You might remember a few years back I talked about why Automattic has a creed, and shared ours. Here it is again:
I will never stop learning. I won’t just work on things that are assigned to me. I know there’s no such thing as a status quo. I will build our business sustainably through passionate and loyal customers. I will never pass up an opportunity to help out a colleague, and I’ll remember the days before I knew everything. I am more motivated by impact than money, and I know that Open Source is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation. I will communicate as much as possible, because it’s the oxygen of a distributed company. I am in a marathon, not a sprint, and no matter how far away the goal is, the only way to get there is by putting one foot in front of another every day. Given time, there is no problem that’s insurmountable.
One of the parts of Automattic that has grown the most over the past few years is our design corps, now over two dozen people. This group, led by creative director Dave Martin, has come up with a supplemental Designer’s Creed for followers of their craft at A8C:
I take pride in my craft. I ensure that everyone — regardless of ability or device — can use my designs. I routinely ask for feedback, even when it’s uncomfortable. I regularly watch people use my designs, because testing leads to clarity. I will never stop at “good enough.”
You can read more about it on Dave’s blog. »
You can read on the Jetpack blog and the BruteProtect blog about the company, plugin, and service joining Automattic. BTW, BruteProtect has protected this site from 1,663 attacks in the past 28 days.
As written about by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Techdirt, Automattic is fighting back against two cases where we feel the DMCA has been used abusively for censorship and bullying. Read more about it here.
You can now view the inside of Automattic’s office on Google Maps street view and walk around inside. To get downstairs go by the stairs and press the back arrow, a bit unintuitive but gets you to the main floor. Check out the custom shuffleboard upstairs.
I’m really excited about the launch of WordPress.com Connect. Yes Facebook et al offer similar APIs and have more users, but there are two key differences. First is Automattic is not an advertising-driven company, so our priorities around users are different than ones who are. Second is that these APIs are the basis for interacting with any element of an entire website hosted on WP.com or not, meaning themes, widgets, posts, content, CSS… any company that does something that ultimately ends up on a website should be looking at the APIs on developer.wordpress.com and pushing us where there isn’t one yet.
Remember my resolution to “Launch secret new thing, code abbreviation JP”? There was even a WP Candy thread guessing what it was. Well it’s live, and you can click here to read all about Jetpack. Check it out, every WordPress deserves a Jetpack. 🙂
As some folks have noticed already, Automattic is now a “real” domain registrar (ID #1531). This has been a goal of mine for several years now, chiefly because I am a bit of a domain collector myself and I’ve never been completely satisfied with the domain buying or management experience on any of the usual players. Second, custom domains are a popular feature on WordPress.com and should become even more popular with some changes we’re introducing this month and it’ll be good to be able to provide a fully integrated experience for our users there. It’ll be a few months while we build all the tools necessary to begin taking advantage of our registrar status so in the meantime we’ll continue to use Godaddy, who has been an excellent partner.
I’ve been back on Chrome pretty much full-time, especially since I figured out some proxy stuff, so the new After the Deadline checker for Google Chrome is a lifesaver. See also: Download Squad.
After the Deadline, the enhanced spelling and grammar checker, has just released a new extension for Firefox that enables AtD functionality on any textarea on the web, which is really killer. This is one of the possibilities I was most excited about when we acquired AtD. For more check out the coverage on Download Squad and Lifehacker.
Polldaddy just became the second Automattic web service to reach a billion pageviews a month. (I’m not counting Gravatar.) They also just updated their WordPress.org plugin to including ratings. Watch for some other major updates coming up soon.
There have been a few requests for the plugin that drives the custom CSS feature on WordPress.com. We wanted to clean it up before releasing, and ended up adding a feature that stores the CSS better (in the posts table) and also adds revisions so you can revert to an old version of your custom CSS. The plugin is now available on the WordPress.org directory, free for everybody. Enjoy!
After the Deadline, the intelligent spell- and grammar-checking service Automattic acquired a few months ago, is releasing its core technology under the GPL. There’s also a new jQuery API that makes it easy to integrate with any
textarea. Ostatic writes about it here.
Automattic just purchased a company and service called After the Deadline, an amazingly smart contextual spelling and grammar checker, and can catch errors even the New York Times misses. It’s now live for 7.5 million WordPress.com blogs and available as a free plugin for .org users, it replaces the built-in spell checker on TinyMCE. It’s a cool story, they were actually rejected from Y Combinator and a few other seed funds but kept at it anyway, and has now found a home in the Automattic family. I found out about the service from Hacker News.
Introducing IntenseDebate Plugins: add the features you want. Now ID has a plugin architecture (just like WordPress) that allows you to enhance the functionality of comments. First ones out the gate are polls, Youtube, Seesmic, and of course smileys. Want to supercharge your comments?
WordPress “Art Direction” Plugin, from Automattician Noel Jackson. Basically allows you to do what Jason Santa Maria does for his blog without all the custom code and template hacking, just a simple plugin.