Tag Archives: Matt Mullenweg

Automattic’s distributed office

Forbes and Businessweek both wrote interesting articles about Automattic a couple days ago. Forbes focused on the business of Automattic and Businessweek focused on our globally-distributed nature.

Matt wrote a bit about the Forbes piece specifically. About our distributed “office” he writes:

For it to really work it has to be part of the DNA of the company from day one. You have to be really committed to keep the creative center and soul of the organization on the internet, and not in an office.

After more than two years at Automattic I think it creates the ideal “office” culture and situation. Sure, I don’t see my co-workers everyday but I do talk with them constantly. That communication means that when we do meet up it feels like a gathering of friends, not work. There’s something to be said for having most in-person interactions with co-workers be social and personal instead of work-oriented.

We’re all headed to San Diego tomorrow to spend a week together. We do this once a year as a company and 3 or 4 times a year in our teams. We have small projects to work on and there are tons of activities planned. These aren’t phony corporate trust exercises or ways of placating employees who, as Forbes wrote, don’t get the perks of Google, Facebook, and Apple. These are activities that naturally evolve from a group of friends gathering together.

Next week I’ll be going skydiving and go-karting with co-workers from all over the world. Last month our lead sysadmin crashed on my couch while in town for the weekend. Last year I climbed a 12,000 foot peak with another co-worker. Two other Automatticians are taking a road trip this week all the way from Portland to San Diego in a Dodge Viper.

If that all sounds like something you want to be a part of, we’re hiring.

Open Web FTW

The Internet needs a strong, independent platform for those of us who don’t want to be at the mercy of someone else’s domain. I like to think that if we didn’t create WordPress something else that looks a lot like it would exist. I think Open Source is kind of like our Bill of Rights. It’s our Constitution. If we’re not true to that, nothing else matters.

Matt Mullenweg – Open Web FTW. (via Daniel)

The new definition of literacy

Suzi Steffen pointed me to this post by Doug McLennan earlier. I like it. Doug writes,

I think the new literate goes beyond words, and beyond making video and image and sound. I think code and meta-data are the new literacy, and that in turn leads to a new literateness. Information and ideas are multi-dimensional. Those who can take dynamic information and mash it up and mix it and find creative ways of presenting it in service of ideas have the possibility of communicating in more compelling ways than with just words or video or image.

He’s spot on. It reminds me of something Matt said earlier this year in a Q&A session with Memburn. He said,

Scripting is the new literacy, and the ability to learn and execute on your ideas without relying on anybody else is going to be invaluable as you iterate and experiment on building something. It’s good to build for yourself first, because in the worst-case scenario where no one else likes it, at least you will.

That type of individual-driven creation and publication is something schools still struggle to grasp. Our school system must move quickly to adopt new ideas of literacy beyond what’s traditional.

I particularly like that Doug pointed out it’s more than the act of creation that makes for literacy. You need to do more than write, record, or photograph. A creative form of presentation is an inherent part of his definition. Your ability to use, master, and build those tools determines how much you control your path.

One more thought on technology reviews

Earlier today I posted a few tweets from Dustin Curtis on mainstream technology reviews. A couple tweets from Doug Stewart made me think about one more thing worth jotting down.

Last month Matt wrote an essay titled “What’s Next for Apple.” In that he says this about Best Buy:

When I walk through Best Buy, which I try to do once every few months, it feels like it’s technology at its worst, the magic of progress used as smoke and mirrors to confuse and dupe consumers rather than make their lives better.

That’s how I feel reading a product review on the sites Dustin mentioned. It’s technology writing at its worst.

Reviews on sites like Gizmodo and Engadget prey upon gadget heads thinking that their week, month, or year-old technology is “worse.” This is what leads us to the land of 4″+ touch screens and thinking that devices with more megapixels or gigahertz are, somehow, inherently better.

Sure, normals may not be the target market of tech site product reviews. That doesn’t mean the site’s reviews can’t be thoughtful and useful pieces of text. Right now they’re drivel.

What is blogging

Ian Beck recently wrote about what blogging is (and what it is not). Perhaps my favorite quote:

Blogging is not giving a damn about whether people visit your site, and publishing for the sake of creating something interesting, public, and potentially useful for others.

That’s why content comes first. Without compelling content and quality writing a blog is far less likely to gain a following. Combine both of those features and you may end up with a blog that allows you to go full-time.

Reminds me a bit of Matt’s recent essay, which makes the point that a blog is where you go when you want flexibility and control in crafting your words and ideas.

Daniel Jalkut’s idea of a dedicated site for teaching the basics of blogging is a very interesting idea. It could go a long way toward helping people publish effectively on the web.