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Speed Magazine

WordPress founder visits Manila

WordPress founder visits Manila
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Meet WordPress’ founding developer and the soon-to-be-official first WordPress employee in the Philippines.

The founding developer of the world’s most popular blogging platform and CEO of Automattic Matt Mullenweg was in Manila on June 9 and 10 for the final leg of his Asian tour for the WordPress Community Meet-up.

On June 9, Speed, together with a handful of tech journalists, had the opportunity to meet and talk to Mullenweg during an exclusive round table at The Globe Tower in Taguig. He gamely and openly answered questions from the press across a long table before he addressed a room full of WordPress bloggers, developers, designers, and enthusiasts, where he shared his knowledge about the trends in Web technology and the success behind WordPress.

One objective of the trip is for him to learn the culture of each country he visited, which he hopes he can use to develop new products specifically designed for the region. WordPress, in fact, is already planning to release 100 percent translations of the open-source blogging site to the local language of the countries he visited.

“Two-thirds of the audience of and Automattic are outside the U.S. But this is only about 15 percent of our revenue, so there’s a huge disparity between the usage we have in other countries and the business side of it,” Mullenweg told the small group of media members.

WordPress sees Asia as a big market for the open-source blogging site. True to WordPress’ mission, Mullenweg said that they want to make it easy for anyone in the world to have a beautiful, free, and powerful website regardless of how much money they have or what country they are in.

In connection, the visit is a way for the company to hire new people who can help with the project region-specific projects as well as to further spread the WordPress brand.

The company already hired one “happiness engineer” in Sri Lanka and another in India. Mullenweg happily shared that they are also in the process of hiring one from the Philippines, in the person of a Filipino blogger, businessman, and WordPress enthusiast Andrew dela Serna.

To open two data centers in Asia (Singapore and Hong Kong), WordPress’ parent company, Automattic, held a successful fundraising activity last month, which  raised $160 million. Part of this sum was used for the expansion in Asia.  According to Mullenweg, this will ensure faster delivery of services in the region.

Mullenweg started his tour in South Korea, and then flew to Indonesia, Singapore, and Japan before coming to the Philippines. After the activities here, he will proceed to Australia and New Zealand.

Words Patricia Mae Calica


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