The .blog top-level domain extension is entering the sunrise phase today, during which trademark holders have first access to apply for their .blog domains via a certified trademark agent. Knock Knock, WHOIS There, Automattic’s subsidiary that is managing .blog domains, won the rights to oversee the sale and registration of the extension in 2015 for an estimated bid of $20 million.
Nic.blog lists a couple dozen .blog accredited registrars, and trademark owners can select from those denoted with the Sunrise check box. The Sunrise phase of the launch plan ends October 17. A “Landrush” phase, open to non-trademark owners willing to pay a slightly higher price, will be held November 2-9. General availability for purchasing .blog domains at regular prices begins November 21.
Automattic Hires Designer John Maeda and Launches Design.blog
As part of the Sunrise phase launch, Automattic is featuring the blogs of two high-profile early adopters. Dave.blog is a new site for Dave Winer, widely recognized as one of the founders of the blogging movement.
The company also announced that John Maeda, former Design Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, is joining Automattic as its new Global Head of Computational Design and Inclusion. The news coincides with the launch of Design.blog, a site where Maeda and other Auttomattic designers will feature posts and essays from influential creative people around the world.
“Design has been a critical part of Automattic for many years, and I have been a follower of John’s work since at least 2006,” CEO Matt Mullenweg said. “This is a new role that John helped create, and we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to work with him. There’s an opportunity not just to improve Automattic’s products like WordPress.com and WooCommerce but to contribute to raise the state of Open Source design, full stop.”
Open source projects have historically struggled to attract designers, as the culture and contribution flow are more geared towards developers. The creative process doesn’t always fit into the defined workflow for most open source software projects and the obstacles to contributing are often greater than the rewards.
In a post on his new design.blog site, Maeda said he is looking forward to serving the open source mission at Automattic. He also shared the goals behind the long title he selected:
1/ highlight Automattic’s international community of designer-engineers (global), 2/ advance the kind of design that is being fully impacted by Moore’s Law (computational), and 3/ highlight how cutting-edge design requires the capacity to embrace human differences (inclusion).
Maeda has done extensive research on the impact of design on business, technology, and startups and has shared his insights in his #DesignInTech Report at SXSW for the past two years. His new position at Automattic will allow him to bring his deep knowledge of design to the WordPress world and the greater open source community.