NV08 – Blogging & Social Media: Where do we go from here?

nv2008 Matt Mullenweg just finished up his keynote and is now answering questions from the audience. His talk about where we are now and where we need to go in the future started out really well, but kind of went downhill in my opinion. He began with the blogger’s hierarchy of needs:

  1. Expression
  2. Public
  3. Interaction
  4. Validation

I think these make a lot of sense. Bloggers seem to have an inherent need to express themselves, they like to do so in public and with other people, and they love checking their stats. My favorite and I think the most important is #2. I agree with Matt that public should be the default.

NV08 Keynote Next he made the comment that 4 million posts are created at wordpress.com each month. Wikipedia has about 2.1 million English-language articles, so Matt reasoned that wordpress.com users create about two Wikipedia’s each month. The only problem with that, of course, is that quantity does not equal quality. It’s kind of an apples and oranges comparison.

Matt then showed a funny video of the "dancing Matt", some dude who he is apparently neck and neck with for the top result in Google for "matt". He asked the audience to ensure they link to http://ma.tt so that he can remain #1. Are you kidding me? Does this belong in a keynote?

His next point was that technology companies suck at branding. He cited Google and Microsoft specifically, and used P&G as an example of a company that is great at branding. This wasn’t new for me, as I’ve done a lot of reading about branding, but it is good that Matt brought it up specifically. He didn’t say it explicitly, but I can only assume that he thinks we need to have better branding in technology in the future. A lot of his points seemed very loosely related to the title of the talk.

Matt finished up his talk by essentially professing his love for the open source movement. I agree with him that transparency is good and powerful, but I disagree that open source is the only way to get there. Matt thinks that we must create strong alternatives to commercial solutions. I think we can achieve transparency in other ways.

Stewart Mader liveblogged the keynote, so you might get a better idea of how it went down by reading his post.

It wasn’t a bad keynote, but I think the one Anil Dash did last year was much better. It was more powerful and left you with a great feeling. You can watch it here.

Ah well. Matt is easy to like and he’s a good speaker, but his keynote just didn’t do it for me.