Andrew Mager posted an illustrated play-by-play of Saturday's WordCamp, a conference devoted to the popular open-source blogging platform WordPress. According to Mager's report, the hosted version of WordPress has 2.3 million new blogs in 12 months and 35 million posts, and more than 6.5 billion page views.
Of particular interest for the WordPress crowd is BuddyPress, a set of plug-ins that brings Facebook-like features, such as friends, groups, private messaging, status updates, and extended profiles, to the blogging platform. (WordPress competitor Six Apart also recently introduced a social dimension to its Movable Type platform.)
As Mager reported, unlike the popular social networks, BuddyPress isn't a closed environment: "Why do we need another social network? BuddyPress is not another "data silo" like Facebook and MySpace. It's mission is to be more open source, handle better control of data, give people better choices, and build greater support for open standards."
Being more open isn't a necessarily going to move people out of Facebook, MySpace, Bebo or other semi-permeable walled gardens. However, the combination of emerging open standards, such as OpenSocial, and the growing WordPress and Six Apart communities will have an impact on embedding a social dimension into the fabric of every application.