Tag Archives: sxsw

SXSWi panel: Interview with Matt Mullenweg

South by Southwest Interactive kicked off Friday with a bang!  On entering the Austin Convention Center, there was an excitement in the air that seemed to raise the hair on my arms.  Goose bumps!

It’s amazing to see so many people excited by their work and by meeting new people and being a part of innovation and technology.  I remember being incredibly inspired at SXSWi 2010, and after getting a taste today, I know I’ll walk away inspired again this year.

I was pretty disappointed by the first panel (at 2pm) — How not to Design Like  Developer (#betterdesign).  It was unfocused.  It didn’t inform me much.  I expected better.

But I was totally excited by the interview with Matt Mullenweg of Automattic/Wordpress (#sxswwp).  I’ve really moved into designing for WordPress over the last year.  And I’ve been using WordPress more and more as a CMS, rather than just a blog — which seems to be the way WordPress development is heading.

And Matt talked about that — when at it’s best, WordPress is invisible.  It’s a tool.

Currently, he says 12% of the Internet is using WordPress.  That’s pretty impressive, and for those people who say blogging is dead — it’s just not true, according to Mullenweg.  WordPress adds a new blog every 2 seconds.

I could tell that Mullenweg admires the power of Twitter and up-and-comer Tumblr.  Twitter — for taking mobile seriously — and Tumblr — for it’s simplicity and great design.

And while there was a lot of talk about WordPress’ business model and how it works, what I took away about the future of WordPress is that it will continue to be an open source platform that focuses on a user-centric model (offering products that users find valuable and want to pay for) rather than and advertiser-centric model (relaying on ads for revenue), although some ads are necessary.

WordPress 3.1 was just rolled out along with a couple of major products for .com and .org users, so work hasn’t yet begun on the next version.  But Mullenweg said his ideas for the future include slicker media embedding, a better writing experience in full-screen mode, an easier way to integrate podcasts, and making the mobile apps better.  he freely admitted they aren’t good and they should be.

I loved hearing from Mullenweg, and I’m excited about the future of WordPress, especially since I’m having so much fun designing and developing with it.  It’s definitely become my favorite platform to work with.

In the meantime, I’m soaking up as much as I can at SXSWi.  There’ so much to do and see!  I’ll be tweeting more than I blog, but I will be doing both on Saturday!

Follow me @cindybrummer.

Countdown to SXSW 2011

With just 2 weeks to go before South By Southwest gets underway in Austin, I can feel my excitement building.

The 2010 Interactive festival was an inspiring touchstone for me, and I can’t wait to go back.

Last year I mainly attended business sessions, with some design and technology thrown in.  This year my focus will be on social media, design and marketing.

I’ve already started working on my conference schedule with the help of the newly released SXSW Go app, now available in the app store for iPhone/iPod Touch.

Interactive has grown by leaps and bounds (pardon the cliche), and this year panels and presentations will be spread to 10 campuses according to organizers.  They addressed it at a recent mixer, and you can read more about what was discussed in the Digital Savant.

I’m not sure I will be able to keep up the go-go-go pace I kept last year of going to sessions in nearly every hour and a half.  This year I face the added challenge of having a 5-month-old baby.  She won’t be attending with me (my mom is flying into town just to watch the kids during SX), but I’m still nursing, and I’ll need to make arrangements during those days.  I’ll probably have to miss some sessions that I would otherwise be able to attend.  Ahhh, the challenges of motherhood.

Still, this year I won’t be nearly as exhausted and I’m already planning to check out several evening mixers and parties. (A bunch are listed at EventBrite — just do a search for “Austin”.)

Networking!  It does a business good!

If you’re also planning on being at SXSW Interactive — holla at me!  Check me out on Twitter and tweet me at @cindybrummer.