A transcript of my in-depth conversation about domain names with the creator of WordPress.
Two weeks ago I had Matt Mullenweg, creator of WordPress and CEO of Automattic, on the Domain Name Wire Podcast to talk about domain names. It was one of the most interesting podcasts I’ve published (and already the most downloaded), in part because Matt brings an outside-the-industry view to domain names.
I encourage you to listen to the podcast. But for those that prefer reading, I’ve published the transcript below.
- Why Matt thinks domain names are more important than ever
- Why he thinks domain names are undervalued
- How you can get a .blog domain before everyone else
- Why WordPress Foundation goes after certain cybersquatters
- How many .blog domains Matt thinks can be registered in 2017
Andrew Allemann: My guest today is Matt Mullenweg. He is the creator of WordPress and the CEO of Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com. Matt, welcome to the program.
Matt Mullenweg: Honored to be here. Glad to talk.
Andrew Allemann: Matt, I want to talk about a number of things today, including .blog, which is obviously very relevant to my audience, as well as trademark protection of WordPress and domain names, but first, I’ve been using WordPress for Domain Name Wire since 2005 …
Matt Mullenweg: Awesome.
Andrew Allemann: … And I realize I kind of take it for granted. Yeah, 11 years, which I guess isn’t too long after WordPress came to be. Can you give us a brief overview of really, how WordPress started?
Matt Mullenweg: You must have been one of the first couple thousand users, because we were very small at that time. WordPress started as an extension of an existing open source project, called b2/cafelog, that myself and a fellow in the UK named Mike Little picked up and took over the development of. We decided to call this new thing that we were working on, a fork in open source terminology, WordPress. It became kind of the official continuation of this older project, which had kind of stopped development. Over time, we’ve always stayed very true to our ideals of open source, things being free in every sense of the word. Free as in freedom, as well as free as beer, and being very user-focused. We always try to think about what does the author need? What does the developer need? What does the person visiting the site need? And remove as much friction as possible. That’s something we’re still trying to do today.
Andrew Allemann: Today, you’re CEO of Automattic, and it’s Automattic that’s gone out and raised the funding, puts out a lot of new services, but I’ve always been a little bit confused. Can you explain the role of, say, Automattic, WordPress Foundation, in this entire ecosystem?