This is a short tale about how one developer’s inspiration has led to a revolution in online publishing.
Come late ‘04 and early ‘05 there were a lot of us playing around with WPMU and when WordPress 1.5 came about, WPMU was none too far behind.
And WPMU as we know it was born.
And, of course, there was that little known site, WordPress.com.
So what has WPMU done for you? What has it done for the web?
Well, besides being the stand out of multi-user blogging platforms, as far back as 2005, it’s a brilliant example of how open source software can work alongside commercial organisations.
When Automattic kicked off with the .com many a naysayer would have predicted the demise of WordPress, but in fact it’s gone from strength to strength. Aligning an open source platform with a commercial entity has meant a boon for them (vast community input) and an amazing amount of direction and support for the rest of us.
Without Automattic , I have no doubt that WPMU would not be what it is today.
And where are we at today? Well, that’s quite something.
Not only are there over a million blogs at WordPress.com but there are far far more at a whole heap of other blog hosting sites, not to mention Universities like Harvard and newspapers like Le Monde. Heck, I even got a job pitching about how The Age could use WPMU – not that they did, but that’s another story.
WPMU has given people with a server, a half decent grasp of php and a lot of enthusiasm the opportunity to start real communities – communities where every member has their own space and where the beauty of WordPress has been made available to writers, vodcasters and podcasters the world over who don’t want to worry about how to set up an sql database.
WPMU has transformed the blogging world, hang in here for the rest of the trip and you just might see it transform the web itself.
Update: Donncha delves deeper than I managed to, pointing out the role http://blogs.linux.ie/ played in it all:
“Making logs available to the members of the Irish Linux Users Group at linux.ie was my primary motivation in the first place for getting tarted on all this. I based my original code on b2, the predecessor of WordPress, and called it b2++. There are a few posts on my blog if you want to go look…. once b2 became WP I adapted the code to work with the new project, and WPMU is the result!“