A Teenage Woman’s Perspective On The State of The Word

Hello everyone! This year I got the chance to go to the State of the Word, which is a talk given by Matt Mullenweg each year at WordCamp US (WCUS). Here are my thoughts and views on this year’s State of the Word.

Before he even got started with the State of the Word, Matt premiered a new documentary that focuses on the fact that WordPress is both open source and also a big community. The documentary takes you to WordCamp Phoenix, WordCamp US (2018), and others. It also gives you first-hand exposure to what the community is really like.

Another thing that the film emphasizes, is the fact that everyone wants everyone in the community to succeed, and this might be one of the unique features of the WordPress community — how members are supportive of each other.

Let’s Get Started!

Matt discussed several milestones and release notes for WordPress.

Two different releases within a year:

  • WordPress 5.1: Developer Experience Improvements 
  • WordPress 5.2: New Widgets, which can be shown or hidden

The future of releases:

WordPress 5.3

  • November 12
  • Over 150 block editor improvements
  • Twenty Twenty theme
  • Admin Email Verification
  • Time/Date Component Fixes
  • PHP 7.4 Cap
  • MinPHP 5.6.20

Mobile

  • Got Gutenberg on mobile 
  • Almost done with offline mode
  • DARK MODE 8

Social

  • 141 WordCamps 
  • About 15 KidsCamp
  • HeroPress
  • There is going to be a new scholarship to bring more people to WCUS

Let’s Time Travel…

A Year Ago

  • People did not like Gutenberg

Today

  • They have added motion
  • Typewritter mode
  • Block previews

Future

  • SOCIAL ICONS!!! (This is going to be a Gutenberg block)
  • The Navigation block/editor
  • GRADIENTS (I’m excited!)
  • Multi-Button Block
  • Block Directory 
  • Block patterns 

Community

  • There are so many different sites just using the block editor.
  • You are able to use Microsoft Word with the new editor using the Copy and Paste method.

Beyond

Gutenberg is about 20% done. There are going to be 4 phases of Gutenberg:

  • Easier Editing
  • Customization
  • Collaboration
  • Multilingual

Our Path Forward…

  • Help be the change 
    • Go to Contributor Day
    • Design Experiments by the WordPress team.
  • More Blocks!
    • Learn JavaScript Deeply. 
  • Help Teach the change
  • There are meetups everywhere
  • Help open the web. 
  • Five for the future

My Thoughts

As a young person…

As I was listening to the talk, I did find some golden gems that I thought my generation might be able to take advantage of and use to the benefit of both our generation and also the WordPress community.

One of those things is the new documentary that shows how open the WordPress Community really is.

Another thing, and yes, I am serious about this, is the fact that they are adding gradients to the WordPress editor for the Gutenberg blocks. I think that addition is going to bring out the artistic side of those of us who do not know how to do gradients in code yet.

That time I asked Matt Mullenweg a question…

One of the major things that I did during my WordCamp US trip happened during the Q&A Session which is right after the State of the Word. I decided to try to ask a question of my own.

Me asking Matt Mullenweg a question

And to summarize, I asked what was Matt’s plan for the inclusion of the next generation of WordPress users. His response to that is the fact that Automattic bought Tumblr and is going to turn the back end of their site into a Gutenberg-centric WordPress interface.

I do not think that this is a bad thing. In fact, I think that this is a good thing because of the fact that Tumblr is something that is attracting the younger generation of users.

I think Tumblr’s addition is going to be targeted towards some of the same people who are already using WordPress, and I was just hoping for a start to something that is able to capture a new group of people who are not using Tumblr to blog.

And now I know what you are thinking, Doesn’t KidsCamp already attract the younger generation? I LOVE KidsCamp and everyone and everything to do with KidsCamp. But here is the thing, KidsCamp is something that happens in less than half of the WordCamps inside of the United States, and getting there might be difficult for some parents, especially if they are going to bring their kids with them.

In conclusion

The organization of the whole event played out nicely. The media (or the people who tweet the most) got to sit in the front rows for the convenience of taking photos and notes.

There was no line for any of it, therefore we got the chance to fully enjoy the afternoon break that came right before the State of the Word.

I’m glad I got to ask my question to Matt. I think that there are some different ways that different people from the WordPress community are able to step in and help, beyond Tumblr, and beyond KidsCamp.

But that is going to come inside of a different blog post later in the future.