In their continuing jihad/crusade against all things Chris Pearson, Automattic is removing yet another extremely popular theme from WordPress.com.
The theme on the chopping block this time is PressRow. This despite the fact Matt Mullenweg once labeled the theme one “of the best ones [themes]” submitted for inclusion, and significant outcry from users of the theme.
The message, as always from Automattic: we care more about our injured ego and vendetta than we do about our users.
The argument’s been made that users of PressRow should have seen the writing on the wall when Cutline was removed with little warning, and disastrous impact on it’s users. However, most WordPress.com users probably don’t keep up with all the egotistical politics that have been driving Automattic’s decisions lately.
Naturally, many PressRow users are upset about the impending change. And given the kinds of comments being left by folks who have opted to already make the switch, the number of angry users will only increase over the next two weeks.
If you’d like to urge WordPress.com to NOT remove the theme theme of your choice over a personal grudge that has nothing to do with you or your site, I’ve made the badge below available for embedding:
To embed the image, copy and paste the code below:
<a href=”http://wpblogger.com/pressrow-automattic-casualty.php” target=”_blank”><img style=”margin-top: 2px; margin-bottom: 2px;” title=”Save my Theme – PressRow!” src=”http://wpblogger.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/dinomatt-small.jpg” alt=”Save my Theme – PressRow!” width=”250″ height=”125″ /></a>
While I think it is important to raise awareness of this issue, I would urge PressRow users to have a backup option in place. Automattic’s recent track record (capital P dangit issue, Cutline, etc) suggests they couldn’t care less what users want, or if their actions break users’ sites.
If you’re one of the unlucky PressRow users, there is a bit of good news. Chris Pearson has announced he’ll be releasing Cutline and PressRow as skins for the Thesis theme for free, to all Thesis customers. Also, Grant Griffiths of Headway announced that they’ll be offering a discount to all former PressRow users if you’d like to move to a self hosted version of WordPress.
If nothing else, this whole episode can serve as an important reminder of the importance of owning your web property, and maximizing your control over your site.