A New, New Focus: VaultPress

Two years ago I posted about “A New Focus“, where my time at Automattic adjusted to be centered on Akismet. Back then Akismet was catching 500,000,000 spam comments per month (see the sidebar chart at http://akismet.com/about/). Today it is catching just over 2,000,000,000 spam comments per month (with a peak of nearly 2,500,000,000 at the end of 2011). Even with all that growth Akismet has continued to perform well, maintaining a high level of accuracy and performance, something that has been great to be a small part of.

This summer I’ve been asked to shift my focus again, by joining the VaultPress team.

If you aren’t familiar with VaultPress here is the elevator pitch: “VaultPress syncs the data from your WordPress site (posts, pages, comments, plugin & theme files, and media uploads) as they are added. On top of that VaultPress will scan your files for code vulnerabilities and changes to core WordPress files.” (more details are on the Get to know VaultPress page)

VaultPress also provides a restore process. If your WordPress site gets vaporized for some reason doing a fresh install and activating the VaultPress plugin will allow VaultPress.com to push a backup snapshot back to your server. There is also an option to manually download a backup snapshot, if you just want to pull out something specific.

The last two years focused on Akismet have been great, and now it is exciting to be taking on the new challenge of helping VaultPress improve and grow.

Pre-Spam Division

I had a rather odd dream last night. Imagine Akismet blended with the movie Minority Report. The “Pre-Spam Division” used people who could see the future to arrest those who were seen in the future to be sending out spam email and posting spam comments.

When I woke up I could still picture Tom Cruise flying around and arresting people for the crime of future spam.

Now, if we could just get one of those fancy hologram based, interactive UIs for managing comments. That part about having to carry transparent disks trays to move data is lame though.

A New Focus

In the three plus years I’ve been working at Automattic the company has grown quite a bit. The number of services has increased and there are over four times as many people. And the growth of WordPress.com has been amazing.

During that time I’ve worked in several areas; bug fixing, stats, themes, comments, rssCloud, PubSubHubbub, webhooks, the list goes on. Today starts a new focus for me at Automattic: Akismet. Most of my previous responsibilities are being transitioned to other people and teams.

So what will this change of focus mean? For now my responsibilities on Akismet will focus on public facing projects, like the Akismet WordPress plugin for instance.

I’ve been a happy user of Akismet for many years, now being able to work on such a critical product is very exciting.