This week on the show we’ll be discussing twenty years of WordPress.
EP453 – #WP20: Twenty Years of WordPress
[0:08] This is episode number 453 of WPwatercooler, WP20, 20 years of… I’m Jason Tucker.
You can find me over at jasontucker.blog.
[0:25] I’m Sé Reed and we need to change that one. I guess. No, we’ll still stick with Mastodon. but just at Sereadmedia on all the things.
[0:33] And you know who is this? Your boy, Jason Cosper, a.k.a. Fat Mullenweg back at it again on the world’s most influential WordPress podcast.
[0:42] They’ll listen to us as a podcast for an Apple podcast, Google podcast, Audible, all those places.
And you can go hang out with us on our discord.
[0:51] Come to our discord. We’ll give you cookie emojis. Ooh. No, no, no, no, no, no. It’s true. We will. It’s true. Hi, everybody.
We have a full house today. I’m so excited. Hi, Casper.
I am so excited to have on with us today some active contributors to the WordPress Make project, which I know everyone thinks that they’re like unicorns and they don’t exist and they’re not. You know, where are they all?
Where are these fabled contributors? Well, here are some.
So let’s start over there with Jenny, over there.
Can you, are you connected Jenny?
Nope. Well, I can introduce Jenny.
[1:45] I think so. Hi. Oh, there she is. Hi.
[1:48] Am I… Maybe. We’ll pause. Can you pause?
[1:56] Can you introduce me?
[1:58] I’ll introduce you. Jenny is a member of the docs team and now a member of the marketing team.
And she has been really busy on the marketing team, coming up with ideas and things for us to do, which has been amazing.
All right. Oh, and her, I don’t know if that’s actually your company or what it is, but WP Pros, which I think is your company.
But anyway, check her out. And Megan.
[2:26] Hello, howdy. It’s Megan Haynes from Canada. I’m here on the show. Glad to be with y’all.
[2:35] That’s your main claim to fame, is you’re from Canada.
[2:37] I guess it is. I’m going to work now.
[2:42] I’m Canadian, and that’s all you need to know.
[2:45] Got maple syrup, and I bring smiles and coffee, Chris. What do you need to know?
[2:49] Nothing. But wait, you have been a contributor to WordPress for how long now?
[2:56] Oh, probably well over x percentage of my life at this point.
Started out way years ago at WordCamp Ottawa, have been helping with the communities across Canada, Northeastern US, and anywhere I can reach people since then.
I’ve been throwing some tickets in various people’s ways and back for the 20th birthday because you know I love a celebration.
[3:19] Party! Well also birthdays bring us all together.
Celebrations and anniversaries and milestones, you know, they should bring community together.
So we also have with us Mark Andrew. Mark Andrew, Tell us about yourself and your contribution land.
[3:38] Following in Megan’s steps, I guess, I’m Mark Andrew. I am Mexico.
[3:43] Yeah, Mexico.
[3:45] Oh, so we’ve got a guest sandwich. We’ve got someone above, someone below.
[3:50] It’s true.
[3:52] This is beautiful.
[3:54] I love being a good filling. Hmm. We’re nice and filling? I hope we’re nice and filling. I think I’m probably like the spicy onion part. That would be my guess.
[4:03] I am one of those unicorn contributors though. that’s not all I am.
But as far as any of the projects concerned, yeah, that’s, I’m not sponsored. I’m not connected.
I’m not affiliated. I’m just, I just show up and try and contribute sometimes.
[4:19] And you’re a believer in the, in the project and in the ethos.
[4:24] I have. I drank the Kool-Aid. I did it all. Yeah, all of that.
[4:30] There’s multiple types of Kool-Aid in this project, I I think, just that’s for a different topic.
[4:37] So also if you haven’t ever, and if you’re listening to this on a podcast, you should totally check out Mark Andrews’ website, nomadskateboarding.blog, because he has a really super interesting life story sitch happening.
So you should check it out.
And that’s all I have to say about that. Okay, so I was like, let me augment your intro for you.
[5:04] All right, so let’s talk about what’s happening.
We are, not just we of the marketing team, but the entirety of the WordPress existence is celebrating a birthday next month.
Fun fact, WordPress is a Gemini. I just need everyone to know that.
I know, it’s so cool, um, which makes sense because, you know, chatty communication, that’s like all the, you know, the Gemini things, uh, and, um, you know, I’ve never mapped it, but maybe the Mercury retrograde community drama thing is, like, connected. I wonder.
Sorry, that concludes the astrology portion of the show, for those of you who are rolling your eyes back into your head.
Um, but May 27th, WordPress will be 20 years old, having been first launched on May 27th, 2003. That was four clicks I meant to do free, but you know, whatever, it can count.
[6:08] And, you know, that’s pretty amazing for a software.
Like, yeah, Asperger. Impressed. Are we all impressed? We’re kind of impressed, right? Are we not impressed?
[6:19] I’m, I’m super impressed. Just in general, I mean, not as involved with other open source projects as I have been with this one, like all in since the beginning, but even comparatively, yeah, it’s, it’s impressive.
Even with all the bumps along the way and different kool-aids that could be drank.
[6:42] Yeah, no matter what kool-aids there are, it’s still really impressive.
[6:49] There’s many flavors of kool-aid in this ball jams.
[6:52] That’s exactly my point. There are very many flavors of kool-aid in the water cooler.
Not in the water cooler. The water cooler is just fresh and clean kool-aid.
[7:01] Yeah, they’re little packets. You just add in and then you just…
[7:04] Yeah, and then you can add your own flavor later. So you take your water cooler draft and then you just add your preferred Kool-Aid flavoring and then you just, okay.
That’s how you get your weekly WordPress. So anyway, we’re turning 20.
And were any of you around? I know some of you were, I personally know.
You were around for some other birthdays. I was.
Who’s anyone else around for any other past birthdays? 10, for example. We threw a party.
[7:37] Is this one party? Photo reel, photo montage of all the memories and stuff?
[7:42] We don’t do that kind of production here at the show.
But if you have photos, go through them in your memory banks or, you know, you can do that.
We, we, we, yeah, see? Look, Cosper’s remembering things now.
Look at him. Just remember with him in this time.
Let’s go. We threw, uh, Jason Tucker and I were part of a group of people.
Cosper’s still enjoying his, his memories. Um, Jason, Jason Tucker, I have to close my eyes because it’s too funny.
Okay, Jason Tucker and I helped throw a party, uh, as part of the WordCamp, no, what were we? Meetup, Orange County Meetup.
And we were really a tight, big community at that point. Things happened subsequently.
Some of the things actually happened at that event, but it was a really good event and it was really fun.
And it was live streamed. And the fact that that’s 10 years, look, he found this. Look, he found them.
[8:46] A pinata.
[8:48] Look at that. That’s amazing.
[8:50] He’s got a pinata.
[8:51] It was like in the back house of a, Oh, look, there’s Lucy Beer.
[8:55] It’s got the 10 design.
[8:56] Yeah. That was some amazing, amazing times.
And then there’s some kids at the beach. No. So that was 10 years ago, which is pretty amazing. And then a 15 happened. And I was actually looking for a shirt yesterday.
And I was like, oh, look, I have a WordPress 15 shirt.
And I don’t really remember that, like, happening. So that was 2018.
But I don’t know if there was a big party for that. Do you remember that?
I don’t really remember much for that.
[9:30] I was just going to ask if the five year was the normal thing.
But yeah, I don’t, in my head, it doesn’t jump out, but I could have just been somewhere else.
[9:39] Yeah, well, I haven’t.
[9:40] It was just that good of a, maybe it was just that good of a party.
[9:46] I don’t think it was. So that, oh, look, Jenny’s back. Yay. We were reminiscing about the other birthdays.
And the last kind of birthday that had at least had swag, Swag was WP15.
So roll into 2023, we’re hitting the WP20, and I think there’s some elements of trying to recreate the WP10 vibe, which was really grassroots-y and I think really passionate and, like, excited.
And I don’t know if the, there’s a couple things happening in LA, but they’re like not on the same day.
They’re not like all at the same time. They’re not like as part of a group live stream. So it’s not necessarily as unified as, you know, at least WP10 was. There is merch.
Has anyone used the mercantile store?
Ye Olde Mercantile Store?
Is that yes, no? Are we not hearing voices? There we go, okay. For this podcast.
[10:59] We’re all just waiting and being gentle with each other as a nice sandwich guest.
[11:03] Well, this is what happens when you get two Canadians on a show and you’ve already got two Jasons and it’s just like.
[11:10] So I tried to make an order and I’m still going to. We just had some technical issues, which you gotta love some tech. No good launch of anything is without technical issues. That’s an axiom I wish didn’t exist.
[11:21] With WooCommerce? Never.
[11:25] With international cards and random two-factor, randomly put in, yeah, no problems there.
So yeah, I’ll get over that and I’ll get my merch, because you know my pin board, which which is back behind here, so I can’t show you is.
[11:38] There are some dedicated pins, there’s a keychain.
I am a little disappointed in the apparel for a few reasons.
One is the main thing that says WP20 is a sweatshirt.
And I really kind of wanted to wear this merch to WordCamp US.
But WordCamp US is in Washington DC in August.
And I will not be wearing the sweatshirt because it is literally the swampiest swamp time of Swamp-a-doodles.
So, and then the other shirt doesn’t say WP20, it says Coz of Poetry, which I already have shirts that say that.
So that’s my beef. Also the sizing is a problem.
[12:26] Yeah, sizing is a problem.
[12:28] There’s not, despite the major, major strides that we have made in sizing, inclusive sizing at WordCamps, which has been awesome, then this didn’t happen.
The inclusive sizing is not happening in this round.
So a little bummed on the apparel side, but if you want to get some pins, then you can get them. I bet they’ll have them at, wonder if they’ll have them at WordCamp US or WordCamp Europe. I wonder.
[13:00] Well, I mean, it’s that or you have a basement full of merch.
[13:04] So, yeah, probably. They have been swag stores at various regional camps.
That’s where I got that WP 15 shirt some some time ago.
So here, let me segue from our merch conversation, our scintillating, scintillating merch conversation. Does anyone have anything else they want to chime in on there? No.
[13:26] Hey, right there.
[13:31] Yeah, well, you know, come for the WordPress, stay for the vocabulary lesson.
No one, no one has, okay, oh, I’ll just keep talking then. See, look, everyone’s like, Say talk so much, and I was like, is it really my fault though? Oh, I’m here. I’m seriously trying.
[13:46] You brought in to talk against Say, because if that’s the case, let’s go, but no.
[13:49] Yeah, I’m like, where, I’ll just keep talking. Thank you. You’re just like watching me, I’m just talking.
[13:55] Tell me about the plans, or is that later in the show? I don’t know if there’s show notes, so.
[13:59] There’s no show notes. We just, we just wing it, but no, that’s what I was wanting to segue into. I just wanted to see if anyone had other, Oh, I do want, Tucker or Cosper, could you pop up the map?
I popped it in the links there if you want to just, so people can see.
There is a map of events happening.
They are not as concentrated in the US as one might think, which I thought was very interesting.
[14:26] Yeah, for the birthday.
[14:28] Yeah, for the birthday, which I thought was interesting.
So that’s just, you know, there’s a website for it. there you can get your merch and you can also see what’s happening near you. But I just thought it was interesting because, you know, there’s just a little bit happening over here in Southern California. Woo. There we are.
It’s Phoenix and LA, but LA is, um, is just doing it on the 25th.
[14:52] So Houston’s there, Hampton Roads.
[14:57] So, so, you know, I think this is a perfect segue actually, because I think we have, we don’t really have, uh, the unified.
Party narrative happening this year than we did at WP10.
And so I think that there is something very exciting that specifically us here people on the show and the marketing team have come up with.
Who wants to tell the beginning of the story quickly? Jenny, are you connected?
[15:31] Sure, yeah, I think, can you hear me okay?
[15:34] Yes, we can.
[15:36] Okay, sure. So I can’t remember exactly how I came up with it.
I just started thinking about how I need to get better at journaling and being more consistent.
And I wanted to blog for a long time, but never really got around to doing that.
And then I thought about how there’s this this thing, this event that happens yearly called, well, I call it NaNoWriMo, some people say NaNoWriMo, I don’t know, but either way, it’s an event that is thrown yearly in November that is called National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short, or NaNoWriMo for short.
And it’s all around centered around writing for the entire month, and you have, goal is to write an entire book in that month.
And so I thought, well, I didn’t do that again.
I didn’t even make it to even planning or anything. And I thought, well, what if?
Because I mean, WordPress is all about blogging and making a website. Why don’t we do that for.
[16:46] Us, like a similar idea, but for us.
And the fact that WordPress’s 20th birthday is coming up, it just kind of rolled all into this.
And we thought, well, how about we start there and we celebrate the fact that WordPress as a software is turning 20, which is a huge deal considering if that’s like one year away from legal drinking age, like if WordPress as a person, like that’s, that’s a huge amount of time.
[17:14] Yeah, like they’re the WordPress’s frontal prefrontal cortex is almost completely developed. Right? I mean, impulsivity is almost out the window.
And I am looking forward to that moment.
[17:27] Five more years and WordPress can finally rent a car in most of the 50 United States that is that that is also going to be a big step, but 20 huge.
[17:39] And this is not to put aside the fact that legally, WordPress could have gotten married in a lot of states if WordPress had wanted to for many a year now and has not.
So go WordPress, not getting married to anybody and keeping it, you know, keeping it independent.
You know, I don’t know, do we think about WordPress as like, does WordPress have a gender?
I don’t think it does. I was gonna say a strong independent something, but how about just a strong independent WordPress? Like, you know?
Yeah. You don’t need anybody, WordPress. Keep going. I like that.
None of those toxic- Except the community.
[18:17] Except, I mean, WordPress needs the community, but. No, no.
[18:21] I think of WordPress as like, if you think about it as an entity, like, you know, kind of not quite like the Borg, right?
But like, you know how the Borg are integrated within the Borg from Star Trek, for those of you who are not acquainted with this concept.
But basically, it’s like the life forms and the technology are all one.
They are basically, they work together, and they are symbiotic.
And there’s some negative aspects to the Borg, so we don’t have to talk about those. But just the metaphor component of the integration, I like to think about WordPress.
When I think about WordPress, I don’t think about just the software.
And I don’t think about just the community.
And I don’t think about just the plugin ecosystem, but man, a lot of people really only think of the plugin ecosystem.
[19:09] Absolutely. I think it’s almost fair to say that WordPress is the community, the community is WordPress. It’s very hard to take one from the other.
[19:17] Exactly. That’s exactly my point.
And from that then, we have, so from that idea that Jenny came up with, And there’s been some lovely activity in the marketing committee, which has had some rough times over the years. And the…
[19:42] Essentially, that all has merged into an idea of how we could celebrate WordPress in a more, honestly, it’s a more WordPressy way, right?
Because, I mean, having a party, like, that’s great. But, like, that’s not necessarily, like, the most WordPressy thing to do.
But you know what is WordPressy?
To blog, or to design something, or to develop something, or to, you know, contribute something to the community, right?
Like that’s your creativity, flex your creativity to like use the the tools and reflect upon the tools that WordPress has given us.
And so collectively, we’ve made it we created a little collaboration team.
Mark Andrews part of it, Jenny’s part of it, Megan’s a new part of it.
But Nyasha Green from Master WP is also on there.
And then it’s really been just an exciting process. So we’re gonna be publishing it, actually announcing it today, this campaign.
Does anyone, Mark Andrew, do you wanna introduce it? Do you wanna say what it is?
Since you did it so well in all of the May communities, inviting them to come help with us. So I feel like you have, this is like, you’re like the trumpeter.
[21:06] No, no pressure. Got it. Yeah, I would just, yeah.
With that say, I agree with Jenny. Yeah, everything everyone just said here is that that community, Megan, as you said, you know, is inextricably linked, that that is a part of all of it, which is one of the reasons I’m so excited about this, the WP20 from blogs to blocks campaign, is that it is all about the community and however you choose to engage in it.
You know, if that’s you with your blog, you with WordPress, you as an agency, you in that plugin ecosystem, design, whatever it might be.
But yeah, we are doing five prompts a day for 20 days straight.
So for the WP20 starting on May 7th.
And so it’ll culminate on the actual 20th birthday on the 27th.
[21:58] Marketing team blog will put out a post every day with five prompts that have been gleaned from the community. Once again, everything in there was a community effort.
So as Se was saying, I think this is if the outward feel of the fire might not be perceived the same as it was for the 10th, I think this is exactly, this feels like that fire.
Like this campaign, people getting involved, everyone jumping on board.
And again, it’s directly from the community for the community.
There’s no other purpose than to celebrate us, to celebrate WordPress.
[22:39] It’s so beautiful, it makes me so happy. The other thing, which I think we all forgot, is there’s kind of a, the idea was not only to be inclusive in terms of the type of thing.
So the original idea was like, oh, how could we blog, you know, the coming from the writing inspired by that.
But we’ve also brought in, so we’re doing the development prompt and the design prompt, but the kind of like, it’s not necessarily the lightest lift, but the photos, every day there will also be a photo prompt.
And the way to participate for that is simply to, you know, upload a photo to the photos directory based on whatever that prompt is.
So it doesn’t have to be sit down and, you know, blog your heart out for like, you know, an hour or two every day.
And if there’s some prompts that move you to do that, then great, do that one.
But if one day you’re just like, oh, I, you know, I don’t feel like, you know, I want to participate, but I don’t feel like doing some emotional excursions today. Just snap a pic and upload it to the photos directory.
And then we are, in addition to participating in this community-wide challenge, what’s a good word for it? Endeavor?
[23:58] It’s not just a fun opportunity for us to refer to.
[24:01] A fun opportunity, yeah.
[24:02] Excursion? Online excursion. I don’t know.
[24:05] A medical journey, a metaphorical trip we will all take together.
[24:12] But it’s not a challenge, you don’t feel challenged. It should be fun, not like, you know, obviously some of us are competitive.
But right now we don’t have anything to promise per se, other than we hatched a little plan yesterday that’s still in formation that the marketing team will hopefully be able to provide some recognition at WordCamp US for those folks who have participated.
So that’s something we’re gonna be able to do.
And there’s also a related track ticket that’s happening, which is kind of exciting.
And I thought maybe Megan, do you wanna talk a little bit about that little potential? It’s just potential.
There’s lots of, There’s lots of…
Moving parts to it.
[25:03] Long story short, we’ve got this lovely infrastructure now with badges and all sorts of stuff. And hopefully I’m not hiccuping too much and attempting to open a new tab, y’all.
Patience, I’m afraid, to get the actual track ticket. Long story short, there’s a thought that we can deliver a little digital badge to people for participating in this event.
And realistically, I mean, sure, the infrastructure’s not set up for one time.
But there’s ways we can fix that. We got that figured. It’s engineering. We got that.
[25:33] Specifically, you mean the idea that we can have a digital badge on our WordPress contributor profiles, our WordPress.org.
[25:40] Profiles? Where else would you put the badge? Out in the natural place?
[25:44] On your website? I don’t know.
[25:46] You could put it on your website. Oh, certainly.
[25:48] You can put it on your website? We can actually give people ones to put on their website. That we can also do. Ooh. We can give people one badge.
[25:54] What? Our teams? Yeah.
[25:56] We come up with ideas. This is why you should join the marketing team and the community teams and all the teams because turns out when it’s the community, you can just do stuff.
[26:08] That’s right. The community is awesome.
[26:09] It doesn’t always feel like it, but you can.
[26:15] So the ticket currently is $69.38 for you track folks who love to dig in and deep and find it. And if you don’t, I’m sure we’ll get a link somewhere maybe.
I just uploaded- Link in the show notes.
I would love feedback, we read the comments.
[26:33] Actually, I think, here, I’m gonna put the link in so that Tucker can show it, because did you upload your sketches?
[26:41] I uploaded the one sketch of the badge. We haven’t yet.
Say and I have been talking about maybe two badges, one for the people who do 20 out of 20, because they’re reflecting, they’re concentrating, they’re becoming a diamond, and just one for everyone else who just shows up and does it and has a chance to think.
[26:58] Does it one time.
[26:58] We’re so busy, we don’t have any time to think, it seems, and we can make that.
[27:03] But that’s, you know, that’s exactly what contribution is about, right?
It’s not about, like, you can show up all 20 times if you want and do, like, give as much as you want, but you can also show up a little bit, and that still counts as participating, that still counts, that’s still helpful a lot of the time, honestly, and I think what a lot of the community, and, you know, I, I really didn’t realize for a long time, and I think I think this was probably something that Courtney, friend of the show, Courtney Robertson, helped me realize is that feedback is actually, like just comment, not feedback, but just like literally your opinion, whatever it is, is actually really useful.
Whether it’s on a make post, whether it’s in a GitHub, definitely join the GitHub because that’s where stuff’s happening these days.
Whether it’s in an asynchronous Slack meeting or a Slack channel, all of these tiny little contributions really can add up.
They don’t have to be a, you know, you don’t have to be a team rep.
You don’t have to show up every time at this, you know, to a meeting.
And I think that that is, it can be easily forgotten because people don’t realize the value of all of those little actions together.
[28:22] It is small actions that make the world turn. It is booking the library for the meetup. It is connecting with one person having trouble with the plug-in.
We think it’s the big things because they’re the ones that get the attention, but it’s really these small moments, I think, that make it.
[28:37] All the small moments, all the small teeny tiny little tasks, teeny tiny little feedback, it compounds. That’s the thing. The ability to understand that.
[28:47] I think that’s actually a good…
[28:49] How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
[28:52] Yeah. Or how do you build a sandcastle? One grain at a time. Sorry.
[28:58] That’s a little persistent.
[28:59] I don’t know. I know, but like that’s kind of how it feels, right, like all these tiny little things, especially when you look at it adding up over 20 years, like, you know, these really, this whole entity really is made up of people who aren’t here anymore, people who’ve, you know, come in of the community and left the community, but they’ve left little bits of like, it’s actually kind of fun in the track or in the GitHub, you can, in theory, go through and like see this history.
One of the prompts, I’ll tease one of our prompts.
Well, I’ll not tease it, I’ll give it away. Spoiler, one of the dev prompts is actually to go make a pull request or comment on the oldest track ticket in core or the oldest track ticket in meta.
And the one that I’ve looked up so far is 17 years old, which is almost as old.
Yeah, and it’s like, just go find, that’s gonna be one of the days, right? Go find the oldest traffic that you wanna find and then do something with it.
And that’s basically for the developers, but we don’t have to stay in overtime. We can keep going.
Mark Andrew, do you have anything else you wanted to add?
[30:12] Just quickly, thank you. Thanks to all three of you for having us on today, for having me on.
I’m really excited about the project in general, again, because it comes from the community.
And if I had a few words just to leave everyone with, it’s irregardless of your thoughts on this project or how much you get involved, take from what Jenny and Megan and Say just did, like this didn’t exist, none of this was here, they did this, no one put enough to it, they had an idea and they accomplished it.
So that’s, you know, and that can be done in any aspect of the project, I feel.
From what I’ve seen, everyone is waiting. As Megan said, they want you to just go up.
[30:53] Yeah, we all want, we all want us to show, like, I want more of us to show up, like, and it can be hard sometimes for a multitude of reasons, but I think that, um, it’s, uh, there are, there are a lot of efforts happening to make it easier to show up.
Um, so hopefully this, this campaign from Blogs to Blocks campaign will be part of that, like, taking that step into reconnecting, reflecting on our time, and, you know, re-lighting the fire for something in a landscape that’s, like, brand new and exciting, honestly.
We’re, like, you know, the next 20 years are, like, just cracking wide open with possibility, so.
[31:36] I don’t know if y’all saw the funny-ass, like, Canadian show, Reboot, or anything, but at the end, you go, reboot, reboot, and pew, onto the thing, and I kind of feel like this is a moment for us.
[31:46] I want to do that. I don’t know what it is, but I’ll do it.
So, hey, if you want to help us write prompts, let us know. We’ll leave the ticket and we’ll leave the announcement in the show notes because we’re going to publish that shortly. So stay tuned. May 7th.
[32:05] I look forward to committing to doing all 20 prompts and only managing to do Yeah, that’s what we’re looking for.
[32:15] Exactly that. Well, thank you for coming in and hanging out with us.
We really appreciate it.
[32:21] Well, thank you for coming in and hanging out with us. We really appreciate it. coming in, hanging out with us.
[32:32] We really appreciate it.
Here’s our outro. Spotify. If you like that sort of thing, YouTube, and, uh, if you’re federated TIL, don’t forget, come check us out, come chat with us really, because we’re there and, uh, We will gift you.
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