Finally, WordPress

I built dozens of content management systems that generated millions of dollars in value.

Matt Mullenweg built one content management system, gave it away for free, became a leader in the open source revolution and generated more than a billion dollars in value.

Maybe I was charging too much!

Since 2003, I have run my blog on software I created. A decade ago, I was using Blogsmith, which still powers Engadget and Autoblog and ultimately became the platform runs on. Last year, I was using Crowd Fusion, which still powers TMZ and Ellen‘s websites and was used for high-profile projects at Best Buy, MySpace, Warner Bros and News Corp.

Now, my blog runs on WordPress.

I don’t have time to tinker with old, unsupported PHP code. All I care about these days is helping brands, agencies, influencers and creators of all kinds make amazing social videos with my app Clipisode.

All of the custom things I needed to do with my site can by done on WordPress. And not just the WordPress that you can download and customize. It can all be done on That wasn’t always the case. Now it is.

This feels right.

The Business of Content

I’m a fan of Simon Owens’ Business of Content podcast, so I was really thrilled to be interviewed in a recent episode. And I love how he puts a transcript of each interview in a Medium post for people who aren’t into podcasts. Smart!

I interviewed Alvey about what it was like to run a blog network in Web 2.0’s early days, how he ended up in a 45 minute meeting with Jeff Bezos, and why the iPad failed to save the media industry.

How cool is that?

Automatic captions on every clip

We announced a great new feature at VidCon Australia this summer: Clipisode automatically transcribes every clip that comes on.

All clips. For free.

But we don’t show the words over your videos like everyone else’s ugly closed captions. We smartly work the captions into the episode’s theme as “open captions.” So instead of getting something that looks horrible with layers on top of layers of typos like this:

You get something that looks gorgeous like this:

Check it out.

LAUNCH Incubator 3: The Legend Continues

When I visited the two LAUNCH Incubator classes in December, it was to allegedly to see if there were any interesting companies to advise. My real plan though was to soak up some of their weekly pitch practice. We were working on an iPhone app for Recurrency that we planned to debut at the LAUNCH Festival and I wanted our presentation to go as smoothly as our last one.

But watching other people pitch their startups isn’t a substitute for pitching your own. So when Jason told me that a spot had opened up, I jumped right in.

What a wild ride. Our first week of pitching went great. We won the most points. It felt like it was going to be a breeze.

Was I ever wrong.

Continue reading “LAUNCH Incubator 3: The Legend Continues”

The End of Recurrency

In January, I was back in the LAUNCH Incubator working on my presentation. I was planning to introduce a Recurrency app that made it easier for creators to engage and include their supporters each month. But the feedback I got was a surprise: “Why do you force me to join your crowdfunding site when I just want to use your video app?”

One of our friends spent a full year planning her Kickstarter before flipping the switch — and she crushed it. But too many people think you just walk up to a crowdfunding service, turn it on and then the Internet sends you a check.

It all comes down to doing the work.

My Medium post The End of Recurrency looks at what Recurrency did that was unique, reveals that we almost acquired another business and explains what investors hate about recurring crowdfunding services like Patreon and Recurrency. I also thank a lot of people for being a part of our journey.

Read The End of Recurrency on Medium.

YouTubers Just Got YouTubered

When I was searching for something new to build in 2014, Jason told me about the problems he was having with Mahalo on YouTube.

At the time, a single YouTube subscriber was worth an estimated $0.10/year to publishers, but an email subscriber was worth $1.25/year. For Jason’s shows, collecting 100,000 email addresses could mean the difference between breaking even and bankruptcy.

Oh man. Workarounds to capture email addresses? I had seen this before with Facebook and iTunes. YouTube was being an evil gatekeeper.

I was about to uncover my next great mission.

My Medium post YouTubers Just Got YouTubered covers a lot of topics:

  • What is YouTube Red and why does everyone hate it?
  • YouTube’s Farm and the origin of Recurrency
  • Facebook, the evil gatekeeper
  • iTunes, the evil gatekeeper
  • Should you ever build a business on someone else’s platform?
  • How can I protect myself from all of these evil gatekeepers?

Continue reading YouTubers Just Got YouTubered on Medium.

Is ‘1,000 True Fans’ Too Good To Be True?

Some creators can make Kevin Kelly’s 1,000 True Fans theory work. Most creators can’t. My Medium post Is ‘1,000 True Fans’ Too Good To Be True? explores the history of 1,000 True Fans, some its success stories and where most creators stumble.

If you want to make a living doing what you love  —  playing guitar, writing books, drawing webcomics, podcasting, reviewing movies, playing video games, making YouTube videos or filling Pinterest boards —  all you need to do is find 1,000 True Fans. When you have one thousand people each spending a hundred dollars on you every year, that’s a $100,000 salary. Now you can quit your job and focus on your art!

Simple, right?


The biggest thing that creators miss is that fans need constant attention and acknowledgement. Fans need to be rewarded, but rewarding and including them isn’t easy, which is why we eventually shut down Recurrency and created Clipisode.

Continue reading Is ‘1,000 True Fans’ Too Good To Be True? on Medium.