Friday 31 May 2013

Weekly Wrap Up: Happy Birthday WordPress, we salute you!

This week WordPress celebrated its tenth birthday. In 2003 two Houston University students had the dream of generating a basic blogging platform through which users could publish content easily to the web. Since the day this vision was born, it has successfully evolved to become one of the largest Content Management Systems (CMS) in the world. It generates more than four billion page views a month and powers an estimated 18% of the web – evidence that it has well and truly changed the way people communicate their story to the world.

WordPress has developed into a global service. It doesn't just provide a place for individuals to share and express their opinions, music and culinary concoctions but through the addition of features such as plug-ins, analytics services, shopping carts and forums, it has taken on a user base of more than 66 million and includes corporates from small start ups to Fortune 500 conglomerates.

From a news dissemination perspective, its ease of use and ability to upload material has led to its adoption by some of the biggest publications in the world, with The New York Times, CNN, Reuters and Forbes using it to publish blogs. Similarly, corporates can use it to distribute press releases, market products, and through WordPress’s ability to design your own theme, help build brand identity. Blogging has become an essential marketer’s tool. It acts as a place not just to educate its readers, market products to consumers, but it acts as a space to generate a dialogue. Through utilising features such as forums and comments pages, companies can listen to its audience, acknowledge feedback and essentially help to build brand loyalty and increase returns.

In an ode to the site, creator Matt Mullenweg blogged on its 10 year anniversary, “You’re so beautiful… I’m continually amazed and delighted by how you’ve grown. Your awkward years are behind you. Best of all, through it all, you’ve stuck with the principles that got you started in the first place. You’re always changing but that never changes… I see you all over the world now, glowing from screens, bringing people together at meetups and WordCamps — you’re at your best when you do that. You’re my muse; you inspire me, and I’ve seen you inspire others. You become a part of their life and they become a part of yours. I hope we grow old together.”

To the creators of WordPress who have achieved something which makes managed websites, internet marketing and brand communications less daunting and totally accessible to anyone with an internet connection, we salute you and thank you.

On this short bank holiday week Abchaps were out and about. On Tuesday we attended a lunch organised by Bird & Bird to discuss investment trends in Asia. On Thursday four of the team went down to Sandown Racecourse for a fantastic evening at the races kindly hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald. Also on Thursday one of the team went down to the uber cool Bar Kick in Shoreditch for drinks and table football organised by Marriot Harrison.

Asset Management firm BlackRock has hired Daniel Whitestone of UBS to act as director it its UK small / mid cap equities team. Similarly, Altium, the investment bank, has a new director appointment in the shape of Mr Andy Clarke. Law firm Stephenson Harwood has poached Dentons’ Tammy Samuel to the rail team, from Dentons and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

'FOMO' – Fear of missing out; the phenomenon has long applied to all social activity; but is now a major factor in the increasing addiction to social media.

Kew Gardens’ celebration of edible plants IncrEdibles has kicked off. The festival will be running all summer.

The Southbank Centre is running the London Literature Festival for a month, celebrating all things literary; including live poetry, short plays and music.

Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens are running a series of free outdoor films, courtesy of Luna Cinemas.

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