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The World of WordPress: Will Alexa read your blog soon?

World of WordPress

We are on the back side of Winter and heading towards a new season. With each new season, we see changes. It might be to fully use the software we have yet to do, improve something that exists, embrace new technology or say goodbye to someone who left a legacy.

Today we are going to look at the World of WordPress as we start the new month of March and head towards Spring.

Joshua Vandercar launches code snippets

Joshua Vandercar is always helping out the MainWP peeps. The developer from Fort Wayne, IN is a husband, father, volunteer and all around good guy.

Recently, Joshua published some snippets to help MainWP users.

Screenshot: typewheel.xyz
Screenshot: typewheel.xyz

He says on his website;

“I have come to greatly appreciate the MainWP Code Snippet extension. Whether I’m running maintenance tasks or auditing the security of sites, there are oftentimes bits of information I’d like to know about the sites in my network. This tool can give me quick access to view or update this info. I’ve begun collecting the snippets I use here on Github. See below for the informative output these snippets provide.”

As he notes, the Github snippets are meant to be used in with the MainWP Code Snippets Extension. You will need to make sure you have that extension installed.

WordPress releases Betty

We are now in the Gutenberg era and with each release, WordPress seeks to update and improve the editor. February was the month in which 5.1 otherwise known as Betty, was launched.

“Version 5.1 of WordPress, named ‘Betty’ in honour of acclaimed jazz vocalist Betty Carter, is available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard.” WordPress News

Updates include Site Health based on PHP versions.

“WordPress 5.1 will start showing notices to administrators of sites that run on long outdated PHP versions. This part of the Servehappy and more globally Site Health projects paves the way to a more secure and performant web and, more specifically to WordPress, to a bump of the minimum required PHP version.” WordPress

What are your thoughts about this “notice?”

Black Amazon Echo On Table | Photo by Fabian Hurnaus from Pexels
Black Amazon Echo On Table | Photo by Fabian Hurnaus from Pexels

Imagine Alexa reading your blog posts

I will admit, I am a little uneasy about technology in the home that can interact with me. I don’t want it watching me, looking over my shoulder and reporting what I’m doing.

I’m not sure I want it reading my content either. However, it looks like Amazon may be on the way to making that happen.

With the Alexa Skill Blueprints, this possibility may be a reality soon.

According to an article at Fast Company,

“Amazon is also adding a few new types of Blueprints: WordPress users can have Alexa read blog posts from an RSS feed, while universities or spiritual groups will be able to share recorded audio. (It sounds like the latter will be vetted by Amazon before publishing.) “

I am intrigued, however, by using it for a new site. This might come in handy for a site I run. According to the article,

“Alexa’s Flash Briefing skill is opening up to local news agencies and community groups as well, so they can upload recorded audio on what’s happening around town.” Fast Company

We shall see if Alexa will be reading our content in the next year or so.

What do you think?

The Viper has left us

Viper007Bond known as Alex Mills has passed away from Leukemia. The popular plugin developer worked for Automattic and was well loved by WordPress professionals everywhere.

Mills passed away on February 27. Mills was known for creating the Regenerate Thumbnails Plugin which almost everyone used at some point.

Additionally, Mills was a huge fan of Top Gear and founded the forum FinalGear.

According to WP Tavern, “Mills is encouraging members of the WordPress community to fork and maintain his open-source plugins. ”

Mills explained the reasoning behind his username on his website,

“Yes, I’m quite aware “Viper007Bond” is rather dorky and sounds like it was created by a 13 year old. Well that’s because it was! Way, way back in the day when I was first getting online, I had to chose an AOL username. I chose one that combined my two favorite things — the Dodge Viper and James Bond.” Alex Mills

Mills encouraged users to fork his plugins before he passed away. He left quite a legacy with the community. You can see all his plugins here.

Rest in Peace Alex.

Have you used any of Alex’s plugins? Let us know.

Wrapping it up

Life is short. Live it with gusto and work on leaving a legacy. It is amazing that we can do that using tools like MainWP and WordPress.  Who has a left a legacy in business for you to follow?

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Todd Jones
Along with being the resident writer for MainWP and content hacker at Copyflight, I specialize in writing about startups, entrepreneurs, social media, WordPress and inbound marketing topics.
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