WordCamp Nashville and WordPress 5.0

On last week’s Core Intuition, Daniel and I talked more about WordPress 5.0 and the disruption that will be caused by the new block-based editor, Gutenberg. Daniel also addresses compatibility with MarsEdit in a blog post.

Meanwhile, WordCamp US was a few days ago in Nashville. WordPress founding developer Matt Mullenweg gave his State of the Word talk to wrap up the conference. The talk + Q&A is long, over 1.5 hours, but provides a detailed overview of Gutenberg and where WordPress is going.

There were a few things Matt said that stood out for me, all in response to the same question. Matt says:

I think our mistake — really the mistake of the past decade — is we didn’t do the work to create Gutenberg until 2 years ago. We didn’t start it. Because every time we’d start it, it got really controversial, or it got mired in technical details, or it was just too acrimonious. We’d be too worried about backwards compatibility or something to really take it to term, to fruition, to where it’s something we can actually take and present to the world.

And then:

Twitter used to be called microblogging, right? Many of them have these basic elements of publishing, embedding images, commenting, sorts of things. And you could actually build most of these services on a WordPress backbone. They weren’t because because we weren’t innovating enough on the user experience. I think we’re actually now leapfrogging.

And closing the answer with:

And this I think gives us an opportunity to capture the web that was. And whether we do so or not, though, depends 100% on the user experiences we create.

I love Matt’s answer to this question, and I think Matt’s right that Gutenberg is what WordPress needs to take it through the next 15 years. But I don’t think it’s great for short-form blogging. As WordPress becomes more sophisticated to meet the needs of web folks who want more advanced layout or CMS-like features, I want to make Micro.blog easier and faster for blogs.