Millions of new sites created and posts published later, 2014 is in the books. We could regale you with big numbers, like these…
… but the most important part of Automattic is what you make with the tools we offer. This year, we thought we’d look back at some of your successes, and how we were able to support the incredible things you created and shared.
To Publish a Mockingbird
With beautifully detailed portraits finished with bodies out of a toddler’s dream, the drawings illustrator Mica creates with her four-year-old daughter are captivating — the post of images she published on Busy Mockingbird has been viewed over 1.1 millions times. After over 10,000 readers shared the post to Facebook, few were feeds without the link, and big names soon came calling: Yahoo. Buzzfeed. NBC.
Spurred by the post’s popularity, Mica launched a Kickstarter campaign to self-publish a book that handily met its fundraising goal. They now have a second volume of animal drawings along with the book based on the original collaboration, and the latest post on Busy Mockingbird reports on her recent trip to New York City for a showing of their otherworldly creations.
We love that we were able to help Mica’s many new fans see her beautiful work without a hitch!
The Birth of an Author
Meaghan O’Connell’s touching, raw account of the her labor and first child’s birth has been viewed over 100,000 times. At 14,000+ words, A Birth Story is a reading investment — but one with an excellent return, for the reader and Meaghan.
Meaghan began telling her story in emails to friends, and Longreads editor Mike Dang encouraged her to adapt it into an essay. When it was published, the internet floodgates opened. A Birth Story was picked up by Dave Pell’s Next Draft, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, and Hacker News, and made it to the 2014 best-of lists on Gawker and Digg.
Luckily for those of us who love great writing, we’ll be seeing a lot more of Meaghan: New York magazine offered her a weekly column, and she’s in talks with three different publishers to turn A Birth Story into a full-length book.
We’re thrilled for the successes of Meaghan, Longreads, and all the WordPress.com bloggers who made the leap from pixel to page this year.
Blogging is Not the Hardest Part
Emily Austin started The Waiting (at the clever URL “notthehardestpart.com“) in 2011 to chronicle her experience of parenthood. Her openness and empathy drew in parents and non-parents alike, helping her build a community 13,000 strong.
Her incisive but relatable writing made Emily one of a handful of bloggers nominated as a BlogHer Voice of the Year, and we got to meet her when she participated on a WordPress.com panel at BlogHer’s annual conference.
During our chat, we celebrated another 2014 milestone: her new job as an online communications specialist for a local non-profit. The work she put into creating and nurturing The Waiting — design, writing, community outreach — sparked a new passion and helped her develop a new set of skills that she now gets to use every day.
Think writing a blog is just like keeping a journal? It can be, but Emily knows it can be much more.
Naptime Writing Storms the Stage
Christine Harkin, the writer behind Naptime Writing, was another of the 22 WordPress.com bloggers recognized as a BlogHer Voice of the Year, and another of our mini-panelists.
We were so struck by the humor and writing wisdom on offer during the panel that when the organizers of WordCamp San Francisco were looking for speakers to be part of the event’s blogging track, we suggested her without hesitation. Her presentation, Finding and Maintaining Your Blog’s Voice, was full of her trademark wit — and of course, inspiring, actionable blogging advice.
The strong and vibrant community behind WordPress is its biggest strength, and Automattic works hard to contribute to the fabric.
Behind everything Automattic does are 301 Automatticians:
- 66 Happiness Engineers responded to your requests for assistance 365,212 times.
- Every one of our 134 developers worked on the improvements and enhancements we’ve been rolling out over the past few weeks.
- 9 systems engineers kept everyone’s sites running fast and secure.
- 8 editors shepherded over 22,000 of you through Blogging U. courses.
- 24 themers made 96 stunning new layouts and dozens of customization improvements available.
And of course, along with all 301 of us and the four writers and artists profiled above, there was you, creating those 18 million new blogs and 555 million new posts, giving us the 24,485,420,085,002 bytes of data we moved around every hour.
Those bytes aren’t just little packets of code winging around the internet’s series of tubes (at least, they’re not just that). They carry stories. Memories. Voices. Relationships. Experiences. They’re your essays, your photos, your poems, your drawings. Every time a piece of what you’ve created pops up on someone’s screen, you expand someone’s universe, just a little, and they expand yours — which is the real power of WordPress.com, and of the internet.
Thanks for letting us being a part of your 2014. Here’s to 2015; we can’t wait to see what next year’s look back will contain.
Interested in being a part of our motley but merry crew?
Automattic: it’s made of people!
We hired 95 people in 2014, from systems engineers to theme designers to accountants, and we’ll be hiring many more in 2015.