WordPress can learn a lot from Apple CareKit

Earlier today I watched an Apple town hall event that announced, among other things, a couple of new devices and a new IOS app called CareKit, part of Apple’s “Health” initiative. As an Android user, I don’t usually pay much attention to IOS-related announcements, but the CareKit launch made me sit up and take notice.

In Apple COO Jeff Williams’ CareKit presentation, I was really struck with the level of innovation this new app – and its previously released companion app, ResearchKit – imbue.

Think about this for a moment: Apple took what was already a strong product with a targeted base, and leveraging its strengths as a mobile input device, introduced a completely new level of usefulness in the form of health data collection.

ResearchKit has empowered health institutions to aggregate massive amounts of health data never before collectable, which in turn has made it possible to draw more informed conclusions about common diseases and disorders.

This new CareKit app more closely targets personal care rather than aggregated care by building a direct bridge between caregivers and patients.

I feel like these two apps constitute a life-changing innovation, which in my opinion is a feature so profound and yet so simple, that we wonder how we lived without it.

And it’s there, where I think WordPress can learn a lot from Apple on the innovation front.

WordPress has always striven to make the process of content publishing easier. At the same time, new features are often great and useful, but also occasionally gimmicky or fickle to the latest fad.

In some respects, there are already solid examples of WordPress being used as a vehicle for success in the worldwide community. In fact, a recent HeroPress post by Raghavendra Satish Peri, Finding Hope In The Darkness, is evidence enough that there is great promise in pursuing the line of thinking that WordPress can be a game changer in people’s lives.

If we’re to aim for that elusive 50 percent market share Matt Mullenweg so publicly espouses, we’re going to have to think more critically about what WordPress can do to change how people think about it as a platform.

Perhaps it’s time we turn our idea of success on its head, and leveraging its strengths, find ways for WordPress to innovate in making people’s lives easier.

Then I think we’d really be off to the races.

The Word Press

For a while now, I’ve been referring to the WordPress news media as the “Word Press”. When I was leading the 4.2 release, I made a special point of trying to keep the Word Press informed on what we were doing.

Anyway, the name stuck (in my own mind at least).

So who are the current Word Press you ask? Well, the big players right now are (in no particular order):

There are also a few more sites I’d consider to be part of the  Word Press, though all of them seem to have fallen out of date. They are:

And In aggregator land, the big players currently include:

Old News

Over the years, there have also been several other prominent members of the Word Press that have dropped off or folded for various reasons.

The big three that spring to mind are:

  • WP Candy, (Ryan Imel)
  • Weblog Tools Collection (Mark Ghosh)
  • WP Daily (John Saddington) – though it’s worth noting that Torque acquired and now hosts the archives for WP Daily

Do you have a favorite WordPress news site/blog/feed/newsletter you think is missing from this list?

Slides for my WordCamp Cape Town talk on “making WordPress”

From the talk page on the WordCamp Cape Town site:

In this session, Drew will be sharing insight into how a WordPress release happens, including an overview of all the moving parts, teams, organization, and execution. A lot of people have this idea that the core team is solely responsible for new versions of WordPress getting released, which couldn’t be further from the truth – it’s an intricate ballet of multiple contributor teams coming together and executing a broad vision.
He will talk about how a release cycle is structured, how and where the decision-making happens, as well as all of the various contributors and teams that play their own part in a successful release. It’s very much opening the black box of how a release works.