One on one with WordPress’ Matt Mullenweg

Last Tuesday (June 10, 2014), I had the awesome opportunity of meeting and having coffee/breakfast with WordPress/Automattic founder, Matt Mullenweg.

He was visiting the country as part of an extended tour he was having which included a few more countries nearby.

Matt Mullenweg

Given that I’ve been a hardcore WordPress user for many years now and also a strong advocate of this particular blogging platform, it was all too surreal for me.

Breakfast chit-chat with Matt Mullenweg

I got the call from Globe Telecom about 4 days before the private meetup. They asked me if I wanted to have a casual one-on-one chitchat with Matt Mullenweg over breakfast at The Peninsula Manila.

Naturally, without even thinking twice about it, I said YES! What WordPress fan in his right mind would be stupid enough to say no?

I was so stoked to meet the guy behind the software that powers more than 20% of the internet.

Meeting Matt Mullenweg

And so it happened. Tuesday came and I excitedly dropped by The Peninsula Manila where Matt was currently billeted. He came down from his hotel room and met me at the lobby coffeeshop.

Matt Mullenweg - WordPressI was able to ask Matt a ton of questions about WordPress and the future of his very successful blogging platform.

Among other things, Matt shared his insight on how a good number of blogs seem to be exploited by advertising agencies/companies. Not to mention the visual clutter these ads present which ruins a visitor’s entire reading experience. This explains why his free WordPress hosting service (http://www.wordpress.com) doesn’t support Javascript which enables bloggers to have paid ads on their sidebars and is strictly discouraged based on the service’s T&C (this feature is available, though, on WordPress’ self-hosted version).

Mobile-first and compatibility

He explained to me that WordPress’ continuous development has begun to take a “mobile-first” approach. Recognizing how tablets and phones have started dominating the way internet is accessed, all future developments and updates of WordPress will proritize mobile devices first before desktop.

Apart from that, being that WordPress is open source, they are tirelessly working on making their platform more compatible to 3rd party plugins and themes.

Liveblog

By the way, people who love liveblogging will be happy to know that WordPress’ native liveblogging plugin, “Liveblog“, which hasn’t been updated in quite a while will eventually have image insert via mobile… hopefully soon. I brought this concern up with Matt and he said he’d look into it and update me of progress and developments. What a cool guy. Currently, the latest version of Liveblog only supports image drag and drop via desktop/laptop.

WordPress mobile app

Considering how frequently I blog on the go and away from my workstation due to the nature of my work, I’m particularly excited about the future of WordPress’ mobile app. I brought up the topic during our conversation hoping that their app improves by leaps and bounds. Although, Matt wasn’t at liberty to speak a great deal about it, he did confirm to me that amazing things are in store for the WordPress mobile app and WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editing is indeed on its way very soon. Hooray!

Overall, things are looking brighter than ever with Automattic. That could only mean we WordPress users have more to look forward to. And in case you’re a blogger but still haven’t moved to WordPress from a different platform (But, why?!), there’s no better time to make the switch. And don’t be intimidated by the tedious work of migrating your current blog. WordPress has tools to make migration a breeze.

Meeting or no meeting with Matt Mullenweg, I’ve always recommended WordPress to friends and bloggers. But hey… don’t just take my word for it. Ask the countless happy WordPress users all over the world.

Automattic is hiring

Matt Mullenweg - AutomatticOh! Just in case any of you guys are interested, Automattic is hiring. Matt says you can apply by heading over to http://automattic.com/work-with-us/. Matt says they are looking to hire 150 people in the next 12 months. That’s a lot. Who knows… you could just be the lucky guy they need.

You know what the best part of working for Automattic/Wordpress is? Not having to relocate or leave the Philippines (or any other country you reside in) at all. You also get Silicon Valley salary rates equal to those working for WordPress based in the US. Now that is amazing.

Matt Mullenweg

Well, as they say… all good things must come to an end. Morning was slowly transitioning to noon and I didn’t want to keep Matt from tending to his other errands and appointments.

Matt was actually asking me and a couple of friends from Globe if we wanted to stay for lunch as well. But as much as I wanted to (and boy did I REALLY want to), I had other commitments to attend to shortly as well. Shucks! Raincheck, then?

Thank you very much, Globe Telecom, for giving me this rare chance. I had an absolute blast sharing stories and a quite a number of laughs with Matt Mullenweg. Love you, guys! :)

Of course, I’d also like to profusely thank Matt Mullenweg for generously spending his valuable time with me and sharing his awesome stories and insight. Till your next trip back to the Philippines! :)

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One on one with WordPress’ Matt Mullenweg was last modified: June 27th, 2014 by Chuckie Dreyfus