Elliot Recently published a post explaining how the majority of items in the WordPress Dashboard didn’t have anything to do with WordPress. Elliot posted the following image in his blog post, which highlights posts that have nothing to do WordPress.


Irrelevant Dashboard Items?

Notice how all of those posts point back to Matt’s personal blog. I’m a fan of Matt’s blog. While I agree that he posts great links and great photos, when it comes down to WordPress, these things are irrelevant. Elliot is right that Matt should take his personal blog from the Planet WordPress Feed, and therefore, the dashboard. There simply is no reason for photos of Paris or any other place (except a wordcamp event) to be published in the dashboard which is supposed to be used to keep tabs on all things WordPress along with related projects. Matt’s dashboard posts are not considered spam by me. They are irrelevant to the project, they are mine.

In WordPress 2.7 there are two ways to obtain news. A WordPress News widget which is tied strictly to the WordPress Development blog and then Other WordPress News which is a condensed version of what you see in Elliot’s image. The fact is that some posts are not being shown in the Other WordPress News widget. As I mentioned above, I’d love to see BuddyPress’s development blog added to my planet feed. Without visiting the site or checking my feed reader, I don’t know what is happening over there.

You might wonder why these sites don’t aggregate WordPress categories on their blogs instead of the whole site. You can see that they have done this by looking at the links to the Planet WordPress website. Matt is one exception. Matt’s blog should be included in the Planet WordPress feed, but only if he posts something to a WordPress category. It makes more sense. He could also use the RSS feed from WordPress Tag if he doesn’t like categories.

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Just to get a feeling on how other people feel about getting news from the WordPress dashboard, I asked those in the forum as well as those who follow the WPTavern account on Twitter if they used or considered the dashboard useful when keeping up to date with the happenings regarding the project. Here’s what I have so far. (Keep in mind, the majority of WPTavern Forum users are advanced WordPress users so this is not an accurate way to assess their effectiveness. The WordPress.org forum is a better way to measure effectiveness. )

From The Forum:

Len – I’ve pretty well stripped everything from my dashboard including feeds. To follow feeds, I use Feed Demon and RSS Bandit feed readers.

Andrew – I just remove them.

hallsofmontezuma – Personally, I love the feeds in the WordPress dashboard. I don’t subscribe to many blog feeds, but I want to keep up with the “WordPress News,” WP core developer blogs and official WordPress blog, weblogtoolscollection, and Lorelle. There are a few others I have in my Google Reader. However, I am constantly logged in to various wp admins so it is a handy place.

Kit – I kept one of the WP feeds but changed one to show a client’s feed since it helps me to get a head’s up on anything that may be coming my way as far as customer service.

andrea_r – I mostly leave them and ignore them. I have both my blogs’ New Post pages bookmarked so that I can go straight there. I do scan the headlines occasionally, and I subscribe to a few blogs, such as WTC. WPMU systems: I replace the feed with the sitewide feed and another area with my main blog feed.

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BlaKKJaKK – I view them daily and more often than not check them out. Matt’s are the only ones I don’t click on because he doesn’t post actual articel but links. I consider them spam.

Stefanvervoort – I usually don’t pay attention, I have my feed readers for feeds.

From Twitter:

Frumph @wptavern irrelevant.

jeremyclarke @wptavern the main feed WordPress Planet is pretty vital, though I read it in RSS.

sparun @wptavern I just need a “Delete all spam” button on the dashboard.

katemag @wptavern the WP dashboard is helpful.

Conclusion:

It’s quirks like these in the WordPress project that make me laugh. It’s possible to have a lengthy discussion about what seems like an issue. The solution is so easy, it’s only a matter of waiting until Matt agrees. If you really feel like this is a problem, send Matt an email as he is the man in charge of the sites aggregated on the Planet.WordPress.org domain.

Now I’m open to discussion. What is the best way to use the WordPress Dashboard to keep up-to-date with developments in WordPress? Is it just a rant about nothing or a valid argument?