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It’s about that time of year where we reflect on our accomplishments, look ahead to the goals we want to achieve, and hopefully appreciate the moment we’re living in right now. 

Even if it’s not your perfect place, there are so many people struggling throughout the world, the micro-controversies of WordPress could be seen as a luxury to some. 

We make our living through a piece of open source software that affords us the opportunity to be creative, to connect with other humans, and provide for our families. If I climbed back 100 years on the branches of my family tree, the Medeiros’ certainly weren’t grappling with which YouTube thumbnail to pick, or which free plugin has the highest rating to put food on the table. 

“Earning a living” has a whole new definition. The futurist in me looks ahead and asks, “How long will this last?” With the dawn of commercial AI, I have no idea where I fit in, in all of this. Heck, I don’t know where WordPress fits in all of this. 

“Hey Jarvis, publish a blog a post about my day today. Reflect on how I was excited to receive a new grey jumpsuit from the Federation. My dinner shake was exceptionally delicious this evening.” 

I recently had the chance to interview Pippin Williamson, an OG in the WordPress space, and more importantly someone I call a friend. If you’re interested to hear what his life has been like since selling his suite of product to Awesome Motive and starting a Brewery in Kansas, give it a listen. 

I listened to JR Farr share the story of his friend who passed away struggling with mental health. It made me think of my friend Clint, who never showed up for that interview I had scheduled with him. I still think about him. Even though we were “just friends online.”

What does the WordPress community look like in 10 years? 

Right now it’s this “chaos cloud” animation of the Tasmanian Devil chasing the Road Runner. It’s moving around, some good things, some bad things popping out of it. It’s leaving a mark, but it’s mostly in the software that we use. Should it be in the humans we’re connected with? With the outcome and the body of work it helps us achieve? 

I still feel like the air got sucked out of the room when Sarah Goodling left the Tavern. I’m getting DM’s like “Hey someone told me you’re the person to promote my stuff, here’s a Press Release.”

The business side of me is happy: “Great! Buy a membership and network with other WordPress professionals.”

But me? Personally? Makes me wonder, “Is that all this part of the community is to you?”

And I get it. That’s what a lot of open source is about. Here’s this thing, it’s free, and I can use it however I want. But today, today, I want you to remember there’s someone else on the other side of that code or that blog post. That we shouldn’t take the community and the humans we have for granted. Whether it’s Mullenweg or Awesome Motive or the volunteers on the .org theme team. 

I believe our time with WordPress, as we know it today, is short lived. We’ll blink and the way we interact with the internet will be different. We’ll miss the tug of war of Automattic vs the community. (Really!) The excitement of installing that sweet new page builder tool will be forgotten. 

But I hope we still have each other. I hope the WordPress community continues to thrive long after the code stops. 

So what are you thankful for? In my professional life: I’m thankful for my job at Gravity Forms, the sponsors & members of The WP Minute, and you the listener/reader. 

News from The Repository

I’m trying something new this week, a collaboration with my friends at The Repository! Here are the headlines provided by their staff in their recent newsletter. Sign up!

  • Plugin Authors Praise the Latest Attempt at Adding Live Previews to WordPress.org. Posting on the Make WordPress.org blog this week, long-time Automattic-sponsored contributor Alex Shiels says the latest attempt to add a ‘Live Preview’ button to plugin listings has been designed to allow developers to safely experiment and test the WordPress Playground-powered preview experience for their plugins.
  • A Fresh Look for State of the Word on WordPress.org. This year’s State of the Word has a snazzy new landing page. Automattic-sponsored contributor Nick Diego pitched the idea of a simple landing page three weeks ago on GitHub, arguing that the annual event needed a consistent home on WordPress.org.
  • Contributors Reject the Idea of Paid Sponsor Tracks at WordCamps

Important links

Here are some other important links from around the WordPress world this week:

Video of the week

I share further insights into the Twenty Twenty-Four theme. This time we’re looking at editing the header & footer template parts inside TT4.

That’s it for today’s episode, don’t forget to share share share this episode with others and jump on the mailing list 👇

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