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Posts tagged “Matt Mullenweg

WordPress Changes – Poll – Kept in the Dark ?

Duck back 2Others in this series are Start – Herded ? Kept in the Dark ? Valued Customer ?  and more to come. Workarounds are here.  My standby blog is http://freedfromtime.blogspot.co.uk/


It is now evident that WP management will not pay attention to customers disquiet and have opted for obstinate.  It also evident that they have kept some motives hidden (see below).

The only option left is to seek a change of management by alerting investors via the tech-media.  The forums and this opportunity to vote is a means of doing so.

 1.  Behind the Scenes

The recent changes are not just about the appearance on mobile phones. There is further enterprise involved and perhaps the real reason for being so stubborn and rash in it’s implementation.

The following applies to any WP hosted blog and any using Jetpack.

A system known as Rest-Api is being installed. The system plants a Rest-Api cookie bundle on your computer.  The new user-interface does not work without it. 

The the Rest-Api system provides three facilities.

  • Publicly available access to your posts/comments/likes. There is nothing new there, except that some further information is provided (e.g. the ID’s of visitors).
  • If you give permission, remote access to your blog/image-library for the purposes of allowing a service (e.g. a printing company) to download content.
  • If you give permission, remote access by a developer. Access may include your statistics, the ability to create/edit/delete posts and whatever else you provide permission for.

Further information is available  in sections  2 and 3.  Otherwise jump to sections 4-6 .

 2.  Public/Limited Access

You might try clicking on some of these (I’ve kept it to the 4 most recent)_:-

Revealing my 4 most recent posts, or anybodies.


Revealing my 4 most recent comments, or anybodies, with information about the commenter.


Revealing my 4 most recent Likes, or anybodies,  on a post with information about the Liker. The Post ID for this is “1” (my About page but may not be the same for you). Otherwise you will need a Post ID which can be obtained from the first link.


Each of these will open in a new Tab. You can change the Blog name and you don’t have to be logged in to your account in order to use them.  However, Private and Password Protected are not shown unless you are logged in and add “&status=any”.  Note: Pretty=1 makes it readable.

Further content is available, when logged in and/or for a developer who has a Blogger’s permission. (see Section 3).

2.1  Whats the problem.

This does provide further information such as numeric ID’s for Blog, Post, Author and Comment relating to yourself and your visitors.

2.2  A Greater Concern

One might consider this point a breach of security. Usually half the battle for a hacker is knowing one’s Log-in name/User name. With WordPress one’s Display name is often the same as one’s Log-in name/User name. However some have wisely hidden there User name behind a different Display name. The above Links reveal any hidden Log-in/User name.

To test this I have temporarily changed my Display name. Take another look at the first Link and you can see my Display name (Graham With Hats) and the hidden Log-in/User name (grahaminhats).

It is of course too late for me to hide my User name, as this is already attached to previous posts/comments. But, those who took that extra precaution, from the start of their Blogging, have been let down.

I debated whether to release this information but, considering that the content is now publicly available, it seemed better to make it known to Bloggers.

Given the present situation there seems no point in changing one’s User name (you can’t change it back) or Display name. Therefore, we must rely on strong Passwords. One form of strong Password, for recent times, is a phrase of three or four words that has a personal meaning.

3.  Full Access

With a bloggers permission a remote service provider (e.g. printing company) or developer may have a limited or complete access to your site using the Rest-Api system. That access relies upon a new cookie bundle “public-api.wordpress.com” on your browser. None of the new UI (Stats, Editor and Notifications) will work without it. However, unless you are adept at cookie management, I don’t recommend trying this.  One can lose the ability to comment/like on other blogs if one cannot fully restore cookies.

The full range of Gets (view) and Puts (create/change), available with a Bloggers permission, can be found by clicking here.  Full access can include Private and Password Protected.

Some Gets (as with the links above) are available to anyone.

A developer console here provides extended access when logged in to one’s account or for a person who has the blogger permission.  When using the developer console; to see the full return, click on the bottom left arrow of the brief return.

3.1  The Possible Problems

3.1.1  Security

Access is acquired using OAuth2 authentication. That method has been entirely disavowed by the lead author, who has removed his name from all specifications. His main concerns seem to be that, whilst OAuth1 was a protocol, OAuth2 is a framework that includes many musts and must-nots and requires an unusually high level of expertise to make secure. To read his post click here. An extract below:-

“To be clear, OAuth 2.0 at the hand of a developer with deep understanding of web security will likely result is a secure implementation. However, at the hands of most developers – as has been the experience from the past two years – 2.0 is likely to produce insecure implementations.”

3.1.2  Business Worth

Being able to store images from a mobile phone/tablet, upload them to WordPress and then download them to a service provider might be of use to some. However, serious photographers and/or those creating company literature (e.g. pamphlets, brochures etc) are more likely to upload higher resolution images directly to a printing company.

Most of us, if approached by a developer who wants access to our site, would likely respond with “go forth and multiply- off”.

E-commerce companies might want to make use of a developers services to compete. If they’ve got any sense they will use in-house services provided by people who have a deeper knowledge of their company’s business and dedicated to it.

3.1.3  Business Loss

I believe that the new User Interface has been so badly implemented as to deter users in the new enterprise. For instance the Mobile App fails or crashes on some devices and the New Editor doesn’t even have an “Add Contact Form” function.

Existing customers have suffered considerable and pointless nuisance. It has been shown that it takes less effort to keep existing customers than acquire new ones.

 4.  A Remaining Mystery

The Rest-Api system is not exactly a secret. Therefore why not tell bloggers what it’s all about. There have been plenty of questions put on the forums and here, including questions to Matt Mullenweg on About WordPress Changes and What We Can Do.  All we’ve been told is that it is “Improved or Upgraded” and that it will be “Neat or Nifty” . Why not tell us the whole truth. What are we, peasants ?

What’s the mystery, why are we being herded and why remove the original stats page (as we have been told will happen).

The manner with which this has been undertaken seems irrational and unnecessarily forceful. This leads me to think that there is more to discover.

None of this nuisance seems necessary for the implementation of the new functions. Is it necessary for a fuller implementation or to Beta test it on the present customer base or are there others looking on and want to see it “neat” ?  Others like Tiger Global who have invested and also have investments in mobile and e-commerce interests.  Or, is it a “Just Do it” or “Plough on” or just plain daft attitude or a need to meet deadlines or are control issues involved ?

Perhaps, with new system, it is possible to monitor the Stats that we take an interest in.

Insights and conjectures will be welcome as comments, together with anything else you might wish to say

5.  Did You Know  ?

I’ve looked for the below item on the company blog and the the Daily Post.  There does not seem to be any mention of it anywhere on WordPress.


It has probably been fixed by changing to https and the introduction of what looks like a security cookie. But, that login cookie still has a three-year expiry date unless you have a .com, in which case it expires at the end of the browser session.


6.  Kept in the Dark ?

Do you feel Kept in the Dark ? This is hardly transparent. There is an opportunity to vote by clicking on a Like in the appropriate comment box below. The third comment box has a link to commentary with replies available.

Please spread the word by Linking, Sharing, Reblogging, or however you think best, so that others have the opportunity to view and vote.

Thank you for taking the trouble to visit.

* Automattic employees may comment but may not vote. * For surety, I have not used PollDaddy because it is owned by Automattic.

⇐ Herded ? ……… Valued Customer ? ⇒

WordPress Changes – Poll – Valued Customers ?

Duck back 2Others in this series are Start -Herded ?  Kept in the Dark ?  Valued Customer ?  and more to come. Workarounds are here.  My standby blog is http://freedfromtime.blogspot.co.uk/


It is now evident that WP management will not pay attention to customers disquiet and have opted for obstinate.  It also evident that they have kept some motives hidden (see below).

The only option left is to seek a change of management by alerting investors via the tech-media.  The forums and this opportunity to vote will be used for that purpose.

 A Free Blog

First let’s dispel a myth that this is free blogging and we should be grateful.

It is the bloggers who have made WordPress a success and very valuable.   The last assessment was $1.4 billion.

Blogger’s work either attracts advertising (which you don’t see whilst logged in).  Or, as most seem to do, pay $30 p.a. as an upgrade to keep ads off.   With several million using WordPress, that’s a lot of $30.

The much vaunted Open Source Code works both ways.  This means that Automattic must be sitting on a vast repository of free code.


Bloggers were not consulted about any of these changes beforehand. The were foisted on us without any warning.  Moreover, despite protest, almost all the Links go to the new Stats page and it as been stated that the old one will become unavailable.  Moreover it has been increasingly difficult to avoid the new editor and the some of the real motives for all this have been kept hidden.

If one looks at the type of accounts available, what was referred to as “Basic” is now referred to as “Beginner”.   It is hardly respectful to refer to Bloggers, who have been publishing for years,  as “Beginners”.

A number of Bloggers have complained at their comments to Daily Post being held in moderation and the topic closed before their comment was published.

Forum Topics have been closed by staff without the permission of the originator or any consensus by the contributors.  Like this and this, amongst others.  This one after only 24 minutes.  The latter conveys notions of Customer Service, it must have been an uncomfortable idea.

This is hardly the “Democratized Blogging” that has been much-lauded.

As an Aside

I wonder if WordPress employees know that they are referred to as Auto Matt icians.  That is the correct spelling.


Do You Feel That you are  Valued Customer ?

There is an opportunity to vote by clicking on a Like in the appropriate comment box below. The third comment box has a link to commentary with replies available.

Please spread the word by Linking, Sharing, Reblogging, or however you think best, so that others have the opportunity to view and vote.

Thank you for taking the trouble to visit.

* Automattic employees may comment but may not vote. * For surety, I have not used PollDaddy because it is owned by Automattic.

⇐ Kept in the Dark

WordPress Changes – Your Poll #1 – Herded ?

Duck back 2Others in this series are Start – Herded ?  Kept in the Dark (Why this is really happening) ?  Valued Customer ?  and more to come.  Workarounds are here.  My standby blog is http://freedfromtime.blogspot.co.uk/

This is your opportunity to vote on the recent changes to WordPress and there are two vital reasons to do so.

Firstly, the survey is unlikely to be published, so this is your opportunity to be heard.

Secondly, it is now evident that by ourselves it is unlikely that we can bring about improvement but, investors and allied businesses do not like mismanagement that alienates it’s customers and fails in new endeavours.  They can make a difference and bring about the only solution available to us which is a change of management.   With enough support there will opportunity to refer this matter to tech-journalists.  The more who attend, the better chance we have. So please Link to here, Share, Reblog, or spread the word however you think fit.

Herded ?

The Reader: However one gets to the Reader, there is no way out except via the new Stats interface.  The Reader lost it’s small drop-down menu late last year, which offered a link back to one’s Dashboard and a Sign Out.  That loss paved the way to confinement.

The standard login (via wordpress.com) now goes directly to the Reader.

Almost every link to “Stats” goes to the new Stats interface. There is only “View All” beneath the Dashboard graph that still goes to the original statistics page. Other than this, one had to endure the nuisance of scrolling all the way down the new Statistics interface to find the only other link.

The New Editor was almost impossible to avoid until one has loaded it and then chosen “Classic Editor”. Then an opt-out cookie was placed with your browser. But, it expired after six weeks and was only useful if one was willing to keep WordPress cookies between sessions (more on those later). There is was no knowing how short it’s expiry date may be in the future.   That option has been removed and one can only access the classic editor via direct links.

Taken all together, do you feel herded by nuisances, towards the new user interface and it’s editor.

How to vote:   Beneath you will find two comment boxes.

One is for:        Yes  –   I do feel herded into the new Stats interface.

The other is:     No   –   I do not feel herded into the new Stats interface.

Please click on the small blue . ⭐ Like .  in the box of your preference. You can withdraw your like at any time by clicking on it again.

Comments on this topic can be added in the usual way. And, thank you for taking the time to read. 🙂

* Automattic employees may comment but may not vote. * I have not used PollDaddy because it is owned by Automattic.    * I regret the loss of Reply levels, but need to keep this simple. * Comments can be a testament to the extent (or not) of nuisance or whatever you may wish to add.

About WP Changes ……. Kept in the Dark ? ⇒

Forum Topic Moved

 The forum topic “Classic Stats – How to Set” has been closed.  We continue here:- Upgraded Stats ~ for those who are not happy about it.


WP Changes – an Appeal to Reason.

To help move things forward in seeking remedy, below is my recent response to Matt Mullenweg’ s comment on About WordPress Changes and What We Can Do .






“Present feedback has been mostly complaint or attempts to tweak the new UI to meet desktop needs. This is surely not helpful to the new [Mobile] enterprise.

Conversely, relieving users of their concerns would certainly result in feedback that will help the new UI rather than compromise its purpose. Co-operation between us and the restoration of a community spirit, being a lot more productive than a conflict that nobody wants.”

and continues:-

“One of the issues that has caused a lot of consternation has been assertions, by staff on the forums, that the old stats pages will be “phased out”.

I think it has been fairly assumed by some, from your statement “I can say that the wp-admin interface will also be there for you or anyone else who navigates to it directly or bookmarks it”, that this includes the continued existence of the old stats pages which are part of that interface.

Perhaps it has been a been a simple glitch in communications that has caused a large part of the consternation . Such things do happen even in the best of organisations. A simple confirmation would, I’m sure, restore a more amicable, co-operative and productive approach.”

At this stage, I think it is in the best interests of WP users if I allow time for reason to prevail.  But, I will be back on this in 4/5 days.

Addition: The response from CEO M. Mullenweg being unsatisfactory, there will be more activity on Sunday 8th February 2014.

About WordPress Changes and What We Can Do

This article was first published 27th January 2015.  The current situation (11 Many 2016) seems static with both the old Stats pages still available and very little disruption to the “classic” editor.  The workarounds still being a viable option.   We continue to watch for any further disruption and any cause for further protest as may be required.

For more recent concerns (Dec 2016) regarding the WordPress Reader, please click here  ⇐.

For Help with the UI changes (workarounds) please click here .    

There are additional issues that have not been openly disclosed please click here.  For a full range of articles please click here.

*** On Jan 29, 2015 at 17:57 a reply from CEO Matt Mullenweg with bloggers responses, in comments below.

This article (on 27th January 2015) is about Underlying Motive, The Problems, Probable Cause, How We Can Make a Difference and Remaining Questions.

Underlying Motive

Matt Mullenweg, owner and recently appointed CEO of WordPress, has himself indicated a wish to pursue the mobile market which is made clear in and interview with Forbes click here ! (page 5/6) .  However, that interview does not indicate any intention to abandon desk-top users.

Add to this, Tiger Global now have a total of $110 million invested in WP here !.  Tiger Global also have investments in the expanding Indian and South American mobile and e-commerce markets.

Amended/Addition:  From WSJ/Digits  “We both have a long term outlook, and we’re focused on growth,” said Mullenweg of Tiger  in an interview. “

This is altogether an entirely legitimate business pursuit but it’s gone wrong.

The Problem

The mobile versions of the user interface have been so inept as to spoil its credibility from the outset and at the same time alienate desktop users.  Complaints, on the WP Forum, about the new editor ran to 32 long pages here !.    Complaints about the New Stats here (closed)! and here (closed)! and here (closed) !.    Complaints about the New Notifications here ! .  More on Goldfish An Open Letter to WordPress !.  And, we are told, there are more changes to come.

Amendment/Addition: To make this clearer, the changes that have annoyed people most have been the removal of navigation links that make it difficult to avoid the changed pages.  From the Reader entirely impossible.  Such action being coercive.

This is not at all the “democratized blogging” that WP claims to support.  It was entirely unnecessary to create such nuisance for desktop users when a separate strand could have been developed for mobiles.  A one size fits all approach is unworkable for devices that are so different.

The notion that this is a free service and that we should not complain is false.  Active blogs either accept advertisements (which are not visible to the blogger whilst logged in).  Advertisements  which are based upon their own work as the attraction, or pay their $30 p.a. to keep them away.

Such attitudes and behaviour have a continued corrosive effect which includes the loss of key workers over time.  After 1-2 years a company falls into decline, but by then it is unable to stop that decline or even fully recognise the cause.

If customers migrate to another host, then those remaining are going to lose readership, which is then another incentive to move.  If any of the major players realise that WP is creating its own vulnerability they will surely take advantage.  An easy transfer and universal reader would be enough to tip the balance and create a landslide.

Taken altogether this means that we must rescue WordPress from its own demise.

Probable Cause

Nobody in their right mind would want to spoil their progress into a new market and at the same time alienate existing customers.  From long experience freelancing in industry, I know of only one way this can come about.  Somebody who is more convincing than capable has got hold of the reins.

The symptoms are commonly the use of unrealistic hyperbole, forcing users into the new product so that it appears to be successful (in this case, by manipulating the navigational links),  destruction of  previous work (by removing access),  create a notion that restoration is impossible (manage the complainants instead of the complaint) and ensuring that executives of the company do not know the truth (it’s all going very well and doesn’t it look good).

Problems are exacerbated when there is failure to meet deadlines.  That results in products being launched before they are ready and, needing to meet the next deadline, no time for adequate remedy.   As a result, there is further motive to use the ploys mentioned above and plough on regardless.

The most insidious of these is the notion that we cannot overturn the situation.  It is a ploy to ensure that we do not even try outside of the prescribed avenue (the forums) which only frustrate.  But, to paraphrase FDR, ‘there is no cause for despair except despair itself’.

How we can Make a Difference

Whatever may be thought of the above summary, if we do not make an effort, then we and WP lose by default.  If we get up on our hind legs and howl for the pack to pay attention then we stand a good chance of putting more sensible people in charge.  So:-

  • All the possible remedies and the encouragement to be optimistic need to be widely publicised by ourselves by posts (with plenty of tags for the Reader), links, re-blogging with lots of tags (you can use up to 15 categories +Tags without getting excluded from the Reader), tweets, Facebook, email etc. That is our strength as publishers and the numbers of people who express disquiet count as much as the comment content.
  • Every click to/from the new pages are surely recorded and supports the notion that they are successful.  Therefore, it is vital to boycott their use.  They can be avoided by Bookmarking/Favourite a few pages and opening each in a new tab. For more information and a fairly straightforward approach please click here ! .
  • Whilst the forums are a sink-hole for energy with comments that seek restoration only frustrated, it is still important to increase the number of voices and thus show the extent of disquiet. The most commonly used open threads are  here ! for general comment and here ! for New Notifications.   Comments can be entered at the end of the last page and whilst they do not need to be more than brief to add weight to the cause. However, the forums are free to comment as much as you wish.
  • Make contact with WordPress seniors/founders who may not know what is really occurring.  Many have blogs and can be found on the “About !” page.   Unfortunately it is not at all as useful as the version that was recently removed.  Fortunately I took screen-shots of the original here !.   Matt Mullenweg can be contacted here ! and/or tweeted here ! and former CEO, Toni Schneider, here !.

  More than one link may be held in moderation. Therefore, may I recommend using the exact name of forum topics.

  • Later, when the tide of protest has risen, I will be making contact with the equity holders who stand to lose a great deal and those journalists who would like the story of WP unnecessarily creating conflict with its own clients.

The Remaining Questions

Are the seniors/founders of WP really upholders of high ideals or was it just a marketing ploy.  Some of the delightful descriptions from the original “About” page, screen-shots here, include:-

Matt Mullenwg – As the Chief BBQ Taste Tester of Automattic, Matt travels the world sampling cuisine and comparing it to the gold standard of Texas BBQ.

Nick Hamze  – Chief Swag Officer

Stu West – Chief Festivities Officer (CFO) – Stu spends his time measuring the awesomeness of operations and finance at WordPress.

Michelle Weber – Chief Semicolon Advocate

It begs the questions.  Has it really all been about having fun and making swag or is it just that Matt Mullenweg is having too much fun to mind the shop ?  The eventual answer is that deeds speak far louder than words.

What can do we do about it ?  We can spread the word and raise as many voices as possible.  As a last resort, a method I know to be effective against the unethical,  is to widely embarrass with the truth and threaten income and the value of the company.

I hope that the sensible will get control soon and save us all any more nuisance.  Lastly;  thank you for taking the time to read and may I offer you my best wishes in all your endeavours.

Please do use this as you wish by re-blogging, linking etc.  The more viewers the better.


With gratitude and credit to all those who entered comment and information on the forums and apologies if reading has been a bit hard on the eyes (this blog was not intended for this purpose). 🙂

The follow-on from this is now WordPress Changes – Polls #1 – Herded ?