.blog’s Grand Meetup

When we’re asked where the .blog team is based, we all respond with a big smile, stating, “Everywhere!” Knock Knock WHOIS There, the registry for .blog, is a remote company, meaning we all get to work from home. Or from cafes, patios, and pretty much anywhere else we can find internet, all around the world.

We inherited the remote lifestyle from our parent company, Automattic, Inc. Automattic is the company behind the well-known blogging service, WordPress.com, as well as products like Jetpack and WooCommerce. The Automattic team has been 100% remote from the beginning and remains so today, even with nearly 800 employees.

In order to foster cross-team exchanges and interactions, the entire company gets together for one week every year at what we call the Grand Meetup. In the past, we’ve held the Grand Meetup in Budapest, Hungary; Park City, Utah; Whistler, Canada; and, most recently, Orlando, Florida. During the week, employees – or, as we say, Automatticians – participate in various activities, classes, and team days. It’s a busy schedule designed to improve the culture and communication of the company as a whole, as well as providing individual teams with the opportunity to work on improvements in person.

For the .blog team, that meant having an opportunity to sit down together in-person to work on reinventing our marketing approach. Over the past few months, we’ve been working to create more awareness of .blog, and new gTLDs (generic top-level domains), in general. We strongly believe creating a brand that is memorable and can evolve with bloggers is the most important step in establishing a growing an online presence. The solution to finding an easy-to-remember, stand-out domain name? Domain extensions like .blog!

With a full day set aside for us to brainstorm, plan, and map out our strategies, the .blog team was able to cover quite a bit of ground. We also had the opportunity to connect with other members of our division at Automattic, while sharing what each team does, their goals, and their vision for the future.

Best of all, Don Ruiz was able to pair up with two members of the Automattic registrar team, Kellie Peterson and Wendy Scott, to teach Automatticians about the domains industry. Their course touched on the history of domains, the technology behind domain names and the domain name system, running a registry and a registrar, domain name policy, and how WordPress.com offers and supports domains. While many Automatticians have experience with domain names, either as owners or as support engineers, it’s was a unique opportunity for them to really dive into the domain name industry.

The week of the Grand Meetup is always an exciting, busy time. We’re excited about the work we’ve accomplished so far this year and are looking forward to what’s to come.

Photos from the Grand Meetup closing party from ryan.cowles.blog.