In this co-branded podcast episode, Cory Miller from Post Status and Matt Medeiros from WP Minute discuss the “WP drama” within the WordPress community, focusing on leadership challenges and the impact of internal conflicts. They share personal experiences, emphasizing the importance of civility and understanding towards leaders like Matt Mullenweg. They highlight the need to listen to diverse voices within the community, including agencies and businesses, and acknowledge external competition from other platforms. They stress the human aspect of leadership and community engagement, encouraging constructive dialogue and community contributions through platforms like Post Status and WP Minute.
- Passion and Emotion in the WordPress Community: The discussion emphasizes the passion that individuals in the WordPress community have for the project. However, it acknowledges that this passion can sometimes lead to heated debates and conflicts.
- Leadership and Decision-Making: The conversation delves into the challenges of leadership in the WordPress project, specifically focusing on the roles of Matt Mullenweg and Josepha Haden. It touches upon the difficulty of balancing the diverse perspectives within the community.
- Community Engagement and Support: Both speakers encourage community members to engage in constructive ways. They discuss platforms like WP Minute and Post Status as spaces for contributing content, discussing issues, and seeking support from fellow members.
- The Human Element in Online Interactions: The conversation highlights the importance of remembering the human element in online interactions. It suggests that amidst disagreements and debates, it’s crucial to approach discussions with empathy and to recognize the person on the other side of the screen
Mentioned in the show:
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Matt Medeiros (00:00:01) – Special episode today. Post Status plus WP minute. My good friend and colleague, Cory Miller. Cory, thanks for hanging out with us today.
Cory Miller (00:00:11) – I’m excited because to do something like this between you and I have known each other, have been friends for, like I would say, going on 13, 15 years now and like finally getting to do something like this where we’re like, let’s do a co-branded episode to talk about a really important issue we see going on. Uh, any time to hang out with you is a good one, but I’m glad we’re doing this.
Matt Medeiros (00:00:33) – This was your idea. You, um, approached me and said, hey, let’s do this co-branded podcast. Let’s talk about things happening in the community. Of course, over the last year, certainly in the last month, uh, of things that that we’ve seen publicly on Twitter or social media, uh, things that happen in your membership Post Status conversations, um, debates that we’ve been having for a while. A lot of it falls under the label WP drama.
Matt Medeiros (00:01:03) – And I think that that’s what we want to address today. I have my opinions about the phrase or the hashtag WPdrama that we like to throw on things. I have different approaches in different ways that I see it. Um, and you have a different sort of look on that as well. Starting out though, we’re we’ll address, let’s say. The benevolent dictator. Right. We’ll start with that because that’s usually the center of of focus, center of some issues, but also the center of focus. And we want to sort of look at this from both sides of the fence. What are the good things that Matt as a leader has done for our project, for WordPress, for Open Source and as a leader? Like, what can we be critical of in a professional, humane way? Uh, is was the best way that that I can put it. Where would you like to start with that topic?
Cory Miller (00:02:05) – It’s almost like how why didn’t we bracket two hours? But I you know, the first one you said was like the overall theme is WP drama.
Cory Miller (00:02:14) – And it’s what I’ve used and continue to use. And I’m eager to hear your, your, your, uh, thoughts and perspective on this. To me it’s all those elements that drain my energy. Um, where I get distracted and lose focus to what I kind of term a lot of times dead ends. And, you know, at one point I said it was it was the GPL debate. And this is early on. You remember all this, like in 2010 or so. Nine, ten, 11. It was like I said, we should make GPL a drinking game. So any somebody invokes that the term or the letter is acronym GPL drink, because it was every day for my life for like 2 or 3 years, and I finally got so burned out I was like, because everybody said what they need to say, this is the way it is. Let’s just move forward. Recently I’ve heard, just like you’ve heard from your community, is it potentially turns off people. And that’s where I there’s two parts to this.
Cory Miller (00:03:14) – One is the personal angle with Matt, who I really do have a deep respect in you. And I, uh, have disagreed privately and publicly with him and the project on many things. So we’re not Matt’s cheerleader here at all. However, I always give this disclaimer if I just disagreed with them. I also have always maintained a very basic human respect for him and what he has done for me in my life, in the world, through WordPress. That will never change his legacy in my life and others. I think it’s supplanted, and sometimes I think he doesn’t get a fair deal on all of it. To be frank, even the decisions I disagree with them also go, okay, they’re they’re decisions they’ve been made. And overall I look and go, gosh, you know, even when I was competing head to head with Automattic and iThemes with different products, it’s like, well, he he has shown me over 15 years I’ve known him, got to meet him on and talk to him on numerous occasions.
Cory Miller (00:04:17) – He’s done his best to do the right thing by the overall project called WordPress, and I’m thankful for that.
Matt Medeiros (00:04:24) – Yeah. You know, I, I’ve sort of, um. We’ve seen it. We’ve seen the multiple, uh, layers of of whatever WordPress discourse I’m trying to get away from personally get away from calling everything WP drama. And I’ll explain that. I’ll explain why, you know, in a moment. But we’ve seen it all from ultimately almost like the beginning. We’ve seen, you know, when we look recently, bricks is such an amazing page builder, but look how terrible the site editor is. And blocks, they’re just not just not ready. And we there’s always some like competing element happening in WordPress, whether that’s Automattic versus, you know, uh, small plugin developers, bricks versus blocks. Um, there’s always this thing happening, you know, in WordPress and, and hopefully, luckily, out of this chaos, these this conversation we’re having now podcast that Matt Mullen has been on recently, um, the chaos out of that chaos comes learning, right? It’s not, I was never in the military, but I’ve heard folks that I’ve interviewed people in the military is like embracing the suck.
Matt Medeiros (00:05:40) – This moment sucks, right? But out of that, something happens. Working out. Right? You’re working out. You’re pushing to your extreme, and at the end of it, you feel exhausted in the moment. It’s terrible. But you you gain, uh, at the end of that. And I do think that is one of WordPress best elements as an as an Open Source project. That chaos these conversations, they’re not fun when we’re having them, but hopefully it’s building towards the end because like you respecting Matt’s investment and knowledge and ability to build this project, we got something great out of it. And I think we continue to get something great out of it. It’s going to be very hard to supplant WordPress, the open source part of it. That’s which people can take advantage of. Um, very hard to pull that element out of it, which I think is why we feel like all of this stuff is so personal because we all feel deeply.
Cory Miller: Yeah.
Matt Medeiros: Passionate about this. And. Every human wants a voice in something, right? Pothole down the street.
Matt Medeiros (00:06:47) – Why doesn’t the city fix this all the way to. People can’t afford to live here. Why? Why aren’t the housing prices lower? Why isn’t there rent control? Why aren’t there better schools? It’s. People want to be heard. So they go to the city council. They. They try to get their voice heard. And WordPress is great for that. Um, but at the end of the day. Matt and team kind of control that direction. And it’s it’s something that we do have to overcome. And we’ll probably break this down a little bit. But the one thing I definitely wanted to to say is. Anyone who spends any time looking at going into WordPress Slack, right? Like, oh, I know I can contribute to WordPress, but I don’t know where to begin. I don’t know how this thing is made. Why are they making these decisions? God, look at what why is this Gutenberg thing so hard to to figure out? Go into WordPress Slack, the word, the official WordPress Slack and watch a release day.
Matt Medeiros (00:07:53) – So we got WordPress 6.5 coming up in like a month and a half-ish. The best thing you can do is sit in Slack on a release day and watch the hundreds of people.
Cory Miller: Yeah.
Matt Medeiros: Coming together. This culmination of code and design and discussions. Literally a waterfall of people like, here we go. It’s like launching a spaceship. Look at this thing. Ready to launch. People are coordinating, checking with other chat rooms, other departments, departments, other engineers. Final check. Bug check. Spot check. Launch. Right. And you’re just like, wow, I, I am literally a part of this. And that’s the best way to get started with this stuff, to see and feel comfortable. How this community is, is sort of stitched together to a degree. Um, because you ain’t doing that with Apple. I can’t log in to Apple Slack and see iOS 18 being developed. And hey, excuse me, I don’t really like this button here. You can’t do that. You can’t do it with Google.
Matt Medeiros (00:08:55) – Microsoft. You can’t do it with anybody. But you can do it here. And sometimes that passion can be. Convoluted and you can take it out on somebody like Matt because he’s the figurehead. Um, or you could take it out on each other, and that’s that’s the thing that really drains, uh, the community.
Cory Miller (00:09:15) – Yeah, like you just reminded me again of the beauty of what WordPress is as a project and its contribution to to our world. And you go, it’s because of thousands and thousands of people over 20 plus years contributing to the project, the open source nature. I think we feel ownership. You said passion. I think it’s like ownership and passion, like we feel it is ours because we’ve done it. We we have contributors specifically on it. We have other people building businesses that spread WordPress throughout the world. And then, just like the Bell Curve is like, because we have this exceptionalness, a part of WordPress has always been the people. The code is awesome, but the people are better this side of the bell curve.
Cory Miller (00:10:06) – We also have this side, which is like if you were to come in, you sometimes think this is a very, very dysfunctional family. You know, screaming at each other. And there is that part. And I think it’s like for acceptance for me is go, we have this we’re going to have parts of this too, because of the passion, the ownership, the open source, what we’ve done in the world together as the WordPress community. And it’s like I’m conflict averse. Matt, you probably know this about me. I don’t know if everybody knows this, but I don’t like conflict. I don’t like people fighting. You know, my parents fought enough as a kid, and I’m good with that. Like, so I tend to go, hold on, hold on for a minute. Can we just just take a breath? And what is the issue you mentioned earlier? Like we get we lose sight of the thing that our voice we’re trying to have the intention. And the goal of it is to let our voice be heard and then see if it impacts.
Cory Miller (00:11:02) – And it’s just humans. I’m I’m part of this not going to be happy if it doesn’t go our way. And I go, I get that. That’s the human experience and also what’s made WordPress great. Um, and awesome. But you said this as we’re kind of preparing for this and really ring true. It’s like there’s internal and there’s external a part of this whole thing. What I don’t want is one for I don’t think it’s justified. And I do not agree with people personally attacking any individual. And this topic of this is Matt Mullenweg, and I do not advocate that at all. That’s where it degrades into crazy, terrible parts of human existence. And I don’t want that. The internet is rife with it enough. We don’t need it in our community. Um, but the other is how do we allow our voice to be heard? How do we make meaningful progress? You know, and it’s the best system we have today. To do this Slack, the way the projects run, all of that.
Cory Miller (00:12:01) – Matt as benevolent dictator Josepha running the show. You know that that to me to date is the best system we have for the overall because I’ve known him long enough and I want to make a personal remark. Matt. Even if I say don’t make it personal, I’m going to make it personal. My commentary about Matt is I’ve sat down with him on numerous occasions over 15 years, and every single time I’ve met him, watch him on stage whatever and talk to him. He’s an incredibly charming person, like he cares. He’s obviously brilliant. Getting to know him a little bit better. I know his passion for mental health, like he does things that don’t get recognized. I get recognized because I shared some talks on it. He does his underneath the surface and is such a powerful advocate for it. When I asked him in April, what’s on your mind? I was like goals, you know? And he was like, human rights. And I hope you don’t mind, Matt, that I said that, but I, I just had to I just sat back in my seat and I go, I’m going to need a second to, like, fully grasp that.
Cory Miller (00:13:13) – That’s his heart. It hasn’t changed since I sat down with him in Chicago in 2009 to last year, or a couple of years ago in San Francisco. His heart hasn’t changed. He believes this project is a part of his mission in life. This is my just outside perspective and that there’s such great, amazing values that do that, and then he gets flagged for things. And I also know the so so historically I go he doesn’t get enough press outside of WordPress that he should. You think about the advent of the internet and the 46% you just said WordPress was a the critical part in the history of the most advanced, innovative communication tool for worldwide connection to each other. And that tool he fought and helped lead and do all this stuff he’s done, and all the thousands and thousands of people with him. That is a huge responsibility that he carries. But he does it because he cares. And I’m not a BSer. I can kind of I think I tend to read people and I’m like, no, the message has never changed.
Cory Miller (00:14:17) – Every time I’ve seen him talk, every time I’ve talked to him in person, it’s it’s the message has never changed from the beginning. Just doing the right thing for WordPress on the planet. So there’s my two cents about the personal side, humanity side of about. Even with having disagreed pretty strongly numerous times, I just I still go back to you like, thanks. Thank you.
Cory Miller: For your contribution.
Matt Medeiros (00:14:39) – Yeah, I mean I. You and I are both, uh, biased to for, to, for WordPress. Um, we recognize, like, why do I continue? Why do we continue to create? Uh, WordPress content is because we understand the same the things we just both said open source, impact, enabling. I love WordPress because somebody could who didn’t go to school is, you know, the type of person who didn’t follow the typical education process like me and learn how to use this thing and and survive off of it. Right. I can communicate with it and empowering my voice, and it can provide food for my family.
Matt Medeiros (00:15:26) – Love it. Open source, love it. Transparency. Love it. It’s funny, you know when. There’s there’s two to sort of like dissect, um, some of the recent conversations that I’ve watched Matt on other podcasters. It’s funny to see, uh, I hope this is relevant to the conversation, but it’s funny to see, like, the his demeanor and his approach to communicating with other WordPress podcasters. Versus like if he’s on TechCrunch podcast, he’s two totally different guys.
Cory Miller: Really?
Matt Medeiros: that that I’ve noticed anyway. Because and this is the challenge. Uh, I agree with you. So I like to look at criticizing Matt from the leadership role and the product role, but leadership and product, I probably 50/50 in terms of how I’m critical against against Matt, I’ve, I don’t think I’ve ever like, publicly slandered him or made fun of him or, you know, threw him a little elbow jab. It’s always been about is the stuff you’re. Yeah, the work is the stuff that you’re doing.
Matt Medeiros (00:16:30) – Is it going to impact what I call blue collar digital workers, people rolling up their sleeves. I’m just trying to make a website for somebody. Get a 500 bucks, get a thousand bucks, do a good job and move on to that. Is what you’re doing impacting that type of person. And then there’s like community and product stuff. Um, but. So two different Matts I see when he talks in WordPress and when he talks investors or like to TechCrunch and stuff like that, because he’s straddling two majorly different roles. How can you be the leader of an open source project just like the product side of it, thinking of like what you have to do to think about product and shipping it in and doing stuff with code and features, and then turn your chair over and you’re also the CEO of Automattic, the commercial side of it with investors and sort of like competing with us through like Hosting and Jetpack. Right? Dot com and, and the jetpack offering dot com goes against sort of like all of the web hosts that make billions of dollars more than Automattic.
Matt Medeiros (00:17:39) – And then Jetpack has, you know, a bunch of like indie plugins built into it that, you know, might be competing against an indie developer. Two very different roles to straddle and I’ve I’ve said this to him, I’m sure you have and countless people have before is man, you’re doing too much. You’re doing too much. I don’t know how one individual can do so much and keep these competing, uh, thoughts in their head, open source versus, you know, that commercial side of things. I would find that, uh, you know, extremely challenging, which I think leads to these outbursts that happen, which does know does doesn’t do anybody any good. And then it just has this compounding effect. So then when he wakes up in the morning and says, why are people attacking me? It’s because, listen, we’ve we’ve gone from one outburst to the next and people feel like they do. And it and it doesn’t help. And I’ll address this and I’ll give it back to you is the reason why I think the WP drama stuff doesn’t help is because I’ve had people in the WP Minute membership being like, you know what, Matt? I’m done.
Matt Medeiros (00:18:49) – I’m done with it. It’s just too much drama and I don’t want it. And by the way, just to give a little advertisement for myself, like we don’t talk about WP drama in the Slack channel. We talk about news and headlines. That’s the strict, uh, core value of the WP Minute. But people give up because of this. So that’s that internal we were talking about before we hit record. People have been here for years. They’re like, I’m so tired of it. I don’t want to do it anymore, don’t want to hear it. And then from the outside, I have some new members that came in and they said they, you know, sent me a DM. I say, what’s it, what’s this drama that I’m hearing about? Should I be worried? And they don’t understand it. You know, they’re fighting family or friendly fighting family, however you put it, it was like, no, no. It’s like, yeah, we’re arguing, but it’s not gonna like the house isn’t going to fall apart.
Matt Medeiros (00:19:34) – Like it’s just another argument. And they’re like, well, why? And you know, does this one guy have all this control? And then you start questioning. So it doesn’t it doesn’t help anybody to continue to use this, uh, this phrase. And again, I’m biased because we both create content and that just devalues the work that we do because people are like, you’re writing about a topic again, it’s the boy who cried wolf. I’m not gonna I’m not going to click and read this anymore. So, um, you know, I think it’s just a term that isn’t doing anybody any, any good. And again, agreeing with everything you said about the value of of Matt, I like to look at it as I’ll be critical of leadership and product. And that’s the way those are the two paths that I follow I hope.
Cory Miller (00:20:17) – Yeah. The decisions, the work, the topics, those can should be discussed vigorously, you know, with civility and humanity. Um, that’s where I just hang my head and go.
Cory Miller (00:20:34) – The shots to him shouldn’t be shot. There have been some occasions where I’ve, I’ve kind of. Oh, I wish he hadn’t said that. Honestly, I wish you hadn’t. And in a way, I put myself in his shoes and I go, I’m surprised it’s only been that many times because for me, I would have been like a lot stronger. But I just go, you know, the the weight of responsibility carries and there is this nuance, whatever. However it’s happened, he does hold two roles as CEO of Automattic and leader of the WordPress project. And, um, I, I’ve been baffled. Can you do it? You know, I think he’s done it as well as anyone could have done it, honestly. Um, I for sure couldn’t have, but, um, I just look at track record and go, 15 years that I’ve been a part of it. You know, overall, I can see the path has been for the best overall, even if some people don’t like it, including myself.
Cory Miller (00:21:39) – And but now there’s that responsibility. And, you know, this leadership is a extremely lonely gig. Yeah. Like today, if you’re listening, you have a boss, you have a leader. You are an entrepreneur. Liike five seconds and say thanks for what you do. Give some. Give something. The leader does not get the accolades. The leader’s job is to give the accolades to everybody else. And so we sit there on the island and I know this so deeply, and that’s why I my I’m empathetic about the roles he has to hold. Um. It’s an isolated island. And then carrying all that responsibility, knowing all the things that he carries in his head. And I go, you know, just a little grace is would be good medicine at this moment in time and WordPress for everyone with we got to keep the project going. But like you’ve helped say this too. It’s true. This stuff does not help externally with people. That’s like, I like WordPress. Oh, there’s a community.
Cory Miller (00:22:39) – Should I go and come to a WordCamp? Join WP Minute, join Post Status? The other caveat I’ll say, Matt, is I do believe there needs to be. Without judgment here. There needs to be more recognition of certain voices collectively, collective voices groups within the community more. The one I hit is the one you and I have a true heart for, which is agencies. All those people out there do in WordPress may never hit a WordCamp, but they’re helping extend the internet. They’re taking WordPress with them as they go, and they’re out at the bleeding edge interfacing with clients. That voice needs to be heard more. Even if it’s great today, I’d still say more because they’re out there. They know they’re I mean, bleeding edge of what WordPress is all about is expanding the internet with open source technology publishing, democratizing publishing. We need to be listening to those agency owners. They don’t have time for Slack. They don’t have time for and value for a WordCamp. But we need to bring those in.
Cory Miller (00:23:47) – What’s one thing we try to do through Post Status. There are other groups that need to be heard. I will not speak for them. I resonate with our businesses and our agencies in particular, because of what they’re doing with WordPress and don’t get enough of support in my opinion, without judgment. I’m saying that it just if it was great, I’d want more. For those agencies out there doing great work with WordPress, like NASA relaunched on WordPress. I brag about that. I know the people that you and I know the people that did that. WhiteHouse.gov is on WordPress. We know the people that did that. Like those are proud moments for me to share. And then it’s like, why is this thing happening over here? And like. It’s it’s just a byproduct of the way WordPress. WordPress is success.
Matt Medeiros (00:24:32) – Yeah, it’s kind of funny to like, have. You know. Whatever. Caught up in these heated moments again trying to retract from saying WP drama. We’re getting caught up in these heated moments.
Matt Medeiros (00:24:46) – We’re arguing in this corner. Let’s say it’s an, uh, you know, happening on, on, on Twitter or Post Status, and then suddenly somebody’s like, you see, like this industry study where like Wix is overtaking CMS and like, we all just go, stop arguing. We go, wait a minute. No, let me show you why that’s a lie. And we all, like, come together when we’re, you know, defending the software that is that is WordPress. Because I think we all recognize, again, like we were saying, is open source reaches so many people and you can have a hand in it. It’s unprecedented for stuff that powers, uh, that powers the web. Somebody might be listening to this.
Cory Miller (00:25:24) – And we’re lagging. Matt, you just said it perfectly. You know, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace is taking out what I call that first bottom market. And I’m sad, but I’ve accepted it. But I also go there’s still so much out here that we’re strong and can be stronger at doing inviting people in.
Cory Miller (00:25:44) – And some of these things, I think, detract from the conversation. But while we’re fighting internally. We’re losing ground out here.
Matt Medeiros: Right.
Cory Miller: And sorry I interrupt you there, but I was like you. You hit the. Hit it on the nail. Like there’s other things going on here too. Let’s not forget. Like we’d like saying WordPress is 46%, but if we don’t keep our eyes on things, everything, it’s it’s going to change.
Matt Medeiros (00:26:15) – Yeah. Yeah. And, you know, you see this with a lot of folks who come in again, the like the whole bricks thing and a lot of people being critical of, of WordPress and it’s ah, hasn’t caught up. And, um, you know, I was just listening to an episode with, with Mullenweg, you know, he was saying, like, this whole project is like a decade long thing. And some people, like, we don’t have a decade. He has a decade. WordPress has a decade. Just because the sheer size would be totally different if we were the Wix and we were going against, you know, WordPress, it’d be totally different.
Matt Medeiros (00:26:44) – Um, but the point is, is like, you have to appreciate and give back to WordPress. Otherwise all these other little products don’t don’t matter. But what I was going to say before is somebody listening to this saying, great. Two bearded white guys talking about issues that they know nothing about. When is enough? What? When is enough enough? Is that the right phrase? When we’re seeing these leadership friction points with Matt. So that’s a question. I’ll let you stew on it for a second. I’m going to frame it with. What I’m carrying the torch that I’m carrying for through 2024. So here’s how I answer that. I look at next in line. Josepha, fantastic communicator, does a ton. Had her on the show once or twice. I don’t even know the amount of stuff that that that she’s, you know, doing day to day.
Cory Miller: I can’t imagine
Matt Medeiros: I can’t even imagine it. Right. So I say, if I’m having friction with this, with Matt at the top, I my only channel of communication now is to go to somebody like Josepha.
Matt Medeiros (00:27:53) – And then if there’s, you know, captains below her, you know, I don’t, I don’t know the org structure. And maybe that’s part of the thing that we have to work towards. But the torch that I’m carrying through 2024 is in her, uh, last State of the State of the Word, uh, she said that, you know, we’re looking to to make sure that WordPress is, is thriving. How can we make, you know, how can we continue to help WordPress thrive? And in my opinion, it’s just right back to people. It’s right back to the humans and how we’re all educating and communicating and collaborating, you know, on this piece of software. So. That’s how that’s that’s how I’m carrying 2024 for it. And as a content creator and somebody who’s sort of like muscled his way into to be like, this is a news kind of place, I’m taking the stance and only covering things that impact, like the software and the community as a whole. And I’m not punching in to these one off little, you know, arguments that that folks are having because my goal is to stay focused on will this stuff make WordPress thrive, and can I cover and communicate and write and record content that helps or evaluates the thriving of WordPress? But somebody might be listening to say, hey, man, like, you got to hold this guy accountable.
Matt Medeiros (00:29:20) – How do we get to the next how do we? Bridge that gap. And to me, I don’t have an answer for my own question other than looking at like Josepha and saying I’m listening to her words now, or as well I’m listening to her words as well, to follow the mission of making work, of continuing WordPress to thrive. Does that make sense? Do you have a way of approaching like. Listen, we might be up against the wall against the benevolent dictator, but there’s other means of communication, so there’s other ways to push forward.
Cory Miller (00:29:54) – So, like you, I go. I do not have the magic bullet here. Um, but having offered feedback and criticism, potentially, I also want to do what I ask other people to do is offer an idea solution for it. So, as best as I can, my thoughts as you were asking, that is, you know, for me personally, I’m okay. Matt staying benevolent dictator I have for a long time because I try to imagine a role where there is a committee kind of like I’ve heard Drupal being ran and I think Joomla. And I go, oh God, you know, like.
Cory Miller (00:30:33) – I don’t know that. I don’t say that’s the option necessarily. That’s my personal opinion. I see Matt into the future, doing what’s right for the best, for the most. Now, underneath that, him and Josepha. The idea I would present is stakeholders that could be voice’s representative voices. Not saying any people elected or anything. I could just say like for instance, the first couple, I would say, uh, there’s plenty of community and diversity topics that I’m not I’m not the expert there. I’m not involved enough to there just say I want it and we need it. But the business side, particularly the user side, is, well, I’m just gonna say business side is like an enterprise stakeholder. Someone doing the work with the NASA’s and the big fortune 1000 and someone to say that that can just say candidly, here’s where we’re at, here’s what we’re bumping up against, that could kind of get sentiments from colleagues, peers and share those back to the project. Mid-size. What I, what I kind of call boutique agencies.
Cory Miller (00:31:46) – Okay. These two things we cannot see market share wise. We’ve got to grow ground, not cede ground in these two markets particularly. And I said mid-sized agencies, those that are kind of like a geographically based and well known web development agency, they need to have a voice. How is the nonprofit that has 20 people on their team, you know, well known in their geographic comes to their agency looking for a solution? That voice needs to be heard, like from a business angle. First, those two stakeholders have to be heard in the project because specifically in the question needs to be, how are your clients interfacing? What problems are they having? What problems are you having from a development team? All those need to go back to the project, specifically from agencies, the people being paid to do work for other people. That’s WordPress. Um, I would also, you know, many of these other areas I can’t really talk to, but they need to be some of the most of these, need to have some kind of voice or at least can collect these and just share it back to the project in a candid manner and be heard and know they’re heard.
Cory Miller (00:32:51) – And then the decisions goes back to Josepha, Matt and others. Um, that’s something I think that I know. They talk to agencies all the time. I’m not trying to say they don’t at all. Um, but just a voice that we kind of know, you know, is being heard in some table up here. There’s got to be some community section over here, too, and I’m sure it’s happened. Angel runs great team. The incident response team you mentioned as we were talking like they set the bar for me. WordPress project for diversity, equity and inclusion in the world. Like I take my guidance from them. So that’s great. I think the business angle is one that could specifically be. You know, handled handled in some advisory council advocacy regular conversations manner. And maybe they are and I don’t know. But I talked to these people all day just like you do. Yeah. I’m like, what are the problems you have with WordPress? I want to hear them, you know? Okay.
Cory Miller (00:33:51) – Because when I get to talk to stakeholders, other stakeholders in the project, I’m going to share them.
Matt Medeiros (00:33:57) – Yeah.It’s a tough you know, it’s it’s it’s a tough. It’s it’s it is. They’ll probably catch some flack for this, but it’s probably like the biggest open source government that anyone’s interacting. Like, how do you do that? Like, there’s not this like democratic elective system. And you know, you can’t vote people in and out, but it but it is volunteer. It’s it is amazing and scary at the same time. It’s amazing to see it operate. But also like when these big moments happen incident response team like are they the right like or should they be like mediating these issues? Who’s paying? Who’s paying them? Are they getting paid? Is it you know, is it volunteers, volunteers helping other people with these these really difficult issues. And I just wanted to make sure that I do say like that. When the WP drama label hits it, it retracts also from the person who has real strife and struggle with whatever it is that that is, is that you’re doing, dealing with, whether it’s a confrontation with Matt in them, um, or something else.
Matt Medeiros (00:35:11) – It also detracts from, from their pain and and their struggle. Putting the professional, how you get a professional framework around that to solve those issues. So it just doesn’t blow up into things that just make everything chaos. You know, again, I don’t know, but it is an amazing thing, you know, to to see pockets of community in this space. And I know this just as well as you do. Like the developer community was massive. Still is massive. Still is the largest like chunk of what represents WordPress community is the developer mindset. And my God, you know, is as good as I do. Like when I was like that business guy who came in like 12 years ago to interview entrepreneurs, you know, these people are like, wait, what are you doing here? Like what? You’re talking about money and raising money. And I remember being, like, super nervous. I remember being super nervous interviewing you from for the topic. Like, we talked about building $1 million business within WordPress.
Matt Medeiros (00:36:09) – You and I was was probably the title of our, uh, of our interview back then. And I remember like, man, people are just going to look at me and be like, you’re the guy bringing in money stuff. Get out of here. You know? And I still feel that way as just a power user of WordPress. So then imagine somebody who’s, you know, that sort of that underrepresented group where you’re just like trying to knock on the door and like, can, can I sit here? Is it anybody sitting at this at this table? Can I come in? It’s very, very, uh, you know, stressful, uh, for folks. Um, and there’s just so many layers to, to the WordPress community that none of this is, like easily solved. I agree, I don’t want a committee. Um, benevolent dictator works really well because somebody needs to lead the product and the vision. You need a product person. I think like Matthias is like doing that with like, Gutenberg, where you’re really seeing him take the stage more, um, but the dictator and the one person who’s leading the charge.
Matt Medeiros (00:37:08) – Absolutely. Does it work on on leadership side and community side? That’s the one where I think we’re having the most the biggest challenge with, um, I don’t have an answer for it, but I can just say, like, that’s the challenging side, product side, get it? Vision for WordPress. I’m cool. Operating system of the web. That’s what got me into this, this space in the first place. Love that idea. Still love that idea. Him as the the go to community leader. Might be the challenging part, and I think that’s where, you know, Josepha should and is like really stepping up, you know, into that role.
Cory Miller (00:37:48) – Yeah. You know, what comes up through all of this is. And I don’t know the answers to this one. I suspect there’s been conversations, but succession planning for Matt and Josepha, like, if the succession plan is Josepha, I don’t do not want anything bad to happen to Matt. I want him to live for a very long time.
Cory Miller (00:38:08) – Um, but like what happens in. Is it Josepha? And then I’m going to ask the same question. What’s that succession plan for her? Because those two are absolutely vital and essential to the project. Um, you know.
Matt Medeiros (00:38:24) – So open that. Just just to compound on that look at like, OpenAI when Sam Altman asked like literally left hired by Microsoft in a weekend, everyone in that company was like, whoa, whoa, whoa whoa. What is happening here? Um, you know, and it’s it’s not just like what happens. It’s just one person that could literally change the direction of their life to be like, I can’t be here anymore. Something else came up, which it definitely can. What’s the plan? So. Yeah. Agree.
Cory Miller (00:38:56) – Yeah. Doing it for 20 years. 20 plus years.
Matt Medeiros: Yeah.
Cory Miller: Um, I’m like, I think I heard word he might be going on sabbatical, but I’m like, God, he’s given so many people sabbaticals through Automattic. I’m like, he he he needs one.
Cory Miller (00:39:11) – And I know this because I had to do a forced sabbatical. Like, if there’s anybody that deserves one, it’s him and Josepha. Um, you know, so just taking some time to, to get away from it and refresh. And I know he has his own, um, you know, self-care routines and all that takes care of himself. But, like, yeah, succession planning is a part of that too. And I think it’s always healthy. I had a good friend of mine, entrepreneur, when I first like ten, 13 years ago when we met, he was like, hey, if you want to know the health of your company, take a two week vacation. Blacked out like no coms. He goes, in those two weeks, you’re going to find a lot about your business. And I’ve suggested this entrepreneur has done it myself in several, several instances. Um, and it’s empowering too where people that think they need to hear the decisions from them can actually have some autonomy if they know values.
Cory Miller (00:40:09) – What do we value here? Do you are you clear on that? What are the stories of value? WordPress is always as inclusive as we possibly can. Releases are are diverse. Moreover, showcasing great diversity that we have in our community. Those are incredible that we value that, right? Others? There’s others out there making sure those and then and then being able to kind of step away for a little bit and see how some can take notice. It’s risky proposition with what we just talked about. Right?
Matt Medeiros (00:40:37) – Yeah. Yeah it is.
Cory Miller (00:40:39) – But yeah, I think into my one thing Matt is just like, let’s just when we get heated said this in our Slack message, I was like, we get heated, just please, all of us, Matt included, and everybody else that like, just take a breath. Maybe sit on it 24 hours, take, take a walk, get some fresh air. Good night of sleep is always good. Come back to to it tomorrow. But that intensity comes out of what you said earlier.
Cory Miller (00:41:08) – Passion. Might not be the same person we agree with or want, but it comes out of passion there. And just letting that those flames kindle down just a little bit and anchoring back on. What are we doing? For me, my pride, I won’t need a wall, trophy or anything, but later in my life, as I reflect back, I’ll go. I was a small part of a historical for the world movement of a communication corps called the internet, and I had a place in that, and I knew people that had bigger roles in that, that their Wikipedia page should be pretty dang fleshed out of, like historical features, the web connecting people across our globe, like. And that will be my proud moment. And that’s just what I don’t want to forget. Anchor in the historic what we’re doing, that we want more people to join us in this, to have the tattooed have imprinted on our heart of, like, WordPress, Viva Love, WordPress, like, you know? And I just want that to happen.
Cory Miller (00:42:13) – And just taking a breath as we go through these memories. Because man, there’s been times I’ve told you you’re part of my venting group. I’m just like, I’m done, I’m done. Get some sleep, right, get some sleep and come back and go, oh, God. But there’s. I’m always amazed at the amazing. Impact that I hear and I go, okay, fire is getting rekindled back, okay, but I’m tired of it, I really am. I’m flat out tired of it. Um, but I try to keep the best I can. I try to keep focus on this cool thing we do. Yeah.
Matt Medeiros (00:42:50) – So let’s just wrap up by, like, offering up. Uh, some areas that that. People could seek, uh, seek help for. Might be too strong of a term, but maybe to to cope with some of these issues. So the WPMinute I always welcome, uh, somebody to contribute content to either the blog or the podcast, like if there is a topic that is just super important to you, you’re again, really passionate about and it’s something that, you know, even if it’s critical, uh, as long as it’s done in a professional manner, you can use a WPMinute as that platform.
Matt Medeiros (00:43:29) – I’ve, you know, in the early days when the WPMinute started, everybody was super pumped about it. Uh, you know, there’s a lot of people contributing a lot of content as, as you and I both know, uh, membership sort of roller coaster ride people start to, to phase out. They move on with their, their own lives. But the WPMinute is always about publishing content from, uh, the from and for the community joining the slack membership whatever to talk about. You know, my Slack channel is about the news like you want the headlines and you want to discuss headlines from, you know, bricks to the community, and you just want to stay on that headlines. That’s what it’s all about Post Status Slack and membership. You’re getting a lot more value there. You guys do monthly uh, sort of calls probably multiple monthly calls with with professionals, especially if you’re an agency owner. But if you’re a freelancer looking to vent, to find a buddy, to get a mentor about the practice that you’re that you’re on, uh, the Post Status membership, you know, is the place to go.
Matt Medeiros (00:44:29) – And if either of these communities are not for you, blog about it. Blog about the issues, take a beat, blog about it. Write about it, record about it. Uh, record it. Um, I’m a huge fan. That’s why I’ve been publishing for so long. Because it is a therapy session for me. As riled up as I get on some of these things, um, you know, those are the ways. And then I’m going to try to interview Angela Jen and maybe Cory even, you know, there’s there’s places within the WordPress. Community, um, that help deal and lay some groundwork to to solve these, these issues. Um, the Incident Response Team is one of them that I’m really interested. I’m going to interview Angela in a couple of weeks, um, to explore that more and see what’s see what’s available to to more people.
Cory Miller (00:45:20) – Um, time and time again, so many, so many times just reminded how thoughtful and considerate we have people in the entire community.
Cory Miller (00:45:29) – Angela is definitely one of those having spent time with her, too, and hearing her heart and how she thinks and what the intentions are. Awesome. Same with Josepha. Like I remember seeing her last year at WordCampUS I try to. I try to leave with this. Thank you. I can’t imagine what you do, you know, but because I try not to say that, but as best I can, I’m like, hey, you’re always as safe. You’re always in a safe space here with me because I can’t imagine it’s so easy, though, Matt. Like, it’s so easy for us. I must say this for leaders because I want it for me. So easy to assume and to make critical judgments from not what they’re carrying, you know, and we tend to sometimes go into acquisition accusations there, and you just go like, there’s still a human on the other side, you know. And I want that for me, for me to, from others to me. And I try to give it to others.
Cory Miller (00:46:26) – It’s like, and that’s where I just go debate the issues, you know, like things going on now. Like I logged in to Make WordPress Slack, to ask for clarity, you know, uh, last night and I was like, I’m trying to be a responsible voice here. And to see some clarity within a great, uh, contributor team, you know, but that’s that’s all it say is just in the interest of our passion and sometimes gets anger. Just remember, there’s another human. Another side goes for every side. It’s our. It’s the internet, right. You’re like, it’s so easy to say really crappy things to people on the web. We’ve all been guilty of it. But take a beat. Remember the human, voice your concern in a in a issue, and work related manner. And I think we’ll be better for that if we just kind of anchor back there.
Matt Medeiros (00:47:16) – Post Staus.com the WPminute.com Cory great conversation as always.
Cory Miller (00:47:22) – Thanks for doing this with me. Man that was fun.
Matt Medeiros (00:47:24) – It was all right everybody thanks for listening again PostStatus.com the WPMinute.com. Do you have any questions or comments. Hey ask us in our Slack groups if you remember or tweet at us on Twitter x x Twitter whatever it is. All right everybody, thanks for watching.