Awkward Moment – Matt Mullenweg and the Pins

Hi Everyone, James Tryon again. I wanted to share a short, but funny story with you that happened during our Orlando WordPress Meetup with Matt Mullenweg durning an open Q&A. It was a fantastic meet up. Thanks to everyone who came out.

Let me clarify a couple of things first. I started using WordPress in 2007. I am one of the co-organisers of the WordPress Orlando Meetup and WordCamp Orlando practically since the beginning. If you are reading this post, you also know about We run as a nonprofit and is supported by sponsors. The last thing we would ever want to do is piss off Matt or the Foundation.

I have met Matt Mullenweg maybe 10 times over the past 9 years. Most interactions have been very brief and in a sea of people shaking babies and kissing hands. We have Interacted a couple of times on twitter and slack too. That being said, I’m a 6ft tall chubby dude with a beard in a hoodie. I can see why he would not recognize me. Anyways

On with the Story

When I first walk up to Matt, I said hi and I’m James from hoping that would trigger his memories).

Matt said Hi I’m Matt and nice shirt.(Did I mention I was also wearing a t-shirt?) I saw some of your pins on the table over there.

With a nervous look on my face, I said,” I did not bring any pins today. It’s always cool to see people bring pins to trade on their own.”. I smiled and turned to walk away. As I was reviewing what Matt said in my head, my eyes started to scan the room and pure horror struck my entire body and it felt like everything stopped and got super quiet.

Have you ever had one of those moments where time stood still and you got hyper focused? It was like I was on CSI and was analyzing the room from a 4k photo.

Yep, Every table had branded enamel label pins on them. Not just 1 or 2 but like 20. There were even 2 chairs with bags of full of pins. They were everywhere!!!

At that moment my heart sunk. The last thing I wanted to do was look like was sponsoring Matt’s Open Q&A event. I immediately turned around and said Matt, one thing. Um, I did not bring those pins. In fact, did not even see them tell you said something. They must have been leftover from our camp 2 months ago.

He Laughed and said he likes wapuu. Crisis Averted. Only took an hour for my heart to stop racing. That also leads to our conversation about wapuu becoming the official mascot of WordPress, but more on that soon.

What happened?

What I think to happen was we always have leftover or other Camps swag out for our meet up attendees. But with all the extra people attending this particular event, somehow the pins got distributed all over the room.

Two things

First, I wanted to thank Jason Propellant his great photos. You can check out the rest on flicker.

Secondly, if you are interested in any wapuu pins, we have a couple over in our shop. We limit them to 20 extra per design per batch. Get them before they are all gone! 


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