March 2019 VIP Roundup
The WordPress team recently celebrated another major milestone with the release of WordPress 5.1, alongside news that the platform now powers a full third of the web. Huzzah! Kauffman Indicators, the Facebook Journalism Project, Rio Negro, MinnPost, and MTN now count themselves among that elite group after enjoying successful launches this month.
Elsewhere, we were lucky to join some amazing conversations about shaping the enterprise WordPress world we want to live in, including more women leaders in digital journalism and the importance of designing for all. Read on for details, as well as the latest updates from across the community.
News and Releases
Updates from around VIP, our clients, and our agency and technical partners.
- WordPress released version 5.1. Nicknamed ‘Betty,’ 5.1 introduces new Site Health features and includes performance improvements for the new block editor. Congrats to Automatticians Matt Mullenweg and Gary Pendergast and the 561 contributors (including folks from our partners 10up, Reaktiv Studios, and rtCamp) who made it possible.
- It’s official: WordPress now powers 33.3% of the web.
- VIP worked with featured partner Alley to help The Kauffman Foundation launch the Kauffman Indicators of Early Stage Entrepreneurship. This new tool offers in-depth reports and interactive data visualizations that present entrepreneurial trends across decades, geographies, and demographic groups.
- The Facebook Journalism Project provides products, tools, and training to promote news literacy and help journalists harness the power of Facebook for good.
- Argentina’s 115-year-old Rio Negro newspaper is looking mighty fine in its new home.
- Longstanding nonprofit news organization MinnPost joined the VIP family.
- Congrats to South African mobile phone provider MTN on their new site launch.
- 10Up turned eight and beta launched WP Acceptance, a team-centric tool for writing reliable, scalable acceptance tests.
- Alley shared a reflection on how creating a self-quoting SlackBot shaped their company culture.
- Big Bite sponsored Middlesborough Digital, part of several burgeoning digital sectors in the UK.
- Inpsyde released a OneStock for WooCommerce plugin to make it easier to manage product inventory across multiple shops.
- rtCamp shared the PHP migration script they used to move 300+ repos, 10000+ issues/PR and 100,000+ comments from GitLab to GitHub. Their team also attended 3 WordCamps in one weekend!
- HumanMade hosted their annual meetup in Sri Lanka (We’re not jealous. Okay, we’re jealous).
- We deployed WordPress 5.1 (Lobby post for clients), Jetpack 7.0 (Lobby post), VaultPress 1.9.8, and Akismet 4.1.1.
What We Read (And Listened To)
- ‘Fear of the screenshot’: Candid thoughts of ad buyers at the Digiday Media Buying Summit (Digiday)
- Here’s the state of African-American media today — and steps it can take going forward (Nieman Lab)
- With Big Stars and Paid Subscriptions, Luminary Aims to Be the Netflix of Podcasts (New York Times)
- Millions of Ugandans quit internet services as social media tax takes effect (The Guardian)
- TikTok Has Been Downloaded More Than 1 Billion Times Globally (Adweek)
Spotlight: Kurator at NewsCorp Australia
We have had the pleasure of working with News Corp Australia (NCA) since early 2015. Today they host 21 sites with us, including market leaders News.com.au, Foxsports.com.au, and TheAustralian.com.au. For NCA, WordPress represents one important application among others, within a complex and powerful systems architecture that predated their migration. We spoke with Juan Zapata, head of the Site Production Platform team, to learn more about their custom-built Kurator tool, which brings external resources to authors and editors working in WordPress. Read all about it.
- Earlier this month, we sponsored and attended ONA’s Women Leadership Accelerator at UCLA. Each year, this event brings 30 women from around the world for a weeklong leadership intensive to advance women in digital journalism. VIP has been a major sponsor of ONA WLA since the beginning and are proud to continue our support. Alternate: This year, our very own Steph Yiu spoke about managing remote teams (recap on her site) and VIP’s work promoting digital journalism.
- VIP was also pleased to sponsor February’s Change Forum, where our friends at News UK brought together established media businesses and startups in London to speak candidly about product design and development. Simon Dickson, Alison Blanda, Jason Snow, Ryan Sholin, and Simon Wheatley represented VIP at the event, and Automattic’s design director David Kennedy spoke on reaping the benefits of prioritizing accessibility in design. Get a summary of his talk alongside major highlights in our event recap.
- BigWP meetups focus on the operation, development, and scaling of large, high-traffic WordPress websites. Next up is BigWP Toronto, hosted by our friends at the Canadian Olympic Committee on March 27. These events always fill up fast, so hop to it.
- Facebook’s developer conference F8 is slated for April 30-May 1. Billed as, “A conversation about technology and human connection,” this event offers deep dive sessions and product demos across Facebook’s family of apps. You can apply to attend or sign up to stream the keynote.
- We’ll be attending WAN-IFRA’s 71st World News Media Congress 2019 in Glasgow, June 1-3.