Interview With Jason DeVelvis – Winner Of 2008 Plugin Competition

As if he rose from the dead, I finally got in touch with Jason DeVelvis, author of the WP Comment Remix plugin which took the grand prize during the 2008 WeblogToolsCollection plugin competition. I think Jason replied to a tweet of mine and once I reminded myself he was the winner, I decided to send him a list of questions I’ve had since he disappeared after he won the grand prize.

Shortly after the winner was announced, you seemed to disappear. What
happened?

One of the reasons I had entered a plugin into the competition was to gain some publicity for a WP Plugin/Themes site that I was building called Pressography.com. I didn’t actually expect to win when I entered, and was just hoping for some of the traffic from the competition to get to Pressography.com and keep coming back. I was pleasantly surprised at the warm welcome Comment Remix received, as well as very honored to have been voted the winner! However, since Pressography ended up being more a labor of love instead of a labor of income, it had to take a back burner to the rest of my business, as did my plugins .

What was the inspiration behind the development of WP Comment Remix?

Actually, it was Lorelle, in her blog post here: I came across her post one day and thought “I can make a plugin that takes care of a number of those things!” and then sat down for some long coding sessions…

What did you end up doing with the prize money?

It’s been so long ago, I’m not sure. I think I socked it away in my business savings account, and its since been spent on hosting fees and other business expenses.

Since the competition, what WordPress related work or projects have you been
working on?

I love WordPress. Period. I actually think about coding in terms of “how could I make this work as a plugin” – to the point where I’m almost finished developing a full product/business portal built to work with WordPress MU and BuddyPress. The full system will allow for membership sites, single product purchases, public blogs, product cross promotion, a support desk, and more. That system should be available in the next few months, with some of the features being open source and others being premium. These plugins will take WP beyond the CMS level, and make it a platform that will run online businesses quickly and easily.

I also have a whole slew of other ideas for great plugins, I just have to find the time to code them all :) (Or any of them, rather)

Get a glimpse of what WP Comment Remix was all about while at the same time, viewing the crappy administrative interface that was WordPress 2.5

Do you plan on updating WP Comment Remix or have you decided to cease development? If the latter, perhaps you wouldn’t mind giving it to someone else to develop?

I’d love to have someone take over development of Comment Remix. It does pain me that it hasn’t been updated since 2.7 came out, but between the huge admin changes that occurred in 2.7 and the fact that many of the WPCR features were integrated in the core, I haven’t had time to sit down and make it work with the new versions… If someone is interested in taking it over, @ me (@jasondevelvis)

What do you think of the built in comment reply/threading that was introduced in WordPress 2.7? Personally, I like your implementation much better.

I’m partial to my implementation, but that’s because it’s mine ;) I’m just glad that reply/threading made it into the core, regardless of which implementation it is. Now that it’s there, it can always be improved upon.

Some people may have forgotten but you were the guy behind a WordPress centric site called Pressography. The site has gone stale. Any plans to revamp it?

Heh, I think most people have forgotten ;) I haven’t updated but a few times in the past 2 years, because of the reasons I talked about earlier – I have to put bread on the table, haha. I do want to revamp it and get it going again, but I’m not sure what direction that’s going to take, or when it’s going to happen. I’m considering pulling it under the same umbrella as the product portal I’m coming out with, but I don’t know how that will look yet, so don’t hold me to it.

Anything you would like to say before we close out the interview?

Thanks for taking the time to remember a plugin dev who fell off the face of the WP earth for a few years :) I feel like a classic rock band having a reunion tour 20 years after breaking up, or that I should be saying things like “back in the day before this young, hip, new admin area was around, we had tabbed navigation at the TOP of the screen!” Haha just kidding.

Also, kudos to you for making WPTavern.com what it is! It’s actually pretty close to what I had in mind for Pressography, and I never got the chance to take it that far.

Who is Jeff Chandler


Jeff Chandler is a WordPress guy in the buckeye state. Contributing writer for WPTavern. Have been writing about WordPress since 2007. Host of the WordPress Weekly Podcast.

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