WordPress version control extravaganza

I’m presenting a few slides at SF WordPress Meetup on how I use version control for personal WordPress site development and deployment, and for plugin development.

As usual, the meetup is at Automattic down on the Embarcadero.

If you’re in the area, and feel compelled to step your dev game up a little, come on down to WordPress Out of (version) Control.

And here is the presentation, embedded from Slideshare:

Content Creation versus Content Curation

Content curation is a growing opportunity on the web, and like every other new thing, it’s not exactly clear whose definition of “curation” is best, or which will be the most widely accepted (“best” and “most widely accepted” aren’t always the same).

Content Creation

Definition: Content creation is the act of creating unique content.

This is a de facto definition reflecting content actually being published on the web in mid-2010.

The definition hinges on the word unique. For a working definition of the word unique with respect to web content, it’s implicitly accepted that content passing Google’s duplicate content filter may be classified as unique.

How Google determines duplicate content seems to be a trade secret. One way they could be doing it is by using a document similarity index.

The key point: “Unique” does not imply novelty or originality in any way. A large fraction of the unique content published in, say, the Problogger niche, the personal finance and personal development niches is not original, and has very little novelty.

Content Curation

Content curation makes no claim to uniqueness with respect to individual pieces of content, but well-curated digital content can provide novelty, with originality coming from presentation and perspective.

Here’s two examples of curated content taken from blogging: lists of plugins, and tutorials for acquiring a technical skill.

Lists of plugins come in two basic types:

  1. The plugins vary in capability and are used for different purposes. Example: your first 10 plugins for WordPress installation.
  2. The plugins have similar capability and are used for the same purpose. Example: 3 different plugins for backing your WordPress installation.

Another type of list which curates content is one collecting different methods for accomplishing the same task. For example, there’s at least 3 different ways to install WordPress, probably many more.

Facebook’s “Like” button and the end of private privacy

Near the end of April 2010, Facebook announced their Open Graph initiative with an API allowing developers to rapidly integrate Facebook tools such as the “Like” button into arbitrary web pages.

What does this mean, exactly?

That’s a really good question, and the answer isn’t at all obvious. Certainly, the amount of consumer data Facebook will collect is staggering. The precision with which they will be able to sell targeted demographic data is unparalleled.

And the difficulty of overcoming Facebook’s barriers to personal privacy amount to, essentially, this:

  1. De facto, privacy on Facebook doesn’t exist. If it’s on Facebook, you had best treat it as public.
  2. Private privacy no longer exists in the Facebook ecosystem. If you want to be “private,” everyone knows what you’re treating as private. That is, your privacy is public.

One pernicious side effect is that you don’t control your presence on Facebook.

Don’t want pictures of yourself posted on Facebook? Don’t allow anyone to take pictures of you. You can’t really stop someone from posting their own pictures, and if you’re in one of them, too bad for you.

Startup Weekend Silicon Valley April 30 – May 2 2010

Startup Weekend Silicon Valley is being hosted by Paypal, at the Town Center building on the eBay campus.

Walter and I worked on a global status application, “Statustar.” If you’re familiar with gravatar – globally recognized avatars – this is much the same sort of notion: you should be able to display and update your status from any platform.

Our first platforms are WordPress and Facebook. The WordPress application is built as a plugin. For Facebook, Statustar runs as a native application.