Answering the Birthday Wish from Matt Mullenweg to Blog

Meeting Matt Mullenweg at SXSW in 2009 at the WordPress BBQ Meetup

When Matt asks you to blog, you put fingers to keys and you start to blog. I mean, I have to honor the birthday wish from one of the creators of the tool I’ve been using for publishing on the internet for almost 20 years right? I owe a debt of gratitude to him and the countless group of passionate users that continue to develop WordPress.

I created this website in 1996 using static html files, then progressed to using various different tools, until finally landing on WordPress in 2005 and never looked back. I have since created many personal websites over the years using WordPress and watched the software expand and improve tremendously over that time. I’ve also tried many other content management systems but always come back to WordPress because of the great balance between features and simplicity which I haven’t found in another product.

I still remember the heyday of blogging when so many unique voices published freely on the internet and you were able to discover new ones through the use of blogrolls. It was exciting to jump around from blog to blog by following the breadcrumbs writers left for each other. But creating a blog wasn’t trivial and still posed a barrier to entry so things had to become simpler to truly democratize the ability for everyone to gain access to publish their thoughts. WordPress eventually created a hosted platform at WordPress.com that did most of the heavy lifting to setup a blog. But soon after we saw the birth of social media tools such as Tumblr, FriendFeed, Twitter and eventually Facebook which now enabled the masses to quickly publish and interact with people. Then later there was another shift with the advancement of smart phones with cameras which really propelled people from longer form blogging on the desktop to join the masses using these new mobile devices with even more social media tools and services. And thus personal blogging began its steep decline.

There’s been somewhat of a resurgence over the years with tools focused on long form writing such as Medium and more recently newsletter platforms such as Substack but social media continues to dominate the internet airwaves. For better or worse simple short form social content seems like it will continue to trend for the foreseeable future.

I too have struggled to blog as much over the last few years succumbing to the allure of quick publishing and instant feedback on social media. I’ve limited my blogging mainly towards longer form helpful guides. However, I’m glad Matt put out the call for others to blog again so here I am. I’m going to try and be mindful of blogging more this year and hopefully others will choose to answer Matt’s call as well.