Nice article in the Press about Houston’s own Matt Mullenweg, creator of blog software WordPress. Two comments: One, if you read through the whole thing, you’ll note that I got mentioned in there. The reporter contacted me about this story in late August or so. She told me the article was due out on September 23. When that turned out to be the Best Of Houston issue, in which I got the Best Local Blog award, I thought maybe it had been a ruse of some kind. I guess the publication just got delayed. Whatever the case, it’s a nice piece, and Matt deserves the attention.
Comment number two:
It’s unlikely that WordPress will ever charge users. For one thing, since the coding is available, someone else could just distribute it for free. That’s the biggest reason for the explosion of users in the past several months. Several months ago, a competing (non-open-source) software, Movable Type, suddenly announced it would be charging its most active users. The Web exploded with posts about its developers, San Francisco-based Ben and Mena Trott, “sucker-punching the Weblogging community.” Around the same time, the number of WordPress users spiked by several thousand.
Well-known blogger Mark Pilgrim, a big supporter of open-source software, wrote about the reasons for his switch on one of his 11 blogs: “This site now runs WordPress…I’ve taken the $535 that Movable Type would have cost me, and I’ve donated it to the WordPress developers. It’s not about money; it’s about freedom.”
Another prominent switch was made by a woman who’d just written a book about Movable Type, Molly E. Holzschlag. With Movable Type, her blog was getting so much “comment spam” that she was spending hours a day cleaning it out. Where readers can post comments responding to her entries, spammers had come in and posted them about Viagra and penis enlargement. This is increasingly becoming a problem bloggers face. Molly switched to WordPress to elude the spammers, at least for a time. And while she attributes her Movable Type spam to her simple domain name, molly.com, and the fact that she’s been blogging for years, Matt and other WordPress users say it’s better at blocking spam.
For what it’s worth, I’ve had very few comment spam problems since I installed MT Blacklist. At some point, I’ll get around to upgrading Movable Type so I can get the latest and greatest MT Blacklist, which is built in. I’m intrigued by WordPress, but I’m too lazy and too time-deficient to install, learn, and migrate all my archives to a new system.