All posts by John Parkinson

WordPress user for 6 years. Volunteer with the WordPress.tv team. Member of Greater Wheeling Chapter, Past Region 18 President - AITP (Association of Information Technology Professionals) Member St. Clairsville Thoburn UMC - tech team Past Board Member Belco Works Web johnparkinson.me

WordPress 4.5 Release

The WordPress 4.5 Release was announced yesterday at about 3:15 PM EST (April 12, 2016).

This post is not about any new or improved features, bug fixes, etc. that are included in the release but watching what was going on in the Core Group as time was getting closed.

I had an idea that 4.5 was going to be released yesterday afternoon, so I was able to keep an eye on the WordPress Core Slack channel. I have stated many times before that I am NOT a developer by any stretch of the imagination. BUT is was interesting (to me anyhow) to watch the discussion that was going on as the Core Team was getting ready to publish the announcement. There were times that I had no idea what was being talked about but it was interesting nonetheless.

One item of discussion was the total downloads of version 4.4, which topped out at just under 43 million downloads.

44 downloads

And like I said, at about 3:15 PM EST it was official!

release

It only took a few minutes and the downloads reached 100,000.

Also, it is worth mentioning that the work did not end with the 4.5 release. The Slack channel was busy throughout the evening and this morning. Something that I NEVER gave a thought to were the releases in non English. I didn’t take long before they were showing up in different parts of the world.

I have been “involved” as a volunteer with WordPress for slightly more than 2 years. It is amazing to me to see (or hear about) what happens on a daily basis and the team focus that this project inspires.

To the Core Team and any other people involved in the WordPress Community – WELL DONE!!!

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VOLUNTEER BURNOUT

There have been a couple of excellent post about burnout by people who are working with or writing about WordPress on a full-time basis. I was interested in the other end of the WordPress spectrum. People like myself, whose full-time job is NOT working with WordPress (all day, every day) but who contribute a few hours during the week and weekend. In other words – Volunteer Burnout.

The first post I am referring to was actually the weekly podcasts on WPTavern. Jeff Chandler talked about suffering from burnout and how he dealt with it. The second was a post by Drew Jaynes on his website WerdWords.com.

I have been volunteering with WordPress.TV for about 2 years and have really enjoyed myself. The team is comprised of some great people, some of whom I have met in person. Everybody is always positive and upbeat which makes for great working relationship.

It seems like the feeling of being burned out first hit me in February. This can be a slow time as there is a lull in scheduled WordCamps after the beginning of the New Year and all of the videos from the previous year have been submitted and processed. This year was a little bit different as the team was making a push to get existing WPTV videos uploaded to the new WordPress TV YouTube channel. It just so happened that I had a couple of weeks and weekends free to help with this process and apparently I spent WAY too much time working at this.

Now, it was during this time that I felt a reluctance to working on videos. I dreaded the thought of editing, downloading, uploading, converting slides, creating intro / outro panels, etc.

After I had spent a couple of weeks in slowdown mode, I posted the following question on the Facebook group All About WordPress:

Looking for some feedback or advice. This is for people who contribute to the WordPress Community but do not work full time with WordPress. As an example: I am the IT Manager for an engineering firm and my WordPress duties take about 4 hours a week. I volunteer with WordPress TV a few hours a week, typically 2 to 8 hours evening and weekends. Trying to find out how people deal with burnout. Thanks in advance!

I got some great responses…..

Ivicc Delic: Walking, running, relaxing, going to movies,… usually enjoying in these activities with my best friend and my life partner – my “better half” smile emoticon

Craig Allen: I take Sundays off to recharge, which also helps me focus and not procrastinate on Saturday to be more productive then.

Dawn Blumetti Golden: I like a little TV Comedy at the end of the day. Before I go up to bed/sleep I watch some recorded comedy off the DVR. 2 half hour shows or one hour long show takes about 40 min if you zip past the commercials.

Rhiannon England: Balance! Unless it’s an emergency, weekends off. And vacations/holidays are actually GOOD for you!

Sionann Garcia: Set business hours and stick to them. No weekends. Get out and see/do something in nature. Floating in a pool helps me a lot.

Nile Flores: Like Shan, I’ve set business hours. Anything I decide to do outside of them… it’s on me. Other than that, I listen to loud music (rock n’ roll or heavy metal), and sometimes read online or an actual book (omg… those actually exist.) Sometimes I’ll watch a movie or go out instead.

If I know Nile, she has the volume jacked up to 11!!

I certainly appreciate everybody’s input and I have changed my habits. I did not stop working on videos completely, just a slowdown for a few weeks. Although I do feel bad that I did not contact my team members first to let them know what was going on. Oh well, live and learn. So, I am back to normal (or at least my version of normal) and plugging away at my duties with WordPress TV. Life is good. I have a couple of WordCamps I am planning to attend in the next few months. It will be good to get away.

WordPress Mobile

I have probably mentioned previously that I actively maintain 6 WordPress sites and help out periodically on 2 others. One of the sites I maintain is for AITP Region 18. I belong to the local Greater Wheeling Chapter and I make post on a monthly basis for chapter and region wide updates and announcements.

Recently our region president attended one of our local meetings and needed some information that he had sent to me which I posted on the region website. He viewed the site on his smartphone and was pleased that site was mobile  enabled.

I explained to him how this was done on a self hosted WordPress website. He asked if this was an option on a WordPress.com website he had recently created. I did some quick research and found the settings he was looking for.

All of my websites are self hosted and I use WP Touch or the mobile option in Jetpack.

JetPack Mobile

 

The information that I found for a WordPress.com is under the Appearance settings and then click the Mobile option.

WordPress.com Mobile

 

My friend was happy with the results of the mobile settings and is having fun exploring WordPress.

I have had good luck using WP Touch and Jetpack mobile settings.

WordPress Release 4.2

I just updated this site to Release 4.2 and have not had any issues  so far.

Five Percent

I first read about Matt Mullenweg’s statement about companies contributing five percent of their people to working on the WordPress core on WPTavern. I then read Matt’s post on his ma.tt site.  This is a great concept!

BUT!

What about small companies? What about people like myself who have no programming skills or experience?

Well, Johnny, I am glad you asked!

We can still contribute five percent!

Think about it. People can volunteer or speak at Meet Ups and WordCamps. Take a look at http://codex.wordpress.org or https://make.wordpress.org  and see if there is an area that you might have an interest in.

I am a big believer in giving back. If I am involved in something and I am getting value from that association, I feel an obligation to give back in some way. I am able to spend two or three hours in the early morning moderating videos at WordPress.tv. This has been a good experience and I have meet some great people. I am able to watch/moderate WordCamp videos from all over the world.

I have been lucky enough to attend four WordCamps this year – Dayton, North Canton, Columbus and Ann Arbor. Dayton and Ann Arbor were first time WordCamps. Each one was great and well worth the time and expense to attend.

Two tweets that were made during these WordCamps struck home for me.

jeffro

And….

natedriver

These tweets (and many others)  pretty much sum up what WordPress and WordCamps are about.

Presentation Ready? NOT

Well, actually my presentation is ready for WordCamp Columbus but it took me a lot longer than I anticipated.

I have prepared a new presentation for Columbus. At WordCamps Dayton and North Canton I talked about Finding WordPress Help. I think both talks were well received. Since the August 1st ad 2nd event will be the THIRD WordCamp in Ohio this year, I thought that a lot of people who had attended the earlier events would not attend the same presentation.

At the beginning of July I had my presentation “Dealing With A Lockout” completed. Or so I thought. As I started rehearsing, I realized that I was not at all happy with with the results.

So I pretty much trashed what I had and started over and I must say that I am glad that I did.

I did such a good job of refining my presentation that I actually had a lot of extra time to fill. Did I tear it apart again? NOPE! I decided to add some different content and have a two part talk.

So I am really looking forward to WordCamp Columbus and my session which is scheduled for 3:30 PM on Saturday.

sessions

 

I hope to see you there!

 WordPress TV

On a side note, I recently joined the WordPress TV team as a moderator. The ModSquad (as stated by Jerry Bates) moderates the videos from WordCamps around the world and check them for sound and video quality before they are published to the WordPress TV website.

I am having a blast and have meet some great folks during IRC chats.

So many thanks to WordPress TV gang for allowing me this opportunity!