Best of the archives: Issue 96 – Matt Mullenweg, Guest Editor

This is an archived edition of MasterWP from December 2018, written by Alex and Ben and guest-edited by Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Automattic.

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This is an archived edition of MasterWP from December 2018, written by Alex and Ben and guest-edited by Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Automattic.


Welcome back to MasterWP Weekly, your weekly newsletter for WordPress professionals 👋 

This week is our final issue of 2018, and we’re delighted to have Matt Mullenweg as our guest editor.

We’ll hand over to him in a second: first off, thank you for reading MasterWP in 2018! We’ve been delighted by the readership and reaction this year, and couldn’t do it without you.

We need to mention the big news: WordPress 5.0 was released last Thursday, bringing with it the Gutenberg editor and block-based layout which will be the future of WordPress.

The release has been controversial, with the process, product, and release date coming under fire. But, it’s out, and we need to learn the lessons and move forwards.

At WCUS Matt delivers an annual State of the Word, where he talks about what’s next. This year’s focused heavily on what’s next, giving more detail on Stage 2, which will make the rest of WordPress block-based. Matt also announced Gutenberg Stages 3 and 4, which will tackle collaboration and multi-lingual support respectively.

With WordPress 5.0 out, it’s the perfect time to hand over to our guest editor, Matt Mullenweg. Matt is the co-founding developer of WordPress, CEO of Automattic, and was the Release Lead for WordPress 5.0.

Enjoy this special issue, and we’ll be back in 2019. – Alex and Ben.


Archie Bell & The Drells and the Story of “Tighten Up!” 

WordPress’ theme song for 2019

This story and this song nicely encapsulates many things I love –- joyous music, my hometown of Houston, and WordPress. Archie Bell & The Drells were a Houston-based band who had a smash hit in 1968 with “Tighten Up!” Rolling Stone even named it one of the Top 500 songs of all time.

At this year’s State of the Word keynote, I nominated it as the theme song for WordPress in 2019. Blast it on your speakers while you build some new Gutenberg blocks. 😀 – Matt.


Gutenberg, or the Ship of Theseus

The Past, Present, and Future of Gutenberg and WordPress

Start with this little trip back to October 2017, when Gutenberg lead Matías Ventura offered this clear-eyed vision for what could be possible with WordPress 5.0.

Since then many others have offered their own insights and ideas. We’re seeing the excitement and momentum build around what’s really possible:

– Matt.


Interview – Mohsin Hamid

‘It’s important not to live one’s life gazing towards the future’

Here’s a great Guardian interview with Mohsin Hamid, whose Exit West was one of my favorite novels of 2018.

It’s full of wonderful quotes about a writer’s life, as well as a comment about Twitter that resonates with me a bit too much:

“It’s pernicious in terms of how it makes one comport oneself. I wasn’t particularly good at it and I certainly didn’t enjoy it, and I became deeply suspicious of myself on it – and therefore of it as a whole – and I got the hell off.”

– Matt.


Automattic Design Awards: The Winners, 2018

The Winners!

Led by our own Alexis Lloyd and John Maeda, and judged by a jury of brilliant folks from across the web, the inaugural Automattic Design Awards aimed to celebrate innovative design work in the WordPress community.

This year’s winners were judged based on factors including deep user empathy, developer led design, outstanding UX, attention to the details, simplicity, and breathtaking content. – Matt.


Find happiness by contemplating your mortality

The WeCroak app

I don’t mean to go out on a morbid note, but I promise you’ll find this app more hopeful and beautiful than its premise suggests. 🙂

WeCroak is an alarm app for your phone that will occasionally notify you that you are, someday, going to die.

Why on earth would I want that, Matt? you might be asking. A good question!

The app was apparently inspired by a Bhutanese folk saying: “to be a happy person, one must contemplate death five times daily.” Every time the alarm goes off, you’re supposed take a step back, take a deep breath, and appreciate that time is precious.

To emphasize the point, WeCroak offers an inspiring quote every time the alarm goes off.

According to an actuarial table I have just about exactly 15,000 days left, so I try to make every one count. – Matt.

“I think that part of the reason that many people push themselves is because of an inability to feel that what they have done is good enough.”

– Mohsin Hamid


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Rob Howard is an editor at MasterWP and the CEO of Howard Development & Consulting, the company behind WP Wallet.

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MasterWP contains no affiliate links. We’re entirely funded by the sponsors highlighted in blue on each article. In addition to MasterWP, we own WP Wallet, Understrap and Howard Development & Consulting.

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