BlogWorld Interview with Matt Mullenweg

Notes from BlogWorld’s opening keynote sesstion with Matt Mullenweg, founding developer of WordPress, founder of Automattic as interviewed by Ed Sussman FAST COMPANY


Notes lightly edited from Barbara Rozgonyi’s notes.


Matt tends to trust what he reads in blogs more than traditional media because it’s closer to the source.

19 people work for WordPress

1,000,000 unique visitors per month

Top 22/100 US Sites

How do you stretch the staff?

Hires ultimate superstars like the one support guy who was a nurse at a mental ward in a hospital for 19 years. Blogging is just a big padded room. [not .com] is Matt’s photography blog. When you Google Matt, Matt comes up number one.

What makes a compelling blog?

The early bloggers were very tool specific – as is posting a certain number of posts. Today blogs are about finding out what’s really unique about you. If you think about a blog as music, you could be the next Eric Clapton or Aretha Franklin. You have to absolutely love what you do.

Find something that you can’t not blog about. When you find that topic it just flows naturally,

The reason Matt blogs is for the comments. He loves the back and forth,

People always recognize passionate content. We’re deluged by mediocrity so good stuff stands out. When someone comments on Matt’s blog, he visits their blog if the person made his better.

How does social networking and bloggers fit in together?

WordPress won an award for the best social networking platform and is used as the base for many successful social networking sites.

A lot of websites are like going out to dinner with a really bad date, there’s no back and forth conversation.

Google, ebay and other sites make a lot money by enabling other folks to profit.

Think about your user model before you develop the business model.

Audience Questions

What is the WordPress mission? WordPress will totally democratize publishing. The future of selling software is completely dead. If WordPress could create a system and framework that enables open source, that would be incredibly powerful.

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