Archive for bubble

revolution in the head

Can we expect to see a wordpress.com version of Revolution, then? Because I’m trying to think of what inducements Matt might have offered Bryan to adopt the One True Path — other than access to extend/themes, linkjuice from ma.tt and the withdrawal of his severe disapproval, none of which I’m convinced would have been quite enough — and hiring him to design a wordpress.com theme or two would be quite a good one.

(Well, there’s also ‘join me on the moral high ground so we can spit on Adii people from a great height’, but, again, perhaps not quite compelling enough.)

I actually suspect this was a case of the stick rather than the carrot. It is, to say the least, quite a risky enterprise to try and build a business upon a platform when the owners of said platform are known to be hostile towards your business and given to murmuring about its questionable legality. It would probably only take a couple of WordCamp whispers about Matt talking to lawyers to scare you into toeing the party line.

Comments (28)

fattening the calf

Oh look, they just gobbled up another struggling startup. (I surmise Intense Debate were struggling since a) they’re currently closed to new signups, which strongly suggests recent encounters with the failwhale and b) they’re not Disqus, who were presumably beyond Automattic’s budget.)

I did wonder why suddenly threaded comments were on the roadmap for 2.7 after years of being dismissed as plugin territory, and now we know. It also explains the influx of new staffers on the forums. If this means we finally get threaded comments on wp.com then it is a Very Good Thing, but I still have my doubts about whether such a massive change is feasible. There are a lot of comments to migrate in this system, and if any got lost in the transition people would be cross.

Obviously I do have concerns about Automattic being in control of a centralized comment service, given the way Akismet’s been used to block troublemakers in the past. But then I’m already blogging on a server where they can edit or delete any comments at any time, so it doesn’t make a lot of difference to me.

[edited to add links. I'm getting lazy.]

Comments (23)

jumping the snark

I imagine Six Apart draw considerable comfort from the fact that the Matt/Lloyd tag team still considers them enough of a threat to attack them at every opportunity. Far worse to be Blogger, and too crap to be scary.

But then, Blogger’s not in direct competition. Blogger’s already been bought.

I imagine I am not the only person drawing amusement from the spectacle of Automattic and Six Apart scrapping it out to be perceived as the the most valuable acquisition. I know I shouldn’t laugh. Recessions are not funny. I suppose I’m laughing at the pretence that it’s about who makes the better software. That ceased to be the point a long time ago. And when it was the point, there was a lot less bitterness and fear floating round.

Goddamn credit crunch. You make the snark so much more serious.

Comments (8)

the faraway echo of fanboys cheering

It’s really unfortunate that BrowseHappy keeps getting hacked in this way, isn’t it? I suppose its artifically enhanced pagerank, along with its neglected state, makes it an easy and attractive target for spammers. It’s lucky that other people are keeping an eye on it, or those juicy little PR8 links would be hanging around indefinitely. And that would never do.

Maybe Matt should consider moving it to a more secure server. Or switch it to a secure CMS. Or get rid of the frickin’ spamlinks to his outdated little hobbysite altogether, except of course said domain wouldn’t then be worth nearly as much should he ever decide to sell it on to a browser manufacturer of his choosing. (Bubbles burst, you know; got to have a few insurance policies in place.)

If you don’t have time to maintain the domain, quit squatting it and hand it over to Mozilla already. That would be the beautiful, self-sacrificing, open-source thing to do. You could even write a beautiful, self-sacrificing post on ma.tt and the dead blog about it. I can hear the faraway echo of fanboys cheering already.

Comments (1)

never mind the ethics, feel the dollars

Comments (21)

bitchery in slugs

Isn’t it strange how when you write an article slagging off TypePad and praising WordPress you are inevitably ‘honest’ and ‘insightful’, ‘interesting’ and ‘eloquent’, and when somebody from Six Apart tries to make a counterargument they are ‘venomous’ and guilty of ‘falsehoods and misdirection’?

Sadly, my comment on Lloyd’s post is still languishing in moderation. I’m sure this is merely an oversight, since nobody would tell their readers ‘Please challenge me on my views!’ if they were going to censor dissenting comments. I’ll reproduce it here for now, and link to it when it’s published:

I don’t see that Anil’s any more abrasive in his defence than Matt is when people come out attacking WordPress. (That is, possibly a little too forthright, but hey, fanboys are annoying.)

For someone with ‘extensive experience of both platforms’, Michael seemed strangely confused about the distinction between wordpress.com and .org and TypePad and MT, attempting to draw direct comparisons between Automattic’s non-hosted software and Six Apart’s hosted service when it suited him, and switching back to comparing TypePad with wordpress.com when that fitted his argument better.

For example: he thinks TypePad makes it too difficult for people to add third-party widgets, conveniently forgetting that wordpress.com doesn’t let you add any third-party flash or javascript widgets at all. But he thinks it’s cool that wordpress.com won’t let you use Adsense, conveniently forgetting that wordpress.org has dozens of plugins which make it easy.

I’m afraid that by the point where he claimed the separation of WordPress and WordPress MU was ‘a different developmental strategy’ rather than a historical accident I’d lost all patience. WordPress MU isn’t a fork of WordPress; it’s a fellow fork of b2 that got swallowed up by its sibling. Incorporating multiblogs into core would have broken backward compatibility so much it was no longer an option. And it’s not for people who need to run a handful of blogs off a single installation, it’s a specialist tool for site admins who need a blogfarm. It would make more sense to assess it alongside the Livejournal open source code than to pit it against Movable Type. http://mu.wordpress.org makes this perfectly clear, but proselytising fanboys trying to push it as ‘the upgrade to the upgrade’ don’t do anyone any favours.

I left out how he’s praising the 2.5 interface when Matt has already pretty much acknowledged it was a failure. Or how he thinks monthly security upgrades are cool because they’re a ‘a testament to a vibrant developer community’, which comment alone constitutes the loopiest piece of fanboying since ‘the blogging market is c.l.o.s.e.d.’

But no. Mocking the fanboy is a cheap distraction. My point is how nasty things are getting now the market is contracting. I’m not talking about the consumer market so much; people are still starting new blogs, though in the current economic climate they’re going to be less willing to spend money on them and that’s not good for either company. I’m talking about getting more funding, or going public, or finding a parent company willing to take you under its wing and shield you from the hard times ahead. These things are not going to be as easy as they were a couple of years ago. You are competing for increasingly scarce resources. It’s easy to be nice to each other when things are going well, but these days it’s survival of the fittest, and the way these spats are conducted both sides seem about equally worried.

Which would be odd, if Six Apart really were the underdog; but they’ve stolen a march on Automattic by making their anti-spam service free to everyone. Short-term this shouldn’t make too much difference as most paid-up subscribers won’t be interested in switching till they’ve got their money’s worth, but long-term it threatens one of Automattic’s major revenue streams. That’s the real reason the gloves are off again.

And the accusations of being splog-ridden have evidently hit home because they’re, um, true. How could they not be? Akismet can’t hope to catch them all at sign-up and you’re relying wholly on volunteers to report the ones they happen to see. Plus, all reports have to be dealt with individually by support staff, who are generally sort of busy with support. At least they’ve blocked drmike’s wordpress.com account now so they won’t be getting any more of those pesky spam reports from him. That should help with the workload even if it doesn’t help with the splog situation.

Comments (26)

in which i showcase my mad research skillz

Another secret staff member sighted in the wild, would seem to have been in post about a week, CV suggests hired to handle public relations. No trace of her on the forums, so obviously that ‘three weeks in support for all hirings’ policy has been junked.

Another box ticked. They’ve been needing someone to handle public relations for a very long time. Matt has got much better at it over the past few years, true (I remember when he advocated googlebombing a host that complained WP was a resource hog, but hey, he was a kid at the time and he didn’t have to pretend to be professional) but he does have an unfortunate tendency to undo his hard work with the occasional inexplicable freakout.

Yes, I’ve been quiet lately. They’ve been quiet. They don’t want to rock any boats at the moment.

Comments (3)

radio button bling

Oh, polls. People have only been asking for them for a couple of years. More fuel for raincoaster’s theory that they’re piling on the geegaws in preparation for another date with the venture capitalists.

Also, the forums seem an odd place to put that announcement. Either Mark doesn’t have posting privileges on the news blog or PollDaddy aren’t paying enough to get that sort of linkage ;)

Comments (19)

impossibly related

Is anyone else in love with the fact that the ‘possibly related’ spam links at the end of this encourage us to equate usability testing with a cholera epidemic?

(BTW, Toni’s linked post appears to confirm that Hanni didn’t stick around for long. All 21 staff are now namechecked on the about page. )

Meanwhile, on the .com forums, mikecane and fromtheleft have been unpersoned for hating on Sphere and the new dashboard, and this poor guy got shunted over to wordpress.org before being shoved right back over here, none too politely at that (why yes, it was moshu, since you ask). He asked for help ever so nicely, too. It was quite sad.

Comments (25)

mentioned in dispatches

Comments (7)

« Newer Posts · Older Posts »