Another New Toy… Tweet Pull Quote Plugin for WordPress

Jeff [@JeffTurner] asked me yesterday for a plugin, and I figured I might as well oblige. It seemed pretty straightforward, and let me keep my plugin-chops up to date. So, without further ado, I introduce: Tweet Pull Quote plugin. I’ll probably submit it to the repo in a little while, but for the time being, I’ll have it available for download on my site in the WordPress Sandbox.

“Jeff wanted the ability to create a pull-quote that included a Tweet button.”

The idea behind the plugin is simple. Jeff wanted the ability to create a pull-quote that included a Tweet button. Hence, the name Tweet Pull Quote. Apparently, I was feeling especially literal today so the name is sticking. To use it, just add the short-code “pq” to any piece of text: {pq}This is my quote here{/pq} (replace {} with []). Short and sweet.

“You can also choose to make it appear on the right side”

There are 3 settings: You can choose from small, medium, or large font for your pull quotes, and you can also choose to have a black bar separating the quote from your content if you’d like. There’s also a setting to save your Twitter screen name, so the tweets will include an @mention to you when people use it. You can also choose to make it appear on the right side by using “pq align=right” as the shortcode.

One notable feature – the pull quote is retained in the post body content. Some of the other quote plugins I found would remove the quoted text (as a callout) from the body. But to me, that’s not a good parallel to print, where the quote is something you’ll find in the text itself. So in this case, the text is retained, and the quote is moved to the top of the paragraph that the quote appears within. That way, you can quote anywhere in your content, and it should appear correctly.

So, there you have it! Tweet Pull Quote for WordPress. Have fun!

Download the plugin here: Dave’s WordPress Sandbox

The WP Feedback Dilemma

So I was thinking a bit about what keeps us all from posting more frequently on WordPress. Though obviously there are numerous reasons, a couple of basic ideas came to mind…

You know… This is one of the most compelling reasons I started working on Dashter, and it gets forgotten (or more correctly; overlooked) by me so frequently. The bridge between blogging and modern social media seems more related to the time to get a response + engagement than about anything different in messaging. On Twitter, you post a tweet, and either something happens or it doesn’t. In 5 minutes, you’re over it. Essentially the same is true on Facebook… Your “friends” will like or comment on the things that they like or find comment-worthy. The other stuff will just drift in to the abstract. On a blog post – well, for most of us – we click the “Publish” button and then go in to some sort of odd purgatory. We’re banished to the realm of marketing and self promotion. We’re wondering which keyword phrases Google will pick up in 5 months. We’re stuck.

This tweet caught my eye just because it both proved my point; and also happened to be titled something I reasonably agree with. In this case, the author is apparently either (a) planting the seeds for his audience or (b) just wanted to share that he wrote a post. Both are legitimate uses for Twitter. Again, publishing on WordPress is a strange double-edged sword. You’re creating WAY more content, you’re likely articulating a vision or an idea, and you’re able to add rich media elements to amplify your point. But, unlike social channels (which typically don’t let you choose layout & style, don’t let you cross-pollinate media types, and generally have some sort of limitation (either strict or etiquette-driven)), blogging doesn’t provide that fast-feedback mechanism. Creating after-publishing immediate gratification + immediate feedback is kinda a big deal. But it’s so frequently overlooked as a subject of concern in the WP development field.

The Life of Publishing Posts

And then once it’s published; time to wait for it to get read! The waiting never ends.

Ahh, the famous “I’ve forced myself to be compliant with myself” problem. Featured images are a double-edged sword in WordPress. The better WP themes should provide clean support with or without, so you can just get through the writing process.

Thanks for Reading!

Let me know what you think – is WordPress post publishing too arduous?

You Can’t Control What You Don’t Control

Over the past year, I’ve slowly but surely become a WordPress fanatic. My wardrobe now consists primarily of WordPress SWAG t-shirts, and my new business venture is built specifically to amplify WordPress.

I’ve attended 3 WordCamps this summer – San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles (I would’ve attended OC but my lazy ass forgot to buy a ticket). I follow most of the WP core contributor team on Twitter, have met many of the Automattic team members over the past few months, and even had Matt himself punish me with a not-Irish car bomb shot in San Diego. I also attend the bi-weekly WP events here in Orange County at the OC WordPress group meetups, and enjoy the opportunity to learn and share what I’ve learned with fellow WP geeks.

Attendees at WordCamp San Diego

Today I caught a tweet in my stream that caught my attention (predominantly because I think the world of Jane and perk up any time she posts something to Twitter):

Jane WellsJane Wells – @janeforshort
DevPress, WPCandy, and Why I’m Now 80% Blonde: Part the First http://t.co/NM6JPCCc

At first I figured this would be a funny post – perhaps she’d lost a bet to someone and was forced to bleach her hair. The other side of the link, however, was hardly a cheerful post. Rather, she unfolded her side of a story I hadn’t even heard about until today. But once I got the grasp of what was going on, I felt compelled to share my perspective. Though I have no association or affiliation with anyone involved, as a “WP fanboy” and member of the community, I think I’m at least part of the target “community” that could potentially be affected by the discussion – so I might as well get in my $0.02 while it might be heard.

Continue reading You Can’t Control What You Don’t Control

Limiting WordPress Post Loading on Mobile Devices

Earlier today, I caught a quick post to the Orange County WordPress group by Priscilla Christian:

Priscilla Gary Christian

This guy is harshing my (responsive design) mellow. What do you all think?
http://www.webdesignshock.com/responsive-design-problems/

Considering I gave a quick chat on responsive design last night at our meetup, I wanted to delve in to the article and see what the big fuss was all about. Well, it turns out that several of the points were (rightly) targeted at load times and page optimization. Responsive design using media queries implies that you’ve using “display: none” or “visibility: hidden” to limit what’s being shown on the page – but as the authors pointed out – that doesn’t prevent the data from being downloaded. Hence, the bandwidth problem. The page might appear less bulky, but in reality the device / browser is loading just as much data.

So, that got me thinking about load times for mobile devices. If you want to reduce load speed, wouldn’t the easiest solution just be to load less stuff?

My solution is pretty straightforward, relatively un-tested, and I’m certain it’s not a good fix (for reasons I’m not even clever enough to think of) – but for the moment I think it’s not a bad fix. Continue reading Limiting WordPress Post Loading on Mobile Devices