Crunchies: Did WordPress.org or Automattic Win?

The “Crunchies,” which describes itself as an “award ceremony to recognize and celebrate the most compelling startups, internet and technology innovations of the year,” had its award ceremony last night. WordPress of some sort won an award, but it’s not clear which.

WordPress is the open-source blogging software hosted on WordPress.org. It’s sometimes referred to as “WordPress.org” to differentiate it from “WordPress.com,” which is a commercial site running WordPress Multi-User (MU) and owned by Automattic, the company headed by the lead WordPress developers. Because a number of the key people overlap between WordPress.org and Automattic, it’s understandable that people would confuse the two. However, Matt Mullenweg, lead developer of WordPress and founder of Automattic, often seems at pains to distinguish them.

But the folks behind the Crunchies don’t seem as aware of the distinction. On the one hand, WordPress.org put up a banner encouraging people to vote for it in the Crunchies. And Mullenweg seems to think that congratulations should go “to the entire WordPress community for this win. Just wait until they see 2.5,” that “2.5″ referring to the version of WordPress.org to be released some time in the Spring. (WordPress MU, used by Automattic on WordPress.com is currently at version 1.3.)

But on the other hand, TechCrunch lists Automattic, and Giga Omni, WordPress.com, as the winner of the “most likely to succeed” category.

Clearly, though, congratulations should go to Automattic’s Toni Schneider for “best startup CEO,” which everyone agrees he won.

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