1) What do you do for a living (company you work for, official title, daily responsibilities, etc.)
I’ve has been blogging since you were in grade school (well, some of you). I pioneered the blog format in the late 1990s and remember an eager, bright-eyed young man named Ma.tt being excited to meet one of the “founding fathers of blogging” in 2003.
I have designed and built web sites for presidential candidates, the U.S. Army, the World Economic Forum, Teach for America and I lead the migration of 70+ web sites from a terrifically-bad, proprietary SaaS to WordPress Multisite for New Jersey’s largest public school district.
I hail from Northern Michigan, but grew up internationally, and currently live in Northern NJ with my family. I am leading the charge for embracing “WordPress in Schools” and my goal is to eventually have all 14,000+ public school districts in this country using WordPress in some way through a services-based company called SchoolPress.
2) How did you get into WordPress?
Now, this is a story about how my site got flipped-turned upside down. I’ll take a minute to just sit right here and tell you how I came to use WordPress. I was born and raised in West Philadelphia where I spent most of my days chilling out online. But then I got all mixed up with 4chan and some guys who were up to no good. They started to make trouble in my online neighborhood. I got into one little Internet fight and my mom got scared. She said, “You’re moving with your aunt and uncle to California.”
I begged and pleaded with her day after day but she packed up my MacBook Air and sent me on my way. She gave me a kiss and gave me my ticket. I put on my earbuds and said, “I might as well switch it up.” I flew first class, orange juice out of a champagne glass and all. Is this what living in California is going to be like? All right.
Well, the plane landed and when I came out there was a due who looked like a cop standing there with my name on a card. I wasn’t sure what to do, I just got here, so I hightailed it out of there and whistled for a cab. The license plate said Ma.tt and it had dice in the mirror. If anything, I could say this cab was rare. But I thought, “California, take me and my MacBook Air.”
We pulled up to a house around 7 or 8pm and I yelled to the cabbie, “Yo Ma.tt, see ya later.” I looked at my kingdom. I was finally there. To sit on my throne as the Prince of Bel-Air.
3) What’s a great experience you had at a WordCamp?
I especially appreciate the willingness and eagerness of WordCamp attendees to help others out, no matter their level of expertise. I spend a lot of time at very technical conferences and the technical vs non-technical cliques are very obvious. WordCamps span the gap quite well.
4) What are your non-WordPress, non-Computer related hobbies?
Biking, hiking and travel. About 15 years ago I came very close to starting an adventure travel company in Siberia but the funding fell through and the local Russian mafia advised me against it.
5) If you could be any fictional character, who would you be and why?
Wapuu. It’s not every day that you get to be the mascot for every WordCamp in the world.