20 Comments

  1. Trent

    What happens when an authoritarian mega-corporation who makes all their money from advertising bribes a hosting and publishing company to take over local news forcing them to follow “best practices”? Stay tuned to find out…

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    • Otto

      Huh.. dark. I like it. You could turn that into a realistic anti-authoritarian series. Maybe involving a bunch of goth types, who are young and hot, but super anti-establishment.

      Get a good agent. #my2cents

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  2. Peter

    My gut feeling tells me that is going to be another poorly implemented disaster.

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  3. Gustavo Rodrigues da Silva

    “It will leverage Gutenberg”

    It will be a success, believe me.

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    • Rod Olman

      You see those GB reviews with the average score now at 2 out of 5 stars and sinking? The low score is actually a good score, since it proves that GB is forward-thinking, revolutionary and an absolute necessity for bloggers. How people have survived without it until now remains a mystery.

      In other news, it looks like GB is all part of the plan to turn WordPress into another faceless corporation where the leadership is unhindered by the proletariat users. Just a few more forced changes upon the users and the journey to the grown up enterprise world will be complete.

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    • Peter

      Actually that is one issue, the other is people who coded WP as it behaves until now simply do not have the slightest idea which features news organisations NEED.
      – widespread control of editorial workflow
      – media handling in its current form simply will not do
      – media citation is also a MUST for that use case
      – not to mention multi-author feature for posts
      And these are just the most crucial ones i can think of in only 2 seconds.

      Would be funny if the same devs could accomplish all these all of a sudden.

      Does GB help there? I think not. But maybe it helps to accidentally mix up some paragraphs by anyone in the workflow in long post about politics. YAY!

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      • David Artiss

        people who coded WP as it behaves until now simply do not have the slightest idea which features news organisations NEED

        The WordPress core development team won’t be working on this, which is why this is an Automattic-led project.

        As I understand it, this isn’t going to be a new release of core WordPress with all these features, but a standard build with plugins, themes, etc, that will provide all of this functionality. Most of those features are available right now, and these will be further improved as part of this, along with new features that many journalism sites find they have to add themselves.

        However, I’m not involved with this project so all of this is based on what I’ve read elsewhere.

        Does GB help there? I think not.

        Certainly, larger scale journalism/media sites think otherwise, and many are moving their workflow to Gutenberg. Until GB came along, most of their editor screens would be unrecognisable to us as they’re so customised, but essentially with meta boxes, etc, for a customised flow. Gutenberg improves this process further and Phase 2 of GB is only going to improve this further.

        It’s a misnomer to believe that businesses are not embracing Gutenberg and seeing the benefits of it.

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      • Aveeno Loshun

        Hey David, since you work for Automattic, I have a genuine question:

        It’s a misnomer to believe that businesses are not embracing Gutenberg and seeing the benefits of it.

        I get that there’s a big swell of people caca-ing on GB, and that there for sure are normal people that think it’s great, even though it boggles the mind of the first group, but I haven’t heard of any businesses’ input so far. At least not a business of the scale and inclination that’s being discussed. Are there any names that you can share, or even better, places where they discuss it online?

        I ask because I work with WP a fair amount and when I see it someplace big and in lights I get really excited because I can relate to it (like major television networks) but nothing Gutenbergy comes up for me in a search with places I know off the top of my head. Is this private feedback they’re sharing, or is it an assumption because you know they have moved forward to the next update and haven’t uninstalled?

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  4. Calum Childs

    Isn’t WordPress a news-publishing platform? That doesn’t cost $10,000 a year to have?
    To all small news organisations everywhere: Use WordPress.org, not Newspack.

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  5. Wesley Carnicle

    I seen in the post where if it will be open source like we have it today like WordPress.org I am a news blog owner and it is hard to provide a clean news site with a lot of traffic. I hope this new feature and product works good for all news outlets and publishers.

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    • Tony Zeoli

      It stands to reason that many small newspapers already work with proprietary content management systems. When WordPress.com rolls this product out for local news organizations, it will be a competitive product in a crowded market. There are certainly commonalities in online journalism and I’m confident that give the funding and resources, this product will be able to compete with the established vendors while helping lower licensing costs.

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  6. Jesse

    FLASHBACK:

    https://wptavern.com/wordpress-coms-business-plan-gives-subscribers-a-way-to-tap-into-wordpress-orgs-third-party-ecosystem#comment-228402

    “Glimpse of 2020:

    The ‘featured plugins’ section of WP.org now consists entirely of Jetpack, WooCommerce, VaultPress, Gutenberg Themes, Gutenberg Plugins, Calypso Themes, and the Calypso client. In order to download any of these, you need to have Jetpack installed, but in order to communicate with the Jetpack API, you’ll have to use a Calypso client, which you login to via the WP.com SSO page.”

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  7. Daniel James

    I’m confused here. Why isn’t WordPress suitable for these organisations in the first place? Surely with the addition of Gutenberg, everything an independant news publication would need is available (or nearly) at least. I’m not sure another CMS is what we all need, but I’m at least interested to see how this project pans out.

    Even though it’s ‘open source’, will it be developed in the open with input from individuals (like me?) or will it be solely developed by the Orgs that have pitched in money? A strange move for sure from Automattic all things considered.

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    • Tony Zeoli

      I would hazard a guess that there are many local news organizations already using WordPress, but they lack the technical skill and development resources to round out their offering. But utilizing the WordPress.com product, they will have the opportunity to leverage a lot, as well as benefit from the resources developing the project. It’s not that another CMS is “what they need.” What they need is an alternative to proprietary publishing platforms that charge exorbitant licensing fees and are not as nimble as WordPress. If I had to guess, I’b be willing to bet many CMS vendors are nowhere near block-based publishing, nor can they do a full Ecommerce integration, if they wanted to.

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  8. Pete

    The iron on here is that Gutenberg has made running a proper editorial workflow next to impossible. Before 5.0 wordpress had (limitted) support for custom post statuses, which are essential in an editorial environment.

    The new block editor broke this and Trac item 3144 has been outstanding for a year

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    • Eleanor Dothraki

      Yeah, not to be a jerk, but Gutenberg isn’t what I’d lead with when making the pitch.

      “So, good news, you won’t owe us 100 grand each much just to license our tools. It’s actually open source!”

      “Great! So where do we start? I wanted to lead the article by having two pictures next to each other, side by side.”

      “About that…”

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  9. Michael McGlynn

    Google. Yep, that’ll fix it.

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  10. John Teague

    This is a much needed collaboration between Automattic and a many financial and service contributors, Google being one.

    Small news outlets have been rapidly dying out in frighteningly increasing numbers.

    That threatens a free press by shrinking investigative reporting and diminished quality. It reduces local oversight on public interest reporting, and limits choices for consumers.

    And it’s getting worse.

    Generational sources of print journalism are disappearing. The small two or three or five person organizations can’t turn a profit because they can’t compete with the large players. They can’t afford to pay for traditional news CMS licensing or the underlying technology costs. In my opinion, more than ever, we need more legitimate news sources, not fewer.

    This partnership provides one possible solution. Tossing aside all the negative reactions and conspiracy claims about Gutenberg, Automattic and Google, this project can really help legitimate small news organizations become profitable enough to hire more journalists and expand. And it can help jumpstart new sources of journalism too.

    That’s a good thing. And I support it.

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  11. Shane Walsh

    Sounds like an interesting venture, best of luck to all involved.

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  12. Tony Zeoli

    I’m very interested in and excited about this project. In 2010, I lead the effort to develop a custom news CMS on WordPress in the Reese Felts Digital Newsroom at UNC Chapel Hill School of Journalism. My plan was to build the theme and then to open source the theme and associated add-on plugins for other EDU-connected local journalism organizations to use for their newsrooms. Unfortunately, my boss was let go for having an inappropriate relationship with a student, but the fundamentals of what we were trying to achieve were still valid and it shows today with this announcement that we were on the right track. It’s unfortunate what happened and that effort never expanded out beyond the news theme we developed, but I’m glad to see that there’s an initiative out there and it’s gotten some support from Google and other foundations. This is important work, for sure.

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