The “dotblogger” Paolo Belcastro from Automattic took over this week’s ManageWP AMA. Belcastro is a Spectrum Division Lead and got his start in online products in Paris, France in 1994. Since then he has managed high-profile domain names and found an internet consultancy firm in Geneva, Switzerland. In his free time, he is helping organize WordCamp Europe.
Belcastro gives us insight into his everyday life at Automattic, his job title, and how staying on top of his work actually relaxes him.
Here are the five takeaways:
What in the world is a dotblogger?
“One of the things I like at Automattic is that we set our own titles, an exercise in which we try to describe our role with humor, showing that we take accomplishments, and not titles, seriously,” said Belcastro. “My title used to be Edge Case, but when I was given the lead of the .blog launch I decided it was time to change to dotblogger…”
Belcastro explains that his name used to be Edge Case because after reporting a bug one night, he was told many times that week, “you must be an edge case.”
Automattic has never considered another TLD besides “.blog”
Belcastro said Automattic has a very strong emotional tie to .blog and feels like it represents what the company was about. He also said the domain vetting process was very strenuous.
“The process was *really* long and very unusually bureaucratic for a company like ours used to iterate very fast on things. Between the day the auction was closed to the day the TLD was “delegated” (the technical term to say that it was activated on the DNS root servers), sixteen months went by, of constant back and forth with ICANN along a multi-step process where each step involves writing long and boring documents :).” he said.
Belcastro works diligently so he can sleep better at night
Belcastro usually wakes up between 7:00 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. and checks Slack right away to ensure he’s not needed for anything urgent.
“Some people very close to me consider this an obsessive or compulsive behavior, but I actually need it to be able to enjoy the next hour with my family. Once I know that nothing urgent is waiting, I can have breakfast with my wife and two daughters in peace,” he said.
He finishes his day up around 1:00 a.m. by checking Slack one more time to make sure nothing is urgent.
Belcastro’s work is mobile and he likes it that way
The dotblogger transitions from family life to work life instantly and spends a third of his year on the road. His job allows him to be flexible, but he’s always just an instant message away if he is needed.
“My day is spent mostly working, from home or outside, from my laptop or my phone. I like to move around, I like to enjoy the freedom that comes from working online (I’m writing this from an Uber in Paris), and I accept that the price to pay for being able to work when and where I want is to somehow being working at all times,” said Belcastro.
There are many ways to give back to the WordPress community.
Belcastro is a self-proclaimed dotblogger, however, his title doesn’t limit itself to just Automattic.
“I have three very separate roles these days: Leading the Spectrum division at Automattic, managing the .blog project which belongs to an Automattic subsidiary, and leading the organization of WordCamp Europe 2017, and the needs of each of these audio have an influence on my day,” he said.
He spends about 12 to 14 hours a day connected online to work on these tasks.
The new season of ManageWP AMA’s is set to go through the end of the year.