Mullenweg calls social toolbars “the mullet of websites”, plus other gems on social web


Robert Scoble interviewed Matt Mullenweg at Big Omaha in May of 2010. The recorded video of the interview just went up (also embedded below), and we were able to pull a couple of gems. The quote from the headline came from this back and forth:

Scoble: Some of the UI that’s changing about blogs is these toolbars that I’m seeing. I just put one on my blog that has Twitter and Google Buzz and Facebook on the bottom on my blog. What’s your opinion on those?

Pre-bearded Mullenweg: I think they’re kind of like the mullet of websites. [laughter] I don’t like them. [laughter]

Scoble: I’m keeping mine anyway.

Pre-bearded Mullenweg: I understand.

Jump to around 13:40 in the video embedded below for that funny bit.

The conversation then turned to social website integration into websites, where Mullenweg explained “the thin line” walked over at, where instead of adding Facebook “Like” and Digg buttons when users ask for them, they instead ask “Will people be asking for this in three to five years?”. He said they then typically wait for the “fad” to pass, pointing out that users don’t ask for Digg buttons any more.

Regarding traffic from social sources, Mullenweg commented that more users send their posts to Twitter over Facebook, and that most incoming traffic to comes from Twitter as well.

The interview is only about thirty minutes long, and a number of the questions came from Twitter and Google Buzz, through Scoble’s iPad. What questions would you ask in an interview with Matt Mullenweg?

Oh, and who out there has worn a website mullet, as they will now be known? Go on, fess up in the comments!

12 thoughts on “Mullenweg calls social toolbars “the mullet of websites”, plus other gems on social web

  1. It’s hard to argue with his logic on the toolbars and such. Although I don’t mind sharing type buttons in the content area itself.

    • I agree, there’s just something about those toolbars that I just hate. Maybe it’s the one-size-fits-all unoriginality of them. Or maybe because they’re ugly. Or maybe both.

  2. I sported the Wibiya mullet for a few months but took it off about a year ago. I decided I wasn’t a big fan of them. The concept is cool, but it really hampers a website’s style.

  3. I have the “website mullet” on a number of sites and while they may be aesthetically unpleasing, there is no denying the functionality they can add and their ability to create/retain traffic/

    • The key is that it’s totally a personal choice. Obviously Matt thinks one thing, but it’s okay to disagree with him.

      I’m not familiar with data re: traffic and them either, but I hear from mullet advocates that it does help retain traffic. I don’t know one way or the other really, but I think there could be an argument made for having them around. Just don’t use one to use one. Have an argument, a purpose behind it, and I will respect your mullet 😉

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