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One Year Anniversary Blog Self-Review

One year. Wow!

When Donncha asked me to lend my WordPress assault skills to the then named , the backbone upon which is built, I have to be honest. I didn’t have the time, energy, or enthusiasm to tackle another WordPress project. Like that ever stopped me. 😉

I only took a few minutes to decide on the topics for my new blog. I needed something to blog about why I worked on breaking it. I summed up my new blog’s purpose in my very first post published August 16, 2005:

Lorelle on WordPress will be a look at how to use WordPress and make it work FOR you, not against you. There is a lot you can do with a WordPress site and it can be simple or challenging, depending upon how much time, effort, and customization you want to put into it.

We will be talking about the new WordPressMU, the multi-user version of WordPress that is ideal for hosts to allow them easy and fast WordPress sites for multiple users. We’ll be addressing the various ways you can customize WordPress and your WordPressMU site. We’ll cover WordPress plugins and accessories that will help you add functions and capabilities for users and you, as the site administrator.

With those few words, my purpose on has not wavered. Though, admittedly, I never thought I’d find over 800 articles to write about WordPress and blogging. That’s right. Over 800 articles in 365 days. WOW!

The Invite Frenzy

The first invitations to went out to the lead volunteers and developers of WordPress. We came in with all of our expertise for breaking the full version of WordPress and immediately started breaking things.

Meanwhile, , founder of all things WordPress, started a media and blogosphere frenzy over invites to the “exclusive” and “secretive”, following the recent successful marketing ploy by Google for their email service. A WordPress friend of mine put his invite on Ebay and the crowd went wild. was the talk of the blogosphere. Everyone wanted an invite. I was asked constantly, as was everyone else. I got email, even phone calls, from people wanting an invite. Amazing. As people started pushing and shoving to get their invites, others started adding to the madness with contests with the an invite for a free blog as the reward. Incredible.

At the same time, downloads of the full version of the latest WordPress version topped 500,000, causing even more excitement over all things WordPress.

As with all deviations from a well-known product, there was a lot of confusion over the differences between and the full version of WordPress, so I wrote about what you can do with, as compared to the full version of WordPress. People didn’t seem to get it, so I followed up with an article on what to do with your free blog, which basically said:

After the first post or two, many blog users, who worked so hard to get an invite to for their own free blog, have no idea what to do with it. Some do, and plow into it with enthusiasm, but I’m seeing a lot of posts from new users who 1) don’t know what to do with their blog or 2) think they have to write about WordPress and

Let’s kill the second myth right off the top. Even though it says “wordpress” in the domain name, your blog can be about anything you want. You are under no obligation to write about WordPress. A few of the first users have already destroyed the myth and showed off screen shots of the new Administration Panels and talked about the new features, so the blush is off the rose of If you are an expert, helping through long time volunteering and development, then talking about WordPress on your is just one more extension of your already active involvement. If you aren’t, and just a fan, then have a few posts about WordPress, but then what? What do you blog about?

Now, I want to talk to the folks who worked hard to get the invite to have their own free blog only to arrive and not know what to do with it after they’ve just shouted to the world “Weeee! I got a blog!”

And thus began one of my first blog posts on the topic of blogging, expanding my topics beyond just WordPress.

Blogging with is very different from using the full version of WordPress. The most important distinction is that as the owner of a blog on, you are a part of the community. And I mean “comm-unity”. Communication and unity. We’re in this together.

On the Dashboard administration panel, we see a list of who is saying what around We also see a list of the most popular blogs and blog posts, showing us what people are interested in within the community. There is now a Forum for sharing and discussing issues and getting help.

As part of the community, you play an important role in developing From the feedback button in the Administration Panels, you provide developers with your input and feedback. In September 2005, I tried to put this into words we could all understand:

WordPress Comm-Unity: If you have the problem then I have the problem.

If you have problem with your blog, 300,000 other people also have a problem with their blog. By helping yourself by reporting on problems or giving feedback, you help all of us. We are all dependent upon each other for the success of

Are The First Bloggers Still Blogging?

I highlighted many of the first bloggers on, both on and off the WordPress development team. Of special interest to me were the ones who blogged on unaware of the bubbling currents of change under the surface. They just blogged because it was fun, not technical. And their blogs represented the excitement and potential of what was really all about: blogging.

So, let’s check in with some of the first bloggers I wrote about in those first few months and see if they are still blogging on their one year anniversary.

A Month Long Tribute to a Year With

One year. Over 800 articles across 365 days. And what a year. As a tribute to what is possible to do with a blog, or any blog, for the next 30 days I will be highlighting collection of topics I’ve written about over the past year. I’ll look back at how I blog with WordPress and, how others blog, the changes and improvements in WordPress, and about WordPress and blogging in general. A retrospective. My first.

Hang on. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

One Year Anniversary Review Articles

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network

Member of the 9Rules Blogging Network


  1. Posted August 17, 2006 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,

    It is so easy for people who start blogging to wander and then keep wandering around. I am glad I came across this blog when I started. Though it is WordPress specific, lot of it applies to the generic domains of blogging and design. Your blog works like a board that shows directions to the right paths. Congratulations and thanks!

  2. Posted August 17, 2006 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Hehe, we are the ones who should be saying, “Wow!”

    Congratulations, and keep up the great work.

  3. Posted August 19, 2006 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    I remember the days when Jintle’s posts were always top of the pile! Glad to see he’s still posting. I wondered why I didn’t see any of his photos, but looks like I’ll have to subscribe to the Space Fotos feed.

  4. Posted August 20, 2006 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    WOW, I’m one of the early adopters? I’m honored…This is a great series of posts Lorelle. Keep up the good work

  5. Posted September 11, 2006 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    It’s been great to check in with you over these many months, as well, Lorelle. Your articles about the in’s and out’s of the WordPress workings have been invaluable to — I’m sure — thousands, if not millions of users. Congratulations to you, as well as to the entire WordPress family. I really am honored to be able to say I was a part of it from the beginning.

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