I thought it’s appropriate to post this here.
I just started working with Automattic (the company behind wordpress.com and many other cool products and services) on a contract-basis. I’ll be doing user support, aka Happiness Engineer, with special focus on Japan.
Here’s my story in case you’re intereted.
I’ve been using WordPress for a while on my Japanese blog site. I had a Movable Type blog since May 2003, then switched to WordPress in November of the same year. Does anyone remember when the template was a single index.php file? 😉
Many Japanese WordPress users had been using WordPress ME (Multilingual Edition), a fork project of WordPress. I was mostly helping out with documentation and other translation (which lead me to write WordPress books in Japanese).
Then in March 2008, the lead dev of ME (Otsukare-san) announced that he is quitting the development altogether, along with the documentation & distribution sites that he had been maintaining.
Around that time, I finally realized that WordPress isn’t something that just magiacally happens. It was our responsibily to keep it going. Had we showed more appreciation to Otsukare-san for doing what he was doing and offered more help, maybe things were diffrent. But the fact was that we were losing the main WordPress distribution site in Japanese at that time.
We launched the official Japanese WordPress site (ja.wordpress.org) soon after, then forums and documentation site. Yuriko even took the lead to set up a WordPress ME support site & forum for those who need help migrating to core WordPress install.
Since then, the localization team and the community have been very active working on WordCamps, WordBench (Miyoshi-san‘s brainchild). The plugin distribution project team was even interviewed as one of the most active projects on SourceForge.jp.
There is no doubt WordPress has played a big part in both my professional and personal growth.
So I had no other way but to say yes when Matt asked me (after this month’s WordCamp Tokyo) if I’d be interested in working with Automattic.
I think it’s a good news that they are putting more resource into places like Japan. I’m really excited to have this opportunity to help bring WordPress to more people.