John Maeda leaves KPCB, joins Automattic as design head



John Maeda is leaving VC firm KPCB where he was a design partner to join Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com and a bunch of other things. Maeda will have a long, elaborate title at Automattic — he’s the company’s new Global Head, Computational Design and Inclusion. Before KPCB, Maeda was a research faculty member at the MIT Media Lab in the 1990s.

“I wanted to do three things,” Maeda wrote on Design.blog. “1/ highlight Automattic’s international community of designer-engineers (global), 2/ advance the kind of design that is being fully impacted by Moore’s Law (computational), and 3/ highlight how cutting-edge design requires the capacity to embrace human differences (inclusion).”

Also new, Maeda is launching a new site called Design.blog. The site will feature new stories every Thursday. Apparently, the design of the homepage will also regularly change to showcase some design work. Design.blog will run stories from thinkers, designers and writers. Automattic designers will help Maeda run this blog.

Maeda says that Automattic’s work when it comes to open source projects is one of the key reasons behind today’s move. Automattic contributes to the open source WordPress project, and 26 percent of the web now runs on WordPress. If you have an impact on WordPress’s design, you’re going to impact hundreds of millions of people who interact with WordPress sites every day — including TechCrunch, a WordPress site hosted on WordPress.com VIP.

As you can see, Design.blog is also one of the first sites ending with the .blog domain extension. Automattic recently secured the rights to operate .blog domain names. In the future, people will be able to sign up for a CoolDomainName.blog for their WordPress blog or any other site.

Starting today and until October 17, trademarks can reserve their .blog domain names so that nobody can get the google.blog domain name before Google, for example.

On November 2, everybody will be able to sign up for a .blog domain name. Maybe I should get tech.blog…

Photo credit: Helena Price for Techies Project



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