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I'm Brian Krogsgard, Editor of Post Status. Ask me anything!

Sep. 7, 2016

Howdy!

My name is Brian Krogsgard. I'm the editor of Post Status ( poststatus.com ), a news and information website for WordPress professionals. It's my full time job, where I manage a community, write a members-only newsletter, and do other activities to promote an ecosystem for folks to be better informed at whatever they do in the WordPress space.

I've been heavily involved and writing in (and about) the WordPress community since 2010. After spending several years as a WordPress developer in two agencies, I went full time on Post Status in December 2014.

Ask me anything!

Comment
35 votes   Flag
Jonathan Bossenger

With some of the recent a8c acquisitions (WooCommerce, WPTavern) do you think that you would ever be approached by Matt to quire PostStatus and if so, would you consider it?

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Brian Krogsgard

I think acquisitions like WooCommerce are extremely different from WP Tavern.

WooCommerce (then WooThemes) was a strategic acquisition, and is already one of the main legs of the stool for Automattic's revenue (that's how Matt and I discussed it at WCEU during our interview at least: wordpress.tv/2016/06/25/matt-mullenweg-interview-and-qa/ ). It's got a chance to be a huge component of their business.

Other acquisitions have either been technology acquisitions, or acquihires (for staff). Those cost less and A8C has had mixed results to their effectiveness, but they are still strategic.

When WP Tavern was acquired it was more of a lifeline by Matt to keep a blog that had been prevalent in the WordPress space for a very long time going. And it wasn't for some time after that until Matt staffed it with Jeffro full time, and Sarah as well. It's still not a money maker in any way, but it's good for the community to have coverage of what's going on, and I think that's why Matt is happy to keep it going; he supports plenty of stuff with no clear payday.

That said, no, I don't think Matt would ever want to buy Post Status, and it's not for sale. To be honest, if I ever did want to sell, I wouldn't want to sell to Matt because he's heavily intertwined in the coverage. WPT does a good job keeping things separated but it's not the kind of situation I'd ever want to see my readers in and I think if I did want to sell (I don't) there would be plenty of other people interested in the site.

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Brian Krogsgard

For the record, when I say Matt is intertwined in the coverage, I mean as the coverage subject, not as an editorial influence. He's proven (enough for me anyway) that he's happy to offer editorial independence.

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Gilbert Pellegrom

What made you decide to start Post Status, and switch from development to journalism?

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Brian Krogsgard

I just can't stop the desire to write about stuff :)

I love making stuff on the web, but it's not the same kind of passion. I like the end result of seeing a thing I made just by slapping my fingers on a keyboard, but I'm by no means in love with the process. I love every aspect of telling stories.

I'd hesitate to call in full-on journalism. I usually describe Post Status as a kind of trade magazine when I talk to friends locally who have no idea really what the WordPress world is.

I've been writing ever since I started learning. As time goes on, my desires for what and how to write adjust, but I've never lost the desire to write and be read.

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Nemanja Aleksic

What's the biggest threat to the WordPress ecosystem right now? Are most people aware of it, and what can we do to avert this threat?

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Brian Krogsgard

Other platforms are always some form of threat, but they are always there. WordPress has such a dominance in the CMS landscape that it will take quite a while for us to fall, if and when that happens.

The biggest threat is that we may not recognize when the plateau begins and therefore that our decline is imminent. We (as a community) have to stay hungry to be at our best, making the best software, and strongest ecosystem to support it. That is really hard, and even harder when it's to stay on top (Versus being the David versus a Goliath, you are the Goliath).

We have to constantly reanalyze what our competition is. It may not be social networks at all. WordPress is easy to use compared to other CMSs, but is it easy to use versus social platforms or other places where people type words, share pictures, and maintain a digital footprint? The goalposts are always moving and we have to move too.

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David Bisset

Where do you see Post Status a year from now? Would there be any additional features or perks?

Also was been the biggest (in your mind) scoop or news story you've had the chance to report on, or which one holds a special place in your heart?

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Brian Krogsgard

Post Status a year from now...

So currently it's primarily these things:

- Just passed 700 active members
- Slack community that's very strong
- Newsletter that is very high quality but not consistent enough
- A regular podcast that's doing well
- Sporadic public posts
- Have done several meetups, and have a single day event coming December 1st (poststatus.com/publish)

I want these things:

- 1,000 members minimum
- High percentage involvement in Slack (it currently runs along the 80/20 rule probably) -- might include new ways to encourage communication from folks that don't necessarily jump out without being called on in some way
- Newsletter that is at a regular interval / time, but maintains current quality
- Once a week public posts (in addition to the newsletter), without fail
- An expanded conference or retreat or workshops or all of the above that could really be something special in our space
- A JOB BOARD :)
- The ability to bring in more contractors to help bring unique perspectives

Scoops/news/posts:

- My most popular post ever was where I just said things many people knew but it hadn't made its way to the masses. Knocked it out in one night and it got tens of thousands of views in that first week, and a lot of great feedback: poststatus.com/wordpress-website-cost/
- A deep, deep dive (10k words) on the whole Matt and Thesis drama. I didn't actually like writing it but I was proud of the result: poststatus.com/thesis-automattic-and-wordpress/
- Plenty of others but that's enough back patting :)

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Jonathan Christopher

What's a typical day in the life of Post Status journalism? Do you primarily scout out stories, or do they come to you? Or is it more of a natural progression of events in the ecosystem that cause a certain topic to bubble up to your attention? How do you organize everything in your pipeline to ensure a balance of completeness and timeliness?

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Brian Krogsgard

I talk to people a ton. Way too much for proper productivity. I spend half my day at least in various styles of conversation. Mostly in Slack, but also through other text channels, audio calls, etc.

A lot of the process of writing about people (and the WP ecosystem, like most, is all about people) is just relationship building stuff. Become acquainted with someone -- maybe even friends with them -- then when there is a story, you have a friend to gain insight from. They might be the direct source or subject of a story, or maybe they just have insights to help you frame it right in your own head.

I also try out a lot of software, services, etc. That is more interspersed but can easily end up being a few hours of any particular day. I probably do this at least a couple times a week.

Admin work is constant but not overwhelming. My editorial assistant Katie Richards is an amazing help. Once I tell her a thing I would like her to do regularly, I never have to bring it up again, because it just gets done. She has been an enormous help. Please don't steal her.

That leaves an hour or two per day to actually write :) That's unfortunate, and it's why newsletters go out whenever they're ready, versus on a particular schedule -- especially if one story requires a lot of extra wrangling. I really want to get that number to 3-4 hours per day, every day, where I'm free to write.

Stories come both ways. I'm most proud when talking to folks produces a new and original story (even if it's just insights and not "news"). But there is also a lot of news where some company or whatever releases something, blogs about it, and I share it. But unless I have analysis for it, I just link that. If I have analysis to add, I add it. It depends.

I organize first with Simplenote, where I collect ideas or long-term stories I'm working on. For links and public resources, I'm obsessed with Pocket. David Bisset (helps me curate "footnotes") and I have a sharing system that uses a Pocket > Slack integration, then David moves them to Post Status w/ a first draft and then I go and edit/add/rewrite depending on context.

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Ross Wintle

How the heck do you pronounce "status" and when are you and Joe going to agree on it? ;)

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Brian Krogsgard

Well, the American way is Post Status like Stat-us, but Joe and other proper English speakers say State-us, and it's honestly much more pleasant. But I would be laughed out of the state of Alabama if I called my website Post State-us :)

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David Decker

Hi Brian! Big props for your awesome work! I've finally joined the club, hehe :)

So my question is:
All in all are you satisfied with your work/life balance? I mean, you have a little son, a family -- is that hard during a week to keep focus or how do you manage that?

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Brian Krogsgard

I'm terrible at work/life balance in terms of turning my brain off of work and WordPress and Post Status. It's always in my mind, even if it's second or third at any given time.

That said, I've become fairly strict with my schedule these days. Even prior to having a son, I tried to establish "6-10" time, where every evening was family time (but I was bad about still being on Twitter too much). Also, when I started working out regularly, that time became non-negotiable (Every M/W/F at either 4:30 or 5:30) and therefore that's when my main "day" ends.

After having a kid, I get up early, don't sleep enough, and am more tired in the late evenings. Working at night now, after my wife and son have gone to bed, is really hard, because I know I'll be up at 6 a.m. (and maybe at 3 am and/or 5 am) and working from 10pm to 2am is not enticing. I'm still trying to organize my days better to get back some of the productivity I used to have in those wee hours of the night.

In short, I'm trying to stick to pretty strict work hours: 7:30-4:30 or so, with maybe 30 mins or an hour later in the night, but certainly not the long "in the zone" sessions late at night that I used to be able to do. Now if I need to make up time I try to squeeze it into the quieter times of the weekend.

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Nemanja Aleksic

I'm struggling with the same problem, but I've also got regular walks with Garry, my German boxer, in the routine. How does your great Dane factor in the daily schedule?

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Brian Krogsgard

Lucy May is 6 now, and she's *super* lazy :) She gets at least one walk a day though. We have a beautiful neighborhood -- it's like Pleasantville around here, full of old houses and a bunch being remodeled. Our day doesn't feel complete if we don't walk the neighborhood with our son and our dog -- usually after we work out before or right after dinner.

Lucy is also my primary coworker, snoozing nearby or snuggling by my feet. She is the best dog.

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Ross Wintle

Just want to do some kind of parental high-five here. Sounds like you've nailed it. Great work, Brian!

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Nemanja Aleksic

You've seen our Season 3 lineup. As someone who's probably talked to every single influencer in the WordPress community, who would you recommend for season 4? Who are the most underappreciated members of our community who deserve more spotlight?

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Brian Krogsgard

I'll need to go back and see again who all has been on before. But my main thing would be this: there are loads of people doing amazing things and most don't know their names, much less their work. You don't have to have a big social presence to be influential and worth receiving insights through an AMA like this :) I'd love to see some of those folks.

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Jay Hoffmann

Hey Brian! Got any plans for the Javascript Deeply site? Do you ever see Post Status branching out into sort-of sister sites / brands, or would you like to try and keep things centralized? Would love to hear your thoughts on just the whole going vertical vs going horizontal thing.

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Brian Krogsgard

I think about this on a weekly basis!

So in my case, vertical would be having touch points on people interested in WordPress from their earliest interactions until they are at the top of their professional careers. Right now my funnel is much smaller because I cater to professionals. I can widen that funnel if I go after folks looking to make it a career, or further back if they are getting into development or tinkering with their site, or further back if it's their first interaction with WordPress. That's definitely an avenue, but one I see as more effective if I approach it through partnerships, not trying to replicate the great work others are doing.

Horizontally, I think there are multiple industries -- web and otherwise -- where a model similar to mine could work well. Ben Thompson writes Stratechery and it is absolutely amazing. And his audience is way bigger than mine (last I saw he has well over 3,000 subs -- probably way more now). I think "web" in general, a sub-set of tech, would be a great sector that's fairly underserved. I'm not sure anything web related would be the route I want to go though.

What I do know is that there are some tools I've either built for Post Status, or want to build. And I'm actively exploring how I can make those tools happen, and maybe make them available for others.

In short, I'm not sure how much I care what direction my business expands, but I do know I long to have a team I work with (beyond part time contractors, though I love them all) and I am constantly thinking about what those opportunities may look like. I have tons of things I want to do, but I'm working on having the capital and the time to do them :)

Right... JavaScriptDeeply.com -- I registered that as a bit of a joke, but it'd be fun if it was real, yes ;) I have a little project idea for it, but likely it won't be my Next Big Thing™.

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Benjamin Bradley

Q1) Coffee / Tea / or Other?
Q2) If you could predict the next big vertical within WordPress what would it be? We've seen companies chase forms, backup solutions, page builders, remote management, etc... what's next?
Q3) What is your favorite WordPress conference/event that you never want to miss?
Q4) Who will play you in the upcoming WordPress movie?

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Brian Krogsgard

1) COFFEE. Specifically, I use the AeroPress with an Ethiopian blend from my local roaster (Octane) every day. Sometimes I mix it up with Chemex. The other day I ran out of coffee and drank black tea and it wasn't the same. Today I ran out of filters and am drinking out of a drip pot -- blah!

2) Security is blowing up right now and the market is as big as those verticals you mention. I'd love to see more work with hosted WordPress niches, but those are hard and slow, but I think they have great opportunity for long term rewards for the folks that pull it off smartly.

3) I love Pressnomics. I launched Post Status right before getting on the plane to go there, and it's the most direct representation of my membership. I also love WCSF, which turned into WCUS, and had a great time at WCEU. Post Status Publish will be pretty awesome too, I hope :)

4) If there is a WordPress movie anytime soon I'll eat my hat. But fun fact, I was in a movie as a baby, so can I play myself?

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Juan Hernando

Hi Brian! How do you see the podcast as part of your Post Status strategy? Is it a key point to attract new members? Is it just for fun? I don't know what numbers can a (great) podcast like that have, but how do you feel about it? Thanks!

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Brian Krogsgard

Podcasting is fun, number one.

Two, when someone listens to a podcast, they are committing to you for a significant period of time and level of concentration that's not the same level as a blog post. I value that and hugely appreciate the people that listen to the podcast.

Three, it gives me a good chance to offer an audio-advertisement for Post Status partners (which are a yearly fee, so I try to find valuable places to promote them).

We have gotten about 2,000 listens within the first week of each of our last four episodes. Big big podcasts in the web space get like 50-75k maybe. Big podcasts globally get like 300k-500k if I recall correctly. It's been slow but steady growth and for a niche podcast I'm happy with where we are and where we're going. More and more people are telling us they like the podcast. I asked Joe Hoyle (CTO of Human Made) to co-host to help keep me accountable and have a ready partner every week, and that's been huge. Consistency is key and we're just trying to talk about something interesting as often as we can :)

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Jonathan Bossenger

Everybody online is flipping out about the GoDaddy acquisition of ManageWP and I find it interesting that you are doing an AMA here in the same week. What are your feelings on the situation?

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Brian Krogsgard

I have seen GoDaddy changing for the better these last few years, and it surprised me a bit that the change hasn't made it's way more downstream. I wrote about GoDaddy for my first members only post that I made free the other day after the negative comments I saw in response to my story about the acquisition: poststatus.com/notes/anyone-can-change/

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Jonathan Bossenger

I saw that post.

I have never worked with GoDaddy other than a .com registrar but I did find it interesting that they were a sponsor of WordCamp Cape Town last year (and this year again).

Sadly I think that when big corporations upset large communities it does take a long time to change the collective consensus. First impressions and all that.

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Nemanja Aleksic

The most pleasant surprise about Post Status is a vibrant Slack community. In some ways it's even an ideal WordPress community where people are always ready to help out - how did you come up with that idea?

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Brian Krogsgard

When I launched I didn't want a forum because I was afraid of it being a ghost town early on and then just a burden from there out.

So a couple months after launch I started thinking about it again, and then it dawned on me that maybe a Slack channel would work better. It seems obvious now. Most WP companies are in Slack now, so Post Status is right next to the channel you use every day for work anyway. It's hugely valuable.

I actually polled members to see what, if anything, they wanted, and got mixed results. But it felt right, so I launched it anyway, and now it's both one of the biggest selling features for Post Status, and it's the favorite part of the membership for hundreds of members.

The hard part will be maintaining a vibrant community long term :) But that's for me to worry about!

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Pippin Williamson

If you were required, for extenuating circumstances, to do something else completely different starting tomorrow and for the foreseeable future, what would it be? WordPress may not be part of the answer :)

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Brian Krogsgard

I'd probably want to go write for BuzzFeed or somebody like that :)

Or run my own non-WP publication.

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David Bisset

If you could make it happen, what's one interview you want to get that you haven't yet that would relate to WordPress or Post Statu? Anyone in or outside the WordPress bubble.

I know Matt M says you can ask him anything, but what are some questions maybe you regretting forgetting bringing up or what is the hardest questions you can think of asking him right now?

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Brian Krogsgard

I'd love to interview Ben Smith, Editor of BuzzFeed News. They are at the forefront of the web in a lot of ways.

Matt has always been great about answering anything, even if it's not a direct answer :) I'd most want to talk to him about the business side of Automattic and how WordPress plays a role moving forward versus the past. WordPress itself is less and less a part of their business, from my perspective. It's still hugely important to them, but it's not as much a piece of their overall product as I think it once was.

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Nemanja Aleksic

1) Your biggest failure in life?

2) You mentioned being surprised about the GoDaddy effort going mostly unrecognized by the community. What would you do different, if you had the opportunity?

3) Is there a way to bill you for overtime you caused us with the acquisition leak? :D

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Brian Krogsgard

1) I had a full ride to Auburn that pretty much paid for me to go to school. I lost it after my sophomore year because I spent my time on extracurriculars (Student Government, etc -- not partying. I didn't drink until I turned 21 actually). I wish I paid more attention to class, and looking back, I wish I took more classes on writing well (code and words). I majored in Industrial Engineering, and I liked many aspects of it, but I wasn't in love with the major.

2) I think GoDaddy is doing great outreach. It just takes time, and they spent a ton of money making their reputation in the first place. It takes even more than what you put in to undo it.

3) Not my problem :) But I am sorry if anyone had to work the weekend!

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Andreas Nurbo

Hello Brian
I like the Draft Podcast, you should do more of that.

Curious how do you view PostStatus what do you want it to become. Is it MacWorld/NintendoMagazine or more industry news. That is fan magazine vs reporting news in an industry even if they are bad or might hurt people/company image.

PostStatus is in practice two services basically. A newsletter and a "mastermind" group. Do you think there is a risk that due to the conflation of these two services that there is a conflict of interest here. Quite a few core developers and WP businuess folks are customers of you and you have business arrangements with them. Are there not a risk of preferential treatment in what is included in the newsletter?
I know that some prominent WP community members do not disclouse their relationsships when writing about or recomending various services.
Given your reply earlier about increasing memberships and participation in Slack are you not moving more towards a primarily WP fanmembership site and not a news site? Some mentions the Slack channels as the primary reason for joining PostStatus since it gives them access to prominent WP personalities. I think there might be a conflict between the two services depending on how you view the news part of PostStatus.

And a simpler one.
Which, if any, podcast besides WP Weekly(because its great, go Jeff and Marcus) do you find most enjoyable to listen too? (Draft is also good but I dont think you listen to it yourself).

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Brian Krogsgard

I am biased and I will always be biased, but I'm also fair -- whether it's to someone that I am friends with or have some form of partnership with.

The WooThemes hack a couple years ago is a good example. That was a tough story to write, but it was my job to write it and handle it fairly. (poststatus.com/woothemes-investigating-alleged-website-vulnerabilities/)

I have to call a spade a spade. The moment I don't, I've failed and it will eventually show up in my bottom line. That doesn't mean I play "he said, she said," and I don't think that's the best way to analyze anything. I analyze it using my experience and by trying to sponge the experience of others I talk to about any particular situation; and then I apply my own moral compass to the situation, if it requires it.

That's about the best I can do.

For WordPress podcasts, I think Matt Medeiros has done a good job for a long time with Matt Report. Apply Filters with Pippin and Brad is always enlightening, purely because of who they are and the businesses they run. How I Built It by Joe Casabona is new but promising: he asked me a question I've never been asked before. Office Hours with Carrie Dils is pretty good and she interviews people I don't often talk to.

Non-WP but web podcasts: CodePen is great bc it's a study of a small company figuring things out. Shoptalk Show is also fun for Q/A for web stuff but it's a bit more focused on code than strategy. Under The Radar is interesting even though it's about iOS bc it's insight on another ecosystem with parallels to ours. The a16z podcast offers interesting insight from a VC point of view.

I listen to a lot of non-web/WP podcasts and can list those if you like to :)

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Joshua Strebel

Compare and contrast the WordPress ecosystem today vs 5years ago. Besides the obvious things like the size, what are some of the good or bad things that have come about.

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Brian Krogsgard

It's growing up, especially from a business perspective. It used to be a lot more hobbyists and people that released stuff for fun. Now there's much more often (almost always) a business angle, even if it's just a dream of one.

I'm glad for that in terms of sustainability but it also makes me sad sometimes because it's less of a purely giving ecosystem.

Almost every ad agency and dev firm in the world relies on WordPress far more than they give it credit for. I think they need to realize that and realize that there are so many ways for them to give back and get involved. I think it's often the case that only a small group in interactive departments or even single individuals really realize how much WordPress allows them to offer "digital solutions" or whatever buzzwords they give clients. WordPress is hugely influential in helping companies and organizations everywhere have significant web presences that go well beyond a "digital business card" as my old boss used to call it.

That ubiquity wasn't the same five years ago. We need to figure out how to better address it and get more people involved and excited about WordPress beyond being just a tool for their agency.

I think WordPress being 13 and called a teenager is apt. It may be ancient from a code perspective but we're just getting accustomed to our own selves as a functional, thinking, working "adult" in the web and software space.

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Ellie

Hi Brian,What do you think of the ongoing issue with Headway Themes failing to support its customers?

twitter.com/seanmclellan/status/773304442338832384
twitter.com/rustboywonder/status/771980993259450372
twitter.com/MarkPoppen/status/769601258139201536

Did you have any problems getting replies from Clay when you reviewed Pressmatic?

Do you think that the close-knit nature of the WP community produces an 'omerta' in which people are afraid to speak out about unacceptable practices from prominent community members?

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Brian Krogsgard

I've been trying to figure out the best way to cover the Headway Themes issue behind the scenes. I covered Pressmatic when the Headway drama was not yet full steam. And Clay answered my questions and was very helpful.

Then he went off the radar and didn't answer my messages, just like with everyone else, when I was talking to him about Headway rather than Pressmatic. I made it clear I was not out to get him in any way. Unfortunately this has happened before and will happen again. I really wanted his input if I was going to be coming forward with the kind of stuff I was talking to people about. Unfortunately he didn't cooperate, and meanwhile Jeff and WP Tavern published something along similar lines to what I had, so I let it simmer longer. Eventually, I'll say more on Post Status but it'd be way better if Clay actually spoke to people instead of tried to silence the situation to submission. That doesn't work.

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Matt Medeiros

1. I've seen you echo similar sentiments as I do about the possible/future fragmentation of WordPress. In your WordSesh presentation, you labeled it as "multiple stakeholders." Can you expand on a few pros/cons as you see it?


2. The Post Status' is heavily dependent on the Slack platform -- do you have any long term goals to mitigate risk in that sector? Could (should) WordPress solve communication interaction for you (others)?


3. In a recent post by Dries Buytaert (buytaert.net/who-sponsors-drupal-development) we gain some insight into who "sponsors" Drupal development via their credit system. It's not so different than our own ecosystem, where those contributing seem to gain the most from the business side. There's probably a lot we can learn from this kind of data -- is there anything we can learn from Drupal/Dries/Acquia?


(p.s. think this is a great article to include in your newsletter, don't you think?)


4. Will Post Status ever go beyond WordPress? When?


5. What's the most the biggest challenge in keeping up with newsletter?


6. Which big brand media/news/journo site does Post Status most relate to in terms of writing style, ethics, and coverage?


7. How's your golf game?


8. Can I be on your podcast someday?

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Brian Krogsgard

1) Communication and structure becomes even more important. But more stakeholders would mean more resources and a more diverse POV to make a better product. I think that should be a good thing.

2) WP might could solve it but I think Slack is doing okay right now. The big downside would be if they significantly limit users on free accounts. But I can make adjustments if they do. I don't think PS is so dependent on it that I can't adjust and keep the community strong.

3) I've had Dries article open for two days simmering on it. Yes we can learn from it, but that doesn't mean we should copy their model. If we think the A8C/WP stuff is funky, Acquia/Drupal is way more. It'll definitely be in the newsletter :)

4) Post Status needs to be focused but also apply to the right size audience. It can function as a one-person business with current market sizes. Maybe two-person, but it'll never be much bigger unless either the content embraces a broader audience within WP, or it is duplicated for other genres. If I work on other genres, they probably wouldn't be called Post Status.

5) I don't have enough time to write. I want to triple my writing time.

6) I really, really, really respect NiemanLab. I also like Quartz. And CNN Money's Brian Stelter has an outstanding media newsletter. I think Dan Primack at Fortune might be the closest to how Post Status operates though (I like his style too).

7) My golf game sucks. I play a few times a year. I'm great for a scramble, terrible for a full on round of 18. I could shoot 80 or 100.

8) You were on my very first one you doof. poststatus.com/interview-matt-medeiros/

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Kobe Ben Itamar

Hi Brian, I was wondering about your writing process, which I like very much, BTW.

Is there a lot of planning involved when a new post is in the making, or do you just start writing and iterate upon it?

Are there any key components you feel are a "must" for any written piece that gets published for your readership?

Thanks!

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Brian Krogsgard

I think a lot but it's not structured much once I start writing. I write what's on my mind and then depending on how much time I have, I go back and move stuff around, add headings, fix typos, etc.

The only "must" I have is that it needs to be add value. The number of words doesn't matter. If it takes me 5 words to add the maximum value that content can add, I do not want to write 6 words. If it takes me 10,000 words, I want to write 10,000.

The only key component is that some percentage of my audience will see that article, read it, click the links within, digest the analysis, and be glad they did.

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Omaar Osmaan

Do you've any plan on improving the Post Status, the site (poststatus.com)?

As a member, whenever I think of the Post Status community I log into the Slack, check the email newsletter or the Tweets- but noticed your site doesn't come in mind in the first place- shouldn't there be some ways to engage in a better way?

Not just the looks/improving (minor issues of) the site- but in a broad sense, do you have plan to introduce more features, perhaps a online community on PostStatus.com?

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Brian Krogsgard

The website is the data storage, but it's not the best way for a membership site to communicate to members. People read email. Email is great, as much as people say they hate it. I put every word (and sometimes a little more) of what I write on the members only side of the website, right into the body of the email.

For Slack, it's more real-time. Sometimes I take that information and put it into a Note to go into an email. But email is king for a membership site.

Every time a member opens my email, I'm getting an opportunity to engage them and add value and make them glad they subscribed. Each time is a test. If I add value and they're glad they opened that email, it's a notch in the belt and they are that much more likely to renew when it's time. If I don't add value and they aren't glad they spent time with that email, I lose a notch and they are less likely to renew. I'd rather send nothing than something that doesn't add value.

I have a long list of site improvements I want to make. Most of those improvements are around how easy it is to automate something, how accessible it makes older content, how easy it is for members to manage accounts, etc. Another thing I desperately need to improve is new-member onboarding. It's not good right now. It will mostly be an email solution, and a little bit of on-site work.

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Omaar Osmaan

Thank you, Brain for the excellent answer. Looking forward to see your plan gets into action in the future, and for all the awesome news you provide in the newsletter.

Cheers.

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Matt Cromwell

Hi Brian! Thanks for doing this AMA and for all your work in reporting WP-relevant topics on your site. I enjoy the Post Status Slack group a lot, and love how you are building a community around your work.

I'd love to hear your take on the role communities like Post Status and AdvancedWP and Reddit have in the WordPress space in general. Obviously each of those is very different from each other, and there's tons of ways to approach the question, but would love your insight into the role/function of large online communities in WordPress and how they can improve overall.

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Brian Krogsgard

I think they naturally tend to collect community members that reflect their level of experience and interests.

I think that Reddit tends to serve folks that otherwise like and use Reddit. I think that AdvancedWP tends to serve folks that otherwise like and use Facebook. Both of those tend to adopt the broader trends of those audiences; tech-centric and whatnot at Reddit, broad-base power users at AdvancedWP.

I have specifically gone after a crowd that makes its living with WordPress. Perhaps it's more like what we see on Twitter, or maybe that's my own bias because I like Twitter -- I'm not sure.

I think each place can be a great community, but any environment is also a potential platform for toxicity; as moderators, it's our burden -- and not often a fun one -- to ensure the quality and respect people deserve in those situations.

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Matt Cromwell

That's true, and different communities have to be moderated in different ways. Looking forward to all the ways Post Status will be improving over the years to come, and to more of your contributions in AWP as well.

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Juan Hernando

Do you think that in the next years there will be more importance in the global community from non-American people? How could be the best way for people from the "outside" to be noticed? I mean, you've said lately that probably there are many people out there doing cool stuff and they're not known. This is not a critic (the American community is awesome and there are great people making, helping and communicating) and obviously not related with the 'them vs us' discussion, it's just that maybe people in Europe or other places don't know who to contact, where to talk… I don't know… What's your opinion about this globalization of everything?

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Brian Krogsgard

I think nurturing the global WordPress community has come a long way in the last five years, but still has a long way to go.

At a base level, the language barrier can be very difficult to overcome. Countries where populations speak great English have it better than those where English is not a popular language. But we should not limit WordPress to English speakers, obviously, so better outreach in non-English languages is very important.

The work on translate.wordpress.org is important in this regard for actual code. And the geo-centric W.org sites are also a great asset. Still, those are official channels, and the third party ecosystems still need work.

For instance, it's much harder for me to follow and understand everything going on in non-English languages. I need to learn and figure out better ways, and I don't know the exact answer. I do think people who serve as community liaisons between a particular community and the more "core" WordPress community are immensely valuable though.

The best way to start discussions is to reach out! Going to international events, like WCEU, but also others, and not just in Europe, is a great way to do that. And vice versa for folks in other countries.

My non-web friends are always absolutely amazed when I talk about the international nature of my WordPress relationships. I have friends on six continents, and that is absolutely incredible! So while there is much to do, there is much to celebrate as well!

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Mickey Kay

With your top-level view of the WordPress world, I would love to hear your thoughts on any of the following questions - take it or leave it:

- In 3 years time, what do you think the we (the WP community) will all look back on and say:
1. "Wow, we really did that well."
2. "Wow, we really could've done that better."
3. "Wow, we never would've guessed that was going to happen."
- Where do you see the biggest growth opportunities involve WordPress?
- If you were going to start another business, what would it be?
- If had to stake all your savings on one WP developer and his/her idea, who would it be and why?
- What do you see as your greatest single success and failure of this past year?

Thanks Brian! I think I speak for many of us when I say you do fantastic things for our community, for which I (we) have a ton of gratitude!

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Brian Krogsgard

- re: 3 years time: if I'm assuming it's a look back on recent and current endeavors I'd say like this.
1) Iterative customizer improvements have been consistent and really, really good.
2) I can't say yet because there's time for anything to turn around w/ the right energy.
3) It's hard to predict the long term effects of the REST API, so I think for this feature such a response is easy.

- I'm a big believer that WordPress can power many catered, full featured solutions. We're still selling themes and plugins, even when we try to put way more into them. We should sell bigger solutions that just happen to have themes and plugins, but solve the problems of a particular market.

- I'm obsessed with news. I'd love to start a local news organization -- and it would be so fun to be an underdog in that space, which so many people are down on. I'm also interested in product/SaaS work that benefits my publication efforts.

- The best business mind I know in our space -- with an intuitive sense of products that are needed -- is Syed Balkhi. The person I'd most trust to approach a situation in a way that aligns with my own values and mission is a tie: Pippin Williamson and Cory Miller. The partners I invited to sponsor Post Status were invited because of the people behind the products as much -- really, more -- than the products themselves (poststatus.com/partners)

- Failure: not meeting timelines for my own goals (site features, etc). Success: Post Status is an undisputed place for serious analysis of our space, with a great community, and I couldn't be more proud of who is reading the member content, and who is participating in the community.

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