Matt Mullenweg at Northern Voice

The opening speech at today’s Northern Voice session is Matt Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress.

Matt discussed when he started blogging, before he created WordPress, Automattic, and Akismet. There were a number of blogging applications at the time, and he thought the platforms were already old. He started blogging, but was tired of the software. WordPress was rough in the beginning, and he took other open source software and then built upon it. WordPress is now 5 years old, and there have been 7.226,049 downloads thus far.

He has learned, in that time, what bloggers want. He believes bloggers want:

  1. Expression – the fact that people could change there themes and designs any day and time. The themes allowed people to make their online presence their own. Spammers are digital terrorists. When he discussed Facebook, he talked about how people use the Inbox and photos most.
  2. Public – that people share with people. The most successful platforms are those that publish publicly. Sometimes permission systems inhibit growth. Privacy is important, but things that increase interaction and make it easy to follow and connect can have a
  3. Validation – people check their stats
  4. Form Dictates Writing – he spoke about the Prologue theme and Tumblr, which make it easy for people to interact and add information.

Matt then talked about some of his exhortations:

  1. Exhortation #1 – We need to remove the Friction. We need Invisible Software, such as to be able to easily upgrade the software. There is an enormous amount of content that is being created, and it will increase.  We need to be able to filter things and make things more relevant. 
  2. Exhortation #2 – We have to respect people’s time – if you are doing this, you are creating a lot of value. Adds can be overwhelming, and advertising and our models around here need to evolve.
  3. Exhortation #3 – Kill the Megabrands. Look at how television evolved from the three original main channels. Our websites need to evolve just as Proctor and Gamble have evolved their brands (Tide, Head and Shoulders, etc.). The are successful and then they develop more. Danah Boyd did a great post about this.

The Achilles Heel of Web 2.0 is bad actors. People are moving away from email due to spam. Even Facebook is filled with spam, by having all the additional applications.

First generation social networks is all about making connections. In the Web 2.0 world, people congregate around Social Objects. Example, around photos, slides, videos, links, etc. People gather around common things. But then, once sites get popular, then people want to filter it and only get their own resources.

Open Source. Matt reviewed his previous blog posts, and in the long term things become noise as his tastes change. There are a number of freedoms in the open source movement. There are four freedoms, and I took a photo of them and will upload to Flickr and leave a link in the comment to this post when I have it uploaded.

As liveblogging allows me to write about what I am thinking about things, I am thinking about a comment somebody made yesterday where somebody talked about spoke about updating their liveblog posts by adding comments to their own post. It adds to comments as well as allows the information to still be done with time stamps.

The freedoms in an open source architecture allow us the right to make things different. The transparency and power of open source of some of the online systems would be powerful if added to politics and the political process.

Matt took some questions, and spoke more about the value of the freedom of open source, and then how that would be useful for government.

Matt then shared his contact information – &

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