In early August, 2012, Matt Mullenweg delivered his sixth State of the Word, giving us an update on all things WordPress. An interesting talk because WordPress is the dominate platform for bloggers, it powers 17% of the internet, and is the software I use for this blog.
Unfortunately, there are no summaries of the talk, only the raw video, slides, and a live blog. Which is very strange considering how important this software is. Not to worry, I’ve included a summary below pulled together from personal notes and various blogs:
Summary – State of the Word 2012 – Matt Mullenweg
- WordPress is 9 years old, 6th State of the Word
- WordCamps – in 2006 there was 1 – in 2011 there were 52, and in 2012 there are 75 planned.
- Single greatest change of the year – Plugin Headers – which are pictures on plugin pages
- Matt talked a lot about how small changes are the most requested features
- Forums linked to plugins allowing thousands of answered questions.
- Improved rating system for plugins. Like Amazon, allowing readers to see individual reviews and authors to respond.
- NUX – new user experience improved, welcome page might become permanent homepage – dashboard is too cluttered
- WordPress 3.5 – coming Dec. 5
- Matt wants updates to work more like Chrome (i.e. automatic and in the background)
- Speed updates from 2/year to 3/year
- 3.5 includes Retina Support – Matt says it’s the next big thing
- Many topics about getting involved
- Improve parity between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
- JetPack.me offers all the best plugins from *.com for *.org users
- 2.3 million JetPack downloads
- 5 million mobile downloads
- On 6 platforms
- Apps are the future
- First 4 years blogging, next 4 years content management (CMS), next are apps
- More people use WordPress for CMS than for blogging
- App examples: running maps, interactive graphics
- 20,000 people make $$ from WordPress (writing or developing) – in 2011 it was 13,000
- Average cost to develop a WordPress site: $2,000 gov/non-profit – $2,500 small biz – $4,200 corporate
That’s the summary in 26 lines or less! If you’re looking for more WPMU has a minute-by-minute breakdown.
Facebook has finally answered the question that’s been bugging Wall Street and the rest of us, “when are you going to get mobile?”
Yesterday, the answer came as Facebook launched major upgrades to their iPhone and iPad apps. From the N.Y. Times Bits blog:
Those who have suffered from the sluggishness of the current apps can breathe a collective sigh of relief: these new versions are much faster.
The apps look nearly identical to their predecessors. The main difference is that most of their old Web-based code has been replaced with the native programming code used for iOS
Even more, Facebook has gone all Google Plus on the issue (you know Google making social everyone’s responsibility):
In recent interviews, Facebook executives said they have retooled the organization so that every product team is working on mobile, and the company holds weekly training courses on programming for Apple and Android devices.
The Verge is reporting that these updates make the apps twice as fast:
In building a native Facebook app for iOS, the company looked at improving three key places, “the app’s largest pain points” all relating to speed: launching the app, scrolling through the News Feed, and tapping photos inside the News Feed. “We’re twice as fast in all these areas,” Mick Johnson says.
I’ve been playing with the app and the claims appear to be true. This is good news for Facebook fans (and stock holders) because slow apps can be killer for growth.
**Sorry for the “native” joke, but I couldn’t resist
I’ve been a big fan of Square from the beginning, mostly because I hate the cashier’s line. I even gave a talk at Ignite DC called, “The Future of the Queue”, though I spent all my time bashing the very old, and expensive technology that cashier’s use:
Lol, $300+ dollars just to read a credit card! Did you know that Square gives away this technology for free?
I repeat “gives it away for free.” It’s no wonder that the company is rumored to be valued at $3.2 billion.
How do they make their money, through fees, of course. From Square:
- 2.75% per swipe.
- Free app, free Square Card Reader and free shipping.
- No merchant account, monthly fees or set-up costs.
- Payments in your bank account the next business day
- Payments automatically sent for deposit to your bank with email confirmations.
- No limit to the number or amount of payments you can take.
I’ve done some small business transactions and I know that these fees are big business. If you think about skimming off nearly 3% from every credit transaction we are talking about billions of dollars. In 2006, a study found that we spend nearly $1 trillion on credit each year (pdf).
That may explain why Starbucks, a coffee company, is playing venture capital by investing in Square. Though, many are speculating that the reason is to improve the “Starbucks experience” which I guess means giving baristas iPads and smartphones like the Apple Genius have.
It’s possible, but I’m very skeptical, it’s more likely that Starbucks is looking to cut back-end costs associated with credit transactions and that is something Square does very well. A few pennies per transaction is a lot of money for the big corporation.
Not to mention that Starbucks already has a strong mobile payment solution that “about 1 million people a week are using” out of 60 million transactions a week.
It’s definitely an interesting story and one that spells big changes for the payments industry. Some good articles on this topic:
Did you know that America had an Export-Import Bank?
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) approved a $922 million loan guarantee to support the export of three satellites and related equipment to the Mexican government for the MEXSAT regional mobile satellite system. Mexico’s Secretariat of Communications and Transportation will purchase the satellites from Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems in El Segundo, Calif. Boeing will produce two satellites with mobile service satellite (MSS) capacity and will subcontract a third satellite with fixed service satellite (FSS) capacity from Orbital Sciences Corporation in Dulles, Va.
The three satellites will be used to deploy the MEXSAT system, a next-generation, space-based communications platform that will help support social and economic development within Mexico. Various sectors will benefit from MEXSAT, including programs focusing on education, health care, disaster relief and rural telephonic service.
Mexico is one of Ex-Im Bank’s nine key markets and accounted for $8.3 billion of the Bank’s worldwide credit exposure at the end of FY 2011. In FY 2012 to date, the Bank has authorized approximately $1.8 billion in financing for U.S. exports to Mexico.
Source: Embassy of the United States in Mexico
A fascinating graphic and the article it is pulled from.
Nokia led the wireless revolution in the 1990s and set its sights on ushering the world into the era of smartphones. Now that the smartphone era has arrived, the company is racing to roll out competitive products as its stock price collapses and thousands of employees lose their jobs.
This year, Nokia ended a 14-year-run as the world’s largest maker of mobile phones, as rival Samsung Electronics Co. took the top spot and makers of cheaper phones ate into Nokia’s sales volumes.
Nokia is losing ground despite spending $40 billion on research and development over the past decade—nearly four times what Apple spent in the same period.
Instead of producing hit devices or software, the binge of spending has left the company with at least two abandoned operating systems and a pile of patents that analysts now say are worth around $6 billion, the bulk of the value of the entire company.
Source: Wall Street Journal - Nokia’s Bad Call on Smartphones