This Week in WordPress #153

“There’s always hope!”

This week’s WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing Monday 1st March 2021

With Nathan Wrigley, Paul Lacey (@wp_paullacey), Birgit Pauli-Haack (@bph) and Spencer Forman.

You can find the Newsletter here which has all the links mentioned in this episode:

We focus on the following stories:

Elementor Raises Eyebrows with Google Ads Targeting Full-Site Editing

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Create Alexa Skills right inside of WordPress with Shoutworks – WP Builds Weekly WordPress Podcast #219

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Doing business in WordPress: missed opportunities

When It’s (Not?) Burnout

WordPress Community vs WordPress Economy

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Transcript (if available)

These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.

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Nathan Wrigley: [00:00:00] It's time for this week in WordPress episode number 153 entitled. There's always hope it was recorded on Monday the 8th of March, 2021. I'm joined this week as always by my car host Paul Lacey, but also this week by a bigot hack and slightly later than expected Spencer foreman drops in about an hour into the show.
We talk a lot about a particular article, the very first one, which consumes most of the show is an article all about elementor raising eyebrows with them. The Google ads that they've been producing recently, we then go on to talk about money or camels editor plus, and the way that you can now use it to create template libraries.
We then get into a conversation about AI and voice technology around Amazon Alexa and other rival products. And we talk about how Bitcoin the Bitcoin mining network is using more power than the entire country of Argentina. There's a lot more tagged on towards the end as well. But I highly recommend the show to you.
I hope that you enjoy it this week in WordPress is brought to you by cloud ways. Cloudways is a managed cloud hosting platform that ensures simplicity, performance and security. It offers cloud service from five different cloud providers that you can manage through its intuitive platform. Some of the features include 24 seven support free migrations and dedicated firewalls.
Check it [email protected] and buy AB split test. Do you want to set up your AB split tests in record time? Like in a couple of minutes, use your existing pages and test anything against anything else? Buttons, images, headers, rows, anything. And the best part is it works with Elementor Beaver builder and the WordPress block editor.
You can check it out and get a free demo that AB split Hello. Hello everybody. Welcome back to another episode of this week in WordPress world number good grief, 103, and I'm joined as always by Paul. How are you today, Paul?
Paul Lacey: [00:02:22] Doing good. Thank you very much, Nathan. You're right.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:02:25] Yeah, I'm good.
You've got a nice background. There's a, there's been changes.
Paul Lacey: [00:02:30] A wool with two holes in it is definitely an improvement on desk time. Sorry.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:02:35] It's nice. It's really nice. It's nice to see you anyway. Nice to have you have your back. Paul is of course the cohost of the show. I don't know why I introduce him.
Really. Paul, you should be introducing me. I think you're doing a better job at reading. That next week
Paul Lacey: [00:02:51] I'll introduce you
Nathan Wrigley: [00:02:53] more. Yeah, a hundred percent of nothing is still
Paul Lacey: [00:02:57] nothing. Cool. I'm happy with that. Yeah. Brilliant.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:03:01] Today. We're also joined by bill Gates. How are you
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:03:03] doing big it I'm okay. I'm okay.
Thank you for for having me. Yeah. So it's a wonderful morning in Florida. Ah. Yes.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:03:15] I had forgotten that I had totally forgotten that you were in Florida. You've got the most impressive. You look very knowledgeable big it's background. For those of you that are listening is just one of it's like an academic's background is row upon row of intellectual looking books.
Paul's got a White's background and I've got children's books just there.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:03:36] Yeah. My background is going to change because I'm going to move. Yeah, we're moving good. Just saying we are almost ready to sign the lease in a different town in Florida still, but the nice ones is going to be really. Yeah. Dominated by packing
Nathan Wrigley: [00:03:54] those books.
Maybe if we have you on at some point in the future. Yeah, there'll be the same shelves.
Paul Lacey: [00:04:02] Sorry, ask the question. Florida, is that what you call an open state? At the moment in terms of all the shops and restaurants and stuff, or is Florida closed, what's the situation
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:04:14] there? There's the governor said he's not gonna mandate mass, but some counties in some municipalities do, and we have been self isolating.
For almost a year, tomorrow is going to be a year. Dang sorry.

But yeah, so it's restaurants are open. Yeah. We're social distancing and Yeah, but there's a lot of snowbirds coming down here. It's the time of season, but the economy is still not back to season yet. It's about half. When I, when you're listening to tourism people in the area it's all the Europeans are missing and most of the United States tourists.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:05:01] and over here in the UK and we've got the children went back to school.
Paul Lacey: [00:05:05] Yeah. First day packs a day.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:05:07] Yeah. I can only apologize it was in advance. Somebody who I've agreed would come and do some work on my house at about an hour and a half from now. As decided whilst I was introducing myself a minute ago to come now.
And so they're banging things. So what I'm going to have to do as well. So I'm not speaking, I suspect I'll have to put myself on mute. So if you can hear it, I apologize. If you can't, then it doesn't really matter. But if there's a load of banging than I apologize about that, and I've got to ask, how did you get the three letters, Twitter handle? Because you've got at BPH, like you must've been. About the fourth person to use Twitter or something?
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:05:46] I started Twitter in 2008. I have my 13th year of Twitter, so it was very early and yeah, not everybody gets that. The smaller that is.
Better than the handle would be, but I thought, okay, I have just try it if it's there and it's and I didn't get it on Instagram. So it's a different three-letter on Instagram, but that's did you hear
Nathan Wrigley: [00:06:08] this week that Jack Dorsey has sold a tweet, Jack Dawson tweet on the Twitter platform? And I think it said something like, I'm just trying out my Twitter.
Or something like that. So the first tweet and somebody paid two and a half million dollars to have the metadata rewritten, so that it's there's
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:06:30] yeah, it's grief. It's this whole NFT Movement sounds like a huge speculation kind of thing, but it might be the beginning of something that we will talk about in 15 years.
Yeah. But being the first is so much yeah. Something that rich people really want, but what possible.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:06:51] What possible use? Could you put that to, is he, is that person able to overwrite what was written in that tweet? Do they get to edit it or
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:06:59] what they could use? They can use it on they, they own it so they can license it out for reprinting for putting it on t-shirts for just it's, that's not a copy. It's the original kind of thing. And with all the digital properties that are out there yeah. That can be copied over and over again. Being at images, bearded content, having a blockchain attached to it that makes it the original is maybe something that people would aim for, especially artists and poets or.
Yeah, writers that can be and using black gentleman. There's one in the in the veterans community. I think his name is Stefan. And I don't pronounce his last name, but he's from Holland and he has this WP or that w P or something like that. We're proof. That's pretty much the same idea.
Attaching a blockchain token to a content to say, okay, this is the original. Yeah,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:07:58] Yeah. Yeah. Very strange. Akin to having a classic car in the garage, which you never actually drive and it probably can't even drive. You just own it. And it's the banging is getting louder and louder.
So sincere, apologies. No, you don't the minute. Cause it's just stopped as soon as I on muted my mouth. So that's good. However, as is so often the case this week in WordPress, we've gone totally off and we've started talking about Twitter. So I should probably just introduce what we do and how we do it and all that kind of stuff.
Oh, that's the wrong button. Let me just add that back in again. There we go. That's what I wanted to do. I should also say that we were supposed to be being joined by. A gentlemen called Spencer foreman. And it may be that he's going to join us at some point, you may have been delayed or something.
I'm not entirely sure, but if he pops in during the call, then at least, that voice is Spencer foreman. So I should probably say that right off the top. So we are WP builds. We produce WordPress content. This is our homepage. We've got a subscribe link right at the top, just there. And that gets you to as you'd expect our subscribe page on that page, you can sign up to our newsletters.
Probably the most useful things are joining our Facebook group or using these links to subscribe on your favorite podcast player and so on and so forth. So have a bit of a news archive, and this is where we store it's called this week in WordPress and video. This is where we store all the content.
The content that you're just listening to right now gets repurposed as a podcast episode tomorrow morning. And when they can't make a video out of it and keep it on YouTube, you find all of those there. If you're interested. And lastly, we've got a deals page just here. Which is a searchable filterable list of WordPress deals.
And thus far I haven't removed any, they've been there 24 seven. Although one of them apparently failed this week, but the owner reached out and said, he's going to reinstate it. So that should be good. So that's WP forward slash deals, right enough about that. Let's get onto the actual WordPress news each week.
Paul and I have a bit of a natter on a Friday. Usually about what we're going to talk about. And so divvy up the stories and Paul's going to take the first one, which is on WP Tavern.
Paul Lacey: [00:09:58] Yep. This is an article by Sarah Gooding and it's entitled element or raises eyebrows with Google ads targeting full site editing.
So it's talking about. Element or creating Google ads targeting the phrase full site editing. So for anyone who doesn't really know a full site editing is one of the new things in production or in [email protected] whereby they're trying to create a system where you can.
Edit the headers, the footers, and basically just create an entire theme using the block editor. And but to give a bit of context on this article, first of all, I'm going to try my best to give a kind of context of what this article is about. And then also try to chop it up a little bit into something that.
I F I've read into this article about something a little bit deeper, and I could be wrong, but I'm going to, I'm going to give it a go. So apologies if I don't do a good job with this, but I'm going to try my best here. So anyway, the article starts off by talking about the. A couple of weeks ago, blue host was in a bit of trouble for use misusing the WordPress trademark.
And the article is talking about how was the new stuff that's coming into WordPress on the very, very expansive changes that are coming to WordPress that it's moving itself into. Of areas where it does overlap with commercial products. So there's a lot more sensitivity around the advertising that other companies might use or even what automatic might use itself.
So th that idea of who can use the WordPress trademark, who should use these key words or not, those key words has come up again because. There is some friction between different factions of WordPress community as such in that. Now what's really cool is we've got big it here today.
Who's mentioned in the article and because I think it was you biggie who highlighted this in the post status, Slack community that you noticed, or somebody in your network notice that. Element or the page builder had started targeting the phrase WordPress full site editing. So if you Googled WordPress full site editing, you would see an advert for instance, saying introducing full site editing, design your header footer.
And not only that, there was another advert put out by elemental that was a visual advert. I think I'm not sure if it's a Facebook ad or something like that. And it talks about It says WordPress frustration lists. Elementary, it says, can you imagine how great the WordPress experience could be?
If it was user-friendly and intuitive? We did. It's called elemental. Now these two things might not be actually intrinsically linked in terms of there's been a perceived shot across the bow or an attack on the core aspect of WordPress and trying to belittle the efforts of the the core teams as such.
But the fact is The article does talk about a bit of tit for tat about who came up with the phrase first who used the phrase verse, should this phrase be used by elemental does. And then it goes into the comments at the end. There's a lot of disagreement and arguments around well. Who says that full site editing is a phrase that no one can use because full site editing is a feature.
And then some of the other comments are talking about automatic is using WordPress dot, on, on So that's surely hypocritical and everything. I will pass over to you in a minute bigger because you're in this and a lot more about this than we do because you're talking to these people, but I just wanted to make a wider point if I can, but it does seem to me that the WordPress core.
Is moving into an area that completely overlaps with a very lucrative and large sub community of fed first sector product, which is the page builder essentially, and even potentially the theme. And it seems to me that there's no way that you can look at that if you are, if in the boots of the Elementor or the Beaver builders or the divas and all those different pages and say, Cool is frightening wellbeing.
So I think a lot of the comments at the bottom are saying they've every right to do it. They're a commercial product. And then the other thing that makes me slightly concerned about things is that let's say you work at elemental and there is. Th the team at the core, WordPress OD, saying that your product isn't very good or something like that.
There's almost nobody sitting in the Elementor offices, the actual staff, the people designing the product who are going to be affected by that. The thing that concerns me a little bit and big at you might have a better idea on this is that I feel that the core team at WordPress, I have been under severe pressure and under a lot of.
Scrutiny and criticism for at least two years now. So if you go, if you log into your WordPress dashboard and you go into the plugin section, you'll see a classic editor, five stars, 6 million, however many people are using it. Then you'll see the Gutenberg project two stars and lots of bad reviews.
You'll see page builders protecting their right to be, the best user interface, et cetera, entire sub communities. Laughing at the block editor saying how ridiculous it is, how, but then you've got other factions who are saying it's great. My point is on that is that I feel like the people who are working, these volunteers were working super hard in here.
Are they feeling the stress of this now? Are they feeling under attack and are they feeling quite upset about this in a way that is almost unfair that they're in that position without the protection of a commercial company, looking out for them and giving them an ? I can't do it. No for anonymity. Thank you.
So sorry to Chuck out, literally a million points there, but that was my thoughts on the article. What the article is. And then I just wondered, is there something deeper about the mental health of the overall contributors to WordPress core that is starting to really feel bit beaten up. So big it over to you.
You're in the article. I dunno if you could answer any of my concerns there what's whatever,
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:16:28] but I might not remember all of them, but I start out with so I worked with so on the good New York times, we've published a lot about the full site editing and talked with the team, people that are on the team.
On the themes team and on the on the core editor team about how this is going to be. And we started early in 2019 about it. And so now is the time where we also had an, my coffee head out. So the call for questions, what you need to know about full site editing. And we were just about to edit the 47 questions and answers on Google doc.
And I thought, okay I've just see who else is writing about it or And I I literally put in WordPress full site editing in the search bar. And the first thing I saw was the ad of Elementor, whereas at, okay. So that seems a little bit shady and I put it into a Slack channel on post status, and then somebody asked me back and asked, okay, why do you think shady is soon?
Seems to be really legitimate. And I said, okay. Yeah, sure. If elemental and viewable. Chuck it out on the on the Google ads. That's totally fine with me, but all, both of them standing on the shoulders of giants and diverting users to want to learn more about full site editing in WordPress to the own product is a bit shady.
It has nothing to do was copyright or something like that. But it's also an icon from 20 years on the internet. Google is 1998, came out with a search engine and we know that at least 30% of the people that search on Google don't know that the first results are ads. Yeah. So it's literally diverting the interest of somebody who wants to learn about how is going to be to Elementor and it's nothing.
It's not a legal position that I have. It's just some with that and a mentor is diverting the information flows, so to speak that comes through. Google to the WordPress new feature, somebody wants to learn about it to their own pages. And I just, yeah, it's shady.
And I know I come from a country where comparative advertising is frowned upon. It's actually illegal. I think I have it still in my back of my head that's a little bit shady. That American business is totally different. I totally get it, but I also see that so Robert Jacobi also picked up on it and he quoted Matt Mullenweg, who also showed up in the channel a couple of days later.
And he met Said or road. I think elemental would be successful even if you didn't look. So he addressed it to Penn Ben Pines, who he invited into the from elemental. So he addressed it to that. I think elemental would be successful. Even if you didn't look at the names and features, Gutenberg is launching, then try to co-op them into marketing for that editing is not a widespread generic industry term.
Inside or outside of the veterans community. And that was an argument that Elementor had on the article. And Sarah wrote that I actually preferred, Matt says further, I actually preferred the terms you use before theme builder design systems. So you've copied something that is probably worse. And it's not a trademark thing, just a common decency thing, especially when building a business on top of an all good phase collaborative effort that has created WordPress.
Your Elementor. Okay. On 7 million sites, you raise $15 million. You claim to be the number one free WordPress website builder. And it would be a good time to stop trying to undermine the community efforts in the same space. And we go further when we work together, instead of engage in warfare. I don't what that is, but a good birding, but it's I think that's the heart of the matter is that every business and I'm part of it. Yeah. I. I have built websites. For the last 10 years on top of WordPress, I probably made $7 figures of it of the last 10 years. And the first four years, I wasn't worried about community or something like that.
Only when I got to a word camp in 2014 and interacted with everybody in the community or not everybody, of course millions. Yeah. But in that, on the WordPress with the speakers, with the volunteers and all that. There is a huge effort behind it that any business is good to support and not diaper.
Yeah. Cannot undermine it. That I don't think there's a real business value for elemental. Co-opting that keyword. Yeah, because diverting that is the interest that people want to learn something about WordPress and it's suppose said editing, not Elementor otherwise they would have put in Elementor full site editing and not WordPress for editing.
So there was just a small thing that kind of. I find interpret how elemental sees themselves in workplace. It might be the better word because I don't have a problem with saying, okay, you're frustrated with wipers. Go to elemental. That's totally. Okay. Valid. Yeah, it's hard to do WordPress as a user and build your site.
Was it up until now? That was totally fine. Yeah. I don't have a problem with that because it doesn't undermine somebody I'm working on it now. And the, if you ever connected with the barrage of criticism on Gutenberg, that's now four years, it's I think everybody handled that very well on the team.
But it's just that one thing where I say, okay, it shows how marketing is thinking and seeing as a competition rather than the basis of the bill building blocks. So pardon the pun the building blocks of their own business and giving back to the business would really yeah.
Make it a much better way to go forward.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:22:58] Yeah. It's there was an awful lot of comments wasn't there's 23 comments. And as you can imagine, it sort of splits. I haven't, I read it when there was less comments and I can't remember the split, but there were definitely people on both sides. Some people saying it felt.
Like you were saying big and other people looking on the other side. And it's quite interesting because the point that you made just a moment ago about the advertising in America is I remember being in America for the first time and hearing. So there was a television advert and they would actually name.
The rival project, the rival product and denigrated, they would actually say why their product was superior. And I remember thinking, boy that's not allowed. We're not, that's definitely that's illegal. And so there is that, but also, in, in Google ads, typically, if. It's quite common, I think, to squat on the keywords of your competitors, but that's the thing, right?
You are competitors. Let's say it's, I don't know, Squarespace and Wix, that'd be an easy example for us to get Squarespace, wants to take every customer from weeks and weeks wants to take every customer from Squarespace. But this is different. This is really different. It's a different dynamic, isn't it?
Because you've got a thing built on top of another thing, which makes it more complicated.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:24:12] Yeah. And if you watch any WordPress, YouTube video, you always get a weeks ad. Yeah. So it's, yeah, it's sad, but it's not Pepsi versus Coca-Cola as you said. Yeah. It's a Coca Cola. I don't know. It's something,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:24:33] yeah. Difficult. Unlike you said the sort of standing on top of, I guess I can't really remember what Ben's arguments were. I suppose he was trying to say that, this is fair game. This is the commercial world that we live in and so on, but yeah, really interesting debate.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:24:46] Yeah, it was.
And it's I know that the efforts made that Matt and Ben are gonna talk about things. And I think the point was that full site editing was something that they called a feature as well. But then Justin padlock in the comments also said when I, when we talked about the new version of Elementor 3.0 with them, they never called it full site editing.
It's it was yeah. Even in the discussion about it. Is there something not as, I don't want to say truthful because it. He thinks it's right. Yeah. But it's a, it's just a diverting a rationale. Yeah. Yeah. You had a cool idea. Yeah. The turnout that might not be that good idea, but you rationalize it afterwards to yourself.
Yeah. It's not, yeah. I'm yeah. I think I said, I don't know what to say
Nathan Wrigley: [00:25:39] that, oh, it's fine. It's fine. Did you want to pull, did you want to pursue the question of the mental health?
Paul Lacey: [00:25:44] Yeah, I just wanted to just first of all, I'd love to hear or watch a conversation between Ben Pines and Matt Mullenweg, not a fight kind of conversation.
Just a, can we talk on behalf of the. People who think like us and then the other people who think like the other side, people, because looking through the comments, you can see some people are pointing out that well, hang on a minute. I'm not one of mine has a and automatic and all these different products.
And. There's a lot of money involved in this like this, elemental got 15 million, I think automatic recently got like 300 million from Salesforce. And who knows, what else you know, is is coming in. And no matter how you look at it, there will always, Matt monologue is always going to have Multiple multiple ideas on the benefits of.
Of what his product does. Some politicians, for instance, will say, I'm making this tough decision because in the end it will be better for everyone else, but a lot of people would disagree with that. And this is there's easy ways to self justify things. But I also saw some comments about, I don't necessarily agree with all these comments, but just presenting like the some of the arguments against what maybe what Matt and some of the other people might've said in In that kind of be, sports sportsmanship angle that, because I know that commercial product creator will just say, sorry, you can't say that you got 300 million, you got automatic, you got this.
You've got that uses the brand. Don't talk to me about. Playing fair because you're building on top of the giants of all those people that are building the
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:27:38] products. Yeah. I want to say something to that because it came out so up in the discussion on the post status was, I don't blue host and automatic.
They do so much for the community. Yeah. And half of the team that builds Gutenberg is from automatic, freed up for team. Same with community team. Yeah. There are probably a hundred sponsored contributors to WordPress of from automatic. There are yeah, I don't know, 20 from Yoast ad.
Contributing blue host helps with every word behind the scenes without getting any recognition for it. There are contributors from blue toasts that do all the nitty gritty grind work behind a release on the core team. This is not an equal and zero sum game. Yeah. So if they take advantage of the involvement with WordPress, I don't have a problem with that.
Yeah, but if some company or some of the commenters there that have not done a single contribution to the business, to WordPress and then trash, it's a little bit ungrateful.
Paul Lacey: [00:29:00] I can see the angle. Yeah.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:29:03] And that's a difference. Yes. If you just talk about money. Yeah. There might be right. But of course, Matt is the founder co-founder of WordPress.
Yeah. Nobody else can say that. And nobody else should. Yeah, and we all have businesses on top of WordPress, but there is a decency that needs to be come together to support the community effort on WordPress. So I get the argument yeah. There is a confusion and yeah. I get this, but I think the confusion only helped the whole industry, the whole.
The pie gets bigger. And if any any effort is there and Elementor is part of it. Yeah. Elemental makes the pie go bigger. Yeah. We all benefit from it. It's but it's not that kind of, and just to, I dunno if that's the end of it, but Ben answered Matt. What I quoted before said, Matt, thanks you.
Thanks for reaching out. We believe in WordPress and we fully support the project. We believe like WordPress in Democrat. . Democratizing the web and adding value to the community working together to do I'd be happy to discuss this further if you'd like to jump on a call. So that's how both left it.
And I think the call will help it will happen in due time. But I think that it's just that part. Elemental was ne never a sponsor on a WordCamp until WordPress both CompUSA 2019. Yeah. So all those years they have not been part of the community at all. And I think it's a learning experience to see the give and take between business.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:30:47] Yeah. Yeah. That's a good point. There's so much
Paul Lacey: [00:30:50] bubbly points. Yeah, really nice. The article itself was. One of those nuanced articles that some people can just read it and say, there's nothing. There's nothing. Why does this even exist? But there is some good stuff. There, there is like a lot of depth to why Ben Pines and Matt Mueller, Mike are directly speaking to each other as a result of that article.
So it shows it to me, it just shows that there's some awkward conversations and open, honest conversations that. Will be so beneficial for the commercial side and then the core side and to be had over the next year or two. So I'm really glad that they can hopefully have a call and I would love to hear it, but I'm sure that really, it should be a private call.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:31:34] Yeah. First. Yeah. And what it also brings to mind is, the stuff that you just said big at about. Things like blue, host's doing things in the background with little public recognition, possibly. And the difficulty of communicating all of that to, to the masses, to have all of those things, which are going on a voluntary basis brought to the attention of everybody, how much work has been put in how many hours who did it, which companies paid for this and which companies pay for that, it's difficult.
It's really difficult. And it just adds to the complexity of the whole thing.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:32:05] Yeah. Yeah. Good.
Paul Lacey: [00:32:08] I was just going to say, when you go to a WordCamp and you realize that the companies that you might have been less kind about verbally in the past are buying you all the drinks at the bar. You have to reconsider.
And try and be a bit more balanced about things. And I know that I've talked to all sorts of companies at WordCamps who are sponsors and representatives from those different companies and just having those conversations where rather than sitting in my bubble with my opinions has been greatly beneficial.
And so that's why I think it's great. Like I said, that we've been in mat. Speak that will help everyone else have a better conversation about those sort of things, because there are two bubbles of thought on, on page builders versus the blockers. I wanted to so I'd stepped slightly into the yeah.
The article that we haven't listed this week to talk about, which was that article about burnout and harassment from Mika. Yeah, I don't know Mika's name, but so
Nathan Wrigley: [00:33:07] the title of that piece, cause I haven't got it on the screen this week sorry, just the, that so that we could Google it and look it up.
I read it yesterday. And frankly, when I'd finished reading this piece, I was a little, I didn't really know what to do with myself. I was a bit angry. I think it was the right moment.
Paul Lacey: [00:33:24] The summary of it is that. Some years ago Mika who's one of the leads, I think, in the plugin review team, as far as I could gather had to make a tough decision after many, one ins to remove someone and their products from the market from the repository there, the the WordPress repay and back then there wasn't any.
And amenity
Nathan Wrigley: [00:33:49] anonymity,
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:33:51] number two, practice. I can stay specific
Nathan Wrigley: [00:33:55] specific.
Paul Lacey: [00:33:57] There we go. So you know what I'm saying? So what, and as a result, Mika has been harassed for over two years by this individual and And I know that's not necessarily related to any of the things that we were talking about earlier around, Gutenberg totally different level, but it just brought me back to that point.
I was making earlier a bigger, the core team way better than most of the people listening to this, the show, you would probably find that most of the people listening to this show would. Start siding towards the whole elemental or side of the argument, because that's the bubble that most of us are in.
But I just wondered that was obviously a really extreme case, but as for the rest of the team and all the, how are they, because I know they're overworked, are they
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:34:45] okay? They're fine. They're fine. Good spirits. And what the building. Yeah. And then as far as I can say I think the Mika talked about her that interaction that he has with a plugin, but it's not just a disc.
Disagreement. It's the arrestment though. The physical danger that you're getting in there that she has experienced and that it, it breaks my heart pretty much, but it's yeah, everybody has there's a normal disagreement. You have, you should. To build six skin yet you know that's a valid point from the other perspective, and you try to negotiate that in a compromise, but there is no compromise.
There is no, there is, there's no good or bad. There's only bad. And having that personal early experience, I don't know how she can take it, but she's she's a very strong woman and she has been in community. Building for all her internet life pretty much. And she is it's a beacon of generosity and a beacon of it's not that bad.
It was my fault yeah. These kind of thing. We find community. If I don't community, clearly people can misunderstand me and then I make it clear. Yeah, it's yeah. We talk as long as we talk, there is no problem. And that's pretty much how the whole community is built, but the the harassment is a total different level, has nothing to do with anything that Mika has done.
The plugin team has done, or anybody else in the community has done. That's just evil. Yeah.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:36:19] I'll I'll put it on the screen, but for those of you that. Listening to this after the fact it's it's [email protected] forward slash 2021 forward slash when dash it's dash, not dash burnout. When it articles just called when it's not burnout.
And I'm used to reading word, press articles that are just, it's about a plugin or a feature or something. And this would really not that. And I came out of this feeling, like I said, I don't know if it was anger or just shame or whatever it was. I just felt so sad that this could have even occurred.
It's a really interesting read caveat. Emptor it might pull your heart strings a little bit. But it is a story worth reading and it's certainly. Th this stuff we need to protect these people. There needs to be a mechanism, as an example if this was happening in the workplace, there would be some kind of, I imagine, duty of care for your employer to make sure that this was.
At least addressed and made. But in this scenario there isn't any mechanism particularly to make this right. There is only just stepping away and backing down or just keeping going and using up your own reserves, which eventually will get depleted.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:37:24] Made a point to say, okay, maybe we are now at the point with the internet where we have to take off our yeah.
Pink glasses and say, okay, can we build software where harassment can be avoided? Twitter took two to 10, I don't know, six years to shut down accounts that harass women. On the platform or yeah, harassed black Twitters in America or yeah, any of that. And they, because they always went to free speech.
This is not free speech. Yeah, this is harassment and that needs to be shut down. And a lot of women have not gotten any communication back from Twitter. So all we and the internet building software to how can we prevent these things? Yeah, it's not so much the anonymous an an annuity.
This is my
Spencer Forman: [00:38:19] fault.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:38:22] Play the blame all on Paula. But it's also, how do we create online communities in the comments or do we have things that we can. Do to avoid harassment, be it on Facebook, be it on Twitter, be it on Instagram or wherever you are to shut this down and not reveal personal information too much, or hook it up with other things that can be followed up.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:38:50] I feel it's a really difficult circle to square because my impression is that. Most of the people that I know behave themselves online and their persona online is directly related to how they behave in the real world. That's just seems to be the people that I'm surrounded by, but I'm also keenly aware that there are people, millions of people online who just behave entirely differently.
So they get on a computer and they fully think it's their right to just. Just write whatever they like, just drop a bomb and clear off and be incendiary and be insulting. And, it's just, and I don't know how we solve that other than closing off comments or walking away or just, backing off like the worst possible outcome here was that Mika would just see this as.
I can't cope with this anymore. My, my work with WordPress is Don because I don't want to be associated with this. And if I go to a real world event and I'm worrying that this person might actually be in attendance and they've threatened me and I don't want to be threatened in the real world, let alone online.
You can see people just dropping off projects like WordPress at a time when we. And we need them probably more than ever. Wow, good. It is a good story. Oh, this is this is like no other episode of ever. How does it, this is really interesting.
Paul Lacey: [00:40:04] I knew this was going to be a good one.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:40:08] If you like articles about the Tension between community and WordPress businesses, Andrea Middleton actually posts under Middleton is the chair, or was long time a community team lead and is now working with a contributed For contributor experience on the meta team. And she has an article doing business in WordPress missed opportunities.
And as part of the community team, she always worked also with the con global sponsors and with the sponsors on word cans. And so she has a direct connection with the businesses that all in red person, how to be together. And it takes it off that one element of thing. It's more a genera. General article about it, how to approach doing business in WordPress and also supporting the community and pushing in the same direction and make it sooner, genetic.
That's a great article has hats off to Andrea. She's all I want to be like, Andrea. Yeah.
That's huge respect for
Nathan Wrigley: [00:41:15] her. Lovely. I will. I'll make sure to put that. As well as the the half Alfon from Mika in the show notes. So that anybody listening to this as an opportunity to understand what we're talking about. Yeah.
Paul Lacey: [00:41:26] No, I think we should skip to editor plus to be honest,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:41:29] unless you miss out.
Yeah. Let's miss a few out because we've spent a little bit of time. We've got six articles, which we're going to cover, so we'll probably just make it, trim it down to three or four or something like that. Skipping one out, we'll go to this one then. This is if you're on the screen, you can see article on WP Tavern by Justin Tadlock, entitled editor, plus 2.6 ads, block pattern and template library.
This is 1st of March 2021. And there's it's a product by Minea Kemal who I think has Justin's really. Enjoying the work of many Amenia seems to be producing content at a breathtaking rate around the block editor, this editors plus editor plus plugin. And in the recent past, he came up with this way of bringing over templates for prebuilt sections of websites from a thing called Guttenberg hub.
And it was a Valiant effort, but it relied on this. Copying and pasting a files, which probably took a matter of seconds, but there was friction there, there was a, an impediment to making it work really easily. And so money has gone away. And it sounds like I'm being slightly, probably by Justin over the ensuing period.
Justin's asking him, when are you going to do this and money as well? It'll come. And here we are. So we've got this template library. And this isn't really interesting. Cause I feel it speaks to the article that we started out with, which is the elemental thing. So Justin, and I'm going to quote, because I feel it really does bear quoting.
He said the overlay. So there's a, you click a button and in Guttenberg at the moment, you're constrained by the sidebar on the left. Everything happens over there or the sidebar on the right. And it's very narrow. Money is take on this and you can see it on the screen is to basically have a full screen modal on desktop.
I'm not sure how this will work on mobile, but it enables you to see. Really a very full featured image of what you're about to get. If you import this layout and there's a whole bunch of them side by side three, three columns and so on. And then if you a bit like in the I won't go into that, but you click on one that you most liked the look of and it gets bigger.
So you can really see the size of it. And basically what Justin's saying is this feels like a really nice. Takeaway, and this kind of feels like it has been borrowed from page builders. So we're back to that initial, the S the cycle of everybody helping each other out, maybe things that page builders do actually can feed back to the core project.
And he says the overlay screen that appears after kicking the library button allows users to select a partner template. This method is becoming increasingly common and much amongst block related. Plugins where the Gutenberg project has fallen behind in its UI patterns. Plugin authors are filling the gaps and creating better user experiences.
And then he goes on to mention Genesis blocks. And, but for my part, I could mention a whole bunch of other people that are doing this, but just looks like a really nice project go. And if you want go and see more about how it works, you can install patterns, templates, and so on. I'm right inside the block editor.
Yeah. And they look really nice. And so now, We don't have any friction, you just click buttons and you're done. And yeah, that's all I have to say about that. It looks like a nice piece of work actually contacted mania this week. I'm hoping that at some point we'll be able to to have him on, because one of his, one of his things for this year is to go more on to camera.
So let's hope we can get him on.
Paul Lacey: [00:44:52] He's agreed. He's going to come on. That's great. Yeah. Yeah. I like the, I think Th this is what's going to happen. If third parties will get on board and they will build out better user experiences, that the people who want to pay for premium stuff, aren't yet prepared to dive in because they're used to people who are used to premium experiences that are geared for their needs.
And as a result, they pay for it. I used to a certain level of customization targeted at them. Bang, and this is what's going to happen. And I saw something similar with Davies, a redox product that had an overlay where you could choose templates. I could see Nathan and I w we were just talking just before the show about if this is a user interface that works and the Gutenberg project has to stick with how it's doing it.
That might be like a reason like accessibility or something that, that, I'm imagining that accessibility, but. A lot of challenges that the team has to try and work around, but some people will just say, I just want it to work like this product does it. I'll buy it. And there you go.
Their user experience is good and they work flow is good and suddenly all the doubters might be. Getting right on board with it. So well done again mania, because you did some great work, but everybody seems to be appreciating. And it seems to be that muni's work is appreciated unanimously.
So you can imagine the people that just to name them again, element or looking at this and going, Ooh. That's a bit of a threat. What, what's possible here. And then the people in the coating gang. That's a nice idea. And then, some kind of good ideas coming out of this. I'm mumbling now I'll start it.
Sorry. That's okay.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:46:52] You got anything you want to say on that again? Oh, I think you've muted. That's probably what the problem is that yeah,
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:47:01] I was muted, but I also mute it because the landscaping people came around and do the mowing the grass in front of me. Yeah.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:47:10] So we've all got problems this week.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:47:15] So yes, when you come all does awesome work and block editors, fear and.
Since the beginning of the Gutenberg hub and goodbye, time's pretty much came up at the same time. As our website geared towards the block editor and, but he's a developer and he does a lot of great work. Yeah. Editor plus he also has a plugin. The Goodman book forums, where he uses the Gutenberg interface to also be a page, a form builder which is quite nice and does its work.
And we actually looked at in a different open source project. We actually looked at that and maybe we can Work with him together. But that's yeah, so hats off the good team is experimenting with models. On the preferences in the new to a version of it, there's a preferences model coming up to actually test it for accessibility and also how our users are actually using it because Some of them feel that people get lost when they get this whole full-page overlay in terms of the normal side owner, that all of a sudden is, has a break in interface and does not know how to go back and how to so that these are the things.
And for us, our editing hasn't been released yet. So you cannot. Just say, okay, that's the interface we are aiming for when you don't have the underlying software yet in place. It's hard. Yeah. That's all I want.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:48:39] That's okay. That's okay. We have w Spencer has joined us.
Spencer Forman: [00:48:44] Hello everyone.
Good morning. I've got a
Nathan Wrigley: [00:48:46] feeling
Spencer Forman: [00:48:47] Bridgette.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:48:48] Be a good beer and get your dinner.
Spencer Forman: [00:48:53] Are you also in the UK? Oh, okay. Terrific. And Paul, nice to meet you in person. I've listened to you for a while, but never had the chance to meet yet.

Nathan Wrigley: [00:49:02] Spencer, I would say just very quickly in case you're under any illusions, we've actually been, we've actually been live for 57 minutes.
Yes, you've got your ramp. You've got your timings in the UK muddled up with, I dunno, maybe it's daylight saving or something. So we're yeah, probably about two thirds of the way through it. But that's fine. I did say at the very outset that I suspected that it would be that you may well hop on after an hour because things like this happen all the time.
But it's fine. Don't worry.
Spencer Forman: [00:49:29] You know what I honestly I'll take I'm sorry to interrupt your flow by the way, but I'll take acceptance if that's the case, but I just use your automatic calendaring and it just shows up. At the time. So I elected, there might be some issue with that, but
Nathan Wrigley: [00:49:46] nevermind we're here.
If you're prepared to dive in at the point at which we've got to, that'd be lovely. If you've got one that would be
Spencer Forman: [00:49:52] terrific. And I'm very sorry about that. I hope I'll get a remake on this one.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:49:57] This is not the kind of show where yeah. People get I dunno if there's no bad male thing, let's put it that way.
I'll tell you where we're at though. We've. We've been talking a little bit about elements or we spent about 40 minutes talking about the yellow mentor article that I linked to in our show notes. And then we've just been talking about editor plus, which Manea Komal has been working on really well over the last period.
Do you think Paula we've probably reached the end of that one. Should we move on to something
Paul Lacey: [00:50:23] Just to say yeah, if you Want to hear Spencer's opinions on the article about elemental, then go and check out the dopey tonic panel show from about a week ago. Yeah, because you gave your opinion on that one.
So if you want another angle, I'm sure. Then go and listen to that because I listened to you talking about that one, Spencer. And and I have to say me and Nathan were a bit worried that you and B again, we're a long way apart in your opinion. So I put my mind at rest that you weren't there actually.
So it's a big word. Yeah. But I'm also particularly glad that you're here because we're going to talk about web vitals in a minute. And I was wanting to push that one to you cause I don't know much about it. So do you want to carry on where we
Nathan Wrigley: [00:51:11] go? I'll tell you why. Number four on our little list of possible articles this week was I don't, I rarely do this, but I am actually going to.
PR use a piece on WP builds as the mechanism for introducing this, just because it coincides. And I thought this was really interesting. So we had a podcast episode, which came out last week. It was episode 219. It was with Christian . And I'm really sorry, Christian, if I've just booked your name. And it was all about creating Alexa skills.
He's got this plugin shout works, which enables you to. It feels to me like this may be the first forays into something that word where WordPress can enable voice activated things, that there are possibly projects that I don't know about that do all this kind of thing already. But the purpose of this.
In short is to create an Alexa skill. Now, I'm sorry if me saying that word, I should probably use a different word instead of the word, beginning with a cause I don't know if it's triggering anybody's devices, but the idea is that you would authorize your device to alert you when let's say a blog in this case, WP bells, or WP tonic or whatever it might be had produced new content.
And you would authorize it and say, look, whenever there's a new. Podcast episode or a new blog episode, or let's say it's a WooCommerce store or something like that. Whenever there's a, I don't know, a 15% reduction on something or you've got a new product line or something just shout at me, just yell at me and interrupt my time and go for it.
And I personally. Probably wouldn't want that kind of stuff switched on just because I've got kids. And, we're trying to just go through a normal day in any kind of interruption like that with homeschooling, as we've got them in, it would be pretty, pretty bad, but I could also see what I'd want to be told about this.
Breaking news would be of real interest to me. I would want to know personally, I would want Alexa ERT on it again. To pop in and tell me when something had happened of significance on a particular blog, we're always mentioning WP Tavern. So just somebody Nathan does a new WP Tavern article.
You should go and check out, but it also feels like the very beginnings of this thing the voice in the future I feel is going to be a big growth area. I fully expect that teenagers will, w we think Google is marvelous because we can type things in and look how great it can tell us all these things.
My kids. They now find that interface clunky. They speak to the device in the kitchen and they want to do more and more of that. And they don't want to go and boot up a thing. They want to just say it. And so I feel that this is just such a growth area. So anyway, go and check that podcast episode out. It is just about that particular plugin, but I was raising this as a subject for the future.
Whether our WordPress websites are going to be voice activated in the future. So anyway, the floor is yours. Tell us what you think anybody got any opinions?
Spencer Forman: [00:53:59] I have an ongoing public relationship with three different female avatars. And we can't say the name, but S and then there's the other one with a K or C, sorry.
I can't say any of their names because they're very jealous when I speak of their names, but the point is still that I see a Rudy in WordPress that we're moving towards conversations of headless. WordPress. It doesn't take a big stretch of the imagination to see that we're just moments away from breaking open, the metaphor of looking at a screen, using a keyboard into other things.
There was conversation we're having this week about, the clubhouse and at the same time, we also delved into what does this mean in terms of things that we've also got like AI that allow you to digitize or synthesize your entire voice and inflection, which I've already done through a free service in beta.
You have these animated. AI capabilities where you can take a still image of somebody. And it literally, I did this with my grandfather this week and animate them and so forth. So when you put it all together, it means, in my opinion, we're very close to the idea that people below our generation will no longer think of the keyboard.
And the screen is a primary way of interacting with the outside world or the internet, right? It's the horse and buggy In terms of this particular one, my friend with the a there's a lot of comedy on TV, right? Jimmy Kimmel was making a joke about how he reflected on saying that word and like a million people had the, some kind of product ordered.
Th the whole wrapping it up thing is it's fascinating. I don't think we can ignore that. There's a possibility of using something with your WordPress or other website. That interacts with, but the question is, how close do you come to useful, but not annoying versus completely annoying.
And it drives people around the bend.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:55:53] Yeah. Yeah. To be fair on my browser, I've switched notifications off because that became annoying. It's that little thing that just pops it, it really gets my eye every time it's there. My eye is totally, I cannot ignore it. So I've basically switched all of those off and I can feel that there is a very thin line to tread here between.
Let's say a product company, which was literally discounting prices, 12 every second. There's no way that I want to be informed about that. Some kind of summary, some kind of, buy-in some kind of, actually, this is too much put them away for a week or give me half as many or something like that.
Spencer Forman: [00:56:30] Let me interrupt you. I'm sorry for that. But one of the things that comes to mind is have you all noticed because I've run experiments, we talk about this it's confirmed. Maybe I have two, three, four, five, six devices around the house that are clearly listening without my permission. Two words being spoken and or typed on the screen.
Now, how do you know this? Just do an experiment right now. Say the name of some crazy product that you've never needed or want it. I'm a house full of all males. If I were to name some non-male related product. All of a sudden my browser mobile and otherwise is littered with advertisements for that. And so if you combine all of that together with the last bit, you start to realize the scary implications of this is you literally can have a nonstop.
Intrusive spying machine in exchange for what is otherwise right now, a really super convenient thing. We do use our, a device for playing music. And what time is it? What's the weather and dah. But with the moving camera, the listening in the. Ability to capture and store our voices and repurpose that into from avatar outside of control.
You start to get real science fiction stuff going on. Yeah.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:57:41] Yeah.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:57:42] I'm really amazed that now the American. Public is aware about the privacy implications and giving all the data to businesses. But then in Europe it's going to be a really a harder market. Yeah. I understand that America does not have the concept of privacy about your personal information.
You can go on the property appraiser's site and know the. The person who owns only houses around you and what the paid 15 years ago you when you have a traffic ticket you get inundated with advertising from traffic school because that is public information who registered Democrat or independent or Republican in any community, and you can get.
The information from the supervisor of elections? Yeah, there is no privacy and in the United States and the concept of it is at a, something really foreign said if I don't have anything to hide, yeah. I. I give them my data and it's this is and coming from Europe 20 years ago, or from Germany, it was really a hard concept to grasp.
And we use Alexa and out here I did Mrs. H and Mrs. A and G in our house. We have both devices because we were both working with electronics and internet. But all we do is ask them, okay set a timer for our eggs or something like my tea or play a one set of music. Yeah.
But the rest of it, we know they are listening, but it's something that yeah, I would not want to. Push forward. Especially those notifications not only on my phone or my computer, I have switched off all notifications because it takes me out of the deep flow creative work. And I've never get.
Back to it because it takes me 20 minutes to get back to that focus again. And I think it's the generations who embrace it or even my generation, or I talk about my generation I'm young. We also diverted with our attendance yeah. Paying attention that we lose our our brilliance.
Ineffective because we are interrupted all the time and yeah. So that's a good point
Paul Lacey: [01:00:00] because lately,
Spencer Forman: [01:00:01] if you've gone on a social media fast or tried it, which is very difficult, I've tried it at a limited extent. I'm an avid reader always have been, but I found over the last couple of years that the skill of reading has waned.
And I literally over the, in the last year, like all of us at home had to make in the home stretch here, conscious effort to shift gears. And it was like learning a skill that I hadn't used for a long time all over again. But the takeaway for me is, and I see this happening for many people is that every technology goes to that full bell curve cycle.
And I feel like we're really on the tail end for those of us who here at the beginning, when it was novel of complete exhaustion and burnout of having 24 seven exposure to being interrupted. As a marketer, I see that in the way that we use email for in the past, somebody would have said, Oh, give me your email and I'll send you 65.
Follow-up drip content emails, how to do this. If somebody did that to you today, you could go away fast. So I think that we're going to see a trend towards the opposite, which is a return towards more intimate one-to-one human relationships in a world where AI becomes. The wall of prevalence, you will more cherish and value those.
You're really a person. And I'm really going to have a talk with you.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:01:21] With the w we have the Google side of things, we just exclusively got the Google products. And it's quite interesting that over time it's definitely become more. More intelligent, but at the moment we're using it for really utilitarian things.
So yeah, it's like big, it said, it's set a timer for two minutes. It is what is the capital of multiplied this by that just something which is you can achieve it more quickly and it's binary. It's just one thing or the other. But I feel that when, which it inevitably will, the inexorable rise of technology when it becomes able to carry it.
Yeah. More complicated things. I don't know. What should I eat for dinner tonight? And that somehow the fridge is also supplying information to Google about the contents of your drawers in your fridge. At some point it becomes useful in and of itself. Not because it can supply a simple answer to a capital city question, but because actually enhancing your life and take stripping away things which are boring and dull and what have you, but in equal measure that terrifies me.
I never want the moment right. But I feel it's
Paul Lacey: [01:02:23] calming. Yeah. I think if anyone's seen that film, the Disney film Wall-E yes. Yeah. If anyone has seen that and what we end up being as a human race is lazy slobs. Then the AI does everything for us and knows what we need and we basically lose everything.
I hope that we go in the other direction. Staying in science fiction and become one of those academic super races from the, you would see in star Trek that have evolved beyond this and that. And but yeah, I'm worried for our children, that, that generation really, because they didn't see the change, they just wake up and, they get to a certain age and they want the phone and they want the laptop and this kind of thing.
And And th the accepting everything that is getting thrown of them as normal and their friends will back that up as well, because the products create cool things around the stuff that manipulate your life, whether that's social media or Tik TOK or whatever. So I'm hopeful that I won't need to worry about them and that at some point they will just be a.
Exhaustion revolution and just, and the younger generation will just go. We were brought up winter this, and it's absolute joke. I'm not doing it. I'm not doing it. I think that there will be, because young people like to revolt, they like to rebel against things. And I think at some point It probably works better on us than it will on them in the long run.
I don't know. I don't want to, it's quite interesting.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:04:01] I like to think about it sometimes. And where I get is when I was a child. If you wanted to, if you wanted to find something out, you really had to work at it. So for example, I don't know, here's a picture of a butterfly. What is it? Oh, good grief.
So off to the library, we go and you have to get on your bike and go and sift through a hundred books. Most of it is complete and utter dead ends and folly. And this there's something in that. Whereas the children and I am literally not making the point of, it's easy for you these days.
That's not it. That the point is that they're raised in an environment where the acquisition of knowledge is trivial. They don't have to try to learn a new fact that stuff is freely available. Th the diff I think the new thing for them is what do they do with it? What do you do with all this knowledge?
Where do you put it? Can you can you make sense of it or is it just total overload? I couldn't be overloaded with information because I only had a certain amount of bicycle time and library time. Whereas now you could find out everything that I could find out in a year, in a matter of hours.
And I think it's just a different paradigm that they're living in kids. Who've got to deal with all that sort of stuff, but yeah, hopefully we don't get
Paul Lacey: [01:05:05] fat. I have request the anecdote
Spencer Forman: [01:05:07] to that, which is, I always wonder what it would have been like to live maybe 50 to a hundred years ago from the standpoint of compression of time.
So for example, I used to be in the real estate business and we'd develop a lot of older buildings into new housing and. I found a stack of postcards that were from the turn of the century. Now, imagine back then, you wanted to communicate with somebody who is only 50 miles away. You would write them a letter or postcard.
Somebody on a horse would come take it. And you would expect to turn around of a week to three weeks. For one paragraph of information. When I started in my younger years practicing law, we would research books that were historically around for some time with precedent, but we'd go into a big musty library, research things, write a letter.
And you would expect even with modern postal service, it was a week, one way in a week back, which gave you two weeks to interact with the other side in the time when I was practicing law in the early nineties, fax machines came online, which compressed that down to a matter of a day or so, which was revolutionary.
I imagine now if you practice law actively, I still have a license, but I don't practice. There's the instantaneous demand of, I just texted you one minute ago and you have not responded to this thing. Same thing for the, like you experienced. When I was a kid, I was a voracious I built model airplanes that I researched things and I would love getting on my bike, going to the library and digging through these.
Old things. The new stuff was a magazine. Oh, I can't wait for next month when that magazine comes out. But nevertheless, the problem I see in my kids. And it won't get better. It will just evolve is that we had a limited like flow of information in a very specific way that you had to work to get. And your expectation was it's going to take awhile.
So you had all this time to fill with contemplating the world and learning cursive handwriting and so forth kids today. They need instant everything. But the problem with when you're in a world where instant everything and unlimited everything exists, nobody can concentrate on anything. Yeah. And that's the downside of all of this.
And I worry for myself and my kids' generation that. It's nice to not have to think about going shopping or to physically do certain things or having Amazon come to me. But at the same time, I can feel the difference that I have zero concentration, unless I put my mind to it. And I only can do that because I had a history of doing it.
Yeah. And I'm re I don't know what will happen.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:07:42] Yeah. It's interesting. History always does seem to go in cycles. Doesn't it? Some new idea comes along and then the, then there's the rebellion, you've got the 1960s and then the punks come along just to kill it all. And move on.
But I do wonder if there's a reaction against this and whether it will come from the young people or the older,
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [01:07:57] I think it's going to be your, yeah. When you look at the people who. Oh, protests on climate change. They're young people. They have done something really useful with that flow of information.
They can access to the scientists that can read it. Then the critical thinking is actually going to be involving. And, but we need to listen to the young kids. To those who are building the future, look at black lives matter. Yeah. The young founders of that there couldn't have been possible without social media or the whole interest of not only the black community.
Saying what they said for the last 50 years, but now the white American community seeing it. Yeah. And being an ally to them and really forcing changes of course also backlash. But yeah, I think if the supremacist white get any smarter than we have to worry, but it's it's it's a different.
Environment how, what you do with information and I'm back to what Spencer said. Yeah. I actually appreciate the single purpose device off a book. Yeah. I can sit on the Lanai and read that book without any distractions, because there is no button to click where I can see the weather or the news or something like that.
All my book. It's all about the book, the same thing with COVID I went to back to. Actually my husband and I, we are averse to phone conversations. We do it all on the email or per text. And but we went back to except for, with our parents when we call Europe. Yeah. We talk on the phone and we have been for the last 20 years, there is no, no video communication or something like that.
And I go back to that because I, the phone is the only thing that gets me away from the computer. And I can walk around the house with the phone, how. Cool is that and talk to somebody without having to use my eyes that hurt at the end of the day. So I think it's it's really a, you all right with it's a cycle, but I think it's also that you, humanity will evolve with that flow of information.
The older generation had a hard time disseminating. Fact from fiction or the fake news part. Studies have shown that those who amplified the fake news in America were actually 65 and older because there are before 20 years of knowledge, is that only the good information made it to the internet and not the bad one.
They amplified that because it just, all the headline that said it's a moose diet. It must be true. Yeah. Yeah. And the young kids honor that. So you can trust that. Did you look that up? I had these conversations quite a bit with the younger kids that are young professionals that are in our local meetups, and it was very interesting to listen to to the young professionals that are in their early thirties.
Yeah. Do say you can't trust it. Did you verify that it's so it's a cycle
Nathan Wrigley: [01:11:01] of that. Yeah. I think the person that invents the algorithm, which was like that's possible that kind of adjudicates trust for us and can stick a badge on, on the Twitter post or something that says, actually, this is true.
This is totally true. Is going to do quite well
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [01:11:18] a plugin up there it's called
Nathan Wrigley: [01:11:20] Bulletproof, right? Yes. Yes. We spoke about it. Did we speak about it on when the show was live already? Yeah, in depth. Yeah. Really nice idea. We actually interviewed him on the podcast. If you go back in our archives, you can look search for word proof is really interesting in depth.
Spencer Forman: [01:11:35] I think the social media aspect of things in the profiles of human beings. We'll have to take a shift forward towards you must be this one actual person. We allowed for us to have avatars and fake profiles. And I think we've reached the saturation point on that in many aspects and we're seeing the results of it.
So when this thing evolves to the next level where. We're no longer staring at screens. And it's a quaint notion of kids today. Oh, like we talk about calligraphy or something. Oh, remember back when people used Quill pens and an inkwell and stuff, haha. That used to be normal. Looking at a screen and so forth with an avatar is going to be quaint notion.
You'll probably have some kind of a biometric device that identifies you as you. And that will be you everywhere. And that'll be the only way that. We'll be able to have some validity to what we do, but at the same time, the trade-off for that is going to be these privacy concerns because you to participate in that system, clearly everything will be known about what you're doing, where when and why.
So that would require a significant regulatory oversight. And there's just so many things to contemplate. But if you look at science fiction we don't see in the star Wars or star Trek or other universes people literally looking at screens with keyboards. And I don't think that's likely to be our future either.
I think it's going to be, yeah it doesn't have to be just scraping screen minority, right? Minority report or blade runner is another example where, there's sentient looking beings that are moving around that are autonomous, but are also not, human beings. And so it's fascinating.
It's inevitable. It's not like we're going to avoid it, but I did watch a very interesting David Attenborough show. He was reflecting upon the world. And one of the things that was nice about it was, although it had a real scary angle because we've overpopulated and destroyed 65% of the natural world, his optimistic I'll look.
And I think that's what I see here is that we still can change things by going over the top of the bell curve, down to the bottom or turning back to. Like younger people are. And I think many of us feel is necessary returning to, okay. We did that. We overdid it. We had our binge moment of 40, 50 years with the baby boomers.
Let's return to, with technology with our society becoming less of a footprint, less of an intrusive thing into the real nature world. And that's where the technology works to our favor. We can have. More compact lifestyles, simpler lifestyles, and let the real world be natural again, and visited as a part of what we're doing.
Conscientiously instead of just steamrolling the whole thing.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:14:12] I'm going to have to move this along because time is really running out on us. This has been fascinating. Paul, do you mind if I don't do the story about Google's called web vitals though. You don't
Paul Lacey: [01:14:21] even smell like blood.
We can drop that one. Totally unprepared. Yeah. That's
Nathan Wrigley: [01:14:27] ideal. However, I did want to surface this one because it feels almost it jives with what what Spencer was just saying. So last thing, nothing to do with WordPress. I feel that we've strayed off WordPress quite a lot this week, which has been an absolute pleasure.
It's been nice to have her go in a different direction. This. This just hit me in the face this week. I could not make sense of this. This is an article on the BBC. I'm going to assume that it's true. And it is called, is entitled. Bitcoin consumes more electricity than Argentina, and I'm just going to preface how this works.
So if you want a Bitcoin, you have to solve a massive problem. And the mass problem, you can't work it out. You just guess it. And every time you guess there's a chance that you're right and there's a chance that you're wrong. Every time, a new piece, every time a new bet is added to the blockchain, the puzzle gets harder.
So now it's extraordinarily hard to guess the answer, the only is brute force. You have to guess trillions of times in order to do it. And of course people are, and I'm showing on the screen at the moment, eight shots, a chart, which shows freaks me out. People trying to mine, Bitcoin. Obviously they've got their computers fully switched on, working as hard as they can to guess thousands of times a second and be told no.
Over and over again until maybe if they're lucky, they'll get a yes. And then there's a new question. But look on this chart, we've got a whole bunch of countries and how much electricity they consume. It's extraordinary. There are some countries which obviously do a lot more European countries, North America, China in particular, but.
I just can't take in that Bitcoin uses more of the Earth's resources than Argentina, a country of, I don't know how many people, but let's say it's multiple millions. This just seems bonkers. That's all I'm saying.
Paul Lacey: [01:16:18] No, no fun. It seems that. We've had quite an intellectual show today. And we've been talking about some extremely smart people and it looks like, we actually need to rely on.
Humankind to save us from our own possible problems that we cause ourselves, if all this technology and I'd probably can, we can segue right. Really nicely and say one final article, which is published on lots of websites at the moment, mostly. But I'm going to take the one from the guardian in the UK, a UK newspaper, the guardian after Austrian police defend the decision to find a man after he.
Provocatively farts at them.
Apparently their intent, their assumption was that he did it on purpose as an act of disrespect. So what's equal like this around. There's still this still hope for us yet. There's still hope for healing. Do you have me? I just ask just in Austria, actually in Vienna, I do know. This person was arrested.
I see no Bernard Grano in the comments today. I think
Nathan Wrigley: [01:17:27] Bernard granola in farm.
Paul Lacey: [01:17:30] Yes. He's a bit of a rebel. He's a bit of a rebel. So who
Nathan Wrigley: [01:17:33] knows? Thank you though. Chris use for putting me straight. Oddly Chris has the fact that there are 45 million people in Argentina. The fact that he needed the other day, for some reason, it wasn't because you were mining Bitcoin by any chance.
Was it Chris? We know how you like a good project and Peter Ingersoll saying I can't buy a GPU for it. Yeah, that's it. They're all. They're all being
Paul Lacey: [01:17:55] expensive. Yeah, PlayStation fives. There's only a certain amount that can be made. Isn't
Nathan Wrigley: [01:18:00] there use get listens to this weekend in a Google like I do.
And they were saying on that podcast the other week, maybe it was last week that a significant production. Sorry, a significant facility and the production of chips is just the diodes. And there's a great big factory in Japan, like huge that produces the base parts for lots of money. And it burnt to the ground a few months ago and that's making the problem significantly worse.
So anyway, there we go.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [01:18:31] So there's also malware that hijacks botnets. Yeah. Computer networks to mine. Bitcoin. So yeah, that's where the world comes to.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:18:40] Yeah, but that was a thing about it about two years ago, wasn't it? You could stumble across a website and he would start consuming your.
And not a great deal in the case of a browser, but it was, if you did it over 2 million browsers, 2 billion browsers, and probably a little bit of JavaScript goes a long way. If you've got millions and millions of people doing it for you, it feels to me like the Bitcoin thing at the moment.
Is really fascinating. And there's obviously a lot of people who've made a lot of money in the more recent past, but it also seems like when you put articles like that up where it's just a S a pit for the Earth's resources, it puts a different complexion on it for me. I think
Spencer Forman: [01:19:16] We're not seeing the end of this because if you look into disruptor and I like to look at of all the billionaire entrepreneurs, Elon Musk is the most disruptive.
And I think in a positive way, I do love Amazon, but I can't figure out why Jeff Bezos doesn't seem as fascinating and interested in helping the world as his ex-wife is. But Elon Musk seems genuinely interested even in a sort of weird, unusual way of doing better, more interesting things for humankind.
So if you look at Starling, the satellite network, unlike other people figured out that the people who will pay for that will be the. Investment community to get one millisecond faster speed by removing latency of wires. The cost of that entire network will be subsidized so that the rest of humanity will get to use it, which cracks open the monopoly and the nonsense and the law that the cable companies have been selling you about their monopolistic hard-wired cables and even the traditional satellite, but the consequences that when the world has access to this network, And it's again, even in poor countries, it's subsidized with other ways so that you can have in the middle of the Serengeti or something, real time internet, even here in Chicago for God's sake, I can't get fast internet because the cable company has got a chokehold that democratizes all the other potential.
Look at what's happening when he did those solar farms. I can't remember if it was in South Africa or which country, but it was in an area where they, it was in Australia. Excuse me, Australia. Yeah. We were having that huge difficulty with power outages and then the local governments and the narrow thinking was like, Oh, it can never be solved.
And bureaucracy he's screw it. Comes on in puts in the thing, bets, the fact that he will save more money and make it work sure enough, it works perfectly. So imagine the combination of something like the Starlink solution, along with solar powered grids, battery arrays, yada, the whole conversation about what resources are being used goes away because it doesn't matter.
Because it's using sun or wind or whatever the problem we have now, which is fascinating is for example, California, the almond growers use up all the fresh water that comes from natural mountain streams and stuff. At the same time in Israel, they have a never ending supply of water coming out of the salty inland ocean, because they've invested all their money into desalinization.
Why in California with the Pacific ocean and unlimited desert sun, have they not done that? Politics. If we could just get off our rear ends and get past all of these things that are really no offense. Cause I'm coming on strong on your show are being strangled by the baby boomer generation who are running all the politics.
If had said, if the younger generation can move up. And start taking charge. I for one is a gen X in the middle of the sandwich would love it because I'm so sick of my parents' generation and what they've done to, to take everything and leave the rest of us with nothing. And the world is an amazing place.
We have no limit to our resources if we're creative about it. Anyway, that was my
Paul Lacey: [01:22:21] little is hope. Isn't that? And it's David Attenborough was saying, on his most recent documentary, no matter, even all the terrible things that you can say, this has happened technology, and people can get through this.
And and if that's the case, I think. The block editor can be a success for sure.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:22:50] Th this is where we end we're an hour and a half in. And and that is the perfect setup. I love that if David Attenborough says the world can be saved, there's hope. For the WordPress block editor. Thank you very much for joining us. Big it. Thank you very much, Paul. And thank you very much, Spencer.
It's been an absolute pleasure. What a fruity episode. This was big and it sounds like you were just about to launch into some. Yeah,
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [01:23:10] no. It's okay. No. You made a perfect end of the shed.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:23:14] There's always hope. Yeah, indeed. There's always, that's what we're going to call it each week. I tried to come up with a name for the show and this week it's going to be, there's always hope now we can do the awkward waving where I try to press the button ending the show, but it never streamed. I've never it's between one and 10 seconds. Who knows? So I'm going to say goodbye. I'm going to start waiting to go press the button. Let's go. Everybody go wherever.

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Nathan Wrigley
Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds and WP Tavern. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group, and on Mastodon at Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

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