Doubling WordPress.com Signups

Windows Live Spaces has doubled the number of monthly signups at WordPress.com. Quite the busy last few months for us.

With the addition of Windows Live Spaces sites moving to WordPress.com, Windows Live users who are new to blogging coming here, and word-of-mouth from our current and very passionate users, the number of people joining WordPress.com has doubled to over 900,000 per month (up from around 400,000 per month before the migration).

The 37signals Suite and Ownership

37signals launched a bulk subscription suite for their apps a couple of days ago. In the launch announcement I noticed that they refer to users as owning their apps:

Currently the 37signals Suite is only available for people who already own a Basecamp, Highrise, Backpack, or Campfire account. If you own any one of these apps you can upgrade to the Suite in less than 60 seconds. We will be offering the ability to sign up for the Suite from scratch down the road, but we just don’t know when yet. Note: If you don’t own one of our products yet, and you’d like to purchase the Suite, just sign up for Basecamp, Highrise, Backpack, or Campfire and then follow the upgrade instructions above. (emphasis mine)

Despite the fact that you pay a monthly fee to use those apps 37signals says users own the product. They back this up by allowing a functional HTML or XML export of most content at any time.

Compare that to Twitter, whose Terms of Service say “what’s yours is yours – you own your content.” Sounds similar right? Too bad Twitter does not provide a way to export more than 3200 tweets.

Joel Johnson rocks Gizmodo

Joel Johnson nails it in a Gizmodo post yesterday. Among other wonderful gems is this argument against those who claim Gizmodo ≠ journalism:

I try to allow for this, especially when presented in the “But you call yourselves journalists!” package. I know that most of the people attempting to define and discard our opinions have the media comprehension ability of an especially contemplative elk. Still, consider this in a scrolling, flashing, graphic set overtop an exploding marching band: “Journalism” is an act, a process, not a role nor a duty. Sometimes, despite all inclination to the contrary, journalism is practiced at Gizmodo.

I especially like the image of a contemplative elk attempting to discard the opinions of Gizmodo.

Retweets and permalinks

My last post threw me against an odd stumbling block with new-style retweets on Twitter: there are no permalinks for retweets.

In a post explaining the changes to retweets almost a year ago Evan Williams noted various problems with the old style of retweets. Two mentioned were that retweets were untrackable and that they created confusion over attribution. This may be true of the old style but the new method is even worse for attribution in any medium other than Twitter’s.

That post I mention above was about a slick, adaptive CSS grid framework. I only found it because Lauren Rabaino retweeted an earlier post from Nathan Smith.

So what are my options if I want to give Lauren credit in a blog post?

I can link to her profile page which will be irrelevant for that tweet in a short while.

I could link to the original tweet from Nathan Smith. This would show Lauren’s profile picture as one of the retweets but it doesn’t scale well. If the tweet were more popular and had dozens of retweets Lauren’s information might not even appear. For example, 56 people retweeted this but only 15 avatars show.

There ought to be an easier way. Twitter should have a permalink to both the original tweet as well as something I can link to showing it was Lauren that made me aware of the post.

Proper attribution in this case only exists within Twitter’s platform. Maybe that’s the point. If that’s true it’s frustrating to say the least. Retweeting is a form of publishing and we as users ought to be able to link to any form of published content on the web.