This Week in WordPress #149


This week’s WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 1st February 2021

With Nathan Wrigley, Paul Lacey (wp_paullacey), and Leo Mindel (@WFCKeego).

You can find the Newsletter here which has all the links mentioned in this episode:

We focus on the following stories:

Full Site Editing and Themes: where things are – Josepha Haden Chomphosy

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Newspack Publishes Showcase with 60 Newsrooms Launched

Skinning the WordPress Admin, CSS Custom Properties on the Way

Improving the WordPress comment system to encourage conversations

Mobile Pages for Gutenberg

Facebook prompt will encourage ad tracking opt-in ahead of Apple’s privacy push

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Transcript (if available)

These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.

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Nathan Wrigley: [00:00:00] It's time for this week in WordPress episode number 149 entitled F S E F T W. It was recorded on Monday the 8th of February, 2021. I'm Nathan Wrigley. And each week I'm joined by some guests as always. My cohost is Paul Lacey, but we're joined this week also by Leo Mendell. As always, there's quite a lot of news to go through as well.
The first one is we talk about the full site editing and Josepha Haden Chomphosy's take on what will be included when that comes around. We also talk about her brand new podcast called WP briefing in which she's going to tell us. All about what is installed in the WordPress project, we get onto the subject of news pack.
This is automatics news version of WordPress over 60 sites have now come on board. Let's see why that is. And then what about the WordPress admin? Does it need a bit of updating? I think it does. And so on the WP Tavern article this week, they talk about how that might be achieved. What about the WordPress commenting system?
My guess is that you probably think that needs a bit of an update too. And so we'll see how that might be possible. Mobile pages for Gutenberg is a new plugin by pootle press. We explore that a little bit, and we also get into the thorny subject, which was a continuation from last week of Facebook.
Versus Apple. It's awful coming up next on this week in WordPress, this weekend, WordPress is brought to you this week by AB split test. Do you want to set up your AB split tests in record time? Like in a couple of minutes, use your existing pages and tests. Anything against anything else? Buttons, images, headers, rows, anything.
And the best part is it works with element or Beaver builder and the WordPress block editor. Check it out and get a free [email protected]. Hello there. Welcome once again this week in WordPress. I've no idea what episode Ron. It's 100 and. 49 would be my best guess. We've done quite a few of them. 149.
Okay. I got it right. I'm pleased with myself as always. I'm joined by this chap over here. Paul Lacey. Hi Paul. Hello? You're right. Yeah. Good. Paul's got a nice new microphone as have I actually quite pleased with it. And and I'm joined down there on the screen, just like celebrity squares by Leo Mindell.
How are you doing Leo? I'm very
Leo Mindel: [00:02:27] well. I haven't gotten a new microphone nor have I got a new camera. No, you got your camera
Nathan Wrigley: [00:02:31] Nathan. I'm going to get a new camera. This is a sore point. The camera that I'm currently using belongs to a chap called Leo Mindell. And he lent me at joining lockdown because they were completely unavailable in the shops and the
Leo Mindel: [00:02:44] snow and the roads and everything.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:02:46] Yeah. I can count on no fingers. The amount of times I've been to the post office to return it. And I promise that I will you'll need to give me a new postal address by the sounds of it. Leo is a bit in the dark. He's lost his lights this week, but if you're listening on the idea pack, pack them.
Cause I'm moving. I'll tell you what, though, even without the lights on you, the quality of your video is always extraordinarily good. So it still looks great. Even if you're a little bit on the dark side which sounds really star Wars, but it's not, we are this week in WordPress, we are a sort of how to describe it.
Talk about the weekly WordPress news, the stuff that's gone on during the last week in work. Yes. Just before we begin though, a few bits of housekeeping WP builds stock. Tom is our regular domain. You can find everything that we produce over there. If there's anything that you like about the stuff that we produce, then please head over to this link.
It's the subscribe link at the top of the page. And if you go there, you'll get to our subscribed page. There's things like our Facebook group, YouTube channel and buttons to subscribe to us on your favorite podcast player. We actually have a sort of quirky way of doing the show. We record it on a Monday and then I repurpose the audio and the video on a Tuesday.
So it's a little bit strange. I'm not quite sure if the workflow is perfect as yet, but that's the way it's working. And lastly, WP forward slash deals. If you're in a. In the market for a product or service in the WordPress space, go check that page out. These deals have been provided to us by the product creators and not one of them has asked us to take one down yet.
So it's a pretty reliable place. If you go to it, look at the deals and then think just memorize them and think in a year's time. Wasn't that on that page, chances are it still will be so still DUP forward slash deals, but enough of that nonsense. Let's get into the WordPress news. Shall we various articles, there will be some show notes beneath this.
If you're listening to this not live, but we'll try to make it pretty obvious as the show goes on. Exactly what we're talking about. And Paul's going to kick us off this week with something on
Paul Lacey: [00:04:50] Yeah. You might've heard of something called full site editing within
That's coming for us. That is part of the whole Gutenberg project. And you might be wondering how are they getting on with this project and Joseph Hayden, who is the boss of the project. From what I understand has created a post for us called full site editing and themes where things are, it's a fairly short article.
And I think that the thing that stands out to me is the subheadings. Okay. So you got the main article and the subheadings are what you should know about milestones, what you should know about the challenges and what you should know about the timeline. Now, the final word in each of those titles, milestones challenges.
Timeline. Those are three words that fill me with stress. Usually when any project that I'm looking at, so someone wants to know, what are the milestones? When are we going to hit this? What are the challenges and Wednesday all going to get done? And in the art school, she gives us an idea of that timeline and the challenges.
And I have to say. They've got a lot of work to do. I've tested out the full site editing. Now I was introduced to some of the people on the full site editing team by a bigot. And I've had a chance to have a look and it works but it needs a lot doing it, I think. But the plan is to get this full site editing into core by June.
And there is a lot of work there. One of the things that they talk about in the article is that this whole project has six main milestone projects. And just, if it talks about some of the problems, the challenges of that is that these six projects are happening on their own, but somehow they've all gotta be merged together for this to actually, or work.
And I think that you can, I don't know if anyone's watching, but my facial expressions, I'm trying to be as optimistic as possible, but. I just want to know what's the rush. That's my main point. I don't understand why this has to be done by April and it needs to be in core by June. I don't get it because I've tried it.
I don't know how they're going to get there quite honestly. Sorry for being so pessimistic. I didn't mean to I meant to be more optimistic about this. But I can't see it. They are talking about MVP, minimum viable product, but the thing is, as soon as you put something into call you've, then.
That's the foundation you've got to build from. So going back on that is difficult. That's all I've got to say on that really for the team and all the team who were working on it, they're all working super hard. That's clear. I can see that from when I've had a look on the inside in the Slack group. I wonder if this, the milestones and the challenges and the timeline.
Is unrealistic. Yeah. It's interesting. You've always been buildings planned, Trump towers or whatever it was, in a documentary about that or any capital builds or major it projects or it's the UK is testing system for COVID got rushed. It doesn't work properly. I'm a bit worried about that.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:08:06] The the there's a line in the piece by Joe suffer. I'm showing on the screen. Now it's quite near the bottom. It says April, 2021 for the prototype in the Gutenberg plugin is aggressive. So they've gotten bug plugin is where they test all this stuff out. And then hopefully the idea is that will be pushed into core and she describes it as aggressive, but also very.
Very attainable. When you had a little play this week, was there any sort of standout things which made you think this is a long way off? Or is it more that you're just used to a full suite of working tools? I know that you're the, you're a user of Beaver builder and all of that works and it's been working for years and everything behaves as expected, or was it just the sort of juxtaposition of those two things?
Or were there bits where you thought, I just don't even know what to do here?
Paul Lacey: [00:08:51] Juxtaposition is probably the right word. Not necessarily just comparing it to Beaver FEMA or other tools that are similar to that, but any tool that is looking at these three defined concepts in most information systems these days, which is structure, design and content and the separation between those things and how conceptually you separate them in any user interface.
Leo Mindel: [00:09:16] I think.
Paul Lacey: [00:09:19] That the system that they've got at the moment, trying to merge these things into one. I know that's map one of Matt mullenweg's big concepts in his mind about it. Talks about it on a few podcasts. You've got this over here, let's pull all those things together.
It might work and if they pull it off, I'll be really happy. But historically, there's a reason why those three layers of things have been quite clearly separate in any system. And it's because they tend to need to be because you've got different sides of the brain thinking about those things.
So when you flip from structure to to content, to design in one system, that looks the same. It's challenging for the user. Very challenging. So I don't know. It's a big job I've got and I don't envy just suffer. And the people who are in it working really hard on this and. Whereas the, these deadlines,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:10:17] they one of the other things occurs to me is that companies like element or BeaverBuilder Devi and all of that, they've got their own, they've got their own roadmap and their own set of customers who presumably they listened to, but basically they're on their own.
They can just do what they want. They can just implement things. That's number one today, we're going to do that. We'll work on that until it's finished and we'll scrap it. If it's, not needed and they don't have. Quite the legacy that WordPress have got. You can imagine the millions and millions of websites where they need to make sure that this is all working.
So there's that baggage, but it also occurred to me. I was lying awake last night, actually thinking about this, believe it or not. And it just occurred to me that. Have how's WordPress in the past. Can you think of any I've been using it for, let's see, probably about seven years. So I don't go that far back.
Have they ever taken on anything as big as this whole Gutenberg thing? Not only the block editor, but now the full site editing, because up until now, they were using a third party software. This tiny MCE, the classic editor that was just all done. It was, somebody else was taking care of that and they just plugged it in and made sure that it works with all of the constraints that WordPress has got.
And it feels to me that this is really new ground. And so a commercial company doing this where they can just deploy whoever they want for any length of time. That's one thing, but we've got the open source project trying to fix this. That's a really different that's a really different beast.
Paul Lacey: [00:11:44] It is we were talking earlier about first of all, I do remember Nathan, but I'm sure I mentioned to you about a week ago that I genuinely lost sleep the day that I tried out full site editing, but I'll tell you that I have really bad night's sleep and. That was one of the things that was, I was, you said you were lying, awake thinking about it.
I was lying, awake thinking about it as well. And I was lying awake, stressed for the people working on it under the deadlines that they've got a thought, how they're going to get to something that isn't a bad foundation, potentially. I'm not, I'm trying to learn more about it. And that's why I joined the Slack group and start connecting with people so that I can try and understand a bit more and remove some of the probably incorrect assumptions that I've.
Developed from the circles that I mix in. But if you look at something like an Olympic team, we spoke about this earlier, you've got all sorts of individuals from doing their own training things coming together, and the Olympic team won't be successful. If it doesn't have a structure of management that is appropriate for what the challenges they're trying to do.
So yeah, if you want to bring an Olympic teams together and the plan is to run around for a bit and have fun. Just have a good time. It's not, it doesn't really matter, but I think if you really want to make a world beating enterprise or well beating product or well beating team, you need to look back at history and see how people did that.
And I don't think that the open source methodology for the full site editing projects on the block editor in general has. Has enough of that structure in place. And I wouldn't, and that's why I just would like them to consider slowing down a little bit. Again, I could be completely wrong. I'm just saying it as I see it.
Leo Mindel: [00:13:38] No, I think what you are effectively saying there, Paul is that innovation, it's easy to innovate in a small team. It's easy to come out with ideas and concepts and to move forward. But when you start getting things into a committee environment, trying to move those things in that agile approach forward becomes very difficult.
And if you look at the way that. We have in WordPress is that a lot of those innovations start off in small teams. A lot of those innovations start off in small companies and when they become super successful, the winning one, if that's the right word gets chosen to, they then come part of core and maybe.
Hypothetically, what should have happened is it's okay, we want to move towards the block style editing system, all of those out there. And the Beaver builders, elementals, et cetera, et cetera. We're S we're choose the one that wins. Rather than come out with an alternative. Yeah. Yes, it is. It is super tough.
I think you're right. If you look at any software company, so if you take, for example, Microsoft, you asked, did they innovate any of their software or did they create it in the first place word XL? These were all purchases alone time ago. Maybe there may, maybe there is nothing left that shows of what there is there, but the core concept was external purchase.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:14:57] Yeah, it's interesting. And with there being so many successful page builders out there who probably could be acquired, brought into the team is yeah, it's an interesting argument. I just,
Leo Mindel: [00:15:08] and also we don't know what's going to be the winning thing. One of the companies out there who's really good at buying things, working out if it works and if it doesn't work.
Dropping it is Google. There's so many products that Google you. Like you, you sit, then you scratch your head. Like Picasso is a good example. W who had a pitcher library and Picasso that's defunct so many things, some of them, they get really badly wrong, but some of them, that they come out on winner.
I am a bit worried at the moment about the block, the block. Approach not because of don't believe in their approach. So that's the wrong words, but will this be the winner? It seems to have got stuck in, it seems to have got stuck a number of times when it's
Nathan Wrigley: [00:15:56] tough. Yeah. I guess time will tell the.
Just show if I wait for it to fail as if nobody contributes. And so if you go over to this page, there's various links. The one that I'm showing here is showing Oh, wrong one, apologies is this one is the sort of milestones that just F assays are going to run concurrently. So the first one is infrastructure in UI browsing, styling, theme blocks, the query block, or query block, and the navigation block, all of which need to all be working.
I would have thought all at the same time, so they need to all be brought to fruition. So they're going to be working in parallel. And then hopefully by the time that a 5.7 drops we'll we'll have gradual adoption, which is milestone seven. So it's interesting that she's mentioning gradual adoption. Let's just see what happens, but
Leo Mindel: [00:16:44] you may find Nathan is that while, going give, being been the positive to the negative of whether it ends up being good to bag.
We have to move to this sort of approach. It may be that this is the opening gambit that enables people to get away from what we had before you mentioned before about editors, about, they used to have tiny MC or CK editor, all of these things where external editors that are eventually. You need to bring in because we, for some of us remembered writing things in HTML or just text that was it.
Your story was written in text. You couldn't go on with that for much longer. Yeah. It's interesting
Nathan Wrigley: [00:17:25] though, because looking around on the internet to various SAS products, and we're probably coming back to this meme time and time again, that there are some companies, fairly small companies I might add who've really to Mike.
Mind of this problem. Just nailed this on the head. I won't mention the names, but I've got a few SAS apps that I've acquired or inspected over time. And they've got complicated text editors that drop in images and left and right columns and basically everything that Gothenburg purports to do. Obviously they haven't taken on full site editing.
But they nailed it in on day one when the platform came out. Yeah, it's just interesting. I'm really bullish about it. I have to say, I think this is all going in the right direction. I haven't spent the time in the community like Paul has. But I suspect that
Paul Lacey: [00:18:07] it's all about time.
So it's been very educational so far and it's. Put something somewhere is to rest, but then raised other ones.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:18:16] Yeah. But also I think that's probably a good thing. The fact that you've had these worries now makes you start to think about the way you've got to prepare your business for it, but okay.
Okay. Let's move on. That was interesting. Now, I don't know if this next piece was as a consequence. Of what happened over the last couple of weeks, because just after I wrote that article and on various other channels, that there were people just saying, I am really confused. What is the MVP? What is the minimum viable product that is full site editing?
And so this came around now, Josepha, who we just mentioned wrote the previous piece has launched a podcast. She's calling it WP briefing. This first episode is 12 minutes, 12 and a half minutes roughly long. And it's something. To my mind. Anyway, it's something quite new in this space because it's somebody right at the top of automatic, just talking about what's going on.
Now. She says in the piece that she's had this in mind to do for a very long time, she's been hoping to do it. She's probably one of the more busy people in our community. I would've thought, but she's decided to make this something that she's going to do. If memory serves, it's going to be a once every fortnight, every 14 days or so.
And she is literally just going to express. The following things the intention is that it will be the three bullet points, 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 things to know about in the coming weeks.
Now I'll be really interested in 0.3 of all of those three, just because from somebody at her pay grade, if you like telling us what's going on behind the curtain, I think it will be really interesting. She's got she's got a fabulous way with words. I was lucky enough to interview her at WordCamp Europe.
And she's just one of those people who exudes. She's just so area, she speaks and everything seems to be considered, even though she's. Making it up on the fly because she didn't know what my questions were and the same I felt with this podcast. So listen to it from start to finish. And I just got the sense of somebody who, I don't know where if it was scripted or not, it felt like it was scripted, but I could well believe that it wasn't, but it feels like if you're really into what's going on in WordPress from a high level, this is one to add to your podcast player and you can see on the screen if you go there's links to subscribe on your normal players and it's just go to.
Google WP briefing and you'll find it was number one from day one in the Google results. So you'll be able to get it that way then you'll be listened to that either
Leo Mindel: [00:20:53] of you. Yeah.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:20:55] What did you make of it?
Paul Lacey: [00:20:57] I think it's a really great move by just and there's a number of angles that I find interesting about this.
Matt Madeira also is just interviewed. Matt Mullenweg. And that interview is on the Matt report. You haven't heard it yet? Yeah, it's very good. I'd still digest trying to digest what the answers to the questions meant. Because Matt will, Mike is an extremely good you'd make a very good politician, in terms of getting asked questions, tough questions and stuff like that.
We've just ever. I feel like she's addressing the need for a bit of PR in the way that Matt Mullenweg would probably be. It'd be great. If Matt Mullenweg did a briefing or from time to time, he was on this briefing, just chipping in with a few things. So you could get a feel, I think when you see written word versus.
Audio that spoken word, you get a bit more a feel of the intent of what people are saying versus just the words that come out. And I like this. I'm going to be really interested to see what happens in every week as the project continues. And I also felt this is something that we were talking about earlier, Nathan, that I wonder if this, one of the reasons that your Sephora has done this is for an outlet for herself being at the.
Top of this extremely stressful. I assume it's extremely stressful project and putting things out and seeing response in comments. Not always very positive. Now I know I've been critical just five minutes ago, but on I'm being constructively critical and I'm being nice. Whereas you can read comments on things and feel that people are really attacking you.
I wonder if this will be helpful for just alpha too. Having an outlet for some of the challenges that she talks about in the project. So she can speak about those audibly to people, the people who would then comment on those blog posts or little podcast would at least see the human that they're commenting up and be a bit more aware of that.
And also if someone likes to suffer is in under a lot of pressure having this evidence that here I put out how it is. This is what people said, where it's much more of a human conversation now than it was a few weeks ago without the podcast. Then the other big players in the conversation, Matt Mullen, Morgan, whoever else is up there making the big decisions as well, would be able to assess the feedback more effectively.
So I think this is going to be an excellent outlet and an excellent. Internal feedback collector as well.
Leo Mindel: [00:23:40] So there's a couple of things are allowed to this. First of all, Matt Mullen work was on a room on clubhouse a couple of weeks ago doing a state of the word. For those that haven't used clubhouse, it is an audio only a social media channel, which at the moment, our platform, which at the moment is only open to iPhone users.
So iOS very interesting platform because you need to be sponsored into join. And if you. Do misbehave you not only you get removed, but also your sponsor gets removed. So it's quite easy to see who is who, and it's very easy to follow that through where I find these two stories collide is that we're talking about audio and the validity of audio over text.
And considering that we're on our WordPress, which is a text. Based delivery engine. And we're talking about that the teams and people that automatic and other areas are moving into using audio over text is quite a, I don't know what to say about that or what to think about that sound from your side, Paul?
Paul Lacey: [00:24:57] Yeah, that's the, one of the things that you can see that, that there's a reason behind it and it makes sense, but it's. Difficult to process exactly what impact it's going to have yet. But what we know is that audio has a big impact these days. Do you think that means
Leo Mindel: [00:25:15] that people are. Not trusting the written word or that they're looking for validity in listening to somebody because they've become tainted by what we see in writing.
And particularly in things like Twitter, where the toxicity around posts has become almost to the point when that social media platform is very hard to operate in.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:25:40] Can I just throw something in here and it would be, I don't know if I've still kept it or close the tab, but if you, yeah, if you look at on the screen, sorry for those people who are listening to this, I'm back to the original post and it's a post and it's actually pretty light on links.
But if you [email protected], it's full of. Like hyperlinks to everything. One word will be attract ticket and it'll hyperlink over here and there'll be another thing. In other words, there's just this miasma of stuff going on. And I feel that if you're a, just a jobbing freelancer in the WordPress space you get, you go to the WordPress community and you look at this stuff and you are deluged with too many different things that you could be doing.
You go into the Slack make dot, sorry. The WordPress Slack, this is just. Hundreds of channels. You could join this whole hundreds and hundreds of things. And it just feels to me like this is a really nice way that Josepha could take the temperature over the last week and address one hot topic in a way that's consumable without this fluff of links or something else that you've got to go to prove that's true.
It's just. Here's the way it is. I'm going to donate a third of my time. So maybe four or five minutes to this pressing issue, which just came up over and over again this week. And if you want to hear me say it and put it into my own words, I just think it carries more impact. Now I would imagine that podcasting isn't going to kill text-based content by any means, but it's certainly supplements it.
Leo Mindel: [00:27:04] w th the point is, though, it's interesting to see that Matt turns up on clubhouse. Yeah. Affectively. Do you know, in the past, whenever it's been the state of the word, it's been a big, long process that he, nobody's going to, we've all got to be ready for it. It's going to be this timer ahead.
Clubhouse, you can't predict what you can prerecord, but they don't like it. You can't record anything on clubhouse. So nothing is kept it's disappears. 30 seconds one hour after it's there. It's just an interesting move. That they're doing to spread the word out there.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:27:39] Can you, they're keeping this sort of, in-house actually in a way, because the mechanism that they're using on the website to play the audio is actually a WordPress plugin.
It's called seriously simple podcasting. It is by coincidence. The same one that we use is bolted on to cast dos. Which we talked about Matt Madeira he's. He works for them with Craig Hewitt and Jonathan Boston, just to create it. So they are keeping it, the editing interface for this is all in WordPress.
Obviously you have to record it elsewhere, but yeah, it's fascinating. I just think, I just thought it was a really nice attempt. Bring it back round, put some voice to it. And as Paul said, it just feels different. You can feel the cadence of people's voices and the way that they're, maybe one week she'll sound more exasperated than others.
Maybe an explanation will come out, which just hits the nail on the head, who knows. Yeah. Okay, let's move on. So that was, I should probably mention the URL that was welcome to your WP briefing. Oh, I did say go Google. It you'll find it easily enough. So complete change a direction. This is this is a piece on WP Tavern by Justin Tadlock, entitled title skinning, the WordPress admin custom CSS properties on the way.
Don't know what to make of this. I, by the looks of it, I think only good things are going to happen. But when I joined WordPress, like I said, about seven years ago, the first thing that struck me was how attractive. The UI was, I was from Drupal and the Drupal UI was basically just hanging together.
It was terrible. It, whatever kind of default, they stopped with five years previous to that, they just kept going with it. And I came to WordPress and I was delighted by the way it looks, I just felt at home right away, however seven years have passed. And to my mind, it hasn't changed one iota since then.
Literally I think if you go back. To the G the version that I was looking up that day, everything's the same, pretty much, it was probably a few little contrivances here and there. But so in here, we've got this idea in WordPress 5.7, a milestone is to come up with some CSS. Custom properties and the idea being that we'll be able to use those throughout the UI.
It will be a way of declaring this is how it should be from now on. And you're looking at this. If you're on the screen, you can see Kirstie going. I don't know if she actually made this store. Oh no. It's by somebody called Kelly choice Dwan. They're trying to do things like figure out what the color palette would look like.
My feeling is that SAS apps. Generally speaking on now, superior in the way that they look and the way that they work than WordPress admin. So just to launch the conversation with us guys, do you think we need a bit of an update and and that's it really? Yes.
Leo Mindel: [00:30:26] Or you wanted a longer
Nathan Wrigley: [00:30:27] answer. You can give me that.
That's fine.
Leo Mindel: [00:30:29] So there's two things to unpack from this. Time moves on and everything. And if we only look at very fast moving products for example, an iPhone or an Android phone, and you look at how they change and re and iterate over a number of years it, it moves very quickly. That is the case.
You're absolutely right. WordPress backend now feels old. And it needs to move forward. The problem with moving forward is that you can only move forward. If you have a framework or you end up making it really complex. And what this to me is approaching, or what is trying to solve is the ability to enable people to change.
Some of it, but not having to worry about the, where it sits in the future so that there is standards involved and that's key and critical so that you can actually move that pallet forward. You can actually move the look and the feel and. Hopefully break very few other things in there. And what you've covered is a very similar discussions in the past about notifications in the admin system and other things that sit inside the admin system or where they sit to make it better as a consistent UX.
This. W we're looking we're staring at a color palette table, which we just wish we had patient on this call now because she has what's right and wrong about our interpretation of that color palette is actually a great stage forward. We were talking earlier, does this. Caused problems to certain development developers and certain third party plugins that don't follow their standards.
Where do you see that coming back?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:32:15] You you made the exact same point to me in a sort of roundabout way. Paul, just before we pressed record on this, you were talking about. One of the companies who you feel have nailed the UI interface over their entire suite of products. And that was Google with them material design.
I've got to say it does look a long way ahead. Doesn't it. You open up any app, whether it be on the phone or the desktop, the Google stuff. I personally think it looks beautiful. Always anyway, sorry, I'm don't wanna put words in your mouth.
Paul Lacey: [00:32:43] We can't criticize WordPress that whoever, the designers that have been involved in that over the years, the fact is that Google have zillions of dollars and they can, I wonder how much was invested into creating their material design system.
And they use that material design system now across all their products. So they make a product. The product has the design system. It doesn't even need to think about what color represents learning it's already done for them. I think it's verbal. The WordPress UI as a result does look old because we see so much Android.
We see so much iOS. We see so much Macko S and windows to a certain extent as well. And. Those systems have had the teams dedicated to working on that small detail that forms a foundation that everything else sits on top of again, it's one of the reasons why I get a little bit worried about because of my project, because I feel that it's been a bit rushed.
At times I think about this thing, a strange, a decision was made in one of the recent versions of what press one of the recent major versions of WordPress was too. Whenever you are editing something in the block editor. This was Matt mullenweg's request. So we just went in at the end and remember this.
Yeah. When you edit the, anything in the block editor, you lose the sidebar. So you're in full site editing, not full site. You're in full screen editing mode. Yeah. And you go to one
Nathan Wrigley: [00:34:07] became the default, didn't it? When you first installed it or, yeah, that's right. Yeah.
Paul Lacey: [00:34:13] I think that I can understand better.
Now, the reason for that, that the UI for Gutenberg doesn't have a design system behind it. Not that I'm aware of, they're making it up as they're going along, and that is not their fault. It's just how the open source approach is. Coming out in the wash. So you can understand why Matt Mullenweg would be like, this looks a bit weird.
We've got this thing over here, which looks dated, and we've got this thing over here, which doesn't really have any system behind it. Let's hide one of them. Now we can't hide the block editor when you're editing. Cause that's the thing you're doing. So we'll hide the sidebar. And I think what Kirsty's doing custody has been on this show as well.
She's a friend of mine. She's actually the. Co organizer of the Birmingham WordPress meetup. And so she's
Leo Mindel: [00:35:02] the, but you've deliberately
Nathan Wrigley: [00:35:06] the
Leo Mindel: [00:35:06] accident. So
Paul Lacey: [00:35:08] I'm a native Brummie. I just try and hide it a bit when I'm doing this. But as Leo said to me, this is. Like a big step in the right direction.
There's no chance that Kirsty can come in and go off. I've created an entire design system, but she's moving this forward and saying, okay, We need a, some kind of design system and the colors have got out of control. So let's make a step in that right
Leo Mindel: [00:35:30] direction. But do you think, does this not remind you?
This reminds me very much of when people started using Twitter bootstrap and the fact that the bootstrap didn't create a platform, it didn't create an end tool. It didn't even make it look nice. You saw pictures and you went, why would anybody want to do that? And then you go. Oh, I see. You've actually put down rails that are line these things up.
So everything fits in so that in the future, it fits in and you actually see that comes forward in terms of how you then design things so that when you start doing mobile first and coming up that the size of the blocks fit. So we're now getting more and more used to seeing very similar sized blocks.
And then that makes things go forward. Classic example of this going back way back is the size of a brick that you build a house is actually designed to be exactly the right size to somebody to hold in one hand. That's how the sizing of bricks came about, but you now look at that and that's how you see houses are built on that size.
If the brick size changed, it will be very difficult to then fit everything back together. Again, you can't, you have to have standards and this is putting a standard in where I would say there's potentially wasn't one in the past.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:36:51] I like it. I like the masonry segue. That was cool.

Something today.
Yeah. I have no idea but probably makes common sense. The there's quite a few pieces of commentary coming in, so we'll actually. Go into some of those. Cause I think some of them making some good points, but I would make the point really nice
Leo Mindel: [00:37:07] comments from a trailblazer, but
Nathan Wrigley: [00:37:09] yeah, we'll get to him.
Paul Lacey: [00:37:12] I'll call you after the show and we'll yeah.
Leo Mindel: [00:37:15] So
Nathan Wrigley: [00:37:16] this is the first stage getting these, this sort of like. CSS properties and color palette by the looks of it nailed down. And then it says just to be clear, just in title wrote this, it says the second stage will be to look at how to implement the CSS custom properties with a system.
That makes sense. So the scaffolding, the rails that you described that means doing the dreaded work of naming things, or and so essentially I suspect we'll come up with some names, WP underscore warning or WP underscore success or something along those lines. And so that. Just every plugin developer can ignore them and put their own UI on something.
Leo Mindel: [00:37:53] the months they'll ignore them once and then they're plugging will break. It will be up to them to fit into the system. And you know that's life
Nathan Wrigley: [00:38:04] put up some comments first. We'll do that one, but we won't mention it in the audio. We'll go to this one.
I've already got two. Yeah. Okay. It's about babies agency trailblazer, which is Lee. Matthew Jackson Gothenburg makes the backend rather complex and probably very hard to improve controversial. I know now that was your point, Paul, wasn't it? That the two are so different now they strip the Gothenburg editor and the admin area.
It's so different that it was just apropos to. Pied one.
Paul Lacey: [00:38:32] How are we going to improve this? Just height, the bad bit. Just a bit like when you're selling a house or something and someone comes to view it. You shove everything into one room and hope that they don't open that door. And when they do, you'll have to explain your, Oh sorry,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:38:46] removing house everything's room.
Doesn't come with the house. It's going to
Paul Lacey: [00:38:49] get updated. Don't worry. This is actually a room in there. Yeah.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:38:51] Bernard Grinnell. Who's obviously very frequently on the show. I don't get the data discussion. Sometimes functionality is greater than looks. I disagree with that. Yeah. I was going to say I get what you're saying, but I don't agree with anything.
If the chunks,
Leo Mindel: [00:39:05] that's just saying, like, all he's saying is the chocolate has to taste nice. It doesn't matter what it looks like.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:39:10] Good. I love it straight in on the chocolate analogy, which of course is what burned it does. That was great. I agree. If it came packaged in a piece of clingfilm, You wouldn't want it, but if it comes in a nice, shiny box,
Leo Mindel: [00:39:23] we don't know because Bernard still hasn't
Nathan Wrigley: [00:39:25] said any job.
We still don't notice chocolate is and then he goes on to say a hundred percent agree with the UI and the UX of G of Gothenburg, which it lacks, especially when it comes to meta boxes and settings, full site editing mode. Chris Hughes says Tries to turn it off about a hundred sites. He says it feels and it never remembers I, I hate it where his words.
And then it just must
Leo Mindel: [00:39:48] say with Christopher. I know we've all got to update our avatars, but that one is for those that can see it. That is so out of date.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:39:59] Okay. I'm not going to comment. I'm not gonna comment. Mine is mine is mine needs updating. I've got short hair in mine.
Leo Mindel: [00:40:06] We all look different than a year ago.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:40:08] That's it, the COVID has done it to us. We need new COVID avatars, right? Okay. We're going to move on because time is not stopping for us. What's the next one, Paul? Oh, actually, no I snuck on in which didn't make it into the show notes. So sorry about this. I probably just mentioned this. I don't think this is going to be much use in terms of a conversation, but about 18 months ago, something like that.
Automatic launch, this. Version of WordPress. So imagine and you can just buy into it and you pay a small amount. You've got a website, but imagine you could buy in at a significantly higher price point and you're a small newspaper and they just give you the CMS built with everything.
You need to run a newspaper without having to think about the tech stuff. You just, you're a journalist, you write the article and you click publish and it's all taken care of. That's news pack. And as of this week and use pack has reached the milestone of 60 60 publishing houses have launched, which doesn't really sound like a lot.
When you think about it, you suddenly sitting there thinking that's not really much, but it's the price point. That's interesting here, the price point ranges between 500 to 2000 a month. So quick back of the postcard. Calculation, let's say they're all on a thousand dollars as an aggregate that's $60,000 a month going into the back pocket of automatic for a service, which I would imagine was not significantly hard to put together.
I say that in complete ignorance, maybe it really was, but it feels like the experts are automatic. Could do this for just any industry fairly quickly. So I don't suppose anybody's got anything to say with that. If they have jumping now, if not, I'll move on. So
Leo Mindel: [00:41:42] a couple of things really quickly to say about it is that the SEO for news is very different to the SEO for everything else.
A you're trying to put it into a different part of the Google and other cycles. It is very time sensitive of getting news out and it makes a huge. The difference where you rank rate for new stories. We've only got to look at our own mobile phones and when there's an announcement that comes out, and the phones goes BBB, VB, and we're looking at who is, who gets there first in your notifications and people then will start turning off other notifications, which is not the one that they're getting first and the new stop source.
So it is very important. Also I'd argue that. As where WordPress comes from a world where pressure be going to from moving from a blogging platform in the long distance, past to a news delivery system. This is quite important if they got this right, then it is going to be a big driver against other huge CMS is that are out there that other news.
Agencies use and is a small amount of money to pay for that stuff. Yeah.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:42:53] That's the interesting thing for me, because it's, it would be very difficult for me to sell a website and get that kind of retainer. That's just not the work I've been used to, but like Leo says, if you're a publishing house and your businesses to write journalistic pieces and post them, and you want everything to just work in the backend, this is.
This is peanuts to make it work. But it is interesting. I don't know if there's another rival service, but you're right
Leo Mindel: [00:43:16] about the SEO stuff I get.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:43:18] I frequently look at newsfeed aggregated news on like Google provide that for me in my Android phone. And as soon as I've read that piece once, which is the first time I see it.
I'm not going to then read it on. Let's say I see it on the BBC. I'm not going to go and read it on the guardian. If I've seen it already or whatever, or the paper I might be consuming. So that's a really good point getting stuff out there and it always being opened. Yeah. Anyway, there we go. Pull anything.
Paul Lacey: [00:43:46] Yeah. The most successful products, the launch tend to take a customer's problem and reduce the friction. So that problem will completely remove the friction altogether. And that's usually a good, a good product has that in mind when it's been designed. And I think if you look at the, the news industry now, apart from the, you go to all the gatekeepers, the major channels and stuff like that.
And journalists aren't exactly. Getting pay rises at the moment as a rule, it's a difficult thing to, to, to do a lot of news is coming from single sources of that's the major channels, et cetera. And I think this is good because I feel like automatic have looked at this problem and looked at the friction.
For these news agencies and news, small news companies to produce content on a budget. And I agreed. It's a very good price point, I think for a done for you solution and they've successfully launched this product and it appears to be working for these 60 new sites. Now there was a, yeah, there was another article that we covered just the other day where automatic was looking at doing websites for $5,000.
This was addressed in Matt Madeira says interview with Matt Mullenweg just a couple of days ago. And I did feel satisfied with his answer on that. He said, look, we can't we know that we could be a, this is word for word. But the impression I got was that he was saying, we would love to be able to send tons of web building implementation work.
To the community, the blue collar, web developers, or web implement implementers. We can't launch that without testing it first on a small segment. So he was saying, my mom was saying that there's this a websites with $5,000 thing is getting launched as a test to see if there's an appetite for it.
See if the price point is right. And if it works, then they're not going to send it all to Upwork. And. The other company that you mentioned, they're going to website. So to me, this is something that. Nobody seems to have got too upset about this because it's not exactly looking like it's stealing food from people's tables.
It seems to be saying this is a really cost-effective way to do something good for companies that have got a budget and need to do something. And to be honest, if I got approached as a. Independent web developer, for instance, and I needed to see an, a client came to me and said, Hey, can you make me a news website?
I'd probably go and check out some of these news sites because clearly they've got 60 outlets now feeding back to them. And I'm starting to think that we can learn something from the success that this project has as a independent site builders and implementers. So I think, well done. So this project we think it's done well, and it's a good product.

Nathan Wrigley: [00:46:53] I have my doubts that it was going to get to 50, though. It has without.
Leo Mindel: [00:46:59] Just very quickly just finishing on them from my side. It's can you have the vertical market? So this way you've got word commerce, which is a vertical market in e-commerce while you've got other vertical markets in this, Paul's already said another vertical market or potentially is the smallest site that is built.
Eventually you end up with a product for it to be successful. It needs to customize itself to meet some of the demands. And when you've got a demand like news that you've got multiple customers on, then you've got a need. The one I think will be interesting to see is if Yoast come back on this and they come out with a better implementation of their news delivery elements.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:47:37] Yeah. You got to think as well as the news is just one of those things where you've got big teams pushing out content probably multiple times a day, you really are touching the website thousands of times every week. You just want that to be under the stewardship of somebody who knows what they're doing.
Okay. That was, I forgot to mention. So I'll do it now. That was Sarah Gooding newspaper publishes showcase was 60 newsrooms launched on WP Tavern. Next afternoon, we have,
Paul Lacey: [00:48:03] we should just. Skip this one and come back to this one because the eye has a breaking news story,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:48:10] which feels relevant. I'll stick that on the page.
You'll have to bear with me whilst you you look at the default page on brave. What I mean, if you actually got a chance to read this, now I read it the wrong way round. I read it, that parsley, which is a company I've never heard of. We're buying WP VIP, and I literally went, what. And I think it's the other way around.
Leo Mindel: [00:48:31] So what it seems as my understanding as parsley and thank you for pronouncing them. Cause I was reading it pass dot L Y and obviously it's parsley and you can see why their logo has been acquired by VIP and parsley. From what I understand is a content analytics engine for Larger sites, which is why it makes sense to be sitting in the VIP.
Although that was never my thought that VR, he was ever going to do services directly, unless I'm mistaken. I thought VIP always passed services to third parties to do stuff with, that's. That's a sign. So they are, they're just announced today on the 8th of February that they are they're purchasing it.
And they're going to be rolling out the tools from parsley to the VIP. Client-base that's my understanding. Have I read that right, Paul?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:49:22] I haven't even had a
Paul Lacey: [00:49:22] chance to read it. It seems to be, that seems to be what it's saying, but I think it feels like this is the first of a blog post that will be followed up by some more, yeah.
Leo Mindel: [00:49:32] Follow up when we fully understand what it all means. Let's read
Nathan Wrigley: [00:49:35] it and take it next week.
Leo Mindel: [00:49:37] So you've heard it here first
Nathan Wrigley: [00:49:40] that it was published on WP value, We just blatantly stealing it, but spotted Leo. You did
Paul Lacey: [00:49:45] it here. First. You read it first on dopey, VIP. Yeah, you heard
Nathan Wrigley: [00:49:50] it here first.
Okay. Cause we said it,
Paul Lacey: [00:49:54] the tower of audit audio,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:49:56] we'll come back to that story this time, next week with a bit more insights. So Paul, this is pixel grade.
Paul Lacey: [00:50:04] I'm a big fan of pixel grade and The articles that they write about the word press ecosystem and plugins and products. And one of the things that caught me about this article two, there's two aspects of this.
There's a technical thing. And as the society thing. All right. So the technical thing is this article improving the, what did you put that back up? Sorry. Improving the, his comments system to encourage conversions conversations. So pixel grader, a third, they've got a fairly strong design skillset they make.
Themes plugins. And they've, they're very, high-end in the level of that design that they do. And they've taken one aspect of WordPress, which is one of the most important at the moment, which is the part where we communicate the comment section and the proposed a complete rework to how it should be designed.
I'm not going to go into the details of exactly what they're emphasizing here. But they've put the work into this tiny little detail. And that's what I love that they've probably spent a month, at least looking on this experts 20 years working in design, whatever it might be. I'm not saying the people working on full site editing and GreaseBook are not experts.
They are, but this is the right person at the right time to look at the comments system in WordPress. I like the level of detail and I would like to see. Those kinds of things addressed by WordPress before we jump into full site editing experience. So accessibility, how you communicate with comments on WordPress, the design system, the color rules.
I'd love to see those things prioritized ahead of this rush for the full site editing the social society. Part of this article, which I find really interesting at the moment is there's a lot of people that don't trust what they read on the news. They don't trust what they see on social media. People are getting censored on social media.
And if you have a platform where you have conversations like a Facebook group or anything like that, you are having that those conversations are happening in your audiences is not on your lawn. This is not on your property. The great thing about WordPress as a platform is that if that's where your conversations are hosted, you own that platform.
No one can turn you off the news. You can get to being turned off as if you are hosted on Amazon or Google. And a bit like what was the app that got turned off the other day from those platforms? It was
Leo Mindel: [00:52:38] does it become a PE patients?
Paul Lacey: [00:52:41] Oh yeah. It's like a WhatsApp type tool. Got turned off by Apple, by Amazon and Google and and as a result, it's it couldn't operate as a system anymore.
I love this because the level of detail and I love that. We've asked with people concerned about having the right platform that they own, where there are conversations that happen around their audience are on a property that they own. That's why I think WordPress would be really well advised to be making WordPress blogs a fantastic place to communicate with your audience and move away from social media.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:53:19] Yeah, go on. Sorry, Leo, you got
Leo Mindel: [00:53:22] four things to unpack there. Paul. I don't disagree. They should be doing this instead of doing full site editing. I think they're two separate things. And it's very dangerous. If you just go down one track and don't do everything else, you need to do both at the same time.
So that's a disagreement with you. There is nothing new under the sun. Is a comment. And if we think back to the reality of what WordPress was set up to be, which is a blogging platform with comments, it is funny that we are, what it was originally set up to be has drifted so far away that we forgot that it actually did this.
It actually did giving a donor time and it got taken over by other people on social media platforms. We were turning off the internal WordPress comments. And then putting in horrible bits of code so that you ended up with the Facebook or some other blogging or thing across the bottom, and then at the end of it.
But the actual thing that I absolutely agree with is it's got to look good. And so it's funny that it's going to go round in a circle. Finally, I would say The your comments and not being on your own lawn is something that myself and my partner who passed away a number of years ago, used to say all the time is still say to governing bodies and federations in sport all that time that you spend.
Putting and saying everything is on social media is doing nothing for your product. It is doing everything for theirs. The minute they go and watch those highlights on YouTube, they will watch be watching some dog on a skateboard straight after. No loyalty to you. That's so
Nathan Wrigley: [00:55:01] great. I like that. I'm going to use that exact phrase.
It's an interesting one. A I get it. I've switched off. Comments on Facebook because essentially a lot of the work that I've done is just pages. It's got, there is no commentary, it's a page and they don't want to be, they don't want their contact form having comments, but you get the point. I love this article.
Like Paul says, I love the attention to detail. I think we've gone completely, as Leo says in the wrong direction, I've got Facebook comments on the WP Bill's website, simply because on. Day, one of launching the podcast. I wanted to get an audience quicker and I knew that Facebook would come pre-packaged pre logged in and all of that, but I'm at the point where I'm trying to move away from as much social media as possible.
Obviously I've got my own. Skin in the game and I'm going to keep going there. It's interesting Lee Jackson, who was in the come and see her, he put out a podcast episode this week about his desire to more or less shut down the social media side of his life, just because it's just leads to so many different.
Issues. And so I think something like this, getting back to WordPress comments is a great idea. Making them look attractive, making them feel as good as the experience on platforms like Facebook. Perhaps. I don't know whether we want to be logging in from Facebook, but keeping the comments over on our side.
I don't know. But yeah. Yeah, thank you. And there was a beautiful comment. I don't know if you saw this poll sorry. I'll just share. Everybody's got everybody's face out the way from Owana from pixel grade, she said, thank you so much for your kind words. The simple fact that you took the time to debate our article about conversations means a lot, way too often.
Our articles don't seem to be newsworthy, which implies media publications within the WordPress ecosystem. Do not cover them, knowing that you guys Zig when most publishers is ag means the world to us. That's a nice comment.
Paul Lacey: [00:56:43] That's something that I'd like to add to this discussion, which is again, the society side of things you were saying, maybe you would plug in your Facebook account into the commenting system or something like that.
Something that Leo and I were talking about just before we went live and Leah said, Hey, hold that until we're live was, I was starting to talk about this idea that I had whereby instead of. The commenting system connecting to your Facebook account or your Twitter account or something like that.
Maybe 10 years in the future, we all have our own cloud account, which is some kind of centralized open source API. And we don't need to connect it to Facebook. We can tag whoever is in the network using a. Open source cloud API that connects us all without any algorithm trying to sell us dogs on skateboards or whatever it might be that we, it thinks we're interested in or trying to pull us back into conversations when we don't want to be and distract us and help those platforms that quite frankly, make trillions as a result of us engaging on their stages.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:57:57] there was a platform. I could be misjudging what it was trying to do, but there was a platform about five, maybe eight, nine years ago called diaspora. Which purported to do the same thing. It was going to be a sort of like a Facebook, but you held your own data and I guess it would maybe pull your computer for the data that it wanted to present on the page.
I can't remember how it worked, but it was sadly, it was a gigantic flop, but. It feels like it's day has returned. Maybe the problem
Leo Mindel: [00:58:25] with this, the problem is always is that once something gets to the size that it becomes usable. Yeah. It becomes another Facebook. And then the issue you have, and there was a great program made.
It was a, there's a Sunday morning in the UK, a Sunday morning program where they asked the big questions. I can't remember exactly. I think it's called something like that. They there, the question they will talk about two weeks ago was about who should control social media. And the argument came back from one guy's we can't trust the social media companies.
Okay, fine. Great. I understand that. Someone said then we should get the government to manage it. No, we can't trust the government. So you sit there, go. That means you don't trust your elected people to manage something. So how do you want those, Pete? How do you want to put somebody in charge of this?
We'll choose them. That's called an election and it's really difficult because when you get to that level, people just don't naturally trust the control that's in there and they then want to break the system up, breaking up these systems into like they did in America with the baby bells of the telecoms doesn't work because you can't then.
Deliver what you want to do, which is a system that enables Paul. Paul's got a great idea. It'll be brilliant, but you'll find that the control of it we're just scan your eyeball Paul, and then we'll believe you, whatever you say.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:59:53] I think it is possible. And I think the technology that could underpin it is the blockchain.
It is, you could have a blockchain based system of commenting. Nobody's built it because there's nothing in it for any and did it just feel,
Leo Mindel: [01:00:06] I invested in it and they've got my money back. Cause it never ever took off.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:00:10] Yeah. Yeah. But those conversations were not. On people's minds at the time.
Whereas I really do feel that there's an undercurrent of people who are disaffected. I'm not saying it's the majority. It probably represents less than 1%, but maybe there's a, there's some scope to get that 1% on an open blogging platform, not even a blogging platform. What am I on about?
That's called WordPress. It's just an open commenting system. That can store all over. It comes,
Leo Mindel: [01:00:38] it comes down to this, the whole issue of trust of the person. And that's why I was talking about clubhouse earlier. Why clubhouse at the moment that has quite authentic conversations is because you can't hide behind a fake names.
You can't hide, you have to use your own email address. You have to use your own mobile phone number to get in, and then you can be thrown out if you misbehave That's the problem with a lot of social media and why we've all got mistrust of it and why those comments, we've seen it and companies are just as bad.
You put up a product to sell something, and then your competitors have the ability to down Mark your own products for no other reason than to find a competitive advantage. It's a tough call. And the legitimacy of people is hard to prove.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:01:25] I want to do a little bit, I have a segue here. We're going to miss out that next article, Paul and go to this one.
Cause it feels like this is the right moment for this one. So this is, this sort of fits in the category of not really WordPress at all, but it's quite interesting. And we've been talking about comments and Facebook and so on. So yeah. It feels like a good time. We've been tracking this story for about the last three or four weeks, but essentially it goes like this.
Facebook are feeling the pressure because Apple on the iOS side of things are going to start prompting people to allow tracking. So in other words, if you upgrade to the latest version of iOS, at some point in the future, I don't know. I don't have an iOS device when that date is going to be. When you open up an app, such as Facebook, you will have to make a decision.
And the wording is the contentious bit. It says something like, do you want Facebook to track you? And apple have got this. Facebook have gone back with a bunch of press that they, they bought full page adverts in some very large publications over the U S and they're trying to push back.
And so this is quite an interesting one. So it's tennis, we're on the we're on the Apple of served. We're now doing the return by Facebook. And so what they're going to do is they're going to start launching a popup in your Facebook app. Preempting you with the news that this is going to happen in the hopes.
I presume that you will be persuaded that you should click the allow tracking option. They've got a point I don't I know what I would do, but their point is. They're obviously underplaying the fact that it's going to kill their revenue stream by by a significant amount. And they're going more for the what if you're a small business owner and you're relying on Facebook ads.
All of this Apple technology is going to do is stop those people, serving legitimate ads to people who just want to know what's in their local area, or they're looking for a new washing machine. We'll give them washing machine. And so on. But it's interesting this sort of volleys going on, you can imagine there is no love lost between Tim cook and Mark Zuckerberg at the moment, but we remain to be remained.
See, I feel like Apple have got all the tennis balls and they've got Goran Ivanisevic serving and they've Facebook has gotten me on the other side with a loss.
Leo Mindel: [01:03:40] So they've won and lost some of these in the past. And the classic one, which actually is one where one month, the other side of is they took on and destroyed Adobe flash.
And that got turned off a month ago. As we all know it finally got decommissioned last month. They've also taken on and I would say. Haven't really won there's rumors that the new eye Mac books will finally go back to actually having more ports than one. And that there will be, so you won't have to convert the Mac book into every single other thing that you've ever had to plug it into on this one.
There's some really interesting views on both sides. We are, the argument that advertisers have had their own way. It's difficult to persuade do not that you don't disagree. I look at this and say, what will change will be the business models to adapt classic example of this is that if you look at the cord cutting.
Generation. So that's people who don't have TV, linear TV. They're still seeing adverts, but they're seeing them in a different way because things like Netflix and other things, don't do their adverts in the way that we all grew up, where you're watching. And then 13 minutes through you have this. Three and a half minute advert break.
So they're having to adapt and maybe we're going to see the same thing happen. It won't mean that if anybody thinks that this will come out and that will be the end of advertising you're never going to see adverts again, that is not going to
Nathan Wrigley: [01:05:16] happen. In fact, I would say that we're probably consuming.
Significantly more advertising time than we ever have. Because we're watching our screens significantly more than we ever did because there's just so much content of interest and it sits in our pocket. What my feeling on this is that there were unexpected consequences to the technologies that were built, that nobody predicted nobody built the cookie for any other reason than just to keep States to he's logged in.
Let's just, we know he's logged in that's him. And then people came up with ingenious ways to figure out what that did. And then you've got, browser fingerprinting and all these other technologies and it was never invented. And it became the default, an industry and advertising industry grew up around it.
But I don't know that justifies it just because we always have done it that way for the last few years. I think now we're seeing that. Certainly from my point of view, I think it's okay to have the technology available to say stop if I wish to stop. But I think capital in this,
Leo Mindel: [01:06:18] what I'm saying, although I wish we would, you, we won't that isn't what will end up happening.
We will just move. You always do. Classic example was that people were sat there and came out with adverts. And then there is a great podcast episode on a reply, all where they did the guy who invented the pop-up and he literally apologized for breaking at the time because it was supposed to be just a small little thing that was pairing and all of a sudden Science became invaded by now.
Literally everybody I know runs some sort of ad blocker to try and just keep the number of adverts down to a. A level that they can cope with it doesn't stop all adverts on the site, but it just keeps that level down. Yeah. That's the reality of where we are.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:07:08] We're going to have to see maybe, maybe Facebook can, I don't know, God forbid have a church, put a price tag on it service and make us all pay $20 a year or something or a month.
I don't know. Somehow. Yeah,
Leo Mindel: [01:07:20] it depends. Anyway, you may not see, but what you may see is you may not see charges for the core, what we regard as Facebook, but you may start seeing charges because Facebook by content. So for example, they may have the tennis next year or something like that, and you will pay for that or something like that.
So there will be a service come out that way.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:07:40] And Bernard making a good point that it's not really all about adverts. He's not bothered about getting personalized ads. It's all the other stuff. And of course that's true, isn't it? It's all the other data which is being. Oops, excuse me. I press mute on myself there, all the other data that's being siphoned off.
That literally I've got no idea, but watching things like the social dilemma, I think it was called that it was it was a bit of a moment for me of pausing and thinking, boy, they really do know a large amount of about me location and. You know what my favorite thing might be to the point where they're able to predict that somebody's pregnant, who just know they're pregnant, it's just absolutely bonkers.
Okay. That was the, that was, we weren't supposed to put that there, but Paul, what about you? You got something on this or,
Paul Lacey: [01:08:24] I think I'm with Apple. I just say that I'm with Apple on this, bro, because currently. I am the platforming myself a little bit. If I can, I haven't got much more to say on it.
No, it's okay. It's just a really interesting, it's an interesting article for those people. Who've dipped in even just a little bit and see what's going on here, but yeah, the Facebook's response with this preempted announcement on their platform. I don't know, that feels lightly misguided. I don't know how that's gonna work out for people because even all the, all of the Instagram influences they've all been talking about.
I don't, I'm not in really in Instagram, but from what I understand Instagram's terms of service updated recently and made it really. Difficult for the influencers to do whatever it is that they do on Instagram. Take photos of themselves looking beautiful or whatnot. And but the terms of service for the end user, what frightening to a certain point, if you would read them in a certain way.
So I think that this is, Facebook's got a lot of money. To lose here. So they've got to do something.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:09:41] Luckily they've got quite a lot of money to lose, so it's fine. Yeah.
Paul Lacey: [01:09:46] A lot of money will that pop up? I wonder if they don't do the pop-up, what would be the difference on their bottom line? How many houses could we build the Jackson with the money saved?
By Facebook, by putting that pop up
Nathan Wrigley: [01:10:01] on the, I think for an exact number to come into the comments,
Paul Lacey: [01:10:06] I was going to make
Leo Mindel: [01:10:07] it interesting though, that
Nathan Wrigley: [01:10:09] It's it's a company that's. Basically almost like creating. Yeah. The regulation is created almost by another big company, almost like a government audit.
Leo Mindel: [01:10:20] Exactly. I drew that parallel of the one with Adobe flash, because the reality was we were all happy at the time using flash, or I wouldn't say content. But they just literally said this isn't going anywhere forward and we've got to look at it and I. Do not know if this is a preemptive strike, if that's the right term from Apple, knowing that if they don't get their own house in, or they don't be proactive about this, then everybody else's houses are gonna get knocked.
And I do think it's something that we've got to see where it's going.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:10:57] I also think it's a really clever marketing opportunity for them to really push the difference between iOS and Android. Th this is the beginning of a real divergence, up until now that they've been features one has, and that the other doesn't have.
And, you could argue about which one's better. I'm sure, but this is some clear blue water that's opening up. And Paul. You've totally. You've just changed allegiance. You've just, am I right? You did say that earlier you bought an iOS device and some of it was based upon this exact thing.
Paul Lacey: [01:11:29] I think what it is that when Lindsay, my wife said, why have you got an iPhone, a bra?
And I said, because I'm concerned about privacy. Yeah, it was one of the reasons, but really I just wanted to get a new phone. That was cool. But in answer to Bernard's question, I pay for YouTube to get rid of the ads, although I don't really pay for it to get rid of the arts or pay for the premium service that gives you the music as well as a few other things.
Leo Mindel: [01:11:59] Oh, that's really interesting. That's really interesting that you've gone down that route, Paul, because I haven't, although I've got, that is literally the one and only one that I haven't gone. Down the route of, I still have Apple music, Spotify, Netflix, Amazon prime, Disney plus, but I haven't bought the YouTube
Paul Lacey: [01:12:19] one.
I just watch a lot of YouTube. And the amount of ads is excessive on YouTube when you're watching one video after another. And I'm very pleased with the ad-free YouTube. It's awful when I accidentally sign into the wrong account and. That's really jarring.
Leo Mindel: [01:12:36] I wonder push that at all. You are joking my phone, then every single time you hit a YouTube thing, it says, would you one month, one month free before you could watch this video every single time I
Nathan Wrigley: [01:12:54] hear it.
It's interesting. No, on my Android device, which is by third parties by a company called one, plus I don't know if there's. Something else going on there, but no, I never get that. I never get told to upgrade to YouTube anything, but then I have a Google, I have various paid arms of Google. Maybe they leave me alone cause they know I'm already giving them a little bit of money here and there.
I don't know. Interesting. I would happily pay a little modest amount for it. D advertised Facebook, but I also want to, so Leo, what you were just saying is a classic example of what I don't want to get into. Just want one thing for each that I don't want. I don't want you, you paying for two music services.
I wouldn't want to do that as an example. I just want to get everything stripped right down to the bare essentials for me and my family. I think
Leo Mindel: [01:13:38] when you start doing the numbers and it becomes quite frightening. Yeah. Back to. You go back to 25 years ago and what you used to pay for 25 years ago, you paid for 30 years ago, you pay
Nathan Wrigley: [01:13:49] for your TV license.
Yeah. That was it. And tax
Leo Mindel: [01:13:53] and tax it. So now you're paying for broadband at home 40 to 60 pounds a year, sorry, simple 60 pounds a month. These are all monthly. So aren't, they The Netflix is nine a month. Now Amazon is about the same Disney plus is seven. You've got the Apple music I think is 22 pounds a year, 24 pounds a year for the basic one.
Spotify is 10 quid a month. It just suddenly you're going. Hold on. I'm paying.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:14:25] Yeah. A hundred and
Leo Mindel: [01:14:27] something pounds a month for entertainment, because obviously the sky on top of that or Virgin TV it's amazing how much you're paying and with some of those services, you're still getting adverts.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:14:38] No, it was interesting.
I read an article this week about how the new 10 years ago, we didn't really have the subscription economy that we now have. And now many of us are really fully subscribed to the subscription economy and it. It the article in this was saying, I can't remember where I read it, but they were basically saying that's going to move towards the consumption model.
So instead of subscribing just nine pounds, 99, let's say for unlimited Spotify, there'll be a proportion of those people who would rather pay per song. And if you're using, let's say you chew and you only consume six movies or six pieces of content a month. You'd probably rather go onto that other model, but I don't know how that will work out, but I think because I don't consume all that much, that kind of pricing might benefit me a little bit better, but now we've got go and refigure our lives again.
Last article, if we got time for this gentlemen, I think so. Okay. Okay. So I'm going to give this one to Paul. It is, Gothenburg mobile pages.
Paul Lacey: [01:15:40] This is a plugin by pootle press, which is, I think a developer from Cheltonham, which is not too far from where I live. Actually. In fact, I've been to the Cheltonham.
WordPress meetup when I was a speaker though, which was really good evening. Yeah, it was good to have good times it back when we could go places. This plugin solves a big problem in Gatlinburg at the moment, which is. How things look on mobile. For some of my clients I've built out pre-made block patterns to solve that problem for them.
So I say, just use my block patterns. Then you won't have three columns and then a mobile, your buttons are at the bottom for your products and your pictures are all at the top because that's what they did. This plugin solves that problem. The question of God is should this plugin need to exist? Should it be that difficult to do mobile friendly pages in the block editor?
It is so fantastic product for solving that problem or whatever problem didn't exist in the first place. And what this does for context, by the way is you have your page and then you create another version of it. For mobile pages. Oh, okay. You have two versions of it. Am I right with that lady? Yeah,
Leo Mindel: [01:16:55] the thing of right.
But it goes further than that, but yes, you're right.
Paul Lacey: [01:17:00] Which, which is a fantastic solution for the end user and it fixes a problem in the core tools that should get addressed in the core tool.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:17:13] So to say on this one from me, just here it is. Go. And she
Leo Mindel: [01:17:17] has a lot to say on this, but I'll be quick. So when you talk about mobile, you've actually got to really look at the fact that there is actually three different.
Outputs for mobile now from a WordPress, one of those, a fussy as a mobile looking website, the second one is amp. And the third one is for Facebook is instant articles. All three of those are built to deliver a mobile impro approach to their this last weekend is we, today is the, was the first round of the six nations.
That's the, one of the websites we deliver. There's a very interesting figure that I just gained just before we came on to have a quick look. Two years ago in the six nations we were running around about 90% of the traffic was mobile. That's where you would expect it to be for a live weekend.
Interestingly, that figures dropped back this weekend. I suspect the reason back is because of COVID and people are actually sitting at home and are able to watch, are able to use their PCs.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:18:20] You want the best screen in the house, in the
Leo Mindel: [01:18:23] best area in the house, inversely, the actual traffic figures have gone up quite significantly.
Nice actually seen an increase, a big increase in traffic. We're talking big, but at the same time it's been on desktop, not mobile. Now, if you look at the site that we built and you compare it, if you look at it on mobile and it's obviously designed for it because it's a very fast site, it's super, super fast, both on the mobile site, whereas about as close as you can get to the app.
You won't see much difference and the mobile sites to the app and obviously the apps native. It is interesting that the, that, that. This problem shouldn't exist. Yes, but this problem, the fact that this problem has been flagged up is a serious problem that needs to be, as Paul said, why, things should come straight out the block editor, not only mobile format, but from my view, they should be ready in instant articles and they should be in amp as well until those
Nathan Wrigley: [01:19:27] disappear.
So we should just say its name. It's called Gutenberg mobile pages. It's by poodle press. It's available on the repo. I don't know if there's a as an option to don't know if there's a freemium model or if there's any paid option, but go and check it out. See what you think. See if it adds something to your block editor poll.
You've muted yourself, Paul, we can't hear you
Paul Lacey: [01:19:51] probably better content to be honest, but I've used it myself because my dog's running around crazy around my feet at the moment. I think she needs to wait. But my proposition anyway, singers Gutenberg is a long-term project and is looking to the future.
And mobile first is. Probably, very relevant is that things like blocks block patterns. When an end user is building, they should be building for mobile so that they don't have the, how is this going to work on mobile problem? They have a much easier problem of just making it look a bit nicer on desktop.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:20:30] Nice. Absolutely. I would say maybe we just need to worry about the desktop for a little bit longer until everybody's been inoculated and then we can start to forget about it all over again. I think we're done we've basically done an hour and a half, which is like the time allotted to it.
So I should where have you guys gone there? You are put us back on the screen. Thank you so much to Paul Lacey. Thank you so much to Liam. Mindell from psychotic. We'll be back next week, chatting about the same kind of thing with Leo, I can't remember if you're back next week, but it might very well be somebody I know shaking it.
I th I,
Leo Mindel: [01:21:02] I put my down myself down as once every month or so. I thought that was enough for, yeah.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:21:06] Otherwise Paul would have just brought me. Yeah, Paul put himself down for every single week. Bless him. I love him to bits. Thank you so much for joining us. Really appreciate it. As I said, we'll be back this time.
Next week, 2:00 PM. UK time, double WP forward slash live. I'm going to end the broadcast by saying bye-bye for now.

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Nathan Wrigley
Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds and WP Tavern. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group, and on Mastodon at Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

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