WordPress executive director Josepha Haden Chomphosy announced today that the 2021 State of the Word will be held on December 14, between 5 and 7 pm ET/10 – 12 am (December 15) UTC. For those who are new to the WordPress community, this event is where Matt Mullenweg reviews the milestones and progress of the past year and shares his vision for the open source WordPress project.
Ordinarily, the State of the Word is delivered as the capstone to WordCamp US in the latter part of the year, with a live Q&A session following the address. This year, WordCamp US was held online in early October and concluded with Haden Chomphosy discussing trends she observed in 2020 and growth opportunities she sees for the WordPress community. In her most recent podcast, Haden Chomphosy confirmed that the State of the Word 2021 will be an in-person event.
“It’s going to join the growing list of in-person events that are on the calendar,” she said. “It will be in New York City but will also be live-streamed across the world as usual.”
When asked about live event, Haden Chomphosy further clarified that it will be more like a mid-sized meetup. Mullenweg will be delivering the State of the Word at Automattic’s New York office with approximately 30 people in-person, which is the capacity for the space.
“We’ll start with NYC community folks, but will try to keep the invitation process as open as possible,” she said. “Vaccinations will be required and more information will be available about that later this week.”
Today’s announcement said that attendees and viewers can expect to hear about WordPress 5.9, Openverse (WordPress’ search engine project for openly-licensed media), and Web3 and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The last topic drew some early responses on Twitter from those who are keenly interested in Web3 and NFTs, as well as those who don’t see any value in the WordPress project promoting or participating in these technologies. As WordPress is closing in on 43% of the web, it will be interesting to see what Mullenweg has to say about what the project’s role is in this potentially polarizing issue.
Viewers will be able participate in the Question & Answer session following the State of the Word by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or asking during the event in the livestream chat on YouTube. Add the event to your calendar and watch for the livestream to be embedded on wordpress.org/news on December 14.