From the ‘open source rulez’ files:
The big news in the tech world that emerged over the weekend is that Yahoo is set to repeat its decade old mistake and acquire Tumblr (Geocities redux) for $1 Billion.
I’m not a fan of Tumblr, but I am a fan of freedom and WordPress, both of which are apparently now ‘winning’ as a side effect of this deal. While it’s still unclear precisely how Yahoo’s ownership may/may not affect Tumblr, users are already voting with their blogs.
WordPress Founder Matt Mullenweg wrote in a blog post Sunday night that:
“Imports have actually spiked on the rumors even though it’s Sunday: normally we import 400-600 posts an hour from Tumblr, last hour it was over 72,000”
To be fair, Mullenweg also noted that there is often an import/export of blogs both ways between WordPress and Tumblr. This is a good thing after all, it means that the content is free and is not locked in.
He also noted that Tumblr got started by first being hosted as a blog on WordPress.com.
WordPress.com is of course, the hosting service that Mullenweg operates, but users can easily run their own free open source WordPress blog anywhere they want. That’s the power of open source, it’s not just about the content, it’s about delivery too.
While I’m no expert on Tumblr or acquisition pricing, I do understand software freedom.
No self-aware user wants to be locked in. While Tumblr does offer an interesting dashboard view of the Internet and an easy way to blog, so too does WordPress. WordPress is in fact the most popular Content Management System on the web today and will remain so due to its ease of use, features and the fact that it remains open source.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.