24 Comments

  1. timstrifler

    ummmm I think you forgot one Jeff. — WPTavern!

    Report

    • Jeff Chandler

      WP Tavern was not acquired by Automattic and the site is not owned by Automattic. It was acquired by Matt Mullenweg and is part of Audrey Capital. https://wptavern.com/secrets-revealed-wltc-and-wptavern

      Report

      • Akpan Promise

        This answers my question, as to why WP Tavern’s posts appear on my Dashboard regularly.
        Driving traffic to a Blog from the Dashboard of over 10Million websites, smart thinking Matt.

        Report

      • Peter Knight (@peterrknight)

        WP Tavern is there because it has been providing top coverage for years, way before the acquisition. And it was listed on the dashboard before the acquisition too (correct me if I’m wrong). WP Tavern owes Jeff for sticking to it for so long, growing a valuable community resource and being in the position to get backing from Matt in the first place.

        It’s hard to fund a site like this with other kinds of sources (ads etc), but it raises the quality of the community which is why it got backing. Ever since the acquisition WP Tavern has gotten better to boot. I can’t think of a site that is more deserving of its place in the dashboard news widget.

        Report

      • Rick

        Sorta kinda,

        Last night we had seven (eight counting myself) WordPress folks at our local “Have some beer (call it suds night) get together”. All forms of tech folks, java, database folks, .NET people etc. Eventually it always splinters off into clicks. I tend wander around as I am not a one technology kinda developer. I learned last week for example a ton of fantabulous resources for creating high performance database architectures.

        Last night I mentioned to the seven other WP people there if they saw the info about the aquisition of Woo on the WPT. Two said, “no”. One said what is the WPT and the others all wont even come here. I asked why and was told they feel they have no place here basically. I dug a bit deeper as I dont want piss anyone off, but they basically said that free flow of dialog doesnt happen. I responded to that and said, “Well, its understandable as the site is one of the main outlets of WP information”. The response was generally, “Thats right. They own it so its just a metered blog of promotion.”

        I disagreed. Then one of the people (works for a design firm) asked me if I was aware of stack exchange. Of course. He said more useful information passes through there in a few hours than this place in a week. I told him, yes, development wise certainly.

        So I told them, “look… It was suggested to me by WPT that I actually set up a Blog site as my dialog doesnt often fit WPT, do any of you care author content?”. Three no’s, 1 Yes, 1 maybe and two (the design firm guys) “We have to ask if we can”.

        Go figure. Anyone see paradoxical anything in that? LOL

        Report

      • timstrifler

        Okay I’m sorry. WP Tavern was not bought by Automattic, but instead by Automattic’s Founder, CEO, and President. :)

        Report

  2. Ishan Verma

    Is jetpack also acquired by Automattic or its thier product?

    Report

  3. Ryan Hellyer

    Out of that bunch, Gravatar is my favourite. It has an excellent name and I couldn’t imagine an internet without it now.

    The service was kinda crap originally. It was terribly slow and wasn’t scaling well. As soon as Automattic acquired it, the performance shot through the roof and it’s been running beautifully ever since.

    Report

  4. Siobhan

    Arguably Blogs of the Day is the first acquisition made by Automattic. It was developed by Andy Skelton who went on to be employee number 2 at Automattic. When he joined the company BotD was used on the front page of WordPress.com, and he used the knowledge from the plugin to developer WordPress.com stats.

    Report

  5. Jeffrey

    Thank you for the history lesson, very interesting.

    Report

  6. Gabriel A. Mays

    Interesting, definitely some great products. I’d like to know whether they lived up to the expectations that led to the acquisitions.

    From the outside it looks like a lack of focus, but it’s hard to tell. For example, with these acquisitions and Jetpack are they chasing the puck or skating to where it’ll be? They’re obviously taking a long view, which is smart, but the danger is that it takes a while to know whether you’re right.

    But it’s hard to innovate without focus. For example, Amazon takes a long view and is now broad, but they’re the best at ecommerce. I’d ask, “What is Automattic the best at? Or what are they trying to be best at?”

    But Jetpack is a smart bet. If WordPress becomes the “OS” of the web, then Jetpack could be its killer app. But to do that it can’t just consist of mediocre features, it’d have to be the best at something. At that point it becomes a gateway drug to a new ecosystem. In this case it makes sense that a lot of their acquisitions improve Jetpack.

    As a foothold into .org, Jetpack is also an insurance policy in case WordPress.com fades away. But at that point I think there’ll be a one-click Heroku-type platform that makes WordPress.org as easy as WordPress.com, but without the limitations–that’s likely the next big opportunity.

    And how cool would that be to build? It’s better to risk boldness than triviality, so we’d have to set it apart. For example, imagine free SSL on all sites, free use of custom domains, selling domain names at cost, unlimited disk space/bandwidth, and monetizing in novel ways that actually add value and don’t feel like costs. And why not? Why do current website platforms have the same old business models? The web has changed, there are new opportunities for monetization. Why not be the Tesla of the website industry?

    Anyway, it’s easy to call it a lack of focus, but it’s way too early to call it. Though I hope we start to something formulate in the next few years because in this business irrelevance is often worse than outright failure.

    Report

  7. Ahsan Parwez

    I think Automattic should not acquire companies and project that they can not keep operational. It is sad to see Plinky, Blo.gs and IntenseDebate no longer at their former glory

    Report

    • Laura

      It’s too much to expect every service acquired will pay off and flourish. But, it is sad to see them left to link rot hell. I’ve been staff at sites which were sold with all kinds of promises and then the next day…. nothing and nothing ever again. Not even an explanation or reason.

      I don’t know why they bought Blo.gs and left it to finish dying after Yahoo had already ignored it. But, it’s hardly something new. Take a look at Technorati, 9 Rules, and so many others which were big and bought and left to decay. Webrings, which was a way of linking sites before social media, died when Yahoo bought it. Some how that even killed off the offshoots like alt.webring and ringlink, etc.

      There are so many services which Automattic could choose from it must be difficult to pick which is a winning horse versus one which will not get past the gate. But, it would be nice if they found some way to re-use them, or at least put them out of their misery rather than stagnating online.

      Report

  8. Laura

    I don’t mind the end of Intense Debate I just wish Disqus would go away too. Those third party comment services are just the same as having to register to leave a comment. I would rather look for a Twitter link and comment off the site than deal with the mess of Disqus logins.

    I do miss Plinky. It was something a bit fun and simple when you needed a break or something fresh to keep your mind working. Doesn’t WP.com have a blogging prompt though? I thought you would have mentioned that but maybe you don’t know about it. I only remember it once in awhile but they do have some decent stuff, not so different from Plinky.

    Report

    • Alec Kinnear

      Hi Laura,

      You do realise you are using WP.com comments here, which equally pernicious as Disqus. Equally I’m not crying over the convalescence of Intense Debate (although it’s a pity when large companies buy technology to shutter it, whether Apple (Shake), Google (Nik Plugins, on life support), Adobe (RawShooter), Yahoo (Delicious) or Automattic.

      I don’t see any reason why blog owners should have to use a third party service to have decent comment functionality. Improve core comments guys!

      I’ve offered Thoughtful Comments (front end comment moderation and comment caching with years of development and testing behind it on some of the internet’s busiest political sites) to core as free technology. There seems to be little interest in improving core comments unfortunately.

      Report

  9. Adam

    LDS was a great acquisition and I’m sure has lead to lots of great named WP sites being launched. Matt Mazur also was good acqui-hire. :)

    Report

  10. Ozh

    This kind of post is why WPTavern is the best WP news site since WP news sites exist. Thanks for the memories :)

    Report

  11. David Esrati

    Are you going to keep updating this post with acquisitions- it’s very useful.
    WooMattic as the Ma.tt calls it sounds like the biggest one to date

    Report

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: