Generally, the only thing a new Gregorian year (there are other calendars out there too, you know) means to me is that I must remember to write 2010 on checks. But since I’ve been reading so many New Year’s posts on other blogs, it got me thinking about what I have to say as we welcome writing 2010 on checks. And here it is:
Thank you Automattic and the WordPress community.
While eating breakfast this morning, I started thinking about how much of our business’ activities revolve around WordPress – developing sites and blogs on WordPress, hosting WordPress sites, providing WordPress support and consultation, and more. And then I started thinking about how many people there are out there who also make a living from WordPress services. There must be thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of WordPress service providers around the world.
In addition, there are thousands of others who, thanks to the relative simplicity of WordPress and the freemium hosted service at WordPress.com, have managed to set up their own dynamic web presence to help them grow their businesses or organizations.
In Judaism, our tradition teaches us that the most ideal way of giving charity is to give someone else the ability to generate their own income (similar to the saying about teaching a man to fish rather than giving him fish). Automattic has not only created their own business, but has helped others create their own streams of income. I think this is particularly significant for those in the developing world: with WordPress they can provide their services to clients all over the world, without the need for expensive software and supplies, thus increasing their ability to generate income for themselves and their families.
Automattic obviously plays a big role in the success of WordPress, but without the community I don’t think WordPress would be where it is today. Automattic’s approach to the community is of course what made it so robust, thanks to the fact that the software is Open Source, and thanks to the implementation of an API system that allows others to add on features through the development of plugins. It’s also due to the environment that Automattic created, whereby the community is encouraged to support and be active in the development of WordPress.
The WordPress community certainly took up the torch, and has helped WordPress spread like wildfire. Three years ago, when I was researching the available Open Source platforms for creating dynamic websites, one of the reasons I settled on WP was because of the amazingly useful community generated information I found. And that’s why I started this very blog: to give back to the community in my own small way.
So thank you WordPress community.
Thank you Automattic.
Thank you for creating such an awesome piece of software, and for continuing to innovate and listen to the community.
Happy New Year!