Hi, I’m Ben.

Hi everyone. I’m Ben Balter. This summer I’m hoping to inject document revision support into WordPress to facilitate the use of WordPress as an internal collaboration tool, not only for content publication, but for all sorts of content collaboration — text documents, spreadsheets, images, PDFs, sheet music — whatever you can throw at it. With some luck, this push can help make WordPress a bit more friendly for enterprise and government environments.

About Me
I’m a J.D./M.B.A. candidate at the George Washington University, a new media fanatic passionate about the power of digital communications, and an information junkie who loves learning new things. Concurrent with my studies, I have been a New Media Fellow, in the Federal Communications Commission’s Office of the Managing Director, where I help to oversee the relaunch of the agency’s multi-platform web presence, and am in the process of submitting a note to the Public Contract Law Journal, arguing that federal IT procurement practices should be made more amenable to more modern, agile software development methods.

Why WordPress
When not working or in class, I enjoy tackling otherwise-impossible challenges to sharing information using nothing more than WordPress, duct tape, and occasionally a pack of bubblegum. I’d argue that my biggest claim to fame, at least in terms of all things WordPress, is teaching core commiter Andrew Nacin everything he knows about WordPress (at least until he started teaching me). An aspiring attorney, a coder, and an all around geek, I look forward to bringing my life-long passion for technology’s ability to shape how we interact with one another to the WordPress–Google Summer of Code world.

Why Document Revisioning
Sexy topic, I know, right? Here’s the deal: as a member of DC’s government new media community, it is clear to me that WordPress and government just makes sense. At the same time, what is unclear to me is why WordPress has yet to take foothold in our nation’s capital.1 Government was once at the forefront of cutting-edge information technology. The first computers to see application beyond a university lab were employed by forward-thinking government agencies. Yet somewhere in the past half century government IT has fallen far behind not only the private sector from which it often seeks innovation, but the open source community as well.

Providing WordPress with document management and version control functionality, combined with its already stellar usability can uniquely position the CMS as an integral part of any agency or firm’s workflow and thus the clear choice for any government and enterprise deployment.

Want to learn more about my project? Check out my application, or read my post “When All You Have is a Pair of Bolt Cutters…

I sincerely hope that this can serve as the start of a summer-long dialog. I’d love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to leave a comment below, heckle me on Twitter, or contact me directly.

Notes

  1. These are my personal views and not the views of any employer or any corporate-types that may or may not have left a briefcase of money next to me at a coffee shop last week. Honest.