Automattic, Blogging, Life, WordPress

Work with me here.

In 2012, we committed and deployed changes to WordPress.com, on average, every 26 minutes. Why so long between deploys? Because we don’t have enough people working here! Help change that by coming to work with us. We’re looking to hire around 60 people this year; if my math is correct, that’s a lot!

Do you like the Internet? Working from home (or coffee shops or co-working spaces or libraries or your friend’s house or a grassy area with Wi-Fi access)? Making a difference for millions of users? Being part of a profitable company? Retina displays? Work with us.

Do any of these places sound like interesting locations for week-long team meetups? Hawaii, New Zealand, Mexico, Spain, New York City, Miami, San Francisco, Iceland, Boston, Las Vegas, San Diego, Italy, Berlin, Amsterdam, Montreal, Portugal, New Orleans, Chicago, Winnipeg, or Montevideo, Uruguay? Work with us. (And that’s just a selection of 2012 meetup locations.)

Are you a backend developer? Work with us. Mobile developer? Work with us. Customer service and support? Work with us. Designer? Work with us. Front-end developer? Work with us. Wordsmith? Work with us. Sysadmin? Work with us.

Do you dislike cubicles? Dress codes? Commuting? Working 9-5? Work with us.

Working at Automattic is the best job I’ve ever had, and I’ve even worked at AOL, so you know that it must be good. Won’t you come work with me and treat yourself to the best job you’ve ever had?

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Blogging, Writing

Somebody’s Gonna (Write a Book About The) Lotto

tl;dr: I’m writing a novel about the lottery at lotterynovel.wordpress.com.

I’ve always wanted to write a book; it’s on a list I made about ten years ago of things that I’d like to accomplish in life. I’ve had a couple of topic ideas floating around in my head, but the lottery is one that I think I can really run with. (Sentences ending with prepositions are just one of the literary treats you’ll be party to if you read my book.)

I don’t get many opportunities to write fiction, although some of my co-workers might argue that my comments explaining how my code is supposed to work would count. This is also a chance to see the platform I work on every day in a different light as I use it for sequential story-telling rather than blogging.

By publishing the sections as soon as I write them, I’ll be able to benefit from immediate reader feedback (assuming that there will be any readers). I suppose this is a sort of crowdsourcing turn on the editor feedback model of traditional publishing, and I’m not sure whether it will be a blessing or a curse.

When I finish, I’ll package the whole thing up as an e-book and learn a little something about that process too. Until then, I invite you to read along as I write my way towards a conflict and its eventual resolution. The first portion was posted a couple of days ago, and part two will be up this week.

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Blogging, Clean and Sober, Programming, Themes, WordPress

New WordPress Theme: Clean and Sober

Today, I’m releasing my site’s theme (the design you’re looking at right now) as a free open source theme for WordPress. I’m calling it Clean and Sober, and it’s compatible with WordPress 3.4 and up. Here’s the default homepage:

The default Clean and Sober homepage.

It’s designed mainly with single-author blogs in mind, since I initially wrote it for (this) single author blog, and there are not a lot of graphics (zero, to be exact), since I am, how-you-say, very bad at doing art.

This is the first WordPress theme I’ve released in five years (the last being Greencode in January of 2007), and the first one that I’ve tried to make compatible with all of the Theme Review Guidelines, and let me tell you, it is exhausting. Major props to the themers who can do this more than once every five years.

Some notable notes:

  • Post excerpts are displayed on index pages beneath the post title. If no excerpt is defined, nothing is displayed there.
  • You can define one menu, which is displayed beneath the header. If a menu item has children, they will automatically be shown in a dropdown menu.
  • On pages with an author (posts, pages, etc.), the author’s bio will be displayed beneath the content if the author has written a bio and saved it in their profile’s Bio field.
  • On pages without an author (search results, the homepage, etc.), you can choose a user to be displayed as the default author. This is handy for single-author blogs that are identified solely with one user. This setting can be changed from the theme customizer.
  • The contact links on the right side of the bio are defined at the bottom of your profile page.

It works well for my needs, but I’m interested to see all the new and exciting ways that other people can break it by trying it on their blogs. Give it a shot and let me know how you like it in the comments, or just take a look at this gallery of screenshots:

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AOL, Automattic, Blogging

Tturn, Tturn, Tturn

As Pete Seeger and King Solomon wrote, “To everything there is a season: A time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, a time to start a new job at a new company.”

In that spirit, I’ve left AOL in order to join the team at Automattic. Not everyone has heard of Automattic, but almost everyone has heard of their flagship service, WordPress.com.

At Automattic, I’m a part of the Theme Team: a group of very attractive people with highly specialized skills in the realm of “Making your blog look good.” That’s a daunting task when you’re trying to cater to millions and millions of bloggers (and millions and millions and millions more readers), but I’m enjoying the challenge.

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Blogging, Browser Add-ons, Mozilla Firefox, ScribeFire

ScribeFire Updates

Some updates on the ScribeFire project that I’m part of:

  • There’s a new website up at ScribeFire.com – a WordPress blog with a clean, writing-themed template
  • A Support Forum has been launched for ScribeFire help and discussion.
  • We’re on the verge of releasing our next version – it will be mostly small fixes and preparations for later larger fixes.

I think once this next version gets out the door, we’ll be releasing much more often and looking for much more feedback from the community on what they’d like to see added to the tool.

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Blog, Blogging, Life

Ambition

I’ve decided that my current goal in life is to someday be cool enough to have a guest blogger on my site. That’s when you know that you’ve “made it.”

If you’d like to be my guest blogger, send my a few examples of posts you’d write. Ideally, they should be about me and either be praising my good qualities or downplaying my bad ones. Please also include a $5 registration fee.

By the way, I’m in Orlando this week at a codejam techcrunch scape-con?. Soon, my MacBook will have singed off all of the hair between the top of my knees and the bottom of my shorts.

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