🎙️ Listen to this episode.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Brian Jackson, co-founder of Forge Media and creator of the popular WordPress plugins NovaShare and Perfmatters. Brian has extensive experience building successful products and businesses in the WordPress space.

In our wide-ranging conversation, we discussed several important topics relevant to the WordPress community right now:

Using AI to Enhance Content Creation

Both Brian and I have begun experimenting with AI tools like ChatGPT and Bard to improve our content workflows. He uses a “hybrid approach”, leveraging AI to generate ideas and drafts but still adding his own personal touch. I completely agree that carefully crafted prompts are key to getting good results from AI. Neither of us is yet comfortable publishing fully AI-written content.

The Impact of AI on the Future of WordPress

We speculated about how advanced AI could enable automated site building outside of WordPress in the future. However, Brian emphasized that niche complexities of WordPress will be difficult for AI to grasp anytime soon.

Monetization and Support for Plugin Businesses

Brian explained why he avoids “lifetime deal” pricing for his products, despite it being common for WordPress plugins. While tempting for short-term revenue, it removes incentive for ongoing improvement. He believes subscribers should continue supporting developers to allow constant iteration. Still, he limits sales to just the major Black Friday promotion each year.

Key Takeaways

  • AI can help generate ideas and drafts, but human refinement is still needed
  • WordPress niche complexity means AI won’t replace it soon
  • JavaScript skills are critical for WordPress developers now
  • “Lifetime deal” pricing removes incentive for ongoing development
  • Limiting sales promotes sustainable growth over quick cash grabs


“I don’t think a lot of people know a hundred percent. You can’t say yes or no, you know, will Google know this is written by me or not?”

“WordPress is just a mess, to be honest, for the people that are in the weeds every day, like grinding, like they know how messy WordPress is.”

“If you have a good product, like why do you need to constantly push sales? It doesn’t make sense.

[00:00:44] Matt: Brian Jackson, brianleejackson. com, forgemedia. io. You’ve been on the podcast before on Matt Report. you’re listening now, everyone, on WP Minute Plus
[00:00:56] brian, do you, if you listen to podcasts, do you use Apple podcasts or do you use something else?
[00:01:00] Brian: you know what? I use YouTube actually for most of my podcasts, to be honest. And there are a couple podcasts, and I do have them in my Apple Music app. But, to be honest, I just leave YouTube up in the background, kind of, and listen to things. So, that’s kind of what I use.
[00:01:13] Matt: I live in two worlds. As you can imagine the WordPress world, open source, open publishing website creation. And I live in the podcasting world. Open RSS feeds, open audio publishing, and then there are sites like Spotify, YouTube, which sort of buck the trend. It’s almost like the wordpress. com to the wordpress.
[00:01:32] org, right? It’s like with podcasting, I can create an RSS feed. I can put it up in any host or my WordPress website and people just need to know what my RSS link is and they can listen to my audio. But then there’s a whole new, which is weird to say, in the podcasting world. There’s a lot of conversation happening right now about, is a podcast video?
[00:01:55] Is it audio? Does it have to be powered by RSS? I didn’t invite you on to talk about that stuff today, but I’d love to know what your opinion is. Do you, does it have to be RSS? Does it have to be audio? Probably not since you listen on
[00:02:07] Brian: There are a lot of YouTube things that I listen to that don’t have video, like they’re just the audio. So I don’t think it necessarily has to be. I think some people just prefer that as the place to go. And me, I’m not, I don’t, I’m not person that listens on my phone to podcasts. I just don’t ever do that.
[00:02:23] So for me, it’s always when I’m at my desk working on something else that that’s when I listen. So for me, YouTube is handy. and it’s sometimes easier almost to find things. Just like people that I’m following other than, going through my podcast and Apple music and finding all the, I don’t know, YouTube is just handy for me.
[00:02:40] Maybe it’s just a personal preference too.
[00:02:41] Matt: Brian, we’re here to talk about WordPress. I want to talk, as I was saying before we hit record, I, you know, I was doing a lot of, writing with AI lately, I’m still on the fence. And I’d love to get your opinion on it. Still on the fence of whether or not this is really useful. does it work 10 percent of the time?
[00:02:59] Does it work 100 percent of the time? And I was thinking to myself, boy, if there’s one person out there that I know is a prolific content creator, or at least was back in the day, and maybe, now you’re spending more time with plugin stuff, but I was thinking, wow, I think Brian would have a great opinion on AI, and content creation and or marketing.
[00:03:18] So when I say AI and content marketing and, and blog creation, what’s, what’s your first thoughts that come to come to mind? Okay.
[00:03:27] Brian: mean, my very first thoughts and I’m using AI a lot. I mean, I use it actually a few minutes before we got on those calls or something. and my approach right now is just hybrid approach is I’m using it just for things that can speed up my workflow. However, having been a content creator for so long, I’m also very hesitant to just, you know, go out there, start a brand new site, just whip out, you know, 20 articles, just using like Google barter chat, GBT or something.
[00:03:55] now I’m sure there’s people doing that right now as we speak. And testing and seeing what happens, I would just be, I’ve been through so many bad, like Google updates and things like that, that, you know, it’s, it’s very risky, I think, to still do that because you also don’t know how much Google is going to detect is that AI written content.
[00:04:16] And I don’t, I don’t think a lot of people know a hundred percent. You can’t say yes or no, you know, will Google know this is written by me or, so I’m using like a hybrid approach and. I guess a good example is I just sold one of my niche sites. like last week, actually, we just closed on the sale and it’s something since I’m busy with plugins, it’s just something I, it’s slowly been dying is better to get rid of it than, you know, not touch it for the next two years, but, it was like in the gluten free space and had gluten free menus and stuff on it and for SEO, one way to increase the The menus on there, was I put like history of the restaurant at the bottom of the menu, just as the history of,Red Robin or something,three or 400 words.
[00:05:01] Now, before I would go actually write that myself and I started using just AI to write that little blurb since it wasn’t the main content. It was more just like filler and add. I started using AI for that stuff. So, I think that’s a good way if I was doing stuff to kind of use it as like a hybrid approach, use it for some things, but not the entire article.
[00:05:22] Now, I, I think you could probably do our entire articles just fine. As long as you’re adding maybe some personal touches on it. I just, I haven’t done that myself and I would be hesitant to do that yet.
[00:05:33] Matt: Yeah, it’s tempting, right? Because you literally just tell it, here’s what I want and it, and it produces it for you. And of course, you know, I recently had. This sort of same conversation with Kim Coleman on the podcast because she was chatting in a WordPress slack that we’re in and talking about how she’s worked with the prompts to, you know, just further enhance the experience and get better, better results right from from the prompts and.
[00:06:02] That really started getting my gears turning, just seeing how she like set up her prompts and stuff. like, okay, it looks like I was like everybody else. I came in, I played around with it. I said, write me a blog post about the history of WordPress and it was super generic or missed a ton of stuff.
[00:06:18] But it’s all I did was say, write the history of WordPress. How is it supposed to know? Like exactly. What I want because if you said the same thing to a human like if I walked up to somebody who was like a writer Somebody who was skilled in in writing and I said, hey just write me the history of WordPress They would ask me probably a hundred questions on okay, like where do I start?
[00:06:40] Where do you want me to go? who’s the audience and That’s what you have to, I mean, at least in my opinion, that’s what you have to kind of, you have to do it with, with your AI, chat bot of choice. Fair statement, you think?
[00:06:55] Brian: Yeah. No, I agree. I agree. yeah, when I first, when I first, I think use chat GPT, I will be completely honest, my mind was blown now in two ways as a content creator, I was like, holy shit, this is going to change everything. And then I was like, holy shit, this is going to change everything. because, it’s wow, I could, I mean, you know, those days writing at Kinsta, you know, those, you know, 4, 000 word articles, like I’d pour my heart and soul into those in the evenings.
[00:07:21] Yeah. And now literally someone can just do that in 10 seconds. I mean, now obviously the quality is not there yet, but you can see where this is going, and things will only get, you know, better and there’ll be more ways to tweak it based on personality and tone. And so you can just see where it’s going.
[00:07:36] It’s very scary and cool at the same time. I think the stuff happening with the art, I think is the same way with like mid journey. I don’t know if you’ve seen that stuff with the art. I mean, you can just create almost any piece of artwork now and it looks amazing. And if I was an artist, I would also have the same feeling.
[00:07:52] It’s wow, this is, this is scary and cool at the same time. so yeah, I, I think the best way to use it right now is like hybrid. there’ll sometimes I’ll say I use Google Bart a lot, actually, because I can, I can make it a Chrome web app and actually have it in my Mac dock at the bottom. So it’s really nice and handy.
[00:08:10] but I’ll say. Rewrite this paragraph for me if I didn’t like how I personally wrote it, and then we’ll shoot me back a couple of responses. And sometimes I’ll like the one they wrote better than what I wrote. So I think for like writer’s block, sometimes it’s great. You can just here, I’m tired.
[00:08:26] It’s 1am. Give me some other alternatives. Boom. I like that one better. or for writing blog titles, I know a lot of people like sometimes, you know, like struggle with So like you can just dump all your content in there and say, give me a couple of good titles for this content and it’ll spit it out for you.
[00:08:43] So, I think just that way, it’s just using little tricks like that to make your life a little easier is what I’m really doing it for
[00:08:50] Matt: Yeah, I recently wrote, a post about, sort of like this, this prediction, this hypothetical, if, Apple’s journal app, which is, has come up to iOS 17, to anybody who’s updated to iOS 17, I started to think to myself, boy. Wouldn’t that be interesting if the journal app turned into Apple’s play at social media, right?
[00:09:13] Now stick with me. I’m pontificating about the idea of you’ve got this app, you’re literally, you know, creating a blog post, a journal post, if you will, and you’re uploading your photos. It’s, you know, doing things like, Hey, we saw that you worked out today. So you went for a run. maybe you stopped and took photos somewhere halfway or whatever, and it could just start to analyze in a single post through your photos, through your activity, from your location. Hey, I was out at a brewery. I had some, a couple of beers and here’s some pictures and here’s the food we ate. It could analyze all that, craft a blog post for you in a second, and then you could just hit publish, right? And I was like, wow, Apple could make a play at that. Hypothetically, and I used, I’m a fan of Claude AI and we’ll talk about your chatbot of choice in a moment, but I used it just to give me some ideas of what other markets has Apple disrupted, right?
[00:10:12] What other small software markets has Apple disrupted? you know, give me some examples, you know, so because it’s same thing. It was like 11 at night. I’m like, I can’t. Think of this stuff right now, right? I don’t want to search for it. Just recommend some other things and then highlight, like where, any information that Apple has for search at, search ad placement, talk about like the app marketplace and stuff like that.
[00:10:33] So I used it for bouncing ideas off of, and helping me get unstuck on some other, other thoughts. so yeah, I agree with you. It’s a fair way. You know, to use it, and I’m not going to lie, I ran, I said, write me a blog post of WordPress versus, you know, Apple’s blogging platform. If Apple ever made a blogging platform, but it was just super generic, right?
[00:10:53] It didn’t know like the nuances of, you know, WordPress and how somebody experiences writing a blog post. And, you know, it was very generic, a very generic response up into that point. So then I just used all that information and just wrote it up, wrote it up. But Cloud AI is what I’d like to lean towards.
[00:11:10] What about you?
[00:11:10] Brian: Yeah,
[00:11:11] Matt: You said Bard before, right?
[00:11:13] Brian: barred the most, to be honest. And, I just really, I, The moment I could pin it as a Chrome web app on there and then they keep making updates and I really like it that it’s got the dark mode and everything in there is, yeah, I just really Google usually is good with their UI.
[00:11:26] So I think that may be one reason to, and it keeps your history in there now too, which is nice. like the last thing I did was I had it right. I, I can write PHP, but I’m not, my brother is the developer, main developer on the plugin. So like I can write PHP, but I’m super slow. So. Yeah. Usually he’s doing that, but I needed to write something quick.
[00:11:46] I didn’t want to bother him and just to confirm, like I threw it into BARD and it actually autocorrected what I had wrong, threw it back at me. So stuff like that is just, I mean, awesome in my opinion. and the other thing I’m just looking at my history here of what I’ve typed in there recently. And, last week was my.
[00:12:05] nieces, baby dedication. So they were doing this thing at church and they were looking for a song. And so we, I asked with my brother, we asked Google bar, give me a list of the names of songs with her name in it. And it just, you know, shoot out a whole bunch of lists with and direct links to Spotify.
[00:12:21] So it was like, Oh, this is awesome. so just random things like that. you can almost use it for anything these days, which is really cool.
[00:12:29] Matt: Yeah. talk to me about the plugin business. You just sort of hinted at that, and I know this from our previous conversation, but to catch the listeners up to speed, I know your brother’s the developer, you said you use PHP in a little snippet into Google Bard, but does your brother use, I think it’s like GitHub co pilot or stuff like that, to help develop or is he still just doing it the human way?
[00:12:53] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:12:54] Brian: I’ve showed him, you know, barred and and he’s wow, that’s cool. And then he never uses it. So I don’t think there’s a lot of like hardcore developers that are like using it. I think it’s more, I don’t know what you would call them, like tinker developers or someone that like me that like I could write things if I really sat down and focus, but, I’m not very.
[00:13:14] So that’s where AI for me actually comes in super handy because it can kind of correct things or give me ideas of here’s what I should do. but for really hardcore developers, I’m, I’m not sure how much they’re using it. I could be wrong. I’m just using my brother as a personal example. I know he’s not going into AI.
[00:13:29] He’s, he’s done it enough that he’s literally it’s for him. It’s just like, how much can I get done in a day? And AI and our workflow just wouldn’t help him at the moment. So,
[00:13:39] Matt: Yeah, I had another crazy, hypothetical if, if let’s say chat GPT could, just like you do, let’s say, uploading WordPress to your web host, right? And then you go through the famous, or it was once a famous five minute install of WordPress where, you know, you upload the package, you went to the domain, you saw the install screen and you went through and, and set up WordPress.
[00:14:05] If ChatGPT could do the same thing where a user could just say I want a website that is a directory of all my local businesses and you could search by how much parking spots each business had and by the type of service that they offered. And ChatGPT could just build it and host it for you. I would say that that would be pretty scary, by what kind of code it would output.
[00:14:34] But I would also say that the person kind of using that type of solution would be like, I don’t care. I don’t care what the code is. Like I’ve just built myself this app in a second using code that I’ll never touch. And it just runs on some cloud instance somewhere. That’s another thing where I think, man, if once.
[00:14:50] Chat GPT or these platforms get to that level where you can actually deploy concepts into live apps or code, which might even exist already. I don’t even know, but I can just imagine that being quite a powerful tool, at least for concepts, and maybe even production type apps for, for the common user.
[00:15:10] Brian: Yeah, no, I think
[00:15:11] Matt: No, no question there. Just a soapbox moment.
[00:15:14] Brian: yeah, no, no, I, I can definitely see that coming. And I think there’s, I think like elementers are already playing with stuff like that, but I think it’s, you know, kind of like pulling from an existing template thing, say I want to do a car park and so pull from something they already have, it wouldn’t be like deploying, you know, all the code based on, like you said, like customizing parking spaces, that would be really cool.
[00:15:33] But I think that is definitely coming at some point. And the scary thing is what you said is Will people care? I, and like you said, I don’t think they will. If it works, it works and that’s all they will care about. So as, as far as the future of WordPress goes, it’s kind of, that’s a little scary too, you know, you know, for us, our plugins are focused on performance because a lot of website users are trying to speed up their sites for Google.
[00:16:00] Now, if say they just launched it with chat, GPT or whatever cloud service it was, it’s not in WordPress. You know, that’s, that’s not in the WordPress ecosystem at that point. So it’s, it really is up in the air. Like how is this going to impact WordPress and the whole. Ecosystem. I liked, I listened to a snippet from you the other day.
[00:16:18] Actually, I think it was, it said it was WordPress going to thrive or survive, which I really liked. I know that was a more like a controversial topic, I think, but, but it’s kind of the same thing. Like I think five, 10 years from now, the whole internet’s going to be a lot different. Then it is right now, especially just due to the AI stuff.
[00:16:36] So, and I don’t know what’s going to happen. That’s the scary part.
[00:16:40] Matt: Yeah. Speaking of, of the controversial topic, Matt Mullenweg had also recently said that we all should, just like he said, learn JavaScript deeply. We should learn, AI deeply. Have any thoughts on like maybe what he’s thinking of in terms of AI and WordPress before I hopped on with you and two or three weeks ago when I was at WordCamp US.
[00:17:03] I. Saw the demonstration of Jetpacks AI, feature function inside of Jetpack, which, you know, is like what everyone else is doing. Let me help you write. Let me help you ideate. Let me help you refine this, you know, this piece of content. It’s cool. It’s fun. but it’s like what every other writing service is doing largely for WordPress.
[00:17:25] any thoughts on what Matt might be thinking in terms of AI and WordPress longevity?
[00:17:32] Brian: I mean, I do agree with his theory about learning JavaScript and stuff like that, because I think, you know, there’s a reason like my brother’s not using AI at the moment. It’s because you know how WordPress goes. It’s so niche in the weeds that AI just has, like with our social media plugin, there’s just so many niche cases that it has no clue what’s happening with our stuff.
[00:17:52] And, we’re a ways out until AI even knows where we’re at with that stuff. And so when it comes to that, like it’s, it takes a person still coding it. And so I think like learning JavaScript, if I was starting brand new, working on WordPress, I would learn JavaScript and react first because of the block editor stuff.
[00:18:10] and, and PHP maybe after that, just because the block editor is where everything is headed, whether some people like it or not. and. I
[00:18:19] is a weird statement to say these days because it’s man, it’s been years. So it’s no, no, I know, I know.
[00:18:25] Matt: but I say it too. I say it too.
[00:18:26] Brian: I keep saying this and cause there’s, I mean, I think the classic editor plugin still has, I think four plus million installs. I mean, there’s a lot of people not trying not to move on. So, and it can be frustrating at sometimes. Cause like for us, we have to support like.
[00:18:44] The old classic editor for like short codes and a whole bunch of stuff. I wish people would just say, Hey, this isn’t going away. It’s it’s like cryptocurrency. I won’t go down that tangent, but it’s not going away. You need to learn how to live with it and, adapt to it. Cause it’s not going anywhere.
[00:18:59] so, got off a little tangent there, but Oh yeah. So learning code still important. I think, I think learning AI also equally important. I mean, for me personally. I’m just integrating it into my little hybrid things that I’ve been mentioning. And that’s how I’m learning it. Just what can it do?
[00:19:15] Oh, cool. Here’s a new feature. They launched, I’ll play with it. That’s how I’m personally learning how to use it. And maybe I’ll use it for, you know, 80 percent of my workload five years from now. I don’t know, but I think if you don’t play with the AI tools, you’re definitely going to be at a disadvantage for sure.
[00:19:32] Matt: Let me ask you a tough question talking about, we’ll kind of shift a little bit, talk about your business and your plugins. Let me ask you a bit of a hard ball question. It’s the year 2023. You got three months left ish, of, of 2023. Are web hosts still that bad where they can’t make WordPress websites fast enough, where people need to buy your product, or are you doing things that web hosts will just never explore and never get into because each use case of a word of WordPress websites that you serve are going to be so different.
[00:20:06] In other words, what sets apart your plugin perf matters compared to what a web host gives you.
[00:20:14] Brian: Yeah, I have a couple thoughts on this because it’s something I’ve been thinking a lot with, especially with AI and like just seeing like how rapidly everything is changing. is one. I don’t think hosts will ever try to do what we’re doing. because it is a headache and a pain. And as I’m sure you know, WordPress is just a mess, to be honest, for the people that are in the, in the weeds every day, like grinding, like they know how messy WordPress is.
[00:20:37] That’s, I think that’s one reason we love it and hate it at the same time. Like some days I’m like, man, I wish I was just on Shopify where this would just work all the time. And then other days you’re like, well, I’m glad I have a thousand different options. That’s why I’m using WordPress. So, you know, it’s, it’s that type of stuff.
[00:20:54] but yeah, that’s one reason hosts are never going to go down. I don’t think in that rabbit hole, it’s just, there’s too many nitty gritty things happening with performance that they could never get a handle on all of it. I mean. They can barely, some hosts can barely handle just power, keeping the servers up.
[00:21:10] So, I mean, yeah, keeping doing all the front end optimizations. It’s just, it’s two separate things. There’s server optimizations. I’d kind of put servers and CDNs kind of in the same boat, like CloudFlare and server and hosts are kind of overlapping a little bit now, but, and then front end optimization is definitely like kind of its own beast.
[00:21:30] some hosts I know I’ve tried. but you know, they just do something that works universally across every site. That’s safe. Whereas for our stuff, we’re, we’re going in, in, in the day gritty stuff. That’s you know, there’s a hundred users maybe having this problem. So we’re just assuming that, okay, there’s probably more that have this problem.
[00:21:47] We’re going to try to solve this use case and go from there. Whereas a host, they would never look at it like that. They’re going to be like, this is something that literally every single customer can use across the board. There’s no problems with it. we’ll deploy it. So it’s, it’s very different. I think for a plugin.
[00:22:03] Matt: On the Nova share side, how has the stuff with Twitter versus X. com, APIs, shutting off APIs. I see, I see these stories from, you know, social sharing companies or platforms, and these are probably because they’re more of like a platform player, a SAS play than what you do. But has any of this disrupted what you’re doing with Nova share and, and how do you keep up with.
[00:22:29] The different platforms threads, for instance,
[00:22:33] Brian: yeah. Threads. I’m on threads, but I don’t post very much.
[00:22:36] Matt: you’re like, I got to make a threads icon now in the app in the
[00:22:39] Brian: yeah. we actually are working on that. Yes. but, we just launched an overshare update last night with the rebranding for X. So it no longer has the Twitter logo in our plugin. We have all the X stuff now, a click to post X box. The word X is just weird, to be honest, but Elon is weird as well.
[00:22:59] So, but, thankfully Twitter actually shut off. It’s like sharing API actually years ago, seven years ago. So as far as like grabbing share accounts, like that was just gone. That’s been gone for a long time. there’s a few third party, like open source scrapers that try to grab them. And that’s kind of what we use.
[00:23:18] And those are probably even working worse now after all these changes. but for us, it’s really just been the branding for, for X that we’ve had to update. but like we had to wait on, I don’t know how far, how close you followed the X stuff, but it’s just been chaotic since Elon has taken over. I, I think he’s on the right path, to be honest.
[00:23:37] I love X. I’m going to keep saying X, even though I like prefer to say Twitter, but it’s the network I’ve loved since the day I started using it like over Facebook, LinkedIn, I just have a lot of WordPress friends on X and it’s where I connect with the most folks. So it’s, I, I think it will continue to grow and also seeing threads pick up super fast and then just kind of die really fast, at least according to the numbers, I think it’s gonna be really hard for someone else to.
[00:24:05] Compete just with where x is already at. but as far as our
[00:24:09] Matt: as you know why, because a lot of people, I think just to step in, I think one of the things that same thing totally agree with you, twitter slash x favorite social media app because it was, it was largely text based, limited text based, right at the time, like when it started 140 characters or even less, I think in the beginning, but 140 characters max, mostly text.
[00:24:34] And that allowed you to, for me anyway, like I can see seven, eight posts at a time, like as I scroll, it’s not like LinkedIn where one post is a carousel and a whole word document and one person’s post takes up my entire screen or Instagram where it’s obviously it’s visual and it’s photos, but it’s just, you’re constantly scrolling to get.
[00:24:58] With Twitter, I can get, I can consume more information faster because of the nature of the product. That’s why, that’s why I’ve always been a fan of it. And of course, you’re having, it’s one big room with a, with conversations happening and you can dart in and out of them or consume these conversations in and out instead of like this, I don’t know, feel like this one to one situation, which might be like a Facebook and a LinkedIn.
[00:25:24] which is why I’ve always loved and I still love it and I hope it doesn’t just crash and burn though. It does look like it’s heading in that direction. I have no idea.
[00:25:32] Brian: Yeah, I’ll be honest. the threads UI was actually pretty polished from the get go. I give I’ll give them that because I think they learn from the Instagram stuff, you know, how do a good UI and stuff. So I will give them that, like the UI really good though. I mean, the web version is already up and working, although it’s a little more limited, but I’m
[00:25:48] Matt: See, I didn’t even know the, I didn’t even know the web version was up. I didn’t even know.
[00:25:51] Brian: yeah, it works.
[00:25:52] I post from there now. I mean, I’m just kind of watching and seeing what happens. I’m not really like aggressively trying to grow up following it on there or anything like that. Just seeing what happens and, go from there. I, it, it still seems like threads is very more focused on photos at the moment, in my opinion, rather than, like you said, the reason I like, X is because, I like just seeing lots of messages, just texts and, but I hope X doesn’t go away from that too much either.
[00:26:18] I mean, they’re adding longer messages, more media. So, I mean, it might, that might change too over time.
[00:26:24] Matt: I’m just looking at the NovaShare features page. NovaShare. io slash features. I see all the social media accounts that, that you connect up with. Nothing here for Mastodon, but I probably because it’s impossible to pick a Mastodon sharing server because everyone can kind of spin up their own or.
[00:26:44] Brian: We are actually adding that in the next update Macedon is coming. We’ve had some requests for that. And I think it’s because people are now like searching for alternatives with all the X chaos. And, so yeah, that’ll be in the next update, but what it does is like when you click share, it actually like prompts you for what instance you want to go to, because that’s a little like the one annoying thing kind of with, with massive, that’s the one thing I’ve never really liked.
[00:27:06] However, people argue saying that it’s, that’s the cool thing is because you can take your followers to any place, but. I don’t know
[00:27:15] Matt: Humans are never going to be happy. Let’s it’s either pick a social network and then get thrown into one big algorithm and then complain that that person who runs the algorithm algorithm is a trillionaire, right? On any platform that you go to or too many ads, but then it’s here’s an open source alternative.
[00:27:31] Yeah. But it has to be stitched together. Well, God, I don’t want that either. Well, yeah, listen, man, you can’t have both, right? You can’t have this ease of use, wonderful experience, and then complain that there’s an algorithm, ads, and rich people that run it. And then you can’t have this open source version, which, you know, you’re going to have to do some work.
[00:27:52] Newsflash, you’re going to have to do a little bit of work to figure this out, but it’s going to connect us all freely, independently of algorithm. But don’t complain about. Having to do the work, right? Like you can’t have both, right? you know, it’s like
[00:28:06] Brian: we have to definitely keep, yeah, exactly. Yeah, but yeah, we have to definitely keep up with all the social network changes. And a lot of times we don’t actually have to use the, the API a lot of times we’re actually like for Like share to X, like most of these places have a, like an API URL format that you use to post something to the network.
[00:28:28] So we’re not actually like signing up for an API, having requests to deal with. Cause you know, with X, I know there was the, you know, like the huge price increases for their API stuff. We didn’t have to worry about like any of that nightmare for us. So,
[00:28:40] Matt: Awesome stuff. Nova share perf matters. Any other products in the works?
[00:28:44] Brian: nope, those two definitely keep us plenty busy at the moment.
[00:28:48] Matt: busy. just still you and your brother, you’re answering support tickets, marketing, all that fun stuff.
[00:28:55] Brian: Yep. Just the two of us still. I, I can’t say if it will always be that way, because we are very busy, but, after going through the whole Kinsta thing, you know, going from I joined them when there’s six people or something. And then, yeah. And then now they have, I think they just said, 300 employees.
[00:29:10] I don’t know something. It’s a, it’s a large amount now, but like having gone through the scaling, like HR department, you know, Team building all that stuff. Like I,
[00:29:20] Matt: to run a
[00:29:20] Brian: much prefer,
[00:29:21] Matt: to run a retreat.
[00:29:22] Brian: yeah, much prefer just my brother. And I, to be honest, it’s very easy. Like one Slack channel, we use FaceTime for calls. We make it super easy.
[00:29:33] that’s what I like right now. And I don’t think we really want to change it if we don’t have to. So that’s one reason, like we don’t do. Like lifetime deals, you know, it’s a huge, I hate this thing in the WordPress space. Like people think they need to do lifetime deals to scale their business. We actually don’t do it partially because we don’t want to grow too fast.
[00:29:51] We don’t want a thousand customers tomorrow, which sounds weird, but we like slow and steady girl. That’s how we would prefer that.
[00:30:00] Matt: same thing, Matt Mullenweg said the same thing, sort of tongue in cheek on during his, WordCamp US 2023 presentation of the future of WordPress, said he’s not a fan of lifetime deals either, and that, that company should do away with them. Do you get involved with. Like the Black Friday and holiday pricing?
[00:30:20] Brian: we do one sale per year and it is the black Friday one. it
[00:30:22] Matt: seems to be where every WordPress product company jumps on.
[00:30:26] Brian: It is, yeah, we don’t bother with any mid year sales or anything. We just do the one sale per year. And we’ve been doing that consistently ever since we started. So it’s nice for lots of people know that Oh yeah, like they don’t do sales ever any other time. So it’s, if this is the one time you want to grab a deal, this is the time to do it.
[00:30:42] but yeah, the lifetime deal thing, I know people go back and forth, but I think it creates a bad stigma in the space as far as you know, developers have to support their families. You know, they have bills to pay just like everybody else. And this whole thing of paying one time and never supporting them going forward.
[00:30:59] I, I’ve never thought that was cool. I don’t have a problem paying products I use, to help support them. If they continually make the product better. I don’t have any problem with that. I know nobody likes more subscriptions. You know, you have Netflix, Hulu, all these things now that you can’t keep up with.
[00:31:15] But, it’s the same with, plugins. It’s You have developers, teams behind the scenes that like they have families, bills, mortgages, they all have to pay. So, I mean, the lifetime deal is just kind of like a gimmick in my opinion to get a bunch of money. And then in my opinion, you can have a problem where then the developer stops doing work.
[00:31:34] that’s an enticement for them to be lazy.
[00:31:37] Matt: Right, right. Okay.
[00:31:39] Brian: so I, it just creates bad thing all around, in my opinion. So we’ve always stayed away from that. I mean, Same at Kinsta too, we never did like this, this huge sale thing ever at Kinsta. We thought it just if you have a good product, like, why do you need to constantly push sales?
[00:31:53] Like it doesn’t, it doesn’t make sense. Oh, cool.
[00:31:56] Matt: Yeah. The WP Minute, happily sponsored hosting by Kinsta. Thank you, Kinsta for sponsoring the hosting of the WP Minute. last question. Have you seen the, did you see, I don’t know any other details. I think they’ve only hinted at it, but did you see the Basecamp 37 Signal guys saying that they’re going to release a one time purchase product?
[00:32:17] Did you see them hint at that?
[00:32:19] Brian: I didn’t see that. Is, is this on Basecamp or one of their other products? Cause I know they have the email hay thing now or
[00:32:25] Matt: they have hey. com. I think it was just hinted at a couple weeks ago or a week ago that they, that it was like watch this space, we’re going to be launching something. I’m just trying to find it really quick while we’re chatting.
[00:32:38] Brian: As a business owner or VC investor, like I can totally see like the reason to do lifetime deals like money wise there’s definitely a reason to do it, but Yeah, I don’t know. There’s a lot of ramifications too, but I’m surprised that they would do that Just based on I don’t think they’ve ever done that in the past with their other products
[00:32:56] Matt: Yeah, I don’t say anything on basecamp. com, but they did hint at it on Twitter. so they’ll probably be, Oh, here it is. It’s called once once. com. and you can see the little love letter that they’ve published there. So once. com, I guess, watch that space as pay one time own forever. We write the code, you get to see it.
[00:33:15] We give you the software, you get to host it simple and straightforward, not enterprising and bloated. For one fixed price once we’ll be launching the first product late 2023 with more coming in 2024. So there it is. Once. com.
[00:33:30] Brian: it’s just Interesting, you know, I
[00:33:32] Matt: be, it’ll be interesting. You’ll, you’ll, you’ll flip this whole conversation on your, on your, on its head and you’ll be, you’ll be doing one time pricing.
[00:33:39] Brian: Now, I’m not opposed to, if someone has a lifetime deal, go out there and grab it. I grab them. If someone has them, I grab them too. I guess, I mean, if you’re going to save money, save money. But, as far as, if you’re choosing whether or not to launch one for your own business, like I would be very careful and think it through, you know, you can crunch the numbers and make it work, but think about the other things that are going to be impacted by that as well.
[00:33:59] Matt: 100%.
[00:34:00] Brian: it’s hard to take that back to once you’ve done it, I’ve seen WordPress companies take away their lifetime deal. And man, that is not good press. now I
[00:34:09] Matt: Yeah. Well, that was version two. This is version three now. And with version three, we have to go subscriptions and you’re like, I said lifetime for version two. And you’re like, no, you didn’t.
[00:34:20] Brian: that means someone didn’t crunch the numbers correctly the first time, probably. So it’s, yeah.
[00:34:26] Matt: 100 percent Brian Jackson, Nova share. io, perfmatters. io. Thanks for hanging out today. where else can folks find you to say thanks?
[00:34:36] Brian: Yeah, just on, on X at, at Brian Lee Jackson. I am on LinkedIn and Facebook and the new threads too. I’m also on Blue Sky. That’s another network that’s kind of promising. I’m curious to see how that goes. And, that’s, that’s about it, I think.
[00:34:53] Matt: You got to be everywhere when you have a social sharing plugin, I guess.
[00:34:56] Brian: Yeah. You do at least have to keep up with Yeah. What the changes are and see what’s
[00:35:00] Matt: Yeah. Changes in icons. All right, everybody. Thanks for listening. It’s the WP minute. Plus go to the WP minute. com slash subscribe or search for WP minute in your favorite podcast app to follow us.

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