RIM’s BlackBerry blogs join WordPress.com VIP Services

We’re excited to share that RIM’s BlackBerry consumer blogs are now on WordPress.com VIP Hosting!

We also had the chance to stop by the BlackBerry PlayBook party at the South by Southwest conference this past week and we know they have big things in store and we’re excited they’re using WordPress as their corporate communication tool.

Welcome to the WordPress family!

If you have a BlackBerry, don’t forget you can use the WordPress for BlackBerry application to post content to your WordPress site from wherever you are.

[Go to the Inside BlackBerry blog]

[Go to the Inside BlackBerry Help blog]

[Go to the Inside BlackBerry for Business Blog]

Ready to become a VIP Services Client? Some of the world’s biggest brands rely on WordPress.com VIP Services.

Naked Security Joins WordPress.com VIP

The wildly popular and informative Naked Security blog from the leading IT security firm Sophos, recently launched in our WordPress.com VIP program:
[mshot http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/ 600]

The mission of the blog is to highlight “various news, opinion, advice and research on computer security issues and the latest internet threats.”

Just this past November, the Naked Security team was bestowed with a very prestigious award — crowning them the “Best IT Security Blog” from the Computer Weekly Blog Awards.

[ Visit Naked Security ]

Ready to become a VIP Services Client? Some of the world’s biggest brands rely on WordPress.com VIP Services.

MacDailyNews Now a WP.com VIP

Last week MacDailyNews became the newest addition to our WordPress.com VIP Hosting client roster.

With an archive dating back to 2002 and over 750,000 comments, this is the largest Expression Engine migration to date. MacDailyNews brings with them a very active community and an ever-burning desire to publish.

We’re contributing the powerful WordPress.com server grid, and access to the VIP Services team. Code Poet-listed developers Crowd Favorite did an excellent job on all aspects of the theme and plugins, and getting the content into the WordPress format for a speedy launch.

Visit MacDailyNews.com.

Ready to become a VIP Services Client? Some of the world’s biggest brands rely on WordPress.com VIP.

Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park on Tour, on SNL, and on WP.com VIP

Many of you I’m sure caught the two performances this past weekend by Linkin Park on Saturday Night Live. The band is also on tour throughout North America right now.

But what you may not have known, is that Mike Shinoda has been blogging some really high quality content for a while now on our WordPress.com VIP platform:
[mshot http://mikeshinoda.com 600]

Check out his blog at mikeshinoda.com for really good insights, and special behind the scenes video footage using the VideoPress HD video service.

[ Visit mikeshinoda.com ]

Cheezburger Network Open Sources Their WordPress Administration Panel

WordPress.com VIP Cheezburger Network, where you get your daily LOLz from one of their 50 popular sites like I Can Haz Cheezburger? and FAIL Blog, have shared the code of their WordPress theme administration panels.

Called CheezCap, it’s a simple library for easily creating custom admin panels.

Screenshot of CheezCap

Cheezburger Network uses a single shared theme across all their sites. In order to avoid having to create conditionals and other per-blog modifications in their theme, they developed CheezCap. Any of the administrators can update the options controlling the layout, design, colors, etc, without having to dig into the theme code.

When asked what motivates his engineering team to participate in the WordPress community, CTO Scott Porad replied:

I can say without hesitation that WordPress has had a hand in the success of Cheezburger. So, to the extent that we can help other people be successful with WordPress, we’re on board!

What I meant to say is… All aboard the WordPress Express! Choo Choo!

Dan Ariely Joins WordPress.com VIP

Delighted to have the insightful and eye-opening author and professor, Dan Ariely, now hosting his relaunched site in our WordPress.com VIP program.
[mshot http://danariely.com 600]

Dan is the author of Predictably Irrational, and the recently released The Upside of Irrationality which he talks about in this short video:

[ Visit danariely.com ]

Rosetta Stone Joins WordPress.com VIP

Rosette Stone, the technology-based language learning company, has launched their new blog RVOICE on WordPress.com VIP:
[mshot http://blog.rosettastone.com/2010/05/11/welcome/ 600]

The new blog, RVoice, will focus on:

… [a] discussion on the role of technology and pedagogy in changing how people learn languages. And we also wanted to provide an opportunity for you to get to know us better and for us to get to know you.

Our intention is not to have a blog just for the sake of being current – no technology for technology’s sake, we like to say. This is about opening up the conversation and providing a focused forum for debate on new ideas and practices in the field of language learning. Clearly, there is lots of soul searching going on out there about tech-enabled language learning – what’s lacking is the participation of leading practitioners and a framework for the debate. We hope to change that.

[ Visit RVOICE ]

Relaunch of WordPress.com VIP Site and new VIP Support Options

As many of you know, the VIP program that we run provides two services. The first is exclusive bullet-proof hosting on our WordPress.com grid for high-profile and high-traffic sites. And the second is a program open to all where we provide developer-to-developer support on scaling and development projects for self-hosted WordPress sites.

Here’s a short video explaining the program:

We previously had separate sites for these two services, and recently decided to simplify the sites, and combine them into one, wpvip.com .

For WordPress VIP Support, we also introduced new levels of support based on the feedback we’ve received this past year, including a top tier with a much requested on-site visit option.

What’s Next:
We have some exciting plans for the VIP program in 2010. First up, we will introduce a dedicated VIP Hosting portal for WordPress.com VIPs in the coming weeks, with documentation of all the special functions, lots of theme and system info, and best practice coding guidelines for WordPress.com. A bit further out we plan to streamline the support and ticketing system to provide a more complete 360 view of activity across multiple sites.

For VIP Support, expect new features and improvements to the private forum which will make finding answers more efficient and provide our team clearer information that will make the interactions better. And starting this year, we now include support for BuddyPress as part of VIP Support, and we are already seeing that become a bigger part of many of the larger WordPress powered sites.

[ For more information, please visit wpvip.com ]

The Carter Center Joins WordPress.com VIP Hosting

Exciting to see that former US President Jimmy Carter’s organization, The Carter Center, has just launched their blog, which is part of the WordPress.com VIP Hosting program:

The site will focus on covering:

…updates on the Center’s peace and health efforts around the world. Our blog will feature news and video from the field, photo essays, articles authored by our experts, and more.

[ Visit The Carter Center Blog ]

TNT’s Mike Fratello Joins WordPress.com VIP Hosting

Very excited to welcome Mike Fratello to the WordPress.com VIP Hosting program. As many NBA fans know, Mike is the “Czar of the Telestrator” – and works alongside Marv Albert covering TNT’s NBA games. Mike was also previously a top coach in the league:

The site integrates PollDaddy for user polls, as well as Facebook and Twitter in the sidebar.

[ Visit MikeFratello.com ]

UPS Joins WordPress.com VIP Hosting

UPS has announced the launch of their new blog, Upside, which is running on WordPress.com VIP Hosting:

The Upside blog, designed and built by T3 is a “blog created by UPS to share personal insights and perspective about the largest transportation company in the world.”

Some really interesting content posted so far including a video of how UPS and Zappos are working together.

[ Visit blog.ups.com ]

SEC Launches Investor.gov on WordPress.com VIP

The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) announced the launch today of Investor.gov – a site focused on helping and educating investors:
sec-investor-gov-vip

Investor.gov is hosted in the WordPress.com VIP program, and uses a custom theme based on the GPL licensed Vibrant CMS theme.

Be sure to check out the video welcome message from Chairman Mary Schapiro for more details.

[ Visit Investor.gov ]

Sonin.mn Joins WordPress.com VIP

Sonin.mn, a daily digest of Mongolian top newspapers, has joined the WordPress.com VIP program:
sonin-vip

According to Sansar Jiimen who runs the site, Sonin.mn reaches over 100,000 daily visitors – a really impressive achievement given that Mongolia is a country with a population of 2.5 million.

The Sonin.mn site was started in early 2004 and has been using WordPress since 2005.  Now that they are on WordPress.com VIP they’ve started to stream popular songs from the former Soviet era days of Mongolia, with plans to bring new video content online soon.

The team at Sonin has also announced that they will be spearheading a new effort to help improve the community-driven WordPress.com translation of Mongolian.

[ Visit Sonin.mn ]

Platinum Games Selects WordPress.com VIP

Platinum Games Inc, an independent video game development studio based in Japan,  has selected WordPress.com VIP:

platinum-games-vip

This innovative site was designed and developed by cnp_studio, and utilizes the new WordPress.com HD video solution.  Platinum Games took advantage of the video solution’s age verification feature,  which can be seen in action below for their highly anticipated Wii game — MadWorld:

This site is also an example of fast growing trend in using WordPress as a full site CMS.  As cnp_studio points out:

The site showcases what WordPress can do not only for maintaining a blog, but an entire Web site. The management of everything including pages, posts, sidebars and features is handled through the WordPress administration.

[ Visit PlatinumGames.com ]

People’s Choice Awards Selects WordPress.com VIP

Last night, the 2009 People’s Choice Awards, hosted by Queen Latifah, featured a Live Blog powered by WordPress.com VIP :

peoples-choice-awards-2

Specifically designed for live events, this blog uses an innovative WordPress theme with AJAX updates.   Developed by Crowd Favorite, the theme allows for rapid-fire postings by the bloggers with a user-friendly mechanism which alerts readers when new content is live (see screenshot above).

Congrats to Hooshere Bezdikian and the whole team at the People’s Choice Awards for an all around amazing event.

[ Visit blog.pcavote.com ]

Boys’ Life Joins WordPress.com VIP

Boy’s Life earns a badge as a new WordPress.com VIP.

boyslifemagazine

Boys’ Life, the official publication of the Boy Scouts of America, is a monthly magazine read by nearly nine million readers between the ages of 6 and 17.

The site is used as an interactive extension of the print magazine. Readers are encouraged to submit jokes, ask questions about gear or gadgets, share hobby tips, and participate in other ways. The site provides valuable scouting information for boys, such as merit badge requirements and scout law.

The Boys’ Life theme has numerous category templates for different areas of the site and displays information about reader submissions by using custom fields. Ratings and related posts utilize the Outbrain WordPress plugin.

[ Visit Boy’s Life ]

TIME’s Liveblog Election ’08

With all the great coverage today of the U.S. Election an informative and truly funny source can be found on TIME’s Liveblog Election ’08 site, powered by WordPress.com VIP.

Written by Michael Grunwald, James Poniewozik, and Karen Tumulty, the live blog includes gems like this:

7:21 p.m. – Michael Grunwald: Also hilarious on cnn: the constant scoreboard stuck at 8-3 for mccain. Ballsy of him to go for two so early in the game, don’t you think?

And this one too:

7:17 p.m. – Michael Grunwald: I haven’t even started drinking and wolf blitzer appears to be interviewing a hologram of princess leia.

[ Visit TIME’s Liveblog Election ’08 site ]

Sci-Fi Novelist John Scalzi Joins WordPress.com VIP

Science fiction writer John Scalzi has joined the ranks of WordPress.com VIPs.

Whatever Blog

John is the author of more than a dozen published titles. He has been nominated for five Hugo Awards, winning the 2008 Best Fan Writer Hugo. He also won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2006.

As he notes in a recent post, John made the switch because

This backend robustness and knowledge of the WordPress platform appeals to me, especially after a couple of months of banging my head against a wall trying to do things on my own.

[ Visit Whatever ]

WordPress.com Comments In Fox News’ Live Video of Tonight’s Debate

Tonight’s U.S. Presidential debate is being streamed live on foxnews.com.

In a very innovative and useful way, Fox News has integrated user comments from their WordPress.com VIP blog On The Scene seamlessly into the live video stream.

This allows for greater user engagement and interaction and provides a real real-time feedback loop on how viewers are reacting to the debate.

[ Visit Foxnews.com ]

NFL Selects WordPress.com VIP

We are very excited about our newest partner in the WordPress.com VIP program, the National Football League, with their launch of blogs.nfl.com.

The NFL has partnered with WordPress.com VIP for both a rapid-fire news blog at blogs.nfl.com, as well as an expert commentary / user feedback set of blogs which are incorporated into the NFL’s exciting new web video application Sunday Night Football Extra:

On blogs.nfl.com you’ll find news and commentary about the NFL as well as insights and reports from the great Adam Schefter.

Sunday Night Football Extra will feature NBC and NFL Network analysis from the likes of Jerome Bettis, who will be blogging in WordPress.com with his thoughts on the game.  To see this in action head over to nfl.com during the game.

[ Visit blogs.nfl.com and Sunday Night Football Extra ]

Real Dan Lyons Launches on WordPress.com VIP

Real Dan Lyons, aka Fake Steve Jobs, has relaunched his site on WordPress.com VIP:

Screenshot of RealDanLyons.com

The firm cnp Studio ( formerly profiled for their work with Sony ) did a tremendous job building the site and made great use of WordPress pages and widgets:

We created RealDanLyons.com for Dan to promote not only his blog, but his speaking engagements, books and articles. The site pulls inspiration from his new employer, Newsweek and in the interest of keeping things light and personal, Dan provided us images to use that were not the typical headshot (big thanks to Jeremy for those design skills).

Nick Gernert @ cnp discussed the benefits of WordPress.com VIP for a high-profile site such as this:

A first for us with this project was using WordPress.com’s VIP Hosting to host the site. This didn’t mean much difference for us in the development of the site except we know we don’t have to worry about high traffic days on the site, they do.  We still developed the site in a local staging environment running a standard install of WordPress. They assisted in taking things from staging to production and now future updates to the site are a matter of committing updates to a SVN repository

[ Visit RealDanLyons.com and cnp Studio case study ]

VIP in the News: BlogTalkRadio

BlogTalkRadio, a social radio network, just announced a new round of funding.

Alan Levy, the CEO, posted on the company blog ( which is hosted on WordPress.com VIP ) explaining on how they got to this point and the power of bloggers and other individuals to create audio shows:

We launched BlogTalkRadio almost two years ago as an idea that we thought had some legs. As has been well-documented in the past, our theory was quite simple: Would bloggers, or in fact anyone, be interested in creating audio content using a phone? Would it be possible to create a new distribution platform and medium, where anyone with a phone and something to say could establish and build an audience? If this is such a good idea, why is no one else doing it? We had many more questions than answers.

Levy offers details on where BlogTalkRadio is today:

Fast forward from the fall of 2006 and we have broadcast close to 100,000 shows. We have had Academy Award winners, Presidential candidates, best-selling authors and many other notables. We have thousands of active hosts talking about the things that interest them and their audience. Our content is listened to more than 3 million times a month and as new content is created and added to the long tail, the number of listeners continues to grow rapidly.

[ Read more on the BlogTalkRadio blog & today’s New York Times article ]

Healthier Health.com

Yesterday, Health.com launched a complete site redesign, and I’m excited that WordPress.com VIP Hosting is part of it. Their main blog Poked and Prodded has been migrated from TypePad, and we are also hosting their two new blogs Healthy Living and Healthy Eating.

All of the old links to Poked and Prodded continue to work, and the newer articles now have the more readable and better search engine optimized WordPress style of permanent links.

One thing I really like about their themes is the use of avatars for each contributor both in the sidebar and on their individual author bios. It really personalizes the experience.

Health.com Editorial Director Scott Mowbray wrote in the article about the relaunch:

“… we do like to blog. We do like to present diverse voices talking about human issues”.

The the rest of the article continues to focus on their opportunity to use their expertise as journalists and editors to create a web site helping “make lives easier, healthier, and more interconnected”.

In my small role helping with the migration, and as a new parent, I found myself reading a lot of the articles and watching the videos. They are successful at “answering the questions you really want answered”.

The Health.com team chose WordPress.com VIP Hosting because WordPress provides the setting for people connecting, allowing Health.com to stay focused on their writing (using our intuitive interface), while we provide the flexible environment to integrate their blogs into the Health.com experience, and the performance, maintenance, and stability to give them the piece of mind that their audience and participants will always have a great experience.

NYT talks about The Page

This New York Times article gives some interesting background on The Page, A Time Inc site that’s run by Mark Halperin and provides real-time politics and election coverage. The Page has rapidly gained a very large readership since it’s launch 6 months ago. What’s interesting from a WordPress point of view is that even though The Page is tightly integrated into the main Time.com site, it’s actually 100% WordPress based and hosted as part of the WordPress.com VIP program.

“Welcome to Thomson Reuters” Hosted on WordPress.com VIP

The newly formed Thomson Reuters Corp made its highly anticipated debut this past Thursday. Thomson Reuters is now the largest business focused media company in the world with 50,000 employees and annual revenues of more than $12.5 billion.

To communicate to various groups about the new combined entity, Thomson Reuters selected WordPress.com VIP to host this high-traffic and high-profile site:

The Web Communications team at Thomson Reuters was able to quickly get the site built using a custom theme. Leveraging the WordPress.com grid infrastructure, the team was able to deliver a superior user experience, particularly during the high traffic spikes.

As with other large traffic spike sites on WordPress.com VIP such as Gizmodo’s Live Blog – it’s good to know that when the world shows up at your door step, it’s an opportunity, not a problem.

People.com’s StyleWatch Off the Rack Covers LA Fashion Week

Off the Rack, People.com’s StyleWatch fashion blog hosted on WordPress.com VIP, has been doing a great job covering LA Fashion Week.

Today Off the Rack spotlights George Clooney’s girlfriend, Sarah Larson, who was a special guest model for Ashley Paige:
off the rack

The blog is seeing a high-level of interaction with it’s readers, and is well integrated into the overall People.com site.

Off the Rack also has a unique feature called “Comment of the Day” where editors highlight an interesting comment from one of their readers.

[Visit Off the Rack]

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