Here’s an incredible fact: together, you published more than 660 million posts on WordPress.com in 2015, and made more than 655 million comments.
That’s a whole lot of joy, laughter, tears, insight, and thoughtfulness. And it’s just one part of a huge global community of people — WordPress now powers more than 25% of the internet — with interests ranging from the news shaping our world to personal stories that shape our own families and lives.
We talked about the serious and the mundane, the silly and the sorrowful; we talked about creativity, sports, marriage, parenthood, politics, love, romance, differences, divisions, and identity.
From all of us at Automattic to everyone in the WordPress.com community: it’s been a thrill to watch, participate in, and support your work.
Here’s a quick roundup of notable moments from 2015:
Viral Hits of 2015
I thought, if there’s one person society won’t f— with, it’s a marathon runner.
—Kiran Gandhi, who ran the London Marathon while free-bleeding, in the viral post, “Sisterhood, blood and boobs at the London Marathon.”
We have all learned, either by instinct or by trial and error, how to minimize a situation that makes us uncomfortable. How to avoid angering a man or endangering ourselves. We have all, on many occasions, ignored an offensive comment. We’ve all laughed off an inappropriate come-on. We’ve all swallowed our anger when being belittled or condescended to.
—Gretchen Kelly of Drifting Through on “The Thing All Women Do That You Don’t Know About.”
There is no After – happily ever or otherwise. There is only today. Just today – During.
—Lisa Durant (Can Anybody Hear Me?) in “The After Myth,” on losing weight, and facing questions about identity along the way.
For mothers in the workplace, it’s death by a thousand cuts—and sometimes it’s other women holding the knives. I didn’t realize this—or how horrible I’d been—until five years later, when I gave birth to a daughter of my own.
—At Fortune, Katharine Zaleski writes an apology to the moms she used to work with.
Five-year olds shouldn’t straight line.
Why did this one?
Because of gun violence in the city.
—The story of “A Senseless Death,” from don of all trades.
Girls can do anything that boys do but it turns out that sometimes they get killed for it.
—In “Being a Girl: A Brief History of Personal Violence,” Anne Thériault (The Belle Jar) traces a lifetime of gendered assault, harassment, and threats starting at age six.
Curry isn’t a product of the math; he’s so good that he has his own math. Indeed, the math is so far in Curry’s favor that the Warriors — and even basketball in general — may not fully understand what they have yet.
—At FiveThirtyEight, Benjamin Morris looked for a mathematical answer to the question: just how good is Stephen Curry?
Covering World Events
From the tragedy of the EU refugee crisis to the community coming together to uplift each other following attacks in Paris and Beirut, WordPress.com bloggers offered unique perspectives on what happened around the world in 2015:
“Most never thought they’d be in this position.”
—From Lionel Beehner’s visit to the Zaatari refugee camp. More blogs featured in “On the Run: Blogging the European Refugee Crisis.”
We don’t have to be united. We don’t have to agree. We don’t always have to “stand together,” even. That’s precisely what makes us strong, and that’s precisely what makes our way of life worth defending.
—Drew Messinger-Michaels (Everybody’s Talking at Once) on the Paris attacks. Featured in “Don’t Be Who ISIS Wants You to Be”: Bloggers on Paris and Beirut.
This is a day for celebrating equal treatment by the law, and equal recognition by the state.
—Lela Urquhart, at Tropics of Meta, on the history of marriage. Featured in the roundup “#LoveWins! LGBTQ Bloggers Make Their Voices Heard.”
WordPress.com Bloggers with Books
Some of the most talented, creative people in the world are part of this warm, cozy WordPress.com community — here’s just a few who announced new books in 2015:
New York Times bestselling author Lawson (also known round these parts as The Bloggess) published her second book, Furiously Happy — CBC named it one of its Best of 2015 and Entertainment Weekly called it “a strange but beautiful fusion of mental health awareness and understanding that, while serious in parts, will have you snorting into your coffee or laughing loudly on the subway.”
The author of five books released Fake Fruit Factory this year, and NPR named it one of 2015’s best.
Roddy (of rachel eats fame) published her book Five Quarters: Recipes and Notes from a Kitchen in Rome, and it will be released in the U.S. in 2016.
Lester (A Gentleman and a Scholar) will have a book out in November 2016 with Virago Press (Little, Brown), titled Trans Like Me: A Journey for All of Us.
The sci-fi author (Whatever) published his latest book, The End of All Things, in August.
Jennifer K. Armstrong
In 2016 the pop culture writer will release her next book, Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything, an examination of the history and cultural impact of Jerry Seinfeld’s beloved TV series.
The author behind Koreanish is publishing his next novel, The Queen of the Night, in 2016.
The xkcd creator offered up his latest, Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words.
Kevin M. Hardcastle
The author released a new short story collection, Debris, in September.
Mary Laura Philpott
The author and illustrator published Penguins with People Problems in June.
Notable Quotes & Bloggers in the News
“No one tells you that you will break down and bawl and abandon your cart in the cereal aisle at Safeway because what woman, what mother, doesn’t know what her children want for breakfast.”
—Teri Carter, in The New York Times, on “A Stepmother Losing Her Marbles.”
There is no joy now without a shadow of bittersweet sorrow, but I experience my feelings more fully; as if a dial has been turned and my emotions amplified — the good and the bad.
—Hannah Richell, in Harper’s Bazaar Australia, on grief and losing her husband.
Let me tell you something you already know: Your housekeeper spies on you.
—Stephanie Land (stepville), in Vox, on her experience cleaning houses for rich clients.
Perhaps this is what MTV has brought us in thirty seasons of hot-tub parties and blurry night-vision footage of under-the-sheets trysts that everyone regrets in the morning—it has helped train us to see our daily lives as a continual acting out of identity in public.
—Amanda Ann Klein (judgmental observer) on “Thirty Seasons of ‘The Real World’” in The New Yorker.
Murders over money, over women: In any other neighborhood, we would call the killers youths committing crimes. In neighborhoods like Englewood and Auburn Gresham, we call them gang members, a label that has very real consequences.
—Jason Harrington (Taking Sense Away) wrote on Chi-raq and the changing nature of gun violence in Chicago for The New York Times Magazine.
“The Facts” distills the essentials of the How to Be a Girl series into a primer of sorts , the perfect starting point for newcomers who want to find someone under the age of 6 who can give them a master class in personal growth.
—The Atlantic on Marlo Mack (gendermom), whose podcast was named a Best of 2015 pick, and who was featured on Longreads earlier this year.
Over the century since its creation, the Periodic Table of Elements has been studied almost as much, if not more, comprehensively than the Harry Potter universe. It is far past time that the two academic schools of thought were combined.
—Lauren James, at The Toast, with “The Hogwarts Houses of the Periodic Elements: A Critical Analysis.”
“I try but I can’t think of a single aspect of having cancer, start to finish, that isn’t an act in a pantomime in which my participation is guaranteed however I believe I choose to play each scene. I have been given this role. . . . I have no choice but to perform and to be embarrassed to death.”
—Jenny Diski, writer for the London Review of Books, profiled in The New York Times Magazine this year.
Our Community, IRL
From the Press Publish conference in Portland and Phoenix, to the Longreads Story Night in San Francisco and New York, our community got together in person to celebrate our work, share advice, and seek inspiration from writers and editors like Christine Lee, Mary Laura Philpott, John Herrman, Ananda Leeke, and more.
Here’s a breathtaking moment from our Longreads Story Night in New York, with The New York Times Magazine’s Nikole Hannah-Jones:
The All-New WordPress.com Goes Live
This past year marked the 10th anniversary of WordPress.com, and we celebrated by working behind the scenes to radically improve the experience. In November, we flipped the switch on an all-new WordPress.com: faster performance, a brand new editor, desktop apps for Mac, Windows, and Linux, the Discover Editors’ Picks showcase, and so much more.
It was all part of a new open-source project we codenamed Calypso, and we are thrilled that this is just the beginning. We’ll continue to make improvements so publishing is simple, seamless and fast — on any device.
A Warm Welcome for Woo!
Ecommerce continues to grow in importance for people building their own sites and businesses, and this year one of the biggest names, WooCommerce, officially joined our parent company Automattic. Together, we’re excited to do even more to make it easy for businesses (large and small) to create and manage beautiful online stores.
WordPress: Now Powering More than 25% of the Internet
WordPress.com is just one piece of a huge, open-source WordPress community, and together we hit a new milestone in November: WordPress is now powering more than 25% of all sites on the Internet.
The full history of WordPress is now documented in a new book, Milestones, released on GitHub in December.
New on WordPress in 2015
A lot of notable companies and publishers created new sites on WordPress.com and WordPress in 2015. Here’s a few:
Feminist Frequency & The Online Safety Guide
The groundbreaking site and nonprofit organization, created by Anita Sarkeesian, is now part of the WordPress.com family, and we were proud to work with her on a new project: The Online Safety Guide for protecting against online harassment.
We worked with the global AIDS charity (RED) on their new site. The organization is aiming to help “deliver the first AIDS-free generation in over thirty years.”
The videogame arts & culture magazine launched a successful Kickstarter this year to reinvent their print magazine, and we helped them reinvent their site on WordPress.
The New York Review of Books
The legendary literary publication, founded by Robert Silvers and Barbara Epstein in 1963, joined the WordPress community in December 2015.
Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings
Popova’s treasure trove of interestingness has been on WordPress for a long time, but this year she unveiled a fresh new design.
Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman
The award-winning blogger, bestselling author, Food Network TV star, and longtime WordPress publisher brought her site to WordPress.com in 2015.
Reddit turned its massive community into an editorially (or “Redditorially”) curated magazine on WordPress.com.
Join Us! Help Make the Web a Better Place
We had quite a growth spurt this year: 139 new people joined WordPress.com’s parent company Automattic in 2015, and all of us are dedicated to helping you express yourself, share your passions, or build your business.
We expect 2016 to be a big one, too: Come work with us!