The State Of Blogging In 2013 At SXSW

Matt Mullenweg of WordPress sat down with Kara Swisher to discuss the state of blogging in the year 2013, and the future of blogging in a very fragmented, social media world at this year’s SXSW. It was a great talk and I enjoyed it. Some of the most interesting thoughts Matt shared with the audience were the following:

  • On what bloggers want: According to Matt people that create content online want control, flexibility and freedom in their blogging. They want to be able to do whatever they have in their minds without being restricted in the way they present themselves and their content.
  • On ads: WordPress isn’t an ads company. No one comes to a website and says they want less content and more ads. This is why WordPress is limiting ads and doesn’t plan to be a big ad site.
  • On Tumblr: Matt had a great quote about the Tumblr vs WordPress debate. He said that Tumblr is all about curation of content, WordPress is all about creation of content. On Tumblr you go to explore, repost and share content other people have created. WordPress is mostly used for the creation of new and original content. More on the differences between the two is here.
  • On selling the company: He wouldn’t want to sell to anyone no matter the offers. He’d rather use WordPress to influence the web and democratise publishing online.
  • On employees: Matt had another great quote here saying that his suggestion for other entrepreneurs is that they should hire the best people they can, and then get out of their way and let them do their jobs.
  • Length of a post: Average length remains at 280 words despite character limit trend of social media. People still have things they want to say and they have a lot of them. Twitter and other short form platforms have not influenced bloggers towards creating shorter and faster content.
  • On how to be a good blogger: Matt says that you should think of your website as your living room. You should be a good dinner host for the visitors of your site.
  • On territories where WordPress users come from: US, Indonesia and Brasil are countries from where people are using WordPress the most and countries that see the biggest growth.
  • Matt’s favourite site: Quartz has the best design of WordPress sites according to Matt. Quartz has a responsive design that looks great on tablet and mobile devices and they publish great content. Here is a guide on how you can make your design look pretty.
  • Matt’s quote of the day: Haters gonna hate, creators gonna create.

There was a lot of buzz about the talk in the social media. People were commenting on Matt’s comments, they were retweeting his bets quotes and so much more. I kind of live followed the whole chat and collected some of the best posts. Here’s a Storify of the whole talk as tweeted by people in the audience and across the social media: