WordPress usually needs plugins for things, but it’s a pain keeping them updated, unless you want to use the built in auto-updating (which I don’t use for various reasons)
That was until I discovered this method of using svn:externals to update them.[kovshenin.com]
cd public_html/wp-content/ svn propedit svn:externals plugins <edit as required> svn update
By adding third party plugins to the plugins directory svn:externals list, they all get updated at the same time as I update the wordpress install, which I already use subversion for anyway. The akismet plugin already gets updated by this method. It also allows changes to the version of the akismet plugin, which is good if it gets updated between major WordPress releases.