“How Has WordPress Changed Your Life”…

During the opening event of Mactoberfest for Hawaii’s Geek Week, Lorelle VanFossen asked the audience, “How has WordPress changed your life?”   She showed some great videos of how lives have been changed by using WordPress as a blogging software application for helping people express their lives.  For me, WordPress has changed my life in two main ways, though not really because of blogging.

1) As a web developer looking to help clients solve their online needs, I’ve found one of the biggest requests I hear is, “How can I get a great looking website THAT’S EASY TO UPDATE for someone with no HTML skills.”   I’ve tried finding the perfect CMS solution for those kind of requests, but keep coming back to WordPress.

You may think of WordPress as a blogging application, but with it’s ability to do “Pages” — separate articles that live outside of your scrolling blog posts — it can be used a very effective CMS (Content Management System).   Pages can be those things that most static-HTML sites have; Contact Us, About Us, Resources, etc.   Those pages that don’t change all that often.   And, these “pages” can have sub-pages, just like static-HTML sites.  (In other words, About Us, could have subpages of; Mission Statement, and Organizational Structure, for example.)   Plus, the ability to use the “blogging” aspect of it as the company’s “News” section, helps balance the static with newer updates.

So, for a “blogging” application, WordPress works really well for clients needing a quick, easy-to-update website. And, WordPress’ user-friendly back-end makes even the most jaded clients WANT to try it.

2)  WordPress MU (Multi-User): I work for a large non-profit organization that is often called a “think tank on East-West issues” since we bring in researchers, educators, and leaders from around the world for discussions, lectures, and conferences.   I’ve found that WordPress MU allows me to quickly build a blog site for that conference group very quickly, where they can share their ideas before, during, and after the event.  And with MU’s privacy settings, I can have blogs that are only accessible to those involved in that conference.

These blogs might have the agenda for the conference, or readings for the educational program, or, photos of all the attendees enjoying themselves.   These things can be shared through email, though, having a common spot to post information and ideas which can be referred to later, is really beneficial to the participants.

In other words, WordPress MU provides a quick and easy way to build interaction within small groups of people as they get together, without the “fear” of having their comments and thoughts read by everyone in the world.  And, by having the posts come from the event organizer, the “thread chaos” that happens in forums (multiple conversations on the same topic within different threads) is eliminated.

For me then, WordPress has been a great solution to help build interaction for both small business owners and small-group participants.   Thanks WordPress!  🙂

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