Issue #14: This week's roundup features AI, WordPress, and WordCamp — Jason Michael Perry

Howdy, it’s been a busy week. Last week, I welcomed a group of whip-smart college students from the Word Trade Center Institute’s Albrecht Fellowship to our Mindgrub office for a talk on how AI works and an open panel with several folks on the Mindgrub leadership team.

Later that evening, I traveled down I-95 to join a panel conversation with our partner, WordPress VIP, and several agency partners at the beautiful Washington Hotel with amazing White House and Washington Monument views. In attendance were some of the most significant users of WordPress in the public sector, such as the White House, Senate, and the upcoming NASA website launch. Together, we discussed the importance of WordPress VIP becoming FedRAMP compliant, Section 508 and Accessibility, and the importance of creating value for citizens and constituents.

CEO, Nick Gernert

Friday, WordCamp US, the largest US conference for the open source content management system (CMS) WordPress, which represents 43% of all websites, kicked off at the Gaylord Hotel in National Harbor.

Here are a few thoughts on tech & things:

⚡️If you missed WordCamp US, make sure you check out the recordings and the close-out keynote talk on The Future of WordPress & What’s Next for Gutenberg by Automattic CEO and WordPress Co-Founder Matt Mullenweg and Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy. 

⚡️An additional big announcement was announced – 100-year plan. Before this announcement, ten years was the most prolonged period you could pay for a domain name at one time. This idea allows individuals to secure their legacies by knowing their web content, presence, and domain name will outlive them. As someone who hoped to buy and own domain names for my kids forever, I get the appeal, but the $38,000 one-time cost is a big lift, even if $380 a year seems a bit more approachable. TechCrunch has a write-up of the details and all that comes with the new offering.

⚡️Printers suck. I posted a few weeks ago how much printers suck, and yes, I get that the decline in printing has turned printer manufacturers like Cannon and HP to look for new sources of revenue, but did they have to become evil scam artists and vultures? Well, Fstoppers took the time to explore and dig into just how big of a rip-off the printer market is, and my goodness, it’s much worse than I ever imagined. Take a few minutes and watch this great YouTube video breakdown on how much your printer sucks. I say toss it and buy one that does the job. I will borrow inspiration from Office Space for my current “printer.”

⚡️OpenAI provided guidance on how to block its web bot from ingesting content from your website. For those unfamiliar,  a robots.txt file is a tiny text file that lets you set your intent to search engines and tell them what content you want to search or index. As expected, many large news websites have quickly used the file to block OpenAI and potentially other AI systems from getting rich off their content. My question is, how will this play out in the long term? If search engines continue to move towards an AI chatbot approach to search, will this limit the discoverability of news content in the future? After all, Microsoft’s Bing search is powered by OpenAI’s AI model. It is early days, my friends, so time shall tell.

⚡️Of course, as many large media companies block AI bots from indexing their content, they’re rushing to figure out how to add it to their newsrooms. Gizmodo failed with its Star Wars articles, but a new push by PCWorld and MacWorld is to embed chatbots into media sites trained with past content. As a fan of review sites like Wirecutter, this feels like it could have legs and help users by providing access to tons of past content without needing to research or search, especially for sites with tons of content on product reviews.

Look, Ya’ll, after a few intense weeks of work and travel, I’m looking forward to things slowing down for a bit, and I’m hoping to use that time to work on some new video and audio content. As always, more is to come, and I appreciate you.

  • jason

P.S. Keeping on last week’s post-Disney vacation thoughts, have you ever wondered why so many animated characters wear gloves? Well, I have an excellent video for you.