Post Status Comments (No. 3) — The State of the WordPress News
WordPress journalists and news commentators on the nature of their work, their views on the community, and the future of the project.
In this episode of Post Status Comments, David and Dan host a conversation with several members of the WordPress news community: Matt Medeiros (Matt Report Media), Joe Howard (WPMRR), Birgit Pauli-Haack (Gutenberg Times), and Sarah Gooding (WP Tavern). Find out how these WordPress journalists and news commentators understand their roles, how they view the WordPress community, and what they see for the future of the project.
Among the questions asked: What challenges exist for those of us who are following and reporting WordPress news? How can the WordPress project and and WordPress companies help improve communication? Where do we see WordPress heading — the software and it’s community — in the short and long term? What are the biggest and most impactful stories of 2021, so far? What are the most significant but less noticed stories?
This engaging conversation was almost 90 minutes long! So we split it up into two audio parts.
Here’s the first part:
Here’s the second part:
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🔗 Mentioned in the show:
- The WP Minute
- WP Tavern
- Gutenberg Times
- WPMRR Podcast
- ZipMessage – Submitted Questions
- Post Status (Twitter)
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Transcript (Part 1)
David Bisset: [00:00:00] So I want to set some ground rules, uh, before we officially get started. So first of all, everyone participating here, um, first of all, welcome by the way, I should say that first, everyone participating here, let’s just pretend we’re at a work camp. So we’re bound by a standard work camp code of conduct.
That includes speakers participants, and me, your host, uh, will, won’t be able to get to everybody’s question on every topic that we’re bringing up today. So I’ll be. Going with the flow and also probably rotating some questions, a little bit to various speakers and speakers with your responses. Just be mindful of the time.
And if there’s any in, we don’t get to everybody’s response and I’ll mute that slack in a second. Apparently if we don’t get to everybody’s response, um, we can do a post follow up after the event. Our topic today is WordPress, the WordPress news space. So not, not specific pieces of WordPress news, it’s the state of WordPress news, the people that [00:01:00] report the news, the news economy, and the thoughts along those lines.
And we appreciate questions that we’ll try to stick to that scope. And if there’s any good questions that fall out of that scope, we’ll save it for another discussion. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns after this feel free to direct them to me. I am on post-data slack and also you can DM me on Twitter at dimension media.
And just to make this a completely transparent, this, this event, this audio is open, it’s being recorded and will be shared, um, with the public, but also with our speakers as well for their own use. So can you go ahead and introduce yourself? And then Matt, can you go after her? And we’ll just keep going in order here.
I’ll just call you out. So go ahead, Sarah, introduce yourself briefly. If anybody doesn’t know you already, but shame on them. If they don’t.
Sarah Gooding: Hi, I’m Sarah Gooding. I write for WP Tavern. I’ve been writing there for about eight years. I think I’m just [00:02:00] writing about WordPress news.
David Bisset: And Matt, who are you?
Matt Medeiros: Uh, who am I?
It’s a great question. So I’m director of podcast or success at a company called cast is my day job. And my side gig is something called Matt report media, which covers Matt report.com and the WP minute.com.
David Bisset: Okay, let’s see who else we got here. I’m trying to look for, and Dan, if you see any whales in here, let me know.
Forget why don’t you introduce yourself?
Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, hello everybody. Well, thanks David. For inviting me. I. Curate on the Goodluck times for the last four years was a side gig. Now it’s also my day job, which I really love. Um, I’m also a developer advocate for WordPress at automatic. Um, automatic sponsors that contribution and I also am a co-host on the good milk change law [00:03:00] podcast was uh
Um, and yeah, that’s.
David Bisset: Oh, good. Well, great. Well now, well, while we wait for the others to come in, I wanted to get started with our first question. Um, again, this is about the WordPress space here for news. So Sarah, we’ll start with you. The challenges of following and reporting WordPress news. What challenges do you face or you think the industry faces and.
And maybe including there, maybe how you might be able to see that improve or change?
Sarah Gooding: Well, I think there are a lot of sources to follow and everyone has their own favorite way to, to get news. Um, I ended up spending a lot of time on social media, unfortunately, too. And it’s, you know, I’m constantly going through tweets and [00:04:00] digging deeper into.
But, um, I would love it if there was a, a way to get your news in a more aggregated form. And I know there are some sites out there that do that, but you know, sometimes they come and go or they don’t have like the latest news. Um, so was kind of a challenge, but overall, I don’t feel. As challenging as I did, maybe, you know, eight years ago when it seemed like there wasn’t always enough news to write about.
Sometimes it was like, there were a lot of slow weeks there and now it’s just, this is hopping every day.
David Bisset: How do you stay informed? Did you, so is it beyond social media?
Yeah, I, I mean, I read change logs. I, I follow a bunch of people on Twitter. Um, Reddit, Facebook groups. I attend slack meetings. I dig through, um, I dig through old slack meetings that I couldn’t attend.
I get almost all the newsletters. I read almost everything. Everybody else writes though. That’s, that’s how I [00:05:00] stay on top of it.
And Matt, same question to you. Um, what are your sources? How do you gather the news and what D what challenges do you.
Matt Medeiros: So like Sarah, it’s obviously a lot of social media. It’s looking at that from a 50,000 foot view and paying attention to.
You know, the most impactful, uh, headlines and Newsmakers that are out there. Uh, I take a slightly different tack with the WP minute as the community at the WP minute does contribute the news items, uh, that gets surfaced up. And we use that as, um, part of the foundation to the weekly newsletter and podcast.
So that’s a little bit of an advantage, uh, for us and how we do that. And. Uh, sort of side stepping the hands are a little bit, what I would like to see is more, uh, uh, WordPress companies, organizations, service agencies really reach out to us [00:06:00] and let us know about things that they think are going to be newsworthy or really impactful.
Um, that would be a ginormous help instead of just having the Twitter stream, uh, and a few DMS here. Really having something like that in place and sort of letting them know that, look, you can level up your game a little bit, reach out to us, let us know if you have something that’s. Um, my God, if you ever spent time in traditional businesses that do PR new, uh, PR uh, pieces, literally every single day for a single feature they’ve released, I’m not looking for, you know, stuff like that, but some level of surfacing that information up to us, uh, to us on the panel and others would be a tremendous help, but, uh, yeah, social media and a small community that I’ve gathered around the news on my side, uh,
David Bisset: Okay.
Get, I think, you know, already know I’m going to ask you, so where do you get your news from and what challenges do you face? [00:07:00]
Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Um, yeah, social media is a lot of, um, part of it, but I also use a tool that’s called brain 24 4, and it’s, um, More a way of listening tool and that surface does some keywords and it needs to be curated a bit, but it helps me quite a bit to also look at the corners where social media doesn’t go because the authors are not that much on social media.
So I surface a few of those articles tutorials about the block editor and they go to McCombs is not so much about the news. It’s more about. Um, w what’s the latest feature in the Gutenberg or how can other people use it better developers, content, creators. Um, and there’s a lot of, um, knowledge in the community already that is, um, sharing.
I crossed a few blogs. Um, I see Courtney here. She does a wonderful job. Um, and I see, um, others, [00:08:00] um, that, um, post quite a bit about it. The challenge that I see, especially with the full site editing coming out is that there is a group of users that has not had, um, a lot of coverage. Through any of those news items or news shows apart from high level?
Um, maybe, um, a little bit by Justin headlock from the Tavern was, uh, um, surfacing also some of the gluten, uh, Burke, um, features, but the group that I’m thinking about or what I’m kind of thinking about right now is. Um, site builders that don’t use code to build other people’s sites. Um, if they wanted to now co uh, they have been catered to by the, um, by elemental, by, uh, beaver builder by the Devi community.
And there are all these third party page [00:09:00] fillers had all their separate communities that has not. Um, come over to the open source part of it. And I think there will be some cultural. Um, shock or most because the concept of open source is not there when, um, third-party page builders, they are corporate they’ll, um, to have, uh, a product oriented.
Um, a community they have as helping support and new features and also creating tools. Um, but that does not translate well into the open source community of WordPress core. So I’m kind of thinking about quite a bit about how to help them. And I’m glad that. Uh, leadership in retrospect, or also thought about it.
Um, so that all of a few teams that are, uh, will help with that one is the learn team. And the other one is to, [00:10:00] um, sponsor team members on the WordPress marketing team that will hopefully be stepping into that void a bit.
David Bisset: Oh, cool. Wow. That was a mouthful. You certainly am alive. That’s great. You certainly have a lot of challenges though.
So, um, yeah, Lee, um, Matt, this question is for you. What do you define as a, um, now that we’re, we’re talking about the state of the WordPress news reporting in the past year, what has there been any, is there been any redefinitions of what WordPress news is? Um, how do you decide. If something is relevant to the space or not, or what you focus your attention on?
Matt Medeiros: Uh, from my particular angle for years, I’ve been covering just like business entrepreneurship stuff. Um, that’s been the angle I’ve, I’ve sort of worked with for a long time. Now recently with the WP minute, really more opening that up to community-based stuff. Um, You know, like the rest [00:11:00] there’s while we feel like there’s a ton of news.
There’s also not a ton of news at the same time.
David Bisset: Let’s assume acquisitions didn’t exist. What else is left?,
Matt Medeiros: yeah, you could have a whole podcast on that this year. Um, you know, for me, I look at it and my editor looks at it from the things that we think are going to make. Hey, the biggest impact on business or be the biggest impact on the community, or maybe there’s a see also on the software.
So we look at it from those three angles first, um, long, unless it’s a slow Newsweek, then we’ll cover something that we might deem innovative, which falls into cool new feature, uh, which is still a challenge. Right. Um, You know, that’s the lens that we look at, that we look at it through. Uh, and you know, there’s, there’s only so much stuff coming out of the fire hose that we can, that we can capture.
Um, but hopefully we’re capturing the stuff that we deem [00:12:00] either the most impactful on business, on a business community or the software.
David Bisset: And Sarah, when it comes to the Tavern, what, are there any specific things that you look for for your audience? Um, I, I think probably out of everybody here, the Tavern might have a larger, or at least a wider scope.
Maybe I know there’s Gutenberg though. I know Matt does an excellent, um, business-related and startup related items. Um, where do you draw your lines for the.
Sarah Gooding: Um, our, yeah, we’re pretty wide open. We try to cover, um, WordPress core news business news, um, struggles that users are having, but we also reach a little bit outside and like GPL legal conflicts, I think are interesting and may impact the WordPress community.
Um, we. You know, what, what other companies are doing or how like social media companies are impacting workers because everything kind of ties together. These days away, people share their, they publish [00:13:00] their posts to social media, or they, you know, they should be publishing from their own website cause social media.
But you know, a lot of people, their businesses are built on social media and WordPress is just a smaller part of that. So there is, we just have such a large diverse audience that we try to hit everything, um, that we feel like is new.
David Bisset: And special, special guest Joe Howard has joined us. Um, let’s say, Joe, take yourself off of mute and say.
Yeah, that’s okay. I’m sorry. Uh, we, uh, he got lost on the way over here was very big, heavy traffic and you need
Joe Howard: the mobile app and not the desktop app. So really, I just don’t know how to use Twitter spaces.
David Bisset: Oh no, let’s let’s blame Twitter because that’s the platform we’re currently recording on, uh, briefly introduce yourself and let us know how you decide your, what, what corner of the WordPress space?
Uh, your news, my primarily focuses.
Joe Howard: Sure. Uh, I am [00:14:00] the former CEO of WPP buffs, uh, currently work over, uh, do some stuff over at WP MRR, uh, community podcast, uh, uh, all that sorts of stuff. Um, how do I find my news online? Uh, a lot of the times. Yeah on Twitter, but I feel like a lot of it’s, uh, uh, people are usually talking about the topics of the day.
Um, aside from that, I used to get more from email. I used to subscribe to like every single, um, inbox or every single email newsletter. But these days, um, I don’t, I’m not very good at checking email these days, but I also just, uh, I’m trying to be more minimalist about my, my inbox as a lot of people are these days delete selecting most and delete.
There’s still a few that I’m, uh, that I, uh, pay more attention to and then I’ll read through. Um, but for the most part, uh, um, um, I’m [00:15:00] unsubscribed via when it comes to email. So, yeah. Keep it simple. Those are the big ways.
How long have you been doing your newsletters, army or new, or your podcast too as well?
Everything your whole, your whole deal. Yeah.
PA podcast is the longest running thing over at WP MRR. That’s been two and a half years, two years, something like that. 150 ish episode once a week. So, uh,
David Bisset: Okay. No, that’s okay. We’ll do a state of the podcast stuff after this. That’s why we have other people that we were going to be inviting to that.
Um, but I don’t want to forget, in fact, I don’t, because of, I forget this person that he’s of shoot me, um, Dan from post statuses here. So, um, Dan, um, you’re from post status, I guess we have established that, um, a little bit, a brief mention about yourself and where post status gets this news. [00:16:00] Just don’t say me, you know?
Dan Knauss: Right. Well, that’s, that’s fairly accurate. I’ve been working with David as editor at post status for quite a while and, and that
David Bisset: conventionally grown up being paid either to say this, but go ahead. Yeah.
Dan Knauss: Uh, yeah. Do we have a little bit of a different arrangement maybe than, than others?
David is kind of in a curatorial role. We do a lot of covered, a lot of different bases, but I’m going from essentially copyediting years ago to doing a much more of a kind of comprehensive general editorial role. So I do get, I do rely on David to kind of filter, be the filter and bring in a lot of stuff.
And we have a lot going to
David Bisset: get emails now.
Dan Knauss: Yeah. Well, you’re, you’re kind of the gatekeeper in a lot of ways, but we have a lot of other people to kind of throw in once in a while. We are [00:17:00] working with Bob Dunn now. And others out there. The more minds we kind of have filtering news and ideas together, the more it helps me.
Then I can kind of spend my time on higher level stuff and maybe get out of the echo chamber a little bit and think more broadly. But, um, yeah, I’m kind of operating in a different editorial role. I used to, I used to contribute more, um, original writing and interviews, but now we’re often pushing that to, um, to those view, who do, like David and Corey, others working on a podcast and another recorded material.
So yeah, I guess if I was going to say, I follow pretty much the same, the same things as everyone else, I do try to read outside. Uh, general stuff and David will push me back, you know
David Bisset: I’m less relevant look, Minecraft can apply to WordPress tune in next week.
Dan Knauss: Yeah. [00:18:00] So yeah, that would be my answer there.
David Bisset: Okay. Well, great. Great. You can, uh, privately text me on the mistakes I’m making right now. In fact, you’re doing, doing a pretty good job of it. So there’s two areas in WordPress news that I thought we would love to tackle as a group here. Um, what we do, how it affects. Um, other communities or the parts within the WordPress community, the first one, um, is the new people into WordPress.
Is there been any, um, what are your thoughts on WordPress news and what it can do or what it has done already to create entry points for the new people that are, that are coming into coming into WordPress or supporting the. Uh, people that already have a career in WordPress, um, uh, forget we’ll S um, start with you.
I think yours is more Gutenberg related, so maybe we’ll focus on that. Um, entry points for new [00:19:00] people, maybe being, trying to lose Lauren Gutenberg or people who have that in their career. What are your thoughts on how we’re doing in that?
Birgit Pauli-Haack: That’s a very interesting question. Um, and I’ve found that the new pupils come into Gutenberg or editor using the block editor in, in a few waves.
So there was a, uh, 2018, uh, wave. There was a 2019 rave, 20, and now was a full-sized editing coming. To WordPress. It definitely brings in another wave of new users to the space. So there is a, um, big push and, um, quite a few agencies, as well as, um, hosting companies do a, uh, a phenomenal job. Um, Picking up those topics, like how do I, um, get a content created?
How do I, um, um, yeah, uh, youth image blog, and all of [00:20:00] the, um, how tos of that, there is a user documentation on the web press.org. Um, and, uh, they have caught up probably, uh, to 5.7. Um, And the newest one is always a little bit like in behind, but I, uh, the hosting company. Yeah. If you follow Kim stir, if you follow, um, um, it escapes me now, but there were, uh, or WP beginner.
Um, I think there is a very good. Search searching those articles and publishing up in the thing, but it’s not about the news media, then I have not found that that is really something, um, That is picked up by any of the, um, any of us. Um, I soon pick it up just for that particular idea that if agencies read the Gutenberg times and they get questions from their [00:21:00] content creators and their, uh, users that I have a.
A list of beginner tutorials, uh, where people can go or send their customers to. So they can kind of offset that customer support, um, a little bit to a material that’s already out there. I wish we had a better, um, end user documentation on represent org
David Bisset: documentations and other things.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. I, I stopped.
Total different topic, but that’s kind of, um, so, um, yeah, I think there is a new wave of, uh, new users coming in every eight to nine months. Um, kind of picking up on the, the buzz of new features in WordPress.
David Bisset: Do you think, do you think the news, do you think, all right now the state of the WordPress, um, the state of the WordPress news reporting is doing a good enough job.
Yes or no, regarding new Gutenberg stuff. Do you think there’s. Is there a great [00:22:00] gap or yes or no on that one?
Birgit Pauli-Haack: Oh, absolutely. Yes. On the new Gutenberg stuff, not on the new users, but the new Gutenberg stuff. That’s definitely, um, um, uh, coming around on, on, uh, especially the top of your Tavern, um, of course, and, um,
David Bisset: speak of the Tavern.
I’m sorry. Speak of the Tavern. I do want to make sure we get everybody’s comment on this, Sarah, what is your take on it?
Sarah Gooding: I think it really depends on what publication you’re running. I think with like something like the Gutenberg times, it’s really important to, to get everybody along and, um, to, to get people on the same page and help people learn and move forward with, with convert.
But if you’re just like a straight up news publication, then, um, I don’t think it should be the goal of WordPress news to help new users necessarily. It’s certainly a positive by-product, but the news should just serve the public interest and report on anything that’s [00:23:00] newsworthy. So even if it doesn’t on its face, seem like as a positive slant for new users or contributors or even WordPress itself.
Um, I think that if you’re writing, you know, just WordPress news and you really need to stay. To, um, to just telling the truth. And sometimes that’s going to be really exciting and positive and there’s going to be big leaps for, for Gutenberg. And sometimes there are going to be major frustrations, but I think that that friction there, um, helps the project and refined it.
And the more we can have these kinds of discussions in a, in a transparent and honest way, um, including all, all people’s voices. I know that there are contributors who put like hours and hours in. And so sometimes there’s. It seems more valuable, but there are users who have spent five minutes on it and failed, and their input is valuable too.
So I think if we can be, you know, grab those diverse voices and put it together to form a narrative that helps people, then, then I think that. [00:24:00]
David Bisset: Matt, you you’re going to say something
Matt Medeiros: I wasn’t until Sarah just said it way better than I could have.
David Bisset: Great. Well, I know what order to put you in next time,
Matt Medeiros: but like real quick on the, yeah, it totally depends on the publication.
It depends on the, the format as well. And this has been really interesting. Uh, because for years I run a podcast about business entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, and I would, uh, you know, in a, in a, in an effort not to get just like the same voices or just somebody who wants to appear on the podcast to promote their new plugin or theme, I do a lot of outreach into, into folks that I would, I deem interesting to not only me, but what would be interesting to my audience.
And the point that I’m getting at is, is not everyone wants. Quite literally talk to me and use their voice to get their message out. They, in other words, they don’t want to be on a podcast. And one of the interesting things that I’ve found with the WP minute is now I do text [00:25:00] and audio. And while that sounds like, you know, kind of silly or kind of throw away on the surface, I have found people who are much more willing to do a written interview or to express themselves, uh, through text.
So that’s. Uh, touching on just format of the news. Um, but what I’ve been doing a lot more with the WP minute is giving voices quite literally reaching out to people and saying, Hey, I think you’ve got a great story to tell. Do you have the confidence? Do you want to share this story? And I think to go back to the new people in the WordPress space, You know, leveling up your game a little bit, having some confidence to hop on a podcast or do an inter interview is something that you should do to get your message out.
If you want to. I have approached countless people who just say no. Um, they, they just don’t want to have their voice heard, whether that’s a confidence thing or confidentiality thing or [00:26:00] something like that,
David Bisset: maybe the wrong time
Matt Medeiros: or maybe wrong time. Right. Uh, but I do see. You know, and poor folks who, who want to get a message out to, you know, to, to level up that side of their game, if, if they’d like to,
David Bisset: well, I, uh, we actually.
That’s actually very good because you know, there’s been a lot of discussion about how we get new contributors into the WordPress space, but not everybody’s a contributor, they’re a business owner, so it’s, they rely if they come from the outside. So sometimes they have to figure out where their new sources are coming from, from inside the WordPress space.
So that’s a pretty important demographic for, I think, for all of us now, speaking of. Well, I don’t really have a good segue for this. So I’ll just skip that attempt. Um, if I’m pronouncing her name correctly, Dan, correct me if I’m wrong. But Ray Mori from the repository newsletter, uh, was not able to make it here today.
Um, she did leave a video. I’ll share with the link. I’ll share the zip and message link in the show notes from this [00:27:00] episode. Live, um, all of you have, have had had opportunity to look at the page as well. So this won’t be too much of a surprise, but I thought she had an interesting response into what improvements can be made into how news is reported.
And I thought, and hopefully you can hear this audio. I think we did the sound check and work. So after listening to what I would love to. One or two of your guest’s feedback here. Um, let’s see if I can play this it’s what improvements can be made and how news is rewarded system.
Matt Medeiros: Can you,
David Bisset: can we hear that?
Can somebody say. Yes,
Rae Morey: reporting more independent reporting, even more journalists working at WP Tavern chalet. Matt could put up some more cash for a couple more riders, because there were a lot of stories going on reported for instance, this week, elemental who for transparency is one of my, uh, sponsors at their poetry.
Um, they launched a big budget marketing [00:28:00] campaign that I personally think is anything. This is better than anything that weeks or Squarespaces is doing. And it doesn’t even mention WordPress is elemental trying to distance itself from WordPress. Maybe Sarah or Justin are already working on that story. I think it’s a pretty big deal, but no, one’s really talking about it yet anyway.
So I’ll be looking out for that story in the next week. And as more and more people who speak English as a second language or not at all, here’s where press it’s becoming increasingly important that we engage with those communities and acknowledge their contribution contributions to the WordPress project, as well as the success of businesses and individuals who are using the platform.
Overall, I’d love to see more of a diversity of voices in the WordPress media.
David Bisset: Hopefully Sarah, didn’t put you too much on this spot. On that. I kind of forgot. She, she mentioned the Tavern a little bit. Um, but there are, there are stories that. That some feel are or going, uh, [00:29:00] unreported, which is we can’t cover everything. But, um, and she mentioned also something about language as well.
So, um, if anybody wants to comment on what improvements can be made into how you think general news is recorded, um, maybe what we can hit in terms of, I don’t know, uh, we hit on it a little bit. Um, but it, does anybody have a specific frame on that? Or am I going to put somebody on the spot? I think I’m going to put somebody on that.
I tell you why proposed status. I can speak for post status on this a little bit. Um, improvements on how the news is report. Um, for, for post status is actually post status is not really much of a new sources, more of a Anil, uh, analysis type of that’s what we that’s, what post status does primarily. So the cha so the ways we can, at least personally, for me, we used can be improved in how news is reported, because while we give analysis, we also share news as well [00:30:00] is not to jump the gun too quickly for us.
Stories can be braking. And also there’s a lot of emotion coming with some stories, whether it’s an acquisition, whether individual expresses a certain opinion about a topic, Twitter gets hot, real fast, and sometimes I have to watch my reacts. Sometimes I don’t want to give a reaction to something going on on Twitter because I think that’s, that kind of starts to paint me into a corner a little bit and turns my, when we get to the post status, part of it in the analysis part of it.
So. For me personally, an improvement would be sometimes I shouldn’t give a hot take and let other people converse and then kind of take a step back. Um, Matt, what are your thoughts? Well,
Matt Medeiros: just to, first of all, she asked some amazing questions in that, uh, in that zip message that you have recorded, um, some fantastic stuff.
The, uh, and without trying to sound like a broken, broken record, but, uh, I’m not [00:31:00] worried. An element or story getting missed or not covered because it’s elementary and they have a fantastic marketing team. And if they want to get heard, uh, they have certainly come across my radar and I’m sure they’ve gone across everyone.
Else’s radar. That’s on this panel today. Uh, and they have the resources. It’s the small fry, uh, or the smaller solo blue collar digital worker. That doesn’t have that chance or it doesn’t have those resources and we can’t catch everything. Um, I certainly can’t because this is just a side gig for me. Uh,
David Bisset: it’s not easy to get to that in a second. That’s our next topic.
Matt Medeiros: It’s not a full-time job. So I know one of my. Tons and I’m sure Joe and beer get, get this all the time. Hey, I want to be on the podcast. We’ve got this thing. We want to pitch a very shallow, very just self-serving and those, I get a ton of those and it’s just, I don’t even respond.
But if you come to me with a great story to be heard, absolutely a hundred percent, [00:32:00] let’s at least have the conversation, um, to get you to get you some airtime and we can’t catch everything. Um, Sarah’s one person. A small team and same with me. Uh, and it’s, it’s just so hard. So if you want to reach out and get that story heard again, broken record moment, reach out and let us know.
Okay. Yeah. I guess it is hard for the smaller fry so to speak. Um, and we kind of have to be open and receptive to that. That it’s, that’s a good point. So let’s talk. Um, unless anyone else has something to share real quick, let’s talk monetization. Let’s talk about. Uh, Matt said this is a site gig. Um, um, I, Sarah, I believe correct me if I’m wrong, but I, our Eric, is it a, is it a site?
Is it a part-time full-time side gig? What, where do you fall on that? Because I’m about to push her out of the way
Sarah Gooding: it’s full-time.
Okay. So, um, and your employer, just to remind [00:33:00] everyone here is. Okay, so you have a full-time position. So this question may not, I’m not sure feel free to jump in, but I’m going to focus.
Um, Joe is, is your, do you consider what you do a side gig as well?
Joe Howard: Uh, that’s a really good question. I don’t even know if I
David Bisset: have it. Yeah, because it’s so melded together with WP and Mount with your business or your podcasts.
Joe Howard: I’m trying to remember the name of the movie spotlight. Uh, there’s a scene where Marty Baron is the editor in chief of the newspaper. He was talking to, um, someone in the church and the essence. He says, you know, we, we have to be a part in order to be our, you know, the best news organization we can, we can’t be affiliated with anything.
So I think. To me, it’s like speaks to [00:34:00] what Matt was talking about in terms of, uh, it’s kind of like a side gig. And I guess for me, I’d say, yeah, it’s like, you know, maybe it’s part of WP buffs. Maybe it’s not, who are we sponsored by? Do we have affiliate links pointing to different places? That’s a big challenge in the WordPress news space.
I think, you know, how many of the people who are doing WordPress news who are really creating or news specific to the WordPress space or. Would consider themselves. Journalists would consider themselves full time employees or team members of a team where a hundred percent of their time and energy is put towards being a journalist.
You know? Uh, I think that’s probably for most of us, that’s probably, that’s not the case.
David Bisset: Do you think that, do you think that’s a big hindrance? The fact that we don’t have more full-time people focused on news and WordPress or similar spaces. I know. In the recording mentioned that, um, you know, the, the [00:35:00] ability, you know, the existence of maybe a couple of more full-time writers, do you think that’s a, that’s a big hindrance right now?
Or do you think with the most people doing this on the side gig, that is sufficient? Um, what are your thoughts on that?
Joe Howard: I think it’s a hindrance. I think Ray is right. I think, I think about the monetization of. Tavern where it not, uh, owned and operated and funded by Audrey capital, would it have enough views? Would it have enough? Like how would it monetize itself where it not monetize that way? And I think that the answer would pro I don’t want to speak without having any real knowledge of it, but I would say probably the viewership would not be enough to like fully fund the full-time team members.
They are just based on like a Google ad. You know, versus like, based on how many page views that Tavern gets. So I think that the, [00:36:00] yeah, in short, I think, yeah, we need more people who are doing full time journalists work, because I think that in my opinion, To do news on the side or news as kind of like part of something else.
There’s always going to be a, well, how are they, how are you funding this? You know, like post status does it with like a membership, you know, I think that’s a really cool way to like fund news, but, um, you know, if I’m writing like an article for WP bus and it’s a news article and it’s like the best website management company is like, well, if I have WP boss, the number one company, like.
Really news. Like, I don’t think so. I think it goes back to what Sarah says sad about, you know, you had to put out the best stories that are the most important for people. Um, and I think traditionally news is really been about, you know, keeping [00:37:00] the it’s about democracy. It’s about keeping the, uh, keep giving us a educated.
That’s really the that’s why we, we have journalism. I think so. Um, yeah, sorry. A little bit of tension, but there some thoughts,
David Bisset: that’s fine. I, I, you know what, um, there are times in wish, you know, some people, you know, we’d have a side gig and we say, wow, Could be paid to do this full-time and then there’s I think sometimes I’m like, I rather, I’m very thankful this is a side gig.
Um, because I don’t think
Joe Howard: I could do I’m sorry, I just want one quick thing. If any other thing, anybody else here, any other speakers like to think differently? Like I’m super open to having conversation about this. Um, and I think the there’s, there’s always pros and there’s always cons to whatever monetization you’re doing or however you.
Go about reporting news, for instance, like, you know, however you set yourself up as a business or as an entity or as like how you’re reporting the news. They’re always going to be pros. There’s always going to be [00:38:00] cons. But I think that I, I think that we, the, the, as WordPress gets more, as more money comes into the WordPress community and open source community, like we need more full time.
People who are dedicated to, uh, you know, democracy dies in darkness. Like we have to make sure we’re keeping up with, uh, keeping shining light on every aspect of the WordPress community.
David Bisset: So when it comes to, so when it comes to news, is that something we would treat as kind of like a contribution or contributors?
Is it, would it be possible for, you know, how the people, companies sponsor word sponsor contributors? Full-time. Would there be, let’s pretend that a position exists for someone to be able to sponsor someone full-time to do the news or create content. Would that be a help or would that just be seen [00:39:00] as a, um, biased type of thing?
Joe Howard: I th I think this is a key question and I see Matt with his hand up and I I’d be really interested to hear what Madison’s. Yeah.
David Bisset: Yes. Unfortunately, he’s, it’s more than one finger this time. So let me, let me ask Matt here.
Matt Medeiros: Uh, so let me just restate that question. So the question is, if people are creating news, do you count that as a contribution to WordPress?
David Bisset: Yeah. Plus, or more, more in the bigger question would be if we need more full-time efforts into WordPress or full-time people or full-time positions or whatever, or more smaller time positions, is that something that accompany could sponsor just like someone can sponsor a full-time.
Matt Medeiros: Yeah. Uh, I’m biased because I feel like 10 years of creating WordPress content is a healthy dose of contribution and from my point of view, um, so I think, yes, if you, if, if a company, a small company, a medium company, big company wants to sponsor somebody to do that, certainly.[00:40:00]
Absolutely. And I would count it as a contribution to the greater, um, ecosystem of, of WordPress. And I think folks who follow me know that the more we are rallying around WordPress, the more adoption WordPress gets and support, et cetera, et cetera. So, yes, I, I look at that as a contribution just to like put it in and I’ll wrap this answer up super quick.
Cause Sarah has her hand up, um, you know, as. We are like the 1% of the 1%, the people who actually care about the inside baseball, the news of WordPress, the Watchers,
like I’m open to be challenged on that, but you know, I think more people care about the 50 new landscaping themes for 20, 22 than they care about some, you know, uh, analysis.
On automatic or whatever the space is, as big as we make, we feel like it is it’s really, really small. And in order for it to be properly funded, yes. You’re always going to, [00:41:00] you’re going to have to have some large institution or some company that does sponsor it. It will always be this question of, are you going to be biased?
Uh, but you know, it’s, it’s totally. It’s the trust that the journalist instills. And I think Sarah does a fantastic job with that. Uh, when look, my numbers are pretty public and I do talk about, I do talk about it in blog posts quite often, all you like. I sell my sponsorship through hu commerce store, and I have a membership that you can look at, buy me a coffee and see how many members I have the annual run rate for my sponsors.
It’s about $40,000 a year is what I make off of that. And then I just plow that back into, um, reinvesting into the company. And this is from a part-time thing. If people can. You know, live on that as a full time, then certainly these things are doable. Um, I think [00:42:00] there are companies that will support, you know, for more money, uh, and give somebody a healthy, uh, career out of it.
And I think it’s just up to the. The journalist or the blogger or the podcast, or who wants to step up and try to go and get that money and then have companies in the WordPress space that look at quality content, quality, journalism, and reporting, and want to support.
Transcript (Part 2)
Episode 3 – Part Two
[00:00:00] David Bisset: Hello, welcome to post status comments, where we had our third episode state of WordPress news on Twitter spaces on November 19th, 2021. We had some great guests, including Matt from Matt report media, Joe Howard, from doughy P M R R. Forget from Gutenberg times, Sarah, from WP Tavern and Dan from post status.
In fact, we had such an engaging conversation, including comments from the audience and pre recordings that it went about 90 minutes long. So we split it up into two equal audio parts. Before we go into this part. Now I want to thank a really great sponsor who really stepped it up and provided sponsorship for this entire episode.
And that’s WP. Now WP lookout, what that does is attracts plug-ins and the themes that your WordPress site uses and probably depends on it’s especially useful for getting timely info on the plugins and theme versions, security updates, author changes. Mentions in the news and more, there’s probably not a good way for you to keep track of all of that yourself.
So WP lookout is an excellent tool, especially for important client sites that helps stay help you stay on top of things, especially for security updates. Plus it has great features, great customization. So you can be notified by email, slack, web hook, and RSS. So really great service. Chris is an awesome guy.
Go check them out at post EDIS docs. Slash WP lookout. And here’s our episode well said, uh, Sarah what’s, what’s your take and then we’ll move on to the next, uh, question.
[00:01:39] Sarah Gooding: Yeah, I think I just want to tag onto what, um, Matt was saying. It’s really hard to do this without a contract, a conflict of. And I think I’ve seen, you know, hosting companies try to do it where they’ll have people writing like a, what they’ll call a news magazine and they’ll, they’ll post, you know, tons of, of news and really good articles actually, um, that investigate different things.
But then they’re mixed in with like product updates or, you know, we’re coming out with this new thing. And so it’s, it’s mixed. And you know, you, as the reader have to decide like how much of this is. Um, what I can trust and how much is this company trying to sell me something? So it’s, it’s really hard for a company like a hosting hosting companies have a ton of money.
So it’s, you know, it’s tough to be able to have them be completely independent, where they are allowed to just go write whatever they want. You know, there would have to be some, we’d have to have some kind of new, new way to do this. And it would be really interesting to see if something like that kind of.
Um, because we do need more diverse voices. We need a lot, we need voices coming from different publications. And, um, I mean, I remember back in the day when post status, he used to write more news and there were times when I was like, why isn’t, why isn’t posting. Mentioning like what this company is doing.
They’re defrauding customers, or, you know, things like that. And I, and you realize that there are a lot of business relationships behind all of this. And at the same time, like some of these smaller publications, they’re going to compromise their ability to stay afloat. If they, if they write news against, um, some of these people who are their partners are the people who, who fund what they’re doing.
Did they have a chance to keep making a positive impact long-term or are they going to burn, you know, 50% of their sponsors by publishing a story about, you know, corporate wrongdoing. So it’s, it’s really, it’s a tough balance, you know, so you can have independent publications that are sponsored, but they, they have a tough road to walk.
And then even with the Tavern, you know, we’re constantly asked about the conflict of interest, uh, you know, being funded by Audrey capital. So. Um, yeah, everybody has a tough time and funding news as a, as an ancient problem. But I think, you know, maybe in the WordPress community, we could find some innovative way to tackle this where when you could get those independent people, those people who, I mean, it has to be people who love WordPress and who will write the truth and who, um, you know, at their core are wanting WordPress to succeed, but are able to discern what is this news or not.
And, you know, finding those people and people who actually want write. Every single day. It’s tough. You know, I’ve had to look for them before, like when we got Justin, you know, this is a guy who can’t be bought to say, you know, something positive or negative about anything that…
[00:04:26] David Bisset: …isn’t true. I tried at a WordCamp and wouldn’t tell me good things about myself. I gave him money.
[00:04:30] Sarah Gooding: So, you know, everyone, everyone who’s doing it. They have a tough job.
[00:04:36] David Bisset: Here’s Ray here with her comment on that from, from the zip message. And then I’m going to move on to another question here.
[00:04:44] Rae Morey: I love this question because it’s an easy one for me to answer no matter who sponsors the repository, I’m going to write about them.
Whether their activities are good or bad, um, Elementor as I’ve just mentioned, they one of my sponsors and they’re going to be in the next upcoming issue of the repository. Um, one of our current sponsors he’s good at he pro I’ve written about GoDaddy in the past when there was negative news story that didn’t stop in sponsoring their pository.
I think it’s crucial that we hold companies to account for their actions, particularly large companies that are sponsoring newsletters. We need sponsorship to keep the lights running, but we need to be able to ride. Um, you know, write independently of our sponsors, views and opinions. And if we’re going to produce meaningful news content, we shouldn’t be afraid of, of losing sponsorship.
Um, and that’s something I make very clear to sponsors from the outset when they choose to sponsor the repository.
I thought that was a pretty good comment. If it more or less what we were talking about. So here’s a question and feel free to raise your hand, um, panel here for this, but I’m going to start with Dan because I can put him on the spot.
We want to know. From the news world, the people that report the news. And we asked you this before, um, to give you, give you time to think about it. What was the single biggest news story? So far of the year 2021 in WordPress. Um, and already we already went through what defines biggest influential, whatever, how you for you to find it.
And, uh, and the, the game rule here is it needs to be a specific story and it can’t be just. Acquisitions. So, um, Dan, if you’re ready, I’d love to hear, um, give it, tell us briefly what you think the, um, in your opinion, the biggest news story. Sure.
[00:06:32] Dan Knauss: Um, yeah, we’ve tossed this one around a bit. Um, I’m going to kind of bend that question a little bit.
I, I make a pretty hard distinction between news journalism. And then what we would say is analysis or trying to set a conversation is more of what we try to do at post status. So I, I, I kind of, uh, agree with some other things Rae said in what she contributed, that there’s a lot, that’s not being written.
And probably the biggest story is as a, not just a news piece, but a story that gives some, some deeper analysis is, you know, maybe the big, uh, big picture on, on acquisitions, multiple acquisitions, what it means for a specific industry or. The community as a whole, um, that hasn’t really been done. Um, I think Sarah’s amp piece is probably probably the biggest, the significant piece of journalism, um, to come along.
And that that’s something that has a lot of implications and in, um, what we want to do with things like that is have, have a rich news and journalism ecosystem that’s out there that. You know, David and I, and others that post status and things to chew on and, um, create the discussions that matter a little bit more reflective and slow.
Um, as we’ve posted status has really become more of a trade association at its heart, a membership community. Um, and I think people see. Think back to some old older days when, when there was, there was a bit of a journalistic quality to it. That’s really rare for us to do at this point. So. Part think tank part, part association, um, with as many entry points now, as we can get to people who are at all different phases of their potential careers.
So, uh, communal. Within the community, I guess
[00:08:40] David Bisset: it was Matt. Oh, I’m sorry. Were you done Dan? I’m sorry. I’m juggling three different stages. Was there a single news story that you thought was likely could be a contender for the biggest, um, WordPress story related story of 2021 so far?
[00:08:54] Matt Medeiros: Uh, I’m going to give you an interesting answer. But before I do, while I have an audience, I have to say that there’s, I have a massive amount of imposter syndrome sitting alongside of Sarah. When you talk to journalists and quality of content and things like the amp story. I mean, people who are in the audience listening to this, you should just give her a round of applause with the emoji, uh, emoji icon thing in the
[00:09:19] David Bisset: Twitter space .It might be hard to do the UI on this thing is nuts. But go ahead. Yeah.
[00:09:25] Matt Medeiros: Um, so anyway, You know, I’m old enough to remember when Andrew Neeson was the biggest WordPress celebrity in the space and what I’ve witnessed over the last decade or so, or more at this point is that, um, a lot of celebrities that come and go and I think.
With all of the acquisitions, the results of all of the acquisitions. I think the biggest story that’s actually being written right now are all of, and I don’t want to use the word celebrities, but all of the next round of leaders in this space, uh, whether or not they’re writing code, writing a blog post, doing a podcast, uh, training people contributing, uh, volunteering at word camps when they come back.
I think we’re going to see a whole new wave of awesome WordPress leadership, um, coming out of all of the. You know, 20, 20, 20, 21, uh, acquisitions and just people, you know, bobbing and weaving out of the space for one reason or the other. So for me, it’s the unwritten story. If I can cheat and use that really everybody’s doing that.
I can’t get a straight answer out of anybody, but that’s fine. That’s, that’s how these things go. And, you know, we submitted my resignation later. Um, we’re good. What’s let’s see if we can. Third. Time’s the charm. What’s, what’s the biggest, but oh, by the way, this is all legit, by the way. And I’d rather have this than.
And pulling a URL out of, of some Mondays I’m rear end here, but I forget what is the single biggest news story? I’ll ask you the same question of 2021.
[00:11:01] Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, I have two stories. I’m sorry,
[00:11:07] David Bisset: real quick. Now, if you’ve got two you’ve got to give them out real quick. Go ahead.
[00:11:12] Birgit Pauli-Haack: So, um, WP engine did a study on the economic impact of her press and it’s 509 5. 196 or something billion dollars. That is really big. Um, what I was missing on that story was how much of that money goes to hosting companies.
Okay. It was that both of them or is that one? Because my counting abilities ain’t so good. These days. I was too.
Just making sure. No that’s boom, boom, bang, bang, bang. All right. So listen, um, what I want to do now is I’m going to take a real quick pause here. And we were talking about sponsors a minute ago and just so happens. We have one for this podcast, and then I’m going to, I’m going to share that with you, but speakers and audience too.
Um, I would like to take the last part of this conversation into, I think, what is, uh, Could be an elephant in the room. That’s kinda broken out a little bit. Um, the topic of acquisitions. Um, we have a question from one of our audience member or one of our zip message members, and we want to get everybody’s take on the acquisition space that seems to have consumed most of the, a lot of oxygen in the news space.
Uh, this year. Um, first of all, though, I do want to thank though, um, WP lookout. Um, it’s got a nice little tower as a logo. It’s pretty, it’s pretty nice. It actually tracks plugins and themes. So if you, uh, it’ll actually was launched in August, 2020. Okay. It was providing a goal. It still is. It still is. It’s present tense.
It’s providing WordPress users with a better way to stay informed about what’s happening with their WordPress sites. So if you need plugins or if you need notification sent to you by email slack, RSS, a carrier pigeon could be something on here. I’m very certain that if you want to know about security updates and everything happened to your website, check them out at WP lookout.
I’d actually like the tower to creme reminds me of, um, the forest lookout towers, which is probably what it’s supposed to be. But anyway, let’s talk last, last chapter here. Let’s talk about acquisitions and Kim Coleman actually sent this real quick question in, and I want those who have a take, uh, feel free to share it here.
[00:14:13] Kim Coleman: Hey everyone. I’m Kim Coleman from paid memberships pro I just wanted to get everyone’s perspective on what the benefits and downsides the users of our WordPress plugins will experience with all the acquisitions we’re seeing in this space. Thanks so much.
[00:14:27] David Bisset: That is the most loaded question. I think I’ve ever put into a part, so we could go, this could be its own pockets in of itself.
So let’s just focus from a news from a news. Perspective someone who reports on the news and seeds, it sees, uh, uh, various size of landscape. What are your thoughts on how the WordPress acquisitions may be affecting? I think she said users of plugins or developers of plugins. I can play this again if we need to.
It’s only 15 seconds. Um, in fact, maybe you want me to re repeat the question? Let’s repeat it one more time. Actually, I’m getting, uh, somebody didn’t hear it. Hold on one sec. Just do it one more time. Hey everyone. I’m Kim Coleman from paid memberships pro I just wanted to get everyone’s perspective on what the benefits and downsides the users of our WordPress plugins will experience with all the acquisitions we’re seeing in this space.
So users and developers. So I, you know, me personally, um, short term for a lot of these acquisitions, it seems like nothing much is changing, but maybe. Maybe that’s just me or I’m not looking far ahead enough, Matt, what are you? What’s your take on that? Well,
[00:15:40] Matt Medeiros: I’ll take the easy answer before anybody else snags it for me.
[00:15:43] David Bisset: This is how you play monopoly. But
[00:15:45] Matt Medeiros: the, uh, you know, I think look at the end of the day, that means that the users are going to get hopefully stronger, better, uh, options and less of them hold that thought they don’t have to hold it. Yeah, they don’t have to decide between a dozen forms or a dozen SEO plugins.
And they can just see some from brands that they like, they can get an all-inclusive turn-key solution and there, they don’t have to search around anymore. They’ve got it. They figured it out. They got one easy tool to use, uh, flips. They have less choices and that’s the beauty, or has been the beauty of WordPress is that so many of us have been able to make a, go at earning an income and creating products and serving a set of customers for so many years.
And, uh, it’s been quite fun, but now we’ll see that it’s going to be a lot more challenging to stand out. And then as soon as you start to stand up, Uh, liquid web might knock on your door and ask about you, but, you know, it’s,
[00:16:52] David Bisset: it’s, she tutored two men to, to credit of that act. I’ve heard you on Twitter, say many times I’m looking to be acquired and I’m assuming it means your business and not your personal self, but I’m taking it to that mean that way I actually want to touch on the less choice thing, maybe in a second of anyone else as a comment on that, rainbow has a final comment here on this subject as well.
And I wanted to sneak this in before I got any more feedback. Um, let’s see. oh, wait a minute. I think. Well, yes.
[00:17:24] Rae Morey: I tend to think there’s not one standout story. So much as one standout theme when it comes to influential news story of the year and that’s gotta be acquisitions. It seems there’s an acquisition acquisition every week. Um, as big as companies like Yoast and Paisley that have been around since the early days of being acquired, both of which were.
Incredibly surprising you stories this year. Certainly changing the way we think about WordPress because it’s no longer simply play open source project run by community of individuals and small businesses. So much as a it’s project supported now by corporate interests.
That is an interesting take.
And Joe, you put up a hundred up there. Did you have.
[00:18:10] Joe Howard: I think Ray and I share, uh, some opinions on this. Um,
[00:18:16] David Bisset: oh, it’s okay. You don’t shine for another podcast, but yeah, it’s, I’ve generally speaking from a, from a news reporter standpoint. Do you, um, how much of that do you gel with? And gel is a technical.
[00:18:29] Joe Howard: Ah, well, I don’t really even consider myself a news person, someone who produces news more based, but I would agree with Ray.
Um, I think the shift is happening from being a true open source, um, community environment that we have to, I mean, if you look at the acquisition space, the people making acquisitions, you know, What three or four main organizations that are, that are making most of these acquisitions, um, and full transparency.
WP boss has an acquisition arm as well as discount myself from this. Yeah. Hey, there you go. Transparency. But, uh, but I believe. And Matt, what Matt was saying was really important because that choice of that people have is slowly going away because these corporations are saying, oh, don’t go out and look for the plugins you want, like, just use ours.
And I think like today that doesn’t have as big of an effect because the open source economy is still strong, but over time, you know, if we’re not careful, You know, every, you know, everybody’s going to be owned by five companies, you know? And then what choice do you really have? You know, who’s really happy with like, you know, Comcast, you know, TV deal.
That’s totally, they’re paying way too much for, or, you know, the, these huge companies that, you know, you have to buy from them because they have monopolies over things. I mean, this is how it starts. Uh, so I think longterm, this is, uh, what we have to, what is open source? What is it really going to be in 10 years?
Is it going to be the same as it was 10 years? Um, I don’t think so. And I think for, in some cases there’ll be some improvements, you know, but I think in some cases, how
[00:20:33] David Bisset: do you, how do you think that fits into the people that we have here speaking today about their, their, their dedication to reporting news in terms of, if it is going to be, if there is a consolidation, does that put more importance on trying to find the independent developer or plugin and.
Or do you think that the pressure is on to kind of go with the flow in terms of, um, reporting from the bigger companies? I mean, where do you, where do you rank the efforts in terms of, do you, do you go, do you kind of fight against the grain that’s taking what you said into account, or how do you go about finding independent people of that is what you see the future to be.
That is for you. If you want to answer it otherwise I can just dump it on myself.
[00:21:28] Joe Howard: Well, I’ll just make a quick answer, cause I don’t want to monopolize time too much, but the. I think we need more hard hitting news pieces, uh, in general. And that’s not to say that I don’t feel like the panel here does an excellent job, but a lot of that, I think we get a lot of good stories, but like I said before, like I would love if Tavern had like 10 people, you know, and I would love if they were, you know, I want more.
Of the hard hitting stories. Like I haven’t heard a story about, you know, there’s like an acquire out there. That’s like own, like they’ve acquired a bunch of plugins and they are owned by, uh, a big, big investment firm and the what drives them at the end of the day, in my opinion, I would say is, is profits.
And that’s. But I haven’t seen that story written out there. So I’m not going to specifically name names there, but I, but I think there’s room for a lot more storytelling in the WordPress community, both what you said, uh, about bringing smaller shocks to light, bringing smaller companies to light. Uh, but also, um, we need to be.
We need to be hard on these big, big entities. You know, a lot of whom are sponsoring events. And again, I, I’m not discounting myself in this either. You know, we had the WMR summit, we had sponsorship by some big companies as well. Um, and I’ve thought a lot about that. And I really questioning whether I want to even accept sponsorships again next year, because part of me, I just, it doesn’t feel like the right way.
Separate yourself from these big entities taking their money. It’s, it’s a, it’s a hard conversation. I’m not saying I’m right in that.
[00:23:14] David Bisset: I’m just saying you’re describing is awkward. Not this, not your current conversation is awkward. I mean, the subject is awkward. Um, I, I,
[00:23:21] Joe Howard: but that’s exactly why we need journalists in more journalists to help out, to have more of these awkward conversations because the awkward conversations and the hard conversations and the challenging conversations are always.
The ones you have to have, you must have in order to move conversations forward. And in order to, to, to shed light where it needs to be shed in order to, you know, make the WordPress community what we want to be, or else it’ll turn into what prophet wants it to be. I don’t think anybody wants that.
[00:23:53] David Bisset: I can tell you from a personal experiences, not as much as a, a news person, but as a WordCamp organizers sometimes. Um, and as somebody who blogs and tweets about stuff, And this is small time. This is small potatoes, right? But you have a sponsor. We actually had this happen one time. Somebody has a sponsor. They’re big time sponsor. You’re thanking them. And even though they’re going through the foundation a little bit, um, some sponsors obviously are making a choice in many situations to sponsor your event.
You’re very happy you get money, but then their company. Does something I don’t know, awkward, or it was a blunder or something. And like right before the work camp, it gets out in the news. And as somebody who likes to tweet a lot or someone who likes to like keep people informed, sometimes I give pause in terms of, am I going to have to somehow subconsciously make an apology to the, somebody at the work camp?
Cause I’m, cause I’m a member of the community here, but I’m also a work camp organizer here and. It’s like, I like, that’s why I’ve picked the word awkward. Um, cause it kind of is, and I’m not sure if that’s something that I would like to feel all the time. I’m not sure if that’s something I can, I can get over.
Um, Dan, what is your feeling as we wrap up, wrap up this discussion here, what is your, um, feelings on the impact of acquisitions on the news space?
[00:25:15] Dan Knauss: Well, yes, I’ve been thinking a lot about that as we kind of digest, you know, what the — what are the big questions we should be asking? In the wake of big M and A stories. We do need people doing the journalism and news reporting side to give us the stuff that David curates and work through editorially and have discussions, bring on guests and talk about the issues of the day.
Post Status traditionally has been very developer oriented. I’m glad we’ve really broadened and grown to cover really pretty much every aspect of every career and field in the WordPress space. But as Pippin Williamson told [Post Status Publisher] Corey [Miller] on his exit and referred to another conversation, I think it was Kinsta’s podcast with Austin Ginter, that we should be concerned about big consolidation under hosting companies that are going to build their own beautifully smooth platforms for storefronts, for LMS, for vanilla WordPress. You know, making things work in a way that’s very hard to do if you’re integrating a lot of different plugins together, say an LMS or a membership site or something like that.
If you have some of the big players really offer an outstanding WordPress experience, but it’s branded (with their brand) and unique, is that really WordPress anymore? What are the implications for confusion there and I’m interested in, how does that look when you have a corporate interest and competition? How well do you play with developers from the other team?
You know, which APIs get documented well, and you know, how much sharing and cooperation then really happens between these potentially more sectioned off parts of what is supposed to be a single ecosystem. So that untold story is one that, I think is a series of questions and conversations we all need to look at.
[00:27:25] David Bisset: Okay.
[00:27:26] Dan Knauss: I think Sarah has, has a, a comment here too, and oh yeah. Don’t forget. Daniel Schutzsmith in there too. How can, how can a, the community support all the many different things we do?
[00:27:39] David Bisset: Yeah. There’s we could go on for, for a very long time here. We’re technically, we’re a little bit over. What I want to do is I want to, um, Travis has requested, uh, from the audience has I’m Travis.
I’m really hoping it’s brief not to put you on the spot, buddy, but I’m running already running over. And my wife’s wondering why I’m not picking up the kids from school. Um, so, um, I’ll let Travis on, in a second and then we’re going to do a round room. A little bit, um, or at least, uh, everybody here has one minute to, um, summarize anything they would like to discuss.
Whether it’s like, where do you see WordPress in the short term or longterm or how people can help the media community? Um, something like that, but whoops. Oh Travis, where’d you go? Oh, I guess maybe he was I’m S I feel bad now. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. Maybe he’ll maybe was it? Oh, Oh, God, the rollercoaster here is killing me.
I’m sorry. Hey, I’m here. I appreciate you. No problem. I’m sorry to say, to make a brief, but I don’t have much of a choice. My kids are going to wonder why I’m not picking them up. Okay, go ahead buddy. Go ahead.
[00:28:45] Travis King: It was a quick comment to what Joe was speaking on about the corporations that are trying to figure out how are we, you know, do we feel okay taking, you know, the, the, the investments and doing sponsorships and just one thought on that idea was just rethink sponsor.
Because I’m someone that’s in the community. I run media platforms, I host multiple podcasts. And the biggest thing that individual hosts and community builders struggle with is finding a thousand dollars to run an event. And corporations are putting 50,000 and for one sponsorship, we put their logo on the front to blast everything. What have you broke that up into 50 small micro things and distributed to solo preneurs.
[00:29:30] David Bisset: No. Okay. Could you do me a favor? I’m going to take that. And I’m going to, I’m going to follow up with you on that on Twitter or post-test or wherever it is you live, because I would love to have another discussion about sponsorships in general.
Um, but yeah, that’s a very good, it’s a really good point. And I think Joe and Sarah and all the little emojis are lighting up after that. So really appreciate your comment on that, Travis. Very much. And I’m not just saying that because I’m wondering where my kids wondering where. Um, but yes, we’ll also, we’ll also include your Twitter handle and the post status notes.
If you don’t mind, that would be great. Okay. So let’s go around the, uh, so-called virtual table here. One last time. Um, you got a minute or two on whatever it is you want to comment on. Um, we’re good. Let’s start with you. Am I, are you good to go?
[00:30:18] Birgit Pauli-Haack: I’m good to go. Sure. Um, I see a short term, um, hard time in veterans because of the transition, um, between the classic and the Gutenberg.
And that’s going to be for another two or three years, um, until everything is kind of settled. And, um, the new things is actually on par with. The other thing, but I also see in longterm that they will, uh, so much more creativity come into the space because the scenes, um, is now, uh, for designers, let things be themes and make it beautiful, make them, uh, right.
Um, in the short term, it, we need to really alleviate all the pain that comes with change. And as it comes with learning new things, and that’s the hardest thing you can do in a space like this.
[00:31:09] David Bisset: Put that on a stone tablet hanging up on my wall. Cause I think that was for very well put, um, Joe, you want to bounce back to you? Um, you said, um, what you, you had a broad, you, we covered a few different things here, but in your particular space that you cover, what do you see the short term in terms of, um, businesses and then.
You know, Sass or whatever it is you want to talk about in that space for like what, the stuff that you usually cover on podcasts. If somebody asks you, what do you see the shorter longterm of WordPress in your space?
[00:31:45] Joe Howard: I think that the. Focus on running a good and competent business is never something that will get old, uh, or never something that will go out of style. Um, you know, focusing on building a good product, uh, focusing on subscription revenue, focus on, uh, getting feedback from users, making users happy and building something that users are actually.
Actively willing to pay for, you know, all these basic things. I think the, I think at the end of the day, you know, we could talk a lot about the future of the WordPress system and WordPress economy, but, um, uh, in terms of the, uh, uh, short term, uh, for folks doing that, uh, I think just keep doing good work.
Uh, and in terms of the, uh, folks doing news out there, People have already, you know, folks have already commended the folks on this panel for doing news, but I would like to commend them again for all the great news that they do. Uh, and I think that we should continue to find ways to get them more support, more resources.
Uh, you know, we have five for the future. Uh, why don’t we have five for. The news. It’s not a very good catch line go. So there’s definitely some, I think there are ways we can do more crowdsourcing or, you know, have everybody keep be providing the folks who are already doing good work to do more good work and to support other folks who want to. Do we want full-time journalists doing this? Uh, like, you know, I want Matt to be able to go full-time on mat report.
If he, or, you know, uh, 15 his show, if he were to choose to want to do that. Um, Post status folks. I don’t know if everybody at post-test is full-time, everybody should be able to go full time. Like, what do we need to do to get there that, uh, I see some, some, a hundred emojis coming up, so hopefully that people, but that should be the direction I think we should.
[00:33:42] David Bisset: Yes. Well, yeah, that’s fantastic. And just to be clear, I just want to make sure this was put on the record too. Um, Ray was, was kind enough to send a video. Uh, there were probably a couple of things that she said I wasn’t able to work into here, but there are so many. Other people in the WordPress news space, outside of the people in this.
And it was just it. And especially on, in other time zones, they couldn’t, they couldn’t make it for logistics reasons or we were, we could only invite so many people into this conversation and maybe we’ll have another conversation in the future for those maybe who specialize in podcasting and newsletters, that sort of thing for similar topics because you know, general news and then there’s newsletters.
And then there’s podcasting. There could be different ways to explore that, but I wanted, I wanted to make sure to thank everyone who covers WordPress news out there. Not just the people in this room, um, who are mostly also podcasters as well. So some of these people have great voices that I, that I know of anyway, but I would love to hear more voices, Dan, real quick here.
What is your, um, last take?
[00:34:45] Dan Knauss: Um, I would say in, uh, you know, looking where do I, where do I see WordPress, in the big picture, short and long term, it’s obviously we’re, you know, something Brian Krogsgard predicted a while back, you know, period of intense consolidation and growth, but it’s a big question of growth for whom and who, you know, how that pie gets gets cut up.
So there’s a lot of anxiety about fragmentation — those left behind after the big fish scoop up a lot of established brands — and, and as you know, small even mid-sized and I would consider fairly large operations. They’re wondering how do you, how do you compete? Is this the still the WordPress ecosystem we knew? Well no, it’s always changing. So, as people exit, um, you know, that’s been a question, a lot: opportunities and threats. I think those are the kind of questions that need to be asked on the business reporting side, and we need, we do need this kind of rich journalistic and news market and the ability to have these kinds of conversations and let the community feel that they have, they have some say in things. That’s not exactly a prediction about the future for WordPress — it’s where we are and what’s needed now, to move forward. I will predict there’s going to be a lot of further professionalization and WordPress companies needing to help create the kind of hires they need.
Um, you know, we’ve been trying to support that with our Get Hired project. How do you create a pipeline to employers and how does the community change and, and still feel like it’s it’s itself. Um, I guess I have more, uh, more questions really then I would, I would make predictions. I think you get a lot of both. In the e-commerce space, it’s an easy prediction that big platforms, that hosting platforms will take an ever larger role.
But then you get these little startups, you know, or old timers like with Lemon Squeezy coming, coming out. I’m very interested in that. A little, disruptive, nimble play that can still possibly run circles around big established players, beating them on performance issues, by providing an alternative to platforms that you’re locked into and make digital downloads really easy perhaps. Easier than ever. Um, that’s, that’s really an interesting play there. So I think there’s always risks and opportunities. And we just need to keep, keep talking about it — as a space where anyone can get in and do great things.
[00:36:59] David Bisset: Um, as things change, um, Matt, you, did you want to respond to Daniel’s question in your wrap-up or was it, or did you want it.
[00:37:07] Matt Medeiros: Yeah, no, just two super quick things to wrap up.
Um, I just want to respond to Travis who popped on super quick. He has a fantastic idea of, uh, the industry supporting what I’ll call micro creators or smaller creators. Maybe people who don’t have a complete platform yet. Um, I am. To be able to sell my sponsorship spots pretty quickly and fairly painlessly.
And I’ve done something called a content bounty at the WP minute where I’ve run two successful campaigns so far taking that same exact model that Travis is looking to do. Whereas if somebody wants to create a piece of content and get paid for it, I go out and grab a sponsor. For the last two, which was Paul Lacey and Michelle for chef have both earned $200 each to write their blog post.
And I’m happy to have that conversation for anyone, with anyone who wants to start, uh, as a small creator and get paid, uh, because I have the contacts and I know that we can get a smaller creators paint, uh, in this space. And
[00:38:07] David Bisset: Daniel’s question real quick. And then you can give you a quick answer. Cause he’s the only one that hasn’t gotten the audio.
[00:38:12] Daniel Schutzsmith: Covering the news, uh, can be a thankless job. I think, uh, in a industry like ours, that’s a niche. It might be even more stressful sometimes. Uh, so I wonder, you know, how can the community help you, uh, be successful? What can we do to lift you up or to help you get to the next level of where you want to take your publications?
[00:38:33] David Bisset: Okay, Matt, what’s your response?
[00:38:35] Matt Medeiros: I hit the retweet button, smash the like button, subscribe to the channel. That’s how the support, uh, to the content creators, give them, you know, real, uh, effective feedback, share their content, support, the voices that, uh, that you admire in the WordPress space are the ones that should be heard for sure.
Um, reach out if you’re a company, a freelancer building something awesome. Reach out with a good solid pitch. Let us know why we should cover your. And, uh, be more communicative, more communicative on that side and just support us by sharing the news.
Oh, okay. Sarah, let’s end with you on, on, on your one or two minute.
Take on anything you want to bring up.
[00:39:17] Sarah Gooding: I think I’ll answer the question. Where do you see work rests in the short and the long-term workers is going through a transitional time right now with full site editing. There’s so many moving parts. Um, that have to be brought together all at the same time, sometimes with deadlines.
Um, I think the experience of full site editing is going to be a little bit rough at first and people making WordPress. Like themes and plugins are gonna need to stay really connected to what’s happening with the project because it’s changing so fast and all the time, um, they might need to be ready to ride the rapids for the short term.
Um, speaking from the heart though, I think we need to really be there for each other and help each other succeed during this transitional time. But, um, as far as core development goes, WordPress, executive director, Josepha, Haden, she has her own podcast. Um, so he gives me a lot of hope for WordPress future because she.
Gracefully handling challenges and improving communication significantly across the board for the open source project, with a positive resilient kind of vibe that just tasks kids down to everybody under her leadership. So I think that even though we’re going to have a lot of community challenges coming up with transitioning into full site editing, I think we have some good leadership that is going to provide transparent communication, which, um, is going to be a huge improvement for.
From previous years where I think a lot of us felt like we might’ve been in the dark or not sure what kinds of things are going to be happening next. Um, I think we’re in a good space right now.
[00:40:51] David Bisset: Oh, actually we’re in Twitter spaces, but yeah, I get your point. Okay. Well think, well that, and, and on that note, I, let me, excuse me, I’m going to punch slack in a second.
Okay. There we go. And on that. Uh, thank you very much for, um, coming today. I think this was a good, um, I learned a little bit more about how you all kind of view the WordPress news space a bit and what the challenges are and what would be helpful for everybody. So I’m looking forward to the feedback that we’re going to get on this, and maybe we’ll talk again.
Maybe we’ll talk again on this same subject, maybe in a year with different people, um, different things to talk about. Um, maybe I’ll be acquired and won’t be able to talk about that, but who knows? I want to thank everybody here. I want to thank Dan. I want to think. Forget Sarah, Matt, and Joe, for, for being good sports and donating this large amount of their time.
Um, to have this discussion. I want to thank everybody here as well. Like I said, this is going to be, um, swimming, the recordings when success. Thumbs up there. Um, this will be available, um, on post dennis.com and also we are giving a copy or not giving. I mean, everyone will be able to share this throughout their news platforms because that kind of makes sense.
Um, thank you very much. And we’ll look forward to, um, talking with you all again, have a good one.