a computer screen with a chatoff plus user interface

Blocks are now a key part of the WordPress experience. But what if they were platform-agnostic? That’s the idea behind the Block Protocol. Founded in 2022, the organization recently released a WordPress plugin.

In its initial release, the Block Protocol plugin adds over a dozen new blocks to WordPress. Included in the package you’ll find blocks to display common items such as addresses, how-to lists, and countdown timers. There are also AI-powered blocks for generating images and text.

The blocks work on any platform that supports the Block Protocol. And additional blocks are in the works.

To learn more, The WP Minute’s Eric Karkovack sat down with HASH CEO David Wilkinson to discuss the project, along with its potential to enhance WordPress and other platforms.

Next up (listen to the podcast for more): Amber Hinds of Equalize Digital discusses the pre-seed investment her company received from Emilia Capital and what it means for their Accessibility Checker plugin.

Links You Shouldn’t Miss

Artificial Intelligence is increasing its presence within WordPress. Last week, we reported that OpenAI has made its API available to developers wanting to integrate ChatGPT into their applications. It didn’t take long for the WordPress community to dive in. One example: the recent launch of DocsBot AI. The product allows you to create a custom chatbot based on your website’s content and documentation. It’s free to try, with paid plans also available.

Meanwhile, an open-source alternative called OpenChatKit has also been announced.

Speaking of ChatGPT, The WP Minute’s Eric Karkovack recently used the AI tool to build a simple WordPress plugin. He wrote about the experience and the unexpected lesson he learned.

WordPress security is getting better. According to Patchstack’s State of WordPress Security In 2022 report, 328% more security bugs were reported year over year. The firm opines that, because more vulnerabilities are being reported and patched, the ecosystem is becoming more secure. They also note that 93% of security flaws originate from plugins. Thus, keeping your installs up to date is as important as ever.

Automattic is increasing its presence in the Fediverse. The company has purchased the ActivityPub plugin, which allows WordPress websites to integrate with Mastodon and other decentralized platforms. Sarah Gooding of WP Tavern reports that plugin author Matthias Pfefferle will join Automattic and continue to develop the software.

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  • Pressable makes it easy to manage sites with its award-winning control panel, but what if you’re managing sites across multiple accounts or hosts? Pressable is thrilled to announce its extension partnership with MainWP, which uses the Pressable API to provide a simple, yet powerful solution for this all-too-frequent challenge.

From the Grab Bag

Now it’s time to take a look at some other interesting topics shared by our contributors.

  • Mika Epstein, a longtime member of the WordPress Plugin Review team, has announced that she plans to step down from her role this summer. She’s not disappearing from the WordPress community, however. Epstein plans to continue writing and maintaining plugins.
  • WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg and Gutenberg Lead Architect Matías Ventura are slated to appear at WP Engine’s virtual developer conference, DE{CODE}, on March 21 and 23, 2023.
  • As the full release of WordPress 6.2 comes nearer, Release Candidate 2 is now available for testing.
  • Automattic’s Jetpack announced that it’s teaming up with WordPress maintenance service MainWP. Users can now add Jetpack’s security-related extensions via the MainWP marketplace.
  • If you’ve been affected by the recent tech industry layoffs, Post Status has put together a handy list of resources. The list includes links for job seekers and dealing with the mental health aspects of losing a job.
  • WordCamp Buffalo is on the calendar and set to take place on May 6, 2023. The event has put out a call for speakers, sponsors, and volunteers.
  • It’s easy to look at a successful person and assume that luck has played a major role. But a recent episode of the Underrepresented in Tech podcast argues that Luck Has Nothing to Do With It.

New Members This Week

If you’re not a member yet, go to thewpminute.com/support/ to join.

Thanks to all of the members who shared these links today:

  • Jeff Chandler
  • Dennis Dornon
  • Michelle Frechette
  • Courtney Robertson

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