Matt Cutts Switches From Thesis To Genesis

Genesis Framework LogoMatt Cutts, the public figure for the Google Webspam team has switched his site from using the Thesis theme to Genesis. Matt has used Thesis on his blog since April 26, 2009. I tried to figure out a way to get in touch with Matt to find out why he made the switch but from the looks of things, there is no way to get in direct contact with him.

If we rewind the clocks back to July of 2010, a portion of the WordPress community was in the midst of one of the largest GPL debates in the history of WordPress between Matt Mullenweg and Chris Pearson. On July 20th, 2010 Matt Cutts appeared on the WordPress Podcast where he first mentioned the possibility of switching from Thesis to the default theme in WordPress but the switch was more a case of WordPress improving to the point of not needing Thesis versus whether it was violating the GPL or not.

For those that don’t think it’s news to see people like Matt Cutts switch to a different theme, consider the following text which shows up time and time again when searching Google for Thesis:

Thesis is such a popular theme that even Matt Cutts from Google uses it. You couldn’t ask for a better endorsement!

Well, that endorsement is now gone. Considering Matt was going to switch themes in 2010 because of the increase in features in WordPress and not because it had anything to do with the GPL leads me to believe that this most recent move didn’t have much to do with the license either. In fact, all of the SEO work that’s gone into the Genesis Theme Framework recently has probably perked Matt’s interest. This is speculative of course.

*June 27th Update*

This also corresponds with the news I received that the theme team was not paid to create the theme.

Hat tip to Ben Cook who got Matt Cutts to respond to him on Twitter.


56 responses to “Matt Cutts Switches From Thesis To Genesis”

  1. Pearson was an early pioneer in WordPress themes, made a hell of lot of money then got greedy and lazy.

    Once the cash poured-in, he abandoned Thesis and kept promising updates, new features etc. which came about 3 years later.

    At that point, the theme world had moved FAR beyond him with Genesis, Headway, Builder and Weaver themes far outpacing Thesis in both functionality and support.

    I’m not surprised Matt Cutts switched themes, he finally learned what the rest of knew all along…that the Thesis theme is a broken-down antiquated Studebaker in a world of shiny Ferraris.

  2. Though I loved Thesis 1.8, I was left behind when 2.0 launched. I had no idea how to use it, and rather than invest in the learning curve, I just learned to do my own html and css. I haven’t looked back …

  3. think Matt was one of the last strongholds… thesis is still fairly strong in the seo community but a lot of ppl switched. Brian makes a good thing and has tucked under the Automattic wing and it’s done good for them. Grats to Brian and StudioPress and the team there for some good promo

  4. @Robbie – It’s not clear why Matt switched themes. Any discussion surrounding that is speculation.

    @Chuck Reynolds – There is a rumor going around that the theme team helped Matt Cutts transition from Thesis to Genesis, so it might not have been all about the promotional efforts of StudioPress. Granted, Matt M. loves to see people switch from restrictively licensed themes to ones with open licenses and he’s shown in the past that he’s willing to help out whomever needs it to switch over.

    @Syed Balkhi – If anything, he went under Matt’s wing or at least followed his advice. Brian and company specifically met Matt in San Francisco to get a better understanding of the licensing issues and since then, he has done very well.

  5. This is great! So many larger sites are moving over to Genesis. Just truly shows the quality the guys at StudioPress put into their framework. Amazing.

    Many are taking advantage of the advanced markup Genesis provides with 2.0 already – by running 2.0beta. I’ve have very minor issues with it, wonder why he didn’t go html5 with the structured data markup?

    Perhaps that’s done and awaiting the official Genesis 2.0 release. But his css reflects no Genesis 2.0 changes as of now.

  6. Robbie – he abandoned Thesis and kept promising updates, new features etc. which came about 3 years later.

    Yep and that gave Genesis a big boost because it kept getting better and better quickly. Add plugins like Simple Hooks to Genesis and you can do just about anything theme wise quickly without editing theme files.

    Genesis is a great framework with no bloat. Been using it since it came out.

  7. Just wanted to chime in here and thank those who’ve commented and said positive things about Genesis. Really appreciate it.

    Also, I wanted to confirm that our team had nothing to do with moving Matt over to Genesis. As Bill pointed out, the Automattic theme team did the great work.

  8. I find this announcement kind of ironic, being that I got an email from the Thesis team, about their “new” version, which I guess is in beta.

  9. I recently used Genesis for the first time on a client’s new site, and I immediately fell in love with it. The only part I’m struggling with seems to be the way the child theme included in the package I got from Studio Press makes it more difficult to perform any customization that isn’t available from the WP backend. The framework itself, however, absolutely rocks! Matt’s switch certainly won’t hurt Brian’s bottom line any, but I suspect that the devs using the framework are his strongest and most vocal advocates.

  10. Well, he should have done that an year before. Genesis + = SEO Awesomeness! Even Matt Cutts couldn’t resist the temptation. Like some one tweeted earlier “Thesis was revolution and Genesis is Evolution”.

  11. ‘all of the SEO work that’s gone into the Genesis Theme Framework recently’

    I think a lot of people liked Thesis in the beginning because of SEO but now have developed interest in whats been added to Genesis 2.0 like support for HTML 5 and schema microdata.

    Sugar Rae and Yoast have also made the move and both written posts about why they did.

  12. I have personally used Genesis (and Thesis as well as Builder) and frankly prefer the Headway Theme framework over all of them. Its drag and drop interface and visual editor make it far superior to all of these themes. I personally think that if people tried headway over these other themes, they would prefer it as well. (I’m not trying to start an argument, I just have tried all of them so this opinion is based upon my experience) plus it is not a “theme” that “does” seo. Albeit Genesis as well as Headway are SEO optimized out of the box but I would say that most people prefer and should use an SEO plugin such as Yoasts SEO plugin (which I prefer) or All in One SEO.

  13. @Brad Dalton – When I was researching which framework to use, if any, it was Joost’s article that swayed me to Genesis. Joost also gives a quick tutorial on changing schema type. Which I haven’t attempted just yet, though schema markup is a fanatic feature. In short – if it’s good enough for Joost! Well…

  14. Well folks, I heard that there is a new version of Thesis theme coimg soon. Looking forward to it but I think that when Matt switched themes, I will do the same, maybe Genesis is better answer for my SEO and Design needs.

  15. We have been a supporter of Thesis but really after 2.0 there is no reason to. Genesis is superior and what we are moving to. Thesis Developers get a note that Thesis 2.1 is available for testing. But to be honest, I am not too excited. I might take a look but most of our sites are moving to Genesis or other frameworks.

  16. I tried to figure out a way to get in touch with Matt to find out why he made the switch but from the looks of things, there is no way to get in direct contact with him.

    I may be misunderstanding, but just in case, Matt is quite active on twitter.

  17. This proves that Genesis frameworks future is bright, Genesis 2.0 supporting HTML 5 support and markups. Which is really awesome. Genesis really rocks. Love you Genesis team.

  18. @Travis – So, there is more to this story than meets the eye. I ended up receiving an email with a tip that Matt Cutts moved away from Thesis and launched a new site on Genesis. That part was true. The part I wanted on the record was whether or not the Automattic theme team played a role in helping him switch. So I sent an email asking for a statement to the email address I thought I had on record as being the Theme Teams. After 24 hours of no response, I published the post. Turns out, after 48 hours I received an email reply back from the initial address telling me that I had the wrong address. This is why I never got a response back from the theme team within 24 hours.

    But it’s clear now from the source code that the theme team helped Matt switch. I wanted to reach out to Matt Cutts to figure out why he switched and I couldn’t find a contact form or any other means of private communication. I didn’t ask him over Twitter because as I was conducting the story, I knew I had a story that not very many people knew about and I didn’t want to ruin that element of surprise or the element of being first. I suppose it was all for not when looking back at it. I learned another lesson through this post. Double check that I send emails to the right address lol.

  19. I’m surprised Chris Pearson hasn’t chimed in. Maybe he knows something? I wonder if Matt Cutts ever contacted him to let him know he was switching? I’m sure he knew this would have a ripple effect and make waves.

    As one of the most influential people on the Internet, people watch what Matt Cutts does. I wouldn’t be surprised if Genesis got an extra 10 to 20 percent bump in sales because of it!

  20. I’m left wondering who paid for the conversion.

    According to Matt’s Disclosure page,he doesn’t “accept any money or other gifts of value from any companies or individuals.”

    So, if Automattic did the conversion (or even helped with it), I’m assuming they were paid for their work.

  21. @Jim

    So, if Automattic did the conversion (or even helped with it), I’m assuming they were paid for their work.

    Because the conversion would be a gift of value to Cutts? My call will be No: The conversion is of value, but it’s not a “gift”. This is a legally defined concept that comes up in court routinely.

    How about this article itself, on WPTavern, about Mr. Cutts and his website? There is a direct link to Cutts’ site, prominently positioned in the first sentence. The publicity is obviously of value, and links are the virtual coin of the realm, on the Internet. These are things of value, absolutely, but are they, or does that mean we must interpret them as gifts?

    Somehow, under a Democrat President, in the heat of his reelection campaign, the Internal Revenue Service saw fit to herd all the Conservative non-profit applications they could identify into a basement interrogation-room, lose the key to it, and forget about them.

    This affair is commonly called a ‘gift’ to the GOP, expected to be of great value in the upcoming couple election cycles. Basically priceless, huh?

    But no … savvy Liberals won’t be able to tie up the GOP on campaign finance violations, because although this IRS boner is of potentially historic value … it isn’t a gift.

    Just because something is of value, like say Pres. Obama’s ‘I need you’ video that he sent to the recent Netroots Nation conference, isn’t what determines that it’s a gift.

  22. @Ted,

    Your reasoning is flawed and your comparison to the IRS scandal is unfathomable.

    The fact is that, IF Automattic did the conversion for Matt and didn’t charge him, he received a gift of value from Automattic. That value can be determined easily enough by the determining the amount of time Automattic employees devoted to the project and multiplying it by their hourly compensation (or more realistically the rate at which Automattic bills its clients).

    If Matt or someone at Google handled the conversion or whoever did the conversion was compensated, it’s a non-issue. But I think it’s reasonable to ask the question.

  23. Yeah, I don’t think this is a conspiracy or politically related. He simply switched to a better framework with better support, that is well maintained, more secure, seo friendly, and has a ever-growing following.

  24. Wow what a can of worms this has opened up! The point everyone seems to be missing is if Matt Cutts was happy with his current theme, then why switch? His site looks basically the same as before. The only difference is under the hood. That should be a BIG wake-up call to all Thesis owners. He didn’t switch themes for cosmetic reasons.

  25. What a changeover we are seeing in WordPress Premium Theme industry…Move by industry experts like Matt Cutts and Yoast tells us how strong Genesis influenced SEO in recent times.

    Well,Genesis 2 is going to rock even more with HTML 5 Markup and also giving users time to migrate by adding backward compatibility…..I dont see any future for Thesis users…Go home Pearson you are drunk :)

  26. I’ve refrained from commenting on this post.p for several reasons.

    It’s fairly clear that Automattic had a hand in Matt Cutts site switching from Thesis to Genesis. Being that Matt Cutts is an influential individual and he was running his blog on Thesis which is a theme that Automattic’s founder is no fan of due to well documented bad blood between himself and Chris Pearson it wouldn’t be surprising if he was persuaded to switch because of this.

    I would say this is a situation where he was approached… and asked to switch away from Thesis and offered to have the migration done for free if he would agree to it. So from Matt Cutts perspective it was an easy decision. Ultimately he has bigger things to worry about than what theme his blog is using, so if Automattic was willing to switch him over to Genesis and he had to do nothing thing I’m sure he said sure because its a no brainier.

    I see a lot of kudos and pats on the back in the comments above. How awesome this is for Genesis, etc, But people are missing something here if you look at it from the angle I explain below as well as the bad blood I mentioned above.

    If I approached every WordPress web site using a non-Gravity Forms form solution and offered to give them Gravity Forms for free AND offered to handle migrating their forms and the setup for free. Would you find this an acceptable business practice? I certainly wouldn’t. I’d find it sleazy and underhanded. It’s shady.

    If the scenario I present above is true, the kudos and pats on the back aren’t warranted. Because just like the Gravity Forms scenario I outline above, this is a sleazy and underhanded tactic designed to negatively impact someone’s business just be be vindictive.

    Influential people should use your product because it kicks ass and they know it kicks ass and therefore they want to use it. Not because it’s been offered to them for free so they aren’t using another product so that either A) them using it can be used for marketing purposes or B) you have a vendetta against a product theybarenusing so you are just being vindictive boy getting them to switch.

    I know for a fact that exact scenario has happened in the theme world before precisely so theme companies could promote the fact that some big name uses their product despite the fact it wasn’t purely by choice, they were persuaded and offered the product for free along with a custom design, etc. so the the company could the promote this influential person uses their theme so it must be great. Sorry, just like my Gravity Forms example above I think this is a sleazy way to market a product.

    I hope the above isn’t true. I hope Matt Cutts switched to Genesis because it was his idea and not a situation where he was approached because Automattic didn’t want an influential person using a theme they dont like developed by a developer they don’t like. But it wouldn’t surprise me if that is exactly what happened.

  27. The WordPress team has far BIGGER things to worry about than Chris Pearson. He’s old news. That score has already been settled.

    To think Chris Pearson is SO IMPORTANT that the WordPress team is holding a grudge against him for almost 2 years, is paranoid thinking. He’s a non-element today and really not that important. There are better themes available. Thesis is junk. Many people agree.

    Why do you think Brian Clark from Copyblogger abruptly cut his partnership with Thesis and jumped into bed with Genesis? That should have been a wake-up call to Chris Pearson.

    There’s no story here. Simply Matt Cutts moved on just like the rest of us have. We got sick of the lies, arrogance and smugness of dealing with a theme creator that took his customers for granted and laughed all the way to the bank.

    Pearson can keep my past pennies, I’d rather give my future dollars to somebody who cares.

  28. @Carl Hancock – Any proof to back this up Carl? Certainly, there is bad blood between Chris Pearson and Matt Mullenweg however to throw something out there like this simply based on conjecture is in poor taste. Could it be that Matt Cutts finally figured out that Thesis was and is a very poor framework and simply decided to switch to something better?? (I can’t believe how much I was chastised by Thesis users when I pointed out its short comings when it certainly was not a great framework ever) My point being, Thesis is not a good framework and Matt probably simply switched. Furthermore, since when does switching themes that drastically change your blog? I really don’t think it would have been as big of a task as your making it out to be or am I out to lunch? Someone let me know.

  29. @Matt Fraser and @Robbie – Proof? I’m NOT the one that pointed out that it appears Automattic ported the theme for Matt Cutts.

    Another commenter above pointed that out and it’s since been backed up by others not involved in the comments above. The speculation is based on the CSS and knowing how Automattic’s theme team typically does things. That is why it appears to be the work of Automattic’s theme team.

    My post clearly states that what I was posting was speculation and something that wouldn’t surprise me and that I hope it isn’t the case. It doesn’t state it as fact.

    Matt Cutts is an influential employee at Google. If he wanted to switch to something else i’m pretty sure he could snap his fingers and have someone at Google create him a new blog or simply switch to Blogger. His blog is so basic he could simply install the core Genesis theme itself. Seriously, have you looked at his blog design?

    The fact that appears to be Automattic that handled the theme migration and the fact that it wasn’t really a redesign but a port of an existing design from one theme framework to another… strikes me as odd. Why port the site if you aren’t also incorporating a redesign? Why fix something that wasn’t broken? Why go to Automattic for such a simple port?

    This is Matt Cutts we’re talking about. He knows Google related SEO better than anyone of us. If he didn’t think Thesis was acceptable from an SEO standpoint he wouldn’t have used it as long as he had.

    The entire situation is odd. And for those that think that shady things don’t go on behind the scenes in the WordPress community and think something that appears to be as simple as eliminating someone as major as Matt Cutts as being able to be touted by Thesis as a user of their product is minor, you are mistaken.

    Matt Cutts is hugely important in the SEO world and to a theme provider such as Thesis that heavily touts SEO in it’s marketing, losing him as a user is a big blow from a marketing perspective. On the flip side, it’s a huge boon for StudioPress and Genesis. Anyone discounting the negative blow to negative and the positive impact to StudioPress clearly doesn’t know much about the WordPress commercial theme industry and why internal politics play a role in situations like this.

    None of what I have said is in defense or support of Thesis or Genesis. It’s merely pointing out that there could be more than meets the eye to this situation and this is coming from someone who has experienced similar situations and seen similar situations play out firsthand by some of the same players involved in this particular situation.

    I could care less which theme is better than the other. Frankly, I don’t give a shit about themes as long as they don’t introduce plugin conflicts with plugins my company develops. But my comment had nothing to do with that. My comment was about the possibility that there could be some shady community politics and business practices at work behind the scenes. Not that there is, but that there could be.

    As for shady community politics and vindictive behavior, anyone who thinks this type of behavior does not go on behind the scenes in the commercial WordPress community clearly hasn’t seen the WordPress commercial community from the inside OR was important enough to see it firsthand like I and many others have.

    Nowhere in my comment above or in this comment do I say that the scenario I described is 100% fact. I even state that I hope it’s not true. What I have stated is simply a scenario that would not surprise me knowing the history of all the parties involved. And I know the history far better than either of you do.

    I hope the scenario I described above is not the case. I hope Matt Cutts decided to switch to Genesis on his own accord and just reached out to Automattic on his own to assist in the migration. But I wouldn’t be willing to bet money on it. Nothing involing WordPress internal politics would surprise me because i’ve seen so much of it firsthand and been involved in so much of it firsthand that it simply wouldn’t surprise me if what I described was what happened.

  30. @Carl Hancock

    Proof? I’m NOT the one that pointed out that it appears Automattic ported the theme for Matt Cutts.

    Another commenter above pointed that out and it’s since been backed up by others not involved in the comments above. The speculation is based on the CSS and knowing how Automattic’s theme team typically does things. That is why it appears to be the work of Automattic’s theme team. – [emph. added]

    It’s surprising to see otherwise stalwart & worthy debaters trying to use similarities in the CSS as evidence of a power-play by Automattic.

    Automattic publishes tons of Open Source, GPL CSS, and it is fully intended and morally & ethically progressive, that it find it’s way into theme style-sheets, far & wide, high & low.

    A quick scan down MY style-sheet (according to this argument) will elicit a slow knowing nod, a sly sidewise glance, and an intimate murmur; “Been buds with Mullenweg for a long time…”?

  31. Again, there’s really no revenge story here or ulterior motives.

    Chris Pearson is about as important as a speck of dust on a fly’s ass. Matt Mullenweg has far more important things to do than to worry about HIM.

    Maybe it’s just karma reeling it’s ugly head for past douche-baggery.

  32. There are two people that could clear this up immediately (both named Matt).

  33. Why Chris Pearson’s name was brought up in the first place is beyond me. I know for a fact that the Theme team was involved with the migration from Thesis to Genesis. The theme team has been known to do one-off migrations and doesn’t necessarily make a living doing it. The situation and speculation that Carl talks about in his comments is valid.

    When Matt Cutts switched themes last time, he wrote a post on his blog saying so. So far, I haven’t read anything on his site concerning the latest switch. If it is found out that Matt C was approach by either Matt M or the theme team to move away from Thesis to something else, like Genesis, it’s going to look pretty bad on Automattic’s part. But if Matt Cutts decided to switch on his own and reached out to Matt M or the theme team on his own accord for help, then everything is fine.

  34. @Jim

    Clear up Tebow – er, Automania? Per Coach Belichick:

    “Anything we do is in the best interest of the team,” [Matt] said. “[CSS]’s a talented player that works hard, so we’ll see how it goes.”

  35. I seriously doubt Automattic had a prevailing hand in making Matt Cutts switch to Genesis. Why would they even care? They have bigger things to deal with.

    I think the logical answer here is that Matt Cutts saw the prevailing SEO features of Genesis and simply decided to make a change, then got Automattic’s help to do it.

    People get bored and want to try new things. Matt Cutts is no different than the rest of us.

    There is no sinister motive here nor any international conspiracy. Matt Mullenweg is an honest and upfront person and he has done pretty well leading the company to where it is today.

    This really is much ado about nothing, but perfect fodder for all you armchair detectives. Even Columbo, Perry Mason and Jessica Fletcher could have solved this one in their sleep.

  36. @Robbie – Not Automattic per se, but Matt M himself. Consider this from 2010.

    While not in that post any more, Matt at the time offered to buy any commercial theme that was GPL licensed to those who wanted to switch away from Thesis.

    So if Matt Cutts made the switch on his own, then just about all of these comments have 0 worth and we can go about our merry way again. But the stuff I have linked to shows that in the past, there was at least some effort to get people off of Thesis and to switch to something else. Carl and anyone else concerned with that business practice is saying is that after three years, the practice of talking people into switching themes should be non-existent.

    However, I always give Matt Mullenweg and Automattic the benefit of the doubt because history has proven that they deserve it.

    I’ve reached out on Twitter to Matt Cutts to see if he could simply respond here to clarify how the migration process went about.

  37. Ok, for the sake of argument, let’s say that Matt M whispered into Matt C’s ear and said “Hey, this theme is better. You want to switch themes? I’ll do it for free.” And Matt C accepted.

    Who cares?! Does this really matter? I still don’t see the big deal over how the switch was made or if someone influenced the process. If my friend was using an antiquated theme and I knew of a better option, I’d sure tell him!

    The point is Matt C made the switch because clearly he thinks Genesis is better than Thesis.

    Does it really matter what hand, if any, Matt M had in the process? And if he did, then what?! What does this mean?!

  38. @Robbie – Your comments clearly show your ignorance.

    Were you not around for the great Thesis GPL war? The witch hunt to force Thesis to go GPL? But Matt has better things to worry about right? How long have you been involved in WordPress? Do you pay attention to reality?

    Jeffro sums it up above as far as the history goes in his last two comments above. To say Matt has better things to do shows how much little you know about WordPress, Matt, Automattic, the WordPress community (both free and commercial) and the demonization of Thesis within it.

    If Matt had an opportunity to have someone as influential as Matt Cutts switch away from using Thesis, he would take it. He’s publicly made offers to pay for a new premium theme for people to switch away from Thesis in the past. Despite the fact you seem to think he has better things to do.

    Matt is a fantastic developer, a great business man, a very intelligent person, a great speaker and someone I have tremendous respect for. But don’t make him out to be an angel or a saint. That he isn’t. I’m not. Nobody is.

    It’s gotten a lot better over the last year or so. Less drama. Less behind the scenes politics, etc. and I hope that continues.

    Being a veteran in the commercial WordPress space I’ve seen things behind the scenes and been involved in situations first hand behind the scenes that would change the perception of many people within the community. There was a time where the behind the scenes politics were extremely volatile and Matt was right in the thick of things in a lot of cases. Despite the fact you seem to think he has better things to do.

  39. Well, I think it’s time that further discussion whether it be speculation or anything else cease on this thread until either Matt M chimes in claiming he didn’t solicit Matt C to change themes, or Matt Cutts comments on his motives for switching and how the theme team became involved. One or the other should suffice.

  40. @Robbie – Who cares? Again, you need to know the history. Both between Matt and Thesis as well as Genesis and Thesis factoring in just who Matt Cutts is.

    IF Matt did ask Matt Cutts to switch from Thesis to another theme, he did so for vindictive reasons that will have a direct negative impact on someone else’s business while providing a positive impact on that person’s competitor.

    Thesis can no longer promote the fact that Matt Cutts, Google’s SEO demigod, uses Thesis. StudioPress can now promote the fact that Matt Cutts, Google’s SEO demigod, uses Genesis.

    You seriously see nothing wrong with that if this is indeed what happened?

    So i’m assuming you’d see nothing wrong if I approached every site running a Gravity Forms competitor and told them if they switch to Gravity Forms i’ll not only give it to them for free but i’ll also handle the migration so they don’t even need to do anything?

    I want users to use Gravity Forms because they want to use it because it’s a good product. I want them to make the decision. I don’t want them to use it because I talked them into switching from a competitor, provided it for free and handled the setup and migration for them.

    I certainly see something wrong with this kind of business tactic, especially when it negatively impacts someone else’s business for no other reason that being vindictive. It’s something I would never do to a Gravity Forms competitor.

  41. Carl, you seem to have done well with WordPress. I find it quite surprising that you would bite the hand that feeds you.

    If Matt M wants people to switch to a better theme that is properly GPL, then so be it! He can’t MAKE them switch. People still have to DECIDE on their own. He can only INFLUENCE them.

    Do YOU do everything someone else suggests that YOU do?

    Sounds more like a case of your sour grapes not turning into wine.

  42. Carl (and a lot of us) have done profited from WordPress. That doesn’t mean that when we question a decision by Matt M. or anyone else associated with WordPress that we are “biting the hand that feeds us.” That people care enough to question and criticize is the sign of a healthy community. Blind faith is not.

  43. Wow. Jim is exactly write. I’m not “biting the hand that feeds me”, you seem to have some extremely over inflated opinion of Matt as if he’s a deity.

    I have a tremendous amount of respect for Matt Mullenweg. He’s an extremely smart individual, an extremely great developer, an extremely great business man, an incredible speaker and an extremely great person to hang out with.

    Next time I am in San Francisco I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to seek Matt out and see if he wants to grab a drink. He’s done the same when he thought I was in San Francisco as I mentioned I was in San Jose, but I was in San Jose, Costa Rica… not San Jose, California.

    But that doesn’t mean I or anyone within WordPress have to agree with everything he does or says. Nor does it mean we can’t question things when they arise. This is an OPEN source community. Not a dictatorship.

    Sour grapes? I have no part in this Thesis vs. Genesis switch at all. My comments were strictly regarding business practices and purposely going out of your way to negatively impact someone else’s businesses out of pure spite. IF that is what happened in this situation.

    You seem to have some sort of unhealthy obsession with Matt. You may want to get that checked out and find a good therapist. Matt’s just a person. A great person. But he’s not a deity like your comments paint him out to be.

  44. Carl, no one said Matt M was a diety. Automattic has bigger things to worry about than what Chris Pearson thinks or what theme Matt Cutts is using. Just because you think there’s a conspiracy around every corner, doesn’t make it true.

  45. Things are getting a bit heated over speculation, which 90% of this discussion is. At this point, it does no one any good to continue with it. Let’s sit back, take a deep breath, relax and await a response from either Matt Mullenweg or Matt Cutts. It’s a simple matter really and the question is valid.

  46. This is a great laugh. Lots of chest pumping and thumping over what boils down to:

    Why did Cutts switch themes… who cares!
    Did Automattic ask him to… who cares!
    I’ve been involved with WordPress for XXX… who cares!
    MM is an angel, no he’s not… who cares!
    Is a competitor perceived as stealing your business… who cares!

    The last one seems to be getting lots of attention. Wake up, business is business. Regardless of how this was handled it wouldn’t be any different in any fashion from what businesses have done for centuries (and that’s assuming anything was done except switching frickin’ themes). It’s competition and every trick to get the upper hand has been played over and over like a bad record for just as long. To think it’s any different in the WordPress community is naive.

    To have been involved with WordPress for X time means nothing, nada, zilch. Scores you no points, only leaves a red mark on your chest. WordPress is an infant compared to OSS. Many here were still crapping in their diapers when The Godfather, RMS created GNU in 1983 and set off a revolution. Nor would they be considered legitimate businesses for taking open source software and privatizing their little piece of TopWare and hiding it behind a pay wall. If it weren’t for WordPress being GPL’d you wouldn’t have a business.

    And the IRS, Obama connection?… seek help immediately.

  47. @Robbie

    “Automattic has bigger things to worry about than what Chris Pearson thinks or what Matt Cutts is using”

    Were you even around for the Matt Mullenweg vs. Chris Pearson war?

    Because history tells a different story and makes your statement 100% incorrect.

    It’s clear you have no clue what you are talking about, no clue about the history of the parties involved, and no clue about the current and historical internal politics of WordPress so there is no point in discussing it further with you.

    I’m done with this conversation out of respect to both Jeffro and Matt (Mullenweg).

  48. It’s a shame I have to do this but the comments on this post are now closed. If I receive word from either Matt, I’ll add the update to the post and re-open the comments section for discussion.

  49. I’ve updated the post with the response from Matt Cutts on Twitter and I’ve also reopened the comments on this article. With what Matt Cutts said and the information I received, I can gladly say that the speculative nature that was discussed throughout this thread is a non-issue.

  50. Great to hear.

    Despite what some people seem to think, the speculation by myself, Jeffro and others wasn’t based on any kind of vendetta against Matt Mullenweg, etc. It was about the possibility that something unsavory could have been at play and if so, it shouldn’t just go unnoticed.

    Hell, Jeffro works for Matt! The WPTavern is owned by Matt! Our speculation and comments have nothing to do with any kind of vendetta or hate towards Matt (Mullenweg).

    I’m glad to hear that it was Matt Cutts who initiated the change and this can be put to rest.


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