Nothing illustrates the vagaries of development trends and the rise of open source better than the blog software market. (From Toothpastefordinner.)
People say they blog, a verb, lower-case, when the word refers to a specific labelled product, Blogger, now owned by Google.
Wow. Google, the inventor of RSS, and the most plugged-in man on the planet all competing in this growing software market.
So who won?
Some 23 year old kid out of Houston. Wordpress, written in PHP to work with mySQL databases, is what this blog is written with. The kid, Matt Mullenweg, worked at News.Com before launching his commercial ventures two years ago.
One could argue there are technical reasons for Wordpress' success. It loads big blogs quickly. But the main reason is it was open source from the get-go, GPL in fact, and Mullenweg believed in the open source idea.
Thanks to open source contributions Wordpress has gotten so good and so scaled it's winning awards as a Community Management System, not just as blogging software. It scales the intimacy.
I have written it was partly a failure to switch from a blogging system to a CMS that did in Howard Dean. With WordPress he wouldn't have had to switch and maybe he'd be President today. Wouldn't that be a scream?
So now the Userland kernel is open source and Movable Type has just announced it too has an open source version, dubbed MTOS. Are they too late? Can Google, or the most plugged-in man in the world, catch up?
My first Internet magazine editor, David Klein, told me after returning to his old employer that he came back "with fire." He was like a caveman coming home to his fellows with a secret no one else knew.
Well, open source is like fire. Matt found it first. He embraced it and passed it around. So now the light shines on him brighter than anywhere else in his market.
Call this a Christmas story.