Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

WordPress’s Matt Mullenweg Speaks!


This week, I had lunch with one of the nicest young Web entrepreneurs around the scene, WordPress Founder Matt Mullenweg.

We use a custom WordPress.com installation for this site, which has worked out well for us, and the start-up also hosts AllThingsD.com. We also got a very nice hoodie.

In all seriousness, the company started as an open-source blogging software project at WordPress.org with Mullenweg as founding developer, while WordPress.com is for-profit and is run by Mullenweg and others at a start-up called Automattic.

Mullenweg came to San Francisco from his hometown of Houston to work on WordPress and other projects for CNET in 2004. He left a year later to work full-time on the development of WordPress.

It and others like it quickly rode the wave of an ever-growing trend of self-publishing, which has been increasingly embraced by both the single person writing about their cat to the large-scale media companies looking to develop more dynamic properties online.

WordPress and Automattic (which also runs Akismet, an anti-comment and trackback spam software service) has been the frequent target of takeover speculation.

But, while Automattic has reportedly considered those options, as well as hooking up with other companies like Sphere (which was just bought for $35 million in cash by AOL [TWX]), Mullenweg seems just as determined to build out his simple publishing platform, by adding ad networks and all sorts of bells and whistles to the offerings.

In fact, WordPress competitor Six Apart did just that last week with its acquisition of the New York-based ad, design and consulting services firm Apperceptive.

So I will bet Mullenweg probably has some news of his own, when he gives a short speech at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco this morning.

We’ll see, but in this video, Mullenweg talks with BoomTown–after we admit to an obvious man crush on him–about the progress in the blog-publishing arena and where it is all going.

Here’s the video: