Matt Mullenweg

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Matthew Charles Mullenweg

Matt Mullenweg in Milan (2008)
Born January 11, 1984 (1984-01-11) (age 25)
Houston, Texas
Occupation Entrepreneur, Automattic
Known for WordPress and other software

Matthew Charles Mullenweg (born January 11, 1984 in Houston, Texas) is an entrepreneur living in San Francisco, California.

He is the founding developer of the popular open-source blogging software WordPress and writes a popular blog, a domain hack. After quitting his job at CNET, he has devoted the majority of his time to developing a number of open source projects and is a frequent speaker at conferences, such as Canada's Northern Voice and the WordCamp events organized around WordPress software.

In late 2005, he founded Automattic, the business behind and Akismet. Mullenweg attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts where he studied jazz saxophone[1]. Matt is also a Dvorak Keyboard user.

[edit] WordPress History

In June 2002 Mullenweg started using the b2/cafelog blogging software to complement the photos he was taking on a trip to Washington D.C. after participating in the National Fed Challenge competition. He contributed some minor code regarding typographic entities and cleaner permalinks.

Several months after development of b2 had stopped, in January 2003, he announced[2] on his blog his plan of forking the software to bring it up to date with web standards and his needs. He was quickly contacted by Mike Little and together they started WordPress from the b2 codebase. They were soon joined by original b2 developer Michel Valdrighi. Mullenweg was only nineteen years old, and a freshman at the University of Houston at the time.[3]

In March 2003 he co-founded the Global Multimedia Protocols Group with Eric Meyer and Tantek Çelik. GMPG wrote the first of the Microformats.[4]

In April 2004 with fellow WordPress developer Dougal Campbell, they launched Ping-O-Matic[5] which is a hub for notifying blog search engines such as Technorati of blog updates. Ping-O-Matic currently handles over 1 million pings a day.[citation needed]

In May 2004 chief WordPress competitor Movable Type announced a radical price change[6] which drove thousands of users to seek alternate solutions. This is widely regarded as the tipping point for WordPress.

In October 2004, he was recruited by CNET[7] to work on WordPress for them and help them with blogs and new media offerings. He dropped out of college and moved to San Francisco from Houston, TX the following month.

In December 2004, Mullenweg announced bbPress[8] which he wrote from scratch in a few days over the holidays.

Mullenweg and the WordPress team released WordPress 1.5 "Strayhorn"[9] in February 2005, which had over 900,000 downloads. The release introduced their theme system, moderation features, and a new front end and back end redesign.

During late March and early April 2005, Andrew Baio found at least 168,000 hidden articles on the website that were using a technique known as cloaking.[10] Mullenweg admitted accepting the questionable advertisement and removed all articles from the domain.[11]

After a somewhat quiet year, in October 2005 he announced he was leaving CNET[12] to focus on WordPress and related activities full time.

Several days later, on October 25, Akismet was made public to the world.[13] Akismet is a distributed effort to stop comment and trackback spam by using the collective input of everyone using the service.

In November 2005 Mullenweg's project stopped being invite-only and opened up to the world.

In December 2005 he announced Automattic, the company behind and Akismet. Automattic employed people who had contributed to the WordPress project, including lead developer Ryan Boren and WordPress MU creator Donncha O Caoimh. An Akismet licensing deal[14] and WordPress bundling[15] was announced with Yahoo! Small Business web hosting about the same time.

In January 2006 Mullenweg recruited former Oddpost CEO and Yahoo! executive Toni Schneider to join Automattic as CEO, bringing the size of the company to 5.

It was discovered in April 2006 through a Regulation D filing that Automattic raised approximately 1.1 million dollars in funding[16][citation needed], which Mullenweg addressed in his blog. Investors were Polaris Ventures, True Ventures, Radar Partners, and CNET.

The first WordCamp conference in July 2006 was pulled together in 3 weeks, in the style of BarCamp, attracting over 300 people to the Swedish American Hall in San Francisco. The first WordCamp Argentina event was held on October 31, 2007 in Buenos Aires.

In March 2007 he was named #16 of the 50 Most Important People on the Web by PC World, reportedly the youngest on the list[17].

In October 2007 Mullenweg acquired the Gravatar service[18] and was rumored to have turned down a US$200 million offer to buy his company Automattic[19].

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[edit] External links

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