Coming Up On WPShout (service has been resumed)

As you just might have noticed, there haven’t been any post on WPShout for the last two weeks, as I’ve been on holiday. The good news is that I’m back and I’ve been planning some rather awesome stuff for the site. More of that later on.

I was asked by a friend recently “so why do you run WPShout?”. That rather stumped me. Do I particularly enjoy writing 10 ways to do X with X? Not really; those posts take ages to research and write, and often go unnoticed by the cruel mistress that is social media. Do I like seeing other people take a second to say thanks for my post in the comments? Most definitely. Do I get just I tiny bit excited to see the site on the Delicious frontpage with the hit-o-meter through the roof? Yep. Who wouldn’t! On the flipside though, it’s frustrating to see the subscriber count stay solid or drop just because I missed posting one day. I digress. That little discussion prompted me to seriously think about the direction I want to take WPShout in, and one of the things I’ve done is draw up a little agenda with short and long term aims for the site. Here it is:

Short term

to be completed by Christmas:

  • Post three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. One longer post, one “how to” post and then a short post to round things off.
  • Increase the subscriber count to over 1000.
  • Increase reader involvement in the site; encourage readers to ask questions and in doing so suggest post ideas.
  • Get a “community feel” to the site – increase reader discussion – make sure every comment question is answered and create a debate or two here or there…

Long term

next year and beyond:

  • Get the site widely recognized within the WordPress community as an excellent source for tips, tricks, hacks and development ideas.
  • Increase subscriber to 3,000. And keep it there. RSS readers can be a fickle bunch. In a way, they’re quite like “The Angry Mob” (a song by a popular British band); “We are RSS readers. We read feeds every day. We like who we like we unsubscribe when there’s no new content but we’re also easily swayed.”

So those are some pretty basic goals for the site: increase readership. Any help you, the reader can offer as always will be really appreciated – if you enjoy a post then please, please save of to Delicious and Tweet it – as Tescos rightly point out, every little helps.

Moving on, here’s a little taster for future content on the site coming up in the next couple of weeks:

  • Competition! This Friday will be the start of WPShout’s very first competition. Courtesy of Gabfire Themes, I’ve got three themes to give away. To be able to win you’ll have to give some feedback on the site. More details Friday.
  • A theme! I’ll be releasing my very own framework, Biblioteca. It is pretty darn awesome and will be available very soon, gratuis. Very quickly, it’s a framework for designers. It’s not trying to be Thematic or Hybrid, but it takes bits from both those themes, combines of with an amazing options page and the opportunity to create any type of look you wish with ease, from blog to magazine to CMS, it’s one heck of a framework! Look out for it soon. In the meantime, I do need a couple of people to beta test – please drop me an email if you’re interested.
  • A guide to making your theme as easy to use as possible -utilize all the power of WordPress to create something that even your Grandmother could use.
  • “Themed weeks”. These are going to be awesome. The first week of every month from now on will be a themed week – learn to do something awesome in a week with a free eBook at the end of it. First up is an introduction to WordPress theme development, which will run in September.
  • Anything you’d like! Churning out posts isn’t the hard bit; thinking of the post titles in the first place is the hard bit! If you want to know anything or have a great idea you’d like to share then please drop me an email and I’ll see what I can do.

So there we are. I’m back and ready to rock. Here’s to the future!