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Current Student
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Joined: 08 Oct 2012
Posts: 31

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

GPA: 3.38
WE: Corporate Finance (Consulting)
Inclusive Illustrations, By Design [#permalink]

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New post 09 May 2017, 07:01
FROM Road to My MBA: Inclusive Illustrations, By Design
I like to think that designers solve problems, while artists ask questions. And when the two go hand-in-hand, real magic happens. Why? Because the right question gets answered with the right solution — art asks, and design responds.

Here at Automattic we were extremely fortunate to recently get to partner with independent artist and designer Alice Lee, who seamlessly integrates abstract ideas with concrete solutions. The following is an interview with Alice that is followed by another interview with Joan Rho, the designer who led the project.

JM: How did you become an illustrator?

AL: My path is a little nontraditional. I was always an artistically curious kid growing up, but was never of the “stand-out art star” variety. Rather, I went to business school, and after graduating, I worked at Dropbox as an early product designer.

Some of my first few projects there involved designing for externally facing projects (new user education, onboarding flows, home & landing pages), and I found that adding illustrations really elevated my work — understandably, no one wants to read paragraphs of text describing file sharing. At the time, there weren’t any dedicated full-time illustrators on the team, so I decided to just do it myself, learning as much as possible on the side and receiving guidance from teammates. Eventually I transitioned over into brand and communications design at Dropbox, working full-time as a product illustrator. I left to freelance almost three years ago and have been illustrating since!

JM: I’ve found that many people confuse an illustrator as someone who is “good at drawing.” I’ve found that description to be terribly narrow-minded. Anything to add?

AL: That’s a really interesting question because it describes two key qualities to being an illustrator. The first is the technical ability to draw — one doesn’t necessarily need to be the “second coming of art,” but it is important to possess a foundation in basic draftsmanship. The second is the conceptual ability to think like a designer — as an illustrator, you’re interpreting challenging design prompts and figuring out how to present visual ideas that often represent complex topics.

Having one piece but not the other is extremely limiting; a great illustrator balances and sharpens both. If you have more of the technical art / draftsmanship piece, this limits the type of high-level projects that you can take on and requires a heavy hand by an art director to guide you through. If you’re more of a conceptual thinker but lack drawing fundamentals, it limits the way that you can express your ideas — e.g. perhaps you can only work in a few basic styles. It’s never so black-and-white, of course, but putting the two together in illustration yields high-quality, conceptually brilliant work.

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JM: Having worked in the technology world for many years, what recurring patterns have you seen in the kinds of commissions you’ve been awarded?

AL: I’m excited by the fact that illustration has become a huge part of the tech branding landscape; so many companies are incorporating illustration as keystones of their brand. Companies are now developing their own unique illustration styles that build into their brand voice, exploring different mediums, differentiating themselves, etc.

This is exciting to me because I love to work in a variety of styles and mediums; it’s a great feeling to extend yourself as an artist. Many of my recent projects have involved building illustration branding systems in addition to creating the illustrations themselves, and I love bring analog media and textures into a traditionally vector world. We experimented with this a bit on this WordPress.com illustration branding project, of adding a subtle, candid brush stroke to accent vectorized, precise shapes. With little touches here and there, under an editing eye, this interplay between mixed media does a lot to elevate what an illustrative voice is saying.

JM: Tell me about your commission from Automattic.

AL: This project had two parts: 1) the first, building out an illustration branding system: the voice and style guidelines for how to create illustrations that extended the brand; 2) the second, producing 50+ illustrations that expressed this style to be used for the product and marketing collateral.

We went through lengthy explorations of the illustration style: what brand did we want to express, and how could it be expressed visually? A key tension was in balancing the friendly, fun, accessible direction of the brand with the business need of still being professional and refined. In many ways, our final output reflects this: it’s a combination of sturdy, grounded shapes that fill out most of the composition, guided by the expressiveness and imperfection of linework that adds in quirky detail. The solidness of these geometric shapes is still tied in to the prior style of illustration used in the product, but the linework adds in personality, playfulness, and a hand-drawn quality.

JM: What was the same with respect to your past work for tech companies, and what was different?

AL: One thing I’ve noticed is that this balance of “warm, relatable, friendly, fun” and “polished, serious” is a common tension in past work for tech companies. I think this is due to a few factors: first, it’s a natural tension to exist when you’re trying to express complicated, often technical concepts via visually appealing illustrations. Second, though I work with each company’s unique brand voice, you can still see my personal voice coming through across all of my work: energetic, bright, and purposeful.

Something different that I loved was how the team uses the WordPress product to document and comment on the design process, because everyone is remote! We had a central illustration blog where I would post up each round of exploration, pose questions to the team, and receive feedback. At the end of each major deliverable, it was nice to look back on the progression and evolution of the style and work produced. It was a very structured way to document the process, which is lacking when your working files exist solely in emails or asynchronous chat tools.

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JM: How did it feel to be pushed harder on the inclusion question?

AL: It was something that I deeply appreciated. We all carry our own internal assumptions and biases; and just like in design, assumptions should be challenged and improved with different perspectives, user research, and critical thinking.

For instance, John, you had just gotten back from doing user research in the field, talking to small mom and pop shops and individual entrepreneurs in the suburbs. In some early illustrations, I had drawn a lot of younger characters sipping coffee on their computers to illustrate people working on WordPress.com, and you challenged the “perfect latte / laptop world” that is a common backdrop in tech illustrations.

This made me realize that there was a whole range of characteristics I was missing from my internal definition of inclusiveness in illustration, due to my own biases: age, occupation, location, lifestyle, socioeconomic background, etc. I worked to place characters outside of the “perfect latte / laptop world,” drawing different backdrops in the larger scenes, expressing different jobs and backgrounds through props and attire, and including a section on how to depict age in the style guide.

JM: What is difficult about taking this direction? And what is easier?

AL: It is always challenging but necessary to address your own biases and assumptions in order to produce better work. In the above example, for instance, user research about who actually uses the product helped inform what the brand illustrations looked like — which in turn results in visuals that are more in line with the business objective of catering to the actual users.

It can be difficult because it’s also personal: the biases in a person’s artwork can also reflect their personal biases. Sometimes it can be hard to be challenged on that, but it’s necessary to acknowledge and no one is ever finished with this journey. I also think it is easier to start with inclusion and representation as core values than it is to tack it on after you’ve finished the branding process.

JM: What are your hopes for how people use this language you’ve produced for us?

AL: Artistically, I hope that this language can be extended and applied across the platform by many collaborators: designers, illustrators, animators, etc. I always love to see how a style evolves, and I also think it is really cool to have distinct mini-styles within a larger brand family — so that would be neat to see.

Socially, I hope that we can use these conversations around inclusivity to spark a larger dialogue in the illustration community about what it means to be inclusive in the work we produce. For instance, I personally rarely see people of color depicted in tech product illustrations (or, on a personal note, even Asian characters). When John pointed out the “perfect beautiful latte / laptop world” bias that’s common in tech illustration, I sat back and thought to myself, “you’re so right!” It made me realize some of my own assumptions about what should be depicted in illustration, and I hope that we can continually challenge each other within the illustration community.

Just like photographers, art directors, and designers, we as illustrators have the power to be thoughtful and inclusive in our work, to create artwork that shows people that anyone can use these products, not just a certain perceived stereotype of who “should” be.

I’ve found over the years that behind every innovative project launched by a company partnering with an outside artist, there’s a special somebody within the company who cared enough to make the case for doing things differently. That person, in the case of this project, is Joan Rho — one of our new Marketing Designers here at Automattic.

JM: How did you come by the work of Alice Lee?

JR: I’d seen Alice’s illustration work before and admired both the quality of her work and range of styles she was able to execute. After a brief initial chat with her about her work, her process, and learning that she was already familiar with our platform having been a longtime blogger on WordPress.com, I could tell she’d be a great collaborator who could help us elevate and unify our brand’s visual language.

JM: What is “design”?

JR: It’s communication, it’s innovation, it’s aesthetics, it’s optimization, and it’s strategic. Design shapes the way a message or experience is delivered. Good design is informed by human behavior—it makes things easier to use, more intuitive, and more enjoyable to experience.

JM: Can you describe the development of this project — from its conception to completion?

JR: Our company, Automattic, was founded on open-source principles: community, collaboration, and hard work. We’re fully distributed with our ~550 employees spanning the globe representing over 50 countries and over 76 different languages. WordPress.com, our major product in our family of offerings, is powered by WordPress, the open-source software project (which was co-founded by our CEO). WordPress.com has been around since 2005 and is primarily known as a powerful blogging platform. However, these days, you can use WordPress.com to do much more—such as starting a website for your business, creating a portfolio, or even just getting a domain name. So, as part of updating our message to communicate this better, we wanted our visual language to also reflect what we stand for and what we offer.

This illustration project was a collaborative effort that looped in many different members of our Automattic team spanning various timezones, cultures, and backgrounds. Some of our collaborators weren’t even designers, but one thing they all had in common was that they intimately knew WordPress.com and Automattic, which helped me greatly as a relative newcomer to the company. I had the benefit of working closely with Kjell Reigstad, a more veteran designer on the team, who was my “brand partner” in this project from the start. Kjell’s knowledge of our brand’s history helped us develop an illustration language that combined a geometric style in line with how we historically represented the WordPress.com brand with a newer, organic style that felt more distinctive and embodied our brand values and personality.

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JM: What are a few turning points in its evolution where you saw “inclusion” coming into the picture?

JR: During one of our creative reviews, we were exploring the representation of human characters (which we hadn’t ever used before across our site pages or UI) and it was actually a comment by you, John, that initiated the discussion of introducing more diversity in skin tones, body types, hair color, age, etc. into these characters. Many Automatticians joined the conversation thanks to a prompt by Mel Choyce, sharing personal stories and pictures of themselves and their friends representing a wide variety of people, backgrounds, and personal styles. This provided inspiration for the diverse cast of characters you can now see across our brand illustrations. As a minority female who grew up seeing mostly Caucasians represented in media and design, it’s been very rewarding to help shape a more inclusive brand identity.

JM: When you consider our company, as a fellow newbie as we joined around the same time last year, what lessons do you take away from leading this project with Alice?

JR: Your best work will always be the result of collaboration. Great collaboration happens only with equal trust, respect, and engagement from everyone involved. Leadership isn’t about bossing people around; it’s about fostering an environment that encourages great collaboration.

JM: Any shoutouts for other designers who participated in this work?

JR: Shoutout to Alice Lee, Kjell Reigstad, Ballio Chan, John Maeda, Ashleigh Axios, Dave Whitley, Davide Casali, Mel Choyce, and all of the Automatticians who participated in the brand discussions and creative reviews throughout the process.

You can find these new illustrations by Alice Lee on any of our main pages, such as /create-website, /create-blog, /business, /personal, /easy, /premium, and more!

And you can read the complete story behind these illustrations at Alice Lee’s site right here from the same titled post, Inclusiveness in Illustration.

Filed under: Design, Diversity & Inclusion, WordPress.com Image
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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

Current Student
avatar
Joined: 08 Oct 2012
Posts: 31

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

GPA: 3.38
WE: Corporate Finance (Consulting)
Launching: All New Media Picker for Android [#permalink]

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New post 18 May 2017, 07:01
FROM Road to My MBA: Launching: All New Media Picker for Android
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There’s this… thing… in the Android WordPress app that we refer to as the “seven-item menu.” It would show up when trying to add a photo to confront you with a list of choices and we confess, we couldn’t always remember what option we wanted, either.

As of the 7.3 release, the seven-item menu is gone! We’ve replaced it with an all-new — and much more streamlined — media picker. See your recent photos below your post, multi-select using long-touch, browse your site’s media library, take a picture — all without leaving the app.

We know that for many of you, your smartphone is your camera. We’re working to make the best place to manage your WordPress media the place where you keep it — your phone. This is just the beginning of the improvements you can expect to see. If you haven’t already, download WordPress for Android on Google Play, give it a try, and let us know what you think!

Filed under: Admin Bar Image
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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

Current Student
avatar
Joined: 08 Oct 2012
Posts: 31

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

GPA: 3.38
WE: Corporate Finance (Consulting)
The Best of WordPress.com in May [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2017, 07:01
FROM Road to My MBA: The Best of WordPress.com in May
Hi everyone! Check out some of the new updates, designs, and insights that helped make May a great month for the WordPress.com community.

What’s new
How a Detroit Hackathon Turned into WordPress.com’s First-Ever TV Spots
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A team of developers launched new sites for small businesses in Detroit during a 48-hour Hackathon in February, an event which inspired the creation of our first-ever TV spots for WordPress.com.

Happy Birthday, WordPress!
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Celebrating 14 years since the very first release of WordPress, co-founder Matt Mullenweg says he’s “waking up every day excited about what’s coming next for us.”

Launching: All New Media Picker for Android
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“YES!! This is so awesome! I use my phone for photos so much and it was always so many steps to add pictures to the library to add to a post. Thank you!!” – Nel

Register for a Free Webinar on June 6: How to Start a Successful Blog
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Whether you’re new to WordPress.com and want to learn about all of your options for publishing online, or have been blogging for a while and would like to hone your practice, consider this upcoming webinar on June 6 from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. MST (Mountain Standard Time) / 5-6 p.m. UTC.

May the Bot Be With You: How Algorithms are Supporting Happiness at WordPress.com
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Each month, we respond to 60,000 support requests on topics ranging from plugins to mapping existing domains to WordPress.com. Recently, in looking at how machine learning and natural language processing could be useful to Happiness Engineers in responding to support questions, we discovered two places where these technologies offer value.

Designing for [X]: inclusion
Inclusive Illustrations, By Design
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Automattic partnered with independent artist and designer Alice Lee, who seamlessly integrates abstract ideas with concrete solutions. Read an interview with Alice and John Maeda that is followed by another interview with Joan Rho, the designer who led the project.

In your toolbox: inspiration + insights
“The Backfire Effect” Is the Cognitive Concept of the Moment
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There’s a good chance you came across this lovely viral Oatmeal comic in May. It’s based on a three-episode sequence from You Are Not So Smart, a popular podcast and WordPress.com site devoted to the backfire effect, the name of a detrimental cognitive phenomenon which encourages us to shut out information when it doesn’t fit into what we already think we know.

What’s New at Film School Rejects
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Film School Rejects migrated back to WordPress in May, unveiling a new site design. Publisher Neil Miller talks to WordPress Discover about the move, what’s to come, and how he and his team pick the “perfect shot.”

Quotables: “All of us from time to time would think, What am I doing here? But we all had families back home that we needed to send money to.” – Chasing the Harvest: ‘If You Want to Die, Stay at the Ranch’ (Longreads).

Now following
Antonio Santos’s new site, antoniosantos.blog, features an excellent profile of Rosemary Musachio, Chief Accessibility Officer at Ruh Global Communications.

We’re digging the fresh, mobile-friendly layout of Nick Gray’s new site, NickGray.blog.

Hang out with us on Facebook for daily news and insights to inform and inspire your writing, design, and business dreams.

That’s all for now!
What did you love about your own work in May? Comment with a link to a post you’re proud of or something new you learned about designing your site. Feeling motivated? Download the WordPress app on iOS and Android.

Filed under: Design, Diversity & Inclusion, New Features, WordPress, WordPress.com Image
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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

Current Student
avatar
Joined: 08 Oct 2012
Posts: 31

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

GPA: 3.38
WE: Corporate Finance (Consulting)
New Theme: AltoFocus [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jun 2017, 11:01
FROM Road to My MBA: New Theme: AltoFocus
Today we’re happy to announce the latest addition to our collection of free themes: AltoFocus!

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AltoFocus is a spinoff of the original AutoFocus theme from a few years ago. Its elegant tiled layout helps artists, photobloggers, and other creatives showcase their talents.

Designed by Allan Cole, it highlights featured images in a way that engages readers and then gets out of the way of what truly matters — your work. The grid automatically shifts and re-forms to accommodate each new post you publish, creating an ever-changing collage of your creativity that draws visitors in while remaining clean and easy to navigate. And of course, it does this no matter the screen size.

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Read more about its features on the Theme Showcase, check out the demo site, or dive right into previewing it on your blog from Appearance → Themes.

Filed under: Themes Image
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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

Current Student
avatar
Joined: 08 Oct 2012
Posts: 31

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

GPA: 3.38
WE: Corporate Finance (Consulting)
An All-New Media Library for the WordPress iOS App [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2017, 06:01
FROM Road to My MBA: An All-New Media Library for the WordPress iOS App
We recently launched an all-new media picker for WordPress for Android. Now, iOS users, you’re next! The new 7.8 release of WordPress for iOS includes a top-level Media Library section for each site you manage — making it even easier to share your images, video, and other media with the world.

With just one tap from your site’s details menu, you can view all your media, search, edit metadata, delete items, and upload new items.

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We know that for many of you your smartphone is your camera. We want the WordPress mobile apps to be the easiest way for you to store and share your photos and video on the open web. This is just the beginning of the improvements you can expect to see for

WordPress for iOS.

If you haven’t already, download WordPress for iOS from the App Store, give it a try, and let us know what you think!

Filed under: Mobile, New Features, Photos, Video Image
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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

Current Student
avatar
Joined: 08 Oct 2012
Posts: 31

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

GPA: 3.38
WE: Corporate Finance (Consulting)
Blogging Made Easier: Five Tricks You Should Know [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jun 2017, 14:01
FROM Road to My MBA: Blogging Made Easier: Five Tricks You Should Know
Writing interesting blog posts, creating attractive pages, and interacting with your visitors — these are essential ways to help you build a body of work, a successful business, or a growing audience online.

I’m part of a team focused on design and research at WordPress.com — I like to find ways to improve your experience, and to help you reach your website or blogging goals. In this post, I’ve compiled five of our favorite WordPress.com features that streamline your publishing experience and help you make an impact with your work faster.

Post Settings That You Can Hide
We’ve recently moved things around a bit in the editor. The settings for your post or page are now on the right — and can be hidden! Just click the cogwheel icon above your toolbar.

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If you yearn for a more minimal experience, hide the post settings so you can focus on your writing.

Add Images in a Snap
Visuals make posts and pages more compelling. But going through the steps to add image files often takes time and interrupts your flow.

Did you know you can add images simply by dragging and dropping? Just drag an image file from your computer into the browser window and drop it in your post.

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In the screen capture above you might have noticed a smaller, rectangular area on the right where you can drop your featured image. Many themes use featured images as header images or when displaying posts in lists. It’s an important image, if not the most important image, that you can set for your post.

A Visual Page Hierarchy
On WordPress.com, you can nest pages — a page can have a few “child” pages, and these child pages can have their own child pages, and so on. Many themes then use this information to display different levels of navigation. Super useful!

But until recently, it’s been a bit cumbersome to understand this hierarchy when working on your pages, and impossible to see at a glance. But not anymore!

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At My Site Pages, we now show the page hierarchy on the pages list (if you have fewer than 100 pages). This makes it much easier to scan your site’s structure and directly find what you’re looking for.

Change Your Slugs
When you give your post or page a title, WordPress.com automatically creates a slug for it. That’s useful, but if you’d like to change it, you can do so yourself by clicking on the chain link icon to the left of your post or page title:

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You can shorten the slug or even rename it entirely. For example, let’s say you had a page called “Our Restaurant’s Menu” — WordPress will create it at “/our-restaurants-menu.” But now you know: You can make it accessible at the shorter and simpler “/menu.” Ideally, you do this before you hit publish, so that your readers will have the correct URL going forward.

Reply to Comments From the Posts List
For many of you, being able to interact with your site’s visitors is one of the most important aspects of having a website. Did you know you can respond to your comments all in one place?

Take a look at your post list at My Site Blog Posts. If a post has comments, you’ll see a small chat bubble among the icons on the bottom right. Did you know you can reply to comments right from here?

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Try it out the next time someone comments on one of your posts. And if you get a lot of comments, this is an easy way to streamline conversations and keep in touch with your readers or customers.

***

We work to make WordPress.com a bit better every day, and we hope that these tricks help make blogging, writing, and designing your site easier and faster for you.

Do you have a pet peeve — a small thing that you think could be made even faster, simpler, or just better? Let us know in the comments.

Filed under: Better Blogging, Features, Resources, settings, WordPress.com Image
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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

Current Student
avatar
Joined: 08 Oct 2012
Posts: 31

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

GPA: 3.38
WE: Corporate Finance (Consulting)
Connect to Your Fans and Followers with the New Social Icons Widget [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2017, 08:01
FROM Road to My MBA: Connect to Your Fans and Followers with the New Social Icons Widget
We’re excited to introduce the new Social Icons Widget, which allows you to connect with visitors on your favorite social media networks.

The new widget supports over 40 popular social platforms, from the ubiquitous Facebook and Twitter, to crafter haven Etsy, to artsy enclaves like DeviantArt and Dribbble. Highlight music or podcasts through SoundCloud or iTunes, or connect with your community via Meetup or Yelp. Business owners will also appreciate being able to hook up their company’s LinkedIn page.

The new widget offers more flexibility, letting you choose from among three icon sizes: small, medium, and large. Pick the one that looks best on your site! You can even drag-and-drop the links in your Customizer to reorder your social icons.

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Activate it now by going to My Site → Customize → Widgets. For self-hosted WordPress users, this new widget will be available in Jetpack soon.

If you’ve been using the old Social Media Icons Widget, never fear — your widget will not disappear. You can keep using it if you prefer, but we’d encourage you to switch to the new widget for greater flexibility and more options.

Check out our full guide to using the new widget, or take a look at the video below.



Filed under: Widgets Image
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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

Current Student
avatar
Joined: 08 Oct 2012
Posts: 31

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

GPA: 3.38
WE: Corporate Finance (Consulting)
WordPress.com Gets a Perfect Score from the EFF for Digital Privacy Ri [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jul 2017, 17:01
FROM Road to My MBA: WordPress.com Gets a Perfect Score from the EFF for Digital Privacy Rights
At Automattic, we’re proud of our commitment to fighting for the digital rights of our users and of our work to keep the internet free and open. Today we’re honored to receive another perfect score from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in its annual Who Has Your Back? report.

The EFF is a well-known nonprofit organization committed to defending digital privacy, free speech, and innovation, and their report evaluates internet companies on how well they safeguard user information when governments come knocking.

This continues our streak of perfect scores. We received 5/5 stars in the last Who Has Your Back? report that we were included in (2015), and 5/5 stars in the EFF’s most recent Who Has Your Back?: When Copyright and Trademark Bullies Threaten Free Speech report (2014).

In this year’s report, the EFF awarded stars to WordPress.com for:

  • Following industry-wide best practices.
  • Promising to notify users about law enforcement requests before turning over data.
  • Refusing to voluntarily provide government with access to any data about users for law enforcement, intelligence gathering, or other surveillance purposes.
  • Fighting for user privacy in Congress by taking a public position against the re-authorization of Section 702.
  • Standing up to National Security Letter (NSL) gag orders.
This last criterion is especially important in this day and age. NSLs are a legal tool that give the FBI power to demand data about ordinary American citizens without judicial review, while also prohibiting service providers like Automattic from informing the public or the users affected by the requests. The potentially indefinite gag orders associated with NSLs worry us, and many others.

Fortunately, there are new legal procedures that allow internet companies like us to request judicial review of the troublesome gag orders associated with NSLs. Unfortunately, we can’t provide specifics, but we can tell you that our policy is to ensure that every NSL gag order imposed on us (if any) is reviewed by a judge, as now allowed by the law. On the numbers of NSLs that we receive, we report the most we can under the law in our transparency report, which as you can see is not very much.

Outside of these criteria, we continually work to make our own legal policies and practices for safeguarding user information as user-protective as possible. We have stringent requirements for disclosing user data in response to government requests, we push back on any overreaching demands, and we’re as transparent as we are allowed to be (within the law) about the requests we receive. You can check out our bi-annual transparency report here.

We’re very encouraged that many companies in this year’s report scored well, and are thrilled to be in good company. This isn’t a zero-sum game; companies can work together (and with the EFF!) to advance policies and practices that protect internet users. We do what we can to protect our own corner of the internet, but also like to share our learnings with others who might build on or improve what we’ve done. This is why our Legal Guidelines, legal forms, DMCA templates, Terms of Service, and Privacy Policies are all licensed under Creative Commons licenses, and many of these documents are available on GitHub.

We hope other companies, especially smaller startups, can use or take inspiration from the policies we’ve built to further user rights on their own sites and platforms.

Thank you to the EFF for including us in your report, and for all of your work to advance important digital rights online. And thanks especially to every WordPress.com user for continuing to trust us with your sensitive information and content. We’ve got your back.

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Join Us in the Fight for Net Neutrality [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jul 2017, 17:01
FROM Road to My MBA: Join Us in the Fight for Net Neutrality
Automattic strongly believes in a free and open Internet and it’s hard to imagine a truly open Internet without Net Neutrality.

What Is Net Neutrality?
“Net Neutrality” is the simple but very powerful principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally. Whether you’re reading a blog post on WordPress.com, streaming Game of Thrones on HBO GO, or browsing handcrafted tea cozies on Etsy, your Internet service provider delivers the Internet to you at the same speed, without blocking, throttling, or charging extra tolls based on the content you’re viewing. You can learn more about Net Neutrality and why it’s important by visiting battleforthenet.com.

Net Neutrality gives all online businesses, large and small, a chance to reach customers and succeed. It also protects important free speech rights online by prohibiting Internet providers from slowing or blocking sites or messages they don’t agree with.

Net Neutrality means an Internet where businesses, products, and ideas thrive or fail based on their own merit — not on whether they have a preferred deal in place with a broadband service provider.

We think this is the way the Internet should work, and the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) agreed when they adopted their landmark Open Internet Order in 2015, enshrining Net Neutrality into law.

The debate leading up to the Order’s adoption saw scores of Internet companies (like Automattic) and millions of Internet users – including the President of the United States – stand up against powerful cable monopolies, and in support of strong Net Neutrality protections. Our voices won an important victory for the open Internet.

But…

Net Neutrality is Under Attack, Again
In May 2017, under the very misleading moniker: “Restoring Internet Freedom,” the FCC, led by Chairman Ajit Pai, proposed to repeal the popular Net Neutrality rules. Though millions of Internet users support the rules, powerful cable and Internet providers would like nothing more than to repeal them, so that they can act as paid gatekeepers of what we see online. Indeed, without Net Neutrality, the Internet would look a lot more like cable TV, where the content you see is what your cable provider is paid to put in front of you.

We have to stop that from happening.

Take Action to Protect Net Neutrality
July 12 is an Internet-wide day of action in support of Net Neutrality. If you share our love of the free and open Internet and want to join the fight to preserve it, please join in!

Please take a moment today to help by:

(1) sending a message of support to the FCC, which you can do by visiting battleforthenet.com and

(2) enabling the Fight for Net Neutrality Plugin on your WordPress site, to show your support and encourage others to take action, too. Instructions for installing the plugin on your site are below.

Fight for Net Neutrality on Your WordPress Site
For this day of action, we’ve built a “Fight for Net Neutrality” plugin that you can enable now on your WordPress site to show support for this important cause.

For WordPress.com sites:

Turn the plugin on by going to your Settings tab on your dashboard. At the top of the Settings menu, you will see a toggle switch – flip it to on (blue) to enable the Net Neutrality plugin:

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For WordPress sites (not hosted on WordPress.com):

First, visit the WordPress.org plugin directory to download and install the Net Neutrality Plugin – here.

Then, once installed on your site, go to your wp-admin, Settings > Fight for Net Neutrality, and enable the plugin, like so:

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Regardless of where you host your WordPress – enabling the plugin will replace a few of the posts on your site with a “Still Loading” spinner…to show what life will be like on an Internet without Net Neutrality, that features dreaded slow lanes.

The plugin will also display a banner that shows your support for Net Neutrality, and links to battleforthenet.com, where visitors to your site can send a letter to the FCC about this important issue.

After the day of action, the plugin will automatically disable, and your site will return to normal.

Together we can make a difference, and we hope you’ll join us in this important battle for the open Internet!

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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WordPress.com Teams Up with Rebrand Cities to Bring Local Businesses O [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jul 2017, 07:01
FROM Road to My MBA: WordPress.com Teams Up with Rebrand Cities to Bring Local Businesses Online
Cities are collections of neighborhoods — and neighborhoods are powered by small business. From coffee shop owners to fitness instructors, therapists to thrift stores, it’s the people we see in the storefronts next door who build and reinforce the unique character of our cities.

At WordPress.com, we want to support local businesses as they grow their own communities (and their revenue!) on the open web. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Rebrand Cities, a project founded by Hajj Flemings to bring small businesses online, in pursuit of an audacious goal: 10,000 new websites for 10,000 small businesses and to tell their stories.

Eighty-one percent of people research a business online before making a purchase — but of the 28 million small businesses that drive the American economy, 46 percent still operate without a website. We want to change that.

Rebrand Cities, a national civic design and brand project, is a multi-disciplinary collaboration with residents, community stakeholders, and local governments to strengthen the fabric — both concrete and virtual — of our cities. We’re starting with Detroit, Miami, Newark, and Philadelphia.

Our collaboration kicked off in Detroit, where we hosted a hackathon to work with local entrepreneurs. You can see the results of that collaboration here:



We’ll be announcing more cities soon. For more information on how your business can participate, go to Rebrand.city.

Upcoming City Info Sessions and Exploratory Events
  • Detroit, MI: July 12, 2017
  • Newark, NJ: July 14, 2017
  • Portland, OR: July 17- 20, 2017
  • Philadelphia, PA: July 25, 2017
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Filed under: Community, WordPress.com Image
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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Joined: 08 Oct 2012
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Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

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You Can Now Schedule Your Social Media Posts from WordPress.com [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jul 2017, 07:01
FROM Road to My MBA: You Can Now Schedule Your Social Media Posts from WordPress.com
Keeping up with social media can feel like a full-time job these days — and for many it is. Posting your content on Twitter and Facebook during specific hours, and keeping things evenly spaced out, means that you need to tend to your profiles pretty often.

We wanted to make it easier for WordPress.com users to create great content on their websites — and share it across different social media networks.

The new Advanced Social Media feature for Business and Premium plan users (and for Jetpack Business and Premium users) lets you schedule specific times that your content will be automatically shared on places like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You can also preview your social updates before sending them, so you know exactly how it will look when it goes out.

With Advanced Social Media, you can:

  • Resurface older “evergreen” posts to share them to your newer followers.
  • Plan your social media posts in bulk to save time.
  • Craft messages specifically to fit the profile or network where you are posting.
  • Preview upcoming tweets, Facebook posts, or LinkedIn updates.
  • See the previous shares of the post.
You can access all of these features by selecting the “Share” button under a post in your posts list.

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When you select “Share” you can share a post immediately or select the calendar to pick a future time:

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To make sure you get the best result, use the “Preview” button:

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This is just one of the many social media features we’ve built into WordPress.com to help you share your best work with others. We hope you enjoy, and happy tweeting!

Filed under: Jetpack, Social, WordPress.com Image
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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Joined: 08 Oct 2012
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Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

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WE: Corporate Finance (Consulting)
A Brand New Editor for the WordPress Mobile Apps [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2017, 07:01
FROM Road to My MBA: A Brand New Editor for the WordPress Mobile Apps
Now that so many of us carry around tiny pocket-size computers, more and more of our internet time happens on phones and tablets — not just browsing, but creating. You’ve been asking for a better publishing experience in the WordPress app to make mobile publishing smoother. Today we’re introducing a new editor for iOS and Android, codenamed “Aztec.” It’s speedy and reliable, works with posts and pages, and is ready for beta testing!

What’s New?
At first glance, the Aztec editor might look like the old editor — which means you already know how to use it, with no learning curve.

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What’s different, exactly? A lot:

  • The overall user experience is smoother and snappier, with improved scrolling and faster image insertion.
  • Spellcheck now works reliably.
  • The addition of Undo and Redo tools means you can easily fix mistakes or move between different versions of your text when writing (and re-writing!).
  • Dictation! Now, you can draft your thoughts without typing.
  • Full support for accessibility technologies like iOS’ VoiceOver and Android’s TalkBack.
It’s not just better for people on phones: Tablet users will feel more at home, too. We designed Aztec with external keyboards in mind, making it feel almost like a word processor.

Interested in the full list of features and improvements? Here you go.

Side-by-Side Snappiness
We ran a copy and paste test on iOS with 500 paragraphs of text on an iPhone 6s. The pasted text appears instantaneously in the beta Aztec editor, while the current editor takes two minutes to render it:

Next, we edited an image-heavy post containing using WordPress for Android to see the scrolling speed improvement — there’s no contest. The current editor is on the left, the beta Aztec editor on the right:

Can I Try It?
Please do! The Aztec editor is a beta version, which means we’re eager for your feedback so we can improve any weak spots before the official launch. When you install the latest WordPress update (8.0 for iOS, 7.8 for Android), you’ll see a pop-up window inviting you to try it out the first time you head to your site — tap “Try It” to activate the new editor. If you missed the popup, tap on Me and then App Settings to switch to the beta editor.

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“Beta” means “not 100% ready for everyone;” there are a some things we’re still working on, and others we really want your opinions on. You can see what elements we’re focused on by tapping Me, then App Settings, and tapping the info circle button next to “Editor beta release notes & bug reporting.”

What’s Under the Hood?
The current editor uses a technology called a “web view” which got us 70% of the way to a great editor — but the last 30% of the experience was less than ideal. Aztec brings us closer to the 100% mark. It’s designed using technologies provided by Apple and Google, so it feels like part of the operating system: seamless.

(For more nitty-gritty: the iOS app uses TextKit and NSAttributedStrings, while the Android app uses android.text.Spannable. If you’re a developer — or are just curious — and want to know about the work going into Aztec, we’ve written about it on Make WordPress Mobile.)

All of the code is open-sourced and you can use it in your own application. Contributors are very welcome, and we look forward to any feedback on the project via GitHub or on Make WordPress Slack.

Feedback, Please!
You can give us feedback about the new editing experience in the editor window itself, so you can share your thoughts as they come to you. Tap on the Beta button in the post title area and then tap the Bug button in the navigation bar.

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We’re standing by for your thoughts!

Filed under: Mobile, Posting, WordPress Image
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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Joined: 08 Oct 2012
Posts: 31

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GPA: 3.38
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WordPress.com Business Now Supports Plugins and Third-Party Themes [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2017, 08:01
FROM Road to My MBA: WordPress.com Business Now Supports Plugins and Third-Party Themes
For many years, WordPress.com has been a simple way for people to create their own beautiful WordPress website in minutes.

But that simplicity came with a tradeoff — WordPress.com did not offer built-in support for the thousands of third-party plugins and themes that helped make WordPress the world’s largest and most open web publishing platform.

Now, we’ve made a significant change to the WordPress.com Business plan: you can access and add third-party plugins and themes built by the WordPress community. It’s the simplicity, speed, and expert support that you’ve always loved about WordPress.com, plugged in.



People love WordPress because it is totally customizable. With support for plugins and third-party themes, WordPress.com Business users will be able to connect their sites to great email and social media tools, ecommerce solutions, publishing and subscription services, and more.

This is a big step for us, and there’s a lot more work to do — over the coming weeks and months, we’re going to be working with partners and developers to help make the experience even easier for you to install and use these plugins and themes on WordPress.com.

And every WordPress.com Business user gets real-time concierge support – live chat with one of our Happiness Engineers and we can help you make the most of these new features.

WordPress is the world’s most popular web platform, and we’re proud to keep this community growing and thriving. Thanks for your continued support.

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Filed under: Community, Customization, Themes, WordPress, WordPress.com Image
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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Current Student
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Joined: 08 Oct 2012
Posts: 31

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

GPA: 3.38
WE: Corporate Finance (Consulting)
An Updated Login Coming to the WordPress Mobile Apps [#permalink]

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New post 15 Aug 2017, 09:01
FROM Road to My MBA: An Updated Login Coming to the WordPress Mobile Apps
Over the past few months the Mobile team has been thinking a lot about the login experience in the WordPress apps and how we could make it better — we’re never satisfied, you know, so we’re always trying to improve things. After much thought, and even more work, we’re very happy to unveil a new login experience in the WordPress apps.

The WordPress apps are all free and available here.

Building a better login
As we reimagined the login experience, there were a few key principles guiding us: keep it simple, minimize the distinction between a site hosted at WordPress.com versus somewhere else, and avoid anything that might be too clever. You see, the mechanisms for logging in to a site at WordPress.com are different from those at other WordPress sites. In the past, the apps have had two different login forms to handle the difference, but having two separate login forms meant it wasn’t always clear which form should be used. If the wrong form was used the apps had to try and guess what was really intended. This didn’t always work and could end in frustration. In the new login experience, we’ve done away with separate login forms and clever guesswork in favor of a simple, step-by-step flow that works with any WordPress site.

We’re also adding more emphasis to logging in with magic links for WordPress.com users. A magic link is a special authentication link the apps send you via email, and which logs you in once you click it. Magic links are pretty handy and they can’t be accidentally misspelled like a password.

What’s new
The first thing you’ll see when logging in is a brief introduction to the app. We realize not everyone who installs the WordPress apps has a blog of their own, and some might not have even heard of WordPress. This screen is our way of saying “Welcome, let us give you a quick tour!” before logging in.

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The next screens ask for credentials, one piece of information at a time. This keeps the screen uncluttered and makes it easy to focus on a single task.

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Some screens provide alternate login options. For example, if you do not have an account at WordPress.com you can instead enter your site address, or If you don’t have email configured on your phone to receive a magic link you can choose to enter your password instead.

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Finally, once logged in, a new screen shows your gravatar and the sites you have, with an option to log in to another site if you so desire.

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Cheers
To everyone who is already using the WordPress apps, you may never see the new login experience, and that’s okay! We’re happy you’re already enjoying WordPress on your mobile device. To everyone who is thinking about trying out the apps, we hope you’ll be delighted with a quick and easy login experience. You can download them right here.

Filed under: Applications, Mobile, WordPress, WordPress.com Image
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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Joined: 08 Oct 2012
Posts: 31

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

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Better Blogging Through Podcasts: Announcing RadioPublic Embeds [#permalink]

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New post 16 Aug 2017, 12:01
FROM Road to My MBA: Better Blogging Through Podcasts: Announcing RadioPublic Embeds
We love podcasts: they’re like the blogging version of radio, a medium anyone can jump into and use to share their story. They introduce us to new voices and give us glimpses into new perspectives… and they pair perfectly with blogs and websites, where they can add more texture and interest to what you’re already publishing.

Thanks to a new partnership with RadioPublic, you can choose from a quarter of a million podcasts to embed into your posts and pages on WordPress.com and Jetpack-powered websites. Whether you produce a podcast yourself, write about them, or just like to listen, you can share podcasts with your visitors, no matter where the podcasts are hosted.

What Can a Podcast Add to My Site?
Use a RadioPublic embed to share and promote your own podcast !  But even if you’ve never even listened to a podcast before, there are ways you can use them:

  • Round up your favorites: everybody loves a good top-ten list, especially when includes a few surprises. Recommend some sports shows that break the mold (like 30 for 30 and The Rematch), podcasts about art (try A Piece of Work or The Lonely Palette), or amazing audio fiction. By embedding the shows right into your post, you make it easy for readers to sample, listen, and add the shows to their own listening list.
  • Add a relevant episode to a post to give readers more to chew on. Writing about architecture? There’s probably a 99% Invisible episode that you could tie in. Pop culture? Check out Still Processing.
  • Not everything has to be heavy: maybe your readers could just use a few minutes of cats purring — there’s a podcast for that, too!
With over 250,000 podcasts out there, there’s probably a show on whatever you’ve writing about.

Howdy, RadioPublic!
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We’ve partnered with RadioPublic,  one of the leading podcast technology providers. They share our commitment to an open web, using open protocols to deliver free audio on demand, across all platforms — their founders have been innovating for years when it comes to the delivery of rich, immersive podcasts. Their technology makes sharing podcasts easier on all WordPress.com sites, opening up a world of opportunities for discovery, curation, and new voices.

The How-To
As with other kinds of media, you can embed a podcast with a few clicks:

  • Head to search.radiopublic.com to find a show.

  • Click on the name of a show. If you’d like to embed a specific episode, click the title of the episode.

  • Ta-da! The URL of that page is your embed link. Select it, copy the full link, and paste it right into your post editor, on its own line.

So for example, this URL:

https://play.radiopublic.com/song-exploder-yWw069
…will display this embed player:

(For more detail, head to our RadioPublic embed support doc.)

Did we mention that if you embed a show (rather than a specific episode), the player will automatically display and play the most recent episode? It’ll keep your site fresh without you having to lift a finger.

Start embedding right now by visiting search.radiopublic.com. Enjoy!

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Add A Simple Payment Button To Your WordPress.com Premium Or Business  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Aug 2017, 16:01
FROM Road to My MBA: Add A Simple Payment Button To Your WordPress.com Premium Or Business Site
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May 2016: Hajj Flemings, CEO of Rebrand Cities with renowned photographer, Shawn Lee, in a redesigned school bus en route to working with small business owners in Detroit.

Earlier this year, while working in Detroit with small business owners and the Rebrand Cities team, it became clear that entrepreneurs and publishers are looking for a simpler way to accept digital payments on their sites.

Our Happiness Engineering team — the guardians of our customers — also weighed in, and we knew that we wanted to make an existing process simpler. So we set a design goal of bringing a 15-minute-long process to under a minute — especially for a customer that has never used PayPal before.

So a small team of engineers and designers came together to solve that problem with the intent of releasing a “Version One” with which we could start to understand how a simpler payment button could be used by our customers. It’s currently limited to our Premium and Business Plan members while we tune and refine how it can work best.

Here’s how it works: Open a new post, select “Insert Content,” then choose “Add Payment Button.” You’ll fill out the details for what you’re selling, add the email address for your PayPal account (where the money will be sent), and that’s it!

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Read more about how to get started with the new Simple Payments feature for Premium and Business Plans on WordPress.com and Jetpack-powered sites.

***

It’s easy to think that making simple things is, well, simple. But that’s never the case. Austin, Texas-based engineering leader Bob Ralian led the product team that pulled this live, working prototype together in record time. I had the opportunity to observe the design team in action working with the engineers, and the following is a brief interview with Bob on how all the pieces came together.

JM: So tell me a little about yourself, Bob!

BR: I’ve been building websites and web applications for the better part of 20 years, and I’ve worked at Automattic for four years. I’ve done a mix of engineering, team management, and project management. I live in Austin, Texas, with my wife, three kids, and two dogs.

JM: How does an engineer think versus how a designer thinks?

BR: As an engineer I usually think in terms of what I have and what I know. I can work within a system, take different pieces and turn them into something new. Take duct tape, dental floss, and a rubber band, and turn it into a bicycle. Or I can look at a process and think through how I can make it better. But I’ve found that designers are able to create something totally new out of nothing. They’re not intimidated by a completely blank slate. It’s a superpower that I greatly admire!

JM: They sound very similar!

BR: I think we’re motivated by the same things. We want to make something that people like and appreciate and makes their days a little better. Really, we just want our users to be happy and enjoy what we’re building.

JM: An unusual amount of planning went into this little button — it started in Detroit with a group of designers and then was packaged into a variety of concept sketches and little movies. Does all that up front work really pay off? If so, how?

BR: We spent a lot of time with customers, particularly small business owners, to learn about what they need from their websites. We learned that many of them just want a simple way to take payments. So we used that as our guiding principle, make it as simple as possible for these business owners to add a payment button to their site.

JM: What’s an “MVLP”? I heard the designers use that term with the engineers.

BR: MVLP stands for “minimum viable lovable product.” It means that rather than taking a long time to build a complicated product behind a curtain, we try to build small, simple features and launch them early. It’s ready when it solves a real user need and we can feel proud of it – something we can love. Then we let our customers tell us what they want next and how to make it better. This keeps us focused on building for real user needs.

“MVP → M♥E (Minimum Lovable Experience) = Easy to use, Meets value prop, and Well crafted.” —Maria Giudice #EUX16 pic.twitter.com/GM7VRT4yz2

— John Maeda (@johnmaeda) June 9, 2016

JM: As an accomplished musical artist yourself, how does “love” play into the engineering of products?

BR: To me it’s all the same; composing a song, writing a blog post, building a new feature, or making something with my hands. I just really love the process of “making things.” Bringing something new into the world is an act of love. It’s an act of vulnerability and generosity. It’s saying to the world “We did our best, and we really hope this makes your life a little better.”

JM: Thanks Bob! Our huge thanks to the engineers who built it; Jason Johnston (who led the project), Artur Piszek, Damián Suárez, Don Park, Jarda Šnajdr, Payton Swick, and Rastia Lamoš! And special thanks to designers Takashi Irie and Dave Whitley for thoughtfully crafting the experience design for this very first MLVP of the Simple Payment button.

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Simpler On-the-Go Publishing: Background Media Uploading for Android [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2017, 11:01
FROM Road to My MBA: Simpler On-the-Go Publishing: Background Media Uploading for Android
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Version 8.1 of the WordPress for Android app is now available, with some great enhancements to publishing: background media uploading.

Adding images to a post or page? Now, you can publish — and move on to other things — while your media uploads. No more waiting inside the editor while images gradually upload! Tap the Publish button and the app takes care of finishing the uploads and publishing, leaving you free to leave the post editor and get on with other things.

You can do the same thing while saving drafts. And yes, you can have multiple posts uploading media in the background at once.

We’ve also spruced up the interface, adding notifications so you always know the status of your posts and uploads. Visit your post list at any time for a progress report on all your uploads.

These features work best with the new Beta editor, codenamed “Aztec,” so be sure to enable it in your app for the full experience — check out the details and get instructions on enabling it.

If you haven’t already, download WordPress for Android from the Play Store, give it a try and let us know what you think!

Filed under: Mobile, New Features, Photos, Posting, Video Image
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Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

Simpler On-the-Go Publishing: Background Media Uploading for Android   [#permalink] 30 Aug 2017, 11:01

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