The Blog-War Revenge of Brooklyn's Hipsters

Matt Mullenweg should be proud; his giant WordPress.com has reportedly earned him millions. But his blog-platform rival, Tumblr founder David Karp, just surpassed him in one key metric. Mullenweg can blame Brooklyn one-upsmanship.

Like Mullenweg, Karp was a Web entrepreneur as a teenager and is now in his early 20s, creating software through which other people can make money. But while Texas-born Mullenweb has started a series of fights with his tech-industry colleagues, former Bronx Science student Karp has been cuddling his way around Manhattan and Brooklyn.

This sociability has helped Karp exploit Gotham's chattering classes: Tumblr has an estimated one-fifteenth the users of Wordpress.com, but generates about five time as much content, thanks to social networking tools that let its Brooklyn-centric userbase easily quote and snark upon one another's posts. This edge shows up in the sites' public daily posting statistics (Tumblr, then Wordpress):

The Blog-War Revenge of Brooklyn's Hipsters



The Blog-War Revenge of Brooklyn's Hipsters



Meanwhile, Karp, in full bragging mode today, tells us Tumblr averages "five interactions (answers, likes, reblogs, etc.) with each post on average versus 1.5 for Wordpress." That doesn't mean Tumblr is worth $15 million — it has yet to launch its "really sexy" plan to generate actual revenue — but it is an interesting stat, and a testament to the social networking features the snuggly young entrepreneur has built into his site. It's also a pretty solid indication Karp will soon have some additional "interactions" fairly soon, with surly young Mullenweg.

(Top pic: Mullenweg, right, by Jared Greeno; Karp by Zadi Diaz)