Is Automattic A Poor Steward Of Its Acquisitions?

Almost a year ago, Wordpress owner Automattic bought the beloved journaling app, Day One. One of the first things that was announced was imminent integration with Automattic's two blogging tools, Wordpress and Tumblr. This news wasn't shocking, as Day One previously had integrated with Tumblr and being able to share a journal entry publicly on established blogging platforms made sense. Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg even called journaling in Day One "private blogging."

In a post on The official blog that came with the acquisition announcement, Eli Budelli laid out the integrations planned for Day One.

That doesn’t mean that everything you journal has to stay private, though. When you want to share specific entries – or even entire journals with the world – you can expect seamless integrations with both and Tumblr to do just that. On the flip side of that, importing your favorite content from and Tumblr into Day One is on the near-term roadmap.

Not only would you be able to share from Day One, but you would, shortly thereafter — in the near term — be able to absorb your blog posts into your digital journal. It sounded like a journaler and blogger's dream to have one app to capture both public and private thoughts. Unfortunately, as dreams do, it seems to have vanished with the light of day. Since joining Automattic, Day One development feels like it has slowed quite a bit. They haven't updated their blog so far this year and the app updates are mostly bug fixes.1

I assume, since the ability to share posts publicly has not been forthcoming, the ability to bring blog posts into your journal is pretty far off. Even has a great Day One import option, but Automattic doesn't have such a feature for its own blogging tools.2

Seeing how Tumblr has been managed since the earlier acquisition by Automattic, I suppose none of this should be too surprising. Tumblr seems to have fared about as well under the disinterest of former owners, Verizon, as it has under a company that theoretically cares about blogging. Of course, given that Wordpress has taken a decidedly sharp turn away from blogging and towards more commercial interests, maybe you can no longer assume that Automattic really cares about blogging, either.

  1. Though they did add a rainbow app icon option — how contemporary! ↩︎

  2. This may be more of a testament to developer Manton Reece's dedication to improving his platform more than anything else. ↩︎

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