• Date2013-04-21
  • Duration56:55
  • DescriptionCraig Hartel is an early WordPress community member.
  • Tagscommunity, wiki, codex


Interviewer 00:02 I actually, I know quite a bit about you already because you were interviewed on the WordPress blog.#

Hartel 00:11 Oh really?#

Interviewer 00:11 Do you remember this?#

Hartel 00:14 That was a long time ago, I think?#

Interviewer 00:15 It was. [laughter] So why don't you tell me how you first got into WordPress.#

Hartel 00:23 Actually, I had started... I heard this concept on TV about these blogs or weblogs, they were just really starting out, right? And I was looking for one for some sort of a package, a program or something to start. I did one that was really complex and wasn't very successful and then I think I tried Blogger. Blogger was really, really new at the time, right? And one night I just did a Google search and way down the list popped up WordPress. I thought I would give that a try. I didn't really have any ideas about getting involved in a project or anything. I was just interested in blogging in general, because I was interested in writing and of course learning whatever new things I could come up with. I tried WordPress and I got it installed rather quickly. I was just amazed with what it was already capable of doing, and sort of just got hooked immediately on it.#

Interviewer 01:43 Why do you think that led to you getting involved with the community?#

Hartel 01:49 Part of it was because it was so new. I thought of it immediately as a chance to get into something on the ground floor. Especially the opportunity to learn some new skills and things. I've always been interested in computers and the internet. That was just the next great step. So I thought, I don't have any really specific skills, so I don't know what's going on with this. But there's no other way of really learning rather than jumping right in. That's sort of when I decided I was going to find some way to get involved.#

Interviewer 02:31 What was your first involvement?#

Hartel 02:36 Initially it was just actually getting to know some of the people that were already in the community, trying to ask intelligent questions and let people know that I was interested in being part of this. That's when I started to get to know people. We were on IRC a lot there. Well it's still on IRC quite a bit I think at times. I find that really interesting too after all this time. But it works. It really does. Then I quickly realized that in order to get involved initially it was a matter of just doing something. What I had noticed, was that there was a lack of significant documentation patient. So I started asking around and talking with people, and trying to find out how we might set that up as part of a project. Of course, back in those days we had real easy access to Matt and a whole bunch of other guys, too. They were going at it just about 24-7, it seemed like. So I started to put the word out that I was interested in being involved, and that I thought I'd like to start on some documentation with people. And we had a group of about four or five, as I remember, who all just volunteered, and we started organizing ourselves. So documentation was one of the first things I decided to tackle.#

Interviewer 04:26 So who else was involved with you on that?#

Hartel 04:30 I actually - it was Mark, used to be --#

Interviewer 04:44 Podz?#

Hartel 04:46 Pardon me?#

Interviewer 04:47 Podz? Mark Riley? [inaudible]#

Hartel: Yeah, Mark yeah it was Podz, Podz was one of the ones and I do not recall. There was a woman from the United States, she went by Cena. C-E-N-A. She was initially involved in that. I have not thought about those guys in a long time other than [inaudible] he and I became buddies for a while there. We just started trying to find out what was available and what we could take that was already out there. Where it was severely lacking and it started building from map point.#

Interviewer 05:37 Did you write all of this up any of this up anywhere? Did you plan anything or post anything anywhere?#

Hartel 05:49 Initially, it was mostly just on the forums that we had through IRC a lot of it was fairly immediate. Then we obviously swapped a lot of And, I remember earlier on we were having trouble deciding what would be the best way to present the documentation. And I think we were just basically going to use WordPress, itself, initially. But a few of us had several conversations with Matt, and we were trying to get him to use a Wiki engine of some kind, because we thought it would have more flexibility. And, of course, during that time, was starting to get bigger and bigger, and they started using the forums a lot more. So, I think at that point there was a - I also knew that we started to have to build a community as well. That the documentation was always going to be changing, obviously, as WordPress itself evolved over time. I also knew that I didn't really have the technical chops like PHP and database and I've had some programming stuff before... exposure and I work with databases in my work but never in terms of building something webinated. That's when I started recruiting people to write specific articles. I don't remember publishing anything specific in terms of putting something else there really than just mention in forums and IRC. I don't know where the original [inaudible]. I think they just got merged into the media Wiki into the first versions of the Wiki itself. In fact I think I still have administrative privileges on the Codex, right?#

Interviewer 08:22 I don't.#

Hartel 08:23 You don't. evil or anything like that I know--#

Interviewer 08:30 The only reason I don't I just haven't asked. I just haven't gotten around to it. It would just mean more things that I have to do.#

Hartel 08:38 There was about five of us I think. I don't know it's probably changed since then, but probably got a few added. I can still remember the early days talking about the media [inaudible]. It's what Matt found out was going to work the best. I remember him setting that up on a server for it, and we just kind of went wild with it from there. It grew quite quickly, because a lot of people started to see the value in it. When we started cross tying everything. I started spending a lot of time in the Word Press forms on As I was using WordPress, and I was going through documentation and learning I started doing some support. If I didn't know the answer to it things like that. I would often ask people to come in and make suggestions in the forms, or else actually write something. It always became an opportunity.. oh I think I might know some one else to toss something into the... That's sort of how we build it. Then my focus became more on-- I realized that the community aspect of it was going to be huge. I knew how quickly internet communities and stuff degenerate into lots of personal things and all that sort of stuff. [inaudible] and I were always trying to keep the high road with everybody, keep people sort of on their toes, make sure that people were being respectful and that we were sort of keeping things on top, things like that became the bigger thing for me because I just want able to sort of keep up to the actually technology part of it, all the guts going in behind. Like I said, I had my own blog and I was always beta testing, going back and forth from the codex to the community, my own site. I did do some early writing to try to help people conceptualize what WordPress really was at the time and how it could be used, and that it really wasn't all that complicated. considered myself sort of the ultimate layperson. If I can do it, then pretty much anybody can do it, and where I actually felt I had a lot of value was that I had enough computer science background from Kirby Paul's years, and a bit of programming, and the understanding of those things that I could sort of liaise between the people that might be really good technically, but not so good at getting that to a community level, and then taking things from a community level and understanding their needs and transferring that up the food chain, per se, to the people who could actually make some of the things happen. It was a really good time in that sense. It was wide open. There was always things to suggest and everybody was so open to all of the suggestions and ideas, and we just went with things and went crazy with it. That's how I wound up into this whole thing was out of the blue in almost no time at all here I was telling Matt, " We really need community ambassadors and I'll take that responsibility as one if that's okay with you. We'll go forward from there and see how it all goes." It took some of the burden away from the lead developers, but [inaudible] So they could focus more on the mechanics and not do all of the leg work of finding out what people want. Plus then we had to figure out a way to sort of join all that into what they thought as technical leaders. The way they wanted it to go and how they wanted it to work. It was a really exciting time to be there. It was like the launch of the first prototype of a ship.#

Interviewer 13:28 So did they ever diverge what the community wanted and what the developers wanted?#

Hartel 13:33 I'm sorry what was that?#

Interviewer 13:34 Was there ever any divergence or split between what the community wanted and what the developers wanted?#

Hartel 13:44 Yeah for sure. Their were people who had a lot of really strong ideas about how things were or should develop. It became. One thing about Matt, early on, was that he made it pretty obvious that he is always willing to be open to things but, he sort of had a really strong idea on where things could go. And probably the best way to approach it so there were always plenty of ideas and there is always people who are complaining that something wasn't done fast enough or wasn't implemented in a specific way and there were at times, people started moaning and groaning about this sort of it wasn't sort of a dictatorship. It was sort of a benevolent dictator in a way. I think it was a term that was used a lot the developers were, the lead developers were sort of these benevolent dictators and they were open to a lot of things that we did. They make themselves available all the time, but they recognize that you had to have some kind of real control and real direction for it. In order for it to succeed otherwise it would just go off in a million directions and probably will never succeed because there would be feature blow. There was all PHP was coming with some new versions and there was debates about which database should be supported. Things like that and on and on. So you got people who are really good in the back end stuff and people who are really good at the up front stuff. And as much as people would complain about it I think it was really the right approach that they had. You just have to suck it up a little bit and it was Matt and Robs and project in a sense and the rest of us were there to participate and contribute in any way we wanted to. I always felt that I was always on Matt side. I didn't always agree myself with some of the things that happened. I remember the five of us who were documentation. It took us quiet a while to convince Matt to use the Wiki [inaudible] and finally when we tried media Wiki out, and did a few things with it and realized let's just go with it. To see the success of the Codex really still that [inaudible] out there was a real credit to the engine itself and to how we implemented this group I think. So there was always division in that sense because everybody's ideas are the best ideas, right? Everybody has the things that matters to them the most right so.#

Interviewer 17:01 Can you think of any. Sorry. I was going to say can you think of any specific things that a lot of people in the community wanted, but the developers said no?#

Hartel 17:17 I think it was more of a lot of progressive of things because I think over time most things got implemented anyways. And it was a matter of where you can put your resources and your energies at the time. But I do remember early on whether to use RSS, whether they were going to use Atom and which protocol they wanted to use for all that. There was always a lively debate around that. And as I said it was even the fact that they were using a SQL data base and people wanted Postgray and they wanted SQLite and all these other things too. They wanted authority over everything, right? So there was always stuff going on about that. But yes, I don't recall offhand anything that was really huge thing. It was always lively at the time, but at some point or other, this is the way it is and it didn't have to be into the core.#

Interviewer 18:58 So do you think..#


Interviewer 19:00 Sorry.#

Hartel 19:01 I just wanted to [inaudible] core so..#

Interviewer 19:05 And do you think the hook system changed the dynamic for the community at all?#

Hartel 19:10 Yes, it did. I could see where there was camps growing and there was people who were interested in things being done a certain way. So they would tend to group together, birds of a feather, right. You can flip around through IRC and can fall in the middle of the debate about something. It did not take long to start to know all the players and where they are coming from. So there were people going into camps over things like that. It always made it difficult when you went back into forums and started doing community stuff. Because some people who would visit their forums, that was their only input, that is the only way that they chose to give their ideas and to have their.. her voice. She would sort of fly in and say, " Oh, well, I think you guys are completely wrong on this. This is how it should be, and that's what I think." And you wouldn't see them at IRC. You wouldn't see them in [inaudible]. You wouldn't see them distributing anything on MediaWiki, but they were very strong on their opinions on the [horn?]. And that would tend to get a lot of Flame work going on in the forums. And I can still remember Klaus and I, and a few other guys, going in there and trying to again, keep people on track. And in the back of my mind, I always wanted to have the community, a strong sense of community. And that there are ways where people at all levels of skill, and all levels of energy and to contribute. So I found myself-- I felt a little bit like a rocket ball, bouncing around in a court somewhere, going from place to place. But it was so dynamic. It was a lot of fun. It was a little tough sometimes.#

Interviewer 21:18 Do you think the core developers shared that sense of wanting to create a community? as opposed to simply creating the software?#

Hartel 21:30 I do. And the reason why I do is because of how much personal access I can get to them. But some of it's good, and I think they felt if I had enough trust from them, that I was going in the right direction, and then they could still direct things and help momentum changes or things like that, by coming out directly in the forums and saying something direct. But there was always back and forth between us and developers, and like I said, with the kind of trust that we built, they let us take it a certain direction. And it took a lot of the burden off them. Because I don't see how they could've managed all of the things; no way. They would've had to make a choice at some point in time, to focus on the code, because that's what it's all about.#

Interviewer 22:34 I get the sense, speaking to you and a few other people, that - oh, you're breaking up. Are you there? [silence] Are you there?#

Hartel 22:55 I'm still here.#

Interviewer 22:56 Are you still there? You've kind of frozen. I can hear you. I missed the last bit.#

Hartel 23:05 Okay. I think it would be that the guys had enough trust in us, that we would go a certain way. And we have a really good idea what they wanted, and then we'd say this is what we think the community wants. So we would get some direction from them, and then we always had a feedback group with them all the time, that " Okay, this is what's going on now, and this is something that we can't really speak for the project; so what would you like us to say? Or do you guys want to jump in and add your contribution to the conversation." So it really felt at first, but I think I still sort of knew what my place was in this whole thing. It wasn't my project. I was taking ownership of stuff, but I think that's what people have to do. Right?#

Interviewer 24:11 So I get the sense from speaking to you and some other people that after a while it kind of developed into kind of two camps. You have the people working on the code and then the people working on the community. There was an interaction between those people. Does that sound accurate?#

Hartel 24:30 Yes. That was just about exactly it.#

Interviewer 24:35 Were there any other groups around apart from the community folks and the developer folks?#

Hartel 24:43 There was a lot of folks in things I think. A lot of people like to get in and be part of the conversation in general. Over time there were a few people who started sort of break away from the whole thing, and were talking about working on something else because they were feeling a lot more resistant to the benevolent dictator model. They wanted more watching movies, input all the direction what project was moving forward. A few people do that eventually. I think there's still couple out there took a fork of it and gone their own way.#

Interviewer 25:40 Do you know or remember the names of the people?#

Hartel 25:49 I probably still have, I may look at some in the stuff and send you a few notes if I could find it in my old email account.#

Interviewer 25:56 That would be great, I would like to speak to anyone.#

Some of them sort of. In the middle-- And, at the time, my whole family was disintegrating kind of thing, and I got into this depressive thing. And I started - one day I would be just fine and another day, I'd be, oh, I'm so frustrated with all of this. I want to learn more. I want to do more, but you guys are letting me do more. And then, I've had it, and I'm not working with this anymore. Forget it. And then, I would be back a couple days later as if nothing had happened. And people started to notice, because I was just up and down like a roller coaster, right? And my blog - I tied my blog quite closely to what was going on in WordPress at the time. And so, I had a lot of resources there to try and lead the newer people from one place to another. Get the help they needed or whatever. And so, my blog was doing quite well at the time. And then, it sort of - the whole thing kind of collapsed at one point. But the other significant thing that did happen with the project, though, that I feel really proud of is - I think was that blogging service we had and there were different levels. They finally decided that everyone was going to pay a license fee.#

Interviewer 28:07 Oh that was movable type.#

Hartel 28:09 Movable type yeah! I was trying to think of that last night and I thought- thank you for that, now I won't go insane to [laughter]. So as a community we went after them, in the sense that we saw an opportunity to bring people who were passionate about something to our passion for WordPress, and that maybe they could find WordPress to be as good, if not better, as movable type. We kind of preyed on that whole negativity that was going on around them starting to charge people for using. We went out of our way to help people convert their blogs over from movable type. I know some of the developers wrote a few scripts to get things over from the movable type database into the way the WordPress database was set up. We spent a lot of time on the forums and directly with people. To show that we were a stronger community, that we weren't the kind of community that was just going to slap some information out there and you were kind of on your own to find stuff, and that sort of thing. Drupal was really bad for that sort of thing, I thought. I thought of it as a kind of snobbery, right. There were people in the know and if they decided on that day that they wanted to share some information, or something, they would do it, but otherwise you were more or less on your own. So with the movable type thing we really worked hard. A whole bunch of us worked really hard to help a whole bunch of people.#

We got some pretty big named people to come over and I think that was a pretty successful thing, and it was one of the big er du coup for WordPress, to demonstrate not just that we were a better blog engine, but we were a better community in general. There was a lot of stuff going around about that. So that was a pretty big part of it too. I was really proud of being involved with everybody with that.#

Interviewer 30:30 So that would've been a busy few weeks.#

Hartel 30:33 For sure. I put in a lot of hours. I can remember that.[laughter] Things like that is really, but it was worth it I made a few friends and bought some new things written about the community and so that was very personally fulfilling. I felt really good because that was one way I see myself and the people that I was working with could make a good contribution to the whole project.#

Interviewer 31:02 Can you think of any other events like that galvanized the community and brought them together?#

Hartel 31:15 I honestly, I think there was some of the early major security hole. That happened. The community really worked hard to, the coders did worked really hard, quickly to patch things up and the rest of us work really hard to advise people that there was issues out there and this is what they can do to fix it. because it was potentially disastrous with [inaudible]. Since WordPress was starting to get noticed at that time, and seen as the little up-and-comer guy from off in the distance, we needed to address that really quickly, and it was done really quickly. It always has been. There has been-- I remember complaints about some of the security vulnerabilities that they weren't necessarily communicated that well to the community, but I think there was a reason for it, and that's because it does involve security, and when they went-- as soon as they were aware of things they were working on stuff. You also don't have the luxury of time to start being-- holding hands for everybody while you're trying to patch these holes, right? So that became another job of the community as well. Even in the community, the way Matt started-- Matt always had his hand in the forums aspect of it and building better tools for us to use and he sort of proclaimed some of us to be [inaudible]. He started to give us this little titles and things like that. The equivalent of being some sort of ninjas or whatever of some kind. So that started gave us more responsibility and also gave us a bit more weight in there, so often we can get into some of these issues over the security and keep things a bit quieter and keep information or on track and this wild rumors and speculations and things like that. There was always a lot of work in that respect. So there were thirty security tapes that were definitely one place that brought together a lot. I think another one too is when we started creating the first site for the WordPress plug in. things like that. That was another really big thing that worked to bring people together, because people hopefully contribute more, and there wasn't really a central place for them to go. And then, when they went to the [inaudible], that was another place, another time when it was another significant move - a notch in the belt of WordPress, because we were vocal with Matt and them about, " Guys, you just can't ignore us and people want these things, and they may need these things, and there's a lot of people out there with a lot of great ideas." Matt must have been working 24 hours a day back in the day. Who knows? Sometimes it would be unbelievable, where I would get an e-mail at 3:00 in the morning or something that [chuckles] I should go and try this, and try that, and let them know how it would work. It was pretty incredible. [chuckles] And it was obvious, the way the community in general looked at people and let come up to a higher level in a sense within the community. We placed trust in them, and they put a lot of trust in us a lot of times, too. Even they would come to our defense if people started attacking us for especially if Podz wouldn't put up with crap from anybody. [laughter] I tend to try and be a little more diplomatic, and he was, too, but at a certain point in time, then he was also like-- he would tell it as it is. I just think it was just sort of a-- it wasn't a linear progression, but it was a really nice evolution. It evolved more quickly at times than others, but it kept getting stronger. I was always sort of hurt by hearing things about how the community isn't really all that responsive, and they're all a bunch of elitists and stuff, so we would always talk about that and try and get in there and make sure that we would put the-- douse those little fires as they would pop up, before they got too big. Stuff like that. At one point, I think my user ID was under 500 - one of the first 500 people in the world to get involved in this - and in a year or two there was thousands and thousands of people, and the forms evolved that would be another question, how the forums evolved into more than just support and a place to showcase some of the [inaudible], your whole site, or a new plugin, or something that you might have done. The way it evolved was quite good too. Not to take absurdly long, but...#

Interviewer 37:02 Yeah we've lost some of the data on the forums for some reason. For shame. But there's still a lot on there. I was just going to ask if your blog is still online?#

Hartel 37:21 No, it actually went offline quite a long time ago. Then when I was sick my domain came up for renewal. I didn't get it renewed, and somebody with a link farm now owns it. I tried buying it off of him but he just wanted too much money for it.#

Interviewer 37:47 Did you lose all of your Posts and comments? No, I still have a lot of them; I've used them here and there. I've used the way back machine, and I've recovered some of the stuff there. There's still a lot more there. Most of the stuff that I've recovered that's interested me more, just in the personal stuff that I wrote, the WordPress stuff is still in the wash.#

Interviewer 38:18 Let's see; the way back machine is gold.#

Hartel 38:23 Yeah, it is.#

Interviewer 38:25 I was wanting to ask you something else about the documentation. Whenever - so this is what I find out through the way back machine. The early plans for documentation seem to have official documentation on, and then also have a Wiki. I was wondering why plans changed around that? Because the official stuff never seem to be written.#

Hartel 38:55 Partly because the way the official stuff... if I remember correctly, the official stuff wanted more from the developers and from the people doing in the code. They wanted it... I think they were going to start keep everything in PDF format and he said, " yeah [inaudible]" It would have been terrible like the change so much and that's what we have that struggle with Matt for a while. Nomad has got to be more dynamic and it has to be open to more people so that we could spread the load because the five of us who were involved initially, there was no way that we could do all of that. We wanted to have our own files too. This is their project, they wanted to order 24/7 fine but that was... I think it was because it was a little bit. Bit worried because it was going to be out in the wild. We would have to be very diligent just like Wikipedia does, right. I mean [inaudible] around on it and vandalize it and everything else like that. So I think that is why there was an initial edging by Matt to get into that. Because I think he was worried that if they had a set of official documents that was under directed by, then he would not have to worry about that. You do not have to worry about having fix it all. So, but we assured him that we would keep on top of things and that every time something got screwed around or something.. We eventually convinced him that that was the way to go. Because in reality, I remember quoting up to him like Matt it is hard to handle documentation. And as this is growing there is not really all that much more. So we have to get a lot more people involved with this so we felt that Wiki was the best way to tackle that#

Interviewer 41:09 So at which point did the Wiki become the official Documentation?#

Hartel: Matt installed it on the server and he had a few of us have accounts with it and he wanted to look for content to install with it. We gathered up what was already available or what other people might have had in their blogs already. Then we directly ask people. If we... they tell us that we are working on a project where they can directly contribute. Once we got into that and once Matt... Matt was only in the background of that, playing around with how we wanted it presented in a lot of the bloody depths of media Wiki itself. We were just more turned content and the natures of the conversations that we would have on the discussions [inaudible]. Because we wanted to go through how we wanted to make pages, how we wanted to set the structure at the Wiki itself so that people could have found it intuitive and things like that. Once we have the basic layout and some of the things like Matt said yeah, let's just go for it and. Flip the switch and open it up and then we started directing people from the support form to--If you know some stuff, go to the wiki add it in there if you don't find what you're looking for on the forums try the wiki and go from there and that's basically what happens at that.#

Interviewer 42:55 Did you plan for a sort of split between user-documentation and developer-documentation or did it all just go in there?#

Hartel 43:05 No it first get with just like anything and we were so desperate for content, that it was no [inaudible] we might have organized this transfer of sections or something, that we kinda believe more technically oriented versus you know. So we started with breaking down in areas, so functionality: how you install it, this is how you can change settings with it, you know this is whatever sort of tutorial kind of base and then there is other stuff that we just, this is what the hooks are and this is how you use toll man. So we sort of saw a division on who is creating the content because there're more obviously technically oriented people with delving into the API stuff and the rest of us who are just more depth, the actual support get people up and running. We're working on the other aspects. Did you ever encounter any problems with it? There was a lot of problems initially. The number of us that were... that had administrative privileges for example. There was a lot issues over how we should be setting things up. We had a lot of debate [inaudible] over that stuff too. About how we should structure the Wiki and how we should use things. For example, you might not hear from someone for a while, so a few of us would decide this is the way it's going to be. And then they would come back and say " you guys, what are you doing here and you shouldn't be doing things this way". And then they might come up with a really good idea and that meant you had a whole lot of work done. So at a certain point, I removed myself from the sort of debate about how to set the Wiki up and how to structure all of things. Because there was obviously people there that had a lot more knowledge and experience about that so I just started focusing on the content itself. Developing the content or finding people to add content, reversing any of the vandalism or even just going through and fixing grammar and spelling or things like that. Let the other ones take on that aspect of it and I just focus on what I could do best.#

Interviewer 45:52 Did you have any discussions about how to license the content in the Codex?#

Hartel 45:58 There was... I don't think there was any issue over the licensing of the codecs because they were going to follow in the spirit of whatever the source code was. There was always debate over the licensing for WordPress itself but I think the Wiki and everything else, barely level of it ever really came into any discussion in terms of what we should do. To me, it was just intuitive that it would be share and share alike. Care of my attribution a think like that so it was just the actual WordPress platform and itself where there was debate over which license to use. There probably still is I would imagine.#

Interviewer 46:52 Well, there's not really any choice. It has to be GPL because B2 was so [laughter] it's bad, it's pointless. [laughter]#

Hartel 47:00 We had to bring it up all the time.#

Interviewer 47:04 I know. I think someone mentioned to me that there was some issues around when Laurelle wanted to write a book? Do you remember anything about that? He couldn't recall it really.#

Hartel 47:22 No, I think I once Lorelle started getting into things and she went absolutely crazy and Codex and stuff and then she started to build her own blog with it. It was getting to at that time that's when it started getting really bad for me and I would participating a lot less. I got to know Lorelle, just Internet friend kind of thing, and I would have supported her to do it, but I don't-- I was never specifically involved with an arguments or whatever about her writing a book or something. I mean, for the amount of work that she did, the amount of things that she contributed, as far as I was concerned, all power to ya. And I sort of felt that was what WordPress was all about in a way, too. You could take it and figure out how-- whatever, as long as you were sticking by the licensing and sticking by the spirit of the whole project, go for it. That's what it's all about. Obviously now you see some of these companies that are out there now that are doing fantastic things, and it's not 17, 18 employees. You're like Copyblogger. Those guys-- they're making a pretty good living off of WordPress starting and so yes, I never really got much into the realm. [inaudible] I mean for my part at the time I was kind of on this little bit of a soap box about my blog. I was getting decent traffic, I did not put any advertising. I did not do any adverts or anything like that. I was trying to do it as a purist. Word press has given me the opportunity to learn skills and meet some people. So I do not know what it was but at that time I just felt that I should stick to my original intent of being a community member and that I was not there to make money per say. Who knows maybe some day there might be jobs for a micro manager or something like that.#

Interviewer 49:52 So was that an issue? People started doing advertising on their blogs.#

Hartel 49:57 Yeah. became an issue?#

Well, that's been an issue for me, and I don't think it was an issue for other people either. There was always people who would say that they weren't really doing anything. They were just taking advantage of the fact that WordPress had all of this information through the codex and through the plugin repository and everything else like that. And, someone would just basically put up links to my blog and everybody else's blog and whatever. And, they started getting a lot of hits for that, right? The weblog toolkit. Mark Ghosh was one of the real early guys who were doing that, right? And he - I actually did a little bit of writing for him at first too. But that was sort of, again, when started to have my own meltdown. So, that didn't last long for me. But Mark did a really good thing with that, and it's still running as far as I know. So, I don't think too many people had a problem with it. I think there were some people who would be more upset about making money directly off of something on WordPress rather than - squatting on WordPress style domain names and things like that, I remember hurting on and going out and personally buying many work press content things, that I could dazzle me and we just tried to run them over, they were cheaper than anything else like that, right? The one hurt the pauses or the plugging re-pause, so it re-lasted actually among time before it was shipped to another one, but. Yeah we had a lot of that kind of stuff, that we kinda worried about being first people sort of doing that kind of thing pouching the good stuff, that was in the word pressing its name, so that was problem that they just issue with all people making money is that they're not contributing at any way and they just I tried to make books of the more variety kind of thing, right? Which is actually why the guy who had my domain. It was one time on Google and in Google's news my site. [laughter] So it was untrue, some people marked it out of street away. [laughter]#

Interviewer 52:38 So were you working at the time?#

Hartel 52:42 Yeah, I was. I worked for the provincial government here. I've been working with it for 20 years, so-- actually, at the times I cord-- when I really tapered off with things I wound up being on sick Leave for nearly a year because of depression and everything. But I still work for them. I'm a new Graphic Information Systems Tech this year for it. All that stuff.#

Interviewer 53:15 So what point did you stop being involved in WordPress? Was that 2004, 2005?#

Hartel 53:22 Yeah, that would be around the right time. I think that was because I'd embarrassed myself enough, and people have no idea what was going on with me personally. I didn't tell anybody. My on again-off again, and all these sort of little rants and raves that I had at times, and I realized that I lost credibility with everybody because of all this, so I just quietly faded into the background. And I'm still a WordPress shadow. I follow everybody on Google Plus and everything like that. I still use WordPress. I'm trying to get another blog started, and of course, it's going to run on WordPress. I'm the WordPress champion. I've even tried to convince our ministry to use WordPress, but they won't; they use Drupal. That annoys me to no end, really. Because actually I've thought that would be my way of being able to use WordPress and get paid for it. I wanted to be involved with that, within my employer infostructure.#

Interviewer 54:53 We should set up your blog.#

Hartel 54:59 I thought of going to a certain extent and then I just get involved in other things. I still have minor, sort of getting back to depression mode in a way. But they are getting shorter and less [inaudible] all the time. I want to sort of re-post some of the stuff I had in my old blog. Even going through some of the stuff I wrote about WordPress. It is kind of funny it is like someone put it down I might not even recognize it as myself. It is kind of interesting but it is definitely something that I would be doing for sure. I promised myself that this year I would have it up and running.#

Interviewer 55:44 You should and you should get back into the forums.#

Hartel 55:47 Yeah, well you never know.#

Interviewer 55:50 I'd like to see you there. That has been really useful. Do you mind if I hit you up with questions if I need anything else just by email or whatever? Yeah that would be great.#

Hartel 56:04 No problem.#

Hartel 56:07 I will put together, I will dig up stuff if I can find it and pass it along to you.#

Interviewer 56:13 If you have them then that would be great. Everything helps.#

Hartel 56:16 Okay.#

Interviewer 56:17 Absolutely.#

Hartel 56:17 For sure. I did not try to [inaudible] an interesting task.#

Interviewer 56:23 So I am speaking to lots of people but obviously you kind of have to deal with memory and people remember things differently. So getting things that have been written in emails, or forums, or chat logs, is much more useful.#

Hartel 56:37 Right, okay, I will like I said and go ahead anytime send me an email or whatever you like. I am happy to pass along anything I can remember.#

Interviewer 56:47 Okay, thank you so much, it was lovely to speak to you.#

Hartel 56:51 And you too, great to see you, take care, bye.#

Interviewer 56:54 Bye.#