The WordPress Helpers is here—besides to be helpful, of course—for two reasons. We love WordPress, and WordPress is HUGE. Big market, big target. Big deal.
WordPress is so big, in fact, that WordPress parent Automattic Inc. has realized that its continued growth is in jeopardy. This is partially because there comes a point where your market share either can’t or shouldn’t be expected to get any larger, and in part because WordPress has been run for quite a while more like a labor of love than like a mature, hugely influential business.
Last week, Automattic head honcho Matt Mullenweg visited WordPress lovefest Pressnomics, where he said WordPress’ continued
growth success depends on The WordPress Community at large taking a different stance; it’s time to start looking outward more than inward. Smart, Matt. The idea The WordPress Helpers is based on, in fact.
But I digress. The other thing Matt said at Pressnomics is that Jetpack, a collection of WordPress add-on software that does … well, a lot … is central to WordPress’ growth. Matt went so far as to connect Jetpack market share to WordPress’ health.
At The WordPress Helpers we‘ve always have a love/hate relationship with Jetpack. Jetpack gives you a lot of powerful tools, and as with WordPress itself Jetpack is free. And we’re OK that Automattic mandates you keep Jetpack updated for security purposes. But Jetpack is a little bit less free than you might have realized; it collects a lot of data about your website’s use and traffic, and Automattic, being the ever-huger entity it is and relying on advertising for the bulk of its revenue, will be using that information to … well, let’s just assume it’s not purely about “democratizing publishing”.
Jetpack market share matters to everything WordPress. If you’re in the WordPress Community, Jetpack is no mere plug-in; it matters to you, too.