Journalists First

Democratising Publishing: Matt Mullenweg interviewed in The Guardian

I like the correction made here to the implication that blogging services have been a (implied: negative) disruptor rather than a force of empowerment for publishers. It has hardly been the hand of one blogging service or another that has changed the business model of information production and dissemination. And on the flip side, having connection with and control over your own logistics will always enable better things for publishers. In fact, it has always been the smaller, nimbler parties (i.e. journalists and special editorial departments) who can adopt more efficient tools faster than upper management budget- and decision-makers possibly could.

You’ve been a disruptive force in online publishing for more than a decade, and yet now you’re working with many of the publishers you’ve disrupted the most. How does that feel? And how does it work?

We were never setting out to disrupt the New York Times or the Guardian. Who we were disrupting were the vendors who were charging you guys $5 and $10million for crappy software. It was bad IT departments maybe who were getting disrupted, but not the actual publications. WordPress has always been about the office and about writing and things like that so a lot of times how we got into CNN, New York Times, Wall St Journal, basically the who’s who of publishing and online journalism – journalism in general – was from the bottom up. So it was a journalist who had permission and set up a blog somewhere and then it just kind of took off and then someone higher up took and look and said “this is working kind of well, let’s do more of it” and so eventually it makes its way up to the CTO. But we almost never, ever come in through the top, we always come in through the bottom.

Read the full article.

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