The First Glimpse Of WordPress.com

Right, for the longest time now, alot of us hardcore wordpress users have been hearing a lot of things about how WordPress is going to turn into a company. Now that rumour in the wind has finally turned into a reality with the new WordPress.com. But then there is a very important question that a lot of people and even I have been asking.

What the hell is WordPress.com?

How is it any different from other blogging applications out there?

Now as far as I have gathered information about this from all sort of sources out there namely here and here. This is the gist that I have summed up for this much anticipated blogging application.

  1. It’s powered by WordPress Multi User. WordPress’s answer to having a single blogging application for multiple blogs which can number from dozens to thousands.
  2. It’s developed using WordPress 1.6 Alpha. Which means while it’s still currently being beta tested, when opened to the public…knowing what version 1.6 may have…to coin a common phrase. It’s going to rock our socks off. The fact that it’s got all the features as its predecessors is a good reason to salivate anyway.
  3. It’s currently by invite only. Every user has one invite to give away unlike Google mail’s invite “storm”. Which basically means that as of this date, WordPress.com grows “linearly”. This also means that the WordPress.com core community is going to be a very close one pretty much like how it already is in its current state. No word yet whether this invite system would change.
  4. Think of it as Typepad meets Blogger. Also to date, WordPress.com is meant to be free. Though none of us except Matt knows how they’re all going to earn revenue from this. As far as I know…like Typepad which runs on Movable Type, it’s for those of you who want WordPress but can’t afford the hosting for it. Unlike Typepad, it’s free. How this is going to be any different from WordPress powered hosted blogs like Blogsome. I’m guessing it’s in the code because come on…it’s developed by the people who brought you WordPress.org anyway.
  5. It’s designed for simplicity. That’s probably a catch more than anything else. I moved to WordPress under my own host because it gives me complete control over my blog. WordPress.com like so many other blogging applications seems to concentrate more on the ease of use rather than the flexibility of customisation but this may be a temporary thing because it is still in beta and new features are being added daily as the system is being built. I’m guessing and hoping there is going to be an ace up the sleave somewhere.

That’s all I can gather from what’s out there anyway. At least it answers a lot of questions anyway about WordPress.com and its upcoming release. Now, from the top of my mind, the way I see this is going is that WordPress is trying to solidify the sense of community in blogging with their new dot com.

Which is not surprising anyway.

After all, WordPress was built on the community that ran it. Well…mostly the geek community in general but still a community nevertheless and that’s what makes it as strong as it is today. So I’m still going to say that the ace up the sleave for this whole project is something that’s going to connect us all together using current technology that most of us casual bloggers rarely use.

I could be wrong about this. But then again, I’m sure the core developers are well aware of the compatition that they are facing even against their own WPMU systems like Blogsome. So that ace has got to be something no one else has done before and that the only thing I can think off.

So that aside, I can’t wait to be authorised to use WordPress.com anyway. I know it’s going to be good. I just want to know how good.

Still it’s a long wait.

But I guess its going to be worth it.

16 thoughts on “The First Glimpse Of WordPress.com

  1. hi there!!! you’re very helpful…i think i already know 2 bloggers (profound sentinment & one more – cant remember who) whom u’ve helped set up their site. so sweet n thoughtful of u. anyway, i just dropped by to say HI n that i’ll b adding u to my list as well coz i want to know more abt word press since i know nuts abt it. 🙂

  2. Shucks well…if you need any help moving to WordPress as well, I don’t mind helping out too. Nothing like the good foot foward to help you get started eh?

  3. Very good explanation, but a few clarifications. WordPress is an incorporated company. This is very different from the usage at wordpress.com which is as a WordPress “community”. That is the exciting part of what WordPressMU is doing. There are a variety of communities forming around the concept of a multi-user WordPress. I’ll have news on my site in a few days on the details of this, but it is really exciting and will change a lot of the face of blogging in the future.

    The WordPress version that runs WordPressMU is indeed 1.6, but it is 1.6 ALPHA and so people on wordpress.com are “alpha-testers” not beta-testers, which means the core programming is changing almost daily. It’s like living in a self-perpetuating cracker jacks box; every day brings a new surprise for users. When it reaches the release stage, it will be hot, as you said.

    It is an exciting time to be a WordPress user and to get involved with WordPress. Blogging at wordpress.com is a great way to get introduced to the concept of blogging and starting out, and then moving to your own hosted site with the full WordPress when you are ready to step up is even more exciting.

    Great summary and good information. Thanks!

  4. I would suggest to WordPress to be different if they were to charge usage for their publsihing system. MovableType restricts multiple authors and a lot of other groups from using it free. I think if WordPress only charged companies and left it free for personal bloggers or charity organization would be great.

    They get money from the big boys whilst maintaining a strong relationship with normal bloggers as well as gain free publicity from charity organizations.

  5. Lorelle: Hey thanks from dropping by and clarifying that. I’d still like to “alpha-test” WordPress.com though. Even tried to enter Matt’s invite giveaway, but for some reason I can’t seem to comment on his blog. Can’t wait to read what you wrote about WPMU and the community though.

    Danny: I think its a licensing thing. If I’m not mistaken, you can’t really charge just like that because WordPress is under a GPL. I know there are some hot issues to charging people especially in regards to things like who gets paid for their plugins and things like that. It’s a legal thing I guess.

  6. At least to a beginner who wants to easially change Themes,your havew more upfront choices(if memory serves 9)at your WordPress. com blog vs 3 if you are self hosting themes. I fully realize that there several hundred at least possibiltys if you care to poke around at WordPress.org in the way of themes, but to return to my point they have to be found first, self-installed with the possibilty however remote that something gets broken in the process.

    Prehaps a little less chest-pounding about the”5-minute install” and more effort in extending what WordPress can do out of the box.

    Still looking for a good tutorial in how to change themes on a local install of WordPress, so if any reader of this knows of a good one please post it .

  7. Robert: It’s all in the codex. If not, you can find all the help you can get (most probably) at the #wordpress channel on IRC.

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