Jay Walsh leads communications and PR for WooCommerce, the internet’s most-used ecommerce platform. Jay has over 20 years of communications experience spanning tech, public media, open source, gaming, and the public sector. When asked at a party about a “neat thing he once did,” Jay usually says it was joining the (then very-small) start-up team behind Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit responsible for Wikipedia. He built the first communications team for Wikipedia and its sister projects, telling an inspiring, global story of collaboration, creativity, and passion. And no, he can’t help you edit your article.
If he could work in one industry or community for the rest of his life, it would be, without a doubt, the world of open source. Open source = intensity, devotion, and principles that make for complex and constantly challenging work fueled by transparency, innovation, and pure freedom. At Woo, Jay is helping to take the “democratize commerce” mission to mainstream media and beyond. He loves to tell the story of a world-changing project through everyday human experiences, and yes, the most-used ecommerce platform on the internet is overloaded with mind-blowing stories. Jay first cut his teeth in WordPress in 2007 when he launched Wikipedia’s debut blog, which quickly found itself under the awesome WordPress VIP umbrella at Automattic (thanks, Paul and Matt!).
When he’s not in front of a keyboard, he’s probably looking for the exotic birds and botany of Sonoma County, lounging by a pool in the hot desert, or trying to find the most outrageous burritos of California. Jay is originally from Canada and studied Creative Writing at Concordia University in Montreal, Québec.
What do you enjoy most about working in WordPress?
The WordPress community brings the most powerful and vital tool for communicating on the internet to every single person who wants it. I am inspired by the impact of the project, but these days what I’m really excited about is seeing the next generation(s) of builders, writers, and developers flocking to WordPress from all over the world. They are coming from every economic level, every kind of background, and they have such varied life experiences and ambitions. WordPress is code that keeps the Internet good, powerful, and honest. It’s treasure! And we have to protect and share that resource to keep it alive.
What do you love most about your Post Status membership?
I enjoy the candor, honesty, and clarity of the discussions on Post Status. I sense camaraderie and trust that’s hard to find online, and I feel like I could bring any question or comment there and get honest and direct thoughts, regardless of my background or where I work. It is a level, equitable place, and I’m excited to see more diverse faces joining every week.
What business/web/WordPress advice do you have for others in our industry?
Share your best ideas. Give them away! You will have thousands of great ideas, so why not share your vision and wisdom? Everything is made better by working and sharing in the open.