People approach me and say “Doug, we haven’t seen you post recently. What have you been learning on the Internet these last two weeks that you haven’t been posting?”*
I learned that Matt Mullenweg started WordPress partially of a desire to help out his church.
I learned that one does not mess with Finns named Simo Häyhä, particularly if one is Russian.
I learned that Guy Ritchie is making a “Michael Bay version” of “Sherlock Holmes” (“I command ‘Sherlock Holmes’ to be awesome“):
…But you sure-as-heck have stuff to do, namely: check these links! Foo!
All you Philly area WordPressers take note: Matt Mullenweg will be in town next week and attending a meetup on Thursday. Grab a stool and swing by (well, not in that order necessarily…).
Quaker Oats: Scottish Edition, possessors of the finest box logo known to humanity:
Well, okay, now that I have that little bit of headline rumor-/scaremongering out of the way, I’ve got to say: interesting things are afoot in the Automattic/WordPress world these days. First off, Matt Mullenweg announced a few days ago that, effective immediately, all WordPress.com (as opposed to .org) accounts would be receiving an upgrade from 50MB of storage apiece to 3 GB apiece. Speculation ran rampant as to how such beneficence could be possible until Matt let slip that Automattic had received an additional $29-30 million in venture capital from several investment partners, including the New York Times(!).
Now add to that other blatant WAGging/punditing about Google buying the Times and you arrive at my far-fetched headline.
Yeah, I know, preposterous and beyond far-fetched. Still, it’s an interesting thought experiment to pursue, namely: what happens if Google gets ahold of the company largely behind the world’s most popular self-hosted blogging solution and owner of a direct competitor to Google’s Blogger service?
Rough-and-tumble times ahead, but I’m sure the Automattic guys will weather it just fine with those VC dollars. *grin*
I arrived a bit late to the Meetup last night due to the walk being quite a bit… longer than I expected. No matter — San Fran was lovely and temperate last night and I definitely got to know the downtown shopping district a bit better due to the walking “tour” I conducted.
I joined Matt, Mike, Sam and Barry at the Chaat Cafe, a nice, hip little Indian restaurant. We chatted for a good long while on topics ranging from bbPress to WordPress to blogging in general to the dismal state of the cellular telephone network in the U.S. The food was good and the conversation better.
Towards the end of the meal, Matt invited us all back to his apartment for a little party that he was putting together featuring mojitos and a screening of Trapped In The Closet: Chapters 1-12. I had my misgivings about the movie and so decided to stay only for the conversation and drinks, but then ended up throwing caution to the wind and sticking around for the whole thing (plus, my hotel was quite a distance away and I needed to mooch a ride off someone. *grin*). We waited around for a while in Matt’s apartment, awaiting the arrival of a few other SF residents (Tony, head guy from Sphere, for one) and chatted about Open Source development/project management, work histories and the current over-the-air television offerings in Australia (Sam’s an Aussie). Once the others arrived, we migrated across the hall to the “theater” that Matt’s building shares and proceeded to watch the movie.
I have to say that I was extremely glad I stuck around. I didn’t realize it when I gave my assent, but Trapped In The Closet is R. Kelly’s short film/”musical” opus and, while that fact alone might be enough to throw a lot of people off, I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. It is a piece of high (unintentional) camp — I thought that no one could be so guileless, so naieve as to how their work would be received, but once the movie finished, Matt threw the DVD over on to the commentary track which featured R. Kelly sitting in an overstuffed armchair ala MST3K, puffing on a cigar and narrating in a straight-ahead fashion. I simply cannot explain how hilarious it ended up being — and I do not think the 3 hour time difference or the glass of unfiltered Scotch had any appreciable effect upon my enjoyment of the film. We hooted and hollered at Kelly’s rhymes (“Beretta” and “dresser”, “Bridget” and “midget”) and just about laughed ourselves silly. It was definitely an experience to remember.
Once we were done, it was well past 1am PDT (4am my time!) and two of Matt’s friends offered to drive me back to my hotel. I’m afraid I don’t recall both of their names — one was Kevin — but if you all are reading this: many thanks for the lift!
All in all, it was a worthy and entertaining outing. My thanks go out to Matt for his hospitality and to Barry, Sam and Mike for their conversation. It’s always nice to run across those who end up being kindred spirits of a sort and it’s even nicer to put a face and a voice to names that one has only known via email and electronic communication in the past.
I’m sitting in PHL waiting for my flight to arrive and ferry me off to Apple’s WWDC ’07 and must admit to a good deal of excitement. Not only am I going to get to attend my first Stevenote (one that should include iPhone and Leopard info aplenty) but, as Matt Mullenweg mentioned, I’ll be attending the bbPress meetup Monday night as well. I’m psyched to get to meet Matt and a few of the people behind the bbPress project.
Heck, I may even attempt a liveblog of the keynote. Might as well — when next will I get a chance to do this again?
SIDENOTE: This Verizon Rev A EVDO card continues to r0xx0r my s0xx0rs. Too cool.
Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of the entire WordPress project and founder of Automattic has redesigned his blog after logging about 3 years-worth of use on his old design. I must say, it looks great and makes my pitiful redesign attempts seem paltry by comparison. *grin*