Attention Nashville WordPress community, the master himself has spoken to Mashable.
My key takeaways were:
- WordPress is growing. Check out the latest download stats here.
- New features are coming – I’ve got some ideas, but we’ll see.
- WordPress is mobile – why would you design on another platform and have different style sheets?
- Mark is not retiring anytime soon. Look how young he is!
Read the full article below:
As a 19-year-old college student in 2003, Matt Mullenweg developed what has become the largest self-hosted blogging tool on the web. Two years later, he founded Automattic, which runs the content management system for WordPressand a handful of other web tools.
WordPress — still free and open source — is currently used by more than 12% of the top million websites (this one included). In a recent e-mail exchange, Mullenweg discussed the open source movement, the shifting personal web publishing world, and the future of WordPress.
- 1. How did WordPress change the Internet?Well we’re not done yet, but two things WordPress has been able to exemplify is that Open Source can create great user experiences and that it’s possible to have a successful commercial entity and a wider free software community living and working in harmony.
- 2. What is the biggest shift that has happened in personal publishing since WordPress.org was launched in 2003 and WordPress.com in 2005?To me the biggest shift has been in mobile. From the first time I held an iPhone, the space has evolved quickly, and people have shifted from reading content on their desktops to smartphones and iPads, even long-form stuff. Twitter is the ultimate service for the mobile age — its simplification and constraint of the publishing medium to 140 characters is perfectly complementary to a mobile experience. People still need longer stuff, but they see the headline on Twitter or Facebook.
- 3. Automattic continues to expand in terms of customers, VIP services and acquisitions. Any plans to go public or broach the IPO pool?We love the freedom afforded by being an independent company and plan to stay that way for the foreseeable future. In that scenario, being publicly held is one of the obvious liquidity options for shareholders, but in an environment where even companies with massive revenues like Zynga and Facebook aren’t public, I think for Automattic it’s many years off and not something that influences our decisions day-to-day.
- 4. How do you balance your commitment to open source with your capitalistic ambitions?I don’t balance them — they’re both out in full force. The more money Automattic makes, the more we invest into Free and Open Source software that belongs to everybody and services to make that software sing. The more I make, the more I donate to non-profits spreading Open Source to the world.
- 5. What do you think are the biggest concerns facing the open source movement?The biggest challenge for Open Source is that as it enters the consumer market, as projects like WordPress and Firefox have done, you have to create a user experience that is on par or better than the proprietary alternatives. Traditional Open Source development models, like the Apache one, are not set up to do that. In server software options are good — in consumer web interfaces they’re a cognitive burden.
While I personally believe strongly in the philosophy and ideology of the Free Software movement, you can’t win people over just on philosophy; you have to have a better product too.
- 6. WordPress.com has adopted many of the features that Tumblr, Posterous and other microblogging services have popularized. Is this going to continue in the future? Any plans to integrate some of the WP.com microblogging tools into self-hosted WordPress.org sites?Absolutely, and that’s all I can say for now.