Aside Archives

Grist.org, the environmental journalism non-profit I’m on the board of, has received a Knight Foundation grant to “allow newsrooms to better measure audience engagement, beyond clicks and page views, by creating an open-source WordPress plugin that will measure ‘attention minutes’ to determine how long users are interacting with content.” I’m excited to see what they come up with, and that it will be open source, perhaps it’s something we can incorporate into Jetpack down the line. If hacking on that sort of thing and saving the planet is interesting to you, Grist is hiring WordPress developers.

Propublica has a piece on canvas fingerprinting done by the ad service that uses the trojan horse of sharing buttons, AddThis: Meet the Online Tracking Device That is Virtually Impossible to Block. Regardless of the usefulness of this particular technique, which seems to not be effective enough to stick around, services like AddThis and ShareThis will always spy on and tag your audience when you use their widgets, and you should avoid them if you care about that sort of thing. That’s why we put sharing buttons into Jetpack that are much more privacy (and performance) friendly.

In April and May, there are Automattic team meetups and events happening in Budapest, Napa Valley, Pender Island, New Orleans, Barbados, Cardiff, Konstanz, Playa Del Carmen, Portland, Toronto, Saratoga Springs, Palermo, Edinburgh, and Lisbon. Did I mention that we’re hiring?

Two cool new WordPresses launched on VIP: Nate Silver’s new FiveThirtyEight site, and the Facebook Newsroom, which I believe is the first WP-powered Facebook site. (Hopefully the first of many!) Also congrats to 10up and Beyond respectively for working on each of these sites.