin for his own use because "… I don't know what Gravatar does, I don't understand the privacy policies, and I am too lazy to spend two hours analyzing them. It's faster for me to build something that is safe and doesn't leave any room for misunderstandings."

Application passwords being added to core

WordPress 5.6 will introduce application passwords for REST API authentication, reports Sarah Gooding for WPTavern. As Sarah explains, the one thing severely limiting the REST API's broader use is the lack of authentication capabilities for third-party applications. To address this, core contributor George Stephanis has proposed integrating application passwords into core.

Developers have welcomed the proposal, with Yoast's Joost de Valk commenting that "Opening this up is like opening the dawn of a new era of WordPress based web applications. Suddenly authentication is not something you need to fix when working with the API and you can just build awesome stuff."
yellow 2@2x

In other news...

orange 2@2x

Not subscribed? Join the most conversational weekly email
in the WordPress community!