WordPress is 10 years old today.
I started making websites a few years earlier, but WordPress did something for me that all the HTML framesets,
<table>-based layouts, and animated GIFs of the 1990s didn’t: it helped me find my voice.
I encountered blogging in high school. This was when LiveJournal and Xanga were hot, and many of my classmates read each other’s long form posts and left regular comments which sometimes ended up essay-length themselves. (I must admit feeling like an old codger when I reminisce about the rich engagement we had in “my day” compared to the signal-to-noise ratio in today’s knee-jerk status updates.)
I had been a tech geek long before I started blogging, and WordPress wasn’t my first blogging software. But WordPress did give me a completely new perspective on my passion for technology. At its core, it was software that removed the technical complexities from the writing process, providing me with an environment to explore my thoughts and share them with people who were important to me. And that led me to my own passion for technology: tools which aren’t just interesting for their own sake, but tools which enable all kinds of people to speak their voice in a more effective manner than was possible before.
I’m staggered to think of my life since those early days of exploring my own voice with this personal blog. Somehow along the way, I started helping other people and nonprofits use WordPress as well. I got a tech-related degree in college, but since graduating, I’ve paid my bills with open-source publishing software like WordPress and Drupal, and discovered a life where each exciting challenge creates opportunity for everyone involved. What started as a hobby in school has turned into a real pursuit of passion.
The best technologies are the ones which are powered by, and in turn serve to empower, great people.