another myspace wannabe. yawn.

Oh Jesus, now they want to be MySpace.

If they’d acquired DiSo, that would actually be interesting. That would be promoting the concept of people being able to use their self-hosted blogs as a social networking node, putting them in control of their software, beyond the reach of advertisers and corporations. It would really be about freedom. It would be kind of cool.

This, on the other hand, is just about turning wordpress.com into MySpace. Which is pretty much the exact opposite of putting people in control and beyond the reach of advertisers and corporations. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that only yesterday I was reading about the prospect of more ads here, either.

Still, given their recent record of taking on more projects than they can complete within a reasonable timeframe, I’m really not that worried. Till any actual changes show up on wordpress.com, it’s just more hype.

10 Comments »

  1. Ray said

    I suspect that the problem is that Automattic is growing faster than it can bear. They have all this VC money lying around that they have to use by a certain date and all they can do is keep buying and hope that the army of beta-testers (or should that be regular users) will bear with them while they iron out all the bugs and security holes that will pop up.

    One of two things will happen – the whole thing will collapse under it’s own weight and everything will get forked or it will be wildly successful and move Matt and co further away from the users.

  2. And the trouble is when you’re growing at that rate, it’s not as simple as hiring a bunch of new staff to deal with stuff. New staff need to be trained (by existing staff, taking time away from their other duties). At the very least, they need to adjust to a working culture that’s almost certainly very different to what they’re used to, whether they’ve been freelancing or working in a more structured environment. They have to be able to work independently while simultaneously accepting their lack of any real autonomy or say in how things are run; they have to be loyal employees while knowing they could be stabbed in the back and hung out to dry at any time. That has to be a difficult combination to find.

  3. timethief said

    http://ma.tt/2008/03/backing-buddypress/

    “The final step was to limit the administration functionality that a member has on their own blog. This stops them from signing up new users, deleting content they shouldn’t be, or changing the theme of their member page. I created a simple plugin that disabled the menus for these settings in the WordPress admin interface. The pages could only be accessed by site-wide administrators if needed.” http://blazenewmedia.com/articles/chickspeak-a-wordpress-mu-based-social-network/

  4. They wouldn’t dare remove functionality from blogs. No, what this is about is sexing up the currently little-known and rarely-accessed profile pages and presenting them as a brand! new! shiny! feature! for the Snow Lovers to coo over. Based on that post, I’m expecting polls and private messaging too. Don’t forget, we have a large and active community of ten-year-olds who will adore this stuff.

    DO YOU LOVE CLUB PENGUIN???!!!?? YES/NO/DONT KNOW/WUT IZ CLUB PENGUIN LOLZ
    🙄

  5. Ray said

    The Chickspeak site is pretty good and shows what can be done beyond Kubrick. It also shows that what Matt is planning is already out there for no extra cost, no extra ads (beyond your own) and you don’t need to wait months for new features to do it.

    So the question is: now the software is out there, do we need Automattic at all?

  6. Other social networking sites probably require parental permission for ten-year-olds to sign up.

    I’m seriously starting to think that the refusal to abide by COPPA is a deliberate commercial strategy. If you’re ten, are you going to jump through the hoops livejournal puts in front of you, or are you going to go with a site where you can be up and running within minutes, no questions asked? Sure, they might get fined a few years down the line, but by that time they’ll have made more than enough money from small children clicking on stuff to cover it.

  7. timethief said

    MyWord it’s FacePress ! (Sorry I just couldn’t resist😉

    /nod to Ray
    So the question is: now the software is out there, do we need Automattic at all?

  8. Kissing Bandit said

    Answer: Not really.

    By the way, there’s a blank page up at the BP site while Automattic craps it up redesigns, but anyone who wants it can snag the code from Google.

    -KB

  9. http://buddypress.com : holy shit, that is a crappy logo even by Automattic’s standards. Do they not own a basic photo editing program they could resize the thing in? Because doing it with inline CSS isn’t working out that well for them.

  10. Ray said

    Yeah, I noticed that too. It looks as though they have just one logo of any kind and then stretch or shrink it as necessary.

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