I’ve long thought that one of the biggest problems with newspaper companies is their inability to see - and grok, as John Battelle would say - the changing the media landscape. To watch McClatchy and Media News spend billions of dollars in the past year gobbling up newspapers instead of investing in emerging and innovative media and tech companies is mind-boggling. If I had a billion dollars sitting around, I wouldn’t buy a bunch of newspapers. I’d buy Feedburner. Or Flickr. Or Yelp. Or Bloglines. Or Chowhound. Or Zvents. Or FM Publishing. Or Netvibes. Or StumbleUpon. Or….
There is, however, one newspaper company that seems to “get it.” And the evidence is at the end of Matt Mullenweg’s blog post tonight where he mentions that the NY Times has invested in Automattic, makers of WordPress, perhaps the most popular blogging software (and service) on the planet. Being a huge fan of WordPress and the people behind it, I first winced when I heard they’d taken on a new investor. I keep waiting for someone to come along and try to ruin WordPress. But a New York Times-WordPress partnership actually feels right. Congrats to both.