I was a weird kid.

I’d write and painstakingly edit endless paragraphs in which I’d riff on current events and major news items. Then I’d take a floppy disk to my local copy store where I’d print out the pages and bind them with card stock covers, before heading to the post office to mail the completed tome to just about everyone I knew.

A few decades later, I received this email from Matt Mullenweg, the founding developer of WordPress:

“I would totally sponsor NextDraft — do you do anything there yet?”

While I was waiting for that email, a few things came along including the Internet and a host of self-publishing tools — many of which have been built and improved by the worldwide WordPress community — that completely changed the way millions of us publish, share, and express our creativity.

I’m a weird adult.

I love the smell of open browser tabs in the morning. I open about a hundred of them, find the days’ most fascinating news, and write a ten blurb rundown that gets delivered to people via email, an iOS App, and now a blog.

Software like WordPress was made for weird guys like me. I’m able to develop a publishing solution that can be manipulated to match to my unique, and arguably disturbing, set of skills.

Since getting that email from Matt, I’ve worked with a great coder named Andrew Norcross to develop a NextDraft publishing platform through which I can publish my daily missives to multiple channels with a single push of the button. Thanks to WordPress, an independent writer like me can have access to the same powerful publishing tools used by major publishers. In fact, since my custom solution sends content to a blog, an email list via Mailchimp, and to iPads and iPhones, there’s a decent chance that my WordPress-powered publish button does more than the ones being pressed by writers and editors at some of the biggest news sites on the planet.

So of course I said yes when the fine folks at WordPress.com offered to underwrite NextDraft for the next year. I couldn’t imagine a sponsor that more directly represents the spirit of independent publishing that has changed the world, and my life.

So here’s what this WordPress sponsorship means for NextDraft:

- You can now read NextDraft wherever you want, including on a blog that utilizes responsive design so it looks great on any device. It will be free. And it won’t include any intrusive ads.

- I’ve merged my blog Tweetage Wasteland into the NextDraft brand and those posts are now called NextDraft Originals. Expect some great guest contributors and a new series of interviews called NextUp.

- Each of the blurbs in each edition now has its own permalink and unique spot on the web. This has dramatically improved NextDraft’s sharing functionality. Each blurb can easily be shared with a click or two.

- NextDraft is now hosted and supported by Raanan Bar-Cohen and the excellent team at WordPressVIP, so it will be fast, scalable, and generally awesome.

Since I built my first homepage, I’ve pressed the publish button to share my content on the Internet thousands of times. And it never felt better than it did when I pressed publish on this post, because I’m able to introduce and thank a sponsor that so perfectly represents my brand and my experience on the Internet, and one that has saved me countless trips to the post office.

I probably would’ve included a  Wordpress.com banner on my site for free.

Don’t tell Matt about that part…

* Acknowledgements: NextDraft’s publishing system was coded by Andrew Norcross and the site was designed by Brian Moco. Chris Morris handles the iOS development and Bryan Bell designed the apps. The sickeningly talented Sam Spratt designed my head logo. The best part for me is that all these folks are daily readers of NextDraft and really care about the brand and giving all of you the best possible reading experience.