What WordPress 3.8 “Parker” Means For Radio

The new way in which WordPress develops means that they’re moving at a good pace, and today WordPress 3.8 was released.

Codenamed “Parker”, after Charlie Parker, this version brings mainly visual changes to the backend, as well as the usual security updates WP is well known for.

Here, I’m going to go through the main changes and what they mean for radio stations that use the platform for their website.

WordPress 3.8 - SidebarThe ‘Fresh Look’

Gone are overbearing gradients and dozens of shades of grey — bring on a bigger, bolder, more colorful design! – WordPress

They’re right! Parker brings the flatness that we’re getting used to in Apple’s latest iOS to the world of WordPress. The admin bar and menu in the backend are flat and a single colour, which a contrast to highlight the current item you’re on.

Alongside the use of the Open Sans font and simplified icons, it gives the tired looking UI and breath of fresh air. It really does feel like it’s been dragged, kicking and screaming to the middle of the 21st Century.

And for radio stations, it means happier users. There’s nothing worse than logging into a system that looks a decade old, but under the hood actually acts like a 6 week old puppy and is ready to give anything a go. It might scare some users who don’t use it that often, but like anything else they will get used to it after using for a while.

A splash of colour, and then some

WordPress describes it as “Admin color schemes to match your personality”, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say personality, but more just to match the colour of your frontend.

WordPress 3.8 - Colour Schemes

There are six colour schemes to choose from and they can mostly be described as the colours of the iPhone 5C (they’ve even visualised it for us!).

For radio stations, it means all users can pick the colour that they wish. In one office you could end up with the colours of the rainbow, just on one WordPress site! That will certainly brighten up winter days, and make you scream for mercy the morning after the company Christmas party.

Posting from Tablets, properly

WordPress 3.8 - Admin on Nexus 7

You could just about use previous WordPress version on tablets, if you had a lot of patience and time. But Parker means that the admin pages are truly responsive and enable you to easily update via your tablet (or other mobile devices).

Looking at the admin for this site on my Nexus 7 makes for a pleasant experience. It’s now easier to find icons and format the body of the post. Overall, it’s just a much more appealing layout, which may make me update on the move more.

And for radio stations, this means you’ll be easily able to update your site from the scene of an event, or if you discover a major error, it can be eradicated from your hand instead of your laptop. I believe that if used correctly, this is the best part of Parker and it will empower content creators like never before. Plus, there’s no need for a silly plugin to generate a nice admin section!

Summary

Whilst the first two points are simply cosmetics to bring it up to modern design expectations, the real kicker in Parker is the way it now properly reacts to devices like tablets.

You can get WordPress 3.8 either via the Updates system in your WP install, or manually from wordpress.org/download.

Further Reading

#NowPlaying: Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr.

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Live from a field in Lincolnshire, this is Poacher FM!

“3500 Scouts and Guides. Seven days. Hundreds of activities. Thousands of friendships. Unlimited adventure. One Poacher FM.”

Poacher 2013 has come and gone. Two and a half years of planning with my best friend, Christopher Smith, and Poacher FM was a blast!

I previously posted about what we had planned back in June, but now the broadcast has passed it’s time to look back at an amazing week of radio and camping.

The studio setup

The studio setup

When we arrived I discovered I had the biggest room out of the two that would become the Media Centre!

Radiquip, who we hired nearly all our kit from, arrived earlier than planned and were a dream to get on with. They set up in a flash and everything worked as expected. I can’t recommend them enough.

We used Psquared’s Myriad and Autotrack, which meant we were able to mix up the music nicely. Some of the best compliments were about our music mix and how campers of all ages felt they could listen. Throughout the camp, I reckon that you only maybe heard the same song three times a day (sometimes a little bit more) Despite this our three most played songs were still by The Wanted, Icona Pop and Avicii!

The launch went as planned, but due to some technical difficulties (no internet!) we weren’t streaming until Tuesday. When we did get up and running, our page was instantly the most visited on the website and continued to be a big hitter for the rest of the event.

Preparing to report live from a glider as it takes off!

Preparing to report live from a glider as it takes off!

Preparing to report live from a glider as it takes off![/caption]We also made use of this by asking parents/guardians/grandparents/cats/dogs to get in contact with their messages for their loved ones on site. In a one hour show we had about 250 messages for lots of people on site! It kept the final show of the night very busy.

Throughout we had some special guests, such as the Chief Guide Gill Slocombe, both the CEOs from Scouts & Guides and Simon Carter who is the Assistant Director for Marketing within The Scout Association.

All of those interviews, and loads of other bits can be found on our AudioBoo channel, which was kindly given to us for free by the ladies and gents at AudioBoo.

My favourite clip and highlight of my career is from when I reported from a glider 900ft above the Lincolnshire Countryside. You can listen to my experience below.

Before the event, I had planned all the imaging, with a whole document of lines to be read! Fortunately, Christopher organised for a couple of the team from Spark FM in Sunderland to read them for us. Below is a short demo of the imaging we played.

Another highlight was working with BBC Radio Lincolnshire, who did a whole three hour show live from the showground! Amanda White and her producer Andy come along and Lucy and I showed them around the activities and ensured they got everything they wanted. Amanda even had a go at a couple of activities! It was fantastic to work with them and it got a good response from the BBC Radio Lincs audience. You can listen to the programme on BBC iPlayer until Friday at 9am.

I had such an amazing team. All 11 of them did a sterling job and I couldn’t have asked any more of them. They were a real team and I always knew I could rely on them to do a great job. So much so there were a couple of times when I was off site and they handled things better than I expected!

Would I like to be radio team leader again? Definitely! It was such a ball and when you have an team like I did, it makes the job even easier.

I hope to work with the team again in the future, at whatever event or company I may find them at.

#NowPlaying: Summertime Sadness – Lana Del Ray vs Cedric Gervais

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