As you might know, we at TealArt, use a program called WordPress to run the back-end of the site. It's a nifty program, and I've started to see WordPress blogs all over the place, and it seems like WordPress might even be the blogging software of choice for most folks these days. I had the pleasure/distinction of having to upgrade the software the other day, which has started to keep wordpress pretty firmly in my mind.

Thing is, most of the time I don't really interact with the software: there are so many programs and options that make it possible to post and edit a blog without ever actually having to go to the website, these days I use MarsEdit and a plugin for my text editor, TextMate to post to the blog. This is of course super interesting to you so I'm going to move on. [1]

I remember when WordPress was the rogue stepchild of b2/cafelog (another wonderful piece of blog software that TealArt proudly used), and even when the thought of having a site as dependent on a mySQL database as WP sites tend to be was absurd. These days, Word Press is one of the successes of the open source software scene. Tons of people use it. It works great, it's polished, there's an active developer community, and somehow the leaders of the project are able to support some sort of business model. There are probably a lot of reasons for this: PHP/mySQL are easy languages to learn, the back end and the front end of WP are basically independent of eachother, and the way that WP does plugins makes it easy for people to contribute to WP, and also for WP developers to roll-in particularly successful plug-ins as features.

I'm not versed enough in this, but the distinction is I think a great model for distributing and monitoring "free" software. Basically they develop a product that they give away for free (; what TA uses), and then they take that product and offer a service related to that product ( that they can generate revenue with. You can read the Automatic website for more information, frankly I'm not sure about the particulars, or if it's really a viable business model but I'd like it if it were, so I'm going to continue to pretend.

Interestingly, also, they're enough different from their major comerical competitor (SixApart, the people who do LiveJournal, Vox, TypePad and most importantly MoveableType,) that they'll probably not run into problems there. I'm not entirely sure about MoveableType's long term success, but at this point that's not a very big issue.

Anyway, enough yammering for now... I'll be back tomorrow with the intro for the new series! Don't go anywhere.

Best, tycho

[1]The sad part about this paragraph is that I think it probably mirrors the way I talk/think with an all too depressing amount of truth.