Publishing to WordPress from Bear Just Got Better

Sharing is a core part of the iOS experience, and WordPress is committed to helping people share their stories, products, or services freely and widely.  So when the fine folks at Shiny Frog—makers of the excellent writing app Bear—asked for an easier way turn Bear notes into WordPress posts, we enthusiastically said yes. We’ve been working together to create a great publishing experience, and today Bear and WordPress both have app updates that incorporate this latest and greatest integration.

Go ahead, give it a try!

A 10 second screen recording of the process of sharing a note from Bear to WordPress

The Bear and WordPress apps work together seamlessly to turn your note into a fully-formatted blog post.

  • Update your Bear and WordPress apps to make sure you’re using the latest versions.
  • Open Bear, and tap the share icon at the top right of a note.
  • Tap WordPress in the top row of options (learn how to enable app extensions on iOS).
  • The WordPress app will open and prepare a new blog post with the contents of your note, complete with proper formatting of headings, links, formatting, lists, and even photos.

To automatically give your blog post a title, make sure your Bear note begins with an H1. You’re all set—the only thing left to do is publish.

How we did it

If you’re curious about the technical details: our mobile team updated the app to support TextBundle files shared from other apps. On Bear’s end, the app now knows WordPress for iOS supports TextBundle, and automatically shares notes in that format.

TextBundle is made for sharing plain text files that include attachments like photos, and since it’s  built on an open standard, other developers can integrate their apps with it. If you’re an app developer looking to improve your WordPress publishing experience, you can start with Shiny Frog’s open source TextBundle library, the same one that’s used in WordPress for iOS.

Finally, if you try out this new integration, let us know what you think! Download the WordPress mobile app for iOS and Android.

Three New WordPress.com Color Schemes

Your website’s dashboard should be as welcoming to you as your website’s home page is to your visitors. One way to do that? Customize your WordPress.com dashboard with color schemes.

Today, you’ve got three new options for adding a little behind-the-scenes zing: introducing Powder Snow, Nightfall, and Sakura, designed especially for you by our Art Director, Eriko Kawakami.

Whether you prefer the gentle monotone of Powder Snow, the darker and soothing colors of Nightfall, or the vibrant, cherry-blossom-inspired Sakura, we hope you’ll find a look you love.

As part of our commitment to inclusive design, the new palettes are optimized for contrast and increased legibility. Whichever color scheme you choose, your dashboard will be stylish and readable.

Here’s how to customize your color scheme:

  1. On your desktop, sign in to the WordPress.com account that you’d like to customize.
  2. Click your account avatar in the upper right corner.
  3. Select Account Settings
  4. Select one of the options under Dashboard Color Scheme
  5. Click Save Account Settings to apply the change
Screenshot of the Account Settings page showing color schemes.
My dashboard, using the Nightfall color scheme.

More color schemes are coming, and we want your feedback! What colors do you want to see in your WordPress.com dashboard?

WordPress.com’s Parent Company Announces Happy Tools, a New Suite of Products for the Future of Work

Distributed teams, different geographies, and complex dynamics are redefining the modern workday. Soon, “job perks” like flexible hours and work-from-anywhere will become table-stakes benefits that every company needs to offer to stay competitive.

WordPress.com’s parent company Automattic has long been ahead of this curve, growing a global software company of more than 850 people across 68 countries with no central office. Along the way, we’ve found that many business products are still locked into old assumptions about how a company runs, so we had to build our own internal tools to work the way we want. Now, we’re making these tools available to like-minded companies who need a better way to work.

Today Automattic is announcing Happy Tools, a suite of products for the future of work. Each product in Happy Tools has been used internally at Automattic to grow our company.

The suite is launching with Happy Schedule, a new take on workforce management. Designed to handle the complexities that come up when business goals are planned around real-world schedules, it helps you treat your employees like humans instead of resources. Using Happy Schedule, Automattic is able to plan 24/7 customer support while offering flexible working hours to our 300+ Happiness Engineers spanning many timezones.

Happy Schedule is just the start. Over the coming years Automattic will release more of its internal applications into Happy Tools, with smart integrations between the products that make them even better when used together.

We hope that by offering Happy Tools, even more forward-thinking companies will be able to move to a new way of working with customer support, internal communication, and people-management.

You can get a 30-day free trial of Happy Tools when you sign up for a Happy Schedule demo at https://happy.tools.

Electric Literature Moves to WordPress — Here’s How an Indie Publisher Thrives on the Open Web

Electric Literature launched 10 years ago in Brooklyn, New York, as a quarterly print journal with a mission to make literature more relevant, exciting, and inclusive. And today they’re celebrating the launch of a new website on WordPress, at electricliterature.com.

Surviving (and thriving) for ten years as an independent publisher is no small feat. Over the years the nonprofit organization has grown its online audience — with offerings like Recommended Reading and The Commuter — while expanding its membership of readers who help fund its work. The website is free to everyone and relies on the generosity of its community to donate to the site and support its mission.

How does an indie website make its business work in 2019? We talked with Electric Lit’s Executive Director Halimah Marcus about some of the lessons they’ve learned in the past 10 years.

Slow and Steady Growth Can Be a Very Good Thing

Sometimes raising a lot of money from investors means you’ll grow fast — but also burn out sooner. “Slow and steady growth has been important to our longevity thus far. Ten years for some companies isn’t that long, but ten years for an indie online magazine is quite long. We’ve seen many of our peers close during that time and also many publications that were much better funded and larger than us as well.”

Focus On Your Mission

Marcus and company made a deliberate decision early to become a nonprofit with a mission to support writers. “That was an interesting discussion. For the most part I think it was the right decision, although there are many different ways to look at this question. We were definitely a mission-driven organization. With Recommended Reading we partner with other magazines and indie presses and publications to promote their work and to give an online platform to many stories that have never been published online and never would be published online.

“It was our goal to build a literary ecosystem, to showcase how diverse it was and to give access to it. There was nothing about what we were doing that was about making money [laughs]. Becoming a nonprofit to be mission-driven, to be able to have access to grant opportunities, to be able to solicit donations and make those tax-deductible was going to be important for our financial model.” As a nonprofit, Electric Literature receives funding from foundations including the Amazon Literary Partnership, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts — an important source of funding for a publisher when revenue from online advertising can fluctuate dramatically from month to month.

Memberships (and Your Members) Matter

Direct funding from readers makes a big difference for the business. Electric Literature does not paywall its essays or fiction — the site is totally free and readers have an option to donate or subscribe with a recurring monthly payment.

Its membership program hit some bumps when it briefly moved it to Medium — the platform switched its membership model in 2018 and Electric Literature was one of several publishers who were left scrambling. Marcus’s advice? Think carefully about who you let between you and your readers — it’s very hard to regain subscribers after you’ve lost them.

Most important of all is making sure those who do donate to your publication feel special. “I think the lesson that I’m always learning and figuring out how to do better is to make those people who have shown you that they care about your publication and that they’re invested in it feel included and appreciated. Make sure they know who they can talk to if they have a question or if they just want to make a comment or they have a problem. That’s something that is so important.”

Make Your Home on the Web Your Own

“You’ll see that on the new website the look is very vibrant and positive and is pulled through every article and every space. Icons inspired by electrical symbols such as signals and inverters are a part of the design we were able to bring through. It’s important to be able to have control over what our product looks like. Our editorial vision is now able to extend to the way the work is presented and what it looks like.”

For more on Electric Lit’s new site, check out Marcus’s letter to readers.

The Final Project

So unfortunately this is the final assignment for this class and it is a bummer because I had a lot of fun making these projects and working on the assignments from home but reviewing the work in class.

However regarding my final project, I really wanted to get out of my comfort zone when it came to editing and to shooting a montage like video because I am used to editing videos that don’t really require more than a couple minutes to a couple of hours editing.

Originally me and a couple of friends were planning on going to Willamette Pass over the weekend and shooting some snowboarding videos because it was their first time and I wanted to get some footage of that. Unfortunately because they weren’t able to get the day off that idea was shortly ruined.

So initially after finding out the news I had a tough time and I struggled with ideas of what I could do instead. So instead of doing a “first time trying snowboarding” video I tried to do a montage like video instead.

After looking back at the footage that I captured I was kind of disappointed with the amount of footage I had captured that day I went up to Willamette Pass. Regardless of the footage I did the most with what I got and overall the final video came out looking better than I had initially thought it would. And just as a quick side note, I tried capturing some go pro footage but that was tough because I had no clue how to work those things let alone even know if they were recording.

Ultimately, I am happy with the editing of the video but I think that the footage could’ve been way better if I had actually taken the time to get more cinematic and more close up shots to really have had more footage to work with. Overall though I had a lot of fun with this project.

 

W19-P6-TrimD-A_Trolls_Toll

Have you ever felt like an adventurer lost in the woods?

Hello everyone who has found there way to this small part of the Web! This Term I enrolled into the MUL 101 class here at Lane, I’m sure some (if not most) of you reading this did too! Hello classmates, I hope you enjoyed the project as much as me. This was a fun challenge and I’m sure it pushed all of us in our creative minds to make something that would stand out and say that’s your piece. While I’m eager press the play button on my little piece I would like to take a short moment to talk about this video and all the successes and hurdles that mt team and I ran into along the way.

It’s hard to start a project off on an entire week of snow and little sun. My theme didn’t really revolve around snow so I had to wait out the passing storm. Also, working with more than one or two talent can be difficult to schedule around. When we finally found the time, we only had one day to shoot the video. With the shots being outside, and limited time, there were no opportunities to replicate the lighting or sound such as that sunny day in the midst of the strange winter weather we’ve had. I also learned a hard lesson that day: always pack a backup battery. This limited the amount I was able to film, however, with these challenges I, and the talent, persevered.

There was also lots of fun to be had in the making of this video. Putting together costumes and applying light makeup on the talent, as well as equipping them with their props, was a new experience for some – but they all looked great! Our original location was closed because of snow, but changing it to Hendricks Park in Eugene, OR was a perfect replacement. The light snow coverage was a nice touch which gave an extra layer of fantasy flavor. Overall, it was a great time for a hike with friends and family to produce such an entertaining video.

I plan to produce a longer version with the talent in order to share with them the skills I am learning in class to build a team and collaborate with other creatives I know. I have learned many things in this class and it will be great to share this knowledge with them so that their creative fantasies can come true too. Now I know we’re eager to press play and I’m sure this is around 500 words or so…now sit back and enjoy A Trolls Toll.

Project 6 – Krista Ortiz

For this assignment, I wanted to focus on educating and informing the audience of the video about suicide prevention. When I thought about this assignment, I initially wanted to do voice audio over the video. I planned my videos out and I had intended to get a lot more people involved in this video. However, because of strained time I did what I could. I decided, since I didn’t have as much film as I thought, to do text over the words. I feel like this was more effective in getting my message across.

I thought I would have this video be purely informational, but I decided to take it in a informational and inspirational route. I wanted to create a video that was informative to those who don’t know a lot about suicide, but also comforting to those who are struggling with their own mental battles. Overall, I feel like my video skills could be improved to create a better quality film, but I am learning. This assignment definitely challenged me to go outside my comfort zone and do a project that I normally wouldn’t have done.

When I had to find the right audio, I had a difficult time finding something that was solemn and inspirational. I decided to find two different songs and fade from one to the next. I feel like this worked to deliver the effect that I wanted. The video was a bit complicated, once I got into post-production, I realized that some of my videos were grainy and that’s because I had the ISO up too high. Trying to fix the exposure didn’t help much at al, but it allowed me to get the same look for each video clip. The other mechanical aspect that I struggled with was doing transitions for all of my pieces. One thing fades into this, which fades into this, etc. I know how to use cue points, so once I figured out that, it was smooth sailing from there.

This assignment had its ups and downs. There are definitely some things that I would’ve changed or refilmed if I had the chance. However, I feel like for my first ever project in Premiere and my first ever information film, it turned out better than I expected. I enjoyed filming something that I am passionate about and I think I finally understand why filmmakers enjoy their craft so much!

By: Krista Ortiz

Cartoon Flipbook / Starting a brand

I attempted in making a cartoon flipbook out of film from soccer season where a teammate of mine scores a great free kick goal. I first downloaded the file from a website that has all of our game footage. I then cropped the video to the desired length. In order to get the “flipbook effect” I opened the video clip in photoshop, which created every individual frame from the 10 second video. There was about 300 frames from the 10 second video, so I had to delete frames by 10 in order to get the flip book effect. I then opened each individual frame in photoshop and created them into cartoons. I then had to place the frames into movie maker to created the animation. I then shortened each image to 0.1 seconds to get the animation speed I desired to make the player look as if he was moving. The whole process took longer than a month to complete, but the video was too short. Here is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y60-hyspzQg

Lucky, I was working on a separate video during the same time with my best friend Cody Eastwood. He was in the video from the P5 project. Him and I are starting a brand called Tushei. Tushei is a word we created that means “Doing something that is extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration” For instance, you would say “That was Tushei dude” or ” That sh*t’s Tushei”.

Tushei is officially trademarked by Tushei Co. which is the company/brand we have created. Our mission is to bring back what it really means to be young, wild, and free. Doing what we love to do with no worries, because that time in our lives was Tushei.

Tushei Logo

We first started on instagram, youtube, and twitter making various videos of us having a great time and just enjoying life, really describing what Tushei was all about. Once we had a decent amount of followers, we released stickers along with a free sticker giveaway contest where to enter you had to tag 3 friends. We ordered 200 stickers of various colors and sold 1 for $1, or 3 for $2. We gave away some stickers and place them around Eugene creating a advertisement video. At the end we had 100 stickers left and sold out in a week in a half. If you do the simple math, we made close to $100 in sticker sales. Here is the video to our sticker commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUkTNkQW1aI

After the video was released, we really started to gain a following on instagram getting close to 330 followers in just 3 weeks. We then proceeded to come up with t-shirt designs for summer and just released our Origins Collection, which is the first ever clothing Tushei has dropped, hence the origins in the name.

We opened a pre-sale 3 days ago and already have close to $150 in sales. We are looking to send T-shirts out and have them available to the public buy March 31st. You can follow our journey on Instagram @tusheico

Coming Back Home – P6 Project

For this I wanted to capture a very dramatic action sequence with a rustic character. I had originally played a shoot to film it all live, but sadly that wasn’t able to go through. Even though it didn’t go as planned I settled on animating. I’m already a little familiar with animation programs, and I draw almost everyday. So not only was it easier for me, but the whole process was a lot of fun. Once I got my story idea settled everything went so smoothly and well. It’s almost perfect. I might take some free time and work on it on my own since I had so much fun with it. The story is super cliche and over done but it fits and with a lot of fleshed out drama I can bring out some comedy aspect to it. Which is was I was going for.