Houston Press and CNET

(Also known as Announcements Two and Three. See part one.)

Matt Mullenweg may be underage, but he knows how to get into a bar.

That’s the opening line from the Houston Press feature called The Blog Age, subtitled “Matt Mullenweg helps usher in the real information revolution, one Web log at a time.” Modest, eh? It should be on newstands tomorrow so if you’re in Houston pick up a copy. Otherwise read it online.

Though it’s a little embarassing for me in parts, it’s a really good article that covers everything from Open Source to my fellow H-Town bloggers to political blogging at the national conventions. I’ve been talking to Cathy (the author) off and on since August and the strangest thing is how much has changed since we first met in a small coffee shop in Montrose. There are a few points I’d like to expand on or clarify but I’m exhausted from today’s travel right now.

The Other Big News

If you’ve read the article already you’ll notice that it breaks a juicy tidbit that hasn’t been published before: I’ve accepted a job with CNET Networks. That’s the reason I’m moving to San Francisco. There were a lot of ways things could have gone and honestly I wasn’t even planning on leaving Houston originally, but over the course of the past 3-4 months I’ve been talking to CNET and an opportunity came up I just couldn’t pass. As it says in the article part of what they’re paying me for is working on WordPress just like I do now. The rest of my time I’ll be working on various projects, most of them probably so top-secret I can’t breathe a word in advance.

The reason I’m excited about working with CNET is how what I’ll be doing meshes with my thoughts and ideals regarding Open Source, standards, and communities. My principles aren’t changing just because my paycheck is. You can expect the same sort of content here on PhotoMatt.net you’ve seen in the past — namely unfiltered personal thoughts, jabs, and observations not connected with any corporate entity. This is obviously a pretty significant move for both myself and WordPress so I’ll do my best to entertain any questions you may have in the comments.

82 thoughts on “Houston Press and CNET

  1. Congrats on the job and the article. Several questions all to do with the future of WordPress.. market aim, product development goals etc etc. Basically, have you sold out? πŸ˜‰

  2. If I didn’t tell you before, I’m so proud of you! Just think, I’ll be able to say, “I knew him when. Wonder if he remembers the night we first met at Treebeard’s when Jish came into town?” πŸ˜‰

    Seriously, congratulations! Don’t forget I owe you a drink on your birthday even though it’s obvious you can get into bars already.

  3. I’m stoked for you, man…can’t help but be a little bit inspired as well. I wish I knew you personally too, so when you get even more famous – if that’s possible – I can say, “Dude, I know him!” Hahaha… πŸ™‚

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  5. Several questions all to do with the future of WordPress.. market aim, product development goals etc etc. Basically, have you sold out? πŸ˜‰

    Same here, good question. You do talk about WordPress, but must we be afraid of ‘Special Paid Versions’, ‘New Way-Too-Expensive Support Forums’ and ‘Brand New Spanking Plugins ($12.5)!!!’ or are you talking more in the sense of development? Or, of course, will WordPress become a part of C|Net and therefore be aptly renamed to C|Press?

    (Not joking, me.)

  6. I misread a part of the article in a way that changed the message quite a bit. πŸ˜‰
    It really says “He made his first Web site around age 11 or 12. Four years ago, […]” but I read it as “He made his first Web site around age 11 or 12, four years ago.”. Oh well, I guess it was about the underage bar at the beginning of the article that made me do it!

    Congratulations about the job!

  7. Congratulations! Now let me throw some cold water on the parade.

    Do you have IN WRITING solid evidence of CNET’s commitment to your professional freedom? Because verbal protestations are all very well when CNET doesn’t have any actual power over you, but employers have a way of conveniently forgetting what they’ve promised once they own a piece of your soul.

    I say this only because in a much smaller way, I’ve been there. It sucks. Mightily.

  8. like Kymberlie said, i can proudly say that i knew him when, too! i met Matt at a Jish Happy Hour, too… at Market Square Grill. Matt was eating quesadillas. πŸ™‚ i believe that was the first time i’ve ever heard of his domain. and i thought it was so cute it was a play on the name of the film developing company who set up shop in those little kiosks called Fotomatt. does it still exist?

    i hope you’re taking pics while you’re heading to SF!

  9. Congratulations! And now let the speculation begin – what might CNET have planned for WordPress development that they want to pay you for it? πŸ™‚ CNET-branded weblog product built on top of WordPress? (akin to the Netscape/Mozilla/AOL relationship) Or perhaps they just want to be top of the litter for requesting new features in WordPress … πŸ™‚

  10. Rogier, there are always more announcements, but I think this is it for October.

    Gordon, WordPress is still entirely independent so nothing with regards to its aim or direction is going to change. The only thing that’s really changing is I’ll have more time to work on it.

    Michael, I can work on WP because they’re just that cool. Really. I would never have even considered a job that prevented me from working on WordPress in any way. πŸ™‚

    Dorothea, my time spent on WordPress and the IP thereof is spelled out in the contract and I’ve had several check it out. I do my best to not be financially dependent on any job I’m working on so if it ever regresses to a point that conflicts with my principles I can just leave, which I’ve done before and would do again. If there’s anything in particular you think I should watch out for drop me an email.

    Ste, I’m the wrong guy to ask what CNET has planned, but we already knew they’re running WordPress internally on their intranet and externally on http://blogs.zdnet.com/ .

  11. Rob, WordPress is still completely independent of CNET, just now I can spend more time on it and still pay the bills. Personally I think charging for blogging software is a little silly, and history has shown it can have a backlash so while under the GPL anyone could charge for WP if they wanted I would never be involved in such a project. Also remember that CNET is a media company, not a software or services company.

    I have a question myself: Does anyone know what the C in CNET stands for? I have no idea myself, maybe they’ll tell me at orientation.

  12. CNET helped out with the development of Vignette’s StoryServer back in the mid-90s. In today’s post-bubble economy, Vignette is now a struggling, evil, multi-million dollar company. I hope you can have all of the success that you deserve with WP without taking the evil route. If all else fails, adopt a philosophy similar to Google’s.

  13. Many congratulations on the new job! It’s excellent news to hear that they’ll be letting you continue development on WordPress. Thankfully since WordPress is GPL, I don’t worry about any kind of sudden move into the dark world of proprietary software – one of the reasons I (and many others) use WordPress rather than that other blogware application…

  14. That opening line cracked me up. To think, I’ve threatened to play mom just to get you in before. How times have changed…

    Congratulations on the job at CNET. Don’t forget about us back here in Houston, and let us know when you’ll be in town, ok?

  15. Congratulations Matt,
    As I’m sure a lot of other people did, I guessed your next big announcement was going to be a job of some description.
    I hope you do well. It’s great to get an employer who supports you in this way.

    The article is great too. It’s very accessible for non techies and very positive. Congrats again man.

    a guy from England

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  18. You’re so sly sitting there at the Feedster Blogger’s Dinner and not saying a thing. Well, even though it’s only a week ago, I can still say I knew you when… πŸ™‚ Good luck on your new gig Matt.

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  21. Matt, I would just like to say that I’m really inspired by your success. I had this thought in my head that you must be some mystical genius old man, and while it seems you probably are a genius, you’re much more of a real person than I ever thought. Your troubles with school especially touched me, as I’ve had similar experiences due to severe symptoms of bipolar disorder. I’m twenty myself now, and trying to make a living with my various Web-related geekery. (Though, I’m failing thus far.)

    But to make a long story short, I’ve been using WordPress for a few months (took the dive and made the switch from Blogger and MT) and it is sexy. Congratulations on your success!

  22. Congrats Matt, and welcome to San Francisco! It’s a great city to live in. If you like sushi, I know all the best places (I’m an addict). While I haven’t posted it yet on my ‘How To Blog’ site, I’m 99.9% sure that after doing my comparisons I’m going to be using WordPress for all future blogs, so a belated thanks for all of your hard work on it. I have 2 friends who used to work for cnet – and they loved it while they were there. So kudos, have fun, and good luck!

  23. You can’t see the tears in my eyes.

    I’m so proud of you.

    Call me if you’re on the east side, and I’ll call you if I’m on the west….

    much love

  24. I just got a call from my mother! “Your picture was in the paper for the tiaras! I’ll clip it for you!”

    Congratulations Matt! Good things really do happen to good people!

  25. Sorry I missed it, and even though it’s well and truly worn out, Congratulations!
    I’m glad you’re being given time to work on WordPress too. That is a very cool job. I really hope you enjoy it along with your new life in SF.

  26. Congratulations! Does this mean there will be more people working on WordPress or will it still be the existing core developers?

    You’re living out the fantasy of many developers who would love to be recruited by a big company and paid to be doing what they already do for free. With all of the time and work you’ve done, you deserve it.

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  28. Hey Matt – Congrats! I worked at CNET for a long time and found it to be a really fulfilling experience on the whole. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.