Monthly Archives: May 2007

Disappearing SSD

As some of you may remember, I’ve been using a 32gb solid state drive in my desktop for a bit not, and I’ve been happy with it. Enough so that I was ready to make the jump to take apart my laptop and retrofit it with a SSD, and Toni was brave enough to volunteer as well. One problem — they’ve disappeared. All of the stores that I could previously find it from don’t have them anymore. Where did all the SSDs go? BTW the best news source I’ve found for SSDs is Engadget’s tag page.

Typepad Pages

Typepad now has Pages. “If you’re a TypePad blogger, we know you’re serious about making a great blog. But what about the parts of your site that don’t fit into your blog? […] And you can even set a Page to be the home page for your blog, so it’s the first thing readers see when they go to your URL.”

WordPress Party Next Monday

On Monday May 21 we’re having a WordPress party at Thee Parkside in San Francisco. It’s a cool dive-type bar across the street from a park at 17th and Wisconsin, and they have a free ping pong table. (You may want to bring your own paddle though.) The party will get started around 8 PM and go until they kick us out. What’s the occasion? Well, WordPress 2.2 is out, is about to pass a million blogs, and we’re coming up on our 4th birthday since WP’s first release.

Thunderbird Tags

It is pretty annoying tha the “tag” system in Thunderbird bears no relation to any tagging system implemented within the past four years. It is, at best, a non-folder-based categorization system, and doesn’t even have a particularly good UI for that. Thunderbird 2 also took away the views dropdown, which was an eminently useful feature, and the only way I can find to replicate it is to create search folders, which are of course are a lot clunkier. Might be time for a downgrade. Update: You can add back the views dropdown from the customize menu. Sweet! readers rock. šŸ™‚

Meaningful Overnight Relationship

One thing I’ve noticed about talking to certain types of press, particularly mainstream, is that they have a pattern in mind before they write about something, and the better you conform to the pattern the more coverage you get.

I think what they really want is an unusually young founder, possibly with a partner, who stumbled on an idea in an epiphany moment, implemented it in days, and then enjoyed overnight success, preferably capped with some sort of financial hook such as a huge VC funding or selling out to a large company for millions of dollars.

It’s not uncommon to get leading questions trying to hit a point in the above patterns… Yes, WordPress really is four years old. I was 19. No, I didn’t create it alone, if I did you would have never heard of it. Actually, it entered a rather crowded field, not even close to being first. No, not planning to sell it, there isn’t really anything to sell, it’s more of a movement. No, I didn’t make 60 million dollars in 18 months.

What’s worst is I think these stories sell a false promise and hope to people outside of the industry — it attracts the wrong type of entrepreneurs — and inside of the industry it distracts us from what really matters.

Someday I think there will be a realization that the real story is more exciting than the cookie-cutter founder myth the media tries frame everything in. It’s not just one or two guys hacking on something alone, it’s dozens of people from across the world coming together because of a shared passion. It’s not about selling out to a single company, it’s dozens of companies independently adopting and backing an open source platform for no reason other than its quality. I’m not a millionaire, and may never be, but there are now hundreds of people making their living using WordPress, and I expect that number to grow to tens of thousands. That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning, not the prospect of becoming a feature on an internet behemoth’s checklist.

Finally it’s not Web 2.0, or another bandwagon me-too content management system with AJAX, it’s a mature project that has been around and grown up over four years of hard work, and it has many, many more years of hard work ahead of it. I smile these days when I see WordPress referred to as an “overnight success,” if only they knew how long an overnight success takes.

Update, see also: