True to its name, the first WP Briefing podcast lasted just over 12 minutes. Josepha Haden Chomphosy, the Executive Director of WordPress, jump-started the second month of 2021 with a show that should arrive on the our doorstep every two weeks. With what seems to be overwhelming positive support on Twitter, the podcast was welcomed by the WordPress community.
This will be different from many other podcasts in the WordPress ecosystem. It will not cater specifically to a developer audience. Chomphosy also said there would be no hot-takes on Twitter. “Just bite-sized chunks about the WordPress OSS project and the how/why around what it does.”
The show promises to be short. And, because it will only come around every fortnight, it gives people time to keep up to date at their leisure.
“You can think of this as a sort of WordPress appreciation for any level — and honestly, all levels of WordPress awareness,” said Chomphosy of the podcast’s purpose. “Bite-sized insights into what makes it all work. “
Chomphosy will be running the show every couple of weeks and plans to follow a specific format of three segments:
- An easy-to-digest overview of a cool WP philosophy.
- A highlight of a community success story or a noteworthy contributor.
- A small list of big things to know about (or do) in the coming weeks.
Guest speakers may join the show from time to time to cover specific topics when their expertise is warranted.
A common theme in the past few years, particularly as the pace of block development has quickened, is that many people find it hard to keep up with the project. Even those who are neck-deep in WordPress development can feel a little lost at times. A podcast built on the idea of keeping the community in the loop may even be a bit overdue.
“It’s been on my list of needs since late 2017, but hasn’t been my highest priority during that time,” said Chomphosy. “It’s been years since WordPress has been small enough for any single, part-time contributor to keep track of what’s next. Contributors across the project are doing excellent work to communicate efficiently about the work we’re all focused on, but it never hurts to lend some clarification where possible.”
The Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin currently powers the podcast. The plugin is developed by Castos, which is a podcasting host and analytics service. It has over 20,000 active installs and a 4.8-star rating.
Chomphosy said they chose Seriously Simple Podcasting because the WP Briefing crew was already familiar with it. “I didn’t want to ask folks to learn an entirely new software while we’re still working out the process.”
The first episode focused on an introduction to WP Briefing. The overview segment covered three trends in action from Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word 2020 address. Dave Loodts was this week’s success story after sharing how he “blindly” chose a career in freelance web development and is still going strong after 15 years (congrats, Dave!). Chomphosy wrapped up the podcast with notes on Full Site Editing, Learn WordPress, and automation tools to help contributor teams.
It is definitely worth a listen if you can spare a few minutes. I am excited to see where this project goes in the future and see how it helps keep more of the community in the loop.
If I had one feature request, it would be for the development team to put the podcast player in the WordPress embed, which is easy enough to do with a custom embed template. This would let bloggers embed the show on their pages and share it with more people.
However, there may be ways to embed it via third-party services down the road. “It just went live and we’re working on getting it listed everywhere,” said Automattician Marcus Kazmierczak in response to whether it would be on Google Podcasts or Spotify. “Hopefully it’ll be showing up shortly.”
Update: the embed now includes the audio player: