It’s no secret that I love WordPress.
I mean, seriously, I really, really love WordPress as a blogging platform and as an easy-to-understand Content Management System. But, did you know that I’m one of the three most important people in WordPress? No, for real! And, I have a certificate from Matt Mullenweg himself to prove it!
Okay, so, yeah, I know, I’m not really one of the most important people in WordPress, outside of being one of millions of users who do, in fact, make WordPress a force to be reckoned with. But, we only manage that as a group, as a community. No, that certificate is a joke. Literally. It’s a joke from Matt Mullenweg, founding developer of WordPress, regarding an incident some weeks back involving a theme developer who didn’t want to use the GPL, which is the software license that WordPress uses and all theme developers are required to use. I know people will disagree, but, based on my understanding of the GPL, any derivative works of a product that uses the GPL must also use the GPL. So, really, for most of their code, theme developers are required to use the GPL. Honestly, I’ve never worried about it. I mean, mostly, it’s a bunch of legal speak that means very little to the average end-user.
One of the things that this theme developer claimed, erroneously, was that he was one of the “three most important people in WordPress” because he felt that so many people used his theme. I think he may have been surprised at how many of those folks jumped ship when they found out there was something wrong with that theme and its license.
In any case, what does matter to us about all this is that Matt took that attention and made a marketing opportunity out of it. For starters, he started buying people premium themes that didn’t violate the GPL as a kind of protest and a way to draw attention to how serious he is about supporting the GPL. And lots of people took him up on the offer. But, apparently, someone griped about not wanting a premium theme or something and so, instead, Matt made a second offer to those of us who didn’t want, or couldn’t decide on, a premium theme. He offered us free t-shirts.
Well, I’m always up for a free t-shirt, especially one that advertises something I believe in and use, so I was on this offer like white on rice. Now, I can only imagine how many people also took advantage of this, too, but I went to his website, and filled out the form and sent off my e-mail like a kid sending in his box-tops for his toy surprise. And, then I forgot about it. I try to do that, frankly, when I enter contests and such. Like casting my bread upon the water, I do what I need to do to enter and then forget it. That way, if something does arrive, I’m pleasantly surprised. That’s just what I was this past Friday when I found the package from Matt in my mailbox; pleasantly surprised!
As you can see from the picture, the t-shirt came with a few other things.
First of all, there were all kinds of stickers, which I love. It reminds me of the old days when you got swag at the conventions and covered your laptop in stickers. But, there was also an iPhone skin and pencils and, of course, the certificate, which made me laugh out loud.
I’ve already worn the t-shirt, which, as you can see, says “Code is poetry” on the front. What you can’t tell from the photograph is that the t-shirt reads “WordPress.org” and has the official WordPress logo on the back. Frankly, that’s the part I love.
Now, all I need to do is actually read all those books I’ve gotten on WordPress theme design and get working on it…
Anyway, thanks for all the stuff, Matt!