There are, of course, two completely different but remarkably similar things called WordPress.
The older of the two is the thing you’re looking at here – a web application that you download, install and configure on a web server, and have all the fun of managing it, updating it and generally doing what you like with. It costs nothing other than whatever you pay for your web hosting, and you can get it from wordpress.org.
The younger version is a hosted service. You don’t get as much control, but on the other hand all the updating and managing is done for you. And it’s available for no money whatsoever, which makes it cheaper than the other free version, and you can sign up at wordpress.com.
While I prefer to manage my own site, like a lot of what are known as self-hosted WordPress users, I’ve had the occasional twinge of jealousy. You see, they like to add new features to the wordpress.com service, some of which eventually find their way into the downloadable version, and some which up till now, haven’t.
But today there’s something shiny and new and rather nice. It’s a new plugin for WordPress (the downloadable version) called Jetpack. This is, in essence, a shell for features that you can enable on your hosted site. You need to link your WordPress blog to a wordpress.com account (and if you use Akismet to fight off spam, or the wordpress.com stats plugin, you’ll already have one of these), then you can start playing.
I installed it, linked it, and it replaced the stats plugin with a shiny new version that doesn’t use Flash, which means you can now look at your stats on an iPad, should you be so inclined.
It also let me add the “Sharing” buttons and links you will see at the end of the post. These replace the “Tweet” button I was previously using.
There are more functions in this initial release, but I haven’t played with those yet, so I’ll leave you to investigate the Jetpack site. The plan is to add more features, which will automatically be added to Jetpack as they’re released. Note that some future features may be ones you have to pay to use – no details on that yet.
 One of the similarities is that both insist on the CamelCaps forMatting of the name
 Did you see what I did there?
 Though this process has evolved from something slightly fiddly to something akin to falling off a log
 Except for the people whose webservers aren’t configured in a suitable manner
 I have checked, and apparently it’s not meant to be JetPack, which is slightly disappointing