WordPress.com Social Reciprocity Visualization Challenge

Every day, millions of people connect with ideas, photos, and other content on WordPress.com. Here at Automattic, we take pride in enabling this interaction, and continually strive to make the WordPress.com platform better for users.

Our data science team examines these user interactions, and aims to develop our insights into user facing features and tools. With this challenge, we decided to open up some of our work and share with the community some of the questions we are excited about.

On our platform, and across the Web, the question of social reciprocity is one of the most interesting. How does platform design, user content, and social activity combine and affect user engagement?

We are running this visualization challenge on the Databits.io platform, where we’re inviting anyone who’s obsessed with data like we are to come up with some interesting visualizations of the following scenarios. We’re offering a $1,000 prize for the best one!

Two ideas we’d love to see explored are

  • User-to-user social reciprocity. The provided data is sufficiently rich to explore the dynamics of user-to-user social interactions. Are there compelling stories we can tell about how individual users react to other users’ actions on the platform, temporally? How does blog posting and the kind of blogging content enter the picture?
  • User-to-community social reciprocity. There are actions that users send to the broader WordPress community and also records of the community generating social interactions on the users’ blogs. On the scale of user to community interaction, are there patterns that can help understand social reciprocity? Does the interaction depend on blog posting? What are the temporal dynamics?

Read more about the data, the challenge, and the prizes being offered for the best visualizations over at Databits.io.

If you love data like we do, consider joining our team! We’re currently hiring Data Wranglers.

Introducing WordPress.com Insights

We love stats at Automattic. They’re key to understanding our users, and a driving force behind a lot of what we do.

When we make a change, we measure its impact and use the metrics to make data-informed decisions. For example, we recently improved how our Publicized posts look on other services. Using our own data as well as data provided by our partners, we made further improvements and tweaks to increase click throughs to your posts.

Our partners and those building on our platform should have the same ability. That’s why we spent the past few weeks creating tool to support them: WordPress.com Insights.

Check it out in the short video below:

Music Credit: Anthony Vitale

Insights provides data and graphs for a variety of metrics: Connections/authorizations, API calls, API errors, posts published, WordPress.com Connect Logins, and the reach of posts published from your app. By exposing this data, developers can measure the impact of their integrations over time.

In addition to graphs, we’ve also built in export functionality allowing you to get your data in CSV format. Since Insights is built using the REST API, you can pull data out in JSON format as well.

To accompany Insights, we also added the ability to allow other users and developers access to your app. To edit your permissions, head to the Apps Manager, select an application, and click “manage users.” If you want to provide temporary access you can also generate sharable URLs.

For more information and a walkthrough of Insights, check out our documentation.

Embed WordPress.com or Jetpack blogs on other websites with timelines

Today we are making it easier for you to bring your other websites closer to your WordPress.com or Jetpack blogs.

The new embedded timeline tool allows you to put a timeline of your blog posts on your website, connecting your visitors with the content you are writing here.

It only takes two pieces of HTML to embed a view of your blog directly on your website. The embed is interactive and allows your readers to follow your blog or like your posts without leaving the page. Both WordPress.com and Jetpack blogs are supported.

Our embedded timelines documentation contains directions on how to implement the timeline on your own site.

We also have a tool that allows you to create timelines without any coding at our creation page.

PS: The timelines are built using the REST API – take a look and start building your own app today!

You can also use a shortcode to Embed the timeline on a WordPress.com blog:
[wptimeline url="https://developer.wordpress.com" showgravatars="true"]

Here is an example of a timeline in action:

Recent Posts on https://developer.wordpress.com

New Color Picker in WordPress 3.5

Some of you may have noticed the shiny new color picker in WordPress 3.5. This was a great example of collaboration between a commercial service and open source: we developed a color picker for WordPress.com to scratch our own itch, then offered it to WordPress.org. They then pushed us to make it so much better than it would have been otherwise. Everybody wins.

Find out more, including how to use it in your next WP project, on make/core: New Color Picker in WP 3.5.