15 Comments

  1. Matt Mullenweg
    · Reply

    I don’t think Matt would have been willing to have this kind of conversation with me or most members from the the general community

    I enjoyed talking with Matt Medeiros on his podcast a few years ago, including about some of the same topics: https://mattreport.com/interview-matt-mullenweg/

    Which came from a WP Tavern article around the same time: https://wptavern.com/how-important-is-jetpack-on-wordpress-road-to-50-market-share

    I’m happy to chat with community members around these conversations and I’ll be going on a number of community podcasts the next few months including ones with only a few hundred listeners. I don’t see any emails or .org Slack messages from Medeiros but if he reached out would be happy to schedule some time, as I have in the past. :)

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  2. Doug Wagner
    · Reply

    This reminds me a lot of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvhW8cp15tk

    As a content producer I wonder what percentage of the creative market Adobe has?

    I found out my website is one of the top 10 million (+WordPress). That website is content based for Google search results and e-commerce. Most of that is Google surfacing us based on their KPIs.

    If content is what people are after in search results than it logically follows that platforms that can surface that content effectively earn participants.

    I think the same is true of WordPress. When we were deciding on what platform to build on we went with WordPress because it could host content (Media Library) and integrate real-time with our accounting (CartSpan / Sage).

    It saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars over almost now 4 years.

    While I get where DHH is coming from I think a lot of the analogies aren’t great. Without the content, the surfacing of the content, the positive feedback loupes of Google Analytics, etc. I think our experience would be different: we found out a way to sell on AdWords (search terms) and it changed our growth model from regular to rapid (+20%).

    As I listened I thought the platform of WordPress / Tumblr needs an analytics that competes with Google Analytics.

    For a business like ours the reality is we have the content, we just struggle to find the right way to surface it. For us, search is better than social. For us, search is better than subscriptions (i.e. Thomas Pages / Net, InCompliance, Make Magazine, etc.). We invest in search and its 70% of our dollars.

    I think creating an ad platform that competes with Google Analytics, but is less crude than Facebook / Pinterest would be really interesting given the data about blogs.

    My two cents.

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    • Doug Wagner
      · Reply

      Reading through my reply I realize the one thing that was missing:

      the point of emphasis I was trying to explain was the content.

      DDH is always like no one should own blogging. But the truth is content is the thing people want. People are going to go where it is easier to write / distribute content.

      Look at Hulu (Castle Rock), Disney (Lucas Films), Amazon (The Current Wars).

      If you can you are going to get into content.

      I have a friend that works at CBS on content. I mean, content is less than the platform? I think you need a good UX for your platform in order to induce content producers- and that’s where the money is- not per se, platforms. What is Ghost’s market share because they’re brutal UX with Markdown? Probably what it was last year. C’mon.

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      • Doug Wagner

        “We are overdue a conversation about power”. Yeah, what is the role of the content producer?

        I mean if you are going to revel in Shopify being Rails based-

        Know this: WordPress was perfect for blogging. Most people who read my articles technically according to NNG “scan”.

        Should I make a movie or keep writing on WordPress?

        I mean, we need to get over this envy thing.

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  3. Tomas M.
    · Reply

    From our earliest days, Mark used the word “domination” to describe our ambitions, with no hint of irony or humility.

    – It’s Time to Break Up Facebook

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  4. Philip Ingram
    · Reply

    “One interesting observation Mullenweg made during podcast is that Automattic is just one of many larger players that make up the the WordPress economy, which he has previously estimated at $10 billion/year”

    The last valuation I saw for Automattic alone was tipping over 3B.

    deep pockets = deep concerns

    I have deep concerns about the direction of WordPress and abuse of power that goes well beyond the antics of the progressive superiority complex we’ve pop it’s head from time to time. Recent discussions about forced major updates to cull efforts away from back-porting doesn’t fall on grace so much after one realizes how much money backs this org, especially when they foot lavish bills on what would be considered indulgences like trips around the world to exotic far reaching places for company meetups and such. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great to revel in success, reward good work and celebrate your achievements.

    However, the argument to drop back ports due to it being too labor intensive while at the same time needing to force-update sites 3.7 and upward without explicit consent, creates a conflict of ethics when the main argument for forcing the updates is about protecting the rest of the internet from older running versions that could one day become a vulnerable node on the web and used in an attack vector…yet it would seem we have deep enough pockets that can easily foot the bill allowing all do-gooding to proceed as normal (barely making a dent in the coffers) — if that truly is the concern. Sometimes moral responsibility requires making a sacrifice and paying a price. Not to mention ISPs have skin in this game too…AND the actual authority to boot, so let’s not forget that.

    Most back port efforts are pretty minor, we can all see this in trac but the security team acts like only 30 people in the world can do this job effectively and/or can be trusted with the task. That doesn’t help the situation and I see no efforts to do anything about this perception.

    Drop the back ports or don’t, I don’t really care, the internet will survive, but don’t be evil and dip into MY installations without my explicit consent, even if you think you’re being a do-good’er. Only me and my ISP have that authority.

    In the case of the API, our site’s 3.7 and up reach out multiple times a day, every day, exposing the entire structure of what’s installed just waiting for a nefarious update package that wipes out 1/3 (or maybe 85%) of the web one day.

    From that perspective, sites < 3.7 are impervious to "the big one" pushed down from the API should it ever occur.

    It's also worth mentioning WordPress has had a pretty bad rep over the years regarding security specifically (I'd argue more so than any other CMS) and it still blows me away the lack of built-in obfuscation that could help reduce this reputation by making it harder to detect sites are running the CMS in the first place. It would seem efforts in that direction would make more sense too and one of the reasons headless has become so attractive yet one sacrifices the wealth of the WordPress ecosystem unless there is a port, maybe something like what Frontity is doing.

    I haven't fallen out of love with this CMS but I really prefer you don't tread on me after freely offering your open source software to me to do as I see fit. Sends a conflicting message especially when considering the WordPress Bill of Rights, where it nowhere states "…unless you are running outdated versions"

    https://make.wordpress.org/core/handbook/about/philosophies/#our-bill-of-rights

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  5. Geraldine
    · Reply

    One person having an inordinate amount power and influence over 85% of the internet is something we should all be worried about, not sleepwalking towards – regardless of who that person is.

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    • M
      · Reply

      Indeed, WordPress needs to review its governance model.

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    • Zohair
      · Reply

      Well we usually worry about things when they have arrived or just about to arrive. E.g. There are things humans do that are literally going end our lives some time in the future. Not many are serious about those things because most are not affected right now.

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  6. Bastian
    · Reply

    He said that a typical WordPress release has 400-500 contributors with an estimated 10% from Automattic.

    A 10% that happen to be the ones making the top decisions regarding the release…

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  7. kinmp3
    · Reply

    If creating blocks with Custom Fiels is going to be that easy like how it is shown in the featured image, then this is going to improve a lot the enviroment for developing blocks.

    But on the other hand, creating a block in javascript that renders on server is not that hard…

    Maybe the only problem I have come across, badly, with Javascript and React with gutenberg is how to handle deprecations when you update your block…

    Easiest way I have found out is to simply return a “new block” of the same block you are updating.

    Of course, lerning javascript was much more easy than I expected. But I am only playing with the surface still.

    But one thing is sure: When you develop blocks the PHP way, you save yourself a bunch of issues.

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  8. Kristian
    · Reply

    The monopoly of the the internet by a handful of platforms have always been a source of worry from the onset due to the potential harm they could result, unfortunately, i don’t see anyone that can beat this giant system anytime soon.

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  9. Ryan Hellyer
    · Reply

    I really don’t think we have anything to worry about. SOMETHING is going to pop up which tackles WordPress head on. WordPress has too many deep issues which can’t be easily solved in a backwards compatible way. Once someone creates something to compete and gets even a little traction, I assume it will rapidly gain in popularity and eventually take a huge chunk of WordPress’s marketshare.

    Until that day happens, WordPress will keep chipping away at more and more marketshare, but each little chip just adds more encouragement to those who are building the competitors.

    I don’t think those of us deeply ingrained in the WordPress community should fear this though. The internet is a big sea, and there’s room for more than one big fish in it ;)

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  10. Abi Blair
    · Reply

    I use WordPress every day. It’s the life blood of my business but it comes with a bitter aftertaste these days.

    Compare Matt’s guardianship or WordPress with that of Taylor Ottwell over Laravel. Worlds apart. Matt applies influence over wordpress to guide it to suit the needs of automattic and its investors. Taylor guides Laravel to be the best it can be and evolve to suite the use case of the developers working with it, then developes business models around these use cases to rightly earn some much deserved money from it.

    In a world with resources such as netlify and a push towards static sites I think a change is in the wind!

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