WordPress: The Final Frontier

05-Apr-20 10:48 AM by
Filed under Star Trek; 1 comment.

I work for WordPress VIP, a completely distributed company: all its employees work remotely. The isolation we often feel is even more pronounced in these isolated times caused by COVID-19, calling for unprecedented measures to ensure team morale.

Last Wednesday was my turn to host our team's weekly video call — and it was April Fool's… so I decided to treat my colleagues to a special opening.

(OKR = Objectives and Key Results; TAM = Technical Account Manager; DIO = Deal Is Official)

The idea came when a co-worker suggested we coordinate cosplay and Zoom virtual backgrounds for a Star Trek-themed conference call.

The next morning, as we prepared for the call, I began feeling inspired. I hopped into Final Cut Pro X and whipped together the above intro in about a half-hour, with another twenty minutes fine-tuning it. Assets included the opening credit sequence; an instrumental version of the opening theme song (which omits Stewart's narration), which then segues into the show's actual theme (which includes the sound effects); footage of the Enterprise D docking at a starbase; and the Crillee Bold Italic font.

If I'd had more time, I would've liked to replace the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" title with "WordPress: The VIP Generation"; I even had the Federation font ready for the occasion. But that sort of title is not a stock option in FCPX, and I had only an hour before the meeting in which to produce the entire video, so I went with the minimum viable product.

Despite that shortcoming, the intro was a big hit with my co-workers! It set a positive mood on a day when one was really needed, with the accompanying text chat including lots of "omg" and "LOL" and "holy ****". I'm glad to work for a company that enjoys such geeking out and appreciates it when their teammates do so — one co-worker even said, "This is like distilled essence of Ken."

On this First Contact Day, may we all live long and and prosper to better times!

(The video is shared here with permission of my team lead and all others who are named in the video.)

The Showbits Family

15-Dec-09 1:52 PM by
Filed under Showbits; Comments Off on The Showbits Family

Three years ago today, Showbits had its soft launch. It was my first time using a content management system (CMS), which opened by eyes to the possibilities — and fun! — of online publishing. Infected with enthusiasm, I've now grown my portfolio to fifteen different installations of the WordPress CMS, having converted all my sites (and even some other folks') to the software and using it to create several other sites, some of which I've not yet launched.

On December 1, 2007, one such conversion occurred on Gamebits, my first Web site from nearly a decade ago, dedicated to discussion of the electronic entertainment industry. Though I've not maintained that blog as well as Showbits (it takes longer to finish an RPG than it does to watch a movie), it's definitely seen more regular activity under WordPress than it did as hand-coded HTML.

Today I'd like to add another member to the blog family: Wordbits. Just as the Showbits blog was designed to replace a defunct message board, Wordbits was conceived as a successor to the literature review and composition forum known as Prolific Quill. Of late, it's taken a slightly different approach, as my interests have been caught by the accelerating field of electronic publishing. Whereas movies and video games are remain relatively consistent experiences regardless of improvements in technology, the publishing field stands to be completely revolutionized — or dismantled — based on the success or failure of both traditional and emerging print models. It's a fascinating time to be a consumer or producer of written media.

Each of these three *bits sites has in its navbar links to its siblings. I hope you'll navigate among them and enjoy each blog for its various perspectives on digital media. Please use their RSS feeds or email subscription options to keep abreast of new discussions as they emerge!

Now, With More Bits!

19-Feb-07 11:33 AM by
Filed under Showbits; Comments Off on Now, With More Bits!

I first became a sysop 14 years ago on Washington's Birthday — so today seemed appropriate to reflect on various aspects of this new domain, Showbits:

I've upgraded the site's blogging software to WordPress v2.1. Numerous bug fixes and enhancements exist primarily on the administrative side — but let me take this opportunity to ask, what changes or features would you like to see? I've disabled the unused "Rate this post!" feature, which I'd hoped would provide some feedback on the kinds of posts you most wanted to see. So let me ask directly for your thoughts on Showbits style, content, presentation, and mechanisms — by either leaving a comment here, or sending a private email.

Speaking of which, here's some reader feedback. First, from Dayton Ward:

I enjoyed your piece about going to see the re-issued Star Wars in '97. I went to those, too, but I'm also old enough to have seen the original SW in '77. (Yes, I do feel old.)

And some (unintentionally?) double-edged commentary from an old friend, fearhubris:

I'm gonna bookmark these and read some of your stuff, it sounds intelligent yet I can tell it's yours.

If I've not been writing much to appeal to those readers lately, it's partly because I've been acclimating to a new workplace, which has granted me yet another blog. Fortunately, I have plenty of movie material for this week. Stay tuned!