Skookum Tools: WordPress, VideoCue, Dashboard

As WordPress has evolved and grown itself a larger, more supportive community and a larger body of plugins, I’ve become increasingly enamored of it, using it for more side projects. I also love that my hosting customers can install a WordPress blog with literally three clicks from their cPanel interfaces. On Monday I hooked up with Matt Mullenweg (co-creator of WordPress) for lunch, who got me totally juiced up about the advanced capabilities of WP. The biggest thing that’s held me back from a full-scale migration from MovableType is the fact that WP still doesn’t have multi-blog capabilities built in from the ground-up. At the J-School I have about 300 users scattered across 20+ blogs, all with varying levels of permission. WP has nothing like this… or so I thought. Turns out there’s an alpha version of a multi-user WordPress out there. Apparently, WordPress-mu is pretty much production quality despite being listed as alpha. Need to check that out.

Mullenweg, FWIW, is one of the sweetest, most charming guys you could hope to meet. Was very interested to learn that c|net uses WP (with a simple caching plugin) for a huge number of public publishing projects. Last I heard was that c|net had basically invented the massive Vignette CMS. Very interesting to learn they’ve basically abandoned their own baby in favor of simple, lightweight, open source tools.

Yesterday hooked up with Simon Clarke of Vara Software — I know Simon from the Adamation days (can’t believe there’s still a web site there), where he and another engineer were responsible for personalStudio (BeOS video editing application, later released for Windows). Vara is doing some really cool stuff, and I’ve decided to stop using Channel Storm’s LiveChannel for J-School webcasting and switch to Vara’s WireCast. It’s that cool, and won’t result in any loss of functionality. Also got a personal demo of Vara’s VideoCue — teleprompter software that also takes camera input, lets you mix in images and titles, output to QuickTime, and optionally post results directly to a blog. Skookum stuff.

Just emerged from a couple of sessions on building Dashboard Widgets and am totally fired up. Just need to clear a few days (yeah, right) and go for it.

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