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About Matt:

Matt’s passion for podcasting started from working as a “computer guy” with his dad in car sales, to a leader in the tech industry helping others understand and get started in podcasting, as well as running several successful podcasts of his own. Whether he’s talking tech on the Matt Report or the WP Minute or sharing local news and events on Southcoast.FM, you can be sure that he’s having fun doing it.

What is your job title?WordPress Community
What is your company name?Gravity Forms & The WP Minute
What do you do with WordPress?Advocate, content creator
Describe the WordPress community in just a few words.110% Human

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Welcome to WPCoffeeTalk with your podcast Barista Michelle Frechette, where we interview people in the WordPress community from all over the world. Every guest is asked the same questions and every guest has wonderful and varied answers about their history and their hopes. Special thanks to our espresso level sponsors, Bluehost, WS form, and Beaver Builder. And now on with the show.

[00:00:31] Speaker B: Welcome to the next episode of WPCoffeeTalk. I’m your podcast Barista Michelle Frechette, serving up the WordPress stories from around the world. And today my guest is Matt Madeiros. Matt, welcome to the show.

[00:00:43] Speaker C: Thanks for having me, Michelle. It’s a pleasure to be here.

[00:00:45] Speaker B: Thank you. It’s always nice to see you. And you and I have cross paths over the years because of podcasting for the most part, which is pretty cool. And I might be one of the few people who still has their mat report.

West coast brim hat.

[00:01:07] Speaker C: Yes, I thought about making a comeback with those this past holiday season, but I got too busy. But I would really like to bring those back as like a, you know, syncing it up with the donation like I normally do, finding a foundation to donate the funds to. And it’s still on my mind. Stop my head somewhere.

[00:01:29] Speaker B: I don’t look good in a west coast brim, but I have that as a point of memorabilia, WordPress memorabilia. And, you know, I just like it. So it’s with the rest of my WordPress hats.

[00:01:39] Speaker C: But I appreciate that.

[00:01:41] Speaker B: Yeah. So let’s see. I have written down here that you are the WordPress community advocate and content creator at gravity forms and the WP meta. Did I get that right?

[00:01:52] Speaker C: That is true. So at gravity forms, I am part of the content. Well, part of the marketing team, but also there’s a few other people that do content. This gentleman named Dustin also does the YouTube channel. And fine lady Isabel, she does the TikTok account.

[00:02:12] Speaker B: Yes, I’ve been watching your TikTok account forums. Pretty impressive stuff you guys are putting out there. So excited about that. TikTok’s. And we could do an entire episode just on TikTok. We’re not going to, but I think it’s a very.

[00:02:23] Speaker C: Listen, I can’t do, I can’t do. I can’t do any content on tick tock. In fact, it’s sort of like a running joke at gravity forms because Isabel sometimes asked me, like, you know, like when we were doing like promos or like Black Friday, just, you know, was happening and she was like, hey, can you do, can you pull something from the podcast. Or you can you do a short form thing, and I’m like, short form thing? And I’ll do something like 60 seconds, and she’ll say, this is way too long. And I’ll say, way too long. I’m a podcaster. You can’t ask me to do 15 seconds of content. It’s just literally impossible for me.

[00:03:00] Speaker B: Yeah, but that’s what, that’s what it’s for, though. TikTok is for people with short attention spans.

[00:03:06] Speaker C: It’s not me.

[00:03:07] Speaker B: I hear you. Well, tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

[00:03:11] Speaker C: Yeah, so I’ve been in the WordPress space for quite a while.

Started an agency way back in the day with my father. Agency still runs.

That’s where my roots in podcasting spawned from. Try to learn the industry, try to make a name for the agency at the time, find other folks to network with. Sort of really how the whole podcasting thing started for me. And then, so I was there with my dad for about ten years. That was not my first foray into business with my dad. We owned a car dealership before that. And when we left the car dealership and sold the franchise, we then started that digital agency. Running a business with your family is pretty tough.

So that was something that was just like, after ten years, it was a good run. Plus started having kids. My oldest is seven, so once I started, once that started coming, and anyone who’s been in the agency space, maybe you’re a freelancer or run like a boutique agency, it’s a tough business. Cause you’re always, you know, you’re sort of like that one big project, paycheck away from just like losing your mind if not going bankrupt.

So you’re just like, you know, this is just way too much stress along with having children. So then I entered into the professional career again. Worked at Pagely, which was acquired by GoDaddy. It was there for about three years. Did a stint in pot in the podcast and audio industry at a podcast hosting company. And now I have found myself here at gravity forms, as I think the official title might be community evangelist or advocate, but been here now for just almost a year at gravity form. So having a really good time here and seeing WordPress from a different perspective, I saw it from the hosting, saw it from the agency perspective first. Like, how do I make a living with this thing? Then I saw it from the hosting side of it, and I didn’t want to battle with swords and shields anymore. So I was like, I gotta get out of the hosting side, it’s pretty aggressive. And now seeing it from the product side and what goes into a successful product is quite fun. So getting a well rounded experience in the WordPress space, I love that.

[00:05:28] Speaker B: That’s awesome. Well, I ask everybody to show me your mug and tell me what’s in it. You have a little bit something different.

[00:05:34] Speaker C: So, yes, I have my, there you go. My water bottle.

Trying to like a lot, you know, January when we’re recording this, trying to intake some more water these days. I heard it’s good for you.

[00:05:48] Speaker B: That’s what they say.

[00:05:50] Speaker C: What they say, right? So, um, got my water bottle here because I also, you know, like, a lot of folks jumped on the peloton bandwagon, uh, for the holiday season. They actually have like, a rental program. I was like, I’m gonna rent it first to see if I like it. And I do like it, and it’s been a great workout experience. So just take that water bottle with me now and try to drink as many of these, these bad boys as I can every day for you.

[00:06:13] Speaker B: Well, I am not drinking water. I already had coffee, so I’m not drinking coffee, but I am drinking tea in my world’s best boss.

[00:06:21] Speaker C: There we go.

[00:06:23] Speaker B: I actually don’t have a staff under me anymore, but I still am the world’s best boss, according to some people. So we’ll just leave.

[00:06:29] Speaker C: According to Michael, I’m the best.

[00:06:32] Speaker B: I mean, that is how Michael Scott does it, so.

But point of contention, I did not buy the mug for myself. I just want that I didn’t find it in Spencer and buy it for myself anyway.

[00:06:43] Speaker C: Is that company still around Spencer Gifs?

[00:06:45] Speaker B: I believe so. I saw a TikTok about it recently, actually.

I know it’s still the kind of store where you don’t want your mother to go to the back, though, apparently, according to that. Yeah, that poster, but yeah.

So how did you get started in WordPress? Was that part of the agency thing that you did?

[00:07:03] Speaker C: Yeah. So when in a again, a previous career, I was, I worked at a local ISP Internet service provider. This is back in the day when cable modems weren’t the thing and everyone had an Internet connection. This was a thing when you had to seek out Internet connection or you had to connect it to your phone line and dial in.

And when I was in school, there was an internship program that started at this ISP. So I took the gig, wanted to soak up as much knowledge as I possibly can because I was trying desperately to get out of the car business with my family and started there and years go by, started in tech support, then I was a manager for the support team, went all the way up into product manager. And in my role I was the first one to bring in. I know this is crazy to say, but to bring in cpanel hosting and open source hosting because back then it was just Windows, it was a Windows server, Windows NT, that’s what it was. When we did hosting, it was an ASP server and that’s what we did. And I sort of started to explore open source and Linux, PHP bulletin boards, all this stuff that was just coming of age back then I put together that whole platform, the cPanel platform and everything. I managed that email servers, Linux servers, stuff like that. And then we acquired another ISP and that ISP had a web development division to it. They were kind of local to us about you know, 45 minutes away. And they were building on Drupal. And at the time they were coming out from like Drupal four to Drupal five. So I don’t know what timeframe that was, but having befriended the lead designer, he was like, when we started bringing them into the business he was like hey Matt, this drupal thing is terrible, I hate it. I don’t like, I don’t like designing for it. There’s this thing called WordPress and we should really focus on this WordPress thing because we can do a lot more with it as a design team and as an agency. Now this is, I don’t even know what version of WordPress we were on at that time. It was in the twos, it was well before three. And that was my first experience with WordPress and we purchased, the first premium theme we purchased was a theme called Standard by eight bit John Saddington, Tom McFarland ran that business and that was like wow, we can buy a theme, it’s ready made for us. Now we can, what everyone does today is now we can implement that with our customers, customize it, yada yada yada, so on and so forth. Then leaving that business once my family got out of the car business.

My dad is a photographer so he’s doing like photography for product like a jewelry company or something like that. And the woman that he was photographing for said hey, I would like a website to go along with this stuff. Now remember this is years and years ago. So my dad was like, hey, uh, I don’t know how to do a website, but my son does.

So I was sure I’ll, you know, I’ll do a website make a few hundred bucks or whatever it was back in the day. And um, one thing led to another where he got another customer and then it was just off to the races after that, it was like he was getting out of the car business. I was looking for something else to do. So we formed the company. And in the early days we had a few WordPress celebrities working for us. We had John DeRosas, who’s now a core contributor, uh, to WordPress. Uh, works for Bluehost, uh, Jeff, uh, Galinsky, who now works at Jetpack, uh, automatic. Uh, Scott Souza still works for the studio, um, and he helped me build a whole bunch of stuff, you know, over the years. But we were all in one room building websites for customers, uh, learning as we go. And uh, it was, it was a, it was a fun ride, uh, those, those quick ten years, those early days.

[00:11:16] Speaker B: That’s awesome. I love it. My similar story to the drupal story is I will never, ever, ever again work on nuke site. I don’t even know if it’s still.

[00:11:27] Speaker C: A thing, but I hope not.

[00:11:30] Speaker B: I hope that too.

[00:11:32] Speaker C: Definitely some security patches along the way. If it’s still, if it’s.

[00:11:36] Speaker B: The interface was just awful, but that’s, I guess, another story.

Yeah. So tell us, when you think about websites, and you and I have seen a lot of websites over the years, what is something that you think that we as designers, developers, web builders, don’t focus enough energy and attention on that actually would make our sites better for end users?

[00:11:58] Speaker C: So I think there’s a lot of builders and end users that could do really well with just learning the fundamentals of WordPress and understanding how the whole air quotes stack works. How does web host work? How does website work? How does email work? How does domain work?

Understand that you are building this independent platform. I remember negotiating some of my very first customers, um, you know, and even I’m kind of laughing because I’m thinking about it right now. But, uh, even late into my career, like helping, helping out friends and, you know, professionals that I know that have plenty of money and I would charge them like, all right, $1,000, I’ll just put it together and they’re like a $1,000.

You don’t understand what I’m building for you, right? This is your own communication, you know, back in the day communication platform. It’s your website, it’s your content, it’s your email list, it’s your e commerce, it’s your donation page. This is all yours. This, you can do anything with and you own it.

An algorithm isn’t going to change this aside from like Google search. But people get to your site and you own it, it’s your experience. And I think a lot of people would do well if they kind of understood that whole concept of putting together a solid solution like that for an end user, not undercutting yourself, not underselling yourself, you’re not devaluing yourself. I got something really great here that I’m going to build for you and educate their customer, their end user on that concept. This is yours. So many people I still see running businesses using just Facebook pages.

[00:13:51] Speaker B: Yeah.

[00:13:52] Speaker C: Doing events, doing online things. It’s great. Like, it’s exposure. I get it. But then those same people will complain that, you know, oh, I, once they get on Facebook, I can’t do anything else with that. Like, they registered for the event there, but I can’t trigger it. How do I communicate with these people? How do I send them an email? You can’t because it’s there. It’s on Facebook. Like, understanding that part of this, you know, web technology here is, this is, we own this. This is why you should like WordPress. I’m biased because I think it’s important that such a massive piece of software on the web people should understand. But, you know, I feel like people should at least understand it as much as they understand what an operating system is. Like, the average user kind of like, I know I gotta patch this thing. I know there’s updates that come and go. Like, I get it. Like, I feel like people should at least understand and care about WordPress as much as they like. Okay, I got to patch my iOS update or my computer or something like that. Like give it a little bit of extra in your tearing.

[00:14:57] Speaker B: It’s your funnel. It’s your funnel into all the things. So if you’re not tending it well and understanding it, you’re definitely disadvantaging yourself. So.

[00:15:07] Speaker C: And WordPress is, you know, I don’t want to get too deep into the weeds, but WordPress is definitely one of, it’s, it’s the only piece of software.

If you have an issue with your road, right, there’s potholes in your road. You go to this town meeting or you go to the city council and you sit there and you wait. They say, next you go, I got a problem with my pothole, or just snowed, right? So my street’s not getting plowed. Nobody ever comes to plow my street. You can at least voice your opinion in local government whatever severity of issue you’re running with.

I don’t know any other software where you can do that like, you can with WordPress. When people complain about WordPress, I’m like, you can literally go onto a slack channel where they’re building and designing this thing without being a total jerk. You can just be like, hey, I got something I could add and it might not happen, but my God, I can’t do that at Apple. I can knock on like one infinity loop and be like, hey, it’d be.

[00:16:12] Speaker B: Nice if my phone did this.

[00:16:13] Speaker C: Yeah, really great is I get my face pressed against the glass circle office, like, let me in and the security guards pulling me away, probably tasering me. You can’t do that with any other software than WordPress. So there’s like some appreciation and education I think would be well spent. That was a long answer.

[00:16:34] Speaker B: That’s okay. I liked it. It was a good answer.

What is something that you wish you had known earlier in your WordPress journey that would have made life a lot easier? I know you’re a fairly early adopter, but there’s got to be some things that you learned later on that you’re like, oh, I’d only known this sooner.

[00:16:51] Speaker C: Yeah. I mean, from a business perspective, like, certainly like valuing the work that we were doing, you know, raising our rates early. But I was thinking about this question before we recorded. It’s hard to look back on that because a lot of those failures led to other successes, I guess, but certainly, yeah, raising rates, understanding the value, taking that same thing of, look what I’m building for you, you should value a little bit more would have been great.

Again, from the business perspective, not, not taking on projects that are just well above the pay grade. Right.

Back then, I know it’s still out there today.

How to grow an agency, how to make a million dollars in a weekend concept that was happening a lot back in 20 07, 20 08, 20 09 not just going after the money, because you could go after the money and then before you know it, you got this massive project in front of you. I don’t know how to do this.

[00:18:04] Speaker B: I’m overwhelmed.

[00:18:05] Speaker C: Yes, I’m overwhelmed. I don’t know this technology, I don’t know this customers industry.

I remember telling the story to Amber Hines, who’s well versed in accessibility or developing for accessibility. And I remember doing this big project for a museum and then finding out that we were like the lowest, the lowest bid, which is why they technically went with us. And then you, like, you build out this whole thing ends up being way more work, and then they go, okay, this is all, like, accessible, right? This is going to pass all the complaints, and this is before I knew anything. You know, this is way back. I’m like, what now? What is it? Right? And they’re like, oh, yeah, we have to do this, that and the other thing. I’m like, hey, the budget is gone, right? So not getting yourself into those, you know, those things.

[00:18:55] Speaker B: Right.

[00:18:56] Speaker C: From the personal side on WordPress. Yeah. I wish I would have learned to code a bit more, but that’s about it.

[00:19:06] Speaker B: Okay, not too bad. Yeah, that scope issue is like, man, I learned about contracts and having contracts the hard way, so I’ll just say that. Let that go that way.

What are some of your favorite word camp or meetup talks or experiences? Maybe something that was a pivotal. Pivotal or I can’t talk today pivotal or inspiring moment for you?

[00:19:31] Speaker C: Yeah, you know, I’m gonna. I’m going to take the. The easy route. I’m going to say that my favorite experience has been the most recent wordcamp us, because it had been so long since I saw everyone, and that since I had gone to a wordcamp event, and the sheer magnitude of that meetup was cool. It was great. A little bit spread out, but it was cool to, like, just be in this massive hotel or resort, whatever it is was, and just be there with everybody. That was really cool. And, like, experiencing it from the gravity form side, being on the other side of the booth, instead of, like, the person who’s like, go get all the swag. It was like shoveling the swag out. Like, make sure you take this t shirt, because that was my. That’s my instructions, is to make sure no one is bringing back any t shirts. And it was great. It was great to have the conversations again, you know? And then probably when I think back, is one of the first word camps that we had in. In Wordcamp Providence, because that’s really close to me, and that was really cool. It was super small, but I remember that one was. Was really special because one was 20 minutes for me to get to. I just drive 20 minutes, and I was there, and it was kind of cool to just, like, be there in that local city. And that was something that was one of the early ones. And I was like, yeah, I really like this word camp thing.

[00:20:58] Speaker B: I like that I am. I have, you know, similar experiences like that. Of course, it’s like, it was close, it was nearby, but I agree. And I did go to a lot of word camps last year. But Wordcamp us was pretty cool to see everybody from, from this area. And, you know, every flagship event has an international draw, of course, too. So, yeah, really cool to see everybody after so many years of, it felt like a decade. I know it was only like two and a half years, but after so many years of not being in person with one another.

[00:21:26] Speaker C: Yeah.

[00:21:27] Speaker B: Just kind of dragged along. So you are now working. You still have the WP minute, which you’ve got some people working with you, which I love that, and helping curate that. And then you’re also at gravity form. So pick one and tell me a little bit more about what you do.

[00:21:43] Speaker C: Yeah, so, yeah, gravity forms.

I joined again back in February 2023, or end of February 2023. And first thing first, as a podcaster, started a podcast. I think it was important, gravity forms being one of the most well known products, longest running products in the WordPress space. It was important for them to, uh, connect with their audience, you know, even deeper. And you and I both know that, um, not everyone will listen to a podcast. Certainly not people who are like, plug in, uh, customers, but there is a percentage of, you know, your customers, fan base, whatever you want to call it, that want to tune in and get that behind the scenes to enrich that experience. Uh, and that’s what, and that’s what I do. I host the, what’s called the breakdown podcast, and we certainly break down, uh, gravity forms. And that podcast is like a three segment thing. So sometimes it’s behind the scenes, sometimes it’s, uh, community interviews, like with you, Michelle, uh, or more like how to stuff like, uh, hey, this new feature came out. Here’s how you do this thing. And it’s important that, um, you know, gravity forms has that as another marketing channel. So I host that twice a month. Uh, so it makes my life a little bit easier on the audio side, and it allows me to make a more variety type show, having that sort of bi weekly buffer.

And then if I’m not doing the podcast, I’m either doing maybe a live stream, like a one on one live stream.

We have a beta Facebook group, excuse me, for customers that are in our beta program. So often me and Adam will be in there showing off new features, getting some feedback, and that’s really cool.

That’s another part of the gig I really like is sort of being that front runner for the WordPress space to gather and collect feedback and then bring it back to the team and say, hey, look, here’s what people are telling. This is what people are dming me when they listen to the podcast. Or this is what people said at Word camp on how to make or improve their experience with gravity forms.

So that’s how I dip my, my toes in the product side of gravity forms. And that’s keeps you busy most of the day.

The WP minute is just five minutes of WordPress news every week.

I don’t want to say hot take, but it’s just a monologue on core concepts or things that are happening in the WordPress space that I will comment on.

That’s on the WP Minute podcast. And then WP minute Plus is just interviews with other WordPress professionals around the space.

And yeah, that’s sort of continuing my work that I had started with Matreport years ago.

[00:24:34] Speaker B: I love it. I love that you and Matt Cromwell kind of vibe for the position of the other mat, right? Like we all know Matt Melon is like the mat in WordPress, right? But I love the friendly banter that happens around the mats in the space.

[00:24:51] Speaker C: But it’s funny how Cromwell has followed along and started his own.

[00:24:58] Speaker B: Just saying, right? Just saying. I mean, yeah, it was. I don’t think a lot of people know about this, but in 2022 I made a version of the guess who game that kids play where they flip little people up and down and you ask questions like, is your person wearing a hat? That kind of thing. Only I replaced all of the cards with WordPress people and gave it as a gift to Matt Mullenweg at state of the word in 2022. And I had your picture in there. And instead of having. Because I just had first names in there. Right. But I also had Matt Mullenweg in there. So under your picture it just said other Matt.

[00:25:35] Speaker C: Nice, nice.

[00:25:36] Speaker B: That was a lot of fun.

[00:25:38] Speaker C: He went home and ripped my face out of it.

[00:25:41] Speaker B: Like, who can I put it here?

[00:25:42] Speaker C: Instead he put in another picture of himself and said another mat and put it in.

[00:25:49] Speaker B: That’s right. How funny. Or just saxophone player underneath or something like that. Right, too funny. But that was a lot of fun, though. Okay, so let’s move into our rapid fire questions. They’re not really rapid. You can take the time you need to answer them. And I really do need a better name for this section of the podcast because I always say they’re not really rapid. And so I just sound like I don’t know what I’m doing. But other than that, let’s go ahead.

[00:26:11] Speaker C: And move into the rapid, not really rapid segment of the show.

[00:26:14] Speaker B: Yes, exactly. I actually formatted this after James Lipton inside the actor studio where at the end he asks everybody the same set of questions. And so that’s what this is. They’re not really rapid, but here we go. Anyway, what are two or three must have plugins that you would recommend to somebody building their own website?

[00:26:32] Speaker C: Of course, I’m going to say gravity forms, right? If you have a concept integrations and connecting stuff to your WordPress site, no better choice then I’m going to go with one that I really liked in 2023, which was the block visibility plugin by Nick Diego.

Really cool. You can make a lot of just tons of visibility options. Hide this at a certain time, hide this on a certain device, show this at a certain time, and all kinds of the geo location is fantastic plugin, well made and a great UI block visibility plugin. And then I’ll give a third, which will definitely be hot. Take the Gutenberg plugin so that you can extend the core block functionality and sort of stay a step ahead of what’s going to come in the next iteration or the next versions of WordPress. You sort of get a chance to stay ahead a bit in a fairly safe way. There’s a. I think there actually is a beta or like future feature checkmark you can enable. So I think everything in Gutenberg is stable. Doesn’t mean it’s like, you know, beta or alpha, but it does give you a step ahead of what’s coming to WordPress. So that’s what I would do four.

[00:27:44] Speaker B: Years ago that might have gotten you some hate mail, but I think you’re probably safe now.

[00:27:50] Speaker C: If you found a clip of me four years ago, I’d be like, don’t even put it on.

[00:27:54] Speaker B: No, don’t play that.

Going back to the gravity forms for a second, and I meant to say this earlier, so I should have been an affiliate all along because running my meetup, I have sold gravity forms to so many people, so you’re welcome. But.

But I had a couple and it’s funny cause they’re like, we’re not wordpressers, they’re business people. She’s a quilter and he does wood turning, but they’re an integral part of our local meetup. And so he said we need something for Kathy to be able to sell her mail in quilts. So, like, I create a quilt and I mail it into her and then how big is it? What kind of batting do you want? What kind of pattern do you want? What kind of edging do you like? All of these different features and things like that. And she says, how do you think I could do that? I’m like, I think gravity forms could probably handle that for you. Okay, great. So they go and they buy gravity forms. They’re like, okay, how do I do it? I’m like, I have no idea.

But it worked. And she has all of these pictures, and you can choose things. And so it was a very robust solution for them. So I just wanted to kind of let you know that that was something that I was able to help them a little bit. But then they actually, they did open a support ticket to get some assistance in getting it to look exactly what they wanted to. And it really, it’s a really good feature.

[00:29:09] Speaker C: So, yeah, that’s awesome stuff.

[00:29:11] Speaker B: Anyway, at any point in your WordPress career, have you had a mentor, whether it was somebody officially a mentor, somebody who took you under their wing unofficially, or somebody that you kind of looked up to to emulate in an unofficial way?

[00:29:24] Speaker C: Yeah. So when I started the agency again, providence meetup again, it’s filled with a bunch of WordPress rock stars. It was along with Jonathan and Jeff, there was also Jesse Friedman, who now works for Automatic, I think, under the WP cloud brand, and Jake Goldman, Jay Tripp. A lot of folks that when we all have now done tremendous things in their careers. But when I was starting the agency, Jake Goldman was starting ten up at the same time. And I would often meet up with him for coffee.

One, because when he was growing, he needed help and I had a team, so he kind of outsourced a lot of the, his early projects to me because he was growing so fast.

But he really helped me sort of get my mind right for the agency space. So it was an unofficial mentorship. We kind of collaborated, and then he just took off like a rocket and grew his agency quite large, you know, where we stayed pretty small, but I got a lot of good help from him in the early days.

[00:30:33] Speaker B: Nice. And what I heard is he has you to thank for that meteoric growth.

[00:30:37] Speaker C: Yes.

[00:30:39] Speaker B: You’re listening, Jake, who is somebody that you admire in the WordPress community and why. And you can’t say any of the people you just said.

[00:30:49] Speaker C: Yeah. So I wrote down the answer to this. I’m going to take cheap way out. Okay. And here’s my answer. It’s not one person, but it’s anyone who hasn’t given up on the core concepts of WordPress, like what I was mentioning at the top of the show.

There’s a lot of folks that just.

And it’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with this. You come in, you start to use WordPress for what it is and you come in, you get whatever it is you need to get done and then okay, that was great, thanks. WordPress buy, there’s those and there’s nothing wrong that’s part of this. Um, you know, but there are folks who just don’t see the, the inherent value of WordPress as a scalable solution for their business and they just look for the next, like just give me the next shiny thing. Give me the next thing that’s just faster, cheaper, better, right? Uh, or you, you see this really like religiously with uh, page builder plugins where it’s just, man, just give me the next thing. Oh, this one doesn’t do it anymore. Give me this one over here. And he’s like, take this off the shelf. And WordPress is terrible, but we’re going to use this uh, this page builder plugin which is so much better. It’s like, well, but, but it’s on like can’t have that without this, right? Like, so let’s give back and let’s understand this open source uh, nature that, that we have, that so many people have cultivated. Whether you agree with the direction or not, it’s the most democratic piece of software that humanity has in my opinion, maybe the Linux kernel, um, but I don’t even know how delegated that is these days. So anyone who hasn’t sort of given up on that, yes, it’s been rough, there have been some rough patches. And yes we didn’t all get what we wanted, but that’s life, isn’t it?

That’s a lot of things. And for all of the bumps and bruises this thing is still here. So if you haven’t given up on that part of WordPress, then I’m here for you.

[00:32:51] Speaker B: Following that answer, I’m going to ask you if you’ve ever run politics, if you’ve ever political office, because that was the most political answer, I think.

In a good way. In a good way.

[00:33:02] Speaker C: I mean you listen, I say no now, but I would love to in the future because I feel like without going on a political rant, I think local politics is where a lot of people should spend a lot more time learning and understanding the core concepts because we’ll never affect like what’s happening way up here, but we can affect what’s way down here and affect more people and help more people if we spent that energy focused on stuff at home. And I would love to do that. And I feel like a lot of the core concepts I see in WordPress can be applied in the local government because it is a human thing. At the end of the day, it’s not the PHP and the JavaScript and the AI, not yet anyway. It’s us humans that we have to affect.

[00:33:57] Speaker B: So I agree 100%, absolutely and we’ll talk later because I have had a political career, so I can.

[00:34:05] Speaker C: Michelle, you have had every position ever created in the world that is not entirely true.

[00:34:14] Speaker B: Firemen, but fair enough. So a lot of things I’ve never done, but yes, I do like to have experiences in my life.

What’s something you want to learn in WordPress but that you haven’t tackled yet?

[00:34:28] Speaker C: Hinted at this before and I’d love to get into it again. I want to get, I want to. Everyone’s loving this AI stuff. I interviewed the cow WP and WP Turbo founders for the WP minute, both AI tools for helping you build things with WordPress. I just need to like take a weekend and just absorb those platforms and I just want to be able to, I want to build little, little feet, there’s like little features I want in WordPress and I feel like I should be able to do this. Like I want to be able to, I don’t want to be able to publish a post without checking things off. Yeah, and I think there are some plugins that like do that, but there’s certain things that I want to put in it, like my words, my way and I want to be able to do that. And I feel like AI coding could help me achieve that without being a developer.

[00:35:24] Speaker B: Yeah, I heard a lot of people having good luck with it, so keep me posted on how that goes for you.

[00:35:30] Speaker C: Yeah.

[00:35:31] Speaker B: What’s one of the biggest mistakes that you’ve ever made in WordPress and what did you learn from it?

[00:35:37] Speaker C: Envy is what I wrote down and that’s not really a WordPress thing, but coming from a WordPress like creator angle is something that I still struggle with every single day. Right. So it’s just like, you know, that person has a bigger YouTube channel, that person has a better podcast. My God, their website looks amazing and mine doesn’t. And it’s just like I constantly get stuck in.

Friend of probably both shows, Brian Krogsgaard, you see him go, forget WordPress, I’m going bitcoin. And all of a sudden it’s like 70,000 times bigger than WordPress. And then I’m just like, what am I doing down here in WordPress land? Let me focus on something else. So it’s just like, this constant. Like, I never feel like I’ve produced enough or did it the best way. And always looking at the. But it’s a bit of a roller coaster ride, and I, you know, good days and bad days is what I’ve learned.

[00:36:42] Speaker B: Yep. No, I think that’s really good. Okay. Let’s look at the opposite side of that, though. What’s your proudest WordPress moment?

[00:36:49] Speaker C: Still doing it since 2010 is what I wrote down. So I still hitting publish on a blog or a podcast or a YouTube video. I feel like I haven’t given up on that. And those days where it’s like, why continue to do this? And then you’ll randomly just. I’m sure you get this all the time. Michelle is like, you get a DM. Like, hey, that episode really helped. Or I’ll get a reply to the newsletter. Goes. Goes out. Yes. You know, thanks for, you know, thinking of this end user this way. It really, you know, really helps. And those. Those kinds of feedback loops are really great. Right? So not giving up on this and having the folks be like, hey, I love the show. Love the podcast. Every now and again buys me six more months of Runway.

[00:37:41] Speaker B: Absolutely.

I get so many of the messages where people assume that I know everything or I know everyone, or I can help them because I have nothing but time on my hands. Those can be very frustrating. Right. So, hey, can you help me find a job doing this? Hey, can you do this? Like, I’m not a headhunter, and I don’t have unlimited resources to just spend free time helping people. Job search. I love that people think I have that ability, and I could just, like, you know, snap my fingers, and there it goes.

And so for all of those ones that are frustrating or sometimes angering because the way people actually expect things from me as opposed to just asking, but it’s humbling at the same time to realize that people do believe that you have that kind of, whether it’s authority, power, connections, whatever it is. But then you will get the one. I got one not too long ago from somebody who said, you know, that I had helped sponsor them through my selfie challenge I did last year to award, to speak at a word camp, and that one of the projects that I am part of helped them find a permanent job. I’m like, I’m not gonna lie. I cried. I was like, that’s amazing that anything that I put onto the world has helped this one person that much, that it was all worth it. So. Yeah, totally. I understand that. Pretty cool. I’m not crying.

If you weren’t working in web, web tech, I’m going to guess you wouldn’t go back to selling cars. But what is another career that you might like to attempt?

[00:39:07] Speaker C: I want to buy a pickup truck and a lawnmower and cut grass. And that’s it.

There’s no one like, the grass color doesn’t change that. Blue isn’t the blue that we committee thought of.

[00:39:23] Speaker B: What’s the hex code for that green.

[00:39:26] Speaker C: You want me to cut the grass?

Weed wagon and clean up. Extra, extra. And just like take all those core concepts. Have a great website, of course, great email automation, marketing, like all that stuff that a lot of competitors might not do, but just, I just show up with one truck, one lawnmower. No other people, maybe my sons, when they get older and just cut grass, it’s just so easy. And that’s what I want to do is. And I’m moving and I’m healthier and that’s.

[00:39:57] Speaker B: And drinking your water.

[00:39:59] Speaker C: Don’t forget my water.

[00:40:01] Speaker B: I think that sounds like a great retirement job. It’s like, okay, I’m going to hang up the headphones and I’m going to cut grass. I love it. Or actually, you wear different kind of headphones for ear protection. But that’s another story for what is something on your bucket list?

[00:40:16] Speaker C: I would like to retire early. I would like to stop working before I kick the bucket. On the bucket list is.

Is just stop working. Um, it’s something that I’ve seen my entire lineage of, uh, of, uh, adult males in my family do. Like, my dad’s still working, he’s still building websites, and I’m just like, still having same customer issues. I’m just like, why? Why don’t you want to do it anymore? Right? I might never stop, like, publishing content. Um, but if I can sort of roll that into something that is, uh, not so much work, uh, that would be fantastic.

[00:40:58] Speaker B: Something you want to do versus something you have to do, right? Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Okay, so now this is one of my favorite questions because all the answers and all the things people do are so different. But here it is. Show us or tell us about a hidden talent you have that the WordPress community might not know about.

[00:41:17] Speaker C: This is the whole, this is the biggest letdown of the podcast. I don’t know if I have a talent.

I’m really not.

[00:41:24] Speaker B: Maybe it’s an interest. Maybe it’s an interest.

[00:41:25] Speaker C: Instead, I can touch my nose with my tongue.

[00:41:29] Speaker B: That is a talent.

[00:41:31] Speaker C: Has anyone ever done that on the podcast?

[00:41:33] Speaker B: No, but interestingly, I recorded an early episode earlier today with Nathan Wrigley. So apparently I’m podcasting the podcasters today, and his hidden talent had to do with his tongue as well. So I don’t know what there is about this.

[00:41:45] Speaker C: What is happening here.

Me and Nathan.

[00:41:47] Speaker B: What is going on?

[00:41:50] Speaker C: I’m going to start a podcast with Nathan the talented tongues. It would be actually pretty good.

That’s right.

[00:41:56] Speaker B: Now you have to show us, though, if you like. Oh, yes, you can. Okay, then. All right.

[00:42:01] Speaker C: There we go. That’s what I got. That’s the biggest talent. The biggest talent slash letdown of 2024 has just been recorded on the podcast.

[00:42:09] Speaker B: There you have it, folks.

If people are interested in getting in touch with you for either gravity forms, the WP minute, or any of your things, how do we find you? What are the websites? What are the details?

[00:42:21] Speaker C: Yeah, gravity dot. You can find all the socials, gravity forms or gravity on Twitter and wpminute. The, the, not just the And then Matt Baderis on Twitter Slash x is where you can find me.

[00:42:41] Speaker B: Perfect. Anything that you want to talk about that I neglected to ask you about today? Ooh, here’s a chance.

[00:42:53] Speaker C: No, you know, I think I’ll say since it’s early 2024 is, I think we’re on my prediction. One of my predictions for 2024 is we will see an uptick in the interest of WordPress, especially as we get closer to a redesigned admin.

I think there’s still a lot of naysayers around WordPress complexity, onboarding, yada yada, all that stuff. I get it. I am much more positive on the direction of site editor and site builder, but I think once we start to see and try out newer versions of the admin experience, we’re going to see a lot more interest. So I think if you’re getting into WordPress now, especially from the business side of the service, designer, developer, even AI stuff, we’re going to be on this uptick, in my opinion, and this next 2024, certainly into 2025, I think there’s going to be another boom in WordPress like we saw in 2008, 2009 ish with a revamped admin back then, and that kind of made it really easier to use. And I think we’re going to see the same kind of thing happen again.

[00:44:12] Speaker B: That was before my time in WordPress, so I will have to take your word on that. I was a 2011 adopter so I missed that.

But I was here for Gutenberg and that’s all. I’ll just leave that there.

Thank you so much, Matt, for taking the time to join me today. I really enjoyed having more conversation with you. So thank you.

[00:44:32] Speaker C: Thanks, Michelle.

[00:44:34] Speaker B: My pleasure. We’ll see everybody else on the next episode of WP Coffee Talk.

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