What do WordPress and the iPhone have in Common?

I am oftentimes contacted by readers interested in starting their own blogs. Recently I was consulting with one of my readers who was trying to determine the best blogging software to use. Without missing a beat I immediately responded – WordPress of course. When asked for the #1 reason why I recommend WordPress I always have a simple answer – it’s all about the plugins!

This morning I was talking to a friend who is looking for a smartphone. He is trying to decide between a Blackberry and an iPhone. Once again, without missing a beat I immediately said – iPhone, hands down! When asked for the #1 reason why I recommend the iPhone I also have a very simply answer – it’s all about the apps!

Surprisingly this is the first time I’ve connected the dots here but I think it is a very interesting parallel. The reason that I love WordPress is because just about anything I want to do on my blog – there’s a Plugin already written that does it. A great example is Twitter integration. I wanted to allow people to easily re-tweet my posts – there’s a number of plugins that do it so I was able to pick my favorite and within one minute have it up and running on my blog. WordPress has the largest community of plugin developers for any blogging platform so any advanced functionality you’d like to add to your blog is available with a quick Google search.

This is also what I absolutely love about the iPhone – there’s an app for literally anything I want to do on my iPhone. I’ve had Blackberry’s before and outside of sending and receiving email there wasn’t much I could do on the phone. While there are apps for the Blackberry and the Palm Pre there are many many more for the iPhone and the quality level is significantly better. Apple’s commercial where they repeat over and over again “there’s an app for that” is absolutely true.

I think that WordPress and the iPhone represent a change in software design methodology. For a long time software has been relatively static with little room for customizing or completely changing functionality. While companies have provided software updates or add-on’s – these rarely change the way an average user will interact with the software. Both WordPress and Apple are thinking outside of the box and allow users to quickly and easily customize their experience.

While this might not seem like profound thinking this shift in methodology is driving a change in consumer expectations. Soon the idea that your television can only be used to watch TV and movies will become limiting to the same folks used to putting an app on their iPhone anytime they want to add new functionality. Soon car owners will want to customize their cars in ways we never thought possible. A new path is being forged and the name of the game is the quick and easy addition of functionality. Get ready folks because the iPhone has really just scratched the surface of what is possible!

Oh, and if you’re looking for some great WordPress Plugins – check-out Chef Patrick’s recent post about the WordPress plugins he uses.

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