WordPress.org is operated under a company named Automattic, Inc. Besides WordPress, there are several big projects which are gaining a lot of popularity.
bbPress – a forum software with a twist
BuddyPress – a suite of WordPress plugins and themes aim to let members interact socially.
WordPress.com – a hosted and completely maintained WordPress platform
In my search for the WordPress resources, I have yet to see a site which includes ALL the projects under the Automattic umbrella until I stumbled upon Wptavern.com. It looks interesting to me so I decided to find out more about this site.
Checking the archive and the “About” page is a good way to get an overview of a blog. The first article was posted on Jan 23, 2009. It seems that Jeff, the owner of this site, has a clear vision about what to do with the site. He bought the domain from Wphacks.com and aims to make this site a central community for WordPress users.
Let’s take a look at the site structure of Wptavern. Since this site discusses everything about the Automattic projects, it is good to create different categories for the projects. Wptavern only has categories for big projects like bbPress, BuddyPress and WPMU. There is no designated place for the smaller projects yet. I think having a category listing all the articles relating to the smaller projects would help users to find what they want.
One limitation in fostering good relationship with the readers using the blog comment system is that the interaction interface is not as friendly as the forum. That’s why Wptavern installed a forum and used that as the main communication channel instead of the blog comment system.
I am wondering since bbPress is a forum software developed by the Automattic team, why doesn’t Jeff use it instead of the vBulletin. bbPress may be less functional than the well-developed vBullentin, but wouldn’t it be exciting to install it in the first place and witness the improvement of this software made along the way?
There is another innovative way that Jeff promotes his site. Every week, a new podcast is posted (in fact, more than 1 podcast is posted weekly). Anyone can participate in the podcasts discussing a wide range of topics about WordPress. You can even find podcast interview with Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress.
Instead of being a fanatic follower of WordPress, Jeff looks at the projects undergoing in Automattic in a critical way. He doesn’t always agree with the decision made within the team. One of his posts foresees 6 ways in which WordPress could die. I cannot be more agreeable with the article.
Just as I am committed to making my themes a success in the WordPress community, I can see that Jeff is also committed to making his site a prime location for WordPress users to hang around.