WordPress.com Teams Up with Rebrand Cities to Bring Local Businesses Online | The WordPress.com Blog

Cities are collections of neighborhoods — and neighborhoods are powered by small business. From coffee shop owners to fitness instructors, therapists to thrift stores, it’s the people we see in the storefronts next door who build and reinforce the unique character of our cities.

At WordPress.com, we want to support local businesses as they grow their own communities (and their revenue!) on the open web. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Rebrand Cities, a project founded by Hajj Flemings to bring small businesses online, in pursuit of an audacious goal: 10,000 new websites for 10,000 small businesses and to tell their stories.

Read the full article: WordPress.com Teams Up with Rebrand Cities to Bring Local Businesses Online — The WordPress.com Blog

Who Has Your Back? Government Data Requests 2017 | Electronic Frontier Foundation

In this era of unprecedented digital surveillance and widespread political upheaval, the data stored on our cell phones, laptops, and especially our online services are a magnet for government actors seeking to track citizens, journalists, and activists.

In 2016, the United States government sent at least 49,868 requests to Facebook for user data. In the same time period, it sent 27,850 requests to Google and 9,076 to Apple.1 These companies are not alone: where users see new ways to communicate and store data, law enforcement agents see new avenues for surveillance.

Read the full article: Who Has Your Back? Government Data Requests 2017 | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Internet Companies Plan Online Campaign To Keep Net Neutrality Rules

Dozens of websites — including large ones like Netflix, Facebook and Amazon — join an online advocacy push Wednesday, urging regulators and lawmakers not to weaken regulations for Internet providers.
[…]
Numerous Web companies, for their part, have argued that net neutrality rules are paramount to ensure that cable and telecom companies don’t become the gatekeepers of how Americans experience the Internet — what people can access at what speeds. The Internet Association, the trade group for Internet companies, says investments have not slowed.

Read the full article: Internet Companies Plan Online Campaign To Keep Net Neutrality Rules

NOLA: French Quarter

These photos are from when I visited New Orleans on a work trip earlier this spring. It was my first time there and I thought it was a really cool city. Everything was very unique and interesting, from the architecture to the different cultural influences in everything (cuisine, language, etc).

Earlier, I also posted a gallery from when we roamed around in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden on that same trip.

Changing Things Up

This past weekend, I decided to change things up a little bit on my blog. Nothing extreme – I’m still using WordPress but I moved my blog from WordPress.com to Pressable, a self-hosted solution. My main reason was so that I could be more helpful in testing out other Automattic products, such as Jetpack, as well as some new Core features, such as the beta Gutenberg editor. Additionally, a self-hosted solution will allow me to customize things a bit further that I would be able to on WordPress.com … but I don’t really plan to do a whole lot of that at the moment.

You may have also noticed that this blog has a new look. After a pretty decent stretch using the theme Revelar, I decided to switch to the default them from 2016 – Twenty Sixteen. I still think Revelar is a great theme. The main reason I switched is because I felt like Revelar is set up great for photography but, if I wanted to post a quick blurb or a standard blog post, I always felt pressured to come up with a good featured image. After exploring a few other themes, I found that Twenty Sixteen was exactly what I was looking for (after making a few very slight visual customizations). It looks great for photo posts with nice featured images, yet it still looks very nice for posts that don’t have/need one.

I’m hoping that this switch prompts me to blog a little bit more, since I don’t have to spend additional time worrying about imagery for non-photography posts. That being said, if you are looking for a more photo-based blog, Revelar is still a great theme!