Overview of Our Publishing Tools

If you are familiar with WordPress (WP) and its tool ecosystem, you may want to quickly review the following info, just to see how we use it and also to see some of our naming conventions. If you are new to WP it's worth noting that the publishing skills you will acquire with WP are transferable wherever you choose to work in the future, because about 40% of all the world's websites are built with WP.

In choosing and customizing various tools we are guided by a primary goal: to make it as easy and fun for our contributors as possible. And most of all, to encourage creativity. So, don't be afraid to experiment. Edit, review, publish, delete, copy, rinse and repeat. Very unlikely that you will break anything, and our database is regularly backed up anyways.

Everything you post uses a template. There are usually many templates in a WP ecosystem. You will recognize our templates because their names always begin with "SD-AI", even though we may create them with different tools and store them in different locations.

At the beginning, when the community is small, we will be what is called a participatory democracy: we will make decisions collectively. As more people join us, a participatory democracy may be possible only within smaller groups that we form. There are many flavors of democracy, even within an organization, and the lessons learned when practicing these flavors will be reflected back into our work. See the video at the bottom for an explanation of the various flavors.

At the top of the tool pyramid stand the editors. Three of the major editors we use are described below. Each comes with a set of advantages and disadvantages so it is up to you to use the one that makes most sense for you and the one with which you feel most creative. We try to describe some of these advantages and disadvantages below.

Classic Editor

By Adrian Zidaritz/ October 30, 2022

This older editor is our editor of choice. It is simple and it is compatible with all the plugins we need. WP might look a bit intimidating at first sight and beginners might find it easier to use this editor until they become more familiar with WP publishing. WP says they will support this editor for as long as it is needed.

Remember that you can switch at ease between various editors, so you are not locked into one or the other.

Block Editor

By Adrian Zidaritz/ October 30, 2022

This is the glorious new face of WP editing, and it requires more time to master. But the benefits of doing so are becoming apparent the more time you spend with it.

Everything is based on blocks, which you can think of as you would think of a lego game: you add and arrange the blocks to give you exactly the structure that you desire for the content of your post. There is a large variety of predefined blocks to suit all your needs: blocks for text (paragraphs, headings, lists, quotes, code, etc.), blocks for images, videos, tables, etc.

Elementor Editor

By Adrian Zidaritz/ October 30, 2022

One of the most popular third-party editors. It has a WYSIWYG feel about it and you can see why immediately. Elementor is a drag-and-drop editor giving you more than 40 widgets, 30 templates and responsive editing.

It is being used by around half a million websites. Even though your editing happens on the back end of SD-AI, with Elementor you can see what your work will look like on the front end immediately, without surprises after it is being published and available to the public.

There are other things besides editors that we will need. Luckily, the WP worldwide community is continuously adding functionality to the point that there is nothing that can be done with collaborative publishing that cannot be done with WP. Perhaps even more importantly, for our mission and our need to be uncommonly transparent, open source is crucial and WP is open-source. Secondly, the very large AI models that we will use in our work are being open-sourced one after the other. Open source is not just more naturally aligned with our mission and with our way of building applications, it is higher quality too. It is also a step towards the eventual (dreamy at this point) development of our software applications with more formal methods ("programs as proofs").

A very large set of plugins

By Adrian Zidaritz/ December 4, 2022

We use many plugins: data analytics, language translation, surveys, polls, SEO, social media, backups, speed, security, meetings. In time our community will have enough technical talent to make use of many more such plugins in ways that we cannot envisage at this moment. There is plenty of high quality work already done by others to help us accomplish our mission and have lots of creative fun in the process.

What about PDFs, Word, Excel,...?

By Adrian Zidaritz/ December 4, 2022

We have already installed plugins that allow you to embed PDFs, and Microsoft Word and Excel into your posts. You would still have to edit those files within their original applications, but you will be able to upload the files to Wordpress and have them become part of your posts.

What about artistic work?

By Adrian Zidaritz/ December 4, 2022

We would very much like to see posts containing artistic work. Although we would most likely provide access to large models like DALL-E and ChatGPT, you are probably better off using your posts here to exhibit your work, not to create it. This is very similar with what we said about PDFs, Word and Excel. We have to resist the temptation to do too much in order to keep focussed on our mission.


Flavors of democracy:
participatory, pluralist, and elite.
In our publishing activity, we'll encounter all three, at various times.