WordPress Bible: 2E Released (and a contest)

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A few months ago, I let you know that WordPress Bible: Second Edition was available for pre-order. That has changed. It is now out and available to be ordered. Amazon, as usual, is the best way to order it.

This edition of my book has 60 new pages in it and covers up to WordPress 3.1. So all that stuff about post formats, custom post types, custom taxonomies, the merge of WordPress MU into WordPress as Multisite, the terminology changes… all of it…. covered in this book.

I didn’t get everything right in the first edition. There were glaring omissions, politically incorrect moves (such as coverage of non-GPL products), and blatant mistakes. These have all been corrected in the second edition.

I’d love it if you supported the book and me. Please leave a review on Amazon as that helps drive more sales as well as proves the market for the book.

But here’s the question… how can the WordPress Bible, and the whole Bible series, be better? If you own more than one, what do you feel the strengths and weaknesses of the books are. Where can I (and Wiley) improve. This feedback is super-important. Feel free to email me on that if you don’t wish to publish publicly in comments.

Finally… if you take a picture of you with your first edition book, post it to Twitter to my attention, you have the chance to win a free signed copy of the second edition. I have my criteria for selecting a winner, but that will remain unshared for the time. So get to snapping and tweeting. :)

Venture Capital Irony, Bubbles and Booms

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Photo by epsos

Late in 2008, after the rest of the economy crashed and burned due to the housing crisis, the tech sector seemed to be fairly resilient. Maybe it’s the nature of the industry… less money at stake, generally, in tech VC deals than other industries. For instance, Biotech.

That all went out the window when Valley-based VC behemoth, Sequoia Capital, gathered a now-infamous meeting of all its portfolio companies and gave them what can only be described as a “the sky is falling” lecture.

In that lecture (that presentation is shown below), they advised their companies to buckle their seatbelts, lay off employees, and get rid of non-essential expenditures. They said it would be a dangerous ride ahead and that only the companies that had enough forward-thinking prowess to survive, would do so.

The presentation opened with an ominous title slide with the words: “RIP Good Times”. The presentation instructed CEOs to look for M&A deals as quickly as possible, raise new cash now (i.e. late 2008) if they were looking to raise a new round, and have at least a year of cash in the bank.

Pretty ballsy move that, frankly, spelled the beginning of the tech sector decline. If Sequoia was instructing their companies in this way, then something must be severe, thought many other VCs who followed suit with their respective companies.

In some ways, Sequoia was correct. It would be a long road to recovery. In other sectors of the economy, the recovery is ongoing or is just beginning.

The tech sector is not that way, however. In the past year, we’ve seen huge investments in 2010. Twitter raised $200M+ on a $3.7B valuation. Zynga, the social gaming company, raised $147M on an estimated $5B valuation. Tumblr raised $30M.

The bubble has been gaining full steam. And then there was yesterday.

Yesterday, you might ask? Yes… yesterday. Yesterday it was announced that Sequoia Capital led a $41M Series A round (Yes, you heard that right… Series A!) for new mobile social photo sharing company, Color.

I’ll let you read about what Color is because, though it’s a bright, shiny object that is interesting in some ways, it’s not, to me, a $41M play.

Sequoia seems to be taking the approach that many smart VCs these days, including Mark Suster from GRP Partners, said last week when describing investment strategy relating to teams and not products.

Whatever you’re working on now, the half-life of innovation is so rapid now that your product will soon be out-of-date. Your existence is irrelevant unless you continue rapid innovation. Your ability to keep up is dependent on having a great team of differing skills. Individuals don’t build great companies, teams do.

And while I fully agree with Mark, I do have to question Sequoia making a $41M play less than three years after they virtually single-handedly drove the nail into the coffin of the tech sector. To me, it seems Sequoia made an opportunistic opportunity to drive the market rates down on valuations, to eventually make a big play like this at lower valuations (Disclaimer: I don’t actually know the terms of the Color deal). With a lower valuation, they can throw more cash and own the lion share of the available stock ownership. You know… waiting for a slam dunk, as it were. Mission Accomplished!

However, it’s notable that the Color team is truly a notable team. The former Chief Scientist at LinkedIn. The guy who sold Lala to Apple in 2009. Five other notable experienced entrepreneurs and successful startup people.

I’m sure Sequoia knows what it’s doing. It’s certainly interesting to watch investors defend them. There’s just very practical questions about how the company that started the tech recession could come out guns blazing on this one.

Pre-order WordPress Bible: 2nd Edition

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The time has come when Amazon has updated their listings to include the WordPress Bible: 2nd Edition, available April 12, 2011.

This edition has been updated for WordPress 3.1 and includes detailed information on WordPress, WordPress Multisite, Post Formats, Post Types, Advanced queries, new APIs and more. The 1st edition, which you can buy today, has already sold thousands of copies. It only covered up to WordPress 2.9. So much has happened since then.

Some reviews from 1st Edition:

I have been developing websites on the WordPress platform for a few years. Most of what I have learned has been learned by experimentation, lurking in forums and reading the WordPress Codex. I’ve been hoping that some day, a book that would delve into the inner-workings of WordPress would appear. The WordPress Bible is that book and it does not disappoint. ~M. Erb, Syracuse, NY

This is the perfect companion to your keyboard and mouse as you dive into WordPress to not only write blog posts, but create plugins, create themes, work with functions, create widgets and more. This is very easy to read, it’s updated up to 2.9 version and nothing will be different when 3.0 comes out as it does cover other things like WordPress MU and buddypress. I love this book and was looking forward to it so bad, I drove across the state to pick up the only copy left in NJ. ~Manny Gongora, Melbourne Beach, FL

Overall, the second edition has been much improved from the first, both in content and, I hope, approach. Go pre-order now and lock in your price-point!