Toni Schneider is the CEO of Automattic, the core team behind the WordPress project. Since leaving Switzerland for Silicon Valley, he has been working with and successfully exiting startups. Before leaving Yahoo! to join Automattic, Tony was a WordPress user and part of the community. On today’s show we touch on:
- The huge Windows Live Spaces migration to WordPress.com
- Who is Toni and why he chose to work with Automattic
- Progress Automattic is making in terms of growth
- Steps WordPress is taking as a CMS
- The mantra and thought process behind Automattic’s products
- Where Automattic is going next and the ways to engage with the community
Plugin Picks of the Week:
- Shrimp Test â€“ Easy A/B testing to maximize site performance.
- Ultimate Taxonomy Manager â€“ A solid tool for simplifying custom taxonomy management for non-developers.
- Yet Another Related Posts â€“ Increase page views / time on site, by suggesting relevant posts to readers.
At the very beginning of this episode there’s a short interview with Toni Schneider, the CEO of Automattic, and Dharmesh Mehta, Director of Product Search. Only an hour before we recorded this interview they were on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt to announce that all the Microsoft Live / MSN Spaces users would be moved over to WordPress.com.
We talked about what this meant for future work between Microsoft and Automattic / WordPress, and whether any of this would impact WordPress.org users.
This interview is followed by another (much longer) interview with Brian Gardner and Nathan Rice of StudioPress and Genesis. In this interview we discuss how Genesis came to be over the last year, what it’s benefits are over a normal theme and what the process of going from a set of themes to a framework was like.
We discussed the SEO settings of Genesis, which has some of the more advanced SEO settings ever seen in themes, but also whether these kinds of settings should be in themes at all. I referenced a recent post of mine and we talked about a plugin Nathan developed, the SEO Data Transporter that allows you to transport your SEO meta data from a plugin to a theme, or from one theme to another etc.
Another interesting point was the discussion of how to set up a community around a theme framework like this, and Brian showed us, for instance, dev.studiopress.com. We also talked about the Genesis Simple Sidebars plugin, a very cool way of allowing people to change sidebars for posts.
Then there were two plugin picks:
- Nathan picked Simple URLs, a very cool new method of doing redirects using a custom post.
- Joost picked Press This reloaded, a “re done” version of the Press This bookmarklet that allows setting of SEO titles etc. from within the Press This screen too.
It’s really an information packed show, so go ahead and listen right now!
PS sorry for my sore voice and coughing, I’ve got a quite heavy cold pestering me.
In this second part of our interview with Matt (you have listened to the first part, right?), we discuss VaultPress; Automattic’s new backup system. Matt explains the features, pricing. Going from that we discussed hosting and their uptimes.
Then the discussion shifted to the community, and how that’s built. We discussed how to get core commit access, and how Matt’s multiple roles within the community could collide. We got talking about how WordPress got where it came, how good product development is also good marketing, WordCamps around the world, how giving support helps you make better products etc. etc. etc. Best quote: Matt & Automattic are happy plumbers of the web
If you’re into WordPress, just listen to it live here, or download it to your iPod.
Joost and Frederick interview the founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg, talking about loads of things. The entire interview was split in 2 because it was a bit lengthy, so you’ll hear part 2 next week.
In this part we discussed the ’3.org’ project: fixing everything about WordPress that is not WordPress itself, so we discussed WordPress profiles (check Joost’s here) and how they want to integrate those with WordCamps and some of the new APIs that the team is developing and improving. We also touched on what happens / is going to happen to orphaned plugins.
Then going on we discussed the Automattic product line, and where the focus of the 50+ people at Automattic is at the moment, WordCamps and even what’ll be (or might be) in WordPress 3.1, so go on, and have a listen now!