State of the Word 2021, the annual keynote from WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg, happened on December 14. The hybrid event took place in New York City with a small audience (proof of vaccination required). As Matt said, “we had people join by plane, train, and automobile.” Those who didn’t make the trek to the live event watched the livestream from wherever they call home, all around the world.
It was an exciting moment for the WordPress community which also celebrated its first in-person WordCamp in Sevilla, Spain, after a lengthy hiatus for in-person events.
You can view the full recording, complete with captions and transcripts on WordPress.tv.
It was thrilling to see so many meetup organizers host watch parties worldwide. Twenty-six watch parties were held across eleven countries, with more than 300 RSVPs.
Similar to past State of the Word events, Matt covered a broad range of topics. This year was no different. WordPress’ past, present, and future were in the spotlight, with highlights on the growth of the contributors, language translations, recent release milestones, and educational initiatives, to name a few.
Audience members and livestreamers alike viewed product demos showcasing upcoming features that will be the hallmark of WordPress 5.9, such as full site editing, block patterns, global styling options, and enhanced image controls.
Matt took the opportunity to remind everyone of the WordPress roadmap which includes native multi-lingual support and real-time collaborative site editing. He also pointed out that anyone can contribute to WordPress’ progress through a number of different initiatives ranging from creating new features and testing to helping spread the word and educate others.
Matt emphasized the way that open source software gets better by reminding everyone that “The more people that use a program like WordPress, the better it gets.”
Broader topics covering the tech landscape including web3, merger and acquisition activity, as well as the growth and support of open source software, rounded out the energetic presentation.
The one-hour multimedia presentation was followed by an interactive question and answer session where Matt fielded questions that were submitted ahead of the event, as well as questions from the livestream and studio audience.
Special thanks to @dansoschin for review and edits!