Matt Cromwell: Scaling your WordPress Support for growth

My presentation on Scaling your WordPress Support for growth is live on now. It covers the importance of reliable and consistent data collection, reporting, and my own custom formula for calculating our team’s support capacity.

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Glad to see Automattic entering the TLD space. It makes sense for them. Definitely tempted by a .blog domain.

Matt on Not-WordPress, mostly photos


You might have noticed something different around these parts, after over a decade at this blog has now switched to Automattic is rolling out this new TLD (top-level domain) over the next few months and I’m lucky to have one of the first ones live on the internet. The namespace is wide open, and if you’re interested in reserving or bidding on your favorite name you can go to

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Jeff Chandler raises an important “insider” issue within the WordPress community. I’ve not only heard the same types of comments, but felt similar at times. But just like any other “Us vs Them” type scenario, it only improves with people willing to do the brave thing and break through it with experience.

Anyone who feels threatened, or intimidated by the WordPress Core team simply needs to speak up, contribute, learn about how to contribute, and do it regularly.

I’ve challenged myself to contribute to each new default theme each year, and I’ve been active in contributing in Plugin Directory Meetings. I can say that the more I contribute with quality input and feedback and code the more accustom the team is to me and my personality and the more I grow as a contributor.

Medium: Embedly is joining Medium

Medium announced today that it has acquired the embed service, Embedly.

Interesting. This is obviously Medium’s way of supporting oEmbeds in their platform, with the addition of statistics and data added to it.

I’ve used Embedly a bit, and it works well, but their Dashboard really still needs work. Medium will probably be a great boon for that development.


Embedded content overall is a great way to encourage more engagement. When my content is shared on another person’s site, I’m more likely to share it. But how will I know that it was embedded there? Embedly doesn’t currently send notifications like that, but if you are on the Medium platform already, I can imagine getting something like “Embed Alerts” could really be beneficial.

That’s part of the power of a hosted publishing platform like Medium. could easily implement something like that. This is different from the “reblog” tool. has a powerful notification area already, and notifying users of embeds of your article on other blogs would be a great feature.

The self-hosted WordPress platform would have to implement something like that as a plugin, but I’m not sure how that would work except that embeds would ping your local API when a post is published.

As the internet gets more and more complex and there are more and more ways to publish content and share content across platforms, these kinds of data notification tools will become more and more necessary and common place. That’s also why an “Open Web” is vital. But I’m getting clearly off topic now… for another post!

QUARTZ: Ethicists say voting with your heart, without a care about the consequences, is actually immoral

Ethicists say voting with your heart, without a care about the consequences, is actually immoral

A friend of mine shared this article asking for input from her friends, many of which happen to be educated in philosophy, ethics, theology, and/or social science. It’s a valuable read in this political climate.

This was my response:

  1. The first ethicist, Jason Brennan, sets up a premise before making his ethical claim. We’d have to agree on that premise before agreeing to the claim. His premise is that “the purpose of voting is to produce outcomes”. I’ve had some interesting conversations with California Republicans who feel their presidential vote absolutely has no OUTCOME whatsoever. So, I have problems with that premise.
  2. Ilya Somin provides a formula for deciding the most ethical voting practice. I think it’s laden with subjectivity so not overly useful, though it’s an interesting exercise I don’t find it valuable to actual ethical decision making or behavior.
  3. I like Michael LaBossiere approach because he basically says there’s two camps: Utilitarianism (do what works) versus Deontological (do what’s right).

I believe the national conversation for Bernie voters comes down to that fight between the Utilitarians and the Deontologists. Is voting for Hillary because she is the only one who can beat Trump the “moral” thing to do; or am I betraying my own values by the very act of voting for Hillary.

In the end, I think there’s room for both types of ethical decision making. But the consequences of each have serious ramifications. Let no one think for a second that choosing the lesser of two evils is OK for a presidential race. In the long term is just opens things up to get worse and worse. On the other hand, let no one think that if we “stick to our guns” and vote our conscious — risking the chance of a Trump win — that we would have a “good” outcome.

Then on the other hand, if by voting our conscious we signal that we won’t put up with crappy sold-out options, we might have short-term pain, but start a long-term revolution.


Cory Miller: How Simply Clicking Publish Changed My Life

“The tragedy of life is what dies within a man while he lives.”
–Albert Schweitzer

Cory Miller shares his insight into “Simply Clicking Publish”. Cory is so great at speaking truth into people’s workdays based on his own experiences, both failures and successes.

In this presentation he talks about how publishing, putting it out there keeps you honest. If you just wait on it, sitting on it, it just becomes a narcissistic exercise.

Hit Publish! And don’t look back.

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In Defense of Windows 10’s Data Collection

In Defense of Windows 10’s Data Collection

Windows 10 is now running on more than 14 million devices worldwide since the software began rolling out on July 29, saving users’ Bing search information, private email content and the apps they access, along with “your typed and handwritten words”.

Do a casual search for “Windows 10 collecting my data” and you’ll find all kinds of crazy pieces claiming that the sky is falling with Windows 10. Afterall, who in their right mind would give away their operating system for free unless they get something in return?

The first thing that really makes these kinds of claims just sound unjustified is that there are laws in the U.S. against such practices. Specifically the Federal Trade Commission Act which — among other things — “prohibits unfair or deceptive practices and has been applied to offline and online privacy and data security policies” (see more in this great Practical Law article).

But the Telegraph article itself lists exactly what Microsoft is collecting and tells you exactly how to turn it off if you like. Here’s what they collect:

  • Search queries submitted to Bing
  • A voice command to Cortana
  • Private communications including email content
  • Information from a document uploaded to OneDrive
  • Requests to Microsoft for support
  • Error reports
  • Information gathered from cookies
  • Data collected from third parties

I actually think this list is not specific enough. I don’t believe, for example, that they are collecting information “gathered from cookies” generated from the Chrome browser, but rather the new Edge browser. Further, I highly doubt they are collecting “private communications including email content” when those emails are your Gmail account. Instead, I believe they are scanning your email content from Outlook.

All together that means that they are scanning data from services that they provide in order to improve their products.

As a product guy, I know how important information like that is to making the products better. I often say that when it comes to advertising Americans want to have their cake and eat it too. We get upset if Amazon — for example — suggests books or movies that we have absolutely no interest in, but we also complain when they want to collect the data necessary to make better recommendations.

In the case of Windows 10, there are several notes I make personally:

  • They are collecting a lot more information than in previous versions
  • I don’t like that most of it is “opt-in”, they should first get permission before enabling that communication
  • But at the end of the day, the data isn’t to invade your personal life (because really, no one cares), but to improve their products.

So let’s all take a big deep breath and be thankful that there are laws that protect our privacy, trust that giant corporations really don’t care about the intimate details of your life, and be thankful that your computers can run much more reliably and safely because of these efforts.

Source: The Telegraph