How Did WordPress Win the Blogging Battle?

Byrne Reese, former Product Manager of Movable Type, looks at how WordPress became the dominant blogging CMS:

One thing that I personally feel mars an otherwise untarnished product is the fact that WordPress’ leadership and community chose to define itself early on not upon its own strengths, but upon the mistakes made by a young and inexperienced pair of entrepenuers. WordPress defined itself not as superior product by its own merit, but as the underdog. It succeeded by villifying Six Apart, by casting doubt on Six Apart’s integrity and by constantly stoking the fires left over from Movable Type’s licensing fiasco. Never for example have I seen a WordPress user work to establish a more positive and constructive tone when it comes to its competition.

This general lack of civility, much more apparent early on in WordPress’ life, contributed to an underlying sense that WordPress was the best and everything else sucked. This state of mind, love it or hate it, served WordPress greatly, because wars, even a meaningless “blogging war,” are only successfully fought when everyone knows who their enemy is. And Six Apart was not just a worthy competitor, it was the perfect enemy.

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