A Call To Philadelphia WordPressers

Philly Skyline
Those of you that have attended Philadelphia WordPress Meetups in the past were probably notified by the folks over at Meetup that Owen Winkler has stepped down as the Philly WP organizer. This makes a good deal of sense, seeing as he has moved the bulk of his efforts over to Habari these days and thus isn’t exactly in the best position to be heading the WP Meetup.
I want to continue the Philly WP Meetup tradition and, although I haven’t been to one in a bit, it would be a shame to see it peter out. However, I am loathe to pay Meetup $19/month for the “privilege” of organizing these events and so I want to throw this discussion out to the entire Philly WP community. Should we stick with Meetup.com and pay their fees (looks like the Philadelphia Bloggers Meetup will continue using Meetup) or should we strike out for other alternatives? (I’ve taken the liberty of reserving a group over at Upcoming which appears to have the distinct advantage of being free) Or should we simply merge with the Philly Bloggers Meetup group and forget the whole thing? Is there an advantage to maintaining a separate group or has the time passed for that?
I’d really hate to lose the group, but we obviously need buy-in from a substantial number of bloggers for any effort to work. I welcome any thoughts, opinions or suggestions that anyone may have.

Winning The Battle Of “Iconistan”

Wired News is currently running a piece regarding the proliferation of “Submit my blog entry to…” buttons that have been cropping up hither and yon on blogs of every stripe. The number and proliferation of said buttons is indeed getting to the ridiculous point and, when bloggers actually post links to even the top few sites, the bottoms of their posts begin to look just a wee bit, well, cluttered.
Peering icons.
Into this messy scene rides Alex King to the rescue with his Share This plugin for WordPress. Share This neatly encapsulates many of the top “social” sites’ submission buttons into a single DOM element box that is hidden by default, linked to by a simple “Share This” link and icon unobtrusively tucked away at the end of each WordPress post. (See the bottom of this post, for instance). Using a little Prototype JavaScript magic, clicking on that link pops up that box, giving readers the ability to submit the story to the social networking site of their choice – Fark, digg, reddit, Netscape, Newsvine, etc. It’s a very simple idea that I think goes a long way towards benefitting both readers and blog authors: it (mostly) hides the various multicolored submission buttons from view and keeps blog footers from becoming cluttered while allowing sufficiently-motivated users to submit authors’ content to a wider audience – a real win/win situation, as far as I’m concerned.
As to my particular implementation of Share This: yes, I realize the transparency isn’t working so the ST icon looks a little funky and the default CSS for the pop-up box is fairly hard to read. I’ll work on making those issues go away, but in the meantime – Share This post, won’t you?
(Side note: the ST icon you see is also the work of Alex King, who has started the Share Icons Project, an attempt to standardize these things in the same vein as Feed (RSS/Atom) Icons and the OPML one as well. I like it – simple and effective.)