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Report from BlogWorldExpo: The Future of WordPress

Liveblog of highlights from morning keynote session @ BlogWorldExpo. Edward Sussman, executive vice president for the online and business development groups at Mansueto Ventures LLC and the president of the Inc.com and FastCompany.com network of sites interviews Matt Mullenweg founding developer of WordPress.

Liveblog of highlights from morning keynote session @ BlogWorldExpo.

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Edward Sussman, executive vice president for the online and business development groups at Mansueto Ventures LLC and the president of the Inc.com and FastCompany.com network of sites interviews Matt Mullenweg founding developer of WordPress.

Matt: In terms of writing on the Web the tools suck. There’s no spellcheck. No good way to tie blogs together. Pingbacks are rough. Comments are rough. There are things still fundamentally behind — we’re like in year four of a 10 year blogging history. We’re thinking about every day how can we make it easy for people to publish their site. We’re starting a firefox model, we’re you can update from clicking a button.

Ed: Any big changes in video blogs and podcasts?

Matt: Photo blogs are still probably my favorite. It’s rich media but I can still scan it. I would say a lot of the video stuff we’re seeing today is reblogged content. Video is still tricky to do. Hard to encode these giant files. Audio casting is there. Not sure where it’s gonna go. The written word, I’m still a fan.

Ed: Let’s talk about your company and where you think you’re going in a year, five years? You told me that part of your model was emulating Craigslist.

Matt: I love the Craigslist model in that — if you ask Craig why doesn’t he have ads on the site. And he’ll say well the users didn’t ask for it. They listen. A lot of the Websites that I interact with are a really bad date. They don’t stop telling you about themselves and ask you how do you feel? How’s that chicken.

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Logistically we’re going to get bigger. Especially on a global scale. Adding at least a developer in each language. Always going to be open source and I hope we stay alive.

Ed: Are you actively planning strategies for how you can monetize? Is that at the forefront or is it still in the background.

Matt: Capitalism is a working system. We did take a small investment about 2 1/2 years ago. If you look at companies making money on Internet, they’ve enabled others to profit. I think if there are ways to enable folks to profit and to keep it incredibly tactful.

Audience Question: What is driving WordPress forward?

Matt: At the time tools like geocities weren’t sustainable in connecting with people. The tools I see working are the tools enabling people to interact with one another. I am a strong believer in open source. Selling software is completely die. As folks it’s easy to get into these walled gardens. If we could create a framework that is opensource that enables us to run the data ourselves. I know this is incredibly geeky. I want the majority of content of the Web to be published open source. Right now Google did a survey looking at http headers and they published it. And it was like the people who had valid xml. .8% people on the Web had x pingback and that’s us that’s wordpress. My goal is to get that number up.

Audience Question: How can I monetize this for myself?

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Matt: Start two years ago. All the numbers are trailing. Uniques over the past year. Political blogging is incredibly seasonal. You may not catch it this round. Start now. Fundraising. Contacting people. Getting in touch with people.

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About the author

Lynne d Johnson is a Content + Community Consultant developing content and community strategies that help brands better tell their stories and build better relationships with people toward driving brand awareness, loyalty, and purchase intent. She has been writing about tech and media since the Web 1.0 days, most recently about how the future of consumer interactions will be driven by augmented reality and wearable tech.

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