The Best of WordPress: September 2016

Hi everyone, it’s been a busy few weeks in the world of WordPress, WordPress.com, and Automattic, so I thought I’d share a roundup with all of you! Here’s a rundown:

Welcome to WordPress

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  • We are proud to host the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s new Biohub, with a bold vision to  invest in science, technology and human ingenuity “to help cure, prevent or manage all diseases by the end of the century.”
  • Harvard Gazette: The university’s news site is now on WordPress.com VIP! Here’s their latest story, on Harvard alum Colson Whitehead’s acclaimed new novel, The Underground Railroad.
  • New York Times Journeys: A new travel vertical from the Times.
  • The San Jose Mercury News: Silicon Valley’s newspaper, now on WordPress.
  • The Brookings Institution: The nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC, with a mission “to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level.”

Fresh New Look

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Our friends at Feminist Frequency got a beautiful new design for their site.

Book Deals, Books Published, and WordPress-ers in the News

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  • Belle Boggs published her much-anticipated book, The Art of Waiting, a memoir and exploration of the natural, medical, psychological, and political facets of fertility.
  • Congrats to Stephanie Land (Stepville), whose viral essay for Vox has led to a book deal with Hachette. “I celebrate today with all of you, my friends, and followers, who have stuck with me through all of these years. Thank you for your support. Thank you for reading. I can’t wait to share my book with you.” We’re excited to read MAID: A single mother’s journey from cleaning house to finding home.

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Notable and Viral: Stories from WordPress Publishers and Bloggers

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New Features for WordPress.com

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This month we introduced new content options, browser notifications, and more coming soon!

How We Work

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“This pioneering tech company figured how to make work-from-home work.” Our parent company Automattic was featured in this new Quartz story by Alice Truong about our distributed work model. How do we get things done with 500 employees in more than 50 countries? (Hint: There’s a lot of blogging and Slack-ing behind the scenes.)

Other News from Around Automattic

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Filed under: Automattic, WordPress, WordPress.com
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Join Automattic’s Worldwide WP 5k 2016

The Worldwide WordPress 5k (#WWWP5k) is back and better than ever!

Any time between Monday, September 19th to Sunday, September 25th, lace up your running/walking/hiking/hopping shoes and join us for the 5k blogged about around the world!

Automatticians are planning to hit the trail on September 19th during our company meetup in Whistler, Canada. This year, we will also be making a donation to Soles4Souls, a charity dedicated to fighting poverty through the collection and distribution of shoes and clothing.

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Automatticians laced up and ready to go! Photo by Naoko Takano.

What is a 5k?

A 5k run/walk is approximately 3.1 miles long. That is roughly equal to:

  • Twelve laps around a track.
  • Approximately 6,000-7,500 steps.
  • Approximately 50-60 minutes of brisk walking.

How do I participate?

You can run, walk, or skip — it’s totally up to you. There’s no time limit and there’s just one requirement: that you participate! You can do it at a gym or outdoors, on a treadmill or on a track, or even swim or bike instead of running/walking — just get moving!

Post about your participation on your site and tag the post “wwwp5k” so that other runners around the world can find you and read about your experience. If you’re not on WordPress.com, link back to this announcement post so others might join in and participate, too.

You’re welcome to blog about your entire route and preparation (a video or gallery, perhaps?), but above all we’d love to see where you are and how you’re completing your 5k.

When can I run?

We’re all busy, but we want you to participate, so we’re giving you lots of flexibility. You can complete the WWWP5k any time between Monday, September 19th and Sunday, September 25th.

Who’s invited?

Anyone who’s ever used or loved WordPress (and your families and friends, too). Heck, the entire internet is invited!

Will you be joining us for the Worldwide WP 5k? Let us know in the comments!

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Field Notes: Junior Innovation Camp

Automatticians, the people who build WordPress.com, participate in events and projects around the world every day. Periodically, they report back on the exciting things they do when not in front of a computer.

Today I’d like to share some experiences we had during the Junior Innovator Camp that was part of the Wonder Women Tech conference earlier this summer. I was joined by my colleagues Marjorie Asturias (who also spoke), Sarah Blackstock, Erica Varlese, and Anne McCarthy.

Wonder Women Tech, where Automattic was a sponsor, is a conference that highlights women in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), and provides a forum for discussing important topics around diversity. The two-day event drew over 150 speakers, all of whom were successful entrepreneurs or business leaders, who shared their triumphs, failings, and learned lessons. The conference offered educational opportunities to a number of area students who were attending on scholarships.

My colleagues and I presented a half-day workshop on “WordPress for the Beginning Entrepreneur” as part of the Junior Innovator Camp aimed at young adults aged 13-17. First up we taught the students how to create websites using WordPress.com, including how to customize the look and feel of a site. After that we walked them through a hands-on branding exercise that explored how to come up with a product or service, how to make your business unique, and what types of people your business would appeal to. We rounded the whole thing out with a crash course in marketing before the students shared their businesses with us.

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Twenty-one students (and their parents) attended this event. Students worked in groups for the workshop, but I was pleased to see the adults following along on their own as well. It’s never a bad day when you can share your knowledge with someone, and this day was no different. Our students were wonderful and enthusiastic. We ended up with a lot of great business ideas and even a few opportunities to talk about future career paths for these young innovators.

I’m grateful to the organizers of Wonder Women Tech who gathered and encouraged such a wonderful group of students. I left feeling reminded of all the ways that technology allows us to be creative, share our unique experiences, and build a future we can all be proud of. Wanting to be part of something big? We’re always hiring!

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Les Parfums Louis Vuitton Ad Campaign Starring Léa Seydoux

For its debut perfume campaign, Louis Vuitton unveils, in a series of photographs by Patrick Demarchelier, the 7 fragrances created by Master Perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud: Rose des Vents, Turbulences, Dans la Peau, Apogée, Contre Moi, Matière Noire and Mille Feux.

From the breezy Rose des Vents to the intoxicating Turbulences, the ecstasy of a first night with Dans la Peau to the mindful immersion in nature with Apogée; from the self-revealing Contre Moi to an exploration of a darker side with Matière Noire and the explosion of the senses with Mille Feux, Louis Vuitton perfumes describe a journey of emotions. A collection of emotions embodied in an advertising campaign by Léa Seydoux.

In order to capture such radiant, contemporary femininity and render it sublime, the Maison Louis Vuitton travelled to South Africa, at Lone Creek Falls – Sabie Town and collaborated with photographer Patrick Demarchelier. Through his portraits, the lensman reveals the actress in an expression of great purity. At a glance, one can almost feel the softness of her skin and the dampness of her hair. Her beauty, as radiant as her emotional power, is of astounding simplicity.

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“Louis Vuitton is about travel, but it’s also about dreams. Its spirit blends adventure, discovery, and emotion. I am very honored to embody this universe.” – Léa Seydoux

Léa Seydoux won the Golden Palm at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival for her role in “Blue is the Warmest Color”. At 31, the young actress now enjoys international acclaim. In 2015, she played the new James Bond girl to Daniel Craig’s Bond in “Spectre”, directed by Sam Mendes. This year, she will appear in the latest film by director Xavier Dolan, “It’s Only the End of the World”.

The first advertising campaign for Louis Vuitton perfumes as embodied by Léa Seydoux will break in the October issue of magazines and on the 15th of September in daily newspapers worldwide.

Photographer: Patrick Demarchelier
Hair: Damien Boissinot
Stylist: Marie-Amélie Sauvé
Makeup: Christelle Cocquet

Images via Louis Vuitton


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Les Parfums Louis Vuitton: Apogée

Some getaways let us reconnect with ourselves. We come up against the immensity of nature, the raw green of a dense forest, the silence of a still lake, the vertigo of a high mountain peak. And in this communion with the planet, normality gives way to what is essential: at every moment, being sensitive to beauty is all it takes to be reborn. Eternally.

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To illustrate this unique sensation, Jacques Cavallier Belletrud chose a symbol of renewal: the lily-of-the-valley. Obsessed with this poetic scent that is revered in the West as well as in Japan, Louis Vuitton’s Master Perfumer has imagined, with Apogée, an elixir of innocence.

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A perfume that awakens the senses. To harmonise with the radiant lily-of-the-valley, he added Grasse jasmine, Chinese magnolia and an unprecedented quantity of May rose from Grasse in a CO2 extraction—a raw material exclusive to the Maison Louis Vuitton. A lace of petals seems to materialise on the skin. Then, behind the transparency and aqueous imprint of the still-green lily-of-the-valley lies a vibrant base that prolongs the floral effects. Subtly smoky guaiac wood and sandalwood essence support the bouquet like slender stems.

Nature is renewed, again and forever.

A timeglass in a bottle

At a time when some still believe that luxury is a function of the weight of glass, the Maison Louis Vuitton frees the perfume bottle from the constraints of the past. Shouldn’t real luxury mean elevating the most everyday gestures?

louis vuitton apogee les parfums

Created by designer Marc Newson, a master of simplicity, the Louis Vuitton perfume bottle embodies absolute purity. Clean lines are devoid of any embellishment. A drop of water, suspended. Black lettering on transparent glass. Even the brand name engraved in the glass remains discreet, revealing itself in relief to the fingertips or through a ray of light.

At the top of this ethereal bottle, a transparent black cap recalls pieces by Emery from the last century. Yet when the cap stamped with the LV initials encircled in brass is removed, an atomizer appears. By seeming to reconnect with an old gesture, the Louis Vuitton brand projects its bottle into the future.

Images via Louis Vuitton


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Les Parfums Louis Vuitton: Olfactory Preludes

In 2016, the Maison Louis Vuitton is preparing to explore new territory: perfume.

While unprecedented and firmly anchored in the House’s history, this olfactory path is not unchartered territory. Quite the contrary: it is informed by the trunk-maker’s legendary fondness for the vanity cases, travel asks and fragrances stamped Louis Vuitton that were created throughout the 20th century.

By way of an olfactory prelude, the Maison Louis Vuitton unveils its creative atelier in the heart of Grasse, in the Provence region of France; the unique background of House Perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud, and the palette of exclusive raw materials he has assembled since his arrival.

It is an invitation to travel, a prologue to an imminent departure.

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Jacques Cavallier Belletrud

The life and travels of a Grasse native – As a schoolboy in Grasse, Jacques Cavallier Belletrud would walk by the imposing portal of an estate called Les Fontaines Parfumées every day. He had no idea what was hidden behind the wrought iron gates that so intrigued him. Little could he have imagined that, in 2016, this very place would become his creative atelier. At that time, fragrance still fanned through every street and alleyway in Grasse. One only had to breathe in to know what the perfume factories were distilling that day. Orange blossom, citronella, lavender, Jacques already knew those ingredients, by heart. At the age of eight, with absolute conviction, he went to his father, a perfumer, and told him he wanted to follow in his footsteps. He learned perfume notes the way other children practiced piano scales. Every evening, his father gave him perfume blotters, dipped in essence and he would have to wait until daybreak to write a detailed description in the notebooks he kept with care.

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When he received good grades in school, his father would allow him to help weigh out formulas in the summer. The day after receiving his high school diploma, Jacques Cavallier Belletrud began working at the perfume company Charabot, where he learned how to distill flowers, discovered the perfume business and got a taste of freedom. At 18, he created his first formula ‒ but his father reminded him that it takes more than mixing a few scents together to become a perfumer. It would take a lot more hard work and humility to be hired at Firmenich, where he would spend twenty-two years. The creator of Jean Paul Gaultier Classique, L’Eau d’Issey and Opium pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent, among others, he was named Maître Parfumeur of Louis Vuitton in 2012.

Images via Louis Vuitton


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Les Parfums Louis Vuitton: Dans La Peau

Does absence embolden desire? Travelling also has that power: to spark amorous embraces. From these torrid evocations, Jacques Cavallier Belletrud has dreamt up an encounter as indelible as an imprint.
An exclusive infusion of natural leather from Louis Vuitton’s workshops makes you want to surrender to a passionate embrace.

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Intertwined with this exquisite leather are accents of almost – candied apricot, a CO2 extraction of jasmine from Grasse— exclusive to the Maison Louis Vuitton – and sambac jasmine from China.

Then appears the absolute of narcissus, a singular flower that evokes both tobacco and the green of freshly-cut stems. The scent is boldly erotic.

A choir of the most sensual musks envelops the skin. Powdery musk. Clean musk. Animal musk. Floral musk. A breathtaking symphony calmed by touches of Chinese magnolia.

Dans la Peau does not feign desire. It lays it bare.

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A timeglass in a bottle

At a time when some still believe that luxury is a function of the weight of glass, the Maison Louis Vuitton frees the perfume bottle from the constraints of the past. Shouldn’t real luxury mean elevating the most everyday gestures?

Created by designer Marc Newson, a master of simplicity, the Louis Vuitton perfume bottle embodies absolute purity. Clean lines are devoid of any embellishment. A drop of water, suspended. Black lettering on transparent glass. Even the brand name engraved in the glass remains discreet, revealing itself in relief to the fingertips or through a ray of light.

At the top of this ethereal bottle, a transparent black cap recalls pieces by Emery from the last century. Yet when the cap stamped with the LV initials encircled in brass is removed, an atomizer appears. By seeming to reconnect with an old gesture, the Louis Vuitton brand projects its bottle into the future.

Images via Louis Vuitton


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Les Parfums Louis Vuitton Pop-Up Stores

Louis Vuitton opens five pop-up stores from September 1st to October 22nd, 2016.

Louis Vuitton teams up with Printemps Haussmann and Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche in Paris, Harrods in London, Shinsegae Gangnam in Seoul and Dubai Mall to open pop-up stores in celebration of the launch of Les Parfums Louis Vuitton.

The House will present its collection of fragrances in ephemeral spaces, inviting guests to discover this new universe describing a journey of the emotions. From the airiness of “Rose des Vents” to the intoxicating “Turbulences”, the ecstasy of a first night with “Dans la Peau” to the mindful immersion in nature with “Apogée”; from the self-revealing “Contre Moi” to an exploration of a darker side with “Matière Noire” and the explosion of the senses with “Mille Feux”…

Les Parfums Louis Vuitton Pop-Up

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The iconic Damier pattern which will adorn the counters, showcases a classical yet very modern interpretation of Louis Vuitton’ signatures. For certain locations such as in Printemps Haussmann, Dubai Mall and Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche, a special wave structure made with the packaging of the collection has been developed to introduce 7 fragrances.

A “Consultation Trunk” crafted in Louis Vuitton’s historical workshop will also be displayed at the Dubai Mall and Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche, inviting visitors to discover the raw materials used by Jacques Cavallier Belletrud Louis Vuitton Master Perfumer to create the fragrances.

Such as the new leather infusion and CO2 extracts of rose and jasmine from Grasse, exclusive notes to Louis Vuitton. Fragrances are deeply rooted in the House’s heritage. Louis Vuitton returns to its roots 70 years after its last olfactory signatures, such as “Je, tu, il“ and “Heures d’Absence“, created in the late 20s. The fragrance savoir-faire has been revived with the help of Master Perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud to reinvent a true craft and cultivate it over a long period of time.

Harrods pop-up store will be located at its Perfumery Hall while a whole wall will be dedicated to the fragrances at Shinsegae Gangnam.

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Les Parfums Louis Vuitton will also be available starting September 1st, 2016 in a selection of Louis Vuitton stores.

PRINTEMPS HAUSSMANN – From August 27th to October 22nd, 2016
64, boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris
Open hours: From Monday to Saturday from 9:35am to 8pm.
Open until 8:45pm on Thursday

LE BON MARCHE RIVE GAUCHE – From September 1st to October 1st, 2016
24, rue de Sèvres, 75007 Paris
Open hours: From Monday to Saturday from 10am to 8pm.
Open until 8:45pm on Thursday and Friday

DUBAI MALL – From September 1st to September 18th, 2016
Grand Atrium, the Dubai Mall
Open hours: every day from 10am to 11pm.
Open until 12am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

HARRODS – From September 1st to October 22nd, 2016
87-135 Brompton Rd, London SW1X 7XL
Open hours: From Monday to Saturday from 10am to 9pm and
on Sunday from 11:30am to 6pm

SHINSEGAE GANGNAM – From September 19th to October 10th, 2016
176, Sinbanpo-ro, Seocho-gu, Seoul
Open hours: From Monday to Thursday to 10:30am to 8pm.
Open until 8:30pm from Friday to Sunday.

Images via Louis Vuitton


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Les Parfums Louis Vuitton: Turbulences

Discovering faraway lands can sometimes feel like an upheaval. A leap into the void, like the feeling one has in an aeroplane soaring above the clouds. There is a fleeting fear that makes the heart beat faster, subside and then surge anew.

Inspired by a state that’s akin to love at first sight, Jacques Cavallier Belletrud pays tribute to the most narcotic of flowers. A flower that invites ecstasy yet doesn’t oppress and proves just as addictive as extreme emotion: the tuberose.

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Turbulences captures tuberose at dusk, combining it seductively with but never overdosing on exotic fruits. The idea came to Jacques one August evening in Grasse as he was walking to the gate of his garden with his father, also a perfumer. The two men stopped, suddenly struck by the fragrant fusion of white petals.

It was impossible to disentangle the scent of tuberose from that of the jasmine bushes in the garden. Deeply moved by this gift from nature, Louis Vuitton’s Master Perfumer spent several months selecting the right palette to reconstitute that memory.

There was tuberose, of course, and also jasmine grandiflorum from Grasse, absolute of jasmine sambac—which the Chinese grow to flavor their rarest teas—and Chinese magnolia, May rose and a light touch of leather, for its animalistic character.

Spray it on the skin and swoon. Intensely. Deliciously.

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A timeglass in a bottle

At a time when some still believe that luxury is a function of the weight of glass, the Maison Louis Vuitton frees the perfume bottle from the constraints of the past. Shouldn’t real luxury mean elevating the most everyday gestures?

Created by designer Marc Newson, a master of simplicity, the Louis Vuitton perfume bottle embodies absolute purity. Clean lines are devoid of any embellishment. A drop of water, suspended. Black lettering on transparent glass. Even the brand name engraved in the glass remains discreet, revealing itself in relief to the fingertips or through a ray of light.

At the top of this ethereal bottle, a transparent black cap recalls pieces by Emery from the last century. Yet when the cap stamped with the LV initials encircled in brass is removed, an atomizer appears. By seeming to reconnect with an old gesture, the Louis Vuitton brand projects its bottle into the future.

louis-vuitton-turbulences

Meanwhile, the white and gold paper packaging replicates the legendary cylindrical silhouette of Je, tu, il, a Louis Vuitton fragrance launched in 1928 and no longer in existence.

Each of the seven Louis Vuitton perfumes is available in 200ml (US$350), 100ml (US$240), and a travel bottle with four 7.5ml cartridges (US$240). Designed with magnetic closures, these novel refills clip instinctively onto the atomizer. In just a moment, the travel bottle is primed and ready for a new adventure.

Images via Louis Vuitton


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Les Parfums Louis Vuitton: Rose Des Vents

A navigator’s indispensable tool for orientation, the compass entices free spirits to travel. A breeze evoking the caress of silken fabric concentrates the four cardinal points of harmony.

Inspired by a desire to compose a fragrance that is as airy as it is silky soft, Jacques Cavallier Belletrud transports us to Grasse, to the middle of a field of centifolia roses. But there is nothing nostalgic or syrupy about this May rose. Buffeted by the wind, it is vibrant. Listen carefully and you could almost hear it breathe.

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To create the impression of petals floating in the wind, the Master Perfumer used an exceptional trio of roses. Centifolia absolute, in a carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction, is a refined raw material exclusive to the Maison Louis Vuitton.

Turkish rose essence and Bulgarian rose essence are both steam distilled. While it may seem that the iconic flower has already disclosed all its secrets, here the rose reveals unexpected character. Sleek and stately thanks to Florentine iris and Virginia cedar, it takes on spicy, glazed accents when it comes into contact with pepper.

Gradually, a surprising sensation emerges. The composition becomes tactile. It is as delicate as the skin of a velvety fruit. As golden as the first light of day. A perfect companion for any adventure.

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A timeglass in a bottle

At a time when some still believe that luxury is a function of the weight of glass, the Maison Louis Vuitton frees the perfume bottle from the constraints of the past. Shouldn’t real luxury mean elevating the most everyday gestures?

Created by designer Marc Newson, a master of simplicity, the Louis Vuitton perfume bottle embodies absolute purity. Clean lines are devoid of any embellishment. A drop of water, suspended. Black lettering on transparent glass. Even the brand name engraved in the glass remains discreet, revealing itself in relief to the fingertips or through a ray of light.

At the top of this ethereal bottle, a transparent black cap recalls pieces by Emery from the last century. Yet when the cap stamped with the LV initials encircled in brass is removed, an atomizer appears. By seeming to reconnect with an old gesture, the Louis Vuitton brand projects its bottle into the future.

HD CADREES.indd

Meanwhile, the white and gold paper packaging replicates the legendary cylindrical silhouette of Je, tu, il, a Louis Vuitton fragrance launched in 1928 and no longer in existence.

Each of the seven Louis Vuitton perfumes is available in 200ml (US$350), 100ml (US$240), and a travel bottle with four 7.5ml cartridges (US$240). Designed with magnetic closures, these novel refills clip instinctively onto the atomizer. In just a moment, the travel bottle is primed and ready for a new adventure.

Images via Louis Vuitton


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