01 June 2008

Is Wordpress Going Out Like GeoCities?

A recent guest post on ProBloggger compares the Wordpress Multiuser (MU) software to the very hot Ning social network software. Here's the list:

Wordpress MU NING
Installation & Set up Need your own server space, php, mySQL Complete hosted solution with no cost for the basics
User Tools Nothing beyond the base Wordpress admin, unless you install or program them yourself Comes with base tool set, RSS feeds, forums, ability to create groups, user profile page with comment wall, etc.
Customization Full access to open source code but must know how to program Drag and drop customization for basics but can request access to code for more advanced control
Message boards Not integrated but can install BBpress and share user database for integration. Included but can not customize unless you request access to code
Chat Not integrated Not integrated without 3rd party widget
User Pages Users have control over blog and can add posts as well as pages Users have no ability to add their own pages
Friends Feature Not integrated Included in basic solution
Community Messaging Not Integrated Included in basic solution

To read the remainder of the list, click here.

As you can see, Ning just makes life uber-easy for those hoping to create a social network. This reminds me of when Blogger hit the scene with a force. Many folks had no idea how easy blogging made life for those who regularly update content. If you didn't need a huge series of pages, blogging made for a quick way to provide slick looking content. Wordpress was a decent solution for those with more advanced web skills to create multiple pages, but I can't help but feel that WP is actually a website application with a built in blog vs. a blog with extra features.

Of course, Blogger was free just like the then prevalent free Yahoo! website builder known as GeoCities. Yet, GeoCities required extensive log-in time. On my computer, it would take me close to five minutes just to reach a point where I could begin working with my site. Then there's the way you go about uploading images, files, and publishing your content. And let's not forget about the accursed Applet that glitches up every chance it gets.

For the expert GeoCities user, they didn't see any need to change. They knew the ins-and-outs, so there was no need to learn anything new. Wordpress users seem to have this same attitude. They've learned how to manipulate the software. They know all the tricks, so no need to switch over to something simpler, something free, something that allows you to customize with ease.

Now, I don't predict any mass movement away from Wordpress anytime soon, at least not from their blogging software. Yet, don't be surprised if Wordpress's MU software ends up on the scrap heap within the next couple years thanks to the awesome folks at Ning!

* This post created using ScribeFire.

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