WordCamp Utah – Meeting Matt Mullenweg

by Paul Wilson


Right now I am listening to the founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg, speak at the Novell campus in Provo, Utah (You can see the stream video here: ustream.tv). He has just modelled wordpress 2.7 and we are in for a treat when it launches. I have been hesitant to upgrade after the 2.6 fiasco, but I am really looking forward to 2.7! I will post more of my notes and pictures from WordCamp Utah shortly.

Why WordPress Updates So Often
Matt began his presentation asking if we were tired of constantly updating our wordpress blogs. The reason why Automattic (Matt’s company) is continually upgrading wordpress is to stay abreast with all the issues that they are faced with. One thing Matt learned from the update of 2.1 to 2.3 was that when he waited too long to launch (he waited a year and half) that he faced a strong user back lash.

Public [Spam] Service Announcement
One thing I found fascinating was how efficient wordpress has become in fighting spam. Matt showed that 99% of all spam to wordpress blogs have been stopped by Akismet. I find this interesting since I loath Akismet, but that is still impressive number to vouch for the validity of Akismet. Matt did say that there are three types of spam which are slipping through:

Vanity Spam – This type of spam basically leaves comments telling the blogger how cool they are. According to Matt, “If it’s not your Mom, delete it.”
Copy Spam – Another common spam trick is where the spammer will copy a previous comment or take a portion of your post and reposition it.
Off Shoring Spam – This is probably the most common form of spam you will find in the SEO. Basically, you are off shoring your spam to India or China to leave comments. These people are paid to leave meaningful comments, but cramming your anchored text into the name field in the comments section.

WordPress 2.7
Okay, this was my favorite part of Matt’s presentation. He demoed all the super cool new functions we will be seeing in wordpress 2.7. I sum up the changes by quoting Matt who was quoting someone else, “All software evolves until it reads email.” The new wordpress will be centered around this notion, not that 2.7 will read your email, but you will have an inbox.

However, I am the most excited about the new navigation. I have never cared for the amount clicks I would have to do in order to get where I wanted to be in wordpress. Matt also gave us a glimpse of how we will be able to customize our post page. If we like the category sub-section on the side of the post admin (like in 2.3) you can know move it yourself. That function alone will get me to update to 2.7 when it comes out. Currently, there are 13,000 active bloggers beta testing 2.7, and Matt stated that we will be seeing 2.7 in November of this year.

Top 10 WordPress Plugins Being Used
I found it interesting to see exactly what are the most popular plugins. Had I not been in this presentation I would of been shocked to learn that Hello Dolly was actually 24th most used plugin. Every time I setup a wordpress blog I delete this plugin, all the time wondering why this plugin is in wordpress. However, Matt explained that it is his favorite plugin, which explained a lot.

10. cforms
09. wp-polls
08. wp-automatic upgrade
07. wp-cashe
06. wp-db-backup
05. wp stats
04. nextgen-gallery
03. google-sitemap-generator
02. all-one-seo
01. akismet

Matt’s Quotes
“What the hell is a slug, is it going to eat my wordpress garden?” [After Matt said that I went and bought wordpressgarden.com]
“I don’t post much anymore.”
“WordPress is a piece of software, it’s a means to an end. But there is something about wordpress that helps people to connect with each other.”

Matt’s Plugins

Matt was showing us his plugins on his personal blog. Unfortunately, I was blogging and only caught a glimpse of two of his plugins tha tI don’t know.
route press

Miscellaneous Information

  • Matt found that iphones users map closely to wordpress users.
  • Currently there are 5,671,649 wordpress.org users (half are mu)
  • Joseph (Utah) created the theme directory
  • Focuses on Intelligent Tails. This part of the presentation didn’t make much sense to me.
  • Building BackPress for programmers

Coming soon
wordpress.tv – Soon, Very Soon
wordpress 2.7 – November
buddypress – End of the Year

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