Telegraph moves its blogs to WordPress

It’s a sign of how far WordPress has come, that I find myself noting the Telegraph’s transfer of its blogging platform to WordPress purely because I feel I should… and not because it’s especially exciting. I mean, if you were going to set up a large-scale public blogging community, why on earth wouldn’t you use the world-leading, zero-price tag product?
The newspaper media group’s new blogs editor, Damian Thompson is buzzing with excitement at the potential which this move opens up. Among the ‘immediate benefits’ he highlights: faster operation, easier commenting, better integration with the wider site, even a Twitter element. (I’d add a few others myself, all available instantly with a bit of URL hacking.) But he’s right to recognise that the switch won’t be immediately popular – and guess what, the majority of the 200+ comments on his introduction post aren’t positive. Yeah, we’ve all been there.
Most of the work, I understand, was done by the Telegraph’s in-house team, with some assistance from my fellow WordCampers (and technically, I suppose, competitors) InterconnectIT. The firm’s director, Dave Coveney says they’re already working with another newspaper group and a magazine publisher. He’s clearly seeing the same momentum I am; there’s certainly no shortage of interest in WordPress just now.

WordPress: reclaiming the web

I love WP as much as the next guy. Unless this is the next guy. pics:

I’m suddenly receiving a lot of email (and other online communication) from people in the public sector, and indeed outside, who want to talk WordPress. And I’m not alone: Dave Coveney, from Liverpool-based consultancy InterconnectIT tweeted yesterday:

The professionalisation of #wordpress appears to have finally arrived. We no longer sell websites that happen to be WP, but because of WP.

So what’s happened to raise WordPress to the status of ‘credible alternative’? It almost feels like a stupid question – ‘why are people turning away from big-money consultancies charging six-figure sums, in favour of rapidly developed, more flexible, more usable solutions that deliver in weeks for a relative pittance?’ But bear with me.
If I looked narrowly at the public sector, I could suggest a few milestones which might have led us here: Number10’s precedent-setting adoption of WordPress, Steph Gray’s work at DIUS (and the use of the Commentariat theme on the Power Of Information document in particular), the general acceptance of blogging post-Peston as serious communication, my own relentless evangelism maybe. Perhaps the combination of all the above. Or perhaps it’s as simple as the modest price tag, and the time of year – it doesn’t feel like end-of-financial-year spending sprees, but I could be wrong.
None of which explains the surge in private sector interest though. Maybe it’s increasing cost-consciousness, or the smoothness of the version 2.7 interface, or the mere fact that ‘this stuff is cool’.
But you know what? It doesn’t matter. The message is getting through, and the cause is being furthered. It really feels like we’re getting somewhere, taking the web back from the Big Ugly Consultancies. It’s a good feeling.