WPWeekly Episode 306 – AMP, GDPR, and Brewing Beer At The Boss’ House

In this episode, John James Jacoby joins me live from Hutchinson, KS, to talk about the news of the week. We started off the show discussing the GDPR and the number of things that need to be considered surrounding the right to be forgotten.

We also have a lengthy conversation about AMP, the open web, and Automattic’s relationship with Google. Last but not least, we discussed Automattic’s recent hiring of Kinsey Wilson to be president of the company.

Stories Discussed:

Matt Cromwell Hosts Matt Mullenweg in Q&A Gutenberg Interview
New Team Forms to Facilitate GDPR Compliance in WordPress Core
For one-time NPR and NYT digital chief, a new adventure: WordPress

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, March 7th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

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One response to “WPWeekly Episode 306 – AMP, GDPR, and Brewing Beer At The Boss’ House”

  1. Good discussion about AMP!

    I think AMP is complete contradiction to the mission statement to ‘democratize publishing and development’. Amp is a discriminatory approach (since its inception AMP enabled sites have gained privileged exposure in search) designed by a company that has superseding priorities and competing interests that do not blend well with efforts purporting to help the open web.

    As an engineering solution its one that favours centralisation over decentralisation, which diminishes the health and independence of the open web. WordPress currently still is a shining example what can be done without relying on large platforms.

    There are parallels here with the adoption of React which is run by a platform that directly competes with the open web. Arguments that React was comparatively hard and complex, while raising the barrier to entry for newcomers have been ignored even though to a commitment ‘democratize publishing’ surely can’t mean making getting into WordPress development harder.

    The goal of racing to 50% market share and just a general bias among core developers toward what’s pragmatic in the short run is making me question WordPress’ commitment to principles I thought it stood for.

    Why are we cutting corners just to advance a bit faster? What’s the point in that?

    There’s a whole slew of ways of addressing poor performing mobile sites. Instead we’re just following the lead of Google’s & FB’s engineers and buying the idea that we can only get good performance by relying on large corporate infrastructure and resources.

    This is the same Google that killed off its RSS based product, taking with it countless readers of WordPress blogs. This is the same Facebook with its self-serving alternative ‘instant articles’. The same Google that aspired to be like Facebook by building a walled garden of its own. These two platforms –
    who together must have squashed 100s of start ups – should not be given ever more influence as they grow bigger and bigger and more imposing and domineering every year that passes by. Yet here we are, giving them even more influence. I regularly just find myself thinking, what the hell Matt? One day you were crusading against companies who were threatening the integrity of a GPL based ecosystem, the next day you are tearing down some of the most important things about WordPress in pursuit of a corrupting growth metric, while trying to outcompete the competitors of WP.com. It’s thoroughly dispiriting.

    AMP in particular is a gross development. One reason mobile site performance is so poor is in part because ads and analytics scripts have been allowed to run out of control, Google played a major role in creating such an environment. Another reason is that the WordPress has been abysmal in encouraging better site hygiene & general performance. In comes Google with a nuclear approach to enhance performance. “Well hey WP, ohhh your platform runs very slow compared to other platforms, you are clearly broken! But we can fix you, just let us help you out. We’ll make all those troubles disappear with a simple technical solution, just like that. Doesn’t that sound good”


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