San Jose: That innovation will come in a number of areas, according to Mullenweg. First, the WordPress WYSIWYG visual editor interface leaves much to be desired in its current iteration. One should be able to put images and videos easily into WordPress content, without looking at code, he said, but that’s not currently possible.
Another area of focus will be on connections and people. One “like” from someone you know could mean a thousand times more to you than one from a random stranger, but the current stats-focused analytics don’t reflect that reality. WordPress may also soon be able to push notifications to a site owner’s mobile device whenever comments come in, so they could moderate comments and respond immediately.
Mullenweg says Automattic takes its cues from what it sees users doing on the WordPress platform. “The cool thing about WordPress users in particular is that they tend to be at the very, very bleeding edge,” he said, meaning it’s possible to determine what’s up-and-coming, what users want and need, by observing the current usage. Right now, Twitter embeds are seeing a surge in popularity, though YouTube and still images are still most popular of all.
Asked what sites he thinks are doing the best job using WordPress in the current media environment, Mullenweg mentioned Quartz, a newly-launched publication from Atlantic Media Company. The site stands out because every page is treated as its own entry point, as a sort of home page, at a time when more and more people navigate directly to permalinks shared in social media, rather than finding content via a site’s homepage. Another outstanding example cited by Mullenweg was The Next Web, because of its use of responsive design. “Every new design can and should be totally responsive,” he added.