Earlier today, I tweeted (big news, right?) that the WordPress.com verticals that have been launching left and right seem like little more than SEO plays on the landing pages. Well, James Farmer, founder of Edublogs – a huge WordPress Multisite instance for educators – has laid it all on the table. Never one to hold back (I know this from personal experience), he basically is surmising that Automattic is doing these verticals based on investor pressure.
I highly doubt Automattic is facing investor pressure. I think it's more likely they want to see which verticals catch traction before committing real resources. Anyway, James' post is an entertaining read.