A little over 10 years ago I co-founded WordPress with Mike Little and have been working on it ever since, I hope to do it for decades to come. I also founded a company Automattic that makes WordPress.com, Gravatar, Simperium, VaultPress, Akismet... we're about 185 people now and growing rapidly. Happy to answer anything about WP, the independent web, business/startups, typing with Dvorak, pretty much anything.

State of the Word speech from a few days ago: http://wordpress.tv/2013/07/29/matt-mullenweg-state-of-the-word-2013/

Out of date Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Mullenweg

Proof: https://twitter.com/photomatt/status/362687905883357185

Three hours later: Thank you so much everyone for the great questions, I also thought it was really cool how the WP community jumped in and answered a few of them even better than I could, it's a good example of how WordPress works. :) It was a pleasure chatting with you all, and hope to see you around the interwebs.

Comments: 506 • Responses: 62  • Date: 

truerzepak58 karma

As someone who's making a living thanks to the WordPress, this might be the only occasion for me to say Thank you Matt. You've truly changed my life.

photomatt27 karma

Thank you. :) Hug a WP contributor next time you meet one, there are hundreds of people active every day that are even more crucial to WordPress than me.

andrewry28 karma

Hey Matt, I was at your State of the Word in SF and you talked about moving WordPress more towards being an application framework rather than a CMS or blog platform. What specifically do you have in mind for this (better settings API, developer features, etc)? And then if you could break backwards compatibility (which really isn't a option for WP), what would you really like to completely redo or add to WordPress? Thanks!

photomatt35 karma

First and foremost the most important things for a platform are stability, speed, and security. To do those well you need the ability to push updates and fixes as close to real-time as possible. And it needs to work in every language. User authentication, data and caching abstraction.

A lot of what people think of as platform stuff is actually at the CMS layer -- custom post types, taxonomy meta,

If backwards compatibility wasn't a concern I would rename all the inconsistent column names and variables to match our style guide, drop TinyMCE, simplify the user roles and capabilities system, replace widgets with page blocks, redo the admin menu system, denormalize the DB, flatten dependencies and deep hierarchy in function execution, and completely reorganize the code so the bare minimum of files are included with any given request.

eddiemoya11 karma

+1 to everything you just said. I think more people need to hear you say this sort of thing. Many critics of WP believe that the community is blissfully unaware of the serious problems or just general weirdness that exists in core.

Can I ask if you would add one more thing to that list? How do you feel about there being (i forget the actual count) something like 1400 1728 hooks/filters in core - many of which are used by core itself to do internal things, and not specifically for external customizing.

photomatt5 karma

I'm okay with that, we should document them better though. I believe there's an effort there underway for 3.7 and the new developer reference.

photomatt27 karma

Not sure how to end this -- thank you everyone who participated. Despite all our growth so far, WordPress is still kind of an under the radar thing, so if you were here consider yourself part of a secret society on the bleeding edge of what's next for the web.

GetSource25 karma

If you could wave a magic wand and instantly rewrite WordPress in any programming language, which would it be?

photomatt71 karma

Go. :)

jarad2223 karma

What are your favorite/most powerful/most surprising implementations of WordPress?

photomatt14 karma

My favorite are when people I admire use it, from Jay Z to Zeldman. In many ways what we do like a canvas, and it's a huge honor to see the creativity and beauty people bring to it.

Ov0834478HB819 karma

How is it going with Bitcoin ?

Any stats ?

photomatt39 karma

94 successful transactions so far, pretty low. I think it's more important philosophically to support it than it's been beneficial from a business point of view.

photomatt18 karma

Haven't looked recently, will see if I can pull some numbers. I wish I had bought some Bitcoins before we introduced it, though. :)

boogah17 karma

After reading questions from all of the nice, well-meaning people writing WordPress as "Wordpress", do you wish reddit would implement capital_P_dangit()? ;)

photomatt37 karma

Yes! If anyone from Reddit sees this, would super-duper appreciate if we could get /r/WordPress capitalized properly. I can send copious amounts of swag, bourbon, and BBQ if bribes are needed.

ryno8 karma

looks like that already happened

photomatt8 karma

My link works, but if you click the link in the header it takes you back to the lowercase P. Probably just a field in a database somewhere.

ericmann14 karma

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing WordPress (in the context of competitive software or just un-met customer needs) for the next year?

photomatt7 karma

By far and away it's the high attrition rate of new users. We look at posting a lot in that context but I think it's far more important to look at customization -- theme discovery and tweaking, widgets, menus.

muga7u13 karma

Hey Matt, why did you force the rest of us to suffer through images defaulting to a link in our posts (I understand that was your doing)?

photomatt13 karma

Youthful indiscretion!

vegasgeek13 karma

Of all the WordCamp's you've been to around the globe, what was the most unusual location for the event itself and, separately, the after party?

photomatt12 karma

Oh by far and away the strangest location was Davao in the Philippines. I can't find any pictures at the moment, but my talk was essentially at a restaurant with a swimming pool courtyard -- the audience was on the other side of the pool from me, and the food buffet was behind me so when the Q&A got slow people would grab food. The PA system had an echo because I think it was normally used for karaoke. And then the bats came out!

Best after-party is hard to pick, but I had a great time after WordCamp Las Vegas which aligned with my 25th birthday a few years ago.

ShaneHudson13 karma

Hi Matt, I'm a long time WordPress dev (since day 1 moreorless) so thanks very much for starting it. Just wondering what your opinion of Ghost is? http://www.tryghost.org/

photomatt19 karma

I left a lot of thoughts in the comments on this puff piece:


They say or imply lots of things about WordPress that aren't true. They've also done things like had a quote from me looking like I was endorsing Ghost on their Kickstarter page even after I asked them to remove it several times. (Lots of people were confused or thought it was a plugin for WP.)

the_MikePayne12 karma

Why is hello dolly still a default plugin? Do you have any statistics about how many people actually activate/use it? Have you personally written any other plugins?

photomatt11 karma

This is an interesting one, and I pulled up some stats around it:

Hello Dolly is actually the 13th most active plugin, with an active userbase of about 16% of Akismet (the most-activated plugin), and about a third as popular as Jetpack. It's ahead of W3 Total Cache! Again this is not just installations, it's currently active.

Some of the other plugins I've been involved with are here on my profile: http://profiles.wordpress.org/matt/

They're obsolete but at the time I was proud of Advanced Caching, Staticize Reloaded, and Cache Images and the early and since-rewritten work on bbPress, HyperDB, and Akismet.

aaronjorbin12 karma

Of all the WordPress community memes, which one is your favorite?

meliko21 karma

This is my personal favorite. ;)

Edit: Whoops, imgur mirror so we don't kill ipstenu's site

photomatt5 karma

That is indeed amazing. :)

photomatt9 karma

https://twitter.com/DerpPress is pretty funny, and some days I miss WP Wank.

Recently I enjoyed #thingswpdailywouldpost and the response: http://torquemag.io/things-wpdaily-would-post/

Pretty much anything Mike Adams (mdawaffe) sneaks into the code, be it easter eggs or Ghostbuster references.

Mark Jaquith had some pretty hilarious ones but I can't find them at the moment, maybe other folks could post their favorites too. :)

WazzaJB12 karma

Hey Matt,

If you had one piece of advice for anyone looking to make an impact on the world of open source and also to help move the web forward as you have, what would it be?


mt_Suzette13 karma


photomatt7 karma


jewish_cowboy12 karma

Would you consider Automattic the "Redhat of WordPress"?

photomatt4 karma

Without a doubt. ;)

brkonthru11 karma

I hope I don't get downvoted because of the way the question sounds:

Do you ever think "I could have been tumblr" ?

photomatt46 karma

Just the opposite, I'm very glad we're not Tumblr.

summerchilde11 karma

Hi Matt

Are there any plans to improve the search in Plugins directory, Theme directory, and Support forums at WordPress.org? Options for sorting results after searching would be awesome. We are constantly bombarded with "What's a good plugin/theme for such and such function/type of site?" questions on r/WordPress. Seems to me that an improved search on WordPress.org would help a ton.

Anyway, thanks for bringing us WordPress and for taking the time to do this AMA.

photomatt8 karma

Completely agree.

mandiees10 karma

What's the best meal you have ever eaten (and photographed)?

photomatt11 karma

Hands down: Eleven Madison Park in NYC.

Recently I had a really special libation tasting menu at The Aviary in Chicago, which is from Grant Achatz the chef of Alinea, it was a cool experience at a table in the kitchen.

I'm constantly amazed by the coordination and efficiency of professional kitchens, I'm mesmerized when I watch.

Ipstenu10 karma

What's your favorite beer?


photomatt5 karma

I don't drink a ton of beer, but I recently had one that blew my mind, it was a sour beer called Temptation. Here's a picture:


RoR_dvlpr9 karma

What do you think of Drupal 8 ? :)

photomatt16 karma

Some cool stuff in there! I also keep an eye on Joomla and Concrete5. I find it really fascinating to watch other open source projects especially because we share much of the same background and philosophy, but make radically different decisions around things like backward compatibility and release schedule.

It's like watching birds that evolved from the same ancestor but on isolated islands and environments. I'm sure we do things that look completely crazy to Drupal folks, and vice versa.

Along those lines I was asked to keynote at the Joomla World Conference in November and it looks like I'm going to be able to make it.

ismharis9 karma

What does your average day look like and how do you manage so many different projects?

photomatt6 karma

I spend more time on Skype (text chat with colleagues) than I would care to admit. Between that and P2s ( http://p2theme.com/ ) I can easily fill eight hours in a day. As the company has grown to over 180 people there is a huge amount of content and activity to keep up with.

d_abernathy898 karma

Hey Matt! Three questions:

  • PHP has matured a lot in the last few years, with new tools such as Composer and new frameworks such as Laravel. The relationship between this side of the PHP community and WordPress seems to be pretty strained. Are there plans to address this relationship, particularly with the new focus on WordPress as a web app framework?

  • Thoughts on forking WordPress, a la jQuery? (http://eamann.com/tech/wordpress-forking-and-the-road-to-4-0/)

  • Multiple content areas - probably the most important CMS feature not baked into core. Will it ever happen?

photomatt3 karma

  1. I think the PHP and WP community are coming closer together, I know it's something that Nacin has been spending time on and we've had more presence at PHP-focused conferences.

  2. I don't think forking as described there is a good idea.

  3. There's something around multiple content areas that could be really interesting we're going to start working on this year, hopefully ready by early 2014.

AbeEstrada8 karma

What is your development setup (software)?

photomatt6 karma

Most of my time these days is spent with people instead of code. (For better or worse. :)) I love lists, and live on http://simplenote.com/ .

When I code since I switched to Mac in 2011 I use Coda 2 and SFTP to a remote server rather than a local dev environment. nano on the server.

eddiemoya2 karma

Apache or nginx?

photomatt9 karma


andrewinmelbourne8 karma

Sup Matt,

Hit me with some Akismet stats.

photomatt13 karma

We're blocking 40-50 million more spam every day than we were last year. The volume of spam has been growing unusually fast.

xHyperGx7 karma

I see a lot of desperate web development companies locally that try to stress that Wordpress is insecure and shouldn't be used. What would be the best thing to say to people like that to shut them up?

photomatt10 karma

Some of the largest and most important publishers in the world rely on WordPress. (Show them the showcase.) If WordPress was insecure we'd see it on the front page of nytimes.com, wired.com, and cnn.com. :)

aarondamaster7 karma

Have any companies ever tried sueing you over silly software patents?

photomatt6 karma


jb5107 karma

What one major thing would you like to see changed/fixed/updated in WordPress core?

photomatt13 karma

The fact it doesn't work well on mobile devices.

themitcho7 karma

If something in the future interests you enough to make WordPress/Automattic part-time for you, so you can take on something else or contribute to another cause, what might it be?

photomatt6 karma

I'm really fascinated by micro-electronics, hardware, and the "internet of things" for lack of a better term. It's surreal to be approaching an age that resembles the sci-fi I loved as a child.

That said, I can't imagine not working full-time on WordPress/Automattic, I feel too strongly about our mission, impact, and potential.

jb5106 karma

What individual do you think is the most under recognized contributor to the WordPress community at large?

photomatt12 karma

That's a tough one... I'm going to say the volunteers on the support forums. There are 2M+ posts there, and it's easy to forget that a huge number of WP users end up in the forums and get help that allows them to use the software when they wouldn't otherwise be able to.

misschang6 karma

Hi Matt ! I know you've advocated for water causes in the past. Do you have plans for future charitable/philanthropic projects? Thanks for doing this.

photomatt3 karma

My big contribution this year has been to the Bay Lights project: http://thebaylights.org/

Haven't decided about next year yet...

lumberjakrex6 karma

Best BBQ of all time?

photomatt9 karma

I hope I haven't had it yet. :)

jaschaton5 karma

Hey Matt, what was the most difficult thing for you in starting your business and what do you think is the most important thing you have to know and/or to learn when you found a startup?

photomatt13 karma

The hardest thing for me was taking responsibility for the lives and families of others, those first few hires especially. It's why I originally raised funding even though we had revenue already, and why since then we've always focused on making the business sustainable over decades, not just the next tech hype cycle.

WriteNoWrong5 karma

Hey Matt, where do you think the future of the independent WordPress news community lies, with your recent purchase of WPTavern and the recent sale of WP Daily to WP Engine? Do you think there is a space for an impartial WordPress news website?

*edited for correct spelling!

photomatt3 karma

I'm glad that new ones are being started as fast as old ones are shutting down. There is some really interesting stuff going on in the community and I think there's space for real journalism and strong commentary.

jimmerd5 karma

I find WP so much more user-friendly than the competition. Was that a conscious decision from the outset? Was it hard work to make it that way or was it just the way you guys did things? Do you have a warehouse full of useability testers or does it just come naturally to you guys?

photomatt5 karma

The first few users were friends of mine who weren't into technology at all, so from the start we needed to make it work for regular people. As we grow it's mostly just a matter of reminding ourselves of that, sitting down with them to see how they use the software, and anticipating their needs.

twinkeel5 karma

Are open source contributions a prerequisite to work at Automattic?

photomatt7 karma

No, but they get you to the top of the list when we're reviewing applications. (I know, I look at every incoming resume.)

houdas5 karma

Hello Matt, what is your opinion about current state of PHP in general? Do you like any particular framework? Templating engine? Thanks.

photomatt4 karma

I think it's pretty great, would just love to see continuing development around performance. Nothing really in the language that's holding us back. Wish it was trendier with younger devs.

chedonline5 karma

Hey Matt. Longtime WordPress user here. I have 2 questions:

•Will you ever support multiple languages in the WordPress core?

•What do you think of new writing platforms like Quip and Editorially? Will the WordPress post editor ever have any of those 'team' features?

photomatt4 karma

No plans for multiple languages in core, sorry.

I really dig the new writing platforms, I do think we'll get some of those team features if not in core than in Jetpack.

spankymustard4 karma

Hey Matt, you talked about profitability on TWiST. How do you plan on increasing revenue at Automattic?

(I'm especially interested in how open source projects like Wordpress could lead to profitable companies)

Edit: (changed "profit" to "revenue")

photomatt3 karma

I think it largely looks like the things we're doing today, just executed better and with a wider audience aware of them.

baaaatmaaan4 karma

Automattic has a lot of side projects (Gravatar, PollDaddy, etc) - What's next?

photomatt14 karma

There's always a struggle between doing new things or experiments under a new brand -- like VaultPress -- vs putting it under an existing brand. A lot of the things I've been thinking about we're going to put under the Jetpack brand, for example Jetpack Photon (CDN + dynamic image resizing and filtering) could be a standalone product, but decided to bundle it. So keep an eye on some big things coming to Jetpack, especially for Code Poets, people who use WordPress professionally.

What would you like to see us do next?

eddiemoya4 karma

How directly involved are you in ongoing development of core? Are you relatively hands on, do you ever drive decision making or do you leave it to the community?

On a completely different subject.

I met you at WordCamp Chicago this year (I told you about a widget plugin that turns them into a post type and such).

I created these wooden WordPress logos with my 3D Printer, I meant to give you one but I forgot about it. You still want one?

photomatt10 karma

Would love a wooden WP logo, as long as it's not a fauxgo. :)

I'm as involved in WordPress development as I was 10 years ago, it just manifests itself in ways that tend to be a lot more behind the scenes and less visible, which I don't mind as I'm way more interested in things moving forward and the results than credit or recognition for any specific thing. (I get plenty of recognition regardless, don't need more.) The only downside is that folks who I don't work with on a day-to-day basis assume that my role at Automattic or WP is more as a traveling figurehead or "evangelist" which can rub me the wrong way sometimes.

For 3.8 I'm going to take a swing at the release lead role again, which should be fun.

The most important thing I've done since WP started, though, isn't in a line of code or a feature people use, it's getting the right people involved and creating an environment for them to thrive. It's the single most important thing any founder can do, whether of an OS project, a non-profit, or a for-profit company even though there's not a single thing you can point to as the result of it other than the overall success and movement of the project.

eddiemoya2 karma

Thanks for your response! I have to admit that I asked this questions for the very reason you just explained - I wasn't sure if you were just a figurehead for WordPress core, and kept more to running/development for Automattic, or if you kept heavily involved in development and decision making in core.

Seems like it would be a difficult balance to strike - between looking uninvolved or like your doing things behind closed doors on one hand - and looking like your dictating/micromanaging where things go.

I think it will be a good move for you to be visible in your activity - I think it will make things seem more open, rather than a vague suggestion that you might or might not have been involved.

Oh - and these are the logos I made. http://eddiemoya.com/2013/06/30/wooden-3d-printed-wordpress-logos-wcchi/

photomatt5 karma

It's more fun being visible at first, but it also draws more flak and criticism that impedes process, for lack of a better way of putting it the normal conversations and back and forth that's an everyday and critical part of OS development get warped when I'm a part of them, some people digging in or disagreeing as much for trying to get "points" over someone powerful as much as the substance of the issue. If I engage I end up looking dictatorial and take time away from more important tasks, or if I don't it disenfranchises a contributor. I have contributed anonymously a few times before under different accounts.

eddiemoya2 karma

I can definitely see how that would be the case. Damned if you do damned if you dont. I can see how it would be really difficult for you personally to turn away a bad idea that someone feels strongly about, especially if they aren't already involved in the community.

Not sure if you've done this specifically, but perhaps if you spent some time openly/publicly contributing but not as a lead developer, just a be a little guy - one of us. If your publicly seen to not always get your way, and not wearing the hat of a decision maker - it might make it simpler for you to be visible and not seem like your the Czar of the Kingdom of WordPress.

photomatt3 karma

It happens -- see MP6's predecessor effort pulled out of core in February, and some hi-dpi things before that.

mt_Suzette3 karma

I remember seeing a WordPress yearly theme of "WordCamps and WordPress Meetups". What should be the next year's area of focus for the Community? What areas would you like to see beefed up in the Community? Some themes that I thought might be good are "Women in WordPress", "Contribution and Documentation", "WordPress Evangelism", "Adopt an old plugin" to name a few. How do you feel about these?

photomatt7 karma

Those are all good, if I had to pick one it'd be getting the documentation going better on WordPress.org -- handbooks, function reference, training materials / syllabuses, and doing it all in every language and for every plugin/theme.

ideadude3 karma

Which verticals will you be tackling next with WordPress.com? Please share your sensitive corporate information ;)

photomatt5 karma

Putting a hold on new verticals at the moment, going to try and go deeper on some of the existing ones first.

pranjalgupta3 karma

And any plans to launch a Premium paid version of Photon service with more features?

photomatt4 karma

Not on features, we'll make anything new there free to everybody, but might have a paid tier for top 1% of users by bandwidth/usage. But probably a few years from that, plenty of bandwidth and CPU here in the meantime, and it's just getting cheaper and faster.

photomatt7 karma

WordPress is priceless, so 400k euros isn't a bad deal, but they could shop around for a better consultant. :)

throwaway201e33 karma

What do you think about App websites/themes that seem to be using WordPress as the choice of CMS, do you think WordPress is a good platform for these types of sites? Scaling, Performance issues considering?

Examples, Dating sites, Crowdfunding sites, Job board, etc.

photomatt5 karma

I think it's a great framework for anything content-driven. For things like messaging that don't map well to WP's data model, you can still do it just make some new tables, don't try to shoehorn it in the standard ones.

eddiemoya3 karma

I started learning Dvorak after your 35-minute tangent at WCChi, thanks!

ideadude3 karma

I heard a rumor Matt switched back to QWERTY. True?

photomatt9 karma

Not true, still typing Dvorak, though last year I was beat on speed for the first time by Helen Hou-Sandi, who types QWERTY. She's speedy, and if she switched to Dvorak she could probably win world champs. :)

shelob93 karma

Matt, thanks so much for doing this AMA and for everything you do.

I was wondering what advice you have for people looking to start a profitable business, without sacrificing the ideals and values that motivated them to do it in the first place? I'm particularally intrested in hearing about how you made your case for open source and keeping the democratization of media as the goal for WordPress when raising capital for Automattic.

photomatt8 karma

It's really hard not to be distracted by the things you think you should be doing, or that you see other businesses doing, and focus in on what actually matters to your chosen business day in and day out.

It's easy to be very busy but not get anything done that you'll look back a year from now and say was worthwhile.

It's good to work someplace before starting something on your own.

If you can bootstrap without investment you'll have more control. But make sure you'll drive yourself to higher and higher performance and growth the same way someone external would.

You'll get a lot of contradictory advice, and often neither side is wrong.

ashenkar73 karma

Hi Matt, have you read Chris Lema's blog post. What is your response?

photomatt10 karma

I have. It's also funny because I think Gartner is about to come out with a "magic quadrant" that puts us in the crappy quadrant (low vision and ability to execute). Their leaders? Adobe, Sitecore, SDL, Oracle, HP, Opentext...

I completely agree with Chris on all the ways that enterprise currently works, and their concerns. (People assume because we choose to do things differently that we don't understand the other side.) But I'm not willing to compromise getting better software into the hands of users as quickly as possible, if that means Gartner thinks we're a visionless niche player so be it.

We've done long-term support branches before, it was a big development burden and almost no one used it or cared. There will be businesses that embrace keeping their technology moving at the speed the web does, and there will be those that go out of business and become irrelevant.

AmorousEyes3 karma

How do I convince my boyfriend, who wants me to keep his site in ASP.NET (he's a programmer, I'm a designer/coder), to install WordPress? I'm not even allowed to use PHP! :(

ideadude18 karma

Find a new boyfriend maybe? His judgement is clearly lacking.

photomatt4 karma


photomatt9 karma

The best way I've found to convince people, even as the founder, is just showing examples. That's why we created the showcase: http://wordpress.org/showcase/

Find out which musicians, celebs, authors, etc he writes and see which of them are on WordPress and bring it up casually in conversation. (We have huge adoption from creative folks.)

DarkstarIV3 karma

Hi Matt, now as most people know, you are very much a fan of open source and the GPL license. However, is there anything you do NOT like about open source?

Also besides Wordpress (or its themes/plugins), are there any open source projects you like that aren't related to Wordpress or Automattic?

photomatt3 karma

I think the things that make open source incredibly collaborative and ultimately eat the world can also make design and big shifts difficult. WordPress has made some major shifts over its decade of life and grew as a result, but those pivots are harder to do the more successful we are because sometimes it means doing the opposite of what we did to become successful in the first place.

dygital2 karma

I also have another question:

Say you retired your involvement from WordPress, what other projects stimulate your interest and challenge you?

I think for many of us, all good things come to an end and considering your success of WordPress, what other projects (offline or online) would benefit from your involvement?

nicolaballotta2 karma

Do you think an app store for plugin and themes built with high quality standards and framework, could be a good solution for WordPress end users?

photomatt7 karma

The plugin directory is an app store where everything is free.

Would having paid stuff there make it better? I don't think so.

lori_b2 karma

Hi Matt, I have been using WordPress for 10 years, make most of my living from it, and will always love it. Thank you for that! It is by far the easiest way I have found to build websites that my clients find easy to use. I see the reasons why WordPress does not use more modern coding practices and tools and appreciate the need for backward compatibility, but wonder if you ever see the code base moving forward to a time when developers can use the newest features of PHP, best coding practices (i.e. testing), and the great tools that are available these days, like Composer. Do you think there will ever be some kind of fork or offshoot of WordPress that functions as an application development framework, since so many developers are using it for that these days? Thanks :)

photomatt5 karma

I disagree with the premise -- WordPress does use modern coding practices. People assume that supporting say an older version of PHP or MySQL holds us back far, far more than it actually causes any trouble. Supporting older browsers is a way bigger deal.

Our biggest challenge is figuring out the user side of things, the front-end code. How things should work for a user rather than how they should work for a computer.

timmmmyboy2 karma

Any chance of a comment-spam filter being built into core? Akismet is great but has a lot of hurdles for a new user (Activation of the plugin, Registration on Wordpress.com, Registration for API key) and most just don't do it, contributing to the problem.

photomatt5 karma

I agree with Viper007Bond -- anything we did in core like Cookies for Comments would become completely ineffective within a day. Those only stop dumb bots who have easier places to spam.

Mark Pilgrim had an amazing essay on this about Club vs Lojack solutions. Unfortunately his site is gone (anyone have a cache?), but Mark Jaquith talks about a bit about it here: