This week saw an event that somewhat mystified a number of us. When WordPress
Packt Press' Best [Open Source] Social Networking Web CMS
this past Monday there were a fair few of you scratching your heads.
WordPress, a social networking platform? Hmm.
Actually, most folks think of WordPress as a blogging platform. And then, when a lot of us hear the word WordPress
, we also think of Movable Type and ExpressionEngine. These too are most often considered blogging platforms, or in terms of the CMSWire topic taxonomy, micro cms
Now with the three projects being arch competitors, we do enjoy stirring up a bit of the respective camps' enthusiasm by presenting things like head-to-head comparisons (here
, and here
). But that's not what we doing today.
The blogosphere is, as usual, evolving. Web publishing is transforming. And the nature of publishers' interaction with the public has dramatically shifted. With a troubling lack of grace we've attempted to capture the conceptual elements of these changes in that Web 2.0 basket
The Web 2.0 thing has had a big impact on the CMS world. More traditional Enterprise Web CMS projects have been pulled down into the micro CMS world, rapidly. And all those suddenly vital functions previously only found in blogging platforms have pulled the micro CMS crowd into the enterprise. This has all not been what I'd call a match made in heaven, but it has been fun and a little dramatic to observe.
During a recent visit to the Six Apart offices in San Francisco, we had a chance to pick the brains of one of the fine gentlemen sitting in the eye of this storm. Byrne Reese is the lead product manager for Movable Type. He's the person primarily responsible for the release of Movable Type 4
, and has been intimately involved in what's now called the Movable Type Community Solution
. Byrne is presently heads-down on the open source version of Movable Type (MTOS). As perhaps only a consequence of timing, MTOS' unhatched state prevented it from being considered in Packt's recent contest.
Nevertheless, if WordPress is to be labeled a leading Social Networking platform, then it bears mentioning that products like MT are angling quite aggressively in that same direction. I'll stop typing there and let Byrne take the next 3 minutes of your time explaining how and why the blogosphere is transforming from streams of thought to clusters of participants.